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2 years ago

Sprint's Galaxy S4 getting an OTA update, apps-to-SD support and Samsung Knox are notable additions

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The 357MB update may hold a locked bootloader as a requirement for Samsung Knox support -- hackers beware

The Samsung Galaxy S4 on the Sprint network is seeing a general rollout of the MF9 update, and it has a few welcome changes baked in. Users who have already received the update have noticed the following changes:

  • Allow apps to be moved to the SD card in the same limited fashion as the European S4
  • The addition of Samsung Knox
  • Smart Pause toggle in the notification panel
  • A legibility setting for the display
  • Status bar transparency now works with custom wallpapers
  • The addition of a briefing app, and an SPDclient app
  • A potentially locked bootloader

The first and last items on the list will get the most attention from the community, we're sure. As of now, nobody is certain that the bootloader is locked, but speculations are running high and the bootloader was updated along with the modem and kernel. A locked bootloader could very well be a requirement for Knox support.

The apps-to-SD card support will be a welcome change, as Samsung has caught some heat for the amount of free space left on the device compared to the amount advertised. You can see a tutorial on how this works right here.

If you're rooted or have a custom recovery installed, you won't be able to install this OTA. You'll need to revert back to factory settings or wait it out for the custom version from your favorite developer. If you're into the whole root and ROM thing with your Sprint S4, you might even want to wait until the bootloader's lock status is confirmed. 

For everyone else, the OTA will come the normal way, and you'll be faced with a 357MB download to install. For more information and discussion, see the links below.

Source: XDA; via Android Central forums

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2 years ago

SoftBank expects $21.6 billion Sprint investment to close July 10

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Clearwire shareholders also finally approve buyout by Sprint

Update: Clearwire has just released an official statement as well regarding its agreement to be purchased by Sprint, indicating that the minority shareholders of the company "overwhelmingly approve" the transaction. 82-percent of the shares not affiliated with Sprint or SoftBank cast their votes in favor of the transaction, finalizing a deal that will have Sprint buy all shares of Clearwire it does not already own for $5.00 per share.

Original: Following regulatory approval of the merger by the FCC, SoftBank has released a statement today indicating that its strategic investment of $21.6 billion (JPY 1.8 trillion) in Sprint is expected to close on July 10th, 2013. While this isn't a complete confirmation, SoftBank feels it is confident enough in the timeframe to release an official statement. The deal will mark a huge investment, giving the Japanese carrier a 78-percent stake in Sprint and hopefully bringing new life into the nation's third-place challenger.

We can expect Sprint and SoftBank to quickly put the money to work on furthering its LTE rollout, as well as its overall network improvements. Together with new spectrum from the shutdown of its iDEN network and finally securing Clearwire's assets, Sprint certainly has a lot going for it.

Source: SoftBank; Clearwire

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2 years ago

CSR Racing Nexus 7 giveaway: We have a winner!

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A 16GB Nexus 7 is on its way to one lucky contest entrant

Last week we opened up a contest in conjunction with the folks over at CSR Racing to give away a Nexus 7 to one lucky reader. After over 700 comments on the post, we've found a winner!

Congratulations to Robi-K, who now has a 16GB Nexus 7 on its way to his doorstep for answering the prompt with the following response:

The Audi TT RS cause I'm an Audi fan and me and the wifey would look awesome in one ;)

Thanks to everyone for participating!

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2 years ago

Twitter updating with DM sync and new search features

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'Direct messages now sync across all your devices,' says Twitter

Twitter has announced a handful of new updates to its social platform today, including synchronization for direct messages and new features in search. Twitter says the new features will roll out "gradually" and that you'll need the latest version of the app — which is just now being pushed to Google Play — in order to take advantage of them.

In addition to giving you access to all your DMs across all your devices, Twitter user search has been updated to include full biographies and related user accounts. Accounts in searches now appear as large blocks with additional info, and you can swipe to the left to view similar users.

The new features are live in Twitter version 4.1.2 for Android, which is now available on the Google Play Store. You can grab it from the link above.

Source: Official Twitter blog

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2 years ago

Motorola Droid Ultra appears again in a new set of leaked press renders

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More pics, more carbon fiber, more capacitive buttons!

More Verizon Droid Ultra images for your viewing pleasure, this time with a clear shot of both sides of the device. According to habitual leaker @evleaks, this is the Droid Ultra. Plenty of carbon-fiber, capacitive buttons, Big Red's name  and of course the DROID branding leave little doubt that Verizon isn't yet ready to end the Droid line.

