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4 years ago

ZTE Score arrives on MetroPCS for only $50

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MetroPCS has been rounding out its Android lineup lately and, now they've added another device to the mix -- the ZTE Score M. The ZTE Score certainly won't win any spec wars, but for anyone looking for a cost effective smartphone, it has a fair bit to offer:

  • 600 MHz processor
  • 1500 mAh battery
  • 4GB internal memory expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • CDMA 1x-EVDOrA Cell/PCS/AWS network
  • Bluetooth 2.1 and Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) compatible

Android 2.3 and a 3.2 megapixel camera complete the package which, is available for $49 plus tax, after mail-in rebate. The deal applies for a limited time at all MetroPCS and dealer retail locations nationwide and online.

Source: MetroPCS

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4 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest winners: Photo filters and effects

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The winner of this week's photo contest is Cody Griffith, who captured the full hipster spirit with his entry. Taken with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and using the Pixlr-o-matic app, he successfully made an image captured with amazing 21st-century technology look like something taken in 1974. Nice work Cody. Keep an eye on your inbox for information about your prize.

We had some other great entries this week, as we usually do. Android users love to take good pictures (we have thousands and thousands of pieces of evidence). Hit the break to see the 10 runners-up to get an idea of just how good some of the submissions are. We'll start a new contest tomorrow and do it all again next week. 

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4 years ago

CyanogenMod 7.2 release candidate now live with support for 69 Android devices

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The first major CyanogenMod release of the year is upon us, as the leading custom Android firmware launches the first release candidate (RC) build for version 7.2. CM release candidates are generally considered stable enough for regular use, and are intended to flush out the last remaining bugs before the final release. 

In addition to the large jump in the number of supported devices, currently at 69 for the new release candidate, CM 7.2 adds bug fixes and new features. These include a few which have back-ported from Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Others, such as the T9 predictive phone dialer, are found in manufacturer ROMs but not stock Android.

CyanogenMod 7.2 is still based on Gingerbread, so the list of supported devices focuses on phones and tablets running Android 2.3.7 or older. CyanogenMod 9, the next major version, is based on Android 4.0. Early nightly builds of CM9 are available for a few devices, including the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S.

Hit the source link for the gigantic list of CM 7.2-supported phones. We've got the full changelog after the break.

Source: CyanogenMod

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: We don't need Just Another Android Tablet™

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Let's talk tablets.

Specifically, let's talk Nexus tablets. Forget, for the moment, that as yet there's no such thing as a Nexus tablet. And I'm willing to bet that if Google actually does make its own tablet sometime in the coming months, it won't actually be called "Nexus" anything. (I'll go one further and opine that perhaps the Nexus line has run its course, but that's another column for another day. You folks feel free to steal that idea in the meantime.)

There's been growing talk of some sort of Google-produced tablet. Whispers go back many months, and in December 2011 an Italian newspaper quoted former Google CEO and current Chairman Eric Schmidt as saying "We in the next six months plan to market a tablet of the highest quality." We've seen other posts from analysts and Digitimes (which covers Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers and often dreams up unicorns as often as it does actual products) that seem to corroborate that Google's producing something.

And on Friday we've seen further rumors from The Verge and Android and Me (who's been peddling this thing for a while now) going back and forth on pricing -- $149 of $199, either of which would be perfectly conceivable for an aggressively priced, Google-backed tablet. And specs, well, specs are specs. Maybe it'll be quad-core. Maybe it'll be dual-core. Maybe it'll have a display so great it'll make the new iPad look like the jacked-up resolution on your grandmother's aging laptop.

None of that matters.

From time to time you'll hear us joke about hardware rumors, saying something like "Breaksclusive! Next-generation hardware rumored to be thinner/lighter/faster than current-generation hardware!" Part of that's just us breaking Wheaton's Law. But that doesn't make it any less true. And in the case of Android hardware over the past year, it's been ridiculously true. I have no idea how many tablets Samsung has announced in the past 12 months. I'm willing to bet there are a great many people at Samsung who couldn't tell you without having to look up the number of tablet models it's released. It really just comes down to this:

The last thing Google needs to do is make Just Another Android Tablet™.

