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2 years ago

Sonic 4: Episode II Tegra 3 edition review

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Remember back to Christmas, and we let you know that Sega and NVIDIA would be bringing an enhanced Tegra 3 version of Sonic 4: Episode II, and today is that day! If you thought Sega did a great job with Sonic 4 Episode I, wait until you try this one! Designed for the Tegra 3 SoC, the latest addition to the popular Sonic the Hedgehog franchise brings true console quality gaming, easy controls, and hours of fun for folks with the right hardware to run it. The rolling, the jumping, the bouncing -- it's all there, and looks as good as it ever did thanks to the new HD graphics engine and in-game physics, and the backgrounds and ambient sounds are done the way only the Tegra 3 can bring them to you.

If the single-player action isn't enough to get you excited about Sonic and Tails, grab a buddy with a Tegra 3 device and play co-op via Bluetooth. And when you hook up a wireless controller, it's just more fun than you can imagine. This game rocks!

Know what would be a hell of a fun way to play it? On your very own ASUS Transformer Pad TF300. Vote in the Tegrazone's first annual Player's Choice Awards and you get a chance to win one of seven ASUS Transformer Pad prize packs -- complete with the tablet, the keyboard dock, a Logitech wireless controller and a killer Jambox Bluetooth speaker. Then double your chances by entering Android Central's giveaway, where NVIDIA and ASUS have partnered with us to give away one each week right here on our site. Don't miss your chance to win an awesome setup, because the games in the TegraZone just keep getting better. Check out the source link for more details, and hit the break to see the two minute run through level one. Sonic 4: Episode II is available for Tegra 3 devices on NVIDIA Tegra Zone for $6.99, so fire up that app to get started.

Read more about Sonic 4: Episode II

Vote in the Player's Choice awards at the TegraZone

Enter the drawing right here at AC

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2 years ago

Google Music limits device de-authorizations to 4 a year

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A bit of a wet blanket has been tossed onto Google Music recently. We're not exactly sure when this policy went into effect (but we're pretty sure it's been a recent change), but you can now only de-authorize four devices from Google Music per year. (You can still have a total of 10 authorized to play.) This is one of those situations that generally wouldn't affect your "normal" user who has one or two phones, and maybe a tablet, and doesn't go around swapping devices every few weeks.

We are not your normal user. And chances are a good percentage of Google Music users aren't "normal" users either, flashing ROMs and what not. (As a side note: Having a rooted device has nothing to do with any of this, headlines to the contrary.) That leaves some of us in a bit of a pickle. That's my authorized device list above. Somehow I've managed to get two Logitech Revues authorized, even though I only have one, which needs to be hard-reset every few weeks because it's a piece of crap that likes to forget it has certain applications installed. (The latest app to fall victim to my Revue's disappearing act -- wait for it -- was Google Music.) So not only do I have two Revues listed and can't de-authorize either of them, I'll be stuck with the Revue as an authorized device if and when Google releases something new later this year. (I'm still expecting an announcement of some sort at Google IO.)

I don't blame Google here. Online music still is a ridiculously overcomplicated endeavor, thanks to the record labels. (And it's second only to online video streaming.) But, obviously, this won't do. Because I shan't be using this Revue any longer than necessary, and phones don't last forever.

So is it back to Amazon for me? Or back to local music? 

More: Google Music support page; Thanks, @anthonok, for pointing this one out

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2 years ago

T-Mobile HTC Sensation 4G ICS update rolling out today, Amaze update coming May 21

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Good news this morning for anyone rocking T-Mobile's HTC Sensation 4G -- as we reported a couple of days ago, the Sensation's update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich begins rolling out today. So head to Settings > About phone > Software updates to see if your update is ready yet.

In addition, T-Mobile has today revealed that its HTC Amaze 4G will be joining the Sensation on ICS from next Monday, May 21. Just like the Sensation's ICS upgrade, the Amaze OTA will bring it up to Android 4.0.3 and HTC Sense 3.6. That's the same intermediary version of Sense that we've seen on other updated phones, adding many of the features we've seen on newer Sense 4.0 phones, but sticks with the visual style of the older Sense 3.x.

If you're updating your Sensation to ICS today, be sure to drop by the comments and let us know how it went!

Source: T-Mobile (1, 2)

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2 years ago

HTC Desire C arriving May 24 for £190, says retailer

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If you're after one of those new HTC Desire C's and don't want to wait until June for the carrier-branded versions, it looks like you'll be able to pick up the device SIM-free in just over a week. British online retailer Clove Technology sends word that it'll be stocking HTC's latest budget handset from next Thursday, May 24. Clove's price is £189.99 including VAT, a little higher than the £170 or so that networks will be asking for, but that's to be expected for an unlocked handset.

The Desire C, which was officially announced yesterday, revives the classic Desire brand and the in a 3.5-inch device that looks like a cross between a One S and a Wildfire S. It's powered by a 600MHz Snapdragon S1 chip, so it's hardly bleeding edge, but the inclusion of ICS, NFC and Beats Audio should give budget buyers plenty to play with.

For more Desire C goodness, check out yesterday's announcement post.

Source: Clove Technology

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2 years ago

International HTC One X gets minor bug fixes in new OTA

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According to forum reports, the unlocked, international HTC One X (that's the One rocking Tegra 3 as opposed to Snapdragon S4) has received another small over-the-air update this morning, bringing the device up to version 1.29.401.11. This one's smaller than some previous One X OTAs, at just 14MB, and according to early reports it fixes issues with screen flickering and USB storage, though the dreaded Wifi disconnection bug apparently remains.

