Headlines

2 years ago

Facebook app apparently poised for a bit of a refresh

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Looks like Android's Facebook app is getting ready for an update, according to some screen shots leaked to Engadget. Codenamed "Katana" (which was, for as long as we can remember, always been the code name for the app -- it's in the com.facebook.katana package name), navigation, menus and search are getting revamped, and check-ins may get their own standalone icon. 

No word, exactly, on when it will drop, or how long it'll take the inevitable bugfix update to follow.

Source: Engadget

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2 years ago

Google adds Arabic and Hebrew to Voice Search

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Good news for many of our readers in the Middle East: Google has announced that its Voice Search service now recongnizes Hebrew and Arabic if you're in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, the UAE and Israel.  It'll understand Gulf, Levant and Egyptian dialects. And the more people use the service, the better it'll recognize voices in the future. (Google says it used 1 million "utterances" to train the system.)

If you're running a phone with Android 2.2 or above, you're good to go. Otherwise, you'll need to download the Voice Search app from the Market. We've got download links after the break.

Source: Google Mobile blog

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2 years ago

Google confirms no Google Wallet on Galaxy Nexus

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We already knew that Google Wallet wasn't going to be on the Galaxy Nexus, but until now, it was purely speculatory. Unfortunately, Google has confirmed themselves that Wallet won't be on Verizon's Galaxy Nexus, and it was at the behest of Verizon themselves (shocker, I know).

Says Google:

Verizon asked us not to include this functionality in the product.

Yeah, we know it's probably because of that whole ISIS thing, but still, is it too much to ask for a pure Google phone these days?

Source: CNET Also: Verizon Galaxy Nexus forum

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2 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Nexus coming Dec. 9? These documents seem to say so

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While we can't guarantee the validity of this document and e-mail leaked to RootzWiki, if they are true we should be seeing the elusive Verizon Galaxy Nexus this Friday, Dec. 9.  The e-mail and PDF file state that stores will start receiving stock on Dec. 6, which we know is true, and they will have them on the shelves along with whatever fancy promotional materials there are to display Friday. Match that up with the fact that some Verizon stores are already selling accessories, and you have a very plausible situation.  We hope it's true, you all hope it's true, but until we hear someone from Verizon say it on the record we have to go on hope alone.  Hit the jump to see one more image you'll love.

Source: RootzWiki. Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

Verizon reportedly blocking access to Google Wallet on its Galaxy Nexus

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Pop quiz: List, in alphabetical order, all of the Google Nexus phones that officially have access to Google Wallet.

If you aswered the Sprint Nexus S 4G -- and only the Sprint Nexus S 4G -- you're exactly right. And it looks like it might stay that way for the time being. 9 to 5 Google, citing an unnamed source, reports that the Verizon Galaxy Nexus won't have access to Google Wallet, despite that sweet NFC chip tucked into the phone's battery.

And the kicker: Verizon is said to be the one keeping Google Wallet off its Galaxy Nexus. (Never mind that it's a Nexus phone, and remember that we're expecting a couple of Verizon-specific appliations preloaded. We called it Verizon's Nexus for a reason.) And the reason for no Google Wallet on the Galaxy Nexus, according to the anonymous source, is that it's a direct competitor to ISIS, another NFC standard backed by Verizon, along with manufacturers LG, HTC, Motorola, RIM, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.

Oh, and guess who else backs ISIS: AT&T and T-Mobile -- two U.S. carriers that have network-specific versions of the Samsung Nexus S in the United States, which, despite also having NFC capabilities, have no official build of Google Wallet. (Like with the Galaxy Nexus, you can hack Google Wallet on just fine, thank you very much.) Maybe that's just our tinfoil hat talking, but you can't deny that Google Wallet's only officially available on a single phone. 

Source: 9 to 5 Google; More: ISIS
Also: Verizon Galaxy Nexus forum

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2 years ago

Root your BlackBerry Playbook? Now you can with Dingleberry

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Dingleberry, the exploit package that roots the BlackBerry PlayBook (and has one of the coolest names ever) has gone public, and everyone who bought a PlayBook can now root the QNX operating system on the device.  Huge props to the fellows who figured out the exploit, especially because rooting QNX builds isn't a well documented or popular subject.  You gentlemen have a standing offer of an ice cold beer or six anytime I have chance to meet up with you.

