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4 years ago

International Galaxy S II ICS source code now available

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Following last week's Ice Cream Sandwich update release for the international Samsung Galaxy S II, the kernel source code (along with other open-source odds and ends) for the new firmware has been released online. Android's Linux kernel lies at the heart of the OS, and kernel source code for Android devices must be released by manufacturers under the GNU General Public License.

While the code won't be of any use to your average Galaxy S II owner, custom firmware developers will welcome its release, as it'll assist them with the development of ICS ROMs for the device. That in turn makes for better custom ROMs, which is good news for everyone.

To grab the code for yourself, head to the source link and type "i9100" in the search box.

Source: Samsung Open Source Release Center; Thanks graffixnyc!

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4 years ago

Verizon Motorola Fighter shows its big ol' self

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The Motorola RAZR isn't exactly a small phone. Thin, yes. Small? No. It's definitely got some square footage to it. Then there's this new behemoth. That, friends, is said to be the Motorola Fighter on the left here. And that unmistakable Verizon logo sure points to a U.S. launch at some point. That's supposed to be a 4.6-inch display, and the lack of physical buttons suggests it'll have Ice Cream Sandwich. (Which it damn well better have.) We've got feeling that the angle of this pic is making the Fighter look a little bigger than it actually is, but it's certainly going to put a crimp in your one-handed style.

Source: Mfunz (translate); via PhoneHK, Engadget

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4 years ago

Motorola Korea steps up customer service by offering remote LogMeIn Rescue assistance

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Motorola has amped up their customer service offerings in Korea.  Staring with the Motorola RAZR, customers seeking support will now be able to download LogMeIn ‘Rescue + Mobile for Motorola’ where Motorola representatives will be able to login and remotely control the devices of those needing assistance.

“These smart services will help us provide even better and more personal support to our customers in Korea,” said Chul-Jong Jung, president of Motorola Korea. “We are committed to customer satisfaction, and making sure that people can get support when they need it and where they need it is an important part of that.”

Rather trying to explain how to fix things, logging in remotely allows not only to address the issue faster but the actions are also visible to customer so that if it arise again, they'll know what to do in order to fix it themselves. Want to know more? The full press release is past the break.

Source: Motorola

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4 years ago

Upcoming Samsung phone to use Samsung processor, says anonymous Samsung exec

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Try to contain yourselves here, folks, but the upcoming (and still unannounced) Samsung Galaxy S III apparently will use a quad-core Samsung Exynos system, a "high-ranking" Samsung exec told Korea Times. Shouldn't be much of a surprise there — Samsung's been using Samsung chips (and displays, and who knows what else) in its own phones for quite some time. The bigger story perhaps is that it looks like Exynos processors finally will be playing nice with 4G radios (remember that NVIDIA Tegra 3 chips are finally getting there, too, as seen in a Fujitsu prototype), which will allow Samsung to forgo using other manufacturers' processors.

Of course, we still have no real idea of when we'll see any of this come to market. When Samsung announced its new 32nm Exynos 5250 in November 2011, it said it was scheduled for mass production in the second quarter of 2012.

Source: Korea Times

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4 years ago

HTC One roadshow coming to 'dozens of cities' around the world

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Over the past year, HTC has taken to the road to promote its products across Europe. And for its latest series of smartphones, it's taking things to the next level, launching a worldwide tour to allow fans to go hands-on with its new HTC One line-up.

In a post on its official blog, the manufacturer reveals that it plans to visit "dozens of cities" across the globe, including the major cities you see in the image above. If last year's roadshows are any indication, this year's tour should be a great opportunity for regular people (as opposed to snooty press types like ourselves) to get an early look at the One X, One S and maybe even the One V. No specific dates are mentioned, but according to today's blog post, the tour is planned for "the next several weeks."

HTC's also asking fans to suggest more destinations to add to its line-up, so if you're not anywhere near the nine cities that've already been announced, there's still time make yourself heard.

Source: HTC Blog

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4 years ago

HTC One X, One S pre-order prices emerge

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HTC has offered little in the way of pricing info or launch dates for its new One series. However, pre-order listings by a number of UK retailers present some clues as to when you'll be able to get your hands on the One X and One S, and for how much. Several online stores, including Amazon, Clove and Expansys are listing HTC's new flagship phone for release on April 5, with a £490-500 price tag. Meanwhile the One S, HTC's slightly less high-end, high-end phone is placed around £440-450 by Amazon and Clove, with the same purported release date of April 5.

The April 5 date matches what's been reported by O2 UK and others in the past week, and the price tags shouldn't surprise anyone -- that's what cutting edge phones cost in the UK. (Though we're relieved to see that the One X isn't pushing into silly money territory with prices above £500.)

Network-subsidized deals will likely knock these SIM-free prices down to more affordable levels anyway. The One X and One S are to be carried by every major UK network, so we'd expect to see some competitive offers.

