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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Who is this, and what did they do with Microsoft?

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Ladies and gentlemen, Microsoft is back.

I wasn't sure we'd ever have reason to write those words again, and Microsoft's not yet all the way back. But it's absolutely taking the right steps. And for the first time since I began worrying about this sort of stuff, Microsoft appears to actually have some direction, some common goal.

Google easily made the right call by canceling Monday's "Playground" event. More here.

I found myself in unfamiliar territory late last week, a couple days before a trip without a couple of reviews hanging over my head. Relative free time. Windows 8 had just gone official, and I hadn't actually gotten around using any of the beta builds over the past few months, and a $39 upgrade is kind of a no-brainer. (That and my daily machine is now a Mac, so I wasn't overly concerned about app compatibility just yet.) So, I popped Windows 8 onto the box it now shares with an Ubuntu install (for those times I feel like torturing Jerry with Linux questions).

First off, I'm loving the move away from the traditional desktop metaphor. It's going to be a big adjustment for us old folks. But our kids are gonna love it. And (for me, anyway), things started to make sense pretty quickly. There are Metro apps (sorry, Microsoft, but that's what they're called, and that's what I'm calling 'em), which run on the cool (if busy) start screen, and there are legacy apps, which run on top of a traditional desktop space. We'll eventually see the latter phased out entirely, I suppose, but that's going to take time. It takes a little work getting used to only having one app on the screen at a time. But maybe that's not a bad thing for casual computing. 

For me, though, it shows that for the first time in a very long time, the different departments at Microsoft are working together. Hell, they're probably allowed to talk to each other for the first time. Three screens and the cloud no longer is just bluster coming from Ballmer, ladies and gentlemen. 

What does this mean for Google and Android? Not a lot, just yet. It's still early in this rebirth for Microsoft and it's going to take more time for the ball to start rolling down the hill. But it's most certainly in motion, and it's no longer going uphill. Google, obviously, is serious about the mobile space. You wouldn't be reading this otherwise. I think it's still kinda toeing the waters when it comes to Chromebooks, but I also think that'll change over the coming months as well. (I love this new Chromebook commercial. Google's got to do this for Android, too.) And I still think Google's got more in store for the living room space; the Nexus Q was just a teaser.

But consider this: Microsoft is making its products available on current non-Microsoft devices. We're already seeing that with Xbox SmartGlass. Xbox Music is coming to Android as well -- quite possibly sooner rather than later. Microsoft Office is still strongly rumored. I've always believed one of Apple's bigger mistakes was not letting iTunes -- and its purchasing power and gateway drug status -- infect other platforms. Microsoft has never been shy about spreading its reach. After all, it's how we ended up with Bing Android phones for a short time.

Microsoft may be in third place in the mobile space, and that's not all that likely to change anytime soon. There are just too many Android and iOS devices out there. But make no mistake, Microsoft's in a much stronger place than it's ever been.

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4 years ago

The first Verizon Galaxy Note 2 accessory you'll want to buy

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Cover that ridiculous logo on Verizon's Galaxy Note 2 home button with an equally ridiculous sticker. Get three pieces for $10 U.S. and stick it to the man. 

Source: eBay; via +Cory Teague

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4 years ago

HTC One X (international) Jelly Bean roll out begins

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Jelly Bean for the international versions of the HTC One X has begun pushing out, but the situation is a bit complicated. Rather than being pushed to all phones in a particular region, HTC pushes out updates to certain devices based on their CID (Customer ID) in each region. For example, phones with a CID of htc__612 are sold to carriers in Taiwan, and they started receiving their OTA last night. Alternatively, my unlocked phone with a CID of htc__044 hasn't received it yet, even though it's also sold in Taiwan (among other locales). I told you it was complicated.

What we know now is that the mentioned phones with htc__612 CIDs are receiving the OTA update as we speak, and HTC has informed me that the Jelly Bean update for all phones in Asia and Europe is "rolling out now". An insider told me that my particular model (htc__044) should start seeing the OTA tomorrow (Sunday). Finally, I've yet to hear from anyone in Europe who has received the OTA. I told you it was complicated.