Think about it. What good would a "Google Nexus Tablet" be? What would it bring to the tablet table that we haven't already had for a year now? Thinner? Faster? Lighter? Inevitable. (To a certain extent, anyway.) Stock experience? The Motorola XOOM's had that for a year now, and most other tablets keep relatively the same experience. Price? What's a $149 Just Another Android Tablet™ going to do in the consumer space that the $199 Kindle Fire hasn't done already? Google's got the cash to eat the cost, sure. But Amazon's got the distribution pipeline, and the head start.

(By the way: Don't call this unicorn a Kindle Fire killer unless it's capable of sneaking into people's homes and disintegrating the millions of Kindle Fires already sold and is able to negate Amazon's current retail stance.)

I said this a long while ago in regards to the Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich — the key is going to be software. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich meant relative fresh start for Android. That said, it's been a troubled birth, as we still have a scant few devices with ICS, though that'll start changing fairly soon. (Though certainly not soon enough.) The tablet rumors we've been reading all share a common thread — they're thinking too small.

The next version of Android — by all (unsourced and uncreative) accounts it'll be called "Jelly Bean" — has to be more than just an iteration of a mobile operating system. You've undoubtedly heard the rumors of some sort of Google entertainment system. Or that Google Play is the start of something bigger. All this, I believe, is true. If there's one thing we know about Google, its that it has much more patience than those of us who don't create things for a living. (And certainly more patience than those of us who report on things for a living.) Google's in all this for the long haul.

Google TV was a disappointment. Android tablets have, on a macro level, been a failure to launch. Smartphones stand out, but there's certainly room for improvement. We know this. Google knows this. Word on the street is that we're all about to get a big lesson in WiDi, which in and of itself presents its own questions. (For most people, that'll be "What the hell is WiDi, and what can I do with it?")

We'll likely get some answers come the Google IO developer conference in June. And I've got a feeling everyone's going to be surprised.

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4 years ago

More Samsung Galaxy S III leaky goodness

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In the ongoing saga of Samsung Galaxy S III leaks, rumors, and chicanery, a new leak has been posted at Reddit. Mixed in among the U MAD BRO meme pics was the picture you see above, and the post with a brief explanation, supposedly from a fellow with a friend who works at Samsung. We've quoted the following spicy bits for easy reading:

He said that it will possibly have two optional launchers, ICS with touchwiz overlay and vanilla ICS. They aren't 100 percent sure if they will stick with touchwiz or have the dual launcher option. If they go dual, you will have the option of picking which one to use at startup, and you can change any time. He said it has a 4.7 inch screen that nearly takes up the whole phone, but some bezel space was needed for the camera, speakers, mic, and so cases would fit on it. He said it WILL be HD and have a ceramic "micro arc oxidation" back.

Is this for real? We have no idea. But it sure is fun to look at on a Saturday night. Hit the source link to see the various Reditor's take on this one.

Source: Reddit. Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Twitter working on next-gen TweetDeck app with power users in mind

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Remember back before Christmas when Twitter redesigned their interface with new "discovery" oriented pages? Remember how it made finding DM's and mentions harder by burying them a level deeper? Well if you're one of the many that hated the changes (Twitter refers to us as "power users") you'll like this news. TweetDeck, which was purchased by Twitter proper in May 2011, is in the process of being redesigned with you in mind. Details are sparse, but they all seem centered around a job listing by Twitter, Inc. which reads, in part:

About This Job
The TweetDeck team, working from London, is looking for new team members to work on our cutting edge Android app. We’re building the next generation of a suite of clients that millions of people love and use everyday. You’ll work on our small team, own the projects that you work on, and have a great time shipping products which change the way people communicate.

After the recent updates to the native Android app, and the lack of recent updates to TweetDeck, we're ready for a "cutting edge" app from the folks at Twitter. Don't forget the tablet interface, please.

Source: Twitter; via TechCrunch

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for March 17, 2012

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If applications are the best part of your mobile device, you probably love when we bring you some of our favorites. We are back this week with a few more, so let's hit the break and check them out!

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4 years ago

Android Central international round-up - March 17, 2012

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Despite the obvious hype surrounding a certain Apple tablet, it's been another busy week of international Android news. Sony finally gave its "Pepper" smartphone an official name, the Xperia Sola, and we saw some interesting new touchscreen tech introduced in this mid-range device.

It's also been a big week for rumors and release date info. We spotted not one, but two unconfirmed Galaxy S III renders out on the web, though we're still uncertain as to how genuine they are. And finally, there was some good news for those waiting on Android updates, as the international Galaxy S II got its ICS update, as did the HTC Velocity in Australia. Meanwhile the HTC One X got a tentative UK release date of April 5.

Check some highlights from past week's Android developments in Europe, Asia and beyond in the list below. And if you've got international news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

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4 years ago

Verizon adding remote diagnostics tool to latest LG Revolution update

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Verizon just gave us a heads up to a new update for the LG Revolution that, among other things, will add "Verizon Remote Diagnostics" to the smartphone.

Before anybody freaks out, Verizon describes this as a "new customer care solution to improve device issue diagnosis during customer support calls." You'll have to give a customer service rep permissions, and they they'll be able to "remotely view the user's device for troubleshooting and application demonstrations."

In other words, they'll be able to see and take over your phone -- again, with your permission -- to show and fix stuff. Different from a Carrier IQ-type analytics tool hanging out in the background (though we're willing to bet it's got full access to that same sort of information if need be). Should be interesting to see what folks pull out of this.

Other fixes coming down the pike in version VS910ZV8 include:

Device Enhancements

  • Resolved reboot issue found during operating system upgrade from Froyo
  • to Gingerbread.
  • Playing AVI video files through HDMI no longer causes display to flicker.
  • Placing an alarm on snooze while on a voice call will set snooze to 5 minutes.
  • Dolby presets have been updated to use loudness, bass and spaciousness
  • to improve the user’s experience.
  • When placing the device into Airplane Mode, the 4G icon no longer appears.
  • Email, Messaging & Web
  • Sending a text message to a 7 digit number will display as sent and received.
  • Improved device messaging to fix delays or incomplete sends.
  • Pressing the back key while browsing will take the user back to the previous page.

Applications & Widgets

  • Verizon Video is now preloaded.
  • Calendar widget now displays correct month for November.

It'll be interesting to see if this is just the first Verizon phone to have Verizon Remote Diagnostics added. Either way, props to Verizon for being up front about the addition.

More: LG Revolution VS910ZV8 changelog (pdf)

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4 years ago

'Samsung Galaxy S III' pictured, May 22 London unveiling rumored

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ZOMG!! Is this the Samsung Galaxy S III???

Who knows. But at the very least it looks a bit more legitimate than the past few alleged images to have emerged online. The screen capture above appeared on Reddit this morning with little in the way of supporting information. However based on the dates and locations shown in the render, there's already rampant speculation that the Galaxy S III will be unveiled in London on May 22, tying into the build-up to the Summer Olympics (of which Sammy is a big sponsor). No doubt it's possible, but it's still a bit of a stretch based on one image of questionable veracity.

If it is accurate, though, we could be looking at a phone with the usual physical/capacitive button setup, a 16:9 display, ICS, TouchWiz and a physical camera button -- none of which is particularly surprising. The presence of a metallic trim similar to that of the Galaxy Tab 2 and Galaxy Note 10.1 is interesting to note, too. If nothing else, there's way less wrong with this image than other purported Galaxy S III pics. Though that doesn't necessarily mean it's legit.

The logo you see in the bottom right belongs to Weber Shandwick Worldwide, a large global PR firm. Samsung uses a whole bunch of PR agencies around the world, so it's entirely possible these guys are involved with promoting a future Samsung device. It's also entirely unconfirmed.