While there are no real clues to the internals, we expect this will have specifications in line with the rest of the 2013 high-end phones -- 1080p screen, quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, and a big ass battery to keep it all running. Today's leak also mentions a new camera technology -- RGBC. Supposedly, the camera on the Droid Ultra will have an extra component to help with white balance and exposure, meaning better pictures in different lighting situations.

So far, Verizon and Motorola have been quiet about the new Droid models. We expect that to change soon. We'll know more when someone decides to officially announce things, and until then we can all speculate based on the leaks.

Source: The Unlocker

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2 years ago

Garmin developing a HUD accessory for your smartphone

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Device offers navigation directions, speed data, traffic information and more -- all displayed in your field of vision

Garmin has sent out a press release about an upcoming product that has a cool factor off the charts. This small HUD (Heads-Up Display) unit connects to your smart phone via Bluetooth, and beams pertinent navigation information on to a small screen attached to your car windshield or to an included reflector screen. 

Using the Navigon app for Android (starting at $29.99, price based on included maps), the Garmin HUD can tell you directions, your speed, ETA, traffic and safety tips, and even offer lane assist to help keep traffic flowing at busy highway interchanges. Along with easy to see turn indicators, the Garmin HUD will help keep your eyes on the road instead of on your phone's display. To round out the features, the HUD even offers USB power pass-through to keep your phone charging while using the system for navigation.

Not yet officially available, the device has not yet received FCC certification. Garmin must be pretty confident that the unit will be approved, as they are sending out press releases. The unit will retail for $129.99 and be available online this summer from Garmin. We're curious to give this one a closer look. See the full press release after the break, and follow the link below for more information.

More: Garmin

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2 years ago

Your 'I can't believe I missed that' Galaxy S4 tip of the day

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At last count, we found some 37 pieces of thin, clear plastic protecting the (also) thin plastic that is the body of the Samsung Galaxy S4. They're on the side. They're on the top. On the bottom. They're not all that difficult to remove, but it's easy to miss one. And that's the smartphone equivalent of toilet paper stuck to your shoe. 

One of the trickiest protective pieces is hiding in plain sight. Be sure to check the camera housing on the back on the phone. There you'll find a clear  sticker. It's not affecting images, as it's got a cutout for the lens itself. But it will start to collect dust and dirt (which actually is how we first saw the damn thing), and nobody wants that. 

So give your Galaxy S4 a once-over and make sure you haven't left any plastic strips behind. Nobody wants to be that guy.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 now available on MetroPCS

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 (see our review) is now available on MetroPCS. The no-contract carrier is offering the S4 for $549 plus tax. You can then choose from any of the 4G plans, which start at $40/month. These include unlimited talk, text and data.

If you're a devout MetroPCS customer and have been patiently waiting for the Samsung Galaxy S4, your wait is finally over. Who's getting one?

Full press release after the break.

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2 years ago

Review: Samsung Galaxy S4 Active for AT&T

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It's a more robust Galaxy S4, with flood insurance thrown in for good measure

If there's one picture that sums up the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active for AT&T, this is it. Drops of water, artistically (more or less) sitting atop the Android smartphone. It cares not that several hundred dollars worth of electronics are flirting with a phone's worst enemy. In fact, the Active seems to welcome it. 

Samsung has taken what arguably is its best Galaxy S yet  — that'd be the proper Galaxy S4 —  and in nearly the same breath, announced a more robust version. These are fraternal twins. Same overall look and feel, but with a few important differences that also ensure you won't mistake one for the other.

In the United States, the Active is an AT&T exclusive, sold alongside it's ever-so-slightly older brother. So is one a better buy than the other?

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2 years ago

How to get lock screen widgets on the HTC One with Android 4.2

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HTC's got its own unique way of doing lock screen widgets

The Android 4.2 update for the HTC One brings new features galore, including lock screen widgets, now a standard Android feature. But HTC's doing things a little differently in this area, and if you don't know where to look, then you might overlook it completely.

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2 years ago

Last chance: Win a 24-carat Gold HTC One from Goldgenie and Android Central!

OK, boys and girls. You've marveled over the 24-carat gold-plated HTC One — now it's time for you to win one of your own.  Yes, we're teaming up with Goldgenie to bring this one-of-a-kind Android smartphone (valued at $2,403/£1895) to one lucky Android Central reader.  Here's what Goldgenie founder and CEO Laban Roomes had to say when his company announced the gold phone last week:

"We are delighted to welcome HTC's flagship phone the HTC One to the Goldgenie family. It is an extremely powerful phone with a beautiful interface & is a guaranteed jaw dropper when people see it embellished in Gold."

