Recent Articles | Android Central

Galaxy Note 7 recall info | Shop Chromebooks: Asus Flip | Acer 14 | Dell 13

Headlines

3 years ago

HTC to retire 'quietly brilliant' tagline as marketing strategy becomes bolder

22

With HTC's recent trolling of the Galaxy S4 launch event -- not to mention new features with brash names like "BoomSound" and "UltraPixel" -- it's seemed that the company's been moving away from the "quietly brilliant" tagline it adopted back in 2009.

Now newly-appointed HTC CMO Benjamin Ho has confirmed that the manufacturer will be dropping the "quietly brilliant" slogan as it looks to adopt a bolder marketing strategy. Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Ho said “we have a lot of innovations but we haven’t been loud enough.” He added that HTC would increase its digital marketing budget by 250 percent this year, and boost its "traditional media" marketing spending by 100 percent.

Ho also confirmed that camera component shortages had been behind the delayed HTC One launch, though this, he claimed, was due to its custom design rather than HTC no longer being seen as a tier-one OEM.

2013 will be a make or break year for HTC, as it attempts to reverse a downward trend in its financial performance brought on by increased competition from Samsung and Apple. The company's hopes rest on the new HTC One handset, and CEO Peter Chou is even reported to have said he'll step down if the phone isn't a success. Early indications, including our own first-hand experience with the device, suggest the new One is indeed an impressive smartphone, but HTC will have to back this up with smart marketing if it's to stage a turnaround.

The HTC One will become available this week in the UK, Germany and Taiwan ahead of a broader international launch in April. For more on the phone, check out our full review.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Start your week with the Greatest Android Podcast in the World!

0

Now we're not usually ones to toot our own horns -- oh, but what the hell, Thursday night's episode of the Android Central Podcast was pretty damn good. Fireworks, explosions, heated discussions about, well, everything. More HTC One. More Galaxy S4. Google kills some beloved products while announcing others. Plus, we (finally) got caught up on your e-mails and voicemails.

The Android Central Podcast is your weekly peek into the world of Android, where we break down the news that really matters, and explain what's just a bunch of hype. Plus, we answer your e-mails and voicemails. You don't want to miss it. Check out the Android Central Podcast.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Sony Xperia ZL officially priced in the U.S.

16

The Sony Xperia ZL has been listed for pre-order at Sony's U.S. store for some time, but today brings the first official word on pricing for the North American Sony flagship. According to Sony's store listing page, two models will be offered. The first, C6502, will come with pentaband HSPA+ connectivity, whereas the more expensive C6506 will pack those same radios in addition to LTE on Bands 2, 4, 5 and 17. That should get you up and running on AT&T's LTE, as well as T-Mobile's when it launches -- along with a bunch of Canadian carriers.

Unfortunately neither model will be cheap -- the HSPA+ version will sell for $720, while its LTE-capable sibling will cost a whopping $760. Nevertheless, with no carrier deals in sight, it appears this is the only way you'll be able to get your hands on an Xperia ZL in the U.S.

On the hardware side, the Xperia ZL mirrors its international cousin the Xperia Z. Inside there's a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 1080p display, as well as Sony's new 13-megapixel Exmor RS camera. However the ZL trades water resistance and an all-glass design for a smaller footprint, a more ergonomic fit and a physical camera button. For more on the Euro-centric Xperia Z, be sure to check out our full review.

Source: Sony Store

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Steve 'Cyanogen' Kondik leaves Samsung

51

Image: SF Android User Group

CM​ founder 'decided to do something new,' offers thoughts on Galaxy S4

In a Google+ post this morning, CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik offered some of his thoughts on Samsung's new Galaxy S4, before revealing that he's recently left the software engineering job he took at the company just over 18 months ago. In a further G+ comment, Kondik said his exit wasn't "because of anything in particular," adding "Samsung was great. Just decided to do something new."

On the S4 itself, he had praise for the new phone's hardware, saying " the device actually feels quite a bit more solid than the S3" and claiming "specwise, this device blows the competition out of the water." But on the software side, Kondik was critical of Samsung's latest TouchWiz UI. While "more consistent" than earlier iterations, he says, the new TouchWiz's fully tabbed UI "feels like it has been sent a few years back in time to the Froyo days."

The CM founder also had mixed opinions on some of the S4's new features. He praised the touchless "hover" preview capabilities and multi-window support, but said that the eye-tracking "smart scroll" feature "mostly serves to anger me into disabling it." In summary, Kondik called the Galaxy S4 a "solid device" and a "clear choice" for those upgrading from a Galaxy S2. S3 owners, he said, should feel "right at home."

