Headlines

2 years ago

Google Apps have a new download location -- GetJar?

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They say seeing is believing, but I'm still not sure what to make of this one.  Google's closed applications -- the ones they keep a tight rein on and not allow just anybody to use -- apparently are available through the third-party market GetJar.  Not just Gmail that you see pictured above, but Google TV remote, Maps, Search, Books -- they're all there.  We're assuming that this is legitimate and not a mistake (GetJar is a reputable site), but we're baffled at how this came to be -- especially since Google's apps also need additions to the Android system framework to actually run.  I can tell you that they work (I tested with Google Music and YouTube -- can't afford to wipe out my Gmail app just yet), but I can't tell you why.  Hit the link and give it a try yourself.

Source: GetJar

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2 years ago

Hacks bring Google Wallet to all Nexus S phones

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NFC may or may not be the future of on-the-go banking, but for most Android fans it's pretty damn cool.  That's why there was a whole lot of disappointment when Google decided to go exclusive with Sprint and the Nexus S 4G on the Google Wallet app for Android, leaving the majority of Nexus S users out of the picture.  This likely has something to do with money (it always does), Isis mobile payment, and competition, but we don't really care about any of that -- we just want to play with our NFC chip.

Now we can, thanks to hacks.  Users have found that the files included in the Sprint version of the Nexus S 4G work just fine on other Nexus S phones -- both stock and with custom ROMs.  Installation is easy enough (though you do need to be rooted and/or running a custom recovery), just flash a package or move a few files.

There's a big caveat here, however. While it's cool that we're able to circumvent the restrictions of exactly who gets to use this, we're not so sure Google and MasterCard will be happy with the $10 credits people who aren't eligible are getting.  If you want to try it for yourself, though, check out the links below.

Source: XDA; (custom ROMs), (stock ROMs)

Thanks, John!

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2 years ago

Cincinnati Bell now offering the HTC Sensation

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It's never any fun to see all these new shiny devices get announced when they aren't coming to your carrier, is it? Today Cincinnati Bell has announced it will be offering the HTC Sensation. For those unfamiliar, this 4.3-inch device is powered by a 1.2GHz processor and runs Gingerbread. The device will be priced at $249 after a $50 mail in rebate, pricing it pretty fairly for a device with such great specs. Picking one up? Be sure to hop in the forums and see what others think of it, and to learn a thing or two about it as well!

Source: Cincinnati Bell

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2 years ago

Announcing the winners of the 500,000th member giveaways

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We had a blast last week giving away prizes in honor of our 500,000th member here at Android Central.  It's you guys who make this such a great place to read a bit of news (and for us to write it) and hang out in the forums, and we love every chance we have to give a little bit back.  After five days of contests, it's finally time to announce the winners -- here they are!

Monday: Win a free case for the smartphone of your choice

  • tdosthp

Tuesday: Win a free Bluetooth headset of your choice

  • saltysteve

Wednesday: Win a spare battery for the smartphone of your choice

  • captmeach7
  • dcreed
  • Jaysus

Thursday: Win one of five Android Central T-shirts

  • droidify
  • IceDree
  • Photon4glover
  • Saneless
  • Suntan

Friday: Win an IOU for the next Nexus phone

  • digitalslacker

Congrats to one and all!  Be sure to check your email and get back with us to collect your prize.  Everyone keep your eyes peeled for the next big giveaway -- you never know when they're gonna show up.

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2 years ago

HTC collecting data in U.S. phones with HTC Sense, storing it in a very sloppy way

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(And it doesn't mean the sky is falling)

Update (Oct. 4): HTC says a fix is on the way. Original follows.

Another week, another bit of scary news that nobody is taking the time to properly explain.  This time it's more HTC data logging, and the way HTC is handling the data it collects.  Exposed in technical detail by Android Police, you'll see this spread all over the Internet for the next few days, so let's try to break down what is happening in simple terms we all can understand.

What's going on

When you first log in and set up your HTC Sense phone (so far this is only showing up on newer U.S. phones with HTC Sense), you're asked if HTC can collect and send data back home about your usage.  If you say "yes," it collects data about apps you're using, where and how your using them, and for how long -- then sends it back to the HTC mothership.  HTC has some use for this -- we figure it's to help see how to improve the next versions of HTC Sense.  That's not a bad thing.  If you opt-out, none of the data is sent back to HTC -- but that doesn't mean it's not still collected. 

Here's where it gets sticky.  HTC is collecting and logging data that lots of other apps also can collect, and we like it when they collect it.  Apps like alogcat (useful when everyone is looking for that OTA update link) or Sensorly collect device and network data.  But when you install those apps, you're told up front they are collecting potentially sensitive data.  HTC doesn't need to declare permissions to do this, because it's your operating system that's doing it, and not "just an app."  This data is then stored on your phone in a manner that other apps can get to it instead of being properly sandboxed.  We're not going to say where it's stored, or how to collect it (we don't promote that type of thing here) but the information is out there, ready for anyone else to use, and it's easy enough to get at. You just need to know where to look.  Some disruptive individual could write an app that mines this data, and sends back information to another server.  And after todays news, someone probably will.

