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3 years ago

Samsung restores local search on international Galaxy S3 with new OTA

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After local search was mistakenly stripped out in the most recent software update for the international Samsung Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3), the manufacturer has this morning issued another update to restore the feature. The update weighs in at just 5MB, and also purports to offer "stability improvements." Delving into the "About device" page, we can see a new software version, XXBLG8, along with a new baseband, XXLG8, plus a new Linux kernel built just yesterday morning. The software's still based upon Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The feature has been the subject of an ongoing legal dispute in the U.S., where Apple has been granted a patent broadly covering searching from multiple databases on a mobile device and displaying the results in a certain way. Apple's patent complaints recently resulted in the Galaxy Nexus being briefly withdrawn from sale.

Samsung first pulled local search on the international Galaxy S3 on Wednesday, giving the impression that it, like the U.S. versions, were having functionality stripped out so as to avoid further litigation from Apple. Yesterday the company released a statement indicating that the move had been made "inadvertently," and that it'd be restored within in a few days. Just 24 hours later and it's back on our unlocked UK Galaxy S3, so kudos to Samsung for the quick turn-around.

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3 years ago

Sprint rolling out another update for the Samsung Galaxy S3

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Sprint has been keeping Samsung Galaxy S3 owners busy with updates for better or worse. The latest update shows as starting yesterday and is labeled L710VPLG4. Rather than sticking to a short and sweet change log, Sprint chose to lay it all out for this one and looking at it there is certainly some improvements listed:

  • KI – Touch Wiz home has stopped
  • Single picture MMS no longer displayed as slideshow
  • Optimized LTE system selection
  • Enhanced Smart Stay function
  • Enhanced Voice recognition algorithm
  • All-Share Cast (All-share accessory hub) support
  • Music Hub support
  • Security Fixes

Aside from the fixes, which are great to see, you may notice that Music Hub support is listed. Samsung hasn't as of yet anyhow, launched Music Hub in North America so we're left to wonder why it's listed. In any case, sound off in the comments or in the forums if you're seeing this update on your device. If it's not there yet, you'll just have to wait it out until it arrives.

Source: Sprint via: Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

Google Handwrite announced for phones and tablets, write out your Google searches

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Google has just announced a new way to use its web search products on phones and tablets. Google Handwrite, available today from the Google Search settings menu, allows you to write out words with your fingers -- or a stylus, if you own one -- directly onto the page. Google then turns your scrawlings into text, and you can press the search button to complete your search. Google Handwrite seems to be a logical evolution of the Gesture Search app of old, only this one's much faster, and built on the web, rather than an app on a phone. We haven't tried it on a device with a stylus yet, but if you're rocking a Galaxy Note, this is something you'll want to enable right away.

Handwrite is currently accessible on Android 2.3+ phones, Android 4.0+ tablets and iOS5 devices, so to give it a try, head to the Settings menu on Google.com on your device. When you're done, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.

Source: Google Blog

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3 years ago

Sprint gets official with LTE-enabled Motorola Photon Q

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After a brief mention in their quarterly conference call earlier today, Sprint has made an official announcement of the Motorola Photon Q. Here's a quick rundown of the specs.

  • Android 4.0.4, Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core processor
  • Rear-facing 8MP camera with 1080p video capture and playback so you can leave your digital camera at home. Plus, those photos can be set to automatically upload to Google+ so you don’t have to worry about accidently deleting them.
  • Front-facing HD camera for easy Google+ Hangout video chats or conference calls
  • Mirror mode when connected with HDMI cable (sold separately) to view images, files and movies on a larger screen, like your TV at home.
  • Sprint ID, offering an innovative way to personalize an Android smartphone with apps, widgets, ringtones and more all, in a single download
  • NFC support to share links, apps, YouTube clips and more with Android Beam

Full specs and press release after the jump. We've got a full image gallery over here if you want to take a closer look at the hardware. 

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3 years ago

Orange UK launches Travel Angel app to keep track of international roaming

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If you're an Orange UK customer traveling abroad this summer, you'll want to check out the carrier's Travel Angel app, which is designed to simplify the often confusing world of international roaming. The Orange Travel Angel app lets Android (and BlackBerry) users keep track of their international usage in real time, rather than waiting for charges to appear online over a period of days. The app is also location-aware, meaning it can detect if it's in a country for which the customer doesn't have a roaming bundle. And the bundled themselves can be purchased directly through the app. Users can also get a detailed breakdown of which apps are using the most roaming data, and how many out-of-bundle calls and texts have been sent.

Hit the link below to download Orange's Travel Angel app from Google Play (you'll need to be an Orange customer to do so, of course). Or you can for a round-up of all the roaming deals across every major UK network, check out our EU roaming guide.

Download: Orange Travel Angel

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3 years ago

International Galaxy S3 local search removal 'inadvertent', says Samsung, patch due in days

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Following the removal of local search (or universal search) in the latest over-the-air update for the Samsung Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3), the manufacturer has released a statement addressing the issue. Samsung says that the removal of the ability to search content on the device from the Google Search app was "inadvertent," and that it will be restored for GT-i9300 owners in a future update.

