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3 years ago

From the Android Forums: Getting an OTA after rooting

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HOLLYWOODANT215 asks in the Galaxy S3 forums

A friend rooted my device for me. I only use the root access to see emojis. Will he need to unroot my device for me to receive [the] OTA update to jelly bean?

Another great question from the forums. The answer isn't simply a yes or a no, unfortunately. Rooting, in itself doesn't do anything. It simply allows you to do more things that you could without root. Things like changing or moving files in the system to see emojis. 

Your phone is like a computer, with partitions and folders. When an OTA comes along, the first thing it does is check to see that the partitions holding the boot image and the recovery image are unmodified. It also checks the folders containing the system files to see if everything is in order. Most of the time rooting your phone simply adds a couple files without changing any others, and an OTA will flash over just fine.

The issue comes when you change any of the system files, or delete ones that should be there. In this case, the normal method to see emojis is to change the system font files. If the OTA needs to touch those font files in any way, the process will fail because they aren't the same as unmodified stock ones should be. The good news is that the OTA probably won't care about the font files and all will be well. 

For you pros out there, what I'm saying is that any time you replace or remove a file inside /system, you run the risk of not being able to accept an OTA. Of course a custom recovery or kernel also means you can't accept an OTA as well.

One thing worth mentioning before we end this. You always run the risk of losing root anytime there is a system update. Hit the Play store and install OTA RootKeeper, and run it to protect your superuser access. 

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 hits U.S. Cellular stores October 26

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U.S. Cellular has announced that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will be on store shelves starting October 26 (this Friday), and that tomorrow is the last day for preorder. Those that have already been ordered will be shipping tomorrow.  The timing doesn't come as much of a surprise since Sprint's launch is looking similar

You can get a full look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in our review, but here's a quick run-down of the specs. 

  • 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
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, RGB Light, Digital Compass, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer
  • Memory: 16/32/64GB User memory + 2GB (RAM); microSD (up to 64GB)
  • Dimensions: 80.5 x 151.1 x 9.4 mm, 180 g
  • Battery: Standard battery, Li-ion 3,100mAh

Anyone interested can pick up the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 from the U.S. Cellular online store here for $299 on a two-year contract. Anyone buying, or is there another carrier that's more viable for you? 

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3 years ago

Need for Speed Most Wanted to be released on October 30 on Android and Kindle Fire

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We already know that EA's latest premium title, Need For Speed Most Wanted, is to be released this month. We just don't know when or for how much. October is quickly passing us by, so good news then that it seems EA is sticking to their word. On their official website, the title is listed as being available for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire on October 30. Still no mention of a price, but given the trailer, we're expecting a premium price for this premium title. 

Source: EA

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3 years ago

Sprint Samsung Galaxy S3 to see Jelly Bean from October 25?

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Sprint Samsung Galaxy S3 owners might want to take a look at this one. Android Central Forums member Skunkape60 shared this image with us all a little earlier today that, if genuine, indicates the Android 4.1 update to the Galaxy S3 will start pushing out from October 25. That's tomorrow then. We've got a build number, a reminder to the stores to update their own devices, pretty much everything. 

It also looks like the Sprint update will bring some LTE related improvements too. It does say that it will be rolling out over the course of a few weeks, so be patient. But, from tomorrow, start checking for those updates.

Source: Android Central Forums, More: Hands on with Jelly Bean on the Galaxy S3

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3 years ago

Supposed first Jelly Bean build for Samsung Galaxy Note leaks out

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Excitement continues to build around the world for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 -- we're in NYC tonight for the Next Big Thing event -- but what of its predecessor? Owners of the original Galaxy Note are eagerly awaiting word on Jelly Bean for their beloved devices.

XDA Developers forums member eybee1970 has posted what is apparently the first full leaked official build of Android 4.1 for the original Note. However, this is an extremely early build, and flashing to your own devices is discouraged. Contained within are things we would expect to see from Jelly Bean -- Google Now for instance -- but there are things missing, and big nasty bugs within making this one not for the faint at heart. 

Word is, that the official update could be due to drop in December. A software update in early September brought a selection of the Samsung features from the Galaxy S3 and Note 2 to the Note, but we're under no illusions that it's Jelly Bean you folks want. 

Source: XDA via Sammobile

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3 years ago

Atari bringing Rollercoaster Tycoon and Dungeons & Dragons to Android

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Retro gaming fans listen up, this one's for you. Atari has announced a range of titles heading our way, which includes Rollercoaster Tycoon and Dungeons & Dragons: Warbands. Both are slated to be available in early 2013. 

