Headlines

4 months ago

Carphone Warehouse tablet withdrawn from sale following licensing blunder

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Google apps on the £49 'Avoca' tablet were not properly licensed, according to reports

Following the arrival of cheap Android tablets from British retailers Argos and Tesco, retail chain Carphone Warehouse made headlines with the launch of its own budget slate, priced at just £49. By all accounts the "Avoca" tablet packed pretty basic hardware — a 1GHz CPU, WVGA display and 512MB of RAM stands out as being decidedly low-end — but at least it included the full suite of Google apps.

Now it seems the those apps may have been loaded onto the device without being properly licensed. The UK-based Mobile Magazine reports via "industry sources" that the Avoca's software was not licensed by Google, and as such manufacturer STB Developments had loaded apps like Google Maps and the Google Play Store onto the tablet without permission. Applications like this form the GMS (Google Mobile Services) package, which is licensed separately to the open-source Android OS.

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4 months ago

Asus Transformer 701 updating to Android 4.3 today

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275MB update specifically addresses stability of the system while docked

Asus' Transformer Pad 701 has a 4.3 Jelly Bean update pushing right about now. The 275MB update boosts the version up a number, and specifically addresses stability and performance of the keyboard dock. You'll need to restart a couple times to get all the dock updates according to reports we've received. 

You also might want to hold off for a little while on this one. Everyone wants Android updates, but as we've seen before, they don't always make things better. We've seen several reports of tablets being locked awake draining the battery both while docked and while free-standing. While these may be random issues, dismissing the update notification for a day to find out may be the smart thing to do. If there is a problem, we'll be sure to let you know.

In either case, the forums is the place to discuss this one.

Via: Android Central forums

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5 months ago

Amazon releases Kindle Fire OS 3.1

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For those who have the Kindle Fire HD and Kinde Fire HDX, a software update is awaiting you. New in OS version 3.1 is the integration of Goodreads, which now ties in directly to whatever you're reading. You also an now "fling" video content to your TV, provided you're using a PlayStation 3 or Samsung Television. (Support for the PS4 is to come.) Amazon also has improved enterprise and BYOD support. Printing support also was added.

You can wait and get the update over the air, or download and install directly from Amazon. We've got the full changelog after the break.

Source: Amazon; Also: Read our Kindle Fire HDX review

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5 months ago

Kindle Fire HDX review

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Amazon's third try at a tablet takes things to the next level — provided you're an Amazon customer or want to be one

Amazon has a long history with Android, delivering a Kindle tablet that mostly runs it for the last three years. Now we're not going to pretend that the Kindle Fire line is yet another Android tablet — either good or bad — because Amazon takes things to the extreme when it comes to making Android into something we never thought it would be.

We know that it's not cool to appreciate what Amazon is doing here, but we can't help that we do. Amazon has taken the open-source component called Android, added in many hours of work and love, and delivered a set of devices that fit perfectly into their ecosystem.

If you're looking for an Android tablet, go read the Nexus 7 review, or the new Tegra Note may be more your style. But if you want a device that works as a portal to a ton of great content from a name you already know, keep reading. 

Buy the Kindle Fire HDX 7

Buy the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9

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5 months ago

Phones 4U offering free Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 with on-contract Galaxy Note 3

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Pick up a companion tablet for signing a contract on your new Note 3

Although it may not be the same great deal as getting a free Galaxy Gear, Phones 4U is offering a free Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 with purchase of a new Galaxy Note 3. For one week only, if you buy Samsung's latest Note 3 from Phones 4U and sign up for a contract to get it, you'll get the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 (a £149.95 value) for free along with it.

Plans on offer range from £49 up-front and £43 per month to free and £48 per month depending on the carrier, and if you happen to go with a 2-year contract on EE you'll get a free wireless speaker to go along with your phone and tablet.

While signing up for a 2-year contract may not be the best of choices, if you were going that route and wanted a Note 3 you might as well grab your free tablet at the same time. Hit the source link if you're interested in the proposition — you'll have the choice of black, white or pink for your new Note 3.

Source: Phones 4U

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5 months ago

Android 4.4 factory images for all Nexus 7s now available, too

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Return to stock or update to the latest version on your Nexus 7

Along with the Nexus 4, all versions of the Nexus 7 have also received Android 4.4 factory images. Even though the OTA update to KitKat hasn't come to the Nexus 7 variants that have mobile data, all four variants of the smaller Nexus tablet have factory images available.

