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3 years ago

Setting default navigation options, When, where, and how will Google strike next?

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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

LG officially launches the Optimus G

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Monster of a flagship smartphone hits Korea next week, rest of the world to come

LG today officially launched the Optimus G, its newest flagship Android smartphone with specs that, on paper, should send even the most jaded smartphone nerd into a bit of a frenzy. It'll be available in Korea as of next week, with announcements for the rest of the world to come later. Let's recap, shall we?

  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor running at 1.5 GHz
  • 4.7-inch True HD IPS PLUS display at 1280x768 resolution, with a 15:9 aspect ratio
  • 32GB on-board storage
  • 2GB RAM
  • 13 MP rear camera (also shoots at 8 MP), 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 2100 mAh battery for 15 hours talk time, 335 hours standby

Plus the other bells and whistles you've come to expect. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. LG has teamed up the impressive hardware with what it's calling "a creative and engaging UX" that'll let you "live without boundaries." We'll have to see about that, of course, but LG's given us a primer on some of the more major functions:

  • There's QSlide, which puts two screens on the display at once, at lets you work on both at the same time.
  • Live zooming lets you get close-up to videos -- up to five times closer while it's playing.
  • Dual Scren Dual play mirrors the smartphone to a TV and also lets you have different content on each at the same time.
  • QuickMemo lets you add notes to a screen shot.
  • Screen Zooming, well, it enlarges the screen, letting you zoom into lists, e-mail, etc.
  • Application Link is like a time-based launcher, firing up after your alarm goes off, so apps are ready to go when you are.

LG's also touting a new, enhanced user interface -- which we've yet to see -- along with some enhancements to the camera applications. We've got the full presser for you after the break.

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3 years ago

ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T receiving minor update

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Well, how convenient. We've posted earlier today that the ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T was getting a small bugfix update, and now the TF700T is getting its own. Similarly to the TF300T, this small update is bringing the model up to firmware version IML74K.US_epad-9.4.5.30-20120907, according to our forum members who have received it. The update is small, mostly updating the camera firmware and fixing some bugs here and there.

If you've got a Transformer Pad TF700T laying around, head to Settings > About tablet > Software updates and see if your device is ready to download the update. Once you get it, chime in in the forums and let us know how it's working.

Source: ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity 700 Forums

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3 years ago

Rovio's Bad Piggies gameplay revealed in new teaser trailer

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Rovio revealed Bad Piggies, its swine-centric follow-up to Angry Birds, a few weeks back, but exact gameplay details had been a mystery, until now. Today, the first trailer for Bad Piggies gives us our first taste of what we can expect from the pig-focused follow-up. Much like Rovio's Amazing Alex, the pigs are tasked with building all manner of wild contraptions in order to make their way through levels, stealing eggs as they go.

The piggies will be able to include wheels, umbrellas, propellers and even rockets in their creations, before guiding them through the 2D platformer-style levels. It's certainly a bit of a departure from flinging suicidal birds into the piggies' defenses, and hopefully an indication of a little more gameplay depth.

"As far as the gameplay goes, Bad Piggies and Angry Birds are complete opposites," Petri Järvilehto, EVP of Games at Rovio told Y! Games. "Angry Birds smash things up, Bad Piggies build stuff. The pigs are all about making plans and building things, even -- and especially -- when they don't work!"

Bad Piggies is due to appear for Android, iOS and other platforms next Thursday, September 27. You can find the full teaser trailer after the break.

Source: Yahoo Games

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3 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Do you use NFC often?

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When a new phone is released without NFC, there's a lot of wailing and teeth-gnashing on the Internet about how horrible it is that manufacturer X is silly for not including it. Some folks seem to be die-hard fans of the tech, while others just don't seem to care. The best way to settle that sort of argument is a steel-cage deathmatch a poll, so that's what we're asking this week.

NFC is useful for much more than payments. I use it, and I can honestly say that I rarely use Google Wallet -- even when shopping in a store that supports it. It;s more natural for me to reach into my pocket and grab a few bucks that it is to use my phone. I like the automation ability that NFC adds, and have a tag in the cup holder of my car that changes a few things like turning off Wifi and starting up Google Maps. I also have one on my nightstand that puts the phone into desk clock mode. Nerdy, but that's how I roll.

