Headlines

2 years ago

Android A to Z: What is the AOSP?

7

AOSP is a term you'll see used a lot -- here, as well as at other Android-centric sites on the Internet. I'll admit I'm guilty of using it and just expecting everyone to know what I'm talking about, and I shouldn't. To rectify that, at least a little bit, I'll try to explain what the AOSP is now so we're all on the same page.

For some of us -- the nerdly types who build software -- the full name tells us what we need to know. AOSP stands for Android Open Source Project. The AOSP was designed and written by folks who had a vision that the world needed an open-source platform that exists for developers to easily build mobile applications. It wasn't designed to beat any other platform in market share, or to fight for user freedom from tyrannical CEOs -- it exists as a delivery mechanism for mobile apps -- like Google's mobile apps, or any of the 400,000+ in the Google Play store. Luckily, Google realized that using open-source software would ensure that this operating system/mobile application content delivery system is available for all, for free. And by choosing the licensing they did, it's also attractive to device manufacturers who can use it as a base to build their own mobile OS. 

The premise plays out rather nicely. Google writes and maintains a tree of all the Android source code -- the AOSP. It's made available for everyone (you, me, manufacturers you've never heard of and not just big players like Samsung or HTC) to download, modify, and take ownership of. This means the folks at CyanogenMod can add cool stuff like audio profiles. It also means folks like HTC can change multitasking in ways that many of us don't like. You can't have one without having the other. The big players then use their modified version of this source to build their own operating system. Some, like Amazon, radically changed everything without a care to use Google's official applications and keep their device in compliance with Android guidelines. Some, like HTC radically changed everything yet followed the Android Compatibility Program (ACP) so they could include Google's core application suite -- including the Google Play store. Some, like the folks at CyanogenMod, enhance the pure AOSP code with additions but don't change the overall look and feel. Again -- that's how this open-source thing works. You can't have it without allowing folks to change it as they see fit, for better or worse.

Any of us can download and build the AOSP. We can even stay compliant with the ACP and contact Google about including their applications. Yes, any of us could build our own device using the AOSP code in our garage or basement with Google's full blessing. That's the beauty of the AOSP, and we wouldn't want it any other way. 

More: Android Open Source Project;  Android Compatibility Program
Check out the complete Android Dictionary

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

From the Android Forums: Factory data reset questions

20

acr456 asks in the Android Central forums

Hello, I am going to factory reset my phone. However, my question is, since this is a complete reset will it also rollback to the version of Android that the EVO was launched with? For example, I know have version 2.3.5. Will it roll it all the way back to 2.1? I just want my data erased, I want to keep all my system updates including whatever updates Sprint sent. Do I have anything to worry about?

 

Also, the EVO I'm resetting is deactivated. Once the reset is complete will I be able to fully use my phone without the need of a Sprint connection? I have Wifi so that will do.

We're glad you asked! We get this one a lot, and we can see why the term factory data reset would make one think it was being returned to the factory, out-of-box condition. Thankfully, it's not. A factory reset will erase all user settings (things like home screen customizations, Wifi networks, sound settings and the like) and delete all apps downloaded from the Google Play store. It won't touch anything that's part of the system files, so your worse case scenario (and actually the likely scenario) is that system apps that have been updated from the Google Play store (things like the Gmail app or Maps) will just need updated from the Play store again. You'll still be on the latest 2.3.5 version, but the rest will be clean like a new device.

As for it working without Sprint service, everything but calls and SMS/MMS will work just fine. I've had my EVO 4G unactivated for over a year now and use it to keep little ones occupied when they come for a visit. Using Wifi, all your Google services, including the important one -- the Google Play store -- will still work just fine. Good luck, and have fun with your new EVO PDA!

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

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

Ask AC: How to transfer microSD card data?

18

Ndc writes in the HTC One X forums,

Probably like most of you, I can't wait for my One X to arrive next (later this?) week. I'm getting so sick of my Epic 4G. One anxious question for me though: how do I transfer the data on my microSD card over to the One X?

I've got most of my stuff in the cloud - contacts, calendar, music etc - but there are some important app data, like health logs, that I really would like to transfer over.

I've got a backup app, should I use that to back stuff up online?

We're really glad you asked, as this is a question more than a few are bound to have. Cloud storage and backup apps are great, we use them all the time, but in this case nothing is going to work as well as the trusty USB cable and your computer. When you get your new One X, and after you're done marveling at how thin and sexy it is, you can move all your app data over to it straight from your Epic 4G.

Just because the One X has no SD card doesn't mean it has no SD card storage area. It's just internal. When you plug it in to your computer you'll have the same option you would from other phones to mount the storage. It's pretty safe to say you should connect the Epic 4G up, pull everything off the SD card to a folder on your computer, then you can drag it right into the One X's storage. Mind the folder names -- app data can be in its own folder on the SD card or it can be inside the Android\data\ folder. Try to put it back in the same folders it came from and you'll be fine.

If you don't have access to a computer, you could transfer all your SD card data to a service like Dropbox and restore it to the One X with a file browser -- it just takes a bit longer and uses a bit of data. Either way will work, so use what's most convenient for you.

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

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Nexus: how to manually update to Android 4.0.4

23

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

 

 

 

 

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

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

19

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.

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

LG Optimus 2X my way: Richard Devine

13

 

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. 

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

Ask AC: HTC One S voice mail notification issue

7

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!

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

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

21

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!

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

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

18

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!

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

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

10

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!

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

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

26

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.

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

From the Android Forums: Spam in my EVO 4G

26

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!

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

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

9

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!

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

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

20

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. 

Read more and comment

 
2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Nexus my way: Jerry Hildenbrand

28

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.

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages