Headlines

2 years ago

Verizon: LTE is hard, y'all

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Since CES 2010, Verizon has been hard at work launching 4G LTE products and expanding their 4G coverage, but it's hit a few bumps in the road as of late. The month of December was particularly bad for Verizon and its customers who have taken on 4G devices expecting the same rock solid coverage they've always had with Verizon 3G service. Verizon Wireless's VP of network engineering, Mike Haberman, took the time to break things down for GigaOm (and the rest of us via a press release) and explain a little of what has been happening behind the scenes at Verizon to cause the recent issues.

Starting with the December 7th outage caused by a failure of its back-up communications database, Haberman then noted December 21st downtime that was caused by a portion of their IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) — which replaces the old signaling architectures used in 2G and 3G networks. Finally, the most recent failure on December 28th was caused by was caused by two IMS elements not communicating properly.

In all cases, the IP Multimedia Subsystem was the root cause but once fixed the same issues never occurred again. In other words, they were presumably isolated bugs in the system which are bound to be a part of expanding a nationwide network of this nature. "Being the pioneers, we're going to experience some growing pains," Haberman said.

Haberman isn't hiding from the issues and notes "These issues we've been experiencing are certainly regrettable but they were unforeseeable." and highlighted Verizon's goal which "is to ensure that our 4G networks meets the same high standard that our 3G network does, we’re not there yet, but we’ll get there."

So does Verizon deserve some slack here? That's a matter of personal opinion. Reality is, launching a new nationwide network with bleeding edge technology is hard and there's bound to be some bugs that are destined to wreak havoc. In these cases, the errors found within the system caused issues for many users but in Verizon's defense, you can't really place a "beta" tag on a network so to speak. However, you can stop introducing ridiculous fees and messing with upgrade policies that upset customers when some are already upset with their services.

Sources: VerizonGigaOm

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2 years ago

3 new LG devices get CyanogenMod nightly support; Optimus Black makes its return

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Ricardo Cerqueira, a member of the CM team and LG Android device guru, has added official  CyanogenMod nightly (CM7 for the time being) support for three new LG devices -- The LG Optimus 3D, the LG Optimus Pro, and the LG Optimus Hub -- and has once again made support for the LG Optimus Black official after a short hiatus.  Here in the states we're not too familiar with these devices, but we have plenty of American counterparts that are relatively close, so this may make things much easier to support our LG devices as well.  Quality hardware and specs, meet quality software.  It's sounds like a hell of a match.

Source: +CyanogenMod

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2 years ago

Samsung Epic 4G is now officially a CyanogenMod-supported device

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If you have a Samsung Epic 4G and aren't overly happy with it being stock any more, you'll be pleased to know you can now add some new life to the device as it now has official support for CyanogenMod.

It has taken a lot of work from a lot of developers but Team EpicCM's github repositories have been merged into CyanogenMod's and those results are now available for download and installation. Keeping in mind, a few things are still broken here so you'll want to read over what works, what doesn't and what is being worked on before you dive right in.

If you're looking to get the full details, you can head on over to the CyanaogenMod forums and find everything you need to know about this release thus far -- including how to install it, a list of current bugs and what all to expect moving forward.

Source: CyanogenMod; Thanks, to all who sent this is!

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2 years ago

Missed deals, Bootloaders and Root [From the Forums]

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We're getting ready to toss away 2011 on tonight's Android Central podcast but if you're looking for something to do while we get things ready, you can check out the Android Central forums and hit up some of the threads below.

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

Huawei Ascend II now available from US Cellular, free after rebate

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We heard last week that US Cellular would be carrying the Huawei Ascend II -- a 3.5-inch candy bar style Android phone running Gingerbread -- and today they have made it available at the low price of free on a new agreement and after rebates.  While the Ascend II isn't a powerhouse (it has a Qualcomm MSM7627 at 600MHz) it has specs that make it more than acceptable to most folks.  It's nice to see a more consumer-friendly company like US Cellular getting closer with Android, and it's clearly what a lot of people want.  If you're interested in grabbing one of these free Android phones, hit the link and have a look.

More: US CellularThanks, Danny!

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2 years ago

Android increases its U.S. market share, according to latest ComScore numbers

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Analytics firm ComScore just released a new batch of numbers, showing Android extending its lead over, well, everybody in the United States for September through November of 2011.

Out of the 91.4 million smartphone subscribers in the United States, ComScore says 46.9 percent -- about 43 million give or take -- have Android smartphones. That's up 3.1 percentage points from the June through August. Apple, meanwhile, saw slower growth, at 28.7 percent (up from 27.3 percent for the previous period).

Those were only platforms to see growth -- RIM was down 3.1 percentage points to 16.6 percent, microsft fell a half-percentage point to 5.2 percent, and Symbian down three-tenths of a percentage point to 1.5 percent. WebOS was a no-show.

Source: ComScore

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2 years ago

'Xperia Ion' trademark hints at possible next-gen SE branding

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With CES looming, we've already heard our fair share of rumors about upcoming Sony Ericsson handsets, including leaked photos of the "Xperia Arc HD" and specs for the elusive LTE-toting LT28at. A recent trademark filing may provide some further clues about Sony Ericsson's branding for future devices, as shortly before the holidays the manufacturer applied for the "Xperia Ion" trademark in the U.S., for use in connection with "mobile phones".

It should be noted that a trademark filing is far from a guarantee that a product with this name will see the light of day. However the timing -- and the fact that we've yet to hear any reliable info about SE's 2012 Xperia branding -- suggests that the unveiling of an "Xperia Ion" phone could be on the cards for next month's CES, or February's Mobile World Congress.

Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; via: XperiaBlog

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2 years ago

The 2011 Android Central Awards Readers-Choice Picks

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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and children of all ages. It's time to announce the winners of the 2011 Android Central Readers Choice Awards.

These are the awards in which you, the reader, picked the winners. They're not necessarily our favorites (as you've already seen). But with thousands of you voting over the course of a couple weeks, we now know your favorites. 

It's been a hell of a year, to say the least. With what felt like dozens of smartphones and tablets announced at CES in January 2011, to more a month later at Mobile World Congress, and more still at CTIA in March -- plus new releases weekly, plus a lot of stuff that doesn't even deserve mention -- we've seen dozens and dozens of new devices. And more apps than we can count.

This isn't scientific. This is a snapshot at what ends 2011 as your favorite Android devices and apps. You voted 'em in, you reap the whirlwind, folks. Enjoy, and let the flaming begin!

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2 years ago

Amazon says 2011 holiday was great for Kindle, fails to mention how great

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Amazon announced this morning that 2011 was its Kindle line's best holiday season to date, with over one million devices sold per week throughout December. Amazon seems particularly proud of how well received its Kindle Fire has been, citing the device's title of #1 best selling, most wished for, and most gifted device on the site for the past 13 weeks. The popularity of the Kindle line, Amazon says, has given rise to the growth of its Kindle Direct Publishing program, which generated the #1 and #4 titles on Kindle's best selling list this year. Just how well the Kindle line, and the Kindle Fire in particular, is selling is still a mystery, as Amazon has failed to release any hard numbers for holiday sales. Read into that tidbit as you wish. Amazon's full statement is at the source link.

Source: Amazon

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2 years ago

Samsung hits milestone with Galaxy Note; one million shipped globally

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Samsung announced today that it has reached a respectable milestone with its Galaxy Note tablet/smartphone hybrid, citing one million units shipped globally to date.What makes the figure even more impressive is that the Note isn't officially available yet in one of Samsung's largest markets-- the United States. The Galaxy Note is currently gaining in popularity in France, Germany, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Samsung says, and will hit American shores "next year." Hit the source link for Samsung's full statement, via its Flickr account.

Source: Samsung

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