3 years ago

CyanogenMod 10 nightly builds now rolling out for certain devices


If you’ve been waiting patiently to get your hands on experimental Jelly Bean-based ROM for your phone, today could be your lucky day. The team behind popular custom firmware CyanogenMod has opened the floodgates and started churning out CM10 nightly builds for some supported devices.

Nightly builds are highly experimental, probably unstable and likely not suited to being used as a daily driver. However they do give owners of supported phones the chance to try out near-vanilla Android 4.1 Jelly Bean months before their official update will drop, in addition to introducing some helpful software tweaks from the CM team.

Notable devices now receiving CyanogenMod 10 nightlies include, but are not limited to --

  • The US SGS3 variants
  • The Galaxy Nexus variants
  • The Nexus S varaints
  • The Nexus 7
  • The Transformer and Transformer Prime
  • The SGS1 variants (Vibrant, Captivate, International, and i9000b)
  • The SGS2 i9100g
  • P3 and P5 tablets (Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and 10.1)

Other devices are getting nightlies too, so to see if your phone or tablet is supported, check the get.cm download link below. Kudos to the entire team of CM maintainers for bringing a taste of Jelly Bean to dozens of devices this morning!

Source: +CyanogenMod

Download: get.cm

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3 years ago

Sprint's Motorola Photon Q one of the first phones to grace Moto's bootloader unlock page


Remember the Motorola bootloader unlock site we talked about just an hour or two ago? We've got some great news to share direct from Moto -- the Sprint Photon Q will be one of the first phones eligible to use it. Per Motorola:

As of August 2012, the only Motorola devices which can be unlocked are:

  • Photon Q 4G LTE (Sprint)
  • RAZR Developer Edition (Europe Only)
  • XOOM

This leads to one huge question, which Moto addresses -- what about other phones? Moto says that they have to evaluate that on a phone-by-phone basis, and that they have worked with Sprint to come up with a solution that's favorable to everyone involved. It certainly appears that as far as Moto is concerned, unlocking shiny, new LTE phones is cool with them (using the right tools), but a lot of it will depend on the carrier. I don't want to sound discouraged, but we're all aware how that's going to fly with Verizon and AT&T.

Of course, there are risks involved when making your phone unsecure on purpose. Moto goes over these well, and it's a must read for anyone thinking of taking the plunge. We're just glad to see Motorola doing the right thing here, and now Android hackers and developers might not have to work as hard to own the phone they paid for.

As you can see, we've unlocked the Photon Q. The process only takes a few minutes, and pretty much mirrors what HTC's done with its more recent phones. You reboot into fastboot and get a token (you'll need the Android SDK installed, of course), feed that token back to Motorola, which gives you yet another number to repeat back. Quick, relatively easy -- if you can't follow these instructions, you really shouldn't be mucking about with custom software anyway -- and the way it should be done.

Source: Motorola

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3 years ago

T-Mobile's Galaxy S3 getting an OTA to fix bugs and remove local search


T-Mobile's Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3) is seeing an OTA update (also available via Kies) today that promises improvements to performance and stability and adds Allshare Cast to the device. Here's the list of changes from T-Mobile support --

  • Android version 4.0.4/Software version T999UVLH2
  • AllShare Cast added to device
  • Resolved the error, ‘Enter MAC address' after entering the correct MAC address in the Mobile HotSpot configuration page if the MAC address entered did not contain the colons (:) or spaces.
  • Resolved issue where the contents of a Home screen folder would be rearranged alphabetically after a reboot.
  • Resolved issue where the name does not populate when trying to add a contact with NameID information, you must manually add.

As we've seen with the other U.S. variants of the Galaxy S3, this update also removes local search ability from the phones -- a tiny piece of information that Samsung and T-Mobile forgot to mention in the change log. We expect that sort of thing by now, but we still don't like it.

Anyways, to get the update either check through your Galaxy S3's settings menu or fire up the latest version of Kies and you'll be set. For more details, and full instructions, hit the source link below.

Source: T-Mobile; via Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Sprint Motorola Photon Q hands-on


Here she be, folks, the Sprint Motorola Photon Q. It's one of Sprint's newfangled 4G LTE devices, with a five-row keyboard thrown in for good measure. And what's more -- it's a "global-ready" device, too, meaning you can use it outside of the United States on a GSM network. And that combines a couple of key features we know a you road warriors have been craving -- a great keyboard with some world-phone love. 

