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3 years ago

Leaked screenshots suggest Galaxy Note 2 may also come to Verizon and AT&T

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We’ve already seen earlier leaks suggesting that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 may be headed to Sprint and T-Mobile in the U.S., and today further leakage seems to indicate that both AT&T and Verizon will also be joining the fray. Several leaked screenshots obtained by BriefMobile seemingly confirm the existence of the SGH-i317 for Ma Bell and SCH-i605 for Big Red, which if accurate, would indicate a Note 2 launch on all four major mobile networks.

Samsung has yet to confirm its stateside plans for the Note 2, however if it were to secure a spot on the four largest carriers, just as it did with the Galaxy S3, it’d be another big win for the Korean manufacturer. A possible Note 2 launch on Verizon is particularly surprising to us, given that the carrier will likely launch two competing devices around the same time -- LG’s Intuition (Optimus Vu 2) and HTC’s rumored 5-incher. The assumption had been that Big Red was prepping these devices to compete against the Note 2 on other networks.

But let’s remember that just because Note 2 variants exist on each carrier now, doesn’t mean all of them will see the light of day. We’ve known devices to have been pulled before release in the past. Nevertheless, we’re sure Note fans on all four major U.S. networks will be crossing their fingers in the lead up to Samsung’s official announcement.

Source: BriefMobile, via: Engadget

More: Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2

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3 years ago

First Android 4.1 Jelly Bean leaks appear for Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Tab 2 7.0

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It appears Samsung's attention isn't just focused on bringing Jelly Bean to the Galaxy S3. Today we're starting to see the first Jelly Bean test firmware leaks for two of Samsung's current line-up of tablets -- the Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. While Samsung has already confirmed that the Note 10.1 will get Jelly Bean, its plans for the Tab 2 line have yet to be confirmed. However, today's news would suggest it's well on its way towards receiving an update to Android 4.1. Bear i mind that both devices' updates are pre-release leaks of internal Samsung builds, meaning you should expect plenty of bugs if you device to take the plunge and install them.

Both leaked updates are also available for only the 3G versions of the tablets -- GT-N8000 and GT-P3100. So if your model number differs, you'll need to wait for a different leak, or the finalized Jelly Bean update. Also, you'll need to have your tablet on the most recent publicly-available firmware to begin -- check the source links for details of exactly which version you'll need to be running.

Aside from giving an early taste of Android 4.1 on Samsung tablets, these leaked builds may also be of use to custom ROM developers looking to bring Jelly Bean to these devices. Proprietary binaries are often needed to help newer versions of Android play nice with particular devices, so hopefully some code in these packages will be useful.

More details and downloads are linked below.

Source: SamMobile (Note 10.1), (Tab 2 7.0)

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3 years ago

LG P870 'Escape' spotted wearing AT&T branding

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Those serial device tipsters at @evleaks are back once again, this time with a mid-range device seemingly bound for AT&T. The LG P870 'Escape' is supposedly a 4.3-inch device with a qHD IPS display, a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Additionally, the rear camera is pegged at 5MP, with the front shooter a 1.3MP effort. NFC is also on board, as is LTE and a 2150 mAh power plant. 

Design wise, the 'Escape' holds definite design cues to current LG devices, notably the Optimus 4X HD. It appears to be housing the latest version of the Optimus UI just like the 4X HD, and also has the same three capacitive buttons in favor of onscreen ones. Leaks are fun, but actual devices are even better, so we'll be keeping an eye out for any further signs of this one. 

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

Renaissance Blood THD on sale for $0.99 until September 13

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Everyone loves a deal right? The developers of the Tegra 3 title, Renaisance Blood THD, have one for you. They have reduced the price of the game to just $0.99/£0.62 for one week only running until September 13. With the regular price of the title set at $3.99, there's a healthy saving to be had.

This is all in aid of the latest update to the game, which along with some fixes also brings with it the all new stage 3 and the ability to use the continue button 3 times in a match. 

For anyone note familiar with the title, Renaissance Blood THD is an FPS style game powered by the Unreal engine. And, it involves a lot of killing stuff. Not convinced? Then check out Jerry's hands-on with the title first before making your decision.  

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3 years ago

Sony tears apart Xperia Tablet S so we may feast on the tablet parts within

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Conducting teardowns on new devices is nothing new, we usually have the guys over at iFixit to thank for keeping our circuitry viewing habits fulfilled. However, in a slight break from the norm, Sony's engineers themselves have taken apart their latest Android tablet, the Xperia Tablet S, and consequently put it back together again. 

On the one hand, it's a piece of shameless self promotion for Sony. But, on the other hand, there's something strangely compelling about viewing the components that make up some of our favorite gadgets and gizmos. Having gone hands on with the Xperia Tablet S in Berlin at IFA, the thinness of the device is noticeably impressive. Just as impressive is the technology that has been squeezed inside, such as a different battery to the previous Tablet S, that covers more surface area but is vastly thinner. 

