Headlines

3 years ago

Kyocera Hydro hits Boost Mobile on Aug. 3

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Here's a quick heads up that the Kyocera Hydro, the 3.5-inch, submersible (as in dunk it in water) Android phone that we first showed you back in May will be available on Boost Mobile starting Aug. 3. The phone runs $129 and can be kept below the surface for 30 minutes, which is a good bit longer than you'll last, we imagine. It's more of a protection thing than a usability thing -- you won't be making calls under the sea or anything. 

On the other hand, it's running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, which is more than we can say for a good number of landlubbers out there. We've got the full release after the break.

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3 years ago

Contest Reminder: Win a Mobile Nations dream device of YOUR choice!

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The Mobile Nations team is celebrating the first birthday of the Monday Brief, and we want to hook a lucky winner up with their dream device. We're not just going to have a regular old "post a comment and win" type giveaway this time. Instead, we're recruiting YOU to help us revamp and refresh the Monday Brief intro. Have you been lusting after the Samsung Galaxy S III? How about the new iPad? Or perhaps you've been anxiously awaiting the next round of Windows Phone 8 devices or are holding out for BlackBerry 10? Well this is your chance to win one of those dream devices!

Over the years we've seen some pretty crazy entries for video contests here at Mobile Nations (Kevin often brings up a certain Pudding Wrestling in Time Square CrackBerry video), but we want to top them all, so we're gonna make this the best video contest Mobile Nations has ever had! Seriously, we want to you see you all get creative, get crazy and show us your passion to help. Let's have a look at what you could win:

  • GRAND PRIZE: One (1) phone, tablet, or gadget you've read about on Mobile Nations websites, valued at up to $600 USD
  • Runners Up: We'll hook you up with some awesome stuff. Either a coupon to one of the stores, some swag or something else you'll love. Don't worry, if we use your intro on a Monday Brief, we'll give you recognition and a nice little reward.

Once again, this is a video contest -- you'll have to get creative and assemble your most creative, funny, or just plain insane version of Ashley's weekly introduction to the Monday Brief. If you're not sure what part that is, watch the beginning of the show. Jump below to get the full details on how to enter and check out the rules, you'll need to follow them accordingly.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy S Blaze 4G software update available, serves as preparation for ICS

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Although the Galaxy S Blaze 4G didn't garner a lot of attention, that doesn't mean T-Mobile has forgotten about the device. In fact, owners of the Blaze 4G should be checking for updates right now, as there is one currently available. The update is noted to be rolling out now through August 5th and available through OTA and Samsung Kies. As it stands, it fixes a few bugs but mostly it serves as preparation for a later update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich:

  • Over the air (OTA) update to Software T769UVLF4:T-Mobile will push the update to  your device sometime between 7/16 and 8/5. We cannot expedite how soon we send  the OTA to individuals.    See below steps to manually request the OTA update.
  • Manual download: If you want to update to T769UVLF4 after July 17, you can update via Samsung Kies. Ensure you are on the latest version of Kies prior to attempting the update. See http://www.androidcentral.com/ext?link=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jdoqocy.com%2Fclick-7293382-12001245-1428599469000%3Fsid%3Dd_ac%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.samsung.com%252Fus%252Fkies%252F to confirm the version.

Improvements

  • E911 issue over Wi-Fi resolved  
  • Echo issue when on Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) call  
  • Proximity Sensor improved

Sadly, T-Mobile left off the information of when exactly we may expect ICS to roll out to the device but you all can take comfort in knowing it will arrive eventually. Hopefully it's not too far off.

Source: T-Mobile

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3 years ago

ClockworkMod Recovery 6 for the Galaxy Nexus now in ROM Manager

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ClockworkMod recovery has hit version 6 for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and it's available right from ROM Manager for the GSM, Sprint, and Verizon versions. The change log for version 6 reads as follows:

  • New backup format that de-duplicates data between backups.
  • Faster backups.
  • Fixed restores > 2GB.
  • Minor UI tweaks (new background, animated Android)

Interesting set of features. The de-duplication of data will make for smaller and faster backups, which we all can appreciate. If you're rooted and ROM'd on your Galaxy Nexus, you'll surely want to check this out.

Source: +Koushik Dutta. Thanks, Chris G!

