This is it, folks. The whole enchilada. We've been celebrating you all week -- the half-million-plus members of Android Central. And you are truly what make us the best damn Android community on the planet. And it's time to reward you.
We don't yet officially know what the next Nexus device will be called, but we're pretty sure we're going to see it in another week or so at CTIA. So hit the link below to dive into the Android Central Forums and enter to win. And, yes, our international fans can take part in this one, too. We've gotcha covered. We'll leave this one open Friday and Saturday, so you've got two days to get your entry in. We'll announce the winners from our week's worth of contests on Sunday.
We love to think that once we set a pattern lock -- or any sort of lock -- on our beloved Android device that our information is safe, right? Well, the guys at BGR noticed that the information on the upcoming AT&T version of the Samsung Galaxy S II isn't so safe behind a once trusted pattern lock, and that it can quite simply be bypassed.
All you have to do to get around this is wake the device using the lock key, then let the screen time out, then wake it again with the lock key and you can access all the data. We have seen similar issues with Samsung in the past on the Fascinate, so maybe it is time they take a step back from all the added customizations. We can confirm that it happens on our review unit of the AT&T version, but the Sprint version does not suffer from the same issue.
Note that this indeed is a problem with all of the included locking mechanisms -- pattern, pin and password.
Hit the break check out a quick video of it in action and the official response from Samsung
There's two things we love around these parts -- Android, and good beer. Untappd just minced the two together with a native Android app for their popular social drinking platform. With the native app, you'll be able to share photos with your check-ins, use the notification center to keep track of what and where your friends are drinking, and it's all done in an easy to navigate way.
While we don't condone doing anything silly while drinking a few beers, we do like to have fun while doing it. If you feel the same way, you can grab Untappd for free from the Android Market (link after the break, works with ALL versions of Android) and look for us there.
We have seen the HTC Wildfire S a time or two, and it has landed its way on some major carriers, and today Virgin Mobile has announced that they are bringing this device to those of us who may not be so fond of contracts. Virgin Mobile will start carrying the HTC Wildfire S, in both an exclusive silver color which will be found at Best Buy locations along with a white variant to be found at Radio Shack. At a price point of only $199 for users it is quite a deal for the 3.2-inch Gingerbread machine powered by a 600MHz processor and many other great features. Looking for a new device to play around with, or replace your boring old device? Be sure to check this one out!
Sony Ericsson has just announced that the Xperia Ray (see our hands-on) will now be available for US customers as unlocked, contract-free devices. Checking in at $425, it's quite a nice package -- 3.3-inch screen, 8.1MP camera (Alex says the new S.E. camera's are top notch), front facing camera for video chat, 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, 512MB RAM, and all wrapped up in a stylish aluminum body. Not the highest specs we've seen, but the Ray should be more than capable.
The Ray is sold unlocked and will work on any GSM carrier worldwide, but here in the states if you want 3G connectivity, you'll need to use AT&T, as the Ray lacks the T-Mobile 1700MHz AWS frequency band. You can grab one at online retailers (like Amazon or Newegg) soon, and they will be available in gold, black, white, and pink. Sounds like a great option for those who aren't interested in a contract, and Sony Ericsson knows how to treat Android developers right.
Following up on their rather successful LG Optimus V, Virgin Mobile has announced it will be bringing a full QWERTY slider, the LG Optimus Slider to customers starting Oct. 17 on their website, and Oct. 31 in retail locations. The Optimus Slider will offer a 3.2-inch touchscreen, along with Android 2.3, Gingerbread. The device will come preloaded with Virgin Mobile Live 2.0, their own social media type application, along with all the other goodies of Android 2.3. At a price point of $199, it is set to draw some attention for those who aren't fans of contracts and are looking for a new device.
Seems a lot of people still haven't gotten the Gingerbread OTA update for the Droid Incredible but no need to worry. We've got the full details on just how you can go about getting updated manually. Just follow the instructions below and you'll be up and running:
Rename it to update.zip. (If you're on Windows, be careful to not make it update.zip.zip.)
Copy it to the root (base directory) of your SD card. Don't put it in any folders, and don't put it on the internal memory.
Shut your phone off
While holding the volume down button, turn the phone back on.
In the white Bootloader screen, select recovery from the list.
In the recovery screen (the triangle with exclamation mark), press volume up and power. You'll go to the recovery menu.
In the recovery menu, select "apply sdcard:update.zip"
The phone will find the file, and when finished prompt you to reboot. Reboot via the menu, then patiently wait for the phone to reboot. That's it, you're done!
If you happen to run into any problems, we got you covered there as well. You can head on into the Droid Incredible forums where many folks have already gone through the process and shared their thoughts on the update.
The latest Foursquare update for Android is now available for download in the Android Market. Nothing huge will be found here like previous versions where we got a whole new UI but lists is now included and that's been lacking on the Android front until now.
Lists for Android! Wooo!
Points for check-ins are now in the post check-in screen.
Connect your Twitter account via the Settings screen.
Sort Friends by Nearby or Worldwide on Friends screen. Hit the menu or list footer.
All of those things should help keep things more organized and functional for all you Foursquare users out there. You can jump past the break for the update link or just fire up the Android Market if you already have Foursqaure installed.
A list of the installed apps in the ROM for the Verizon Nexus Prime has been leaked, and they are unsurprisingly bloat free! OK. That's not surpring since it's a Nexus device, but surprising because it's Verizon. Some of us (cough) thought would never happen.
