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2 years ago

Android Central 154: Two out of three ain't bad

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Audio-only stream below

Samsung does all right with the Note 3 and new Note 10.1, but the Galaxy Gear leaves a bit to be desired. Plus, the state of HTC, we try to benchmark Jerry live on the air — and Google gives numbers on the great malware scare that isn't.

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2 years ago

Samsung's ChatON messenger receives interface refresh with v3.0 update

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New flat design and a few social-friendly features

Samsung has just pushed out an update to its ChatON messenger app, which has streamlined the interface and added a few new features. While it may have been popular, ChatON was far from a beautiful app before today — the new interface changes that considerably with a notably flatter design that keeps the white, grey and orange color scheme but adds in some "holo" design elements.

The "My page" feature has been improved as well, letting you change the background image for your page to give it a more personal feel. You and your friends can now share media to each other's pages as well — from your own uploaded media to content from Samsung's LIVEpartners.

If you happen to be one of the 100 million ChatON users out there, be sure to go grab an update to the latest version. It's a big update that is worth taking a look at.

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2 years ago

AT&T HTC One Android 4.3 update passes certification, pushing out next week

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HTC America President Jason Mackenzie has confirmed on Twitter that the Android 4.3 update for AT&T's HTC One has passed carrier certification and will be pushing out "early next week."

HTC is in the midsts of pushing out its Android 4.3 update for various regions and carriers. Sprint's HTC One got Android 4.3 this week, while the U.S. developer version and Canadian versions got it last week. T-Mobile is expected to get the 4.3 update by mid-October, while Verizon is slated for the end of the month.

The update brings HTC's flagship up to the latest version of the OS, while adding in new (to the U.S.) HTC Sense features like additional video highlight templates, Instagram support in BlinkFeed and the ability to disable the on-screen menu button.

More: AT&T HTC One forum

Source: @JasonMacHTC

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2 years ago

AT&T confirms Moto X 'camera fix' OTA rolling out now

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Camera fixes galore and tweaks to Touchless Control exit testing

A mere 10 days after SOAK test invites rolled out to some AT&T Moto X users for an impending update, AT&T has confirmed that it will be rolling out to all users starting today. The primary focus of this update, which has already started rolling out to T-Mobile and Sprint variants, is fixes for the subpar camera performance users have been experiencing on the Moto X.

AT&T has basically the same exact list of changes that we saw Motorola post for the T-Mobile variant, including better auto-white balance performance, color accuracy, exposure and touch-to-focus time. Beyond just the camera, other fixes related to Touchless Control responsiveness and Motorola Migrate are also included.

Seeing the update on your own AT&T Moto X yet? Now may be the time to check it out.

More: Moto X Forums

Source: AT&T

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2 years ago

Stock Talk: HTC's Q3 loss isn't good, but neither is it unexpected

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The question remains, though: How (and can?) HTC regroup financially to compete in this industry? 

Earlier this week HTC Corp. published its unaudited results for the third quarter of 2013. Despite the number of headlines making a big deal out of the company’s first quarterly loss (yes, it lost money this quarter), the news was easily anticipated.

Like many public companies, HTC shares its business outlook in every quarterly press release. Last quarter it said to expect $50 billion to $60 billion (local currency) in revenue, and it expected an operating margin as low as -8 percent.  In actuality, HTC posted slightly less revenue ($47.1 billion), and the operating margin was slightly better than the worst-case scenario in its outlook at -7 percent. 

How did the market respond? The stock is actually up 1.5 percent today. That’s a tiny move for a tech stock, so it pretty much tells us Wall Street yawned at these numbers. 

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2 years ago

We're podcasting live at 4:30 p.m. EDT!

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Happy Friday, everyone! It's been a busy week, for sure — well, more so for some of us here, less so for others — but we're going to close things out right. We're gearing up for a live recording of the Greatest Android Podcast in the World this afternoon.

On tap for this week's show: The Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Gear and new Galaxy Note 10.1, where HTC stands, updates to Android, whether malware is as scary as some would lead you to believe — and of course we'll answer more of your questions!

