Headlines

3 years ago

Gingerbread for the Droid Charge is officially on its way

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Good news for all of you patiently waiting for Gingerbread on your Droid ChargeVerizon says today that the official update is "coming soon", and will bring with it a host of improvements. In addition to Android 2.3, software update i510.EP4 also brings with it security enhancements, a download manager, and a new user interface and color scheme, just to name a few of the changes in store. You know the drill: it'll roll out slowly, so sit back and enjoy your turkey and stuffing while you wait. Hit the source link for instructions and details from Verizon's Droid Charge support page, and sing out below when Gingerbread-flavored goodness reaches your device.

Source: Verizon Wireless; thanks Arnold!

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3 years ago

What to do if an app doesn't work with an Ice Cream Sandwich port

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Everywhere you look you see Ice Cream Sandwich being ported to one phone or another.  Anytime there's a version update to AOSP, it's fun to be an Android geek.  And every time it happens, and our great community of developers start porting it over to existing phones we start seeing apps that just aren't working well -- even our favorite apps.  So what to do when faced with a situation where an app you need or want badly is misbehaving?  It's a bit different situation when a build is hacked together versus an official update, like we're seeing now with Ice Cream Sandwich.  Here's what I would recommend:

Don't use the report to developer feature from the force close dialog if you see one.  There's a good chance the app isn't working because of something the developer has no control over, and just an app report is going to confuse the situation.  Take a moment and find the contact information for the developer, and send them an e-mail telling them what is happening, what software you're using, and if you're able, send a logcat of the event.  Also let the ROM developer know there's an issue, but don't expect he or she to be able to do much about it.  In fact, don't expect the application developer to be able to fix the issue either -- things like hacked video drivers or other binary bits we need and don't have can lead to unsolvable problems.

The important thing to remember, and I'll quote our own ICS ROM developer Beezy:

For now, just sit back and relax.  Enjoy what you can do now, and wait for everything we need from Google and the manufacturer.  Try a different app that does the same thing.

I'll also add that you don't have to use ICS just because it's available.  Give it a try when you can, and if it doesn't work out for you flash back.  Remember -- this is supposed to be fun.

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3 years ago

What's really going on with the Galaxy Nexus volume bug

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By now if you've been following the European Galaxy Nexus launch, you'll be aware of the infamous volume bug that results in volume levels spiking all over the place when the phone (or something else nearby) is in 2G mode on a 900MHz network. This morning Google and Samsung confirmed that they're aware of the problem and have a software fix ready to go. However that hasn't stopped the cries from across the blogosphere (and beyond) that the root cause is a hardware fault, and that Google is papering over the cracks by fixing it with software. Some have even called for Samsung to issue a recall of all Nexuses sold over the past week.

Enter systems engineer, app developer and all-round voice of reason Lee Johnston (known here on AC as britishturbo). He posted the following explanation in our comments section, and again on his Google+ page. For us mere mortals, it does a great job of explaining what's really going on, why it's a common issue with complex electronic devices like cellphones, and why we don't need to worry.

I'm a Systems Engineer and also a Developer. I deal with things like this every day. What we have here is indeed a hardware issue, in that the radio interference is coming in through the radio hardware. However things like this can be fix fairly easily in software. It's called debounce.

When you monitor an electronic input like the buttons on a phone there is always noise and flutter even when you just press the button. If testing by Google has shown that they just need to turn up the debounce time (the time which an input must exceed for it to be determined to be a genuine press) then it will more than likely just work and no one will ever see it again.

Like I said I deal with this kind of thing every day, it's not a big deal as long as your debounce time is not excessive. But noise happens down on the order of 1 to 40 ms, real inputs when you press a button last from 100 or 200ms if you tap the button, up to seconds if you hold it down.

This is nothing like Apple and the iPhone 4 antennae problems that could not be fixed in software. I'm sure everyone will see in due time, the problem will be fixed, and the dust will blow over.

And people will be saying "wow, I was wrong, Google rocks!"

Over on Google+, Google engineer Dan Morrill reshared the post, saying Lee's post was "completely accurate" description of a "very common phenomenon", with the increase in debounce time being the "classic fix". So that's that.

Our own Jerry Hildenbrand had similar things to say when this first cropped up a few days ago -- it's impossible to completely protect a complex device like a smartphone from all RF interference, and some of it has to be managed with code. As such, something like the Nexus volume bug can absolutely be remedied with a software update, just as Lee Johnston explains above.

