Headlines

3 years ago

HTC Rezound update documents live, OTA should follow soon

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The "official" update document for the HTC Rezound is now live on Verizon's website, which usually means an OTA update is nigh.  According to the page, the Rezound should soon be seeing software Version 2.01.605.11 and baseband version 0.95.00.1118r, so unfortunately this is not the Ice Cream Sandwich ROM that was leaked a week or so ago.  If anything, it looks like a maintenance release to get some bugs ironed out, which nobody should be complaining about.  The changelog in handy bullet-point form:

  • Updated signal strength meter to 5 bar Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI).
  • Screen Timeout issues while connected to Wifi have been resolved.
  • Resolved issue with Mobile Hotspot data stalling while multiple users are connected.
  • Improved audio quality during voice call.
  • Reduced forced closures related to the People application.
  • Improved device stability reduces continuous resets.
  • Resolved issue with Task Manager stopping Mail background service.

All very welcome fixes indeed.  The Rezound is a hell of a phone as is, and knowing that HTC and Big Red aren't going to let it wither by the wayside is great news for all of us.  Security patches and bug fixes are just as important as complete OS updates, so we'll take them every time.

Of course, there's no guarantee that this is coming soon, but in the past we have seen the support page for Verizon phones go live a few days before the OTA begins to push out.  There's no reason not to think this will be the same situation, so if I had a Rezound and was interested in accepting a stock update, I'd be preparing for it.  Jump in the Rezound forums and discuss!

Source: Verizon (pdf); via Android Central forums.  Thanks, iLLusive!

 

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3 years ago

ZTE Optik Honeycomb tablet coming to Sprint with a $99 price tag

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The ZTE Optik just made an appearance in the latest issue of the Sprint Playbook, and it's coming in at the right price.  Because Sprint is dropping their Wimax support and building out their new LTE network, this one is going to be a 3G-only device, and at $99 with a new agreement, of course, it's bound to turn a few heads.  (Or not, we suppose. We'll see.) Its specs fall in line with any current generation 7-inch tablet:

  • 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU
  • 16 GB internal memory
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 7-inch display
  • microSD card support
  • 4000 mAh battery
  • Android 3.2 (Honeycomb)

Of course, with the new generation of tablets already showing up, this one isn't going to sit atop the heap.  But for 99 bucks, it really doesn't have to.  The Optik looks like a solid performer and a decent mid-range buy on first impression.  ZTE has had some success with Android in Europe, where the Blade is a pretty popular budget handset, and we're glad to see them bringing their wares to this side of the pond.

You'll be able to grab the ZTE Optik online on February 5, and expect to see it in stores on March 11.  We'll be sure to get our hands on one ourselves and take it for a test-drive.  See the full page from the Playbook after the break.

Thanks, Anon!

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3 years ago

Galaxy S III now rumored to be a no-show at MWC

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But would that really a bad thing?

Samsung, it is now rumored, will not be showing the Galaxy S III at Mobile World Congress. That's according to unconfirmed rumors from The Verge and Germany's Best Boyz. Of course, the Galaxy S III has yet to actually be announced or anything, nor has Samsung sent invites for any press event in Barcelona. But, yeah. It's entirely possible we won't see it there. Bummer, to be sure.

But here's the thing: We -- and most everybody else out there -- have been largely been assuming we'll see Samsung Next Big Thing™ in Spain. Perfectly reasonable assumption by all, since the Galaxy S II was announced there last year. But it's still an assumption, and it's still ignoring one thing.

Anybody remember when and where the Samsung Galaxy S was launched? That's right, boys and girls. The original Galaxy S was born in March 2010 at CTIA in Las Vegas, not at Mobile World Congress a month sooner. (We got Super AMOLED screens at MWC in 2010.) The Galaxy S still was released outside the United States first, and we got ours at an event in New York City that brought the four major U.S. carriers together. (Note we've not seen an event like that since; though last year's Galaxy S II event did manage appearances by AT&T and Sprint, and a half-assing from T-Mobile.)