We're sure to hear more about Samsung's next big thing as the Summer approaches, so keep it locked to AC for all the latest.

Source: Reddit; thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Heads up: We're giving away a THIRD ASUS Transformer Prime and dock

So we're already giving away two ASUS Transformer Prime's with their keyboard docks -- one via Google+, the other in our forums. Only, as some of you have noticed, the Google+ link is mostly dead. Pesky rules or something. No matter. Here's what we're going to do:

We're going to give away a third Transformer Prime and keyboard dock. To enter, just leave a comment in this post. That simple.

So now you've got three ways to win -- in the now-dead Google+ thread (don't you worry, we can still see it, so we can still pick a winner), this thread in our forums, and now here on this post. We'll shut it down at the same time -- 8 a.m. PDT Monday morning.

​Who do ya love?

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4 years ago

Late-night poll: Would you buy a tablet because it was Google branded?

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There's a lot of speculation about a Google branded tablet in the news recently, and we're all paying close attention to the rumors. A 7-inch tablet with decent internals, running ICS at the right price strikes home for some of us. But there's another thing to think about -- it's still a plain vanilla 7-inch tablet. We've seen ASUS and ACER can push out updates to their tablets, so being on the latest version isn't a question any longer.You're likely to get better customer service from a consumer-oriented company that you would from Google as well.

We love Android tablets. Most of you guys and gals reading this will as well. We're Android enthusiasts. But let's face it, Android on a tablet has been a bit slow to take off. Even as enthusiasts, we have to admit that. Is Google putting their name on the box the trick to make them sell?

That is the question, you have the answers. Would you buy an Android tablet solely because it was backed by Google? Tell us in tonight's poll.

 

Would you buy an Android tablet just because it was Google branded?

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4 years ago

Hands-on video with root options in CyanogenMod 9

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As you might've heard, popular custom ROM CyanogenMod 9 is introducing some changes in the way it handles root access. The gist of it is that root is now an option, not the default setting. It's still available if you need it, but you'll need to go into "developer options" and select whether you want apps, ADB or both to have root when you're done flashing your ROM.

As you'll see in our new video, if you try to run a root app without this setting enabled, you'll get a message directing you to the root setting. It's a bit like the "unknown sources" option that blocks non-Google Play apps by default -- enabled as standard for added security, but easy to bypass if you want.

We've got a quick video walkthrough after the jump.

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4 years ago

BlackBerry refugee, Leaked ICS for the Rezound [From the Forums]

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With the end of the week now here, we're all ready to roll on into the weekend. Today itself, was pretty bust for Android news with Cyanogen Mod dropping some news on us all and a new ICS leak for the Rezound -- exciting times. Get yourself caught up, and come hang out with us in the Android Central forums:

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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4 years ago

Droid Pro update official, change log posted

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A couple days ago we told you about the soak test starting up for the Motorola Droid Pro, and it seems to have passed and version 4.7.3.XT610 has been made official. Verizon has posted the change log and update instructions on their support site, with some critical bugs being addressed. The full list:

  • Improved security with DigiNotar security patch.
  • Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
  • Device will no longer lockup or reset after an Over the Air update.
  • Device will no longer automatically power on after it has been powered off.
  • Pressing the spacebar key will no longer cause the device to lockup.
  • Improvements to keyboard backlighting.
  • Smart Forwarding will no longer cause forwarded messages to remain in the Outbox
  • V CAST Apps is now updated to version 2.00.54.
  • VZ Navigator is now updated to version 7.2.0.461

Users affected by the weird lockup and phantom reboot bugs should be especially happy, and security fixes are always welcome on a device designed for business use. For those who aren't using the Droid Pro for business and have been using other methods to keep it current, don't accept this one until a developer says you can. 

There's no timeline when you should expect the update, but as soon as we hear that it's begun rolling out we'll let you know. It's not ICS, but at least Motorola and Verizon didn't forget about the Droid Pro.

More: Verizon

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