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3 years ago

Xiaomi to trial super cheap Android powered set-top box in three Chinese cities

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Google TV may not yet have really taken off, but that hasn't put Chinese manufacturer, Xiaomi, off the idea of an Android powered set-top box. The Xiaomi Box is set to come to market on March 19, initially in a three city trial -- those being Shanghai, Hangzhou and Changsha. The initial batch of the device will be limited beyond location too, with just 10,000 units initially being made available. 

The release of the Xiaomi Box has come about through a partnership with Chinese broadcaster, iCNTV. The Box itself is priced to move, costing the equivalent of $48. It becomes the latest in the Xiaomi ecosystem of Android based products, that to date include smartphones, and the MiUi software. Streaming from an Android device is possible with the Xiaomi Box, as it is from an iOS device too. In the absence of the Apple TV in China, the Android powered Xiaomi Box could also attract the nations iOS users too.

via The Next Web

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: The Walking Dead, MightyText, Feedly and more!

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Things around here have been pretty busy (if you haven't noticed) because of the Samsung Galaxy S4 announcement, but we still managed to get together some great app picks for you. This week is a little utility-heavy, as we have a great crop of apps that will help you get things done. There's still a couple of fun ones thrown in though, naturally.

Hang around after the break and see how our app picks stack up this week.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 reportedly set for early May launch in India

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There's a lot of folks all around the world that are excited for the Samsung Galaxy S4. Following on from the massively successful Galaxy S3, there's no doubts that this is going to be one of the biggest sellers in mobile this year. Since the official unveiling in New York City, we're gradually beginning to build up a picture of availability, and next up is news for our friends over in India. 

According to AndroidOS.in, Samsung is set to launch the Galaxy S4 in India in the first week of May. They go on to say that a press event is likely in late April to officially launch the device in the country. Considering global availability is slated to begin from the end of April, this is great news for Indians eager to get their hands on one of the hottest devices of the year. 

India's Galaxy S4 will also be carrying the new Exynos 5 Octa inside, and not the Snapdragon 600 of the U.S. version. There are no details of pricing or any word on carrier partners for the Galaxy S4, but considering we're still 6 weeks or so out from launch, there's still plenty of time yet. 

Samsung Galaxy S4 Forums | Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S4 |Samsung Galaxy S4 Details

Source: AndroidOS.in

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3 years ago

Reports suggest Three paid EE absolutely nothing for 1800MHz LTE spectrum

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The latest chapter in the UK's LTE saga is an intriguing one, concerning the spectrum 'sale' from EE to rival carrier Three. Before the recent spectrum auctions even began, EE was instructed to sell off a chunk of its existing 1800MHz spectrum -- used for their 4G LTE service -- by regulators. Three picked this up, but a recent report suggests it may have been the ultimate bargain. 

According to a report in The Guardian, Three paid a grand total of £0 for the chunk of spectrum. Thats right. Nothing, nil, nada. Considering the estimated value lay in the region of £450million, this all seems very, very strange. After all, the other carriers need additional spectrum to launch their own LTE services, so why would EE just give it away?

EE reportedly decided the safest bet for them was to forego offers from Vodafone and O2, and give it away to the UK's smallest network. Despite having probably the best contract deals in the UK, Three's customer base is around 10million, compared to EE's 27million. 

The deal was also supposedly designed to help tip the spectrum auction in EE's favor, leaving them more chance of picking up a good portion of the valuable 800MHz spectrum. As it turned out, both EE and Three emerged with a small piece of 800MHz, and if all this is indeed true, Three has kickstarted its LTE network without spending a whole lot of money. 

Source: The Guardian

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 or the HTC One

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Making a decision between the HTC One and the Galaxy S4 isn't going to be easy for many folks​

The battle lines have quickly been drawn between two of 2013's hottest Android smartphones -- phones that, by the way, not a whole lot of people have actually touched yet -- the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4. The HTC One is just now going on sale in parts of Europe. We're still waiting on any U.S. carrier to announce availability for either of the phones.

