3 years ago

ShopAndroid Daily Giveaway No. 1: Galaxy Snap-On Cover, Galaxy SII Extended Battery & more!


We're kicking off this week's ShopAndroid Daily Giveaway with a closer look at the Qmadix Galaxy Nexus Snap-on Cover, a Rezound Hard Shell, the Seidio Galaxy SII Extended Battery, and the Droid RAZER Case-Mate Tough Case.

Leave a comment stating which one of the featured accessories you'd like to have. We will pick a winner from each daily post Sunday at midnight. Pretty simple, right? Let's get this thing started.

Qmadix Snap-On Cover for Samsung/Verizon Galaxy Nexus

The Qmadix Snap-On Cover is form-fitted to your Samsung or Verizon Galaxy Nexus and features a textured rubberized exterior to allow a firm grip on your device.  The case is lightweight, and fairly thin-- keeping your Galaxy Nexus' slim profile as close as possible.  The Snap-on cover features cutouts for all of the Galaxy Nexus features, and leaves the screen exposed for full functionality. 

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3 years ago

White Galaxy Nexus is official, coming to the UK from Feb. 13


Following reports from some online retailers early last month, we now have official confirmation from Samsung that the white Galaxy Nexus is the real deal, and will be going on sale next week in the UK. Sammy promises that the white (GSM) Galaxy Nexus will be making its way to "a range of stores across the country" from next Monday, Feb. 13.

Like last year's white Nexus S, the white Galaxy Nexus switches up the color of the chassis, rather than the bezel surrounding the screen. That means you'll get a classy white finish on the back and sides of the device, while the front is furnished in the same black glass as the original. Internally, it's the same Galaxy Nexus we all know and love.

So far we've heard nothing about any possible North American release for the white Galaxy Nexus, however our fingers are crossed for the launch of the Sprint LTE version later in the year.

We've got Samsung's press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Pantech Burst review


The Pantech Burst is one of AT&T's latest LTE-enabled handsets, and it's clearly aimed at the first-time or budget-minded smartphone buyer.  That's a huge market, and this is the first time we've seen 4G LTE directed at it.  But two years is a long time, and you're wise to do a little homework before you sign that commitment, no matter how low the up-front cost is.  Hit the break and see what we think of the Pantech Burst.


The Super AMOLED screen is great.  Pantech has done very nice things to Android, while keeping an overall stock feel to things.  The $399 off-contract price is quite a bargain.

The poor battery life while on an LTE network is still a sticking point.  The benefits of a low upfront cost pale when considering the price of the contract.

The Burst is really a nice little phone.  But the other AT&T LTE handsets offer a little more in the way of customizations and features.  If you're going to sign-on for two years, you should get the best product available.  If you're looking for a solid and inexpensive LTE phone for AT&T, and buying outright, that's where the Burst shines.

Inside this review

More info

  • Pantech Burst specs
  • Pantech Burst forums

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3 years ago

DoubleTwist updated again, no longer requires payment for podcast streaming [updated]


Update: As doubleTwist's Monique Farantzos points out, streaming podcasts is now free, but you still have to upgrade to the premium version to download, subscribe and manage podcasts.

Original: Seems that the guys over at doubleTwist have been listening to the comments from the community. The application has been updated again about a week after they first brought in podcast streaming, to remove the necessity to pay for them.

A lot of you out there weren't too impressed by the charge imposed to unlock the podcast feature. Considering you can sync your subscriptions from iTunes for free if you already shelled out for the AirSync add-on, it seemed a little steep. All that is put to bed now though, as with this latest update podcasts are available for all -- which naturally includes the worlds greatest Android podcast. No word on whether or not they intend to refund anyone who did fork out, but we're guessing that not many of you parted with your cash. 

Aside from this, we also get a couple of improvements elsewhere in the app. Fixes come for video and podcast position saving, last.fm scrobbling and general bug fixes. We also get support for the Ice Cream Sandwich lockscreen which is always a welcome addition. You'll find the download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Android Central international round-up - Feb. 5, 2012


It's been another eventful week for Android news around the world. We've seen phone announcements, on-going legal skirmishes between Samsung and Apple, and confirmation that we won't see the Galaxy S III at Mobile World Congress later this month.

