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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Jelly Bean updates to begin early 2013

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But 2011 devices will miss out on official Android 4.1 update

While other manufacturers have been confirming, and even releasing updates to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Sony Mobile has so far remained quiet. This morning the company broke its silence to reveal its official update plans for 2012 Xperia devices.

First to get a taste of Jelly Bean will be the company's three flagship products for late 2012 -- Xperia T, Xperia TX and Xperia V. These devices will be updated in "mid-Q1 2013," Sony says. In addition, Sony confirmed that international versions of the Xperia S, Xperia acro S, Xperia Ion, Xperia P, Xperia Go and Xperia J will also get Jelly Bean, though no release timeframe was offered for those phones. There no mention of the U.S.-specific Xperia Ion, or the upcoming Xperia TL, both AT&T handsets. That's not to say these devices won't get Jelly Bean, but it's likely there'll be a longer wait for any eventual update.

There's also bad news for 2011 Xperia owners, however, as Sony confirmed these phones will remain on ICS. The 2011 Xperia line includes devices like the Xperia Arc, Xperia Play and Xperia Neo. These phones will continue to be supported through maintenance updates, Sony said.

Sony promises more updates in the future, as it works towards bringing Jelly Bean to its ever-widening product portfolio.

Mid-Q1 is a long way off, and there's every reason to expect we'll be on Android 4.2 by then. But as we've already covered in excruciating detail, updates are hard, and there's a whole mess of other stuff that goes into the upgrade process, besides copy-pasting a skin on top of the latest open-source Android code.

Anyone just splashed out on a new Xperia T or Xperia TX? Hit the comments and let us know what you think of today's news.

Source: Sony Mobile

More: Why you'll never have the latest version of Android

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4 years ago

Android Central Podcast 112: Going back to the Google playground

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Audio-only stream below

Invites have arrived for an Oct. 29 Google event in New York City. Plus, HTC finally unveils the long-rumored 5-incher it's been hiding. And a whole slew of your e-mails and voicemails.

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4 years ago

EXIF data hints at Samsung-made Nexus 10 tablet

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We're usually a little skeptical of information coming from EXIF data in photos. This metadata is easy to tamper with, for one, and can sometimes paint a misleading picture of possible future devices. Nevertheless, the presence of a photo from a "Nexus 10" device on Picasa warrants further investigation, so bear with us while we do a little sleuthing.

The 5-megapixel image appears to have been taken in testing and automatically uploaded to the tester's Picasa account. The photo in question shows a color testing card in various shades, which suggests it was captured as part of manufacturing tests rather than in regular day-to-day use. What's more, the individual who took it, a Eun-Hee Kim, has a Google+ history containing check-ins at a Samsung manufacturing plant in Gumi, South Korea, suggesting he or she is a Samsung employee. Samsung, of course, is widely rumored to be producing the reported 10-inch Nexus tablet.

Other notable EXIF nuggets include a build number of JVP12C -- an unknown Jelly Bean build -- and a capture date just a few days ago, on Oct. 15.

So far we've seen very reliable little in the public domain surrounding the "Nexus 10" tablet. Purported specs include a Samsung Exynos 5 processor (incidentally, the same chip shipping in Google's new Chromebook), and a beastly 2560x1600 display. If the tablets are already being manufactured at Samsung's South Korean facilities, that might suggest a release is closer than we expect.

Could Nexus 10 make a surprise appearance at Google's "Playground" event in New York City on Oct. 29? Let us know what you think down in the comments.

Source: Picasa, Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Softbank not ruling out a possible Sprint bid for MetroPCS

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Sprint has finally confirmed that it will be taking a controlling stake in previous partner Clearwire. Now, even more interesting statements are coming out in regards to a possible bid for MetroPCS. Most assumed that with a confirmed buyout by Japanese carrier Softbank, Sprint was done trying to get in between a T-Mobile / MetroPCS merger. According to statements by CEO of Softbank Masayoshi Son and CEO of Sprint Dan Hesse, this may not be the case. Hesse, in a quote obtained by The Wall Street Journal, indicated that the structure of the Softbank buyout is set up in a way that gives Sprint cash to work with if a possible deal with MetroPCS arises:

"Think of it almost as an insurance policy. It's some money in the bank until the deal closes that, for some reason, if we wanted to do something we could."

