Headlines

2 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest winner: Sunset or sunrise

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The winner of this week's Android Central photo contest is Travis Detweiler with his picture of sunrise over Tampa Bay.  Taken with his HTC EVO 3D while heading out into the gulf to catch a few Amberjack and Grouper.  Travis says he didn't use any particular camera app or effects, just the camera as-is on his 3VO.  He captured the theme and framed the perfect shot.  Congrats, Travis!

We had well over a thousand entries, and while it took a while to look through them all it was quite enjoyable -- you guys and gals can take some awesome pictures.  We've collected the 10 runners-up for you to enjoy as well, hit the break to see them.  Don't forget, we're starting up a new round tomorrow, so keep an eye out.  

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2 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Nexus Touchstone Mod [from the forums]

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If you're a dyed-in-the-wool modder, here's a great weekend project -- modifying your Verizon Galaxy Nexus to work with the HP Touchstone.  I'll tell you right up front -- this one isn't for the faint-hearted.  It involves breaking the case open and voiding your warranty.  But AC member ohiomoto has a beautiful step-by-step to guide you through, and there's no need for a soldering iron.  Things are always fine if you don't have to break out the soldering iron ...

Anyways, it's a cool mod that allows you to use what may be the best thing Palm ever invented.  We've seen it done for some other phones, and now it's big daddy Nexus' turn.  If you're a bit handy, check out the forum link and have a look.  Thanks, ohiomoto!

Source: Galaxy Nexus forums

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2 years ago

Photon 4G owners wanted -- Motorola is looking for software testers

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Motorola has made an official request for "Pre-release software testers" of an unknown update for the Motorola Photon 4G.  This is standard practice for Motorola, who likes to slowly roll out their final builds to a select few in what they call a "soak test".  This gives Motorola (and the carriers) a bigger set of eyeballs looking for any potential bugs that limited internal testing just didn't find.  

In the past we've seen soak tests for updates both big and small, so there's no knowing exactly what this one is going to be.  We can't see the future, but I don't think this one will be Ice Cream Sandwich.  But any update is good news as long as it makes things better.  Motorola needs a thousand testers, and I think you guys are up to the challenge -- hit the source link and sign up!

Source: Motorola.  Thanks, Deaofly!

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2 years ago

Sony Ericsson ST25i 'Kumquat' pic leaks, is Mini-Me to Xperia S's Dr. Evil

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We saw plenty of the Xperia S before it officially surfaced at CES, and we've already seen leaked photos of the MT27i "Pepper", along with a purported leaked roadmap for other Sony phones. Today, though, XperiaBlog has the first image of at what is reportedly the Sony (Ericsson) ST25i "Kumquat", a mid to high-end Android phone with a 3.5-inch display and a familiar industrial design.

The "Kumquat", which according to the leaked roadmap is due this April at a ~€260 price point, is apparently powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, with a 5MP camera and a qHD (960x540) display. If the rumored specs and price are correct -- and admittedly that's still a pretty big "if" -- this device could be very tempting for those looking for a smaller, more portable smartphone with high-end specs.

Hopefully we'll see more of the "Kumquat" at Sony's Mobile World Congress presentation in just a few weeks, where the manufacturer looks set to reveal more of its 2012 line-up.

Source: XperiaBlog

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2 years ago

AT&T's Samsung Galaxy Note passes through FCC

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The Samsung Galaxy Note that we already know is coming to AT&T, has passed through the FCC.  There's absolutely no surprises -- we see the 21Mbps UMTS/HSPA+, GSM 850/1900, and band 4 and 17 LTE radios, along with NFC, Wifi and Bluetooth.  Now all we need to know is when the SGH-i717 will go up for sale -- all we've officially heard is "the coming weeks".  Even though it's not a surprise, we're still pumped to see this one stateside.