But exactly what this means for PlayBook owners remains to be seen.  Much of the "Joy of Root" we see on Android devices is because the OS source code is open, allowing people to modify it to their heart's content.  BlackBerry isn't like that.  RIM keeps a tight reign on everything -- well, most everything -- for financial and (misguided) security reasons.  We've seen the PlayBook run Hulu because it was rooted, and the developers are pretty sure that they can get Netflix running. so that's good news.  Also the ability to load the Android Market again and bypass the re-compiled Android app limits that RIM has imposed will make more than a few happy.  Last, but not least, there's the possibility that root access will open a path to running other operating systems on the device -- like CyanogenMod 9.

The real drawback is that RIM has more control over their OS than Google does.  They will patch this exploit at the kernel level, then force users to update to the patched version in order to use App World and or Desktop Manager.  Another root method may never be found.  We're keeping a close eye on this, and since I don't give a hoot about App World or Desktop Manager, I never have to update.  Next step is to get the Android subsystem rooted, which may open more possibilities.  We'll let you know how this, as well as any prospects to have Android running on the great (and recently cheap) hardware RIM is offering.  Keep an eye on CrackBerry for the news about how this affects the BlackBerry OS side of things.

Source: Dingleberry; via CrackBerry

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2 years ago

Verizon's Galaxy Nexus training materials

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Want to see Verizon's Samsung Galaxy Nexus training materials that are going out to indirect retailers? Sure thing. Gotcha covered. None of this contains and offical release date or official pricing, but it's a fun look at what employees are seeing. Much, much more after the break.

Thanks, anon!
More: Galaxy Nexus Forums

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2 years ago

Favorite Apps, Feeling the heat [From the Forums]

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And we're off to the races with another week. This week, many are hoping to see the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon but time will tell. Of course, you'll have to stay tuned to the Android Central blogs and forums but for now -- take a stroll through the forums and start up some discussions.

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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2 years ago

T-Mobile, Sprint, in internal documents, open up about their Carrier IQ use

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In a pair of unreleased memos seen in the usual spy-shot fashion, Sprint and T-Mobile both have, at least internally, discussed the Carrier IQ saga with their employees. 

The memos discuss the use of Carrier IQ as you'd expect -- as a metrics tool for improving network and device service, and both reiterate that Carrier IQ isn't being used to spy on text messages, phone calls and the like, backing up responses that Carrier IQ recently gave The Verge in an interview.

To wit:

T-Mobile: "T-Mobile does not use the tool to obtain the content of text, email or voice messages, or the specific destinations of customers' Internet activity. It is not used for marketing purposes. T-Mobile uses the Carrier IQ diagnostic tool to gather device data for effective troubleshooting and to increse the overall device and network performance for our customers.

Sprint: "Sprint uses the Carrier IQ data to only understand device performance on our network so we can identify when issues are occuring. ... Even with Carrier IQ, Sprint does not and cannot look at or record contents of messages, photos, videos, etc., nor do we sell or provide a direct feed of Carrier IQ data to anyone outside Sprint.

T-Mobile also details which of its current phones have Carrier IQ installed. You'll want to read the entire memos, which you can find at the source links below. 

Source: TMoNews, SprintFeed; More: The Verge

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2 years ago

Tripit now available for the Kindle Fire

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Tripit is one of the must have apps for frequent travelers. In fact, we recommended it in our Holiday Gift Guide: What to get the Frequent Traveler post. Great news for Kindle Fire owners as the travel app has now made it onto Amazon's Appstore for Android and is specifically designed for Amazon's tablet. (And the ad-free version is free today.)

If you're not familiar with TripIt, it is a free application that manages all of your travel needs. It makes a nice itinerary out of your trip so that you have it available only one-click away, offers sharing services so that you can let your loved ones know where and when you'll be travelling and much more. 

Amazon is selling a lot of Kindle Fires, so it makes sense that popular developers will want to ensure that their apps are available for it so they can reach the widest audience. 

If you have a Kindle Fire and are interested in TripIt, follow this link to the Amazon Appstore for Android. We've got the full press release after the break. 

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