Headlines

3 years ago

International Galaxy Note 2 models get Android 4.1.2 update with new TouchWiz features

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It's not just the Galaxy S3 getting a generous helping of new features in its Android 4.1.2 update. According to reports from SamMobile, the international Galaxy Note 2 (GT-N7100) and Galaxy Note 2 LTE (GT-N7105) are also receiving new Samsung-flavored software along with the new OS upgrade.

The biggest changes seem to be focused around the top of the screen. The notification shade is now customizable, so if you're not a fan of extraneous toggles and brightness dials, you can turn them off. If you keep your notification shade quick-controls, you'll notice new additions such as the ability to toggle the multi-window feature on and off. The notification bar itself has also changed slightly, going from grey back to black. And the lock screen's been changed up a little, with a new, optional ink effect in the on-screen "pool" when unlocking the device.

Web browser performance improvements are also noted, although we've always found Samsung's stock browser to be pretty fast. And finally, there's also a new Group Cast app for sharing music and photos with other Samsung device owners.

SamMobile says the Note 2 Android 4.1.2 upgrade is going live now in Poland (Note 2) and Sweden (Note 2 LTE). As ever, other countries are likely to vary, particularly when carriers need to get involved and certify the updates.

Are you seeing today's update on your international Galaxy Note 2? Let us know how you're getting on in the comments!

Source: SamMobile (2)

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3 years ago

HTC launches One SV for the UK, coming to EE

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Originally announced in Southeast Asia in September, the HTC One SV is now headed to Europe -- specifically the UK, where it'll launch on EE, the country's first 4G LTE carrier. An unassuming device with widely curved sides, the One SV is HTC's mid-range LTE offering for markets outside the U.S.

Spec-wise, we're looking at a handset that sits somewhere near the One S in HTC's Android line-up It's got a 4.3-inch WVGA (480x800) display, a 5MP ImageSense camera around the back, and is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU with 1GB of RAM. 8GB of storage is included, along with a microSD slot for expansion. Crucially, the One SV also comes with LTE support, allowing it access to EE's fast lane of 4G data.

Unfortunately, however, this is another phone running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, with no word of when a Jelly Bean update might arrive, or whether one is even in the works.

In any case, the HTC One SV is due to launch "in the coming weeks," which likely indicates a release date right before the holidays. We've got more photos of the One SV in white and blue after the break, along with today's press release.

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3 years ago

Daily news roundup: December 10, 2012

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3 years ago

Intel ready to shrink mobile SoC circuitry to 22 nanometers

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Intel is hoping to become more competitive in 2013 with new manufacturing processes that will shrink chip circuitry from 32 to 22 nanometers (nm) in size. The chip maker has been trying its best to make a run at the smartphone market, with a couple of devices like the Motorola RAZR i, but just hasn't seen the market share it was hoping for. One of the original issues with Intel processors for phones and tablets -- marketed under the Atom brand name -- was their power consumption, which seemed to lag behind that of comparable ARM units.

This new process, based on its "TriGate" technology used for its larger PC processors, uses three-dimensional transistor structures that help save space and therefore increase efficiency. Intel claims 22- to 65-percent performance improvements in its 22nm chips compared to current 32nm units. The company does admit that it is about 6 months behind schedule on releasing SoC's, but analysts expect them to become available in the second half of 2013.

Even if the technology checks out, Intel still has an uphill battle ahead of it. The next part of this equation will be convincing smartphone and tablet manufacturers that Atom is a better choice than price-competitive ARM units -- as well as consumers that "Intel Inside" is something they want in more than just their PC.

Source: WSJ

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3 years ago

Grab 999: Twenty-nine Original Tales of Horror and Suspense from Google Play for just 2 bucks [books]

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If you're a fan of classic suspense and egde-of-your-seat horror stories, you'll want to have a look at 999: Twenty-nine Original Tales of Horror and Suspense. It's an anthology of 29 short stories of the darker genre from names like Stephen King, Edward Bryant, and Nancy A. Collins. Read it, and  you're sure to find a new favorite, too.

