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3 years ago

Verizon's Galaxy S III looks to have a protected bootloader

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Oh Verizon, why must you constantly mess with perfection? Hackers with early access to the Verizon Galaxy S III have discovered that the phone has a protected bootloader -- meaning no easy hacking or flashing unsigned images. This is in stark contrast to the rest of the Galaxy S III phones, or previous phones in the Galaxy series, or any other Samsung-built Android phone known to mankind. 

Not all hope is lost, but things are looking pretty bleak. It's possible a different version of Odin is needed, or there's an issue with the way the images are being packed, but it truly looks like the bootloader is locked up in typical Verizon fashion. Now this doesn't mean the phone won't ever get rooted or hacked. It just means that it won't be as easy as is typical with Samsung phones, and trickery will need be involved like HTC or Motorola phones on Big Red. 

And no, we don't know what prompted Verizon's decision to go this way, but I've asked for some clarification. My guess is that they will point to the Galaxy Nexus when they hear the word "hacking". Hell of a way to start the weekend, isn't it?

Source: XDA. via Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Appeals court delays Galaxy Nexus ban

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A federal appeals court today said that Google and Samsung can resume selling the Galaxy Nexus while awaiting a response from Apple, Bloomberg reported this afternoon. The temporary stay is in effect until Apple responds on July 12.

The case reached the appeals level after U.S. District Judge in the past week ruled that Android was infringing on a search patent owned by Apple (also known as the '604 or "Siri" patent) and that the Galaxy Nexus could no longer be sold until the infringing feature was removed or changed.

Google on Tuesday listed the Galaxy Nexus as "Coming soon" in the Google Play store, and it remains that way as of this writing. Google earlier this week told ABC News that it expects to have a workaround next week, and that the Galaxy Nexus should resume shipping then.

Source: Bloomberg

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia S, P and Sola arrive SIM-free in the U.S.

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The Xperia P and Xperia S have been available for some time in Europe, and today both phones make their debut in the United States. If you want either phone, you'll have to stump up the full SIM-free price, as neither is available subsidized on-contract. The Xperia P selling for $479.99 in black, silver and red at the Sony online store, while Newegg offers it for a slightly more reasonable $388.99. The Xperia S (in black and white) can only be found on Newegg at this stage, and comes with a similarly eye-watering price of $469.99. Meanwhile, the Xperia Sola, which has yet to launch in Europe, is available for $299.99.

We'll be honest here -- we don't think either phone is going to be a smash hit at its current price points, especially in a marketplace where Sony isn't well established as a smartphone manufacturer, and where consumers are used to subsidized phones at the $100-200 level. It also doesn't help that Sony's charging top dollar for what amounts to last-generation tech -- the Xperia S and Xperia P feature fairly low-powered dual-core CPUs and run Android 2.3 Gingerbread. In addition, you'll only be able to use them on AT&T's 3G and HSPA+ network in the U.S., due to radio limitations.

In any case, if you absolutely must have a Sony smartphone, and the Xperia Ion doesn't float your boat, you can now pay an inordinate amount of cash to own one of your very own. Just make sure you check out our reviews of the Xperia S and Xperia P before you part with your cash.

Source: Sony Store, Newegg; via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III available in stores today

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Can't take the wait anymore? Need to get your hands on that brand new AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III, and shipping just wasn't for you? As of today the Galaxy S III is available in your local AT&T store for your purchasing pleasure. Whether still on the fence, or just need something to get you a little more excited about it, be sure to check out our full review, and then get yourself up and head to your local AT&T store. Deciding on the device may be the easy part, but picking the color, that will be the challenge. 

Will you be heading to your AT&T store to pick one up for yourself today or this weekend and if so which color will you be taking home?

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3 years ago

Fresh Galaxy Note 2 rumors suggest IFA launch, 5.5-inch screen

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The Samsung Galaxy Note is one of the surprise success stories of the past year, and as a successful product, it's no surprise to see rumors of successor circulating. The latest Galaxy Note 2 reports give some pause for thought, however. Korean news site MK says it's talked with "an official familiar with Samsung's product development," and is claiming to have details of the next Galaxy Note, including some tentative hardware specs, and news that it'll launch at this year's IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Germany.

