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4 years ago

Ten basic Android terminal commands you should know


For a lot of us, the fact that we can plug our Android phone or tablet into our computer and interact with it is a big plus. Besides the times when we've broken something and need to fix it, there are plenty of reasons why an advanced Android user would want to talk to his or her device. To do that, you need to have a few tools and know a few commands. That's what we're going to talk about today. Granted, this won't be the end-all be-all discussion of adb commands, but there are 10 basic commands everyone should know if they plan to get down and dirty with the command line. 

The tools are easy. If you're a Mac or Linux user, you'll want to install the SDK as explained at the Android developers site. It's not hard, and you don't have the whole driver mess that Windows users do. Follow the directions and get things set up while I talk to the Windows using folks for a minute. 

If you're using Windows, things are easier and harder at the same time. The tools themselves are the easy part. Download this file. Open the zip file and you'll see a folder named android-tools. Drag that folder somewhere easy to get to. Next, visit the manufacturers page for your device and install the adb and fastboot drivers for Windows. You'll need this so that your computer can talk to your Android device. If you hit a snag, visit the forums and somebody is bound to be able to help you through it. 

Now that we're all on the same page, enable USB debugging on your device (see your devices manual if you need help finding it, and remember it was hidden in Android 4.2), and plug it in to your computer. Now skip past the break and let's begin!

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4 years ago

HTC revenue and profits down again ahead of new product launches


Despite the launch of major new devices like the Droid DNA, One X+ and Windows Phone 8X, HTC's revenues and profits fell once again in the final quarter of 2012. Today the company reported fourth-quarter revenues of NT$60 billion, or $2.03 billion U.S. (down from NT$70.2 billion in Q3), with gross margin of 23% and operating margin of 1% (down from 25% and 7% respectively).  Net profit and EPS (earnings per share) also fell, the former from NT$3.9 billion to NT$1 billion, and the latter from NT$4.7 to NT$1.21.

HTC expects things to get worse in the first quarter of 2013, predicting Q1 revenue in the NT$50-60 billion range, with a gross profit margin between 21 and 23% and operating margins between 0.5 and 1.0%.

Despite the grim outlook, HTC CEO Peter Chou is optimistic about the company's prospects in 2013 --

“We continue to focus on the most important element of our business: innovation,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC. “Our teams are delivering beautifully designed phones, containing the newest technological advancements. Outstanding products, paired with improvements in our marketing execution and overall readiness give us reason to feel optimistic about the progress we will make in 2013.”

That progress, if it comes, will start with the launch of the company's first major Android phones of the year, rumored to be a 4.7-inch, 1080p device codenamed "M7," and a 4.3-inch 720p phone known as "M4." HTC has scheduled press conferences in London and New York City for Feb. 19, just ahead of Mobile World Congress, and we'll learn more at those events.

Source: HTC

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4 years ago

Canadian Galaxy Note 2s to receive multi-window update this Wednesday


If you've got a Canadian Samsung Galaxy Note 2, then you're in for a pretty big update this week. Samsung Canada's official Twitter account has announced that from this Wednesday the phone will be updated with the impressive multi-window feature that hit U.S. and European Note 2 devices late last year. As the tweet explains, the same update will bring Chinese language support to the Canadian Note 2 --

“TheNextBigThing arrives Wed for GALAXY Note II owners as we begin rolling out the Multi Window & Chinese language support update.”

Multi-window enables you to split the screen between two full-screen applications -- for example, allowing you to browse the web and watch a video on YouTube at the same time, or read your Twitter feed and chat to someone on Google Talk. We've already seen the feature arrive on devices like the Galaxy S3, so it's great to see Canadian Note 2s finally getting caught up.

Source: Samsung Canada; via: MobileSyrup

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4 years ago

Acer Iconia B1 hands on and initial walkthrough


Acer looks to make a mark in the entry level tablet stakes with the Iconia B1, but how much tablet does £99 actually buy?

A whole lot of plastic. That's what £99 buys. And sadly that's one of the biggest downers on the new Acer Iconia B1. But, we'll come to that shortly. When the Iconia B1 was first announced, the biggest draw to the tablet was its sub-£100 price tag, and the fact that for this money you were getting a tablet from a recognized OEM. We all yearn for cheaper tablets, and Acer has delivered, but as you would expect some sacrifices have had to be made. Acer isn't kidding anyone though, squarely aiming this at first time users and children. But, is it a total washout? Click on and we'll take a first look at Acer's new budget tablet offering. 

