Headlines

3 years ago

Sony Ericsson partners with Billabong, announces Xperia Active Billabong Edition

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Sony Ericsson has announced that it's entered into a global partenrship with Australian sports clothing brand Billabong, in an effort to extend the appeal of its Xperia phones to extreme sports enthusiasts. As part of the partnership, SE has revealed the Xperia Active Billabong Edition, which in addition to the fancy back cover shown above, also features a couple of unique software features. These include Billabong-branded screensavers and videos, along the Billabong LIVE app for keeping track of pro surfing news, if you're into that sort of thing.

Besides the Xperia Active, Sony says that its Xperia smartphones will be featured at major Billabong events, and that Xperia Play owners will soon be able to download Billabong Suft Trip, an "exclusive surf game".

If you're cooler than us, you can pick up the Xperia Active Billabong Edition from today in "selected markets". Check out our full review to find out more about the original Xperia Active. We've got today's full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Free Android Wallpaper of the Day - Music

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Today's Free Android Wallpaper of the Day comes from member beej143, who uploaded this cool piece of inke-over sheet music.

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3 years ago

Dropbox releases new beta build, offers 5 GB of free storage to early adopters

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Feeling brave? The friendly developers over at Dropbox have released a brand new experimental build, and they're willing to give you early adopters 5 GB of free storage for your troubles. For every 500 MB uploaded with version 2.0.9 you will earn an additional 500 MB of storage-- up to 5 GB total. Mind you that the freebie storage is account-related rather than app-related, which means that you'll be able to upload from your desktop to earn the space as well as from the app. 

The new version comes with its fair share of new features, including:

  • Automatically uploads photos and videos in the background using Wi-Fi or data plan
  • Brand new Camera Upload feature
  • Upload files of any size (no more 180 MB limit!)
  • Support for resuming file uploads when there are network issues
  • Various performance improvements & bug fixes

If beta builds don't give you the willies, you can grab the APK from the source link, where Dropbox is urging those who download to sing out as issues arise.

Source: Dropbox Forums

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3 years ago

Gameloft LIVE! social gaming app now available from Gameloft

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Gameloft is jumping head-on into social gaming once again with the release of their freshly released Gameloft LIVE! application.  They revamped the whole idea while adding some new features to the mix:

  • An all-new 3D interface that enables players to create and customize their own unique avatar and develop it in an interactive, full-3D environment that’s full of surprises.
  • New social components that will allow you to make friends and stay in contact with them, invite them to play, send them messages, and chat with them in real-time for an even livelier experience than before.
  • More trophies and rewards to unlock through our games that will give you access to new items for your avatar and environment. Try your best and get the highest score!
  • Direct access to Gameloft’s product catalog offering exceptional offers and exclusive info, ensuring that you’ll always be the first to know about our upcoming releases.

Achievements, leaderboards, rewards and challenges are all built into the app now and currently, Gameloft has a few free games available for download just for signing up. You'll want to mind the download process though as you have to hand over your phone number plus, it's around 230MB in additional data. Still in? Hit the source link to get it downloaded.

Source: Gameloft

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3 years ago

Android Central 86: Privacy, security and malicious apps -- oh, my!

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Audio-only stream below

We're back with another edition of the Greatest Android Podcast in the world to talk Google's new privacy policy and the attacks from Microsoft and questions from Congress. Plus, more on malware scares and what Google's doing to protect you. We've brought  Paul O'Brien from MoDaCo along for the ride, so let's get to it!

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3 years ago

Madden 12 for Android gets price cut just in time for the Super Bowl

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With Super Bowl XLVI looming large, gaming giant EA Sports is hoping you'll be up for some (American) football on your Android device this weekend. To celebrate the end of the season and Sunday's big game, the publisher has reduced the price of Madden NFL 12 to 99 cents in the U.S.

Europeans aren't being left out of the action, either -- the price of the international version has been dropped too, and now costs just 59 pence in the UK. Unfortunately it seems the game isn't compatible with the Galaxy Nexus just yet, but a quick glance down the list of supported devices reveals pretty broad compatibility elsewhere.

We've got European and North American Android Market links for all you football fans after the break.

Thanks, bbjonez!

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3 years ago

Apple expands patent claims against Samsung in Australia

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278 claims covering 22 patents across 10 devices

The latest round of legal wrangling between Apple and Samsung has seen the former significantly expand its patent claims against the latter in Australia. ​The Australian​ newspaper is reporting that Apple has broadened its suit against the Korean manufacturer to include 278 claims covering 22 patents across 10 devices.

The Australian suit, which began with Apple's seeking an injunction against sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, now encompasses a plethora of claims against Samsung smartphones and tabets. According to ​TheNextWeb​, some of the devices included haven't even launched in Australia yet. Samsung was reportedly given "only days" notice of this latest development, and consequently it's indicated that it won't be able to file a defense until "mid-May".

