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3 years ago

Jelly Bean update rolling out to Samsung Galaxy Note in Canada and the UK

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TELUS, Rogers and Bell Galaxy Notes get Android 4.1.2 update, as does the UK SIM-unlocked version

Just a few days after the AT&T model got its Jelly Bean update, other Samsung Galaxy Note variants are starting to see the update to Android 4.1.2. According to reports from MobileSyrup and XDA, the Canadian carrier-branded versions on TELUS, Rogers, and Bell all have updates waiting for them. Meanwhile on the Android Central forums, a number of OG Note owners in the UK report that their GSM unlocked Notes are getting a similar update.

The Galaxy Note Jelly Bean update brings the new Google Search app with Google Now and improved responsiveness through the "Project Butter" performance enhancements, in addition to a new UI and a selection of newer software features from the Galaxy S3.

If you've updated your Galaxy Note to Jelly Bean, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

Source: Android Central forums, ​MobileSyrup, XDA

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3 years ago

AT&T's HTC First down to 99 cents on contract for a limited time

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'Facebook Phone' currently selling for next to nothing on 2-year plan

If you've been tempted to pick up the Facebook-centric HTC First on AT&T, the carrier's hoping a temporary price drop might push you over the edge. The First, which runs the social network's Facebook Home software atop near-vanilla Android, is today selling online for just 99 cents with a two-year service agreement, down from $99 at launch.

However if you want to get the First at this significantly reduced price you may not want to hang around. Engadget's Brad Molen tweets that the price drop is a promotional change rather than a permanent reduction.

In our review of the HTC First we praised its build quality and ergonomic form factor, though we had some misgivings about the usefulness of Facebook's home screen to the average smartphone user. Of course, you could always disable Facebook Home and be left with an attractive mid-to-high-end HTC phone running a vanilla Android UI.

Source: AT&T; @phonewisdom

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 comes to Staples

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If you're in the market for a new Samsung Galaxy S4 and need to pick up some printer toner, a pack of ballpoint pens, and a new label maker, then you might just want to get yourself to your nearest... Staples. The office supply store is now carrying the Galaxy S4 for all major US carriers (that'd be AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon), with varying availability in stores and online depending on your carrier of choice.

The Galaxy S4 for Sprint from Staples is available online only in 'white frost' or 'black mist' for $199.99 on a two-year contract (or $715.99 off contract). Going for Verizon (again, white or black) will be $179.99 with the standard two-year contract or $715.99 without, though they're currently on preorder and not expected to arrive in stores and ship until May 30. T-Mobile currently only has the white Galaxy S4 available via the Staples website ($249.99 on contract, $715.99 off) and it's supposedly available now in stores. AT&T's the current laggard in Staples availability, with the S4 only to be available in stores, with no publicly projected date of availability.

So go grab yourself a ream of paper, get some business cards printed, and pick up a Samsung Galaxy S4 while you're at it. Especially if you're looking at Verizon - it's $20 cheaper on contract through Staples than the carrier.

Source: Business Wire

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3 years ago

Congratulations to the winner of the AT&T HTC One!

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The Android Central (and Mobile Nations) community is made up of countless awesome people. Sometimes I think that amid all of the phone talk, carrier discussions, debates regarding bugs and build quality, and general techy banter, people forget that real live actual people are behind those words on the screen. I think that's why I really enjoyed last week's contest for the AT&T HTC One. We decided the requirement for entry was to post a video of you doing your favorite hobby or showing your talent, and the entries were amazing!

Now, we couldn't judge these entries and choose who was the "best". It was never meant to be that kind of contest. So we've put all the eligible entries into our magical contest winner picker machine and you can find out the name of that lucky Android Central member is below!

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3 years ago

How to get to Google Now on the Samsung Galaxy S4

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Google's predictive search app is alive and well on the Galaxy S4 -- and there are a few ways to get to it quickly

On many Android phones with on-screen keys, getting to Google Now -- the excellent predictive/voice-controlled search app in Android 4.1 and above -- is simply a matter of swiping up from the bottom of the screen. It's not quite as simple as that on the new Samsung Galaxy S4, but fear not, there are still a few quick and easy ways to get to the new Google Search app.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia S, SL, Acro S Jelly Bean firmware certified ahead of launch

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Android 4.1.2 firmware shows up on certification forum, release could be days away

As tends to happen with upcoming Sony firmware, the official Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for the Sony Xperia S (LT26i) has appeared on the website of the PTCRB, the North American wireless device certification forum. It's also joined by official Jelly Bean firmware for the Japan-centric Xperia Acro S and the Xperia SL, an upgraded variant of the S with a higher-clocked CPU.

