2 years ago

AT&T Xperia Ion could be coming in June, according to ad


We haven't seen much of the AT&T Sony Xperia Ion since it first reared its head back at CES. But if a recent banner ad appearance is to be believed, Sony's 4.7-inch LTE device could be arriving stateside sooner rather than later. The text ad, sighted in Gmail by DroidMatters​, states that the Xperia Ion is "coming exclusively to AT&T in June." That's not entirely surprising given the Ion's purported "Q2" launch window, but it's a welcome sign that the phone hasn't been subjected to any further delays.

The Ion, which we first got to play with back in January, represents an important step in Sony's efforts to gain a greater foothold in the U.S. smartphone market. The manufacturer will be hoping the combination of a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, a 4.7-inch 720p display and 4G LTE connectivity will tempt American buyers over the next couple of months.

Source: DroidMatters; via: PhoneArena

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2 years ago

Kyocera announces the Hydro and Rise Ice Cream Sandwich handsets


Kyocera has brought two new handsets to CTIA, the Hydro and the Rise, and they're letting them out of the bag this morning. Both phones are decidedly entry level, use the latest technology to enhance voice call sounds, and run Ice Cream Sandwich. The Hydro is a 3.5-inch HVGA with an MSM8655 Snapdragon at 1 GHz, and 512 MB of RAM. It's also waterproof at 1 meter for 30 minutes, because according to Kyocera "70% of users polled said that water resistance is an important feature in their next phones." We can't argue there, we've all seen horror stories about water and smartphones.

The Rise shares the same specs (and overall basic design) with a four-row horizontal sliding QWERTY keyboard instead of the water proof design. Again Kyocera tells us why, saying that "69 percent of consumers say QWERTY keyboards are a must-have or nice-to-have feature in their next mobile phones." A statistic that I can get behind, but I'm thinking most readers on the Internet will disagree with. 

Possibly the most interesting specification is the "Tissue Conduction" audio technology. Originally designed for hearing aid devices, the tech uses a piezoelectric transducer that transmits sound through air as sound waves, and through soft tissue as vibrations. This "delivers dramatically improved hearing in noisy environments" according to Kyocera. You'll simply place any portion of the "A-cover" over the outer ear and ambient noise is cut and the transducer splits the signal to transmit on both paths. It's a really interesting concept, and one we can't wait to try.

There's no word on carrier, release dates, or prices, but both phones are equipped with EVDO radios and should appear later this year on Sprint or Verizon. Given Sprint's relation with Kyocera, my money is on the Now Network. See the full specifications for both after the break.

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2 years ago

Late Night Poll: LCD or AMOLED in your device?


Some of us are self-professed hardware junkies, some of us aren't.  But everybody has to do one thing to use their device, and that's look at the display.  Everybody's eyes are different, but one thing is definite, the better the display the better the overall experience.

This one goes back and forth, and the discussion gets heated at times, but we want to know, do you prefer an AMOLED display or LCD display on your device?

Do you prefer LCD or AMOLED technology in your smartphone's screen?

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2 years ago

Droid Incredible 4G LTE hands-on


We’re here in New Orleans on the eve of CTIA, and Verizon has the next star in their lineup on-hand. The Droid Incredible 4G LTE made its rounds tonight, and from our short but sweet time with the device, we really like what we see. The next-gen Incredible is what would happen if the Droid line mated with the One line: quality HTC hardware with Verizon’s signature touch.

It would be simple to compare the new Incredible to the One S, but despite the similarities, the two are quite different and independently unique in their own right. Sure, they share the same display technology, the same processor, and the same user experience, but aesthetically, the two phones are quite different. Where the One S draws its ooohs and aaahs from its svelte physique, the Droid Incredible 4G LTE makes no apologies about its heftier footprint. If you’re familiar with the first two Incredibles, you’re going to feel right at home here. While they don’t pretend to be the most beautiful devices on the market, they certainly have a charm that’s hard to deny. The textured back, the chromed bezel, and even the 4-inch qHD display isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it adds up to a nice experience.

