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3 years ago

Jelly Bean now available via 'Simple Upgrade Tool' for the Alltel Galaxy S II

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Alltel hasn't forgotten the Samsung Galaxy S II, and Jelly Bean is available for download right now

Customers on Alltel using a Galaxy S II will want to check their messaging app this evening, as Jelly Ban has been made available. Users are receiving a text telling them the update is ready to download to their computer:

FREEALLTELMSG: Get the latest update for your Samsung Galaxy SII. Download OS Jelly Bean version 4.1.2 from your computer. Visit http://bit.ly/XHB4dp

Upon visiting the link, you're then warned that this is only able to be done via a computer (Windows only) using the Simple Upgrade Tool from Samsung. What you'll be downloading is the official SCH-R760 4.1.2 build, and the included package will walk you through getting it installed on your phone.

While we prefer OTA updates whenever possible, the jump from Gingerbread to Jelly Bean requires more than just an update to the system files. Manually flashing it from a computer is probably the best way to go here, though we wish it was a more generic process versus a Windows only executable file.

If you have no access to a compatible Windows computer (Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, or XP) you should visit the closest Alltel dealer and ask for assistance. For everyone else, get to downloading!

More: Alltel. Thanks, Terry!

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3 years ago

Google applies for patent to tie weather and location data to camera settings

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Could Google use your location data to make you a better photographer? This patent application shows someone in Mountain View thinks so.

Google has filed for a patent that would adjust camera settings for optimal performance based on GPS coordinates and the current weather conditions.  Depending on where you are, and what the weather might be like if it's determined that you're outdoors, settings like white balance, ISO, exposure value and all those other camera settings most people never touch can be tweaked using the data collected. This means that the settings of the camera can be adjusted on-the-fly for the perfect shot.

We have no idea if Google will ever use this one, or if it's even a worthwhile feature, but Senior VP of engineering Vic Gundotra did promise making Nexus phones with "insanely great cameras".  And while we're over patents and the never-ending war that seems to go along with them, this one was too cool to not talk about.

Source: USPTO; via Engadget

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3 years ago

You'll now have to wait until at least June to not buy the HP Slate 7

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Look the HP Slate 7 Android tablet didn't exactly bowl us over when it got a look at it at Mobile World Congress in February in Spain. OK, the industrial design was actually pretty good -- along the lines of a nicely done Nexus 7-type tablet -- but the internals and display should have been enough to make even a first-timer think twice. The $169 tablet was supposed to go on sale sometime in April, but HP's microsite apparently has pushed that launch to June. 

The Slate 7 ain't getting any younger, folks. While there's a place for budget tablets, an extra $30 would get you a base Nexus 7. There's no contest there. And considering that we're very likely going to see an updated 7-incher (or thereabouts) at Google I/O in May, the prospect of an even older Slate 7 just isn't tempting at all.

Source: HP; via Engadget
More: See our hands-on with the HP Slate 7

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3 years ago

It's Easter Weekend. Save 15% on All Android Accessories!

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Use coupon HOP13 at checkout to save 15% on ALL Android accessories

Take me to ShopAndroid.com and let the savings begin!

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3 years ago

The Google Watch with Google Now - A wearable computer for the present

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A Google Watch would be an ideal first step into the world of wearables, and putting Google Now at its heart makes too much sense for it not to happen

The future of computing is mobile, and the future of mobile is wearables. Google knows this; so does LG, Samsung and Apple. That’s why all four are rumored to be working on their own smart watches. Google’s, it’s reported, will run Android, and might be with us sooner rather than later.

The Pebble smart watch has already proved the appetite for this kind of product as a smartphone companion device. The appeal is obvious -- the ability to keep tabs on email, messages, calls, music playback, etc. using a device that’s always on your person. Relief from the burden of constant phone-checking (or at least, a weaning of users onto constant watch-checking instead.) It’s no wonder Google and others want a piece of that pie.

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3 years ago

Galaxy S4 preorders start at US Cellular on April 16

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Looks like April 16 is starting to be the day for Samsung Galaxy S4 presales. AT&T's opening up that day, and now US Cellular is throwing its hat into the ring, too. 

No word yet on what the phone will cost -- we're told it'll be announced on April 16 -- nor do we know what storage options USCC will offer.

More: US Cellular
Also: Samsung Galaxy S4 Forums | Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy

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3 years ago

Ingress doles out new-player invites to L6 and up

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If you've been dying to try your hand at Ingress -- the AR game run by the Niantic Project and Google -- but haven't been able to get your hands on an invite yet, it's time to make friends. Ingress this morning announced that any current player Level 6 and up (which means Levels 7 and 8 as well) should now have a single invite to bestow on a lucky newcomer. 

Ingress centers on the idea that there's this magical "XM" or "Exotic Matter," which lies in wait, hidden from casual view. But it affects everything around it. You use your phone or tablet to view the XM and the portals that harness it. Two sides -- the Enlightened and the Resistance -- are battling for control over the portals, linking them together and creating protective fields and capturing mind units in the process. 

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3 years ago

CloudMagic: All of your accounts in one place

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So many accounts in so many places, and CloudMagic can help you search through every single one of them.

