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3 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Welcome back, Nexus

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That headline's been written for a week now, but it's certainly taken on new meaning in the past few days. With the announcement of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and a preview release coming out of Google I/O, I've found myself back on the Galaxy Nexus full-time. That comes after couple months on the HTC One X (mostly loved it) and the Galaxy S III (again, mostly loved it). 

For those of you new to Android, the Galaxy Nexus is the third iteration of the "Pure Google" phone. It's an annual project from Google that gives developers a stable hardware platform on which to work, though it probably won't quite be on the cutting edge of the available technology. (That's true from the time of the original Nexus One, as well as the Nexus S.) It also is the one true "stock" experience, meaning there are no carrier or manufacturer customizations. (Here comes another caveat, though: The Galaxy Nexus on Sprint and Verizon has had a couple apps added.) It's also completely customizable from a modding standpoint, which makes it the Holy Grail for those who like to tinker. The bootloader's unlockable with a single terminal command, and gaining root access is trivial.

Returning to the Nexus has been easy enough; I always enjoyed the stock ICS experience in the first place. Jelly Bean really has made it that much better. Here are a few thoughts on coming back:

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3 years ago

Sony releases Xperia S Ice Cream Sandwich kernel source

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Good news for custom ROM developers, as Sony Mobile has just released the kernel source code for its recent Xperia S Android 4.0.4 update, as it's required to do under the open source rules. The open source archive, based on the just-launched v6.1.A.0.452 ICS firmware, weighs in at around 132MB, and will be an essential download for anyone preparing aftermarket firmware for Sony's international flagship phone. Regular users and ROM-flashers won't find much of interest here for the moment. Instead, the benefit of this code should show itself in the weeks ahead, in the form of stable, more functional ICS ROMs for the Xperia S.

Developers can grab the 132MB archive from Sony over at the source link.

Source: Sony Developer World; via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

ASUS teases multicolored Nexus 7 covers

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Clad in blacks and grays, the Nexus 7 itself may be an unassuming beast, but it seems manufacturer ASUS is looking to spice things up a bit with its range of covers. The Nexus 7 maker teased a first look at its official accessories for the soon-to-be-released tablet on Twitter, showing some more colorful versions of the grey case that's listed -- though not yet available -- on Google Play. There's no info on pricing or availability just yet, but we're sure Nexus 7 early adopters will be looking to protect their investment with something like this following the tablet's release.

More: Nexus 7 review

Source: @ASUS

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3 years ago

Best Buy, Staples and Future Shop Canada now taking pre-orders for the Nexus 7

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At this point, it's no secret that retailers across various regions will be adding the Nexus 7 to  their tablet offerings but now Best Buy, Staples and Future Shop Canada have gone ahead and set up their pre-orders for the first Android 4.1 Jelly Bean tablet. Oddly, it seems retailers are opting to not offer the lower priced 8GB version and instead jumping to the higher priced 16GB version. Whether or not the 8GB version will make an appearance later isn't known but either way, the $259.99 asking price isn't all that bad no matter how you slice it for what you're putting yourself into.

Of course, Google Play ordering is still the better option here considering you can get an additional $25 in apps when ordering direct but when these devices it hit stores, it should help those waiting to get a hands-on before diving in help decide if it's everything they are expecting. Speaking of dates, Best Buy and Future Shops says they'll be arriving in the warehouse on August 10th (bit late?) while Staples says July 14th. We'll be keeping our eye on whom, exactly ends up with them first. In the meantime, have you read our Nexus 7 review yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

Sources: Staples, Best Buy, Future Shop

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3 years ago

The Galaxy Nexus is back at the Google Play store - sort of

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We heard it was going to happen, and today the Galaxy Nexus has appeared with a price and an "add to cart" button again in Google Play, but things are still a bit off. Prior to the sales ban, we were able to click and get almost instant gratification knowing the phone was shipping out immediately, but now we're seeing a two to three week delay. We're not sure if this is a way to get time to make changes to skirt Apple's legal team, but it sounds reasonable.

All we know is that with Jelly Bean, this is the phone to have. We're glad to see that add to cart button. If you've been thinking about it, might want to click it now before the next round of courtroom lunacy happens.

Order the Galaxy Nexus from Google Play. Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for July 7, 2012

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Here we are, back again. Another Saturday we get to spend together checking out some of our favorite applications, and sharing them with you. We know you guys have your favorite apps as well, so this week we challenge you to list them out -- we love hearing about the apps folks are using! Let's hit the break and see what we have for you this time around.

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3 years ago

Android Central international round-up - July 7, 2012

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With Google I/O out of the way, and two new Nexus devices and a new version of Android to look forward to, let's take a moment to check back over the past couple week's worth of international Android news.

Google's first Jelly Bean tablet, the Nexus 7, is the new hotness in the Android world, and the big international news was that Google will sell the device outside of the U.S. In the UK and a handful of other European countries, the Nexus 7 will be offered through the Google Play Store. And it gets better -- the UK price is set at just £159, offering staggering value, even if some Google Play services aren't yet available outside of the U.S.

As the North American Galaxy S III launch continued, we learned that lucky consumers in South Korea will get the mother of all Galaxy S III variants, featuring a quad-core CPU, LTE connectivity and a whopping 2GB of RAM. The device will launch on KT, SK Telecom and LG U+ from July 9th, and has every chance of emulating the Korean success of its predecessor.

