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3 years ago

HTC J Butterfly video round-up

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Japanese carrier AU is set to launch what's arguably the highest-spec'd Android handset we've seen to date, the HTC J Butterfly. With 4G LTE support, a beastly quad-core Snapdragon CPU and a whopping 5-inch 1080p SuperLCD3 (yes, three) display, there's little more you could want from a smartphone. (Well, OK, maybe a bigger battery.)

It's unlikely we'll see this exact handset outside of Japan -- although a Verizon version has long been rumored for release later in the year. Nevertheless, hands-on videos are starting to crop up around the web of the original Japanese version, and so we've collected some of the best for your perusal. Check 'em out after the break.

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3 years ago

Google will/won't bring out $99 Nexus tablet this quarter

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From (where else), DigiTimes:

One supply chain source says it'll be released later in the fourth quarter (which we're now in, by the way). Meanwhile, ASUS, DT reports, says it "has no plans to launch a $99 Nexus." Which is nice, but it's Google that sells this thing, not ASUS.

Shocking.

Chances are if we do see a $99 Nexus 7, it'll be carrier subsidized. Which would be ridiculous given the outright price is only twice that.

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3 years ago

32GB Nexus 7 coming to the UK for £199.99

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It's been rumored for the past few weeks, and now we have confirmation that a 32GB version of Google and ASUS' Nexus 7 tablet will arrive in time for the holidays. UK retailer Argos just released its Christmas gift guide, and we tracked down the listing for the 32GB Nexus 7, which is marked for sale at £199.99. The £199 price point is significant, as this is the current standard retail price for the 16GB Nexus 7 in the UK, adding fuel to speculation that the 32GB will replace the 16GB model entirely. (In the UK, the 8GB Nexus 7 is only sold through the Google Play device store.)

The extra storage space should address one of the major concerns with the Nexus 7, as on the basic 8GB model just over 6GB is actually available for users' own media. At just £40 more than the 8GB Nexus, this new 32GB variant should make for a tempting upgrade. No release date information is provided in the Argos gift guide, but we've got to believe it'll be hitting store shelves sooner rather than later.

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3 years ago

LG Optimus G coming to Japan in blue and white on KDDI

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The LG Optimus G certainly seems to be making the rounds lately, and now Japanese carrier KDDI has announced the availability of the handset on its network. Overall, its the phone we know from previous launches, complete with the quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, 13MP camera and LTE. The only difference here is the color choices -- white and two-tone blue/black -- in typical Japanese carrier fashion.

The Optimus G will go on sale with KDDI on November 2nd. For those of you in the states, we're working furiously on our reviews of the Sprint and AT&T versions of the Optimus G, and have already put up a couple quick hits on the device. 

Source: KDDI

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3 years ago

Sony announces Xperia VL for the Japanese market

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At this point, you almost feel like Sony is coming up on the limit of one and two letter combinations to put after "Xperia". There's at least room for one more, as Sony is adding yet another device to its expansive Xperia line -- the Xperia VL. This device, which is coming to the Japanese market (and likely only that market), seems to have some pretty standard specs on board from what has been released at this point.

This Sony "arc" designed device has a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4.3-inch Reality Display, 13MP camera with new shooting modes, NFC and LTE networking -- all running underneath Android 4.0.4. Sony says the device has "high levels" of dust and water resistance as well, which is often found on many Japanese handsets.

Our brilliant deduction and sleuthing makes us think that the VL is simply a reworking of the previously announced Xperia V, which should give you a better indication of the spec level. The Xperia VL is set to launch before the end of the year on KDDI in blue, white and pink varieties.

Source: Sony Xperia Product Blog; KDDI

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3 years ago

HTC J Butterfly with 5-inch 1080P screen makes its way to Japan

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We've heard a lot of rumors swirling lately about HTC releasing a 5-inch 1080P phone, and it looks like the first proof of this device's existence has just shown up in Japan. The HTC One X's SLCD 2 screen still holds the title in most people's minds as the best smartphone screen on the market, but they seem to have outdone themselves with the SLCD 3 on the J Butterfly. At 5 inches and a full 1080x1920 resolution, this screen produces a staggeringly high 440 ppi (pixels per inch), much higher than any other display we've seen. If HTC's previous screens are any indication, this is going to be a huge step up in display technology going forward.

