Recent Articles | Android Central

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

Headlines

3 years ago

Sony releases motiongraph animated .GIF creator app

12

Sony has many divisions, one of them being Sony Digital Network Applications (SDNA), that are always working on cool projects. Today Sony released one of these projects, an animated .GIF creator called motiongraph, into the Play Store. The basic premise of this app is to create animated pictures, but ones that may not have the entire image in motion. You can take a short video of a subject, then select a certain portion to be animated while the rest stays put.

Pricing will vary by location, but here in the U.S. we're looking at $0.99, and Sony has quoted the U.K. price at £0.83. Stick around after the break to see a demo video of the app in action as well as the full press release.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Republic Wireless devices now shipping, $19 a month gets all you can eat

18

Republic Wireless is now shipping out the phones many have pre-ordered, and the $19 monthly hybrid network is up and running, ready to go. After a beta period where users had a chance to try a modified LG Optimus One, the retail Motorola Defy XT units will soon be in customers hands, including ours.

This isn't about specs, or playing the high-end phone of the month game. This is geared towards folks who want reliable service from their smartphone, and don't want to pay 75 to 100 dollars a month for it. Republic offers unlimited voice, text, and data for the $19 monthly fee, and the handset itself has an up front cost of $249, making a years service cost just $477 -- about five months worth of service from one of the big four on a contract. 

It works by using a hybrid tech of VoIP and cellular for voice, text, and data. When you're in range of a Wifi hotspot or router, you use it for calls and data. When you're not in Wifi range, you are using the Sprint 3G network. There is nothing for the end user to fiddle with, it just works. It's something new and disruptive, and something that is new and disruptive is exactly what the US telco situation needs.

We're very curious how well this new system is going to work, and our demo unit is out for delivery. I'll be seeing how it all handles things in various settings and locations, and see what it takes to break it. Here's hoping Republic can shake up the status quo a little bit. There's a video and press release after the break, and you can learn more at the link below.

More: Republic Wireless

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Verizon releases Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean support docs, update on the way

22

It was just a matter of time before we got something official out of Verizon indicating that its Samsung Galaxy SIII (S3) would be receiving a Jelly Bean update. Verizon has just published support documentation regarding that very update, and it says that Jelly Bean is on its way to a handset near you. The update is apparently just 62MB, and will be coming OTA (Over The Air) instead of via Kies -- exactly as it should.

Along with all of the usual Android 4.1 goodies -- like Google Now and expandable notifications -- Verizon indicates that this update brings Isis Mobile Wallet and also unlocks global roaming on the device. There are a whole host of bugfixes included as well, from Email sync to the Wifi connection. Take a look at the source links for Verizon's support docs, and then hit the forums to see what other members are saying about the OTA.

Update: And ... Verizon has reverted the support, say the folks in our forums. Messin' with our emotions!!!

Source: Verizon Support; (2); via Verizon Galaxy S3 Forums

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Google Currents updated with UI improvements, widget

16

Google's own news reading aggregation platform, Currents, is receiving an update today with pretty much a complete UI overhaul. When first launching the app, you're now greeted by your news stream. In new Google design fashion, you have a main page, and a navigation bar comes in from the left side to help you select other stories and categories. You can swipe left or right between panels to switch categories, or within an article view to switch between articles. There's also a new widget that's similar to previous Google widgets (like the YouTube one) that let's you flip through cards of recent stories.

More: Get Android Central on Google Currents

Overall the UI is a big departure from what Google was trying to do with Currents in its initial release. This UI feels much more like a "power user" interface more suited to the crowd using Google Reader to aggregate RSS currently. It loses a lot of flare and goes back to the general Google style of efficient minimalism.

You can grab a download at the Play Store link above, and we've got a couple screenshots of the new UI and widget for you to look at after the break. Google has also run through a few details on the update on its Android blog, you can find it at the source link below.

Source: Official Android Blog

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Note 2 bootloader unlock now available

12

Well that certainly didn't take very long. The folks over at XDA, as they like to do, have unlocked the Verizon Galaxy Note 2 bootloader. You'll need to jump through a few hoops and have some patience to get through it all, but if you're willing to do it there's a pretty granular walkthrough at the source link below. Before you do, remember to hack at your own risk -- bad things can happen when you start messing around with this stuff.

Unlocking the bootloader still won't get rid of that big 'ol Verizon logo on the home button, though. You'll need a sticker for that job.

Source: XDA

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE (EE UK) mini-review

10

If you have any business reading this website, chances are you’ve at least heard of the Samsung Galaxy S3. Samsung’s curvaceous, nature-inspired flagship smartphone has sold over 30 million units worldwide, and is our top recommendation for buyers in the U.S. and international markets.