So join us at 4:30 p.m. EDT for the live podcast broadcast. We'll see you there!

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2 years ago

Dead on Arrival 2 as seen on the Nvidia Shield

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 Dead on Arrival sequel played on the Nvidia SHIELD

Recently released, Dead on Arrival 2 is downloadable from the Google Play Store (see the link above). Controller and Tegra optimized, DOA2 pairs seamlessly with the Nvidia SHIELD. The game is free to download and play with in app purchases to advance, although our Kevin O'Quinn says

[those] aren't required. You can unlock seemingly everything through gameplay, with the purchases speeding up the process.

The game seems to run fantastically on this device; the integrated controller allows for precise hand-eye movement, the audio is nice and crisp, and the gameplay leaves nothing to want. You can learn more about the game by viewing the video after the break, or jumping on over to the forums for a first hand view of this perfect match in action. If you've got a SHIELD at home and enjoy shooter games, feel free to take on the undead and let us know how you survive. 

More: Nvidia Shield forums

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2 years ago

Droid DNA update brings support for the TalkBack feature

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This is not the Droid update you are looking for

Verizon is pushing out a small update for the HTC Droid DNA today, but it's not the Sense 5 update that everyone is waiting for. Instead today's small update to version 2.07.605.1 710RD does one simple thing — enables support for the TalkBack feature so folks who need an audio version of what's on the screen can now have it.

Yes, that's an important consideration that should be enabled, but it's not quite what everyone using a DNA is wanting. There's still no word on when we should expect to see the Sense 5 update that Verizon has promised, but we hope it's sooner rather than later. 

Source: Verizon; Via: Android Central forums. Thanks, Doug!

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2 years ago

Android security chief breaks down real malware data

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About 99.88 percent of side loaded Android apps found to be malware-free

Speaking at the VirusBulletin 2013 conference in Berlin yesterday, Google's Android security chief Adrian Ludwig broke down a whole lot of numbers — and a whole lot of popular Internet FUD — about the malware situation on Android. As expected, he spoke highly of the security model and methods Google uses to keep malware away from your Android, including comparing things like his department and the Bouncer to the CDC.

The CDC knows that it’s not realistic to try to eradicate all disease. Rather, it monitors disease with scientific rigor, providing preventative guidance and effective responses to harmful outbreaks.

Talking up your team is to be expected, but it's the numbers he has that we're interested in. Google has not had much to say about the malware complaints, because they haven't had the data needed to talk about them until now. This is a stark contrast to third-party security vendors researchers, who haven't let this stop them. Here's some data to chew on:

  • In a 1 million sample sized collected of apps installed outside of Google Play (side loaded), just 1,200 were classified as malware.
  • About 15 percent were purposefully installed commercial spyware apps
  • 40 percent were "root" apps that users chose to install on rooted phones
  • 40 percent make premium calls or texts and charge the user's account
  • The remaining 6 or so percent were random malicious apps

Ludwig says the numbers are a direct result of the "verify apps" portion of the Android security model, and that users are beginning to pay better attention and discard suspicious software. We're just glad to finally see some data that's more than the "Over 9,000!" usually thrown about when the words Android and malware can make a great headline. Data nerds, as well as folks interested in security and Android on the technical side should have a look at the source below.

Source: Quartz; Via: +Adrian Ludwig

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2 years ago

Here comes T.S. Karen — charge 'em while you can

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Your Android smartphone can help keep you safe and informed

It's been quite a while since we last had the threat of a tropical system hitting the U.S. — Hurricane Sandy some 11 months ago, actually — which, in addition to wrecking quite a bit of the New York/New Jersey area also canceled the Nexus 4 event in Lower Manhattan.

Now we've got Tropical Storm Karen brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, probably making landfall late this weekend or early next week. Chances are it won't do nearly the damage that Sandy did — but only a fool doesn't take these things seriously. (And I'm not just saying that because I'm right in the middle of the cone of uncertainty.)

