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3 years ago

Motorola 'Droid Ultra' spotted on Motorola site


Thin, Kevlar-clad device mentioned on apparent placeholder site

If you listened to Android Central podcast 139 a couple of weeks back, you might've caught our own Phil Nickinson talking about the Motorola Droid Ultra, Droid Ultra Mini and Droid Ultra Maxx, a new line of Moto-built, Verizon-bound phones. The Ultra, according to our source, was to pack a 5-inch screen and be even thinner than the original Droid RAZR. Check out the clip below.

Today we've got some of the first signs that of the "Ultra" line's existence, in the form of what seems to be a placeholder page on Under the subheading "Think Thin," the Droid Ultra is described thusly —

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3 years ago

HTC One 4.2.2 OTA appears for international users in Taiwan


465MB update delivers Android 4.2.2 and brings the death of the dreaded black bar

A user with an international model HTC One in Taiwan just sent in some good news -- the 4.2.2 OTA has arrived for his phone. Nothing in the way of a change log is available from HTC just yet, but the update screen tells us a little bit. Besides the new API level that comes with 4.2.2, HTC has included:

  • Launcher bar enhancement
  • Widget panel rearrangement
  • New lock screen style and widget
  • Enhanced behavior of the home button
  • The death of the black bar
  • Battery percentage in the status bar
  • Quick settings
  • AE/AF enhancements in the camera

So far the only reports are coming from the Taiwan area, and I've been trying every trick I know to force anything on my developer edition. This follows the same trend we've seen before with the One X, where Taiwan and Singapore were the first to get the goods. 

There's no telling when we'll see carrier versions of the update, but knowing that HTC is finished with it should make everyone breathe a little easier. Hit the break for some screenshots of the new features.

Thanks, Alex!

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3 years ago

Firefox OS launches in Spain while Android reaches 70% market share


Is Firefox OS and their shockingly inexpensive entry point the key to a strong number three mobile OS? 

The ZTE Open officially launches in Spain July 2. It's the first available consumer version of a Firefox OS device, and the Internet is buzzing about its debut. With good reason -- the phone will sell for $90, and include $39 of prepaid airtime. That makes it a $51 dollar smartphone, and will be an easy sell for all those feature phone users out there. We're looking to get one, if only to satisfy my own curiosity.

Meanwhile, Android has reached a 70-percent share of the global smart phone market. Android is especially strong in Europe, right where the ZTE Open is launching. That's a big Goliath to Mozilla's David, and in a world of cheap prepaid Android phones can the fledgling Firefox OS compete? It's all going to come down to one thing -- the apps.

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3 years ago

How to sign out of the new Skype 4.0 for Android


Skype has done fine work with its new Version 4.0 on Android, bringing about some badly needed performance improvements as well as a redesign. But in doing so, it's buried the sign-out button, as well as the settings — two things that absolutely need to be in the top level of the user interface.

Here's how to get to them:

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3 years ago

Using the Samsung Galaxy S4 with stock Android


After two months with TouchWiz, what's it like to go 'stock' on Samsung's latest smartphone?

The running joke whenever we discuss the Google Play edition Galaxy S4 is that you can sum things up in just one sentence — it’s the Galaxy S4, with stock Android. Really, if you understand the vanilla “Nexus” UI, as it exists on the Nexus 4, and you understand the Galaxy S4’s hardware, as it exists on the Samsung version, then you already know everything you need to about this product. There are no real surprises lurking. What you see is what you get. It’s the Galaxy S4, with stock Android.

I’ve been using the GS4 in some form or another since I reviewed the Sprint version in New York City in April. Back then the device had some serious software issues, not least of which was the persistent, maddening lag that plagued the Samsung UI. Since picking up the European version I’ve watched things improve with successive software updates, and Samsung’s flavor of Android is now as speedy as I’d expect it to be — almost as fast as stock, in fact. So how does that compare to the vanilla, unblemished Google experience? Read on to find out.

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3 years ago

Verizon HTC One pictured


4G​ LTE branding gives away Big Red's HTC One

Prolific Twitter leaker @evleaks has just posted an image of Verizon Wireless' HTC One — and unsurprisingly it looks like an HTC One, on Verizon. In fact, the only thing to give away this HTC One as belonging to Big Red is its 4G LTE logo in the status bar. Besides that, there's no front-facing indicator that this is a Verizon phone — the space between the phone's two buttons is still occupied by HTC's own branding. We're willing to bet there'll be some Verizon signage around the back, though.