What about you guys? Answer the poll (you'll find it in the sidebar as well as after the break) and tell us in the comments how you're using NFC.

Before we go, here's last week's results:

Do you use the Amazon appstore?

  • Nope. I keep away. -- 48.86-percent
  • Yes, on my regular Android devices. -- 47.56-percent
  • Yes, but only on the Kindle Fire. -- 3.58-percent

Just about fifty-fifty here. We're just glad that Google gives that 47.56-percent of us the choice to use whatever appstore we want.

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3 years ago

ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T updated with minor stability fixes

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ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T owners are reporting that they're receiving another over-the-air update today, designed to improve stability of the Tegra 3-based tablet. Since the TF300T has already received its update to Jelly Bean, there are no significant changes to the underlying Android framework. But hopefully this latest OTA will fix some of the performance and usability issues that have been reported by some TF300T owners. The update brings the tablet up to version 10.4.2.13, still based upon the latest Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean.

If you've got a Transformer Pad TF300T, head to Settings > About tablet > Software updates to see if the new version is ready to download onto your tablet. Once you're installed, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

Source: Transformer Pad TF300T forums; Thanks, Erckul!

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3 years ago

Root the Kindle Fire HD 7

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It looks as if Amazon did not patch the standard method to root ICS devices discovered by SparkyM over at XDA, and the Kindle Fire HD can be rooted in mere minutes. In fact, the most difficult part is getting the device driver if you're running Windows. Also note that rooting does not mean the same thing as a custom ROM, and that this has nothing to do with the bootloader which is unsurprisingly pretty securely locked up.

You'll need to have the Android SDK installed, and follow the instructions in the forums. You'll also need to know that you could really break things while rooting or running apps as root. Informed decisions are the best decisions. Good luck!

Source: Android PoliceRoot the Kindle Fire HD

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3 years ago

How to share Instagram pics on Google+ (or anywhere else)

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Here's one we get asked quite often: How do you share from Instagram to Google+? After all, there's no way to automatically post to Google+ from Instagram like there is to Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Foursquare and Tumblr. And while that's a shame, it's also indicative of how tightly Google continues to run things with its fledgling social network. And with Facebook having purchased Instagram earlier this year for the paltry sum of $1 billion, it's also something we're not likely to see change anytime soon.

But you can share your pics (and only yours) from Instagram to Google+. It's quite simple, really, even if it's a tad hidden. In fact, you can share Instagram pics to any other app that accepts sharing intents from Android. And it's just one extra step.

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3 years ago

No restrictions on SIM-free Xperia T sales, says Sony

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Over the weekend news broke via one British online retailer that it might not be possible to get hold of an Xperia T phone without a contract in the UK. Expansys UK had reportedly told the press that it might be as long as January 2013 before the device was available SIM-free. We contacted Sony Mobile to get their side of the story, and it seems that there's been some crossing of wires over the exact details of the phone's availability.

A Sony Mobile spokesman informed us that the Xperia T will be available "within timescales previously announced through Vodafone, EE, O2, 3, Carphone Warehouse, Phones4U and Tesco." We were told that although it was up to these individual retailers as to how they allocated their stock, there were no Sony-imposed restrictions on whether the phone could be offered SIM-free or not.

In particular, Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U usually offer SIM-free deals in-store on new devices, and there's no reason to expect that they won't do the same for the new Sony flagship. So it looks like prospective Xperia T buyers don't have anything to worry about after all. The phone is expected to become available in the UK sometime next week, likely on or around Sept. 28.

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3 years ago

AT&T LTE expands to Sacramento

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Another day, another LTE launch; Sacramento, California is now bathed in AT&T LTE coverage. This follows closely on a bunch of expansions last week, and is a continuing part of AT&T's plan to cover a healthy chunk of the U.S. population by the end of the year. 

We have any readers from Sacramento? Happy to get some LTE from AT&T, or are you already cozy with the competition? Which LTE handsets have you been holding out for?

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

Scope opening up VIP program, but you only have 24 hours to register

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Back in June, Socialscope became simply Scope, and progressed to the beta stage of development with a huge update to the application. All in all, we really like it, it does a fantastic job of managing your social feeds, and looks great into the bargain. 

