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4 years ago

Vodafone UK announces the Huawei Ascend G 300

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Vodafone UK has today announced a new budget Android phone aimed at aimed at Pay As You Go customers. The Huawei Ascend G 300. The Ascend G 300 is exclusive to Vodafone UK, and costs £100 when purchased with a £10 PAYG top-up. It's also free on all of Vodafone's 24-month service plans, which start at £15.50 per month for 100 minutes, 500 texts and 250MB.

And there's a reasonable amount of smartphone on offer for your money -- there's a 1GHz CPU inside, a 4-inch screen, 512MB of RAM and 2.5GB of internal storage. The phone ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and Huawei's custom UI, with an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich promised over the summer.

We've got Vodafone's presser after the break.

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4 years ago

Springpad update offers a new way to collaborate, share notebooks and discover ideas

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It's been quite some time since we last heard from the folks at Springpad, though they do have a good reason for it. They've been working on Springpad v3.0 behind the scenes and now they're ready to show it off to the world. Springpad for the uninitiated, allows you to save notes, look up products, places, movies and more all while keeping things nice and organized for you  in the cloud with the ability to share it all with others. Version 3.0 of Springpad is taking things to the next level with some new feature additions:

  • Follow individual notebooks: by content and interest from friends and trusted sources
  • Flexible sharing options: make notebooks private or public; and co-curate or collaborate with others.
  • Enhanced filtering and organization: ability to tag, sort, and change views; find new notebooks via category and tag pages.
  • Automatic enhancements and alerts: useful information like show times, price comparison and reservation links; alerts provide updates, price drops and offers for saved items
  • Easy save options: new quick add bar; bookmarklet and browser extensions make searching and saving effortless.
  • Universal access: web, retina optimized iOS and Android phones and tablets; offline support is available on all devices for all personal notebooks.
  • Personalized notebooks: choose themes and accents

The app itself has been completely redesigned and in addition to all those noted changes, also includes a new explore feature that allows you to view content from other Springpad users who have found and shared interesting things from around the web. Check out the video above to get a better look and if you're looking for more info or the download link, you'll find it all past the break.

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4 years ago

Google+ gets major redesign with simpler UI and more customization

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Google announced this morning that Google+ is set to receive a massive redesign over the next few days that will make it easier to use and much more intuitive. The company has been innovating quickly with its social network, and this is just another example of their commitment to the platform.

For starters, the main page has seen a complete overhaul. Rather than your tabs bring up top as well as along the side, you'll get icons along the left panel. These are also customizable, so if you don't want the Games icon, you can simply move it. There are also quick actions that you can access for each icon by hovering over them.

Posting photos and videos is getting an upgrade as well. Larger content will appear in your Stream now whether you're sharing it yourself or viewing pictures from your friends. Google is adding a feature that they're calling 'cards', which are streams of conversations that you can join. There will also be an activity drawer to highlight important content.

Hangouts are changing too. For one, there is a dedicated icon just for Hangouts that you can stow away on your left panel. This section will display an up-to-date invitation list from everyone in your Circles, access to every public Hangouts occurring at that moment, and a rotating billboard of popular Hangouts.

These changes should take effect over the next few days, so if you don't see them right away, don't worry, they'll arrive soon. Please find a couple screenshots after the break.

Source: Official Google Blog

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4 years ago

Verizon implementing $30 upgrade fee starting April 22

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Verizon might have nixed plans for a $2 bill-payment fee late last year, but that doesn't mean it's the end of all fees for all time. Starting April 22, Big Red will charge you $30 for the privilege of upgrading your device on contract.

Says Verizon:

This fee will help us continue to provide customers with the level of service and support they have come to expect which includes Wireless Workshops, online educational tools, and consultations with experts who provide advice and guidance on devices that are more sophisticated than ever.

Verizon does note that if you take advantage of its "green friendly trade-in program," (at www.verizonwireless.com/tradein) it's possible to mitigate or completely offset the fee. And upgrade fees aren't really anything new, either. AT&T in February doubled its upgrade fee from $18 to $36.

More: Verizon

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4 years ago

New at ShopAndroid.com: The Jabra Freeway Bluetooth speaker

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Just a quick heads up that the Jabra Freeway Bluetooth car speakerphone we reviewed last month is now available at ShopAndroid.com. To recap, it's a great way to stay hands-free in the care, with large, easy to press buttons, an excellent speaker with a surprising amount of depth and sultry voices (no, really). The FM transmitter works as it should, so you can stream calls into your car speakers. And as an added bonus, it charges via microUSB, and not the less-frequently used miniUSB.

