3 years ago

NTSB recommends that states ban all driver cell phone use


The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that states ban the use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices by drivers of vehicles, except for in an emergency. That doesn't mean you have to immediately stop using your Android smartphone for navigation or music playback -- there's still some legislating that needs to be done for that to happen. But a recommendation from the NTSB certainly holds some water.

Here's the crux of the recommendation:

The safety recommendation specifically calls for the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers. The safety recommendation also urges use of the NHTSA model of high-visibility enforcement to support these bans and implementation of targeted communication campaigns to inform motorists of the new law and heightened enforcement.

The recommendation stems from a crash in Missouri in 2010 that involved a pickup truck, two school busses and a teenage driver who apparently had sent 11 text messages in as many minutes before the crash, which killed two and injured 38. 

It's tough to say that phones don't distract drivers -- they most certainly can. But is a blanket ban too much? And would it even be effective?

Source: NTSB; via Associated Press

Would you support a blanket ban on smartphone use in cars?

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3 years ago

DroidDoodle - Carrier IQ


At least the cavity search was done via microUSB. -- More DroidDoodles

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3 years ago

Skype for Android adds file sharing, improves battery life and video quality


Adds support for the unannounced Motorola Droid 4

Android's Skype app got itself a nice little update today, with improvements to battery life and video quality, the ability to send photos and videos to your contacts, and it's now much easier to sign out. (That'd be the little arrow button in the top right of this picture.) 

Skype says tablets with the NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor will greatly benefit from the battery and video improvements, with full-screen chat looking better than ever. Also, the HTC Amaze 4G, Motorola Droid RAZR and the unannounced Motorola Droid 4 are now supported for video chat. (Update: Skype now tells us it jumped the gun on all that Droid 4 stuff.)

We've got download links after the break.

More: Skype

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Motorola XYBOARD 10.1


This Motorola XYBOARD 10.1 looks a little familiar, eh? It should. Take the Motorola XYBOARD 8.2 (see our hands-on), add a couple inches, and that's what you've got. It's the same redesigned Motorola Xoom 2 with a larger screen and a third option for storage -- 16GB, 32GB or 64GB.

Otherwise, pretty much the same thing here. You've got angled corners, the metallic section on the back, 5MP rear camera, microUSB and microHDMI. You've also got a 1.5GHz dual-core TI OMAP processor and 1GB of RAM running Android 3.2 Honeycomb, with an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich already promised. No microSD card, however.

Check out our quick hands-on after the break.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Huawei Honor



Youtube link for mobile viewing

We have seen some manufacturers talk about what goes into bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to their devices, but Huawei has skipped the talking part and gone right for the releasing part. Subtly on their site they released a demo ROM for the Huawei Honor. Of course we had to take it for a spin and see how it all played out, so check out the video above to see some of our thoughts!

Release-ready? Probably not, as it could use a little more polish and needs access to Google Apps, but it sure is nice to see the support for ICS so early on such a powerful device.

More: Huawei

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3 years ago

Carrier IQ gives a lengthy look into how it works


Carrier IQ, the company that everyone -- for right or wrong -- has come to hate of late has released a document explaining in plain English how it does what it does. "Understanding Carrier IQ Technology -- What Carrier IQ Does and Does Not Do" was released on Carrier IQ's website late Dec. 12 and is a PDF that details what Carrier IQ is, how it's loaded on devices (and what kinds of devices it can be used on), what information is collected, how it can be used by Carrier IQ's customers, and how the data is protected in the process.

Let's break it down.

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3 years ago

Motorola Droid Bionic major maintenance update rolling out


Judging from the excitement in our inbox and in the Droid Bionic forums, it looks like that major maintenance update is rolling out. Here's what you get, and it's a pretty long list:

E-mail, messaging and data

  • Improved stability of data on 3G and 4G
  • Fixed lockup that could occur while browing during the handoff from Wifi to 4G
  • "Data roaming" pop-up message will display once when roaming in CDMA internationally
  • Jump to the most recent message after changing the device orientation while in message list view

Device features

  • Mobile hotspot now supports up to eight devices
  • Black screen of death fixed
  • Improved stability to avoid power cycles
  • Fix lock up and power cycles when connected to Bluetooth headset or HDMI cable
  • Improved cold SIM card activation speed
  • "Low memory" warnings when using the Laptop have been reduced
  • Improved camera autofocus for better shutter response time and better imagery
  • Location privacy message will display when using location based service setup
  • Fixed issue where device would power back up after being powered down


  • Improved stability
  • Display will not turn off after use
  • Calling screen will no longer be recreated
  • Reduced frequence fo the "Low memory" warning messages

You can check for the update now by going to Menu>Settings>About Phone>System Update. And hit the fourms link below to let us know if things are going better for you.

Source: Verizon; More: Droid Bionic forums

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3 years ago

Day 8 of Google's 10-day, 10-cent, 10 billion app download celebration



Welcome to Day 8 of Google's 10-day, 10-cent, 10 billion app download celebration. We're waiting on Google to update its landing page, but note that the banner's changed from "10 Days of Offers - Top Premium Apps - 10¢" to what you now see above -- 90 percent off. Google's actually upped things to 12 apps to day. Here's what's listed:

Also: Day 1 appsDay 2 appsDay 3 appsDay 4 appsDay 5 apps, Day 6 apps, Day 7 apps

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3 years ago

Contest Winners: AT&T Samsung Infuse 4G, TAB Rests, and iBOLT charging docks


If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our forums always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. This week's winners are as posted after the break, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up shortly. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to this week's winners!

