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3 years ago

Android Central international round-up - August 11, 2012

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In international Android news, it's been a solid week of update news and IFA leaks. Sony confirmed its release plans for ICS on the Xperia P, as did Motorola with the GSM RAZR and RAZR MAXX. And HTC followed suit with its announcement that ICS would arrive before the end of August on all devices for which the update has been announced (good news Desire S and Thunderbolt owners!) The international HTC One X also got its update to Android 4.0.4, and with it some new menu key options and improved Beats Audio and browser capabilities. Vodafone Australia's Nexus S got Jelly Bean. And spare a thought for Motorola Xoom 3G owners in the UK, who are just now getting their Honeycomb-to-ICS update.

On the IFA front, we saw yet more leaked pictures of Sony's line-up of late 2012 Android products. Press renders of the Xperia Tablet leaked, and we saw even more blurry-cam photos of the LT30p (aka Xperia T). Elsewhere, the Xperia GX and SX went on sale in Japan, leaving international Sony fans wondering about a possible international launch for the GX in Berlin later this month.

And some interesting morsels of Galaxy Note 2 news dropped this week, too, with suggestions from the Korea IT Times that the upcoming 5.5-incher will feature a flexible SuperAMOLED display -- a smartphone first for the Korean manufacturer.

Check the links below for some of the main international Android stories of the past week. If you've got international news, you can tip us at the usual address.

Special features:

News:

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3 years ago

Flipboard for Android updated with improved navigation and in-app hints

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Flipboard for Android has already gone through several iterations since it first appeared on the Samsung Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3) back in May. This morning, Flipboard users are waking up to another update for the popular digital magazine app. The new version 1.9.6 of Flipboard includes improved navigation, in the form of dropdown menus when you tap on the name of the sections you're currently viewing.

In addition, there are some improvements to the way Google Reader feeds are handled, and in-app hints that highlight useful features you may not be aware of (similar to what you get when starting the ICS or Jelly Bean home screen launcher for the first time). The update also includes new shopping cart features for those using Guilt Taste through Flipboard.

And unsurprisingly, the official changelog also notes some "performance improvements and bug fixes," which are always welcome. If you're using Flipboard head to the Google Play Store app to update to version 1.9.6. If you've yet to give it a try, check out the Google Play link earlier in this post.

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3 years ago

LG Eclipse makes an appearance at the FCC, just a stop on the way to Sprint

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The LG Eclipse specifications may still be placed in the rumor category, but the network it's going to be on is now a matter of public record, as the phone has popped up at the FCC's website today. What we now know for certain is that the phone will be CDMA/EVDO/LTE capable, using Sprint's bands; along with the standard stuff like GPS, Bluetooth, and Wifi (dual-band 2.4 and 5GHz style). The LTE radio operating in the 1900MHz band locks this one as a Sprint LTE exclusive, though we wouldn't rule out LG making something very similar for Verizon or AT&T.

Why anyone would want this to hit their carrier is explained by the rumored specs. Supposedly the Eclipse will be sporting a quad-core Qualcomm S4 Krait, and 2GB of RAM. These specs (and again, there's nothing concrete about them just yet) would make it the winner of the coveted Android monster-spec'ed phone crown. In short, Imagine a Galaxy S 3 (Galaxy S III) with two times the CPU power.

Of course, software matters. If this one ships with anything short of Jelly Bean (it's rumored for a Q4 appearance) hardware geeks across the Internet will go completely ballistic -- and we will, too. Ball's in your court LG and Sprint. We want you to hit us with a ton of WOW factor here in both the hardware and the software side. 

Source: FCC. Thanks for the tip, Jules!

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3 years ago

Sports scores not showing up in Google Now, Customized S3 [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

Defender 2 review - wave defense with magic and a big honkin' crossbow

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Defender 2 is a popular wave defense game that seems to have struck a chord with Android gamers looking for a free, customizable, multiplayer experience.