There are a few comparisons drawn with the Tablet S, the predecessor to this device, and the differences are noticeable, especially given that the Tablet S was released only last year. The Tegra 3 powered Xperia Tablet S is a natural progression on the Tablet S, that maintains the same folded magazine style form factor of its predecessor. The design has been updated though and progressed with the use of metal on the exterior, and improved internals within. 

Given the splash proof nature of the Xperia Tablet S too, there seems to be a healthy amount of adhesive sealant. Getting in, the engineer said, took about 20 minutes. But, putting it all back together again one wonders whether some of that water resistance may have been lost. 

For the full run down, head on over to the source link below where you'll find a step-by-step run down of each and every component within the tablet. If you're in a little more of a hurry, check out the minute long version after the break. 

Source: Sony Blog

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3 years ago

C Spire Wireless launches LTE network, with Galaxy S3 and Photon Q

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C Spire has launched their LTE network, with Greenville and McComb, Mississippi lighting up as of today. They have quite the rollout plan if you're a Mississippian, with LTE eventually eventually blanketing the state from Oxford in the north all the way down to Biloxi and Gulfport. We love seeing regional carriers push forward with new technology, especially when Android is being used.

Of course, an LTE network isn't much use without devices to take advantage, and that's where Android comes in. Today you can order the Motorola Photon Q for $199 with a new contract, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III) will be coming soon. 

C Spire's plans are a bit different than what most of us are used to, with special data plans for streaming video and tethering. Rather than try to hash it all out here, I'll direct you to the Choice Data Pass options page, where there are also handy links to get more information. Anyone in the Magnolia State planning to jump on board here? Sing out in the comments.

More: C Spire; Thanks, deltascrew!

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3 years ago

Weekend project: DIY USB on-the-go from old cables

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USB on-the-go cables are handy as heck with Android devices. They're a specially wired cable that allows the same USB port you use to charge or communicate with a computer to be used to connect USB peripherals right to your tablet or phone. That means things like game controllers, mice or keyboards, USB thumb drives, or even USB hard drives if you have access to an older model one with a separate power supply.

There are no set and fast rules about what USB gadgets you can and can't use, or if you'll need root to do anything with them but in general "standard" Android devices won't allow you to mount a USB thumb drive without being rooted and having a way to send the commands to mount the device, and Samsung devices running Android 4.0 or higher will. Most devices running Ice Cream Sandwich or higher will recognize game controllers, mice, or keyboards. For more information about your particular device, head into the forums and ask the hackers -- they know everything in there.

Before we get started, know up front that this is not the best way to get a USB OTG cable. The easy way is to order one from Amazon for a buck or so, and wait for it to be delivered. But I know I'm not the only smartphone geek who has cables laying around and would rather do-it-myself. It's fun, it saves a buck, gets some of that junk you just can't bring yourself to throw away used up, and offers instant gratification. If you're semi-handy with a soldering iron, have the parts, it's fun and it's for you. Read on past the break.

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3 years ago

Gogo going to get your Android device online overseas in 2013

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Here's some good nerd news for you road warriors who fly outside the U.S. Gogo has signed a deal that will bring in-flight Wifi to flights over portions of the Atlantic and north Pacific, and over Asia, South America, Africa and Australia. That means you can drag out the laptop if you want, but it also means you can whip out your Android smartphone or tablet instead. That's something I find myself doing with increasing frequency. A laptop on a plane means work. An Android smartphone means Jetpack Joyride for me.

Pricing wasn't announced, but you should be able to get online early next year.

Source: Gogo

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3 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Fires, forks, forums and fall

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Woke up this morning to the first hints of fall here in Northwest Florida. Don't worry, that'll change soon enough -- 90 degrees and high humidity likely isn't going anywhere just yet. But for now, I'm back from one trip, getting ready for yet another, and am just enjoying the cooler temps, light breeze and the fact that the Steelers are on TV tonight.

A few thoughts on the past week, and a few on what's coming up:

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3 years ago

New Kindle Fires can be ad-free for a one-time $15 fee

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The Internet has been in a tizzy since we heard that Amazon would not be allowing the removal of the "special offers" package from the new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD units. If you weren't aware how all this works, previous Kindle readers were available at a little bit lower price, but included ads to help support them. For a small fee, you could have these removed.

We first heard that Amazon would be including this on all the new Kindle Fire devices, and apparently that they would not be offering an ad-free experience. Ars Technica has received word from Amazon that they will be allowing users to go ad-free for a one-time payment of $15.00 This hasn't yet been updated on the Amazon special offers website, but we're inclined to believe the fine folks at Ars Technica. 

Short version -- if you were worried about having non-removable ads on your new Kindle Fire or Kindle Fire HD, there's nothing to fear. They can be removed if you pay Amazon a $15 fee. 

Source: Ars Technica

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3 years ago

Editorial: Could there soon be a new fork in the Android road?

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Editors note: We're re-posting this after yesterday's mention of Samsung creating their own operating system by Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam. We don't know that anyone is doing anything at this point, but we thought it was a good time to reopen this discussion.