And now, we're delighted to announce we're working together to give one away. Read on for the full details, and click here to learn more about the 24-carat gold-plated HTC One and Goldgenie's HTC One customization service.

Update July 8: We've closed the comments and will pick a winner shortly. We've got your winner right here, let's all wish him the best!

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2 years ago

HTC One with Android 4.3 gets Bluetooth 4.0 certification

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Google Play edition handset spotted at Bluetooth SIG with new Android version

At this point it's no great secret that Android 4.3 is right around the corner, and that among other things it'll bring Bluetooth 4.0 support as a standard OS feature. So it's just as unsurprising to see the the Google Play edition HTC One dropping by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group with support for version 4.0 of the wireless standard.

The device detailed in the certification listing is referred to as "PN071xx_Android 4.3_G" — that's the HTC One's model number, and the "G" likely denotes the Google Play edition as opposed to the common-or-garden HTC One running Sense 5. (After all, that device has only just been updated to Android 4.2.)

The listing also shows AVRCP 1.3 support, another Bluetooth feature said to be coming in the next version of Android.

For more on what's new in Android 4.3, check out our walkthrough of the pre-release build which recently leaked out for the Google Play edition Galaxy S4.

Source: Bluetooth SIG; via: Engadget

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2 years ago

LG holding an event in New York, drops plenty of clues that we'll see the Optimus G2

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G thinks we're perfect just the way we are, and they want us to know it would be great 2 have us in New York on August 7

An invite to LG's latest shin-dig in New York next month just arrived in our inbox, and in case anyone wasn't sure what to expect the whole kit is covered with the letter G and the number 2. That can only mean one thing, and it happens to be the thing every LG fan on the Internet is waiting for -- The Optimus G2. Since they announced that their next flagship handset will be equipped with a Snapdragon S800 processor, plenty of people have been excited, to put it mildly.

The available features of the S800 that LG stressed in an announcement last month give people plenty of reason to look forward to the G2. Besides the raw power of Qualcomm's newest quad-core beast, other equally impressive features like Ultra HD video recording and playback (that's four times higher density than 1080p), screen output at resolutions up to 2560 x 2048 pixels, and 1080p HD over Miracast wireless. It's clear that LG will be billing this as an ultimate entertainment device, and with these specs they probably should.

You can bet we'll be there with bells on, and hopefully we'll see the Optimus G2 and get a little hands-on time with the next generation of mobile technology. There's a very nicely done teaser video after the break as well, and it's sure to get all of us excited to see what's next from LG.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 will be available on C Spire starting July 8

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The nation's eighth-largest carrier picks up Samsung's latest flagship just fashionably late

Regional carrier C Spire will begin to carry the Samsung Galaxy S4 starting tomorrow, July 8th, according to materials on its support site. As pointed out to us by a reader, in its product discussion forums a C Spire representative posted that the device will hit stores (and presumably online as well) starting Monday, linking to Youtube videos showing off the handset's features.

The post doesn't indicate pricing unfortunately, but given the way it has priced similar devices such as the Galaxy S3 in the past, we could expect it at $199 on-contract for the 16GB model as is the case with other carriers. If you're a C Spire customer you'll want to keep your eye on this one to get it right away.

On a related note, those looking to pick up the HTC One from C Spire should be able to do so soon as well, as the carrier has a "coming soon" registration page up.

Source: C Spire; Thanks, Jeff!

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2 years ago

Motorola Droid Ultra in white appears in leaked photo

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One of the three rumored phones from Motorola that are destined for Verizon shows up in white

If yesterday's leaked press render of the Motorola Droid Maxx wasn't enough to pique your interest, maybe a version in white with a new name -- and the model number -- will. At XDA a poster named xavierk75 gives us this picture, with only  the post title "Motorola Droid Ultra XT1080 is Here!" to provide any clues.

What we can see are the three capacitive buttons and what appears to be a chin on the bottom of the device, matching up well with the kevlar skinned chin we saw on Saturday's leaked press render. 

We've been hearing the name Droid Ultra for a while from folks in the know, and FCC filings tell us the XT1080 has everything a phone would need to run on Verizon's 3G and LTE networks. I expect we'll be hearing more from Verizon about this one soon. 

Is anyone ready for a (rumored) 1080p LTE Droid branded phone from Moto? 

Source: XDA; via Android Central forums

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