Defender 2 puts players on top of a castle wall with a ballista, with which they must fend off an incoming attack from a variety of monsters. Early on, it’s fairly easy keeping up with mindless drones flinging themselves against the castle walls, but eventually you face down more powerful demons with ranged attacks and challenging new tactics. Luckily, players gather a broad array of new powers and weapons to defend their wall.

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3 years ago

Boost Mobile HTC EVO Design 4G review

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Contract-free and prepaid carriers are gaining in popularity. But when prepaid Android devices starting hitting those markets, they tended to be lower-tier phones. But recently we have seen plenty of great devices hitting various prepaid carriers, one of them being the HTC EVO Design 4G, which recently hit Boost Mobile.

Looking to get a taste of Ice Cream Sandwich in your hands, without breaking the bank monthly, and locking yourself into a new two year agreement? With lower monthly costs and the same high quality, could the HTC EVO 4G Design be your next Android device?

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3 years ago

Samsung Exynos 5 dual details released, fast chip is fast

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Samsung has announced and published the whitepaper for their upcoming Exynos 5250 SoC (System on a Chip), and it looks like the stuff a hardware geek's dreams are made of. Sporting a dual-core 1.7GHz CPU, paired with a quad-core Mali GPU. The full feature list reads like the side of a desktop computer box.

  • A15 CPU dual-core 1.7GHz CPU
  • Mali T604 quad-core GPU
  • 800 Mhz LPDDR3 RAM support
  • USB 3.0 support
  • OpenGL ES 3.0 support; OpenCL 1.1 full profile support; DirectX 11 support
  • Support for WXQGA (2560x1600) resolution
  • Wifi display support
  • 1080p 60 FPS video performance and VP8 codec decoder

We see a couple things nobody expects to see in an ARM chip for mobile devices, namely USB 3 and DirectX support. With Microsoft announcing a slew of upcoming Windows 8 tablets, we should get used to seeing it. And chances are that's where we'll see this chip first -- in Samsung built Windows 8 tablet/clamshell hybrid. 

Of course, it will also be a total screamer in the benchmark arena on the Android side, so that's what we're looking forward to seeing. No word on when that may happen, but while we all wait there's a great breakdown and discussion starter in the forums, where everyone can talk about the Exynos 5 until it gets in our Android devices. Check it out, along with links to Samsung's whitepaper and announcement below.

Samsung Exynos 5 details released | Exynos 5 whitepaper

Source: Samsung

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3 years ago

Black Galaxy S3 appears in Carphone Warehouse inventory, backs up Samsung Facebook pics

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Those disappointed with Samsung's initial choice of colors for the Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3) may be in luck, as information has emerged suggesting a black version of the popular handset may be on the way. The shot above is part of a set that's been doing the rounds for a few days now. It first appeared on Samsung's Facebook page alongside some promotional blurb for the Olympics, and it certainly looks​ like a black Galaxy S3. However, it's difficult to tell for sure -- if you've seen the pebble blue S3 in person, you'll know that it looks much darker up close than in earlier promo images.

Today, though, further evidence of the phone's existence has cropped up in a leaked inventory system photo from UK retailer the Carphone Warehouse. The shot, obtained by ​Android Police​ lists the black S3 alongside the marble white and pebble blue variants. There's no indication as to when the rumored black version might arrive, however.

With the garnet red AT&T Galaxy S3 in the states (and monstrosities like this pink Galaxy Note), Samsung has proven it's not afraid of throwing out different colored versions of popular phones. And we're sure there are plenty of people out there who'd snap up a black Galaxy S3, given the opportunity. In any case, we've reached out to Samsung for the official word on this, and we'll update this post with any info they provide.

Source: Samsung Facebook, Android Police

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3 years ago

Samsung getting together with Boost and Virgin Aug. 22 in NYC

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It's going to be a contract-free love fest on Aug. 22 in New York City as Samsung's getting together with Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile for some "big mobile news." Not much to say beyond that -- we could be looking at just about anything here. A Galaxy S3 would be a good guess though, but Samsung's got enough phones in play that it really could be something else. Only one way to find out.

