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1 year ago

Sony Xperia S removed from AOSP, project will live on at Sony GitHub

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The Sony Xperia S has been kicking around in the Android Open Source Project for a while now. It never was an official target, but with the work from Sony and JBQ it was a usable option for those willing to tinker around, and by most accounts a success. With things ramping up and preparing for the AOSP to move on to Android 4.2, it has been removed.

The project will still live on, though, as Sony has set up a dedicated git for the Xperia S at their GitHub space. Interested parties can still hack away at Android 4.1 for the device, with plenty of community and official support. Full instructions for pulling and building are available, and folks interested should find the experience hasn't changed much.

As for why it was removed, Sony engineers explain that Google can't commit time and resources to maintaining anything other than Nexus devices in the official AOSP. We still see the Pandaboard in AOSP though, so there's more to the issue. It appears that Sony is unwilling to release all the binary files needed to boot the Xperia S into a usable state, which is a good reason to have it removed from the AOSP. We're not sure if the move was mandated or voluntary, but it certainly wasn't unexpected with needed files being withheld.

Update: Jean-Baptiste Quéru, Google's "Android Open Source Tech Dude" and wrangler of the huge AOSP, has taken the time to reiterate that there is no conspiracy going on, and that Sony is now the company with the expertise needed to carry on the project, not Google. In addition, none of the current devices have all the proprietary files available, and never have. Thanks for taking the time, JBQ! 

Sony, we applaud you for taking an interest in the AOSP, and for the time you've spent working with the community and Google to come this far. We're not so happy about the binaries not being made available, but it's good the see a strong base being continued by your own engineering team instead of just abandoned.

Source: Sony. More: Sony on GitHub

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1 year ago

HTC One X+ review

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Six months on from the One X, a turbo-​charged successor arrives

After a tumultuous year, HTC needs to score some big wins this holiday season. Many critics, including ourselves, have been full of praise for its HTC One series, led by the venerable One X. But every passing quarter seems to bring depressingly familiar news for the Taiwanese manufacturer -- record sales and profits for Android rival Samsung, and tumbling revenues for HTC.

On the Windows Phone side, the HTC 8X -- a great handset by any standard -- looks set to make a big impact in the coming weeks. But what of Android? Well, as the year draws to a close, HTC is hoping to put the One series back in the spotlight with a revamped high-end offering, the One X+. On paper it’s a tantalizing proposition -- one of our favorite early 2012 phones re-imagined in a soft touch polycarbonate shell, with a larger battery, a faster CPU and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box.

But as HTC knows, specs alone have never been enough to guarantee a device’s success. Today the One X+ is but a drop in a sea of quad-core, 720p Androids, The high-end mobile space is a lot more crowded than it was back in March, when we reviewed the original One X.

And speaking of that device, what does the One X+ mean for those who’ve already invested in the HTC One series?

Answers to all these questions, and many more, are waiting in our full review of the HTC One X+. Read on.

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1 year ago

AT&T's Samsung Galaxy Express available Nov. 16 for $99

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AT&T this morning announced that its entry-level Samsung Galaxy Express will be available Nov. 16 for $99 on contract.

As you'll recall from our hands-on with the Express last month, it's a pretty basic Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone, with a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, a 1GHz dual-core processor and a 2,000 mAh battery. It's got a 5-megapixel rear camera, and a few of the software tweaks seen in more powerful (and expensive) Samsung phones, like the Galaxy S3. It also runs on AT&T's LTE network, if you've got it where you live.

Source: AT&T

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1 year ago

Purported Sony Yuga prototype shots emerge - 5-inch 1080p screen rumored

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It looks like HTC's J Butterfly and Droid DNA could have some competition in early 2013. Rumors of a 5-inch, quad-core Sony handset in development have been circulating for the past month or so, and today brings what could be the first images of the device, which apparently goes by the codename "Yuga."

The image above comes from a set obtained by Swiss Android site Android Schweiz, and is apparently a prototype for the next-gen Sony flagship. Along with the leaked pics, the site claims the prototype is running a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU -- most likely a Snapdragon S4 -- along with 2GB of RAM, a 12MP camera and a 5-inch 1080p display.

Physically, it's a pretty nondescript smartphone design. Earpiece, speaker and front-facing camera can be spotted in the shot above, and other images in the set show Xperia T-style on-screen buttons. The back of the device is difficult to make out, but seems to be at least partially reflective. The alleged prototype is running Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean along with Sony's Xperia UI, which looks almost identical to what we've used on the Xperia T and other late 2012 Sony handsets.

Remember that both hardware and software are likely pre-production, so even if this is a legitimate Sony device, the final product is likely to differ from what we see in these leaked pics. We got to see several Sony prototypes recently, and as you might expect, they often don't quite match up with the finalized designs.

Sony tends to reveal new products first at CES each January, so we wouldn't be surprised to see the "Yuga," or whatever it's eventually called, making its public debut in Las Vegas in a couple of months.

Source: Android Schweiz (Translated)

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1 year ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 was Q3's most-shipped smartphone

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18m Galaxy S3s between July and September, versus iPhone 4S's 16.2m

In case the recent 30 million milestone didn't give it away, Samsung shipped rather a lot of Galaxy S3s this summer. So much so, that S3 shipments eclipsed those of Apple's iPhone 4S during the third quarter, according to the latest numbers from Strategy Analytics. The firm's statistics for the Q3 2012 indicate that the Galaxy S3 shifted 18 million units worldwide, compared to the iPhone 4S's 16.2 million and the iPhone 5's 6 million.

Of course, things aren't quite as one-sided as the numbers would suggest. There's a good reason people weren't buying as many iPhone 4Ss during that time -- the iPhone 5 was looming large, with new features for iOS users, including a larger screen and LTE support. What's more, Q3 saw the Galaxy S3 launch in several key territories, including North America and Samsung's native South Korea. Also note that these are units shipped, not necessarily phones in consumers' hands.

So it's highly likely that strong sales of the iPhone 5 will launch Apple back to the top spot in Q4. Nevertheless, Samsung will be pleased that in this instance at the very last, it was able to best Apple's numbers.

via Engadget

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1 year ago

HTC One SV debuts in Southeast Asia

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HTC's expanding its One series with a new handset aimed at countries in Southeast Asia. The HTC One SV is a curvy 4.3-inch phone that reminds us a little of the Desire X that's currently shipping in the West.

Key specs include a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU -- Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip -- along with 1GB of RAM. Internal storage comes in at 8GB, and that's expandable via a microSD card slot. The screen is a fairly standard WVGA (480x800) LCD. Where the One SV really shines, though, is in camera quality -- the phone packs a 5MP rear shooter with some impressive optics -- a 28mm lens with f/2.0 aperture and support for 1080p video recording. In addition, it rocks HTC's ImageChip, the dedicated camera chip found on phones like the One S and One X.

4G LTE connectivity is included too, depending on market availability.

On the software side, you're looking at HTC Sense and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, so no sign of the newer Sense 4+ that we're seeing on the One X+ and other recent devices.

There's no indication as to whether HTC plans to launch the One SV globally, but with this device's specs overlapping with those of of the One VX in the U.S. and Desire X in Europe, we'd expect this to remain an Asia-only phone for the foreseeable future. 

Source: HTC

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1 year ago

Google has no plans to sell the Nexus 4 in Taiwan

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According to a statement given to Digitimes, LG Taiwan has said that there are no plans to release the Nexus 4 in Taiwan. The handset will be available in multiple countries in the Americas and Europe at launch, and more countries worldwide will be coming in the future, but it sounds like Taiwan won't be one of them.

LG did state that they plan to release several new flagships featuring their own brand in Taiwan sometime during the beginning of 2013, and this should increase brand awareness. Luckily, there should be several wholesalers who will gladly ship to Taiwan if users need to get their Nexus on.

Source: Digitimes

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1 year ago

Huawei Ascend D Quad XL headed to WIND per leaked promo

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A leaked promo poster from WIND mobile shows the carrier getting the Huawei Ascend D Quad XL (along with a pair of movie tickets to see Django Unchained with purchase). There is nothing about a date or a price, but we're going to guess that it will be "soon" and "relatively cheap" respectively. 

While the price on the D Quad should be low, a quick look at our review will let you know that this isn't your average budget handset. During the week Andrew had it for evaluation, we tried to find fault with it but came up short most times. It's a good, solid ICS phone with a great screen.

As soon as anyone says anything official, we'll let you know. Believe it or not, this is one to keep an eye on.

Source: MobileSyrup

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1 year ago

Sprint Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S factory images now available

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One of the greatest parts of owning a Nexus is the software support from Google. Now this goes beyond just updates, as Google also posts complete "factory images" for Nexus devices so that willing hackers can always return their devices to stock firmware through first-party approved methods. Things got a little sticky when the Verizon Galaxy Nexus and Sprint Galaxy Nexus (and Nexus S) were released, however, because they included closed-source bits related to CDMA and LTE. This put a damper on Google's ability to release the images for anyone to download.

Thankfully, the Sprint Galaxy Nexus ("mysidspr") now has a complete image available for download by anyone that includes everything you need to return your device to stock 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. Additionally, Google has posted the 4.1.1 factory images for the Sprint Nexus S 4G ("sojus") and 4.1.2 images for the AT&T Nexus S ("sojua") as well. It's good to see Google not leave out older hardware, even though it's two Nexus revisions behind now.

The process is pretty simple if you've got a little bit of patience. Need help using these tools? Head to the forums, there's plenty of great info and helpful users at the ready.

Source: Google Developers; More: Sprint Galaxy Nexus Forums; Sprint Nexus S 4G Forums

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1 year ago

Sprint Galaxy Note 2 OTA bringing Multi Window View

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When the Galaxy Note 2 started showing up on carrier store shelves here in the U.S., there was one curious omission to the firmware. The U.S. variants of the device were shipping without Samsung's touted Multi Window View software that lets users move around different apps in small windows while they do other things on the device. Well, fear not if you're on Sprint because the feature is rolling out OTA (Over The Air) starting today.

The update to software version L900VPALJC is primarily to bring the new Multi Window View feature, but also includes a few other fixes. GPS lock settings can now be controlled by corporate administrators, email messages properly go into the Outbox when sending with no signal (or in AIrplane Mode) and SMS notifications will now beep while in a phone call.

Have you received the OTA yet? Let the other users know in the forums.

Source: Sprint Support Community; More: Sprint Galaxy Note 2 Forum

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