Source: FCC

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2 years ago

Hurry: HTC EVO View 4G still on sale at 1SaleADay for only $229

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Who wouldn't want to save $510 on a HTC EVO View 4G Android tablet? That's what I thought, just about everyone loves to save money and 1SaleADay has it priced out at $229 for today only. You got a few hours more to save nearly 70 percent on this tablet, which runs Android 2.3 which isn't ideal but hey you can always root it! The 7-inch form factor is a great on the go size, the 1.5GHz processor brings some nice speed to it, and it has 32GB of on board storage. Lots of positives to be seen here, so hit the link below to grab one for yourself.

Source: 1SaleADay

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2 years ago

Purported LG X3 render shows a thin, tall Android phone

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A new leaked render from Pocket Now shows what they say is the upcoming quad-core LG X3. Couple things to note here: One is that, yes, it's said to be running the new NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset. That's not a great surprise, given that NVIDIA said last fall the first quad-core phones would hit early this year, and LG had the first dual-core smartphone with the Optimus 2X.

Nor are we overly concerned about there being only three capacitive buttons below that unofficially 4.7-inch display and -- WAIT A MINUTE. Capactive buttons and a 4.7-inch display? That's a big-ass display, at a 1280x720 resolution, no less. Compare that to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which has a 4.65-inch display -- but that's including the on-screen buttons, so you're really only dealing with 4.3-inches or so of screen real estate for non-full-screen tasks. If this X3 stuff pans out, we're talking 4.7 inches of usable space. Whoa. That's still a half-inch shy of the Samsung Galaxy Note, but still.

Other rumored specs include Ice Cream Sandwich (as it damn well should have), 8MP and 1.3MP cameras, 16GB of storage and a 2000 mAh battery, plus NFC, with thickness coming in under 9 mm. 

And, yes, folks, in all likelihood we'll see this guy at Mobile World Congress at the end of February. We're going to see a lot of phones at Mobile World Congress. Because it's a congress. Of mobile. Of the world. Or something. Whatever. We'll be there.

No, our only real questions rank thusly:

  • When can we get one?
  • Where can we get one?
  • Will human sacrifice be required to get it quickly in the United States? Because we're not above that.
  • Wait. Scratch that. No human sacrifice. That's wrong.
  • But seriously. Let's talk.

Source: Pocketnow 

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2 years ago

US Cellular offering $100 off smartphones, HTC Merge goes free

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Looking to pick up a new Android device but having trouble deciding which device to get and which carrier to select? US Cellular is trying to make things enticing for customers by offering $100 off smartphones starting today, and the savings is instant. With this discount you can get the infamous HTC Merge for free, the Motorola ELECTRIFY for $149.99, and the  Android-powered Samsung Repp and Huawei Ascend II can be yours for the low price of just a penny.

Right now customers who switch to U.S. Cellular and choose one of its value-packed plans also receive double rewards points that can be used towards faster phone upgrades and free phones, ringtones and accessories. U.S. Cellular offers the only points-based rewards program in wireless along with other unique benefits, like Overage Protection and Battery Swap, which is one of the reasons it has the happiest customers in wireless.

Not bad, USCC. Anyone jumping at this one?

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2 years ago

White Samsung Galaxy Note launches in the UK Jan. 23, at John Lewis Oxford Street

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Samsung has announced that the white version of its phone/tablet hybrid device, the Galaxy Note, will be launching in the UK from next Monday, Jan. 23. The catch is that for a limited time it'll only be available at the John Lewis store on Oxford Street, London, as part of an exclusivity deal between Samsung and the upmarket retailer.

Samsung's already seen considerable interest in the Note, which combines a 5.3-inch HD SuperAMOLED screen with stylus input and a 1.4GHz Exynos CPU. It announced in late December that it'd shipped one million units since the device's November launch.

If you're not in London, Samsung says that "additional channels" will begin offering the white Galaxy Note in February. However, if you do pick up your white Note at John Lewis, you'll be rewarded with £250 worth of "free music, films and e-books", presumably meaning some sort of voucher.