If you're running an unlocked One X, be sure to grab the latest update (Settings > About phone > Software updates), and let us know in the comments if you're noticing any major differences.

More: Android Central forums

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III available a day early for pre-order customers in some stores

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Samsung originally revealed May 29 as the official launch date of the Galaxy S III in Europe, before retailers started announcing the device for a purported May 30 release. Today it seems the original date of May 29 will still stand, but only for pre-order customers in a handful of stores across the UK.

This morning Samsung UK sends word that customers pre-ordering the Galaxy S III at the Samsung store at London's Westfield Stratford City will be able to pick up their phones from 6pm local time on Tuesday, May 29. But if you're not in London, then don't worry -- Samsung is giving other retailers the chance to hold its own early launch events for pre-orderers, as early as 7pm on that evening. So it's worth checking with any stores in your area if you fancy getting your hands on an S III a few hours before everyone else.

Regardless, the phone will go on sale nationwide on May 30, and it'll be available on all five major UK networks.

We've got Samsung's press release after the jump. For more on the Galaxy S III, check out our full coverage from the London launch event earlier this month.

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2 years ago

HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE imports stalled by U.S. customs

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HTC this evening has confirmed in a statement to Android Central (and everybody else, we imagine) that importation of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE handsets have been delayed at the U.S. border because of a customs review. As first reported by The Verge, this likely stems from the ITC exclusion order Apple was granted last December over hyperlinks in the messaging app and browser.

HTC's official statement:

The US availability of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed due to a standard U.S. Customs review of shipments that is required after an ITC exclusion order. We believe we are in compliance with the ruling and HTC is working closely with Customs to secure approval. The HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE have been received enthusiastically by customers and we appreciate their patience as we work to get these products into their hands as soon as possible.

HTC has said that the issues raised by Apple in front of the ITC were trivial and would be removed from their products, but customs must review the shipments coming in after the April 19 deadline set in place by the ITC. We hope HTC's confidence is warranted, and we see the phones on the shelf, where they belong.

Opines Rene Ritchie at our sister site, iMore.com:

Apple's lawsuits against HTC -- and Samsung and Motorola -- stem from Apple's feeling that Android was "grand theft" of iPhone intellectual property. Basically, they believe Google partnered with Apple, had their then-CEO Eric Schmidt on Apple's board, and then not only stole Apple's ideas about smartphone technology, but gave them away "promiscuously".

The late Steve Jobs reportedly vowed to go "thermonuclear" over Android, and spend every dime in Apple's tens of billions of dollars in the bank to reap horrible vengeance upon them.

Current Apple CEO Tim Cook has thus far been much calmer, but every bit as deadly about patent litigation, saying Apple shouldn't be the developers for the whole world.

Currently, the HTC One X is out of stock on AT&T's website, and it looks like it may stay that way for the near future. The EVO 4G LTE is due to go on sale at 8 a.m. Friday. The status of in-store stock is unclear. A Sprint spokesperson referred questions on the delay to HTC.

Can we fix the bullshit patent and trademark office yet?

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2 years ago

DroidDoodle: The EVO 4G LTE cometh

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The EVO 4G LTE will be here Friday. Kinda looks like an iPhone line, don't it?

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2 years ago

Took back the One X, Rooting the One S [From the Forums]

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We're rolling through this week pretty quick so if you happened to miss out on anything thus far, make sure you get yourself caught up. You can head on back a page or two and you'll be good to go. While you're at it, make sure you check out the Android Central Forums for plenty more discussion:

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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2 years ago

Multitasking on the HTC One X isn't broken, it's customized

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There's been a bit of fuss over the way the HTC One X (and One XL) handles multitasking, with some folks saying the phone is broken when talking about the way it handles tasks in the background. While it certainly is different than what we see on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, or other devices running previous versions of Android, it's not broken at all -- HTC has just tweaked it. Like everything else in the Android source code, the way the kernel and system free memory from background tasks is wide open and subject to the whim of whoever does the software building. In this case, it's an area we're pretty familiar with, and something we've been hacking at since the days of the lowly HTC Hero -- the minfree settings and kernel low memory killer. 

What's happening is that the settings have been adjusted to keep more memory free for Sense 4 to gobble up, at the expense of applications running in the background. It's not a big edit, but with the One X's big screen and Sense 4's big footprint, it's a big enough edit to force things to close in the background more aggressively than we're used to seeing. Apps that have a bit of priority (ranging from the important things like the phone dialer to the less-important like the music player) seem to act just fine, but bigger applications, like Chrome beta for example, seem to suspend and need to re-open whenever they are returned to from the application switching menu.

For the more nerdly among us, I've looked and found one set of changes in the One X's boot image. The Stock AOSP build of 4.0.4 writes these values to the minfree settings:

8099, 10132, 12165, 14213, 16245, 20295

The AT&T HTC One X uses these settings (as we're using the system, anyway):

7746, 9720, 11694, 13742, 15715, 24709

Our Tegra 3 version of the HTC One X is showing the following, again, as we're using the system:

8192, 10240, 12288, 14336, 16384, 20480

It's very likely that there are other changes in the kernel source as well. 

The real issue here is that it's different than what we're used to seeing. Many seem not to like it, and would prefer the "old way". If you're riding the root train, that's a possibility -- our own Senior Developer Beezy is looking at things, and working on a few edits. If you're not into hacking your device, you're going to have to realize that HTC has built the One X their way. It's not wrong, it's just not stock Android.

Source: Android Central forums

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