3 years ago

Slightly redesigned Android launcher sneaks out in screenshot from Google


Eagle-eyed Google Play Store-goers will have noticed something mildly interesting in this screenshot from the Google IO 2012 Android app listing. It's the stock Android 4.x launcher, but what's that at the top? A redesigned Google Search bar? Sure looks like it. It's a transparent square in Google's screenshot, as opposed to the white-bordered dealie that we know from the Galaxy Nexus.

To be clear, this isn't merely a redesigned widget -- in ICS, the Google search bar is part of the launcher itself​, meaning that the change must also be of the launcher. Sure, it'd be easy to mock up this sort of image using a custom launcher, or even Photoshop, but remember this is a screenshot from Google, from an official Google app listing.

This naturally leads to some speculation that the image comes from a future version of Android, perhaps Jelly Bean. And when you consider the image's source and subject matter, it's easy to connect the dots and conclude that we might see a new version of Android (albeit one with only minor visual changes) at next week's Google IO conference in San Francisco. There's already been plenty of speculation that we'll see Jelly Bean next week, and that it'll be Android 4.1.

Also of interest, is the time in this pic -- 25:10. Obviously that's not a real time. Some have speculated it's a reference to a date -- October 25 -- but we don't think it's likely that Google would tease an announcement so far out. 

So perhaps this is our first look at the next version of Android, or maybe Google's just trolling the blogosphere. If you've got any theories, let us know what you think down in the comments.

Source: Google Play Store

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3 years ago

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 review


Behold, the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III (S3)! 

That's all we need to write, right? The Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) really doesn't need too much preamble at this point, having been released overseas for several weeks now. We covered the launch event in London. It's a big, sleek, powerful phone. And it's coming to AT&T this week. And it's doing so in exactly the same form factor as we see abroad.

It's not quite that simple, of course. While it looks exactly the same on the outside (and on the software side as well) AT&T -- like the other U.S. carriers and a few in Canada -- has a slightly different version under the hood. And this is AT&T we're talking about, so we'd better open things up to make sure nobody's hidden anything up their sleeve.

Ready for some more Galaxy S3 goodness? Dive on in for our AT&T Galaxy S3 mini-review.

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3 years ago

Sprint Galaxy S3 review


Samsung's Ferrari is stuck in the slow lane for a little while longer, but that doesn't necessarily mean you should pass up the Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) on Sprint

Say you're one of the top smartphones in the world. (In the whole entire world!) You know you're going to sell millions and millions of units in more countries than a 10th-grader has to memorize before the last week of school. You know your place in the world. Things are looking pretty good.

Now imagine you're the Samsung Galaxy S III on Sprint.

It's just not fair.

Oh, you're still that same bad-ass phone with that bad-ass phone strut -- at least as long as you've got a stable Wifi connection. But out on your own, with only a sub-par 3G network to get you by, it's like you're walking along in slow motion as the rest of the world flies by. How's that strut looking now? Yeah. Not so good.

But -- and we've said this before -- Sprint's working on it. We should see its LTE network go live any day now. And we know that the Samsung Galaxy S III is a more-than-capable smartphone. Indeed, it's easily in the running for the best Android phone of the year. So let's get to it. Behold, our Sprint Galaxy S3 mini-review.

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3 years ago

LG unveils 'Quick Voice' in Korea to take on Siri and S-Voice


With Apple having Siri and Samsung having S-Voice, we were kind of wondering if any other other manufacturers were going to join this voice driven assistant party. As it turns out, LG is willing to take a run at it having now unveiled Quick Voice as they're calling it in Korea. LG's Quick Voice (from what we can tell so far) will provide you with all that you would expect from a voice recognition system. Meaning it can launch searches, schedule appointments, bring up apps, make calls and even tell you what the date is. Right now, LG has noted it will be coming to their Optimus line of devices by end of June through July through a software update. At this time, there is no mention of a U.S. release date but it seems likely that LG would want to roll it out in as many places as possible eventually.

Source: LG

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3 years ago

Samsung releases source code for AT&T and T-Mobile versions of Galaxy S III


Sammy has spat out the source code for GPL portions of the AT&T and T-Mobile Galaxy S III firmware, and made it available for download at their developer site. It goes without saying that unless you're the type who builds software, this won't be something you need to download, but for the folks who do it means things like custom kernels and tweaks, which a good many folks love. 