This is just the latest chapter in the ongoing patent war between Apple and Samsung, which has seen both companies attempt to block each others' products from sale in various countries over the past six months.

Source: TheNextWeb; The Australian

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3 years ago

LG Optimus LTE on TELUS outed in Canada

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Following the device's launch on Bell Mobility late last year, it seems LG's flagship smartphone, the Optimus LTE, will be making its way to rival network TELUS at some point, too. LG's official Canadian website has outed TELUS as the carrier of the Optimus LTE "P935" model (for those keeping score, Bell's version was the P930). U.S. readers will recognize it as the LG Nitro HD, which came to AT&T in late 2011.

TELUS has yet to issue any official confirmation, so there's no pricing or availability information on offer just yet. Bell currently sells the Optimus LTE for C$99 on contract, so we'd expect a similar price point from TELUS.

The manufacturer recently celebrated the milestone of a million Optimus LTE phones sold worldwide, with particularly strong sales in Asia.

Source: LG Canada; via: MobileSyrup

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3 years ago

Late night poll: Would you use an NFC mobile payment system?

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Google Wallet and NFC is a hot topic with a lot of folks.  It seems like a whole lot of people are concerned with the availability of Google Wallet (including yours truly), and we're all curious to learn more about ISIS, but we've no idea how popular either will ultimately be.  Just how many of you guys see yourself using any sort of NFC based mobile payment method?  NFC on phones has been around for a while in many parts of the world, but it never caught on in a big way -- especially in North America.  Of course, it wasn't really very available either, so maybe it never got a fair shake.

So let us know -- if and when NFC ends up on more new Android phones, will you use a mobile payment service?  Let us know in the poll.

Would you use an NFC based mobile payment system?

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3 years ago

ComScore: Android still holds the top spot in the U.S. smartphone market

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The latest ComScore numbers are out, and it looks like the predicted death of Android still hasn't happened.  During October, November, and December 2011, Android still experienced more growth than any other platform in the US.  Keeping the top spot with 47.3 percent market penetration (that's about 45 million and counting), Android grew another 2.5 percent overall.  Apple, on the success of the iPhone 4S and iPad2, also experienced growth during the period, albeit not as much as Android.  Just as interesting, but in a different way, is the fact that the rest of the players in the game lost market share.  Reasearch In Motion, Microsoft, and Symbian, who were once the big three, all lost market share and only hold about 22 percent of the market combined.  WebOS, once again, was a no-show. 

The number of smartphone users in the US also grew, reaching their highest ever point.  ComScore calculates that 97.9 million people now use a smartphone of some sort or another.  We expect that number will also continue to climb, as you can now get an Android or Apple smartphone for free with a new contract.  

On the manufacturer front, things also look much like the last go around.  Samsung still makes the most phones in the United States (25.3 percent of all phones), followed by LG Electronics, Motorola Mobility and Apple.  There's no data about how many smartphones each vendor sells, but we imagine more than a few of Samsung's sales were Galaxy S and Galaxy S II devices.  

We're used to this by now.  Android, with the might of Google and their online services, makes a very compelling argument to choose their products.  We couldn't imagine using any other product.  

Source: ComScore

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3 years ago

AT&T Motorola ATRIX 2 update v55.13.25 now available

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Looks like Motorola's next-gen Atrix currently has an update rolling out to it. Folks in the Android Central forums happened to notice the software update notification and sure enough - v55.13.25 is now available for download. Motorola's got these official changes for the Atrix 2:

  • Camera - Enhancements to deliver better overall picture taking experience so you never miss a moment
  • Google Music  -Addition of Google Music application so you have greater access to the world of music. Shop millions of songs and hundreds of free tracks. Store your purchases on Google Music for free, and listen instantly on your mobile device.
  • My Gallery, My Music, My Files - Re-naming of Motorola Gallery, Music, and Files applications for easy access in the Applications Tray
  • Device Security - Enhancements to deliver greater device security, including addition of Android security patches from Google and Cisco Any Connect VPN enablers.
  • Emergency Alerts - Enhancement to allow you to receive emergency alerts from authorities such as Hurricane warning notifications.
  • Amazon Kindle - Enhancement to include link to app for quick and easy method to access your library of Amazon digital books as well as access to the entire Amazon library.
  • AT&T Messages - Enhancement to include link to app for quick and easy method to give you access to all of your texts, calls and messages which have been stored in the cloud.
  • Keyboard - Improvements to keyboard functionality for better email experience
  • Mobile Hotspot - Improved stability for better overall performance
  • Webtop - Enhancements to improve stability and better overall performance

That's a whole lot of improvements to be pushing in one update. If you've not recieved the notification, go ahead and check for system updates, you should find it waiting. Once you're done, drop by the Android Central forums and let us know how things are working out.