We've got the full press release after the break. For more on the Note, check out our full review.

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2 years ago

BlueStacks app player out of alpha, beta-bound "soon"

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BlueStacks, that nifty little Android app player bound for PCs everywhere, is out of its alpha stage and heading into beta "soon." BlueStacks will sync the apps on your smartphone or tablet and store them in its own cloud, where they will then be accessbile on your Windows Vista or 7-powered PC. BlueStacks is free and works so well that it earned itself CNET's coveted "Best of CES" title at this year's show. Hit the source link to sign up for the beta and be sure to sing out when you become one of the lucky chosen ones. 

Source: BlueStacks

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2 years ago

UK retailers slash HTC EVO 3D prices

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When we reviewed the GSM version of HTC's EVO 3D back in August, our main complaint was the exorbitant price of the phone. On-contract deals were nowhere to be found, and at the time of review SIM-free prices came in at over £500 (~$830), considerably more than the similarly-specced HTC Sensation.

Now, at least two British retailers have decided to significantly cut their asking prices for the device -- Expansys is currently selling the EVO for £284.99 with free shipping, while ASDA Direct has it for £249.99. These prices make the EVO 3D notably cheaper than the Sensation, which currently sells for around £350 SIM-free. The more expensive device also lacks the EVO's 3D display, and packs a smaller amount of RAM (768MB vs. 1GB).

So if you're in the market for a high-end HTC phone, an EVO 3D for around £250 represents great value -- five months ago this thing was selling for double that amount.

More: ASDA Direct, Expansys

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2 years ago

Android 2.3.5 update now available for TELUS Desire HD

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Canadian carrier TELUS is currently rolling out an OTA update for the HTC Desire HD, bringing the device up to Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread. They've posted the details up on their site with a list of changes, which are as follows:

The release of Android® Gingerbread 2.3.5 provides the following benefits and enhancements for your smartphone:

  • HTC Sense 3.0 (improved Calendar, Messages, Camera, Gallery, Music, Weather, Lock screen, Reader and more)
  • HTC Watch – Rent or buy the latest movies and or shows
  • Google Video Chat
  • Improved stability

No surprises with the update really but we'll take it. If you've not got the notification to update yet, go ahead and check for system updates through your menu. You may find it there waiting for you but if not -- it should be along shortly.

Source: TELUS; via: Mobile Syrup

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2 years ago

Archos Smart Home Phone now available -- get Android on your landline

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It was way back in June 2011 that we first saw Archos' Android based Smart Home Phone. Flip forward to January 2012 and the device is finally available to purchase, coming in at £130 over here in the UK.

Archos promises that this is a fully featured Android smartphone, with a wide range of communication applications installed as stock. As with several Archos products, the Smart Home Phone does lack official Android Market access. Applications are taken care of via their Appslib service. 

Aside from apps, the phone is WiFi-enabled, comes with a 3.5-inch touchscreen, 8GB of internal storage and even a front facing camera, possibly a little excessive for a home phone. But, hey, it's running Android. Thats never a bad thing.

Source: Archos
More: Archos 35 Smart Home Phone spec sheet

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2 years ago

Sprint rolling out OTA updates for EVO 4G, Epic 4G, EVO Design 4G

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Sprint has over-the-air updates scheduled to roll out beginning today for the HTC EVO 4G, the Samsung Epic 4G, and the EVO Design 4G.  Using the opportunity presented by removing Carrier IQ, Sprint has bundled up a few other fixes for these handsets and the OTA updates, beginning today, should be 100 percent complete in 10 days.  The update information is as follows:

EVO 4G

  • Update to version 2.12.651.5
  • Security Update
  • Updated Peep client (to align with Twitter)
  • Updated Sprint Zone client
  • Battery life improvements
  • 3LM Enterprise Tool Access (no user interface changes)

Epic 4G

  • Update to version S:D700.0.5S.EL30
  • Security update
  • Speaker feedback fix
  • The QIK and Asphalt 5 applications are no longer preloaded.  When opening the applications using the application icon, you will be redirected to the Android market to download and install the full application.
  • After the QIK install, you will need to login using your original account information or create a new account.  All contacts should remain intact
  • After the Asphalt 5 install, previous game play data (eg. levels) will not be retained.

