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4 years ago

Sony releases Jelly Bean alpha for Xperia T


The official Sony Xperia T Jelly Bean update might still be a few months away, but in order to give developers a sneak peek at what's ahead, Sony has released an early alpha ROM for the device. The Xperia T Jelly Bean alpha can be flashed using Sony's own flash tool, after unlocking the Xperia T via the official bootloader unlock utility.

A few caveats apply here -- radio functionality like Bluetooth, Wifi and mobile data is not included (likely for regulatory reasons), nor are Google apps. In addition, Sony says the UI has not yet been updated to reflect the final look and feel of the Xperia Jelly Bean firmware -- i.e. what's on the new Xperia Z. And crucially, if you unlock your Xperia T and apply this alpha ROM, you won't be able to update to the official Jelly Bean firmware once it's released. So this ROM really is one for advanced users and adventurous devs only.

Hopefully today's release will accelerate the progress of Jelly Bean-based custom ROMs for the Xperia T. If nothing else, we'd expect this to be hacked into something with working radios and Google Apps in a relatively short space of time. If you possess both a Sony Xperia T and a strong sense of adventure, you can find full instructions over at the source link.

Source: Sony Developer World Blog

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4 years ago

Quento turns basic math into a fun time-waster


Look, I'm not a math guy. Ask anybody. My wife. Any one of my grade-school teachers. My first-grade daughter. My 2-year-old daughter. They know I don't do math worth a damn. So what am I doing playing a game all morning that involves adding and subtracting? Moreover, why am I still playing it now?

Fresh off a successful launch of iOS, Quento has come to Android.

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4 years ago

Temple Run 2 - a notable update to a fantastic game


Temple Run 2, a sequel to the vastly popular original, sticks with the same format and proven gameplay but makes notable improvements across the game. If you somehow avoided playing the original game, it's a pretty simple concept to get ahold of. You're running away from some scary beasts down a complex level of twists and turns, and you are trying to collect as many coins and perks as you can along the way. Swipe up to jump, down to slide, across to turn and lean the device left or right to stay out of trouble.

Temple Run 2 has the same set of controls as the original, but the levels are spiced up a bit, breaking free of the original combination of straight runs and 90-degree turns. There are rope zip lines to use, and more sweeping turns and curves to navigate through. All of the extra flare helps keep the game interesting, which is important for something that can usually become quite repetitive. The settings menu has a bit of a visual overhaul as well, with easier to use buttons and a better character selector. The store is still here to buy coins (via in-app purchase,) but the game is still free to play and the purchases aren't completely necessary if you want to keep things cheap.

This game is a worthy successor to the original, building on what seems like a classic platform less than a year after its Android release. I've been playing quite a bit on both a phone and tablet with absolutely no hiccups or issues, even at max graphical settings. The animations, sounds and gameplay are all top-notch and set a standard for what every game should feel like when you play it.

Stick around after the break for a video walkthrough and some gameplay of the new version.

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4 years ago

Latest Chrome Beta allows tinkering with experimental features


The Google Chrome Beta for Android has once again been updated, this time with a singular but interesting change. The new version 25.0.1364.47 enables access to chrome://flags, a hidden menu page that allows all sorts of experimental, work-in-progress features to be switched on (at your own risk).

Among these, as Googler Brandon Jones points out on Google+, is support for WebGL, a JavaScript API for rendering accelerated graphics. Many of the features on the list aren't supported on the Android branch yet, but there are quite a few that may be of interest to web developers and the hacking/tweaking crowd.

If you're already running Chrome Beta, you can grab the latest version from the Play Store app. If not, you can find it at the Google Play link above.

Source: Google Chrome Releases

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4 years ago

Nexus 4 headed to Fido in Canada next month


Hot on the heels of Videotron's announcement yesterday, rival Canadian network Fido has announced that it too will carry the LG Nexus 4. The phone has appeared in Fido's reservation system, with a release scheduled for sometime in February. To secure a Nexus 4, Canadians will need to pay a C$40 up-front reservation fee.

Pricing information is promised in the near future, but if other territories are anything to go by, it's likely the unsubsidized cost will be somewhat higher than the Canadian Google Play Store price.

For an overview of how we've been getting on with the Nexus 4 since its November launch, check out our 'Nexus 4, two months on' feature.

