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2 years ago

Spurt of updates brings ICS to 2.9 percent of Android devices

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Google has just released an updated set of Android platform statistics for the two-week period ending April 2, 2012. These numbers show the proportion of various version of Android to have accessed the Google Play Store over the past fortnight, meaning these are devices that are being used by real people.

Here's how things looked for Android in late March and early April 2012 --

  • ​Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.x): Decent growth for ICS, as the latest version of Android increases its share from 1.6 percent of devices last month to 2.9 percent this month. This is likely due to the arrival of OTA updates for popular international phones like the HTC Sensation and Samsung Galaxy S II.
  • ​Honeycomb (Android 3.x): Unchanged at 3.3 percent. We'd expect this number to fall gradually in the months ahead, as ICS slowly starts to arrive on the current crop of Honeycomb tablets.
  • ​Gingerbread (Android 2.3.x): A small jump to 63.7 percent, from 62 percent last month. Clearly some devices are still in the process of being updated to Android 2.3. We can see the pace of Gingerbread's growth is starting to slow, though -- last month's growth was just under 4 points, compared to 1.7 percent this month.
  • ​Froyo (Android 2.2.x): Froyo numbers continue to slowly fall away, with Android 2.2 now on just 23.1 percent of devices, down from 25.3 percent last month.
  • Eclair (Android 2.1): A small drop of 0.6 percent, to 6 percent total.
  • ​Donut (Android 1.6) and Cupcake (Android 1.5): Down 0.2 percent, but still active on one percent of devices. Maybe time to think about an upgrade?

For the record, here's our breakdown of last month's numbers. There's definitely a general movement towards Ice Cream Sandwich on both tablets and phones, and we expect that trend to accelerate in the next month. April will see more ICS updates for existing Gingerbread and Honeycomb devices, along with the launch of more ICS phones, including HTC's highly-anticipated One X and One S.

Source: Android Developers

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2 years ago

Google acquires TxVia to accelerate innovation of Google Wallet

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George Costanza may have moved all-in to Google Wallet, but for many the service isn't quite ready yet. Google aims to change that, and today they announced that they've acquired TxVia, a global payments technology company. TxVia isn't likely a name you know, but chances are you've either seen or used their services. They support over 100 million accounts, and partner with many pre-paid card companies, rewards card vendors, and ATM network systems. The next time you see that big rack of various cards at the convenience store or grocery store, know that a good many of them use TxVia's PaaS (Platform as a Service) technology to process the funds on them.

This is a pretty big score for Google, and shows us that they are serious about progressing Google Wallet services. The possibilities are huge, and include the oft-wished for Google Play Store gift cards. Google or TxVia have announced no future plans as of yet, but we imagine they are coming. We'll be on the lookout for more news, and let you know first thing when it breaks.

Source: Google Commerce; TxVia

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2 years ago

HTC One X shows us why developers need to lose the menu button

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By now you've read and watched our HTC One X review, and know all about HTC's decision to use capacitive buttons instead of on-screen buttons. As a fan of "real" buttons, I'm glad to see it, though many aren't. That's neither here nor there. The decision was made, and HTC has delivered what may be its best smartphone to date with three capacitive buttons.

And some applications are a mess on it.

The Android development team has already chimed in and said that developers need to abandon the legacy menu button in favor of new controls on the action bar. Some have done so, but as you can see in the image above, some have not. The three-dot menu symbol just hanging there all by its lonesome just looks bad, but is needed because the Facebook app hasn't been updated to use buttons and controls in the action bar. When the Galaxy Nexus came out and used on-screen buttons, this wasn't that big of a deal. Other than the three dots being in a different place on different apps (as mentioned, some have been updated and use the action bar), it didn't disrupt the way apps looked on the screen too awful much. HTC's use of capacitive buttons changes that, and not in a good way. On the other hand, developers aren't giving HTC much of a choice.

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2 years ago

HTC One X (Tegra 3) benchmarks

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Benchmarks for the international GSM version of the HTC One X with the Tegra 3 processor.

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2 years ago

Sony acknowledges heat-related display issue on some Xperia S phones

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Sony Mobile says it's confirmed an issue with some Xperia S phones that result in the display showing a yellowish hue at increased temperatures, following reports from disgruntled Xperia S users over the past month. In a statement, the manufacturer said it'd "identified that the display on a limited number of Xperia S smartphones may show a slight yellow tint if exposed to temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius."

Sony says Xperia S owners with affected hardware should contact customer support to have the issue remedied "at no cost", which we presume involves Sony replacing faulty devices.

Along with its 12MP camera, the Xperia S's 1280x720 "Reality Display"-branded screen is one of its most noteworthy features. Any hardware defect in a flagship product is sure to be a source of embarrassment, but it's good to see Sony actively addressing this problem and replacing affected handsets. (Especially since they're required to by law in the UK and EU.)

