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3 years ago

We're answering your HTC One S questions in the Android Central forums!

You've read our initial preview and our full review, but maybe you still have some burning questions about the One S, HTC's latest 4.3-incher that's out now in Europe and coming to T-Mobile USA later this month. Fear not -- we're standing by to answer your questions about the device over in the Android Central forums, so whatever you want to know is just a post away.

If you're not already signed up, registration is free, and there's plenty of discussion to be had elsewhere in the forums too.

To get started with your HTC One S questions, hit the forum thread below, and we'll do our best to deliver you the info you crave.

More: HTC One S questions on the Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Security scare of the week: What can an app with no permissions do?

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The latest in the never-ending story of Android security is out, and this time it's talking about what an app can access if it declares no permissions. (To put it another way, what all an application can see if it doesn't request any of the normal functionality apps request.) Some folks make it out to be nothing to worry about, others use it in their quest to damnify the world's most popular mobile phone OS, but we figure the best thing to do with it is explain what's happening. 

A group of security researchers set out to create an app that declares no permissions to find out exactly what sort of information they could get out of from the Android system it was running on. This sort of thing is done every day, and the more popular the target is, the more people are looking at it. We actually want them to do this sort of thing, and from time to time folks find things that are critical and need fixed. Everybody benefits.

This time around, they found that an app with no (as in none, nada, zilch) permissions could do three very interesting things. None are serious, but all are worth looking at a bit. We'll start with the SD card.

Any app can read data on your SD card. It's always been this way, and it will always be this way. (Writing to the SD card is what needs a permission.) Utilities are available to create secure, hidden folders and protect them from other apps, but by default any data written to the SD card is there for any app to see. This is by design, as we want to allow our computer to access all the data on shareable partitions (like SD cards) when we plug them in. Newer versions of Android use a different partitioning method and a different way to share data that moves away from this, but then we all get to bitch about using MTP. (Unless you're Phil, but he's a little nuts at likes MTP.) This is an easy fix -- don't put sensitive data on your SD card. Don't use apps that put sensitive data on your SD card. Then quit worrying about programs being able to see data they are supposed to be able to see.

The next thing they found is really interesting if you're a geek -- an can read the /data/system/packages.list file with no explicit permission. This poses no threat on its own, but knowing what applications a user has installed is a great way to know what exploits may be useful to compromise their phone or tablet. Think of vulnerabilities in other apps -- the example the researchers used was Skype. Knowing that an exploit exists it's there means an attacker could try to target it. It's worth mentioning that targeting a known insecure app would probably require some permissions to do so, though. (And it's also worth reminding folks that Skype quickly acknowledged and fixed its permissions issue.)

Finally, they discovered that the /proc directory gives a bit of data when queried. Their example shows that they can read things like the Android ID, kernel version, and ROM version. There's a lot more that can be found in the /proc directory, but we need to remember that /proc isn't a real file system. Look at yours with root explorer -- it's full of 0-byte files that are created at runtime, and is designed for apps and software to communicate with the running kernel. There is no real sensitive data stored there, and it's all erased and rewritten when the phone is power cycled. If you are worried that someone might be able to find your kernel version or 16 digit Android ID, you still have the hurdle of getting that information sent anywhere without explicit Internet permissions. 

We're glad that people are digging in deep to find these sort of issues, and while these aren't critical by any serious definition, it's good to make Google aware of them. Researchers doing this sort of work can only make things safer and better for all of us. And we need to stress the point that the fellows at Leviathan aren't talking doom and gloom, they are just presenting facts in a useful way -- the doom and gloom is coming from outside sources.

Source: Leviathan Security Group

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3 years ago

HTC looking into reports of chipped ceramic coating on some One S phones

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As you'll know if you've been following our coverage of the device, the HTC One S comes in two flavors -- anodized aluminum (grey) and ceramic (black). The black version is treated using a process called micro-arc oxidation, which involves taking the aluminum unibody and pumping it full of electricity until, through the power of science, the surface takes on a ceramic-like texture.

However, some One S owners have reported that after just a few days, the fancy matte coating is already starting to erode. There's even the customary XDA thread with photos of unsightly scratches along the top edge of some devices, apparently through normal use rather than being dropped or knocked around. We haven't noticed anything that drastic with our MAO-coated review unit, but it has picked up a few smudges here and there. Then again, a phone picking up scuffs over time is hardly news in itself.

In a statement sent to The Verge, HTC says it's aware of the repots and is investigating the issue. That's the way these things work, and we're hopeful HTC will make things right for those with genuine defects.

