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4 years ago

Google Play Music updated with gapless playback support

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It's almost as if someone at Google was listening to the podcast... After an interesting question about gapless playback in Google Music on our 115th show, Google Music has been updated to support it. This means that during playback of an album, there will be a seamless transition between the songs. This was a deal-breaker for some audiophiles out there, but was still a nuisance to everyone else. Gapless is the way to go.

This update has also brought with it the ability to keep thumbs up/down, Last Added and Playlists on the device locally, as well as auto-generated Instant Mixes on your in your Recent tab.

And ahead of tomorrow's Google Play Music launch in Europe, the Play Music app now shows up directly in on-device search results from European devices.

Head to the Play Store link above to download the app or grab the update.

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4 years ago

Mobile Nations Passport Contest: Win the Ultimate Android Prize Pack!

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Last week we rolled our new Mobile Nations Passport account system, which makes it easy for any member of Android Central to also participate across our other sites. With Passport, you have one account and to rule them all!

In honor of the successful roll out of Passport and thanks to our awesome friends at Gogo, we're celebrating with an amazing cross site contest. Each of our sites is running a contest giving away an Ultimate Prize Pack for their platform. And thanks to Passport, you can easily enter for a shot at winning each prize pack on each site.

How to Enter: 

Step 1: Login to Android Central and leave a comment to this post to be entered to win the Ultimate Android Central Prize Pack!

Register or Login using the links at the top right corner of this site (see where it says Passport Is Live)

Step 2: Also enter to Win the BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone and webOS Wildcard Prize Packs:

Click on over to CrackBerryiMoreWindows Phone Central and webOS Nation (<-- on those links) to go straight to the respective contest post for that site. Simply login on each site -- which is painless thanks to Passport -- and leave a comment there, as you're doing here, and you'll be entered to win that prize pack. 

Step 3: Like Gogo on Facebook!

Our friends at Gogo -- the KINGS of Inflight Internet -- made it possible for us to run this Mobile Nations Contest. Gogo ROCKs. So be sure to click the button below and like them on Facebook. Your comment to this post is enough to be entered to win, but we'll love you, and Gogo will love you, if you like them (if the button doesn't work in your region, don't panic).

Beyond the Grand Prize, we have awesome runner up prizes as well. Keep reading for more info on the prizes and for the full contest details. Contest is open worldwide and ends at Noon PT on Monday, November 19th. Don't waste time... Enter now! Good Luck! 

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4 years ago

HTC might pay Apple $6-8 per device in patent settlement

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Though the most HTC would say about their patent settlement with Apple was that they didn't expect the process to "have an adverse material impact on the financials of the company," analyst Shaw Wu says they may be paying upwards of $6 - $8 per device in licensing fees starting in 2013. This would span both Android and Windows Phone devices, and could amount to between $180 and $280 million in fees. That's not an awful lot to Apple, but sure is more substantial than HTC was letting on. 

Though Apple isn't doing quite as well in their patent battles against Samsung lately, it's understandable that they may be less willing to settle with a manufacturer in a much more powerful position than HTC. HTC has been hurting for some time now, and if these licensing fees turn out to be true, it won't do their balance sheet any favors. 

Of course, analysts are well-known for their imagination, so take the $6 - $8 figure with a grain of salt. Is there any chance that Apple and HTC actually resolved their patent complaints without money changing hands? Maybe they reached some sort of cross-licensing deal? 

Via: CNET

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4 years ago

HTC publishes Jelly Bean update Q&A - 2012 devices first, excluding One V

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HTC has posted an updated Q&A page for Android 4.1, providing further details about Jelly Bean updates for its fleet of Android devices. In addition to confirming the already confirmed One S and One X Jelly Bean updates, the manufacturer says it's looking at updates for the rest of its 2012 portfolio on a device-by-device basis. However, two 2012 HTC devices that'll remain on Ice Cream Sandwich are the One V and Desire C. Both phones feature just 512MB of RAM, an apparent barrier to running Jelly Bean and HTC Sense.