The IFA news isn't too surprising when you consider that's where the original Note made its debut in 2011. But the reported spec list makes for tantalizing reading -- a 5.5-inch screen, quad-core CPU and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean are all claimed for the Galaxy Note 2. And there's the suggestion that the camera may be upgraded to a 12 or 13MP unit, compared to the 8MP sensor in the original Note. Interestingly, Samsung's thinner, lighter Unbreakable Plane (UBP) display tech will apparently not be debuting in the next Galaxy Note, with the manufacturer instead opting to save it for the next major product, MK says.

If the Note 2 does launch at IFA, we can probably expect a Q4 international release, which would tie in with MK's​ reports that the new phone-tablet hybrid will be positioned to compete against Apple's next iPhone.

Given the popularity of the original Note, a successor was always going to be on the cards, and everything MK​ is reporting certainly sounds feasible. Whatever Samsung shows at IFA this August, we'll be there to bring you full, live coverage

Source: MK.co.kr

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia 'LT30' details teased by Bluetooth SIG

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Since the arrival of the Xperia S in February, we haven't heard much in the way of high-end international phones from Sony. It looks like that might change in the near future, however, as today a new Sony device has cropped up in a  Bluetooth Special Interest Group  product listing, revealing a few tantalizing details.

The Bluetooth SIG product description indicates that the Sony "LT30" is "part of the premium product line", featuring "an attractive 'ARC' design with metal back cover." That certainly sounds a lot like the Xperia GX, which will be launching on Japan's NTT Docomo this month. Other details include a fairly complete list of specs -- a 4.6-inch 720p Bravia Engine screen, 1080p video recording, MHL capability, a 13MP rear camera and 720o-supporting front-facer. Approximate dimensions also place it in the same ballpark as the Xperia GX, as it apparently measures roughly 68 x129 x 9 mm and weighs 140 grams.

There's no indication as to where this product will end up appearing, but the lack of any suffix after LT30 (for example, i for international or a for Americas) suggest this thing may see release in multiple territories. Rumors also suggest that the LT30 is the same phone as the purported "Mint" codenamed device that first showed up in a leaked roadmap back in January. If that's the case, it'll likely be a high-end device with a ~€550 price tag.

Source: Bluetooth SIG; via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

Maybe that unibody design wasn't such a bad idea ... (Breaking the EVO's back)

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On the other hand, my daughter says this broken-backed EVO 4G LTE would make a cool lounge chair for her dolls. And before anybody freaks out, this is just one phone, and things happen. But that doesn't make it any less dramatic.

How'd it happen? Says Pew446:

What happened? Well, I was in a parade, shootin people with squirt guns from the back of a Scion, I had my phone in the cupholder behind me, and things were uncomfortable so I leaned back.. *CRUNCH*

Parades: Harmless fun? Or smartphone menace? You decide!

There's another pic of the aftermath after the break.

Source: EVO 4G LTE forums

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3 years ago

International Galaxy S III gets second OTA update, finally adds brightness slider

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Galaxy S III Video Maker now available through Samsung Apps, too

As we mentioned in our full review, one of our pet peeves with the Samsung Galaxy S III is the way automatic brightness always defaults to too low a level, combined with the fact that there's no brightness widget or control in the notification area. And it looks like Samsung's heard our complaints, as a second over-the-air update for the international Galaxy S III adds a dedicated brightness control to the notification area, allowing S III owners to set a level manually, or enable auto-brightness.

We're also noticing that the base levels for automatic brightness seems to be a little higher than before, which we're sure S III owners will see as a welcome change. In addition, it seems that there's a new icon for daylight savings in the clock widget, as well as a freshly-baked kernel and radio firmware. The new software version is still based on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, build IMM76D.

What's more, Samsung Video Maker app, absent from the Galaxy S III at launch, is now available via Samsung Apps under the "More Services" section, weighing in at 34MB.

If you're an unlocked Galaxy S III owner in the UK, you'll be able to grab the new update to firmware version XXLFB from Samsung's Kies desktop application.

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3 years ago

HTC Q2 2012 financials show 57.8 percent fall in net profits

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HTC has announced its unaudited second quarter financial results this morning, showing earnings in line with its previous Q2 earnings guidance, which had been revised down. In stark contrast to Samsung's record profits, From March to June, HTC generated revenues of NT$91.0 billion (~$3.04 billion), while net income after tax was NT$7.4 billion (~$247 million). This represents a 57.8 percent fall from the second quarter of 2011, during which HTC raked in a net income of NT$17.52 billion (~$586 million).