Unfortunately here's still no indication as to when we can expect the Verizon HTC One's arrival.  The carrier has announced that it'll offer the One for sale starting "later this summer," but that's as specific as anyone's getting. Fingers crossed that Verizon customers will be able to pick up the phone before the early September date in today's leaked render.

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

Qi wireless charger showdown


We take a look at three popular Qi wireless charging solutions and put them head to head in Jerry's bedroom

Qi (pronounced Chee, and is totally a word no matter what Words with Friends says) is a wireless standard developed in 2009 by the Wireless Power Consortium. The standard itself covers inductive power transfer over short distances -- up to four centimeters -- and uses a electromagnet embedded in a transmission pad to induce current in a coil on the back of the thing you're charging. In our case, that means a Nexus 4 smartphone.

With big-name device makers like Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola and Nokia (as well as others) using the standard, it is slowly emerging as the winner in the obscure wireless charging war that goes on in cubicles all over the world. Long live Qi! On a serious note, it's an open standard with over 100 companies in Asia, Europe and North America cooperating to set a good standard that everyone can implement. That's good for business, and good for consumers in the long run. Of course, there will always be companies that buck the trend and take another path, but for now if you're going to spend your hard-earned money on a wireless charger that you should be able to use for the life of multiple devices, Qi charging is the way to go.

Because it's a standard, there are quite a few different companies making the base stations (a fancy term for the charging pad). I took a look at the three most popular and put them head to head to see which one I'd recommend. While I used a Nexus 4 for my tests, these chargers should work for any Qi-compatible phone with a flat back. Jump past the break and see who wins the Qi charger showdown.

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3 years ago

Fresh Sony Xperia i1 'Honami' leak shows more hardware details


A couple of days back we got our first look at what could be Sony's upcoming 20-megapixel "cameraphone," the Xperia i1, or "Honami." In addition to a beastly rear camera, alleged specs for the future Sony flagship include a Snapdragon 800 CPU and a 5-plus-inch display.

Today we're seeing fresh images of the device cropping up on Just Another Mobile Blog. The site shows a device matching the earlier "Honami" leaks, while revealing new hardware details, such as a microSD slot, an Xperia Z Ultra-like magnetic charging port and a dedicated camera key (natch). The report also claims the final version device will ship with a Xenon flash rather than the LED flash pictured.

Aside from the specs, Sony's clearly still utilizing its "Omnibalance" design language in its latest product, and the device pictured would look right at home alongside the manufacturer's current line-up. We've heard through our own sources that a Q3 launch is likely for the product, so hopefully we won't have to wait too long to find out more.

Source: Just Another Mobile Blog; via: GSMArena

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3 years ago

Hands-on with leaked Android 4.3 ROM for the Google edition Galaxy S4 [Updated]


First glimpse of the next version of Android looks a lot like what's come before

There's a leaked Android 4.3 Jelly Bean ROM out in the wild this morning, in the form of a pre-release build for the 'Google Play edition' Galaxy S4. It's also been ported to the European LTE Samsung Galaxy S4 (GT-i9505) in the form of a custom ROM, courtesy of the original source of the leak, Samsung fansite SamMobile.

We've fired up that ROM on our European GS4 and shot a quick hands-on video, giving an early glimpse of the next version of Android. And, well, it looks an awful lot like the current version of Android, supporting earlier reports that 4.3's changes are mostly under-the-hood, rather than user-facing. That means for the most part, we're dealing with the same user experience found on the current Google Play edition GS4.

Check out our video after the break, along with a list of behind-the-scenes changes we've noticed.

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3 years ago

Android 4.3 leaks for 'Google Play edition' Galaxy S4


The next version of Jelly Bean has leaked for the 'Google Play edition' GS4 — and there's a port for the European GS4 model already

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean isn't even official yet, but already a leaked build has appeared for the Samsung Galaxy S4 "Google Play edition." The pre-release build was uploaded by Samsung fansite SamMobile in its original form, and in the form of a custom ROM for the European Galaxy S4 — GT-i9505.

