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3 years ago

2.7 percent of Android devices now run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

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Following up on the IDC report earlier today that showed 75-percent of all smartphones shipped in Q3 ran Android, Google has now released their monthly platform version numbers. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich saw a little movement and now sits at 25.8-percent while Android 4.1 Jelly Bean saw a jump from 1.8-percent going up to 2.7-percent. From here on out, we'll continue to see Jelly Bean rise especially with Samsung steadily rolling out Android 4.1 Jelly Bean updates to the Samsung Galaxy S3 Globally.

Source: Android Developers Dashboard

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3 years ago

MVNO options for the Nexus 4, Streaming TV apps [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.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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3 years ago

Pocket receives a speed boost in its latest update

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Extremely popular news reading app Pocket has just received an update focused on one thing: speed. Sure we all like new features and UI elements, but if an app is slow, nothing else really matters. If you haven't used Pocket (or similar apps) before, it basically allows you to use Android's built-in sharing functionality to add all types of content to a queue of things for reading later. This latest update improves the speed of launching and navigating through the app, as well as scrolling and responsiveness.

In addition to the overall speed improvements, this latest update has added a couple small feature changes. You can now edit tags while reading articles, issues with ASUS tablets have been resolved and numerous bugs have been fixed.

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean for the Verizon Galaxy S3 leaks out

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A resourceful poster over at XDA has gotten his hands on a pre-release version of the Jelly Bean update destined to eventually make its way onto the Verizon Galaxy SIII (S3). The device received an incremental 4.0.4 OTA just a couple of weeks ago, and its brother on Sprint has started officially receiving the 4.1 OTA, so the timeframe on this makes sense. The poster is quick to point out that this build is not finalized, with a build date of October 8th, and that he believes the official OTA will hit in the coming weeks.

Take that with a couple boulders of salt, but at least for now those of you on Verizon with the Galaxy S3 can get a little taste of the pre-release build if you're so inclined. A couple of custom ROMs based on the leaked images have already hit the forums, but as always, flash at your own risk.

Source: XDA

More: Verizon Galaxy S3 Forums

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3 years ago

IDC: 75-percent of phones shipped in Q3 ran Android

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IDC (International Data Corporation), a go-to source for worldwide smartphone market share information, has just released its report on Q3 2012 smartphone sales. Android shipments for the quarter broke over the 100 million mark for the first time, totalling 136 million. That accounts for an even 75-percent share of total smartphone shipments for the quarter, up substantially from 57.6-percent (71 million total) this time last year. Apple's iOS is trailing far behind with just 14.9-percent of shipments (26.9 million total), and the other mobile operating systems chopped up the remaining 10.1-percent.

To put that into perspective, the report notes that the number of Android phones shipped this quarter is larger than the total number of smartphones sold in all of 2007, the year Android was released. In terms of the sheer number of devices being shipped with Android onboard, these numbers are just staggering. As Android continues to grow and move into developing nations around the world, we'll see these numbers grow at an even greater rate.

Source: IDC (BusinessWire)

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3 years ago

Panasonic Eluga getting Ice Cream Sandwich update

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Panasonic may have all but pulled out of the European smartphone market, but that hasn't stopped it pushing out Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for its ill-fated Eluga. The Eluga, which saw a limited launch in June with Gingerbread, can now benefit from standard ICS features like improved multitasking, a redesigned lock screen and various UI enhancements.

Panasonic has chosen a somewhat odd upgrade path for the Eluga, however. The upgrade package must be downloaded from the Google Play Store (check the link above), after ensuring that you've got the required 150MB of SD card space and are running the latest Gingerbread ROM, version 07.5315. It's a little convoluted, but we suppose it's better than no upgrade at all.

The Eluga isn't the only Gingerbread phone getting updated to ICS via a long-winded manual upgrade process. Earlier today Vodafone and Huawei posted details of how Ascend G300 owners can upgrade to Android 4.0, using a similarly complex method.

Anyone actually buy a Panasonic Eluga? If you're out there, fess up down in the comments. Full 22-step upgrade instruction procedure is detailed at the source link.

Source: Panasonic

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3 years ago

Angry Birds Space updated with 10 new Red Planet levels

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Everyone's favorite bird-flinging, pig-smashing casual game Angry Birds just keeps getting more content. It seems at this point like Rovio is committed to pushing out new Angry Birds levels for the rest of time, but we're okay with that. It just means we'll never be bored while standing in line at the movie theater (or anywhere else, for that matter) ever again. This latest update to Angry Birds Space is adding 10 new levels to the Red Planet world, and offering a new unlockable set of 5 levels if you successfully get 100% on the "space eagle destruction meter".

