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3 years ago

Android Central international round-up - May 12, 2012

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While this past week or so has dominated by CTIA in the U.S, the international focus remained on Samsung's latest bag of tricks, the Galaxy S III. European networks announced pricing and release plans, as we cross off the days until the May 29 launch. We've also seen the first Galaxy S III variant emerge, in the form of a new mid-range device for Korea Telecom.

But it hasn't been all Galaxy S III -- LG announced the Optimus LTE 2, and released the Optimus L7 in the UK. And we also got a release date for the European RAZR MAXX. Meanwhile, Sony announced two sleek new Android 4.0 phones for the Japanese market -- the Xperia GX (Hayabusa) and Xperia SX (Mint). We're eager to see these arrive on international shores, but right now Sony's made no announcements to this effect.

And Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates continue to roll out. This week the international version of the Samsung Galaxy Note got its bump up to ICS, bringing performance improvements, some visual tweaks and new S Memo functionality to Sammy's 5.3-incher.

There was also good news for anyone on a European network who likes to travel within Europe -- the EU has voted to impose a price cap on calls and data roaming prices, meaning more reasonable roaming bills if you're travelling within Europe this summer.

Check the list below for a quick run-down of the main international Android developments in the past week or so. If you've got international news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

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3 years ago

Optimus 2X ICS update now looking like a Q3 arrival, according to LG Singapore

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According to the LG SIngapore Facebook page, the tradition of long waits for updates is set to continue for owners of the LG Optimus 2X. Gingerbread took what seemed like an eternity, but initially the device was slated to receive Ice Cream Sandwich in Q2 of 2012. That now seems unlikely, with LG Singapore answering a query on Facebook, stating it will be Q3 for the long awaited update.

If indeed this is true, it will be yet another bitter blow to owners of the device, which kicked off the dual-core age of Android smartphones. Q3 after all stretches through to September, by which time we'll have been through Google I/O, and very possibly seen the first mentions of the next version of Android. 

The big redeeming factor with the 2X in particular though, is it's hackability. My own device currently runs a very early build of CM9, and for all intents and purposes, it's pretty darn good. LG make fantastic hardware, it's such a shame to keep hearing stories such as this one. 

Source: LG SIngapore (Facebook) via Mobilesyrup

 

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3 years ago

Harry Potter coming to Kindle Lending Library June 19

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Amazon made many a reader happy last fall when they introduced the Kindle Lending Library, and they're about to do it all over again. Starting June 19, all seven books in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series will be available to borrow from the library. This is on top of the other 145,000 books available, as well as over 100 New York Times bestsellers available through Amazon's program. 

To use the lending library you'll need to have a Kindle device and be an Amazon Prime member, which carries an $80 yearly fee. If this sounds like you, and you're an avid reader, be sure to check them out come June.

Source: Amazon

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3 years ago

LG Eclipse, coming at the end of 2012, will have specs relevant for the end of 2012

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The folks at BriefMobile got hold of some info about an upcoming LG LS970 for Sprint, and it has some impressive specs -- namely the quad-core Krait S4 and 2GB of RAM. All the info they have certainly looks legit, and it's very likely we'll see this one sometime in Q4. But while everyone is in awe of those impressive innards (including most of us here at AC) we have to remember that these are exactly the components we expect to see at the end of this year. We're ready for the next generation of hardware, but unfortunately we'll have to wait a while longer for it.

Source: BriefMobile

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3 years ago

Rogers preparing for launch of the Samsung Galaxy S III

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Remember a few days ago when an ad for Rogers popped up, seemingly to proclaim their version of the Samsung Galaxy S III would come with the Exynos processor and LTE? Well, we still don't have a definitive answer on whether or not the ad was accurate but we do know now that we're at least one step closer to finding out.

A news bulletin has been sent out to Rogers employee's letting them all know the obvious and confirmed -- the Samsung Galaxy S III is coming to Rogers very soon. Needless to say, we'll keep digging for clarification which shouldn't take too much longer now that Rogers is relaying information internally.

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3 years ago

Motorola Droid X2 updated with security patch, wireless alerts, and bug fixes

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Just because it's not the latest hotness on the Android scene isn't a reason to let the Motorola Droid X2 wither and die on the vine, and Verizon has begun pushing out an update to Big Red's first dual-core phone. It's not a big version bump by any means, but there are a few important changes:

  • Verizon Video and VZ Navigator® 3D City are now preloaded.
  • A Google Security Patch has been added to improve the security level.
  • Purchased ringtones are now able to be saved and set.
  • Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
  • Shortcut names can be updated and saved.
  • The keyboard Input Auto Error Correction setting defaults to off.

