Headlines

3 years ago

O2-branded Galaxy S II's get ICS update, unlocked UK models left waiting

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Owners of O2-branded Samsung Galaxy S II phones should now be able to update to the latest version of Android, the network has announced. Writing on its official Twitter feed, O2 says the update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for its Galaxy S II users is now available through Samsung's Kies software. O2 is the second British network to release the update, joining Three, which launched its ICS build last week. T-Mobile UK and Orange are promising the update in April, while Vodafone says it's still testing its version.

However, in a bizarre (and frustrating) turn of events, unlocked Galaxy S II owners in the UK have been left waiting for their update. After informing customers that ICS for unbranded UK phones would be landing last Monday, March 19, Samsung now says it's not able to offer any estimated release date. In a post on its UK Facebook page, the manufacturer assures increasingly impatient users that it's going as fast as it can --

Samsung UK is working hard to bring Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) to our Galaxy S II customers. We are unable to confirm exact dates as the software testing and approval process is subject to several variables, but we are working as quickly as we can. Thank you for your patience.

This development is a reversal of the usual Android update situation. Generally, when a new version is released, unlocked phones are the first to get it, while carrier-branded phones have to wait around a month for additional testing to be carried out. We're not sure exactly what's holding up the ICS release for unbranded British devices, as the update has already landed in many other countries, including Poland, Hungary, Sweden, and Korea.

Impatient Galaxy S II owners can always change their CSC code and apply another region's ICS update directly through the ODIN utility. Or for those feeling brave, there's also the option to root and install an ICS ROM directly through a custom recovery. (If you don't know what any of that means, you're probably better off sticking it out on Gingerbread until Samsung releases the official update package.)

As ever, Galaxy S II phones in the U.S. have a little longer to wait for their updates, on account of the hardware differences from carrier to carrier. Leaked builds for certain devices have started to appear over the past few days, though, which is a good sign.

Galaxy S II users, be sure to shout out in the comments and let us know if you've received your ICS update yet.

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3 years ago

Angry Birds Rio updated, brings another 12 bonus levels of bird catapulting fun

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It isn't all about Angry Birds Space right now it seems. Rovio have pushed out an update to Angry Birds Rio bringing with it 12 new bonus levels. 

The new levels are unlocked via in game achievements. To unlock the bonus levels for an episode, you need to finish all the levels and or collect all the fruit. 

Further still, a statement in the Google Play Store listing from Rovio says that "this is not the final update for Angry Birds Rio, so stay tuned." Like it or not, Rovio are one of the best out there at giving us new content. Download links can be found after the break.

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3 years ago

Temple Run for Android now available from Google Play

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Everyone waiting for Temple Run to appear for Android, you're in luck as it's landed in the Google Play store. Stolen idols, evil monkeys, coins and everything else is there, waiting for you to grab your phone or tablet and give it a go.

45 million folks with iDevices are playing it, and they all can't be wrong. Hit the break for the download link, and be on the lookout for our full review.

More: Imagni Studios

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3 years ago

AC picks: Apps from the world of country music

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It has been a few weeks now since we last delved into music apps, with a smattering of app picks from the rock music world. This time up, it's the turn of country music. Personally, I am a huge Johnny Cash fan -- you might just have picked that one up already. 

The good news for country fans is that the Google Play store has you covered. We've picked out a selection to get you started, but as ever sing out in the comments with your own favorites.

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3 years ago

Smart Actions, Moving from a 3G device to a 4G device [From the Forums]

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A new week and fresh content to roll through. Get yourself caught up on the blogs and then once you're done, head on into the Android Central forums and check out what's new. PS: You might want to check this out before you do, it can make browsing the forums all that much better:

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

HTCSense.com sync service shutting down from April 30 to make way for new cloud services

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The message above is currently displayed on HTCSense.com, informing visitors that HTC's online sync service will be shutting down from April 30. This gives HTCSense.com users just over a month to log in and download any contacts, text messages or other personal data on their account. The message is also being sent out by email to HTCSense.com account holders.