Internally, it’s pretty clear that Verizon has gotten its hands on HTC’s latest and greatest technology. We’ve got a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, along with a full GB of RAM and 8 gigs of internal storage. The Droid Incredible 4G LTE’s got Ice Cream Sandwich onboard, which translates to the same experience we fell in love with on the One line. Sense 4.0 is like butter on top of Google’s latest OS. It’s fluid, it’s fast, and it looks absolutely stunning. I’ll go on record tonight and say that Sense has made some honest to goodness improvements to Android 4.0.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the main difference between the Incredible and HTC’s flagship devices: the camera. The Incredible lacks HTC’s ImageSense technology, though Verizon says that this camera is respectable in its own right. Regardless, we think its kind of a drag that Big Red customers are going to miss out on one of the best smartphone camera experiences on the market today.

We’ll get more down and dirty with the new Incredible in the coming days and weeks. You can grab yours “in the coming weeks” but until then, sit tight and take a look below at what we got to see tonight.

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2 years ago

HTC Rezound gets yet another Ice Cream Sandwich leak


This should be old hat by now -- an ICS ROM has leaked out for the HTC Rezound. Just like the last leak, and the one before that, and the one before that, you need to either be S-Off or completely stock to load it, and this go 'round it brings new radios, and (you won't like this part) takes away the hidden dialer menu. That means if you've been using the Rezound on T-Mobile or AT&T, you'll want to stay far away from this leak, and likely the official update when it comes around. If you're rockin' the Rezound and wanna give it a look, hit the source links.

Source: Android Police via Android Central forums. Thanks, piizzadude!

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2 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest: Composition


Take a look through the past photo contests, and you'll see that many of us have no problem getting clear, and beautiful pictures with our Android devices. With the HTC One series and the new awesome camera, we expect to see even more great pics. So, it's time we turn our fun little photo contests into a learning experience! 

This week we're going to focus on photo composition. Pointing the camera at something interesting and snapping a picture is more than fine for pictures to share with friends and family, but working on how your picture is laid out and the way it all looks takes things up a notch. Take a second and read Leanna's great article about the rule of thirds over at iMore. She did a great job at taking the theory of the golden ratio and breaking down how it helps make for great photographs. She really knows her stuff, and this week we're going to pay attention to how we set up our shots and follow her examples. Take the time to frame your subject, and show us a picture that has that professional look to it. I can't wait to see them this week.

We'll sift through them all, and pick the one that turns out the very best. The winner will get a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre Tour High-Resolution In-Ear Headphones so they can relax and listen to some music in style after a long day of taking pictures. There are a couple of rules, be sure to follow them:

  • Use an Android device to take a picture. Any Android device
  • Submit the picture in the forum thread we have set up for this week, so everyone can see your handiwork. E-mail was swamping us, and not everyone got to see all the entries. This way, we get to see them all. We like seeing it all.
  • Only submit one. We're going to check, and we'll know if you try to game the system.
  • Be sure to tell what device you used, and any effects or filters used on the photo. We can learn from these as well as have fun.
  • Get your picture in by Friday midnight (your local time). We'll pick the winner and the runners-up and throw them on the blog Sunday afternoon.

Good luck everyone!

Enter the weekly photo contest

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2 years ago

Grab the HTC One X at Walmart for $158 with contract


If you're in the market for a shiny new HTC One X, and feel like saving $40 bucks, you might want to head to Walmart. The LTE handset will soon be hitting the shelves at just $158, which is a substantial savings over the corporate AT&T store. Of course there's a two-year agreement tied to the phone at this price, but something tells me that the One X is a phone that most of us could live with for two years. Like the sheet above says, the specs are great, Sense 4 is great (yeah, I said it), and the network is plenty fast. People seem to be loving it, and not just reviewers

I'm sure you can find some room in the cart with the dog food and paper towels, so swing by and have a look.

Thanks, eonnx!