Here's the statement Samsung released to UK site TechRadar --

"The most recent software upgrade for the Galaxy S III in the UK included the inadvertent removal of the universal search function. Samsung will provide the correct software upgrade within the next few days."

As we pointed out at the time, the removal of local search from the international S3 was a puzzling move, as Apple has yet to challenge Samsung over the feature in the European courts. Now it seems the loss of local search was most likely the result of programmer error, rather than Samsung hedging its bets and seeking to avoid further litigation.

In the U.S., the Sprint and AT&T Galaxy S3's have had the feature stripped out in over-the-air updates, as a precautionary measure, following legal action by Apple over local search, which temporarily resulted in the Galaxy Nexus being banned in the U.S. Unfortunately it's unlikely those phones will see local search return anytime soon, but at least it's good news today for international S3 owners.

Source: TechRadar

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3 years ago

Sprint CEO outs the Motorola Photon Q during earnings call

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Sprint has yet to officially announce the Motorola Photon Q, which we first showed you from a leak in our forums earlier this summer, and which has already made it through the FCC. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse this morning during the company's second-quarter earnings call said the phone is coming "very soon." It'll sport 4G LTE data and also serve as a GSM world phone outside the United States, in addition to having the five-row QWERTY keyboard you see above.

Unknown is whether it'll launch with Ice Cream Sandwich, as seen in the test device above, or whether it'll get a bump to Jelly Bean before release. We'd bet on the former, with an upgrade to the latter.

We'd expect an official announcement is in the works now, too.

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3 years ago

Samsung launches Olympic flip cover for Galaxy S3

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The Samsung Galaxy S3 (S III) is the official phone of the Olympic Games, so it stands to reason that that device would get some love as the 30th Olympiad gets underway. Samsung's a big sponsor of the games in London, and so with the festivities about to commence in the UK's capital, the manufacturer is launching an exclusive Olympic accessory in the host city.

Today sees the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S3 Special Edition Olympic Games Flip Cover, which allows you to protect the front of your S3 with a soft cover, while adorning the back with London landmarks like Big Ben, the London Eye and the Gherkin. The Olympic flip cover will be made available at "Samsung PIN" pop-up stores around London, including at shopping centers and near Olympic venues.

If you're not in London, or just don't care for the Olympic branding, you can also pick up the regular Galaxy S3 flip cover from ShopAndroid.com.

Source: Yahoo Korea

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4 years ago

Sony LT30p 'Mint' leaks ahead of expected IFA launch

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Like it did last year with phones like the Xperia Arc S and Ray, Sony Mobile is expected to launch a second wave of smartphones for the second half of 2012, most likely starting with an announcement at the IFA show next month in Berlin. This year, one of the like candidates for Sony's second-half flagship is the as yet unnamed LT30p or "Mint," to give it its codename. We've seen plenty of info on this device leak out already over the past few months (including a trip to the Bluetooth SIG which revealed its specs in full), but now we have the first leaked photos of the phone itself, thanks to an unofficial preview over on ​Mobile-Review.

The site's pics reveal a phone closely resembling a flattened Xperia GX. In fact, this has to be one of the most unassuming designs we've seen from Sony in some time. It's basically a large black slab with a soft touch rear panel and a slight "chin" to the front, similar to the Xperia Sola. Android purists, however, will be pleased to see the inclusion of on-screen buttons rather than capacitive or physical keys. Other notables include a non-removable battery, a microSD card slot for expandable storage, and the inclusion of Sony's WhiteMagic tech for improved daylight visibility.

The unauthorized preview also yields a full spec list, which almost exactly matches what's been previously rumored -- a Snapdragon S4 dual-core CPU inside, a 720p display, 13MP camera and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. However, it's claimed that the "Mint" will feature a 4.3-inch screen, compared to the Xperia GX's 4.6-incher. Based on this -- and the slightly less ambitious design -- we'd place the Mint slightly below the expected LT29i Hayabusa in Sony's H2 2012 line-up. That phone's expected to launch with similar internals, only with a 4.6-inch display and a more curvaceous design, similar to last year's Xperia Arc.

For the moment, though, this is speculation. We'll know for certain when Sony shows off its new stuff at IFA in Berlin on Aug. 29.

Source: Mobile-Review; via: XperiaBlog

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4 years ago

HTC releases AT&T One X kernel sources

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HTC has (finally) released the kernel source for the AT&T One X, bringing themselves into GPL compliance and giving independent developers a chance to build out custom kernels. Normal folks won't need to download this one, but soon enough we'll be enjoying the fruits of dev labor and get all our flashing on. Custom kernels can make the biggest difference when flashed, and for many folks part of having an Android phone is the fun of squeezing every drop out of them.

If you're a kernel developer, or aspiring to be, grab it at the source link below.