The long and short of it is this: The Photon's got the same great keyboard we've experienced on the Droid 4 on Verizon. It's a spitting image. The Photon Q has a 4.3-inch qHD display, it's powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and it's running Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (with a Jelly Bean update expected just as soon as possible, we imagine).

You'll also notice that new homescreen. And out of the box, the Photon has just that single homescreen. Crazy, no? Crazy like a fox, we'd argue. Swipe to the right, and you're presented with a screen that lets you add another blank screen, or one from a template. That's a great way of doing things.

Want more? We've got a quickie gallery and a few minutes of hands-on video after the break. Huzzah!

More: Photon Q specs; Photon Q forums

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3 years ago

Motorola's device unlocking page is live, but there are no devices listed yet


Update: Scratch that, folks! We've just unlocked the Photon Q!

Motorola has finally started their bootloader unlocking program, but it's not yet complete. The process, which Moto promised we'd have in late 2011, looks very similar to the way HTC and ASUS are going about it. You'll register , read through all the warnings telling you not to unlock your bootloader, and use the Android SDK and fastboot to OEM unlock the phone with a key. 

We've no problem with this method. Having people familiar with the tools used to do the deed before letting them do something as important -- and dangerous -- as unlocking the bootloader on their phone is a good thing. Like HTC's tool, we're going to assume that this doesn't give you a full unlock, where radios and other proprietary things can be fooled with. We're OK with that too. Files we're not legally allowed to distribute or hack at are off limits, which makes carriers feel better. Besides, it's pretty simple to work around if you just have to have access.

The one little issue here is that no devices are listed as unlockable just yet. You'll find a link to the supported device list, which asks you to sign up then gives you an error page. We're hoping that this is just a work-in-progress sort of thing and the list will get fuller shortly. Of course, this will all be at the carrier's discretion, so there's a good chance your RAZR MAXX won't ever be listed. Like many of you, we'll be keeping a close eye on this one.

Source: Motorola; thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

New features in Samsung Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update


New Android 4.1 and TouchWiz features arrive in Jelly Bean update for Samsung's Galaxy S3

Samsung has a track record of including new features of its own along with major OS updates for its phones. Earlier this year Galaxy Note owners got their Android 4.0 update, which included “Premium Suite,” a selection of new Samsung software enhancements. And it looks like the manufacturer’s set to continue this trend when its 2012 flagship, the Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3), gets updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Yesterday we took a quick look at an early, leaked build of Jelly Bean for the Galaxy S3. But since then an newer version has come to light, revealing not only stock Jelly Bean features like Google Now and the redesigned notification shade, but a host of extra TouchWiz goodies too. Of course, remember that we're dealing with an unofficial pre-release build here, so certain functionality may be added or removed between now and whenever the OTA hits.

We’ll take a look at each major feature, one by one, after the break. We’ve also got pictures, if you’d prefer to skip to the end.

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3 years ago

This is not the Samsung Galaxy Note 2


The blurry-cam photo above is doing the rounds today, claiming to show Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note successor. The image comes from Know Your Mobile, which was given the image anonymously. It supplies the shot along with a familiar spec sheet -- a 5.5-inch screen, quad-core CPU, etc., etc.

As much as we hate to burst anyone's bubble, there's a problem with that photo. The problem is we’ve seen it before -- Samsung fan artist Daniel UY published an almost identical looking creation yesterday on Twitter, with the same front panel configuration and silver trim. Daniel’s image wasn’t leaked from Samsung, but instead an original creation of his own. It's this which a third party has manipulated into the image above, and sent out to the blogs.

For his part, original artist Daniel UY has today released the full-sized original version of his "Note 2" mock-up. Check 'em out below.

They're mighty impressive, but they're just fan-made images rather than the real deal. Repeat: This is not the Galaxy Note 2. So hold your horses, Internet -- we’ll see the real Galaxy Note 2 in a couple of weeks in Berlin, Germany.

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3 years ago

Black Galaxy S3 coming in October with 64GB of storage, says retailer


The latest development in the black Samsung Galaxy SIII (Galaxy S3) saga sees one well-known UK retailer revealing additional details about the handset. Clove Technology got in touch to let us know that black Galaxy S3 stock will start arriving from early October, and that the black version will ship with 64GB of internal storage. This fits with earlier reports from rival store MobileFun, which suggested the black version of Samsung’s flagship was “4-6 weeks” away.

The arrival of the Galaxy S3 with 64GB of internal storage is equally big news. Previously rumored to have been canceled, the 64GB S3 would allow for a maximum storage configuration of 128GB, if you were to use a 64GB microSD card as well. There’s no word on pricing at this stage, or any details on whether the 64GB storage option will be exclusive to the black version, or vice versa. However, we can be pretty sure that any phone with 64GB included out of the box won’t come cheap.

