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4 years ago

Huawei announces Ascend P1 LTE availability

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Although Huawei has already launched the Ascend P1, and unveiled the Ascend P1 LTE at length several months ago, we're learning more now about the upcoming availability of the LTE model. The Ascend P1 LTE will be coming exclusively to the UK on the EE (formerly Everything Everywhere) network, with announcements on other carriers to follow. Given the crazy number of LTE frequencies in use around the world, we won't be surprised if it took a while for Huawei to get those deals straightened out. As far as specs go, here's a quick refresher of what the Ascend P1 LTE has under the hood:

  • 2000mAh battery
  • 1.5Ghz dual-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8MP camera
  • 4.3-inch Super AMOLED qHD (540x960) display
  • Corning Gorilla Glass2

You can check out the full press release after the break.

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4 years ago

Qualcomm to release two new budget quad-core S4 chips

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Qualcomm has announced that two new Snapdragon S4s are on the way, with both touting quad-core CPUs with a budget-friendly price. The MSM8225Q and MSM8625Q both build on the S4 design, complete with support for LPDDR2 memory, Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0 and FM connectivity using the Qualcomm Atheros AR6005 and WCN2243 chips.

The major difference between the two chips is that the Snapdragon S4 Play MSM8625Q features Qualcomm's integrated multimode UMTS/CDMA modem, and the MSM8225Q has an integrated UMTS modem. In layman's speak -- the MSM8625Q will work on Verizon and Sprint. The real difference, and likely where the cost cutting comes into play, is in the GPU. Snapdragon "Pro" models feature a stronger graphics processor, though the exact model in tonight's new chips hasn't been disclosed. 

If you're a hardware nerd, the long version is in the press release after the break. If you're not, just know that Qualcomm is making a slightly cheaper, yet still high-end quad-core CPU to power the next generation of mid-level handsets. It's good news all around.

More: Android hardware forums (get your nerd on!)

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4 years ago

LG releases official Optimus Vu: II specs, confirms VoLTE

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LG has finally spilled the beans on the official specs of their weird interesting 5-inch 4:3 smartphone, the Optimus Vu: II. This is the latest model of the Vu available in the domestic market -- which for LG is Korea -- and some of the specs are bumped up a bit from what we know as the original Optimus Vu and LG Intuition here in the states, such as the battery, RAM and processor:

  • 2150mAh removable battery, up from 2080mAh
  • 2GB RAM, up from 1GB
  • External SDcard slot added
  • Snapdragon S4 Plus 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, up from Snapdragon S3
  • 5-inch 768x1024 IPS display
  • LTE connectivity, including VoLTE
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Rubberdium Pen 2.0

As is the case on the first Vu, LG is including a stylus dubbed "Rubberdium Pen 2.0" that offers a finer point for more precise input -- and from our translation of the Korean press release, it seems as though the pen can be stored inside the device like the Samsung Galaxy Note. LG is also touting the ability of the Optimus Vu: II to use VoLTE (Voice Over LTE). Although here in the states we're probably going to be waiting for a while for VoLTE, LG is getting it ready for their local market. VoLTE provides higher voice quality potential, and supports simultaneous voice and data.

Source: LG Newsroom Korea

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4 years ago

Weekly photo contest: Black and white

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Announcing the triumphant return of the Android Central weekly photo contest! Everyone here in the office is home for at least a week, and as far as we know nobody is leaving to cover any events until CTIA in San Diego. That means we have time to sit back and enjoy the pictures you guys take with your Android phones and tablets.

Kicking it back off in style this week, we're going to focus on black and white pictures. They can be pictures of anything almost anything, so long as they are in black and white and taken from an Android device.

Now I'm sure someone is asking, how the heck do I get black and white pictures from my color camera?!? Easy as pie. Look in the settings of your camera app first, a lot of devices have a B&W mode built in. If there's nothing there, long press a picture in the gallery and look for an edit option. Finally, you can use any of the great free photo editing apps from Google Play -- I'm digging PicsArt's new update -- or do it on your computer.

Once you have the picture, head into the Android contest forums and share it with the world. We'll look through all the entries, and pic out the best five. Those winners will get an Android Central t-shirt, which instantly makes you the coolest person in any room. Read the forums post for any particulars, and get off the couch and take some pics!

Enter this weeks photo contest

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4 years ago

Chrome for Android now fully compatible with x86 devices

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Google's Chrome for Android browser, much loved by those with an Android 4.0 and above device, has finally been updated to be fully compatible with x86 devices. This is a big deal, as one of the snags when it came to Android devices running Intel chips (OK, there aren't that many yet) was incompatibility of apps -- even popular ones like Chrome. What this shows us is that Google is devoted to updating its own apps to work on the Intel platform, and hopefully now other app developers will follow suit with their own updates.

We've had a look at a few Intel devices at this point, most recently the Motorola RAZR i, and hopefully with application support like this we'll see more in the future.

