Recent Articles | Android Central

Pre-order Pixel: Google | Verizon Shop Chromebooks: Asus Flip | Acer 14 | Dell 13


3 years ago

The best free games for Android


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


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!

3 years ago

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


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


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


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


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


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




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

3 years ago

The YotaPhone runs Android 4.2, has LTE, and two screens


We've seen dual display devices before, but never one like this. The Russian broadband service provider Yota has engineered their own Android phone, with big specs, and a full sized e-ink display on the back. If you're thinking that the name sounds familiar, Yota also happens to be the company that released the world's first Wimax 4G cellular network, and is a leader in 4G LTE technology.

The phone has been designed so that besides the always present time and weather notifications also are displayed on the e-ink panel. Social networking, calls, messages and reminders appear, or a user configurable slideshow of images can be displayed. Of course, you can also read news and eBooks on the 4.3-inch e-ink display. Flip things over, and a matching 4.3-inch 720p LCD is ready for watching a movie or surfing the web. It's novel, and different. I've always said I like different, and can't wait to have a good look at this one. 

We'll know more about release and pricing at MWC in February, but chances are it will be an eastern European and Asian only affair. We do have some specs though.

  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM 8960 Dual Core 1.5 Ghz Krait
  • OS: Android, 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • Dimensions: 67 x 131 (7.3 / 9.9) mm
  • Weight: 140 grams
  • Display: EPD Eink, 4.3z-inch, LCD JDI, 4.3z1280x720 (HD)
  • Connectivity: LTE (bands 3, 7, 20 MIMO), 2G, 3G, 4G, Wifi (Direct), BT, NFC
  • Storage: 32 or 64 GB Flash
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Battery: 2100 mAh
  • Camera: 12 MP main camera, HD front camera 
  • Controls: Touch strip for EPD control, Power and Volume Keys, SIM slot combined with Power key button
  • Connectors: Magnetic Adaptor for charging and data, Audio 3.5mm

The 2100 mAh battery is a bit concerning since it's an LTE device powering two separate 4.3-inch displays (even if one is e-ink), but the specs are nothing to laugh at -- especially the part where it ships with 4.2 on board. Hopefully we learn some more about this one, and it eventually appears on an importers list. Hit the break for more press renders and the full press release.

Read more and comment

3 years ago

A Touchstone charging mod for the Nexus 7


We've seen the Palm Touchstone be repurposed to work with a number of Android phones before, but Rod Whitby of webOS Internals fame is working up a method to use the charger with his Nexus 7.

Using two regular phone Touchstone coils (and currently experimenting with a TouchPad coil) it looks like Rod has the charging circuit figured out, and the rest is a matter of assembly. We're pretty confident that he can make it happen, so we're giving the early heads-up.

Who knows, this might just be the only way we'll ever see any sort of dock for our Nexus 7 that's more than "coming soon".

Source: +Rod Whitby

Read more and comment

3 years ago

FCC approves Dish's plans to use spectrum for cellular network


Dish has been battling with the FCC and other carriers over the possibility of using its current satellite spectrum holdings for a terrestrial cellular network. The TV operator turned carrier has finally got full approval by the FCC to do just that today, following months of negotiation. Dish holds a good portion of spectrum -- about 40MHz -- in the AWS-4 band, which isn't exactly the "prime real estate" that other carriers hold, but is well within reason considering that T-Mobile and Sprint both operate portions of their network at even higher frequencies.

This is a bittersweet deal for Dish, however, as there are a few conditions put on the approval. Sprint, which was a big opponent of the deal, holds spectrum near AWS-4 and therefore the FCC put restrictions on how much of the spectrum Dish can operate on and at what power levels. This effectively lowers the amount of usable spectrum that Dish can end up operating on when it launches its network. Additionally, part of the deal will let the FCC have an auction for spectrum in the AWS-H Block, which is adjacent to Dish's holdings. Sprint is interested in owning this H Block spectrum, furthering issues between the companies.

Now that all of these regulatory hurdles are (somewhat) out of the way, the real fun can begin. Reports have been swirling about what Dish could eventually do with these spectrum holdings, including but not limited to rumors that Google could be a potential network partner. At this point nothing is solidified, and Dish is surely in talks with more than just one company to get its network started. Hopefully the end result will be a new operator that can take on the big four here in the U.S.

Source: FCC; Reuters; Ars Technica

Read more and comment

3 years ago

AT&T's Galaxy Tab 8.9 receives ICS update, but only via Kies


Remember Android 3.0 Honeycomb? Well, if you have an AT&T-branded Galaxy Tab 8.9 (SGH-i957) you're likely all too familiar with the software. Fortunately, AT&T and Samsung are ready to bring you an update to Ice Cream Sandwich today, which is long overdue even when compared to the other models of the Tab 8.9. AT&T's variant will sadly only be updated via Samsung's Kies desktop software, however. There's no indication at this point that an OTA is coming either.

A quick bit of warning for those updating, several different settings and apps will be reset in the update. Samsung's support documentation indicates that homescreen placements will be reset, contacts stored on the device may be erased and the music app's playlists and settings will also be reset to default.

We really wish that AT&T would just push these updates OTA. Most people won't have Kies installed or want to go through the trouble to install the update manually in this manor. We saw this same scenario with the recent Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy SIII (S3), and we just don't care for it.

Source: Samsung; Via: Android Police

More: Galaxy Tab 8.9 Forums

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Scope update brings new feeds, bugfixes


Scope, a client meant to help you manage all of your social media accounts, has been updated today with several improvements. On top of your usual Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr feeds, the update brings new feeds such as Reddit and Slickdeals that you can add to your account. Now with an increased number of feeds available, you can select individual streams within each that you want to follow specifically as well.

There's also a couple of bug fixes included, such as an issue that caused double notifications of updates. You can grab a download at the Google Play Store link above.

Read more and comment

3 years ago

Google Magazines starts to work its way into Google Play in the UK


Users in the UK are beginning to see the first inkling of Google Play Magazines appear in Google Play on their devices. None are for sale just yet, but the fact that they are showing up (especially since many are UK specific versions) leads us to believe that it won't be too long before the people of Great Britain will be able to purchase them. 

The list of what has been seen so far runs the gamut of tastes and selection. While it is likely this is incomplete, here is what has been spotted so far --  

  • Official Xbox Magazine
  • PC Gamer (US and UK editions)
  • Cross Stitch Collections
  • Computer Music
  • Red UK
  • Total Film
  • Country Living
  • Elle Decoration
  • How It Works
  • Linux User
  • Tatler
  • Crochet Today
  • Papercraft Inspirations
  • ShortList
  • Autocar
  • Condé Nast Traveller
  • Mac Format
  • EDGE
  • Wired UK
  • Digital Photographer
  • Mini Magazine
  • X360

No word from Google on when we can expect all this to go live, and we are not about to guess. If you're in the UK and have been waiting to get your content and subscriptions onto your Android device, it looks like it is coming "soon". Hit the break for a few screenshots.

Thanks, Richard for the tip!

Read more and comment

Show More Headlines