But it's also worth mentioning that just because a phone's been fried in plasma, doesn't make it immune to the laws of physics. Scratches will still happen, even on a surface that's purportedly four times harder than the standard anodized aluminum. A good analogy here is Corning's Gorilla Glass. This is stronger than regular glass, but although it's bendable and shatter resistant, it remains susceptible to hairline scratches. The point of a reinforced surface is to avoid structural, not cosmetic damage. It's also true that manufacturing defects happen, particularly in the early days, and these aren't necessarily indicative of a flawed design.

However this pans out, we'll be watching with interest, and we'll keep you posted of further developments. Be sure to share your own experiences with the One S down in the comments.

Source: The Verge

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3 years ago

From the Android Forums: Can my Rezound get official ICS if I don't have Verizon service?

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af250xxl asks in the Android Central forums,

Can my Rezound get the official ICS update if I don't have Verizon service? I removed the Rezound from my account the day after I activated it because I don't want to pay the $30 data fee. Will HTC or Verizon have a website for people to download the ICS update to a PC or directly to the Rezound?

Great question. The short version is no, but that doesn't paint the whole picture. Some Android phones don't require the user to have an active service plan to get an OTA update, but some do -- the HTC Rezound, like most phones on Verizon, is one that does require it. We're not sure of the full reasoning behind this practice, only that it helps control the OS versions from a customer service and tech support standpoint. My tinfoil hat side says it's done to convince users to keep their service active, but that's just paranoia talking.

But all is not lost. There will be a file released by HTC and sent to Verizon service technicians called an RUU (ROM Update Utility), and it is a manual way to update the phone via the USB connection. Carriers have Android geeks working for them, and these sort of things tend to get leaked out to the community rather quickly. Using the RUU and a Windows computer, you would be able to wipe and re-flash your Rezound to the latest version. Talking to the folks in the HTC Rezound forum is a good place to start, and they will know the minute any new RUU leaks out. Keep an eye out for it and you'll likely be able to do exactly what you're hoping to do.

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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3 years ago

Verizon HTC Incredible 4G smiles for the blurrycam

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Up until now we have only seen the HTC Incredible 4G surface in some documents, but it appears as though the folks at Android Police have landed themselves some blurrycam shots. Looking quite similar to the HTC Rezound, the HTC Incredible 4G appears to be sporting a 4-inch display, except this time they have added the capacitive button style of the newer devices like the HTC One X (and its cousins). The device should launch with Ice Cream Sandwich with Sense 4.0 on top of it.

Packing 1GB of RAM internally and a mere 8GB of internal storage, and it will be powered by a 1.2GHz processor as well. The device should feature an 8MP shooter on the back, and have Beats Audio support, though no headphones included. Unlike the HTC One X, the Incredible 4G will have a user removable battery and battery door. While nothing is firm, their tipster suggests we could see this device in the $99 - $149 price range on contract. Here's to hoping we see this device hit officially sooner than later.

Source: Android Police

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3 years ago

Slacker Radio celebrates Lollapalooza 2012 with dedicated station and contest

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The stages will soon be set for Lollapalooza 2012, and to help kick things off the folks from Slacker have now launched their Lollapalooza 2012 radio station. Featuring headlining artists including Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys, Black Sabbath, Jack White, Florence + The Machine, At The Drive In and exclusive content just for Slacker, it's the perfect way to get yourself amped up for the event if you're attending or if you're not, you can still enjoy all the great content.

If you're already a Slacker Radio user you'll find the station under "Festivals/Events". If you're not a Slacker user, you can hit the break to get it loaded up. Plus, to celebrate the launch, Slacker is giving music fans the chance to win a VIP trip for two to Lollapalooza, airfare and hotel included - you can visit Slacker's Facebook page to enter to win.

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3 years ago

LG Viper may be available in Sprint locations starting April 22

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Sprint has already announced that the LG Viper pre-orders will begin tomorrow, but what they managed to leave out was the actual date it would arrive in stores. The only information given was that it would be later this month, but the folks at Engadget received a tip today that puts it in store on April 22. This date could make sense being as it would be 10 days after the start of the pre-order, and it falls on a Sunday which is a common day for new phones to enter the market. While this is still unofficial at this point, we can cross our fingers that it is the day, and Sprint will make it official soon as well.

