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4 years ago

Motorola Electrify M on US Cellular receiving Jelly Bean OTA


The Motorola Electrify M, which has only been available on U.S. Cellular since November, is getting its Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update starting today. The update should be similar to what we've seen come out on other recent Motorola devices, taking Jelly Bean and putting some very light, but useful, customizations on top of it. You'll be getting Google Now, Project Butter and expandable notifications as well as Motorola's own tweaks.

As is usually the case, large updates like this roll out in phases and it may take some time to arrive. If you're seeing the update on your Electrify M, be sure to chime in here and let us know.

Source: Motorola

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4 years ago

Creating beautiful and functional Android apps: an interview with Stitcher Radio's Tyler Pearson


Stitcher Radio, one of the most popular news, radio and podcast apps on Android recently underwent a complete redesign. Lead Android developer at Stitcher, Tyler Pearson, was kind enough to take some time out of his day after the launch of the new app to talk to us. We had a chance to (virtually) sit down and talk to Tyler about their newly redesigned Android app, Google design guidelines and the state of the Android ecosystem.

Stick around after the break and see what he had to say.

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4 years ago

Wikipad 7-inch gaming tablet to launch this Spring for $249


As a follow-up to the launch of its 10-inch gaming tablet in conjunction with Gamestop, Wikipad is taking the wraps off of its 7-inch offering today. The concept here is to have a powerful tablet that is also capable of being slotted into a proprietary controller case for added functionality. We're looking at the same specs as before, but that's not a bad thing -- Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, 1280x800 IPS display, 16GB of storage (with microSD slot) and a front-facing camera. As for game support, the 7-inch Wikipad is running Android 4.1 with full Google Play access, NVIDIA's TegraZone and is also Playstation Certified. There will be no shortage of games available on this device.

While the device has the same controller layout and specs inside, the 7-inch model should be notably easier to carry around and use than was the 10-inch. The new, lower price should make some folks happy as well. The 10-inch retails for $499, but the 7-inch will be only $249, which is quite impressive. Wikipad says the new smaller tablet will be available at major retailers in the Spring, but no specific dates are given at this point.

More: Wikipad

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4 years ago

OUYA CEO: 'There will be a new OUYA every year'


OUYA may be pitched as a home console, but when it comes to product cycles, the company is following the lead of mobile device manufacturers. OUYA CEO Julie Uhrman sat down with Engadget recently, where she offered some choice quotes on topics ranging from games to hardware strategy.

First off, Uhrman talks up her company's plans for successors to the Tegra 3-powered, Android-running OUYA console. "Our strategy is very much similar to the mobile strategy [...] There will be a new OUYA every year. There will be an OUYA 2 and an OUYA 3."

Uhrman also seems open to tweaking the box's hardware to get gamers the best bang for their buck. This includes "better, faster processors," and more flash storage, if possible. Despite possible changes in hardware, the OUYA CEO reassures that compatibility won't be an issue. Backwards compatibility will apparently be baked in, something we're sure the Android  platform will help out with to some extent. She was also quick to dismiss any fears about games being tied directly to hardware. Instead, an accounts system similar to Steam and Google Play will be employed.

On the subject of hardware, Uhrman says her team is working flat-out with chipmaker NVIDIA to get the best performance possible out of the console's Tegra 3 CPU. As the OUYA doesn't use a battery and features active cooling, the power constraints of mobile devices don't apply. As such, the company's promising "the best Tegra 3 device on the market."

OUYA development kits went out to devs earlier in the year. Kickstarter backers should get the console in March, ahead of a general launch in June. The device will cost $100.

Source: Engadget

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4 years ago

ZEN and TECH 50: Fitness month exercise special!


Georgia and Rene are joined by's Kevin Michaluk to talk Fitness Month 2013 and the benefits of exercise. From smartphones to pedometers to social scales, from sports to gyms to sex, we break down the urban myths and help get you moving!


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4 years ago

LG Optimus G Pro could head to Korea with bigger screen, larger battery


The LG Optimus G Pro became official on Japanese carrier NTT Docomo last month, but we've yet to hear anything official about where else the phone might launch. Today brings a rather tantalizing leak, however, suggesting that the G Pro might be headed to LG's native South Korea with a refreshed spec sheet.

According to images obtained by PhoneArena -- one of a spec list, the other of the device itself -- it appears the Optimus G Pro could be headed to Korea with a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS-LCD display and a 3140mAh battery. That's up from a 5.0-inch screen and a 3000mAh battery in the Japanese version. Also listed is microSD card support up to 64GB. Other specs match Docomo's version directly -- there's a a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro inside, along with 2GB of RAM and a 13MP rear camera. And Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is preloaded along with LG's custom UI.

Based on branding seen in the second image, it looks like the Optimus G Pro will launch on Korean carrier LG U+. We'll likely see the G Pro in person at Mobile World Congress at the end of the month, where we might also learn more about international availability.