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4 years ago

AC asks: What did you think of Samsung's Super Bowl commercial?


Everyone knows that the best part of the Super Bowl is the great commercials. We saw plenty of great ones this year, as well as plenty that make us wonder "what were they thinking?" Of course Samsung got in on the action, as they understand the value of marketing like few other companies do. Case in point -- an ad with Seth Rogan, Paul Rudd, and LeBron James can't be cheap to make.

Now that we've all seen it (if you haven't, look up) what do you think about it? Was it worth the money they must have spent, or would a commercial showing the product(s) and what it can do have been a better way to go? You know what we do when we want answers -- we run a poll. You'll find it after the break, be sure to let us know what you thought about the whole thing.

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4 years ago

Three UK to deliver LTE as standard on existing price plans


Subscribers will get 4G at no extra charge, as carrier promises no price hike

The UK LTE market just got a whole lot more interesting tonight, as Three UK has announced that it'll bring 4G LTE service to its existing customers at no extra charge. The network, which plans to roll out 4G on newly-acquired 1800MHz spectrum later this year, says its subscribers will get the LTE upgrade as standard, assuming they're using a compatible handset.

Currently EE is the only network offering 4G services in the UK, and due to its effective monopoly the carrier is able to charge much more than its competitors. Today's announcement heralds the arrival of unlimited LTE -- something not offered by EE -- for as little as £12 (~$19) per month on a rolling one-month contract.

The news may give prospective EE customers pause, as that carrier's contracts all run for at least 12 months, and there's no unlimited option available. If Three can pull off its promised 4G launch without any price hike, EE -- and rivals planning LTE networks of their own -- may be forced to reexamine their pricing.

Three didn't give any exact timeline as to when in 2013 it'll launch LTE, but the terms of its 1800MHz purchase from EE require the latter to hand over the spectrum by September at the latest. In the meantime, all the major UK mobile networks are competing for 800MHz and 2600MHz airwaves in the long-delayed 4G spectrum auction.

Source: Three UK

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4 years ago

Wine on Android demoed at FOSDEM


Wine, the software that's officially not an emulator but allows Microsoft Windows applications to run on Linux, Mac OS, and other platforms, was shown running on an Android environment today at FOSDEM in Brussels. Alexandre Julliard, of Codeweavers and Wine's original developer, demoed Wine on a Apple Macbook running Linux and the Android emulator. The initial tests show Wine running pretty slowly, but Julliard blames much of this on the fact that Android was emulated on the system.

While running Windows programs compiled for ARM processors on Android devices is an interesting idea, things will really take off if Intel can push the X86 processor to Android tablet manufacturers. An Atom CPU powered Android device will allow Codeweavers to push their CrossOver commercial products, like Office, for both consumers and business users. 

Source: Phoronix

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4 years ago

Upset the Fruit Basket is a deceptively tricky casual game


It isn't every day that you find a game that is a truly fresh take on a classic game style. There are dozens of games out there that are simply a couple tweaks away from infringing on Tetris and Bejeweled trademarks. Upset the Fruit Basket takes inspiration from these staple game types, but builds something fun and unique that you can enjoy for its own merits.

Read along with us after the break to see how Upset the Fruit Basket is able to stand out.

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4 years ago

Carbon for Android (the Twitter app) now available


Carbon is for Android smartphones only, separate tablet app in the works

After more than a year in the works and a couple of false starts, Carbon for Android -- the Twitter app -- is finally available on Google Play. Everything we showed you a week ago in our exclusive preview still stands. The scrolling is the gold standard for any other application. The animations are as subtle as they are impressive. And the overall design and feel is among the best we've seen in a Twitter app. And the keyword and hashtag filters can help clean up your timeline in a way usually reserved for desktop Twitter clients. This initial release is just for phones, but rest assured a tablet version is on the way.

Best of all, Carbon is free.

One update from our preview regards the settings menu, which wasn't active in our early build. We've updated our post with a bit on it. 

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4 years ago

Alleged Asus Memo Pad 10 press shots appear, launching at MWC?


