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4 years ago

Samsung gives details on Note 10.1, Galaxy Tab 2 updates

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The Jelly Bean update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 2 actually started pushing a few days ago, but today Samsung's giving us the full details on the updates. They're lengthy, and chances are you've discovered many of the changes already.

Hit the break for the full list.

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4 years ago

Android Central 122: The CES hangover, ridiculous Nexus rumors

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Audio-only stream below

Phil and Alex are back from CES in Las Vegas and get grilled incessantly by by Jerry about Sony, NVIDIA and bodies buried in the desert. Plus, Carbon for Android may be back, and we get catch up on some excellent voicemails. Welcome to the Android Central Podcast!

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4 years ago

LG Optimus G sells 1 million units, reportedly heading to Europe and China in Q1

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Reports out of Korea today cite a milestone figure for LG Optimus G sales, and information on the device's arrival finally in Europe. Since the launch of the Optimus G in the latter part of 2012, LG says they have sold more than 1 million of the phones. While this pales in comparison to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3, not to mention the iPhone, considering the limited availability of the Optimus G it's not all that bad. 

Currently available in Korea, Japan, Canada and the United States, an LG spokesperson has hinted that the company  reportedly plans to continue their push on the Optimus G throughout the first quarter of this year. Before Q1 is out, the intention is to ship the Optimus G in several European markets and in China. 

LG is on the increase in terms of smartphone sales, in Q3 they bested their previous best figures for smartphone sales, and that was before the Nexus 4. LG's next set of earnings are due to be released on Jan. 30 for Q4 2012, and it will be interesting to see what comes out of that. 

Source: Yonhap News Agency via The Next Web

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4 years ago

Samsung reportedly launching Galaxy XCover 2 at Mobile World Congress

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What we see here is reported to be the latest, rough and tough, rugged smartphone from Samsung. The follow up to the original Galaxy Xcover, the aptly named Xcover 2 has leaked out to the guys over at Sammobile and is reportedly set to launch at Mobile World Congress in February. 

It's been a couple of years since the original Xcover was announced, and like its predecessor, the Xcover 2 isn't looking like much of a specs powerhouse. But then, that's not necessarily why someone would buy one anyway. It's running Samsung's latest Nature UX on top of some version of Jelly Bean, although Sammobile couldn't offer an answer to which at this stage. 

It feels a little like a ruggedized version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini in truth, but with a little more juice in the battery. Leaked specs include a 1700mAh battery, a 4 inch 480x800 display, 5MP rear camera, 0.3MP front facing camera and 4GB of on board storage, expandable via microSD card support. 

The original Xcover was IP67 dirt, dust and water resistant, and we'd expect nothing less for the follow up. Needless to say these sort of phones aren't for everyone, but for some people they are essential. 

Of course, we'll be at Mobile World Congress next month, so anything we do see, we'll be bringing to you all as it happens. 

Source: Sammobile

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4 years ago

Google moving UK operations into new, £1 billion HQ in London in 2015

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According to a joint statement issued, Google has purchased a 2.4 acre plot of land in London on which to construct a brand new base for their UK operations. Construction on the new, 1 million square foot headquarters in London is scheduled to begin by the end of 2013 subject to approval, with staff moving in sometime in 2015. 

The move represents a huge investment from Google, not just financially, but in reviving part of London. The new site, located next to Kings Cross railway station, is being revived as part of a plan to create 67 acres of land filled with homes, offices and retail space. 

The deal is reportedly worth £1 billion, and will see Google amalgamate their two current London offices in Victoria and on St Giles High Street into one. The other Google offices in Manchester will reportedly remain. 

In the statement issued, Matt Brittin, VP of Google for Northern and Central Europe said:

“This is a big investment by Google. We’re committing further to the U.K. -- where computing and the web were invented. It’s good news for Google, for London and for the UK"

At a time when so many UK based businesses are facing difficult times, the investment from Google is extremely important. Equally important will be Google's increased presence in the UK. 

Image: Current Google UK HQ, courtesy of The Telegraph

via Bloomberg, The Guardian

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4 years ago

Chrome Beta update fixes issues, has a new icon

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Since a proper Chrome Beta channel app came into the Play Store, we knew we'd be in for some frequent updates. Alongside a new icon that has a black/white "BETA" tag on it, rather than the angled grey/white one before, this update brings many small fixes:

  • 165783 - Enable compositing scrollable frames on Android
  • 168368 - Chrome progress bar should be displayed as soon as the user clicks a link
  • 165244 - Text handler jumps or disappears when moving
  • 162486 - iframe scrolling broken

There are still some glaring bugs, as is the case with Beta releases, such as yahoo.com page links not working and some intense graphical glitches on certain devices. This is all part of the fun though, and we know what we're getting into when moving to the Beta channel of a browser.