Source: Motorola; Via Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

What is sideloading? [Android A to Z]

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What is sideloading?  It's a term you see a lot thrown around while talking about Android applications, and it's simple to explain.  It means installing applications without using the official Android Market.  What's less simple is how it's done and why you would do it.  That's where this post comes in.  Let's explain it, shall we?

How to do it is easy enough, so let's start there.  In the Application settings on your Android phone, you'll find a check box to "Allow installation of non-Market applications."  When it's checked, you can sideload.  You'll also see a pop-up warning when you check this box letting you know that your phone is now more vulnerable to attacks from applications, and that you accept all the responsibility that comes with doing this.  It makes sense -- you can't hold Google responsible for applications you didn't download through their service using their security methods.  

Sideloading apps is easy to do as well.  You download them to your phone, then use a file manager application to find them and "click" their entry.  You'll invoke the app installer program, and it will install your app just as if it had came from the trusted Android Market.  It won't be associated with your Android Market account, but it shows in your app drawer just like all the rest.  It didn't used to be this easy for everyone.  Under the guise of security, AT&T used to block users from sideloading by removing the Unknown sources field in the device settings.  Whenever you tried to manually install an app, it would be blocked because it wasn't allowed.  This could be circumvented by using adb from the SDK or by using a program like the Sideload Wonder Machine.  Luckily, those days are past us and AT&T has re-evaluated their position, and now allows the installation of non-Market apps.

Why would you want to sideload.  There are several reasons, one being that Google has allowed carriers to block certain applications based on the model and network your device is running on.  We've seen carriers block apps that permit tethering without paying the extra associated fees, and some carriers have exclusives for certain apps and they aren't available for the others.  That's a whole other mess that we'll tackle in another post -- just know that it happens.  There are other reasons to need to sideload apps, too.  Want to use a different appstore like the one from Amazon?  You'll need to enable sideloading.  The same goes for beta testing apps for developers, or even coding your own apps and testing them on your phone.  There are a lot of legitimate reasons for sideloading.  Of course, there's always the piracy aspect.  If you want to steal from hard working developers you'll need to enable sideloading.  You also suck.  Sideload, but don't steal from developers.

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

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3 years ago

Google Wallet now available on Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus on AT&T

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Previously only available to Sprint Nexus S 4G owners, Google's NFC-based payment app, Google Wallet, has just been updated to add support for the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S on AT&T. So if you're a Nexus owner on AT&T, you can hit the Android Market and find out what all the fuss is about. We've confirmed that the app can now be loaded onto the unlocked Galaxy Nexus or any Nexus S, provided you have an AT&T SIM loaded. But right now it appears that the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is still unable to get Google Wallet officially, though there workarounds, of course. Same goes for the Nexus S on T-Mobile.

This is also good news for anyone considering picking up AT&T's version of the Samsung Galaxy Note in the weeks ahead. The AT&T Note supports NFC, and so barring any silly device-level limitations, Google Wallet should work just fine on that phone, too.

We've got Android Market links for all you AT&T people after the break, as well as some instruction for if it doesn't work right away for you.

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3 years ago

Kies Mini help, Face Unlock won't enable [From the Forums]

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We rocked out a pretty solid Android Central podcast for you all earlier, so be on the look out for that when it goes up if you weren't able to tune into our earlier time. Otherwise, head on into the Android Central forums and get in on the action:

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

Huawei's MediaPad coming to AT&T's 4G LTE network

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Back during CES 2012 Huawei announced their MediaPad series would be making its rounds to carriers, and now they've finally delivered some good news for those you on AT&T. The Huawei MediaPad will be released through the carrier on Feb. 3rd within their business channels and move outward from there. Need a refresher of what the MediaPad offers?

Device Specs and Key Features

  • 7-inch IPS multi-touch display at 1280x800 resolution
  • Android™ 3.2 (Honeycomb) operating system
  • 1.2 Ghz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
  • 5MP rear-facing and 1.3MP front-facing camera with 4X zoom and AF
  • 1080p HD video recording and playback
  • Wi-Fi with AT&T Hotspots
  • 7.61 x 4.71 x .41 inches at 14.08oz

The Huawei MediaPad will be joining AT&T's growing 4G LTE line up though, something does seem a little off here. As noted, Huawei was at CES 2012 where they stated the MediaPad would be shipping with Ice Cream Sandwich but the AT&T version is said to be shipping with Android 3.2.

Huawei is readying an ICS update for already existing MediaPad owners for Q1 sometime. Minor detail? Maybe, but it's something to keep in mind. The full press release, lacking price points can be found past the break.

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