The initial batch of screnshots from the ROM (build number JWR66N) doesn't show any major differences from version 4.2.2, however we'll have to reserve judgment until we've played with the software for ourselves. For the moment, however, 4.3 looks to be a relatiely minor bump up from 4.2.

We'll bring you more coverage of this story as it unfolds.

Source: SamMobile (1, 2)

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3 years ago

Huawei 'analyzing the possibility' of 'Google edition' Ascend P6


Despite earlier denials, Huawei reportedly now says it's looking into the possibility of a 'Google Play edition' P6

At his company's flashy London launch event for its new Ascend P6 handset last week, Huawei Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu told journalists in no uncertain terms that the manufacturer wasn't interested in putting out a "Google edition" version of the product it'd just announced. But today we're seeing signs of a turnaround, as UK tech blog Pocket-Lint reports that another Huawei exec has said such a device is very much within the realms of possibility.

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3 years ago

HTC unveils 'glamor red' HTC One


Third color option launches in the UK from mid-July

HTC has announced the launch of the HTC One in a new color option — 'glamor red.' It's the same phone we know and love in a fancy new color, and in the UK it'll be available from mid-July exclusively at Phones 4u. Currently there's no word as to whether any U.S. carriers will pick up the red version.

The red variant, which leaked out briefly a few months back, will join the existing silver and (somewhat more elusive) black versions of HTC's flagship. We've got more pictures, along with today's presser, after the break.

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3 years ago

Google Play edition device kernel sources now available for download


Sources required to be available under the GPL are now ready for devs to take a look at

Right on time, the full kernel sources for both the HTC One and Galaxy S4 Google Play edition devices are ready for download courtesy of links from JBQ on the Android Building Group. For the enterprising developers that want (or need) it to work with for a deeper understanding of these two devices, the kernel source is a big resource to have available. This isn't at all unexpected, however, as the terms of the GPL require that it be made freely available.

It should also be noted that the availability of the kernel source for these devices doesn't mean that we have a full ROM or any proprietary binaries available. Things in this area are understandably still a little murky, and while we surely hope that those additional files that would give users a complete working ROM will be offered, nothing is guaranteed.

If you are someone who has a need for the kernel source and want to get right into it, you can grab a direct download for both devices from the "download" links below. HTCdev is also hosting an independent download from its own site for the HTC One.

Source: Android Building Group

Downloads: HTC One / (HTCdev); Galaxy S4

HTC One Google Edition Forums | Galaxy S4 Google Edition Forums

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3 years ago

US Cellular launches ZTE Imperial for $0.01 on-contract


Another standard low-end device to round out the carrier's LTE lineup

U.S. Cellular is adding the 14th LTE-capable device to its lineup starting today with the ZTE Imperial, a low-end device selling for just $0.01 on-contract. The Imperial is an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean device with a 4-inch WVGA (480x800) display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, sizeable 2500mAh battery, 5MP camera and 4GB of on-board storage (with SDcard support). The software appears to be a relatively basic interpretation of Jelly Bean, along with three capacitive navigation keys to control it.

The ZTE Imperial rounds out the low-end of U.S. Cellular's lineup, with an off-contract price of just $299 although most will end up grabbing it with a 2-year agreement for just a penny. The carrier says it is targeting the device at the first-time smart phone user, and it has a price and feature set that reflects that.

Source: U.S. Cellular

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3 years ago

Google Play edition HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 now on sale!


HTC One runs $599, Samsung Galaxy S4 is $649

Today's the day, and now's the time. The Google Play edition — that's the official name, by the way — Samsung Galaxy Galaxy S4 and HTC One are now on sale directly from Google Play.

These are full-price devices, each upwards of $600, running "stock"-ish Android 4.2.2, which is the latest version of Android released. We say "stock"-ish because, well, "stock" Android means all sorts of things. Anyhoo. You get the Android experience in the purest sense of the word with these devices, and with a couple extra thrown in. (Namely, Beats Audio on the HTC One, and the Samsung flip cover clock on the Galaxy S4.)

The 32-gigabyte HTC One costs $599, and the 16-gigabyte Samsung Galaxy S4 runs $649. You can order both from the devices section at Google Play. And it's worth mentioning that Google Play has a pretty horrible track record when it comes to up-time during major device launches. So if your order starts to hiccup, hang tight, and be patient. It's also worth a reminder that these are U.S.-only for now.

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