EVO Design 4G

  • Update to version 4.67.651.3
  • Security Update
  • Updated Peep client ( to align with Twitter)
  • Battery life improvements

While these don't sound like major updates, it's always advisable to keep your phone current.  For more information and discussion, be sure to hit the EVO 4G forums, the Epic 4G forums, or the Design 4G forums!

Source: Sprint (1), (2), (3) ;   via Android Police

Thanks, @Dronak!

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2 years ago

LightSquared claims government testing 'rigged' by GPS industry insiders

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This is getting interesting.  After the recent news that federal testing determined LightSquared's LTE network plans would never work without interfering with GPS (and a cease to any further testing) LightSquared has come back with guns blazing.  In a statement, the company has accused the GPS industry of rigging the results by using antiquated equipment, shrouding the entire process in secrecy, and using unrealistic parameters for failure.  Jeff Carlisle, LightSquared’s Executive Vice President of regulatory affairs and public policy, Geoff Stearn, LightSquared’s Vice President for spectrum development, and Edmond Thomas, former chief engineer at the FCC held a press conference and had the following to say:

Testing was shrouded in secrecy, no transparency. The GPS manufacturers cherry-picked the devices in secret without any independent oversight authority in place or input from LightSquared. The GPS manufacturers and the government end users put non-disclosure agreements in place for the PNT EXCOM’s tests, preventing any input by an independent authority or from LightSquared before the tests began. This secrecy made it impossible for independent experts to properly oversee or challenge the process and results, thereby leaving taxpayers who paid for the testing no option but to take the PNT EXCOM’s word for it.
The testing protocol deliberately focused on obsolete and niche market devices that were least able to withstand potential interference. When LightSquared finally obtained a list of the devices tested, after all testing in this first phase of tests had been completed, it was able to determine that the testing included many discontinued or niche market devices with poor filters or no filters. The units tested represent less than one percent of the contemporary universe of GPS devices. In fact, the only mass market device alleged to “fail” during this round of testing performed flawlessly during the Technical Working Group testing, which used best practice protocols agreed to by all parties, thus raising doubts about the integrity of PNT EXCOM’s process.
The testing standard does not reflect reality. To guarantee favorable results, the PNT EXCOM selected an extremely conservative definition of failure – one dB of interference. Independent experts agree that a one dB threshold can only be detected in laboratory settings and has no impact on GPS positional accuracy or user experience. In fact, GPS devices are designed with the ability to withstand eight dB or more of loss of sensitivity due to man-caused and natural interference. By setting the definition of interference at one dB, the testing was rigged to ensure that most receivers would fail. It should be noted that PNT EXCOM and others have justified the one dB threshold by citing an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) standard. However, that standard explicitly states that it does not apply to general purpose GPS receivers.

They go on to say other great quotables like asking reporters to enquire if it's "fair that taxpayers funded a testing regime they cannot review?" and speaking of violating "conflict of interest" laws.  They are serious, and should be.  Earlier this month, LightSquared was given just 30 days to get regulatory approval by Sprint, who is a heavy investor and has (had?) plans to use LightSquared's service for their nationwide LTE roll-out.  Losing funding from Sprint would be a major financial blow to LightSquared.  We're pretty certain Sprint will still be able to roll out their LTE network as planned, but they see an advantage in using LightSquared and would like to see everything resolved as well.

Were the testing procedures rigged? Will LightSquared get another shot with different testing procedures? Will Sprint continue to invest in the company?  Join us next week for another episode of the Guiding LightSquared.  See the press release after the break.

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