Headlines

2 years ago

Samsung Facebook page shows Galaxy Note ICS mock-up

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Here's another Samsung render which has sparked off some online speculation, and this time it's come directly from the manufacturer itself. The Samsung Mobile USA Facebook page currently displays the image you see above to promote its "Spin & Win" promotion, which offers fans and their friends the chance to bag a shiny new Galaxy Note. The interesting thing is that the Note in the picture displays an odd combination of Gingerbread and ICS elements. You've got the ICS launcher and icon set, but with Gingerbread-style labels, the old Android 2.x search widget and the TouchWiz notification bar.

We're not sure exactly what, if anything, we should make of this. It's certainly too early to jump to the conclusion, as some have done, that Samsung's ditching TouchWiz in its ICS update for the Note. After all, the current crop of Android 4.0 leaks for the international Note have been TouchWiz'd, just like the recent Galaxy S II update. So we don't know what deal is with this particular mock-up, but we're willing to bet that when ICS eventually hits the Galaxy Note, it'll look more like TouchWiz than what you see above.

Any more ideas or speculation? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Source: Samsung Mobile USA on Facebook

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2 years ago

No, this is not the Samsung Galaxy S III either

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Hey look, it's the Samsung Galaxy S III! Oh wait, no it isn't -- it's yet another obvious fabrication.

Yes, another alleged Galaxy S III render is doing the rounds this morning, claiming to show Samsung's upcoming 2012 flagship. The problem? A little research will reveal that someone's just 'shopped a Galaxy S II press shot onto the Galaxy S Wifi 4.2. Observe --

So no, that's not the Galaxy S III, and we're willing to bet this, this, this and this are equally bogus. Hold tight, folks, we're sure we'll look back on all this and laugh when we finally have the real deal.

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2 years ago

Reddit is Fun pulled from Google Play - here's why it probably happened

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The Android phone is for porn, but the Android Market Google Play store is not. Recently, the Reddit is Fun app was pulled from the Play store for inclusion of sexually explicit material, and the developer (rightfully) questioned things publicly. Of course, this started an outcry of epic proportions that in itself would be suitable for Reddit. Following suit, the rumblings of Google being unfair, and that they should pull every browser and other app that allowed access to the Internet began. That's how the Internet works -- it thrives on controversy and only works well when not all the facts are known. 

Turns out the developer talked to the appeals team for the Google Play store, and the Reddit is Fun app did violate some rules that apps like the default browser or a Twitter app did not. The default install of the app included direct recommended links to pornographic material on the main page of Reddit. You see, the filtering agent that decides what is shown on the home screen of the app had all the sub-categories enabled by default. Categories like "ass," "NSFW," "pornvids," "spaceporn," and all other sorts of unsavory material that many folks wouldn't want to see would show up as links. If Grandma picked up your phone, and had no idea the sort of things available on Reddit, all she would know is that it was "Fun" and click them.

Nobody wants Grandma to see MeatSpin. Nobody. (Ed. Note: Phil could have gone the rest of his life without seeing it, too. Seriously, search that NSFW little nugget at your own risk.)

The Reddit is Fun developer is aware how to correct the issue, and we'll likely see the app "back on the shelves" shortly. Of course that part of the story didn't get picked up with the same steam the original pulling of the app did, but that's the Internet for ya.

This time around, we understand why the app was pulled, and can't say we disagree with the act of pulling it. Google could have had a little better communication, but that's another story for another day. There is a big question left, though.

How does Google decide which apps get pulled?

There are several Reddit apps in the Play store, and they all link to the same material. There are apps for 4chan (if you don't know, you don't want to) that link to things far, far worse. Why did these apps not get pulled? We're not sure, but we imagine user reporting has a lot to do with it. We've reached out to Google for a better explanation how this all works, and if we get answers we'll be sure to pass them along. In the meantime, this controversy can be put to rest while we await the next one.

Source: Reddit

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2 years ago

GSM Samsung Galaxy Nexus to launch on regional carrier I Wireless March 21

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We've received word (with proof that's going to remain between us girls) from an anonymous ninja that regional U.S. carrier I Wireless will be launching the Samsung Galaxy Nexus on a two-year subsidized agreement come March 21. According to the documents received, the G Nex will sell for $199.99 after a $100 mail in rebate, or $609.99 if bought outright.

I Wireless is an affiliate of T-Mobile, and the phone being offered is identical to the penta-band GSM version many of us have imported here in the states and is for sale everywhere else in the world. They're a regional carrier that covers parts of Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and most of Iowa using T-Mobile's EDGE/HSPA+ network. Their plans seem competitive with the big four, and this just might be a way to get your hands on a contract-model Galaxy Nexus if you live in their main coverage area. 