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3 years ago

Stitcher review - a wonderful bottomless pit of talk show radio

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Stitcher recently added Facebook timeline integration to its talk radio app, allowing users to instantly share whatever it is they’re listening to, be it live audio streams or podcasts, to their social circle. Of course, the most excellent Android Central Podcast is available on Stitcher, but there’s really an unending stream of stuff to listen to.

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3 years ago

Q&A with Perfectly Clear's Athentech - making mobile photos better

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Perfectly Clear launched on Android recently, offering a whole bunch of different photo correction functions. You can find a full walk-through of the features in our review over here.  We talked to the developer, Athentech, a bit about mobile photography, processing power, and the technology needed to do make their app.

Thanks for your time! Perfectly Clear looks like it's been in the desktop software world for a while. Can you tell us about the product's transition to mobile?

Brad: Simon, it is my pleasure.  Thanks for your interest. We’ve actually been around in the “back-end” for quite some time.  We celebrated our 10th birthday last November!  We’ve been licensing our technology to companies around the world.  So we’re an “intel inside”, powering the automatic image correction for over 20 million printed images every day around the world and we’re installed in more than 105,000 photo kiosks.  So if you’ve ever printed a photo at any major retail chain, it’s likely your photo has been auto corrected by Perfectly Clear.

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3 years ago

Qmadix Metalix Snap-On Cover for Galaxy S3

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The Qmadix Metalix Snap-On Cover gives you some additional protection for your Galaxy S3 and adds a very handy feature.

 

There are lots of ways to both protect your Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) and also give it a distinguishing look with many of the newer cases on the market. The Qmadix Metalix Snap-On cover gives you an additional distinguishing feature – a kickstand on the back that works in both portrait and landscape modes.

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3 years ago

ICS for GSM Motorola RAZR and RAZR MAXX pushing out to 'select users'

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Broader release due "in the coming week", says Moto

Motorola is almost ready to flip the switch on its Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the international (GSM) RAZR and RAZR MAXX. The manufacturer took to its European Facebook page to tell customers that the ICS update had begun rolling out "to select users," with a broader release scheduled for "the coming week." Basically, it's a soak test, similar to what Moto does with major updates in the U.S.

In addition to Android version 4.0.4, the RAZR ICS update brings a re-vamped lock screen and launcher, as well as visual changes throughout, bringing the UI closer to more recent Moto phones like the Atrix HD. Check out our hands-on report on the Verizon ICS update for more details.

It's been a long wait for ICS on the RAZR series. The Verizon 4G LTE versions got the update shortly after Google I/O, and GSM RAZR owners have been waiting patiently since their ICS update was confirmed in a promotional video in early July.

If you're among the lucky few to have had your GSM RAZR or RAZR MAXX updated to ICS, let us know how you're getting on down in the comments.

Source: Motorola Europe Facebook

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3 years ago

TwitPic review - how the mighty have fallen

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Twitpic, one of the venerable forerunners of image sharing on Twitter, now has its own dedicated mobile app. Of course, it might seem a little extraneous since most Twitter clients have folded in Twitpic sharing as an option, or have simply opted for Twitter’s own native image service. Twitpic has been around for ages, but what else can it offer at this point?

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3 years ago

Trello review - clean task management for individuals and groups

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Trello was launched on Android recently, offering yet another way in which folks could keep track of multiple projects and collaborate with others. There’s a set hierarchy where boards have lists, and lists have cards. Cards can be thought of as individual tasks as part of a particular project, while boards are larger categories encompassing multiple projects.

Cards can be assigned to individual users by e-mail (though only from the web, not from the app), complete with due dates, check lists, labels, attachments, and collaborators. Those cards can be moved, copied, subscribed to, voted on, or archived once complete. An activity stream of you and collaborators on any given board makes it easy to stay up to date on who’s been doing what, though you can also subscribe to individual cards to keep tabs on task progress.

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