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2 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: A look back at London, a look ahead to New Orleans

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The Samsung Galaxy S III event has come and gone. Some say that's true about the phone as well, that it's so disappointing it's done before ever getting off the ground. Of course, many of the people saying that have yet to actually touch or use the Galaxy S III. Not that you shouldn't be able to form some sort of opinion about a phone before getting to experience it — otherwise why the hell did we do 30-something stories on it? But predicting a device's failure should at least require physical contact, no?

Regardless, Samsung will sell a bunch of these things, both in the form we saw at Earl's Court, and in variants to U.S. (and other) carriers. It'll sell 'em because Samsung is Samsung, and it has the clout with carriers — and more important, it has the marketing budget — to sell just about anything, and as much of anything, as it wants. Make no mistake about that. Samsung would never let the Galaxy S III wither and die, no matter what bloggers and analysts thing about it. Probably the more telling line came from Samsung president JK Shin, who all but made fun of the media for all the pre-launch speculation. (I can't say I blame him.) He made it pretty obvious Samsung's going to push this thing hard, never mind the blogs. Hardly a surprise there.

So what do I think? Pretty much what I said in last week's podcast. I rather like the hardware. The HTC One X wins in the display department, thanks to SLCD 2, but the SGSIII's got some nice lines to it, and I'm fairly smitten by the Pebble Blue version. Yeah, the screen's even bigger than the Galaxy Nexus or the SGSII or the One X, but Samsung's done it in a way so that the phone itself hasn't significantly grown in size. And it's thin enough at 8.6mm, with a nicely balanced weight.

It's the software that's left me underwhelmed. Ice Cream Sandwich was a fresh start for Android. HTC took advantage of that (even though many of the UI tweaks on the HTC One line were coming anyway, ICS or no). But hte Galaxy S III still seems stuck in the Gingerbread era, as far as the user interface goes. I'll be using a third-party launcher on it, most likely (and there are some really good ones available these days). Things like S Voice, and the phone being able to anticipate that you're going to make a call, and to go picture-in-picture are fun, but they're gimmicky. And for the most part, they're neither overly intuitive nor integral to the use of the phone, and these things are complicated enough as it stands. Maybe I'll be wrong and we'll hear a chorus of "Hello, Galaxy" rising up from the sidewalks of America.

But that was last week. It's already time for the next show.

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2 years ago

AT&T's HTC One X available today!

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The wait is over. As of today, you can purchase the HTC One X directly from AT&T for $199 with a two-year contract. If you're on the fence, be sure to read our complete AT&T One X review, and we've got some incredible discussions going on in our HTC One X forums as well. Is this one the phone for you?

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2 years ago

Late night poll: Samsung Galaxy S III or HTC One X?

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You knew this was coming. In one hand you have the HTC One X. Tegra 3 or S4 Krait; 720p SLCD2 at 4.7-inches. Sense 4. The hotness. In the other hand, you have the Samsung Galaxy S III, the world's newest Android phone. Quad-core Exynos, 720p SuperAMOLED at 4.8-inches. The new Touchwiz and it's cool voice interaction and face recognition. It's a good time to be an Android fan.

Chances are, you aren't going to have both. So, which one would pick? Hit the poll, let us know.

Choose your weapon -- HTC One X or Samsung Galaxy S III

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2 years ago

Titanium Backup updated, addition of Google Drive sync for Pro users

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Titanium Backup Pro has long been a favourite in the Android toolbox for root users. Its feature list and relative ease of use have seen it become a must have, including the ability to sync your backups with your Dropbox account. With the recent launch of Google Drive, Titanium now offers sync to your Drive account with this latest update to the application should you be using the paid, Pro version. 

Google Drive sync isn't the only new feature to be heading our way though. The full changelog reads a little something like this:

• [PRO] Supports Google Drive!
• [PRO] Can use a Filter for Dropbox/Box/Google Drive sync. All features from the Filters screen are supported.
• Can backup & restore system apps on stock ROMs, for backups made with TB 5.1.0+.
• Fixed infamous "Android Market query failed" error when viewing Market info on an app.
• Fixed frozen system apps getting defrosted when integrating their updates into ROM.
• Fixed TB launch failure on some ROMs (for LG Optimus 2X & SGS2).
• Misc improvements & bugfixes.

As always, we've got download links to the Google Play store for you after the break. 

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2 years ago

Android Central Editors' App Picks for May 5, 2012

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While you anxiously sit and await all of the fun that should be coming from CTIA 2012 you might as well check out some new apps on your Android device. Let's hit the break together and take a look at some of our favorites, and be sure to hit up the comments and share some of yours with us as well!

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2 years ago

HTC statement on AT&T One X bootloader - 'restrictions' prevent unlocking

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Just about all of HTC's international phones and tablets released over the past year have been added to its bootloader unlock list -- the list of developer-friendly devices that can have their bootloader security disabled  in order to allow enthusiasts to tinker around with custom ROMs and the like. And even a few U.S. network-branded devices have made the cut, including the T-Mobile Sensation 4G and Sprint EVO 3D. But one device that won't be joining them is the new AT&T HTC One X. An official statement from HTC, obtained by MoDaCo, indicates that "restrictions" -- likely imposed by the carrier -- mean that unlike its international cousin, the AT&T LTE version will remain locked up for the foreseeable future.