This begs the question -- is there something T-Mobile would like to tell us? When your affiliates start carrying highly desirable phones, a lot of people are going to want to know when they are coming or why they're not coming. I've reached out to T-Mobile, and while I don't expect an answer to either question, I'll be certain to follow up should they deliver. In the meantime, congrats Iowans -- one hell of a phone is headed your way.

Thanks, Anon!

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2 years ago

Android 4.0.5 rumored to be next for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, said to have audio, data fixes

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There are a bunch of Nexus phones out there awaiting Ice Cream Sandwich updates. We certainly haven't forgotten about you Nexus S 4G folks, even if there's not a whole lot we can do about it, but the subject of today's rumor mill is the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. According to everyone's favorite mobile Panda (aka @black_man_x, whom you might spot in our forums or in the podcast chat from time to time), next up for the VGNex is Android 4.0.5. The more astute among you may note that that's a tick higher than the Android 4.0.4 update that we saw leaked but not actually released for the NS4G. 

Before anyone's panties get even more bunched over the prospect of Verizon's Galaxy Nexus getting an incremental build while Sprint Nexus S 4G owners are left waiting ever longer, you've got to remember this (even if it doesn't make that pill go down any easier: While both devices are of the Nexus family, they're not the same phone, and not on the same track. That's just the way it is. You'll recall how Android 2.4 once appeared on some HTC phones a year or so ago -- and that's the only place we ever really saw it, as rumors of it on Viewsonic and Sony devices both fell short.

(Though all things being equal, we're positive Google's doing all it can to get ICS out to the Nexus S 4G. At least it better be doing all it can. Otherwise, we'll, we'll ... Start a petition!) 

The other thing here is that while the prospect of Android 4.0.5 is interesting, it doesn't really tell us anything. Not without a changelog, anyway. (Though BMX does say it apparently fixes audio and data issues.) An incremental tick is just that at this point -- a number. And as we pointed out above, it's not unheard of to see things jump around a little bit.

That said, it's not like we're going to turn down an update on any Nexus. Bring it on, Google!

Source: @black_man_x

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2 years ago

Google gives you an extra $5 for your Google Wallet troubles

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It's been a bit of a wild ride for Google Wallet since its security was found to have a vulnerability in it. While having fixed the issue already, Google wasn't in any rush to let folks readd prepaid cards back to the service but emails are now going out letting folks know things are back in order and for your troubles, you're getting a bonus $5 from Google:

As you may have experienced over the last few weeks, we temporarily disabled the feature to add the Google Prepaid Card back to your wallet if you previously removed the card or reset your wallet. We temporarily disabled this feature to ensure the security of our Wallet customers. We recognize this may have been an inconvenience for you, and we did not make this decision lightly.

We are happy to announce that you can now add the Google Prepaid Card back to your wallet with the newest version of Google Wallet, and any funds that you previously had on the card should be restored, unless you contacted Money Network and asked for a refund of those funds. To add the Google Prepaid Card back, you will first need to update your Google Wallet application to the most recent version.

To compensate you for any inconvenience this may have caused, we have credited an additional $5 (five US dollars) to your Google Prepaid Card. If you have further questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at 855-492-5538.

Thank you for your continued support of Google Wallet, and we look forward to launching many new and exciting features for you to enjoy in the coming months.

We've said it before, but it's worth saying again -- Google Wallet is a beta service. Keeping that in mind, it's nice to see that Google doesn't mind tossing their beta testers a few bones to make use of. So there you have it, go ahead and add your prepaid cards back and collect your $5. if you're new to Google Wallet, you'll find the download link past the break.

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2 years ago

Which phone are we likely to see from HTC and Sprint on April 4?

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HTC and Sprint are getting together a few weeks from now in New York to show us something. We'll be there -- anytime there's a chance at seeing Android phones, an open bar, or catered hor d'oeuvres we're gonna show up. The real question, the one we all want to know, is what exactly will they be showing us?

The last time Sprint held a big shin-dig they showed us the Kyocera Echo. Everyone remembers that one, and most had a less-than-positive thing or two to say about it. But that's behind us, and we're pretty sure we'll be seeing something from the HTC One line this time around. That leaves us three distinct choices:

The HTC One V

Already rumored to be headed to Virgin Mobile (who uses the Sprint network), there would be little in the way of tooling to get this one on Sprint. It's a new generation of a budget device, with mediocre internals but awesome looking software. It's a phone built to appeal to the masses, but not so much to a dyed-in-the-wool Android enthusiast.