HTC says the move away from HTCSense.com is part of the transition to "new and improved" online services it's working on. With carriers preparing to launch the One X in Europe in just over a week, we'd guess that phone may be the first to see whatever HTC's cooking up.

In addition to the purge of personal data, HTC tells us that the online security and backup services are currently unavailable too, and that users should head to Google Play to download a replacement. Security apps like Lookout offer similar services, for a price.

In the meantime, we'll have to wait and see what HTC's future cloud plans entail. And we'll be hoping that the new service is a little more reliable than HTCSense.com. In our experience the service, which first launched on the Desire HD in late 2010, was temperamental at the best of times.

More: HTCSense.com

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3 years ago

FYI: The Droid Charge is still the Droid Charge

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Fear not, Samsung owners -- your Droid Charge is still a Droid Charge. An e-mail sent this afternoon and Verizon's own website seem to contradict that, calling it the "4G LTE CHARGE by Samsung." But Verizon has assured us that "there has been no change to the product's name."

Phew.

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3 years ago

Three UK taking HTC One X upgrade orders from existing subscribers

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Three UK might not be taking orders for the HTC One X from new customers just yet, but if you're due an upgrade from them, you may be in luck. It seems the network is already allowing existing customers to secure themselves a One X on launch day, assuming they're eligible for an upgrade. So if your contract with Three is up for a renewal, check the upgrades area and you should be able to select the One X in grey or white.

Orders placed over the past few days are reportedly due for delivery on April 5, which as we all know is the reported launch date for the HTC One series.

As we reported a few weeks back, the HTC One X will be sold on every major network in the UK. Vodafone UK is currently taking pre-orders, while O2 has said it expects to stock the device from April 5. T-Mobile and Orange both specify an April release window.

Thanks to AC reader +Andrew Jones-McGuire for letting us know!

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3 years ago

Contest Winners: ShopAndroid Daily winners and Perfect Keyboard Pro!

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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 th'e winners!

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3 years ago

AT&T HTC One X benchmarked again

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The AT&T version of the HTC One X has been hitting the benchmark apps the past couple of days, and a friend of a friend of a friend was kind enough to send in a few results. On Sunday we saw a few benchmark results from our forums appear, and with one of them, the Vellamo browser benchmark, being built by Qualcomm there was some speculation that it would naturally score higher. We have to agree with that, as any company would want to stack the deck if at all possible -- that's how this sort of thing goes.

Now we have results from AndEbench, Antutu, and CF-Bench to compare. You can see them after the break, but the important thing is that they all appear exactly as we expect them to. New high-spec processor scores higher than last generation's high-spec processor. Tossing out the Vellamo results (they may or may not be biased, so they have to be dismissed), we can see that the Qualcomm S4 is still a great performer, but not the score-doubling monster that Qualcomm's browser benchmark makes it out to be.

I'm still not impressed by benchmarks. They depend far too much on software (especially in Android because of the Dalvik machine) and are easy to manipulate -- either by users or the folks writing the benchmark apps. Will the AT&T version of the One X be a good phone? I'm pretty sure it will be. Will it be as good at the International version with NVIDIA's Tegra 3? Maybe, we'll have to put them side-by-side and compare before we give the final word. As for the specs-on-paper battle, I'm staying out of it because I'm not a big enough hardware-geek to know or care. I'll leave that to the experts, and judge the phones on how they work in my hands. Hit the break to see all the results.

Thanks, Anon!

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3 years ago

Google amps up Play Store visibility, adds link to Google toolbars

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Looks like Google is getting more serious about their Google Play Store advertising. If you're browsing pages through Google you'll now start to see a Google Play Store link in the toolbar. Interestingly enough though it's not appearing on Google's homepage, only on the various other links such as Google+, Documents, Maps and Gmail will you see the new advertising. Though, one does have to wonder -- is it advertising or is that some folks are still confused over the switch?

