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4 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich coming to T-Mobile Galaxy Tab 7 plus, but only via Kies

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T-Mobile support has let everyone know that an optional Android 4.0.5 update for the Galaxy Tab 7-plus should be ready and waiting in Samsung Kies tomorrow. Before we go any further, we know it says 4.0.5 -- that could be a typo or it could be a specially-built version from Samsung for the Tab 7-plus. I've reached out, and will let everyone know when I hear back.

What we do know is that it's Ice Cream Sandwich, which T-Mobile and Samsung feel is a drastic enough change in the user experience to make it an optional install versus pushing it out to everyone. We hate Kies as much as you all do, but we like choice so we won't ding them too much this time.

Anyhoo, you'll be updating to Android version 4.0.5 / Software version T869UVLG7, which will be required to access Music Hub after August 27, 2012. You'll need to have the latest version of Kies, and at least a 50-percent charge, See the full details at the source link.

Source: T-Mobile

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4 years ago

2012 Google Nexus phones, S3 in black, what do you all think? [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

LG says the Optimus Vu will hit the US this quarter

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While none of the carriers in the U.S. have stepped forward, LG has said that the Optimus Vu (check out our review) will be destined for the United States market this quarter. This aligns rather well with the reports of a Verizon branded version, sporting Big Red's LTE radio bands and it's unique 4:3 aspect ratio. 

With the limited release (primarily confined to Asian markets) the Vu hasn't made a significant splash in the Android pool. Dropping the Ice Cream Sandwich running 5-incher with digitized pen input on the Verizon network could change all that. Of course just because it's been seen and mentioned doesn't make it so (hello there, Verizon Nexus One!) so until we see it on some store shelves we still have to call it a bit of a rumor. 

Hopefully, LG can push the Vu into the U.S. market, as more choices is always better than not having them. 

Source: LG (Korean); via UnwiredView

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4 years ago

Acer Cloudmobile goes up for pre-order in the UK for £285

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The Acer Cloudmobile was first brought to the worlds attention back at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Fast forward six months, and the device has finally become available to pre-order in the UK. Despite having a strange name, the Cloudmobile potentially offers good value for money at this price point.

Online retailer, Expansys, is offering the Cloudmobile SIM-free and unlocked for £284.99. For that you get a really good looking smartphone, with Android 4.0 on board -- complete with on-screen buttons -- 720p 4.3-inch display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM and 8GB on board storage. Camera wise we're looking at an 8MP rear shooter with LED flash. Compared to the high-end devices we've seen launched at, and since MWC, the Cloudmobile might seem like a bit of a non-starter. At this price point though, it sits nicely into the mid-range. Let's not also forget that Acer won a prestigious design award for this device. 

At present, Expansys expects to begin shipping the Cloudmobile to pre-order customers from September 5. 

Source: Expansys

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia S to get a new color, dark silver added to the lineup

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Another day, another batch of Sony related news. For once however, this latest piece of news concerns an existing device -- the current flagship to the 2012 Xperia line, the Sony Xperia S. Until now, the Xperia S has only been available in two different colors -- black and white. Sony has announced today a third color choice, imaginatively titled "Dark Silver." 

OK, so the name might not be that inspiring, and for many the device itself may provoke a similar reaction. It's a good looking thing though, and this latest color choice just might be the best yet. After all, who doesn't want their phone to look good? No word on availability yet though, we're just told to "keep your eyes peeled."

At this point in time we're finding it difficult to get excited for any current Sony devices. We're a lot more excited to see -- for real at least -- the excessively leaked new Xperia devices, which we expect to see unveiled in a couple of weeks at IFA 2012 in Berlin. 

Source: Sony

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4 years ago

Android 4.0 now available to LG Optimus 4G LTE owners on Bell

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With its American relative the LG Nitro HD already having received its update, LG Optimus 4G LTE owners on Bell in Canada have had to wait a little bit longer. But no more, according to a tweet sent out by from the official Bell Twitter account. LG Optimus 4G LTE owners can go ahead and grab Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich through system updates.

Source: Bell

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4 years ago

HTC Rezound getting another update

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There's another OTA package for the HTC Rezound out in the wilds of the Internet, and quite frankly nobody knows what's going on with it. We (and likely everyone else) have reached out to Verizon, who hasn't yet responded with news of anything new, so we have to roll with Internet wisdom on this one. Scary, I know.