​Download ROM Manager from Google Play

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy Note is officially official

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T-Mobile has sent out a press release letting us know that the Samsung Galaxy Note will be coming "in the coming weeks", confirming the Tweet that went out this morning. The 5.3-inch T-Mobile Galaxy Note will feature HSPA+42 speeds, and be running the Qualcomm Snapdragon like it's counterpart on AT&T. It's also shipping with Ice Cream Sandwich, and features the same great S-Memo application we saw last week

T-Mobile specific features are Wifi calling, a 5-device mobile hotspot capability, and S.A.F.E. (Samsung Approved for Enterprise) designation, which means a full suite of enterprise-ready features and capabilities, IT policy support, AES256-bit encryption, enhanced support for Microsoft Exchange, and integrated VPN support. You can read the full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

LG Optimus Vu sighted wearing Verizon branding

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You may not have heard of the Optimus Vu, LG's answer to the Samsung Galaxy Note. The Vu is a 4:3 aspect ratio, 5-inch phone with pen input, released in South Korea earlier this year running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and it's due for an ICS update any day now. It's also yet to appear at all outside of Korea, so it's somewhat surprising to see it emerge today, apparently sporting a big Verizon Wireless logo atop its squarish XGA display.

The image above, and a few more, have been published by ​Android Police​, and by all accounts they appear to show a Verizon Optimus Vu (or LG VS950) running Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, with Big Red's logo up top, and its 4G LTE branding around the back.

First announced at MWC in February, the Vu hasn't made too much of a splash on the smartphone world, so it's a little puzzling to see it as a candidate to appear on Verizon's network now. We should also point out that just because one prototype unit exists, it doesn't necessarily follow that the Vu will actually launch on Verizon. We've been through that before (hey there, HTC Merge).

So we'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, you can find out all about the Optimus Vu in our hands-on non-unboxing unboxing of the Korean version.

Source: Android Police; via: The Verge

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3 years ago

Take control of your Galaxy Nexus' destiny by flashing it to the takju build

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Google selling unlocked Galaxy Nexus phones through Google Play is pretty cool, especially at the price they're asking. But not too long ago, that wasn't an option if you wanted a GSM Galaxy Nexus here in the states. Because of some cryptic exclusitivity deal between Google, Beelzebub, and Verizon you had to import an unlocked handset from Europe, the far east, or Canada. It was a bit more expensive, and there were some warranty concerns, but a lot of people still did it -- and most of them are still sitting on an old version of Android while Jelly Bean is available.

We're not ones to advise people to wantonly hack at their phones for no reason. That's irresponsible, and we get that most Android users love things just the way they are and don't obsess over every little thing like the more hardcore crowd does. But this is a special case. If you're in Canada or Europe, or have a phone from either place, there's a good chance you're not running the "takju" version of the OS. There's nothing wrong with what you're running, but you'll be waiting for Samsung to get around to pushing out any updates to you. Takju is the designation Google has given the build that ships on the Play Store Nexus phones, and is the one they update themselves (and first). Other variants, like yakjuxw, are more dependent on Samsung fulfilling the OTA. We want everyone with an unlocked GNex to enjoy Jelly Bean.

The simplified instructions look pretty, well, simple. Unlock your bootloader, flash the takju factory image from Google, then force the OTA to Jelly Bean. In reality, they aren't much harder. You'll need the USB cable that came with the phone, a few files, and some knowledge that you can find in the Galaxy Nexus forums about bootloader unlocking and manually flashing images. Since you're using a Nexus, it's pretty hard to break things -- but you're still going to have to follow directions. When it's all said and done, and you're running Jelly Bean on your Galaxy Nexus, you'll be glad you did it. We're sure of it. You can even relock your bootloader when you're finished, and still enjoy OTA updates straight from Google on your stock Nexus. This is something worth taking the time to do if you're an Android fan.

Visit the Galaxy Nexus forums

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3 years ago

Sprint HTC EVO 3D and EVO Design 4G to get ICS by 'early August'

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Good news, Sprint HTC EVO 3D and EVO Design 4G owners, your long-awaited Android 4.0 update will soon be arriving. The carrier posted an update on its community site today, announcing that Ice Cream Sandwich will be on both phones by "early August."

