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4 years ago

New exploit roots Droid RAZR HD on Android 4.1.2, among others


This latest root method works on all current Android versions of multiple Motorola phones

Yesterday we witnessed a Motorola milestone (no pun intended) when Dan Rosenberg announced he had found a method to unlock the bootloaders of multiple non-OMAP Motorola phones, including the Attrix HD, Droid RAZR HD/HD Maxx, and the Droid RAZR M. The unlock method would require root access, which unfortunately left Droid RAZR HD users out in the cold if they had already accepted the latest OTA update to Android 4.1.2.

Coming to the rescue of those disenfranchised Droid RAZR HD owners, Dan has released a new exploit that roots the following Motorola phones, regardless of what Android version they're currently running:

  • Droid Razr HD
  • Droid Razr Maxx HD
  • Atrix HD
  • Photon Q
  • Droid Razr M

The above phones are the only ones that are officially supported with this new root method. However, Dan has stated that this exploit will likely work with other phones -- including non-Motorola devices. For a complete list of instructions and links to the required files, follow the source link below.


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4 years ago

The Masters Golf Tournament app updated for 2013 with live stream improvements


Now is the time to get ready for the most prestigious tournament of the year

The Masters golf tournament tees off on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club, and right on time the official Masters Golf Tournament app has been updated for the occasion. The latest update today aims to improve the quality of the live streams this time around. The app will give you access to eight concurrent live streams, with enhanced coverage of the most popular holes around the course, available to any device with a data connection. You of course get live scoreboard coverage and news stories in the app as well.

The app is useful before the tournament itself even gets going, with coverage of practice rounds, the Par 3 Contest and extra analysis from experts. If you've got plans to follow The Masters this weekend, you'll need to have this app loaded on your device. Head to the Play Store link above and grab a download.

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4 years ago

Otterbox Commuter case for the HTC One


Does one of the biggest names in smartphone protection turn a sexy piece of silver into a tank? Let's find out

Ever think about buying a Corvette and then wrapping it in the shell of an Abrams tank? That's often what you think about when you take the latest and greatest Android smartphone and put it inside an Otterbox case. But you're not buying an Otterbox for sex appeal alone, right? You're buying it because it protects your phone. Period.

So we've got the HTC One. And we've got the Otterbox Commuter case, with its rubber sleeve and hard, outer plastic shell. Beauty and the beast? We've got a quick look, after the break.

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4 years ago

Google Fiber coming to Austin, Texas


Google to begin connection Austinites to gigabit services by mid-2014

Good news for residents of Austin, Texas -- your city is next on the list for Google Fiber roll-out. The gigabit cable service, which first launched in Kansas City last year, is set to become available to homes in Austin by mid-2014. Austinites will have the same choice of services open to Google Fiber subscribers elsewhere -- gigabit internet access, gigabit internet plus Google Fiber TV, or free internet access. Pricing, Google says, will be "similar" to that of Kansas City, which offers the internet-only package for $70 per month, or internet-plus-TV for $120. (There's also a free internet deal for $300 up-front or $25 per month for 12 months.)

Announcing the news alongside Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Google called the city "a mecca for creativity and entrepreneurialism."

The company says it's focusing its efforts on the Austin city limits for now, and will announce specific neighborhoods and boundaries at a later date.

If you live in Austin, hit the comments and make yourself know.

Source: Google Fiber, Google Fiber Blog

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4 years ago

Select Disney apps now free in the Play Store (updated)


Get six of Disney's previously 99 cent apps, for free

Update: all 6 of the Disney apps have gone back to 99 cents. It appears this was an error in Play Store pricing that only lasted a few hours. The original story is below.

Six of Disney's apps went on sale today in the Play Store. Previously coming in at 99 cents each, all six can now be downloaded for free. This includes one live wallpaper and five games:

It's interesting that some of these apps already have free versions in the Play Store, and Disney chose to also offer their 99 cent counterparts for free. We don't know how long these apps will stay in the Play Store as free downloads, or if more will be added to the list, so download them now if any of these interest you or your kids. Temple Run has always been very popular, and Wreck-It Ralph was previously chosen as an App of the Week. Feel free to hit the comments with your own picks and recommendations.

Update: Apparently that was a temporary feature bug, and you should now have to shell out for the apps again. Hope you grabbed 'em while you could.

Thanks, Abhishek!

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4 years ago

Google Play Store gets a new look


Google's content portal gets a lighter, brighter visual refresh

Following some recent leakage, it seems the new look Google Play Store app is finally official. Google has just announced that the new-look Play Store app will begin rolling out to Android devices today.

In today's announcement post on the official Android blog, Google says the new-look app is aimed to be "simple" and "clean," with a renewed focus on entertainment content. Based on the official promo images, that certainly seems to be the case -- Google Now-like greys and whites dominate the UI, while a lot of screen space is given to large images for music, movie and book content.

The purchasing process has also been streamlined, Google says, which hopefully means fewer taps to buy apps and other content through this new version of the store.

