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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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2 years ago

Flash Ice Cream Sandwich leak on your Droid RAZR with this sketchy method

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If you're game for risking a brick, don't mind some questionable practices and are itching for Ice Cream Sandwich on your Droid RAZR, you'll want to pay attention here. A potential Ice Cream Sandwich OTA is sitting pretty on Motorola's staging server, waiting for testers to download, flash and test. Normally, folks like you and me can't get to those staging servers (Moto Matt has to get you hooked up) but there's a method floating around that gives you access, if you're into that sort of thing. Using that method, and a completely stock .173 CDMA RAZR you can download the official release candidate of Ice Cream Sandwich for your Droid RAZR. Note -- this is CDMA only, as in not GSM -- don't try it, it won't work. We're not going to lay out the method, but yalkowni over at XDA has it all worked out for ya. Hit the link and have a look.

I'm here to report this type of news, whether I approve of it or not. I've no problem with risky procedures that will brink your phone, in fact I've bricked a few of my own. But I wouldn't do this if I had a RAZR. Yes, yes, Blur sucks (though we haven't really seen the new ICS Blur yet) and Moto really should provide a method to unlock the bootloader on phone computer hardware users paid good money for, but I draw the line at network shenanigans. Motorola has always been a little loose with their soak tests, and aren't too concerned about keeping things a secret. Now that this method has been made public, and 20,000 or so people are hitting the staging server, that may very well change. 

If rumors hold true, we'll see ICS for the RAZR in a couple days, and we won't judge if you go on and give this a try. Our job is to tell you as much as we can.

Source: XDA-Developers

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2 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest winner: Flowers

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Shalom Veffer; taken with the Samsung Galaxy S II

The winner of this week's photo contest is Shalom Veffer, who gave us this great picture with his Samsung Galaxy S II. We chose it because it's clear, captures the subject perfectly (this week was flowers) and provides a great contrast between the yellow flower and the scrubby landscape behind it. Beautifully composed, Shalom. Be on the lookout for information about your prize!

This week was the hardest ever to decide a winner. There were so many entries worthy of winning, it was hard to even pull out the 10 best let alone decide on a winner. If anyone ever says Android phones don't take excellent pictures, send them my way show I can show them at least a few hundred reasons why they are wrong. And you guys are some very skilled photographers. It's both humbling and awesome to look through them all each week!

We've got a gallery of 10 other awesome shots after the break to look at and enjoy. Keep taking and sending those pictures each week -- you make me love my job.

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2 years ago

Nexus S 4G gets a new 4.0.4 leak

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Android 4.0.4 has leaked for the Sprint Nexus S 4G, and is ready to flash with Odin. It bumps the system up to IMM76D, like the rest of the devices running 4.0.4, and contains a new set of images as well as a new radio. We've seen Ice Cream Sandwich leak before for the Nexus S 4G, and this ROM looks to be pretty much the same type of case.

It's officially signed off by Google with release keys, but that doesn't mean anything for the radio and Sprint specific network code inside the ROM itself. You'll be flashing this one at your own risk -- but should be able to roll back to stock in case of any issues easily enough. The folks in the forums are giving it a go, and early reports are looking good. Be sure to chime in with your own experience if you give it a shot.  As for when we'll see anything official from Google and Sprint, nobody that knows is saying. 

Source: Brief Mobile; via Android Central forums

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Nexus my way: Jerry Hildenbrand

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The other night on the Android Central podcast a great idea was born. Someone, and forgive me for not remembering who, wanted to know how our phones are set-up. I promised to kick off a series from the various AC staff members showing just what software we have running on our devices. I trade back and forth between the Samsung Galaxy Nexus or the T-Mobile Galaxy S II (dat cam!), but both are set up the exact same way. One is just more TouchWizzy than the other. Hit the jump and I'll break it down.

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2 years ago

ICS for the Droid RAZR/MAXX and HTC Rezound coming next week, says Best Buy memo

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We don't want anyone to get too excited and set themselves up for a heartbreak just yet, but a leaked document from Best Buy pins the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX for April 4, and the HTC Rezound on April 6. Anyone with a HTC Thunderbolt can tell you more about dates provided through Best Buy, and Motorola still hasn't given any type of ballpark date for the update for the RAZR and RAZR MAXX, which are still listed as being in the "evaluation and planning" stage. We've seen ICS leaks for both devices (the RAZR and RAZR MAXX run the same software) but nothing official from anyone involved. Both phones were to have ICS "soon" after release, but so far we're still waiting.

