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4 years ago

App tells you who's updating your Galaxy Nexus, can't tell you whether to care

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Fun fact: There are more versions of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus floating around, software-wise, than you're probably aware of, even when it comes to the GSM version. The basic rule here is that if you have the yakju version of the Galaxy Nexus, it's GSM, and mysid is CDMA/LTE, in the case of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. But there actually are regional differences as well, so you might see ykjuux in Canada, or there's yakjuxw, or yakjusc. Probably others. Make your head hurt? Mine, too.

And with that has come great debate over whether the various verisons are updated directly from Google, or from Samsung, or from some magical neckbearded update gnome deep in the forest. As I've said on Google+, so long as the updates come in a timely manner and aren't borked (not that they should be), I couldn't care less whose servers they come from.

But if you are worried about that sort of thing, there's a little tool called "GN Official Update Checker" that makes it easy to figure it out. All it does it check the ro.product.name line in your phone's build.prop file and tell you whether it's updated by Google or not updated by Google.

Whether it keeps you up at night is entirely up to you.

Update: Turns out the CDMA/LTE mysid variant (that's the Verizon Galaxy Nexus to you and me) does actually get its updates from Google after all, according to Googler Jean-Baptiste Queru. So that's that. JBQ also says that yakjuxw and other yakju variants signed by Samsung have only "really small region-specific tweaks".

GN Official Update Checker via The:Unwired

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4 years ago

How to manually update your GSM Galaxy Nexus with the Android 4.0.2 OTA

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So Android 4.0.2's starting to roll out to the GSM version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. But maybe you don't want to wait? (We sure don't.) Here's how to easily flash the update to your phone, same as we did for the volume bug update. Note that this won't erase anything, and it's really no different than if you sat back and waited.

Note that this is for stock phones, and for people who want to update without really doing any real  hackery but don't mind a little command line work. Nothing we do here is permanent, other than the update itself. If you've already flashed CWM, then you probably already know what you're doing anyway. And with that ...

Thanks, Scott, for the OTA location

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4 years ago

Galaxy Nexus for $150 on Amazon, but backordered

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If you're like me and have yet to actually pick a Galaxy Nexus, Amazon is making it awful hard to resist. Despite the device sitting in backorder status on their site -- the $150 price tag they are offering it for is pretty tempting. That's 50% off Verizons $300 price tag and during the holidays, saving on big ticket items such as the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is a good thing.

If you don't like the sound of backorder and want to have your Galaxy Nexus wrapped and sitting under the tree, you can also pick it up from the ShopAndroid Phone Store. Be sure to order by December 20th to have it in time for Christmas. Click here for details.

Buy the Verizon Galaxy Nexus from Amazon

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4 years ago

HTC ThunderBolt's latest update rolling out, brings bugfixes aplenty

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The long day of updates marches on, with the HTC ThunderBolt the latest receipient. Nothing more than bugfixes in Build 2.11.605.9, but they include:

  • Resolved issue with Contact ringtones
  • Improvements to notification volume
  • Updated local streaming playback mechanism when network connection is not available
  • Updated Twitter API for Peep/Friendstream
  • Clock app included in All Apps list
  • Improvements in Exchange ActiveSync

Head into Settings>Software update to snag it now.

More: Verizon; ThunderBolt forums

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4 years ago

Manually update your Galaxy Nexus, Switching phones [From the Forums]

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Wow, exciting way to close out the week. Nexus updates galore, Nexus S updates now pushing out -- that's a lot to take in. If you missed out on anything, make sure you flip on back a page or two and get caught up. Don't be shy to hit up the forums as well, should you need any help or are just looking to talk Android some more.

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

Android 4.0.3 source code being pushed to AOSP

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Googler Jean-Baptiste Queru has just announced the push of Android 4.0.3 to the Android Open Source Project tree.  This build is for the Motorola Xoom (U.S. Versions), the Nexus S (all versions), and of course the mysid and yakju builds of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.  Yes, one set of sources and build number for several different devices -- that's a first for AOSP and if it's pulled off well (I'll bet it is, these fellows know their schtuff) it's a big leap in Android development.  As JBQ mentions, this is the first time AOSP works for a tablet, the first time it works on a device that's neither a Nexus or an Android Developer Phone, and the first time it works for devices on Verizon.  Mr. Queru also has this to say:

Over the years, I've released 50 different versions of Android in AOSP, not counting the SDK and CTS, and I think that this is the best release ever.

Those are the kinds of words we all love to hear.  Wait for the announcement that it's ready for syncing, then prepare yourselves -- this is going to be one helluva ride. 

Source: Android Building

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4 years ago

How to manually update your GSM Nexus S to Ice Cream Sandwich

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Want Ice Cream Sandwich on your Samsung Nexus S but down't want to wait on the update to push out over the air? The dowload location has been found, and we've got your update instructions. We've already updated our Nexus S, and it takes just a couple minutes.