You can grab the free version of Angry Birds Space at the Play Store link above. There's also an ad-free version for $0.99.

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3 years ago

AT&T launching cloud-based storage service

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AT&T Locker is a service not unlike the offerings from Dropbox and Google Drive, and it has actually been available for some time on Android. The app has just been updated in the Play Store to add features, and has also launched on iOS today as well. AT&T is really pushing this cloud storage service as a way to store and share media like pictures and videos, but it will work just fine with any other types of files as well. You can manage files via the Android and iOS apps, or on the web. AT&T is positioning the service as not just a storage center but as an easy portal to share the media out to other services like social media sites and via e-mail.

As is par for the course, you'll get 5GB of free storage, and decent pricing options if you need more -- 30GB for $3.99 and 100GB for $9.99 monthly. If you're interested in giving the AT&T Locker app a look, you can find it at the Play Store link above. We've also added the full press release for you after the break.

More: AT&T Locker

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3 years ago

Is Google planning to launch a physical Wallet credit card?

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We'll smack a big old rumor sticker on this one for now, because it isn't real, until it's real. But, according to Android Police, who claim to have a leaked Google Wallet apk, a physical, Google Wallet credit card -- for your real wallet -- could well be on the horizon. 

We already know that something is afoot for Google's mobile payment service, after a recent sign up page appeared for whatever it is that Mountain View has in store for us next. But, if this all pans out, could we really be looking at a physical credit card linked to our Google Wallet accounts and all the associated credit cards? Sounds interesting.

The story goes that even from within the application itself, you will be able to request a physical card that will work just as a normal credit card does. This would mean that you could still get away with using Google Wallet in stores that haven't yet adopted NFC payments. Not just that, but apparently we'll be able to top up and withdraw money to and from our Google Wallet account, and transit cards are also allegedly on the way. 

A famous man once sung "Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?" -- Freddie Mercury, for anyone unsure -- Who knows for definite, only Google. But changes are-a-coming to Google Wallet, we do know that. For the rest, we'll have to wait it out and see what makes the final cut. 

Source: Android Police

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3 years ago

Images of the Samsung Stratosphere 2 leak out

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The original Samsung Stratosphere on Verizon was released in mid October last year, so given the way Verizon runs its product cycles this makes a whole lot of sense. Consistent leak source @evleaks just put up pictures of what convincingly looks like the Samsung Stratosphere 2 (SCH-I415), complete with Verizon branding. No word on official specs just yet, but we don't expect this one to be a screamer by any means. The original Stratosphere was a decidedly mid-range device, even right at its launch date. Still, it fills a spot as one of the last QWERTY slider devices with LTE available today.

These mid-range devices aren't made for the power users, but still hold an important spot in Verizon's yearly device portfolio.

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

LG Mach coming to Sprint November 11 too

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Alongside the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Sprint will also be kicking off the LG Mach on November 11 for $99.99 on contract. Oh, not to mention that preorders for the LG Optimus G went live this morning too

We've spent of a bit of time with both the LG Mach following Sprint's first announcement earlier this month. The specs are pretty middle-of-the-road, but you can judge for yourself.

  • Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 4” WVGA touch screen (480 x 800)
  • 8GB eMMC and microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
  • Battery: 1700mAh Li-ion
  • 3G/4G LTE Mobile Hotspot capability supporting up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously
  • Wi-Fi® 802.11 b/g/n
  • Dual Cameras: 5-megapixel rear-facing with flash and video capture and 0.3 megapixel VGA front-facing camera
  • Bluetooth 4.0

A quality slide-out keyboard is hard to find, nevermind one attached to a good smartphone. Any Sprint customers eyeballing the LG Mach, or do you need something a little higher-end? LTE isn't much of a selling point without the coverage, is it? 

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3 years ago

App updates rolling out for Google Chrome and Google Earth

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Updates are now pushing out for two major Google apps on the Google Play Store. First up is Google Chrome, the de facto default browser for Android 4.0 and above. ARM-based devices are updated to Chrome 18.0.1025464, while Intel-based phones like the Motorola RAZR i get version 18.0.1026320. The official Chrome release blog notes important stability fixes for the newly-announced Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, while the Play Store listing indicates performance improvements for all devices.