No word on any other versions, but since they haven't shipped yet we're not going to give them any grief about it just yet.  If you're an interested developer, or just curious what a bunch of Linux kernel source looks like, grab either (or both!) versions at Samsung's open-source developer portal below.

AT&T Galaxy S III source codeT-Mobile Galaxy S III source code

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3 years ago

Official Google IO 2012 app now ready for download


We're now seven days away from the kick off of Google IO 2012 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and now, Google has gone ahead and updated the official conference app for those who are lucky enough to be attending the event. This year, the app has received a makeover and some great new features have been added including Google+ integration as well as the ability go stream conference video directly. The full list looks a little something like this:

  • View the conference agenda and edit your personal schedule
  • View detailed session, code lab, and speaker information, including speaker bios, photos, and Google+ profiles
  • +1 sessions right from the app
  • Participate in public #io2012 conversations on Google+
  • Guide yourself using the conference map
  • Get a reminder a few minutes before sessions in your schedule are due to start
  • View information about companies in the Developer Sandbox
  • Keep up with announcements from the I/O team during the conference
  • View your schedule on your Android 3.0+ device's home screen using an app widget
  • Play back "I/O Live" session video streams on your Android 3.0+ devices
  • Automatically sync sessions in your schedule to your Android 4.0 device's calendar
  • Beam session details from your Android 4.0, NFC-enabled device to another using Android Beam

As you can tell, the app really is intended for those actually attending Google IO 2012 but there is enough features built in that everyone can enjoy it in one way or another. We'll be there at the Moscone Center from June 27-29 taking it all in and bringing it all back to you guys. In the meantime though, go ahead and grab the app from the Google Play Store and follow along.

Download the Google IO 2012 app

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3 years ago

TouchWiz Nature UX: The definitive guide


$jump = Jump to a sectionBack to the topGetting started with TouchWizNotification barHome screensPersonalizationLock screenWifi, Wifi Direct and DLNAKeyboardEmail and messagesBrowser and FlashGalleryMusicCameraPhone and ContactsMultitasking and Task ManagerS Planner and TasksS VoiceMotion and GesturesFlipboardWeatherDisplay and Smart StayDeveloper OptionsKies and Connecting to a ComputerAllShare PlayMusic, Video and Games HubOther Notables EOT; ?>

Want to get to grips with the new version of Samsung's ​TouchWiz software on the Galaxy S III? We’ve got all the info you could ever want...

Samsung’s Galaxy S III introduces a new version of the manufacturer’s UI layer, known as TouchWiz. TouchWiz has its roots in Samsung’s Symbian featurephones and Windows Mobile smartphones, but most Android fans will recognize it as the software that Samsung used on its Galaxy S and Galaxy S II devices. TouchWiz has typically been brighter and more feature-packed than vanilla Android, if a little scattershot in terms of overall design. Nevertheless, millions of consumers have used the software on Samsung devices over the past few years, making it one of the most popular Android “skins” out there. And for its latest flagship phone, Samsung has unveiled a brand new version -- the “TouchWiz Nature UX.”

Drawing design cues from Samsung’s “inspired by nature” slogan, the new TouchWiz has undergone a visual overhaul, and introduced a truckload of new features. At the same time, the manufacturer’s stripped out some of the extraneous apps and widgets found in TouchWiz 4 in an effort to make things more streamlined (though many of these extras are still available for download under “more services”).

So there’s a lot to learn, and plenty of new functionality to discover. Fortunately, we’re here to help with our definitive guide to Samsung’s TouchWiz Nature UX.

Getting started with TouchWiz | Notification bar | Home screens | PersonalizationLock screen |
Wifi, Wifi Direct and DLNA | Keyboard | Email and messages | Browser and Flash |
Gallery | Music Player | Camera | Phone and Contacts | Multitasking and Task Manager |
S Planner and Tasks | S Voice | Motion and Gestures | Flipboard | Weather | Display and Smart Stay |
Developer Options | Kies and Connecting to a Computer | AllShare Play |
Music, Video and Games Hub | Other Notables

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3 years ago

Galaxy S III release partially delayed on Sprint; T-Mobile reportedly splits launch to two dates


Sprint has announced that it is "running a little behind on deliveries" of the Samsung Galaxy S III. The 16GB versions will be available from Telesales and online on June 21 as advertised, and pre-orders will ship this week. They also say that the 32GB versions will be shipped out for customers who pre-ordered next week, but again with no word about in-store sales.

