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4 years ago

Sprint customers in the US can now pay for all Google Play Store purchases using carrier billing

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For pretty much a year now, Sprint customers have been able to make use of carrier billing for app purchases on the Google Play Store but now, Sprint in cooperation with Google have gone ahead and taken it one step further. We knew it was coming but starting today, Sprint customers in the US can now use carrier billing for all their Google Play Store purchases including apps, music, books and movies. Anyone on Sprint going to be making use of this now that it is finally live? I've always been curious how many people make use of carrier billing.

Source: Google

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4 years ago

Android 5.0, Sensation ICS update [From the Forums]

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Although Verizon and Google managed to capture most of the news today, there was plenty more happening than just what came from them. If you happened to miss out on anything, get yourself caught up here on the blogs and check out some threads below from 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

Multiple Nexus devices could be a game-changer for Google and Android

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Google's reported introduction of more manufacturers into the Nexus fold could be a stroke of genius, but it’s not without its risks.​

We don’t often present entire articles of opinion on unconfirmed rumors here at Android Central, but the report this week concerning Google’s Nexus plans is a doozie. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is dramatically altering the nature of its Nexus program, bringing up to five manufacturers on board this year, with the aim of launching multiple Nexus devices with the next version of Android in late 2012. Oh, and this lineup will apparently include tablets as well as phones.

Google isn’t commenting officially, and the reports will likely remain the focus of fervent speculation as we approach Nexus season later in the year. But for the purposes of this article, let’s assume they’re true, and that Google will indeed work with different hardware partners in order to launch up to five Nexuses around Thanksgiving. 

To Android fans, it sounds like a dream offering -- more variety and choice in hardware when it comes time for a new version of their favorite OS. And more opportunities to get the very latest version of Android -- pure, vanilla Android, unmolested by custom user interfaces or carrier-mandated crapware. And as Android users ourselves, we’re sure that if this does come to pass, it’ll be an overwhelmingly positive development for everyone who buys an Android smartphone. It’s an opportunity for Google to get new versions of its OS out to consumers faster than ever, on varied hardware, in more markets than would be possible with just one hardware partner. And having multiple phones in different markets with the same excellent vanilla Android experience will help Google to better establish stock Android among the other major flavors of the OS.

But a multitude of challenges will face Google and its new Nexus partners as they prepare the next generation of Android phones and tablets. First of all, let’s look at why Google’s (probably) doing this. The original WSJ article points to concerns from manufacturers that Google may look to prop up the loss-making Motorola, which it's nearly done acquiring, by giving it privileged access to Android code at the expense of other phone-makers. (For its part, Google's Andy Rubin has said said this wouldn't happen.) Google’s desire to placate its hardware partners is undoubtedly a factor. As are the company’s ambitions to establish itself as a hardware vendor through its “Play” Store. But it’s also a way for Google to remedy some of the ailments currently afflicting its mobile platform.

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4 years ago

HTC: Sense 4 multitasking and memory management working as designed

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The confusion over the Sense 4 multitasking methods is about to come to an end, albeit in a way that many of you aren't going to like. While we were pretty confident that our investigation into the matter gave us the answers, we reached out to HTC about the issue, and it has responded with the following.

"HTC is aware of some questions in the enthusiast community about how the HTC One X handles multitasking and memory management for background apps. We value the community's input and are always looking for ways to enhance customers' experience with our devices. That said, right now multitasking is operating normally according to our custom memory management specifications which balance core ICS features with a consistent HTC Sense experience."

So there you have it. HTC has taken open-source Android, and customized it to its liking. We're not surprised, nor should you be. HTC places more emphasis on the front-end user experience, at the expense of background tasks, and has modified the source code to better suit its software. This is how open-source operates, and HTC should deliver what it  feels is best for their customers.

I think the real issue here is users' expectations. Sense 4 is as far from stock Android as iOS is from BSD. The core code was made available, and HTC has spent three years refining it, adding to it, and making it its own. From the user standpoint, only the very nerdly few are going to be up-in-arms about HTC's changes, and all of us knew ahead of time that HTC's phones would be running HTC's software. Our option is to purchase what suits us the best.