Meanwhile, Google Earth has been bumped up to version 7.0.1, which has been pushed out to fix a handful of remaining bugs.

Hit the Google Play Store on your device to grab today's updates. Or if you've yet to try them, you can pick up Chrome here and Google Earth here.

Source: Google Chrome Releases, Google Play

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3 years ago

LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 coming to Sprint November 11

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Following its announcement at MobileCON, Sprint has given us a date and pricetag for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. The tablet is due to hit stores on November 11 for $549.99 with a month-to-month plan. 

You can check out our full review and video to get a feel for what the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is all about, but here's a quick run-down. 

  • Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core processor (Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset)
  • 10.1-inch WXGA PLS TFT 1280 x 800 display
  • 7,000mAh Lithium-Ion battery
  • 1 GB RAM, 8GB ROM and microSD card slot supporting up to 64GB memory card
  • Personal and business email, as well as IM through Google Talk
  • Google Mobile wireless services such as Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps for Android, Google Calendar, Voice Actions and YouTube
  • 3G / 4G LTE mobile hotspot capability supporting up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously
  • Face Unlock uses state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to allow the user switch on the phone and look at it to get past the lock screen – no passwords to remember, nothing to type or swipe
  • AllShare Group Cast lets the user share a presentation or photo album in real time with multiple friends on the same Wi-Fi network
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

Seeing as Sprint's LTE network is still so young, I can't imagine it being overly burdened, but that also means coverage may still be a big issue, depending on where you live. Sprint's tablet data plans start at $14.99/month. Is it worth it for you, or does it make more sense to simply use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for a Wi-Fi-only tablet? Are there any LTE tablets you'd see worth getting a separate data plan for?

Source: Sprint

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3 years ago

Why you shouldn't worry about Android 4.2 updates

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Using a skinned version of Android? You’re already up-to-date on 4.1.

We’re not huge proponents of using the term “skin” to describe the manufacturer customizations put on most Android-based smartphones. In most cases, the changes are more than skin deep. Look at the latest versions of HTC’s Sense and Samsung’s TouchWiz and you’ll see features and UI changes that go beyond mere visual gimmicks. But it’s a term that most people are familiar with, so let’s stick with it.

So if you’re using a skinned Android phone, chances are you’re accustomed to waiting for software updates. It’s a fact of life for every non-Nexus smartphone. And with the announcement of Android 4.2 earlier this week comes the certainty of more waiting for updates to drop. Few devices are on Jelly Bean, and OEM updates already in the works will be based around 4.1 rather than 4.2. After that, there’s the standard maze of regulator and carrier approval processes to traverse, adding additional weeks to the update roll-out timeframe. And with the holidays looming, and CES and MWC approaching thereafter, we doubt we’ll see Android 4.2 on many current devices before spring 2013. Engineering effort will be spent getting new products ready for launch rather than chasing a minor OS update.

But really, that doesn’t matter. And the reason why goes to the heart of what Android 4.2 actually is. Before release it was referred to internally as Jelly Bean MR1 -- MR standing for “maintenance release.” And a glance down Android 4.2’s feature list further confirms that there’s not a whole lot of game-changing stuff to be found, rather additional polish to the existing Android UI. Hence the decision to stick with the Jelly Bean moniker -- Google is striking a balance between pushing out new features and allowing hardware partners to catch up.

Read on to find out exactly what's going on, and why owners of Sense or TouchWiz devices need not worry about Android 4.2.

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3 years ago

US Cellular announces 4G Motorola ELECTRIFY M, available Nov. 8

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US Cellular announced a new handset this morning, the 4G LTE-capable Motorola ELECTRIFY M. Just yesterday, the carrier announced upcoming expansions to their 4G LTE service, and today brings a new device that can take advantage of the higher speeds.

US Cellular's Motorola ELECTRIFY M will feature:

  • 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED Advanced display
  • Dual-core 1.5GHz processor
  • Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Android 4.04 (Ice Cream Sandwich); upgradeable to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • 8 MP rear-facing camera with HDR
  • 1.3 MP front-facing camera
  • 2000 mAh battery

The ELECTRIFY M will be available online next Thursday, Nov. 8 and in-stores on Nov 9 for $99 after a $100 mail-in rebate for customers who are in an area that supports 4G LTE. Elsewhere, you're looking at $149 after $100 mail-in rebate.

The full press release can be found after the break.

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