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3 years ago

Brightness settings, Will my Galaxy Nexus arrive? [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.

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

What is a Nexus stock image, and how do you use it?

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Hacking your Galaxy Nexus is cool - but even cooler is being able to fix it and get back to stock

With all the Jelly Bean ROMs floating around out there, more than a few of us have put our Galaxy Nexus devices so far off the official path that we need breadcrumbs to find our way back. Custom firmware is half the fun of owning one of Google's wide-open phones, and we encourage everyone to learn what they can and see if it's something they want to try. But sometimes, you just want to go home again. Getting your Galaxy Nexus back to the state it was out-of-the-box is pretty straightforward for most variants.

We say variants, because "official" images exist only for the yakju (GSM), takju (Google Play version) and mysid (Verizon) versions. The good news here is that plenty of unofficial methods will help you if you have a different version, and our Galaxy Nexus forum is just the place to find them. If you're rocking the Sprint version, or one of the Samsung world versions, head there and ask the pros. For the rest, it's pretty easy.

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3 years ago

Contest Winners: Google I/O t-shirts and a Samsung Galaxy Nexus

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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 during the week. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to the winners!

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3 years ago

Official VLC for Android build enters beta, if you can get it

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We heard from VideoLAN a couple of weeks ago with suggestions that an official VLC build for Android was finally nigh. Well, nigh becomes today, as the first official beta of VLC for Android is available for download from Google Play right now. It comes boasting, as we would expect, a pretty impressive list of features and support:

  • Plays all files, in all formats, like the classic VLC.
  • Audio and video media library, with full search.
  • Support for network streams, including HLS.
  • Supports Android from version 2.1 (platform-7).
  • Supports ARMv6, ARMv7 and ARMv7+NEON.
  • Subtitles support, embedded and external, including ASS and DVD subtitles.
  • Multi audio or subtitles tracks selection.
  • Multi-core decoding, for Cortex-A7 A9 and A15 chips.
  • Experimental hardware decoding.
  • Gestures, headphones control.

For anyone who isn't familiar, VLC is an extremely powerful, open-source, media player, that can pretty much play any type of media file thrown at it. An official build for Android has been a long time coming, but there have been several, unofficial builds to play with. We've been using one for quite some time now, and the results are pretty impressive. True to its word, we've yet to find a video that has stumped it. And, despite expecting bugs, it has proved surprisingly stable thus far. Bodes well for the official build. 

There are a few conditions though. This is the NEON version only at this time, but other builds will be coming that support a wider range of devices. And, VideoLAN has published a list of recommended devices to try out the beta on, but it's not a compatibility list, so go take a look. But, do be warned, we are seeing a big old list of incompatible devices.

From what we've seen so far, there's every possibility it's a location based issue and not an actual device incompatibility. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is listed as a recommended device by VideoLAN, but on the American side of the Atlantic, we're seeing the "cannot be installed in your device's country" message in both the U.S. and Canada. 

It's also important to note that this is an early beta, and it's likely to be full of bugs. But, it does come with a homescreen widget. Things will change before the final release too. In any case, it's finally here, and the developers are keen for users to join in the testing, and engage with them in their official forums. 

For the full rundown, hit the source link below, and head on over to Google Play to grab yourselves a copy. We know a lot of you guys have been waiting on this one. We're going to go away and have a good look ourselves

Source: VideoLAN; Download: VLC Beta for Android

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3 years ago

Android developers demystify application security (the sky is not falling!)

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As soon as the schedule for Google I/O 2012's developer sessions was announced, I knew the Security and Privacy in Android Apps session was going to be a must-attend session. The Internet and its FUD machine gives Android security a lot of bad press, and while some of it is warranted, some of it is just sensationalism. Android is a big name and big names in big headlines sell papers. 

I'm so glad I felt forced to attend this one. The presenters (Android security engineer Jon Larimer, and Android framework and security engineer Kenny Root) did a wonderful job. It was developer-oriented for sure, but laid out in a way that even novice coders (or rusty old ones) would understand. The gist of it all was typically Google, and typically open -- the tools and methods to provide a very secure Android application are there, developers have to use them correctly. Android's open-market model means there is no one to review every app before it goes in Google Play, and with easy sideloading just about any code can find its way on your device. (Hopefully with your knowledge.) It's up to developers to use the tools to make a safe, secure, and useful application. It might sound like Google is passing the buck on security here, but we have to remember that the alternative is a locked-down garden of corporate evil  model like Apple where they control everything that goes in or out of a phone you paid for. I prefer the open model, and I imagine that most of you reading will agree.