But all isn't lost for older devices. HTC says it'll consider Jelly Bean updates for its 2011 phones too, assuming the hardware's up to the task. Given the restriction on 512MB devices, though, we suspect many won't make the cut. That said, we imagine popular phones like the HTC Sensation (with 768MB of RAM) might be in line for an official Android 4.1 update later in the year.

And interestingly, HTC says it plans to release "generic development ROMs" for devs, based upon Jelly Bean  for the One X and One S. Unfortunately, there's not much info on exactly what form these will take, or whether they'll be based on vanilla Android or HTC's Sense software. We've reached out to HTC for clarification, and will keep you posted with any new info they provide.

Elsewhere, HTC confirms that its Jelly Bean updates will include the latest version of HTC Sense, dubbed Sense 4+. We recently went hands-on with Sense 4+ on the company's latest European handset, the One X+.

Source: HTC

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4 years ago

Googler hints at time of Play Store Nexus 4/10 availability [updated]

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Updated: Launch Tuesday morning Euro time now on the cards?

Update: Keuchel has updated his post, indicating that Google has "stepped on the gas" and as such, the plan is to start taking orders through the Google Play devices store tomorrow morning, "around breakfast time" in Germany. (That's early morning Pacific time.) We've updated the article below to include this new information. An earlier post by the Google Germany employee suggested a late afternoon Euro launch.

We know many a smartphone nerd will have been hoping for a midnight debut of the new Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, which were announced a couple of weeks ago with a Nov. 13 launch date. However, it seems Google has other plans for its new phone and tablet launch. Google Germany employee Stefan Keuchel took to Google+ today to inform followers that the new devices would not be available at the stroke of midnight, as some had speculated. Instead, he says he's learned that Germans will be able to start ordering devices tomorrow morning Euro time. There's no information as to whether the devices will go on sale in the U.S. around the same time.

Take this with a pinch of salt, though, as the Google mothership has yet to make any official statement on the exact time of availability. But if devices do show up online around Tuesday morning German time, Europeans can expect to start receiving orders on Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

Keuchel warns against staying up to check the Google Play Store. Nevertheless, we'll be checking store listings regularly over the next 24 hours.

Source: +Stefan Keuchel

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Camera coming to the U.S. on AT&T Nov. 16

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The Samsung Galaxy Camera launched in the UK last week, and now it's headed to the U.S. on AT&T. Stateside, the Galaxy Camera will set you back $499 with or without a data contract when it launches this Friday, Nov. 16. The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean-powered point-and-shoot features a 16-megapixel BSI (backside illuminated) CMOS sensor with 21X optical zoom, and is powered by the same 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos chip found on the international Galaxy S3.

Connectivity-wise, you've got Wifi and 3G/4G coverage through AT&T. Today's presser makes no reference to LTE, so presumably we're dealing with good old-fashioned HSPA+ here.

As we mentioned, you can pick up the Galaxy Camera for $499 without a contract, but if you want a data plan, AT&T offers the following --

  • AT&T Mobile Share: $10 to share between 1 GB and 20GB
  • AT&T DataConnect 250MB: $15 for 250MB
  • AT&T DataConnect 3GB: $30 for 3GB
  • AT&T DataConnect 5GB: $50 for 5GB

A current AT&T promo also allows you to get $100 off a second Samsung device, including the Galaxy Camera when you buy a Samsung Galaxy smartphone from the carrier.

Thinking of picking one of these up at launch? $499 is no small amount of money, but the Galaxy Camera is no ordinary point-and-shoot. Let us know what you think in the comments.

More: AT&T Galaxy Camera hands-on

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4 years ago

Samsung reportedly hikes processor prices for Apple by 20 percent

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Sources are claiming that Samsung has cranked up the price of application processors for iPad and iPhone devices by 20%. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple rejected the price change, but after being unable to find anyone else that could fill the order, they accepted the hike. Just to put atht in perspective - Samsung's shipment of processor is expected to be going up to 200 million this year from 130 million last year. 