With the firmware for these devices being certified, it's likely a matter of days or weeks until the update starts hitting handsets. It's been some six months since Sony announced that the Xperia S would be getting Jelly Bean, and almost a year since we first laid eyes on Android 4.1. So to say it's about time Xperia S owners got their Jelly Bean update might be something of an understatement. Fingers crossed for a OTA roll-out before the end of the month.

Source: PTCRB, via: ​XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

"Have you ever used an iPhone?" "No, I have standards"

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Samsung's voice assistant on the Galaxy S4 burns rival Apple

S Voice is Samsung's take on a voice-based personal assistant. And by that we mean it's heavily inspired by Apple's Siri on the iPhone. So it's no surprise -- if a little amusing -- to see Samsung's app poking fun at its long-time rival. On the international Samsung Galaxy S4 (and some other Samsung phones -- we've had varying results), asking S Voice if it's ever used an iPhone prompts the response "No, I have standards." Ask it "Are you Siri?" and it's a little more coy -- "I like to think I am." But it stops short of any direct attacks -- ask it "Do you like Apple?" and it tells you it has no problems with anyone, but its loyalties lie with Samsung.

It's one of a few Easter eggs we've run into in S Voice. Back when it launched on the Galaxy S3 we put it to the "woodchuck test," which it passed with flying colors. If you've run into any cheeky behavior from S Voice, be sure to hit the comments and share them with the world.

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3 years ago

AT&T Galaxy S4 getting first software update too

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21-megabyte update now hitting AT&T-branded handsets, users report smoother performance

Following the T-Mobile update that landed this morning, AT&T's Samsung Galaxy S4 is also getting its first firmware upgrade. The over-the-air package weighs in at just over 21MB, and although there's no changelog provided with the update, GS4 owners over on the Android Central Forums are reporting faster performance and smoother animations on the new software version. If lag fixes are indeed present in this new firmware, then it'd be a welcome change -- in our review of the U.S. Galaxy S4 on Sprint, we noted occasional, frustrating jitteriness in certain animations.

To see if you're ready to update, head to Settings > More > About device > Software update. If you're not seeing anything there, you could try connecting your phone to a PC or Mac and using Samsung's Kies desktop software instead.

AT&T Galaxy S4 owners, be sure to let us know how you're getting on with this latest update down in the comments.

Source: Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

HTC One 'Ultrapixel' camera pitted against iPhone 5

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iMore compares HTC's Ultrapixel camera to the iPhone's 8MP rear shooter

Outside of the Android world, one of the HTC One's biggest competitors is Apple's iPhone 5, a device which has earned praise for its 8-megapixel camera and advanced optics. As such, our sister site iMore.com decided to put both cameras through their paces in a side-by-side comparison.

As you'll know if you've been following the phone's launch, the HTC One sports a 4-megapixel 'Ultrapixel' camera, with larger (2 micron) pixels on the sensor itself and f/2.0 aperture, not to mention optical image stabilization. On the iPhone 5, Apple takes a more traditional approach, with a large-ish 8-megapixel sensor, supported by a fancy sapphire crystal lens and f/2.4 aperture. So the iPhone wins on megapixels alone, but the HTC One would seem better equipped for low-light photography.

Here's what iMore's Ally Kazmucha had to say after putting both phones' cameras to the test in a variety of conditions --

Both cameras produced stellar images, yet excelled in different areas. The iPhone 5 does much better when it comes to handling color depth, tone, and saturation. The HTC One leaves the iPhone in the (noisy, noisy) dust when it comes to capturing low light, relatively stationary images.

Apple has been focusing on the iPhone camera for years now, and it's really paid off when it comes to everyday photography. Competitors like HTC, however, are really nailing areas like low light. Hopefully Apple follows their lead, and the lead of Nokia, and starts adding features like optical image stabilization (OIS) and f/2.0 apertures or wider.

For the full article, complete with a few dozen comparison shots, check out the full article over on iMore.

More: iPhone 5 versus HTC One: Camera shootout

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3 years ago

RunKeeper for Android updated with Pebble smartwatch support

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Latest app update allows workout tracking on Pebble

Good news for RunKeeper users also lucky enough to be in possession of a Pebble smartwatch -- the former has just been updated to take advantage of the latter. In its latest update, RunKeeper for Android has gained the ability to connect to Pebble, allowing users to track their workouts in real time.

The app still does all the heavy lifting, with the watch acting as a secondary display, so you'll still need to keep your smartphone on you during your workout. However, the ability to track your stats without reaching (possibly with sweaty hands) for your phone.

