Headlines

2 years ago

Zen Pinball THD now available in the Market for Tegra devices, and it's free

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If you're using a phone or tablet with a Tegra chip inside it, you'll want to check out Zen Pinball THD, which hit the Android Market today.  It's a great game, using advanced physics for ball movement, has great tables included -- Marvel's Fantastic Four table is really, really, cool -- and includes multiplayer mode.  All for free.  To top it off, it's even OpenFeint-enabled for those who like a bit of competition in their mobile gaming.  We've been fooling with the press demos, and it's a very well done piece of work.  Gameplay is fast, realistic, and beautiful.  Any pinball fan or mobile gamer should enjoy this one, and with the free price tag there's no reason not to try it.  Hit the break for the download link and the gameplay trailer.

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2 years ago

Galaxy Nexus OTA update now rolling out with volume bug fix

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The promised volume bug fix for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is now rolling out over-the-air, with multiple Nexus owners reporting that updated software has arrived on their handsets. The OTA package weighs a little under 1MB, and updates the Nexus from build ITL41D to ITL41F, while the Android version remains at 4.0.1. So far it seems that the update contains only the volume bug fix, and that there are no other goodies hiding inside.

If you've noticed the bug on your device, you'll want to head straight to Settings > About phone > System updates to grab the new software. At the time of writing, not all Nexuses have received the patch, so if you don't get it straight away then be sure to check back in the hours and days ahead. Unlike previous Nexus devices, there's no easy way to directly apply apply the OTA package without unlocking the bootloader and rooting the phone or other such hackery. If you're comfortable messing around with Android's software internals, though, we've figured out a way for you to apply the OTA update manually, without waiting. Check it out.

Head over to the comments and let us know if you've already received your update.

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2 years ago

Gingerbread for Cellcom's Milestone X is now available

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Cellcom customers patiently waiting for Gingerbread on their Motorola Milestone X will be pleased to know that the carrier has released its official update, which is pushing to devices as we speak. In addition to the usual Gingerbread-flavored goodies, update 4.5.604.en.US brings improvements to battery life, download management, the calendar, camera and contacts, as well as overall device security. It's 104.9 MB total and should be arriving on your device any minute now, though if you're not big on waiting, you can always pull it manually through the System Updates function in the settings menu. Hit the source link for Cellcom's official word.

Source: Cellcom; thanks gmonkey88!

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2 years ago

HTC Sensation XL review

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There’s no doubt that HTC is getting behind Beats Audio in a big way. This summer the manufacturer ponied up $300 million for a 51 percent stake in Beats, and since then it’s been quick to bring to market phones like the Sensation XE and Rezound, which include Beats earphones in the box and a Beats-optimized music player. The latest phone to launch in Europe with Beats support is the Sensation XL. Originally unveiled at a glitzy event in London back in October, the 4.7-inch XL is pitched as the first European phone designed from the ground up around Beats Audio.

The Sensation XL isn’t a replacement for the original Sensation in the traditional sense. Instead, HTC seems to be positioning both devices alongside each other, with the XL geared towards big multimedia consumers rather than spec-obsessed enthusiasts. But with formidable (and technically superior) competition from Apple, Samsung, Motorola and others, does the Sensation XL do enough to stand out from the ever-growing high-end smartphone crowd? Read on to find out.


A well-built device with a bright, vivid screen and responsive, feature-filled software. Beats headphones and software optimizations make this a great phone for music on-the-go. HTC Sense 3.5 is faster and slicker than ever.


Lack of expandable storage. Screen resolution is lower than much of the competition. Disappointing video camera performance. No Beats support for third-party music players.



The Sensation XL might not represent the complete package for smartphone enthusiasts, but it's hard to fault the device as a whole. HTC's Sense UI is better than ever, and the bundled Beats hardware is a huge step up from the bog-standard earphones provided with most phones.
 

Inside this review

More info

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2 years ago

Gingerbread for the Samsung Droid Charge rolling out now

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Last week we got word that the Samsung Droid Charge was set to receive its own official Gingerbread update, and now word in the forum is that the update is rolling out. Bringing a bunch of changes some of which include a new color scheme, a new download manager and added SD encryption. If you haven't already received the update notification be sure to head into your settings and check manually for the update!

More in the Android Central Forums

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2 years ago

Kindle Fire software Version 6.2 now available; update manually or over Wifi

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Don't blink. If you do, you might miss your Amazon Kindle Fire updating to software Version 6.2. Amazon's not really saying what's new in the update other than "provides improvements to the operation of your Kindle Fire." But know that it does break root, so you'll have to jump through that hoop again (which you should be more than willing to do if you did it once already.)

The update's available over Wifi, or you can download it directly from Amazon, move it to your Kindle Fire yourself (just plug it in and drag the file onto it in your favorite file explorer), and go into the device settings and hit "Update your Kinde." It'll reboot a couple times, then all is well.