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2 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich on the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note at CTIA


We've recently seen a leaked build of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note. But how about something a little more official? We're at AT&T's get-together at CTIA in New Orleans, and on its demonstration Galaxy Note is none other than Android 4.0.3. 

A quick spin through the update shows what we expected -- Touchwiz still dominates the ICS UI (just like the Galaxy S III, by the way). But Ice Cream Sandwich is running on an "official" AT&T phone out here in the open is a pretty good sign that an update's on the way.

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2 years ago

Oracle v Google decision -- the layman's edition


You probably heard that a partial decision was made in the Oracle versus Google lawsuit this afternoon. Nobody won, nobody lost (except us end-users, who will have to pay for all this somehow), and in reality things have only just begun to get interesting. If you're a lawyer, or pretend to be a lawyer on the Internet, you have plenty of places to get into fancy discussions, using words like discovery and writ, but I'm just here to try to break it down so that the average Joe (or Jane, or Jerry) can get a grasp on what's happening.

This was just the first phase of the trial. Judge Alsup has thrown most of the suit out of court already, leaving two sections to decide  -- 37 Java API's, and their documentation. We'll start with the question about the documentation, because it's easy -- the jury found that Google did not infringe or unfairly take from the documentation. This means that the jury doesn't think that Google read how the code in question works, then stole the idea to do it their way.

The second question being decided today is a bit more muddy. When asked if Oracle had proven that Google "infringed the overall structure, sequence and organization of copyrighted works", they responded yes, that they believe Oracle did prove this point. However, they could not decide if this structure, sequence and organization should be allowed to be patented copyrighted in the first place.  After reaching an impasse several times about the validity of copyright and fair-use, judge Alsup eventually told the jurors to act as if they were able to be copyrighted and will determine the fair use question later. 

Phase two now begins, and we expect more (and more) motions, fighting, and money being spent in the coming days and weeks. But what about that fair use question? That's important. If judge Alsup finds that the Java APIs in question, or APIs in general, fall under fair use law then it's all a moot point. Courts in the EU have found that software APIs are not subject to copyright or patent, and all fall under the fair use laws -- meaning it's fair for anyone to use them. Many feel that judge Alsup will rule the same way, and all this was for nothing.

We're not lawyers. We don't pretend to be lawyers, don't play lawyers on TV and didn't even sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night. We're tech nerds, smartphone enthusiasts, and Android fans. All we know is that one group of millionaires is arguing with another group of millionaires about who gets what percentage of our money. Of course, both Google and Oracle claim victory, official statements are after the break. We'll keep an eye on things so you don't have to. Right now, I need an Excedrin and a whiskey sour.

More: Groklaw; The Verge

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2 years ago

Build your own CyanogenMod with the latest CMC beta for Ubuntu


Back in December we first had a look at CMC (CyanogenMod Compiler), and it's come a long way since. What started as a command line tool to help download, sync, and build CyanogenMod for any supported device has turned into a full-featured program, complete with a GUI and plenty of polish. With CMC you'll be able to sync with your preferred branch (Gingerbread or ICS) for any officially supported device, then build a flashable zip file with just a few button clicks.

A few warnings are needed here. Firstly, what you're left with when finished is a completely unsupported (by the CM team) nightly build -- don't file bug reports or expect much assistance if there are issues. Next, there's the fact that you're spending time (as in a lot of time) downloading a couple Gigabytes of code and then building it yourself versus just downloading a 100MB file. Finally, we can't forget that fiddling with custom firmware is a great way to ruin your expensive Android device, and only you are responsible for what you do.

If you understand, and are OK with those minor details, this is a great way to roll-your-own CM without much experience. It's a great introduction to software compilation, and the pride of building your own installation is something special. You'll need to be running Ubuntu (versions 10.04 through 12.04 are supported), and the .Deb files will setup and install any dependencies. Give it a look, and be sure to thank lithid-cm for this cool tool!

Source: XDA-Developers; via OMGUbuntu

Thanks, obi!

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