Source: Clove Technology

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3 years ago

Sony begins Android 4.0 updates for Xperia P


Sony Mobile has announced that it’s commencing the next phase of its Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update roll-out for 2012 Xperia phones, starting with the Xperia P. ICS updates for the aluminum-shelled handset will start today, and continue “in the next few weeks in markets globally,” the manufacturer said on its official product blog.

The update will give the Xperia P a much needed bump up from the earlier Gingerbread-based firmware, and Sony’s offers a fairly substantial list of new features fro Xperia P owners in the new software --

  • New ways to experience your media with new media applications – “WALKMAN”, “Album” and “Movies”
  • Extended standby mode, increasing standby time by up to four times (depending on user-profile and data consumption)
  • Lock screen with improved functionality
  • Resizable widgets for improved personalization
  • Improved control of your mobile data consumption
  • Recent Apps button for a clear overview of your applications

As is always the case, some territories may get this update before others, and Sony points out that “in some cases” the ICS upgrade may only be available through its PC Companion app, rather than on the phone as an over-the-air update.

Looking ahead, Sony says the next phones due for ICS upgrades will be Xperias U, Sola and Go, promising updates “shortly.”

Source: Sony Xperia Product Blog

More: Sony Xperia P review

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3 years ago

Carphone Warehouse offers Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and Galaxy Y phone for £15.50 p.m.


UK retailer the Carphone Warehouse is kicking off its latest “Smart Deal” by giving customers the chance to pick up an entry-level Android phone and an entry-level tablet for a mere £15.50 per month. The deal runs from today until next Thursday, Aug. 23, and if you take up the £15.50 per month deal on Orange or T-Mobile UK, you’ll get a Samsung Galaxy Y and Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 in white or silver. The retailer describes it as a “tethering plan,” meaning you’ll get the Wifi-only version of the Tab, with the option to tether it via the Galaxy Y.

On T-Mobile, your £15.50 will get you 50 minutes, 250 texts and 750MB, while Orange offers 100 minutes, unlimited texts and 100MB. That’s not a huge allowance, but it’s still decent value when you consider you’re getting a free phone and a reasonably-spec’d tablet.

Check the source link for more info, or see the full announcement from the Carphone Warehouse after the break.

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy R ICS update reportedly starts today


Samsung’s Tegra 2-powered Galaxy R is set to start receiving its update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich today. According to reports from SamMobile, the Galaxy R (GT-i9103), which aside form its CPU is almost identical to the Galaxy S2, will begin rolling out ICS-based firmware today over-the-air and through Kies, starting with phones sold in Sweden.

The Galaxy R ICS update should follow the same pattern as updates for other TouchWiz 4 devices, upgrading the underlying OS to Android 4.0, but leaving users on the same version of Samsung’s own user interface.

If you’ve in Europe and have a Samsung Galaxy R, head to Settings > About phone > Software updates, or fire up Samsung’s Kies desktop software to see if your ICS upgrade is ready.

Source: SamMobile

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3 years ago

T-Mobile's Galaxy S Blaze Q tipped to become Galaxy S Relay 4G


Out with one awkward name, in with another. It looks like Samsung and T-Mobile’s Galazy S Blaze Q, the rumored QWERTY slider has been renamed, after it failed to hit its rumored release target of Aug. 15. Fresh training materials obtained by TmoNews suggest that T-Mobile has dropped the reference to last year’s Galaxy S Blaze, instead going for something a little shorter, though still fairly convoluted.

The Blaze Q Relay 4G reportedly sports Galaxy S3-like specs, with a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 720p screen and Androd 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. Previously-leaked internal documents suggested it was due to land this Wednesday, Aug. 15. However, as we pointed out at the time, carriers’ plans can change, especially when it concerns dates that have yet to be announced publicly.

With no updated release date reported, QWERTY fans are now left wondering when they’ll be able to get their hands on this highly-spec’d slider.

Source: TmoNews

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3 years ago

Acer Liquid Gallant E350 manual reveals forthcoming lower-end offering


Once more we're catching sight of a forthcoming Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone from Acer. Following the Cloudmobile and Liquid Glow going up for pre-order and sale respectively, the latest offering is set to be called the Liquid Gallant E350. And, like the other two, it isn't a bad looking thing. 

Spec wise, the Gallant is closer to the the Glow than the Cloudmobile, and if this render is anything to go by it will also be available in the UK. The device has been outed on Acer's website, where the full manual for the phone has been posted. 