The first tale, Kim Newman's Amerikanski Dead at the Moscow Morgue, is a mixture of post-apocalyptic horror and nightmares from bad LSD that is honestly one of the best shorts I've ever read. I think plenty of you guys and gals will like it, too.

I know, DRM free ePub files are the right way to do eBooks. I can't argue that one, and most of my library is just that. But sometimes you gotta say what the hell and give the devil his due -- this is one of those times. And to be honest, the app isn't half bad since the latest update. Give it a try before you hate it

Make sure you have Google Play Books installed on your phone or tablet if you want to read on a mobile device, or you can just read on the web. Click here to pick it up for two bucks.

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3 years ago

Youtube app updated with new 10-inch tablet layout

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There's an update to the Youtube app waiting for you in the Google Play store, and if you're using a 10-inch tablet (like the Nexus 10), you're in for a treat. The update adds a new layout for large screen devices that brings a great two-pane experience to everyone's favorite video service.

The update uses the concept of Android fragments, where both can act independently yet have influence over each other. The smaller fragment on the left allows for things like app navigation and selection, and your content appears to the right. It's a great way to build apps for large screen devices, and allows one app to have the best UI and layout for any size screen.

Hit the link above for the update, or just check your Google Play notifications.

Via: @WinDroidGuy

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3 years ago

Instagram update brings new filter, performance improvements

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Instagram is having a little spat with Twitter right now, but that's not stopping it from coming out with an update today. The update is bringing a new black & white filter called "Willow," as well as numerous bugfixes and performance enhancements. If you're a fan of filters you won't look down on this, and it at least shows that Instagram isn't forgetting about its app on Android.

Now unfortunately this isn't a UI refresh like those iOS users just got... but we'd expect to see that soon as well.

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3 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Are you gifting an Android device to someone this holiday season?

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'Tis the season in most of the western world, where we're spending time with our loved ones celebrating the year-end holiday. It's also the time when we traditionally exchange gifts, so that is the focus of our poll this week.

Google is knocking it out of the park price-wise with their Nexus devices, and OEMs are offering phones and tablets that do some amazing things. I know a lot of people would love to see a new phone or tablet with their name on it this month, but we're asking the folks doing the giving -- are giving someone an Android device this holiday season?

Hit the poll in the sidebar to the right or after the break, and let us know if you're handing out some sweet Android hardware, have everything covered without it, or just plain can't get one from Google. We'll let it simmer for a week then tally up the numbers.

Speaking of numbers, last week we asked who has seen a Google Play Gift Card in the wild. The vote was a mixed bag.

Looks like we're not the only one not seeing them in the store. Keep vigilant, or just enter to win one in our Stocking Stuffer contest.

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3 years ago

Official Twitter app updated with photo filters

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The official Twitter for Android app just got a heck of an update, bringing a full set of photo filters built-in to the client. We all heard this would happen before the end of the year, but few expected anything this soon. The included filters are vignette, black & white, warm, cool, vintage, cinematic, happy, and gritty; also included are standard editing features like cropping and zooming.

Created by Aviary, the filters and tools promise to help you share the world around you in the style that's become popular with smartphone users. You can also preview your photos in a nice grid layout, and your photos are viewable directly from your timeline. 

It's looking to be a great update for folks who like to share photos on Twitter, and should balance out the loss of Instagram sharing we saw last week. Hit the break for a short video from Twitter and some screen shots, and grab the app at the link above.

Source: Twitter

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3 years ago

T-Mobile pushing update to the HTC One S, but you might not need it

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T-Mobile today started to push a 31-megabyte update to the HTC One S. If you don't get it, though, it might not be a big deal. The new version, 2.35.531.10 is only for devices that are on 1.53.531.16 or 1.84.531.4, according to T-Mobile's support site. If you're on 2.235.531.7, as a lot of you are after the update a couple months ago, you're still considered up to date and won't need this version.

If you did get today's update and have found yourself at Android 4.0.4, you can expect fixes for data connection delays and signal fluctuations, Wifi issues, crashes and restarts, e-mail links not opening, screen lag and skipping music.