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Samsung Rugby Smart review

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The Samsung Rugby Smart is not a "superphone." It doesn't pretend to be one, isn't marketed as one, and we're not about to call it one. What it is is a very solid offering from AT&T and Samsung that fills the rugged, life-proof niche.  We've seen plenty of rugged phones get released that run Android, but so far most have been less that stellar offerings. That's where the Rugby Smart shines, as it's a good Android smartphone that can take a bit of abuse. Hit the break and read more, and see some abuse for yourself.

 


A very solid-feeling, and solid-looking phone. The Rugby Smart won't wow a seasoned Android veteran with its specifications, but it's tops in durability. Dustproof, dirtproof, shock resistant, temperature resistant, and waterproof. It does it all while still being a decent performer.


A phone launching in 2012 and still running Gingerbread will always get a ding here. The Qualcomm Scorpion CPU won't play the latest 3D games as well as some others, though it runs most things decently. When minimum hardware specs increase, this phone may be left behind with 2011 internals.



Know what you're looking for. If you need a rugged life-proof phone, this is the one to get. It's head and shoulders above other ruggedized phones, and you'll enjoy having a real smartphone that won't be ruined by how you treat it. If that's not what you need, maybe look up the chain a little at the Galaxy S II or Skyrocket.

Inside this review

More info

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3 years ago

Huawei Ascend P1 pegged for April release in China

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Back during CES 2012 we spent sometime with Huawei's flagship device, the Ascend P1. Shortly after that, there was speculation it would land in China available in late March but it seems that date may have now been pushed to mid-April with other regions getting the device later on. As a reminder, here is what folks will be waiting for:

  • 4.3-inch Super AMOLED qHD (960 x 540)
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core processor
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • 8MP rear camera with 1080p recording
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera with 720p recording
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB ROM
  • Quadband (GSM/GPRS/EDGE)
  • Pentaband (UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA)

In our hands-on with the device, it was remarkably fast and the screen was brilliantly crisp. However, with the date reportedly slipping it's hard to say now when the Ascend P1 will hit the US and by the time it does, it'll be going up against a multitude of other handsets arriving.

Source: Unwiredview

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3 years ago

Ustream app hits 2.5 million downloads, version 2.0 is released

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The folks from Ustream are celebrating today with their app having now hit 2.5 Million downloads. To ensure everyone else can get in on the celebrations, they've gone ahead and released Ustream v2.0 to the masses bringing along some improvements and requested features including a fresh new UI and more:

  • Quick Broadcast widget - Go live right on the spot using the new Quick Broadcast widget. You can easily place it on your Android home screen, and simply tap it whenever you see something interesting. It will go live instantly, broadcasting to an unlimited audience using the camera of your device. Please sign in and select your channel before your first broadcast.
  • Premium Membership, Ad-Free, In-App Billing support - The Ustream Android app has always been free to download for the community. To maintain its development, the app is supported by unobtrusive banner ads appearing at the bottom of some screens. Enjoy Ad-Free experience at any time by purchasing Premium Membership – either in the app using Google Wallet or on the Ustream website. Your Membership benefits will work on all your Android (and even iOS) devices, but you get even more at ustream.tv.
  • Korean localization - In addition to English and Japanese, the Ustream Android app supports Korean language starting from version 2.0.

The ad-free option is pretty sweet if you're going to be going with a premium membership. That means if you're using the Ustream app to listen to the world's greatest Android podcast each Thursday night, you'll not have to deal with audio ads nor any ads in the app itself now. The update to v2.0 is available on the Google Play Store and you'll find the download beyond the break.

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3 years ago

Nvidia CEO hints Kepler GPU is headed for mobile

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Nvidia launched a next-gen desktop graphics card last week called the GTX 680, and its heart, the Kepler GPU, is bound for the mobile world according to a congratulatory e-mail from CEO Jen-Hsun Huang to employees.

Today is just the beginning of Kepler. Because of its super energy-efficient architecture, we will extend GPUs into datacenters, to super thin notebooks, to superphones. Not to mention bring joy and delight to millions of gamers around the world. 

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