We want it to be true. We hope it's true. We're just naturally skeptical, especially when a third party like Best Buy is involved. We're sure nobody is trying to troll the Internets, but anyone who has worked in a corporate environment knows how things get fouled up. Here's hoping, and we'll know next week!

Source: Android Police

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2 years ago

Temple Run update fixes crashes and includes support for the Droid RAZR and Bionic

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Many folks waited a long time for Temple Run to come to Android only to find out their device either wasn't or supported or worse being that it couldn't run the game without constantly crashing. The latest update addresses all of those concerns by adding support for the Droid RAZR as well as the Droid Bionic and in addition to that also includes various bug fixes for the crashes some folks were experiencing. Download link is past the break for you all, give it a look if you had issues previously.

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2 years ago

Securely wiping any device makes it just fine to sell [#FUDfighters]

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The latest bit of FUD spreading around about Android is that you can't ever sell your old Android phone without giving away all your data, secrets, and possibly the recipe for KFC.

Like many things you'll read elsewhere on the Internet, there's a lot of crap attached and presented as fact that is just wrong. Someone needs to explain what exactly is going on here. Allow me to try my best. Hit the break for a read.

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2 years ago

New malware appearing in dodgy apps you shouldn't be downloading anyway

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The next time you're cruising one of the various Android app piracy forums looking for the free crack for ROM Manager or Root Explorer, be warned that you may get more than you're looking for. A new bit of malware named DKFBootkit has been found attached to pirated apps that require root. It hooks itself into the boot sequence by altering files in the system, and can cause all sorts of problems without the user being aware. Since you think it's a legit application, you say OK when it asks for root privileges, and you are owned. It's bad news all around.

The good news is that it's easy as hell to avoid. That's the part of these types of stories that never seems to get mentioned. Use a bit of common sense -- you download a file from someone who is able to crack a legit app and defeat any license checks, and you don't think they can drop a bot or keylogger in there as well? Idiocy like this is what keeps malware alive on Windows desktops, and Android devices. Stop stealing apps, and don't be stupid enough to trust someone who steals and redistributes them. Period. Full stop.

If you didn't pay for it, chances are you'll wish you did. And you deserve it. 

More: NQ Mobile

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2 years ago

Sony outlines Xperia ICS update plans - manual upgrade only, starting mid-April

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Sony Mobile (or Sony Ericsson, as it was known back then) was one of the first Android manufacturers to step forward with a a definitive upgrade plan for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. We've even seen public beta ROMs released for a couple of devices by Sony devs, and active engagement with the community to track down bugs.

Today Sony's offering up more details about exactly when each of its 2011 (and 2012) Xperia handsets will be getting the latest version of Android. The manufacturer had previously promised updates during Q1, but with just two days of the current quarter remaining, it should come as no surprise that things haven taken a little longer than anticipated.

The first Sony devices to get ICS will be the Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo V and Xperia Ray, starting mid-April. Next up it's the Xperia Arc, Xperia Play, Xperia Neo, Xperia Mini, Xperia Mini Pro, Xperia Pro, Xperia Active and SE Live with Walkman, which will get ICS from "the end of May/early June."

If you've just bought a brand new Xperia S, though, you'll be in for a much longer wait. Sony's new European flagship isn't expected to get ICS until late Q2. As we said in our review, the Xperia S is a phone which sorely needs that ICS update, and early adopters will no doubt be frustrated to find themselves at the back of the line.

Sony also revealed that for 2011 Xperia phones, ICS will be an optional upgrade rather (through the PC Companion app) than a automatic over-the-air update. This is similar to the strategy adopted by Sony Ericsson with the Xperia X10's Gingerbread update. Writing on its Developer World Blog, Sony explains that ICS may actually degrade performance for some users due to increased memory use, and changes to the way SQL databases are handled, so it's not forcing the update on anyone in an OTA.

More technical details are available at the source link, but the upshot is that Sony's giving customers a choice between sticking with the familiar and stable Gingerbread experience, or living life on the edge with ICS. As far as we're concerned, that's got to be a good thing.

Source: Sony Mobile Blog; Sony Developer World

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