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4 years ago

Factory restoring Nexus 7, SGS III camera shots [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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4 years ago

How to: Alter the DPI on your Nexus 7 to bring up that bigger tablet feel

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There's absolutely no doubt, the Nexus 7 is a fantastic piece of equipment. But, as with all Android devices, you can't please all of the people, all of the time. One point of annoyance for some is the phone styled UI that the Nexus 7 employs, and more specifically, the lack of a proper landscape mode on the home screens. 

But, this is Android, and this is a Nexus device. So, there's tweaking that can be done. Everything needed framework wise is on board to allow you to bring about what we see here. It's simply a matter of altering the DPI settings in the build.prop. Apps can mix and match elements. 

Sounds daunting, but thankfully for the less brave -- like myself -- some of the brilliant developers the Android community can call its own have done the hardest parts for us. 

The pre-cursor; this process requires root access. If you haven't already, definitely check out the fantastic step-by-step in the Android Central Forums on how to unlock and root your Nexus 7. Once you've done all that, and you've achieved root, the rest is easy. 

There are a variety of different applications in Google Play that can do the tweaks we require here. For the purposes of this article, we used Rom Toolbox Lite, which you'll find a download link to below. 

When Rom Toolbox has been opened, swipe left into the performance pane, and look for the button labeled "build.prop tweaks." Press this, and you'll be presented with three sliders, one of which will alter the DPI settings of your tablet. 

Out of the box, the DPI on the Nexus 7 is set to 213. It's worth remembering this value, to help you go back to the standard as quickly as possible should you so wish. To achieve the best results, slide the toggle right the way down to 160. 170 works too, but for proper tablet UI in some apps, we found 160 worked better. Remember, we're not actually changing any of the physical properties of the screen, just what is reported. 

Hit apply, accept the reboot and wait for the tablet to fire back up again. When it does, you'll see a much more familiar looking tablet appearance staring back at you. No more Google search bar right across the top, this is now reduced to the small box in the top left. The app drawer is now opened in the top right, and the three on screen buttons are smaller and located in the bottom left. 

Notifications are still the new, enhanced Jelly Bean notifications, but instead of pulling down from the top, they rise up from the bottom right hand corner. 

This isn't without potential issues though, it will most likely break some apps in the Play Store. But, it's pretty simple to set up, and equally simple to undo, so why not give it a try. If you just want your home screen to look a little bit like this, you could always try Apex Launcher. But, if you want the real deal, then try this. A custom launcher such as Apex will still keep the notification bar at the top, and the buttons at the bottom just as the stock launcher does. If landscape mode is all you want though, Apex might do you just fine.  

Download: Rom Toolbox Lite

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4 years ago

Be sure to check out AC on Google Currents with your new Nexus 7

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Google has made Currents part of Android with Jelly Bean, and anyone with a Nexus 7 or other Nexus device who's updated has it sitting in their app drawer. That's not a bad thing -- the Currents app really is a great way to read the news, especially on today's big-screen devices. Refer back to our full walkthrough and review for tips on getting it all set up, but be sure to subscribe to Android Central. You'll find us in the Science & Tech section -- we're the ones with over 450,000 subscribers. 

Once you've got everything added, you'll find Currents a well thought out and handy way to read the news your way. Whether you skim headlines or delve into every story, the content is provided in an easy to navigate way with all the media you get from the desktop version of a particular news story. We really dig it around here, and think you will, too.

If you're not rocking with a Jelly Bean device, have no fear -- it's available in the Google Play store for devices running Froyo or higher. You can find it at the link below.

Download Google Currents  from Google Play

 

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4 years ago

The full SDK for Android 4.1 now available, along with new NDK and tools

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Google has made the full 4.1 Android SDK available for download, along with a revised set of SDK tools (20.1.1) and the NDK (rev 8b). As always, the SDK and assorted tools are available for Windows, Mac and Linux, and are a must have for any serious Android application development. You can grab the updates through the SDK manager of your existing installation, or at the Android Developers site. 

