Headlines

3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III to be released next month after it's announced this month, says ZDNet Korea

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The Samsung Galaxy S III (or now, apparently, the Galaxy S3) will be released in April, after it's announced in March, says ZDNet Korea, citing marketing sources. Could well happen. Or not. Of course, Samsung has to announce the phone, and then release dates will roll out worldwide as they always do -- slowly and gradually. And those of us here in the United States will have to wait for the carriers to make their own announcements. ZDNet's sources say it'll all revolve around some heavy Summer Olympics marketing, which would make sense.

We'll let you know when we actually see announcement invites or something ... what's that word ... official.

Source: ZDNet Korea

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3 years ago

Samsung reportedly sells 2 million Galaxy Notes, hopes for 10 million by year's end

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Samsung has sold two million Galaxy Note smartphones since the device's debut last November, according to the latest numbers reported by Forbes. The figure sees Samsung doubling the initial million sold between late October and late December 2011, and is likely boosted by the Note's recent launch in the U.S. and Canada. Forbes also says the manufacturer is aiming for a total of 10 million by the end of the year.

We imagine this is a predicted number for all Note series devices, including the recently unveiled Galaxy Note 10.1, a product which sits firmly on the "tablet" side of the phone/tablet divide. Rumors of a 7-inch Galaxy Note also persist, despite the lack of such a device at Mobile World Congress. However, given the speed at which Samsung is rolling out new phones and tablets, we'd be surprised if we didn't see more Galaxy Notes before the end of 2012.

Samsung also announced strong sales of its Galaxy S II series recently, including global sales of 20 million units and 5 million sold in Samsung's native South Korea.

Source: Forbes

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3 years ago

Sprint Data Storm Sweepstakes - Win one of 30 Galaxy Nexus smartphones from Sprint

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On Sprint and want the chance to win yourself a Samsung Galaxy Nexus? Now you can get the chance to do so. Seems Sprint is throwing a little bit of a celebration and giving away 30 of them. You can head on over to their Sprint Data Storm Sweepstakes site and get enetered today. Before anyone else points it out, yes -- the contest does close on April 5, 2012 so take from that what you will. In other words, it may be the release date or it may not -- we don't know.

Source: Sprint

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3 years ago

Android allows apps to see your photos, like every computer does [FUD]

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Let's file this under "anything for a story about Android". The New York Times has decided that Android is also "vulnerable" to apps being able to see your pictures, just like it was designed to do. It all stems from some press recently where iOS had a loophole that allowed apps without permissions to access photos stored on a user's mobile device. There is a big difference here though, and it's in the design. 

iOS was designed so that nothing but the gallery on your device, or iTunes had access to your pictures. Developers that had to access GPS data could get in the Camera Roll, because a lot of pictures have and use GPS data. Rene does a really good job at explaining this over at iMore, and you should read it. Personally, I didn't think it was a severe security hole on iOS, but it was a loophole that Apple decided to fix. That's good -- if you're going to have a permissions policy on a certain part of the file system, you should enforce it. Even a silly permissions policy.

Android, on the other hand, was not designed this way. It's like a Windows computer. Or a Mac computer. Or a Linux computer. Or a digital camera. Even the computer used to write the story at the NYT allows complete access to photos -- they all do. It's standard file input/output, and just because Apple decided not to use it makes no difference. It doesn't stop there, either. Documents, videos, music, all media is able to be shared in a modern operating system. I can use Microsoft Office and see the pictures folder on every computer here at my house, because it was designed that way. It makes things easy to use and share, because we like to use and share digital media.

Unfortunately, all the fuss over "private" data lately has even Google second guessing themselves:

We originally designed the Android photos file system similar to those of other computing platforms like Windows and Mac OS. At the time, images were stored on a SD card, making it easy for someone to remove the SD card from a phone and put it in a computer to view or transfer those images.

 

As phones and tablets have evolved to rely more on built-in, non-removable memory, we're taking another look at this and considering adding a permission for apps to access images. We've always had policies in place to remove any apps on Android Market that improperly access your data.

This could just be PR spin, or Google really may have to make things harder for us all because of silliness. I don't want this, I'm assuming that most of you guys don't want this either. Do yourself a favor, and don't fall into this trap.

Source: New York Times

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3 years ago

3 is the new unlimited says AT&T, as they officially change unlimited data plans

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If you've got a grandfathered unlimited data plan through AT&T, you're about to be throttled once you hit a 3GB ceiling per AT&T's new official policy. Users who consume 3GB of data with a 3G device, or 5GB of data with a LTE device will be throttled back to Edge speeds until the new billing cycle begins. Because of recent consumer complaints AT&T was forced to draft an official policy here, and now we know exactly what will happen if we're part of the 5-percent of users who use more than AT&T feels is a fair share.

It's good to have a policy across the board. We have the right to know what can, and will, happen if we use "too much" data. 3GB seems like a fair place to start, this way unlimited users aren't stuck being able to use less data than tiered plan subscribers. And Edge speeds are often faster than 3G speeds on that "true unlimited" network. And throttling is certainly better than thousands of dollars in overages. On it's face, this seems like a fair compromise.

