Headlines

2 years ago

Sky Go headed to some HTC and Samsung phones in February

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UK satellite broadcaster Sky has announced that it'll be bringing its Sky Go service to selected HTC and Samsung smartphones from February. Sky Go, which has been available on iOS for some time, allows subscribers to view live TV and archived content from certain channels on the on mobile devices.

Initially, Sky will be limiting its roll-out to a handful of (fairly) recent HTC and Samsung smartphones "based on sales volumes", though it's promising a wider roll-out "in time". The first wave of supported devices includes the Desire, Desire S, Desire HD, Incredible S, Sensation, Galaxy S and Galaxy S II.

Android users will have access to 22 live TV channels through the Sky Go app right out of the door, with Sky Movies on Demand due to arrive at a later date. You'll find a full breakdown of exactly what Sky customers can expect from this new app over at the source link.

Source: Sky

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2 years ago

ASUS Padfone at Mobile World Congress -- mark it, Dude

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The ASUS Padfone will be seen at Mobile World Congress. No more rumors, no conjecture. Done deal, at least as far as ASUS' press invite is concerned.

The Padfone's actually not just a tablet, nor is it just a phone. It's both, actually, and neither is it new. It actually was announced way back in May 2011, and ASUS showed us the concept in a couple of promo videos -- a 4.3-inch smartphone docks with and powers a 10-inch tablet. Here's how ASUS described it at the time:

Innovation is at the heart of ASUS design and the new Padfone reveals exciting new possibilities for mobile computing and communication. This convergent device combines a smartphone and a tablet computer into one symbiotic gadget that allows consumers to choose the screen size that best fits their activities while seamlessly sharing data and 3G internet access.

We'd presume the Padfone we see in a few weeks will be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (at least it better be), and we're intrigued by the prospect of a smartphone powering the tablet, an idea that's been tried (and failed) in years past. Anyone remember the Palm Foleo? But that was a device obviously before its time. There also are the obvious questions about design and implementation (check out the videos after the break for the early look at that) and probably more important -- how it handles battery life. Figure the tablet part of the equation has its own battery. But when connected, does the Padfone drain soley from the tablet, with the smartphone all but shut down? Does it still trickle from the phone? Inquiring minds want to know, folks.

Anyhoo. We'll be at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to bring you the ASUS Padfone -- and anything else the company has up its sleeve.

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2 years ago

Late night poll: What version of Android are you running?

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We know what Google tells us about the number of devices on each platform.  We can also read server logs and get a pretty good idea of the versions of Android hitting the site.  But what better way to find out what versions of Android you guys are running than to ask?  We're not interested in the minor version numbers, just the platform version in general.  If you use more than one device, just answer for the one you use most to visit Android Central.  

Honeycomb is my choice.  What's yours?  Answer in the poll.

 

What version of Android are you running?

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2 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich build (4.0.4) leaked for the Nexus S 4G, looks to be release quality

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An internal testing Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for the Samsung Nexus S 4G has been leaked out of Sprint, containing a new software modem, bootloader, and a 4.0.4 build.  Some are reporting this is the final version and we'll soon see an OTA for the NS4G, but that's speculation at this point.  We do know that this seems to run smoothly, with everything working including the Wimax radio.  It's build number IMM26, with a final kernel build and the ROM is signed with release keys which makes it pretty likely.

Of course the OTA for the Nexus S 4G can't come soon enough for many users, who have seen the 3G version of the Nexus S and the Motorola Xoom get their ICS builds pushed to them.  We have to remember that Sprint not only has more network testing involved in their version, but the addition of Google Voice integration and Google Wallet means their release cycle will be longer.  I'll go out on a limb and say Nexus S 4G users will see ICS released long before any other handset gets it, even if it's not imminent.  We've seen extremely stable builds of Android 4.0 for the NS4G for a while now, and you know the developers already have their hands dirty (trust me, they are all over it) using tonight's leaked files to make things even better.  If you're not the type who follows the manufacturers update path, hit your favorite ROM developer in a day or two.

If you're not the waiting type, visit the links below and try it on for size.  Heed the warnings, and if you hit any snags visit the forums and holler!

Source: XDA-Developers; via Android Central forums

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2 years ago

Symantec updates its scary (but wrong) Counterclank 'malware' claims

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Symantec has "adjusted" its statement to Computer World that as many as 5 million Android users may be affected by the latest bit of malware, coming to the conclusion that the applications in question are simply using an aggressive ad network SDK.  This mirrors the statement issued by Lookout, as well as our own.  (And as well as Computer World's Android Power faction.)

After initially telling users that the "malicious code" found in 13 Android Market applications was malware and capable of data theft and other nefarious activity, Symantec now says the apps in question are more akin to Windows adware and not inherently malicious.  

In other words, it's crapware.  This we can all agree with.  The apps in question use an advertisement SDK that allows things none of us likes -- it can add bookmarks, change your homepage, add shortcuts to the home screen and the like.  We've all installed some free Windows program from the web, and had it install (or try to install) browser toolbars, add shortcuts to the home screen for more spammy programs.  We all hated it then, and we hate it now.  What we hate even more is when a company that claims to be acting in the interest of our security jumps the gun and labels these types of programs the same way it would label a bot or trojan.  

We're mostly informed users here, and quickly realize the difference.  But how many of those who stumbled across websites parroting Symantec's cries of five million infected are as Android savvy as we are?  There's a good chance that it's not that many.  Instead those readers were left confused and concerned that they had been "hacked."

We hope that the rest of the web that followed along will update their stories with today's news. And more important -- we hope that app developers stay far away from this sort of thing. Lord knows we're going to stay away from them if they don't.

Source: Symantec

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2 years ago

LG Optimus L3 emerges in Sweden, appears to be new entry-level offering

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LG has been busy selling various flavors of its high-end Optimus LTE over the past few months, but that doesn't mean it's forgotten about its entry-level line-up. A new budget device, dubbed the LG E400 Optimus L3, has appeared over on Swedish retailer CDON, running Android 2.3 (and LG's Optimus UI) on a 3.2-inch screen. Other specs include a 3 megapixel camera, HSDPA and Wifi connectivity and a microSD card slot. There's no information on what CPU you'll find powering this thing, but we wouldn't expect anything beathtakingly fast -- maybe a 1GHz single-core chip, if that. Nevertheless, from the outside the Optimus L3 looks like a stylish little device for anyone on a budget.

But there's some cause for concern regarding that 3.2-inch screen, as according to CDON's spec list, it's a QVGA (320x240) panel. In 2012, that kind of resolution borders on unacceptable, even on a budget device. Last year's Optimus One was fitted with a HVGA (480x320) screen, so we're hoping this is just an error on the part of the retailer.

The Optimus L3 is shown with a pre-order price of 1290 SEK (~£120, $190) off-contract, with stock apparently due to arrive on Feb. 27.

Source: CDON; via: GSMArena

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2 years ago

Samsung offering personal engraving for Galaxy Note in South Korea

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Samsung's Galaxy Note publicity machine continues to churn, with the manufacturer now hoping to win over consumers in its native South Korea a unique personalization option. According to Samsung's official Flickr stream, personalized laser engraving will be available for Korean buyers until Mar. 31 at "Samsung Digital Plaza" locations across the country.

Apple has long offered engraving when buying certain iPod and iPad models as gifts, but Android device manufacturers have until now shown little interest in this kind of customization. However, it seems Samsung's keen to attract the attention of gift buyers, as it promises "a wide variety of fonts" to "reflect your personality".

The promotion runs in South Korea until Mar. 31. There's no indication just yet of whether Samsung intends to offer this promotion elsewhere, though with the Galaxy Note launching in Canada and the U.S. next month, our fingers are firmly crossed.