If you're willing to put a little time into it you can use these to update your own tablet, or just download and have them at the ready should you ever need to return to stock.

More: Nexus 7 2013 Forums | Nexus 7 2012 Forums

Source: Google Developers

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5 months ago

How to manually update your Nexus tablet to KitKat [updated]

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With the right tools and a little knowledge, there's no need to wait for your OTA

Update: Nexus 7 (2012) link has been added. Get to flashing!

Update 2: And the Nexus 10 is now good to go.

The Android 4.4 update has started rolling out to the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets around the world. But if your tablet has yet to receive the update, then don't despair — we've got a quick walkthrough that'll get you updated in a few minutes, assuming you've got a little experience with a command line.

Note that this is for stock Nexus tablets, and for people who want to update without really doing any real hackery, but don't mind a little command line work. Nothing we do here is permanent, other than the update itself. If you've already flashed a custom recovery, you should be able to update manually using that, instead of our method. And with that...

Caution: This guide is intended for technically proficient users only. Proceed at your own risk. Dragons ahead, etc.

The prerequisites

Check past the break to see the full manual update process.

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5 months ago

Amazon rolls out Kindle store and devices in Australia

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Amazon wants to deliver more smiles to the land down under

Amazon has announced the availability of both the Kindle store and Kindle devices for their Australian customers. The new store will offer more than 2,000,000 eBooks, with more than 26,000 being free English-language titles. Customers will be able to choose from more than 700,000 books priced at $3.99AU or less, and more than 1,400,000 titles at $9.99AU or less. To round out the news, independent authors can now use Kindle Direct Publishing to make their books available, and earn the standard 70-percent royalty in the Kindle store.

To read all these books, you need a capable device, and for accessing the Kindle store none are more capable than a Kindle proper. The Kindle Fire HD is available now at Dick Smith and Big W stores across Australia for $189AU. The Kindle Fire HDX in both the 7 and 8.9-inch models will be available from Dick Smith and Big W as well, with the 7-inch model coming November 26 for $329AU, and the 8.9-inch version coming December 10 for $479.

While most of what we call Android has been stripped from the Kindle family, the devices themselves are great for reading. We're happy to see Amazon expanding into Australia. For full details, see the source links.

Source: Amazon (1); (2); (3)

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5 months ago

Tegra Note 7 review

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Pure Nvidia, pure Android and under $200 will catch a lot of attention from Android fans

Nvidia is no stranger to Android. Being an original partner for the Nexus 7, and Tegra processors in millions of phones and tablets have surely left a mark, and their recent offerings with the new Tegra 4 offer some screaming performance even when partnered with folks who might not have the best software installed. 

A real highlight of all this was the Shield. Designed in-house at Nvidia, the Shield is a real screamer that also gets plenty of love with the updates. Running a mostly untouched build of AOSP with all the Google applications surely helps here. The Shield never took off with consumers, and most pundits blame the odd form factor and the price.

The Tegra Note fixes both of those issues. It's a standard 7-inch tablet, that checks in just shy of $200. And it has a secret weapon — Nvidia's "active stylus" is on board, delivering an integrated pen and digitizing solution that's on par with devices costing quite a bit more.

I've been fiddling with the Tegra Note for a bit, jump through and see what I think of it.

Preorder the EVGA Tegra Note 7 from Newegg

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5 months ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 - 2014 Edition lands in Canada November 8

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Tablet launching tomorrow at major Canadian retailers

Samsung's latest high-end Android tablet, the stylus-toting Galaxy Note 10.1 - 2014 Edition, will be arriving in Canada from tomorrow, Nov. 8. Canadians will be getting the Wifi-only octa-core Exynos version of the Android 4.3 tablet, which packs a 2560x1600-resolution, 10.1-inch display, 3GB of RAM and the same S Pen functionality as its smaller sibling the Galaxy Note 3.

The new Note 10.1 will arrive at Best Buy, Future Shop and "other major retailers" tomorrow in the "classic white" color. There's no word on when (or if) the "jet black" version will be joining it. However Samsung is offering a bunch of promotional goodies for Note 10.1 buyers, including a $20 Samsung apps gift card, three months of free Rdio streaming, two free ebooks from the "For Dummies" series and 50GB of Dropbox storage for two years, as part of an offer that runs until Nov. 30.

For more on the Galaxy Note 10.1 - 2014 Edition check out our full review below.

More: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 - 2014 Edition review

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