Headlines

3 years ago

CyanogenMod support coming to Sony Ericsson Xperia devices

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The CyanogenMod and FreeXperia development teams have announced that they'll be bringing popular custom firmware CyanogenMod to all of Sony Ericsson's 2011 Xperia phones, along with many older X8 and X10 devices.

The developers promise full support -- with the exception of FM radio, which is still being worked on -- starting with the next release of CyanogenMod, version 7.1. Nightly builds are expected to start rolling out soon, so keep watching the CyanogenMod download site if you fancy testing some early builds on your Xperia phone.

In a blog post on the CyanogenMod site, the team praised Sony Ericsson for its "strong involvement with the developer community", and thanked the manufacturer for providing "devices and technical expertise that proved invaluable in making all this happen".

This is great news for custom ROM enthusiasts with Xperia devices, and even better news for legacy Xperia phone owners, most of whom are left without an official upgrade path to Gingerbread. Hit the source link for the full list of CM-supported Xperia phones.

Source: CyanogenMod

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3 years ago

HTC invites fans to London for Beats Audio event

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HTC UK is using its Facebook page to invite fans to London to celebrate the launch of "HTC with Beats Audio", in a party at London's Roundhouse next Thursday, Oct. 6. The party, which follows on from a press conference earlier in the day, features performances by Fedde le Grand, Martin Solveig as well as a "surprise headliner." More importantly, we'll also be there.

As far as shiny new HTC products go, we can probably expect an appearance from its new flagship phone, the Sensation XE. And we wouldn't be surprised to see an official unveiling of the frequently-leaked HTC Runnymede, either.

HTC has 1001 spaces available, which it'll fill with a random selection of applicants. To apply for your ticket, you can head over to HTC UK on Facebook and click the button. If you want to bring a friend, there's also the option to apply for two tickets.

Source: HTC UK on Facebook

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3 years ago

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light to arrive first on Xperia Play

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Looks like Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play has scored yet another Android gaming exclusive. This time Xperia Play owners will get first access to Square Enix's Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, an isometric adventure/puzzle game based on the Tomb Raider franchise.

Guardian of Light, which first appeared on consoles and PC last August, will launch on the Xperia Play this November. The game joins other notable Xperia Play timed exclusives, including Minecraft and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. In addition, Sony Ericsson is promising "more established hits" from Square Enix in the coming months.

Join us after the jump for the full presser.

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3 years ago

Microsoft, Samsung reach licensing deal over Android smartphones, tablets

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Samsung will pay Microsoft royalties for smartphones and tablets running Android. A cross-licensing deal reach between the two companies was announced Wednesday morning. And while that means both companies will receive "broad coverage for each [other's] products," Microsoft's also going to be getting money in the deal. As for how much money per device? That wasn't disclosed.

Here's the official word:

REDMOND, Wash — Sept. 28, 2011 — Microsoft announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., to cross-license the patent portfolios of both companies, providing broad coverage for each company’s products. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will receive royalties for Samsung’s mobile phones and tablets running the Android mobile platform. In addition, the companies agreed to cooperate in the development and marketing of Windows Phone.

“Microsoft and Samsung see the opportunity for dramatic growth in Windows Phone and we’re investing to make that a reality,” said Andy Lees, president, Windows Phone Division, Microsoft. “Microsoft believes in a model where all our partners can grow and profit based on our platform.”

“Through the cross-licensing of our respective patent portfolios, Samsung and Microsoft can continue to bring the latest innovations to the mobile industry,” said Dr. Won-Pyo Hong, executive vice president of global product strategy at Samsung’s mobile communication division. “We are pleased to build upon our long history of working together to open a new chapter of collaboration beginning with our Windows Phone “Mango” launch this fall.”

This is just the latest licensing deal involving Microsoft and Android device manufacturers. Acer and Viewsonic reached deals earlier this month, and HTC already had one in place.

No matter how broken the current patent system may be, this is still the way it's done, folks. And while it might not be the one you hoped for, it's certainly better than lawsuit after lawsuit, no?

Source: Microsoft

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3 years ago

LG Esteem gets official on MetroPCS

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The LG Esteem -- a phone we first told you about last week -- has been officially announced for MetroPCS. Specs are pretty much as we told you:

  • 4.3-inch display
  • Gorilla Glass
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 1GHz Snapdragon processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 8GB on-board storage
  • 5MP rear camera (capable of 720p video recording)
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 1500mAh battery
  • DLNA streaming
  • Metro PCS' CDMA/LTE network.

