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2 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest winner: Composition

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The winner of this week's photo contest is templon, with his picture of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, taken with his Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The picture follows the rule of thirds, holds a nice level line, and above all else -- is a great picture. Congrats templon, and thanks for the great photo! Check your inbox for information about your Beats Tour headphones, we'll need to know where to have them sent.

As usual, there were plenty of great pictures this week. It really is difficult sorting out the best few, but as someone who enjoys looking at photographs, I'm not complaining. Hit the break to see the honorable mention list.  And be ready to do it all over again next week.

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2 years ago

Apple to drop Google Maps with the next iPhone?

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Rumor has it that the next iPhone will eschew Google's Maps backend in favor of Apple's own. Rene over at iMore, who has a good handle on how the minds in Cupertino operate, has a great overview of Apple's supposed current strategy that you really should read to try to make sense out of this one. The short version -- Apple wants to shed Google's services. Not because users have a problem using them, but because they don't want Google to profit. Instead of offering an additional choice with their own version of a maps app, they are just going to replace what users know and love with something that generates less profit for Google. Smart business move, but a pretty foul dump on the users.

They're going to need some real magic to pull this one off. In the current version, Apple builds the UI and Google provides the mapping data. Google is really good at mapping stuff. The rumored version-in-waiting is supposed to add a 3D view, becoming the new killer feature for the next version of iOS. The problem is, users don't care about 3D map view (or anything 3D on their mobile devices) -- they care about features, ease-of-use, and integration. Apple can certainly take care of the integration part, and even give it some of that good old fashioned Apple magic in the UI department. But that still isn't going to cut it. Google has the one big thing™ when it comes to maps and navigation -- search data.

When you tap the button and tell your phone to find 1313 Mockingbird Lane, there's this unfathomably huge pool of data Google has at it's disposal to populate that map. Need to know where the closest Starbucks is? Ask Siri, or just look at the Google Maps app. Apple can't replicate this without years of its own data. Users will be left with an app with a pretty front-end, that's actually a step backwards in functionality. Apple will either have to offer a sub-par maps experience, or use Google anyway. And the first person who says Bing has to stay late and clean the chalkboard. That's two steps backwards.

Google creates the web services people want and use -- even people with iPhones. This is a space where Apple is going to find it's difficult to compete, and fickle users may just look elsewhere. Of course, you'll find just as many bloggers telling tales of how great this is, and that Apple invented Maps. It's going to be interesting to watch this one play out.

Source: iMore

 

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2 years ago

HTC One X camera challenge - can you see the difference between a smartphone and a camera?

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HTC is pretty confident in the new camera they introduced in the One series. I have to be honest, they have good reason to be. The camera in the One S is downright spectacular, and really can replace a typical point-and-shoot digicam. It's a wonderful mix of hardware, software, and magic that truly delivers. In fact, HTC is pretty sure you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between pictures taken with the One X and those taken with a stand-alone camera. Hit the link below, run through and see what all the fuss is about.

Source: HTC

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2 years ago

Optimus 2X ICS update now looking like a Q3 arrival, according to LG Singapore

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According to the LG SIngapore Facebook page, the tradition of long waits for updates is set to continue for owners of the LG Optimus 2X. Gingerbread took what seemed like an eternity, but initially the device was slated to receive Ice Cream Sandwich in Q2 of 2012. That now seems unlikely, with LG Singapore answering a query on Facebook, stating it will be Q3 for the long awaited update.

If indeed this is true, it will be yet another bitter blow to owners of the device, which kicked off the dual-core age of Android smartphones. Q3 after all stretches through to September, by which time we'll have been through Google I/O, and very possibly seen the first mentions of the next version of Android. 

The big redeeming factor with the 2X in particular though, is it's hackability. My own device currently runs a very early build of CM9, and for all intents and purposes, it's pretty darn good. LG make fantastic hardware, it's such a shame to keep hearing stories such as this one. 

Source: LG SIngapore (Facebook) via Mobilesyrup

 

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2 years ago

LG Eclipse, coming at the end of 2012, will have specs relevant for the end of 2012

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The folks at BriefMobile got hold of some info about an upcoming LG LS970 for Sprint, and it has some impressive specs -- namely the quad-core Krait S4 and 2GB of RAM. All the info they have certainly looks legit, and it's very likely we'll see this one sometime in Q4. But while everyone is in awe of those impressive innards (including most of us here at AC) we have to remember that these are exactly the components we expect to see at the end of this year. We're ready for the next generation of hardware, but unfortunately we'll have to wait a while longer for it.