Speaking of serious application development, Android engineer Nick Butcher has also written a great blog post about writing apps that take advantage of the new Jelly Bean API and the features found on the Nexus 7. He brings up a great point -- for most users, the Nexus 7 will be their first look at Jelly Bean. You want your applications to shine, and not just work. He gives tips and methods so that your apps can do just that. Be sure to give it a read at the source link below.

Source: Android Developers blog

 

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4 years ago

Google Music gets a major UI update

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Google Music has received a pretty major UI overhaul, which brings the interface on previous phones and tablets up to par with the version that ships with the Nexus 7. In short -- it's a great update. The Music app now has the same feeling that the Google+ app has, with plenty of big images and the trademark Google app look. The change log:

  • Now Playing queue that allows for queuing and reordering of currently playing music.
  • New UI for navigation with transport controls on the action bar.
  • New large album art view on Recent.
  • Playlist art is now constructed from album art of songs in the playlist.
  • Now Playing widget has album art and support for thumbs up.
  • Harder, better, faster, stronger.

The changes are great, and the app now has a polish it lacked before. It's great to see the various teams at Google pushing out great updates for their Android apps. If you're a Google Music user (and you should be) this is one you won't want to miss. It's rolling out, including an update for the Nexus 7, via Google Play for devices running Android 2.2 or higher. Grab it at the link below.

Download Google Music from Google Play

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4 years ago

Verizon bringing 4G LTE to 33 more markets tomorrow

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Verizon announced today that they will be flipping the 4G LTE switch tomorrow, July 19, that will bring the high-speed service to 33 new markets. They also announced the expansion of 32 markets , which will also happen July 19. 

The new markets to receive 4G LTE are:

  • El Dorado/Magnolia, Arkansas
  • Russellville, Arkansas
  • New London County, Connecticut
  • Fort Pierce/Vero Beach, Florida
  • Melbourne/Titusville, Florida
  • Columbus, Georgia
  • Rome, Georgia
  • Burley, Idaho
  • Mattoon, Illinois
  • Anderson, Indiana
  • Muncie, Indiana
  • Manhattan/Junction City, Kansas
  • McPherson, Kansas
  • Lafayette/New Iberia, Louisiana
  • St. Joseph, Missouri
  • Bozeman/Livingston, Montana
  • Kalispell, Montana
  • Missoulua, Montana
  • Goldsboro/Kinston, North Carolina
  • Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina
  • Rocky Mount/Wilson, North Carolina
  • Zanesville, Ohio
  • Meadville, Pennsylvania
  • Punxsutawney/DuBois/Clearfield, Pennsylvania
  • Orangeburg, South Carolina
  • Sherman/Denison, Texas
  • Cedar City, Utah
  • Logan, Utah
  • Rutland/Bennington, Vermont
  • Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Winchester, Virginia
  • Bellingham, Washington
  • Beckley, West Virginia

The markets that will see expansion are:

  • Mobile, Alabama
  • Los Angeles, California
  • San Diego, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Miami, Florida
  • Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida
  • Hilo, Hawaii
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Kahului/Wailuku/Maui County, Hawaii
  • Blackfoot/Idaho Falls/Rexburg, Idaho
  • Peoria, Illinois
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Wichita, Kansas
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Springfield, Missouri
  • Akron, Ohio
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Toledo, Ohio
  • Allentown/Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
  • Columbia, South Carolina
  • Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • Provo/Orem, Utah
  • Salt Lake City/Ogden, Utah
  • Fredericksburg, Virginia
  • Seattle, Washington

It's great to see such extensive lists on Verizon's expansion plan. If you live in one of these areas and you're on Verizon, be on the lookout for faster speeds starting tomorrow, July 19.

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

SwiftKey updated with Jelly Bean compatibility and bugfixes

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Another app getting an update today with some Jelly Bean compatibility is SwiftKey Keyboard. While it worked on Jelly Bean before, the update did introduce a few bugs and this release serves to squash those and a few others such as predictions not appearing in popups as well as some UI issues that were happening to some folks. You'll find the update waiting for you in the Google Play Store, download link below if you're new to the app.