We do know that the update has a new radio, new recovery, new kernel, and updates in the firmware itself. What we don't know is what the update brings new to the table, or what it might have fixed. Some users are less-than-happy with the ICS update from earlier in the month, so there very well could be some bug and stability fixes. There's also the global roaming capability that Verizon has promised for this summer, so maybe it's there along with the new radios -- there is a setting in the options for Preferred Network to be Global now.

We won't know for sure until Verizon posts the changes, or enough people get the update to verify the suspicions. That's where you come in -- if you've received the OTA (or flashed it manually via directions at XDA), sing out in the Rezound forums. Help get this one figured out!

Source: XDA-Developers; via Android Central forums

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4 years ago

Disney Junior Sprint ID pack now available, keep kids entertained on the go

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If you've ever been a road trip with a child, then you know it's sometimes not always easy keeping them entertained, especially if it's a really long trip. To help parents deal with that, Sprint has now made available the Disney Junior Sprint ID pack. It's loaded up with content that kids are sure to love and well, maybe even some parents as well:

  • Disney Junior Games: Keep kids entertained and engaged with games from DisneyJunior.com featuring Jake and the Never Land Pirates – including Izzy’s Pirate Puzzles and Jake’s Treasure Hunt.
  • Disney Junior Facebook: Parents can get the latest tips, recipes and sneak peeks on what is happening on all of the Disney Junior Facebook pages.
  • Disney Junior Videos: Your child can watch select episodes of their favorite Disney Junior shows on demand. Full episodes of Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Doc McStuffins are among those available using the Sprint TV app.
  • Disney Junior Wallpaper: Customize your phone with wallpapers featuring your child’s favorite Disney Junior characters.

If you're a parent on the go and need something to keep the younguns calm, you can find the Disney Junior Sprint ID pack available for free on eligible plans and devices from Sprint. Full details are listed below in the press release for you all.

Source: Sprint

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4 years ago

Motorola Droid 4 ICS update pushing out, brings global roaming and remote diagnostics

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A couple weeks back we saw the Motorola Droid 4 in the midst of it's soak test procedure for Ice Cream Sandwich, and today it appears that the update is pushing, at least for a few. Officially, the support page lists the update as "coming soon", but we've gotten a report or two that it's already inbound. We'll go over the changes in a bit, but it's worth mentioning that the build of Blur (or not Blur) has been updated to the same version we saw in the RAZR's Ice Cream Sandwich update. We like it when things get refined, so we're not complaining, but if you get a bit lost with the new look and feel hit the forums for some help. Moving on to the details --

  • Device is enabled for Global Roaming.
  • Integration of new version of  Backup Assistant Plus.
  • Mobile IM has been removed.
  • Color for Facebook application is preloaded.
  • Enhanced Customer Support with Verizon Remote Diagnostics.
  • Improved Stability and connectivity with Email.
  • Successfully download and save ringtones.
  • Mobile Hotspot – Improved connectivity.
  • Reduced device resets and power cycling.
  • Camera quality has been improved for better pictures.
  • Improved My Gallery performance.
  • Voice Mail Notification shows the correct of unread messages.
  • Updated Mobile Hotspots Icon.
  • Visual Voice Mail shortcut on home screen changed to a standard voicemail shortcut.
  • Clear Contact pictures are displayed for phonebook contacts.

The version number is now 6.16.217.XT894.Verizon.en.US, and the update checks in at about in at 360MB. We're not sure how widespread the rollout is just yet, but to check if you have it ready and waiting hit the settings and look in About phone > system update. When you see it, be sure to sound off and let folks know how it went for you. Hit the source link below for the full details as well as detailed update instructions.

Source: Verizon Support. Thanks, TimR!

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4 years ago

Barnes & Noble lowers NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color pricing to its lowest ever

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For all you deal hunters out there who like nice things but aren't really looking to buy in when prices are high, you're holding out for a NOOK Tablet or NOOK Color may have paid off. Barnes & Noble has announced a price drop on both the NOOK Tablet or NOOK Color, just in time for back to school.

  • NOOK Tablet 8GB for $179
  • NOOK Tablet 16GB for $199
  • NOOK Color for $149

The pricing is in effect across all of Barnes & Noble 700 locations. Barnes & Noble hasn't noted if the price drop is permanent or just a sale so, if you're looking to pick one best to go ahead and do so as soon as possible. You'll find the full press release below.

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4 years ago

ZTE Grand X launches on Virgin Media UK

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ZTE sends word that its new mid-range Android handset, the Grand X, is now available from Virgin Media in the UK. The Virgin Media launch follows the Tegra 2-powered device's earlier launch on Phones4U. The Grand X, which sports near-vanilla Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on a 4.3-inch qHD display, is available for £199.99 up-front, or for free on any of the network's 12 and 24-month contracts. The PAYG deal includes £10 of credit and 1GB of mobile data.

