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2 years ago

Android camera showdown: Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs. Samsung Galaxy S II

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The cameras in our Android phones have certainly gotten better than most would have expected.  The old standard of "it's a cell phone camera, it'll never be as good as a cheap point-and-shoot" is no longer valid.  The hardware is getting better, and the software is improving right alongside it, making the experience of using your phone as a camera enjoyable, and in the right hands, almost professional.  

The big news in Android last year on the camera front was the Samsung Galaxy S II's 8-megapixel rear shooter, and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus' "zero shutter lag" camera.  We decided that these two had to go head to head.  Hit the break to check it out.

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2 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Nexus battery and charger, Cruzer Lite TPU cases, and Poweramp [Contest Winners]

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If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our blogs and 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

Rogers LTE coverage expands around Montreal

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Rogers announced today that their LTE network currently sitting in the core of Montreal has now expanded to the outskirts, including areas like Laval, Terrebonne, Brossard, Longueuil, and Vaudreuil. One of the devices that will be sporting the high-speed data standard is the recently-announced Samsung Galaxy Note, but Rogers also has the LTE Galaxy S II, HTC Raider, and HTC Jetstream

LTE coverage in Canada is still relatively new, having only launched in Montreal at the end of September. Providing solid service to major centres in Quebec is particularly important because the nimble competition, Wind Mobile and Mobilicity, have yet to set up shop in la belle province. There's still Public Mobile, a discount brand which just recently made the leap from feature phones to smartphones, and the extremely well-established Videotron in Quebec.  

Rogers aims to give half the Canadian population access to LTE by the end of the year by expanding to another 25 cities. While a noble goal, the real problem with building out wireless networks in Canada is geographic coverage. If you haven't noticed, there's a lot of land up here, and since most Canadians are huddled together in relatively tiny, concentrated pockets, those in more remote areas tend to be left in the cold when it comes to upgrades such as LTE. Rogers won't completely ignore HSPA+ expansion into those fringes, but I do worry it'll slow down with LTE demanding their attention. 

To keep up to date on the progress of Rogers LTE, keep an eye on their minisite.

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2 years ago

London Bus Checker makes a stop on Android, wants to make London travel a bit easier

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Anyone who lives in or has ever visited London will be well aware of the often nightmarish transportation around the city. A new app to stop by the Android Market, London Bus Checker, aims to take away some of the pain of using a bus in the Capital. 

We'll get the boring bits out of the way first: It is a paid app, setting you back a very reasonable £1.24. There is a "lite" version though which offers up a 30-day free trial before you have to open your wallet. 

The idea behind it is very simple, to provide anyone planning to use a bus in London with as much real time information as possible across the 20,000 bus-stops in the city. The implementation is what sets it apart though, as the information is pulled live from the Transport for London services which provides accurate, up to the minute data. 

The app will locate you via GPS, and then by selecting the relevant stop you can see live arrival/departure information, full route maps, and real time diversion and cancelation information. There's even a homescreen widget that you can set for your local stop and receive the same real-time information right there. 

Applications like this and Hailo (for taxis), are brilliant reasons why smartphones are fast becoming an everyday necessity. Hit the break for download links to the free 30-day lite version and a short promo video from the developers. 

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2 years ago

Free Android Wallpaper of the day - Green River at Crystal Geyser

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Today's free Android Wallpaper of the Day comes to us from member RETG, who uploaded this pic of the Green River at Cystal Geyeser in Utah. Nice.

Also, the wallpaper gallery just eclipsed 1,000 uploads, all thanks to you folks out there. Keep it up, and be sure to share your favorite wallpapers! Just hit the link below.

 

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2 years ago

Japanese carrier 'blames Android app' for recent downtime

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Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has reportedly identified "Android app traffic" as the cause of a recent network outage which affected some 2.5 million of its customers. According to Japanese newspaper Nikkei, DoCoMo did not identify the app, aside from saying that it offered "free voice services."

