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2 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Nexus: how to manually update to Android 4.0.4

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So Android 4.0.4's starting to roll out to the Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. But maybe you don't want to wait? (We sure don't.) Android forums adviser and Galaxy Nexus guru dmmarck has you covered. He's went through and made the process as simple as possible, and is in there fielding questions and updating phones right now. 

What are you waiting for? Jump in and join the fun!

Dmmarck's Verizon Galaxy Nexus 4.0.4 update guide

 

 

 

 

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2 years ago

How to change the (ridiculous) AT&T e-mail signature

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AT&T has a pretty lame e-mail signature. Maybe you've heard.

We could lambaste these signatures and the reason they're there until the next iPhone is released. They're horrible. They cheapen what otherwise is a pretty excellent e-mail experience. But here's a secret the iPhone folks who chuckle at this sort of thing — those would be the same ones who rocked the "sent from my iPhone" signature like it was a badge of individuality or something — don't bother telling you. It takes all of 30 seconds to swap it out.

Yes. You no longer have to have the "Sent from my HTC One™ X, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone" signature. Gone is the particularly horrific "Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S™ II Skyrocket™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone." (By the way, we're sensing a trend here, in case you didn't notice.")

Got half a minute? We're going to walk you through it after the break.

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2 years ago

LG Optimus 2X my way: Richard Devine

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Following on the series, it's time to give you guys an insight into how I use my Android phone. Generally, I have two phones on the go, and up until recently one of those was a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I've now waved goodbye to the Nexus and welcomed into my life a shiny new (and white, most importantly) HTC One X. It would be a pretty short read featuring the One X, so we'll focus on my other daily driver -- my long serving LG Optimus 2X. The 2X is still the phone that runs my "normal" phone number, it's the one that people actually call and text me on -- yeah, people do still do that apparently. So I never leave the house without it. 

After the break, i'll take you through it. 

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2 years ago

Ask AC: HTC One S voice mail notification issue

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Ingram1225 asks in the HTC One S forums,

Anyone have voice mail notification issues? Like always saying you have voice mail? Seems to be a rampant HTC issue with all their phones.

I did listen to all my voicemails... even deleted the saved ones. My One S keeps notifying me that I have a new voicemail... and when I check there are no new voicemails.

As Ingram1225 mentioned, this is a quirk on a lot of HTC Android phones, and not particular to the One S. When you activate or put your SIM in a new HTC Sense phone, sometimes you get a voice mail notification. It happens seemingly at random, and nobody is 100-percent sure how to prevent it. Good thing it's easy to fix!

Grab another phone, it could be a landline, another cell phone, or even a call from Google Talk, and call your number. Don't answer it, you need to let it go to voicemail. When it does, leave a message. Now go back to your phone with the stuck voice mail notification. You should now have two voice mails showing, the "stuck" one and the real one you just left. Call your voice mail service from your HTC Sense phone, and listen to and delete the new message. That should fix your problem, and you're good to go until you get another new HTC phone.

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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2 years ago

Ask AC: Looking for a full-screen agenda widget for the Galaxy Note

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Chucky1 asks in the Android forums,

I've been looking for a full screen or close to a full screen agenda widget for the Note. Has anyone come across one by chance?

Thanks

There's few things we can all agree on here at Android Central -- listen to a podcast or two and see what I mean. But this, we have covered. We love Pure Calendar widget. It comes with about a million different sizes and configurations (including a full screen version), and themes will make it fit in with any setup you could dream up.

Besides your calendar entries, it will sync tasks with Astrid, Ultimate To-Do List, TaskSync, CalenGoo, DGT Gtd, gTasks, Got To Do, Task Organizer, Due Today, TouchDown, and Pocket Informant. To top it all off, it's scrollable on supported launchers or Ice Cream Sandwich, and the configuration options for syncing and calendar views make it easy on your battery. It's one of the first apps we install on a new phone. It's $1.99 in the Play Store, and there's a link after the break.

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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2 years ago

From the Android Forums: AT&T vs. Verizon in Europe

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grunt0300 asks in the Android Central forums,

ATT vs Verizon?
Just wondering which provider works best in Europe?

Thanks.

AT&T is a GSM carrier, and that means SIM cards. AT&T also uses mostly compatible 3G bands with the continent, so it's easier -- on the surface.

The reality is both AT&T and Verizon lock phones to their network (if you're using an unlocked handset you probably wouldn't be asking this one), meaning they won't work anywhere else. This is simple enough to fix on an AT&T phone, but you'll need to enlist a third party to help, or root and monkey with things a little bit. Verizon is a CDMA carrier, but they do offer world phones that take a SIM card for use outside the U.S. Like an AT&T phone, you'll need to network (or SIM) unlock it to use a pre-paid SIM card in Europe. 

Of course both carriers will sell you an international plan, complete with expensive rates and restrictions. Verizon will even rent you a world phone for a couple bucks a day if you need one. It's a matter of how much you're willing to spend for the convenience, and to keep your same phone number. You can walk into the carrier's shop, tell them what you need to do, and they will take care of everything for you, and for a fee.