Unsurprisingly, with wearable devices set to become more widespread over the next year, RunKeeper says Pebble integration is "one of many integrations with hardware and fitness tracking devices in the coming months." 

To grab the latest version of RunKeeper, hit the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Using 'Multi-window' on the Samsung Galaxy S4

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Samsung's full-screen multi-tasking feature returns on the Galaxy S4. Here's where to find it and how to use.

A favorite feature of the Galaxy Note 2, Samsung's 'Multi-window' multitasking capability is included out of the box on the Galaxy S4. It's probably one of the coolest software tricks Samsung has come up with to date, but it's easily overlooked if you don't know it's there.

To use Multi-window, you'll first need to enable it in the quick settings area. Drag the notification bar down, hit the block icon in the top right corner and make sure "Multi-window" is lit up. From there, you can toggle the Multi-window bar on or off by long-pressing the back key. It's possible to move the bar around by long-pressing the rounded tab while it's open. (To move the tab up or down, simply long-press and drag up or down when the bar doesn't have focus.)

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy S4 gets first update, visual voicemail and ISIS improvements included

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First update for T-Mobile Galaxy S4 going out over the air and through Kies

The first update for T-Mobile US's Samsung Galaxy S4 is pushing out today over the air and through Samsung's Kies desktop software.

The new software version M919UVUAMDL is a minor update containing "improvements to the visual voicemail app" and "ISIS app improvements," according to T-Mo's support pages. (ISIS being the NFC-based mobile wallet app backed by many U.S. operators.)

There's always a chance some other bug fixes or improvements have been sneaked in behind the scenes, so if you're rocking a T-Mo GS4 then hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on after today's update.

Source: T-Mobile; via: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia SP up for pre-order in the U.S.

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Sony's latest mid-ranger to sell​ for $489.99 unlocked

Hot on the heels of the Xperia Z, Sony's new mid-range offering, the Xperia SP, has also appeared for pre-order on the company's U.S.-based online store. The Xperia SP packs a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU with Adreno 320 GPU, 1GB of RAM, 8GB internal storage and an 8-megapixel Exmor RS rear camera. On the front is a 720p Sony 'HD Reality Display.' Like its high-end siblings, the SP's internal storage is expandable via microSD card.

The Xperia SP also sports a unique aluminum-frames design and a large, illuminated transparent element under the screen.

Bizarrely, Sony's spec listing for the North American Xperia SP shows support for HSPA+ on 850, 900, 1900 and 2100MHz bands, as well as LTE bands I, II, IV and V. If those specs are accurate, they'd point to an incomplete set of frequencies for both AT&T and T-Mobile. On AT&T you'll get full HSPA+ coverage but no LTE; on T-Mo you're looking at LTE, but no 1700MHz HSPA+ support.

The unlocked U.S. Xperia SP variant (C5306) is due to begin shipping from May 20, priced at a not insubstantial $489.99.

Source: Sony Store; via: XperiaBlog

More: Hands-on with the Xperia SP

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3 years ago

From the forums: How are you getting on with the Galaxy S4?

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Top threads for first impressions of Samsung's new handset

Depending on where you live, you'll have been able to pick up Samsung's latest handset, the Galaxy S4, for up to two weeks now. As such, the Android Central forums are buzzing with discussion about what's sure to be one of the biggest-selling phones of the year. Whether you're just getting started with your S4, or you're looking to pick one up in the future, here's a selection of the top forum threads to check out --

More: Galaxy S4 forums

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3 years ago

Partnership to bring exclusive AOL portal to Verizon smart phone customers

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AOL and Verizon bringing a new Internet portal to Verizon customers' phones and tablets this summer

America OnLine has announced that a new partnership with Verizon Wireless will allow them to bring the complete AOL.com portal to Android, Windows, and BlackBerry smart phones and tablets. They say they will be the "exclusive provider of the VZW Home mobile web portal." We're not exactly sure what that means, but they go on to say:

Beginning this summer, existing and new Verizon Wireless customers will have the AOL portal bookmarked on their smart phones and tablets’ web browsers. The multi-device experience will feature the recently refreshed AOL homepage -- with breaking news, weather and maps -- as well as live streaming events and popular videos. Personalization features will allow users to customize news sources, categories and other tools to their needs.

So it appears that a bookmark will be added to the device's default browser, leading users to an AOL page that provides curated news and events for Verizon subscribers. We're pretty sure you'll just be able to delete the bookmark should you feel the need, so we can't rail on them too hard. Look for your new portal to the Internet this summer.

At least it's not Bing.

Source: Business Wire

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