There weren't any real clues as to where Steve Kondik might end up next, but we're sure we're not alone in hoping there's more Android in his future. Best of luck to Steve in his future endeavors!

You can read Steve Kondik's post in full over at the source link.

Source: +Steve Kondik

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Thumbs-on with Moga Pro Android gaming controller

10

PowerA was showing off their new Moga Pro controller at PAX East 2013 and we played a few rounds of Dead Trigger with it. The controller was first announced at CES as a bigger, console-grade accessory for Android gamers. Like usual, the device pairs up over Bluetooth and uses the Pivot application to showcase Moba-optimized apps.

There's also the extendable bracing arm for your device, but tucked underneath is a new switch for enabling HID mode. That makes the Moga Pro a fine choice for games that make use of the standard format. The internal battery should offer upwards of 15 hours of gameplay. 

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Magic 2014 coming soon to Android

5

Look, we all know that you have a really bitchin' black/blue Magic: The Gathering deck tucked somewhere in the closet from high school, so it's okay if you're a little excited that the famous trading card game is finding its way to Android devices later this year. We got some time to play it at PAX East 2013, and it proved to be as reliable a game as its predecessor.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

T-Mobile's new no-contract rate plans now available

72

T-Mobile has been planning on moving solely to no-contract plans for several months now, and today is the day they go into effect. Clicking on over to T-Mobile's website reveals no-contract plans as your only option to receive service, with some seriously competitive pricing. The default plan setup is one that offers 1 line of service, with unlimited talk, text, and data -- which is throttled (to 2G speeds) after 500MB -- for $50 per month. You can then slide up the scale of data in 2GB increments from 500MB to 12GB. Each bump in data adds $10 to the monthly plan, so the range is $50 for 500MB up to $110 for 12GB of data, with hotspot/tethering included in the price at each level. Hit the break for more details

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Android Advanced: USB OTG on the Nexus 4

52

Owners of previous Nexus devices have enjoyed the ability to directly connect to USB flash drives and other peripherals using USB OTG (On The Go). The online help manual for the Nexus 4 originally said it would also have this feature, until Google removed it, instead suggesting the use of Bluetooth accessories. Many speculated about why this happened, and wondered if this was a hardware limitation or simply something missing from the software.

Thanks to the proof of concept by CaptainMuon and the subsequent work of ziddey at XDA Developers, we now have a clearer picture of exactly what went wrong with the Nexus 4's OTG capabilities, as well a working solution for those still wanting connectivity to things like thumb drives, mice, and keyboards.

This is no simple app install - root is required, as well as modifying your phone's software. No hardware modifications to the phone itself are needed, but you will need a special cable, which can be purchased or built at home. Ready to jump in? Hit the break for the complete guide.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Ravensword Shadowlands: This is what a mobile RPG should look like

1

NVIDIA has a long history of pairing up with game developers to make games that look great on devices running its chipsets, and there's no better way to show it off than with an RPG. Ravensword: Shadowlands is a follow-up to the original Ravensword: The Fallen King, and surely doesn't disappoint in the gameplay or graphics departments.

Hang around with us after the break to learn a little more about Ravensword: Shadowlands, the latest RPG (Role Playing Game) to hit TegraZone.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Whoops - I bought a BlackBerry

156

We've reached one of those crossroads in which we've got all sorts of things to talk about, but not a whole lot to show for it, and it's as frustrating for us as as writers as it is for you as readers.

We could go on all day about the HTC One. (And, no, we're not done poring over it just yet, so expect a few more features this week.) We could talk till the cows come home about the Galaxy S4. But the fact of the matter is -- at least for those of us here in the States -- you can't actually buy one yet. Europe's getting the HTC One this week. We've still got a month (more or less) before the Galaxy S4 goes on sale anywhere -- and remember that we have no hard and firm dates from any U.S. operators yet. 

Point is, this job is so much more fun (and easier, too), when we all have our hands in the honey pot, getting sticky together. (Ed. Note: Ewwwww. Gross. Ed. Note 2: You just put an editor's note in a first-person editor's column. What the hell, Phil?) Here's to hoping we all get sexy slabs of aluminum and plastic sooner rather than later.

OK, I do have one new phone on my desk this week that anyone else can have, too. I bought my first BlackBerry.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

From the Android Forums: Unlocking and root

12

Justiceanthony asks in the Android Central Forums:

Hi all,
I'm new here. I'm looking to buy a new Note 2 for the third time (yeah, I lost the first one and gave the second to my girlfriend). Someone is selling one to me here in Ghana , and it was previously locked to O2 (UK network), it's now been unlocked and my question is whether it's been automatically rooted since it's unlocked. I wouldn't mind a rooted phone since I would like a little more "freedom" . thnx to you all.