The new Google Play Store will begin pushing automatically to devices running Android 2.2 Froyo and above starting today, so keep a lookout in the hours ahead. In the meantime, hit the comments if you've managed to get it already.

Source: Official Android blog

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4 years ago

ASUS FonePad arrives in the UK April 26, priced £179.99


Pre-orders for the 7-inch hybrid device to begin this Friday, Apr. 12

The ASUS Fonepad is one of the few smartphone/tablet hybrid that's actually marketed as a dedicated phone. And although we weren't blown away by the device during our hands-on time at MWC, at least it won't cost too much when it comes to market. TechRadar reports that the 7-incher will sell for £179.99 -- just £20 more expensive than the 16GB Nexus 7, though that tablet lacks the cellular connectivity and expandable storage offered by the Fonepad.

The Fonepad is powered  by a 1.2GHz hyperthreaded Intel Atom CPU, with 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean running the show.

Right now Carphone Warehouse has a pre-registration page up, and it's reported that from this Friday, Apr. 12 pre-orders will begin being taken for an Apr. 26 launch. Other official retail partners include and UK supermarket Sainsbury's.

More: Hands-on with the ASUS Fonepad

Source: TechRadar, Carphone Warehouse

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4 years ago

Boingo, AT&T sign deal that gives access to Wifi worldwide


You'll need to already have an AT&T roaming option on your plan, though

Boingo today announced a deal that will give the former access to the latter's Wifi hotspots at locations worldwide for no additional charge. AT&T customers already have access to Boingo hotspots in major international airports; this expands the coverage even further.

There is a slight catch, however, as you'll need to go through AT&T's Wi-Fi International app to get access, and that requires you to have one of AT&T's international roaming plans. The 300MB plan runs $60 a month, or you can get 800MB for $120 a month. Then you'll get up to 1GB of Boingo Wifi data on top of that.

Reciprocally, Boingo customers traveling in the U.S. will be able to use AT&T's Wifi hotspots while they're here.

Source: Boingo PR

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4 years ago

For HTC, profit's not really the problem


We tend to focus on the wrong numbers, but even the right ones don't look so good

HTC this week announced unaudited Q1 headline numbers, with sales of NT$42.8 billion, or about US$1.43 billion.  Unaudited operating income was NT$43 milllion, which means the company is pretty much at breakeven.

Don’t be fooled into the headlines some people are writing about HTC’s results. I saw one sensationalizing on the idea that earnings collapsed 98 percent year over year. Honestly? Who cares. That’s not what matters. Fact is that HTC has been in financial difficulty for a while.

Let me put some fictitious numbers together to make this crystal clear.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 hits the U.S. this week for $399


Retailers get Samsung's latest Android tablet on Thursday

Samsung this morning announced that the Galaxy Note 8.0 -- the latest in the Galaxy Note line that we saw unveiled at Mobile World Congress -- will be available in the United States this week, starting Thursday, April 11.

The Note 8, as it's informally known, very much resembles an oversized Galaxy S3 smartphone, but it's definitely all-tablet. As a refresher, it's got a 8-inch display at 1280x800 resolution, for a not-all-that-impressive 189 pixels per inch. It's running Samsung's TouchWiz user interface atop Android 4.1.2 (at least that's what it was running back in February), powered by a 1.6 GHz quad-core Exynos processor with 2 GB of RAM. This one's only got 16GB of total storage, but you can augment that with up to a 64GB microSD card.

More: See our hands-on with the Galaxy Note 8.0 from Mobile World Congress

The hardware's just half the story, of course. Samsung's loaded up the Note 8 with its excellent suite of tablet-optimzed apps, including Awesome Note, along with other features we've become accustomed to on Samsung smartphones, including AllShare. Plus, it's got the S Pen for proper stylus use. One change from the European version of the Note 8.0 we played with in Spain -- this one can't make phone calls.

The Note 8 runs $399, and Samsung says you'll be able to pick up the Note 8 at Amazon, Best Buy, h.h. gregg, Newegg, P.C. Richard & Son, Staples and Accessories -- including the book cover and the stand pouch -- should be avaliable later this month.

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4 years ago

Competitors launch European antitrust complaint against Google over mobile apps


Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle and others call Android 'a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps'

A group of Google's competitors have sent an antitrust complaint to the EU, claiming that the search giant's licensing of the Android OS and Google Apps give its mobile apps an unfair advantage. Reports from the New York Times say Fairsearch Europe, which consists of Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, TripAdvisor and others, accuses Google of using Android “as a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps in 70 percent of the smartphones shipped today.”

According to today's NYT report, Fairsearch's lead lawyer, Thomas Vinje says OEMs wanting to use Google mobile apps (e.g. YouTube, Gmail, Chrome) on their Android devices "face contractual requirements" to use all these apps and give them "prominent placement" on their home screens. The suite of Google Mobile Services (GMS) apps are, of course, licensed separately to the Android OS, the source code of which is available freely.

