Headlines

2 years ago

Open NFC stack now available for Android 4.0, makes NFC hardware easy to use for OEMs

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The good people at Inside Secure have ported over their Open NFC stack to Ice Cream Sandwich, giving OEM's one less hurdle to jump when getting devices ready for upgrading.  The new 4.3.3 release allows almost any NFC hardware to become Android compliant by using a Hardware Abstraction Layer and special kernel module to communicate via a set of consistent APIs.  What this means to you and I is that hardware developers can now use the free and robust Open NFC 4.3.3 stack to get their hardware working, and software developers can use the Android SDK add-on to communicate with it.  This means shorter engineering and development time dedicated to NFC from start to finish -- something that all impatient Android enthusiasts will be happy about.

Inside Secure says to expect new devices using the Open NFC 4.3.3 stack to ship later this year.  We don't know if this will be the push needed to make NFC relevant, but it sure can't hurt.  For more info, and more technical specifications than you can shake a stick at, see the links below.

Source: Inside Secure; via: PhoneScoop
More: Open NFC developer site

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2 years ago

Watch the Intel keynote from CES, featuring the first Atom-powered Android devices

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Ask us what we thought the most important story out of CES was for 2012, and we'll likely tell you it's Intel's entrance into the Android ecosystem -- and its partenership with Motorola for devices coming later this year. 

Hopefully you caught our liveblog from Intel CEO Paul Otellini's keynote address -- including a surprise appearance from will.i.am, who talked Ultrabooks. And now you can watch the keynote in its entirety (and maybe even see the back of our heads). Check it out, after the break.

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2 years ago

Comparing the Sony Xperia Ion to the Sony Xperia S

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This year at CES we saw a bunch of new phones get announced, in particular two Sony phones that were very similar yet very different. Sure you can take time and watch the Sony Xperia S hands-on video and then compare that to the Sony Xperia Ion video and go back and forth looking to see which one you are most interested in. Alternatively you can just sit back and enjoy as we allow Sony to explain to us the benefits of each. So, which one appeals the most to you? Either of these potentially your next device? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

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2 years ago

HTC confirms it's pulling Carrier IQ from Sprint ROMs in future updates

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When Sprint first told Android Central that it has ceased using the Carrier IQ analytics software on its Android smartphones, throwing a switch on the server side while leaving the app itself dormant, we kind of figured that would be that. Sure, future smartphones likely wouldn't have the maligned software embedded, but current phones would remain as-is.

But it looks like stripping Carrier IQ from ROMs might be easier than we imagined. The HTC EVO 3D saw it removed entirely in an update this week, and HTC has confirmed The Verge that indeed it's pulling Carrier IQ from its Sprint ROMs, saying "we're working with Sprint to provide maintenance releases that will remove Carrier IQ and provide security enhancements and bug fixes beginning in January."

Some of us were perfectly OK with the server-side solution, but we're also perfectly happy with removing from ROMs apps and services that are no longer being used. Between Carrier IQ and bootloader unlocking, HTC's definitely impressing us all in the transparency department.

Source: The Verge; more: EVO 3D update

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2 years ago

JCB and Motorola team up for 'work-proof' DEFY+

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Motorola announced today that it has teamed up with construction equipment manufacturer JCB for the “work-proof” DEFY+, now available in the UK for RRP £259.99. The special edition will come with a JCB-patented rugged visco-elastic protective sleeve, along with push-to-talk connectivity and preloaded apps including a spirit level, theodolite, decibel meter and recorder and a unit converter. The DEFY+ JCB edition will retain the original’s 1 GHz processor, Gorilla Glass coating, 5 MP camera, and preloaded Gingerbread. Hit the source link for Moto's official announcement.

Source: Motorola Mobility

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2 years ago

Apple renews lawsuit against Samsung in Germany, targeting 10 smartphones

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Apple is looking to expand its current German ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to a variety of Samsung smartphones on similar grounds of design patent infringement. The Galaxy S II and Galaxy S Plus are both in the crosshairs, and no doubt many other touchscreen slate smartphones. 