We also delivered our list of top European smartphones for the UK and Europe, and gave you the chance to win a HTC Sensation XL just by proving your superior Android knowledge.

Here are a few highlights from the past week in international Android developments --



Got an international story? Tip us at the usual address!

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3 years ago

From the editor's desk - Feb. 5, 2012


It's time to take a little editorial privilege and start a new feature wherein you'll get a few thoughts, ramblings and humblebrags regarding the goings-on here at Android Central, and perhaps the state of Android or the mobile space in general. Don't worry, politics shouldn't rear their ugly head too much. (Is it November yet?) Sports should be a non-issue with football just about over. (Giants-Patriots? Should be a good game. But, still, yawn.) So let's get to it.

  • Mobile Nations Fitness Month: I'm pleasantly surprised by the traction in our new Health and Fitness forum. It's nice to see that a few of our readers appear to be taking up the challenge, too. We've still go a long way to go before we're anywhere near as sexy as CrackBerry Kevin (let alone knowing it), but I'm enjoying the feedback on my daily walk. Don't tell me to give up carbs, though. Not gonna happen.
  • Android Central App Gen. 2: We've gotten back in touch with a number of developers interested in working with us on the next generation of the Android Central app. We're taking our time and doing this right, and we're excited about the possibilities. Everyone (including me) is going to need a little patience here.
  • Paul O'Brien on the Podcast: If you haven't listened yet, Paul O'Brien of MoDaCo joined us on the podcast this week. MoDaCo (and Paul) have been around the mobile space about as long as the space has been around -- I started reading them when I got my first Windows Mobile device lo those many years ago, and it's still a great (and friendly) place for some hacking. It was great to finally "meet" Paul and have him on the podcast. Be sure to give it a listen.
  • Verizon Galaxy Nexus: What a debacle. Google changes a documentation page, and the fit hits the shan. If you're just joining us, it's really much ado about nothing. The Verizon Galaxy Nexus is still supported by Google. And Verizon. Be sure to read Jerry's explanation of what's changed (very little) and how it affects you (not at all). I gave a little thought to how such a badly reported story spread so quickly. Give it a gander. Here's to hoping the Internet does better this week.
  • Mobile World Congress: We're three weeks away from the start of MWC in Barcelona, Spain. We'll have a team there, of course, including myself, Alex Dobie, editor-at-large (and large editor) Simon Sage, plus Kevin from CrackBerry and Dan from WPCentral. Most of the major players already have events scheduled (LG and Samsung are straggling, but that's not to say they won't have something to show). We're not doing posts on every event that gets scheduled, but be sure to bookmark androidcentral.com/mwc to follow all of our MWC stories. We'll toss a schedule on there soon, to help you track what's happening when. Remember that Spain is 6 to 9 hours ahead of the United States, depending on where you live.
  • Android Wallpaper Gallery: Our Free Android Wallpaper Gallery eclipsed 1,000 uploads this week, which is pretty damn awesome. If you haven't yet, be sure to upload and share your favorite wallpapers. We're also featuring one a day during the week on the blog, so look for them in the mornings.
  • Android A to Z: Dunno about you guys, but we're loving this feature. It's an offshoot of the Android Dictionary, wherein we expand on one definition a day. The idea isn't to give a whitepaper view of the nuts and bolts of Android, but more of a top-level, in-plain-English discussion. You can find all of our Android A to Z posts here.

Anyhoo. Yeah. Things are cookin' here at Android Central. Catch ya later.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note now available for pre-order from AT&T and Best Buy


AT&T will begin to take pre-orders today for the Samsung Galaxy Note, the 5.3-inch phablet will be sold in carbon blue or ceramic white, and check in at $299 with a new agreement.  Orders are set to be delivered by Feb. 17, just a bit too late for Valentine's Day.  Also scheduled to be in AT&T stores are a few accessories, notably a desktop docking station, a spare battery charger, and a flip cover case and pen holder.  Speaking of the flip cover, if you head into Best Buy and pre-order your Samsung Galaxy Note they will hook you up with one for free.  Everyone loves free.

