Headlines

3 years ago

HTC reflects on LTE devices, promises high-level 'studio' focused on new device strategy

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While the message out of HTC following yesterday's Q4 financial results focused on “short-term difficulties” and “product transitioning”, the company offered more detailed information on future strategy in its conference call. Looking back on a disappointing quarter, HTC CFO Winston Yung conceded that the company had “dropped the ball on products,” singling out its LTE devices, particularly in the US, for criticism. Yung noted that HTC’s LTE products had a “thicker form factor” than competitors, and that battery life had become an issue, too, concluding, “we simply need to do a better job on both the design, and also the internals and the components of products.”

To that end, the company is setting up a high-level “studio”, overseen by CEO Peter Chou, to work on on future device strategy. Yung said that this team, consisting of people from HTC’s design and engineering teams, would be focusing on “key products that we are going to launch this year.”

The CFO also suggested that HTC may be looking to diversify the range of chips used in future products. In recent years, HTC products have been powered exclusively by Qualcomm CPUs, however Yung said that HTC has “a very good range of suppliers to choose from on CPU, for example”, adding “I don’t think we are constrained in any way from a component point of view.”

HTC is expected to unveil the first products in its 2012 line-up at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month. So far we’ve seen early leaks of the mid-range “HTC Ville”, as well as unconfirmed details of the high-end “HTC Edge.”

Source: UnwiredView

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note, Galaxy S II LTE rumored for Telstra in Australia

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Samsung's Galaxy S II LTE and Galaxy Note could be headed to Australian carrier Telstra, if the latest round of rumors is to be believed. According to Ausdroid, which cites its own insider sources at the network, both devices recently made their way into the Telstra's internal systems, suggesting a launch may be on the cards sooner rather than later.

The LTE version of the Galaxy Note is due to launch on AT&T in the U.S., as well as all three major Canadian networks in the weeks ahead, and the Galaxy S II LTE is already available on a range of carriers worldwide. Until now neither phone has seen an official Australian release, however, with Samsung continuing to push both devices aggressively around the world, we wouldn't be surprised to see an Aussie launch in the months ahead.

Source: Ausdroid

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3 years ago

Late night poll: Do you stream music?

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There's a lot of choice for playing your music on Android.  For every option that plays music from your local storage, there's one that pulls music from the cloud and streams it.  Both have their advantages, as well as disadvantages.  Streaming can play havoc on your battery and your data allotment, but the almost limitless catalog of tunes is pretty handy.  Conversely, it takes less juice and no data connection to play from your device itself, but you're working with limited space.

Personally, I do both.  I keep four or five of my favorite albums on my phone, and I use Google Music to stream the rest of my collection.  What about you?  Let us know in the poll!

Do you stream music?

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3 years ago

Droid RAZR MAXX out of stock on Verizon's website [updated]

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Update: Verizon has bumped the MAXX back to the top of the site and now says it's shipping Feb. 9.

Original: That the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX is popular should come as no surprise -- we just told you to buy it in our Droid RAZR MAXX review. Turns out it's so popular that it's listed as out of stock (along with the LG Revolution and Motorola DROID X2) on Verizon's website. 

Not that you're quite left standing in the cold -- Verizon's got the LG Spectrum (read our complete review) to trump the Revolution, and the Droid X2 is basically dead now with the RAZR MAXX and Droid BIONIC in the stables. But if you've got your heart set on the RAZR, we'd recommend holding out for the MAXX. Sure, Verizon's got it on its site in white, black or purple in 16GB or white or black in 32GB -- but you're going to want to hold out for the MAXX's 3300 mAh battery.

Trust us on this. If you have to wait, wait. If you can find one in stores, or at some other online retailer, do that. It's well worth the extra $50 to $100 (depending on the storage size) over the original Droid RAZR.