Source: PhoneArena

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4 years ago

3G-capable Nexus 7 hits Japan this Saturday


Hot on the heels of the Nexus 10, the Wifi+3G version of Google's Nexus 7 tablet is set to go on sale in Japan in a couple of days. Like its big brother, the Nexus 7 3G has been available elsewhere since late 2012, but until this month there had been no official Japanese launch.

Now Japanese site Impress Watch brings news that the launch is imminent, with Feb. 9 being touted as release day. The Japanese version's hardware, it says, is identical to the tablet sold in other markets, with a Tegra 3 CPU inside,  32GB of storage and pentaband HSPA+ support.

Upon release the Nexus 7 3G is said to sell for around ¥29,800 ($318).

Source: Impress Watch (Japanese); via: Engadget

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4 years ago

Sony confirms Xperia V, T, TX Jelly Bean update, details changes


We've been hearing reports to this effect for the past week or so, but today Sony has officially confirmed the arrival of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for the Xperia V, Xperia T and Xperia TX. A post over on the official Sony Mobile blog details exactly what's new in this firmware update -- and there's quite a bit, besides the usual Jelly Bean stuff like Google Now and "project butter."

The update includes new, redesigned Sony media apps such as Walkman for music, Album for pictures and Movies for, well, movies. There're also new personalization options in the home screen launcher, including support for up to seven screens, and auto-resizing of widgets, like the stock Jelly Bean launcher. Changes to the app drawer make creating folders easier, and the drawer itself now features a search box.

Sony also promises camera improvements, including a new "auto" scene setting, and a button for switching between the front and rear camera.

Xperia V, T and TX owners, let us know in the comments if you've got your Jelly Bean update. As always, carrier-locked devices may take a little longer. Sony says the update may only be available through the PC Companion or Bridge app for Mac "in some instances," so you may want to check that if you've not had anything arrive over the air.

Source: Sony Mobile Blog

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4 years ago

LG throws words at you in MWC 2013 trailer


LG's going to have... something... to show us at Mobile World Congress 2013, but good luck working out exactly what based on this primarily buzzword-based trailer. The underlying message seem so to be that a "breakthrough is coming," though various nodes linking terms like "stylish," beautiful," "speedy" and "edgy" leave us guessing as to exactly what the company has planned. All in all, it's about as vague as LG's recent Facebook teaser.

The stylish, speedy, beautiful and edgy Android Central editorial team will be live from Mobile World Congress in a few weeks to see exactly what LG unveils.

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4 years ago

HTC 603e certified in China - mid-range Jelly Bean handset


Much of the HTC-related buzz in North America and Europe may be centered on the rumored "M7" handset, but let's not forget that China is a hugely important mobile market. That's where HTC will be hoping its latest smartphone, carrying the model number 603e, will make an impact. A mid-range device with a 4.3-inch WVGA display, a 1.15GHz dual-core CPU and 1GB of RAM, the 603e has just shown up in the Chinese telecom equipment certification database, where it's been spotted by local outlet TENAA.

Other key specs for the phone include a 5MP front camera, a 2MP rear shooter, a thickness of 9.8mm and weight of 130 grams -- nothing too outstanding by any means. But at least the 603e is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, so it's relatively up-to-date.

From a Western perspective, what's interesting about this device is its appearance. It seems to channel a few of the design cues we've seen from alleged leaks of HTC's high-end "M7" device. Note the large earpiece and prominent front-facing camera, as seen in an in-software render weeks ago. And the angled curve of the back is reminiscent of the device that HTC CEO Peter Chou flashed on stage at a recent company party. So even if we never see the 603e outside of China, this design might show in broad strokes what to expect from HTC in the future.

There's no word on release dates, branding or pricing for the HTC 603e, as it's yet to be officially announced. As an educated guess, we'd speculate that we might see more at or around this year's Mobile World Congress.

Source: TENAA; via: Engadget

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4 years ago

EE to expand LTE coverage to 27 more markets by June


Carrier promises 55% UK population coverage in 65 markets by mid-year

Sole UK 4G carrier EE has announced that it intends to expand its LTE coverage to a further 27 towns and cities across the country by June of this year. The move, it says, will bring 4G reception to 55 percent of the UK population in some 65 markets, up from its current 45 percent UK population coverage across 28 markets.

Between April and June, EE says it'll light up 4G in Aldershot, Ashford, Basildon, Basingstoke, Blackpool, Bracknell, Camberley, Colchester, Crawley, Farnborough, Guildford, Horsham, Huddersfield, Leatherhead, Maidstone, Milton Keynes, Oldham, Oxford, Redhill, Reigate, Sevenoaks, Stevenage, Tonbridge, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Warrington, Wigan and Woking.