The Note is big, bad, and just what a lot of folks are looking for.  It's huge as a phone, but has enough size to it that it could function as a tablet for many.  The lure of carrying one device to cover both use cases is bound to attract quite a few folks, and the fact that LTE data is built into the unit is certainly a big plus.  The rest of the specs are certainly no slouch either.  That 5.3-inch Super AMOLED screen has a 1280x800 HD resolution, there's a 1.5GHZ dual-core processor (word is it's the same Qualcomm as in the Skyrocket), a 2500mAh battery, 1GB of RAM, and Samsung's excellent 8MP camera all running Android 2.3.5.

If you're going to do the deed and sign up to buy one of these big beauties, be sure to head into the forums and join the discussion.  It won't make the wait any shorter, but it might help make it feel that way. 

Preorder: From AT&T | from Best Buy
More: AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note forums

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3 years ago

Best Buy Canada now taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note, pricing starts at $200


We noted Best Buy in the U.S. was taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note and now their Canadian stores have started as well. Although the Canadian release doesn't include any free goodies to go along with it, the price points for the device do vary across carrier with Bell coming out on top in terms of pricing.

  • Bell - $200
  • TELUS - $250
  • Rogers - $300

Those price points are all on new, three-year contracts but that's a given for the Canadian mobile landscape. The Samsung Galaxy Note will be available on Feb. 14th so if you're looking to get your hands on one, head on over to Best Buy and get your pre-orders in.

Source: Best Buy Canada

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3 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Nexus Android 4.0.4 OTA package now available (unofficial)


Android Central member seanmacanally got an OTA notification on his rooted Verizon Galaxy Nexus, and with a little help from the great crew in the forums got the package pulled and uploaded for everyone to play with.  A few caveats:

  • This is only for the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus
  • It's Android 4.0.4 IMM30B
  • You will need to be completely stock with stock recovery to install it as-is

This doesn't seem to be an OTA that's going out in full force, so it very well could be some sort of internal testing version.  Keep that in mind if you flash it -- things may not be working as well as you would hope.  

Manually flashing the OTA package is pretty easy, see the instructions here.  And you're going to need the file, which you can download right here.  Good luck, and have fun!

Source: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Feb 4, 2012


Whether looking to shake things up a bit, or help file your taxes there are plenty of application options available in the Android market. Lucky for you we take the time to check them out and see what's best, so let's hit the break and check out some of our favorites.

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3 years ago

Social GTV brings Twitter to your Super Bowl party [Google TV]


Youtube link for mobile viewing

If you have a Google TV unit of some sort or another, and plan to watch the big game tomorrow, here's a neat app you might want to try.  Social GTV is a small utility that simply creates an overlay on your live television content where Twitter postings can be displayed.  I'm not sure I would want to see a bunch of tweets on my screen while I'm watching a movie with the wife, but I can see how useful (and fun) this could be for things like Presidential election debates and primaries, my favorite series, or live sporting events like the Super Bowl.

Setup looks pretty easy, you just fill in a few fields to let the app know what you want to see, set the position on screen and a background color, then start it up.  Press the live TV button on your Google TV remote, and away you go.  Now when Eli throws a strike to the end zone, or a referee make a questionable call, or the team you're rooting for scores you can see the social side of the Internet celebrate (or hysterically object) in real time.  Sure beats flipping back and forth from the Twitter app to live TV, and will give the same result.  

To use Social GTV you'll need a Google TV (naturally) running Android 3.1 or higher. There's a free version that allows you to pick from the top trending topics, and a paid version for $0.99 that allows you to set things like tweets from specific users, custom hashtags, and @ replies to a specific user.  Both versions have a language filter, which you might need if the Pats are losing and you follow me on Twitter.

