Headlines

3 years ago

Google Wallet pre-paid card exploit fixed

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Last week Google disabled the provisioning of pre-paid cards in Google Wallet, following the discovery that clearing app data could allow the PIN for these cards to be reset. Now Google says a fix is rolling out, and that pre-paid cards are available once again.

Writing on the official Google Commerce blog, VP of Google Wallet and Payments, Osama Bedier, said that the company was not aware that any pre-paid cards that had been misused as a result of the vulnerability.

Yesterday afternoon, we restored the ability to issue new prepaid cards to the Wallet. In addition, we issued a fix that prevents an existing prepaid card from being re-provisioned to another user. While we’re not aware of any abuse of prepaid cards or the Wallet PIN resulting from these recent reports, we took this step as a precaution to ensure the security of our Wallet customers. If you are unable to access your previous prepaid card balance for any reason, please contact our toll-free support for assistance.

So now we can all sleep a little safer at night, knowing that if someone steals your phone, at least they won't be able to pay for a Big Mac out of your pre-paid allowance.

The issue with obtaining PIN numbers on rooted devices via a brute-force method remains, however, as we discussed in our most recent podcast, a rooted device is by definition insecure. For its part, Google still recommends not installing Google Wallet on rooted devices.

Source: Google Commerce Blog

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3 years ago

DroidDoodle - Keeping your Google Wallet safe

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These days, it's all about protection.

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3 years ago

Editorial: Why is the stylus coming back?

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I've been playing with the Samsung Galaxy Note for the last week or so (be sure to check out our full review here), and though I'm still digging the novelty of a 5-inch smartphone, there's one feature I'm still not sold on - the pen. Ever since the HTC Flyer, pen accessories have been making a quiet comeback to Android devices. The HTC Jetstream included one too, and now the Samsung Galaxy Note is having a go at the stylus. 

We've seen a wholesale switch to finger touch input since the iPhone came around, so it's a bit anachronistic seeing stylus-enabled devices popping up again. Pen input hasn't been popular since Windows Mobile and Palm devices, and even then, it was mostly because the resistive screens demanded them. Of course, the devices making the rounds these days are using pens more as a secondary input with a few tailored applications, rather than being a necessity.

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3 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest: Animals

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It's time for another weekly photo contest, and this week the theme is animals.  It's a broad category, and we can't wait to see how some of you guys and gals dazzle us with your great pictures.  Whether it's a picture of your pet, something from the park or zoo, or something exotic, we wanna see those pics.  This week the winner gets a headset of his or her choice from ShopAndroid.com to keep the noise down while shooting those elusive wildlife shots.  

Rules are easy -- you'll need to use an Android device to take the picture, and be sure to let us know which one in case your photo is selected as a finalist.  Also tell us who you are so we can give proper credit.  Only submit one picture per person, and e-mail your entry to pics@androidcentral.com by Friday Feb 17.  We'll pick the best of the bunch, and announce the winners on the blog Sunday, Feb 19.  Good luck all, and we can't wait to see this weeks pictures!

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 unveiled, runs ICS on a 7-inch display

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Samsung has taken the wraps off yet another tablet, this time running the latest version of Android -- Ice Cream Sandwich. The Galaxy Tab 2 has a 7-inch form factor similar to the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, and the spec sheet shows similar internals, too.

The Tab 2 is powered by a 1GHz dual-core CPU, along with 1GB of RAM, and packs a 7-inch, 1024x600 display. As we said, the main attraction is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which makes the Tab 2 the first Samsung tablet to run the latest version of the OS. Other specs include a 3MP camera on the back and a VGA front-facer, optional 3G/HSPA connectivity, 8/16/32GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot. Like the original 7-inch Galaxy Tab, the Tab 2 offers voice calling capability, too.