I've been using Sense 4 on the HTC One S for a bit now, and I think HTC has done a bang-up job with it. It's certainly not stock Android, and there are a few things I miss from vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich, but as mentioned, I knew that going in.

We often say Android gives everyone a choice -- let's not get out our pitchforks and write those petitions to try to take one away.

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4 years ago

Verizon to kill grandfathered unlimited data plan

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Verizon has plans to kill the current unlimited data add-on and force users to a shared pool of tiered data. Speaking at today's 40th annual J.P. Morgan Technology, Media, and Telecom conference, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo stated that all customers will be migrated off of current unlimited data plans and on to a new data-share plan to launch this summer. "Everyone will be on data share", according to Shammo. As people renew contracts and move to new 4G LTE smartphones and other devices, their current data plan will no longer be available. There was no mention what would happen to current LTE subscribers, but we imagine they too will be pushed towards the new sharing plans.

There is no word on exactly how these plans will work, only that  all 4G connected devices on Verizon will share the same data pool. We don't yet know how big that data pool will be, nor how much it will cost. Hopefully, Verizon realizes that they are pushing customers to use more and more data and makes them generous.

Of course, Shammo says this will be a better option for everyone involved, but I've a feeling that more than a few of you will disagree. To see the webcast in it's entirety, see the link below. 

Source: Fierce Wireless; view the webcast
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Score Mobile now available for the Amazon Kindle Fire

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Sports fans that own a Amazon Kindle Fire, if you're suffering from a lack of sports apps available for your device you'll want to listen up. Score Mobile has finally been released for your device and is now available for download. Bringing the same experience felt across other Android devices, Score Mobile for the Kindle Fire will help keep you up-to-date with all the sporting news right from your device:

  • Personalized navigation with "My Score"
  • Game view offering scores, stats and Twitter streams
  • Interactive live blogs during key games
  • TV segments and video highlights for selected leagues
  • Integrated social sharing tools

The app is available now in the Amazon App Store for free so if sports is your thing, it's something you'll certainly want to give a go. You can hit the Amazon App Store link below to grab the download or check out the source link for the full details.

Source: PR Newswire, Amazon App Store

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4 years ago

Asus Eee Pad Transformer 9.2.1.24 update now available, includes face unlock and various other bug fixes

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According to the folks in the Android Central Forums, a new update labeled as IML74K.US_epad-9.2.1.24-20120503 is currently rolling out to the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. A few things noted about the release after some testing indicates face unlock is now included, wallpapers no longer appear to be flickering and some other bug fixes seem to of have been addressed. Have you got the update on your device yet? If so, jump into the Android Central Forums and let us know.

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4 years ago

Sony details Xperia S ICS update further, arriving 'late may or early June'

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Pretty much the only thing missing from Sony's flagship Xperia S, is Ice Cream Sandwich. For many, a 2012 Android device without Android 4.0 on board out of the box, makes it a non-starter. But, for those that did take a punt and buy an Xperia S, the ICS flavored reward is almost here. 

The update is due to hit around "late May/early June," according to a post in the Sony Xperia S support forums. While nothing specific to go on, that does suggest within a calendar month we'll be seeing it. As ever, those devices bought unbranded and carrier unlocked will likely see it first, with the usual delays presented by carriers to follow for branded devices. 

Source: Sony Support Forum via Unwired View

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4 years ago

Sprint finally acknowledges EVO 4G LTE delay on its community forums

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Sprint's community forums this morning have acknowledged that the EVO 4G LTE has been delayed, stuck in customs. It hasn't gone out and said that it won't be available for Friday morning's launch, but pre-ordered phones are "on hold," writes dshoem01. Pre-ordered phones should still arrive first. Here's the full statement:

  • HTC EVO 4G LTE availability
    The U.S. availability of the HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed.  HTC is working to resolve this issue and appreciates your patience as they work to get products into Sprint channels. We can’t provide specific timing for product availability at this time and we appreciate your patience as HTC works to get products on store shelves as soon as possible.
  • Pre-order status/availability
    Delivery of products for pre-order are on hold and Sprint will provide a ship date as soon as possible. Sprint will maintain the promise for the preorder customers that they will be among the first to receive their HTC EVO 4G LTE units.