As much as we'd prefer to have all of our data, documents, conversations and contacts in a single service that makes it easy to find what you need, that just isn't going to happen. As new services come along, we all seem to follow a bit of a "junk drawer" mentality of just tossing accounts onto our phones that don't talk to each other.

CloudMagic is hoping to remedy this issue somewhat by linking every account to one app, and making the contents of each universally searchable. Hang along with us after the break and see how it pans out.

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3 years ago

Android Central 129: The Nexus has nubbins

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Audio-only stream below

We're back for one of those rare daytime podcasts, which always seems to put us in a funny mood. On tap this week: A redesigned Nexus 4, a wee bit of HTC One and Galaxy S4, T-Mobile's new "UnCarrier plans," and a few e-mails from you fine folks out there. Join us! (Note: Audio only this week.)

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3 years ago

HTC European boss Florian Seiche leaving for Nokia [Updated]

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HTC EMEA President to join Nokia as head of European sales from June, HTC UK head Phil Blair to take over

Update: HTC has confirmed Seiche's exit, and says former VP of Product and Operations Phil Blair has taken over as its new EMEA head in addition to overseeing HTC's UK arm. We've got the company's official statement after the break.

Original story: Bloomberg is reporting that Florian Seiche, EMEA President at HTC, will be joining Nokia as head of European sales from June 15. Seiche, a familiar sight at European HTC press conferences, has been with the company since 2005, prior to which he served as Director of Devices at Orange. According to Bloomberg, Nokia's own EMEA head Shiv Shivakumar is leaving the company, to be replaced by its VP of smart devices for the Americas, Arto Nummela.

HTC and Nokia are in the midst of difficult times, as both are squeezed by fierce competition from Samsung and Apple. HTC in particular has seen dwindling sales and market share as a result to the meteoric rise of Samsung in the Android space. By comparison, Nokia recently returned to profitability, but its long-term fate is tied to that of Microsoft's Windows Phone OS.

Source: Bloomberg

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3 years ago

Ouya in action at GDC 2013

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What's a backer launch without a party?

Ouya had their big backer launch bash at GDC 2013, giving everybody a shot to try out the $99 Android-powered gaming console. There has been a lot of excitement leading up to this launch, not only because it stands to be yet another Kickstarter success story, but also because it's paving the way for a whole new product category of Android devices. 

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3 years ago

Ouya consoles now shipping to Kickstarter backers

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Folks who funded the Ouya Kickstarter project need to start checking their mailboxes, as units have started shipping

As we mentioned just a month ago, Ouya is shipping out consoles to Kickstarter backers as of today (March 28). Folks who pledged $95 or more to help fund the project will receive the units on a rolling schedule, and everyone should have their Ouya in hand in the next few weeks. You'll be notified via email when your unit ships.

Ouya founder Julie Uhrman wants to remind everyone of a few things while you're waiting. There will be a system update out of the box, so be prepared for that. Users will also need a valid credit or debit card to download games, but they will remain free to try. Finally, while the units come with one controller, support for up to four is included and you can purchase more at their website.

The Ouya project is poised to take Android gaming to another level, with the right price and decent specs. Of course, having a fully functional Android device hooked up to your television can be a lot of fun as well. We're expecting big things as units ship out, and by the time the devices launch in early June we're sure there will be an expert or two in the Ouya forums.

More: Ouya

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3 years ago

Facebook holding Android event on April 4

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Facebook has something in the oven, and we'll find out what it is next week

Facebook is holding some sort of Android related event next Thursday in Menlo Park and has sent out a slew of press invites. Nobody is sure exactly what they have in store, but speculation runs from a better (working) Android application to the rumored HTC Myst Facebook phone.

There's also rumor of a "deeply integrated" Facebook experience built into the devices people will want to buy. Zuckerberg has been pretty adamant that building a phone is the wrong way to go, so this is certainly a possibility.  We're not sure exactly what to expect, but we know Facebook does things in grand style. We'll know more next week.

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3 years ago

Google Play Movies now available in Mexico

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Google Play Movies llega a México

Google has pushed the button and made Google Play Movies live in Mexico. Users south of the border can now rent or purchase select movies, and view them on their Android devices or on the web. Last week we saw the launch of Google Play Books in Mexico, and we're glad to see Google able to provide their content services to more and more countries. 

We've no word on when further Google content will be made available in Mexico, or any other regions where it's currently unavailable. We assume there are teams at work all over the globe figuring out the licensing and regulations in order to deliver all of Google Play's content to anyone who wants it.

If the Movies & TV application is not installed on your Android device, you can grab it at the Google Play link above. 

Thanks, Spook!

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3 years ago

Hands-on with Iron Man 3 by Gameloft

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It's just like being Tony Stark! Minus the women, money, genius, and booze. 

You might have heard about the new free to play Iron Man 3 on-rails shooter coming soon to Android. We caught up with the Gameloft folks here at GDC 2013 to have a go, and it looks fantastic. Players have to tap, swipe, and tilt to avoid obstacles and blow up bad guys.

Along the way, players collect tokens which can be spent on buying bitchin' new Iron Man suits and consumable power-ups.  Even though it largely follows the simple endless runner formula, the awesome graphics and wealth of unlockables guarantees you'll be playing this one for awhile to come.

Keep an eye out for this one in Google Play on April 25. Anyone itching to catch the new movie?

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