In the U.S., the One X will launch on AT&T, while T-Mobile will get the One S. However there's still no word on exactly when these phones are due to cross the Atlantic.

Source: Amazon, Clove, Expansys

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4 years ago

Linux kernel 3.3 released with Android support almost complete

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The latest version of the Linux kernel was released Sunday afternoon, and with version 3.3 comes something that just may get your inner-geek excited -- tons of Android changes have been merged. In theory, one should be able to boot and run an Android powered device using just the vanilla, mainline Linux 3.3 kernel. There's still work to be done, especially with power management, and the wake-lock issue that many think was at the core of the argument whether to merge or not to merge still needs full resolution. But since Android doesn't need to have wake-lock support (it just keeps your battery from draining in record time) our phones and tablets can now be considered officially supported by the Linux community. We'll stay out of the nerd battle royal over the wake-lock issue and trust the promises that it will be taken care of with the 3.4 version.

Knowing that Android is now in the main Linux kernel trunk is good, and makes nerds all warm and fuzzy inside, but what does that really mean for you and me? Not a lot, really. ROM and kernel developers will benefit from an easier migration for changes and better support for custom features in the device's kernel, but for regular users there will be no big changes. For anyone working on a true native Linux distro running in tandem with Android from one device, this really makes things easier. 

One last thing to mention is that we still will have to wait for OEM's to release kernel sources for each device or update. The current Android kernel is subject to the same license as the main Linux kernel, so nothing has changed on that front -- OEM's can and will modify it as they see fit (that's the beauty of open source) and be responsible for publishing any changes. They all have been getting better at this, so I don't foresee any big problems.

Hopefully, all goes as planned and we see full support in Linux 3.4, and the next reference device from Google.

More: Phoronix; Muktware; Thanks, crxssi!

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4 years ago

ZTE Score arrives on MetroPCS for only $50

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MetroPCS has been rounding out its Android lineup lately and, now they've added another device to the mix -- the ZTE Score M. The ZTE Score certainly won't win any spec wars, but for anyone looking for a cost effective smartphone, it has a fair bit to offer:

  • 600 MHz processor
  • 1500 mAh battery
  • 4GB internal memory expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • CDMA 1x-EVDOrA Cell/PCS/AWS network
  • Bluetooth 2.1 and Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) compatible

Android 2.3 and a 3.2 megapixel camera complete the package which, is available for $49 plus tax, after mail-in rebate. The deal applies for a limited time at all MetroPCS and dealer retail locations nationwide and online.

Source: MetroPCS

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4 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest winners: Photo filters and effects

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The winner of this week's photo contest is Cody Griffith, who captured the full hipster spirit with his entry. Taken with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and using the Pixlr-o-matic app, he successfully made an image captured with amazing 21st-century technology look like something taken in 1974. Nice work Cody. Keep an eye on your inbox for information about your prize.

We had some other great entries this week, as we usually do. Android users love to take good pictures (we have thousands and thousands of pieces of evidence). Hit the break to see the 10 runners-up to get an idea of just how good some of the submissions are. We'll start a new contest tomorrow and do it all again next week. 

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4 years ago

CyanogenMod 7.2 release candidate now live with support for 69 Android devices

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The first major CyanogenMod release of the year is upon us, as the leading custom Android firmware launches the first release candidate (RC) build for version 7.2. CM release candidates are generally considered stable enough for regular use, and are intended to flush out the last remaining bugs before the final release. 

In addition to the large jump in the number of supported devices, currently at 69 for the new release candidate, CM 7.2 adds bug fixes and new features. These include a few which have back-ported from Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Others, such as the T9 predictive phone dialer, are found in manufacturer ROMs but not stock Android.

CyanogenMod 7.2 is still based on Gingerbread, so the list of supported devices focuses on phones and tablets running Android 2.3.7 or older. CyanogenMod 9, the next major version, is based on Android 4.0. Early nightly builds of CM9 are available for a few devices, including the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S.

Hit the source link for the gigantic list of CM 7.2-supported phones. We've got the full changelog after the break.

Source: CyanogenMod

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: We don't need Just Another Android Tablet™

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Let's talk tablets.

Specifically, let's talk Nexus tablets. Forget, for the moment, that as yet there's no such thing as a Nexus tablet. And I'm willing to bet that if Google actually does make its own tablet sometime in the coming months, it won't actually be called "Nexus" anything. (I'll go one further and opine that perhaps the Nexus line has run its course, but that's another column for another day. You folks feel free to steal that idea in the meantime.)

There's been growing talk of some sort of Google-produced tablet. Whispers go back many months, and in December 2011 an Italian newspaper quoted former Google CEO and current Chairman Eric Schmidt as saying "We in the next six months plan to market a tablet of the highest quality." We've seen other posts from analysts and Digitimes (which covers Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers and often dreams up unicorns as often as it does actual products) that seem to corroborate that Google's producing something.

