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4 years ago

Andy Rubin, rumor smasher: Not leaving Google; 900,000+ Android activations daily

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Gotta love a good unfounded rumor on a slow Sunday afternoon. Or not. 

Regardless, Robert Scoble this afternoon set up a trial balloon to see what folks though about the possibility of Andy Rubin possibly leaving Google for a startup called CloudCar. Wrote Scoble on Google+

Today I heard that the head of Android, +Andy Rubin, will soon leave Google and head to a new startup called http://www.cloudcar.com/

Now, that rumor has two purposes: one, it might be true, in which case I start thinking about what that means for Android. I certainly will be looking for those signs when I attend the Google IO conference.

it didn't take long for Rubin to set the record straight, responding on Google+

How a rumor gets factualized: Cloudcar are a group of friends who I give free office space to in my incubator in Los Altos.  Revel Touch (Mar Hershenson's company: www.reveltouch.com) is another cool company that shares this space.  I'm not joining either one and I don't have any plans to leave Google.  See you on the 27th!

Roger that. Over and out. 

So in more Earth-based news, Rubin has also stated that there are over 900,000 Android activations daily -- up from 850,000 just a couple months ago at MWC. Before we delve into just how big that number is, let's revisit what each of those activations are. When a new Android device with a cellular radio has a Google account signed into it, it's counted as an activation. Each device only gets counted once -- not when you flash a new ROM, or when you sell it, just the first time the device is registered. This means that over 900,000 people are buying new Android devices every day. Or 27,000,000 every month. Or 328,500,000 a year at that rate. That's a lot of Android.

Looks like we'll be seeing plenty of Andy Rubin, and plenty of Android activations for the time being.

Source: +Andy Rubin. More: +Robert Scoble

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' App Picks for June 10, 2012

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We're a day late but worth the wait! Welcome to the latest iteration of our Android Apps of the Week, where we showcase apps that we find interesting. Have an app you think we should take a look at? Feel free to e-mail us and we'll give it a gander.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, onto the show!

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: When your phone can't do a damn thing to help ...

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When your fair city finds itself getting more than a foot of rain in less than a day, there's no escaping that sense of helplessness. There's not a damn thing you can do, and that's not exactly the sort of thing you can prepare for. Even the hurricanes I've been through haven't dumped that much rain. (Or if they did, the wind kept it moving enough so that the standing water didn't overtake things.)

And unlike during a hurricane, my phone wasn't much of a help. See, in a hurricane, the power and cable often are the first to go, meaning you'll be relying on mobile communications for as long as they'll last. (And since the awful hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, the carriers have been quick to tell us all about the improvements they've made to their backup systems.) But during Saturday's rain, I had power. I had Internet. And so I sat here, at my desk, keeping up on where the worst flooding was, what the radar was like, and what the next 24 hours was going to bring. (Hint: More rain.) That's not to say it's not important to have a phone around for emergencies, it's just that in this case, when we weren't exactly in imminent danger, there just wasn't much use for it. It was an odd feeling.

We'll talk some more about this later this week, but I'd urge everyone to think about their phones and tablets and how they can help get you through those days when Mother Nature decides to be a real bitch. 

Oh, look. It's starting to pour again.

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4 years ago

LG announces Optimus 4X HD European launch

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LG has announced that it's in the process of launching its new international flagship, the Optimus 4X HD, in major European countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK and Italy. A quad-core, Tegra 3-powered handset with a 720p IPS display, the 4X HD is the first European handset to debut LG's new Optimus UI 3.0, which runs on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

LG's also highlighting its "Quick notes" functionality, which lets users draw on the screen using their fingers, or a capacitive stylus, as well as Media Flex, which allows a range of real-time multimedia effects during video playback. 

No exact release date has been revealed, so we're expecting things to vary country-by-country. If you want to see what LG's bringing to the table in 2012, be sure to check out our hands-on previews from Mobile World Congress and CTIA.

Source: LG Newsroom (Korean)

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III will use a different MHL to HDMI adapter

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If you're planning on purchasing a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S III, and have an existing Android phone that uses a MHL to HDMI adapter for video out, you'll be needing to replace that adapter. According to Samsung the hardware differences -- the Galaxy S III uses a different pin layout than previous phones did -- make the old adapters incompatible with the phone. 

While it's a bit inconvenient, it's almost to be expected. There's even more stuff crammed inside a thinner phone, so hardware has been redesigned and things that plug in need redesigned, too. It's probably not a conspiracy to force everyone to buy a new adapter (most of us probably will never use one anyway), and the parts themselves retail for about $25 bucks for a Samsung branded OEM model. 

If you're in the UK or Europe, you can grab one at Clove (£20.82-- check out the video after the break), and we're pretty sure you'll be able to find them at your carriers store here in the US when the SGS3 launches. Just don't try your old one -- you don't want to be the guy who finds out what happens when you plug it in and turn it on!