Although the situation sounds dire, it's not all that bad. Apparently Samsung had released a modified version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany to get around the ban, and the courts admitted that they would have a heard time halting imports despite being able to lock down local sales. Apple, in turn, isn't exactly having a field day in Germany; Motorola recently won a case against Apple for infringing on some key 3G patents.

I'd be curious to see the other eight phones which Apple is claiming design infringement upon. These days, you could throw a rock in any direction and hit a smartphone that looks vaguely like an iPhone. Although it definitely feels like a flaky basis on which to screw with a competitor's business, it's clearly good enough for the German courts to act upon. Luckily not all international courts are siding with Apple in these design infringement cases. 

Source: Bloomberg

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2 years ago

Pink Samsung Galaxy S II arriving the UK for Valentine's Day

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Stuck on what to get that special someone for Valentines this year? Enter Samsung to lend a helping hand as this pink version of the massively popular Galaxy S II is due to be launched on Feb.13. Make no mistake, this is a regular Galaxy S II, just they painted it pink.

While having been announced in South Korea back in November, all went quiet regarding global availability. Phones 4 U have announced that they will be offering the device from Feb.13 on a two- year contract starting from a very reasonable £21.50 a month. 

Not looking for a contract to go with that shiny new pink phone, then online retailer Very are set to offer the device SIM free for a whopping £499.99. Whichever way you look at it, that's Galaxy Nexus pricing. While listed as in stock, they are in fact awaiting their supply which they claim to be within 7 days. Get them while they're hot ladies--and guys if pinks your thing.

Source: Somobile

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2 years ago

Official Galaxy Nexus accessories delayed, UK retailer says

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News is coming out of the UK today from retailer Clove Technology, says that we're going to have to carry on waiting for the official Samsung Galaxy Nexus accessories as the release date has slipped back to February. 

As we previously reported, Clove were expecting to start shipping the accessories mid-January, but a statement on their blog today tells a sadly different story. Citing delays from Samsung as the cause, their expected shipping date has now slipped back to around Feb. 13. Disappointing, to be sure. Let's hope somebody's able to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Source: Clove

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2 years ago

CyanogenMod 9 Music app now available, theme engine is a go

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CyanogenMod 9 Music is now available for download, and you don't even have to be running CM to install or use it.  It offers a level of customization you won't find in other music apps, from things like searching the Android Market music store for the currently playing song, gestures for audio controls, sharing the current track with any of your social media outlets, and even setting your favorite song as a ringtone with one button.  To top it all off, the app has a theme engine that changes just about every aspect of the look.  A "Google Music" style theme is available, as is a theme template for you artistic types to have at it.

To get the app, follow the link below.  We have to mention that this one only works for music you have stored on your device itself, as it doesn't hook into any streaming or cloud service.  Andrew Neal, the developer of CM Music, says we'll see it in the Android Market shortly, as well as see it in CyanogenMod 9.  This is one to have a look at guys and gals.

Source and downloads: SeeingPixels

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2 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest: Sunset or sunrise

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We're kicking off a new weekly photo contest today!  The rules are simple -- We'll give a theme, you use your Android phone (or tablet, or netbook, you get the idea) to take a picture that fits the theme.  Send it to us via email at pics@androidcentral.com and we'll pick the best shot.  These contests will run from Monday to Friday, we'll pick the winners over the weekend and announce them Monday on the blog.  We'll have prizes for the winners, and it will be a heck of a lot of fun for everyone.  Remember, only send in pictures you've taken yourself and they must be free for us to use on the Internet.  Don't worry, we won't use them for anything except the contests.

To kick it all off, we're going to start with a theme that's a favorite of mine -- sunset or sunrise. Show us the beauty around you, and we'll reward the best with a headset of your choosing from ShopAndroid.  We're looking forward to seeing what you guys can show us!

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