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3 years ago

Android Central International round-up - October 13, 2012

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This week revealed just about everything we could want to know about LG’s upcoming Nexus.  We’ve had leaked photos and hands-on reports, news of release plans and even a review of the (somewhat broken) prototype handset that’s been doing the rounds. At this point, it’s pretty much a given that Google and LG will launch this year’s Nexus smartphone at some point in the next month or so. All that remains to be seen is whether there’ll be a major new version of Android to go with it.

But it wasn’t all Nexus news here at Android Central. We also brought you a full review of the cheap and cheerful ZTE Grand X, and a hands-on initial review with the Sony Xperia T. We also saw the launch of Andorid 4.1.2 on Nexus 7s and Galaxy Nexuses around the world. It was a big week for Samsung, too, which the unveiling of the Galaxy S3 Mini, and subsequent leaking of the Galaxy Premier.

And finally, there was tension between Chinese manufacturers  ZTE and Huawei, and the U.S. Government, as a Congressional report brought forward allegations of corruption, bribery and influence by the Chinese government.

Check the list below for some of the main international Android stories of the past week. If you’ve got news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

Special features:

News:

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3 years ago

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for the Droid RAZR M leaks out

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Although the Droid RAZR M hasn't been on store shelves for all that long, folks who picked one up may know there is an official Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update eventually coming to the device. Motorola hasn't said when, exactly yet but If you're looking to tinker around with it, there is now a leaked version of Jelly Bean available for download.

The file, designated as 'Blur Version.77.111.10.XT907.Verizon.en.US' can be flashed in stock recovery and comes in weighing 255MB but carries the typical warnings. If you flash it -- you do so at your own risk and there may be plenty of dragons ahead.

If you give it a go, drop by the Android Central forums and let us know how it's all working out for you. By the way, Motorola, now would be a good time to go ahead and add the Droid RAZR M to your Android Software Upgrade page as well.

Source: @P3Droid

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3 years ago

ASUS Padfone 2 images and video leak out ahead of official announcement

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ASUS has already sent out the invites for their October 16th event where they're expected to fully announce Padfone 2 in addition to the purported specs having already been leaked. Now, for those of you who simply couldn't wait to see the Padfone successor, we're now getting a look at the total package through some leaked images and an early video.

Keeping in line with the original Padfone experience, the handset is separate from the tablet and on it's own actually looks pretty nice. Needless to say, our main question of pricing of the tablet companion devices remains unanswered but at least now, we know what it should end up looking like. You can jump below to check out the video (Skip to 2 mins in) and gallery of images.

Source: @evleaks, BloombergUTV

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3 years ago

No need to move to the LG Nexus, Problems since 4.1.2 update? [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

Leaked T-Mobile roadmap has dates for LG Optimus L9, Huawei Summit, and a color refresh for the Galaxy S2

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The folks over at TmoNews got their hands on a leaked T-Mobile US roadmap for fall, and as expected there's several Android devices in the spotlight.

First up on October 29 is a "color refresh" for the Samsung Galaxy S2. This one has our interest, because nobody is quite sure what colors will be offered. as the original already comes in black or white. 

Following closely on October 31 is the release of the Huawei Summit, a previously unknown Android phone. The specs are nowhere to be seen, but it's a pretty safe bet to say this will be an entry level handset. There's a leaked render after the break of the Summit.

Also on October 31 is the scheduled release of the LG Optimus L9 (see our hands-on). While things like 4GB of onboard storage keep this one decidedly entry-level, our impression was that it's a surprisingly nice phone. At the right price, it could make quite a splash. 

Absent is the Galaxy Note 2, but we're not going to read too much into that. A device of that caliber will likely have a special launch of its own, and not be lumped with the rest of the fall lineup. 

Of course none of this is official until it's made official, but leaks and speculation are half the fun this time of year. Click through for the leaked Huawei Summit press shot

Source: TmoNews

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3 years ago

Android Central Podcast 111: Nexus, Nexus, LG and Nexus

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Audio-only stream below

We're back from CTIA MobileCON in California, which was pretty darn quiet -- and that's a good thing because we've got two weeks worth of Nexus news to cram in. Let's do this! (Note: No video this week. It's audio-only.)

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3 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S3 now available in black and brown

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We saw just a few days ago that Verizon had put up an information page indicating that two new colors -- black and brown -- of the Samsung Galaxy SIII (S3) were going to be coming soon. Now Verizon has finally updated the device page with all four color options available for order. The original white and blue models are joined in-store and online by the black model, while the G1-esque amber brown model is only available for purchase online.