Via: +Arne Hess

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4 years ago

Android Central international round-up - June 9, 2012

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The past week in international Android Central coverage has been dominated by two highly-anticipated new devices -- Samsung's Galaxy S III and Orange's new Intel-powered San Diego. We published our exhaustive review of the former, and a complete video walkthrough of the latter. And whereas the Galaxy S III may be the latest and greatest Android flagship, it's the San Diego which could be the true representation of the Android's future. We're sure plenty of consumers will find room in their pockets for Intel-powered Androids in the months ahead, and we found the San Diego to be a reasonably-priced handset that offers exceptional performance even on a single core. Stay tuned for our full review in the near future.

In other news, we received the first word that the "pebble blue" Galaxy S III has started shipping in Europe and Australia, marking the end of the delays surrounding that model. And UK networks O2 and Vodafone announced an infrastructure-sharing plan that could help both networks roll out 4G LTE coverage to more Brits, more quickly.

We'd definitely recommend you check out our full review of the Galaxy S III and walkthrough of the Orange San Diego, as well as the rest of the week's highlights linked below. (And watch out for our full review of the Sony Xperia P in the next week or so). If you've got international news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

Special features:

News:

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4 years ago

No extra free storage for AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S III owners! The horror!

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So if you get the AT&T or Verizon version of the Galaxy S III, you won't be getting a free extra 48 gigbytes of online storage on Dropbox. That sucks, considering that our European friends have it, and presumably Sprint and T-Mobile will as well. (And it's little toughter for AT&T fans to swallow since you can only get the AT&T GSIII in a 16-gigabyte flavor -- OK, throw a microSD card in there, but still.) But, hey, that's the carriers' right. They don't want to pick up the tab, Dropbox doesn't want to give it away for free (not that we necessarily blame them after what some folks did with the SGSIII promotion), and so we won't be getting the extra free space, a fact Dropbox has been happy to advertise in its help forums:

U.S. AT&T and Verizon customers

Select carriers have opted-out of the promotion on phones otherwise eligible. Unfortunately, AT&T and Verizon are among these carriers not currently participating.

It's not like you can't get a buttload of free Dropbox space already, though, with the usual 2GB of initial space, plus another 500MB for each referral, up to 18GB. (And if you have a friend with an HTC One phone, you probably can finagle a bit more, too.) If it's not worth it to AT&T and Verizon in this case, them's the breaks. End of the world? Not hardly. And if you really do need that 50 gigabytes, you can always pony up the $9.99 a month (or $99 a year) in that old-fashion, capitalistic manner.

Source: Dropbox; thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

CrackBerry Kevin World Tour: What accessories do I need for my Android phone?

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While sounding off about my HTC One X experiences during Thursday's Android Central Podcast, I brought up the topic of accessories. When it comes to BlackBerry, I have my list of favorites, and usually go on a shopping spree after I upgrade to a new phone. A pair of charging stands (need for both nightstand and office desk), a case or skin or screen protector, car mount, spare batteries, extra chargers (I tend to leave them in hotels)... you get the picture, I'm a bit of an accessory junkie. For some items I prefer going OEM while for other items I prefer going third party.

This is the first time I'm really going all-in on an Android phone, and it's a fresh start for me on the accessory front. I took a stroll through ShopAndroid.com today and loaded some items up into the cart, but figured before checking out I should check in with the Android Central community and get their input. I could tell from the comments to my Mobile Nations World Tour post that there are a lot of smart people on this site with a lot of strong opinions. So help me out here. What are the must-have accessories that will help me get the most out of the Android experience?

Don't be shy. Let me know in the comments. I lucked in by already owning a matching pair of Beats for my One X, but that's all I've got.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III launch dates, Hiding your gallery [From the Forums]

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Missed out on some of the best Android news today? You can easily go ahead and get yourself caught up here on the Android Central blogs or in the Android Central forums. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below.

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

Sprint rumored to be launching their own NFC mobile wallet

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NFC Times is reporting that Sprint is currently working on their own NFC-based mobile payment system, which would put them at odds with the rest of the US telcos and Google. Until the Samsung Galaxy Nexus appeared at Google Play, Sprint was the only carrier to ship phones with Google Wallet, though it was relatively easy to install on other devices with the proper hardware. If the news we're hearing today is true, Google may be left with no carrier phones supporting their payment services, as it's US only (for now) and the US carriers have opted for alternative systems -- which would require exclusive control of the secure element inside our phones. Sprint, having hired systems provider Sequent Software looks to be developing their "Touch" wallet system and retain complete control over partners, development, and security. The rest of the US carriers have opted to use the Isis payment system

This is turning into a mess. The lure of transaction fees and lucrative partnerships has become so important that everyone is forgetting that we need to use it for them to make money on it. Instead of fighting tooth-and-nail with each other over every penny, they could take one of the existing standards, garner more support from new financial partners, and have a system that works at most every point-of-sale, for most bank cards. Instead, there are a huge group of folks who want to use an NFC-based mobile wallet system, but can't. That's money not being made and not lining the pockets of investors. Everyone needs to get on the same page, pick a system, and put their support behind it so we can use it instead of bitching about it on the Internet. 

I understand the driving force behind innovation in the mobile space is the almighty dollar. I don't like it, but I get it. How about getting it all together and making some, instead of adding another "standard" to the mix?