But 3 does not equal unlimited. 

AT&T never promised anyone unlimited "high speed" data, so we're pretty much at their mercy. But just like it did when T-Mobile introduced it, throttling seems wrong. Sell me a phone that eats data like candy, then don't give me the data plan to use it all? See AT&T's full press release after the break.

Source: AT&T; via: iMore

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3 years ago

Google says they are expanding Wallet to 10 new Sprint devices in 2012

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Besides the LG Viper 4G, Sprint will be getting at least nine other devices that run Google Wallet by years end, says Google's VP of Wallet and Payments Osama Bedier. During the Mobile Money: Delivering Innovative Mobile Payment Services panel in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress 2012, Bedier said Sprint will introduce "at least 10 additional phones" with support for Google Wallet this year. He also added that Google is still negotiating with other operators, manufacturers, and potential financial partners to broaden the reach of Wallet in the US.

With 22 of the largest retail chains in the US supporting Wallet purchases at over 300,000 MasterCard PayPass terminals, Google has a big head start. But that's no guarantee that the service will become the standard, as competitor Isis sets up to begin trials later this year. Isis already has the partners -- HTC, LG, Motorola Mobility, Research In Motion, Samsung and Sony have committed to building devices that support Isis, and Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, Chase, CapitolOne and Barclaycard have partnered with them as well. That is going to be tough to compete against. With recent security issues plaguing Google Wallet, a partnership with Sprint alone may not be enough to keep the project afloat. We'll have to wait and see who can deliver a product that consumers want, and more importantly, a new technology that consumers will adopt.

Source: Fierce Wireless

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3 years ago

Preorder the Panasonic Eluga Power now at Clove Technology

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Fresh off of its world premier this week in Barcelona, Panasonic's Eluga Power is already available for preorder through online retailer Clove Technology. With an expected arrival of "late April", the Eluga Power will set you back a cool £399 ( that's £478.80 after VAT), a pretty reasonable price for a 1.5 GHz dual core processor, 5-inch HD display, and Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box. We got our grubby hands on one earlier this week and despite a few software quirks (it was a prototype unit!), we were impressed by what Panasonic is doing. 

If you're a fan of the pre-order, you can do so now at the source link. We'll keep our ears to the ground for an official release date, and we'll be sure to get you a full review once the Eluga Power hits stores stateside. 

Source: Clove Technology

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3 years ago

Mobile World Congress day three wrap-up

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Things are winding down in Barcelona, the fellows are enjoying some of the local delicacies and getting ready for the trip home. But just because Mobile World Congress is finishing up doesn't mean they didn't work their collective tails off today, making the final sweep of the show to make sure no stone was left unturned, no device left un-handled,  and no hors d'oeuvre was left uneaten.  We're thorough like that.  While Phil and the gang pack up their belongings, hit the break with me and see what they found today.

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3 years ago

Google Wallet updated with core fixes, prepaid cards still borked

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Google Wallet has been updated with a pretty extensive (and detailed) change log. You can now use a PO box in the address and be able to top up your prepaid card, and that address can be longer (good news for those living in Winchester-on-the-Severn, Maryland), reward card syncing has been fixed, "improvements" have been made to support more handsets, and fixes to the core wallet system have been applied.

One thing that hasn't been fixed is the prepaid cards. You can't add a new one, you can't retrieve your data for an existing one, and you'll get an error about system upgrades if you try. I know, because i tried both. I'm getting the feeling my $11.40 is gone forever.

All kidding aside, I'm sure some of you guys did drop a decent amount of cash in the prepaid card, have wiped your phone since, and can't get it back. I understand the need to change and fix a few things on the security side (Google Wallet is still very beta after all), but it would be nice to be able to access my fortune next time I wanna buy a cup of coffee. We can only hope Google gets it all figured out shortly.

There's a link after the break to the Market, but be warned -- it only will work if you've got a Sprint Nexus S 4G or an unlocked Galaxy Nexus with an AT&T SIM card in it. The rest of us will have to resort to hackery to get it installed. I'm sure the apk will be posted somewhere soon enough.

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3 years ago

Skitch for Android - Now includes highlighting of maps, saving to your SD Card

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You ever come across one of those applications where it seems like an obvious feature is missing and you wonder why the heck it isn't there? I felt that way about Skitch until tonight. Previously when using Skitch, you couldn't save files to the SD Card fo your device but now with the latest update you can do that and more:

  • Maps in Skitch  - Skitch is great for eliminating ambiguity: draw attention to a person in a photo or point out where that new sofa should go. And now, you can even take the ambiguity out of giving directions. With the new map feature, drop a pin with an address, then use arrows, shapes and lines to show exactly where you mean.
  • Save to the SD card - This is one of our most requested features. Now, anything you have in Skitch can be saved to your SD card. Do this by tapping on the Save icon. You can also find your saved images by tapping on that same icon.
  • Move your text - We also made it easier to add and move text. When you start typing, your text appears in place over the image. Tap and drag the text to move it to a different location, pinch the text to change its size. You can do all of this without changing to the finger tool. Easy.