Source: Verizon;  via @pilotboy5

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3 years ago

LG taps actor Edward Norton, model Daria Werbowy to rep PRADA phone by LG 3.0

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A high-end fasion phone needs high-end spokespersons, no? LG has scored actor Edward Norton (The People vs. Larry Flynt, American History X, Fight Club, The Incredible Hulk) and model Daria Werbowy to be the faces of the PRADA phone by LG 3.0.

It's a good-looking phone, as you've no-doubt seen from our hands-on with it in London last year, and now it's got a couple of good-looking (and talented, natch) faces to go with it. Said LG in a news release:

Both individuals embody the core values behind the PRADA phone by LG 3.0 – stylish looks and smart functionality. Both are stars who have excelled in their fields and represent the ethos of style and substance; Norton is an Academy Award-nominated actor, whilst Werbowy holds the record for opening and closing the most catwalk shows in one season, as well as being one of the top earning models of recent years.

The PRADA 3.0 is the latest collaboration between the fasion name and the Korean manufacturer. The smartphone features a 4.3-inch NOVA display at 480x800 resolution, a dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor at 1GHz, 8GB of on-board storage, an 8MP camera with autofocus and a unique black-and-white user interface.

That doesn't do much for bringing the PRADA 3.0 to the United States anytime soon, but it's now available in the UK for around £430 ($670).

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3 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest: Lloyd was here

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The theme for this week's photo contest is all about Lloyd.  We love him, you guys love him, and it's high time he got involved.  Take a pic of anything and drop Lloyd in place to oversee the activities for your chance to win a T-shirt featuring the one and only Lloyd himself!  This week we're giving prizes to the top five entries, so you have quintuple (that's a word, I looked it up) the chances of winning.

You might be asking, how exactly am I supposed to get Lloyd into my picture?  It's easier than it sounds.  You could grab an unmarked van and drive to AC headquarters and capture him (warning -- he's expensive to keep), or you could do it one of these easier ways:

  • Use an editing program on either your phone or your computer to stick him in place.  Here's a handy file with Lloyd on a transparent background (.png and .psd files are included) to help out. 
  • Use the Camera ZOOM FX app ($2.99 in the Android Market) and the free Buddy Pack  to drop Lloyd right into place.  Camera ZOOM FX also includes a ton of features and filter effects, and is pretty easy to use.  The addition of Lloyd to the official Buddy Pack makes it easy to enter, and you've got a great app to use every day.

The rules are still the same.  You'll need to use an Android device to take the picture, and be sure to let us know which one in case your photo is selected as a finalist.  Also tell us who you are so we can give proper credit.  Only submit one picture per person, and e-mail your entry to pics@androidcentral.com by Friday Feb 10.  We'll pick the best of the bunch, and announce the winners on the blog Sunday, Feb 12.

Now go take some pictures!

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3 years ago

HTC Ville, Bionic soak test [From the Forums]

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It's Monday, one day after the Super Bowl and we're all still kinda groggy from the refreshments and things we should never have eaten but that doesn't mean the news has stopped in any way -- just a little slower. Missed out on a few things? Get yourself caught up here on the blogs and in the forums:

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

Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX Review

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This is the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX on Verizon. Looks a lot like the Motorola Droid RAZR on Verizon, doesn't it? Because it is. You can sum up the MAXX in a single sentence: It's a Motorola DROID RAZR, with a bigger battery. Period, end of story. The software's the same. The hardware's nearly identical. It just has a larger-capacity battery, making the phone slightly thicker.

That can't be the whole review, can it? Well, it most certainly can. Or it could be. But it's not.


It's still big, it's still fast, and it's still got a lot of great software enhancements from Motorola. And now it has a bigger-capacity battery, that makes the phone feel better, too.


It's still got Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread. We've decided we don't like the display after all. And although the the battery's bigger, you still can't swap it out for a fresh one.



This is the Droid RAZR with a bigger batter. And it's what Motorola and Verizon should have released in November, plain and simple.