Source: NFC Times

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4 years ago

Android A to Z: Jellybean!

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Jellybean is the name of a delicious hard-shelled confectionery with a soft, even more delicious inside. Made mostly of sugar and Unicorn sweat, they are a favorite of Android bloggers and ex-presidents, and probably are really good for you. Especially the black ones. Or the green ones. Sometimes the white ones, too.

It's also the rumored nickname of the next version of Android.

Since version 1.5, Android has had code names based on sweets and treats. We've seen Cupcake (v. 1.5), Donut (v. 1.6), Eclair (v. 2.0.1 and 2.1), Froyo (v. 2.2), Gingerbread (v. 2.3), Honeycomb (v. 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2), and Ice Cream Sandwich (v. 4.0) so far. We're pretty sure that the next version will have a similar delicious name. What we're not sure of is exactly what version it will be, or exactly what name it will carry. The general speculation is that we'll see Android 4.1 with the code name Jellybean sometime this year. But until we hear it from Google, that's all just a series of educated guesses.

What's not just a guess is that it will get everyone excited, bring new features (and bugs) to the table, and we'll be all over it as soon as it appears. That's what we do -- eat jelly beans and talk Android 24/7. Life is good.

Check out the complete Android Dictionary

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4 years ago

How to restore the functionality the Apple v HTC war has taken away [root]

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So you have a modern (read one that has or is going to get ICS) HTC Android phone, and want to restore the hyperlinked data option menu that Apple spent millions of dollars to take away from you? Hell, yeah, you do. We don't blame you one bit -- these phones were made for hackin' so hack them! You'll need to be rooted, and so far this is confirmed to be working on the EVO 3D, the EVO 4G LTE, and the One X, but it's easy to try on other devices as well. Big thanks to steal25 over at XDA for figuring out an easy method. 

Back up your current system/build.prop, because we're going to edit it a little bit. You can either do this on the phone -- remember to mount /system as read/write -- or pull the file with adb and do it on your computer. If you choose the latter, be sure to use a text editor that has Unix line breaks and not Windows. Notepad++ will do the job just fine. What you'll need to edit:

  • Find the line ro.da1.enable=true
  • ​Change it to ro.da1.enable=false
  • Directly under it add the line ro.da1.method=false
  • ​Reboot

When your phone restarts, those links for phone numbers and Youtube videos and everything else in mail and messages should work like we're used to seeing them work, and all will be well with the world. The app associations in settings will also be gone, because you don't need them any longer. It's an easy way to make your phone work as designed, and a big stick in the eye of the goons in Cupertino. 

If you're not sure what we're talking about here, or have any other questions, jump into the forums and ask a few questions. The fellas are there that know what you need to know and love talking about it.

Source: XDA; via Android Central forums

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4 years ago

Adobe Flash Player 11 update pushed to Google Play

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If you have Adobe Flash Player 11 installed on your Android device, then you're going to want to head on over to the Google Play Store where there will be an update ready and waiting.

The official changelog on the Adobe website hasn't been updated at the time of writing. But, considering active development has been discontinued, there's a high chance it brings a handful of security and bug fixes. In any case, if there's an update there, it's usually a good idea to download it, so head over to the Play Store now and snag yourself a copy.

Download: Adobe Flash Player 11 

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Neo L pictured - sleek entry-level ICS phone for China

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We haven't seen much of the Sony Xperia Neo L since it was first announced for the Chinese market back in March. But now the tiny ICS-powered handset has emerged in the flesh on Taiwanese site ​ePrice​, where it's been snapped from various angles and compared to a contemporary Sony handset, the Xperia P.

The Xperia Neo L is by modern standards a budget device -- there's a 1GHz Snapdragon S2 chip inside, 512MB of RAM and a 4-inch FWVGA LCD display. Sony hasn't cut any corners on the design, though, a the Neo L looks like a sleek device, furnished as it is in curvy white plastic with a metallic trim. Other premium features include the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich.

More pics at the source link. The Sony Xperia Neo L is expected to land in China before the end of the month.

Source: ePrice; via: XperiaBlog

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4 years ago

Leaked Droid RAZR HD pic shows a big, wide phone

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Where do you go from the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX? How's about the Droid RAZR HD? This leaked pic seems to suggest a wide (but thin) phone with the same Kevlar back we've come to know over the past six months or so, along with mciroUSB and and HDMI port, plus what looks be to a door for the 4G LTE SIM card, and presumably some microSD storage on the side (like the Droid X days). Camera, speaker, flash. Eh, it's a phone.

The bigger question for this phone is when we're going to see it, what's on the inside -- both hardware and software -- and whether it's got a snowball's chance in hell against the Samsung Galaxy S III on Verizon. Put it this way: Moto's gonna have to bring something seriously new to catch our attention at this point in the year, and it's still too early for Google to swoop in and rescue what otherwise might be an iterative phone. (And really, there's no promising that Google would even do that.)

So, yeah. You've got a leaked picture of the back (and, after the break, the side) or another Motorola phone. We're not getting all that excited just yet.

Source: Droid-Life

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