Moving along past the screen, the J Butterfly has a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, LTE, NFC and an 8MP camera. For software, it is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sense 4+. It comes in a flashy red, more subtle black and white varieties, and will be released in Japan on KDDI in December. Hopefully we'll see this device's counterparts show up outside of Japan soon as well.

Source: KDDI; HTC

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3 years ago

Chameleon Launcher reaches v1.1 - Brings performance enhancements, UI refinements and major feature additions

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If you haven't gone all in with Chameleon Launcher it's quite understandable. While a beautiful next-level launcher it is, the entry price of $10 and somewhat limited feature set has made it a hard to justify purchase for some folks out there. The latest version may change some minds though as Chameleon has now reached v1.1 status and brings along with it performance enhancements, UI refinements and major feature additions. Some of which, have been long asked for by users:

  • Native Android Widget Support - Thats right, Chameleon widgets and native Android app widgets can now live side by side on your home screens. Android widgets in Chameleon work exactly as they would on the standard Android launcher, even while living inside our grid block containers. It’s almost like unicorns are real!
  • Chameleon Widget SDK 1.1 - One of the big, yet hidden features of v1.1 is the updates to the Widget SDK. There is a lot of plumbing that has been added that allows for access to local device data using Android Services. The Chameleon Widget API docs will be updated in the near future with details and examples. We have also published a design section on the make a widgets documentation site outlining how to handle CSS markup for your widgets, and handling widget resizing. You can find that here.
  • Twitter Widget - The Twitter widget has gotten the biggest boost out of all the widgets in this update. There are now inline options for reply, retweet and favorite. Retweeted tweets are also now displayed as per Twitters display guidelines. The cherry on the top of this enticing sunday is the ability to display your lists. Yummy.
  • Calendar Widget - For those who need to stay super organized, the calendar widget now supports an All Calendar view as well as an Events List view.

Overall, the update looks pretty pleasing. They've also gone ahead and corrected plenty of bugs in the system as well, including a major one wherein Chameleon tended to freeze upon start up. Whether or not the changes make it a more viable purchase remains to be seen but if nothing else, it shows support is still going strong and updates will keep on coming. If you've not checked out our hands-on review -- you can have a look at Chameleon right here.

Source: Chameleon

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3 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S3 receiving small update, still not Jelly Bean

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Users in our forums are reporting that their Verizon Galaxy SIII (S3) handsets are pulling down a moderately sized (62MB) OTA update. Unfortunately, this isn't the Jelly Bean update that most users are hoping for -- you're still on 4.0.4 for now -- but it does seem to be bringing some useful enhancements. The latest software version, VRALHE, brings the Enhanced Zooming feature to the browser, email and more. It also claims to fix an issue with device restarts, as well as enhance stability in Google Play.

All good and necessary updates, but let's hope the next OTA is to Android 4.1. Take a look at the support document for the update at the source link below, then head to the forums and let us know how the update process went for you.

Source: Verizon (PDF)Android Central Forums; Thanks, Christopher!

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3 years ago

Official Twitter app updated with large-screen improvements and bug fixes

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The official Twitter for Android app has been updated with a couple small but useful additions today. First off, the profile layout has been better designed to work on larger screens. As more and more people buy Android tablets, it's a good thing that Twitter is paying attention. We just hope they can continue this feature creep and add some more functionality to the app. Additionally, the changelog indicates there have been a few bug fixes in this update.

At this point, we don't see much reason to choose the official Twitter app considering how many great third party choices there are out there. But with the increasing restrictions on these other clients coming in the future, we're glad the official app is at least improving at some rate. Take a look at the update at the Google Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Change phone answering options, Who do you want a 'Nexus' built by? [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

Stock keyboard not cutting it on the Nexus 7? Why not try out the ASUS keyboard instead

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One of the greatest positives about the Android platform, is choice. Hardware, software, apps, theres something for everybody out there somewhere. Customizing your user experience to meet your every need is possible in so many different ways, including something that's used all the time. The keyboard. Like Twitter clients, there's a keyboard out there to suit everyone. 