You can't find Chrome Beta by searching the Play Store, so if you're interested in staying on the bleeding edge of browser updates you can install it directly from the link at the top of this post.

Source: Chrome Release Changelog

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4 years ago

A non-official XBMC build released, promises a new level of user friendliness

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XBMC, the well known open-source program that brings a set-top style media player experience to almost any device, has a new custom build tonight from the folks at XBMC for Android. This version is still filled with all the goodies you expect from XBMC -- things like the awesome meta data scraping XBMC is famous for -- and has a few twists that should make it easy to set up and use.

The biggest difference with this particular build is the way a third party media player can be integrated. As of now, XBMC built stock for Android does not support hardware rendering in the player. To fix this, the folk at XBMC for Android have integrated support for MX Player to handle all the heavy lifting, while still using XBMC's interface and options.

Take a look at the source link and give it a go if you've been waiting to try XBMC on your Android device. 

Source: XBMC for Android

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4 years ago

HTC Butterfly reportedly set to launch in India by end of January

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HTC's global 5-incher, the (J)Butterfly, so far hasn't made any kind of official appearances outside of a select few Asian markets, notably China and Japan. Hopes were raised, then dashed, of some kind of European availability, as we were informed the Butterfly -- without the 'J' -- would initially only be launching in China.

Since then, at least one global retailer has managed to snag some to sell on, but the next market to receive the device in an official capacity may well be India. According to well placed sources of Indian Android blog, AndroidOS.in, the Butterfly will be available by the end of January at a cost of INR 44,000. The launch is reportedly set to take place sometime in the next fortnight, with availability likely beginning the same day. 

India is a rapidly growing smartphone market, in particular in terms of Android smartphones. The reported price of the Butterfly will make it the most expensive smartphone on sale in the country, but with a 5 inch 1080p display, Snapdragon S4 Pro and 2GB of RAM inside, the specs at least back up a more premium asking price. 

Source: AndroidOS.in

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4 years ago

Ingress update brings UI improvements and performance fixes

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Everyone's favorite "walk around town and look awkward" game, Ingress, was just updated to version 1.18.1 today. It's a pretty mundane update overall, but with several improvements that should make users eager to update and get back out there. On the user-facing front, we're seeing UI improvements in various places, as well as enhancements in animations (Google specifically notes "XMP explosion animations.) On the back end there are many bug fixes included, along with improved memory usage and faster app resume times for any device with an Adreno GPU. Anyone who has played a lot of Ingress knows it can be a bit sluggish when resuming.

The changelog notes that there's still one big known bug, that portal shields are nearly invisible when viewing them from the map view. Hopefully that one gets squashed in the next update as well.

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4 years ago

Press app updated with background sync, quick-navigation and more

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The folks at TwentyFive Squares have updated the Press app, bringing the most requested features to the popular Google Reader application. Ignoring the important  "performance enhancements and bug fixes" that accompany every application update, the new feature list looks impressive.

  • Quick article navigation to go to next/previous articles -- Use the volume keys to move backwards and forwards inside your article list. Enable this in settings.
  • Background/automatic syncing -- enable frequency of background syncing in the app settings.
  • Sync on app launch -- Your Reader feeds will sync when the Press app is opened.
  • Background syncing notifications -- Get notifications when background syncing finds new content.
  • New text-alignment options -- Left, Right, and Center justification supported.
  • Show image title and URL in the image viewer -- No more guessing at image URLs.
  • Date and time formats now match device settings
  • Article title is now included when sharing to social networks

We're fans of the Press app here, and it looks like this is an awesome update. Check Google Play for your update notification, or if you're looking to try Press for the first time ($1.99; Android 4 or higher) you can click the Google Play link above.

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4 years ago

Google tops the Fortune 100 best companies to work for, Apple doesn't even place

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Fortune today released its annual list of the top 100 companies to work for, with a definite case of score one for Google. Sitting pretty in the top spot, Google is deemed to be the best company out there to work for. It isn't the biggest surprise, after all, this is the fourth time the folks at Mountain View have claimed top honors. 

What makes Google so great to work for? You can't sit someone at Number 1 without explaining why:

The Internet juggernaut takes the Best Companies crown for the fourth time, and not just for the 100,000 hours of subsidized massages it doled out in 2012. New this year are three wellness centers and a seven-acre sports complex, which includes a roller hockey rink; courts for basketball, bocce, and shuffle ball; and horseshoe pits.

