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3 years ago

Google Play gift card redemption now showing in some Play store apps

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Some users with the 3.8.16 version of Google Play are seeing the "Redeem" entry show up in their menu, pushing us that much closer to live Google Play gift cards. This is happening with no hacking or tearing apart apk files, but not every phone is seeing it yet. Case in point -- my HTC One X has the right version, but the menu entry is missing, while my Galaxy Nexus has it.

We're pretty certain that it's something server side, and until the gift cards start hitting stores en masse, there's no reason to fret if you aren't seeing it just yet. We're excited though, as gift cards are something that's been on our wishlist for quite a while. 

To check if your phone is ready for them, just fire up the Google Play app and open the overflow menu. Feel free to shout out in the comments if you're seeing it, and of course any ideas to force it to happen will be welcome. There's a screenshot after the break of the page itself.

Thanks, Ben!

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3 years ago

HotSpot software setups, AOKP Jelly Bean Style [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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3 years ago

T-Mobile appears poised to offer truly unlimited data

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This is big. Really big. Based on the above leaked document (and assuming it's legit), it seems as though T-Mobile is poised to start offering unlimited data starting September 5th. You're saying wait, doesn't T-Mobile already offer "unlimited" data? Notice the lack of quotes around unlimited. We're talking completely unthrottled, uncapped, unlimited data available to any T-Mobile customer on a Classic Plan or Value Plan, for the simple price of $30 or $20, respectively. On both plans, that's only a $10 bump from the basic 2GB plan, which after that point is throttled to about 60 kbps download and 150 kbps upload. The only caveat, it seems, is that these new unlimited plans are not compatible with T-Mobile's Mobile HotSpot add-on. Those who want to go legit and pay for tethering on their plan will still be limited to 5 GB and 10 GB data tiers, at least for now.

If the above picture doesn't make you giddy as a schoolgirl, it really should. The combination of a T-Mobile Value Plan with completely unlimited data and an unlocked Galaxy Nexus from the Play Store is something smartphone nerds have wet dreams about. T-Mobile's Value Plans, if you're not familiar, are the exact same as their Classic Plans, but are cheaper and do not offer a device subsidy. This is perfect for those of us who like to buy and switch phones all the time, and don't want to keep paying the carrier for a device subsidy we didn't use. The unlimited data is just icing on the cake here, especially when we consider that T-Mobile is rolling out 42mbps HSPA+ pretty much nationwide at this point.

If true, this really could be a fantastic option for a lot of people who want truly unlimited data at speeds that are actually acceptable, unlike what we've seen from Sprint as of late.

Source: TmoNews

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3 years ago

Exclusive: International Samsung Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update coming next week

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Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update to arrive shortly after Unpacked event on Aug. 29

The international Samsung Galaxy S3 (GT-i9300) will have its update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean launched next week after the company's Mobile Unpacked event in Berlin, Android Central can exclusively reveal. Sources familiar with Samsung's plans inform us that the firmware is in the final stages of testing. The current schedule calls for the release of the international S3 Jelly Bean update shortly after the Samsung Mobile Unpacked event in Berlin, Germany next Wednesday, Aug. 29. That's the same event at which we're expecting to see Samsung's Galaxy Note successor. Following the event, we understand the update will roll out in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom.

As we revealed during our teardown of a leaked Jelly Bean build, the update will introduce familiar Jelly Bean features like the redesigned notification shade and Google Now. In addition, it'll include new TouchWiz features like "dormant mode" for better notification and alert management, as well as "easy mode" for simplified home screen operation.

As for the U.S. and Canada, we have no information on when the LTE-capable Snapdragon S4-powered Galaxy S3 variants can expect their Jelly Bean update, but we're sure Samsung will be just as keen to deliver speedy Android 4.1 upgrades for customers in North America too.

Regardless, international S3 owners should have reason to celebrate in a little over a week's time, as Samsung turns around a major Android OS update in record time. It certainly wouldn't be the first time the manufacturer's delivered a product on announcement -- last week it announced and launched the Galaxy Note 10.1 on the same day in New York City.

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3 years ago

Get the latest Android Forums threads on Google Currents

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Google Currents continues to be that sleeper hit of the past year -- we just eclipsed 611,000 subscribers -- and we've just added another section that makes it that much sweeter.

With more than 900,000 members, Android Central's Android Forums are a key (and, if I may add, unusually friendly) source of information when it comes figuring stuff out. Need help rooting? The forums have you covered. Want to chat up the latest leak? That's where it's going down. 

Tonight, we've added our Android Forums to our Google Currents subscription. You'll be able to get all the latest forum threads just as soon as they're started. It's a fast and furious feed, to be sure. But it's an amazing tool that you'll want to be sure to check out.

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3 years ago

Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich for the HTC Thunderbolt leaks out

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Although Woz and some others might not think highly of the HTC Thunderbolt, there is still a lot of folks out there making use of the device today. Verizon and HTC are preparing an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update to appease the masses but if you simply cannot wait you now have another option available. Team BAMF has gotten ahold of the official Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for the HTC Thunderbolt if you're feeling adventurous.

The ROM is marked as build number 7.00.605.2 and includes Sense 3.6 as well as some new styling changes and the inclusion of the 'Quick Settings' tab. One thing to keep in mind is the that if you're rooted currently and want to stay that way, you'll want to avoid this for now but if you care nothing about all of that, you can jump right in and give it a go.

Just remember, 'official' in this case isn't really official from Verizon sent via OTA so there may be some unknown dragons ahead. Also, the team BAMF site seems a little under pressure at the moment so you might want to wait for some mirrors of the file.

Source: Team BAMF

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3 years ago

Jury in Apple v. Samsung given instructions and prepares for deliberation

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The latest Apple v. Samsung case is winding down (hooray!) and the jury was given a huge list of instructions in court today to prepare them for their deliberation. Barring any last-minute changes, the jury should cloister tomorrow and start their decision making, wrapping up this particular battle in the patent holy-war. We have no idea how things will work out, and it's very likely that neither side will get what they wanted, but we can be sure that the cost of it all will be paid by us consumers in the long run. We're just glad that this means we'll get a break from ZOMG PATENTS!! being plastered all over the Internet for a little bit. 

I read through the written document of jury instructions (all 109 grueling pages of it) and it's all pretty standard. One thing did catch my eye that's worth sharing -- jurors have received an unspecified number of unspecified devices to use in their deliberations. We're not sure exactly what devices or how many, but the screenshots that remind jurors not to accept any software updates on the Android devices are of a Samsung Droid Charge. We can be sure the iOS phones will have a 3.5-inch screen, a huge bezel, and a round button, though. I'll let you pore over the instructions yourself, here's a pdf file of them. Keep caffeine handy.

I am glad that jurors have a chance to actually hold the devices in their hands when trying to decide if one looks like the other. Too often court documents are fabricated with the app drawer open on Samsung devices to make them look more like an iOS device, so jurors need a chance to see just how the appear to the user -- not the lawyer. 

This round is winding down, and all that's left is the verdict, and the weeks worth of online analysis about how it was wrong, how the jury should have seen things, and how one side sucks more than the other. Oh, and the inevitable appeals. 

Then we can brace ourselves for the next round.

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3 years ago

Mushroom Age review - handing kids time-traveling cell phones

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Mushroom Age has recently ported its iOS adventure game to Android, offering a younger audience a chance to jump into a world time travel, mystery, and puzzle-solving.

Mushroom Age is ultimately a game of finding hidden objects interspersed with simple puzzles. Tasks can be as simple as finding a single object, but may involve multiple steps, like finding a light bulb so you can see inside of a toolshed to get gas for the lawnmower, so you can cut the grass to find a key. Every stage is a new era with different challenges to complete and more story to unravel.

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3 years ago

LG Motion 4G coming to MetroPCS, brings along cheaper unlimited 4G LTE data plan

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MetroPCS has been busy over the past year. Profits are up and LTE is one big part of their game plan in winning over customers along with the release of new products. Speaking of new products, they've just added the LTE equipped LG Motion 4G to their device lineup.

Coming out of the gates running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a 1.2GHz processor and rounded out with a 5MP camera capable of 1080p video, it will be the first device from MetroPCS making use of their voice over LTE (VoLTE) services. The LG Motion 4G will be available in stores and online for $149 with a new two-year contract.

In addition to the device announcement, MetroPCS also unveiled a new unlimited, lower priced 4G LTE data plan for customers as a promotion. Available for a limited time, you can get unlimited talk, text and 4G LTE data for only $55 per month for a single line. If you're adding family or additional lines, you can save even more. Second, third and fourth lines can be added for just $50 per month.

Source: MetroPCS

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3 years ago

Here's the Samsung Galaxy S3 extended battery from Seidio

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​A Galaxy S3 extended battery at 3500 mAh is bound to be big - but is it too big?

The Samsung Galaxy S3 is one of the slickest, slimmest phones around. Of that there should be little disagreement, no? And the battery life, at 2100 mAh, isn't anything to sneeze at, either, given just how slim and sleek it is.

So what's the year's hottest phone going to look like with a 3500 mAh monster strapped to its back? Behold, Seidio's extended battery for the Galaxy S3.

So, yeah. It's got that big hump that we're used to from Seidio's monster-sized extended batteries. And it certainly looks like it'll completely change the feel of the device, as well. Oh, and there's no NFC yet, though that's coming in a future model.

Any takers?

More: Seidio 3500 mAh extended battery for the Galaxy S3

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3 years ago

ooVoo review - a group video calling alternative to Google Hangouts

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The video chat client ooVoo has recently updated to include a home screen widget and text messaging during video calls. ooVoo’s main bragging point with this update is that it can support four-person video call on mobile, if for whatever reason that’s a regular thing you need to do.

Users can make calls easily from the mobile app, either to land lines (provided you pump some credit into your account) or to users on Facebook or ooVoo. While you’re on a video call, you can send and receive text messages, which is handy for web links, phone numbers, or e-mail addresses that pop up during conversations. ooVoo users can set their status to online, busy, away, or invisible, and include a custom status message if they like.

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3 years ago

Everything Everywhere confirms 'new brand launch'

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Everything Everywhere, the company formed by the merger of T-Mobile and Orange in the UK, has confirmed that it'll be launching a 'new brand' later in the year. In a statement given to Engadget, ​the company said its Everything Everywhere brand would exist alongside Orange and T-Mobile when it launched. It stopped short of confirming that the EE brand would eventually replace Orange and T-Mobile in the UK, though that seems a likely outcome to us.

It might also be advantageous for the new Everything Everywhere to be unveiled alongside its new 4G LTE network, which was today green-lighted by UK telecoms regulator Ofcom. EE's 4G license kicks in from next month, with a commercial roll-out possible by the year's end.

More: Everything Everywhere gets 4G LTE approval in the UK

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

Google Play Gift Cards are official, rolling out over the next few weeks

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Google's just made it official. Google Play Gift Cards are rolling out in the next few weeks.

We've known these were coming for about a week now, of course, first with some code in an update to the Google Play Store app, and a short while later when we were the first to get a peek at the official product. Now it looks like Google's really spinning things up.

According to the Google Gift Card page, you'll be able to redeem codes for music, movies and TV shows, books and apps. However, app subscriptions (we're not 100 percent sure what that means), hardware and accessories are excluded. Cards will be available in denominations of $10, $15, $25 and $50. You'll scratch off a part of the card to reveal a code, which you'll then redeem at play.google.com/redeem. A Gift Card's balance will be visible in your Google Wallet account.

Gift cards will be available at Radio Shack, Target and GameStop, according to the page.

More: Google Play Gift Cards | Help Page

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3 years ago

Swiftkey launches Swiftkey Analytics to VIP's, want to analyze how you interact with the app

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SwiftKey is somewhat of a favorite around these parts, and already this week we've been treated to an update filled with new features and themes. Today though, for their VIP Forum's members anyway, comes the opportunity to help the developers in their work by downloading the SwiftKey 3 Analytics app. In essence, this is the same great SwiftKey 3 keyboard but that submits anonymous mathematical data to the developers. 

The data collected will indicate how a user interacts with the keyboard and its predictions and analyze typing habits. SwiftKey isn't any old two-bit developer either, so when they say this is all anonymous and mathematical, and that no text entered is transmitted, we're pretty much inclined to believe them. The service is time limited until Sep 25, and entirely voluntary. 5 lucky VIP's who take part will also win themselves some swag. And we all love swag, don't we? If you want to take part and help SwiftKey shape the future of their app, head on over to the VIP forums and grab it now and read up some more.

More: SwiftKey VIP Forums

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3 years ago

Amzer skin case for the Nexus 7

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Continuing our search for the perfect case for the Nexus 7, we're taking a look at the Amzer skin case. Seven inches of glass and electronics sitting around naked is a nightmare for many folks, and this go around we're looking at pure protection. But protective cases don't have to lack in the looks department, so I grabbed one of these premium silicone cases in hot pink to give a thorough look. Read on to see how it fares.

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