The basics, like Android's sandbox, were covered, as well as some outside-the-box thinking, like the risk of Web containers and home-made encryption. We saw examples of how to use the correct app permissions (and only use the correct permissions), developer account security to keep your good name safe and untarnished in Google Play, and even the insecure nature of being online was covered. Larimer and Root did a great job telling the attendees (the room was so crowded they had to turn folks away to meet fire-safety code) about the hazards that exist and the tools to combat them. It was the perfect example of why Google I/O is important to all of us -- developers need to hear this stuff. The short of it:

  • Our mobile devices are full of very important (to us) and private data.
  • Applications must be designed to protect data.
  • Any and all data exposed to your application must be kept secure.
  • Android uses application sandboxing and the Linux security and permissions model, so you have to be wary of what other apps are going to ask your app to do for them.
  • Permissions are of the utmost importance. Learn what each one does, and only use the ones you must.
  • Intents and APIs should be used instead of global permissions.
  • Your (the developers) name is on the tin. Spend the time to make sure your product is secure and user info is kept private.

It's a relatively simple set of guidelines, with about a million ways to go wrong. Luckily Google is ready and willing to help with sessions like this as well as various code-jams and developer hangouts across the globe. 

What was initially something I thought I had to attend, like it or not, turned out to be the highlight of the entire event for me. Google is serious about application security and your privacy, and they want to help every developer write great apps that keep users data safe and sound. If you're not an Android dev, you can feel good that Google knows what the issues are, and is doing everything they can to keep you safe. If you are a developer, you need to watch this session. We've got the video (about an hour) and a gallery of some highlights after the break. 

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3 years ago

Comscore: Samsung top mobile manufacturer, Android top platform

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It's not all doom and gloom in the Android world. Comscore just released its findings for the three months ending in May, and they are as follows:

  • Samsung's is the top overall mobile manufacturer at 25.7 percent. LG's second at 19.1 percent. That's counting smartphones and non-smartphones, however. Apple's third at 15 percent (the largest gainer with a 1.5 percentage point increase over February), followed by Motorola (which has more than a few non-smartphones) at 12 percent, and HTC at 6.1 percent.
  • Google's still well in the lead for total smartphone subscribers, at 50.9 percent. Apple's second at 31.9 percent, and it again was the highest gainer at 1.7 percentage points. (Android grew about half that.) BlackBerry fell 2 percentage points to 11.4 percent, and Microsoft's Windows Phone showed just 0.1 percentage points of growth, to 4 percent even.

We'll be looking for Android's numbers to take a pretty big bump maybe not in the June findings, but certainly July, as the Galaxy S III is finally hitting stores.

Source: Comscore

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3 years ago

AT&T Galaxy S III hits stores Friday

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A little bit of good news for those of you who are still trying to get the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III from an actual ... what do you call it ... oh, right -- store. The carrier today says it expects full stock on July 6 -- that's this Friday. Preorders have been shipping over the past several days, so that's been taken care of. But being able to walk in, hold the GSIII in your hand and then plop down some cash has been problematic, at best. This week that ends.

Pricing remains $199 for the 16GB version, which is all AT&T's got. But you can still slap up to a 64GB microSD card in there, so all's not lost.

But before you hoof it over to an AT&T store -- hell, before you eat lunch -- be sure to read our complete AT&T Galaxy S III review.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

Why I waited to get a Galaxy Nexus ...

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For someone who loves mobile technology, what took me so long to get a Galaxy Nexus is something you may be wondering. When the Galaxy Nexus was first announced with Ice Cream Sandwich I was more than intrigued, I thought I wanted one, and would grab it as soon as it was available, but that wasn't the case. Upon release I began to think about how future ICS devices may be better, I read some peoples complaints about various parts of the device and unfortunately I let that sway my purchase decision. With more ICS choices on the market, like the new HTC and Samsung Galaxy S III devices, the decision became even harder for me to make, and it wasn't until Google I/O this year that I was really able to make my decision and take a firm stand to make a purchase.

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3 years ago

Drag Racing - Bike Edition [Android App Review]

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If you ever got into web games, odds are that you have heard of and likely spent many hours or days already having played the Drag Racing series. For those unfamiliar with the game the idea was simple, you bought a virtual car, then raced it to win money and points to get upgrades, and you tried to have the best and fastest car possible. These games have since evolved, and been brought to the mobile space, and they have made a spin off, Drag Racing - Bike Edition. As you could imagine from the title this game is very similar, except with the use of motorcycles instead of cars. Let's hit the break and see exactly what the game is all about!