We've been using the HTC One for a week now. (I've been using it as my main device, actually.) And we got to spend some time with the Samsung Galaxy S4 on Thursday in New York City. And we got to put both phones up against each other.

Know what? Folks are going to have a tough decision to make. 

Read on for some initial thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy S4 versus the HTC One.

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean update rolling out for European LG Optimus L9

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The LG Optimus L9 was introduced to European markets in the second half of last year as the then newest member of the Optimus L-Series of devices. We first went hands with the LG back at IFA 2012 in Berlin, we found a surprisingly nice mid-range device. Since launch, the L9 has been running Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, but now it seems that European owners are getting a Jelly Bean flavored treat on their devices. 

According to reports, the update to Android 4.1 is rolling out in the Baltics region, Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania and for the European Open devices. It can be downloaded via the LG Update Tool as well as OTA, but it's a pretty weighty one coming in at 575MB. What's more is the relative speed at which this update has appeared. LG traditionally isn't too good with software updates, but the L9 has received Jelly Bean now within six months of the device's launch. Still not amazingly fast, but given LG's record it's still pretty impressive. 

Source: XDA via GSM Arena

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3 years ago

Save 15% on ALL Android Accessories in our St. Patrick's Day Sale!

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Saint Patrick's Day falls on a Sunday this year, so we're going to celebrate all weekend long here at Android Central with a ShopAndroid sale!! Until Sunday, Midnight PST, you can save 15% on ALL Android accessories by using coupon code shamrocks at checkout.

Take me to ShopAndroid.com!

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3 years ago

From 'S Life' to 'Life Companion': The original Galaxy S presentation meets the Galaxy S4

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It's good to take a look back sometimes. The mobile business moves ridiculously fast. It has its hits. It has its misses. Sometimes it has both simultaneously. 

I can't say I'm a theater connoisseur. Haven't been to enough shows to get anywhere near calling myself a critic. Is it good theater? Is it bad? I dunno. I do think you generally have to take it with a bit of a nod and a wink. Working on the stage means over emphasizing. Expressions and emotions have to reach folks in the back row.  And there was a pretty big difference in watching Thursday night's night's Samsung Galaxy S4 event at Radio City Music Hall from the fourth row than when I watched it again today on YouTube, with multiple camera angles and close-ups. (It also makes a big difference when you watch it instead of work it.)

But I couldn't help think that we'd seen a bit of this before.

More: Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S4​; Galaxy S4 forums

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3 years ago

Motorola Electrify 2 has an official Jelly Bean update working its way around

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The Motorola Electrify 2 is the latest handset to get a Jelly Bean update, as Android 4.1 is currently rolling out to users in the usual slow, cautious manner. 

Motorola reminds us of a few Jelly Bean features like expanded notifications, Google Now, and voice search at their announcement page, but there's also plenty under the hood that makes Jelly Bean an incredible upgrade for any phone or tablet. Project Butter anyone?

As mentioned, the update is coming in phases. To check if it's your turn to have a crack at it, go to the settings and look for a system update. If you see one, holler in the comments and let us know how it's working out!

Source: Motorola

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3 years ago

Facebook updating their Android app outside of Google Play for some users

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For the past couple of days users have been seeing a download notification for a new Facebook build (140579 or 141046). The notification would get stuck for many folks, and reboots or battery pulls just caused another notification and stuck download. The whole thing pretty much acted like a clunky, amateurish malware attack.

It's not. The update is legit, and from Facebook. They are pushing out an update outside of the Play Store (which is a direct violation of the developer agreement, by the way) to some users to test new features. If you have the setting checked to allow installations from unknown sources (sideloading) you might have seen this. You also might still be stuck fiddling with the notification that won't go away. To fix that, hook up with some Wifi -- Facebook won't download the update while you're using your data connection.

Let's ignore that Facebook may be breaching their developer agreement. Lets also ignore that they are silently pushing software to a users phone, when that user is unaware and didn't ask for it. We'll also overlook the way Facebook thinks all Wifi is free and unlimited. But we can't overlook the fact that they let this go on for three days and still haven't posted a little something to their blog or dropped a little blurb in the Google Play app description to let the users -- you know, the ones who are worried what the hell this fake Facebook download is doing -- know what was going on.