The LG Esteem will cost $249 after $100 mail-in rebate. No-contract data plans run $50 or $60, with the latter giving you access to unlimited music from Rhapsody or videos from MetroSTUDIO.

Source: MetroPCS; Also: LG Esteem product page
More in the LG Esteem forums

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3 years ago

HTC ThunderBolt's Gingerbread update pushing out now!

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The word is spreading like wildfire in our ThunderBolt forums -- the Android 2.3.4 update for HTC ThunderBolt is finally pushing out. Go to Settings>Software update>Check new to start the download. Then sit back, open a cool tall one, and let the Gingerbread flow. You've waited long enough.

More: HTC ThunderBolt forums

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3 years ago

Sprint halts Optimus S Gingerbread update

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While many folks celebrated the release of Gingerbread for the LG Optimus S on Sprint, seemingly not all went as planned. A number of users have ran into some issues with the update as listed below:

  • Device not charging
  • No access to data services
  • SD card un-mounted or removed message
  • Device is not recognized by Windows XP, Vista, or 7 when connected to a PC
  • Predictive text with the Android keyboard is not working

Sprint has been actively tracking the issues as well as some of the possible workarounds for the situations listed above. No date has been set for a fixed version of the update but they are working to get things sorted out as soon as possible. Until then, it's probably best you stay away from the update.

Source: Sprint (1); via: Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

ITC to investigate Apple over HTC's patent complaints

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Tech Armageddon continues, and now the ITC (International Trade Commission) will be launching an investigation against Apple Computer Corp. over disputes brought by HTC earlier this year.  TechCrunch reports (by way of BusinessWeek) a basic description of the patents in question as:

The patents in the ITC case relate to an interface that lets the user add identifiers such as .com or .org; an interface that enlarges characters being typed; a way to display information on mobile devices; and status bars that let a user check phone calls, text messages or calendar events.

The investigation itself goes well beyond the smartphone arena -- the ITC states it will cover "computers, tablet computers, and smartphones."  It's worth noting that some of the patents in question were granted to HTC by Google, who so far has stayed out of the current tech courtroom drama it's OEM's are involved in. 

As always, it's the consumer who will be the biggest loser here.  Licensing agreements will be worked out, and that cost will be funneled down to all of us.  It's a war with no winners.

Source: ITC; via Tech Crunch

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3 years ago

Xobni launches Smartr Contacts for Android - makes your address book smarter

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If you came to Android from the BlackBerry world then there is a good chance you've heard of the folks behind the newly released contact management app Smartr. Xobni, while having first made their app available on BlackBerry has now launched Smartr to the Android Market after a long beta and alpha testing phase.

Rather then just simply offering you another address book, Smartr organizes your address book and takes it to the next level by offering a solution of making sure the people you contact the most, are always at your fingertips. Contacts are no longer arranged alphabetically, your contacts are now ranked by how often you reach out to them -- bringing the most important to the top. In addition to the better organization, profiles can be completely filled out with a photo, job title, company details, email history, common contacts and info from social networks.

Acessing your Smartr contact information is easy as well, you have access to them from the home screen, via the main search bar, the widgets, or the Smartr app. If you're in need of a better contact management system for your device, give Smartr a look. Couple it with Smartr contacts for GMail and you have a pretty awesome solution for keeping your contacts organized. We're going to have a full review up soon but for now -- it's available in the Android Market for free and you'll find the download, press release and a video further explaining the services past the break.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile to iPhone faithful: How about a nice Android phone?

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This is probably one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time. T-Mobile chief marketing officer Cole Brodman took to the company's blog this morning to address the persistent rumors (and cries) that the carrier will, should or never will get the iPhone.

The post, titled "About the iPhone - a Letter to T-Mobile Customers," begins:

We’ve heard from many customers who love their T-Mobile service, but are disappointed that we don’t carry the iPhone. To these customers, first, thank you for your business.  Please know that we think the iPhone is a great device and Apple knows that we’d like to add it to our line-up. Today, there are over a million T-Mobile customers using unlocked iPhones on our network. We are interested in offering all of our customers a no-compromise iPhone experience on our network.