Anyhoo. We're still a month out from MWC. Anything can happen. (Hell, we saw a complete redesign of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in a month.) And it's not like there won't be ample opportunities for the GSIII (or whatever's next) to be announced after that. We've got CTIA in May. Google IO in June. CTIA again in October. Countless events in between. And if indeed it's true that the Galaxy S III is being pushed back to eliminate lag time between release, let's all ask ourselves this:

Are we really going to complain about an unofficial phone's unannounced announcement possibly being pushed closer to the date that it'll actually be available for purchase? It's a mad, mad world.

Sources: The Verge; Best Boyz

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3 years ago

Android app developer is looking for answers, take a minute and help

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Android application developers work hard and don't get nearly enough appreciation.  As you see mentioned just about everywhere, it's the application support that makes or breaks a mobile platform, so their job is pretty important.  Luckily, we're in good shape with Android, a look at the huge number of apps in just the official Android Market will confirm.  But there's more than sheer numbers.  We all want applications and games that offer just the right features, at the right level of performance, and at the right price.  Here's a chance for you to help.

Android application developer go6game has a short survey in the Android Central forums, and he'd like a little feedback.  The questions are simple enough to answer, but I can see how the data he collects from this would help create games and apps that are not only more popular (Android app developers deserve to make a good living people), but work better and offer the features we want.  The questions he's asking are easy enough, consisting of things like how you discover and recommend apps to others.  Downloading apps from the Market is something every one of us does daily.  I think it's a great idea, and I know plenty of us will take the time to help out.

Apps don't write themselves, and quality apps certainly take a lot of thought and hard work to bring to market.  When an application developer takes the time to ask us just what we're looking for, the least we can do is tell him.  Hit the link below and do your part -- better apps and games will be the result, and who doesn't want that?

A bit of market research; Android Central forums

 

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3 years ago

Google Authenticator updated, CyanogenMod 7.1 users beware

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For those of you using two-step authentication for your Google account, a new update for the Google Authenticator app has just landed in the Android Market. Version 0.85 apparently fixes a few security bugs, and adds some UI improvements -- though we have to say, the app looks exactly the same to our untrained eyes.

Anyone with CyanogenMod 7.1 installed will want to stay clear of this Authenticator update, however, as users of the popular custom firmware are reporting that this new update force-closes at startup on their devices. Our own Chris Parsons has confirmed that the latest version doesn't work with CM 7.1 on his HTC Desire HD and Motorola Atrix, while the app is equally borked on Josh Munoz's CM'd HTC EVO 3D. Because two-step authentication users need the Authenticator app to sign in on a new computer, this could cause a few headaches for anyone affected. So if you're running CM, or a custom ROM based upon it, we'd recommend holding off updating until more is known, or an official fix is available.

In the meantime, if you find yourself unable to use the new version of Google Authenticator, you can always authenticate your account over the phone, or use one of your emergency sign-in codes (you remembered to write those down, right?) After you're signed in, you'll then be able to disable two-stage authentication until either Google or the CM team comes out with a fix.

If you're not running a custom ROM, however, you should be just fine. You'll find the usual QR code and Android Market links after the break.

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3 years ago

Prime WiFi, Galaxy S III rumors [From the Forums]

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It's Wednesday and we're starting to see more and more rumors pop up about what will be happening at Mobile World Congress. Rumors are just that -- rumors. But if you happened to find CES 2012 lacking you'll want to keep up-to-date on all the MWC stuff. Make sure you check the posts from earlier today and drop by the forums for more Android discussion.

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

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3 years ago

Acer Iconia A200 review

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Acer's got a decent affordable Android tablet here, but the shortcuts are apparent

Meet the Acer Iconia Tab A200. We've seen a lot of Android tablets in the past year or so. A lot of Honeycomb tablets. And let's be perfectly frank here -- after a while they can start to look a lot alike. And so we're a wee bit surprised that we're as enamored as we are with the Iconia A200. On one hand, it's more of the same. The specs are familiar. The form factor's familiar. The software is relatively unchanged.

But Acer's tweaked and nipped and tucked, and it's produced a solid tablet that looks good, feels good and, most important, doesn't do a number on your wallet.