We have no idea of the validity or source of this one -- or just how finished a build it might have been pulled from -- but we're going to go on assumption that a device tester was able to get the info out there, and let's all hope it's final. It's a long list, and we want to discuss some of it, so hit the break and play along.
If the HTC Holiday is high up there on your LTE capable device want list, you shouldn't have that much longer to wait. The FCC has done their due dilligence and gave the device blessing to proceed with 1700/2100/700 LTE bands intact. If you're looking for any carrier details in the FCC filing, you won't find them but this one has been pegged for AT&T since it started popping up.
British online retailer Clove has put the forthcoming Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro up for pre-order, claiming an October 6th release date for the device.
If this is the phone for you, then in the UK at least it'll set you back £322 ($524) off contract. Bearing passing resemblance to the Xperia Play, the Pro has a full slide out QWERTY keyboard in place of the game controls, and we know how much some of you love your QWERTY's.
As with all recent devices out of the Xperia stable, the Pro is packing similar specs to its siblings. It comes with Gingerbread on board, a 3.7" display complete with the mobile Bravia technology, the 8.1 megapixel Exmor R camera from the Arc S, HD video recording and HDMI out.
Yesterday we saw the confirmation that, thanks to assistance from Sony Ericsson, almost all of its Xperia range will be receiving full support from custom ROM CyangenMod in the future. Now SE itself has publicly come out in support of independent developers in a post on its Developer World blog.
The post by Karl-Johan Dahlström (he's the guy holding the CM7'd Xperia Arc in the image above) acknowledges that custom ROMs are "a part of the Android ecosystem", and says SE "fully believes in the openness of Android". It also confirms that SE provided "around 20" devices to FreeXperia team members, along with technical assistance, in order to help bring custom ROMs to the Xperia line.
It wasn't long ago that manufacturers seemed to be irreversibly marching towards locked bootloaders and further restrictions on the way customers use their devices, so it's great to see this kind of support for ROM-makers. And although other manufacturers provide similar assistance to devs behind the scenes, it's fantastic that Sony Ericsson's publicly stating its support for some of the brightest and most dedicated people in the Android community.
HTC announced their newest smartphone this morning called the Explorer, which represents an affordable device headed to India and Europe. We tend to get excited about the top tier phones but the lower-cost devices such as the HTC Explorer are equally just as game changing as they will allow more people with varying incomes to buy a smartphone.
Here are the specs for the HTC Explorer:
3.2-inch touchscreen with 320 x 480 resolution
600 MHz processor
512 MB internal storage
512 MB RAM
3 MP camera
WiFi (802.11 b/g/n)
1230 mAh battery
The phone will be coming to the India and EMEA markets in Q4 and will be available in three colors: Metallic Black, Active Black and Metallic Navy. No word yet on how much it will cost, but given how HTC is marketing it, the price will be very low relative to other smartphones. In the UK, Vodafone has already announced that it'll be carrying the device.
The folks at AppBrain (remember them?), those same fellows who brought the original web installer for Android to the masses, today unveiled the AppBrain Stream. It's a lot like Facebook style social networking, but geared towards, and all about, your Android apps. AppBrain has always been a great way to discover and share Android applications, but the new user streams and feeds really take it all to the next level. If you feel a bit overwhelmed by all the other great tools AppBrain gives us, like daily "hot" apps, personalized recommendations, app demographics, and shared user app lists, you're going to love this.
It's genuinely simple -- you now have a couple new entries on your AppBrain page that show your personalized stream of app-related news and events. You'll see things like messages from your friends when they install a new app (or uninstall an app), personalized recommendations for new apps based on what you're currently using, updates to apps you're running, even app reviews from your friends and discussion about them. You can "like", share or add commentary to each of these entries, just like you would at your favorite social networking site. You can also see just your activity in a dedicated list, to keep track of apps you're talking about.
There's no setup involved -- if you follow someone on AppBrain, you'll see their activity in your stream. The guys at AppBrain let us in a bit early to check it out, and I'll have to say -- this has real potential. No more relying on cryptic or less-than-helpful comments in the Market, or using a random Google search to try and find what your looking for. Like the staff picks on the official Android Market, it will be a great way to find new apps that fit you, with the added bonus of goofing off a bit with your friends. We've got a couple screenshots after the break, as well as a link to download AppBrain to your phone so you can join in. And as we've said before -- Google, just buy these guys already.
I've always enjoyed third-person shooter games and Gameloft has now made available 9MM in the Android Market. If you're into some pretend gang violence with a Scarface like tone to it then you'll likely dig 9MM -- as the story line goes:
You become John "Loose" Kannon, the leader of a special team of hardened cops that aren't afraid to bend the law to clean up the streets. But when they kill a local drug lord's brother and steal millions in cash, the theft makes Kannon's whole team the target of every gangster in the city. Now Kannon has only one option: Take down the gang leader that's hunting them, legally or not, before his team gets taken out first.
Original story? Not exactly. But the game looks to have some pretty awesome graphics and the soundtrack is pretty slick as well. You'll want to make sure you play this one with some headphones on though, or at least out of earshot of those who may find some of the NSFW language found within offensive. You'll find the NSFW video trailer, press release and download link past the break. Before you download though, check out the review left on the Android Market -- many are saying it is a fairly large download so keep that in mind.
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