We heard last week that US Cellular would be carrying the Huawei Ascend II -- a 3.5-inch candy bar style Android phone running Gingerbread -- and today they have made it available at the low price of free on a new agreement and after rebates. While the Ascend II isn't a powerhouse (it has a Qualcomm MSM7627 at 600MHz) it has specs that make it more than acceptable to most folks. It's nice to see a more consumer-friendly company like US Cellular getting closer with Android, and it's clearly what a lot of people want. If you're interested in grabbing one of these free Android phones, hit the link and have a look.
With CES looming, we've already heard our fair share of rumors about upcoming Sony Ericsson handsets, including leaked photos of the "Xperia Arc HD" and specs for the elusive LTE-toting LT28at. A recent trademark filing may provide some further clues about Sony Ericsson's branding for future devices, as shortly before the holidays the manufacturer applied for the "Xperia Ion" trademark in the U.S., for use in connection with "mobile phones".
It should be noted that a trademark filing is far from a guarantee that a product with this name will see the light of day. However the timing -- and the fact that we've yet to hear any reliable info about SE's 2012 Xperia branding -- suggests that the unveiling of an "Xperia Ion" phone could be on the cards for next month's CES, or February's Mobile World Congress.
Samsung announced today that it has reached a respectable milestone with its Galaxy Note tablet/smartphone hybrid, citing one million units shipped globally to date.What makes the figure even more impressive is that the Note isn't officially available yet in one of Samsung's largest markets-- the United States. The Galaxy Note is currently gaining in popularity in France, Germany, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Samsung says, and will hit American shores "next year." Hit the source link for Samsung's full statement, via its Flickr account.
While I spend a lot of time checking apps out so that I may share them with you all, friends and family and just generally know what I'm talking about it, fact is -- I rarely stray away from my main ones. I'm a creature of habit, and once I find something I like I find it hard to move on to something else. My main apps of choice may interest you though, and if that is the case -- jump on past the break to see what I use most often.
Did Santa leave you a shiny new Sony Ericsson smartphone under the Christmas tree? If so and you live in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain or the UK, Sony would like to give you 5 free movies and 90 days free access to their Music Unlimited service.
The offer is in fact open to anyone who takes ownership of a current Xperia smartphone or the Live with Walkman handset between Nov. 1, 2011, and Jan. 31, 2012. If you qualify, hit the source link for more information.
HTC has updated their Developer site's bootloader unlock page, and the news is good:
All HTC Android devices launched after September 2011 are unlockable. The website will be updated accordingly to reflect this in the coming weeks. We continue to work on models launched prior to September 2011, please check back often for the status of older devices.
We still don't know when Verizon's going to announce the Droid 4. One possibilty would be at CES in a couple weeks, which would make since because by all accounts the thing's ready to go, and Verizon and Motorola are known for making a splash in Vegas. On the other hand, Verizon's kind of in the doghouse over its LTE network -- again. So we also wouldn't be surprised to see launches delayed while that gets sorted out -- again.
If you've ever wanted to build a ROM yourself from scratch and happen to love CyanogenMod, there's a new tool that you might want to have a look at -- the CyanogenMod compiler. What it does is build CM for your phone, without you having to do anything more than enter a number or two. Once you set up your computer (the instructions even cover that part), you can download a set of scripts that do all the hard work for you. When it's all said and done, you'll have a nice little package you can flash via recovery, and have your own home-brewed CyanogenMod.
And that might not be a good thing. What you have will be no different than the latest nightly build, except that you had to spend time doing it yourself, and won't get any help from the CM team when things foul up. Building from scratch is fun, there's no doubt about it, but this isn't just a one-click rooter tool -- it's going to take a long (as in loooooooooong) time to give you something you could have just downloaded more quickly in the first place.
Anyways, if you used a one-click rooter, then flashed a recovery in one click through ROM Manager, you now have a one-click (almost) ROM builder. It does happen to be great work, and lithid did a hell of a job with it. I'm just afraid of what you guys (and gals) will break with this one. Now that I'm done with the grandfatherly advice being the old curmudgeon, hit the source link to have a look -- and stay off my lawn!
I'm not a big app guy, I'll admit. I like to check them out, and maybe even keep them around for a week or so, but there's just a few I keep around forever. I do happen to like buying them and checking them out, though, so I go through a lot of them. Here's my list of "keepers." Check them out after the break.
In the continuing story of "Nobody knows what the hell's going on with the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab," (see Part 1 and Part 2) a new report out of Korea suggests that the manufacturer's 2010 flagship devices may receive a "Value Pack" update instead of a full-fledged refresh to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The "Value Pack" -- we'd expect a better name once all the translation and marketing is done -- would bring some of the sex of ICS without the hastle of an actual OS update.
That's probably a good middle ground, if indeed it is the case. It's not going to silence those who won't settle for anything less than Android 4.0, of course. But for the vast majority out there (who likely wouldn't really notice the difference anyway), it's a compromise worth exploring.
The obtusely named PRADA phone by LG 3.0 is now available in South Korea, the manufacturer announced today. It'll be released in most European nations and in other parts of Asia in January.
As you'll recall from our hands-on with the phone earlier this month, the PRADA phone by LG 3.0 (seriously, we're just calling it PRADA 3.0 from here on out) is running a unique UI on top of Android 2.3 Gingerbread, has a 4.3-inch display at 480x800 resolution and 800 nits of brightness, 8GB of onboard storage, a 1GHz processor and a 1540 mAh battery.
We've got our hands-on video and the full press release after the break.
Only, does anyone really think Samsung doesn't already know if it's technically feasible to put Ice Cream Sandwich on the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab? Is it really possible Samsung explained why they won't get it without actually trying first?
Nah. If in fact Samsung's taking another look at things, it's because someone's finally starting to put a dollar value on the backlash received worldwide after it announced that its wildly popular 2010 flagship devices were being left behind. Never mind that year-old tech is still year-old tech (even if it is good year-old tech).
And keep in mind we're still talking about things on a global scale here. Even if Samsung changes its mind and figures out how to get ICS on the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab in a timely and economical manner, we have zero idea of what the U.S. carriers -- not really known for update expediency -- will do to their aging lines. After all, some phones didn't start getting Gingerbread until the last quarter of this year.
Sony Ericsson today is sending out e-mails reminding folks (or chaps, since the e-mail we received was sent to our UK operation) that it's shutting down its Sony Ericcson Sync service on Dec. 29. The good news, of course, is that you can (and really should) sync all the same stuff with your Google account, including your contacts and calendars, along with, well, every thing else Android does extremely well.
So, you've got a couple days left to get it down. SE's worked up some instructions to ease the transition. Give 'em a look.
If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our forums always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. This week's winners are as posted after the break, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up shortly. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to this week's winners!
The folks at Max MP have released version 2.0 of PowerAmp, their excellent music player for Android. We've loved PowerAmp in it's previous versions, and 2.0 looks to be a great update with improved media scanning, Samsung Galaxy Nexus support, and SD card mounting fixes. Add this to their list of great features, like tag editing, theme support, scrobbling, and that amazing graphical EQ and you have one of the best music players for mobile on any platform. You can download the 15-day trial version of PowerAmp after the break, and the full version costs $4.99. PowerAmp requires Android 2.1 or higher.
To help celebrate they also have a new Twitter account and a contest to give away 32GB microSD cards to store some music on. The contest starts Friday Dec. 30 at noon Central time, and ends Jan.1 at midnight Central. Follow @PowerAmp2 for the full details.
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