So join us after the break for our Acer Iconia Tab A200 review.


Feels great in the hand, includes a full-size USB port and HDMI out. Gets rid of the rear camera.


Gets rid of the rear camera, and the front camera is horrific. Door hiding the microSD slot is nearly impossible to open. Awaiting an update to Ice Cream Sandwich.



See what we did there with the camera thing? Maybe you'll miss it. Maybe you won't. Either way, Acer's come up with a tablet that falls in the middle of its Iconia range, but it just as easily feels like it could sit at the top.

Inside this review

More info

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3 years ago

Youtube Remote bug fix update brings the app to v3.1.0

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To go along with the Google Maps, Listen and Goggles get updates -- Youtube Remote was also updated, though nothing really big was implemented into the app. As noted in the change log it just adds shuffle queue and addresses some previous bugs. What bugs? We don't know, but it's now sitting at v3.1.0 and you'll find the download link past the break.

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3 years ago

Sonic 4 Episode 1 now available in the Android Market

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Sega has been working hard to bring Sonic The Hedgehog games to Android and their latest release is now available in the Android Market. Sonic 4 Episode 1 picks up where the Sonic CD series left off and even includes some exclusive content:

  • 2 Exclusive Levels - Two exclusive levels build specifically for smartphones using the accelerometer.
  • New Moves - All of Sonic's classic moves are available, including the newer Homing Attack which will add a new level of control and excitement.
  • Classic Sonic Stages - Race through 4 unique zones containing 4 acts each as well as 7 special stages.
  • Special Stages Return - A staple of the Genesis-era games, the special stages return allowing fans to collect the 7 Chaos Emeralds and unlock Super Sonic.
  • Revamped Classic Boss Battles - Dr. Eggman returns with new and improved mechas and will go berserk when he accumulates damage.

The previous release Sonic CD, was a great port for Android users and from the looks of it - Sonic 4 Episode 1 will fit that bill as well. It's available right now in the Android Market for $4 -- download link can be found past the break for you all. Once you play through it, you can take satisfaction in knowing Episode 2 isn't that far off.

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3 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich for international Motorola RAZR leaks

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Calm down, Verizon Droid RAZR owners, this one's not for you, unfortunately. Owners of the international (GSM/HSPA) Motorola RAZR XT910, however, are in luck, as an early build of Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich appears to have leaked out for Moto's flagship international phone.

The leaked build, which has surfaced over on fansite DroidRZR.com, shows firmware built just a week ago on Jan. 17, which exhibits characteristics of both Blur and stock ICS. For example, Motorola's icons are used for the dialer and people app, but other apps, like the launcher, are untouched by the manufacturer's UI layer. Naturally, since this is pre-release firmware, there's no guarantee things will stay this way when ICS eventually rolls out officially, and we'd expect the finished article to look a little more like Blur and less like stock Android.

Whatever Ice Cream Sandwich on the RAZR ends up looking like, this early leak is a tantalizing chance for RAZR owners to get an early look at the latest version of Android on their handsets. And jealous Droid RAZR owners, we're sure it won't be long before this leaked ROM is hacked apart and ported across to the Verizon version. If you're feeling adventurous, you can find download links and installation instructions over at the source link.

Source: DroidRZR.com

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3 years ago

Google Maps, Listen and Goggles get updates

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Google Maps, Google Listen and Google Goggles have each received updates today in the Android Market. Here's what's new:

Google Maps Navigation now has a cool feature that will switch the app to "night mode" when you're going through a tunnel. Not sure how much navigating you'll need to do while you're actually in the tunnel, but it looks cool. 

Google Listen is getting its second update this month! So much for being shipped off to the land of forgotten apps. New today is a bug fix that "fixes an issue in which Listen while in the background would improperly take audio focus from other apps."

And finally, there's Google Goggles, which is getting a few bugfixes in version 1.7.1. Fixed are the following: 

  • Don't store inaccurate locations for queries in search history
  • Show the description field for user-submitted results
  • Don't crash when loading large bitmaps
  • Performance enhancements in continuous mode

Worthy updates, all. Head on into the Android Market or use the links below to get your updates.