While Samsung is big enough that their chips business operates more or less independently of the handset side, it's hard not to see that as a direct result of Apple's ongoing smartphone patent tiffs with the electronics giant. Most recently, Apple has been skirting the issue of posting a public apology in the UK for claiming that Samsung devices had copied their design, and have ultimately been ordered to pay Samsung's legal fees

So, is a move like this fair game? is Samsung shooting themselves in the foot by estranging a high-volume customer, or a natural repercussion of Apple being so antagonistic in courts? Is there any chance that the increased price in application processors has nothing to do with what's happening on the legal side at all? What are the odds that Apple will be able to pick up the slack on these processors themselves eventually? 

Source: WSJ

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4 years ago

20-dollar Aakash 2 Android tablet announced for Indian schools

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Over the weekend, Indian government officials announced an incredibly affordable Android tablet to be used in education across the country. It's not much to look at: 1 GHz processor, 7-inch display, Wi-Fi, running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but it will cost students a scant 1132 rupees, or around $20. Of course, that price has been subsidized by the government; it cost the manufacturer, Datawind, $40 to make each one. Among other things, the Aakash 2 aims to facilitate remote education, so teachers and students can interact regardless of distance. 

Android has enabled the creation of extremely affordable tablets, and within the context of education, that can produce some very positive results. India has been trying to do something like this for a long time, but it often ends up getting bogged down in bureaucracy and ultimately killed off before it has a chance to reach schools. Here's hoping the Aakash 2 fares better. 

Source: PIB

Via:   AndroidOS

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4 years ago

How-To unlock the Nexus 10 bootloader

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One of the reasons you buy a Nexus device is easy, complete access to the device hardware. The stock software is great, but we all know sometimes its fun to tinker around with your own creations. Nexus devices have locked bootloaders out of the box (and that's a good thing), but unlocking them is trivial. Just like the Nexus phones and tablets before it, the Nexus 10 is no exception.

Just because unlocking the bootloader is easy doesn't mean it's for everyone, however. Part of unlocking is understanding the risks that come along with it. Having a device running with an unlocked bootloader means that anyone who has access to your device in turn has access to every bit of software (and personal data) on it -- even if you're using security measures such as a lockscreen.

If you decide that unlocking the bootloader is something you want to accomplish, then doing it right out of the box is a good idea. The process of unlocking completely wipes all of your personal data off of the device, so you won't want to do this two months after you get it. You'll want to spend the little bit of time to unlock first before setting it up just how you like it.

Alright, now that we've got that out of the way, let's double up unlock your shiny new Nexus 10's bootloader.

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4 years ago

Latest HTC DLX pics point to wider international launch

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HTC has already announced one variant of its 5-inch, 1080p "DLX" handset, the Japanese HTC J Butterfly, and tomorrow in New York City we'll be seeing the Verizon version, the Droid DNA. Today, leaked information from a Taiwanese forum might indicate a wider Asian launch for the device.

The images above have emerged on ePrice, showing the HTC DLX in black, white and brown flavors. According to the source, the brown and black version will be available in China, while HTC's native Taiwan will get all three. The international DLX seems to be slightly thinner than the Verizon version -- note the protruding camera lens in the middle shot. This could point to a battery smaller than the 2500mAh unit reported to power the Droid DNA.

Various dates are being bandied about for the Chinese and Taiwanese launch of the DLX (which, by the way, we imagine is still a codename). The poster on ePrice says it might arrive in Taiwan as early as Dec. 20.

In addition to the crazy 1080p display, reported DLX/Droid DNA specs include a quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 12MP camera, putting it on par with the J Butterfly.

Our fingers are firmly crossed for an unlocked European version of this beauty.

Source: ePrice; via: PhoneArena

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4 years ago

UK appeals court orders Apple to pay Samsung's legal fees

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Previously on Patent Wars -- Apple sues Samsung in the UK over alleged copying of its iPad design, loses, appeals, loses again, and is ordered to publish statements in leading publications and its on own website indicating that Samsung didn't infringe upon its registered design. Only Apple's initial (and rather passive-aggressive) statement, referencing legal victories in other countries, saw it falling foul of the British judiciary. In recent weeks, a revised statement appeared on Apple's site and in some UK newspapers.

