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3 years ago

Nexus 4 coming to O2 UK next month

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British mobile network O2 is the first UK carrier to confirm that it'll be offering the LG Nexus 4 when it arrives next month. O2 doesn't offer any specific release date on its "coming soon" page, but with the Nexus 4 arriving on the Play Store on Nov. 13, we expect an O2 launch around the same time.

O2 also isn't confirming reports that it'll have a one-month exclusivity period in the UK, however the silence from other British operators suggests this may well be the case.

Also absent is any hint of pricing -- again, the Nexus 4 is to be offered SIM-free from £239 via Google Play, so if O2 wants to lure customers into a two-year contract, it'll likely have to offer the phone for free.

We'll be bringing you even more Nexus 4 coverage in the days ahead, so keep it locked to Android Central.

Source: O2 UK

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3 years ago

ADW Launcher comes back from the dead with a new update

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Just in time for Halloween, ADW Launcher is back from the dead. One of the more popular launchers all the way back in the days of Android 2.3, ADW hasn't seen an update in quite a long time. The latest update, version 1.3.3.7 cleverly, brings a completely redone UI and set of features along with compatibility all the way up to Android 4.1. Both the free and paid versions have been updated, and offer a crazy amount of customization options on the homscreens, app drawer, icons, themes, folders and anywhere else you could think of. It may be a bit overwhelming for some, but if you're willing to put in the time to customize it, you may get just what you're looking for.

There are way too many new features to list, especially in the paid version for $3.00, but overall things seem smooth and well improved. It's good to see that ADW is back in the launcher game with Jelly Bean. You can grab ADW Launcher at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Need for Speed Most Wanted review

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Need for Speed Most Wanted careened into Google Play today, hauling with it high expectations based on the long-standing franchise. The latest Need for Speed racing game for Android excels in graphics, and offers an otherwise pared-down, straightforward racing experience. Race types are all familiar, including the usual 6-car run, one-on-one, time trials, and checkpoint races.

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3 years ago

MetroPCS reports Q3 2012 earnings, $193 million in net income

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Most people haven't paid a whole lot of attention to MetroPCS prior to its announcement of merger plans with T-Mobile USA, but now the earnings may be worth a look. For the third quarter of 2012, the regional carrier posted net income of $193 million (operating income $292 million) on revenues of $1.25 billion. Net income was up substantially from the year previous, while revenues were nearly flat.

Subscriber churn remained high at 3.7-percent, although it was a decrease from 4.5-percent in the same period last year. Net subscriber losses of 312,291 for the quarter brought the total subscriber count just under 9 million. Even with the net losses in customers, ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) remained flat at $40.50, but on a good note CPU (Cost Per User) dropped slightly to $18.38.

This quarter was a bit of a mixed bag for MetroPCS. We'll see how things shape up as the merger comes closer to completion in 2013.

Source: MetroPCS Investor Relations

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3 years ago

Weekly photo contest: The weather

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Tuesday means another AC photo contest! This week, let's talk about the weather. Good weather, bad weather, or evil weather like you see above. If it happens outside, we want to see it.

This isn't just confined to pictures of rain or snow. Feel free to think outside the box and show us something that makes us think of good (or bad) weather. We love it when you guys get all artistic and surprise us. It makes it that much more fun to look at all the pictures.

Since it is a contest, there are prizes involved. We dug around and found we still have five Android mini collectibles left to give away, so the best five photos each get one. Read the full rules in the forum contest thread and show us what ya got.

Enter this week's photo contest

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3 years ago

Shadowgun: Deadzone open beta expanded to include Android SDK 3.0+ devices

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Roughly two weeks ago, the Shadowgun: Deadzone beta was opened to Tegra 3 devices. Now, MADFINGER games has opened up the beta to include Android devices with SDK 3.0 or higher. Besides the updated device compatibility, they also introduced some new features as well:

  • Research system (you can use a research to make weapons, items and perks)
  • Ranks
  • Protection for the beginners (players with RANKS 1-3). They are connecting to the isolated servers
  • You can make money by playing the game
  • You can now collect experience points (XP) and level up
  • New Weapons available (Atilla, Agony, Warmoger, etc.) 
  • New Gadgets available (Detector, Jammer, FlashBang)
  • Player Perks
  • Equip Enhancements

So if you've been itching to give this a try, but didn't have a Tegra 3 device, now is your chance to hop over to the Play Store and give it a try. Just a reminder, this is a beta, so don't be surprised if you find a glitch or two. Check the Play Store link above to see if your device is compatible.