HTC is committed to listening to users and delivering customer satisfaction. Since announcing our commitment to unlockable bootloaders, HTC has worked to enable our customers to unlock the bootloader on more than 45 devices over the past six months. In some cases, however, restrictions prevent certain devices from participating in our bootloader unlocking program. Rest assured, HTC is committed to assisting developers in unlocking bootloaders for HTC devices and we'll continue to unlock additional devices in the future.

We suspect there'll be many a sad panda in the Android development community today, though this news shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. The only AT&T device currently on the HTC bootloader unlock list is the ill-fated Jetstream tablet. In the meantime, developers wanting a high-powered HTC phone to get stuck into on AT&T are left with the (more expensive) option of importing the international Tegra 3 version, which though not listed, is officially unlockable.

Source: MoDaCo

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2 years ago

Facebook for Android updated, Messenger and Camera apps removed

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The official Facebook application for Android has received an update today, eliminating the much-maligned "Camera" and "Messenger" shortcuts within the app drawer. The apps were first bundled with Facebook in version 1.9, and have been criticized for potentially misleading users. An attempt was made in version 1.9.1 to remedy this with a small Facebook icons in the lower left corner, however now it seems the decision has been made to pull them entirely. No other changes seem to have been made in this latest version, and the Facebook Messenger app remains available as a separate download on the Google Play Store.

In addition, the changelog for the latest version 1.9.2 includes lists "bug fixes" as being included in the new build.

Hit the update button to grab the new version. Alternatively, we've got the usual Google Play links and QR codes after the break.

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2 years ago

Flash Player for Android gets security update

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If you head to the Google Play Store this morning, you'll see a brand new update for Adobe Flash Player for Android. While no major new versions of Flash are being deployed on Android, Adobe continues to push out security fixes, and that's exactly what this latest update contains. According to the latest Adobe security advisory, the update to Flash 11.1.115.7 fixes a vulnerability which could cause applications to crash, or malicious code to be executed. Which sounds like something you'd want to avoid.

Head to the "My Apps" list to grab the update, or use the link after the break if you're still Flashless.

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2 years ago

Motorola Droid 3 getting a sizable update, but not to ICS

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The Motorola Droid 3 has a large system update queued and ready to roll out, but it's just another version of Gingerbread. The 5.7.905.XT862 update checks in about 230 MB, and is chock full of fixes, patches, and enhancements -- all very welcome for most any user. With "only" 512 MB of RAM, we didn't really expect the Droid 3 to ever officially run Ice Cream Sandwich, but there's always that glimmer of hope when we see the system update prompt. What did get fixed and updated? I'm glad you asked.

  • A Google Security Patch has been added to improve the security level.
  • Fixed issue where the device may power ON without user interaction.
  • Avoid device interruption when accessing an application prior to the storage being fully mounted on the device.
  • Improvements in device stability help avoid device power cycles.
  • When connected to a Bluetooth® headset or HDMI cable, the device will no longer lock up and power cycle.
  • Improvements to the camera’s auto focus will reduce the shutter response time and enhance the quality of captured imagery.
  • Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
  • Use a wired headset without the interruption of a high pitched tone.
  • Plus code dialing has been enhanced, improving the experience while traveling.
  • Playback media can be heard while using a Bluetooth headset.
  • Place a call to the appropriate recipient using the contact widget.
  • When moving applications to the SD card, shortcuts to these Apps will remain.
  • After updating the contact database from the Messaging App, the Messaging UI will display the latest contact information.
  • Successfully post and play videos on Facebook.
  • Purchased ringtones are now able to be downloaded, saved and used where appropriate.
  • Contact pictures display properly in Google Voice.
  • VZ Navigator 3D City is now preloaded.
  • Resolved excessive data usages and continuous downloading for VZ Navigator® 3D City downloads.

For more information about the update process, hit the Verizon support link below. For the more experienced Android users, just start hammering on the update button. 

Source: Verizon support

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2 years ago

Live wallpapers on the Samsung Galaxy S III

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Like live wallpapers? You'll find a couple of interesting new ones pre-loaded on the Samsung Galaxy S III, and we shot some video of them during our recent time with the phone. In addition to the standard ICS live wallpapers like "Bubbles" and "Phase beam", the Galaxy S III features a re-vamped version of Samsung's "Deep Sea" animation, and a new one called "Luminous Dots," which is a bit more subtle. We should also mention that there's no slowdown when you're using a live wallpaper on the S III. The launcher handles all the background animations without breaking a sweat, which is impressive when you consider that many Android phones continue to struggle with live wallpapers.

Or if you prefer the static kind of background, the Galaxy S III's got those too. Check past the break for a quick video demo of both.

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