Download: SwiftKey Keyboard

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4 years ago

Indie Gala offers Android games for charity donation

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Indie Gala has kicked off today, offering a bunch of Android games with a pay-what-you-want structure all in the name of charity. You can chose to split your payment between the indie app developers, the Indie Gala organizers, AbleGamers, a charity for vide game fans with disabilities, or the Italian Red Cross to support the recent earthquake Emilia. 

Out of the gate, participants get Ichi, The Lost Souls, and Battle Group. If you donate more than the average (currently $5.29), you also get Xelorians, Call of Cthulhu: Wasted Land, Little Stars for Little Wars 2. They'll even toss in a few PC games, like Cute Things Dying Violently, Spin Deluxe, Tiny Plumbers, the soundtrack to Little Stars for Little Wars 2, and an extra mystery gift to be unlocked next week.

Although the Indie Gala looks like a scrappier version of the Humble Bundle, it's still fully legit and has been doing fundraisers through the Steam PC gaming platform for awhile now. So far, they've sold 1665 bundles, and still have a week to go. Hit up the link below if you're interested in pitching in.

Source: Indie Gala

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4 years ago

O2 proactively offering users compensation for 24-hour network outage

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Last week, O2 in the UK suffered some serious downtime that lasted approximately 24 hours affecting many users of their network. With O2 now back up and running tiptop, O2 is looking to clean up the mess and make good with those affected by the outage by offering some compensation. As noted on their blog and through text messages being sent out, the compensation will work out to three days of service:

  • Pay Monthly customers will receive 10% off their July subscription which will be applied on their September bill, which is equivalent to 3 days back
  • Pay & Go customers will receive 10% extra on their first top-up in September - (These will be applied automatically - you don't need to do anything to activate them)
  • Customers will get the following message - O2: We're really sorry for the network disruption last week. As a goodwill gesture, we're taking 10% off your subscription, to be applied in Sept. And to say thanks for bearing with us, from 1 Sept we're giving you £10 to spend in any O2 shop through Priority Moments. Find out more at http://blog.o2.co.uk

It's never a good thing when your network goes down and it affects millions of users but it is a good thing to go ahead and proactively offer those affected some compensation for the downtime. It's not all that often that a company wants to give money back so, good on O2 for making it happen.

Source: O2

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4 years ago

UK judge rules Apple must publicly admit Samsung did not copy iPad design

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Bloomberg reports that UK Judge Colin Birss has ordered Apple to post notice on the Apple UK website -- as well as Financial Times, the Daily Mail, Guardian Mobile magazine, and T3 -- stating that Samsung did not copy the iPad's design. This comes on the heels of the ruling from the British High Court stating that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, 7.7 and 8.9 are sufficiently different from Apple's design, and that all of them are strongly based on prior art. Apple must leave notice on their UK website for six months informing consumers of the ruling.

Apple's counsel of course pushed back against the ruling, citing that in essence they would be forced to advertise for their competition, telling the court “No company likes to refer to a rival on its website.” Of course, no company wants to spend millions to defend their products from invalid lawsuits, either. 

We hate legal squabbles around here. But we love this turn of events, only because this sort of punishment just might make those billionaires think twice before filing the next frivolous lawsuit. Hopefully, Judges in the US are paying close attention.

Source: Bloomberg

 

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4 years ago

Untappd - the best way to share your love of beer

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You can never have too many drinking buddies, and you'll find plenty online

Untappd recently updated their beer check-in app for Android and iOS with a bunch of the usual interface and performance enhancements, but also a new Discover tab to find out the best places to drink nearby. What better time to check out the one and only social network for brew enthusiasts?

The core function of Untappd is still there: share what you're drinking with friends. In addition to having its own social network complete with friending system, comments, five-star ratings, and virtual "cheers" to the check-ins of others, Untappd status updates can be shared with Facebook and Twitter as well. You can even attach your location and a picture if you're feeling fancy. If you can't find your beer, there's a submission form included in the mobile app which lets users create full profiles for others to check into. Once beers are in the database, breweries themselves can take over control, submit label art, and monitor engagement. 

 

Like most check-in apps, there are a bunch of badges to be earned - some limited-time, others for completing certain achievements. There's also a web component with a few additional functions, such as seeing the top-rated beers worldwide.

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4 years ago

HondaLink brings your Android smartphone into the cockpit, starting with the 2013 Accord

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Honda's getting serious about connecting your smartphone with your car, and it'll be launching its new HondaLink system this fall in the 2013 Honda Accord. 

HondaLink follows in the footsteps of the Chevy MyLink system we demoed at General Motors' test facilities last summer in that the infotainment system uses the data connection from your phone but is controlled through the traditional in-car systems. Android smartphones will connect over Bluetooth, while iPhones can use Bluetooth or the usual iPhone cable.

Honda has teamed up with Aha by Harman to provide music, podcasts, news, Twitter and Facebook feeds, all of which are to be provided safely hands-free use in mind. Also on board are Pandora and voice-to-text SMS services, which Honda's already unveiled on the 2012 CRV.

The 2013 Accord is just the beginning, Honda said today, and that you can expect to see it on upper trim levels going forward. 

Hit the source links below for the full pressers, or check out the promo video after the break.

Source: Honda, Aha

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4 years ago

Light Flow LED Control updated to v3.0.4, fixes for Jelly Bean included

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After the roll out of Light Flow LED Control v3.0, Google went ahead and introduced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. This introduced some changes that needed to be corrected within Light Flow LED Control and now we're seeing v3.0.4 roll out to correct those issues as well as a few others:

  • Jelly bean fix - this hopefully fixes most of the issues
  • Gmail switching off fix
  • Fix for several crashes which playing notification sounds
  • Fix for Motorola ICS calendar
  • Fix initialization settings so notifications are enabled correctly

If you've been having issues with Light Flow on your Jelly Bean device, go ahead and fire up the Google Play Store and grab the update. If you're new to Light Flow you'll find the download link below. Keep in mind, there is a free version available use as well in case you want to test it out before going all in.

Download: Paid, Free Thanks, eljedo!

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4 years ago

ZTE Grand X hands-on

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We're live in London, where ZTE has just announced its new mid to high-end smartphone for Europe, the Grand X. It's a 4.3-inch device with a qHD screen, and a design that will remind Android enthusiasts of the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus phones. What's also familiar from the Nexus series is the software -- the Grand X runs a near-stock version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (no word on any Jelly Bean update just yet, unfortunately.)

Inside there's a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU, coupled with 512MB. Internal storage is limited to 1.6GB, but there's also a microSD card slot around the back to enable expandable storage. ZTE is pitching this device as a multimedia smartphone for price-conscious buyers, and the specs and price point are well-aligned with this demographic. ZTE says it's looking at a £180-190 price point in the UK, when the Grand X launches on Virgin Media and Phones4U, and it's also loaded with TegraZone games to take advantage of the NVIDIA chip under the hood.

The ZTE Grand X is expected to launch in August in the UK, followed by a wider European launch in France and Germany. Check out our full hands-on demonstration of the Grand X above. We've got more photos after the break.

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4 years ago

Books now available from Google Play in France

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The slow, global march of new markets receiving Google Play content continues. This time up, it's the turn of France, where as of today, Books are available to download from Google Play. 

In countries where Google Play content has been available for some time, we often take it for granted. But, if the Nexus 7 is to be a truly, globally loved device, then the content has to be there. For some it still isn't, but in France, today is a step closer. 

If you're in France, head on over to the Google Play Store now either on the web, or on your device, and browse all the reading material on offer. Don't forget too, to download the Google Play Books app, which you'll find a handy download link for below. 

Source: Google, Download: Google Play Books

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