Our recommendation is to get the SIM unlock and pick up a pre-paid card from a kiosk or machine at the airport. If you're using a travel agent, they can help, too. In this case, unless you already have a Verizon world phone, AT&T is your best bet. 

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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2 years ago

From the Android Forums: Using a UK HTC Sensation in New York

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SteveDisco asks in the Android Central Forums,

I would like to know if it is possible to access 3G on my UK HTC Sensation when I go to New York next month on a U.S. SIM card? My limited understanding is that the frequencies used for U.S. phones are different to those in the UK but am unclear if the Sensation will still be able to access. If it is not possible could I just use a US SIM for voice calls and rely on WiFi access?

Thanks

Great question, with several good answers. Basically, yes, you can use your UK model HTC Sensation for 3G data in New York. The European Sensation uses a quad-band GSM radio that supports the frequencies used by AT&T here in the states. You'll need to make sure your Sensation is fully SIM unlocked (talk to your current carrier if you're unsure), and then you'll be ready to do a little research and make a decision.

In the U.S., there are only two GSM operators -- T-Mobile and AT&T. But there are many MVNO networks (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) who rent and resell network space from either one, or even both. You'll not be interested in T-Mobile or any MVNOs using the T-Mobile frequencies, as your Sensation doesn't support them. But that's OK, as your choices are still pretty broad.

Here's a small list of a few different operators that will sell you a no-contract SIM card to use while you're visiting:

Don't be fooled by the words unlimited, as this refers to voice calls. Data rates will cost anywhere between $5 USD for 5MB to $20 USD for 2GB. Of course, this is just a few of the many out there, and you'll have to scour the web to see all the options. In the end, they all use the same network, so the deciding factor is price and how easy it is to get your SIM card and activation. 

Have fun in New York!

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2 years ago

HTC One X and One S Wifi gotcha down? Give this a try

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Some folks are reporting that their shiny new HTC One X and One S phones are experiencing a rather irritating Wifi bug. The glitch in question results in the phones disconnecting from certain Wifi networks while idle, and being unable to reconnect until the phone is woken up.

Hopefully HTC will have a fix ready for customers soon -- we're hearing that it's no longer an issue in the recently-leaked One X 1.28 firmware -- but in the meantime there's a pretty easy work-around for both phones. Manually assigning your phone an IP address on your Wifi network, rather than using DHCP, seems to squish the issue. If you already know how to do that, then off you go, we'll wait. If not, we've got a full walkthrough after the break.

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2 years ago

From the Android Forums: Spam in my EVO 4G

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jair asks in the Android Central forums:

Hello guys,

Today, April 12th around 1 p.m. CDT, I started getting this strange plus green symbol on my EVO 4G notifications bar (I will be attaching two pictures here) Has anyone perhaps mention anything about this? Notice the green + sign in the notification bar.

Here is when I open it: there is a spam about dating and girls site or something. Please help what should I do to get rid of this and protect from happening again, also this will help others to prevent get the same spam.

Thank you!

Ugh. It looks you ran into what's commonly called an "airpush" ad. They come from certain advertisement SDKs that put that notification bar spam there, hanging all out and trying to get you to click it. They are inherently evil, like Reagan in the Exorcist kind of evil. Good thing finding which app is doing it is fairly easy.

Grab Lookout Ad Network Detector from the Google Play store. It's free, and will scan all your apps to see what they can, and can't do. One of the apps that gets listed as able to place ads in the notification bar is the culprit. Uninstall it, and never look back.

It's worth noting that just because an app can put ads in the notification bar doesn't mean they are doing it. Different capabilities come from different ad SDKs, and some folks may have the ability and aren't using it. We call them the good guys.

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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2 years ago

From the Android Forums: Can my Rezound get official ICS if I don't have Verizon service?

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af250xxl asks in the Android Central forums,

Can my Rezound get the official ICS update if I don't have Verizon service? I removed the Rezound from my account the day after I activated it because I don't want to pay the $30 data fee. Will HTC or Verizon have a website for people to download the ICS update to a PC or directly to the Rezound?

Great question. The short version is no, but that doesn't paint the whole picture. Some Android phones don't require the user to have an active service plan to get an OTA update, but some do -- the HTC Rezound, like most phones on Verizon, is one that does require it. We're not sure of the full reasoning behind this practice, only that it helps control the OS versions from a customer service and tech support standpoint. My tinfoil hat side says it's done to convince users to keep their service active, but that's just paranoia talking.

But all is not lost. There will be a file released by HTC and sent to Verizon service technicians called an RUU (ROM Update Utility), and it is a manual way to update the phone via the USB connection. Carriers have Android geeks working for them, and these sort of things tend to get leaked out to the community rather quickly. Using the RUU and a Windows computer, you would be able to wipe and re-flash your Rezound to the latest version. Talking to the folks in the HTC Rezound forum is a good place to start, and they will know the minute any new RUU leaks out. Keep an eye out for it and you'll likely be able to do exactly what you're hoping to do.