Update: The author of the post has since removed pre-order cancellation info, saying it was inaccurate. To cancel a preorder, you'll need to either refuse delivery or call for a return authorization kit.

Sprint PR continues to refer questions to HTC. Check back for any updates.

Source: Sprint community forums; via EVO 4G LTE forums

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4 years ago

Evernote updated to v4.0 - Brings redesigned Home Screen, with improved note and notebook lists

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Now that Android 4.0 Ice Cream sandwich is spreading we've seen a lot of apps get UI updates to conform a little better to Google's design philosophy and now, we can add Evernote into that group. The latest update available in the Google Play Store brings a whole new design to Evernote along with plenty of changes for the better:

  • A redesigned Home Screen, with improved note and notebook lists across the app
  • Responsive Action and Navigation Bars, which relate to the screen you're viewing and disappear for easy reading or note viewing
  • Swipe navigation horizontally to scan through Notebooks, Tags and Places easily
  • Location tagging for all your notes, if your phone is "Location Services" enabled

Aside from the visual changes, Evernote has worked plenty on the engine below the surface that powers the app. You'll find plenty of bug fixes and improvements overall. If you're looking to see it in action before giving it a go, you'll find a video below along with the download link.

Source: Evernote

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4 years ago

Sprint EVO 4G LTE reportedly will miss Friday's launch date

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Update at 11:17 a.m. EDT: Just heard back from Sprint again, and it's still referring any questions to HTC.

The HTC EVO 4G LTE won't be available Friday, its scheduled launch day, the WSJ reported this morning, following up on Tuesday night's bombshell that the AT&T HTC One X and Sprint's new EVO were being held at customs as part of a review by the International Trade Commission over issues with Apple patents.

On Monday, Sprint published a series of 10 press releases announcing that some stores would open at 8 a.m. Friday for the EVO 4G LTE launch. A Sprint spokesperson on Tuesday night referred questions about the delay to HTC. We've reached out for further clarification in light of the WSJ's report. The AT&T HTC One X has been listed as out of stock for several days now.

Reaction in our EVO 4G LTE forums has been bouncing from frustration for HTC, to Sprint to outright hatred for Apple and continued dismay over the way patents are granted for software.

For now, though, it certainly is looking unlikely that the EVO 4G LTE will be available on Friday morning, and there's no word of how long the ITC review will last. 

Don't touch that dial.

Source: WSJ; via The Verge

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4 years ago

LG promotes Optimus UI 3.0 ahead of new phone launches

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With its new range of Android 4.0 devices, LG's make a clean break with its old user interface design, starting over with the new Optimus UI 3.0. And in the run up to the launch of its upcoming flagship phones, the Optimus 4X HD and Optimus LTE II, LG's officially announced its new UI, which it says is designed to add new features, while being "unobtrusive and simple."

Of course, we've seen LG's new ICS-based software a few times before, including during our hands-on time with the Optimus 4X HD at MWC and CTIA. But until now LG's remained relatively quiet about exactly what's new in the new Optimus UI.

Among all the new features, LG's highlighting its re-vamped lockscreen, which allows the phone to be unlocked by dragging anywhere on the screen to create a window through to the apps or launcher below. And changes to pattern lock allow common apps to be automatically loaded while security features are enabled, too.

Also of interest is the new voice shutter, which enables the phone to take photos in response to voice commands. And just like leading phones from HTC and Samsung, LG's included burst-shot mode, and the ability to automatically pick the best shot from a series of snaps.

Other additions include a "downloads" category in the app drawer , and the ability to customize icons for individual app shortcuts. All interesting stuff, and we're eager to see how these features work in practice when we get our hands on LG's new stuff.

LG says Optimus UI 3.0 will launch on the Optimus LTE II in Korea this week, and internationally on the 4X HD in June. We've got the full press release after the break.