Source: Google Chrome Releases

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4 years ago

Foursquare brings back Nearby Friends feature

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The Foursquare app for Android has been updated to bring back an old feature called Nearby Friends. As you might expect, it showcases which of your friends have checked in nearby recently, and what they think about the locations you've been checking into. All you have to do is scroll all the way to the top of your news stream, and use that tab selection bar that pops up at the bottom. 

Though it's only really the one feature (in addition to the usual performance tweaks), it's a pretty significant one, and those that are active on the network will be happy to see Nearby Friends again.

How often do you check in to locations using Foursquare? Do you have a lot of friends on there from out of town? Has Facebook proven to be more far-reaching, or do you see all location check-ins as excessive and useless information to share? 

Source: Foursquare

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4 years ago

Transformer Infinity and Prime Jelly Bean updates for the US and Canada expected 'in 72 hours'

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Yesterday we heard that ASUS was rolling out the Jelly Bean update for the Transformer Prime in Sweden, and today we have confirmation from ASUS' Gary Key that users in the U.S. and Canada will be seeing Android 4.1 for their Prime and the Transformer Infinity in the next 72 hours.

The version number will be 10.4.4.14.1, which is Android 4.1. We have no further details other than what ASUS has already mentioned, namely that the update no longer officially supports Adobe Flash, and that on the Prime Wifi direct has been removed. 

Key has been a reliable liaison between ASUS and the Android community, and as an ASUS employee he doesn't have to rely on second-hand information. Get your tablets ready, because it certainly looks to be coming soon.

Source: XDA-Developers; Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

YouTube for Android updated with new UI for Froyo and Gingerbread, fresh Watch experience

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Thanks to a YouTube app update that just rolled out today, anyone with a Froyo or Gingerbread device can now enjoy refreshed UI and preloading mechanism. Google has also made a few tweaks to the Watch screen, though there's nothing particularly dramatic. This update added the ability to move videos to your personal YouTube TV queue - a great touch for those of us that want to watch videos in their full glory on the big screen. Finally, a few more channels have been added to the Channel Store. The skippable YouTube ads we've been waiting for are also live in this update.  

Combined with an updated in March which enabled HD video playback on Gingerbread and Froyo devices, it's great to see Google's not leaving the older phones behind. Additional YouTube TV support is a nice touch, and something of a necessity for those of us with Google TV set-top boxes.

Are you guys finding anything particularly nice about this update? Maybe a small tweak that didn't make it to the changelog?

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4 years ago

Google Play services bringing new OAuth tools to Android

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Google is rolling out Google Play services starting today, bringing another of the great developer tools they showcased at Google I/O to the public.

For those of us that aren't developers, it's pretty easy to wrap your head around. If your device runs Froyo or higher and has access to the Google Play store, you'll have a new Google component to download. It's a set of libraries and tools that developers can use to authenticate with your Google account. When an app needs to access your private data from a Google application, they can use the new tool to get that access securely without requiring you to enter the (hopefully) long and secure password you use for your Google account. Version one of the service includes Google+ sign-in and +1 APIs as well as new OAuth 2.0 functionality.

OAuth 2.0 is a pretty big deal. It scales better than previous versions, is more secure, and as Googler Tim Bray notes "especially, because typing your password into a mobile device sucks". Bray has also posted an excellent overview, complete with code samples, using the new OAuth components at the Android Developers blog

Best of all, this will all be transparent to the end user. Once the required code is installed on your Android phone or tablet, the rest is up to developers. No more typing in your password on a mobile webpage, or getting a one-time password from Google two-step verification, we'll simply be able to choose the account we would like to use and go. We see that now with many of Google's apps, but the new method will bring it all together for a consistent -- and safe -- user experience using open standards. 

The developer portion of the service is available now, and you can find all the info you need to start using it at the links below. The client side (what we'll need on out phones) should be rolled out completely in the coming weeks, and we'll start seeing apps use the service once Google announces the rollout is complete. 

Source: +Android Developers; More:  Android Developers blog, Google DevelopersTim Bray

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4 years ago

AT&T Xperia Ion officially receiving Android 4.0 update

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We noticed just shy of a week ago that some users were reporting that an update was available for their AT&T Xperia Ion. AT&T has spilled the beans now, and announced officially that the Ion has an Ice Cream Sandwich update ready to go. Along with the entire host of usual Android 4.0 improvements such as an improved lock screen, redone browser and new home screen folders, AT&T notes that the update will "provide faster Mobile Hotspot and Wi-Fi speeds" on the device.

This update won't be coming OTA (Over the Air) to your device, so you're stuck downloading Sony's PC companion software to download and apply the update (seriously, just push it OTA please). Check out the source links below to see the official statement from AT&T, as well as the Sony support page to hep you setup the software for the update.

Source: AT&T Consumer Blog, Sony Support

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4 years ago

First tentative Samsung Galaxy Camera UK pricing appears

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Arguably the most interesting Android device to appear at last month's IFA 2012 show in Berlin was the Samsung Galaxy Camera. As the name suggests, it's an Android 4.1-based 16MP point-and-shoot camera with a bunch of sharing and content creation goodies from Samsung, as well as 3G and 4G connectivity.

