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2 years ago

HTC tracks down biker who helped CEO to MWC on time

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Remember the Spanish biker HTC was trying to track down after he gave the phone maker's CEO a lift to an important meeting? Today the company has announced that they've tracked down their man — 53-year-old Barcelona resident Obdulio Herrera — who was found through his son following HTC's search late last week. Herrera escorted a traffic-jammed Peter Chou through the busy Barcelona streets on the first day of Mobile World Congress, but refused the money Chou was offering for the favor.

And his reward, now that he's been located? Herrera will be heading to London on March 25 as a guest of HTC to witness the launch of the new HTC One.

More: HTC Blog

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2 years ago

Sprint confirms Galaxy S4 + Note 3 KitKat rollout, reveals plans for more Samsung updates

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Sprint Note 2, GS3 and GS4 Mini among planned KitKat updates

Sprint has confirmed that it's rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat firmware for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3, with both updates having gone live in the past month. Sprint's Galaxy S4 started receiving KitKat from Feb. 13, and was joined a week later by the Note 3 on Feb. 20. But those won't be the only Samsung devices to receive Android 4.4 on Sprint's network — the carrier also revealed plans to update the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Mega and Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, though there's no information on when these updates will be availabe.

If previous Samsung KitKat updates are any indication, Sprint customers won't be in for any major visual changes compared to the earlier Android 4.3 and 4.2-based software. Highlights pointed out by the carrier in its blog post include the new location menu, SMS in Hangouts and updated lock screen capabilities, including full-screen album art.

Source: Sprint

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2 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 gets KitKat update

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495MB over-the-air update brings T-Mo's Note 3 up to latest Android version

It looks like the Galaxy S4 isn't the only Samsung phone seeing a KitKat OTA today — T-Mobile's Galaxy Note 3 is also arriving at Android 4.4.2 this morning, by way of a 495MB over-the-air update. As we've seen from previous Note 3 KitKat updates, the new firmware shouldn't do much to change the look and feel of Samsung's 5.7-inch handset, with the most noticeable change being the switch to all-white status bar icons.

Note 3 owners on T-Mobile will also benefit from the usual KitKat features, including immersive mode, transparent notification bars in some apps, and built-in cloud printing support.

If you're seeing the OTA on your T-Mobile Note 3 this morning, be sure to hit the comments and make yourself known!

Source: Android Central forums; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 reportedly getting KitKat OTA in parts of Europe and Asia

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Wider rollout for Android 4.4.2 on Samsung's 2013 flagship

At Mobile World Congress last week we were somewhat surprised to see a bunch of European Galaxy S4s on the show floor running new Android 4.4-based firmware — and now it appears Samsung has deemed the update ready for the masses. This morning we're seeing reports from GS4 owners in Poland, Malaysia and the Philippines indicating that over-the-air updates between 350 and 400MB are now pushing out, bringing Samsung's 2013 flagship up to the latest version of Android. Other countries, too, are sure to be included in the initial rollout.

As we saw in Barcelona last week, there doesn't appear to be a whole lot of outward differences between the new firmware and the old Android 4.3-based ROM, besides the presence of new, white status bar icons. And certainly we're not yet seeing any of the visual changes from the Galaxy S5 trickling down to older Samsung devices. Nevertheless, KitKat brings a bunch of system-level improvements from which S4 owners can now benefit.

If you've got a European or Asian Galaxy S4, now would be a good time to check for updates. Be sure to drop by the commends after you're done and let us know if you're seeing KitKat on your device.

Source: Antyweb (Polish); XDA; Thanks, Tom!

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2 years ago

Google pinpoints Nexus 5 camera/CPU usage bug, fix coming in next Android release

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But 'mm-qcamera-daemon' glitch may affect other KitKat devices too

Google says it has fixes ready for reported high CPU usage connected to the Nexus 5's camera, according to a post by a Googler on the company's issue tracker. The bug can cause the phone's CPU to become maxed out — resulting in battery drain — when using the camera, with "mm-qcamera-daemon" showing high battery consumption in Android's power consumption display. As the bug is related to the process handling camera data, third-party apps may trigger the glitch as well. According to the update on the Android issue tracker, Skype in particular "seems to access the camera regularly from its background service in some way that triggers this bug," though the poster says they don't believe this is a bug in Skype itself.