The Grand X is part of ZTE's effort to enter the premium handset market in the UK. The phone's powered by a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU and a mostly unskilled Android 4.0 software experience. The phone also rocks a 4.3-inch qHD LCD display, 512MB of RAM, a 5MP rear camera and a microSD card slot.

You'll find more info on the Virgin Media deals at the link below. Also be sure to check out our hands-on preview of the Grand X.

Source: Virgin Media

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4 years ago

Editorial: Custom ROMs are awesome, and sometimes they break stuff

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For many of us, part of the fun of having an Android phone is yanking off the intended software and putting a community-built custom build into the ROM. Sometimes, it's almost necessary to fix a few "broken" things the OEM is dragging their feet on (hello, T-Mobile G2X!), but more often than not it's done either to add features, take away features, or because it's a whole bucket of awesome inside of big box of coolness -- in other words, fun as hell.

Of course, the first thing we all look at when cruising for the next custom ROM we're going to flash is the "not working" list. It often takes time to get all the features of a device working with custom software, and usually the first few releases of a ROM will have at least a couple things not working. It's not necessarily a ding on the devs building the software, OEMs aren't very keen on sharing their secrets and code -- even when required to under the license they agreed to before using it. That's why we see things like camera issues, Bluetooth wonkyness, and various sensors not playing nicely until they are tickled into submission. We all have a cut-off point where we say "I don't need any of that stuff right now, and I wanna try this" and we flash it. Don't deny it, you have that line just like the rest of us do.

But that's not the sort of broken stuff we're talking about. There will always be some weird app issues that the developer didn't see. Maybe he (or she) doesn't use a particular app or just hasn't tried it yet. Those broken things aren't listed in the "what's not working" list. But they're still there, will always be there, and eventually you will run into one of them.

I'm mentioning this because of the recent boom of Jelly Bean ROMs being built for almost every device. Without pointing out anyone in particular, I saw a thread on an Internet forum about Google Now not working on the Galaxy Nexus. The person with the issue asked for help, and quite a few people were working with him, trying things and doing the usual voodoo ritual that often fixes broken stuff. About 20 posts (and a day) later it turns out that the fellow had a custom built 4.1.1 ROM running on his Sprint Galaxy Nexus. Everyone with that particular ROM had a busted Google Now app, and nothing short of editing the ROM was ever going to fix it. Rather than realizing this, the fellow with the issue quickly proclaimed that Android sucks and he hated this f&*@$!ing phone.

Now, to you, Android might suck. To over a million of folks a day buying Android phones, the phones are just fine. In either case, Google and the Android team had little to do with it this time around. We like to flash our phones. We need to realize that we often break things when we do it. Enjoy your phone, hack the living crap out of it, but don't be surprised (or act indignant) when random things are broken.

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4 years ago

Neuroshima Hex review - not your robo-mama's board game

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Neuroshima Hex is a board game with a particularly unique sci-fi setting full of story, cyborgs, and strategy. It’s been on Android for a few months, but just recently enjoyed a much-needed stability update. The far future war game pits the scrappy armies of mankind against several factions, ranging from marauding mutants, well-equipped gangs, and the very mechanical menace that plunged the human race into anarchy hundreds of years ago.

The turn-based gameplay is a simple back-and-forth that’s punctuated by sparse (but dramatic combat), and a wide variety of units with special rules.

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4 years ago

Incipio SILICRYLIC Case for Galaxy S3 review

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Protecting your Galaxy S3 should be a no brainer. Choosing what kind of case in which to put your new, shiny phone can be confusing. 

 

The Incipio SILICRYLIC case gets its name from providing two separate layers of protection for your Samsung Galaxy S III (S3.) The inner layer is made of silicone and the outer layer is a shell made of acrylic.

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4 years ago

Google buying Frommers, should fit nicely with Zagat

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Google's already helping you find out where to go -- now it's going to help you get there. Publisher Wiley & Sons has agreed to sell the travel publication to Google for an undisclosed sum, the Wall Street Journal reported today. It isn't clear what el Goog will do with Frommers -- it could be folded into the Zagat end of things, the WSJ opines, and that's certainly a possibility.

Google has made some pretty big strides in the travel sector, with the Zagat purchase as well buying flight scheduler ITA and integrating it into search results, which has been bolstered even further in Google Now.

Source: WSJ

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