Download: Google Maps; Google Listen; Google Goggles

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3 years ago

Anomaly Warzone Earth HD finally brings "tower offense" to Android

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Wildly popular "tower offense" game Anomaly Warzone Earth HD is now available for a cool $4 in the Android Market. A long-time iOS staple, the title picked up quite a bit of industry buzz, including a nomination for best Mobile Strategy Game from IGN and a Platinum Award from PocketGamer, among other accolades. Unlike other tower defense games, Anomaly Warzone Earth HD takes a different approach: you are on the offense rather than the defense, and it's up to you to break down what other similar titles would have you build-- tower defense.

If you're the type to balk at a $4 pricetag, the immersive Story Campaign mode along with the top-notch graphics and sound will likely be enough of a justification. You'll need to be running at least Android 2.2 to play, and you'll likely be better off with a higher-spec'd phone that can handle the game's rather intensive graphics (the title can also be found on Xbox Live and PCs, an indication for just how rich the gameplay can get). As it just hit the Android Market yesterday we'll take a few more days to see what's what and get a proper review posted. Until then, you can hit the link below to grab a copy for yourself. 

Source: Anomalythegame.com

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3 years ago

Ventev Dual USB Wall Charger [Accessory Review]

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Before heading out to CES, Phil hopped on the ZenAndTech podcast to discuss the method to his madness in how he properly prepares himself and his electronics before heading out the door. This discussion made me realize that I am always hunting for power, and that most of the time I am looking for an extra place to plug in a device that charges via micro-usb. With this in mind I went out looking for a simple, small, compact solution and that is when I found the Ventev Dual USB wall charger. After reading about it and realizing that it could not only charge my phones, but also tablets and even my fiance's Apple devices I knew this was what I needed. Let's hit the break to check it out.

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3 years ago

AT&T Galaxy Note rumored to launch Feb. 18, along with two unannounced devices

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Looks like AT&T is wasting no time bringing its version of the Samsung Galaxy Note to market. If the latest rumors from BGR are to be believed, the carrier plans to launch Samsung's 5.3-inch phone/tablet hybrid on Feb. 18 for $299.99 on-contract.

The blog also reports that two new, unannounced devices will be making their debut the very same day -- the Samsung Rugby Smart and the AT&T Fusion. The Rugby Smart is reportedly a $99 entry-level HSPA+ phone, while the AT&T Fusion, for which no specs are offered, will apparently sell for $124.99.

All unconfirmed at this stage, of course, but we don't think anyone would be surprised to see the AT&T Galaxy Note arriving in mid-to-late February with a hefty price tag. As for the other two devices, we'll just have to wait and see what materializes over the next month.

For more on the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note, take a look over our hands-on coverage from CES, and our full review of the international version.

Source: BGR

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3 years ago

What is Mobile World Congress? [Android A to Z]

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What is Mobile World Congress? The next big mobile trade show on our Android schedule is Mobile World Congress -- or MWC, for those in the know. It's in Barcelona, Spain, and has been since 2006 (and will be through 2018). Before that, it was known as 3GSM World and was in Cannes, France. This year will be the last at the Fira de Barcelona, a beautiful venue that actually allows for some sunlight (or dreary rain), with towers at the entrance and Palau Nacional rising at the far end.

MWC has a decidedly different feel than CES, which we just wrapped up in Las Vegas, or the bi-annual CTIA shows that rotate among different cities in the United States. Gone are the booth babes, and you'll see far more suits than you will in Sin City. That's not to say that Mobile World Congress is a boring show for Android -- far from it. MWC is where we'll see the latest and greatest from many of the major manufacturers. To wit:

And we've got meetings. And dinners. And dinner meetings. A slow show for Android, Mobile World Congress is not. Plus it's in Barcelona -- this year from Feb. 27 through March 1, a few weeks later than in years past -- smack on the western edge of the Mediterranean, full of culture and food. And phones. Feel free to hate us now.

Previously on Android A to Z: What is a launcher; Find more in the Android Dictionary

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