Download: Software Version 6.2; More: Amazon

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2 years ago

Editorial: Carrier IQ -- the 'evil' we agree to and hate that we did it

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Seems like every time you turn around you'll see corporations using sneaky tricks to gain a competitive advantage over a different, yet equally sneaky corporation.  That's usually how money is made by the people who are best at making lots of it -- at the expense of others.  The cell phone industry is no different, even though we wish it were.  Yes, I'm talking about Carrier IQ, and it's my turn to bitch.

Carrier IQ sells a stock client for BlackBerry, Symbian, and Android.  There's strong evidence that  they also make client software for other smartphone platforms, and even semi-smartphone OS's like Bada or BREW.  But they're only making it easy to get the same type of data your carrier has been collecting about you since the minute you turned your cell phone on.  If they're collecting it in an insecure manner, which has happened, that's bad on them, and they need to fix it -- pronto. But they're not doing it on their own. They're doing it at the behest of the manufacturer and the carrier, who uses the data to determine how to make changes that get you to spend more money when they offer you the latest shiny.  If 72 percent of the people use a certain feature, you can bet your last dollar that more work goes into making that feature "better" so it's a stronger selling point.  Carrier IQ, as a company, could care less what you do with your smartphone, when you do it, or why.  All they do is make it easier for the people you give your money to each month to see why you like your phone.  I don't work for HTC or AT&T, but I'm sure easy data collection and aggregation makes for a compelling sales pitch.

CIQ isn't doing anything it's not supposed to be doing, unless there's a software bug in play.  The software was purposefully placed there in order to track what you're doing in real time.  Apparently, it works pretty well.  Some may argue that it's a rootkit, or a flaw of some sort, but to the people using the product -- again, the carrier and manufacturer -- it's a feature, one that they pay money to include.  Remember, you are not HTC's (or Samsung, or LG, or RIM, etc.) customer -- companies like Verizon and Sprint are, and all parties find the data that's collected pretty damn useful, so they aren't likely to stop collecting it.

It could be argued that you don't have a choice in the matter. You bought the phone. And while there might be (and usually is -- see the picture above from a CIQ enabled HTC phone) some vague reference to the phone collecting data about how you use it, you likely skipped over that section, and it's not all that up-front about what's being collected or how it's being done. But on the other hand, that's probably true about 90 percent of what your phone's doing at any given time.  It works exactly how it's supposed to work.  Getting mad about it after the fact isn't very productive, and isn't going to solve the problem any time soon.

Vote with your wallet.  You have the option to say no to this sort of data collection software, and that's done by not buying phones that use it.  Every major carrier in the world now carries one of those.

Yes, I think Carrier IQ is a bad thing, done by unscrupulous people so they have more pennies to count.  But all the hate towards the company that writes and sells the software is misguided.  They are only filling a need, and if they stop someone else will step up to replace them.  Enough words have been written about it, yet the solution for Android fans only needs three:

Buy a Nexus.

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2 years ago

Gingerbread for Optimus 2X reaches the UK at last

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We'll chalk this up as a case of better late than never, but the European Optimus Gingerbread upgrade has made it to UK Optimus 2X devices. 

Making the announcement via their Facebook page, the update goes live today. As ever, bear in mind that carrier bonded devices may be subject to delays but if you have an unlocked Optimus 2X there's a good chance you'll be seeing it right about now.

They even went so far as to offer an apology for the delay. It's not ICS, but it's a start. Hit us up in the comments if you've seen the update. 

Source: LG

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2 years ago

Galaxy Nexus cracked open -- silicon, tiny screws and magic found inside

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As is customary with any big, new phone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus recently received the teardown treatment from the fearless spudgers over at iFixit. There's nothing too surprising lurking inside the chassis -- after all, we've been over and over the specs for this thing in the lead up to its release. Nevertheless, if you're big on electronics and want to see what the Nexus looks like on the inside without cracking yours open, then it may be of interest. Note that this is a teardown of the GSM version -- the guts of the elusive Verizon LTE model will likely look a little different.

Head to the source link for the full teardown, or check out our GSM Galaxy Nexus review if you want to see more of what this phone looks like on the outside.

Source: iFixit

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2 years ago

Adobe Flash Player 11.1 coming to the Galaxy Nexus by end of year

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Adobe's been saying this for a week or so now, and today it made it officially official in an official blog post: Flash Player 11.1 will come to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Huzzah. Look for the update in December (makes since, because November's 24 hours from being in our rear-view mirrors).

Glad to see another one last update for Flash Player (and AIR as well, which we're already seeing in the Android Market) for the Galaxy Nexus. Now if only we could get the phone in North America.

Source: Adobe; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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