Headlines

2 years ago

HTC confirms it's pulling Carrier IQ from Sprint ROMs in future updates

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When Sprint first told Android Central that it has ceased using the Carrier IQ analytics software on its Android smartphones, throwing a switch on the server side while leaving the app itself dormant, we kind of figured that would be that. Sure, future smartphones likely wouldn't have the maligned software embedded, but current phones would remain as-is.

But it looks like stripping Carrier IQ from ROMs might be easier than we imagined. The HTC EVO 3D saw it removed entirely in an update this week, and HTC has confirmed The Verge that indeed it's pulling Carrier IQ from its Sprint ROMs, saying "we're working with Sprint to provide maintenance releases that will remove Carrier IQ and provide security enhancements and bug fixes beginning in January."

Some of us were perfectly OK with the server-side solution, but we're also perfectly happy with removing from ROMs apps and services that are no longer being used. Between Carrier IQ and bootloader unlocking, HTC's definitely impressing us all in the transparency department.

Source: The Verge; more: EVO 3D update

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2 years ago

JCB and Motorola team up for 'work-proof' DEFY+

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Motorola announced today that it has teamed up with construction equipment manufacturer JCB for the “work-proof” DEFY+, now available in the UK for RRP £259.99. The special edition will come with a JCB-patented rugged visco-elastic protective sleeve, along with push-to-talk connectivity and preloaded apps including a spirit level, theodolite, decibel meter and recorder and a unit converter. The DEFY+ JCB edition will retain the original’s 1 GHz processor, Gorilla Glass coating, 5 MP camera, and preloaded Gingerbread. Hit the source link for Moto's official announcement.

Source: Motorola Mobility

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2 years ago

Android A to Z: What is GSM?

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What is GSM? When it comes to Android devices, especially for us here in the U.S., there are two major differentiators that really have nothing to do with Android and everything to do with the carrier you plan on using the device on. When you're talking about a mobile device, you're either talking about a GSM device, or a CDMA device. GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communications and is the network standard for much of the world. 

Of the four major carriers here in the United States, T-Mobile and AT&T use GSM technology. In Europe, you'll be hard-pressed to find something other than GSM. In Asia, you'll still find some CDMA carriers. 

A major advantage, at least from an end-user perspective, of GSM is the ability to easily swap devices, thanks to the SIM card. That's the little card (like what you see in the picture above) that contains are information that allows you to connect to a network, and it also can contain contact information. Pop the card into a new phone, and your phone number and contacts come with you.

There are a couple caveats to that, of course. One is that the phone you're using has to have radios to work on specific frequencies. While T-Mobile and AT&T are both GSM carriers and share the same EDGE radio frequency, they use different 3G frequencies, and most devices released in the United States can only connect to one or the other. (That's not always the case though -- some phones, like the GSM Galaxy Nexus, have the ability to do both) Another hurdle is that carriers usually "lock" the device to only use their own SIM cards. That is, if you put an AT&T SIM card into a T-Mobile phone, it'll ask for an unlock code. You can purchase the codes online, or the carrier may give it to you for free, if your account is in good standing. Outside the U.S., this is less of an issue because phones often are purchased "unlocked," albeit at higher prices than you'll see here.

But, wait. It gets more confusing. The new 4G LTE is a GSM standard. Therefore, Verizon and (soon) Sprint are using GSM technologies on their otherwise-CDMA phones. And both of those carriers have had "world phones" in the past -- traditional CDMA devices with GSM radios tucked in for use outside the United States.

Is GSM preferred over CDMA? For some, it's just a personal thing. For others, it's a perceived technical thing (such as building penetration). For others, it's a business thing, like being able to more easily use your personal device overseas with a prepaid SIM.   

Previously on Android A to Z: What is fastboot?; Find more in the Android Dictionary

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2 years ago

Apple renews lawsuit against Samsung in Germany, targeting 10 smartphones

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Apple is looking to expand its current German ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to a variety of Samsung smartphones on similar grounds of design patent infringement. The Galaxy S II and Galaxy S Plus are both in the crosshairs, and no doubt many other touchscreen slate smartphones. 

Although the situation sounds dire, it's not all that bad. Apparently Samsung had released a modified version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany to get around the ban, and the courts admitted that they would have a heard time halting imports despite being able to lock down local sales. Apple, in turn, isn't exactly having a field day in Germany; Motorola recently won a case against Apple for infringing on some key 3G patents.

