Headlines

3 years ago

Black Galaxy S3 appears in Carphone Warehouse inventory, backs up Samsung Facebook pics

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Those disappointed with Samsung's initial choice of colors for the Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3) may be in luck, as information has emerged suggesting a black version of the popular handset may be on the way. The shot above is part of a set that's been doing the rounds for a few days now. It first appeared on Samsung's Facebook page alongside some promotional blurb for the Olympics, and it certainly looks​ like a black Galaxy S3. However, it's difficult to tell for sure -- if you've seen the pebble blue S3 in person, you'll know that it looks much darker up close than in earlier promo images.

Today, though, further evidence of the phone's existence has cropped up in a leaked inventory system photo from UK retailer the Carphone Warehouse. The shot, obtained by ​Android Police​ lists the black S3 alongside the marble white and pebble blue variants. There's no indication as to when the rumored black version might arrive, however.

With the garnet red AT&T Galaxy S3 in the states (and monstrosities like this pink Galaxy Note), Samsung has proven it's not afraid of throwing out different colored versions of popular phones. And we're sure there are plenty of people out there who'd snap up a black Galaxy S3, given the opportunity. In any case, we've reached out to Samsung for the official word on this, and we'll update this post with any info they provide.

Source: Samsung Facebook, Android Police

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3 years ago

ICS for GSM Motorola RAZR and RAZR MAXX pushing out to 'select users'

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Broader release due "in the coming week", says Moto

Motorola is almost ready to flip the switch on its Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the international (GSM) RAZR and RAZR MAXX. The manufacturer took to its European Facebook page to tell customers that the ICS update had begun rolling out "to select users," with a broader release scheduled for "the coming week." Basically, it's a soak test, similar to what Moto does with major updates in the U.S.

In addition to Android version 4.0.4, the RAZR ICS update brings a re-vamped lock screen and launcher, as well as visual changes throughout, bringing the UI closer to more recent Moto phones like the Atrix HD. Check out our hands-on report on the Verizon ICS update for more details.

It's been a long wait for ICS on the RAZR series. The Verizon 4G LTE versions got the update shortly after Google I/O, and GSM RAZR owners have been waiting patiently since their ICS update was confirmed in a promotional video in early July.

If you're among the lucky few to have had your GSM RAZR or RAZR MAXX updated to ICS, let us know how you're getting on down in the comments.

Source: Motorola Europe Facebook

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3 years ago

HTC announces Android 4.0.4 update for international One X

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HTC has announced that a new over-the-air update is now rolling out for the international HTC One X (that's the unlocked, HSPA+, Tegra 3 version). This is essentially the same update that the AT&T One X got a few days back, bringing the One X up to Android 4.0.4 (from 4.0.3), and introducing a number of Sense-specific enhancements, including a re-mapping of the 'recent apps' key. Other notables include a new tab-switching button in the browser, white balance adjustment and continuous autofocus in the camera app, and some HTC Media Link improvements in the OpenSense SDK.

HTC says the update will start to filter out to customers today, Aug. 10, so if you're rocking a One X outside of North America, head to Settings > About phone > Software updates to see if your OTA is ready.

Here's HTC's full statement on today's update --

As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure customers are receiving software updates that improve their user experience, we are pleased to announce our next upgrade for the HTC One X will be released on August 10th.

The primary update will include an upgrade to Android version 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), in addition to an improved Sense experience which will: enable the ability to map menu function to the 'recent app' key (improving visual presentation in non ICS apps like Facebook); improve tab management in the browser with a dedicated tab switching button and enhance camera capabilities such as white balance and continuous autofocus.  Furthermore, customers can expect enhancements to memory, platform stability and the overall browsing experience. Other improvements include a Single Sign-On for Facebook allowing user access across applications and browsers and upgrades to Beats audio, which reflect our dedication to providing an authentic sound experience.

From a developer perspective, we are expanding SDK support for Media Link and providing a framework for video call applications to achieve improved performance and quality.