Source: HTC Developer; via Android Central forums

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4 years ago

HTC to build another Facebook phone in 2013, says Bloomberg

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Despite failing to set the world alight with 2011's ChaCha and Salsa, HTC and Facebook will collaborate once again to bring another Facebook phone to market next year, according to reports from Bloomberg. ​Details on the purported device are scant at the moment, but the report, which cites the usual "people with knowledge of the matter," indicates a mid-2013 release, after the launch was apparently pushed back from the end of 2012.

The site doesn't mention Android specifically, but we'd be surprised if Google's OS wasn't involved in some way or other, given the history of collaborations between Facebook and HTC. Bloomberg​ says the phone will run a "modified" operating system, which suggests to us that we may see a forked version of Android, similar to what Amazon's done with the Kindle Fire. For the less technically inclined, that means a version of the OS built upon the open-source code, and most likely excluding any Google apps.

Android followers will remember that last year's HTC ChaCha (aka AT&T HTC Status) and its Europe-only sibling, the Salsa, weren't met with much success. So it's possible we'll see the two companies adopt a different strategy this time around. With Facebook getting more involved in the app space, it'd make sense for the Facebook phone to be heavily invested in this, rather than something like Google Play.

In any case, it seems the rumored device is still the best part of a year away from completion, so it's possible we'll see more changes throughout the course of development.

Source: Bloomberg

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4 years ago

Non-Jelly Bean update for Sprint Galaxy Nexus reportedly due tomorrow

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Like the Verizon version, it looks like Sprint's Samsung Galaxy Nexus is due for at least one more over-the-air update before Android 4.1 Jelly Bean arrives. According to ​TechnoBuffalo​, which obtained the internal screenshot above, Sprint is set to launch the update to build no. L700.FG01 tomorrow, July 26.

According to the leaked image, the new software version will include changes to the on-screen signal strength indicator, as well as support for Sprint TV and some changes to the default Wifi and LTE settings. Both will be set to "on" as standard in the new firmware, which is to be expected as Sprint's recently-launched LTE network begins to grow.

Assuming the software roll-out goes ahead as planned, Sprint Gnex owners will want to head to Settings > About phone > System updates tomorrow to pick up the latest firmware.

Source: TechnoBuffalo

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4 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy Note stops by Samsung's site with ICS and 42Mbps HSPA+

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The T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note has been more or less official for a week or so now, after being unceremoniously confirmed in a tweet from the carrier. And now the Tmo Note has made an appearance on Samsung Mobile's website, alongside a complete spec list and some promotional shots.

On the outside, it's the same North American Galaxy Note we've already seen on AT&T and the Canadian networks -- same 5.3-inch HD SuperAMOLED display, same chassis design, different carrier logo up top. Of course, this version is lacking LTE support, though, and instead totes T-Mobile's 42Mbps HSPA+ "4G." It's also pre-loaded with Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, which recently rolled out to the AT&T Note.

A launch is promised "in the coming weeks," but with a possible Galaxy Note 2 expected to be announced at the IFA show in Berlin next month, the late launch might leave Tmo loyalists feeling short-changed.

Thinking of picking up the T-Mobile Galaxy Note? Let us know down in the comments.

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4 years ago

Half of mobile gamers use phones and tablets as primary home entertainment console

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A recent survey of U.K. and U.S. mobile gamers by PopCap shows that around 50% of respondents preferred their phone to PC, console, or dedicated handheld gaming console (like a  PSP or Nintendo DS). Tablet owners ranked a bit higher with 57%. Despite the portability that tablets and smartphones offer, 69% reported to play on their phones at home on the couch (78% among tablet owners), 41% while watching TV (52% for tablet owners), and 57% while in bed (51%). 10% of the 602 American respondents had played mobile games while in a place of worship, driving a car, and/or while watching a movie at a theater. The survey's sample size was a little over a thousand-strong - take that as representative or not as you will.  

With stuff like Ouya coming out of the woodwork, I'd be interested to see just how much Android manages to displace the traditional console gaming industry and which players are savvy enough to get with the times. So far, EA has done a great job of adapting to and addressing the mobile market, meanwhile Nintendo has been vocally against the app store model.

Will players really take to switching to mobile full-time, though? I know I've definitely spent less time on my Alienware since getting really involved with mobile games, but what about you guys? Is your Xbox getting jealous of your tablet?

Source: Information Solutions Group

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 becomes hotel room keycard, TV remote and AC controller

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Who needs a plastic keycard to let you into your hotel room when you can have a Samsung Galaxy S III (S3). As the primary sponsor of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Samsung is getting involved in a big way. This latest collaboration sees them providing the official smartphone of the Games to 40 VIP rooms at the Holiday Inn London Stratford. 

The phones come with a custom application built in, and allow guests to express check in and out, change TV channels, activate the in-room air conditioning, order room service and even let themselves in to the hotel room in place of a keycard.  Oh, and since it is a phone, you'll be able to use it to actually call people too. For the full run down head on over to the source link below. 

Source: Samsung

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