Asus is no stranger to Android tablets, and so while nothing official by any stretch, it's not at all surprising to hear that a new tablet is reportedly heading to Mobile World Congress later this month. Following on from the already announced MeMo Pad 7, what we see here is allegedly the new MeMo Pad 10. 

The MeMo Pad 10 is said to follow on from its 7 inch sibling in hitting a lower price point. Reported specs include a 1280x800 display, a 1.2GHz Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 5MP rear camera, 16GB of on board storage with microSD card expansion and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. 12 months ago specs such as these would have put the MeMo Pad 10 at the bleeding edge, but by current -- and forthcoming -- standards, it would sit in the mid-range, lower price bracket quite nicely. 

The source of the images,, claims that several Dutch retailers have already begun to offer pre-orders for the MeMo Pad 10, starting as low as €299 (£259/$407), which sounds very competitive for a decent 10 inch tablet. Of course, until it's official, nothing's official. Treat it as you would all leaks, but we'll be in Barcelona in little over three weeks to see just what Asus does bring. 

Source: (Translated)

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Tales of incredulousness


As is so often the case in life, the little things can make a big difference. I was worried that our little Valentines Day contest -- we're giving away a pair of Nexus 7s and Nexus 4s -- would come off as too cheesy. Sappy, even for me, a guy who grew up believing John Cusack's "Better Off Dead" was actually a preferred way for high school to pan out. (Sadly, I played trombone instead of the sax -- not quite the same romantic effect there. And no bitchin' Camaro, but my sun-faded 1985 BMW 325e with no air conditioning, speedometer and, occasionally, brakes, at least sounded cool on paper.)

But it's working. At the time of this writing, there are some 28 pages of entries. Somewhere around 600 pictures posted of all kinds of happy couples as I sit here Sunday morning finishing this column. Pictures of boys and girls. Boys and boys. Girls and girls. Dogs. Cats. Even saw someone with someone in a cow suit or something. (I don't judge.) In a job like this, it's both a blessing and a curse to not actually have to interact with people all the time. But every single time -- from the occasional reader meet-up (and we really need to do more of those) to events like Google I/O and CES -- getting to meet even just one of our reader is energizing in a way that's tough to describe.

So thank you for that. Each and every one of you. I can't wait to pack up the hardware and get it off to a couple happy couples. But we've got another couple weeks -- and hopefully many more inspiring pictures -- to go.

And now, a few more thoughts to keep things going ...

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4 years ago

AOSP updated to revision 1.2, build JOP40G


The AOSP has been tagged as 4.2.1 r1.2, and the small change log lists a few interesting bug fixes. Version JOP40G will have some power management fixes as well as a tweak to the way an EXT4 partition handles file creation. These fixes are not device specific, so they will affect the Nexus 10, Nexus 7, and Nexus 4. We imagine the Galaxy Nexus will also see the benefits of this build.

In a nutshell -- some folks had issues where their device would shut off when removed from the charger, and these changes should address those. No word on when to expect an update, or if one is planned for this tag. There's plenty of bugs to squash in 4.2.1, and like we have seen with every other build of AOSP these things take a little time -- often longer than we would like. Maybe OEMs holding off and not delivering the bleeding edge for their phones isn't such a bad idea, right?

Source: AOSP; via Android Police

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week: NFL '12, Ulysse Speedometer, Aquarium Calculator and more!


It's the first apps of the week roundup of February, and we tried our best to get some great picks for you this week. We've got a couple of useful tools and some fun games to try out, with a couple others sprinkled in as well. Check them out after the break and see how we did this week.

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4 years ago

Beta version of Tesla Model S app comes to the Play Store


After being iOS-only for some time, Tesla owners can now control their car with an Android app as well. One perk of having an all-electric car designed for a consumer electronics-focused market is great integration of systems, and there's no better way to show it off than with an app that controls your car. The Tesla Model S Android app lets you check your remaining range or charge state, control heat or A/C before you get into the car, open/close the roof and unlock/lock the doors from a distance.

The app has just been released and holds a "Beta" tag, citing occasional UI glitches, but we're just happy to see it released publicly. If you're lucky enough to have your hands (and a good chunk of your bank account) on a Tesla Model S, you'll want to head to the Play Store and grab this app right away.

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