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3 years ago

Nook HD and HD+ start shipping this week

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Good news if you’ve pre-ordered the new Nooks. Barnes & Noble will start shipping the 7-inch Nook HD and 9-inch HD+ tablets this week.

The devices will also start arriving at the book retailer’s 700 stores in the US, and 15,000 other partner stores such as Target, Walmart and Best Buy.

B&N’s CEO, William Lynch, has said that the company received a record number of pre-orders for the devices. And it managed to ink two content deals with NBCUniversal and 20th Century Fox just in time for the new Nooks to pull TV and movies from the Nook Video service.

Along with Nook Video, Nook Catalog is a recent service launched. It will deliver shopping catalogs from retailers like Pottery Barn, as retailers try to sink their hooks into the consumer market towards the holiday season.

The services will help B&N try to close the gap with the flood of other competent tablets in the marketplace, since the Nook doesn’t connect to the wider Google Play store, but to its own Nook Apps walled garden, which only has about 6,000 apps. Amazon’s Kindle Fire also routes back to its own app store, but that has about 50,000 apps in it, by comparison.

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3 years ago

Updated Google Search on iOS on par with Android

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Google today let loose a new version of its Search app for iOS devices. Is it as good as the voice search you find in Android and Google Now? When it comes to results, yes. That is to say, when we took Google's test questions for a spin, using Google Now to launch the search (just because we felt like it) we got the same results -- in just about the same response time -- on a Galaxy Nexus as we did on iOS 6.

Why'd we use the same questions Google highlighted on its blog post announcing the update? For one simple reason: Siri, for want of an better term, sucks. And anyone who's ever tried to do the same searches Apple showcased in its advertisements is quite possibly still waiting for an answer. So we wanted to put Google's examples to the test. And we threw in one wild card at the end.

How'd they stack up? Pretty evenly matched, I think. You'd expect the results to be the same, of course. Response time is what I was really curious about. Have a gander at the video after the break and see for yourself.

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3 years ago

Ask AC: When will my current Nexus get Android 4.2?

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Android 4.2 is official! So is the LG Nexus 4! But what about all those current Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7s out there? They're going to get an update to Android 4.2, right? Most certainly. And we're willing to bet the Nexus S goes along for the ride as well.

One thing we don't quite know is when, but we can take a pretty good stab at it. The LG Nexus 4 goes on sale Nov. 13. Don't expect an over-the-air update to push before then, and chances are it'll be at least a few days after that, too. We'll also probably see the Android 4.2 code drop into the Android Open Source Project repositories before any OTA update takes place.

In other words, get your finger off that update button, folks. More than likely you've got a couple weeks of waiting ahead of you. (Though if Google wants to push the button early, you won't hear us complaining.)

More: Google Nexus forums

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3 years ago

How to try out a Nexus 4 (and GSM) with no commitment

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The Nexus 4 has a whole lot of features to be excited about -- that is, unless you're on Verizon or Sprint here in the states. For reasons you can probably figure out on your own, Google has decided to only launch an unlocked GSM model of the Nexus 4, and offer it around the world. This means no LTE -- fear not, it has DC-HSPA+ 42mbps -- but it also keeps the price insanely low. At $299 (8GB) and $349 (16GB) without a contract, it's an extremely tempting proposition.

But as we noted earlier, what if you're on a CDMA carrier? Well there are actually some compelling options if you'd like to "test drive" a Nexus 4 -- and GSM -- before you commit to making it your primary device.

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3 years ago

Google's Matias Duarte answers burning Nexus questions

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Android interface design guru and shirt connoisseur Matias Duarte has taken to Google+ to answer fans' questions about the upcoming Nexus devices and Android 4.2.

One of the first subjects tackled in the G+ post was the new system button placement on Android 4.2 tablets like the Nexus 10. The new Samsung Nexus tablet, unlike predecessors like the Motorola Xoom, ditches a split system bar and notification area, instead opting for a Nexus 7-like status bar up top. Duarte says this is about keeping the Android experience consistent and simple across multiple categories of device --

This new configuration is based on usability research we did on all of the different form factors and screen sizes that Android runs on. What mattered most of all was muscle memory - keeping the buttons where you expect them, no matter how you hold the device.