With the strengthening of its LTE network, EE will be looking to make the most of its advantage in being the ony British 4G network until the middle of the year. In late spring or early summer, rival carriers like O2, Vodafone and Three will look to launch their own 4G networks, with Three promising in recent days to provide the service without hiking prices. EE currently operates its service on re-farmed 1800MHz airwaves; the ongoing 4G spectrum auction will determine how the UK's 800 and 2600MHz spectrum is divvied up.

With competition likely to intensify later in the year, 2013 looks set to become an interesting and historic year for the UK wireless industry.

Source: EE

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4 years ago

Inevitable pink Galaxy Note 2 appears on Samsung Taiwan site


If you're feeling a sense of déjà vu while reading that headline, we can't blame you. Samsung has a history of rolling out bright pink products ahead of Valentine's Day. Recall the pink Galaxy S2 of 2012, and the pink OG Galaxy Note that reared its head around the same time. And a little out of season, but nonetheless relevant, is the Korea-exclusive "Martian pink" Galaxy S3 we saw back in September.

Today they're joined by an all-new rose-tinted rectangle, in the form of the pink Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The pink slab has appeared over on Samsung's Taiwanese site, where it's shown alongside the standard white and grey versions. The exact shade looks a lot like the "Martian pink" of the Galaxy S3, and there's also a matching pink S-Pen, which is nice.

No word yet on whether Samsung will offer this color option outside of Asia. But pink versions of the S2 and the original Note eventually made it over to Europe, so we'd say the chances are looking pretty good -- even if the same can't be said for the phone itself.

Source: Samsung Taiwan; via: UnwiredView

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4 years ago

Chrome Beta for Android updated, actually pretty speedy now


Google has once again updated the Chrome beta channel for Android, bringing the pre-release browser up to version 25.0.1364.74. The new update fixed compatibility issues with the Samsung Galaxy S2, while addressing the long-standing beta bug that caused the tap disambiguation popup to appear more often than it should. That's in addition to fixes for some other bugs.

But what we're noticing most in this beta update is the performance improvement brought by the latest Chrome graphics architecture. This was actually added in an earlier Chrome Beta release last Friday, but a bug which throttled scrolling speed on many pages prevented us from enjoying it. In this latest version it seems that's now been fixed, allowing us to get the most out of Chrome's new graphical goodness.

We should point out that this is still beta software, and performance on older devices like the Galaxy Nexus remains slow and laggy. The usual warning about software bugs alplies here, too. But if you're using a newer phone like the Nexus 4 and have been put off by the jankiness of earlier Crome betas, you may want to give this latest one a try. Hit the Google Play link above if you like to live on the edge when it comes to mobile web browser.

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4 years ago

The Simpsons: Tapped Out makes its second debut in Google Play


Earlier in the week we saw the Dutch branch of EA launch The Simpsons: Tapped Out to a limited audience, and tonight it seems to be available for everyone else. Loosely based on the show that's been on TV forever, The Simpsons: Tapped Out is part Sim City mixed in, a dash of Farmville, and a tiny bit of Mafia Wars. Mix this all together and you have the makings of a decent game.

Progress your way through the missions to rebuild Springfield after a small "accident" down at the power plant, collecting XP, cash and donuts along the way. The gameplay is great on the Nexus 10, with smooth animations and no stuttering. I've been playing it a couple hours and have had a good time doing it.

The app is free (of course in-app purchases are there if you like) and various versions exist for multiple devices in Google Play. From the comments it looks very well supported on a myriad of different devices, and it installed and runs well on all the phones and tablets I've tried it on. Hit the Google Play link above and give it a shot. The game trailer is after the break.

Update: This release seems to have broken the earlier version available in Europe here. It's a shame the launch of an excellent game was ruined like this. All I can suggest is to keep trying, and if we hear anything from EA I'll let everyone know.

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4 years ago

Carbon (Twitter) update fixes bugs and adds Nexus 7 "support"


Carbon (the Twitter client) has just received its first notable update since release in the Play Store, and it fixes a whole bucket of bugs. Notifications have been improved, fixing crashes and duplicate notifications. Several other crashes have been fixed related to avatar loading, deleting DMs, message long presses, account selection when tweeting and duplicate tweets. That's quite a few crashes being fixed for one update.

One other item that wasn't part of the changelog is "support" for the Nexus 7. We put support in quotes because although the app can now be downloaded on Nexus 7 devices, it's just the same phone UI as before. We reached out to the developer to ask why this was done and received this response pertaining to the Nexus 7 inclusion:

... it does [support the Nexus 7]. It's not a UI that we're designing exclusively for tablets, but the only reason it is now available on tablets is to avoid the 1-star reviews that it's been causing on Play Store. A full fledged tablet app with a UI designed from scratch for tablets is in the works.

The app will warn users at startup and informs users that the UI is not optimized for tablets yet.

We knew from before that the developer planned to release a separate tablet app that properly scales and takes advantage of larger screens in the near future. It's unfortunate that his hand has seemingly been forced into adding Nexus 7 support on the current version, which is obviously a suboptimal experience, just because of a barrage of 1-star reviews. 

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