In the meantime, Sprint has published a changelog detailing some of the improvements EVO owners can look forward to with the upgrade to Android 4.0. It's mostly the standard ICS stuff we're already familiar with on other devices --

  • A refined, evolved user interface that is simple, beautiful and useful
  • Face Unlock: use state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to unlock your phone with a smile
  • Redesigned camera app which introduces Scenes like Panorama, and Effects such as Vignette, Depth of Field, Vintage and Posterize
  • Web browser now lets you sync Google Chrome™ bookmarks, request full desktop versions of sites, see your open tabs in a new layout
  • People: browse friends, family and coworkers, see their photos in high-resolution and check their latest status updates from Google+
  • Improved keyboard with incredibly accurate typing, an inline spell checker and improved copy and paste support
  • Redesigned Gmail™ app that now lets you swipe between conversations to catch up quickly and search for emails even without a data connection
  • Google+ integration that lets you hangout and video chat with up to 10 friends using your front-facing camera

Though not explicitly stated, we'd expect this update to bump the EVOs up to HTC Sense 3.6 at the same time, since that's what's happened with similar devices like the Sensation.

The announcement follows the availability of ICS for the EVO 3D and HTC Raider, the Canadian equivalent of the EVO Design, a couple of weeks ago on Rogers. Sprint says to stay tuned for full dates, and we'll have more details on these updates just as soon as they're announced.

Source: Sprint Community

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3 years ago

Eric Schmidt: 'We always wanted to be in the hardware business'

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Eric Schmidt has been out on tour doing his best door-to-door salesman act. The Google Chairman appeared at the Allen & Company conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, armed with a new Nexus 7 and a Nexus Q, and proceeded to demonstrate the both of them. He even went so far as to describe the Q as "cute." Well, it sort of is.

Perhaps more interestingly, Schmidt spoke out about Google's long standing intentions to be in the hardware business, but without describing them as a hardware company.

Saying during his presentation, of the acquisition of Motorola Mobility last year; “We always wanted to be in the hardware business. Larry and Sergey have always wanted to do hardware in one form or another. This was a way to get into it quickly.”

He was otherwise pretty quiet on the Motorola front, although he did promise that a new batch of products were almost ready to go. 

And Sergey Brin got a mention too. He wasn't at the conference, as Schmidt would declare he was on his way to the airport to tend to important Google Glass business. Either that, or he's got some more skydiving in store. Apparently too, Brin isn't seen without his prototype Google Glasses anymore around Mountain View. Something that we find incredibly easy to believe. 

Source: New York Times

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3 years ago

Sony launches Xperia NXT series in the U.S., still running Gingerbread for now

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As we suspected last week, when phones started to appear in retailer listings, Sony's Xperia NXT series has launched in the United States. The manufacturer sends word today that its Xperia S, P and U handsets, available in Europe for a few months now, are now available stateside, unlocked and SIM-free. But before you reach for your wallet, a couple of caveats -- first, although these phones are unlocked, they'll only work on AT&T 3G/4G within the U.S., and they're all running Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box. Sony's quick to add that all three are upgradable to ICS, but we're already well into the age of Jelly Bean, and if you're shelling out the full retail price for a phone, you'd rightly be disappointed to find an 18-month-old OS loaded on there.

The Xperia S is Sony's flagship for the first half of the year, with a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S3 CPU, 1GB RAM, a 720p "Realiy Display" screen, a 12MP rear camera and 32GB of internal storage. The Xperia P is the mid-range offering, with a 1GHz ST-Ericsson dual-core chip, a qHD display, an 8MP shooter and an aluminum shell. And the Xperia U is the tiny entry-level model, sporting a WVGA screen, a 5MP shooter and interchangeable plastic bottoms.

To Sony's credit, all three are well-built devices with some decent hardware inside, and in our reviews of the Xperia S, P and U, we praised Sony's build quality and hardware. But in a market accustomed to buying phones directly from carriers at subsidized prices, we think they're going to struggle to sell many of these. And the price point certainly won't help. Here's what you can expect to pay for the NXT series phones in the U.S. --

  • Xperia S – MSRP $559.99, unlocked, in black or white
  • Xperia P – MSRP $479.99, unlocked, in silver, red or black
  • Xperia U – MSRP $299.99, unlocked, in black or white

In a world where the Galaxy Nexus sells for $350, and the AT&T One X is yours for $549 off-contract, it's difficult to recommend Sony's Gingerbread-based offerings at these price points. We'd much rather see the faster, more attractive, ICS-toting Xperia GX land on Western shores, instead. In any case, you can find Sony's presser after the break.