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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2 years ago

How to cut down a SIM card for the HTC One X (and any other phone)

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This one's important for those of you looking to switch to the HTC One X (as well as a number of upcoming phones). You're going to need a micro-SIM, which as the name suggests is smaller than a larger (and more prevalent today) mini-SIM card. If you're rocking a GSM phone right this second, there's a good change you're using a mini-SIM. If you've got an iPhone 4/4S on AT&T, you've already got a micro-SIM. 

So, a couple of ways to go about getting a micro-SIM. One is to just ask. Head to AT&T or T-Mobile or whomever your carrier happens to be, and tell 'em you need a micro-SIM. (If they don't know what one is, it might be time to consider switching carriers. :p )

The other way is to cut your own. Sounds scary. Sounds dangerous. 

It is neither. 

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Nexus my way: Jerry Hildenbrand

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The other night on the Android Central podcast a great idea was born. Someone, and forgive me for not remembering who, wanted to know how our phones are set-up. I promised to kick off a series from the various AC staff members showing just what software we have running on our devices. I trade back and forth between the Samsung Galaxy Nexus or the T-Mobile Galaxy S II (dat cam!), but both are set up the exact same way. One is just more TouchWizzy than the other. Hit the jump and I'll break it down.

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2 years ago

How I back up my stock, unrooted Galaxy Nexus

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I get this question a lot: If my Galaxy Nexus is unrooted and running the stock ROM, how do I back up it via a custom recovery?

It's pretty easy, actually, and it goes back to our method of manually applying a stock update. You're going to need a few things (and chances are you've got them already):

So here's what you do:

  1. Download the custom recovery into the same folder as your fastboot file. (I like to rename mine just to keep things short.)
  2. Reboot your phone into the bootloader, either by turning it off and holding vol-up/vol-down+power, or reboot from the command line (adb reboot bootloader).
  3. Plug your phone into your computer if it's not already. (Type fastboot devices to make sure your computer sees it)
  4. In the command line, type fastboot boot xxxxxxx.img (where xxxxxxx is the name of the custom recovery you saved).

And that's it. You'll have booted into the custom recovery, and from there you can do a full backup, or restore a backup, or wipe the phone. All without rewriting anything. If you need a little more hand-holding, there's some video after the break. 

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2 years ago

LG introduces new wireless charging solution in Barcelona, arriving stateside soon

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In addition to a flurry of new smartphones, LG also introduced its latest innovation in wireless charging this week in Barcelona. The WCD-800, a cradle that supports both vertical and horizontal charging, is the company's latest inductive solution, and nearly doubles the charging space of the previous model, the WCP-700. Resting your phone vertically will allow for quick phone calls and text messages, while charging the device horizontally will allow for multimedia playback and unobstructed views of video and photos.

LG says that by using magnetically-produced electric currents, the WCD-800 is as effective and efficient as typical wired chargers. It'll be compatable with all of LG's recently released devices as well as any device compliant with the Wireless Power Consortium's Qi standard. You'll be able to get your hands on one here in the States sometime in the first half of the year. LG's full presser can be found after the break.

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2 years ago

What is a widget? [Android A to Z]

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What is a widget?  In Android, the word widget is a generic term for a bit of self-contained code that displays a program, or a piece of a program, that is also (usually) a shortcut to a larger application. We see them every day on web pages, on our computer desktop and on our smartphones, but we never give too much thought into how great they are. Widgets first appeared in Android in version 1.5, and really gained traction thanks to HTC's Sense-flavored version of the operating system. Prior to the release of the HTC Hero and our first taste of Sense, widgets were functional, but pretty bland in appearance. Since then, OEMs and independent developers alike have done some marvelous things with widgets, and it's hard to imagine using Android without them.

Android widgets come in all shapes and sizes and range from the utilitarian 1-by-1 shortcut style to full-page widgets that blow us away with the eye-candy.  Both types are very useful, and it's pretty common to see a widget or two on the home screen of any Android phone. A full-page widget, like HTC's weather widget for late-model Android phones, tells you everything you need to know about the current conditions, and is also a quick gateway to the weather application where you can see things like forecasts and weather data for other cities.  At the other end of the spectrum, the Google Reader 1x1 widget watches a folder in your Google Reader account and tells you how many unread items there are, and opens the full application when pressed.  Both are very handy, and add a lot to the Android experience.  

Most Android phones come with a handful of built-in widgets.  Some manufacturer versions of Android offer more than others, but the basics like a clock, calendar, or bookmarks widget are usually well represented.  This is just the tip of the iceberg though.  A quick trip into the Android Market will dazzle you with the huge catalog of third-party widgets available, with something that suits almost every taste.  With Ice Cream Sandwich supporting things like higher resolution screens and re-sizable widgets, it's going to be an exciting year seeing what developers can come up with.

Previously on Android A to Z: What  is USB?; Find more in the Android Dictionary

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