Hesse continued, speaking to assumptions that in the future Sprint and T-Mobile could potentially merge to take on rivals AT&T and Verizon:

"We've got a transaction that's pending with Softbank, and then when we get together we'll take a look at the landscape and make our decisions then. If it's accretive and makes sense for our shareholders, I would do what it takes."

The U.S. wireless industry seems to be making some serious changes. It will be interesting to see what the carrier landscape in the states looks like in the next year.

Source: WSJ

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4 years ago

Stock Talk: Why Google's Q3 earnings aren't nearly as bad as you might think

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On Thursday, Google faced the embarrassing situation of seeing its Q3 financial results released prematurely. The stock tanked on the results, and Google asked to have trading stopped temporarily. I’ve already seen one story suggesting that the early release “wiped out $20 billion in valuation.”

But let’s get real. The loss has nothing to do with the accidental release. It was someone else’s mistake, not Google's, and anyone on Wall Street knows that the real reason Google was trading down was the quarterly miss.

More: Google's complete Q3 2012 earnings

Stocks -- or, more accurately, investors -- always react to quarterly results. Analysts keep detailed models of their expectations, and the average of these models is known as the “consensus estimate.”  If you miss consensus, as Google did, you get punished. It really means nothing in the long term, but it gives financial media types something to get excited about for a few days.

So, Google did something the pros call “shitting the bed.” The most important headline number is earnings per share, where Google came in at $9.03 (adjusted) versus the consensus estimate of $10.65. Big miss.

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4 years ago

Evernote updated with simplified note editor, tablet improvements

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Popular cross-platform note service Evernote has put out a notable update in the Play Store today with a couple new free and premium features. On the free side, the toolbar in the note editor has been simplified and you can jump directly to notes created in Skitch. A new premium feature allows you to select multiple notebooks at once to download for offline access. The UI on tablets has also received a small tweak that lets the action bar change based on the context of the view.

Evernote can be found at the Google Play Store link above. You can also check out a post from the developer about the update at the source link below.

Source: Evernote

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4 years ago

Facebook app receives photo-focused update

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Facebook has been making several improvements to its app in regards to photo sharing and uploading, and this latest update continues that trend. The changelog is just three bullet points. First, photo tagging has been improved to be faster. Second, you can now choose an album when uploading photos -- no more mashing everything into a "mobile uploads" album. Lastly, there is a bug fix related to photos not uploading for users with certain languages (although they're not listed).

If you're not one of the billion people using Facebook regularly (over half primarily on phones) and have yet to install the app, maybe now is the time to at least take a look. You can grab it at the Google Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

Granny Smith updated to make latest levels easier

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One of the more popular games as of late, Granny Smith, has just received an interesting update to make its latest levels easier to complete. Following many user complaints that the new "space" levels were too difficult, game developer Mediocre released the update to ease the pain of the tough levels.

It's a tough line to walk if you're a game developer, not wanting your so-called "casual" game to be too difficult, but again you don't want to overdo it and make the levels too easy. Either way you're likely to have some users disappointed by the difficulty of the game. Mediocre saw the response and reacted to user input, which is something that needs to be noted regardless.

If you've yet to try out Granny Smith, it's certainly still worth a purchase and you can find it at the Google Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

The HTC J Butterfly looks amazing, Bionic owners getting ICS [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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4 years ago

Verizon confirms Droid Bionic ICS update is starting tomorrow

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Remember when we started hearing about a Droid Bionic soak test? Yeah, that's happening now. Verizon has just put up official documentation on its support site for the update -- software version 6.7.246 -- with the label "Coming soon!". The software update will be a whopping 368MB download, and will bring the device up to Android 4.0.4 with many of the recent software customizations people have come to enjoy on the latest Motorola handsets.

From its official @VZWnews Twitter account, Verizon has also confirmed that the ICS update will be rolling out for widespread availability tomorrow. This will certainly be a good start to many Bionic user's weekends.