The HTC One S

Specs are beyond decent. A new S4 Snapdragon, a sexy magic MAO/ceramic/magic finish on a metal unibody, SAMOLED screen, and not built for giants. Plenty of folks want to get their hands on this one (this author included -- please sell it unlockable HTC).

The HTC One X

The beast. 4.7 inches of raw power (either the same S4 Snapdragon or the mighty Tegra 3), 720p display, and NFC. It's the phone a lot of folks would design if they had a chance. It's also the phone most folks would want Sprint to sell.

All three run Sense 4.0 on top of the Ice Cream Sandwich core. HTC promises that we'll love Sense 4.0, and what we've seen so far makes us believe them. They all will have Beats Audio, and some sort of new camera voodoo that we're champing at the bit to play with. All three are great looking phones in their own right, at least on paper. 

We'll have to wait and see just what Sprint and HTC announce in New York, but that won't stop us from having an opinion. Let us know in the poll what you want to see on April 4.

 

Which phone will Sprint and HTC announce in New York on April 4?

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2 years ago

How I back up my stock, unrooted Galaxy Nexus

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I get this question a lot: If my Galaxy Nexus is unrooted and running the stock ROM, how do I back up it via a custom recovery?

It's pretty easy, actually, and it goes back to our method of manually applying a stock update. You're going to need a few things (and chances are you've got them already):

So here's what you do:

  1. Download the custom recovery into the same folder as your fastboot file. (I like to rename mine just to keep things short.)
  2. Reboot your phone into the bootloader, either by turning it off and holding vol-up/vol-down+power, or reboot from the command line (adb reboot bootloader).
  3. Plug your phone into your computer if it's not already. (Type fastboot devices to make sure your computer sees it)
  4. In the command line, type fastboot boot xxxxxxx.img (where xxxxxxx is the name of the custom recovery you saved).

And that's it. You'll have booted into the custom recovery, and from there you can do a full backup, or restore a backup, or wipe the phone. All without rewriting anything. If you need a little more hand-holding, there's some video after the break. 

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2 years ago

Gameloft will optimize select titles for the upcoming LG Optimus 3D MAX

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Gameloft announced today that it has partnered with LG to optimize a number of its titles for the Korean manufacturer's upcoming Optimus 3D MAX smartphone. The following games will take advantage of the MAX's glasses-free 3D technology and will be available through LG Smart World upon the device's release:

  • Assassin’s Creed 3D
  • Dungeon Hunter 2 3D
  • James Cameron’s Avatar 3D
  • N.O.V.A. 2 – Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance 3D
  • Shrek Kart 3D
  • BackStab 3D 
  • Fishing Kings 3D 
  • Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus 3D
  • Shadow Guardian 3D 
  • Spider-Man: Total Mayhem 3D, Order & Chaos
  • Splinter Cell 3D

We got our hands on the Optimus 3D MAX back at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and while LG hasn't done much in terms of bumping the specs of its original Optimus 3D, it has added the ability to turn your plain old 2D apps into 3D ones. The titles above aren't so much simply converted as they are "optimized", so we're looking forward to seeing what Gameloft has done in terms of turning its titles into full-blown 3D experiences. Gameloft's announcement can be found after the break.

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2 years ago

Droid Charge also set to get Verizon Remote Diagnostics app, along with other fixes

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The venerable Samsung Droid Charge is about to get another software update. And included in version FP1, along with a bevy of bugfixes, is the new Verizon Remote Diagnostics application we've already seen added to the LG Revolution. That's the one that -- with your permission -- would allow Verizon customer service to temporarily take over your phone "for troubleshooting, device training and application demonstrations." Again, we (and Verizon) stress that nobody's taking over your phone without your permissions, and Verizon already has told us that this isn't a background monitoring tool.

Other additions in this software update include:

  • Updated User Interface (UI).
  • Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
  • No longer receive a promotional notification popup when using Mobile Hotspot.
  • Device allows for USB tethering while in Wi-Fi mode.
  • No longer lose data connectivity when the USB cable is connected or disconnected.
  • Easily view data activity with the Wi-Fi icon located in the status bar.
  • Complete calls without experiencing choppy audio, clicking noises and/or one-way audio noises.
  • Resolved “no tones” dial pad issue, allowing for easy access to voice mail and other automated systems

Plus, VZ Navigator has been updated, Google Play Books, the Play Store and Gmail apps have been updated (that really should be done outside of a software update, folks), the browser now defaults to google.com, and desk dock crashes are said to have been resolved.

Source: Verizon (pdf); More: Droid Charge forums
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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