Inside this review

More info

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3 years ago

Study says first-time smartphone buyers favor Android

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NPD recently released some interesting data regarding U.S. smartphone sales in the last quarter. While iPhones dominated as the top choices by model, with the Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy S 4G taking up number 4 and 5 spots, there was a clear trend of Android phones being more popular among first-time buyers than Apple's smartphones. 57% of shoppers surveyed by NDP that were picking up their first smartphone went with Android, while that number dropped to 48% for the whole sample group. Android and iOS together command over 90% of the U.S. smartphone market, leaving little room for third place, be it BlackBerry, Windows Phone, or otherwise. 

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3 years ago

What is USB? [Android A to Z]

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What is USB?  USB stands for Universal Serial Bus, and is a standard for connectors, cables and protocols used for data transfer and power between a computer and another electronic device.  It was developed in 1995 to allow a single connection method for things like computer keyboards, mice, and printers as well as connected devices like mp3 players and cameras. A standard USB interface has four wires (USB 3.0 has eight for double the data transfer), with two acting as power leads and two for data transfer. Commercial applications have up to eight wires and connection points, and can also provide 12- or 24-volt power in addition to the normal 5 volts. You'll see these sort of systems in cash registers and commercial barcode scanners.  

What we're most interested in is the implementation in mobile devices.  Most mobile devices in the world use USB 2.0 for data transfer and/or power supply. In China, laws have been passed making manufacturers keep to the USB standard for data transfer and power, and in December 2011 a law was written that all mobile phones will be able to use the same charger, with micro-USB as the standard, by the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation. This only affects phones -- tablets and laptops are exempt because they have different power requirements.

Most new Android phones you'll buy have a microUSB (like the picture above) connector. The data cable will have a small plug to insert into the phone on one end, and a standard USB connector to plug into your computer. This cable will allow for data transfer -- to copy pictures or music or do a little hacking, as well as 5 volts to charge the device.  Some older models have a miniUSB connector, which does the same thing but with a different, slightly larger, port. MicroUSB is a more robust connector, being rated at 10,000 "insertion cycles" so both the port on the phone as well as the cable should last longer. Some devices need a non-standard USB connector, like the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (or nearly every other Android tablet). Internal design doesn't permit a standard microUSB connector to fit on the board, so a wider, thinner plug and port combo was used.  Also, some tablets can't get power fast enough to charge via a USB connector and use a separate DC socket and adapter for charging. For devices like the iPhone that have a non-standard connection port, an adapter can be made to allow them to comply with European mandates of a single charger solution.  

Lastly, some phones use the microUSB interface for other things besides data transfer and power.  Seeing HDMI output provided through a MHL (Mobile High-definition Link) is becoming pretty common, and allows a special adapter to be used to provide high definition video to stream out to televisions or computer monitors. These adapters can be purchased for about 15 dollars (US) and allow a standard HDMI cable to connect to your phone.  

We've seen other connection methods come and go, and new ones are always being worked on, but USB offers relatively high-speed data transfer, is adaptable for various power needs, and is likely to stick around for a long time.

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

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3 years ago

Enter to win a Galaxy Nexus by Samsung and 6 months free service courtesy of Mobilicity and Android Central!

To mark Mobilicity’s recent launch of the Galaxy Nexus by Samsung, and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Mobilicity wants to give one lucky person a small token of affection: a Galaxy Nexus by Samsung and 6 months of free unlimited talk, text, and data service on Mobilicity’s $40 Super Savings plan (a $55/month value)!

We want to make this contest interesting, so we want you to declare your love for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. And it might not hurt if you threw in some Android Central and Mobilicity affection as well. In the forum linked below, write a poem, a love letter, a limerick -- whatever suits your fancy -- showing us just how much love you have. Heck, you can even sing a song or make a video and upload it for all to see! It's all fair game.

Unfortunately, there are rules, but they are short. The contest is only open to those living in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa (Mobilicity’s unlimited zones). Keep your entries family friendly, as normal forum rules apply. The contest begins right now, and ends Sunday night at midnight PST so get those entries in!

Enter to win a Galaxy Nexus from Mobilicity!