Duarte says that in Jelly Bean, the system buttons automatically gravitate towards the bottom of the device, unless doing so would reduce the available vertical space too much.

In addition, Duarte addressed the question of SD cards, which are absent from Google's Nexus devices --

Everybody likes the idea of having an SD card, but in reality it's just confusing for users. If you’re saving photos, videos or music, where does it go? Is it on your phone? Or on your card? Should there be a setting? Prompt everytime? What happens to the experience when you swap out the card? It’s just too complicated.

That's the user experience side of the argument, but if you want to get a bit more technical, you should check out Jerry Hildenbrand's take on why Google's Nexus devices lack removable storage.

More: Why Nexus devices have no SD card

Source: +Matias Duarte

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3 years ago

Open webOS on the Galaxy Nexus is starting to look good

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Work continues on Open webOS for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (and likely will for some time), and today the webOS Ports team has brought a video of UI scaling. As you can see, it's looking more and more like a working smartphone user interface (and animation is getting pretty smooth, too), though we wouldn't recommend getting anywhere near this as a daily driver yet.

More: webOS-Ports; webOS Nation

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3 years ago

No Tricks, Just Treats Halloween Sale - Save 15% on ALL Accessories at ShopAndroid.com!

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Boooo!!! Scared yet? No? Good. We're looking to help you make it a HAPPY HALLOWEEN this year by celebrating with savings across our Mobile Nations stores. Until Thursday, Nov. 1, at Midnight PST, you can save 15% on ALL Android Accessories at ShopAndroid.com using coupon code treat2012 at checkout. And if you have non-Android devices in the house (and we know some of you do), you can use the same coupon code at our ShopCrackBerryiMore and Windows Phone stores.

Don't forget, we have free shipping on US and Canada orders over $50, and great low cost international shipping options available as well. Don't be scared out of these savings ... click the link below to get started!

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3 years ago

ZTE take 4th place in the smartphone manufacturing wars - but for how long?

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ZTE has today announced that it is ranked as the 4th biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world as of Q3 2012, superseding HTC. Shipping 7.5 million handsets in a quarter is not to be sniffed at, but we suspect they're still a long way off the top spot.

It'll interesting to see how things change over the next couple of quarters. In Q3 this year ZTE were only 0.1% in front of RIM who are still holding on, but with BlackBerry 10 on the horizon they too could move up the rankings next year.

In addition, we have just seen Windows Phone 8 officially launch. If sales are good for the updated OS, this will not do ZTE any favors in the short term as they don't have a WP8 device ready as yet.

It's always a tough race with smartphone figures, but catching up Apple and Samsung will be a super tough challenge. Only time will tell.

You can catch the full press release below the fold.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 starts shipping in Canada

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Samsung is now shipping out the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 across Canadian retailers and will be available to buy at most stores in the next two weeks. Last we heard, TELUS, WIND, and Mobilicity would be offering the phone, and since then Bell and Rogers have confirmed that they'll have it. In fact, Rogers and Bell are already taking orders online for $199 on a three-year contract. (Update: TELUS just dropped us a line to let us know that they're facing delays and won't have the device until later this week at the earliest.) To celebrate the launch, Samsung has Psy of Gangnam Style fame performing in Toronto tonight.

You can get a deep-dive with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in our hands-on video, but here's a quick run-down.

  • Network: 3G: HSPA+ 21Mbps (HSDPA 21Mbps / HSUPA 5.76Mbps); 4G LTE: 100Mbps/ 50Mbps
  • Processor: 1.6 GHz quad-core processor
  • Display: 5.5” HD Super AMOLED (1,280 x 720)
  • OS: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • Camera: Main(Rear): 8 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash, BSI; Sub(Front): 1.9 Megapixel VT Camera, BSI; Best Photo, Best Faces, Low light shot
  • GPS: A-GPS; Glonass
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth® v 4.0 (Apt-X Codec support) LE; USB 2.0 Host; WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz), Wi-Fi HT40; Wi-Fi Direct; mHL; NFC
  • Memory: 16/32/64GB User memory + 2GB (RAM); microSD (up to 64GB)
  • Battery: Standard battery, Li-ion 3,100mAh

It's a monster of a device, and no doubt many Canadians are itching to get one of these. Who's buying? What are you digging most about the GNote 2? 

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