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4 years ago

HTC 'M7' parts caught on video

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Droid DNA-like design in a smaller chassis, with a dedicated camera button to boot

With the recent emergence of certain leaked photos, we've slowly been able to piece together a picture of HTC's upcoming 'M7' handset. And the successor to the One X has cropped up on camera again today, disassembled, in the form couple of leaked component parts. ETrade Supply got hold of what seems to be the back case and front housing of the phone, which looks a little smaller than the similarly-designed Droid DNA. That suggests we might be dealing with a 4.7-inch screen, as has been rumored in recent months.

Also of note is the second front-facing speaker down below, which roughly matches a render that leaked out a couple of weeks ago. And there's what seems to be a dedicated camera button on the right edge, below the volume rocker, an unusual sight on an HTC Android phone.

Without the front glass in place -- not to mention functioning innards -- it's difficult to get an overall impression of the phone. But it looks like we're dealing with a handset that shares much in common with the DNA and its international cousin, the HTC Butterfly. The edges are squared off, in stark contrast to the curved One X and One S, and there's a slight hump to the back, like the DNA and Windows Phone 8X.

There's no way of knowing whether this is a finalized HTC design or merely a prototype, but the parts shown in today's video certainly tick all the boxes we were expecting from a 2013 HTC flagship. The 'M7' is expected at or around this year's Mobile World Congress in late February.

Source: Etrade Supply

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4 years ago

CyanogenMod 10.1 nightlies for the Verizon and Sprint Galaxy Note 2 now available

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The CyanogenMod team has just given Verizon and Sprint Galaxy Note 2 users something to be happy about -- official 10.1 nighly builds for download. Users of these devices have been patiently waiting as development went along on the latest CyanogenMod builds, and now they have their chance. Of course these nightly builds are far less stable than general releases and may have many bugs, but some users are completely willing to put up with it.

If you're willing to deal with some quirks you can see what CyanogenMod 10.1 has to offer at the source links below. If you're not so sure how or why you should get into these nightly builds, head to our forums and get a few things figured out first. And remember, backing up before flashing is a great idea!

Source: Verizon Note 2 Download; Sprint Note 2 Download

More: Galaxy Note 2 Forums

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Let's just do this already ...

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Instead of using this sentence to write a proper lede, quite possibly with (or without) a bit of wit, can we agree to stipulate that there are what I believe to be a few decent thoughts on the other side of this post, past that "Read more" thing that does double duty of breaking up a long-ish post and keeping the front page clean while, yes, requiring you to add one more click to your experience here at Android Central?

Holy crap. That sentence itself should have had a "Read more" break. It's been one of those weekends.

So, yeah. Click on through to the other side for a few thoughts on some of the goings-on of the past week or so.

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4 years ago

Samsung reportedly planning wider device availability for Music Hub

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Since Samsung first announced their Music Hub service, the global reach has been somewhat limited. Initially launching only in the UK, the U.S. soon followed, but one thing remained. Device exclusivity to Samsung devices, more specifically the Galaxy S3 and then the Galaxy Note 2. Now though, a new report suggests that Samsung is looking towards expanding the reach of its music service, and go toe-to-toe with the likes of Google Play and the Amazon MP3 Store. 

TJ Kang, SVP for Samsung Media Services, in speaking with The Next Web said that Samsung plans to expand the availability of Music Hub. Initially taking in the Samsung range of connected devices, to include tablets, smartphones, Smart TV's and even refrigerators, the expansion wouldn't end there. Beyond this, Kang also acknowledged that the service could be seen on Android devices from other OEMs, stating it would be easier for Samsung, since consumers often own devices covering a broad range of manufacturers.

Currently the Samsung Music Hub is available in six countries worldwide, but further global expansion is also reportedly on the cards for 2013. As you might expect this is subject to territory specific deals, but also Samsung's 2013 device release plans. No potential timeline was offered for making the service available beyond the walls of Samsung, but Kang did go on to say that such availability was the company's goal. 

So, perhaps the question we should be asking -- is there room for yet another music service fighting for our business? With Google Play and Amazon already established in selling music, and the likes of Spotify and Rdio offering compelling streaming offerings, is there room for another? Currently Music Hub could be seen as more of a convenience for those who can access it, but surely to break through Samsung would have to offer something compelling. What about you guys -- would you use a Samsung music service in place of whatever you currently use? Hit up the comments below and share your thoughts with us. 