Anyhoo, if you see the notification about it, just turn on your Wifi and it will overwrite your current Facebook app with something -- nobody knows exactly what, because Facebook hates change logs, too -- newer, and hopefully better.

Via: The Verge

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3 years ago

HTC One versus Sony Xperia Z

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The HTC One is due to launch globally in the next month, so how does it compare to Sony's latest, the Xperia Z?

The Xperia Z is Sony’s best smartphone yet, and it’s one of the first major flagship devices of 2013 to hit the market. But there’s competition coming, and not just from Samsung. HTC will be launching the HTC One in Europe from the end of the month, and the Taiwanese manufacturer’s going all-out with its very best build quality, redesigned software and a new kind of smartphone camera.

So how does HTC’s latest hold up against Sony’s glass-clad beast? We’ve got comparisons in video, pictures and words after the break.

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3 years ago

Pocket Casts hits v4.1 with new dark theme, various playback improvements

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Pocket Casts just received an update to version 4.1, bringing a new "dark" theme and several notable playback improvements. Even though it just recently made the major jump to version 4 with a complete redesign, the updates don't stop there. Version 4.1 has a new dark theme, which should be easier on the eyes when viewing in dim environments and generally just please the crowd that likes a darker UI. On the playback side, v4.1 adds global playback speed options, set "start from" times for episodes, larger buttons and various other little fixes.

If you haven't taken a look yet, the new and redesigned Pocket Casts 4 is certainly worth consideration. You can grab a download from the Play Store at the link above, and stick around after the break for a quick side-by-side comparison of the light and dark UI.

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3 years ago

Beam Player: simple, clean folder-based music player

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There are countless music players out there offering buckets of features and flair, but sometimes you just want a basic app to play music from a folder structure. Beam Player fits the bill for this use perfectly, and doesn't go over the top on design or unnecessary features either. Best of all it's holo, tablet responsive, and has great widgets and notification controls.

Hang with us after the break to see more of what Beam Player has to offer as a simple music player.

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3 years ago

U.S. Galaxy S4 model to be powered by Snapdragon 600 CPU

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At yesterday's big Samsung Galaxy S4 announcement, the manufacturer revealed that multiple versions of the phone would be produced running differing CPUs, as was the case with last year's Galaxy S3. Certain markets, including the U.S., will get a 1.9GHz quad-core chip powering their S4, while other territories, including the UK and Europe, would get an octa-core Samsung Exynos 4 chip at 1.6GHz.

However, there was some confusion as to exactly which quad-core chip would be fitted in the quad-core Galaxy S4 -- Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 600, or the slightly older Snapdragon S4 Pro. Today a Qualcomm spokesperson has confirmed to us that the quad-core Galaxy S4 is indeed packing the faster Snapdragon 600 chip, so hopefully we can all avoid any more sleepless nights worrying about that one.

The U.S. variant Galaxy S4 joins the HTC One and LG Optimus G Pro, which will also ship with Qualcomm's latest chip. While the S4 Pro, found in devices like the LG Optimus G and Nexus 4 is certainly a capable chip, we'll always welcome a little more processing horsepower -- Qualcomm claims its new chip offers an up to 40 percent increase in performance over the S4 Pro.

More: Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S4​; Galaxy S4 forums

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3 years ago

Reminder: Still time to win a Samsung Galaxy S4 in our 'World's First' contest!

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Now we know exactly what's coming in the Samsung Galaxy S4, there's still time to enter our World's First Galaxy S4 Contest to win a handset of your own as soon as it's released.

How do you enter? Simply post a comment on the original contest news post (not this one!). That's it -- do that and you're automatically entered. But we'll be closing the contest soon, so get in your post while you still can. We'll be closing the contest at 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, March 17th, and we'll announce a winner the following day.

When you're done, you'll find plenty of friendly Galaxy S4 discussion over in our GS4 forum. Good luck to everyone who enters!

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