Today we have the first tentative UK pricing and release information for the device, courtesy of British online retailer Clove Technology. Clove says it's expecting its first Galaxy Camera stock from late October, and lists the device with a price tag of £400 inc. VAT (£333 ext. VAT, which equates to around $500). That's a lot of cash for a point-and-shoot, and for that kind of money you could be well on your way to a micro four thirds system. It seems Samsung's hoping its added smartphone muscle will convince Brits to part with a few extra pounds this October. Nevertheless, we'd hope for some fairly substantial discounts on the camera towards the holiday season.

We should point out that this is a pre-order price, and as such, it's subject to change (hopefully downwards) as the release date approaches. Let us know what you think of this potential price point for the Galaxy Camera down in the comments -- is it worth the cash to be an early adopter?

Source: Clove Technology

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4 years ago

T-Mobile HTC One S gets Android 4.0.4, Sense 4.1 update

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T-Mobile USA's HTC One S is receiving its biggest software update yet today, bringing the aluminum-clad handset up to Android 4.0.4 (from 4.0.3) and HTC Sense 4.1 (from 4.0), according to reports from the Android Central forums. It looks like Tmo's One S is getting the update that was originally pushed to European One S phones just over a month ago, meaning owners can look forward to improvements in phone performance, and a couple of new features like quick settings in the notification dropdown.

According to the changelog in the forums, the update also improves Bluetooth performance, and fixes Wifi connectivity issues that've been affecting some One S users since launch. The update file weighs in at 150MB, so you'll probably want to make sure you're on Wifi before taking the over-the-air package.

For the full list of changes in today's updates, hit the source link below. If you're already running the new software on your One S, be sure to let us know what you think.

Source: Android Central forums

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S 3 announced for metroPCS

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MetroPCS has announced that they'll be offering Samsung's latest flagship device, the Galaxy S 3, starting in October. To kick things off, they have a contest going where participants have a shot at winning a free device. If you're unfamiliar, here's a quick run-down of the specs on the Samsung Galaxy S 3. 

  • Quad-core Samsung Exynos chip @ 1.4 GHz / U.S. versions have Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 at 1.5 GHz
  • HSPA+ 21 and LTE versions
  • 4.8-inch HD SuperAMOLED 720x1280 screen
  • 8MP / Front 1.9MP camera (720p video recording)
  • 2100mAh battery
  • 1GB RAM / U.S. and Canadian versions have 2GB of RAM
  • Bluetooth 4.0 (LE)
  • Accelerometer, Notification light, Digital compass, Proximity sensor, Gyro, NFC, Barometer
  • 1080p video playback
  • Various multimedia codecs supported
  • MHL/DLNA
  • Dimensions: 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm
  • Weight: 133 grams

Be sure to check out our full review for an in-depth look and see some hands-on video. 

The big carriers have been selling the Samsung Galaxy S 3 for a couple of months now, but there are bound to be at least a few of you that prefer this regional carrier. Anyone interested in picking this one up? Head on over to MetroPCS to sign up for the Samsung Galaxy S 3 giveaway. 

Thanks Josue!

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 launches in South Korea on SKT, LG U+ and KT

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Samsung has announced the South Korean launch of its new 5.5-inch smartphone, the Galaxy Note 2. By now we're all familiar with the Note 2's impressive spec sheet -- a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos CPU, 2GB of RAM, 5.5-inch 720p non-PenTile HD SuperAMOLED display, 4G LTE connectivity. Today the device launches across all three main South Korean carriers -- SKT, LG U+ and KT, where it'll be available in "marble white" and "titanium grey" colors.

The South Korean launch marks the start of the Galaxy Note 2 World Tour, as the device spreads its reach across the globe. Samsung says it'll offer the Note 2 across 260 carriers in 128 countries, including all major U.S. and European networks.

The next stop for the Galaxy Note 2 is London, where it makes its UK debut on Oct. 1. For more on the Note 2, check out our hands-on coverage from IFA 2012.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow (Translated)

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4 years ago

Google Maps Street View dives under the waves

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Do you ever have that moment where you're scuba diving in the south Pacific, and you're wondering "Was I supposed to turn right at the coral reef to get back to the resort, or keep swimming straight?" It happens to me all the time. Luckily Google, as ever, has us covered. The Google Maps team has just released a handful of new Street View locations that are underwater. Various spots along the coast of Australia, the Philippines, and Hawaii can take you down to see some of the wonderful aquatic landscape, wildlife, and flora in the region. You can find some of the more spectacular shots in Google's Street View gallery for the ocean

Looking at stuff like this, it's hard to imagine how iOS or Microsoft intend to outpace Google's progress in the mapping world. Sure, the underwater Street View is more for sightseeing than anything else, but the lengths Google is willing to go for completeness are pretty crazy. 

Any divers in the house? Ever wish you had a waterproof phone with you? 

Source: Google Lat Long

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