By this point we feel like Samsung has sold a Galaxy S3 to every last man, woman and child on earth -- but if you've been holding off on your purchase for a couple more color options, now is your chance to pick it up.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Droid Incredible 4G LTE software update bringing international roaming and Isis payments

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The Verizon Droid Incredible 4G LTE by HTC (really? enough with these names) is getting an update today that brings both international roaming capability and Isis mobile payments. Verizon has unlocked several of its devices for international roaming lately, and now the Incredible 4G LTE is on the list. When the device is being used domestically, however, this update is supposed to improve LTE performance as well. Isis mobile wallet is the other big story here. Isis is the payment standard being pushed directly by the big carriers in the U.S. and competes directly with Google Wallet. We've seen indications recently that Isis is finally ready for an unveiling, so this update is coming just in time.

The hefty update -- about 155MB -- will be coming OTA (Over the Air) to all devices and is considered a "mandatory system update" by Verizon. Instructions indicate that the phone will reboot 5 times during the installation, so don't be alarmed if it takes a while to install. If your device hasn't prompted for the update yet, you can check for it in settings > software update > check now.

Source: Verizon; via: Droid Life

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3 years ago

LG Nexus prototype reviewed, unsurprisingly found to have software issues

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What do you get when you take leaked, pre-production phone hardware running pre-production software and subject it to a full review? Well, you get something like the review that appeared at Belarusian tech site Onliner.by today. That's the same site that got hold of the upcoming LG Nexus ahead of time, and published several high-quality images of the device earlier this week.

In today's "preliminary review," the site describes numerous issues with the build of Android 4.1.2 loaded onto the device, from hard locks to force closes, to certain buttons not responding. So it's safe to say that the software is very much pre-release, and this matches what we've heard from our own sources, who tell us the device is now being tested with Android 4.2.

On the hardware side, the preliminary review reveals a device very similar in appearance to the current Galaxy Nexus. Main differences include a flattened front and back, an iPhone-style microSIM slot along one side, and a non-removable back panel furnished in LG's "crystal reflective process" finish. Like the Galaxy Nexus, it sports a notification LED beneath the screen.

There are also some photo samples from the device, though quality is decidedly iffy, on account of the pre-release hardware and software. Camera quality has never been the Nexus line's strong suit, but we'd expect images shot with the final version to look a bit better.

Really, there's only so much that you can tell from hand-on time with a prototype. As is the case with every Nexus, we imagine most of the exciting new stuff in this device will be software, not hardware-based.

Source: Onliner.by

More: What we know about the LG Nexus

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3 years ago

O2 UK network issues affecting 10% of subscribers, fix on the way

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Some O2 UK customers are experiencing service issues this evening, which the carrier says is affecting some ten percent of its subscribers. The O2 service status website, which is currently being inundated with traffic, says the issue, which first emerged earlier this afternoon, has been identified. O2 says its engineers are working on a fix --

Further to the fault we reported earlier (where some customers in some areas have been unable to make or receive calls, texts or use data), we believe we have now identified the cause of the fault and are taking corrective action to restore service to those customers affected. Again we are sorry for any inconvenience this may be causing.

The official O2 Twitter account provides more information, including the ten percent figure we mentioned earlier --

Good to hear some of the 10% affected by current network issue are back up and running: others, please bear with us as we fix things.

The network issues come just months after a widespread outage resulted in a third of O2's customers being unable to make calls, send messages or use mobile data. That outage latest almost a day, and resulted in O2 offering customers refunds on future bills. Fortunately, it seems today's outage is affecting fewer customers, and a fix seems to have been found more quickly.

Anyone on O2 UK noticed any service issues over the past few hours? Let us know in the comments.

More: O2 Status, @O2

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3 years ago

Multiplayer Shadowgun: DeadZone goes into open beta

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Madfinger Games has kicked off an open beta for Shadowgun: DeadZone, a multiplayer version of their widely-recognized shooter title. It's only available for Tegra 3-powered devices as you might expect, and as a beta there are bound to be at least a couple of glitches along the way. The beta's free and here's what you get with it:

  • Four playable characters (Soldier, Mutant, Assassin, Dancer)
  • Two Game Modes (DeathMatch, Zone Control)
  • Two Maps (Assembly Hall, Invasion)
  • Weapons (Bandit (SMG), Vega (Attack Rifle), Big Boy (Machine gun), Spate (Plasma Rifle), Mace (Shotgun), Osog - (Sniper), Sh*tStorm - (Rocket Launcher))
  • Gadgets (Sprint, Medi Kit, Ammo Kit, FlashBang, EMP Grenade, Frag Grenade, Sentry Gun, Mine)

There are at least a few other characters teased on the Shadowgun Facebook page that aren't included just yet, like a robot named S.A.R.A., Sheriff Moregun, the Toltech Corps scientist, and Jessica "Widowmaker" Metzger. I wasn't able to log into a matchmaking server, but am eager to keep trying in the name of science. There are already plenty of positive reviews on Google Play, so it looks like it's working for at least a few people.