And on Friday we've seen further rumors from The Verge and Android and Me (who's been peddling this thing for a while now) going back and forth on pricing -- $149 of $199, either of which would be perfectly conceivable for an aggressively priced, Google-backed tablet. And specs, well, specs are specs. Maybe it'll be quad-core. Maybe it'll be dual-core. Maybe it'll have a display so great it'll make the new iPad look like the jacked-up resolution on your grandmother's aging laptop.

None of that matters.

From time to time you'll hear us joke about hardware rumors, saying something like "Breaksclusive! Next-generation hardware rumored to be thinner/lighter/faster than current-generation hardware!" Part of that's just us breaking Wheaton's Law. But that doesn't make it any less true. And in the case of Android hardware over the past year, it's been ridiculously true. I have no idea how many tablets Samsung has announced in the past 12 months. I'm willing to bet there are a great many people at Samsung who couldn't tell you without having to look up the number of tablet models it's released. It really just comes down to this:

The last thing Google needs to do is make Just Another Android Tablet™.

Think about it. What good would a "Google Nexus Tablet" be? What would it bring to the tablet table that we haven't already had for a year now? Thinner? Faster? Lighter? Inevitable. (To a certain extent, anyway.) Stock experience? The Motorola XOOM's had that for a year now, and most other tablets keep relatively the same experience. Price? What's a $149 Just Another Android Tablet™ going to do in the consumer space that the $199 Kindle Fire hasn't done already? Google's got the cash to eat the cost, sure. But Amazon's got the distribution pipeline, and the head start.

(By the way: Don't call this unicorn a Kindle Fire killer unless it's capable of sneaking into people's homes and disintegrating the millions of Kindle Fires already sold and is able to negate Amazon's current retail stance.)

I said this a long while ago in regards to the Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich — the key is going to be software. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich meant relative fresh start for Android. That said, it's been a troubled birth, as we still have a scant few devices with ICS, though that'll start changing fairly soon. (Though certainly not soon enough.) The tablet rumors we've been reading all share a common thread — they're thinking too small.

The next version of Android — by all (unsourced and uncreative) accounts it'll be called "Jelly Bean" — has to be more than just an iteration of a mobile operating system. You've undoubtedly heard the rumors of some sort of Google entertainment system. Or that Google Play is the start of something bigger. All this, I believe, is true. If there's one thing we know about Google, its that it has much more patience than those of us who don't create things for a living. (And certainly more patience than those of us who report on things for a living.) Google's in all this for the long haul.

Google TV was a disappointment. Android tablets have, on a macro level, been a failure to launch. Smartphones stand out, but there's certainly room for improvement. We know this. Google knows this. Word on the street is that we're all about to get a big lesson in WiDi, which in and of itself presents its own questions. (For most people, that'll be "What the hell is WiDi, and what can I do with it?")

We'll likely get some answers come the Google IO developer conference in June. And I've got a feeling everyone's going to be surprised.

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4 years ago

More Samsung Galaxy S III leaky goodness

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In the ongoing saga of Samsung Galaxy S III leaks, rumors, and chicanery, a new leak has been posted at Reddit. Mixed in among the U MAD BRO meme pics was the picture you see above, and the post with a brief explanation, supposedly from a fellow with a friend who works at Samsung. We've quoted the following spicy bits for easy reading:

He said that it will possibly have two optional launchers, ICS with touchwiz overlay and vanilla ICS. They aren't 100 percent sure if they will stick with touchwiz or have the dual launcher option. If they go dual, you will have the option of picking which one to use at startup, and you can change any time. He said it has a 4.7 inch screen that nearly takes up the whole phone, but some bezel space was needed for the camera, speakers, mic, and so cases would fit on it. He said it WILL be HD and have a ceramic "micro arc oxidation" back.

Is this for real? We have no idea. But it sure is fun to look at on a Saturday night. Hit the source link to see the various Reditor's take on this one.

Source: Reddit. Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Twitter working on next-gen TweetDeck app with power users in mind

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Remember back before Christmas when Twitter redesigned their interface with new "discovery" oriented pages? Remember how it made finding DM's and mentions harder by burying them a level deeper? Well if you're one of the many that hated the changes (Twitter refers to us as "power users") you'll like this news. TweetDeck, which was purchased by Twitter proper in May 2011, is in the process of being redesigned with you in mind. Details are sparse, but they all seem centered around a job listing by Twitter, Inc. which reads, in part:

About This Job
The TweetDeck team, working from London, is looking for new team members to work on our cutting edge Android app. We’re building the next generation of a suite of clients that millions of people love and use everyday. You’ll work on our small team, own the projects that you work on, and have a great time shipping products which change the way people communicate.

After the recent updates to the native Android app, and the lack of recent updates to TweetDeck, we're ready for a "cutting edge" app from the folks at Twitter. Don't forget the tablet interface, please.

Source: Twitter; via TechCrunch

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for March 17, 2012

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If applications are the best part of your mobile device, you probably love when we bring you some of our favorites. We are back this week with a few more, so let's hit the break and check them out!

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