HTC's had a rough time financially over the past six months, due to strong smartphone competition from the likes of Samsung and Apple. In its earlier revenue guidance, the manufacturer blamed the lower-than-expected profits on lackluster European sales, as well as trouble getting some HTC One phones past customs in the U.S.

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 10 will be Jelly Bean

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That's a question many folks have been asking since Jelly Bean was announced at Google I/O 2012 and there really hasn't been a definitive answer to point people to. Now though, we're getting a better look at where the CyanogenMod team will be headed as they've now had some time to sit down, work some stuff out and look at the bigger picture.

As highlighted on the CyanogenMod Google+ page, there was a lot to consider when looking at where to take CyanogenMod. While some stuff will make and easy transition, other things will take a bit more time and as always, ETA's will not be given out. All things noted are subject to change considering the source code for Android 4.1 is not yet available:

  • On Jelly Bean - Unless you have been internet deprived lately, you are aware that Android 4.1 aka Jelly Bean (JB) is due out in the coming weeks. Which inevitably leads to the question: How does this affect me CyanogenMod? Now, to preface this, we do not have our hands on the source code, and things in this post may change dependent on analysis of the code first hand and the impacts. That said, we do have a general understanding of the changes and what we can expect, and this post serves to highlight the key changes.
  • CyanogenMod Next - Many have asked whether JB will be CM9.1 or CM10. Keeping with the pattern thus far, every newly named AOSP update results in a bump to the CM major version. This has the added benefit of fitting into the pattern of [insert codename position in the english alphabet] = CM version. Examples being: G is the 7th letter thus CM7, I is the 9th letter thus CM9 and J = 10.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. No matter how you look at it, all recent versions CyanogenMod will continue to be maintained and improved upon for quite some time. Those looking for a Jelly Bean based version however, now have something to look forward to as time goes on. For now though, the obvious focus is to get stable builds of CM9 out there for folks to enjoy and make use.

Source: CyanogenMod

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean feature: A buttery new home screen launcher

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Following its total re-vamp in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google has spent the past six months fine-tuning the stock Android launcher in version 4.1, Jelly Bean. A couple of changes to the way icons and widgets are added and managed, in addition to some serious speed improvements, make for a much more usable launcher in the new version of Android.

Firstly, home screen elements now intelligently move and resize each other to fit into the allocated space on the home screen. For example, if there's a stray icon in the way of a large widget you want to place down, you're no longer required to move or delete it before doing so. Instead, the Jelly Bean launcher lets you bump existing elements out of the way as you drag new stuff onto the screen.  (You'll know if something's about to be moved, as it'll wiggle ever so slightly in its new position.) Similarly, you can also budge icons and widgets around when resizing existing stuff, and when you're moving a large widget into a smaller space, it'll shrink down to fit the available home screen real estate.

Jelly Bean also introduces a neat new gesture for removing unwanted icons and widgets from your home screens -- when you've got them selected by long pressing, you can throw them away by flinging quickly towards the edge of the screen.

The second big launcher change in Jelly Bean is probably the most noticeable -- the improvement in speed, as part of what Google's dubbed "Project Butter". This is the overarching name for all the different techniques that've been employed to improve perceived performance by cutting down on lag and stuttery transition animations, and the impact on the launcher is dramatic to say the least. The 3D app drawer animation, previously prone to lag in ICS, is silky smooth in Jelly Bean. And live wallpapers which slowed things to a crawl on Android 4.0 now glide along effortlessly.

There's a redesigned Google search bar, of course, but this functions just as it does in ICS, launching you into either voice search or Google search. The app behind this has changed too in Jelly Bean, but we'll show off those changes in a future article.

For a complete walkthrough of the new and improved Android 4.1 Jelly Bean launcher on the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7, check out our hands-on video after the break. And be sure to check out our other Jelly Bean feature showcases if you haven't already.

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3 years ago

TELUS lists the HTC One X as 'coming soon'

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Typically in Canada when a device launches, it launches across multiple carriers due to the fact all major players are now running GSM. In some instances though, there is an exclusive offer made for a period of time and such is the case with the HTC One X and Rogers. Rogers was the first carrier is Canada to launch the device but that exclusivity looks to be dropping off soon as TELUS has now posted the HTC One X under their "coming soon" category. No actual release dates or pricing have been outlined as of yet but surely pricing will be on par with that of Rogers and rumors suggest a release could happen as early as July 6th. We'll let you all know when we see it go live on the TELUS site.