First things first -- welcome to AC justiceanthony!

Now to the question. No, SIM unlocking a Note 2 (or any Android phone) does not automatically root it. SIM unlocking is a built-in tool that uses a key to activate. It's done outside of any modification to the firmware, like rooting. Having said that, sometimes the opposite is true, and a root method that unlocks the bootloader will also SIM unlock the phone.

This begs for an explanation about the different uses of the word unlock and root. Lets do that.

Root: Rooting an Android phone is simply adding a file to the system that allows other apps to elevate their permissions and read, write, and execute anything on your device. In this case, anything means anything -- if it is user editable or actionable, you can do it with root. This is both powerful and dangerous, so be sure to get all the answers and be clear on the subject before you do it.

SIM or Network Unlocking: This allows a phone bought for use on a particular network to be used on another network. If you buy a phone designed to only work on Orange (or AT&T for an American example), to use it on any other network, you will need to unlock the SIM programming. This is what Justiceanthony has done in the example above, as he wants to use an O2 phone on his carrier in Ghana. It's done without rooting or modifying any firmware in your phone or tablet.

Remember, the networks have to be compatible. A phone with radios designed for one carrier may not provide 3G or 4G service on another, and sometimes they won't work at all.

Bootloader Unlocking: All Android devices ship with a locked bootloader. Some are very easy to unlock, like Nexus devices, some need a little hacking to unlock (like most Samsung devices), and some are encrypted and designed to be very difficult to unlock (hello, Moto). Bootloader unlocking allows you to flash (write to your phone's "hard drive") image files that haven't been signed with the official key from the folks who made your phone or tablet. A locked bootloader can flash a new recovery provided in an OTA update because the recovery was signed with the right key. It will fail to flash a custom recovery like ClockWorkMod. An unlocked bootloader will flash anything that fits, as long as you tell it to. Once a custom recovery (or sometimes a "Super" boot image) is flashed, you can install and erase custom built system firmware at will. Again, this means you need to do your homework before you start fiddling with things. Use the forums. Read, ask questions, and read some more.

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Hi-Q MP3 Voice Recorder, NCAA March Madness Live, WeVideo and more!

12

Weekly app picks. You want 'em, we got 'em. We're a little short on app choices this week, but we think the ones that are here are worth mentioning. As a good follow-up to last week's post we have another voice recorder, and March Madness is on so we've got something for the basketball fans as well.

Hang around with us after the break and see how we did with this week's picks.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

International roundup: New Sony phones, our HTC One review and Galaxy S4 chips

7

  

In the week that we reviewed the new HTC One, there was quite the gathering of stories from other major manufacturers. Samsung dropped a Snapdragon 600-shaped bomb on chipset-conscious UK fans. Sony finally took the wraps off its interesting new mid-ranger, the Xperia SP. And the LG Nexus 4 showed its face once again in the UK and Germany.

Check out some of the bigger international Android stories of the week after the break.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

First generation ASUS Padfone gets bumped up to Jelly Bean

7

While we may be waiting on the arrival of the new ASUS Padfone Infinity, it could be easy to forget about the first generation Padfone. The one that started it all for ASUS and their phone/tablet hybrid range first properly appeared back at MWC 2012, but ASUS sure hasn't forgotten about it. An update is now available for the device which bumps it up to Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. 

Currently, two variations on the update are out in the wild, a worldwide version and a Chinese version. There are a few ASUS specific improvements bundled in, such as improved File Manager, camera functions, scrapbook functions and supporting NTFS and EX FAT format SD cards. But, ultimately the headline is all about Jelly Bean, and the improvements it brings along such as Project Butter and Google Now. 

It's a hefty update, weighing in at 579MB, and download links for both versions can be found at the source link below. 

Source: ASUS

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Samsung rumored to have full-sized octa-core Galaxy Tab 3 Plus with a Super AMOLED HD display in the works

35

Raise your hand if you didn't think Samsung had a high-end 10-inch tablet in the works for this year. We all knew it had to be coming, and a source tells SamMobile that it should have the specs that put it at the top of the tablet heap for a while. The rumored Galaxy Tab 3 Plus will have an octa-core Exynos 5 CPU, a Super AMOLED Full HD display of either 10.1-inches or 11.6-inches, and dazzle our eyes with a high-resolution screen. Currently there are two supposed prototypes floating around out there, and the screen size has not been finalized.

Samsung killed it with the ultra-high res PLS display on the Nexus 10, but plenty of folks out there prefer the deep, wet blacks and saturated colors of AMOLED. If this rumor turns out to be true, those folks (myself included) might be buying a new tablet this summer. 

We'll keep our ears open, and if anything develops from this we'll let you know.

Source: SamMobile

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages