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3 years ago

SIM-free Sony Xperia T reportedly not available until 2013

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Some possible bad news this morning for anyone hoping to pick up Sony's new flagship phone, the Xperia T, on its own without a contract. The phone is expected to become available on-contract through UK mobile networks and independent retailers later this month, but buyers looking to pick up a SIM-free Xperia T may be out of luck. According to TechRadar, UK retailer Expansys isn't expecting to be able to stock the Xperia T on its own until as late as January 2013.

The site reports that "talks with Sony revealed the handset will be only available on contract first, direct from networks and from a couple of high street retailers,” with January 2013 pegged as a likely release date for the SIM-free option. That would mean anyone looking to pick up an Xperia T to use with an existing service plan could be in for a long wait. However, we should remember that this report comes from a retailer, rather than directly from the manufacturer, so it should be taken with a pinch of salt until confirmed.

We've reached out to Sony Mobile for confirmation of the Xperia T's off-contract availability, and we'll keep you updated with any info they provide.

Source: TechRadar

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3 years ago

HP "Bender" shows up in benchmarks log, running Android 4.0.4

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Well, what do we have here then? Right after HP CEO, Meg Whitman, came out saying the company needed to provide a smartphone, we see mention of one. First though, we need to say this. The information comes from a set of benchmark logs, and we know these things can be faked. Now, that's out of the way, let's take a look at what we've got.

As Derek Kessler points out over at webOS Nation, the likelihood of a future HP smartphone running webOS would be unlikely -- "less likely than getting CrackBerry Kevin staying off of BlackBerry devices for longer than a day." Given the long standing relationship between HP and Microsoft, the first assumptions were that this could have a Windows Phone 8 connection. Well, maybe not. 

Showing up in a GLBenchmark log is a device codenamed 'Bender,' made by HP and running Android 4.0.4 and packing some interesting specs. Powering the Bender is said to be a dual-core Snapdragon S4, and the display resolution is a rather odd 1366x720. For a device with a HD display, this 17:9 aspect ration does seem strangely tall. It at least would indicate a screen size above 4 inches, so no Android powered HP Veer then. 

There's every reason to be skeptical about the existence of such a device, and there could be any number of reasons for what we're seeing. Including it all being a big fake. However, let's not forget that the HP Touchpad was supposed to run Android before the acquisition of Palm. So, it's possible for sure, especially if HP has already considered Android in the past. 

It's a big old heap of rumor at this point, and we'll have to stand by and wait to see if anything does ever come of it. In the meantime, be sure to head on over to webOS Nation for their take. 

Source: Slashgear via webOS Nation

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3 years ago

First TV commercial for LG Optimus G surfaces

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Despite the fact we haven't yet seen or held the LG Optimus G, the roll of promotional material for the device continues. Following teasers, and pieces focusing on the camera technology, we now get to see the first television commerical for the new LG flagship. All 16 seconds of it, and it's in Korean. But, we get another quick glimpse of the phone itself, and it also hints at 4G LTE capabilities too. There's no mention of a release date either, but at the moment that's probably to be expected.

LG is throwing a US event next week, where we're fully expecting to see the Optimus G finally get into our eager hands. Until then all we can do is watch on and wonder. 

Source: LG (YouTube)

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3 years ago

Acer forced to halt device launch over Android compliance - here's why

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Android's own Andy Rubin took to blogging this evening to respond to the reports floating around about Acer pulling out of a planned launch of an Aliyun OS powered-smartphone in China. Aliyun is an OS that uses the Android runtime  -- that's a fancy name for the bits in the OS that can run the apps.

Acer abruptly canceled the phone launch, while journalists were in the air traveling to the event itself. A statement from Alibaba, the Chinese web giant, said that "Our partner was notified by Google that if the product runs Aliyun OS, Google will terminate its Android-related cooperation and other technology licensing with our partner," according to correspondence received by CNet. This has caused quite a stir, as it doesn't sound very friendly or "open."

Rubin then wrote a post at the official Android blog that explains the OHA (Open Handset Alliance) a bit, mentioning that one of it's primary goals is to ensure compatibility between vendor versions of Android so that applications have the same APIs and instructions. In other words, Google wants the app you write for vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich to perform as it should on HTC's Sense or Samsung's TouchWiz. Working together, everyone involved can build the  platform together.

While there are still compatibility issues now and then, Google's response sets the record straight about a couple things. They don't mind anyone forking Android into something else, but if you want to be an OHA member, you'll need to follow the basic rules. According to Rubin, an inspection of the apps available for Aliyun OS show that this wouldn't be happening. Differences in the operating system meant that apps weren't compatible enough for regular Android. Therefore, while Acer was welcome to work with Aliyun OS, it would cost them their OHA membership. It's worth mentioning that Amazon is not a member of the OHA.

It's a bit of a spiderweb to follow, but essentially Google's position is that you're either with us, or you're not. They don't necessarily care that you want to use Android to create something else, but they don't want you to play with the rest of the cool kids if you do it. 

I'm not yet sure how I feel about that, and will have to think about it a bit -- look for some more thoughts over the weekend as I think them. I see both positives and negatives. For now, check out these links to get a better grasp on the situation, and I'd love to hear your feelings and feedback in the comments.

+Andy RubinThe Official Android blog; CNet; The Verge

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3 years ago

Calendar help and recommendations, Unrooting the Sprint Galaxy Nexus

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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

Contest: What should our OUYA username be?

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In case you forgot, someone got a bug up their butt a little ways back and decided to make Android Central one of the "1337" backers of the upcoming OYUA Android-based console gaming system. One of the perks of that slightly ridiculous(ly awesome) level of Kickerstarter backing is that we get to choose a username. OUYA just sent out an e-mail saying we'll need to choose around the end of the month, so it's time to get cracking.

But let's have some fun with it. Instead of us choosing some lame name like "JerryTheNeckBeard" or "AlexTheDobie," we're going to let one of you choose our OUYA username, contest-style. 

Here's how it'll work:

  • Leave your suggestion in this forum thread. We can have up to 16 characters. There are some 63,000 backers vying for the first batch of names, so longer may be better than shorter.
  • We'll go over the names and pick our favorite. We're the ones who have to live with it, after all. So if we don't like it, we won't pick it.
  • To the person whose username we choose, we'll preorder them an OUYA of their very own. And to help tide them over until next spring, when it will be released, we'll throw in a Nexus 7 tablet now.
  • We'll pick 10 other runners-up -- names we liked, but didn't win out -- to receive their very own Android Central T-shirts.
  • This one's open to everyone, everywhere.

We don't know exactly when we'll have to put in our request for a username, other than toward the end of the month, so we'll let this one ride until October 1, or when OUYA says it's time to poop or get off the pot -- whichever comes first.

Good luck, and let's see some great names!

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3 years ago

Motorola RAZR V review

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The Motorola RAZR V has been available in Canada for a few weeks now on Bell and WIND Mobile. For the most part, it comes off as a pared down version of the American Droid RAZR with the LTE stripped out, which isn't particularly attractive with the RAZR HD LTE coming out on Rogers shortly, but's it's easy to justify anything so long as it has a reasonable pricetag. The Motorola RAZR V sports a familiar form factor and software elements from the original Android-powered RAZR, including the Kevlar backing and Smart Actions.

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3 years ago

Kindle Fire HD 7 unboxing and initial impressions

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UPS just dropped off our Amazon Kindle Fire HD, and we wanted to share a look at the first new Kindle to be released. It's a 7-inch tablet that sort of runs Android -- Amazon has forked off the stock Ice Cream Sandwich build and made it their own, never once mentioning the word Android on the device or packaging. The Fire HD 7 (my new name for it) comes with 16 or 32GB of storage (we grabbed the 16) and features a TI OMAP 4460 under a 7-inch 1280x800 screen.

Of course we're going to review the unit at length, but first impressions come back positive. The Fire HD 7 is well built, and feels like it was constructed out of quality materials. It's light enough to use with one hand, and balanced well -- it should serve purposes just fine for reading or lounging and watching a video or two.

All your Amazon content is instantly available from the moment you register the device with your Amazon account, which was painless. The screen itself seems to be of good quality, is nice and bright, and easy to see. We'll have to put it to further testing, but I'm not afraid to call it "good" at first glance. The tablet's performance seems fine as well, but of course we need to see how it handles some gaming or streaming long video.

We'll have more about the Kindle Fire HD 7 coming, including the inevitable comparison to the Nexus 7 over the next few days, and stay tuned for the full review. For now, hit the break for an unboxing and quick 10 minute look .

Amazon Kindle Fire HD forums

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3 years ago

Motorola RAZR M Developer Edition now ready

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The Developer Edition of the Motorola Droid RAZR M is now available to order for those looking for an unlocked bootloader. Google and Motorola were rather vocal about their developer support at the launch event last week, and it's great to see them making good on the sentiment so quickly. Motorola already offers bootloader unlocking utilities for a few of their other devices at their landing page here

The civilian-issue Motorola Droid RAZR M hit stores just yesterday. You can check out our in-depth review for the full tour, but here's the short version. 

  • 4.3-inch qHD (540×960) Super AMOLED Advanced display
  • Dual-Core 1.5GHz Qualcomm S4 CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB ROM MicroSD Storage
  • Rear Camera:  8MP; Front Camera: VGA; 1080p HD video recording
  • DLNA, NFC, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. Bluetooth 4.0
  • Android 4.0.4
  • 2000 mAh battery

Developers and tinkerers alike are welcome to buy the developer edition of the Motorola Droid RAZR M over here for $549.99. Just remember, there's no warranty on that sucker. Any devs in the house considering grabbing one of these? 