Due to overwhelming demand and limited supply for Sprint’s Samsung Galaxy S III, we are running a little behind on deliveries. The 16GB version of Samsung Galaxy S III device will be available in Web Sales and Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) beginning on Thursday, June 21. It will be in all remaining sales channels next week.

We are optimistic that we’ll be shipping all Samsung Galaxy S III-16GB pre-orders this week and that they will be delivered by June 21 as anticipated. There is a chance, however, that we may be a day or two late. We anticipate shipping all Samsung Galaxy S III-32GB pre-orders next week. To check the status of your pre-order, please visit www.sprint.com/myorder.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate the patience of our customers as we work through this minor delay in availability. We know that many of you are eager to experience the next generation of the Samsung Galaxy series on the only network to provide unlimited data plans to new and existing customers. Should this situation change, we will continue to update this post as we have new information to share.

This comes shortly after word leaked out to TMo News that the T-Mobile version release was being split into two parts, with a June 21 date for the top markets and a June 27 date for everyone else. We're not sure why the Sprint release was delayed, and they're not saying, but according to T-Mobile the release date was split to try and meet demand. We've reached out to all major US carriers to get any updates to their release schedules.

As we mentioned when reporting that Canadian GSIIIs were being held back, we're not sure that we're getting the full story when told the delays are to help meet demand. Surely it's not some vast conspiracy, but we'd like nothing more than knowing the full story behind this date juggling. We'll keep asking, and when we can ferret out an answer you'll be the first to know. 

Source: Sprint; TMoNews

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3 years ago

Orange primed to advertise the San Diego


It looks like Orange are all set to start a new TV advertising campaign soon featuring the San Diego. The above video was released earlier today on their YouTube channel and it would appear that they have put in quite an effort into making the commercial.

Orange are clearly very proud of their Intel powered own-branded Android device and rightly so as offers great value for money. Available for only £199 on pay-as-you-go plus a £10 top up, the San Diego may not be one to outshine the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S III or the HTC One X, but for consumers on a budget looking for a pretty powerful and fast Android device it could be the perfect device for them.

If you missed our video walkthrough with the Orange San Diego you catch up with it here.

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3 years ago

Huawei Honour now available in the UK through independent retailers


Huawei today announced that the Honour, its 4-inch, Gingerbread-powered smartphone, is now available in the UK through independent retailers. Don't let the British spelling fool you-- the Honour is the same device we reviewed back in January, complete with 1.4 Ghz  Snapdragon processor, and 8 MP camera. Huawei says that the Honour will bring honorable (sorry, couldn't resist) battery life to the UK, though we had less-than-stellar results during our time with the device. Regardless, we thought the Honour was a respectable device, and with a £250 unlocked pricetag, it just got a bit more attractive. You can grab your Honour today at Expansys, Clove Technology and Play.com, with more retailers "coming soon."

Source:  CoolSmartPhone.com

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3 years ago

Google Wallet not playing nice with the HTC EVO 4G LTE


Google Wallet is acting up again, and this time it seems like everyone with an EVO 4G LTE is either locked out of the app or unable to install it because they have an unsupported device in an equally unsupported country. Never mind the fact that the device was support previously, and the EVO 4G LTE is sold only in the lone supported country. Unfortunately, those are the only two things anyone outside of Google and Sprint are sure of.

Could the app be blocked purposely for an imminent roll-out of Sprint's own Touch Wallet service? While that's possible, it's just as likely that there's an error and this is a bug -- Google Wallet has been pretty temperamental. If you ask Wallet support, they will respond thusly:

Hello xxx,

Thank you for calling Google Wallet. You called us regarding being unable

to access the Google Wallet app on your HTC Evo.

Google Wallet is temporarily unavailable on your device and our
engineering team is working hard to make sure Google Wallet is working as
intended. We will be sure to let you know when full functionality has

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

It was a pleasure assisting you today. Feel free to contact us again if
you have any additional questions regarding Google Wallet or visit our
Help Center at Wallet Help


The Google Wallet Team

Since that's all we really have to go with, we're gonna call it growing pains. Sure wish Wallet would finish growing ...