Source: BriefMobile

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2 years ago

Rogers preparing for launch of the Samsung Galaxy S III

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Remember a few days ago when an ad for Rogers popped up, seemingly to proclaim their version of the Samsung Galaxy S III would come with the Exynos processor and LTE? Well, we still don't have a definitive answer on whether or not the ad was accurate but we do know now that we're at least one step closer to finding out.

A news bulletin has been sent out to Rogers employee's letting them all know the obvious and confirmed -- the Samsung Galaxy S III is coming to Rogers very soon. Needless to say, we'll keep digging for clarification which shouldn't take too much longer now that Rogers is relaying information internally.

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2 years ago

Motorola Droid X2 updated with security patch, wireless alerts, and bug fixes

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Just because it's not the latest hotness on the Android scene isn't a reason to let the Motorola Droid X2 wither and die on the vine, and Verizon has begun pushing out an update to Big Red's first dual-core phone. It's not a big version bump by any means, but there are a few important changes:

  • Verizon Video and VZ Navigator® 3D City are now preloaded.
  • A Google Security Patch has been added to improve the security level.
  • Purchased ringtones are now able to be saved and set.
  • Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
  • Shortcut names can be updated and saved.
  • The keyboard Input Auto Error Correction setting defaults to off.

Granted, few of us really missed not having the 3D version of VZ Navigator, but the security patch is good to have, and the wireless alerting system is an important update -- one that could end up saving your bacon. Of course, bug fixes are always welcome. If you haven't received the update notification yet, check for it via your Droid X settings. 

Source: Verizon. Thanks, Dave!

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2 years ago

Turntable.fm now available for Android

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A couple weeks back we heard the founder of turntable.fm tell us the Android app was "coming soon", and it looks like today is the day. If you haven't played with turntable on the Internet yet, the premise is pretty simple and pretty cool. You're the virtual DJ, where you can choose your own music or from the thousands of tracks available on-site and play the music for your listeners. The listeners can in turn vote you up or down, making you the star or booing you right off the stage.

It's a neat concept, and it's always fun listening to music with friends. We're going to give it the complete run-through shortly, but we wanted to let you guys and gals know that it's available ASAP so you can check it out. You'll need a device running Android 2.2 or higher, and an ear for great music. You'll also need to be in the U.S., as the service hasn't rolled out internationally yet. The link is after the break.

Once you get it installed, we've started up the AndroidCentral room -- come join us!

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2 years ago

HTC ThunderBolt software update v2.11.605.19 710RD now available OTA

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HTC Thunderbolt owners have had a bit of a rough ride thus far when it comes to software updates. Now though, Verizon is pushing out the latest non Ice Cream Sandwich update to address some issues that have long been bothering folks. The update shows as v2.11.605.19 710RD and here's what Verizon states is corrected:

  • Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
  • Device now supports Cisco Any for better VPN functionality.
  • Improved data connectivity.
  • Improved device stability will decrease device resets.
  • Improvements to default mail application allows Yahoo! Mail accounts to receive messages properly.
  • Resolved issues with Mobile Hotspot connectivity. + Incoming calls now display the correct state, when applicable.

This particular update appeared in RUU format back in April so you may already have it if you were adventurous and loaded it up. If not, go ahead and check for system updates. It'll either be there waiting or it will be along shortly for you. Need to know more? Folks in the Android Central forums have already gone through it so head on into the forums below to discuss it some more.

Discuss the v2.11.605.19 710RD update in the Android Central Forums, Thanks, Steve!

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2 years ago

EVO 4G LTE bootloader can be unlocked just fine

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If  you were wondering about the EVO 4G LTE bootloader, or were a bit worried after learning that AT&T's decided to go back to its not-so-friendly ways, we're happy to tell you that, yes, you can easily unlock the Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTE bootloader. All you need is the Android SDK, the instructions from HTCDev, and a few minutes to spare.

For you folks new to Android, why would you want to unlock the bootloader? It's the gatekeeper to some serious modding of Android phones. Some of us like unlocked bootloaders so we can do full backups of our devices. Others like to run custom ROMs. And others do it just for the openy nature of things.

Have more questions about the HTC EVO 4G LTE? We're answering them in our EVO 4G LTE forums!

More: HTCDev; What is a bootloader?

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