So, now's a good time to revisit some of the ways your Android smartphone can help keep you informed and safe when storms threaten.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 hits the UK on October 5

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Entry-level handset finally gets a UK launch

First announced way back in June, the humble Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 is due to arrive in the UK tomorrow, Saturday Oct. 5. The entry-level smartphone features a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera and a 4-inch WVGA display. It's running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with many of the Galaxy S4's features, including S Travel, S Translator and S Voice.

Samsung says the Galaxy Ace 3 will launch first on EE, followed by other "selected retailers," including Tesco and Carphone Warehouse.

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2 years ago

Three UK launches the new Nexus 7 - but just the Wifi-only version

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UK carrier selling the Wifi-only Nexus 7 on its own, or bundled with a Mifi

British mobile operator Three has announced that it's now selling the new Nexus 7 through its brick-and-mortar stores across the country. However it's not the LTE-capable Nexus 7 as you might expect, but the cheaper Wifi-only version, which sells for £199.99. (Evidently O2 still has exclusivity over the 4G-capable Nexus tablet in the UK.)

But to compensate, Three's offering the option of a bundled Huawei HSPA+ Mifi, which costs £29.99 when purchased with a one-month rolling contract at £15.99 per month. Alternatively the hotspot is available for £49.99 on PAYG with 1GB preloaded.

Source: Three

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 + Gear now available on AT&T and Sprint

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$299 each on AT&T; Sprint has the Note 3 for $249.99 with a new line

As per previous announcements, today's the day you can pick up the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear on AT&T and Sprint in the U.S. AT&T's Note 3 runs $299 on a standard two-year plan, or if you're buying outright it's $724.99. Similarly, AT&T will sell you a Galaxy Gear in lime green, wild orange, jet black, rose gold or oatmeal beige colors for $299.

Sprint's Galaxy Note 3 can be yours for $249.99 on-contract, which includes a $100 discount for opening a new line; the regular price is $699.99. Sprint's online store doesn't seem to be listing the Galaxy Gear just yet, but it too should also be available today for $299.

T-Mobile got the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear on Wednesday, and Verizon is set to launch the devices next Thursday, Oct. 10.

If you're picking up a Note 3 or Gear today, let us know how you're getting on with your new toys. Still on the fence? We've got reviews linked below.

More: Galaxy Note 3 review; Galaxy Gear initial review

Source: Sprint, AT&T

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2 years ago

Android 4.3.1 update rolling out to LTE Nexus 7

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Unclear yet what's changed in new build JLS36I

We've seen some minor updates to Android 4.3 in the couple of months since it first arrived, but today it seems Google's OS may have finally graduated to version 4.3.1. An over-the-air update now seems to be pushing out with the incremented OS version, with the LTE Nexus 7 being the first to get it.

The update weighs 16.6MB and brings the Nexus 7 LTE up to Android 4.3.1, build JLS36I — and although it's unclear specifically what's changed in the new build, previous point releases have mainly been minor, bug-fixing updates. We've popped in an AT&T SIM for good measure and are sad to report that tethering still is a no-go.

We'll keep our eyes peeled for the arrival of 4.3.1 on other Nexus phones and tablets. In the meantime be sure to hit the comments and let us know if you see the new version of Android on your device.

Source: XDA; Thanks for the tip, Todd!

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2 years ago

Microsoft wants HTC's Android phones to dual-boot into Windows Phone

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Software giant reportedly willing to cut licensing fees to get Windows Phone on HTC Android devices as a second OS

Microsoft is in talks with HTC to get its Windows Phone operating system loaded onto the manufacturer's Android phones as a second OS, according to reports from Bloomberg. Terry Myerson, head of the software giant's operating systems unit, is reported to have reached out to HTC over allowing its Android devices to dual-boot into Windows Phone, with the reduction or elimination of licensing fees purportedly being offered as an incentive. Myerson is planning a visit to Taiwan to meet with HTC execs over the proposal, the outlet's sources say.

Additionally, one Bloomberg source claims HTC has no current plans to release any more standalone Windows Phone handsets, which might explain Microsoft's apparent desire to shoehorn its OS onto future HTC phones through a dual-booting option. 

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