Now the Court of Appeals of England and Wales has ordered Apple to pay all of the costs of Samsung's legal defense on an indemnity basis, on account of the court's "disapproval of [Apple's] conduct." Today's judgment reads --

As to the costs (lawyers' fees) to be awarded against Apple, we concluded that they should be on an indemnity basis. Such a basis (which is higher than the normal, "standard" basis) can be awarded as a mark of the court's disapproval of a party's conduct, particularly in relation to its respect for an order of the court. Apple's conduct warranted such an order.

The judgment also deconstructs Apple's original statement line-by-line, variously describing it as "false and misleading" and "calculated to produce huge confusion," and taking particular issue with references to rulings in Apple's favor in Germany and the U.S. As such, Apple must now open its wallet, in addition to continuing to display the legally-mandated statement on its UK site.

The revised statement must remain on Apple's site for one month.

Source: Balilii; via: The Verge

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4 years ago

Sony to give away 24K gold Xperia P in Facebook contest

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What's better than a free Xperia P? A free Xperia P in 24 karat gold, presented in a fancy display case. Sony Mobile is offering the prize on its Swedish Facebook page as part of a Guldfredag -- or "Gold Friday" -- promotion.

As Xperia Blog points out, there's no information as to whether this limited edition Xperia P is solid gold, or merely gold plated, but we don't think the winner will be complaining -- either way, it's still packing more of the precious metal than your average smartphone.

In our review of the Xperia P back in June, we praised the phone's industrial design and display quality. However, we were underwhelmed by the Gingerbread-based firmware. Now the phone has ICS, making it a more tempting proposition. The regular Xperia P can be picked up for around £200 online -- we won't even guess at the value of the gold version.

Swedes in need of a blinged-out Sony smartphone can enter Sony's contest over at the source link.

Source: Sony Mobile Facebook (Sweden); via: XperiaBlog

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7-inch available for £120 after cashback from Amazon UK

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We're starting to get to that time of year. Holiday sales, Christmas gift shopping, and everyone likes a deal, right? If you're in the market for a cheap tablet, the Google Nexus 7 will always come highly recommended, but it's not for everyone -- there's no rear camera for one. Over at Amazon UK right now, the competing 7-inch offering from Samsung, the oh-so-elegantly named Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, can be yours for just £120 following a mail in rebate. 

The 8GB tablet itself is retailing for £149.99, but following purchase customers can claim a £30 rebate directly from Samsung. They're not done there though, because besides claiming back your £30 rebate, you can also claim a free 8GB microSD card, doubling your storage. 16GB total storage for £120. To take a look at the offer, check out the source links below. Additionally, if a larger tablet is more your thing, Samsung seems to be offering rebates on the Tab 2 10.1 and the Note 10.1 of £50.

Sources: Amazon UK, Samsung UK

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4 years ago

UK 4G auction process to begin in December, roll-out slated for May/June

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UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom has outlined the process by which most of the country's operators will get to bid on spectrum for use with 4G LTE mobile services.  The long-delayed 800MHz and 2600MHz auction process will begin next month, with a December deadline for submissions, followed by bidding next January, ahead of an eventual 4G roll-out on these frequencies in May or June.

Reserve prices for the spectrum auction reportedly total £1.3 billion ($2.07 billion). By comparison, the auction of 3G bands back in 2000 netted £22.47 billion for the uK government, although the eventual amount raised by the 4G sale isn't expected to be anywhere near as high.

The UK's largest carrier, EE (Everything Everywhere, formerly Orange + T-Mobile), recently launched 4G services on re-farmed 1800MHz spectrum, prompting an acceleration of the bidding process on 800MHz and 2600MHz bands. However, EE's plans have been criticized due to their high price compared to rival 3G/HSPA networks. With O2, Vodafone and Three each likely to walk away with a slice of 4G spectrum in next year's auction, the resulting competition should help to drive down prices across the board.

Source: TNW

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