Granted, few of us really missed not having the 3D version of VZ Navigator, but the security patch is good to have, and the wireless alerting system is an important update -- one that could end up saving your bacon. Of course, bug fixes are always welcome. If you haven't received the update notification yet, check for it via your Droid X settings. 

Source: Verizon. Thanks, Dave!

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3 years ago

Turntable.fm now available for Android

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A couple weeks back we heard the founder of turntable.fm tell us the Android app was "coming soon", and it looks like today is the day. If you haven't played with turntable on the Internet yet, the premise is pretty simple and pretty cool. You're the virtual DJ, where you can choose your own music or from the thousands of tracks available on-site and play the music for your listeners. The listeners can in turn vote you up or down, making you the star or booing you right off the stage.

It's a neat concept, and it's always fun listening to music with friends. We're going to give it the complete run-through shortly, but we wanted to let you guys and gals know that it's available ASAP so you can check it out. You'll need a device running Android 2.2 or higher, and an ear for great music. You'll also need to be in the U.S., as the service hasn't rolled out internationally yet. The link is after the break.

Once you get it installed, we've started up the AndroidCentral room -- come join us!

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3 years ago

HTC ThunderBolt software update v2.11.605.19 710RD now available OTA

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HTC Thunderbolt owners have had a bit of a rough ride thus far when it comes to software updates. Now though, Verizon is pushing out the latest non Ice Cream Sandwich update to address some issues that have long been bothering folks. The update shows as v2.11.605.19 710RD and here's what Verizon states is corrected:

  • Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
  • Device now supports Cisco Any for better VPN functionality.
  • Improved data connectivity.
  • Improved device stability will decrease device resets.
  • Improvements to default mail application allows Yahoo! Mail accounts to receive messages properly.
  • Resolved issues with Mobile Hotspot connectivity. + Incoming calls now display the correct state, when applicable.

This particular update appeared in RUU format back in April so you may already have it if you were adventurous and loaded it up. If not, go ahead and check for system updates. It'll either be there waiting or it will be along shortly for you. Need to know more? Folks in the Android Central forums have already gone through it so head on into the forums below to discuss it some more.

Discuss the v2.11.605.19 710RD update in the Android Central Forums, Thanks, Steve!

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3 years ago

UK based TVCatchup for Android released in beta

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TVCatchup has been a growing favourite in the UK in the past few years. Initially made popular by offering a web app for the iPhone, natural progression would dictate that the service would also be made compatible with Android devices. The problem -- the web app doesn't always work that well. And, native apps are always better to have. Now, that's what we've got, albeit currently in beta form. 

It's a very simple app, but it doesn't need to be complicated. After all, it's for watching TV. All the channels available on the web are present, and as I write this, I'm watching some of The Big Bang Theory using it. The verdict, it's good. The stream quality is excellent, and it's so easy to use it's unreal. 

The downside for anyone outside of the UK is that it's not available for you guys. When you open up the app, it checks your service provider and verifies whether or not you're able to make use of it. (Of course, you'll also need a TV License and all that to watch stuff as it's broadcast.)

But, fellow Brits, you can download it here and try it out for yourselves. 

via Coolsmartphone

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3 years ago

EVO 4G LTE bootloader can be unlocked just fine

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If  you were wondering about the EVO 4G LTE bootloader, or were a bit worried after learning that AT&T's decided to go back to its not-so-friendly ways, we're happy to tell you that, yes, you can easily unlock the Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTE bootloader. All you need is the Android SDK, the instructions from HTCDev, and a few minutes to spare.

For you folks new to Android, why would you want to unlock the bootloader? It's the gatekeeper to some serious modding of Android phones. Some of us like unlocked bootloaders so we can do full backups of our devices. Others like to run custom ROMs. And others do it just for the openy nature of things.

Have more questions about the HTC EVO 4G LTE? We're answering them in our EVO 4G LTE forums!

More: HTCDev; What is a bootloader?

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia GX and SX reportedly coming to Japan in July and August

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Sony announced the Xperia GX and Xperia SX just a couple of days ago with an estimated "summer" launch window for both devices. But today leaked documentation obtained by XperiaBlog offers a little more granular detail. According to info obtained by the site, the Xperia GX will arrive in July, with the Xperia SX following shortly after in August. (This roughly matches a leaked Sony roadmap which appeared back in January.)