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4 years ago

Sonic 4: Episode II Tegra 3 edition review

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Remember back to Christmas, and we let you know that Sega and NVIDIA would be bringing an enhanced Tegra 3 version of Sonic 4: Episode II, and today is that day! If you thought Sega did a great job with Sonic 4 Episode I, wait until you try this one! Designed for the Tegra 3 SoC, the latest addition to the popular Sonic the Hedgehog franchise brings true console quality gaming, easy controls, and hours of fun for folks with the right hardware to run it. The rolling, the jumping, the bouncing -- it's all there, and looks as good as it ever did thanks to the new HD graphics engine and in-game physics, and the backgrounds and ambient sounds are done the way only the Tegra 3 can bring them to you.

If the single-player action isn't enough to get you excited about Sonic and Tails, grab a buddy with a Tegra 3 device and play co-op via Bluetooth. And when you hook up a wireless controller, it's just more fun than you can imagine. This game rocks!

Know what would be a hell of a fun way to play it? On your very own ASUS Transformer Pad TF300. Vote in the Tegrazone's first annual Player's Choice Awards and you get a chance to win one of seven ASUS Transformer Pad prize packs -- complete with the tablet, the keyboard dock, a Logitech wireless controller and a killer Jambox Bluetooth speaker. Then double your chances by entering Android Central's giveaway, where NVIDIA and ASUS have partnered with us to give away one each week right here on our site. Don't miss your chance to win an awesome setup, because the games in the TegraZone just keep getting better. Check out the source link for more details, and hit the break to see the two minute run through level one. Sonic 4: Episode II is available for Tegra 3 devices on NVIDIA Tegra Zone for $6.99, so fire up that app to get started.

Read more about Sonic 4: Episode II

Vote in the Player's Choice awards at the TegraZone

Enter the drawing right here at AC

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4 years ago

Google Music limits device de-authorizations to 4 a year

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A bit of a wet blanket has been tossed onto Google Music recently. We're not exactly sure when this policy went into effect (but we're pretty sure it's been a recent change), but you can now only de-authorize four devices from Google Music per year. (You can still have a total of 10 authorized to play.) This is one of those situations that generally wouldn't affect your "normal" user who has one or two phones, and maybe a tablet, and doesn't go around swapping devices every few weeks.

We are not your normal user. And chances are a good percentage of Google Music users aren't "normal" users either, flashing ROMs and what not. (As a side note: Having a rooted device has nothing to do with any of this, headlines to the contrary.) That leaves some of us in a bit of a pickle. That's my authorized device list above. Somehow I've managed to get two Logitech Revues authorized, even though I only have one, which needs to be hard-reset every few weeks because it's a piece of crap that likes to forget it has certain applications installed. (The latest app to fall victim to my Revue's disappearing act -- wait for it -- was Google Music.) So not only do I have two Revues listed and can't de-authorize either of them, I'll be stuck with the Revue as an authorized device if and when Google releases something new later this year. (I'm still expecting an announcement of some sort at Google IO.)

I don't blame Google here. Online music still is a ridiculously overcomplicated endeavor, thanks to the record labels. (And it's second only to online video streaming.) But, obviously, this won't do. Because I shan't be using this Revue any longer than necessary, and phones don't last forever.

So is it back to Amazon for me? Or back to local music? 

More: Google Music support page; Thanks, @anthonok, for pointing this one out

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4 years ago

T-Mobile HTC Sensation 4G ICS update rolling out today, Amaze update coming May 21

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Good news this morning for anyone rocking T-Mobile's HTC Sensation 4G -- as we reported a couple of days ago, the Sensation's update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich begins rolling out today. So head to Settings > About phone > Software updates to see if your update is ready yet.

In addition, T-Mobile has today revealed that its HTC Amaze 4G will be joining the Sensation on ICS from next Monday, May 21. Just like the Sensation's ICS upgrade, the Amaze OTA will bring it up to Android 4.0.3 and HTC Sense 3.6. That's the same intermediary version of Sense that we've seen on other updated phones, adding many of the features we've seen on newer Sense 4.0 phones, but sticks with the visual style of the older Sense 3.x.

If you're updating your Sensation to ICS today, be sure to drop by the comments and let us know how it went!

Source: T-Mobile (1, 2)

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