I'd be curious to see the other eight phones which Apple is claiming design infringement upon. These days, you could throw a rock in any direction and hit a smartphone that looks vaguely like an iPhone. Although it definitely feels like a flaky basis on which to screw with a competitor's business, it's clearly good enough for the German courts to act upon. Luckily not all international courts are siding with Apple in these design infringement cases. 

Source: Bloomberg

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2 years ago

Pink Samsung Galaxy S II arriving the UK for Valentine's Day

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Stuck on what to get that special someone for Valentines this year? Enter Samsung to lend a helping hand as this pink version of the massively popular Galaxy S II is due to be launched on Feb.13. Make no mistake, this is a regular Galaxy S II, just they painted it pink.

While having been announced in South Korea back in November, all went quiet regarding global availability. Phones 4 U have announced that they will be offering the device from Feb.13 on a two- year contract starting from a very reasonable £21.50 a month. 

Not looking for a contract to go with that shiny new pink phone, then online retailer Very are set to offer the device SIM free for a whopping £499.99. Whichever way you look at it, that's Galaxy Nexus pricing. While listed as in stock, they are in fact awaiting their supply which they claim to be within 7 days. Get them while they're hot ladies--and guys if pinks your thing.

Source: Somobile

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2 years ago

Pop on some Steve Miller Band, fire one up, and take a look at Whale Trail

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

We're not implying that the insanely cute and colorful Android game Whale Trail was inspired during some sort of psychedelic episode, but -- OK, who are we kidding? That's exactly what we're implying. It's one of those simple up/down games -- press the screen to fly up, release to drop down. You're controlling Willow the Whale while you fight to make sense of it all, man get away from the evil Baron Von Barry. There are 32 levels, two game modes and 96 stars to collect. Download links are after the break. Now somebody pass the Cheetos.

via @AshleyEsqueda and @millsustwo

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2 years ago

Official Galaxy Nexus accessories delayed, UK retailer says

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News is coming out of the UK today from retailer Clove Technology, says that we're going to have to carry on waiting for the official Samsung Galaxy Nexus accessories as the release date has slipped back to February. 

As we previously reported, Clove were expecting to start shipping the accessories mid-January, but a statement on their blog today tells a sadly different story. Citing delays from Samsung as the cause, their expected shipping date has now slipped back to around Feb. 13. Disappointing, to be sure. Let's hope somebody's able to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Source: Clove

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2 years ago

CyanogenMod 9 Music app now available, theme engine is a go

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CyanogenMod 9 Music is now available for download, and you don't even have to be running CM to install or use it.  It offers a level of customization you won't find in other music apps, from things like searching the Android Market music store for the currently playing song, gestures for audio controls, sharing the current track with any of your social media outlets, and even setting your favorite song as a ringtone with one button.  To top it all off, the app has a theme engine that changes just about every aspect of the look.  A "Google Music" style theme is available, as is a theme template for you artistic types to have at it.

To get the app, follow the link below.  We have to mention that this one only works for music you have stored on your device itself, as it doesn't hook into any streaming or cloud service.  Andrew Neal, the developer of CM Music, says we'll see it in the Android Market shortly, as well as see it in CyanogenMod 9.  This is one to have a look at guys and gals.

Source and downloads: SeeingPixels

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2 years ago

Zappos' security breached, time to change your password

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You may or may not be aware of the fact but if you're a Zappos customer, they've had rough few days. They're currently sending out an email (full verison is past the break) to all customers to provide information on the matter but the long and short of it all is they've had a security breach:

First, the bad news:

We are writing to let you know that there may have been illegal and unauthorized access to some of your customer account information on Zappos.com, including one or more of the following: your name, e-mail address, billing and shipping addresses, phone number, the last four digits of your credit card number (the standard information you find on receipts), and/or your cryptographically scrambled password (but not your actual password).

THE BETTER NEWS:

The database that stores your critical credit card and other payment data was NOT affected or accessed.

Zappos does of course have an Android app available in the Android Market, and if you frequent using that you'll now find that your online and in-app password has been proactively expired. When you login, you will see the message as shown above advising you that you'll need to create a new password, this is so that all passwords that were in use can be removed from the system.

The proactive expiring of your password on Zappos is a great thing but many people use the same password across sites. If you think you may have used the same password across sites, then it is suggested that you change those as well. A unique password should be used for each and every login you use.