So this appears to be a budget tablet offering from Samsung, and we'd expect to see it priced as such. What's a little strage, however, is that Samsung already has a 7-inch tablet that's almost identical to the Tab 2 -- the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. Design aside, the only differences lie in CPU speed and OS -- the Tab 7 Plus runs Honeycomb on an Exynos chip. So we have to wonder where this product fits in Samsung's increasingly crowded tablet line-up.

In any case, if the price is right, it looks like this could be a decent 7-inch tab for mid-range buyers. We've got the the full press release after the jump.

Source: Samsung
More: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 Specs; Galaxy Tab 2 forums

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7-inch) specs

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Complete specs for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7-inch)

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3 years ago

White Galaxy Nexus begins shipping in the UK today

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As we learned last week, the white version of Samsung's Galaxy Nexus is due to go on sale today across multiple retailers. The white Nexus, which first emerged around a month ago, retains the black bezel around the screen, instead opting to change the color of the side trim and back cover.

Besides that, it's still a Galaxy Nexus -- same 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and gorgeous 720p HD SuperAMOLED display. You'll also get to be one of the cool kids with the current Google Experience phone, giving you Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich along with timely updates straight from Mountain View. And if you're buying in the UK, you can expect the same £500 SIM-free price point. As far as we're aware, no British or European carriers are offering the white Nexus at subsidized prices right out of the door.

And we still haven't heard anything about a US launch for the white Galaxy Nexus, though you should be able to import the GSM version form the usual places, just like the original "titanium silver" version. We're hoping Sprint may surprise us with a white Galaxy Nexus model when it launches its LTE version later in the year.

More: Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

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3 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest winners: Lloyd was here

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It's Sunday, which means it's time to announce the weekly photo contest winners!  This time around we asked you guys to take Lloyd along with you and snap a picture showing what kind of good times you all had together, and as usual the response was overwhelming.  We dug through all the entries, and picked the five best.  Winners will receive an Android Central t-shirt, and all the prestige that comes along with.  Winners, check your Inbox for more info.

You can find all five winning photos after the break (in no particular order), and stay tuned for the next contest coming Monday!

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3 years ago

Google TV YouTube app update coming, faster and with new features

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The official YouTube app for Google TV will be seeing a big update over the next few days, says Google TV product manager Jurek Foryciarz .  The update will make the app work "faster with smoother navigation", and also bring a handful of new features designed to make the app work better with the GTV remote.  While everyone with the slightly anemic first-generation device hardware will certainly appreciate faster and smoother, the new features look really nice as well.

The new "Discover" tab will allow you to browse YouTube channels by category, making new channels and content easier to find and preview.  That's half the fun of YouTube, especially on your big screen.  The channel pages themselves have been overhauled as well, making it easier to navigate through playlists and subscribe right from the channel page.  Specific functions for the Google TV remote have been added that allow scrolling through things like related videos, and the information screen where you can thumbs up (or down) a video and comment without leaving the page.  As a user who watches a lot of YouTube, this all looks really great.

Could this be part of the "big announcements" that coming up for Google TV?  That's a possibility, even though we all want to hear hardware news the software is just as important.  Maybe even more so when we're talking a set-top box, where entertainment and content is the focus.  We've been hearing about a big push for Google TV from the folks in Mountain View for about a year now, and it looks like they may be starting.  Bring it, I say.  Hit the break to see some more previews of the upcoming update, which will be available in the GTV Market soon.

Source: Google TV blog; via +GoogleTV

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3 years ago

HTC Endeavor RUU has treasure trove of Sense 4.0 screen shots

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Gotta love a good RUU -- otherwise known as a ROM Update Utility -- because they're chock full of fun stuff. And the one that surfaced over the weekend for the HTC Endeavor has found itself available for download. We've been picking it apart and have packaged up a nice little Sense 4.0 preview.