Can't help but wonder how T-Mobile's vision of a "no-compromise iPhone experience" differs from Apple's. Obviously there's some sort of divide, otherwise we'd see an iPhone officially on Magenta already.

But no matter. Brodman and T-Mobile are more than happy to sell you an Android phone. He continues:

In the meantime, we continue to bring to market some of the most advanced, cutting-edge Android devices. Today, I had the chance to take the stage at the Mobilize event in San Francisco and introduce our fastest 4G smartphones ever, the Samsung Galaxy S II and the HTC Amaze. We’re very confident that these Android smartphones rival or beat any smartphone out there in terms of functionality, speed, overall experience and features – including the iPhone.

Can't say we disagree -- we're pretty stoked about the HTC Amaze 4G and Galaxy S II -- but that's probably not going to do much to assuade the iPhone faithful. Hit the link below for the full post.

Source: T-Mobile

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Pantech Breakout

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Verizon Wireless recently introduced to us the Pantech Breakout, an entry-level device of the 4G LTE market, and the price tag was set to intrigue. Well, it appears as though it did just that, and landed right in my hands, and many of you are probably wondering how the specs and performance compare to the price. So, without any further delay let's hit the break and take a quick look at the device, check out some more pictures, and a video walkthrough.

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3 years ago

Smartphone buyers chose Android twice as often as iOS in past 3 months

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As expected, the Android train keeps steamrolling along.  Nielsen's numbers for smartphone platform purchases in the past 90 days show users picking Android 56 percent of the time, which is twice as often as iOS, which is the closest competitor.  Apple's iOS numbers didn't drop below their overall market share, but everyone elses numbers sure did.  It's a clear trend -- people in love with their Apple products will keep buying them, while everyone else is slowly but surely shifting towards Android and away from everyone else.

Fans on both sides will twist these numbers into ammunition for the inevitable flame wars, but one thing is certain -- people like having choices.  If Apple finally gets the iPhone on the last two major carriers on the planet who don't have it yet, their number will probably grow.  And the new iPhone rumored to be coming in October may have an effect here as well.  In the end, everyone will get the phone they wanted to get anyway -- and that's really all that matters.  (Good thing 56 percent of them will be making the right choice!)

Source: Nielsen

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3 years ago

ThunderBolt Gingerbread changelog is up! Update includes customizable dock?

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Here she be, folks. Verizon's posted the changelog for the ThunderBolt Gingerbread update. It'll be build 2.11.605.3, and includes:

  • New download manager app
  • New app and power management details
  • New desktop UI, including widgets, icons and screens
  • New customizable dock icons

Plus all the other fixes and updates in Gingerbread, and more you can see in the screen above.

Source: Verizon (pdf)
More in the HTC ThunderBolt forums

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Nexus S gets an update to Android 2.3.6

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Hot on the heels of the Nexus One getting an update, the Nexus S is now in the throes of a 17.5-megabyte download that brings Android 2.3.6 (build GRK39C) along with "bug fixes and security patches." Should just take a couple minutes to update, and then you'll be able to go back to lording it over your friends that you have the latest update, and they're still twiddling their thumbs.

Looks like this indeed fixes some of the tethering issues we'd been seeing, which is nice. And if you crack open the zip file you'll see patches to just about everything -- with the biggest changes to the NFC function

If you're not in a waiting mood, we've got manual install instructions after the break.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Player 4.0 and 5.0 get official in the U.S.

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Samsung this afternoon officially unwrapped U.S. versions of the Galaxy Tab 8.9 Honeycomb tablet, and the Galaxy Player 4.0 and 5.0.

The Galaxy Tab 8.9 is an aptly named 8.9-inch Android 3.1 Honeycomb tablet with TouchWiz that we first saw way back CTIA in March. It'll be available nationwide Oct. 2 for $569 for the 32 GB version, and $469 for the 16 GB version. Or, you might be able to snag one at a Best Buy before Sunday.

The Galaxy Player 4.0 and 5.0 are 4- and 5-inch Android 2.3.5 devices, respectively -- basically smartphones without the phone. The Galaxy Player 5.0 sports a massive 2500 mAh battery, while the 4.0 has a meager 1200 mAh battery.

Full press release is after the break.


Galaxy Player 4.0, left, and Galaxy Player 5.0

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