Many an hour was wastes building the theme park rides of our dreams in the 90's desktop classic, and we're going out on a limb and saying the same will apply when the mobile version lands. D&D: Warbands is a virtual recreation of a game usually played with collectable figurines, but is sure to be a hit based on the insane popularity of the D&D universe. 

We're spoiled with some fantastic looking mobile games these days, take the likes of Horn or the Bards Tale as examples, but there's an awful lot to be said for these re-releases of some of our favorite games from years past. Nostalgia is a good feeling. 

Source: Atari via Android Police

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3 years ago

Memoto camera to record life with two pictures every minute, shared through Android app

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It looks like the next big thing has hit Kickstarter, and it's called Memoto. This tiny little 5 megapixel camera clips to your clothes, automatically takes pictures, geotags them, and once plugged into your computer over microUSB, uploads to the cloud for storage (provided you have a subscription plan with Memoto). There isn't a single button on the camera because it automatically starts shooting as soon as you start wearing it.

The picture quality isn't particularly great, but Memoto is aiming for sheer volume. We're talking two per minute for two days straight on a single charge. Luckily, the Android and web app will help organize everything into batches of shots and splice the moments into time-lapse videos. Sharing can be open or private, with selective visibility. 

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3 years ago

Motorola DROID RAZR HD/MAXX HD review

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Newer. Better. Faster. Longer. It's the updated Motorola RAZR line.

When the original RAZR hit the market last summer, followed shortly after by the RAZR MAXX, a lot of people were eagerly awaiting a true flagship line from Motorola. And the devices were met with success, thanks to Verizon’s aggressive marketing and the MAXX's considerable battery advantage.

Shortly after its release, though, the RAZR was outspec'd and overshadowed, relegating it to mid-tier status behind the likes of HTC’s One line and Samsung’s Galaxy S 3. But good things come to those who wait, and fortunately, Motorola seems to have been hard at work over the past few months. Today, the RAZR HD and MAXX HD are equipped to reclaim their spot on Verizon’s top shelf. But do they have the curb appeal to compete with some of the best Android devices ever made? Find out in our full review of the Motorola RAZR HD and RAZR MAXX HD. For another perspective, be sure to check out our earlier review of the Canadian version

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3 years ago

Sprint releases push-to-talk app for Android

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Sprint has launched an Android app to allow push-to-talk on some phones. The Kyocera Rise budget phone will support it, as will the upcoming LG Optimus Elite, it said.

Push-to-talk is a transmission method that turns your phone into a walkie-talkie, of sorts. The type that only allows communication one-way at a time, so like an air traffic controller, you’ll have to say “over” after each sentence, and of course “over and out” when your conversation is done.

For cell users, push-to-talk cellular is supposed to give people a way to quickly broadcast a message to receiving handsets. If multiple handsets are hooked up, a team leader can speak to all of them without ringing each one up individually.

Some apps already emulate this function, like HeyTell and Zello, but the Sprint app uses the carrier’s Direct Connect push-to-talk service. Sprint says it has a million users on Direct Connect already (most on rugged handsets), and hopes the app will allow it to tap into a new user-base.

Sprint customers can hit the Google Play link above to download the app.

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3 years ago

Square mobile payment service comes to Canada

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Square's mobile point of purchase system has expanded beyond the U.S. into Canada today, marking their first step into international markets. Though Square didn't advertise any particular launch partners up north, they do have free headphone jack fobs available for small businesses to start accepting credit card payments on whatever Android devices they happen to be using. Transaction fees are 2.75% per MasterCard or Visa swipe, which is apparently pretty competitive. 

Unfortunately, Square Wallet isn't available to Canada just yet, but will be arriving in 2013. The app will enable users to pay for goods, use loyalty cards, get receipts, and leave reviews for businesses.  Although Square tends to be lumped in with iOS, their Android app has been available for a couple of years now. I'm interested in seeing if Square hops on the NFC bandwagon at some point, but for the time being, I'm sure they do reasonably well just dealing with Visa and Mastercard. It would be great to see some Interac support eventually, too.

Hey Americans, how often do you see Square in use in businesses? Should we feel screwed that Square Wallet isn't available right out of the gate? Keep in mind that we still don't have Google Wallet up here, or even anything like Isis, so this may be the best thing we can get for mobile payments for the immediate future. Any Canadian business owners interested in giving this a shot? You can sign up over here

Soruce: Square

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3 years ago

Samsung TecTile app bumped to version 3.0

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Samsung has updated its TecTile app to add more features like batch actions and the ability to set tags to private.

