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4 years ago

LG Optimus LTE III spotted in the wild in South Korea

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At first glance you'd be forgiven for mistaking what we see here for an LG Optimus L7, but it is in fact reportedly the latest in the Optimus LTE line -- the imaginatively titled Optimus LTE III. Spied in South Korea, the LTE III is supposedly launching sometime later this year on the country's SK Telecom network. 

Like the L-Series devices, the LTE III is reported to carry some decent mid-range specs, such as a 1280x720 display, and dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960 processor. Software is said to be Android 4.1.2, which is hardly a surprise given what we've seen in Barcelona this week. It also supposedly packs a decent sized 2540 mAh battery to keep things ticking along.

Will LG release this outside of its native South Korea? Possibly not, but it's a nice looking device all the same -- though the physical home button still draws its critics. It also seems to have a sweet looking flip case available for it too, similar in style to that which we saw for the Optimus G Pro at Mobile World Congress. 

via Unwired View

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4 years ago

Sony releases experimental Firefox OS ROM for Xperia E

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Firefox OS has been on the horizon for a while now, and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona saw the first device partnerships announced for the fledgling mobile operating system. Though not showing any hardware in Barcelona, a press release was issued detailing Sony's plans to release a Firefox OS powered smartphone in 2014 in partnership with Telefonica. 

What we have here isn't quite a Sony Firefox phone, not by any stretch of the imagination. But, what it is, is a working experimental build of Firefox OS for the Xperia E. In line with their plans to develop devices carrying the software, Sony hopes that interested developers and early adopters will take a look and garner valuable feedback. 

The key thing to remember is that Sony has released this as an experimental developer ROM. It isn't meant to be a daily driver, although from the promo video we see here it looks reasonably functional, with even the camera app working properly. 

We know some of you kids like playing around with new stuff -- our own editor-in-chief Phil Nickinson played with an early, early build of Firefox OS -- so if you happen to have access to an Xperia E and try this out, be sure to share your experiences with us. 

Source: Sony Developer World

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4 years ago

Robo5: simple, fun and free puzzle game

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Robo5 takes cool steampunk style and draws it in fun, cartoon artwork to provide hours of both casual and intense gameplay. The concept of the game is simple, but you can tell that's exactly what the developers were aiming to accomplish. It's hard to argue with the combination here, especially when it's free to play for a large set of levels and just $1.99 to unlock it all.

Hang with us after the break and see a little more about what makes Robo5 a fun game.

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4 years ago

Falcon Pro releasing new version of app to sidestep token limit

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Twitter client Falcon Pro is attempting to step around Twitter's 100,000 token authorization limit by releasing a new version of the app with a separate application ID. Just a few days ago, the client had to stop authorizing new users because it hit the Twitter-imposed limitation, which users feared would stop development. Taking to its official Twitter account (naturally), the developer explained the situation, and how he intends to fix it -- at least for the time being.

The plan right now is to release a new version of Falcon Pro -- just the small step to 1.6.7 -- that has a new application ID, which would technically identify it to Twitter as a new client, with a fresh new set of 100,000 user tokens to assign. In order to do this, old user tokens have to all be revoked, and anyone opening a previously installed version will have to re-login. By wiping out old tokens and "starting over", Falcon Pro is hoping to stay active for a while longer.

The price has also been raised -- to $1.95 (€1.49) from $0.99 previously -- to hopefully slow down how long it takes to hit the limit again. The last version hit the 100,000 token limit with less than 50,000 official paid Google Play downloads though, which is disconcerting. We know that a "token" is not a user, and those with multiple devices and accounts occupy multiple tokens, but the average tokens per user is likely well under 2.

For now, Falcon Pro v1.6.6 is still a comical $132.12 in the Play Store, with a reminder in the description not to buy it because there are no tokens left. The developer plans to release the 1.6.7 update to the Play Store tonight, and we'll have to see how long it takes to hit the limit again.

Source: @Falcon_Pro (Twitter); Via: AusDroid

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4 years ago

Android 101: Adding your own custom sounds to Android events

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The first thing most people do when getting a new phone is change the ringtone. Depending on which Android device you own, your options for different alarms, notifications, and ringtones will vary. Perhaps you aren’t happy with the sounds that came preinstalled on your phone, or you’ve been using the stock sounds and are ready for a change. You’ve got some ringtones on your computer, and want to use them on your phone. How do you get the files from your computer, to your phone? Do you have to put them in any specific place for them to be selectable in the Android menu, and will they be listed in the same place as the sounds that came with your phone? Does it matter what kind of sound files you use? You can find the answers to these questions, and more, after the break.