Source: The Next Web

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4 years ago

First look: The Carbon for Android Twitter app

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After many months and a few false starts, the long-awaited client prepares for initial release

It's tough to talk about the Carbon for Android Twitter client without saying a few things up front:

  1. No, it's still not available. But that we've been given a pre-release version to share should tell you something.
  2. Yes, we're all very much aware that we've been talking about Carbon, off and on, for more than a year now. (A whopping six stories out of some 6,000 written over 13 months, if our math is right.) Announcements of imminent release have come and gone, followed by long periods of silence. You can either choose to get over that, read this preview and give this app a shot when it's released in the near future, or not. 
  3. There are now two Carbon apps for Android. This one, obviously, is the Twitter app, from the developer dots & lines, which first brought Carbon to webOS, where it garnered much praise. It later came to Windows Phone before being put out to pasture, much to the chagrin of this Microsoft faithful. The other Carbon app is a backup and sync client from Koushik Dutta. We're not sure which app will see first public release (our money's on the backup app), but having two apps with the same name is about as fun for us as it is for you, we reckon.
  4. Carbon (the Twitter app) may well be the best-designed Twitter app we've used yet -- and there are some good ones out there.

So with those things in mind, join us for our first look at the long-awaited Carbon Twitter app.

Updated on Feb. 3: Carbon has been published to Google Play, and we've added a few sentences on the Settings menu, which was not in our preview build.

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4 years ago

Five apps to take advantage of Daydream in Android 4.2

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Daydream was pretty quickly glanced over by most people when it was announced as part of the Android 4.2 release, but luckily some developers have started to make apps using the new feature. The latest revision of Jelly Bean just isn't available to that many people and the number and quality of daydream apps reflects that, but luckily there are some gems to be found if you go searching for them.

Read on past the break and see the top apps available right now to take advantage of the daydream functionality in Android 4.2.

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4 years ago

Verizon modifying prepaid plans Feb 1 with new $60 500MB tier

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Verizon doesn't put much focus on its prepaid plans, but according to a leaked document obtained by PhoneArena it will be dropping prices on prepaid offerings starting February 1st. Verizon's current offering is at $80 for smartphones, with unlimited talk/text and 2GB of data during its double data promotion. When the new plans take effect next week, the $80 plan is going away, making room for two new tiers at $60 and $70. The lower tier will offer 500MB of data, the higher 2GB, both with unlimited talk and text.

The document specifically says $80 plan users will be grandfathered in, but considering the new price structure there's no reason to stay on it. Users wanting more than 2GB of data will be paying $20 per 1GB overage, which is $5 more than adding an extra 1GB to a postpaid plan. Also remember that Verizon's prepaid plans are 3G only for the time being. This is still a good option for a select set of people though, so we're glad to see Verizon drop its prices a bit. Stick around after the break to see the document and details of the new plans.

Source: PhoneArena

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4 years ago

What you need to know about cell phone unlocking

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Did you know that as of Jan 26, 2013, it's "illegal" to unlock your phone? Of course you did. You've seen the "Sky is falling!" headlines

It's not quite that simple, but that's what you'll hear around the Internets today. The too-long-didn't-read simple version is that you'll likely not be affected in any way (minus the personal freedom aspect). But after seeing so many people worried, and some of the poor information they were receiving, we knew it was time to talk about it a bit. 

In 1998 Congress passed a law that provides copyright protection to the software (and software means written code, remember) that locks your cell phone to a certain carrier. This has nothing to do with rooting, or bootloader unlocking. It only covers locking your phone to a GSM carrier through software. As a provision of this law, the Librarian of Congress (which I imagined as a totally hot babe with her hair in a bun, and was quickly disappointed when I investigated) is allowed to grant exceptions, and did until his October 2012 decision to allow the DMCA to regulate cell phone locking. Fast forward to today, when the exceptions expired, and now the software used to lock phones is covered under the same copyright laws as most other software.

It sounds scary. But it's really not. Let's have a look.

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4 years ago

Infobar A02 announced on KDDI in Japan with interesting UI and design

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Japan is well-known for its seriously interesting mobile products, and the Infobar A02 on KDDI doesn't disappoint on design or creativity in the least. The Infobar series has traditionally been a design-leading line, and the A02 follows along with a striking thin unibody design in red, white and blue varieties. The design continues onto the interface, which is built on Android 4.1 -- although you wouldn't know it by looking at the homescreen. Closer to the paradigm of Windows Phone, the Inforbar uses a tiled interface comprised of smaller app tiles and larger widget tiles, in a vertical scrolling list.

This handset is actually manufactured by HTC, and has some top-notch specs on the inside. We're looking at a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 16GB of (expandable) storage, 1GB of RAM, 720x1280 TFT display, 2100mAh battery and of course LTE. Like many high-end Japanese handsets, the Infobar A02 is also waterproof and dustproof, and includes NFC for mobile payments as well as a 1seg TV antenna.

This is quite an interesting handset on all fronts, and worth a look at some of the materials on KDDI's product page for the phone. If you're interested, head to the source link and check out the galleries, especially the pictures showing the lineage of Infobar design for the last 10 years.