Again, folks, this is the GSM verison. And, specifically, the T-Mobile version. If that's not your phone, keep out. Now, instructions:

  • Grab the OTA package here
  • Rename it to update.zip.  This isn't needed for the Nexus S bootloader, but it makes things easy, if that's how you prefer them.
  • Copy it over to the internal storage on your Nexus S.
  • Power off, then hold volume up and power to reboot to the bootloader.
  • Using the volume key to navigate, select recovery, then use the power button to confirm
  • When you see the warning triangle and arrow, hold the power button and tap volume up.  You'll see a menu.
  • From the menu, select "apply update from /sdcard", and choose update.zip from the list.
  • Let it do its thing and update your system, radio, and other partitions.  When finished, choose "reboot system now"
  • Enjoy!

That simple! Now you've got the all new Android 4.0.3.

More: Nexus S forums
Big ups to Koush and Beezy for the download location!

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4 years ago

Google starting to push Ice Cream Sandwich for Samsung Nexus S

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We've had unofficial builds of Ice Cream Sandwich on the Samsung Nexus S for a number of weeks now. But today Google announced that the GSM version of the Nexus S will see its Android 4.0 update push out over the next month, starting today. Not a bad turnaround. Now let's see some carrier-branded phones get some love, shall we?

Source: @GoogleNexus

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4 years ago

Android App Review: BaconReader

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Not too long ago we mentioned a new Reddit app called BaconReader for Reddit. The screenshots looked so clean and slick I decided I had to try it out and give it the courtesy of a full-blown review. After having spent some time with it, I'm glad I did.

If any of you members of the Android Central nation are also Redditors, you know how hard it is to find a good Reddit app in the Market. Interfaces aren't intuitive, comment threads are a mess, and clicking links opens up your browser, which takes away time from more browsing.

BaconReader manages to remedy all of those things in a tight, beautiful package. The interface is incredibly minimalist, with white and grey being the dominant colors. The monochromatic look of it gives an almost metallic look, not overbearing on the eyes while also not being boring to look at. It's so efficiently tidy, it just works.

If you tap any thread, you'll be taken either to the link it links to or the text. If there's loads of comments on it, the comment thread is not only color-coded, but also optimized for your mobile screen. Long paragraphs are neatly arranged within the confines of your display, and that's a victory in and of itself.

You can also login to your Reddit account, and from there, post or change your preferred subreddits, all from the app. If you tap the "front page" button, you'll be given a dropdown menu of all the subreddits you're subscribed to, and if you tap the "what's hot" button, you can filter your results based on what's new, rising, top, etc.

Posting from BaconReader is also a breeze. Simply tap the top-right button (that looks suspiciously similar to a generic compose button), and you're taken to the submit screen. From here you can submit a link, type in text, or upload a picture, just like you would on Reddit's full site.

There's also the ability to both check your received messages and send messages, all from inside BaconReader. Add in a fully-featured settings menu that lets you define if thumbnails are loaded, if you open links from inside the app, or what domains are black or whitelisted (to name a few), and you've got what is probably the most powerful mobile Reddit experience available in the palm of your hand.

BaconReader for Reddit is by far the best Reddit app on Android right now, hands down. The clean interface, ease of use, and powerful rendering of Reddit all put this one ahead of the pack, and if you're even a light user of Reddit, I wouldn't go without it.

BaconReader for Reddit is free in the Android Market. We've got pictures and download links after the break.

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4 years ago

Android 4.0.2 update now rolling out to GSM Galaxy Nexus

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The GSM (international) version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has just received its update to Android 4.0.2, hot on the heels of the Verizon version, which got the update on its launch day. Several GSM Nexus owners are now reporting that they've received the new version of Android, which carries the build number ICL53F.

The update weighs just 8.7MB, and according to the update message contains "important bug fixes", most likely the same fixes detailed in Verizon's latest update statement (excluding the LTE-specific stuff, of course).

To see if your phone is ready to receive the update, head to Settings > About phone > System updates. If it's still telling you you're already up-to-date, you may have to wait a few days before it's your turn to be updated. Don't want to wait? If you're comfortable with unlocking bootloaders and fiddling around with command-line stuff, once the files URL is located you'll be able to download them from Google and use Jerry's clever manual update method.

Now we get ready for Android 4.0.3.  Isn't having a Nexus phone grand?

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4 years ago

Android 4.0.2 is so yesterday -- say hello to Android 4.0.3!

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Know that Android 4.0.2 update the Verizon Galaxy Nexus owners were so proud of yesterday? It's old news today. Google just announced Android 4.0.3 and an increase in API level (it's now 15). So what's new? Google gives us the big strokes:

  • Social stream API in Contacts provider: Applications that use social stream data such as status updates and check-ins can now sync that data with each of the user’s contacts, providing items in a stream along with photos for each. This new API lets apps show users what the people they know are doing or saying, in addition to their photos and contact information.
  • Calendar provider enhancements. Apps can now add color to events, for easier tracking, and new attendee types and states are now available.
  • New camera capabilities. Apps can now check and manage video stabilization and use QVGA resolution profiles where needed.
  • Accessibility refinements. Improved content access for screen readers and new status and error reporting for text-to-speech engines.
  • Incremental improvements in graphics, database, spell-checking, Bluetooth, and more.