The documents also reveal plans for NTT Docomo branding atop the Xperia GX's 4.6-inch screen, as well as size and weight info. Apparently the device will weigh 127 grams and measure 131mm x 69mm x 10.2mm. As it features the same arched back design as the Xperia Arc, the thinnest point of the GX measures 8.6mm, same as the Galaxy S III. Apparently it'll also ship with a 1700mAh battery, which should hopefully be enough to power its 1.5GHz dual-core CPU and 720p Sony Reality Display. As we reported earlier in the week, other specs include a 13MP rear camera with 1080p video recording, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.

And in Xperia SX news, renders included in this latest leak reveal that the phone will apparently ship in pink and orange, in addition to the already-revealed black and white flavors.

Unfortunately there's no news on when (or if) either device will see an international release. Sony tells us that these phones are "designed specifically for the Japanese market," adding "we have not made any announcements with regards to possible availability in other markets."

If you like poring through Japanese technical documents, you'll find more info from today's leak over at the source link.

Source: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

Samsung's SHV-E170K is a mid-range Galaxy S III variant for Korea Telecom

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It's been just a week since we saw the Samsung Galaxy S III unveiled at London's Earl's Court arena, but already the international variants of the device are starting to appear. The first is from Korea Telecom, and comes with the snappy interim title of SHV-E170K. The device, which you'll see over on the left in the photo above, looks like a cross between a Galaxy Player 7.0 and a Galaxy S III (and also bears more than a passing resemblance to this alleged S III leak from back in March.)

It's a bit more angular than the international Galaxy S III, but it's running the same combination of ICS and the TouchWiz "Nature UX" that you'll find on that phone. The SHV-E170K is confirmed to be an LTE-capable handset, but other specs have yet to be officially announced. Based on benchmark results, SammyHub​ postulates that it'll carry a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 chip, a 5MP rear camera, 1.3MP front-facer and a 4.3-inch qHD SuperAMOLED screen. Essentially, this is to the Galaxy S III what the HTC One S is to the One X.

No word on whether we'll see this thing outside of Korea, but we wouldn't be surprised to see a HSPA+ version of this thing in the months ahead, as Samsung brings its mid-range portfolio up-to-date.

Source: SammyHub

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3 years ago

O2 UK reveals new European roaming plans

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Following the recent EU ruling on European roaming rates, O2 UK has announced its new "O2 Travel" service, which will launch from July. The service offers reduced European roaming charges compared to the networks' current price plans, which it'll have to abolish after the July deadline imposed by the EU. Instead of paying up to £40 for up to 50MB of Euro roaming data per month, O2 Travel will now offer 25MB each day, for a daily fee of £1.99. And voice calls are becoming cheaper too, with a one-off charge of 50p per call, with minutes being deducted from the customer's allowance for that month.

Interestingly, the new O2 Travel deals will also be available to O2 Pay As You Go customers -- traditionally PAYG users have been left in the lurch when trying to use mobile data aboard. Data costs the same as it does for contract customers, but there's a slightly different price plan for voice calls -- a 29p charge per call, then 8p per minute for the call's duration.

So good news for anyone roaming in Europe on O2, and we'd expect the other major British networks to reveal new roaming plans as the July deadline approaches.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 lands at Carphone Warehouse in the UK

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Another day, another Galaxy Tab launch. The latest Tab to be released is the awkwardly-named Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, which is now available at the Carphone Warehouse in the UK for £199 (~$315) for the 8GB Wifi-only version. The Galax Tab 2 7.0 is a re-imagining of the Tab 7 Plus, and includes a 1GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 1024x600 TFT display and TouchWiz'd Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. There's also a redesigned front face featuring two side speakers, likely to protect against any legal shenanigans from Apple. All in all, the Tab 2 isn't going to blow you away with awesomeness, but you could do worse if you're after an Android tablet on a £200 budget.

The silver version of the Tab 2 is available now, while the white variant will launch next Friday, May 18. For more on the device, check out our hands-on preview from Mobile World Congress.

Source: Carphone Warehouse; via: Eurodroid

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3 years ago

European Union votes to impose mobile roaming price cap

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For Europeans, going on vacation with a smartphone can be an expensive time. Currently, networks are allowed to charge what they like for calls, texts and data when roaming in another country. Packages are available, but often these are as almost as expensive as paying by the MB. An example -- my trip to BlackBerry Devcon Europe in February cost me £20 for just 20MB of data. Times are to begin to change though, as an EU Parliament vote has passed that is designed to reduce the cost of using your phone abroad. 

Effective from July, the new rates see caps imposed in EU countries of 24p a minute for calls, and 58p per MB of data. It could still be an expensive trip, but the fact is still that it's a step in the right direction. In addition, from 2014, mobile users will be able to choose which networks they roam on. The overall strategy is to introduce some parity between domestic and international mobile charges across the EU by 2015. 

via Coolsmartphone

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