So, what are we looking at exactly in the specs column. Nothing that'll be setting the world on fire but lets take a look:

  • Android 4.0
  • 1GHz MediaTek MT6575 single-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 4GB onboard storage, microSD card slot
  • 4.3-inch qHD display
  • 5MP rear camera with LED Flash
  • 1500mAh removable battery
  • 9.9mm thin

Additionally, as we see the Gallant has on-screen buttons, unlike the Glow which almost looked like it was designed with Gingerbread in mind. Flicking through the manual further also shows that Swype will also come pre-installed on the Gallant. The selection of screenshots contained within also shows off what looks pretty much like stock Ice Cream Sandwich. There are a few customizations, like widgets in the notification tray, but even the camera application is stock. Not bad for what is essentially an entry-level device. 

As this is just a manual, there is no indication of markets to expect the Gallant, or how much it would cost. But, based on the UK price for the Liquid Glow, we'd not be expecting anything too far away from £150 ($236) SIM free. 

Source: Acer

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3 years ago

Sony wins EISA green smartphone award for Xperia P


Sony's aluminum-clad Xperia P has been dubbed the "European Green Smartphone of 2012-13" by industry body EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association). The win, which places the Xperia P in good company with fellow EISA winners the HTC One S and Samsung Galaxy S3, is the company's third award from the organization. Last year Sony scooped up two awards for the Xperia Arc and Xperia mini (cameraphone of the year and green phone of the year respectively).

In a statement, the EISA praised the Xperia P's power efficiency, as well as Sony's use of environmentally friendly materials --

“The smart phone market is developing rapidly as models come packed with ever-increasing functionality. Unfortunately, the trend towards the use of bigger screens and embedded batteries can make recycling harder. The Sony Xperia P outperforms the competition in terms of energy performance while making efficient use of materials of environmental concern, such as precious metals and has a low copper content. With the Xperia P, Sony successfully follows the performance of last year’s winner, its Xperia Mini.”

In our review of the phone back in June, we were impressed by the Xperia P's build quality and value for money. And the phone's due to receive an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich soon, which should drastically improve its UI and overall responsiveness.

We don't often focus on the environmental cost of smartphones -- though we've seen eco-friendly models like the Samsung Replenish attempting to tap into this market previously. In any case, kudos to Sony for coming out on top on green credentials for a second year running. Would something like this affect your choice of smartphone? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Sony Xperia Product Blog, EISA

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3 years ago

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean leaks for the Samsung Galaxy S3, we go hands-on


An early Samsung-made Jelly Bean firmware for the international Galaxy S3 has leaked, and we've taken it for a spin

Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first Android 4.1 leak for an existing phone. Following the appearance of a blurry-cam video of the ROM yesterday, a pre-release Jelly Bean firmware for the international Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3, GT-i9300) has leaked out online over at SamFirmware​. The ROM is based upon Android 4.1.1, carries the build name I9300XXDLG4, and was built a couple of weeks ago on July 31. It's a test ROM that's not of release quality, so expect crashes and bugs if you decide to install this one.

On the surface, the Galaxy S3 running this leaked firmware is still a Galaxy S3, and the TouchWiz Nature UX is still the UI you'll see most of the time. However, new Jelly Bean features like Google Now and the redesigned notification area are present in this build. The latter is a little janky in the leaked ROM -- location services don't seem to be working, but the voice-activated Google Search was fully functional, and fast as ever.

Performance-wise, the leaked Jelly Bean ROM doesn't offer huge performance boosts over ICS, but the S3 was a beast even on Android 4.0, so we'd argue there isn't much room for improvement in this area anyway. The Jelly Bean-specific launcher enhancements weren't shown in the this ROM -- for example, you're not able to make widgets resize to fit into a certain space, or nudge icons out of the way. We're not sure whether Samsung will include this in its final Jelly Bean firmware, as it likes to do its own thing in the TouchWiz launcher anyway.

Finally, NFC support was enabled in this build, though the phone became a bit confused when trying to transfer files to and from other Jelly Bean devices -- essentially, it would try to use S Beam even when the other device didn't support it. Again, not surprising for a leaked pre-release ROM, and something we full expect to be sorted before the final Jelly Bean update hits.

Check out our hands-on video above, or, if you're feeling brave, you can find instructions for flashing the ROM itself on your international (not U.S.) Galaxy S3 at the source link below. We've also got a couple more screenshots after the break.

Source: SamFirmware

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