The Google employee says the bug will be fixed in the next maintenance release of Android, but until then the only remedy is to reboot the phone. Uninstalling Skype may also fix instances where the app triggers the "mm-qcamera-daemon" in the background. Perhaps more worryingly, though, the bug can affect other KitKat devices using Qualcomm chips for camera processing, such as the Galaxy Note 3. For these devices, the Googler says owners will need to wait for the device manufacturer to issue their own patch.

Meanwhile Nexus 5 owners should expect the fix along with other improvements in the next update, most likely Android 4.4.3.

Source: Google Issue Tracker; via Reddit, Phandroid

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2 years ago

We're answering your LG G Pro 2 questions in the forums!

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Get your burning G Pro 2 questions answered

We've just put up our initial thoughts on the recently-announced LG G Pro 2. It's impossible to hit every single bit of information in a single post — let alone a "preview" — so we know there are some burning questions left over that you just need to ask.

Have a question about a specific portion of the hardware or software? About a certain camera function? How something feels or compares to another device? We'll do our best to answer anything we can. Just hop into the forum thread at the link below and ask.

I've got a G Pro 2, you've got questions — fire away!

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2 years ago

LG G Pro 2 preview — even bigger, even better

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LG G Pro 2

Everything you loved in the smaller LG G2, and then some, is in the G Pro 2

The game that is the oversized Android smartphone — don’t say “phablet,” we beg you — has become one of leapfrog in the past couple years.

Consider: The original Samsung Galaxy Note in 2011 was a surprise hit. Turns out folks do want phones that big. Then LG rolled out the forgettable Optimus Vu. Samsung continues on in 2012 with the Note 2. But then LG — seemingly (ahem) inspired — fires back in early 2013 with the original Optimus G Pro, sleeker and slimmer than its competitor. Last fall sees the Galaxy Note 3.

And now we have the LG G Pro 2. Even bigger. Even better. Unburdened by the “Optimus” name, which LG tells us didn’t really do that much in terms of brand recognition anyway. If things look familiar, they should. Much of what you’ll see here is present in the LG G2 (and some of the additions will make their way back to the G2).

Let’s take a walk through this oversized phone, shall we?

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2 years ago

Samsung's first Galaxy S5 promo video is all about the features

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As Samsung prepares to launch its latest flagship smartphone, the company has today released a new promotional trailer showcasing the Galaxy S5's multitude of features. The video focuses mainly on the GS5's new photographic capabilities and fitness features, such as the built-in heart rate monitor and Gear smartwatch integration, while also giving a bit of face time to some of the GS5's lesser-known features, like the new Ultra power saving and download boost modes.

More: Galaxy S5 hands-on; Galaxy S5 camera walkthrough

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2 years ago

Korea gets Galaxy Note 3 Neo with faster quad-core processor

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2.3GHz quad-core CPU for downsized Note 3 in Samsung's home market

Following launches in parts of Asia and Eastern Europe, Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 Neo has arrived in the company's home country of South Korea with slightly upgraded hardware. Whereas previous Note 3 Neo handsets have included lower-power quad or hexa-core processors, the Korean variant ships with a beefier 2.3GHz quad-core part — most likely a Snapdragon 800, based on the clock speed and the fact that it supports LTE-Advanced networks.

Aside from the upgraded CPU, Korea's Note 3 Neo featues the same 5.5-inch 720p HD SuperAMOLED display, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, an 8-megapixel camera and 3100mAh battery. It's also running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and Samsung's last-gen TouchWiz UI, not the redesigned, flattened version found on the Galaxy S5. And you get all the major S Pen stylus features from the full-size Note 3, including direct pen input and easy clip. The device is priced at 790,000 won ($736) and available now.

Source: Samsung (Korean), via: GSMArena

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2 years ago

Could Samsung go all-out with a 'Galaxy S5 Prime' later this year?

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Just how likely is the rumored 5.25-inch, 1440p ‘super-flagship?’

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a solid high-end Android smartphone. We said as much in our hands-on preview of the device early last week. But among some sections of the tech community there’s been a whiff of perplexion — and maybe even disappointment — that certain hardware milestones weren’t reached this time around. What about the “2K” (2560x1440) display that the rumor mill — and Samsung’s own slides — had promised? And how come the GS5 has less RAM, and a lower default amount of internal storage than last year’s Note 3?

Even before launch there were rumblings of two different Galaxy S5 models being prepared — "regular" and "prime" flavors — seemingly corroborated by the appearance of benchmark results. The higher-end GS5 Prime, according to analysts and reports from the Korean press, would come with that elusive 2K display and 3GB of RAM. This, among a flurry of post-release rumors, has led some to believe that a larger, higher-spec’d Galaxy S5 could emerge later this year, with the name “Galaxy S5 Prime” appearing online in recent weeks.

But just how likely is this? And how might it fit into Samsung’s plans for the remainder of the year? Let’s dive in after the break.

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2 years ago

KitKat update for HTC One pulled in the UK following 'difficulties'

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Android 4.4 OTAs no longer rolling out

While HTC America managed a speedy rollout for Android 4.4 on the HTC One, things haven't gone quite so smoothly in the UK. The country wasn't included in the first raft of European territories to get KitKat in late January. And now, a week after the company tweeted news of KitKat's arrival in Blighty, there's official news of the update being withdrawn due to "difficulties."

An HTC statement given to Android Central reads —

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2 years ago

New HTC One is even more metal in second teaser video

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Amid the many recent leaks of the new HTC One — a.k.a. M8 — it's a little ironic to see the device also cropping up in pixelated form in official HTC teaser videos. Nevertheless, HTC has gone live with a second teaser trailer for its new One, and it's all about metal. We all know about the (2013) HTC One's aluminum unibody, but apparently the new HTC One is even more metal. (That'd certainly fit in with recent leaks showing a wraparound aluminum chassis in place of the plastic trim of last year's model.)

HTC has previously teased new and improved BoomSound speakers in the new HTC One. We'll see more of the company's next big thing at the official launch events in London and New York in just over three weeks time.

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2 years ago

Samsung airs its first Galaxy S5 and Gear 2 commercials during the Oscars

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Just look at the way the light glints off that heartbeat sensor...

Step aside, Academy Award winners, there's something more important happening on TV tonight: Samsung's aired their first commercial for the upcoming Galaxy S5 smartphone. The S5 might be several weeks out still, but that doesn't mean the marketing blitz can't get underway. After all, there's a 5.1-inch HD screen and heartbeat sensor to hype.

Apart from the 30-second dramatic teaser, Samsung's also put up a 90-second "Amazing Things Happen" video that covers everything that Samsung offers with a screen, and apparently "You need to see this." Well, you can see it after the break.

Update: And later on in the evening, an ad for the Tizen-powered Samsung Gear 2, in much the same vein as the Galaxy S5 ad. Check it after the break.

Source: Samsung Mobile USA (YouTube) [1, 2, 3]

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2 years ago

I'd like to get the new One

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Imagining how this might go down for a 'normal' buyer

Sometimes my mind runs wild with imaginary scenarios. The name "the all-new HTC One" stuck out at me as potential for trouble. And it's not the first time HTC's gone down this rabbit hole. So... this happened in my head:

Chad walked into the AT&T store. He'd never felt comfortable in it, even after the most recent remodel with its lounge area full of curved couches and big-screen TVs. The walls of phones and accessories and tablets were overwhelming, and half the time it seemed like any employee he talked to was utterly clueless. The other half were pushing technical jargon he didn't understand. One of his coworkers had mentioned having a fairly similar experience at a Sprint store, though it apparently was awash in yellow tones, whereas this AT&T location was drenched in blues and oranges.

A female store employee, wearing khaki pants, a blue shirt emblazoned with the AT&T logo, and a lanyard with her name badge on it, walked up to Chad, smiling. "Hi, welcome to AT&T. I'm Lisa. Is there anything I can help you with today?" She held her arms out to the sides just a bit, as if she were ready to physically embrace him.

Chad focused his attention on her, blocking out the colorful cacophony of the rest of the store. "Yes, uh, I'd like to buy the new one."

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2 years ago

Nokia X rooted and Google apps installed; Android is Android

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Nokia X now one step closer to a 'real' Android phone you won't want to buy

When Nokia was handing out Nokia X developer units, they had to know this was coming. Using the Framaroot app the Nokia X has been rooted, and with root comes the ability to add other apps to the system — including Google's own closed-source apps.

Now you can have your Google services on your Android phone, even if someone didn't want you to have them in the first place. That's because the application framework was left intact, so Nokia could let you install apps from Amazon and others. Apps are apps are apps.

I still think you're better off buying a different phone, be it a Lumia 520 or a Moto G, but if you're going to plunk money down on the Nokia X, at least it's a little better option now.

Source: Kashamalaga at XDA forums

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