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

IM+ for Android v6.2 now available in public beta

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If you don't mind being a beta tester for a while you can now get in on the latest IM+. A whole laundry list of features has been added along with a rather nice looking dark theme available for use. SHAPE Services has pegged this as v6.2 and has taken the time to address a lot of user feedback with it as well as including a whole slew of bug fixes for notifications, contact lists, favorite lists and much more. If you're looking to give it a shot for all your instant messaging needs, you hit the source link to grab the install file just keep in mind, it is a beta.

Source: SHAPE Services

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3 years ago

T-Mobile holding HTC One S press event next Wednesday

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It looks like T-Mobile customers might not have too long to wait before they can get their hands on the HTC One S. Tmo is inviting members of the press to attend a launch party for the phone on the evening of next Wednesday, April 18. Recent rumors have pointed to a possible launch a week later, on April 25, so the timing of this event may give some weight to those claims. There'll also be a live performance by indie-pop band Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

The One S is the middle sibling in the HTC One range, with a 4.3-inch screen, a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC Sense 4.0. For a sneak peek of what to expect, go ahead and check out our full review of the European HTC One S. And you can be sure we'll be at the Tmo event next Wednesday to bring you full coverage of the US version of the phone.

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3 years ago

HTC Rhyme OTA coming soon with call volume adjustments and more

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If you are the proud owner of the HTC Rhyme, but have had a few gripes with the device's software, you will be happy to know Verizon will soon be pushing an update. Unfortunately this update will not be the one that brings Ice Cream Sandwich to the device, but HTC and Verizon have managed to squeeze quite a few changes in this one. Some of the changes in this latest update include --

Device Features

  • “ Ringtones” has been replaced with “Edit Home” when the Menu key is pressed
  • on the home screen.
  • Updated signal strength meter to 5 bar Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI).
  • Mobile networks no longer disabled when using Power Saver.
  • Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.

Device Dock Features

  • Default applications in Dock Mode have been changed to “Phone” and “Calendar”.
  • In-call volume control has been added to Dock Mode.
  • “All Apps” option has been added to Dock Mode.
  • Resolved issue of dock volume changing to 20%.

Applications & Widgets

  • Device displays available music on the device and provides an option to purchase ringtones from the MOD application when a user is attempting to set a new ringtone through a pre-populated list.
  • Mail shortcut now shows unread mail count

Verizon is set to push this update out "soon" so that means keep checking manually for the update, and be sure to let us know how the update goes for you! Full details about the new firmware, and update procedure are available at the source link below.

Source: Verizon Wireless

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3 years ago

Vodafone UK announces the Huawei Ascend G 300

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Vodafone UK has today announced a new budget Android phone aimed at aimed at Pay As You Go customers. The Huawei Ascend G 300. The Ascend G 300 is exclusive to Vodafone UK, and costs £100 when purchased with a £10 PAYG top-up. It's also free on all of Vodafone's 24-month service plans, which start at £15.50 per month for 100 minutes, 500 texts and 250MB.

And there's a reasonable amount of smartphone on offer for your money -- there's a 1GHz CPU inside, a 4-inch screen, 512MB of RAM and 2.5GB of internal storage. The phone ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and Huawei's custom UI, with an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich promised over the summer.

We've got Vodafone's presser after the break.

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3 years ago

Springpad update offers a new way to collaborate, share notebooks and discover ideas

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It's been quite some time since we last heard from the folks at Springpad, though they do have a good reason for it. They've been working on Springpad v3.0 behind the scenes and now they're ready to show it off to the world. Springpad for the uninitiated, allows you to save notes, look up products, places, movies and more all while keeping things nice and organized for you  in the cloud with the ability to share it all with others. Version 3.0 of Springpad is taking things to the next level with some new feature additions:

  • Follow individual notebooks: by content and interest from friends and trusted sources
  • Flexible sharing options: make notebooks private or public; and co-curate or collaborate with others.
  • Enhanced filtering and organization: ability to tag, sort, and change views; find new notebooks via category and tag pages.
  • Automatic enhancements and alerts: useful information like show times, price comparison and reservation links; alerts provide updates, price drops and offers for saved items
  • Easy save options: new quick add bar; bookmarklet and browser extensions make searching and saving effortless.
  • Universal access: web, retina optimized iOS and Android phones and tablets; offline support is available on all devices for all personal notebooks.
  • Personalized notebooks: choose themes and accents

The app itself has been completely redesigned and in addition to all those noted changes, also includes a new explore feature that allows you to view content from other Springpad users who have found and shared interesting things from around the web. Check out the video above to get a better look and if you're looking for more info or the download link, you'll find it all past the break.