The application apparently caused DoCoMo's network to buckle by sending out "control signals" rather than VOIP data. These are small amounts of data which are periodically exchanged between a smartphone app and a remote server, in order to check that the app is still running, and/or communicate any status changes.

DoCoMo intends to ask Google to limit the frequency at which Android sends these control signals, in order to reduce the strain on its network. However, the solution may not be quite so simple. The nature of Android means that an OS-level "fix" for DoCoMo's complaint would take months to roll out, if it were even possible. And if the app in question is a third-party offering from the Android Market, there's nothing Google can do to fiddle with its internal workings besides blocking DoCoMo customers' access to the app.

However, Google has shown a willingness to selectively block Android Market access to apps with which carriers have issue, notably tethering apps in the U.S. And then there was last year's strikingly similar case of YouMail and T-Mobile, which saw the app unceremoniously pulled from the Market at the request of the U.S. carrier. Whatever happens, we'll be watching with interest to see how Google deals with DoCoMo's complaint.

Source: Mobile World Live, Reuters

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2 years ago

ClockworkMod touch recovery released as beta

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Just weeks after we saw our first "unofficial" release of a touch version of the popular ClockworkMod custom recovery, developer Koush has put forth a beta version of his own, available for download now. 

For you new folks, a custom recovery is an indispensable way to back up your device as well as install new custom ROMs and updates, among other little hacky things. Until recently, it's been controlled by using the volume up/down buttons to scroll through the menus, and (usually) the power button to select. 

This touch recovery still has volume select, but now the touchscreen works, and works well. We've got some hands-on video after the break, and you can snag it from the download links below.

Download CWM Touch beta: Galaxy Nexus (GSM and CDMA), Nexus S (GSM)
More: +ClockworkMod

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2 years ago

AT&T Galaxy Note available Feb. 19 for $299, preorders start Feb. 5

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The AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note will be available Feb. 19 for $299 on contract, Samsung announced this morning. It'll be available in carbon blue and ceramic white, and preorders will begin Feb. 5 and will be delivered by Feb. 17.

Along with the phablet itself -- remember that this bad boy is 5.3 inches -- there are a number of accessories available, including a desktop dock, spare battery charger, flip cover case and pen holder kit.

Be sure to check out our hands-on video with the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note from CES earlier this month. We've got the full release after the break.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S Advance announced in full mid-range glory

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Samsung announced the Galaxy S Advance today, due for Russia in February, and heading to just about everywhere but North America after that. The form factor sure looks familiar, and the specs are decidedly mid-range. It's powered by a dual-core 1 GHz processor, enjoys a 4-inch WVGA Super AMOLED touch display, and sports a 5 megapixel camera on the back plus a secondary front shooter. The Samsung Galaxy S Advance is running Android 2.3, and connects via 14.4 Mbps HSPA, firmly locking it down as a middle-of-the road smartphone. 

It's not terribly exciting, but Mobile World Congress is just around the corner - who knows what else Samsung will have to show us? Full press release after the jump..

Source: Samsung

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2 years ago

Rogers brings 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Note to Canada

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We got our first look at AT&T's LTE-powered Samsung Galaxy Note back at CES, and now it looks like a very similar-looking device will be making its way to Canada on Rogers. A blog post on Rogers' official RedBoard site reveals that the network will offer the four-button, 4G LTE version of the Note from February.

For the uninitiated, the Galaxy Note is Samsung's gigantic 5.3-inch phone/hybrid tablet, which carries a massive 1280x800 HD SuperAMOLED display, and offers stylus input through Samsung's WACOM-powered "S Pen". Like the AT&T version, Rogers' Galaxy Note apparently totes a "1.5 GHz dual-core processor" of some description. Though unconfirmed, rumors suggest this is a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip rather than the Samsung Exynos found on the international Note.

For more on the Galaxy Note, check out our review of the international version, or our hands-on coverage of the AT&T version.

Source: RedBoard

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