If you've hacked your Tegra3 One X, you understand all of this and know where to look for information about rolling back and getting the OTA. If you haven't hacked your phone, just know that the Jelly Bean OTA is in process. Hopefully we'll all see it soon, as a few early reports say it's extremely fast and makes a great phone even better.

Thanks, Jeff and Ray420!

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4 years ago

Nexus 10 shown off in extremely short video

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Okay folks, this is probably the shortest video leak we've ever seen, but it's a leak nonetheless. We've got 5 whole seconds of the upcoming Nexus 10 tablet on video, showing the homescreen and opening the browser. If nothing else, you get a really good look at the front design of the device and the screen.

It seems like there are no more secrets to be leaked at this point, but unfortunately we're gonna have to wait until a later date to see everything unveiled officially.

Source: BriefMobile

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4 years ago

Weekend project: Flashing Ubuntu to your Nexus 7

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Web browsing on the Nexus 7, using Ubuntu and Firefox

I love fiddling with things. Especially electronic things. I admit, I've fooled with ARM builds of Ubuntu on Android devices, or running them in a chroot environment. I read the comments and forums, so I know I'm not the only one. The problem is, that while it's fairly easy to do, if you're not comfortable with terminal commands you just won't be doing it. Canonical, who is using the Nexus 7 as a sort of reference for Ubuntu on ARM touch devices changed that today by releasing a simple one click installer.

Now, anyone who can install Ubuntu on their computer can just as easily install it on their Nexus 7. It's not very practical, and you'll likely flash back to Android after a few hours of playing with it, but it is extremely cool to play with for a few. If you're the type who likes to hack and flash at your Nexus 7, you will want to try this. Read on.

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week - Nun Attack, UNIQLO Wake Up, Exodus Live Wallpaper and more!

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If you're anything like the writers here at Android Central, you're probably losing your mind a little bit waiting for the big Google news to hit on Monday. If you were looking for a bit of a distraction to keep from going off the deep end, we wouldn't blame you. Luckily, our app picks this week should help you out with that. Per usual, we've got a handful of games and a few utility apps that should keep you entertained for the weekend. Take a look after the break and see how we did.

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4 years ago

Monday's Google event in NYC canceled due to Hurricane Sandy

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Bad news folks, this has just landed in our inbox: 

Hi Phil,

We are canceling our Monday morning event in New York due to Hurricane Sandy. We will let you know our plans as soon as we know more.

Stay safe and dry, The Android Team

So, it's off. What does this mean for any launch plans? We don't know. And it looks like Google doesn't yet either. When we know more, you guys will be the first to know. But, the priority is for people to stay safe. If you're affected by Hurricane Sandy, take care of yourselves. There'll be time for phones on the other side. 

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4 years ago

Carphone Warehouse in store advertising backs up earlier pricing information for LG Nexus 4

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In a week quite literally filled with LG Nexus 4 leaks, UK retailer Carphone Warehouse accidentally pulled the trigger on their pre-order page for the device. Contained within was plenty of juicy tidbits about Google's next Nexus smartphone, including some hints at pricing. Following this, we then saw leaked internal inventory screens that seemed to back it up further still.

Now, it seems, the very same retailer -- in some locations at least -- has already started to display their in store price advertising for the Nexus 4. It says that the device will be free on new and upgrade contracts from £31 per month, and that for £389.95 you can buy one out right. 

What is lacking from this price tag however, is any indication of storage size. But, it's a weekend, so we're not going to get into that debate right now. We'll leave that to you folks in the forums, which is where you should be headed to talk up -- or down -- the LG Nexus 4 to your hearts content. 

Source: @ollygosling (Twitter)

More: LG Nexus 4 Forums

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4 years ago

One more Nexus 4 render leaked, still looks like a Nexus 4

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Have we mentioned that there's a Nexus 4 coming Monday at Google's "Playground" event in New York? Yeah? Good. Here's one more render from the fine folks at @evleaks. Here we get a better look at the bezel surrounding the crystal reflective back (that's LG's new design feature first seen on the Optimus G, and here it's done in the same style as the original Nexus One live wallpaper).

There's not a whole lot to be gleaned from the screen here, either, save for this one's stock Android instead of an old custom ROM screenshot slapped on top. (That should calm the conspiracy theorists a little, maybe.) And the camera app has changed. Huzzah.