Source: TELUS via: Mobile Syrup

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Nexus to resume shipping next week

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The Samsung Galaxy Nexus -- which is still listed on the Google Play Devices site but was relegated to "Coming soon" status this week because of a federal injunction stemming from an Apple patent lawsuit -- should resume shipping next week, Google told ABC News

The official listing for the "Pure Google" device now says "Soon with Android 4.1, Jelly Bean," and it had been shipping up until late Tuesday, following a federal judge's ruling that a preliminary injunction against the device would not be stayed. While Apple's lawsuit isn't scheduled to go to trial until the spring of 2014, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Samsung was unlikely to win, and that the PI was to stand. Google, for its part, had said it had a fix in the works, so we figured any delay in shipping would be brief, and that appears to be the case.

That also means that we likely will see an update push out over the air to existing devices, though what Google intends to change remains unclear. The lawsuit stemmed from the famed infamous '604 patent (aka the "Siri" patent), which protects searching multiple sources from a single interface, and using heuristics for the results. That's what Siri does, and it's also what Google's search bar does. It's not yet known whether the search bar will be removed (a drastic measure, to be sure), or if Google will change the way it searches and parses results.

Source: ABC News; More: Google Play Devices

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3 years ago

Quad-core, 2GB, LTE Samsung Galaxy S III hitting Korea on July 9

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Looks like Samsung was saving the best Galaxy S III for last -- and for its home territory of South Korea. A post on the Samsung Tomorrow blog reveals that the manufacturer is preparing to launch the S III in Korea with a quad-core Exynos 4 CPU, 2GB of RAM and 4G LTE connectivity. Compare that to the European version, which sports quad-core Exynos, but no 4G and only 1GB of RAM, or the North American model, featuring LTE and 2GB of RAM, but a dual-core Snapdragon CPU instead.

The Korean Galaxy S III will launch on the SK Telecom, Korea Telecom and LG U+ carriers, with different radios to suit each network. The trade-off for this extra connectivity and power is that the Korean S III is a little bulkier, weighing 4.88 oz compared to 4.7 for the international model, and measuring 9mm thick versus 8.6mm elsewhere. Other specs remain identical -- same 8MP rear camera, 4.8-inch HD SuperAMOLED screen and TouchWiz'd Android 4.0. There's also 32GB of internal storage.

Given the specific hardware and radios needed for the Korean market, it's unlikely that Samsung will ship these units internationally, and don't expect to be able to use it on any American or European networks if you do import one. If you're in Korea, though, you're in luck -- you'll be able to pick up the mother of all Galaxy S IIIs from July 9.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean feature: Sending photos and videos over Android Beam

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In Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Android Beam -- that's the NFC-based device-to-device transfer service -- has been augmented to support sending photo and video content. This is done from within the Gallery app, and can be activated by holding two NFC (Near-Field Communication)-supporting Jelly Bean devices back-to-back while one has an image or video open. Then, when prompted, tap the screen to send, just like earlier Android Beam incarnations. File transfers themselves are handled by Bluetooth, so depending on your device's Bluetooth version support, your transfer speeds may vary. However, it is nice to see the hassle associated with Bluetooth file transfers all but eliminated thanks to NFC and Android Beam.

Android Beam's latest upgrade also means it can support transferring multiple files. Simply long press on a photo or video in the Gallery app, select as many items as you like, then hold the devices back-to-back to send. Like we said, though, the fact that Bluetooth is used for all the heavy lifting means that you probably won't want to send too much stuff over Android Beam if you can help it. In our experience, though, it's worked out pretty well for smaller stuff.

We should note, however, that while the new Android Beam shares a lot in common with the Samsung Galaxy S III's S Beam, the two technologies aren't compatible. Samsung's uses Wifi Direct for file transfers after an NFC connection has been established, compared to Android Beam's Bluetooth. So sending photos from a Jelly Bean-equipped Galaxy Nexus to an ICS-running Galaxy S III won't be possible. (And actually, this may present something of a technical headache when the S III eventually gets Jelly Bean.)

In any case, if you want to check out how this all works in more detail, you can find out hands-on video of photo and video transfers over Android Beam after the break.

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