What's being collected, and why the sky isn't falling for everyone

The next question you'll ask is "What kind of data is HTC collecting?"  It's not collecting passwords.  It's not collecting the text of any SMS message or IM you're sending.  What it is collecting is data that is unique to your phone (IMEI and device ID), your account names, geo-location, and phone numbers from your call logs.  If you're technically inclined, run a logcat locally to get an idea of the type of data that's available -- this is the kind of information HTC is storing.  How sensitive you consider this type of data can to be is something for each of us to decide.  Nobody can steal your bank password here, but they can know where you were the last time you used your GPS, and identify the device that did it.

So how to fix it?  Well, you can't if you're not rooted.  This is all part of your phone's operating system, but it is part that can easily be removed if you have the right permissions to remove it.  Head into the forums and look for the threads that are already there about it, or start a new one if you don't see one.  The advisers and senior members will be happy to guide you along if you want to take matters into your own hands.  If you're not feeling the whole root thing, just be careful what apps you install until HTC fixes the issue.  We hope that's soon.

The short, short version

HTC is collecting usage and system logs locally, as in on your phone.  It's stored in a way so that other apps can possibly access it and no longer have to collect it from the system in the normal way, properly declaring that it's doing so in the process.

Is this the end of the world?  Probably not.  And we're willing to bet this isn't a malicious act on HTC's part. But it certainly does raise a few eyebrows.

And it's something HTC needs to fix, and soon.

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2 years ago

Samsung Stratosphere specs surface, check out how it compares to the competition

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We have seen the Samsung Stratosphere appear in a couple different places yet we have still not seen full specs to gain an understanding of where the device falls in Verizon's lineup. DroidLife has got their hands on some spec sheets which detail the specs of the device as well as compare it to other Android devices available on Verizon currently. In addition to comparing to Verizon devices the documents show comparisons to other slider devices across various other carriers, giving you a pretty good understanding of where the device falls. Verizon lists the "bottom line" as:

Appeals to anyone looking for a mid-tier option at an affordable price with fast web browsing and messaging capabilities.

Knowing it is a mid-tier device, we could anticipate the pricing to be in the $149 price range on contract, ultimately giving you a pretty good bang for the buck. Is the Samsung Stratosphere in your vision for a potential next device, or will you be passing in favor of something else? Be sure to let us know in the forums! One more comparison after the break.

Source: DroidLife

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2 years ago

Walmart prices the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II at $148.88

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You didn't really think that Walmart would come in with the same pricing as other places with the Samsung Galaxy S II for AT&T did you? As suspected, Walmart has priced the device a little over $50 cheaper than AT&T's price of $199, and they are offering it for $148.88 on two year agreement, and only $520 versus AT&T's $549 off contract pricing. So, if you are looking to get yourself one, and want to save a little bit of cash, head over to your local Walmart and pick one up, and hop in the forums to let us know your thoughts.

Thanks, Sporky!

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2 years ago

AT&T Galaxy S II now available online for $199 on contract, $549 outright

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The wait is over if you're an AT&T subscriber who's been itching for the Samsung Galaxy S II.  Considering it's one of the best phones available for the death star nation's number two network, I'll wager that's more than a few of you.  If you need a refresher, your $199 (on a new contract, $549 outright) gets you a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED plus display, 1.2GHz Samsung Exynos processor (zoom zoom!), 1GB of RAM, an 8MP rear HD camera and a 2MP front camera, running on AT&T's HSPA+ 4G network.  It's no wonder these things are selling like hotcakes around the rest of the globe.

Once you get your ATTSGSII (no comma), or while your waiting after you've ordered online, we're ready for ya in the forums, where the wait has been driving the rest of us Android fans half insane and giddy.  And if you're still on the fence, you gotta check out 25 reasons to consider the AT&T Galaxy S II to help make up your mind.  Hit the source link to order yours.

Source: AT&T

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2 years ago

Check out whats happening at the Big Android BBQ via Android Central

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If you weren't able to make it to Austin for the Big Android BBQ this year, don't worry -- we have you covered.  We're on the scene and taking in all the sights, and sharing the highlights through the magic of social media.  In between the great food, great beverages, and great people there's even a chance to learn a thing or two.  We'll have a recap with all the details when things wind down, but in the meantime hit us up on Twitter to see what's cookin'!

Follow @androidcentral on Twitter

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2 years ago

HTC Amaze 4G gets a silent hardware and software tour

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Yesterday we saw a whole bunch of great new HTC Amaze 4G information come to surface, and today we are happy to have even more. This time we get a silent video tour of the hardware and software on the device, showing it off a bit and making the decision of your next device even harder. T-Mobile customers, will you be waiting for this, or picking up the Samsung Galaxy S II when it is available? Hop into the forums and let us know what device is next for you, and why!

Source: TMoNews

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