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4 years ago

Chrome for Android gets major update as ver. 25 graduates from beta

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The stable version of Chrome for Android has received a major upgrade, from version 18 all the way up to 25 -- the version that was in beta until recently. Major changes include significantly improved scrolling performance, improved JavaScript and HTML5 processing speed and speedier pinch-to-zoom.

The new build is rolling out right now, so hit fire up the Play Store to update your devices. Alternatively, if you've yet to try Chrome for Android, you can pick it up using the Google Play link to the right.

When you're done updating, be sure to hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

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4 years ago

Reminder: Spring into TEGRA Contest Ending Soon!

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Quick reminder for all that the 'Spring into TEGRA' contest is ending real soon (March 1st at 11:59 PM EST). Be sure to check out the contest details below and submit your entry for a chance to win one of TWO HTC One X+ devices!*

To enter, simply follow these three steps:

  1. Take a picture of yourself with your tired and worn out mobile device.
  2. Head over to the official contest thread.
  3. Post the picture, AND tell us why you absolutely NEED a new HTC One X+.

That's all there really is to it! Head over to the official contest thread and get your entry in. You never know… with a little luck and creativity (hint, hint!) you may end up with a brand new device at your front door.

* Contest closes on March 1, 2013, at 11:59 PM EST. Winners will be selected shortly thereafter via PM and e-mail. ONE entry per person. Contest open to all Android Central members.

Good luck!

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4 years ago

Adobe Photoshop Touch: No longer just for tablets

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Adobe has taken their excellent Photoshop Touch application for tablets, and shrunk things down to fit on the smaller screen. Available as a separate download -- with it's own $4.99 price tag -- The app offers the same great features the tablet edition does, which are essentially the core features of the desktop version. The app includes the ability to work with layers, filters, and brushes all bundled into an intuitive, gesture-based interface. In addition, the application is integrated with Adobe Creative Cloud, giving users 2GB of free storage to sync projects between the tablet app, the phone app, and the desktop. 

I use the tablet version of Photoshop Touch frequently, transferring images taken with my phone to Dropbox, then importing them into my tablet. The app is really well done, and takes mobile image editing to the next level. I'm not sure how well this will translate to my phone -- I'm currently using the Nexus 4 -- but folks with a Note 2 or even the original Note have another great use for the S Pen. You can find Adobe's press release after the break, and the download link from Google Play above.

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4 years ago

EE rolls out 4G LTE in nine more UK towns and cities

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Sole UK 4G LTE carrier EE (Everything Everywhere) has announced that it's switched on 4G coverage in a further nine towns and cities across the country. From today, EE customers in Barnsley, Chorley, Coventry, Newport, Preston, Rotherham, Telford, Walsall and Watford will be able to pick up LTE reception on supporting devices. Four months after it first rolled out 4G, EE's total market count stands at 37.

The network plans to have 4G coverage in 65 towns and cities by the end of June, by which time it may face competition from the other mobile operators. Following the recent wrap-up of the 4G spectrum auction, Three, O2 and Vodafone will be looking to roll out their own LTE services in late spring and early summer.

Source: EE Newsroom

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4 years ago

Samsung unveils Wallet mobile app to manage tickets

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Samsung has announced a new API for developers to help manage event tickets, boarding passes, memberships, and coupons. Samsung Wallet will be a new application which brings all of these types of content into one place. Time and location-based push notifications will help users get a hold of the ticketing information. 

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4 years ago

YotaPhone hands-on - gestures, e-ink and vanilla Android

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The YotaPhone is an example of one of the things we like the most about Android -- crazy hardware implemented in new and interesting ways. Dual-screen smartphones are nothing new -- recall the ill-fated Kyocera Echo of old. But Yota Devices' YotaPhone is the first we can recall that packs both a traditional LCD front and e-ink back, and today we went hands-on with the phone at Mobile World Congress. Both sides are coated in Corning Gorilla Glass 2, though the back has more of a matte texture to it. This gives the YotaPhone a unique appearance, which is accentuated by its slightly curved back.

Powering the YotaPhone is a dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU at 1.5GHz. Around the back is a 12MP camera, and the power button cleverly doubles as a SIM tray. On the software side, it's near-vanilla Jelly Bean running the show -- Yota's left the Android UI mostly intact. Both screens are 4.3 inches diagonally, and the LCD clocks in at 1280x720 pixels. As you'd expect from the vanilla Android UI running on an S4 chip, the UI is smooth and lag-free.