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4 years ago

Fresh Galaxy Note 8.0 photos emerge showing S Pen, software


Just a day after we got our first look at the Galaxy Note 8.0 in leaked spy shots, a couple more photos of the 8-inch tablet have emerged online. Today's pics come via French Android community Frandroid, showing apparently the Note 8.0 alongside its 5.5-inch sibling, the Galaxy Note 2. As with yesterday's images, we see a tablet with a curved design and a phone-style three-button setup on the bottom bezel instead of traditional on-screen keys. And this time around we get to see the larger "S Pen" stylus, which was docked away in yesterday's images.

Yes, there's also an earpiece up top for making calls, as we saw in yesterday's shots. But that's nothing new -- 7-inch Samsung tablets have been doing that since the original 2010 Galaxy Tab.

Today's pics reveal a little more about the device's software. Unsurprisingly, the Note 8.0 is running Samsung's TouchWiz UI, but it also seems to be using a "phone-style" launcher, similar to the direction taken with the stock tablet launcher in Android 4.2 -- which this device is rumored to be running. The presence of floating windows suggests that Samsung's included its multi-window tech in the Note 8.0, too. In addition, we can also clearly see a notification bar up top in both shots.

Samsung's expected to make the Note 8.0 all officially official at Mobile World Congress at the end of February. Leaked spec sheets suggest we can expect similar internals to the Galaxy Note 2 -- a 1.6GHz Exynos 4 Quad CPU, 2GB of RAM and 16 and 32GB storage options, expandable via microSD slot. Stick with Android Central for full coverage of the Note 8.0 and other Samsung devices at MWC, and be sure to check out our latest podcast for more discussion on this device.

Source: Frandroid

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4 years ago

Samsung announces Galaxy Xcover 2, new ruggedized mid-range phone


Following some brief leakage earlier this week, Samsung has announced the Galaxy Xcover 2, a new ruggedized mid-range phone running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. As the name suggests, it’s a follow-up to last year’s Galaxy Xcover, and it comes packing IP67-rated water and dust resistance.

Hardware-wise, we’re looking at a dual-core 1GHz CPU running the show, with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD slot. The screen’s a 4-inch WVGA (800x480), and there’s an 5MP rear camera and a VGA front-facer. (A dedicated camera key is also included.)

As ruggedized smartphones go, the Xcover 2 brings some interesting hardware and design chops, and the fact that it’s running an up-to-date version of Android should result in a pretty good user experience, too. Today’s announcement doesn’t specify any release date, but earlier leaks have suggested it could be out as soon as next month. 

We've got more images after the break.

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4 years ago

Android Central 123: Giant fake phones?


Audio-only stream below

The Galaxy Note 8.0 is coming, Samsung says, but are recent leaked pictures real? Plus, HTC leaks, the state of the Nexus, and your e-mails and voicemails.

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4 years ago

HTC announces Desire U, 4-inch mid-range device for Taiwan


HTC has just quietly rolled out a spec page for a new device, the mid-range Desire U, targeted at the Taiwan market. Falling in line design-wise with the rest of the recent "One" and "Desire" devices, the Desire U has a smooth plastic body and rounded edges with a classy looking circle design that accents the back plate. On the inside, this device is clearly lower end, with a 1GHz processor, 4GB of (expandable) storage, 512MB of RAM and a 480x800 (WVGA) display. The U has a 1650mAh battery, which should give a good bit of life for a device with these specs.

The device is a Taiwanese listing, so the frequencies on this device are set up for that market -- 900 and 2100MHz HSPA along with 900, 1800 and 1900MHz GPRS/EDGE. No one is likely to import this, but with a striking design and acceptable specs, this low-ranger may do well in specific markets. We're finding unlocked pricing of about $275, which is quite competitive.

Source: HTC (translated)

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4 years ago

Samsung's Q4 2012 financial earnings: "We made lots of money"


Samsung has announced their financial results for the last quarter in 2012, and they beat all estimates -- even their own. The electronics group posted an operating profit of 8.84 trillion Won ( that's about 8.27 billion US dollars), on 56.06 trillion Won (about 52.45 billion US dollars) in revenue. That's a 10-percent increase in profit over the Q3 2012 earnings, and almost a 90-percent jump year-over-year. Total profits for 2012 came in at 29.05 trillion Won (about 27.2 billion US dollars), on a total revenue of 201.10 trillion Won (approximately 188.15 billion US dollars). In addition, Samsung spent 2.96 trillion Won (about 2.76 billion US dollars) on research and development over the quarter.