There's already been one expansion squeezed out for Shadowgun, and I suspect that over time we'll be seeing at least a few more. Those that have downloaded and installed the DeadZone beta, what do you think so far? Does the engine work well for multiplayer? Any significant lag? How many of y'all enjoyed the original? 

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 coming to Canada on October 30

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TELUS and Mobilicity have confirmed that they will be offering the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 to Canadians on October 30. Mobilicity was a little coy about the information, nestling it into the e-mail response after signing up on their preorder page, while TELUS had the date front and center on their site. To encourage sign-ups, Mobilicity offered $50 off the cost of the giant new smartphone, though like every other carrier, they didn't mention anything about full pricing.

No doubt Bell, Rogers, and WIND won't be far behind in letting us know when the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will be available on their shelves. Either way, it's good news since we weren't expecting the Note 2 to land in North America until mid-November. There's a lot of great stuff going on with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, as you can see in our hands-on video. Here are main points. 

  • 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 great to see such a broad release across Canada, but it certainly makes picking a carrier a bit more of a challenge for customers that are able to move around. Canadians, which provider would you go with? Is the lack of LTE on WIND or Mobilicity a deal-breaker?

via: MobileSyrup

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3 years ago

IM+ for Android updated with rage face emoticons, new notification options

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The popular IM+ messaging app for Android by Shape has recently been updated to version 6.4 with a handful of solid new features, including fresh emoticons and a bunch of new notification options. 

  • Support for Rage Faces emoticons
  • New IM services: MeinVZ and Gadu-Gadu
  • Improved interface: feels like Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Bulk chat history export to SD card
  • Auto OTR: option to automatically start Off-the-Record messaging session with selected contact
  • Sleep mode: you may set specific time when IM+ won't bother you with notifications
  • Option to customize "Contact goes online" notification
  • Customizable "Go to Push in background" timeout

Rage face emoticons are a pretty sweet addition, and one I could see myself using pretty regularly. As is, IM+ ranks very highly in Google Play, and offers access to a whole bunch of networks, including the big ones like Gtalk, AIM, Skype, and Windows Live Messenger, to smaller regional services. You can get the full tour of the paid version in our review, but there's a free version available too. 

Which instant messaging services do you use most? Are your friends scattered across many of them? Do you need an all-in-one app like this, or is it just as good to have a bunch of separate native apps installed?

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3 years ago

Sprint announces 22 more LTE locations

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Sprint this morning took the wraps off of nearly two dozen upcoming LTE-laden areas. They include:

  • San Francisco, CA, San Mateo-Redwood City, CA
  • Cape Coral-Ft Meyers, FL
  • Dyersburg-Union City-Martin, TN
  • Emporia, KS
  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • Greenwood, MS
  • Joplin, MO
  • Kokomo, IN
  • Lafayette/West Lafayette, IN
  • Lexington Park, MD
  • Marion, IN
  • Napa, CA
  • Naples-Marco Island, FL
  • Ottawa-Streator, IL
  • Punta Gorda, FL
  • Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA
  • Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
  • Sebring, FL
  • South Bend-Mishawaka, IN
  • Terre Haute, IN
  • Vallejo-Fairfield, CA
  • Warsaw, IN

Sprint reminds us that it currently has LTE turned on it 24 metro areas and expects to have its LTE network rolled out by the end of 2013. Sprint also this week confirmed it's talking with Japan's SoftBank about a possible "substantial investment," meaning we could see some major ownership moves should any deal be reached.

Source: Sprint

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3 years ago

ZTE Grand X review

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ZTE continues to try and make moves into the western smartphone market with the mid-range, Tegra powered Grand X. 

In recent months, we've seen the Chinese OEM's, ZTE and Huawei, release a series of devices aimed at breaking into the western smartphone market. Their latest effort sees a mid-range device, the Grand X, land on UK shores packing reasonable specs at a reasonable price. The differentiator between this and just any old mid-range Android smartphone -- vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich. 

While not likely to excite the power users, the decision to go with stock ICS is a bold one. The market segment the device is aimed at isn't as likely to be excited for plain old Android in the same way a Nexus shopper would be. That said, sat side by side with the Jelly Bean toting Galaxy Nexus, there are very little visual differences. Priced around £100 less than the Galaxy Nexus too, could the Grand X introduce a new audience to the pleasures of vanilla Android? Click on past the break and we'll walk you through it. 

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