Fairsearch pulls no punches in a press release this morning, claiming "Google’s predatory distribution of Android at below-cost makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments in competing with Google’s dominant mobile platform." It goes on to say the prominent placement of Google apps on devices running GMS apps "disadvantages other providers."

Following the filing of a complaint, the European Commission must now decide whether to take up the case against Google, the paper reports.

The news comes in the midsts of an existing EU antitrust inquiry into Google's web search practices, in which it's claimed the company abused its position to push its own web-based services. According to the NYT, antitrust chief Joaquín Almunia said the EU was already looking into Android separately to the web search complaint.

Source: New York Times; Fairsearch Europe (PDF) via The Verge

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4 years ago

EE promises to 'double' 4G speeds by boosting available bandwidth


Increase from 2x10 to 2x20MHz of 1800MHz by summer in 10 markets, 'headline' speeds of '80Mbps plus'

EE, the UK's first, and so far only 4G LTE network, has said it's to increase the amount of its 1800MHz spectrum used for LTE, resulting in potentially double data speeds for customers compared to its current offerings. EE says this has produced speeds of up to 130Mbps in laboratory settings, "headline" speeds of 80Mbps in the real world, and average speeds of over 20Mbps for customers.

The new speeds will be rolled out to customers in ten of EE's initial launch markets by the summer. Launch cities for "double speed 4G" include Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield.

Looking ahead, EE says it aims to trial carrier aggregation, a feature of the super-high-speed LTE-Advanced, before the end of 2013. In doing so, EE claims it'll be able to "deliver more 4G bandwidth than any other operator" in the UK. In today's announcement the carrier also indicated that it plans to invest in Wifi calling and VoLTE services in the future too.

EE says it aims to bring more than one million users onboard its LTE network by the end of 2013, though it'll face competition from the three other major UK carriers. While Three has indicated it's not going to rush its 4G roll-out, O2 and Vodafone could launch their own LTE networks as early as this spring, having acquired 800 and 2600MHz in the recent spectrum auction. Through being the first network to offer 2x20MHz LTE, EE will be hoping to maintain the lead over its rivals in this competitive space.

However for many, EE's high prices and capped data bundles remain the most significant barrier to entry, and there's no sign of that changing anytime soon.

More: EE

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4 years ago

WhatsApp denies rumors of a Google buyout


WhatsApp is staying independent according to business development head

In a statement to All Things D this evening, WhatsApp’s business development chief Neeraj Arora said the rumors of Google buying the chat service were unfounded.

WhatsApp is one of the most popular applications on all platforms, providing cross-platform chat and file sharing. The past few days there has been talk of Google buying the company and integrating it into their rumored unified messaging service, aptly named Babel. The application is free for the first year on Android devices, with a $0.99 yearly fee afterwards. If you're interested in giving it a try, hit the Google Play download link above.

Source: All Things D

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4 years ago

Sony bringing native DUALSHOCK 3 controller support to Xperia phones


Automatic setup and native support makes it easy to use a DUALSHOCK 3 controller for your favorite games

Sony looks to be adding system level support for their popular Playstation DUALSHOCK 3 controllers to Xperia phones. User will be able to wirelessly connect their controllers without root or any cumbersome set up routines, using only a USB OTG cable for the initial pairing. 

As you can see in the video (find it after the break) you plug your controller into the phone's USB port, turn it on, enter the device settings and enable the controller. After some data exchange over the wire, you're told to unplug the controller and can now use it via the device's Bluetooth connection. There's no word when we should expect to see this, or if it will even be ported back to older and current Xperia devices.

Of course, you'll need to use games that support a controller for the best experience, but the controller will also navigate through the UI, much like Logitech controllers currently do with various tablet devices. Add in a TV or monitor via the device's HDMI output, and it sounds like the making of a game console. Hit the break for the video.

Source: Xperia blog

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4 years ago

Twitter updated with 'Me' tab and HTC menu bar fix


HTC phone owners can get a full-screen experience, and 'Me' tab wonkiness is fixed in latest update

The official Twitter app for Android, given a major visual overhaul last week, has been updated again today with a couple of important bug fixes. First off, the "Me" tab, which would occasionally fail to load, should now be fully functional at all times. And owners of HTC devices will welcome the fix for an issue which left them with a dead menu bar at the bottom of the screen. (That's not listed in the official changelog for the new ver. 4.0.1, but we've confirmed it on our own devices.)

HTC devices without a physical menu key -- including the HTC One -- must use an on-screen menu bar in certain apps, losing a portion of the screen in the process. Since last week's update the official Twitter client no longer used the legacy menu key, however the app still continued to show the (now non-functional) bar on HTC phones, much to the chagrin of users. As you can see in the photo above, that's no longer the case.

The changelog also lists UI improvements for Honeycomb devices, if anyone out there's still rocking an Android 3.x tablet.

To grab these latest fixes, hit the Google Play Store or use the handy link above.

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