We didn't notice any heat-related problems with the phone when reviewed it, but if you have, be sure to shout out in the comments.

Source: Crave

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2 years ago

Verizon HTC Rezound price slashed to $49

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We might be focusing on a couple of other HTC phones this week, but if you don't mind settling for a device that's a few months old you could take home another high-end HTC for next to nothing, starting today. The Verizon HTC Rezound, which launched last year at an eye-watering $299 on-contract, has just had its price slashed to $49 with a two-year plan.

The Rezound is notable for its 720p display, Beats Audio support and dual-core processor. As you'd expect from a leading Verizon phone, there's 4G LTE connectivity included too. We reviewed  the Rezound last year, and found it to be a worth competitor to Samsung's Galaxy Nexus. And with an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich imminent, the Rezound offers good value at this price point.

Source: Verizon Wireless; via: Droid-Life

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2 years ago

HTC One series comparison

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HTC showed off their new One Series this week at Mobile World Congress, and more than a few people seemed to get excited at the upcoming handsets from the long-time Android OEM. We don't blame you at all, they are some nice looking phones. HTC seems to be focusing on a premium experience with both the manufacturing and the software, and from what we've seen, it shows.

We all know that the HTC One X is the high end, followed closely by the HTC One S, and finally the HTC One V brings up the budget, but still very nice, offering. But we decided a nice side-by-side look at all the specifications for each was in order. So take your time and have a look, then discuss. There is no wrong choice here, and that's a good thing.

HTC One X forums | HTC One S forums | HTC One V forums

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2 years ago

Samsung throws in free extended battery if you buy the Galaxy Nexus from it

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Just a quick heads up that if you buy the Verizon Galaxy Nexus directly from Samsung, ol' Sammy's gonna throw in a free 2100 mAh extended battery and battery door. That's with a two-year contract, of course, and the phone itself costs $299. Use the link below if you're in the market.

More: Samsung Direct

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2 years ago

HTC One X review

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Don't call it a comeback. HTC certainly was in the running for King of Mobile World Congress 2012 (an award that would be way cooler if it existed) with the new HTC One line, and the HTC One X specifically. When you stop and think about it, however, it's also a logical progression.

HTC started 2011 with the eventually disappointing Verizon ThunderBolt, which was thick, heavy and a battery hog — due in no small part to its LTE radio. The prevailing winds started to shift later in the year, however, with the likes of the Sensation and Amaze 4G, and you started to get a sense (pardon the pun) that the Taiwanese manufacturer was starting to regain its footing. (That shift was further indicated by the likes of the Windows Phone HTC Titan line.)

And that brings us to 2012 and the HTC One X, the pinnacle of the trio of Android smartphones that make up the HTC One line. (The others are the HTC One S and HTC One V.) There actually are two versions of the One X — the GSM version with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, and another with a dual-core Qualcomm Krait processor and an LTE radio for 4G data.

The HTC One X review that follows is of the international quad-core version. We'll follow up with AT&T dual-core, LTE version of the One X when it becomes available.


A great camera, equally great display, and all the power of NVIDIA Tegra 3 that we've come to expect. Sense 4 meshes nicely with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Free 25GB of online storage thrown in via Dropbox. Impressive design and build quality. Battery life is pretty good.


That said, the non-removable battery and lack of microSD card may be a sticking point for some. The 4.7-inch phone may be too large for small hands. The protruding camera lens can be easily scratched and isn't easily replaceable.



The leader of the next-generation HTC One series of smartphones has been a breeze to use. Android 4.0 has been improved upon with HTC Sense 4 while still retaining the overall look, feel and function of Ice Cream Sandwich, which in and of itself has an excellent user experience. The camera is a high point, Beats Audio makes music sound better, and you get a bunch of online storage thrown in for free. HTC easily has a winner in the One X.

Inside this review

More info

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2 years ago

HTC One S preview

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There's a belief that being the middle child brings awkwardness. The "Middle Child Syndrome," it's called. Chances are if you have (or are) a middle sibling, you'll find a way for this to be true. The HTC One S is the middle child of the HTC One family, flanked by the HTC One X and the HTC One V. But this guy's no awkward little brother.

Before diving into our HTC One S preview, be sure to hit up our HTC One X review, as well as our Sense 4 walkthrough. Any order is fine, it's just that they all share some common traits that will aid your understanding of the following:

The One S probably is the sleekest, sexiest phone you've seen to date, with a birth story that sounds more like it came from of "Game of Thrones" than a traditional glass-and-plastic smartphone manufacturer. This phone wasn't just "made." It was forged. Or fried. Or something.

This isn't our full HTC One S review. Think of this one more as a preview of what's to come in the weeks ahead (no, we don't have an official date yet) on T-Mobile. Time, tides and the lack of proper radio frequencies here in the States prevent it. But that's why we've got a European desk, and we'll have tons more coming up on the HTC One S.

Got all that? Good. Let's get to it.

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