Word has just reached us from the guys at Scope, that they are readying a new release of the app. And, along with it also begins their VIP program. The program is designed to give Scope for Android users the chance to get access to the latest builds of the application before release, and then provide feedback to the developers. Sounds great, and interested parties can sign up by hitting the link below. Be quick though, as to keep the program manageable, registrations will only be accepted for 24 hours. You do have to be an existing user though, this doesn't provide you with an invite code. 

Sign up to Scope for Android VIP program now!

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3 years ago

Xperia Link app now available - easy tethering between Sony phones and tablets

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In the event that you've just dropped some cash on a shiny new Sony tablet and matching Xperia smartphone, Sony's launched a new Android app to allow for easier tethering between the two. The Xperia Link application, now available on Google Play, lets you you pair your devices over Bluetooth, then share your phone's data plan with your tablet.

That sounds a lot like plain old tethering, but Xperia Link aims to simplify the process, allowing you to remotely enable, connect and disconnect tethering on your phone via a widget on the tablet. It's probably not going to revolutionize the way you use your tablet, but if you often find yourself tethering, you may want to check it out. Sony's Xperia Link app is available to download from Google Play for free, and works on all Sony tablets, as well as Sony phones running Android 2.3 or higher.

If you're already packing the prerequisite Sony hardware, you can check the Google Play link above to get started.

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3 years ago

MasterCard launching PayPass developer kit

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MasterCard has just released an "User Interface Software Development Kit – or UI SDK" to help app developers on Android and BlackBerry simply integrate PayPass NFC (Near Field Communication) payments into apps. As if there was any doubt that MasterCard was putting their weight behind NFC payments, this pretty much secures it. The idea of the UI SDK is to take out some of the guesswork of integrating PayPass into payment applications, which both helps out developers by offering an integrated system and of course benefits MasterCard because it will be making money off of the transactions. This should be a good step towards making NFC payments more of a mainstream affair, as more and more apps can take advantage of this UI SDK and know that their app will work with current MasterCard terminals that are already available in a wide variety of stores.

A video about the UI SDK was posted by MasterCard, but seems to have been taken down. In the meantime, take a look at the full press release after the break.

Source: MasterCard Newsroom

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3 years ago

HTC 'One X 5' purportedly revealed in press render

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Update: Ausdroid has pointed out that this is nothing more than a fan-inspired render. See the original at Danny Tu's Flikr stream. Maybe HTC should hire Mr. Tu, as everyone seems to love his design!

HTC’s mysterious Verizon-bound 5-inch smartphone has been the subject of numerous rumors over the past several months, and we’ve seen purported blurry-cam shots of the device in the past. However, today, we might have our first clear look at the large-screened device, as the image above has surfaced on Chinese social network Sina Weibo. In the top left corner it's labeled as the 'HTC One X 5,' which is the first time we've heard this name associated with the rumored device.

The image is low resolution, but it’s detailed enough to reveal a few key points -- a black design with red accents, Beats Audio branding, and both rear and front-facing cameras. The simulated image on the screen seems to have been taken from earlier HTC One X renders, as it displays Barcelona and Feb. 26 in the clock widget, as well as the old Android Market icon on the home screen. We’ve seen fake (and prototype) press renders leak out before, so there’s certainly no guarantee that this image is legitimate. The low resolution alone means it’d have been relatively easy to forge.

HTC has a big event lined up in New York City this Wednesday, so it’s possible the One X 5 -- or Droid Incredible X, as the Verizon version’s rumored to be called -- will make its debut there. It’s equally likely, however, that Big Red will want to save such a flagship device for CTIA, or some standalone event. We’ll have to wait and see. Whatever happens, we’ll be live from NYC this Wedneday to bring you all of the day’s HTC news.

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

International LTE Galaxy S III Jelly Bean kernel source now available

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A couple days ago we told you about the European LTE Samsung Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III) being launched with Jelly Bean, and today Samsung has released the kernel source for it. The GT I9305 is the quad-core Exynos version with on-board LTE that we've already seen in the far east, which should be getting its own Jelly Bean update next month.

Like we always say, this code won't be very helpful to the average user. Its value to the fellows building custom ROMs for the US LTE versions of the SGS3 is also a bit up in the air, as the hardware is quite different. Right now, we just need to wait and see what the community can do with it. 

Source: Samsung

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