But when the S3 was released internationally this spring, it lacked 4G LTE network connectivity. That wasn’t a huge deal at the time, but in the latter half of 2012, support for burgeoning European LTE networks is increasingly seen as a necessity.

So here we have the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, also known as the GT-i9305. Of all the various Galaxy S3 models we’ve seen this year -- and there’ve been a few -- this one packs the greatest punch. It couples Samsung’s quad-core Exynos chip with 2GB of RAM and European LTE connectivity, and it’s running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box.

In the UK, the Galaxy S3 LTE is available on the EE (Everything Everywhere) network alongside its big brother the Galaxy Note 2 LTE. We’ve been testing the S3 LTE out on EE’s 4G network in recent days, and we’ve prepared a few thoughts on the phone and the network.

Check past the break to find out more in our EE Galaxy S3 LTE mini-review.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

The best free games for Android

72

We’ve compiled our favorite free strategy games, shooter games, sports games, action games, role-playing games, racing games, board games, simulation games, word games, and puzzle games for Android.

Lucky for us cheapskates, Google Play is chock-full of excellent free games. It can be hard to find them sometimes, and you’ve got to weather a barrage of prompts to pay for in-app purchases in the process, but ultimately it’s possible to have a ton of fun on your Android phone or tablet without spending a dime.

Now, a lot of these I’ve pulled from my list of favorite iOS games, but there are more than a few unique entries here, particularly among the NVIDIA-optimized titles. Like I said, the vast majority of these will have in-app purchases, which may be a deal-breaker for some of you. I’ve also excluded lite versions of games, since they rarely provide a rewarding experience on their own without an upgrade.

So, if you’re looking to stock up on Android games, take a look and get downloading.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Sprint in talks to acquire the other 49 percent of Clearwire

17

Reports are indicating that Sprint will finally buy out the remaining 49-percent of Clearwire that it doesn't already own. Sprint finally took a controlling stake in Clearwire back in October, which gave the number 3 carrier in the U.S. some more options when it came to deploying its LTE network. Buying the rest of Clearwire would once and for all end the uneasy partnership between the companies, letting Sprint have its way with all of the spectrum holdings Clearwire has.

At its current stock price, Clearwire is worth about $1.8 billion. That's not quite the whole story though, as Clearwire isn't a profitable business at this point and carries lots of debt. The rest of the buyout is now possible regardless, with a large inflow of cash coming as part of Softbank's controlling investment in Sprint, which will bring about $8 billion to spend. Those issues aside, Sprint is in deep enough at this point that it needs to just finish out the deal and own Clearwire completely.

Source: WSJ

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Countdown to Christmas sale this Wednesday through Friday - Save 15% on ALL Android Accessories!

0
3 years ago

The Fuhu Nabi XD is a full-feature 10-inch tablet designed for tweens, and it starts at $249

22

Looking for a tablet for an older child, but don't want to spend a fortune on it? How about one that has pretty good specs, an optional silicon folio keyboard case, and is complete with parental controls right out of the box -- for just $249. Enter the Nabi XD.

It is a Tegra 3 tablet, complete with 10-inch IPS display, Wifi, Bluetooth and NFC, and running a custom version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The Nabi XD also has a pretty slick design, with an all aluminum two toned chassis and flared corners. Some of us will think it's a bit gaudy, but keep in mind it's designed for kids who will likely appreciate a trendy look. 

The software, known as the Kanzi UI, also sounds interesting. It ships complete with parental controls that cover just about everything. Besides the standard browser rules and privacy applications, the Nabi XD allows parents to decide when applications are available to the user based on time. Set it up so that games are hidden while your kids are supposed to be studying, their place is instead taken by productivity and reference apps. The kids might hate it, but plenty of parents won't. There is no word on whether or not the Google Play store is on-board.

To make up for it, Nabi has also designed what they are calling "Battle KINABIs" -- small figurines that sync with the tablet and can level up and battle each other. Sounds a bit like Monster Rancher or Pokemon, which should be a hit for the kids as well as older siblings (and dad) when nobody is looking.

The Nabi XD will be available in late December for a limited release, with a nationwide launch in the middle of January. The 16 GB model will be priced at $249, and the 32 GB checks in at a suggested price of $349. The folio cover and other accessories will also be available in January, with prices ranging from $19.99 and up. Hit the break for another view of the Nabi XD, and the full press release.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Nexus 4 factory images, binaries disappear from Google site

20

In slightly puzzling news, Google appears to have pulled the Nexus 4 Android 4.2.x system images from its online repository of factory images. These files allow devices to be restored to their original state, so if something goes wrong when flashing a ROM or otherwise tinkering with your phone, there's an easy way back to stock.