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3 years ago

HTC One V software update brings with it compatibility with the Media Link HD

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Owners of the HTC One V may well soon receive a notification to update their devices software. The update to version 2.08.401.2 weighs in at 46.77MB, and brings with it in particular one rather tasty new feature. 

Support is included within for the HTC Media Link HD, HTC's wireless media streaming device. Not too shabby, and an excellent feature for the entry-level, yet handsome and feature packed One V. The usual caveats apply, in that if you bought a carrier unlocked version, you're most likely going to see this one first. Anyone with a carrier locked One V may have to wait a little while longer. 

To check if it's ready for you, head into your settings menu, then hit About>Software Updates>Check Now. And, if this now whets your appetite for the Media Link HD, be sure to check out our review

via Clove Technology

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3 years ago

Pick up the Sony Xperia P from Three UK today

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If you have been holding out to pick up the Sony Xperia P in the UK then today is your lucky day. The device is now available to order online with Three and will in in stores tomorrow.

You can pick up the Xperia P for free with a £27 per month, two-year contract and also on pay-as-you-go for just £289.99 which is reasonable enough considering the hardware.

We recently reviewed the handset and it performed very well. The only real downside was the fact it is shipping running Gingerbread. But fear not, as the Xperia P will get an update to Android 4.0, most likely to be next month.

If you're after a decent, mid sized, well specced Android device then you could do a lot worse than the Xperia P. You can catch the full press release from Three after the break.

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean ported to the HTC HD2

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The HTC HD2, the Swiss Army Knife of smartphones, now has a Jelly Bean port to play with. There's a list of things like the camera and video playback not working, so it's no daily driver just yet but the core functions -- data, Wifi, Bluetooth, and calls do work. Given the huge global developer support the HD2 has, we wouldn't be surprised if everything gets working in short order. Who needs Tango when you can have Jelly Bean?

Source: XDA-Developers. Thanks, Chris G.!

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3 years ago

HTC Desire C review

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HTC proves budget doesn't mean last generation software, with the £150 Desire C carrying Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense 4.0

When buying a smartphone on a budget, compromises often need to be made, usually with screen size, and quality, overall horsepower. But sadly, too often the user experience also suffers. However much you're spending on an Android phone, no-one wants to come away with a device running year-old software or a clunky manufacturer skin.

Enter HTC -- we've all seen the One series, the mammoth One X, the superb middle ground in the One S, and the entry offering in the One V. But there's now a younger sibling, the HTC Desire C. While it may be small, not to mention less spec-filled than many AC readers would be looking for, it offers up something that too many devices launched throughout the first half of 2012 have lacked -- Android 4.0. Not just that, the Desire C also brings HTC Sense 4.0 with it too -- and all for just £150. Sounds great, right? Find out how the Desire C measures up after the break.

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3 years ago

Building AOSP Jelly Bean for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - a tutorial [from the forums]

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We've seen the source code for Android 4.1.1 (affectionately known as Jelly Bean) drop from Google, and plenty of us were excited to see the Verizon Galaxy Nexus binaries were back online and available. Whether you're a Verizon subscriber or not, as an Android fan it's OK to get warm and fuzzy inside seeing more devices opened up for users. Nice work to all involved for getting the licensing worked out once again.

But seeing it there is only the first step. For many of us, half the fun of having a phone like the LTE GNex is building code and hacking the living crap out of it. If this sounds like you, there's a special treat waiting in the Verizon Galaxy Nexus forums -- the best damn AOSP building tutorial you'll ever see. I've written a few how-tos in my time, so I can say, with no remorse, that you won't find a more thorough, easier to understand, well-thought tutorial anywhere. Dmmarck is not just an AC forums moderator, he's a total nerd, and not afraid to let it shine. He walks you through setting up your machine, from the ground up, and in the end you'll have the satisfaction of flashing a build of Jelly Bean that you made yourself. It's the pinnacle for any Android geek with a Verizon Galaxy Nexus. The icing on this cake? Dylan is there, in the forums, all day every day, to answer your questions and walk you through when you get stuck. When doing this sort of thing for the first time, that's the key.

If you've got the hankering to do some Android building for your LTE GNex, and looking for a great place to start, you've found it. Hit the link, and be sure to give dmmarck a big thanks for his hard work!

[GUIDE][Ubuntu] Compiling Android from Source

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