So the next question is when will we start seeing it on the Galaxy Nexus? Time to start those fingers a'tappin'.

Source: Android Developers Blog; more: Platform Highlights

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4 years ago

Sprint says it's no longer collecting analytics via Carrier IQ

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Sprint today told Android Central that it is no longer using Carrier IQ to collect diagnostic data from its devices. The statement comes in response to our asking Sprint about an anonymously sourced report on Geek.com under the headline "Sprint orders all OEM’s to strip Carrier IQ from their hardware." Said Sprint spokeswoman Stephanie Vinge-Walsh:

"That report does not appear to be accurate."

Vinge-Walsh did go on to tell us that Sprint has "weighed customer concerns and we have disabled use of the tool so that diagnostic information and data is no longer being collected. We are further evaluating options regarding this diagnostic software as well as Sprint’s diagnostic needs.

"At Sprint, we work hard to earn the trust of our customers and believe this course of action is in the best interest of our business and customers."

HTC, also cited in Geek.com's report as an anonymous source, had no comment and referred us to Sprint.

Not collecting data is a far cry from "stripping" the Carrier IQ code out of its phones, but it also makes far more sense, at least in the short term. Flipping a switch to cease collecting data undoubtedly is easier (and cheaper) than rewriting ROMs for the 17 or so devices it told U.S. Sen. Al Franken contained Carrier IQ. That's not going to make the die-hard Android hackers happy, but chances are they're already stripped the ROM anyway. Not including Carrier IQ software in future updates and new releases would make sense as Sprint's not collecting the data anymore anyway.

As for the causal (read: normal) Android user, you can rest easy in knowing that Sprint's no longer using Carrier IQ to collect its analytics data. We've got Sprint's full statement after the break.

More analysis

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4 years ago

Star and Pocket Legends ring in the holiday with new content, level cap

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For all of you mobile-MMOers out there, take notice: Spacetime Studios is spreading holiday cheer to their gaming base by unveiling a slew of new content for this time of year. Depending on which game you play will determine what content you see, and Spacetime says it best:

Star Legends

  • Biggest update yet
  • Level cap raise to 41
  • Solve the mystery of the missing Governor of Volaria
  • The Galactic Welfare Society is under attack from The Screwj. Can players save the holiday season for aliens and humans alike?
  • All new items, levels and adventures including a Bonus Capture-the-Flag map

Pocket Legends

  • Seasonal Quests and battle areas
  • New holiday-only loot
  • Brand new content and surprises for players

With this much new content, we might as well say Christmas came early this year.

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4 years ago

Sen. Al Franken gets answers from Carrier IQ, carriers -- 'still very troubled by what's going on'

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U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., didn't like what he'd heard about the whole Carrier IQ saga. And after receiving answers from the analytics company, he still doesn't like what he hears. On Thursday,  Franken, chairman of the Senate Subcommitte on Privacy, Technology and the Law, issued a statement on the reponses he received.

More analysis

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4 years ago

AT&T's use of Carrier IQ extends to its own analytics app, not just embedded on phone

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AT&T's responses to questions posed by U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., over the use of Carrier IQ analytics software are probably the most interesting we've seen thus far. 

AT&T has been using Carrier IQ only since March 2011, with the Motorola Bravo the first device to have it integrated. However, AT&T has had its own analytics tool in use since 2009. Called Mark the Spot, or MTS, it differs from Carrier IQ in that it's a traditional application, downloaded and installed by the consumer and not preloaded onto the device before purchase. The idea is that if you experience a network hiccup -- like a dropped call -- you'd fire up the app and let AT&T know. 

Mark the Spot was released for the iPhone in December 2009, and for Android in June 2011. In February 2011, AT&T began packaging Carrier IQ code with the MTS application, first for BlackBerry, and a month later for Android.

Android devices that have Carrier IQ software installed include the Pantech Pocket, LG Thrill 4G, ZTE Avail, Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, Motorola Atrix 2 and the aforementioned Motorola Bravo. 

AT&T says only about 900,000 devices -- or about 1 percent of the device on its network -- have Carrier IQ on board, either preloaded or with the MTS app. And of those devices, 575,000 report back to AT&T.

AT&T also says it does not share any of its CIQ data with "any other non-AT&T company." and that it has not shared data with any federal or state law enforcement. It does, however, comply with court orders, subponeas and other legal orders.

Data collected from AT&T devices is inaccessible after 60 days from being uploaded. AT&T says it has "three downstreem systems receiving personally identifiable CIQ data from the AT&T server." One of those servers stores data for just 45 days, another has data from September 2011, and the third data from May 2011.

Like Sprint, AT&T explained that it indeed collects phone numbers "in the ordinary cource of its business" and for "Voice Call Performance and Messaging Performance metrics." It does not collect contents of e-mails, URLs of websites visited, contents of search quereies, names or contact information from address books, and none of its CIQ profiles is set to collet the content of text messages.

More: AT&T's response (pdf)

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