Source: KDDI

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week: Gumtree, Amtrak, OpenSignal and more!

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We're in that slow transitional phase between CES and MWC, going through the motions of weird leaks and random product releases. Fear not, as the Apps of the Week posts will continue on regardless. You come here each Saturday to see what apps the Android Central staff are finding and using, so we do our best to find some great picks.

Hang around after the break and see how we did this week.

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4 years ago

Hidden full screen browsing mode in latest Chrome Beta discovered

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Full screen browsing is top of many an Android fans wish list for Google's mobile version of the Chrome browser. On smartphone screens in particular, display space is important. It seems it might not be all that far away, as a recent discovery has shown off a hidden full screen browsing mode. 

Shared by Reddit user smackel, there is a bit of light work to be done to bring it about. So, while there, our thinking is that this is something to be rolled out properly in future updates. It's also a little buggy, but doesn't take any genius level work to enable. Click on past the break and we'll walk you through it. 

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4 years ago

The week in international Android news - Jan. 26, 2013

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Mobile World Congress is just a month away, and already we’re steeped in news of devices reportedly due to be shown off in Barcelona. Alongside all the crazy rumors and leaks, we’ve also had a steady trickle of device announcements and updates to contend with.

Needless to say, it’s been a busy few days in international Android news. Join us after the break for a rundown of some of the biggest stories of the week.

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4 years ago

Report: Galaxy Tab 3 initially coming in 10.1-inch version, Galaxy Note 8.0 LTE planned

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We've learned much about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 over the past week, and now we're seeing further indications of what plans Samsung might have for its Galaxy Tab line. Samsung fansite SamMobile, which broke some of the Note 8.0 news a few days ago, now says that Samsung plans to launch new Galaxy Tabs this year, but only 10.1-inch versions are on the cards at the moment. The "Tab 3 7.0," it reports, has been mothballed in favor of the stylus-toting Galaxy Note 8.0. Depending on sales of the Note 8.0, SamMobile's source says, an 8.0-inch Tab 3 may be offered at some point in the future.

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4 years ago

Nillkin leather flip cover for Nexus 7

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The Nexus 7 is substantially more portable than larger tablets, and that means you may be more inclined to use a case. I've found the Nillkin leather flip cover for mine, and it's quite an impressive little case for the money. When I got my Nexus 7 I planned on carrying it with me more often, tossing it in the bag whenever I left the house. It's light and portable with great one-handed use, but I wanted to protect the screen when I wasn't using it.

The case is a thin, tough, two-tone unit with black rubber edges accenting a colored leather primary case (red, grey or black colors are available). The leather part has a texture to it that I could only describe as a large hard cover book binding, which is very reassuring when holding the Nexus 7 one handed and provides an ample amount of grip. The case snaps on around the tablet like a normal case would, with no extra flaps, straps or fasteners. The flip cover pulls double duty as a screen protector and a tri-fold stand, and is attached with heavy stitching to the back of the case. The cover has a magnet to wake and sleep the device when opened and closed, which is a nice touch.

The inside of the flip portion is a light brown microfiber material, which should protect the screen nicely and help soak up some smudges when it's resting on the screen. When you're ready to use the tablet, it flips back out of the way but has no magnet or fastener to keep it pinned back. Luckily the cover is very thin and folds over nicely to be held in a very natural position, so it doesn't add a whole lot of bulk when it's on the back. If you would prefer to use the cover as a stand, it props up the tablet low for activities like typing, or stands it up near a 45-degree angle for things like watching video.

At somewhere between $20 and $25 (depending on the day) through many ebay sellers, the Nillkin leather flip cover is worth a look to protect and add a good bit of functionality to your Nexus 7. It is well-made and keeps a clean and functional design throughout, something not found in accessories as often as we'd hope. Check out our hands-on video and several pictures after the break.

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4 years ago

Amazon Cloud Drive Photos update brings automatic upload and in-app camera access

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An update to the Dropbox for Android application almost a year ago brought with it an extremely useful feature for the snap happy photographers among us -- auto upload of every photograph taken with the camera to your Dropbox account. Now, if Amazon's Cloud Drive is more your thing, you too can experience the same kind of auto uploading goodness with the latest update to the Cloud Drive Photos app. 

Another cool new feature for Android 4.x users is the ability to take photos using the camera from within the app. A great little time saver if you're snapping away and trying to organise at the same time. The rest of the changelog isn't quite as exciting, but still pretty useful nonetheless. We now get the ability to select multiple photos to action on, view the upload and download status, along with being able to pause, stop and resume them too. If you're an Amazon Cloud Drive user, grab yourselves a copy from the Google Play Store link above. Equally, if you're yet to try it out, Amazon will give new accounts 5GB of free storage right out of the box.

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