If you're updating your One X today, hit the comments and let us know how you're liking the new version.

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3 years ago

Remainder of ICS updates complete before end of August, says HTC

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... But that's not necessarily when you'll get them

HTC has taken to its official Facebook page to answer fans' questions about Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates for previously announced devices, such as the Desire S and Thunderbolt. In a statement repeated across several posts, HTC said --

"We're still working on getting the updates ready. We expect to have updates issues [sic] by the end of August for all devices that have been announced."

That's good news for anyone still waiting on an ICS update for an HTC device, though it's a bitter bill for Desire HD owners to swallow after their update was canned last month.

It's also worth remembering that even if HTC's finished with its updates before the end of August, that doesn't mean that's when they'll start rolling out to handsets. Mobile carriers still need to test and sign off these updates, a process which in the past has taken months to complete.

So it's a promising development, just don't expect a torrent of updates to drop in the next couple of weeks.

Source: HTC on Facebook; via: Android Police

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 9 stable released, dev focus now on CM10

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Following yesterday's premature release on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the stable version of CyanogenMod 9 is now officially official. That means you can go download the Android 4.0-based custom ROM for supporting devices, without having to worry about stability issues with nightlies, beta builds or release candidates -- this is the fully final, fully-supported version of CM9.

In a post on the official CyanogenMod 9, the team said that excluding major bug fixes, the CM9 stable release marks the end of their ICS development efforts. From now on they'll focus on the Jelly Bean-based CyanogenMod 10, in addition to maintaining CM7 for older devices. In addition, the focus of nightly builds will now switch to CM10.

The team says today's stable release should be available for most supported devices, with "stragglers" catching up over the next few days. At the time of writing, builds are still in the process of baking, and so only a dozen or so are available right now.

To check if CM9 stable is available for your phone, check the get.cm link below. Now, bring on CM10 and Jelly Bean!

Source: CyanogenMod; Download: get.cm

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3 years ago

Google, U.S. carriers and PayPal join mobile payments standards comittee

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The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) announced that it has formed what they are calling the Mobile Payments Committee -- a group of companies working together to create common standards and advance the current mobile payment situation in the U.S. Notable partners include AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, as well as other industry partners like Google and ISIS

While the companies are all focusing on competing products, they realize the benefit that comes with getting merchants on board working with regulators to get some standard rules in place. According to ETA CEO Jason Oxman, "The idea behind the committee is to get all the players around the table, ask everyone to take off their company hats and put on their industry hats, and talk about what issues need to be resolved."

We agree. In the end only the companies who can offer what consumers want in a safe and easy to use way will survive, so it's important to get all the rules and standards put in place while the technology is still in the early stages. We don't see any of the participants willing to drop their offerings in favor of another, but hopefully a set of common goals can be used to get mobile payment technology into the public's hands where the best product can win. Waiting until one or more of the partners have pulled ahead will only make it harder to adopt legislation that's fair to all parties.

The Mobile Payment Committee will hold its first meeting in late August, with regular monthly meetings to follow. We've been crowing for some standardization for a while now, so we think this is great news. The full press release is after the break.

Via  MobileBurn

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3 years ago

OTA Update Center brings over-the-air updates to any ROM developer

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Nothing pleases Android fans more than a notice that they have an update. Millions of words have been spent on countless blogs and forums discussing OTAs (or the lack of them) and we get a little giddy when we see the notice that one is available. The folks at the OTA Update Center have worked out the supporting infrastructure and methods to offer a free OTA service to any ROM developer, so that hackers and modders can enjoy that fuzzy feeling an update brings as well.

It' not really anything new -- hackers and ROM devs have been doing custom ROM OTAs since the days of the HTC Hero, and we see similar services offered from ROM Manager and Goo.im Manager. The OTA Update Center will work in a similar fashion, where an app will be installed into the system that communicates with the servers to pass out OTA updates to anyone using the ROM. For the end-user, it's a simple and impressive way to keep the OS on your phone up-to-date.