Luckily, there are some apps out there to help keep you organized. 1Password Reader, Last Pass and even Google Authenticator for 2 step verification are all great options to employ for security. Take the time to stay safe folks; taking preventative measures can save you a lot of wasted time down the road trying to sort things out.

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2 years ago

HTC unlocks bootloaders on Desire Z, ChaCha, Aria, DROID Incredible, Status, T-Mobile G2

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HTC has continued updating their developer site bootloader unlock tool with new devices and this time around they've gone ahead and added:

If you have any of those devices, and are wishing to have the bootloader unlocked then you can hit up the HTCDev site below to get started. Not sure what your bootloader is or if you want it unlocked? Check out our Android A to Z covering what, exactly a bootloader is.

Source: HTCDev; via @HTCDev

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2 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest: Sunset or sunrise

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We're kicking off a new weekly photo contest today!  The rules are simple -- We'll give a theme, you use your Android phone (or tablet, or netbook, you get the idea) to take a picture that fits the theme.  Send it to us via email at pics@androidcentral.com and we'll pick the best shot.  These contests will run from Monday to Friday, we'll pick the winners over the weekend and announce them Monday on the blog.  We'll have prizes for the winners, and it will be a heck of a lot of fun for everyone.  Remember, only send in pictures you've taken yourself and they must be free for us to use on the Internet.  Don't worry, we won't use them for anything except the contests.

To kick it all off, we're going to start with a theme that's a favorite of mine -- sunset or sunrise. Show us the beauty around you, and we'll reward the best with a headset of your choosing from ShopAndroid.  We're looking forward to seeing what you guys can show us!

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2 years ago

Feds just say no to LightSquared's LTE network, say it will never work with GPS

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Think back to last summer, when the weather was warm and we all expected a formal announcement about LightSquared and Sprint launching their shared LTE network.  Back to today, and we find out that the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Executive Committee (some of the folks who decide all this stuff) have determined that none of the proposals submitted by LightSquared will ever work without affecting GPS.  Last year during preliminary testing, it was discovered that LightSquared's LTE plans greatly affected GPS, and after a handful of re-submittals, changes, and more testing that didn't alleviate the problems, the feds have said enough is enough.  

Based upon this testing and analysis, there appear to be no practical solutions or mitigations that would permit the LightSquared broadband service, as proposed, to operate in the next few months or years without significantly interfering with GPS. As a result, no additional testing is warranted at this time

To make matters worse, the FAA also said that LightSquared's network would interfere with aircraft safety systems.  Of course LightSquared disputes these findings, going as far as claiming there may be a conflict of interests at work trying to hold their network plans back.  

This one may be dead in the water folks.  We'll have to see if the people in Washington and LightSquared can figure it all out, or if this is the end of LightSquared's broadband dreams.  Sprint has moved on and have their own LTE network in the planning stages, but it's always nice to see competition.  Hit the source link to read more.

Source: ComputerWorld

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2 years ago

Flash ICS on a Stock LTE Xoom, RAZR anger [From the Forums]

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With CES 2012 now in the history books, it'll soon be time to look forward to Mobile World Congress but we got some time before then. As you can guess, a lot has been happening in the forums while we were all focused on Las Vegas. Check out some of the highlights below:

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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2 years ago

Contest Winners: ClockworkMod Tether

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If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our forums always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. This week's winners are as posted after the break, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up shortly. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to this week's winners!

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2 years ago

Adobe Flash and AIR updated, includes compatibility fixes for Ice Cream Sandwich

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Although Adobe has stopped all new development on the mobile front for Flash, they're keeping their word by rolling out updates to address compatibility and security concerns. The latest update for Adobe Flash Player 11 is now available in the Android Market and in addition to that, Adobe also went ahead and updated Adobe AIR as well:

  • This update to Adobe Flash Player 11 includes compatibility with Android 4 supported devices, performance improvements and bug fixes related to security and stability. The complete set of release notes can be found at: http://adobe.ly/s16mAX.
  • Adobe AIR 3.1.0.557 for Android includes compatibility with Android 4 supported devices, performance improvements and bug fixes related to security and stability. The complete set of release notes can be found at: http://adobe.ly/s16mAX.

Looking at the full change logs for, these updates should cover any issues you had with videos being green on Ice Cream Sandwich. Both updates are available in the Android Market right now.

Download: Flash Player 11; Adobe AIR

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