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3 years ago

HTC One X battery life - impressive performance after three weeks of use

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On the left is April 10, on the right is April 8 (April 3 is below)

Fun story about the HTC One X battery life. I've seen it be one of the worst performers (thanks to a since-squashed server-side bug), and I've seen it be one of the best. In addition to reviewing phones, we often end up as guinea pigs, using hardware that's barely had time to let the glue dry, or software that's not quite final. In the case of the HTC One X, it's been both. The hardware is solid. I've got no concerns about that, save for maybe scratching the camera lens. 

The software we're running on our review unit actually is a tick above that of the retail units. I'm not sure if that's causing some disparity. But more than that, my usage case is going to be different than yours. My network is different than yours. I am not a normal user. 

That said, I've been pretty impressed with what I'm seeing after three weeks of use. 

When I'm at home, working, I'm on Wifi. And that's for a good chunk of the day. Not every day, though. So when I'm running around town, chasing after the kids or doing errands, I've been on AT&T. I'm pretty heavy on Twitter (and I'm back on Seesmic, since it finally updated for the HTC One X), Facebook and Google+ throughout the day. Browsing, too. And because the One X has that excellent camera, I've been taking more than my fair share of pictures (which I've got auto uploading to Google+ when I'm on Wifi). 

So there's your macro view of how I roll. And I'm getting well over 12 hours of use between charges. Hell, I'm getting well over 15 hours on a single charge. It's a little ridiculous when I stop to think about it, and it makes me want to pick up the phone and use it some more.

We're going to have to see how this changes once we get the AT&T version of the One X here in the states. For one thing, it'll be using the dual-core Qualcomm S4 processor instead of NVIDIA's Tegra 3. For another, it'll have LTE data in some locales, and presumably it'll have some fine-tuning for AT&T that this European GSM version won't (though they do share the same radio frequencies, so maybe that'll just be in our heads).

That doesn't change the fact that when the One X battery is drained, you'll be needing a charger. No swapping batteries. So keep that in mind. But once we get it on AT&T, it'll be an interesting experiment, to be sure.

For more impressions, hit up the official HTC One X battery life thread.

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3 years ago

Late-night poll: How long do you need your battery to last?

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We all want a battery that lasts days between charges while we use the heck out of it, but common sense tells us that's just never going to happen. Battery tech is slowing getting better, while screens get bigger and brighter, and networks get faster and use more juice. Other internals like chipsets and processors help in the battery life department, but it's pretty much a given that if you use your Android hard, you'll need to charge it at least once a day. In a pinch, some phones may go two days, but for the most part this is true for all smartphones. B = SF2 (my new theory, where battery = screen size times fun factor squared. I call it Jerrytivity. Don't sue me Apple.)

A couple of famous Englishmen once said you can't always get what you want. But you do get what you need. Hopefully, that last part is true for you. It is most of the time for me, and I need about 12 hours out of my Android phone. If I can't get that, I just can't use that particular phone. Usually, it isn't a problem.

What about you guys and gals? How much life do you need from a phone for it to be usable? Vote in the poll, and let it fly in the comments!

 

Battery life: How long is long enough?

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3 years ago

HTC One X screen flex 'flaw' -- should we worry about it?

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In the process of reviewing the HTC One X, CNET UK flagged up a potential build quality issue. On four different review units, they reported that pushing down on the edges of the screen caused it to flex and produce a series of discoloured pixels on the display. Going back to the Creative Director at One & Co, HTC’s design consultancy, they received the response, “we would never let that ship.”

So that would mean retail units shouldn’t be affected, yes? Well, no. See, I purchased a shiny new HTC One X on Three UK, and should I press down on the edges of the screen, I see exactly the same as CNET reported. HTC haven’t confirmed anything either way, but based on my retail unit alone I’d say that there’s little point in denying it.

A more important question should be, should you worry? Is this a reason to not buy the phone?

Any kind of design flaw is not exactly welcome, especially in such a high end, expensive device as the One X. But you have to press -- really press -- on the sides of the screen to replicate this yourselves. How many of us do that in general day-to-day use? Apart from this one time, in the name of research, I am pretty much sure that I won’t be doing it again. Neither will you guys most probably. The HTC One X is exceptionally well made, so much so that perhaps some have been looking for reasons to score it down. After all, how many of us have done something like this whilst trying out a new phone for the first time?

This is really a non-issue. If you’ve already bought a One X, or are planning on doing so, don't worry and enjoy it. I know I’m enjoying mine a whole lot, and that’s all that matters. Oh, and don't forget to check out our extensive review as well, just in case you need a little help deciding. 

Source: CNET UK

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