Discuss in the EVO 4G LTE forums

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3 years ago

Google 'accelerating' development of its own voice assistant, WSJ reports


There's no denying that iOS's Siri has been a huge success for Apple, usability issues aside.  And it's no real secret that Google's been working on its own voice assistant tech at its top-secret Google X Lab for some time. So today's report that Google is reportedly speeding up work on its own interactive assistant will make for interesting, if unsurprising reading.

Near the end of a The Wall Street Journal article examining the state of the smartphone ecosystem is the news that Google is "accelerating plans to launch its own Siri competitor" for Android devices. The WSJ reports that, naturally, Google's assistant would work on Android devices, citing "people familiar with the matter."

While major mobile platforms borrowing each others' features is to be expected (hey there, S Voice), rumors surrounding Google's "Assistant" project have hinted at more than a mere aping of Siri's functionality. Google's ultimate goal, it's been reported, is more akin to the Star Trek computer than an app for looking up weather forecasts and setting reminders.

As with all developing Google technologies, there's a chance we may see something of Google's Assistant tech at Google IO next week, however we think this one's probably going to be a slower burn, even if the pace of development has quickened. Perhaps something for Android 5.0 or beyond?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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3 years ago

ZTE announce the Grand X LTE (T82) bound for Asia Pacific and Europe



Since making the decision to sell its own brand smartphone as opposed to unbranded ones for carriers, ZTE has been making huge headway. This latest offering, the Grand X LTE (T82) is the companies first single chip LTE smartphone and could well go down a storm in certain markets.

Specs wise the Grand X LTE is pretty impressive, sporting a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, an 8 megapixel rear camera, capable of shooting and playing back video in full 1080p HD and a front camera with 720p powers. It's 1900 mAp battery is said to be 'large capacity' by ZTE, however I come from the UK and unfortunately we are still lacking LTE technology here so whether this will get you through the day I have no idea.

ZTE smartphones tend to be very reasonably priced here in the UK. I wonder if things will be so keen in Asia and the rest of Europe?

You can see the full press release below:

Source: ZTE

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3 years ago

LG Optimus 4X HD hands-on and initial review


When I first opened the box for the LG Optimus 4X HD, the words "wow" came out of my mouth. It's 4.7-inches of sexy, iconic LG style, in white, and that's a good way to get me hooked. We had an earlier look at the 4X HD at CES in 'Nawlins, and walked away impressed with what LG was showing us with both the new hardware and software. The 4X HD is a beauty, and built like a tank. 

The specs are at the top of the heap, with it's 4.7-inch IPS HD display at 720p (and it's stunning), a Tegra 3 and 1GB of RAM under the hood, NFC, Gorilla Glass, removable 2150 mAh battery, and micro SD card slot. It rivals the HTC One X in the screen quality department, and at this early stage I'm not sure which is better -- they are both that good. The software's no slouch either, with Android 4.0.3 and LG's newest iteration of the Optimus UI, which is a vast improvement from what we've seen with older models.

What really got me excited was in the settings. We see many really cool phones from players like LG, that are destined never to come to the United States. While we can't say for sure that we'll see this one on our side of the pond, we can say LG has built US English into the firmware. That means it is ready to go with a dictionary, display language, date, time, currency, everything is set up for use inside the US. That's something we don't usually see in phones solely for Europe or Asia, and I think it's a good sign.

I'm going to give the 4X HD a run for a bit and let you know what I think after it's all said and done. In the meantime, hit the break for some video and pictures.

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3 years ago

HTC: Wifi glitch so far only seen in Tegra 3 One X


We've just gotten some more information regarding the Wifi issues some HTC One X owners have been experiencing, and which the manufacturer acknowledged this morning.

An HTC spokesman tells us that so far only the quad-core Tegra 3 version of the One X appears to be affected; there have been no reports of the issue in the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4. That means if you have the AT&T One X (or any other LTE version), you're likely safe and sound. But it's also worth noting that not we've got a couple Tegra 3 versions that are working just fine. So, again, it's still not known exactly how many phones are affected. 

We've also got a little more in the way of instructions for those of you who are experiencing issues.

HTC tells us that if you're seeing this hardware glitch (or even think you are), you should call HTC customer support (you can find your regional phone number here), and they'll help walk you through things to confirm the issue and move on from there. It's also possible you might be able to exchange the phone at the point of purchase, but that can change by country, so we'd start with the customer service call.

More: HTC One X forums

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