Android. The word itself makes each of us think of futuristic mechanical things that evolve quickly and know no bounds in their abilities. It's a good word, and perfect to describe the devices we hold with such high regard around these parts. And like the androids we think of from Hollywood movies or dusty old science fiction novels, our phones and tablets are slowly working their way into every nook and cranny of our life, taking over one step at a time. We embrace it, we benefit from it, and most of all we enjoy it.

But Android is changing. Very few phones are released with stock Android, and the custom versions (don't call them skins) are getting more and more intricate and polished. OEMs are putting a lot of work into the software running on the phones they sell, making them stand out as their own product. Join me after the break, and let's talk about what Android is, what it isn't, and what might happen in the future.

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3 years ago

Swiftkey looking for users in San Fran, NYC, and London to talk on camera

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The folks at SwiftKey are looking for a few people that want to get in front of the camera and tell the world about why they use SwiftKey. They're looking to do a series of short videos featuring users in San Francisco, New York City, and London, and have put out the call.

There's plenty of reasons to use SwiftKey, the biggest of which is the awesome prediction engine. I've been a believer since it first came out, and I never have to type more than a few words while the magic underneath it all finishes my thoughts for me. Without it, I'd still be wanting a QWERTY keyboard on my phone. It learns as you use it, and really is that good. If you haven't tried it yet, now is your chance as it's on sale in the Google Play store until Monday for just $0.99.

If you would like to share your thoughts about SwiftKey, and live in or around the San Francisco, New York, or London metro areas, hit the break and see what you need to do to get in touch. If you're not close to any of those places, use the comments below to share your thoughts!

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week - Playboard, TVCatchup, Gear of the Day Outdoor Deals and more!

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Another week, another great list of app picks from the Android Central writers. Interestingly, this week there aren't any games! We've gone straight for apps that might actually be useful and save you some time (or in Sean's case, money) rather than waste it away playing Granny Smith. Don't worry though, we're sure there are more game picks to come in the future.

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3 years ago

Android Central international round-up - September 8, 2012

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As we venture forth into the fall smartphone silly season, there’s plenty of international news to go around. Coming out of IFA, we learned a little more about Samsung’s Galaxy Note II, including tentative release dates and price points for the UK and Europe. Elsewhere, Sony’s Xperia T failed to show up on the retailer-promised release date of Sept 5, and Sony’s now telling us to expect a launch around Sept. 28. And in other Sony news, the new Xperia Tablet S, which was announced just a week ago in Berlin, is now available to buy.

Following Motorola’s big event in New York City, some details slipped out surrounding Moto’s international plans for the RAZR M, its new mid-ranger. Apparently the phone will arrive on British shores later this month with an Intel Atom chip inside, instead of the Snapdragon S4 found in the U.S. version. That’d make the RAZR M the first Intel-powered Android smartphone from a top-tier manufacturer, which is a big deal around these parts.

In carrier news, Vodafone announced a new price plan for heavy network users, dubbed ‘Vodafone Red.’ Red offers unlimited calls and texts -- just as customers are using less and less of both -- and keeps data capped at between 1 and 2GB. There are promising noises coming from Everything Everywhere on the data front, though, as the offspring of Orange and T-Mobile UK looks set to announce its new brand and 4G network at a London event next Tuesday (we’ll be there!)

And finally, Kindle Fire came to the UK. the second-generation Fire will launch in Blighty next month, along with the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. Amazon hasn’t revealed any plans to launch the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD outside the U.S. yet, but it is offering both 7-inchers at highly competitive price points -- £129 for the basic Fire, and a Nexus 7-matching £159 for the HD.

Check out all the latest international developments from around the Android world below. If you’ve got news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

Special features:

News:

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3 years ago

Spigen Ultra Thin Air Series case for Samsung Galaxy S3 review

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Not every smartphone case has to be a heavy-duty, rubberized monster. Sometimes, you just want something slim and light to protect vulnerable areas of the phone, without adding too much extra bulk and weight. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy S3, Spigen's Ultra Thin Air series of cases fits that bill.

Lightweight and constructed of polycarbonate, the Air Series case protects the edges and back of the Galaxy S3 without introducing too much additional heft. If you've used a Galaxy S3 for a few weeks, you'll know how susceptible the back can be to scratches and knocks, and a case like this will protect those plastic areas from damage. There are also cut-out areas for all the major ports and keys, so the case shouldn't get in the way of regular use. And a screen protector is included in the box too, if you're concerned about keeping the front of your phone pristine.

A larger, bulkier case may offer more protection against falls onto hard surfaces, so if you're accident-prone, that's worth bearing in mind. However, as a basic safety precaution, it's hard to beat a lightweight case like this. 

The Spigen Ultra Thin Air series is available from ShopAndroid.com for $19.99. We reviewed the satin silver version, but it's available in a wide range of colors, including black, white, pink and orange. We've got more photos after the break.

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