And that' sbeen the big question since Google announced Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich -- what will HTC (and the other manufacturers) do with their custom user interfaces. ICS easily is the sexiest "stock" UI Google's come up with (by far). How will HTC and Motorola and Samsung and everyone else customize it? We've gotten a glimpse of what HTC likely has in store for us in that leaked video of the HTC Ville, and now we're getting an even better look thanks to the RUU. Packaged within it are nearly two dozen screen shots that show a Sense that looks familiar, yet refined.

Looks like we've got a bunch of different lock screen options, with the ring and quick links that we've come to know and love so much, and the Sense dock has more of the traditional Android look and feel that we've come to know. How that all works together, we're not quire sure. It's almost some sort of hybrid, with HTC's widgets throughout. Or perhaps what we're seeing is just a massive serires of themes. 

(Update: Now that I think about it some more, maybe toss out that whole "hybrid" thing. What you see after the break may well just be example images of what you see in Sense 4.0.)

You get a good look at the Sense phone book, favorite contacts, photo gallery, lock screen reminders and stocks backgrounds -- in both portrait and landscape. And it also looks like Beats and NFC are a go, too, from what we've seen in the ROM.

We've got a plethora of screen shots after the break. Peep 'em.

We've got some wallpapers from the leaked RUU available in the Android Central forums, too!

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3 years ago

Google teases 'big announcements' for Google TV coming Monday

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We got the rumour earlier in the week about Google's next plans in the home entertainment space. But a posting on the official Google TV Facebook page has promised "big announcements" coming for the platform on Monday. 

At this point there really is nothing at all to go on, but one thing seems sure: Google is definitely keeping up their end in continuing to push the platform forwards. Interesting is that whatever's coming tomorrow was teased on Facebook and not on the Google TV Google+ Page. Google's not prone to annoucing something before it's announced, so let's all try to manage expectations here a little bit. Perhaps we'll see some sort of new Google TV hardware -- maybe even that rumored next-generation LG set? --  or maybe just a new service. Stay, erm, tuned. 

Google TV on Facebook; via The Verge

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3 years ago

From the editor's desk: Chrome for Android, solving for x, and silly stories

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Hell of a week, eh? We saw the rise of Chrome for Android, and Google Wallet hit a couple of potholes -- but nothing we're really worried about -- but some of the coolest news out of Mountain View actually has nothing to do with Android. 

But before we get into the best news of the past week, here's a spoiler of our Motorola Droid 4 review, coming up this week: If you're looking for a keyboard slider, you can not do better than this one. Period. Flips table, walks out, end of story. More to come on that this week.

And so without further ado, here's the way I see things:

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3 years ago

Minecraft Pocket Edition updated, brings long awaited survival mode

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Mojang's Minecraft Pocket Edition got itself its first major update which has finally brought with it the long awaited survival mode. Survival mode also gets day and night modes, with night bringing about the appearance of monsters.

Besides survival mode, there's a selection of new blocks to choose from most notably doors and and fences. We also get the addition of flying into the creative mode, mobs with sheep and zombies being the first of these, and new tools serving different purposes such as digging and shearing.

This update will make a lot of Minecraft P.E players very happy. If you've still to try out this cult favourite hit the download links after the break. 

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3 years ago

T-Mobile UK clarifies; no data speedcap on 'Full Monty' plans

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The announcement a couple of weeks back that T-Mobile UK would begin to offer truly unlimited data on their "Full Monty" plan was big news. Since then though there have been murmourings from across the UK that the data speeds were heavily capped down to 1Mb/S.

T-Mobile have responded to this with a press release that states there is no such cap on this plan or on any of their prepaid or contract plans. 

The key line in the release reads: 

"We can confirm that we do not have a 1Mb/S maximum data download speed in place for The Full Monty plan - nor for any of our other pay monthly or pay as you go price plans - and we are confident that our average data speeds are as good, if not better, than anyone else in the industry."

So there we have it folks. Whether they were or were not capping data speeds, they shouldn't be doing it any longer. Feel free to enjoy your T-Mo data as it was intended. 

Sources: CoolSmartPhone, Tracy & Matt

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