Hit the break for a download link.

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3 years ago

'Xperia Sola' trademark hints at another possible Sony handset



In contrast to the letter-based naming scheme that it's using internationally, it seems Sony may be sticking with something a bit more unique for one future device. Following the unveiling of the Xperia Ion at CES, it's emerged today that Sony has filed to trademark the name "Xperia Sola" at the U.S. Trademark and Patents Office, as well as its European counterpart the OHIM.

What such a product might eventually be is anyone's guess. A few possibilities could lie in the recently-leaked international roadmap.

However, the registration of a trademark doesn't guarantee that any product with that name will appear -- we've seen manufacturers snap up trademarks without using them in the past. But we have to admit that the "Xpreia Sola" name would certainly fit in with Sony's established nomenclature.

Any wild guesses about what, if anything, the "Xperia Sola" might turn out to be? Shout out in the comments!

Source: USPTO, OHIM; via: MobileSyrup

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3 years ago

Window Phone developer guru Brandon Watson joins Amazon Kindle team


Brandon Watson, a major player in the resurrection of Microsoft's Windows Phone OS, specifically in his work with developers, has taken a job with Amazon. Watson confirmed his departure Friday on Twitter, and ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley tracked down that he'll be director of the Kindle Cross-Platform Team. Foley says that makes him responsible for for all of the first- and third-party Kindle apps, which would include Android's own Amazon Kindle application.

Said Watson:

The rumors are true. The team is in great hands. I'll miss working on #wpdev. I will [miss] the community, but won't be a stranger.

With a high-profile name like Watson, who was one of Microsoft's biggest cheerleaders for the revived Windows Phone platform (and a hell of a nice dude -- I've met him a couple times), you can't help but wonder what else Amazon has up its sleeve. Amazon's running what is believe to be the most successful forked version of Android with its Kindle Fire e-reader/tablet, along with its wildly successful Amazon Appstore. And now Amazon's picked up some serious Microsoft talent. 

No doubt that if anyone has the traditional manufacturers looking over their shoulders a little bit, especially in the tablet space, it's Amazon. On the other hand, while the Kindle family (and Kindle Fire in particular) may be moving a bunch of units -- up 177 percent over last year -- maybe they looked at Amazon's profit and shrugged. Either way, things are getting interesting.

Source: @brandonwatson, ZDNet; via WPCentral

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3 years ago

Path for Android updated for proper 720p displays, adds Tumblr sharing


The Android Path application got itself a sizable update on Friday, bringing proper support for high-resolution 720p displays, as well as the ability to post to Tumblr blogs. Here's the full changelog for Version 2.0.30:

New features:

  • Full settings screen
  • Moon phases when sleeping
  • Share to Tumblr
  • Support for 320x480 screens
  • Support for 720x1280 screens (i.e. XHDPI)

Fixes and changes

  • Better friend invite screens
  • Cosmetic enhancements
  • Improved scrolling performance on feed screen
  • Tapping menu soft key now directly displays full menu
  • Various bug fixes

If you haven't tried Path yet, think of it as sort of a Foursquare check-in app (minus the gamification) crossed with a small scale Facebook -- a smaller, more intimate circle of friends. And Version 2.0 of Path is gorgeous. 

The addition of a full settings menu is nice because now you won't have to log in from a desktop browser just to change notifications, or your name or other details. The ability to share activities to Tumblr is a nice addition as well. (Can Google give up some Google+ API love already?) But probably the biggest update is support for 720x1280 displays -- ie the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, HTC Rezound, LG Optimus LTESamsung Galaxy Note -- and countless other phones to come. (That probably makes the addition 320x480 display support seem a bit inadequate, but we're not going to complain about an app adding more resolutions -- as well it should.) Before this update for 720p, Path worked fine, but the on-screen buttons were tiny, like the bad old days when you'd jack up your monitor beyond any usable resolution. It worked, but it was tough. This is a welcome change.

Head into the Android Market for the update, or we've got download links after the break.

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