Source: AC Comments, Google+

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3 years ago

Peter Alfonso brings some Android 2.3.7 love to the OG Droid

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Still rocking an original Motorola Droid and looking for something new to mess around with? Peter Alfonso has had quite a running record of amazing Droid ROM's to date, and he came back again with an Android 2.3.7 based ROM. Released last month this ROM brings the Motorola Droid right into the game with the most current version of Gingerbread for your downloading pleasure. If your still on the OG Droid, hit the source link for some download love, and let us know how it works out for you!

Source: Peter Alfonso

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3 years ago

Samsung and Google to update Galaxy Nexus with fix for volume bug

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There's been quite the hoopla over the past few days around the Galaxy Nexus volume bug -- that's the nasty little issue which results in the phone's volume levels going crazy when it's on a 900MHz 2G/EDGE network, or when it's exposed to RF interference from another phone that is.

We reached out to Samsung for comment on the glitch, and they've responded today with the confirmation that a fix is indeed in the works.

We are aware of the volume issue and have developed a fix. We will update devices as soon as possible.

So hopefully that'll be the end of that. It's worth remembering that this shouldn't be an issue in the U.S., because neither of the GSM carriers in the States operate on 900 MHz. That and the fact that the U.S. has neither the phone nor a firm release date yet. D'oh.

And don't fret if it looks like the update's coming from Samsung even though this is a Nexus phone. Google has issued the exact same statement this morning, and we'd expect updates to roll out the same way as with other Nexus phones -- from Google directly.

For more Galaxy Nexus goodness, be sure to check out our full review of the GSM version.

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3 years ago

FCC chairman asks for judicial review of AT&T T-Mobile merger, AT&T responds

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image courtesy ctrlZstudio

The FCC chariman today recommended the $39 billion merger of AT&T and T-Mobile be sent for an official review by an administrative law judge.  Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski suggested this course of action to fellow commissioners, citing that the FCC found the deal "would significantly diminish competition and lead to massive job losses."  Genachowski's order still requires the approval of a majority of the commissioners, and if approved would extend the review of the merger beyond AT&T's hopes to have things all wrapped-up at the FCC early in 2012.  Of course, AT&T is none too happy, stating:

"The FCC’s action today is disappointing. It is yet another example of a government agency acting to prevent billions in new investment and the creation of many thousands of new jobs at a time when the US economy desperately needs both."

If you'll allow a bit of editorial comment, I'm a happy T-Mobile customer.  I don't want to change anything about my service from T-Mobile, and am concerned that I will lose the legendary customer support T-Mobile offers, as well as gaining an additional $100 or so attached to my monthly bill.  I'm also concerned that Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company no longer wants to retain control of the small U.S. carrier because of the huge financial drain that comes with.  I worry what will happen either way -- having AT&T as my carrier is my rock, and having DT let T-Mobile die is my hard place, and I'm smack dab in the middle.  Either case has me getting cell service from AT&T, unless the government has a contingency plan for T-Mobile should the merger fail to pass.  Hopefully, the fellows in Washington have a plan to serve the consumer's best interests, but I'm skeptical.  Unless another company like Google or Apple steps in and buys T-Mobile, our future looks shaky either way.  For now, I, and 33 million others, just have to wait and see.

More: Reuters; BusinessWire

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3 years ago

All will be revealed, LG says, on Dec. 1 (Hint: Possibly the LG Nitro)

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LG's got an event laid on for early next month in New York City. And while the invitation reads "All will be revealed on December 1," we're getting a little more than perhaps we were supposed to, as some versions of the invite image (ours was renamed) pointed toward the Nitro HD, otherwise known as AT&T's unannounced version of the Optimus LTE. And that's exciting not just for the high-speed data, but for the 1280x720 resolution as well.

Of course, we'll be there with bells on to bring you the whole thing as it happens. It's how we roll.

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3 years ago

Samsung Skyrocket OTA update pushing out now, updates to Android 2.3.6

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If you're rocking the new LTE Samsung Skyrocket on AT&T, you might want to check for an OTA update.  An OTA to Android 2.3.6 is pushing out now, and we manually checked on our review unit (Menu>Settings>Software update>Check for updates) and sure enough, one was waiting.  We're not quite sure what was changed here -- we know that 2.3.6 addressed a bug in Google voice search, but we imagine Samsung and AT&T packaged a bit more into this one.  We're not seeing anything listed at the usual locations, so we've reached out to AT&T and Samsung for an answer.  In the meantime, updates are always fun and make our inner Android geek feel good, so grab yours and we'll sort it out in the forums.