That's a whole lot of cash.

Of course, much of this profit comes from smartphone sales, and with Samsung that means Android. By getting product into the hands of people who want it, Samsung has made more money from Android in one quarter than Google did with all their products and services. We don't see this slowing down anytime soon, and imagine a new crop of Samsung mobile products will set the stage for similar numbers next year. Hit the link for the full financial results.

Source: Samsung (pdf)

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4 years ago

iPhone continues to dominate AT&T; the rest is Android?


AT&T has just posted its Q4 2012 earnings, showing strong growth in both wireless and wireline businesses. We'll be focusing here on the wireless business, naturally, so let's get right into the notable points:

Some 10.2 million smartphones were activated in the final three months of the year, the carrier said. Of that, 8.6 million were iPhones. AT&T didn't break down how much of the remaining 16 percent of sales were Android phones, but it did mention that our fare platform had its best-ever quarter. 

More of the financial stuff is after the break.

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4 years ago

Intel introduces the Yolo, a low-cost Android smartphone heading to Kenya


Intel, partnering with Safaricoma Kenyan based provider, has announced a new smartphone, the Yolo, headed to African markets. Back at CES, Intel took to the stage to introduce Lexington, which is their new processor targeted at emerging markets. The Yolo is the first smartphone to have that chip and looks positioned to make quite an impact in emerging markets.

The Intel Yolo will contain:

  • 3.5-inch screen (320 x 420)
  • 1.2GHz processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage
  • micro-SD slot that supports up to 32GB
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • Android 4.04 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • 5MP camera

The specs are low to mid-range because that's what this phone is aimed at. Intel wants to make a real push in emerging markets and the Yolo looks poised to do just that. Kenya will be the first market in Africa to get the phone, but we're betting that we'll see it in other markets soon. The phone will cost Ksh 10,999, which is about $125.It will also come bundled with 500MB.

Source: Intel; Techweez

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4 years ago

Leaked press image of forthcoming Huawei Ascend P2 emerges ahead of MWC unveiling


This press image obtained by @evleaks claims to be the next high end offering from Huawei. Following on from the Ascend D2 which first launched at CES, the Ascend P2 that we see here is also reportedly joining the 1080p display club. Only, unlike the D2 which comes in at 5 inches, the P2 display is reported to be just 4.5 inches with on-screen buttons. 

Leaks of recent Huawei devices have proved pretty accurate, so while the usual rumor tag applies here too, there's plenty of cause to believe this is what we'll be seeing from Huawei in Barcelona next month at Mobile World Congress.

The P2, besides the display, is also reported to contain an in-house built 1.8GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera and a pretty hefty 3000mAh battery. Software is said to be Jelly Bean, with no indication as to which version.  If it all pans out, it's clear to see that Huawei didn't just leave their big guns in Las Vegas. How much is true remains to be seen, but we'll be live from Barcelona next month to take a look at whatever it is that Huawei brings. 

Source: @evleaks (Unwired View)

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4 years ago

Preorder now: The Lloyd Flex Case for the Galaxy S3!


You wanted it, we've got it. Behold the Lloyd Flex Case for the Samsung Galaxy S3, available for preorder now from This TPU-style case is made from shock-absorbent and scratch-resistant material, perfect for protecting your precious GS3 from damange and dings. Plus it's slim and lightweight (unlike the lovable Lloyd that graces the back of the case), and it wraps all the way around the phone, to keep the display from hitting the tablet face-down.

It's available in four colors -- black (seen here), clear, smoke and green -- for $14.95 each. (That's 25 percent off, by the way.)

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4 years ago

Skype update adds portrait calling on tablets, rest of the app locked in landscape


The latest update to Skype improved the UI and added a much asked for feature in portrait calling, but unfortunately the rest of the app is locked in landscape. The portrait calling seemed like a no-brainer fix, especially considering many smaller tablets -- like the Nexus 7 -- have camera setups meant for portrait orientation. The unfortunate bug (or at least we hope it's a bug) is that for now the rest of the UI is locked into landscape orientation. This means that browsing your contacts and initiating calls is all in landscape, then you have to rotate the tablet to hold the call.

Overall the new UI is great and pretty well mirrors the styling of the phone UI, but the perpetual landscape really puts a damper on things. Let's hope Skype pushes out a new update to add back in the portrait support, and in the meantime we can at least enjoy portrait video calls.

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