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3 years ago

Motorola MOTOROKR S10 HD Bluetooth headset review

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With the Motorola MOTOROKR S10 HD Bluetooth headset, you can have all the advantages of Bluetooth connectivity in a true stereo headphone.

Most of the Bluetooth headsets I have tried and reviewed are headsets that go in one ear. If they do play music, it is in mono with so so quality.  Other Bluetooth devices are speakerphones that are also mono music players.

 

The Motorola MOTOROKR S10 HD is a true stereo headphone with built in Microphone that is connected via Bluetooth. The idea sounds great; let’s see about the actual implementation.

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3 years ago

Nexus 7 coming to retailers down under soon

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Fear not, good people of Australia, the word on the street is that the Google Nexus 7 tablet we be available for you to purchase in local retail stores in the very near future. According to Gizmodo.au you will be able to pick up the new Android tablet from the following stores: Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Dick Smith, Bing Lee, The Good Guys, Retravision, Radio Rentals, Officeworks, EB Games, Costco, BSR and authorised ASUS resellers. Priced at $319 for the 16GB variant consumers purchasing the tablet through these retailers will pay an additional $20.00 compared to the online price direct from Google but ASUS have stated that this is due to the costs associated with shipping to Australia. Sounds fair to me.

I would imagine that the majority of people who can't wait to get their hands on the device will  have already placed their order with Google direct, but for the long term success of the tablet this latest news is great. More retailers means more advertising which should mean better sales.

I have a slight suspicion Google may be onto a good thing here. 

Source: Gizmodo

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3 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Google I/O 2012 postmortem

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Hey, look at that. We've survived another edition of the Google I/O developer conference. I always feel a little out of place here, though. I'm a journalist, not a developer. And while most of the events I attend in the U.S. and abroad are showcases, tailored to pamper and impress in hopes of getting a favorable write-up (especially if the device is, shall we say, lacking), Google I/O isn't for me at all. That's not to say I don't learn anything, and that those of us in the Third-and-a-Half Estate don't have our usual great time. Because I do, and we do.

But I'm not a developer. When a Googler flashes a string of code up on a screen to the oohs and ahs of a couple hundred or couple thousand developers, I have only a fleeting understanding of what I'm looking at. (Oh, I get the broad strokes, but don't ask me to whip up an app for you anytime soon.) And make no mistake, this event's all about the developers, a fact Jerry so astutely reminded us of on Sunday.

As for me? Let's look back a little bit at what we saw this week -- and what we didn't see as well.

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3 years ago

GSM Motorola Razr begins receiving Ice Cream Sandwich update

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We have seen the Ice Cream Sandwich update start trickling out, and then land for the masses for the Verizon customers, and now it appears as though Motorola has made the update available outside of the US as well. The update is beginning to land on GSM devices as well, with initial reports coming in from Asia. While we are unsure of the roll out plans for the rest of the GSM users, this is definitely good news, and we hope to see the update become available on all of your devices soon!

Are you a GSM Motorola Razr owner who has received the update notification as well? Be sure to hop into to the forums and let us know where you are and what carrier you use!

Thanks, Whimex!

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3 years ago

Droid Incredible 4G LTE hits Verizon on July 5

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As it was foretold, If you've been holding out for the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE on Verizon, this is the week, folks. It'll be available starting July 5 for $149.99 on contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate.

You'll no doubt remember this phone from our hands-on at CTIA in New Orleans, as well as our comparison to the HTC EVO 4G LTE, and it's important to remember that the D4GLTE, in additional to having a ridiculously long name, is not a member of the HTC One family. You'll find many of the same software improvements, including Beats audio and Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich, but it's lacking the separate image processing of the HTC One line, and that's a big deal. But the Snapdragon S4 processor should still be snappy enough, and the shooter, despite not being HTC's best, is still 8 megapixels at f/2.2 with a 28 mm lens. So there's that.

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3 years ago

Android 4.0.4 rolling out for the HTC Incredible S

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It seems an age ago that HTC announced the Incredible S. It was. February 2011 to be precise at Mobile World Congress.

The phone may not have generated as much interest as the other devices that were also revealed but I for one loved the Incredible S. I even bought one. And now I wish I still had it as Ice Cream Sandwich is rolling out.

The version is actually 4.0.4, so The Unwired are reporting and is available for the GSM variant. The Incredible S is the first upgradable device to receive this version of ICS.

It is so nice to see the manufactures still supporting older devices these days. I know that all eyes have been on Jelly Bean over the past couple of weeks but you must also remember that most consumers these days are taking a new phone with a 24 month contract. The updates may not come as soon as we would like them but at least they come.

Source: The Unwired

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