The real difference here is to the developers. They no longer need to host files or insert framework for an FOTA system into their ROM, and instead can use the supplied tool with a few edits. This will get everything up and running with  minimum of extra code, and provide a sort of standard that all developers can follow. We like standards. Developers like standards. Users like things that "just work", and standards allow that to happen easier.

If you're an end user, you'll have to wait and see if your ROM development team decides to use the OTA Update Center. If you're a developer, you should check out the source links and think about giving it a try. Be sure to give us a shout if you incorporate this into your ROM, we'd love to give it a look!

Source: OTA Update Center, via XDA-Developers

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3 years ago

Intel to bring wireless charging to smartphones and ultrabooks in 2013

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According to DigiTimes' "upstream supply chain," Intel is readying technology that will wirelessly charge Intel powered smartphones via over-the-air induction. To put it in layman's terms, hardware inside the phone will be able to grab low power electricity from mid-air and charge the battery. It's safe, and already has a standard in the Wireless Power Consortium's Qi method, which we've seen in action with contact induction charging on the Thunderbolt. The real barrier, according to the sources has been cost.

Both Sharp and NTT Docomo have launched devices that charge wirelessly via the Qi standard in Japan, but prohibitive costs have kept it from becoming the norm. Samsung was expected to release a similar product this summer, but the project has been delayed until the end of 2012 or early 2013. 

What's different about Intel's rumored offering is the power "source". Supposedly to debut on ultrabooks, a chip inside the laptop will transmit power through the air to an Intel powered smartphone, like Orange's San Diego model. Intel's resources and software group can likely bring the price point down to more reasonable levels, which other OEMs could integrate into their hardware. 

Hopefully options that consist of a wall socket that works stand-alone with the correct smartphone hardware will follow soon, then we can stop worrying about battery life and just buy a sub-station for home and the office. It's one way to address battery life issues that smartphone users suffer from on every platform, and with Intel behind it, it becomes a real possibility now.

Source: DigiTimes

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3 years ago

LG Optimus Vu review

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Oh Optimus Vu, what an odd little device you are. Developed as a less than subtle knee-jerk reaction to Samsung’s Galaxy Note, the Vu went on sale in Korea earlier this year, and it’ll soon be making its way to Japan on NTT Docomo, too. Stateside, it's known as the Verizon LG Intuition. In any case, this is LG’s 5-inch, stylus-using, 4:3 aspect ratio squarish slab. It ran Android 2.3 at launch, but it’s recently received a substantial update to version 4.0 and the new LG Optimus UI 3.0. Shaped more like a placemat than a telephone, the Optimus Vu is one of the most outlandish-looking devices to have ever passed across our desk.

The Vu’s internal specs closely match the device it emulates, and the recent ICS update has done a lot to unlock the potential of that hardware. But considering the 5+ inch phone space is dominated by Samsung, is there space for a second device in this product class? And with the Galaxy Note 2 expected in a matter of weeks, is there any reason to consider LG’s offering? Find out in our full review of the LG Optimus Vu.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy S Blaze Q press shot appears, Aug. 15 release rumored

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A press render for the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S Blaze Q (gasp) has emerged, seemingly confirming rumors of an Aug. 15 release for the upcoming QWERTY slider. The device, which we'll mercifully call the Blaze Q from now on, is rumored to rock a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 720p screen and Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. Essentially, a Galaxy S3 with a full physical keyboard, which is exactly what it looks like in the shot above.

Today's render, obtained by TmoNews​, hints at a possible release next Wednesday, Aug. 15. The date is mentioned in the clock and weather widget on the phone, and last month a leaked internal screen claimed that's when the Blaze Q would launch. As you may have noticed, certain manufacturers like to include launch and announcement dates in promotional photos -- for example, the Galaxy S3 press renders all showed May 3, the date of that phone's unveiling in London. It's far from conclusive, but the evidence is certainly stacking up in favor of a Blaze Q launch in just under a week.

Tmo customers, anything here catch your eye? Let us know in the comments.