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod team dropping support for Samsung Vibrant because of 911 issues


The Samsung Vibrant (the first of the original Galaxy S devices to hit the U.S.) is no longer supported by CyanogenMod.  According to developer Abhisek Devkota, issues with the way the radio interface layer interacts with the audio layer leads to a loss of the ability to dial 911, and this issue can not be solved without source code from Samsung.  In his own words:

We are no longer supporting the Vibrant due to the inability to dial 911. We consider the issues related to this unresolvable without source code from Samsung related to the Radio interface layer and its interactions with the Audio layers and have taken the decision to no longer support this. We apologize for the inconvenience and strongly suggest that Vibrant users use a Samsung ROM due to the 911 issues with any ROMs based on open source code.

We'll have to second his recommendation -- if you're currently using CM or another AOSP-based ROM on your Vibrant, you should look at Samsung TouchWiz based ROMs as an alternative.  Having cool open-source software on your phone is great, but not at the expense of losing the ability to call emergency services.  It was fun while it lasted though, and thanks for all the hard work gentlemen!

Source: +Abhisek Devkota

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3 years ago

Checking in on Google Currents - 80,000 subscribed to AC


So we're less than a week out from the launch of Google Currents, the Flipboard/Pulse competitor that presents your favorite websites in an easy-to-read magazine-type format. And we were lucky to get in on the ground floor. Question was, would anybody be using it?

I posed the question to ol' CrackBerry Kevin. "How many subscribers do you think we have?" I asked. "Oh, I dunno," he said. "Maybe 4,000."

Try 80,000, Mr. Michaluk, according to the tally in the app. That's 80,000 and counting. We'll all have to see how much of an effect Currents has on our analytics before declaring it a success, of course. Subscribers are one thing. (Scratch that, they're 80,000 very awesome things.) But we've still got to see how much everybody's using Currents to actually read content.

So for now, be sure to subscribe. Be sure to read. And be sure to tell your friends. Hit up the link below to subscribe.

Subscribe now to the Android Central Edition on Google Currents

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3 years ago

Hands on with the Motorola XYBOARD 8.2


Behold, the Verizon Motorola XYBOARD 8.2. In a nutshell, it's a scaled-down, slimmed-down, sexed-up verison of the original Motorola Xoom, and it fits right in with the likes of the Motorola RAZR. It's a bit angular, it's industrial design is, well, industrial. But it's also plenty powerful under the hood.

We're very much digging the 8.2-inch screen size (at 1232x800 resolution for, even if it's only 179 pixels per inch. It's a tablet, so it's not as close to our face as a phone might be in normal use. And we're also very much digging that it's using microUSB to charge, instead of, like almost every other tablet out there, a proprietary charger. We'll have to see how much of a difference that makes in how long it takes to chage, though. The volume and power buttons have a new home, too, and they're going to take a little getting used to.

A quick tour through the software on the XYBOARD 8.2 and you'll find Android 3.2. Yes, it's a Honeycomb tablet, but it's already been promised an update to Ice Cream Sandwich. Hopefully sooner rather than later. And while the original Xoom was very much a Nexus-like developer device, the XYBOARD is very much a Verizon and Motorola device. It's chock-full of Verizon and Motorola goodness (or bloat -- one man's trash and all that ...), with the framework in place for a dock connector and the MOTOPRINT wireles printing service.

Anyhoo, check out some more pics and quick video after the break.

More: Xoom 2/XYBOARD forums

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3 years ago

RuFraud malware causes premium SMS charges for folks in Asia and Europe, apps pulled from Market


The folks over at Lookout have warned us about a new malware threat, this time targeted at users outside of North America.  The RuFraud malware will sign up users in Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Czech Republic, Poland, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Latvia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Estonia, Great Britain, Italy, Israel, France, and Germany to a premium SMS service by hiding inside apps that pretend to be download helpers for popular games and utilities, or wallpaper apps from movies like TwilightThis particular bit of malware does not affect users in other countries.

While most of the affected applications are found on file-sharing sites and unofficial markets, some have appeared in the official Android Market.  The first batch were removed by Google after Lookout contacted them, and having only a "handful" of downloads they did not affect very many users.  Unfortunately, 13 new apps were later uploaded that had been downloaded over 14,000 times before they were pulled.  Lookout has been updated to remove and clean these apps from your phone if you downloaded them, and we expect other malware scanning applications will have followed suit.

A quick tip: It really sucks when popular applications (or Nexus phones) aren't available in your location.  We understand.  But any app that claims to be a helper to download an app that's otherwise unavailable is definitely suspicious.  Don't use them.  If the apps are free, ask your friends.  Ask on forums.  Root your phone, or use an app that disguises your location and opens the Market.  I'm not condoning piracy here, but I'm a realist -- if you're going to circumvent measures that keep these apps from you, do it the smart way.

Source: Lookout

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3 years ago

Best Buy called, Rezound as a multimedia device? [From the Forums]


With another week now kicked off, we're getting stoked for what this week will bring and hope you'll join us for it all. If you missed out on anything from the weekend, be sure to get caught up. Plus, our forums are open 24/7 so jump on in if you've got something to say.

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

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3 years ago

Adobe Flash Player for Android updated with bug and security fixes, still no Ice Cream Sandwich support


Adobe has updated Flash Player for Android to version, which fixes video streaming issues on the Galaxy S II, adds support for 1080p video on Tegra 3 devices like the Transformer Prime, and generic fixes for video decoding and playback.  It's a recommended update, even if you don't own one of the aforementioned devices, so hit the market and update or grab the link after the break.  Adobe did promise to keep supporting the Android Flash Player, and while nobody doubted them, it's still nice to see them hold true to their word.

Unfortunately, this update doesn't yet enable Flash on the Galaxy Nexus or any preliminary ICS build for other devices.  We still expect to see that soon, and we'll let you know as soon as it's available.

More: Adobe

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