Factory images for other Android 4.2 devices, such as the Nexus 10, Nexus 7, Nexus 7 3G and Galaxy Nexus remain on Google's site, so it'd appear whatever caused them to be withdrawn is specific to the Nexus 4.

Our best guess is that this might relate to the LTE situation on the Nexus 4. By changing a hidden setting, it's possible to use the N4 on LTE networks running on Band 4 (AWS), though this is not officially documented or approved by regulators. And that last part may be key -- if Google is preparing to patch this hidden LTE option out of the Nexus 4 -- as it'd be required to do to avoid falling foul of bodies like the FCC -- then clearing out earlier factory images might simply be a precaution. It's possible Google's looking to keep regulators happy by making it harder to find the earlier radio code that enabled this unlicensed LTE functionality. That's just speculation on our part, however, there may be a much more innocuous explanation.

In any case, we'll keep you posted on any further developments.

Update: Should have checked this the first time, but binaries are gone as well. They were there before, right?

Source: Nexus Factory Images; via: theandroidsoul

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Wifi-only Galaxy Note 10.1 gets Jelly Bean, starting in Germany

17

Hot on the heels of the Wifi and HSPA+ Galaxy Note 10.1, the Wifi-only model (GT-N8010) is today receiving its update to Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. The over-the-air update package, which tips the scales at around 300MB, is now rolling out to Wifi-only Note 10.1 tablets in Germany. As is always the case with Samsung updates, other territories are likely to follow in the days and weeks ahead.

The Android 4.1.1 update for the Note 10.1 introduces well-known Jelly Bean features like expandable notifications, Google Now and "Project Butter" performance tweaks, along with "Premium Suite" enhancements from Samsung. These include a re-vamped multi-window feature with support for windowed apps, as well as "easy clip" for capturing areas of the screen, and a redesigned S Note app.

If you're seeing the update notification waiting on your Galaxy Note 10.1 this morning, hit the comments let us know how the upgrade's going for you.

Source: XDA, SamMobile

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

HTC announces three-year partnership with UEFA

12

HTC has announced that it'll become the official smartphone partner of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, as part of a three-year deal that'll begin in January and span the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons. The deal means fans will be seeing a lot more of HTC's branding and devices, and the company promises "to deliver new and innovative ways for fans around the world to get closer to the action," both in-stadium and remotely via mobile devices. 

As part of the deal, HTC will also become official smartphone partner of the UEFA Super Cup Final in 2013 and 2014, and the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Scoring a partnership with Europe's leading club football (or soccer, if you insist) competitions is a big deal for HTC, which has witnessed a downturn in its revenues over the past year. A recent executive switch-up brought in a new CMO, with the aim of re-vamping HTC's marketing efforts for its next round of smartphones, expected in early 2013. HTC will surely be hoping that its new UEFA partnership will bring some pizzazz to its brand.

More details and obligatory executive quotes in the presser after the break.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Linux 3.7 is official, paves the way for cross-platform ARM kernels

4

Android is essentially Linux. There are a lot of qualifiers there, and Linux devotees will argue the semantics, but it is generally accepted to be a Linux distribution in the same vein as Debian or Ubuntu. This is why we pay special attention to what the contributors and maintainers of the Linux kernel are up to.

With version 3 of Linux comes better ARM processor support. With version 3.7, that support is almost complete -- which is great news for anyone interested in building a reusable ARM kernel. People like Samsung, or LG, or your favorite Android hacker.

As things stand now, it's fairly easy to build a modular kernel that runs on an X86 device. Those are traditional desktops and laptop computers, ATOM netbooks, and a few smart appliances. But folks working on Linux for ARM devices have had to build and port a kernel for each type of ARM processor, like the Exynos or OMAP SoCs. With a generic ARM kernel, those days will be a thing of the past.

We're not quite there yet, as the 3.7 release only supports a handful of chips from companies like Marvell or Picohip. These are the chips you will generally find on development boards, but Linux founder and guru Linus Torvalds has said that support for many more chips is coming in the next few releases. Once this is accomplished, and Android gets up to speed (Google and their OEM partners usually run about 3 versions behind the current stable), we should see a much more fluid way to support newer devices, and newer software on older devices. 

Source: LKML; via Ars Technica

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Daily news roundup: December 11, 2012

0

 

 

What a big day for news of all types in the Android world. We wouldn't hold it against you if a couple of these stories slipped past you throughout the day. Luckily, we've started doing news roundups so you don't miss a thing. Take a gander at today's and get caught up.

All that hardware news

Industry talk

Software and app updates

Reviews and editorial content

See everyone bright and early tomorrow!

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages