Headlines

3 years ago

Verizon reminds Droid RAZR/MAXX owners that Ice Cream Sandwich is coming

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Folks have started getting text messages today from Verizon saying that their Droid RAZRs and RAZR MAXXs "soon will be upgrade to Android 4.0," which is good to hear because the update's still due in the second quarter, according to Motorola's update chart, and that ends in a little more than two weeks. Here's the full message:

Free Verizon Message: Your phone will soon be upgraded to Android 4.0. At that time we will remove your Verizon Wireless Mobile IM app because it is not supported on Android 4.0. Please download a new instant messaging app to use IM on your phone. Thank you for using Mobile IM!

The only slightly bigger news is that Verizon will have to kill off its own IM app because it's not compatible with Ice Cream Sandwich. There's a better than even chance that if you're reading this, you weren't actually using Verizon's IM app in the first place, but we still appreciate the heads up.

More: Droid RAZR forums; thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

How to disable the water droplet sound on the Samsung Galaxy S3

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Samsung's marketing campaign for the new Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) focuses heavily on how the visuals and sounds in its software are "inspired by nature." But one of the less welcome results of this is the water droplet sound that plays every time you press an on-screen button, menu or widget. Thankfully there's an easy way to make this quieter -- or completely silence it -- if it's not your cup of tea. Check out the video above for a quick walkthrough.

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3 years ago

Carphone Warehouse offering free Galaxy Note on £21 contract for next seven days

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The Samsung Galaxy Note is one of the surprise Android success stories of the past six months. And now British retailer the Carphone Warehouse is offering the device for free on a surprisingly reasonable £21 per month, 24-month service plan. In addition to a free Galaxy Note, the deal gets you 100 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB on T-Mobile UK, which is a pretty competitive package for the UK market. Carphone says the deal will be available to new customers online and in-store for the next seven days.

Although it's more than half a year old at this point, the Note still stands up alongside current high-end Android phones, with a 1.4GHz dual-core Exynos chip, a 1280x800 SuperAMOLED display and an 8MP camera. Better still, it's just been updated to the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. If you're unfamiliar with the Galaxy Note, be sure to check out our full review of Samsung's 5.3-inch stylus-toting beast.

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3 years ago

HTC Desire C: First look at the budget smartphone

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With three new Android devices released in the past few months, HTC have been pretty busy on the 'high end' side of things. Luckily they haven't forgotten about the low end market, as the Desire C launches as the company's new budget offering. 

It may not have the best specs, but it doesn't need them with its target market. What it does offer though is the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, as well as Sense 4.0 which many Android lovers have grown to be fond of.

For the price, which is around the £180 mark on pay-as-you-go, you get reasonable value for money. There's a smooth Android experience with decent build quality, which we have come to expect from HTC.

Taking a further look at what's powering the HTC Desire C, we only get a 600MHz Snapdragon processor, which doesn't sound like much. However, coupled with its 512MB or RAM the device performs surprisingly fluidly. Its 3.5-inch screen may not have the highest resolution, and in comparison to its big brothers, the One X and One S, seem a little washed out. But you are never going to get the same technology in a budget smartphone compared to a £500 one. On-board storage is limited to 4GB.  That's not a huge amount, but it can be expanded with a MicroSD card (up to 32GB cards are supported).

All the main applications that we have seen on the One series appear to be present in the Desire C, so if you are an HTC fan but cannot commit to a huge, powerful, expensive smartphone then this new creation may well suit your needs. We'll have a full review in the near future but my early impressions are very positive. Another good job, HTC. Give yourselves a 'budget' pat on the back from me.

We've got video after the break.

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3 years ago

Rdio for Android updated with bug fixes and stability improvements

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As much as I love using Rdio for my music, their Android app has become a small pain in my side. It seems as though everyday brings a new build and often times creates more bugs then it fixes. With that out of the way, I still think it's a great service and the latest update to the app does note bug fixes and stability improvements namely, the player freezing which was a huge issue on the last build. If you're using Rdio and have experienced issues with crashes or the player freezing, give the latest build a go as it is now available for download from the Google Play Store.

Download Rdio

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3 years ago

Pocket for Android update brings enhanced settings, true black background, and improved device support

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Although Instapaper for Android has arrived, the folks from Pocket aren't letting a competitor get the jump on them when it comes to Android support. Pocket has now rolled out a pretty stellar update that includes a number of fixes and improvements, as well as some new settings that have been requested from the user base. The list of changes, additions and fixes is as follows:

New Settings:

  • True black option in Dark theme
  • Page Flipping On/Off
  • Rotation Lock On/Off

Reading Improvements:

  • Single toolbar allows for easier access to options without having to scroll
  • New Delete option in menu
  • Copy Link option after long pressing a link

Fixed:

  • Resolved issues with the HTC Flyer and Evo View
  • Smaller tablets now have the proper layout
  • Improved Page Flipping detection
  • Several crashes and bugs related to syncing, UI and more

If you're like me, you're probably wondering what the heck the "true black" setting is. As it turns out, it's to help those who have OLED screens. Users can now enable the “True Black” option, which sets the Article View background to true black instead of the deep gray that was set before. Personally speaking, having Instapaper come to Android is a good thing but Pocket still wins on the feature set in my opinion. The update is available now or you can download it below.

Source: Pocket; Download: Pocket for Android

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3 years ago

Motorola Atrix 3 passes through the FCC

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The Motorola MB866, aka the Atrix 3 here in the states, has just passed through the FCC with all the support needed for AT&T's LTE network. A look at the radios (quad-band EDGE, 850/1900 HSPA+, and LTE) make things pretty clear that this one will sport the Qualcomm Krait S4, and rumors say it has a 720p screen and Ice Cream Sandwich -- which every phone launching now should have. 

It looks like a very nice successor to the Atrix name, and AT&T's blossoming LTE network looks to be a good place to put this one. We're not sure how it will fare against the other high-end phones on AT&T, namely the Galaxy S III, One X, and iPhone 4s, but Motorola has a strong following. No word yet on when to expect the Atrix 3, but at least now it's ready to be sold.

Source: FCC

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3 years ago

Disney's Pixar and Imangi Studios release Temple Run: Brave for Android

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The folks from Disney Pixar have an epic adventure movie soon to be released by the name of Brave and to help promote the movie, they've teamed up with the folks from Imagni Studios to create a new twist on their hit game Temple Run. Rather than just changing up the characters to match the movie, Imagni and Disney Pixar worked together to create a custom version of Temple Run with exclusive features built in:

  • Introducing ARCHERY for the first time – tap targets to shoot a bullseye and earn extra coins
  • New, amazing visuals
  • All new environments inspired by Disney•Pixar’s “Brave” and the wilds of Scotland
  • Play as Merida from Disney•Pixar’s “Brave”
  • Outrun Mordu, the demon bear Disney•Pixar’s “Brave”, to earn running glory
  • Bonus: download Temple Run: Brave and start running with $0.99 worth of coins for FREE, that’s 2500 coins for power-ups and more

Temple Run: Brave is available in the Google Play Store right now for only $.99 cents. Of course, that is more than the standard version of Temple Run which is free but we'll leave it up to you all to decide if the extras are worth your hard earned coinage.

Download: Temple Run: Brave

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3 years ago

Telcel holding an exclusive night sale for the Samsung Galaxy S III on June 22

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With Samsung Galaxy S III roll outs happening everywhere over the next little while Samsung and Telcel have decided to make the event special for those who live near the Telcel Plaza Carso. On June 22nd, Telcel will be hosting an exclusive evening sale where those wishing to pick a Samsung Galaxy S III will be able to get their hands on one in quick fashion.

Source: @SamsungMobileMX, Thanks, Spook81!

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3 years ago

T-Mobile updates us on its network improvements, including LTE

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Dave Mayo, Senior Vice President of Technology for T-Mobile, boasted on the T-Mobile blog today that they've made "great progress in just three short months" since they announced a deal with cell technology companies Ericson and Nokia Siemens Networks to pump $4 billion into its network over the next two years.  Included in the plan is the modernization of 37,000 cell sites and a move to Release-10 capable LTE equipment.  That's right, T-Mobile is going straight to LTE-Advanced, and the trials have already begun.

They also expect to have 400 cell sites upgraded to the latest HSPA+ by the end of the month, with 2,500 being completed by July.  As some people may have noticed, T-Mobile is also conducting small scale tests that will see HSPA+ in the 1900 mHz range, no doubt to help satisfy the millions of iPhones that are in use on their network.  They plan on expanding this to more areas of the country as plans progress.

Now if only we could get some idea of what handsets they'll have to take advantage of these network enhancements.  These enhancements along with some tantalizing new handsets might be enough to keep the subscribers coming.

Source: T-Mobile Blog

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3 years ago

Flipboard for Android beta updated with memory and battery improvements

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If you're using Flipboard on a Galaxy S III, where it's pre-loaded, or on another device through the beta program, you'll want to fire it up and grab the latest update for the popular digital magazine app. The new version 1.8.4 beta 3 weighs just a couple of megs, and includes some minor visual changes for dialog boxes, along with some behind-the-scenes improvements. According to the official change log, the new version of Flipboard has a reduced impact on battery life and a lower memory footprint, which will be good news to anyone using it on older devices with less RAM.

Flipboard isn't on the Google Play Store yet, so you'll need to start up the app itself to initiate the update. If you've been using the Flipboard beta over the past few weeks, be sure to drop by the comments section and let us know how you're getting on.

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3 years ago

Galaxy S III owners get free Eurosport Player for the Olympics

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The Galaxy S III is the official phone of the London Olympics, and Samsung's teamed up with Eurosport to give S III owners a way of watching the summer's games on-the-go. Download the Eurosport Player app for Android on your S III, and you'll qualify for a free month-long subscription that can be activated between July 14 and August 12, letting you watch Eurosport's Olympic coverage live.

European Galaxy S III owners (excluding Italy, for some reason) can download the Eurosport Player app from Google Play or Samsung Apps in preparation, though it won't become active until July 14. Unfortunately it looks like this promotion won't be available on the North American S III when it launches later this month.

Source: Eurosport; via: Recombu

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod freezes code for CM9

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The CyanogenMod team has announced that a code freeze has been put into place for CM9.  That would be the version based on Ice Cream Sandwich source, and it's one of the most downloaded ROM's in Android history.  So what does this mean for us, the end users?  It means that a release candidate (RC) is on its way, and they are in the process of squashing bugs to make it stable.  The team states in its blog post that nightly builds will still happen, but they won't be accepting any code other than bugfixes, device support, and translations into the release branch.

The initial release will cover a small amount of devices initially, but other devices will be added further down the road.  (The process of adding new devices should be helped along by the streamlining of certain code.)  Given the large undertaking of moving to ICS, and the amount of time that has been spent on it, knowing that a release candidate is on its way should make CM fans very happy.  Already running and experimental build of CM9?  Be sure to share your thoughts in the forums.

Source: CyanogenMod

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3 years ago

Samsung reveals its top-secret Galaxy S III design process

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Dummy cases, hand-delivered prototypes and two designs that never saw the light of day.

The secrecy surrounding the Galaxy S III was crucial in building anticipation ahead of the device's launch, and today Samsung has revealed some details of the phone's top-secret development process. Only a privileged few within Samsung were able to see the device, with design and engineering work taking place within a secured area at Samsung's Seoul HQ. Discussion with outsiders was forbidden, and the phones were apparently locked inside secure boxes for transportation, even within buildings.

Most interesting is the revelation that Samsung fully designed and built three versions of the Galaxy S III to further reduce the chance of the actual design leaking out. That'd certainly explain the appearance (and leaking) of a buttonless S III a few weeks ahead of launch. In today's blgo post, Samsung R&D engineer Woo-Sun Yoon confirmed the use of dummy cases like the one above in field testing, to protect the phone's true exterior from prying eyes.

“We had to make three types of the GALAXY SIII to prevent the design from leaking. And on top of that, whenever any of these had to go out for testing, we put them inside ‘dummy boxes’, which are cases that hide the design of the device, to disguise it. Even if people, inside or out of the campus, saw the device, I doubt they would have known what it was.”

And the security didn't stop once the devices were completed. Samsung says units delivered to mobile operators were transported in person and hand-delivered by its employees, and testing was done under strict supervision. All this resulted in the final design remaining a mystery until just a week before launch, when a Samsung service manual outed what we now know to be the Galaxy S III.

For all Samsung's pre-launch secrecy, it's now being incredibly open when talking about that secrecy. You'll find a full run-down of exactly how the S III was kept under wraps over at the source link.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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3 years ago

Aviary goes big time, releases standalone photo editing app

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Over the past few years Aviary has been making a name for itself by offering its photo editing solutions to the masses through its web applications. They've produced an Android SDK, iOS SDK and even a Windows Phone 7 SDK but now they've gone ahead and released their own self-branded standalone photo editing app. It's quite beautiful and feature packed, as you would expect, and there's an equally impressive feature list --

  • One-tap auto enhance
  • Gorgeous effects
  • Fun stickers
  • Color balance
  • Crop and rotate
  • Adjust brightness, contrast, color temperature, and saturation
  • Sharpen and blur
  • Draw and add text
  • Create your own memes
  • Cosmetic tools: fix redeye, remove blemishes and whiten teeth

In addition to all this, there are add-ons that can be purchased from the Play Store, including extra effects packs. Just a quick look at the app tells you Aviary took their time in making this one, it's a showcase app for them that will not only serve consumers but also show developers what Aviary is capable of. We'll get a deeper look at this app later, but for now we've got download info after the break.

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