The mobile app is meant to program Samsung TecTile NFC hardware tags that can be used to automate tasks. Users can tap their phones on tags to perform common tasks. You can launch a running app and the music app before a workout, for example, or tap one by the bedside to mute the ringer and launch the alarm clock app.

The TecTile tags were first released in June, together with the launch of the S3 to show off its NFC capabilities. The version 3 update accompanies the entrance of the Galaxy Note 2 on U.S. shores, and brings a number of new features.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Go arriving in Canada this November

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The mid-range waterproof Sony Xperia Go will be coming to Canada by way of Rogers-owned Fido this November.  Sony also announced that a snazzy exclusive yellow model available if you're picking one up unlocked from Sony stores, while Fido will have black and white versions available.  

The Xperia Go was originally announced running Gingerbread, but an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich was rolled out a few weeks ago. Who knows if it'll be lucky enough to get Jelly Bean, but it seems like the real selling point for the Xperia Go is its ruggedness. We've seen this thing take a fair bit of punishment, and if it can keep the pricetag relatively low, there may be a lot of value there. Unfortunately, Sony stayed mum on how much it would cost either on Fido or unlocked, but the UK launch over the summer should provide a good idea of what to expect. 

Specs and additional details are in the press release below. Any Fido customers considering picking this one up? 

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3 years ago

UK retailers cut 16GB Nexus 7 price ahead of Google event

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We're all expecting to see a 32GB Nexus 7, amongst other stuff, unveiled at Google's "Playground" event in NYC next Monday. That'll probably mean one of the existing Nexus 7 SKUs -- the 8 or 16GB model -- will be put out to pasture. As such, high-street retailers in the UK have begun reducing the price of the 16GB Nexus 7, which until recently would've set you back £199.99.

Currys has dropped its price to £189.99, while Comet goes a tenner further at £179.99.  A 32GB variant may be on the horizon, but 180 quid for the 16GB version still represents decent value. Before it sold out, the 8GB model was available for £159 from the Google Play Store.

It's possible prices might drop further next week, but if you absolutely must pick up a Nexus 7 right this second, these are two pretty good deals.

Source: Currys, Comet; via: Eurodroid

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3 years ago

Verizon's HTC DLX to launch as the Droid DNA?

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We're starting to learn a little more about HTC's upcoming 5-inch offering to Verizon. The HTC 6435LVW already has gone through the Global Certification Forum, we brought you the first pictures of it with Verizon branding this week -- and now it apparently has popped up on Verizon's Minimum Advertised Price listing, named the "HTC DROID DNA." (Remember that DLX has been a codename up until now.) Please, smartphone gods, let that be the official name, and not HTC DROID DNA 4G LTE. We beg you.

And that minimum advertised price is set at $199 -- perfectly fine for what should be a pretty high-end set. The start date for the MAP -- Nov. 20 -- also lines up with the Thanksgiving-esque launch window we've been working under. Still, ain't nothing official until it's official, folks.

We've got the full MAP listing after the break. And note the appearance of Verizon's Samsung Galaxy Note 2, with a MAP price of $299 (unsurprising) and a launch window of any time now, pretty much like all the other carriers.

If you're looking for more on the Windows Phone 8 info on this MAP listing, our cousins at WPCentral have the full breakdown.

More in our Rumored Devices ForumsThanks, anon!

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3 years ago

Nuance launches Siri-esque Dragon Mobile Assistant

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Today Nuance kicked off the beta for a new app called Dragon Mobile Assistant. It lets users talk to their phones in a natural human voice for a variety of tasks, including booking calendar appointments, dictating messages, updating Facebook and Twitter, getting GPS directions, finding businesses, and checking the weather. It even has an S-voice style audio wake-up command so you don't have to press a button to initiate a query. Sure, Personal Assistant has a lot in common with Dragon Go, but this is packaged in a way to more directly offer an Android version of Siri. 

Nuance is in a good spot for launching a voice activated personal assistant given its pedigree (especially now that they've acquired Vlingo), but it's hardly the only show in town. A small start-up called Maluuba has a very sharp-looking app that focuses on specific silos of content. Of course Samsung's S-voice is an option on pretty much all of their newer phones, plus the latest version of voice search built into Jelly Bean can handle a lot. There's Evi, though it wasn't particularly great the last time we used it.

Dragon Personal Assistant is free, but it's only available in English in the U.S. for devices running Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0. They're expecting to launch more broadly before the end of the year, at least. Which voice-activated personal assistant do you use on Android? Are there any that are fast enough to be more practical than just typing in a query or manually navigating to something on your device? How do you think these options stack up against what's available on iOS?

Source: Nuance

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