Source: Motorola

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3 years ago

Google Wallet no longer working on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus

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Verizon Galaxy Nexus users have had a long and shaky history with using Google Wallet on their devices. Now it seems that some entity -- be it Verizon or Google -- may have finally pulled the plug on this one. Users in our forums are reporting that the Google Wallet app is no longer working on their devices and is unable to be updated or installed in the Google Play Store. We're not sure at this point why the app is pulled or whether it will be coming back, but hopefully we'll hear something more definitive soon.

We recommend you go check out the thread in our forums where users are reporting their findings. There's a good chance some ingenious hackers will find a way around this soon enough: Verizon Galaxy Nexus Forums: Google wallet problem.

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3 years ago

To-Fu 2 slingshots onto Google Play

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To-Fu 2, a free and addictive puzzle game, is now on Android. Some of you might have played the original, which also featured the headband-toting wobbly white cube which you stretch and release to fling through treacherous mazes.

Players have to hit the big pink fortune cookie at the end to win, though you earn extra merit for gathering all of the Chi orbs throughout the level or completing the whole thing within a limited number of moves. The levels are really mind-bending, and require precision and timing to make sure you ricochet and stick to the right spots. The new version of the game includes a whopping 115 levels, and a new time trial mode to see how many Chi orbs you can collect within a certain time limit. There are ads, but buying any of the vanity items through in-app purchases will remove them. 

I played the first one a bunch, and To-Fu 2 is just as fun. Give it a shot!

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3 years ago

Verizon LTE turned on in Jefferson City, set to expand elsewhere

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Following up on a significant LTE expansion last week, Verizon has announced plans to expand in a whole bunch of markets this week. The switch will be flipped on in many of them on September 20, just in time for the iPhone 5 launch, though Android users will see plenty of benefit from the expansion too. Here's the list.

  • Jefferson City, Missouri (now live)
  • Kansas City, Missouri (planned expansion)
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (planned expansion)
  • The Hays, Kansas (planned expansion)
  • Rolla, Missouri (planned launch)
  • Lawrence, Kansas (planned launch)
  • Bremerton, Washington (planned launch)
  • Silverdale, Washington (planned launch)
  • Emporia, Kansas (planned launch)
  • Coffeyville, Kansas (planned launch)
  • Buffalo, New York (expansion live)
  • Tallahassee, Florida (planned launch)
  • Fort Myers, Florida (planned launch)
  • Tampa Bay, Florida (planned launch)

Anyone in these markets hooting and hollaring for the upcoming LTE coverage? How is it comparing to, say, AT&T? You can get a closer look at Verizon's LTE coverage over here

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

International Xperia Ion receiving Ice Cream Sandwich update

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Back at IFA in Berlin a couple weeks ago, we got a look at a yet to be released version of Ice Cream Sandwich running on the Xperia Ion. It looks like the official release wasn't far behind that build, as the international version of the Ion has started to receive its update. Only the LT28i models are seeing it at the moment, but hopefully this is a sign of things to come for those of you with the Ion running on AT&T's network here in the states.

Also, if you're one of those Sony types -- or just appreciate hard working designers -- and somehow missed our great piece by Alex with the Sony design team, it's definitely still worth a look.

Source: Xperiablog

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3 years ago

Conan O'Brien introduces the $5 Amazon Wendell

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Conan O'Brien did a bit on the Kindle Fire HD earlier this week, taking a jab at how Amazon is willing to lose out on device profits in order to undercut the iPad. To that end, he mocked up an ad for the Amazon Wendell, who's some dude who will read you e-books and tell you how well you're doing in Angry Birds for a fiver. 

We were generally pretty impressed with the devices in our hands-on experiences with the new Amazon devices, pricetags notwithstanding. Conan raises a point though: how low is too low, and what are you willing to sacrifice for affordability? This isn't the first time Conan has made fun of the Kindle Fire, though; do you think he's got a particular bias against Amazon?

If you're thinking of picking one up, a few of the new Kindle Fires went on sale today

Via: Phandroid

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3 years ago

AT&T LTE rolls out in Philadelphia and Wilmington

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AT&T has announced LTE network expansion into Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware today. AT&T's has a lot of plans for LTE expansions before the end of the year, though that's only as appealing as the devices they're offering. The last LTE phone AT&T announced was the LG Escape, which targeted first-timers, though there are always faithfully established options like the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S 3.  AT&T also has a handful of new shared data plans, though you might want a bucket to yourself if everyone's going to be blasting through their cap at LTE speeds. 

Want to know if you've got access to AT&T LTE? They've got a full coverage map over here. Anyone in the new coverage zone happy to get sweet, sweet, LTE?

Source: AT&T

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