Review-wise, we took the Orange San Diego for a spin, and found the first Intel phone for Western markets to be technically sound, if a little lacking in terms of design and overall polish. (Granted, shipping with Gingerbread doesn't do the device any favors) In any case, it seems Intel has a strong platform upon with to build when it enters the market in full force later this year. You'll also want to check out Jerry's full review of the Nexus 7, if you're thinking of picking one up.

Check out some highlights from the past fortnight of international Android developments below. If you've got news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

​Special features:

News: 

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3 years ago

Mobile Nations podcast 17: Tasty hardware profits

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Kevin from CrackBerry.com, Phil from AndroidCentral.com, Daniel from WPCentral.com and Rene from iMore.com talk Google I/O, Windows Phone 8, WWDC, BlackBerry 10, 7-inch tablets, and media streamers. This is Mobile Nations!

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3 years ago

Nexus 7 review

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The long-awaited Google Nexus 7 tablet is upon us, and for many it is all we ever dreamed of. But not everything is perfect.

Since you're reading this, chances are you're an Android fan. That means you're as excited as we are about the new Nexus 7 tablet, and what Google can bring to the table with a tablet where it alone controls both the hardware and the software. It's good to be excited about it, it's a big step in a direction we've been wanting for a long time. 

About 6,000 lucky folks got their hands on a Nexus 7 when Google handed them out at its Google I/O developer conference, and that gives us time to use and abuse it then tell you how things worked out. We're all Android all the time here, and we're pretty impressed with this one. It's almost everything we wanted it to be. 

Almost. 

Hit the break and see what we think of Google's new baby, the Nexus 7.

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3 years ago

Buying a Galaxy Nexus now, SGS III updates already [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

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

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3 years ago

The Amazing Spider-Man slings webs, beats up bad guys on Android

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The Amazing Spider-Man swung into theaters this week, and along with him came an Android game. 

The Amazing Spider-Man by Gameloft follows closely in the spirit of their previous web-slinging title for Android, Total Mayhem - you'll find the same 3D beat-'em-up gameplay, open world exploration, interactive cinematic sequences, and Spidey-sense dodging. 

There's plenty that's new, however - namely, the graphics have had a complete overhaul for the movie and to take advantage of the horsepower in the latest Android devices. There's also an extensive talent tree structure that allows players to unlock new abilities and tailor Spider-Man to their style. 

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3 years ago

Verizon's Galaxy S III looks to have a protected bootloader

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Oh Verizon, why must you constantly mess with perfection? Hackers with early access to the Verizon Galaxy S III have discovered that the phone has a protected bootloader -- meaning no easy hacking or flashing unsigned images. This is in stark contrast to the rest of the Galaxy S III phones, or previous phones in the Galaxy series, or any other Samsung-built Android phone known to mankind. 

Not all hope is lost, but things are looking pretty bleak. It's possible a different version of Odin is needed, or there's an issue with the way the images are being packed, but it truly looks like the bootloader is locked up in typical Verizon fashion. Now this doesn't mean the phone won't ever get rooted or hacked. It just means that it won't be as easy as is typical with Samsung phones, and trickery will need be involved like HTC or Motorola phones on Big Red. 

And no, we don't know what prompted Verizon's decision to go this way, but I've asked for some clarification. My guess is that they will point to the Galaxy Nexus when they hear the word "hacking". Hell of a way to start the weekend, isn't it?

Source: XDA. via Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Appeals court delays Galaxy Nexus ban

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A federal appeals court today said that Google and Samsung can resume selling the Galaxy Nexus while awaiting a response from Apple, Bloomberg reported this afternoon. The temporary stay is in effect until Apple responds on July 12.

The case reached the appeals level after U.S. District Judge in the past week ruled that Android was infringing on a search patent owned by Apple (also known as the '604 or "Siri" patent) and that the Galaxy Nexus could no longer be sold until the infringing feature was removed or changed.

Google on Tuesday listed the Galaxy Nexus as "Coming soon" in the Google Play store, and it remains that way as of this writing. Google earlier this week told ABC News that it expects to have a workaround next week, and that the Galaxy Nexus should resume shipping then.

Source: Bloomberg

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3 years ago

Get all hot and steamy in the shower with your Android device - wait, what?

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We can control our music from our Android devices. And our TVs. Open garage doors. Play instruments. And now, control your steam shower. If you've got a ThermaSol ProSeries, you apparently can control the start of your "steam session," including setting the time and temperature, so long as you're connected to your home's router. You also can control light and music settings, and it'll hook up to Pandora, Spotify and other streaming services for your steaming enjoyment. And it'll also run the diagnostic and maintenance features, which we presume is some sort of self-cleaning mode and that it doesn't just call over the local plumber's crack.

We're currently in the midst of a no-holds barred cage match to see who gets to demo this one. Rubber ducky not included.

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3 years ago

Meet the new Android Central Apps Editor, Simon Sage!

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This is Simon Sage. Perhaps you've heard of him. He's kind of a big deal. He's also the new Android Central Apps Editor. That means he'll be bringing you the latest and greatest apps, updates to old favorites, and everything in between. It also means that if you're a developer, he's your go-to guy for getting the word out to our hundreds of thousands of readers a day, our 140,000-plus Twitter followers, our more than 50,000 Google+ circlers, our more than 440,000 Google Currents subscribers ... You get the idea.

So if you've got app news, or questions about the latest games or keyboards or whatever, drop Simon an e-mail. He's also on Google+ and on Twitter.

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