Source: Samsung on Flickr; via: OLED-Display

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2 years ago

T-Mobile's Sensation, Amaze 4G, myTouch Q and others reportedly 'nearing end-of-life'

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T-Mobile USA may be preparing to wrap up sales of a handful of its mid to high-end Android devices, if a leaked internal screenshot is to be believed. The leaked photo, obtained by TmoNews, appears to show part of an internal stock system. In it, the following devices are marked as "nearing EOL", meaning "end-of-life" status --

End-of-life status means that a phone will no longer be stocked, meaning it'll likely have been replaced by something newer and shinier. What it doesn't affect, however, is software and hardware support. The Sensation, for example, is still scheduled to receive an update to Ice Cream Sandwich, and if true, the news that it may reach EOL in the near future doesn't change that. Nevertheless, it's surprising to see phones like the myTouch Q and Amaze 4G nearing EOL already, given that they've only been on sale since October.

It's also true that even after a phone is EOLed, sales will continue as long as there's stock remaining in outlets. So we're willing to bet you'll still see these devices in T-Mobile stores for a few more months. Right now, the biggest question centers on what T-Mobile will be replacing them with later in the year.

Source: TmoNews

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2 years ago

Android camera showdown: Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs. Samsung Galaxy S II

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The cameras in our Android phones have certainly gotten better than most would have expected.  The old standard of "it's a cell phone camera, it'll never be as good as a cheap point-and-shoot" is no longer valid.  The hardware is getting better, and the software is improving right alongside it, making the experience of using your phone as a camera enjoyable, and in the right hands, almost professional.  

The big news in Android last year on the camera front was the Samsung Galaxy S II's 8-megapixel rear shooter, and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus' "zero shutter lag" camera.  We decided that these two had to go head to head.  Hit the break to check it out.

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2 years ago

Japanese carrier 'blames Android app' for recent downtime

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Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has reportedly identified "Android app traffic" as the cause of a recent network outage which affected some 2.5 million of its customers. According to Japanese newspaper Nikkei, DoCoMo did not identify the app, aside from saying that it offered "free voice services."

The application apparently caused DoCoMo's network to buckle by sending out "control signals" rather than VOIP data. These are small amounts of data which are periodically exchanged between a smartphone app and a remote server, in order to check that the app is still running, and/or communicate any status changes.

DoCoMo intends to ask Google to limit the frequency at which Android sends these control signals, in order to reduce the strain on its network. However, the solution may not be quite so simple. The nature of Android means that an OS-level "fix" for DoCoMo's complaint would take months to roll out, if it were even possible. And if the app in question is a third-party offering from the Android Market, there's nothing Google can do to fiddle with its internal workings besides blocking DoCoMo customers' access to the app.

However, Google has shown a willingness to selectively block Android Market access to apps with which carriers have issue, notably tethering apps in the U.S. And then there was last year's strikingly similar case of YouMail and T-Mobile, which saw the app unceremoniously pulled from the Market at the request of the U.S. carrier. Whatever happens, we'll be watching with interest to see how Google deals with DoCoMo's complaint.

Source: Mobile World Live, Reuters

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2 years ago

AT&T Galaxy Note available Feb. 19 for $299, preorders start Feb. 5

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The AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note will be available Feb. 19 for $299 on contract, Samsung announced this morning. It'll be available in carbon blue and ceramic white, and preorders will begin Feb. 5 and will be delivered by Feb. 17.

Along with the phablet itself -- remember that this bad boy is 5.3 inches -- there are a number of accessories available, including a desktop dock, spare battery charger, flip cover case and pen holder kit.

Be sure to check out our hands-on video with the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note from CES earlier this month. We've got the full release after the break.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S Advance announced in full mid-range glory

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Samsung announced the Galaxy S Advance today, due for Russia in February, and heading to just about everywhere but North America after that. The form factor sure looks familiar, and the specs are decidedly mid-range. It's powered by a dual-core 1 GHz processor, enjoys a 4-inch WVGA Super AMOLED touch display, and sports a 5 megapixel camera on the back plus a secondary front shooter. The Samsung Galaxy S Advance is running Android 2.3, and connects via 14.4 Mbps HSPA, firmly locking it down as a middle-of-the road smartphone. 

It's not terribly exciting, but Mobile World Congress is just around the corner - who knows what else Samsung will have to show us? Full press release after the jump..

Source: Samsung

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2 years ago

Rogers brings 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Note to Canada

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We got our first look at AT&T's LTE-powered Samsung Galaxy Note back at CES, and now it looks like a very similar-looking device will be making its way to Canada on Rogers. A blog post on Rogers' official RedBoard site reveals that the network will offer the four-button, 4G LTE version of the Note from February.

For the uninitiated, the Galaxy Note is Samsung's gigantic 5.3-inch phone/hybrid tablet, which carries a massive 1280x800 HD SuperAMOLED display, and offers stylus input through Samsung's WACOM-powered "S Pen". Like the AT&T version, Rogers' Galaxy Note apparently totes a "1.5 GHz dual-core processor" of some description. Though unconfirmed, rumors suggest this is a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip rather than the Samsung Exynos found on the international Note.

For more on the Galaxy Note, check out our review of the international version, or our hands-on coverage of the AT&T version.

Source: RedBoard

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2 years ago

T-Mobile UK launches new price plans, offers unlimited data that's actually unlimited

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T-Mobile UK has announced new range of price plans that offer its customers truly unlimited data for the first time. Previously, T-Mo UK has offered a "unlimited" data on many of its plans, but with a "fair use" limit, sometimes as low as 500MB. If customers used more than this fair use limit, they faced throttled speeds and restrictions on visiting certain websites.

The network's new "Full Monty" price plans put an end to this chicanery, offering users unlimited data without any kind of fair use limit buried in the small print. "Fully Monty" price plans start at £36 per month for 24 months, for unlimited T-Mobile calls, unlimited texts, unlimited data and 2000 minutes of calls to other networks. At this price point, T-Mo will also throw in a free Galaxy S II or HTC Sensation XE. Step it up to £41 per month and you'll get unlimited calls to other networks, too. The higher-priced £46 and £61 per month plans offer the same unlimited everything, with a lower up-front cost for your handset of choice. All four price plans include unlimited tethering, and will be available from Feb. 1.

All of the major UK networks moved away from unlimited data plans in 2010, in an attempt to curb heavy data use by smartphone users. We've seen this trend slowly reversing over the past year, though, with O2 offering unlimited data through its "GiffGaff" network, and Three selling "all-you-can-eat" data plans to contracted and pre-paid customers. It'll be interesting to see whether things continue to move in this direction as UK carriers begin to roll out 4G LTE coverage over the next couple of years.

Source: T-Mobile UK

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2 years ago

'Xperia P' branding rumored for Sony LT22i 'Nypon'

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Some more evidence has cropped up this morning to suggest that Sony (Ericsson) is moving forwards with a letter-based naming scheme for its 2012 line-up. Just like last week, when we saw suggestions that the entry-level ST25i 'Kumquat' looked set to become the Xperia U, a recent listing by the Indonesian telecom authority has revealed the name 'Xperia P' or Sony's purported mid-range offering, the LT22i 'Nypon'.

Rumored specs for the 'Nypon' include a 1GHz dual-core processor, a 4-inch qHD (960x540) Reality Display and an 8MP EXMOR R camera. According to the recently-leaked roadmap, the device may be due for release as early as April, at a €370 price point.

Whatever the case, we'll be hoping to get our first look at the Xperia P, or whatever it's called, at Mobile World Congress in just a few weeks.

Source: e-POSTEL; via: XperiaBlog

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