In what we could see as a double whammy, while Google sits high atop the mountain in first place, the folks down at Cupertino had a quite different result in the Fortune 100. Apple, who seems to just print money, hasn't placed anywhere within the top 100. Just goes to show, making money doesn't always make all of the people feel good. 

Other notable, Android related, companies to place in the top 100 include chip makers Qualcomm, at number 11, and Intel at number 68. Besides topping Apple in the charts, all three also placed higher than Microsoft, who came in at number 75. See the Fortune 100 list in full by hitting the source link below. Oh, and for a little taste of just how awesome it is at Google, be sure to check out the video above. There's a slide, and there's Phil Nickinson. We won't spoil the rest!

Source: Fortune top 100

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4 years ago

Android 4.1.2 update reportedly rolling out to unbranded Australian Samsung Galaxy S3

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Owners of an unbranded Samsung Galaxy S3 in Australia have cause for celebration -- the Android 4.1.2 update is reportedly rolling out to those devices right now. The guys at Ausdroid received the initial tip from one of their readers, and it seems the update is available to download via KIES. There's no word on an OTA variant pushing out just yet. 

Besides the 'Premium Suite' goodies the 4.1.2 update brings such as Multi Window, it's also said to contain fixes for the Exynos exploit and the so called 'sudden-death' that was affecting some handsets. If you own one of these eligible Galaxy S3s and have snagged the update for yourselves, be sure to share your experiences with us in the comments below, or head on into the Samsung Galaxy S3 forums.

Source: Ausdroid

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4 years ago

Xperia Z shows up on O2 Germany with LTE support

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We're still waiting for hard facts on pricing and release date for the newly announced Sony Xperia Z, but at least one carrier in Germany, O2, is committing to carrying it. The handset has shown up on the O2 Germany website with an expected release window of "February," but no specific timing other than that is available at this time. There's also no pricing, and your only option is to make a reservation price-unseen.

One interesting thing to note is that as one of Germany's LTE carriers, its version of the Xperia Z will have LTE support on-board, provided you're willing to pay the extra tariff to have the faster data speeds. Extra connectivity options aside, this is looking like the same device we've seen before, in the same black and white color options. Eager Germans among us can head to the source link and reserve one, again price-unseen, if you know that the Xperia Z is the device for you.

Source: O2 Germany; Thanks, Dhatam!

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4 years ago

EE to close 78 retail stores before the end of April, affecting locations with multiple stores

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It's been a busy few months for the UK's first -- and only -- LTE carrier, EE. Swiftly following the launch of their LTE network, the company made up of the merged Orange UK and T-Mobile carriers embarked upon a complete rebranding of their retail operation. In many locations this meant going from having an Orange store, and a T-Mobile store, to having 2 EE branded stores. However, this won't last for too much longer, with todays announcement that the carrier is to close 78 of its retail stores in locations it deems unsuitable for multiple presence. 

However, thankfully for the majority of the staff, jobs are to be retained. Unlike some British High Street retailers who have recently found themselves on hard times, this move from EE isn't down to floundering finances. It almost seemed inevitable from the outset. For instance, in the town I call home, there are now 2 EE branded stores within 50 yards of each other, and anyone can see that isn't the best way to spend money. Sales staff will be transferred from closing stores to their sibling store, however management positions are reportedly under consultation. 

In addition to the closures, 4 new EE Stores will be opened at currently undisclosed locations. By the time the closures have gone through at the end of April, EE will be left with 626 stores, easily leaving them with the most retail presence of any UK carrier. And the only UK carrier with any LTE for the foreseeable future. 

Source: Mobile News

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4 years ago

Temple Run 2 jumping and sliding its way onto Android on Jan. 24

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While we may not today be basking in the glow of Imangi Studios' sequel to their smash hit Temple Run like our iOS friends, we shall not be waiting long. British newspaper, The Guardian, ran a lengthy interview with the developers, and garnered a release date for the Android version of Temple Run 2. One week from today, Thursday Jan. 24. 

Temple Run 2 looks on the face of it a lot like its predecessor. After all, it's still an endless runner. But, Temple Run 2 has more aspects to the game this time around in that you pilot a runaway mine cart, running isn't just straight lines, and you get to slide down zipwires. There's also an in-app purchase available of a coin-doubler, and what looks like a power up for some crazy fast running. We'll naturally be giving Temple Run 2 the once over next week when it launches in Google Play, but for now, we'll make do with the official launch trailer. 

Source: The Guardian

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