Just a couple days to go, folks.

Source: @evleaks

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4 years ago

Vodafone UK making their '4G promise,' offering deals for early upgrades to 4G contracts

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Despite not having a licence at present, or any firm plans for a 4G LTE network, UK carrier Vodafone has come out fighting with their "4G Promise." Rival carrier, EE, is set to launch the UK's first 4G LTE network within days. Eager not to lose out too much to the new service, Vodafone is offering some pretty impressive deals for customers who upgrade to their 4G network when it eventually arrives. 

The meat of the offer is pretty straight forward: 

So if you’ve bought an iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy SIII (purchased after October 26th 2012) or Galaxy Note II, simply bring it back to one of our stores. Even if you’re still in contract, we’ll knock off 70% of your remaining contract charges, letting you upgrade your phone early and start a fresh contract.

70% is a huge amount to reduce an outstanding contract fee by, and shows that Vodafone is keen to not only retain their current customers who may think about switching, but attract those who are unable to get EE 4G LTE at the services launch. The deal only applies when taking out a new 4G contract in the future, and for devices bought between September 12 2012 and March 31 2013.

Source: Vodafone

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4 years ago

Nexus 4 user manuals go live on LG's support page

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Remember that LG Nexus 4 support page that went live yesterday? Well now the page has been updated with user manuals for the device. We've been calling this device the Nexus 4 for a long time now, and this manual has confirmed that for us. Also something to note here is that there are two different manuals -- one 8GB, one 16GB. Both manuals seem to be the exact same, but that still gives us some information. Based on what we see here, we may be looking at just those two storage capacities for the next Nexus device.

The manuals also confirm the existence of an inductive charging coil, which occupies a pretty big space under the back plate. We picked this out in the FCC documentation all the way back when the first leaks hit, so we saw that one coming. Inductive charging on the device doesn't do much good without the accessories to support it though, so hopefully Google does a better job with these than the Galaxy Nexus docks.

If you're still curious and want to thumb through the manuals, head to the source link below. And remember, we'll see it all straight from Google on Monday morning.

Source: LG; via: Engadget

More: LG Nexus 4 Forum

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4 years ago

Droid RAZR HD and MAXX HD receiving small security patch OTA

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It looks like the Droid RAZR HD and MAXX HD are receiving an extremely small OTA update -- about 6MB -- according to Verizon support documentation. There's just one bullet point to this update, "Updated Google Security Patch has been added.", which is pretty obscure. Rooted users beware, this may be closing up an exploit hole that you used. Better wait and see what the final implications of this update are.

That aside, it's always good to see updates coming out, even the small bug fixes like this.

Source: Verizon Support; PDFThanks everyone who sent this in!

More: Verizon Droid Forums

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4 years ago

Nexus 10 image discussion, What makes an app a tablet app? [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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4 years ago

Tricks and treats: Halloween live wallpaper roundup!

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You may not always run a live wallpaper on your Android device, but they can definitely be fun for a couple weeks at a time around different holidays. Luckily, app developers in the Play Store are offering hundreds of live wallpapers for every occasion, including Halloween, for your enjoyment. The unfortunate part is that not all of these wallpapers will perform as well as you'd hope.

So we've spent the time and effort to find the best looking and best performing Halloween live wallpapers in the Play Store today. Take a look after the break and see our top five picks that are real treats.

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4 years ago

The LG Nexus 4 was lost at a bar (no, really)

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Remember all of that hubbub about an iPhone 4 prototype being left in a bar a couple years back? Yup, that happened with a Nexus 4 prototype as well. Back in September, the bartender at a popular San Francisco bar came across an interesting phone. Seeing so many phones every night left at the establishment, he didn't think much of it. When a patron at the bar that was more in tune with the current Google rumor mill noticed it was the LG Nexus 4, they knew they had an important device on their hands.

As the story goes, the bartender was quickly in contact directly with security detail at Google, and eventually arranged a meeting to retrieve the device. It's quite a story, and we recommend you take a look at the source link for the full saga (and some more pictures). We've also got the video of the device for you after the break.

Source: Wired

More: LG Nexus 4 Forums

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