Skitch has also included some bug fixes and general improvements with this release. You'll find in the Android Market right now available for download. If you've not used Skitch as of yet, go ahead and jump past the break -- you'll find a download link there waiting for you.

Source: Evernote Blog

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3 years ago

Seidio offering 3800mAh 'Super Extended Battery' for Verizon Nexus, with NFC

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If you were holding off on buying one of Seidio's 3800mAh batteries for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus because they weren't compatible with NFC, here's something you'll be interested in. The company has begun offering the big battery with built in NFC circuitry. It's $75, but Seidio says:

When you can’t get to an outlet, our Innocell Super Extended Life Batteries will keep you moving forward. Our Extended Life Batteries utilize premium Japanese cells to ensure the highest levels of safety and performance. Super Extended Life Batteries can offer up to 100% more battery life than your stock battery.

With Verizon's power hungry LTE network, for many a spare battery is a must. Now that they have the NFC issues sorted, you can have that spare, in the XXL size, and still play with your hacked-on Google Wallet. Hit the link for details.

Source: Seidio. Thanks, Mike!

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3 years ago

Verizon's response to FCC about bootloaders surprises nobody

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There's an old letter being passed around today that provides Verizon's response to the FCC about locked bootloaders.  Starting early this month, these letters began going out to anyone who had formally filed a complaint with the FCC about Verizon locking the bootloaders on phones that utilized the spectrum covered under the block C license, and they don't say anything everybody didn't already know. Verizon wants bootloaders locked, and they say you'll get better customer service if they stay that way.

And they are right.

Put away your pitchforks and hear me out. If you're reading this, and got a little hot under the collar when I said Verizon could better serve customers if the bootloader was locked down, you're not the problem. You root and ROM your phone, and when things get squirrelly you don't call customer service and gripe about it. You flash another ROM, like any smart Android geek would. Verizon isn't worried about providing customer care to you, and you don't need them to. But there are people out there who see these tricks online, get someone on Craigslist to root/unlock/flash something to their phones, and a week later when they realize the camera doesn't work as well, or the Wifi is wonky, or they can't rent movies from the Market, they get on the horn with Big Red. Those people cost Verizon money, and end up not very happy with their hacked Android phone. Plain and simple -- Verizon tech's can't help you if you don't have their software installed.

Yes, it gets old. It sucks when we get punished for problems other folks cause, but welcome to society. It's not likely to change, and VzW probably isn't violating the C block agreement by not allowing unauthorized software to run rampant on their network. You've got three choices -- only buy phones that can be unlocked, switch providers, or enjoy the hell out of your phone the way it came out of the box. Verizon has their best interests, and their shareholders best interests, in mind and we shouldn't expect anything different.

Source: Droid-Life

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3 years ago

Google+ updated with several stability improvements and bug fixes

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If you haven't hit the Android Market yet today, then you may not be aware the Google+ team has pushed out the latest release. While no new features have been added, it is noted to contain several stability improvements and bug fixes and that sounds like something everyone should be interested in. Looking for the download? You'll find it past the break.

Source: Virgil Dobjanschi

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3 years ago

Dolphin Browser HD - Search the web and navigate the browser using Dolphin Sonar

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The folks from MoboTap have now released the latest version of Dolphin Browser HD bumping it up to v7.4.0. Aside from the usual bug fixes typically inlcuded with all updates, this release actually introduces a new feature called Dolphin Sonar that allows you to issue voice commands to help navigate the web. Once installed, you can open up Dolphin, give your device a shake then tell it what you want to do.

"Our Gesture-based browsing function was a game-changer in terms of the way people browse on their mobile devices, and Sonar is the logical next step," said Yongzhi Yang, CEO of MoboTap, makers of Dolphin Browser. "Just as sonar is used by dolphins to navigate, Dolphin Sonar interprets sound to get you where you want to be online. We are continuously thinking of new ways to heighten our users' mobile browsing experience with new and innovative features."

Having given it a quick run through, it fairs quite well when issued commands. I'm not so sure I would use it all the time but I suppose that's the good thing about it -- you don't have to but in case you want to, it's there. You can find the full press release and download link past the break.

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3 years ago

Sprint provides free Mobile Accessibility app to users with low vision

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Today at the 27th annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference Sprint announced that they will begin offering a free application to ease the use of Android phones for people who are blind or have low vision. The app, written by developers at Code Factory, is free in the Sprint area of the Android Market for Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile customers.

The application normally sells for $99 US, and is for anyone who has trouble reading the small print on a smartphone. It's simple user interface and voice guided instructions help users make and receive calls, texts and mail messages, as well as access things like their contacts, calendar, and even browse the web.

We're hard on the carriers here sometimes. Sometimes they deserve it. But I want to take a moment and say on behalf of all of us at Android Central that we applaud Sprint for what they're doing here. The people that will find this application useful may not be able to afford a hundred dollar Android app, and offering it for free is a nice way to give back to customers. Nice work Sprint. 

It's available in both English and Spanish, free for Sprint customers with Android phones running 2.1 or higher. Download links are below, and a short video and the press release are after the break.

Download Wireless Accessibility in English

Descargar accesibilidad inalámbrica en español

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