Source: Android Central Forums; Verizon (Support) ; Verizon (Twitter)

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4 years ago

Play Store carrier billing coming to Verizon

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Well, it's about damn time. The Play Store on its official Google+ page announced that Verizon will be offering carrier billing of apps, books, subscriptions and other content. The page indicates that the feature will be rolling out in the next few weeks. This couldn't come any sooner and we really wonder what has taken so long to implement. The other carriers in the U.S. have offered carrier billing even back to when the Play Store was still called the Android Market.

What really matters is the more ways people have to pay for content and apps in the Play Store, the better.

Source: +Google Play

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4 years ago

Razor Salvation THD Review

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Razor Salvation THD found its way into Google Play recently, offering explosive shooting action full of futuristic mechs and menacing aliens. The game was made with NVIDIA Tegra compatibility first and foremost, so device compatibility is minimal for the time being.

Razor Salvation THD is effectively a wave defense game. Players land in war-torn hotspots through an orbital drop-pod, and have to stand their ground against alien attackers from all directions. The pod has a variety of weapons from the get-go, such as a missile launcher, minigun, auto-cannon, and mortar, but managing reload times and quick switching are essential to staying alive. There are only four levels to play through, though mission objectives change up every time you play. Those missions keep things relatively fresh, even if the core gameplay doesn’t change much other than offering more challenging enemies to blow up and different scenery.

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4 years ago

Facebook SDK for Android updated to 3.0 beta

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Following the update for iOS developers a few weeks ago, Facebook has completely revamped the Android SDK, it said.

The new changes, touted as the “biggest overhaul” yet, are aimed at making it easier and faster to develop Android apps which plug into Facebook.

The company is also trying to make third-party user interfaces more consistent. New native UI controls pack built-in caching in order to make the whole experience faster. Developers will get the ability to integrate friend tagging and calling up nearby places.

It looks like new login controls to manage authentication are meant to help apps call up your Facebook identities and hold onto them, without having you authenticate too often—or more than once, conceivably. (This could be the start of a number of embarrassing gaffes, so watch your logins, people.)

On the backend, Facebook API calls can be done in batches now, which helps make everything faster. And with the emphasis on smartphones coming onto Facebook, it makes sense that developers now get a way to measure clicks and installs for mobile ads. So it seems the SDK has come along way since the first version was released way back in 2010.

Interested developers can get all the details here, or download the SDK here.

Source: Facebook Developer Blog

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4 years ago

Acer reportedly looking to launch Intel powered smartphone before the year end

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It's inevitable that we'll start to see more Intel powered Android devices as we move into 2013. But, the latest word to reach us from the far east suggests we may yet see another before this year is out. According to an article written by The China Post, Acer is hoping to launch their own Intel smartphone before the end of 2012. A potentially odd move if true, especially with CES taking place in early January. 

The news comes from Acer's Peter Shieh, during a launch event for the company's new S500 phone. While declining to comment on a release schedule, or any kind of hardware specs, Shieh did indicate that Acer plans to include their own cloud services on the device. If it all comes to pass, it will be another step in the right direction for Intel. It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise either. Acer and Intel are long standing partners in the personal computer space, so a move together into mobile is a pretty logical next step. 

Source: The China Post via Techradar

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4 years ago

Android Central celebrates 1 million members!

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October is a month of celebration at Android Central. Not only are we celebrating our fourth birthday – we are also celebrating 1 million registered members! That's 1,000,000 members of the forums as well as this blog. That's 1,000,000 of you who truly make this the greatest Android community around.

And we take great pride as we watch (and take part) in the discussion of the latest news, find answers, read our Adviser-written tutorials, download and share wallpapers, and access a variety of ROMs, rooting methods, and other Android hacks.

We also value the forums Moderators, Advisers, and Android Developers for their dedication, passion, and loyalty. Collectively, these individuals have contributed hundreds of thousands of hours of their time to help build the best Android Forums on the web.

The best celebration in the world always includes prizes, and we’ve come up with a selection that 18 lucky members are going to love. You don't want to miss this. Hit the break for the details.

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