So, let's focus a little. In particular, on the Google Nexus 7. A pure, un-tampered, vanilla Jelly Bean experience straight from the depths of Mountain View itself. The stock Jelly Bean keyboard is OK, some would argue it's better than OK. For some of us though -- on the Nexus 7 in particular -- the stock keyboard is nothing but frustrating. But, that's cool, we can change it. And, it looks like there's an alternative built right into the Nexus 7 from ASUS, that's possibly worth a look before handing over some of your dollars to buy a replacement, such as the ever impressive SwiftKey. The one caveat -- you may need to be rooted to try it out. Now that's out of the way, click on past the break and we'll show you how to find it. 

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3 years ago

Read Google Play Magazines in Chrome with new web reader

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Google has just announced the availability of the magazines you purchase via Google Play in the Chrome browser with a new web reader. Until now, if you bought magazines, you could download them to your various Android devices, but if you were on a computer, you were essentially out of luck. Now, there is an option once you go to your issue that says 'read' directly under 'subscribe'.

It's nice to have the option to read them in a browser now and the user interface is done quite well. You have controls to view the contents of the issue to the left, zoom buttons above as well as a full screen toggle. If you have access to magazines in Google Play and you use Google Chrome, check it out by visiting the Play Store and go to 'My Magazines'.

Source: Google+

Google Play Store

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3 years ago

Weekly photo contest: Purple Haze (lens flare)

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Photo taken with the iPhone 5 by iMore.com's Leanna Lofte

A tricky subject in this weeks photo contest -- lens flare. Supposedly every camera ever made has a level of purple flare surrounding bright lights in the viewfinder, but looking through past photo contests I sure don't see much of it. I'll let the experts argue that one, and let you guys get all sorts of funky and show me some high quality lens flare in this weeks photos.

The real question is how to create this purple flare. You should get varying degrees of it by adjusting the angle between your camera lens and any bright light sources. Now we don't want anyone staring into the sun, but we do want to see folks get creative and force some flare into their pictures. It doesn't have to be purple, but bonus style points if you can pull it off.

The prize is worth it, as it turns out we still have a few of the series 3 Android mini-collectables left, We've got five of them for the five best pictures, so get into the forums and show us your stuff!

While I'm still working on a proper gallery, here's last week's winning panorama shot.

Taken by cguella with his Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Congrats cguella, check your inbox!

Enter this week's photo contest

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3 years ago

Intel reports Q3 revenue of $13.5 billion as they continue to progress in mobile

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Intel's Q3 earnings report has dropped today, bringing word of a $13.5 billion revunue for the quarter. While representing a dip year-on-year, the figures still beat the analyst estimates. A global downturn in PC sales can be held partly accountable for the drop, with CEO Paul Otellini saying in a statement; "Our third-quarter results reflected a continuing tough economic environment."

Intel is a new player to the Android world, but almost no details were spoken during their investor call of the chip giants venture into the mobile marketplace. They did, however, discuss briefly the overall progress being made, pointing to the recent launch of the 2.0GHz Motorola RAZR i -- see our review for more. Additionally, acknowledgement was paid to the transition the global computing market currently finds itself in. Furthermore, no mention was made of any OEM's that Intel may be working in partnership with for projects during 2013. Of course, we already know that Intel has a multi-year, multi-device partnership with Motorola.

We're sure we'll be hearing a lot more from Intel in these parts throughout 2013. For the full run down on todays earnings report, be sure to visit the source link below. 

Source: Intel

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3 years ago

Affordable Android-powered MG device targets young gamers

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A Wi-Fi-only Android device called the MG was announced for pre-order today. Apparently MG stands for More Game, or My Generation, or something. It isn't made by anybody you've heard of, but they're hoping the low pricetag, preloaded games, parental controls, and included $10 credit towards Google Play apps will rope in at least a few moms and dads.

The MG has a Gorilla glass-clad 4-inch 480 x 800 display, a 1880 mAh battery with 3.75 hours of playtime, and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and is powered by a single-core 1 GHz processor. Needless to say, hardcore gamers may be more interested in the Xperia Play, aged as it may be, since there are familiar hardware gaming controls included. It seems like MG is geared more towards to younger kids and their parents that want to monitor usage, though.

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