The phone's also lacking traditional Android buttons -- instead, button commands are activated based on gesture controls on a panel under the LCD. Swipe halfway from right to left to go back, all the way to go home, and long press the middle for the task-switcher. Similarly, you can copy images from the front screen to the rear by swiping from top to bottom with two fingers.

Certain apps, such as Calendar and Weather, can also run natively on the rear display, and there's an in-app button for transferring things to the rear screen. This means you're able to view content without burning through quite so much juice -- and it could also be useful for viewing certain types of information in bright sunlight.

The YotaPhone probably won't be a mass-market seller in the West, but it is an incredibly cool device nonetheless, playing to the strengths of both LCD and e-ink. We've got hands-on photos and a quick video demo after the break.

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4 years ago

ZTE Grand Memo hands-on

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ZTE, like local rival Huawei, is desperately trying to establish itself as one of the bigger international smartphone players, focusing more and more on high-end "hero" devices. To that end, at a very businesslike (and rather awkward) Mobile World Congress press conference this week, the company revealed the Grand Memo. A 5.7-inch Galaxy Note-class device, the Memo incorporates high-end internals and a massive 5.7-inch 720p display.

As per ZTE's presser, the Grand Memo runs Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, though ZTE says the chipsets used will vary depending on country. (Update: ZTE staffers on the show floor tell us that the demo units on display are running Snapdragon S4 Pro (8064) chips, and that several different versions of the Memo will be available, including the Snapdragon 800-powered model announced earlier this week.)

For what it's worth, the company also had an NVIDIA Tegra 3-based Grand Memo on show at its MWC booth, however that device was unstable and extremely hot to the touch.

Other hardware notables include 2GB of RAM (1GB on the S4 version), 16GB of storage, 4G LTE support and a 13MP rear camera. The physical hardware of the Memo is standard smartphone fare -- a black slab with a plastic back and three buttons down below. On the back, a plastic battery cover. We saw several different back covers on the Grand Memo demo units at the show -- glossy, textures and matte versions in white and various shades of blue. Overall, the hardware is perfectly serviceable, if not outstanding.

Head past the break for more first impressions, along with more photos and video.

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4 years ago

Samsung HomeSync - hands-on with the Android-powered TV box

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As a global electronics giant, Samsung has presence in every room in the home, most notably the living room -- the company recently claimed to be selling three TVs every second. And as we all know, Samsung currently dominates the Android smartphone landscape. So it was only a matter of time before the Samsung TV and Android worlds collided.

At Mobile World Congress this week we got our first look at Samsung's HomeSync, a 1-terabyte TV box with a Google Play-certified Android front-end. HomeSync delivers a full Android experience, with a TouchWiz-based UI that actually scales up really well to the big screen. The main view is a grid of running windows, and you've also got a standard app drawer view, along with on-screen keys you can hit using your pointer.

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4 years ago

Google+ Photos app coming to Chrome, developer gives us a peek

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A new Chrome app is in the works, and developer François Beaufort  has let the cat out of the bag and shown the world a quick peek at Google+ Photos.

Nicknamed "Pulsar" the app is powered by Native Client technology and is gives you the ability to upload and share photos from Google Chrome. For now, Beaufort warns the app is broken (we can't get it to open on our Chromebook Pixel running the latest Chrome stable build, but it does install), but he's shared a few pictures showing a good bit of the UI.

Two of the features are mentioned specifically are automatic selection of the best shots and automatic import when inserting a memory card or plugging in a camera. It's a great example of what a full Chrome app might look like, and lets us know Google still has plans for ChromeOS.

If you're interested in checking out the source, you'll find it at the link below. Be sure to jump through the break to see the screenshots.

Source:+François Beaufort

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4 years ago

Skype update brings back 'classic' UI option for tablets

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Skype has just been updated to give users the option of selecting a "classic" UI instead of the new and improved tablet interface. The previous update to Skype added many new features and a more tablet-optimized interface overall, including a portrait UI for calling -- the curious part was the rest of the app was still locked in landscape mode. Skype is now backpedaling, sort of, by letting tablet users go back to a phone-style UI in the settings if they prefer. The new option is probably a better choice if you're on a smaller screen like the Nexus 7 that is often used in portrait.

10-inch tablet users are still better off with the new "tablet" UI because the larger devices are quite comical in portrait mode. Until Skype figures out how to do a responsive tablet UI that changes appropriately for landscape and portrait use, it's good to have this option. You can grab the update from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

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