Source: TmoNews

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 9 gets stable for the Galaxy Nexus

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Just a quick heads up that CyanogenMod 9 has hit stable build status for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. (That's the GSM Maguro version of the GNex.) That means you'll be running Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich and not the newer Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. But if you've got a hankering for some stable CM9 on the GNex, you're ready to go.

If you do choose to download and are comfortable with torrents, be sure to seed. You'll be doing the world a favor.

Download: CyanogenMod 9 (stable) for the Galaxy Nexus; thanks, @zacharystern

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia GX now available in Japan on NTT Docomo

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Right on schedule, Sony's new flagship smartphone, the Xperia GX, has today launched on NTT Docomo in Japan. The slim-line device is the spiritual successor to last year's Xperia Arc, and it comes with a spec list that should tantalize Android fans after a relatively tepid early 2012 showing from Sony.

The GX boasts a 4.6-inch 720p Sony HD Reality Display, a dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM, a 13MP rear camera (based on Sony's new CMOS sensor for smartphones). On the software side, there's Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, backed up by Sony's UXP NXT software, and all the proprietary Sony Entertainment Network and PlayStation functionality you'd expect. Android purists will be pleased to hear that the GX sports on-screen buttons, including a dedicated multitasking key.

If you're in Japan, you can view pricing details and other info at the source link below. If not, you'll have to wait until later this month, where Sony's expected to unveil an international version of the GX at its IFA press conference in Berlin.

Source: NTT Docomo

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3 years ago

International Galaxy S3 gets OTA update with new baseband

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Owners of the international Samsung Galaxy S III (S3, GT-i9300) are waking up to a new over-the-air update this morning. This tiny update weighs in at under 1MB, and comes labeled as a "stability improvement" patch. As far as we can tell, the only thing this version changes is the phone's baseband (radio firmware), bumping it up version XXLH1. The rest of the system image, where the remainder of the software is housed, doesn't seem to have been touched at all since the last OTA.

So it looks like this is just a minor OTA to address some issues with the radio firmware, which will be welcome news to S3 owners still experiencing the elusive "cell standby" battery drain issue that's been reported on forums. Though we've yet to receive confirmation that the update fixes this issue, it's the most likely reason for a quick radio update like this. We should also mention that local search is alive and well in this version, after it was restored a few weeks back.

If you're rocking an unlocked international Galaxy S3, you'll probably have already received the notification for this update. If not, head to Settings > About device > Software updates on the phone, or fire up Samsung's Kies desktop software to grab the new OTA. Carrier-branded phones may have a little longer to wait before they get this latest update.

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3 years ago

Android 4.1 for the T-Mobile G1 probably won't be your daily driver...

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... But damned if it isn't cool to see the original Android phone from late 2008 getting some custom Jelly Bean love. Yes, it's slow (sloooow), unstable, and the hardware's prehistoric, but it's Jelly Bean -- based on a port of CyanogenMod 10 -- and it's running on the T-Mobile G1 (aka HTC Dream). See the full preview video from the developers above, or check the forum thread linked below if you fancy firing up your G1 for old time's sake and flashing this custom ROM.

Source: XDA

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3 years ago

Vodafone Australia finally rolls out Jelly Bean on its Nexus S

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You might remember that Vodafone Australia halted the roll-out of Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean to its version of the Nexus S last month, following regulatory concerns over the handling of emergency calls. Well, it now seems everything's been straightened out, as according to Ausdroid, Aussies are waking up on Thursday morning to a brand new Vodafone Nexus S OTA.

In addition, customers on the Vodafone-based Crazy Johns network (yes, that's a real carrier name down under) are reporting that their Nexii are also seeing the update to Jelly Bean.

It's bound to have been a frustrating few weeks for subscribers on these networks, as U.S. and international Nexus S phones started to receive Jelly Bean way back on July 19. But it seems the wait is over now, so if you're on Vodafone Australia, head to Settings > About phone > Software updates to see if it's your turn to grab the OTA.

Source: Ausdroid

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