Thanks, Vlad!

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3 years ago

Gingerbread update for LG Optimus 3D now rolling out

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Rejoice, LG Optimus 3D owners, for your handset's long journey to Gingerbread is finally over. The European version of phone, which launched in August with Froyo, today received an update to version 21a, based on Android 2.3.5. As well as the usual goodies you'd expect from Gingerbread, you'll also get 21Mbps HSPA+ support, a 2D and 3D video editor, improved video quality and faster Gallery app performance, just as we reported earlier this month.

The V21a update is currently available in the UK and most of mainland Europe via the LG updater utility, and should be rolling out over the air shortly. We haven't heard any reports of the update arriving on the LG Thrill 4G, the Optimus 3D's American cousin, but hopefully Thrill owners should be on a fast track to receive the new software, now that it's out internationally.

Now, about that ICS update...

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3 years ago

White T-Mobile Galaxy S II seen in product video

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

I know some of you guys and gals (like myself) are suckers for white electronics.  If that sounds like you, and you're a T-Mobile customer, you probably already heard the Galaxy S II was coming in white for the holidays.  We still don't know when, or how much, but at least we get to see T-Mobile product managers playing with one.  Now how about a white Galaxy Nexus?  Hmm.

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3 years ago

Cellcom introducing three new devices into its holiday lineup

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Cellcom, the Wisconsin-based regional carrier, is introducing three new Android smartphones into its smartphone lineup, just in time for the holiday season. The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY and the LG Ignite (a.k.a. the Marquee) will both be available beginning on Black Friday, while the Motorola Milestone 2  is simply listed as "coming soon." All three devices will set you back $49.99 on a new two year contract. Not a bad deal for all you Cheeseheads out there if you ask us. You can visit Cellcom at the source link below. 

Source: Cellcom

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3 years ago

Darren Bent and Kasabian's Tom Meighan stage real-life football match with Xperia Play

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Sony Ericsson has joined forced with Aston Villa's Darren Bent and rock band Kasabian to stage a slightly bizarre (and completely awesome) real-life soccer football match using Xperia Play handsets, location tracking technology and ten real live human beings. The five-a-side match saw England international Bent face off against Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan, with both controlling their teams from on high with specially modified Xperia Plays.

While you probably won't be able to command real, actual footballers using your Xperia Play anytime soon, SE is using this opportunity to remind everyone that Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 and FIFA 12 are both available (and optimized) for the device, with the latter being an Xperia Play exclusive until February 2012.

We've got video after the jump.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile's Samsung Galaxy S II in white for the holidays

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Samsung's being a bit shy with the details, but the T-Mobile version of the Galaxy S II will be available in white for the holidays. That's the same 4.5-inch device we've come to know and love -- be sure to read our full review -- only in white. We can't imagine it'll cost any more than the black version, but we'll let you know more on that when we get it.

More: T-Mobile Galaxy S II forums

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3 years ago

Samsung Mobile announces the Samsung Illusion with Verizon Wireless

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We've spotted the Samsung Illusion a few times in the past but Verizon has now fully unveiled the device for all. Pulling in to the entry level market, the specs for the Samsung Illusion aren't mind blowing but not bad either especially as a starter device.

  • Android 2.3
  • 3.5-inch HVGA TFT display
  • 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor
  • TouchWiz
  • 3MP rear camera
  • 512MB RAM
  • 2GB ROM
  • MicroSD card slot up to 32GB
  • Mobile Hotspot capability – share 3G connection with up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices
  • SWYPE Technology – input text faster and in a more intuitive way with one continuous finger motion across the screen keyboard

The Samsung Illusion will be available from Verizon on Nov. 23, and will be available in Verizon Wireless Stores in January 2012 for $79.99 on contract, or free from Nov. 24-28.

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3 years ago

Indirect Verizon retailers free to order the ... Galaxy Nexus

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Read our Galaxy Nexus Review!

Pardon us a minute while we read way too much into something. The screen you see here is what indirect Verizon retailers -- as in not a corporate-branded store -- now see to order their own Samsung Galaxy Nexus stock. And note that it says Samsung Galaxy Nexus, not Samsung Nexus Prime, which reappeared on a Best Buy flyer first posted in our Galaxy Nexus forums last night.

Point is, it's still coming to Verizon ... eventually ... and we're still expecting it to be the Galaxy Nexus. Probably.

Thanks, anon!

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