And if you're still holding out hope for some Jelly Bean action, a little more patience is required.

Source: T-Mobile; More: HTC One S forums;
Thanks, Quincy!

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3 years ago

T-Mobile 1900MHz HSPA+ now live in Seattle, Atlanta and Minneapolis

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With all of the big T-Mobile news that hit last week, one story that may have been buried was the carrier's continued rollout of 1900MHz HSPA+ markets. We like when carriers can give us a good idea of where exactly service improvements are happening, rather than a general "market." T-Mo has just put out a release indicating the granular areas around these three new markets that have the service available today:

  • Atlanta, including the surrounding cities of: Roswell, Alpharetta, Marietta, Covington and Conyers
  • Seattle, including the surrounding areas of: Lynwood, Bothell, Mill Creek, Edmonds, Redmond, Kirkland, Woodinville, Bellevue, Issaquah, Sammamish, Kenmore, Mercer Island, North Bend, SeaTac, Burien, Tukwila, Renton, and Lake Stevens
  • Minneapolis, including the nearby cities of: St. Paul and St. Cloud
    Additional Bay Area cites include: Fairfield, Monterey, Napa, Petaluma, Salinas, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and Vallejo

That brings the total of 1900MHz HSPA+ markets up to 18 nationwide, with more on the way. T-Mobile says it is currently working on the upgrades in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, the New York metro area, Philadelphia, and San Diego. It makes sense that the carrier would be rolling out to the most densely populated areas first to get the most bang for their buck.

Source: T-Mobile

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3 years ago

Pandora launches fully in Australia and New Zealand

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Pandora has been trialing its service in Australia and New Zealand via a web-only trial, and now it has launched the service fully in both countries. Users down under can now sign up and have fully-functional Pandora accounts, including the apps on both Android and iOS. Pandora says that 75-percent of its traffic in the U.S. comes from mobile apps, so this is a big deal to be offering complete access to the new countries as well.

Australia and New Zealand are the first countries outside of the U.S. to have full access to Pandora, and hopefully the deals can be made to let the rollout continue to other countries also. Eager Aussies can grab a download of the app at the Google Play Store link above.

Source: TechCrunch; Pandora

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3 years ago

Android Central Stocking Stuffers Week 1 winners

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We're into the second week of our month long Stuff Your Stocking contest here at Android Central, and that means that we've got a handful of winners to announce.

Last week we had random drawings from the forums, and we've tallied things up, consulted the random number generator, and picked winners for each day's contest. Each winner will need to check their inbox for all the details, but there's a $10 Google Play gift card with your name on it. I imagine everyone wants to know who those winners are, so let's get on with it!

A big holiday congrats goes out to each of you from all of us here at Android Central, and we know you'll find something great in Google Play to spend your gift cards on. Plus, you're automatically entered to win a Nexus 4 from us!

Don't forget that this week (we still have 23 gift cards that need a home) to enter you'll need to subscribe to our Youtube channel and leave a comment on a video. Read the full details here. Good luck, congrats to last week's winners, and thanks everyone for entering!

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3 years ago

New at ShopAndroid.com: Andru 1A USB Charger in green, black or white

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If you're still on the hunt for a cool stocking stuffer this Christmas, ShopAndroid.com now has all three colors of the Andru 1A USB charger in stock. That's the traditional Android green, black, and white, available for $24.95 each. So put that beautiful Bugdroid to work and let it charge your favorite device. Get your now at ShopAndroid.com.

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3 years ago

Payment processor Bango bringing carrier billing to Google Play

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Bango, a mobile payments and analytics company, works with carriers (and other companies) as a middle-man to help set up payment systems and has now started offering Google Play billing as well. Carrier billing for items on Google Play is something that many carriers around the world are looking to get involved with. It's not always practical (or profitable) at the start to get it set up, however. Effectively outsourcing the payment processing and setup to another company makes sense for many companies out there trying to get into this game.

The first carrier on board with Bango for their mobile payments is Telstra in Australia. Given some of the big names that Bango currently does business with, we could see more carriers rolling out Google Play carrier billing with them soon. You can check out the full press release after the break.

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