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3 years ago

Quebec's Videotron sets its Galaxy Nexus launch for February 8

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Following fellow regional carriers WIND and Mobilicity's lead, Québec-based Videotron will launch the Samsung Galaxy Nexus this Wednesday, February 8. Still no word on pricing, though we'll keep our ears peeled the closer we get to Wednesday. The flagship device will be compatbible with Videotron's "4G" network, which boasts download speeds of up to 42 Mbps.

Videotron covers most of Québec's largest metro areas, including Montréal and Québec City. It is just the latest in a long list of Canadian carriers to snag the device, which includes TELUS, Rogers, and Fido to name a few. Hit the source link for the Videotron's product page, where you'll be able to snag the device once hump day rolls around.

Source: Videotron

 

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3 years ago

Fresh HTC Ville pics give a clearer look at HTC Sense 4.0

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Last Monday we got out first look at the HTC Ville, an upcoming handset that we're expecting to see unveiled at Mobile World Congress in a few weeks. Today four new photos of the phone have appeared over on Chinese forum ePrice, giving us a closer, clearer look at the currently unannounced device.

Judging by the icon placement, location, date, time and background, it looks like these images come from the same original source as last week's leaked video. However, unlike the video, these are of (reasonably) decent quality, showing off the chassis of the phone and HTC Sense 4.0's redesigned, geometric stylings.

Today's photos seem to confirm that version 4.0 will give HTC Sense it's biggest visual overhaul yet. The classic Sense dock is gone, replaced with ICS-style icons. And the iconic clock widget had undergone a few changes too, with more clean lines and less translucency. The lockscreen, however, seems to be more or less unchanged from Sense 3.x -- you've still got the familiar metal ring and four shortcuts. And in terms of industrial design, it's clear we're looking at a pretty thin device, with what seems to be slightly raised areas at the top and bottom of the back panel.

As with any unofficial leak, things can, and likely will change as the unveiling and eventual release approaches. We've got our fingers crossed for more HTC Ville goodness at MWC later this month. You'll find two more photos after the jump.

Source: ePrice; via: Phandroid

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3 years ago

Swype promises it's almost ready for Ice Cream Sandwich

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Here's one of those good news/bad news things, which we're going to tell in reverse. The bad news is that Swype, the uber-popular third-party keyboard that lets you trace your finger from letter to letter instead of pecking, still isn't ready for Ice Cream Sandwich devices, never mind that they've been available for a few months now.  The good news is that ICS is still only on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S. (Officially, anyway.)

The gooder news is that Swype's got an update waiting in the wings that will finally enable it on the latest version of the Android operating system. It's "only days away," Swype says on Twitter. And along with the Ice Cream Sandwich support, Swype's promising "more goodies" as well.

Here's to hoping one of those goodies is a release in the Android Market. While we understand Swype's decision to stick with a business model where it's preloaded onto devices by the carriers and not available in the Android Market, it's getting a little old. Having to run to the Swype website to get our "beta" copy (nudge nudge, wink wink, know what I mean?) hasn't gotten any more fun. We're not going to bet that we'll see a shift in that sometime soon, but we can certainly hope. 

Anyhoo, stay tuned. Swype for Ice Cream Sandwich is on the way.

Source: @Swype 1, 2

 

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3 years ago

There's no way Verizon's VDay Confessions contest could get risque, is there?

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Oh, this could get good. Verizon's cooking up a little Valentine's Day contest, wherein you can win a Motorola DROID RAZR. (Not a new RAZR MAXX? Lame.) The contest kicks off Feb. 13 and runs through Valentine's Day. To enter, you'll have tweet a "creative" Valentine's Day confession -- poems and pics are suggested -- and tag the stories with #tweetheart.

So, ya know, you could say something nice about your sweetie, something about along romantic dinner, maybe a walk through the park. Or we could well see sordid tales from the Red Light District. Because this is, after all, the Internet. 

Find out next week, we suppose.

More: @vdayconfessions

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