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4 years ago

HTC One X battery life - impressive performance after three weeks of use

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On the left is April 10, on the right is April 8 (April 3 is below)

Fun story about the HTC One X battery life. I've seen it be one of the worst performers (thanks to a since-squashed server-side bug), and I've seen it be one of the best. In addition to reviewing phones, we often end up as guinea pigs, using hardware that's barely had time to let the glue dry, or software that's not quite final. In the case of the HTC One X, it's been both. The hardware is solid. I've got no concerns about that, save for maybe scratching the camera lens. 

The software we're running on our review unit actually is a tick above that of the retail units. I'm not sure if that's causing some disparity. But more than that, my usage case is going to be different than yours. My network is different than yours. I am not a normal user. 

That said, I've been pretty impressed with what I'm seeing after three weeks of use. 

When I'm at home, working, I'm on Wifi. And that's for a good chunk of the day. Not every day, though. So when I'm running around town, chasing after the kids or doing errands, I've been on AT&T. I'm pretty heavy on Twitter (and I'm back on Seesmic, since it finally updated for the HTC One X), Facebook and Google+ throughout the day. Browsing, too. And because the One X has that excellent camera, I've been taking more than my fair share of pictures (which I've got auto uploading to Google+ when I'm on Wifi). 

So there's your macro view of how I roll. And I'm getting well over 12 hours of use between charges. Hell, I'm getting well over 15 hours on a single charge. It's a little ridiculous when I stop to think about it, and it makes me want to pick up the phone and use it some more.

We're going to have to see how this changes once we get the AT&T version of the One X here in the states. For one thing, it'll be using the dual-core Qualcomm S4 processor instead of NVIDIA's Tegra 3. For another, it'll have LTE data in some locales, and presumably it'll have some fine-tuning for AT&T that this European GSM version won't (though they do share the same radio frequencies, so maybe that'll just be in our heads).

That doesn't change the fact that when the One X battery is drained, you'll be needing a charger. No swapping batteries. So keep that in mind. But once we get it on AT&T, it'll be an interesting experiment, to be sure.

For more impressions, hit up the official HTC One X battery life thread.

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4 years ago

To the 5 Boroughs (and St. Louis) - AT&T expands LTE coverage

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That's right, Staten Island. No longer can Manhattan and Queens and Brooklyn and the Bronx lord over you for not having AT&T's 4G LTE data, as the switch has been flipped and you're now a member of the, uh, "Hey, we have AT&T LTE Club." In addition, St. Louis also has gone live. The new LTE locales come just a couple days after Indiana and Texas saw a few towns turned on, and it's all part of a 12-market expansion currently under way.

So who's next? Baton Rouge and New Orleans are still on the list, and we've got a feeling they'll be live by the time CTIA hits the bayou country on May 8.

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4 years ago

Late-night poll: How long do you need your battery to last?

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We all want a battery that lasts days between charges while we use the heck out of it, but common sense tells us that's just never going to happen. Battery tech is slowing getting better, while screens get bigger and brighter, and networks get faster and use more juice. Other internals like chipsets and processors help in the battery life department, but it's pretty much a given that if you use your Android hard, you'll need to charge it at least once a day. In a pinch, some phones may go two days, but for the most part this is true for all smartphones. B = SF2 (my new theory, where battery = screen size times fun factor squared. I call it Jerrytivity. Don't sue me Apple.)

A couple of famous Englishmen once said you can't always get what you want. But you do get what you need. Hopefully, that last part is true for you. It is most of the time for me, and I need about 12 hours out of my Android phone. If I can't get that, I just can't use that particular phone. Usually, it isn't a problem.

What about you guys and gals? How much life do you need from a phone for it to be usable? Vote in the poll, and let it fly in the comments!

 

Battery life: How long is long enough?

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4 years ago

Potential fix for Transformer Prime GPS needs no dongles

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There's a new GPS fix out there for Android devices (including a special build for the Transformer Prime) that promises to fix the issues many have been seeing with the location services from ASUS' latest 10-inch tablet. We know that ASUS is set to give out GPS dongles to users affected by the bad hardware, but we had to take a look at this potential quick-fix and see how it works for us. Note that you will have to be rooted at a minimum to try this, and the developer states that it doesn't work with all custom ROMs. We used a stock, rooted ROM for our test.

Buyer beware: Before we go any further, you'll need to know that the developer, crypted from XDA, is using his own NTP server. An NTP (Network Time Protocol) server is used to keep computer clocks synchronized on networks that aren't always the same speed -- like a mobile or Wifi network.  He explains that this allows for "better stability and speed by providing top-rated NTP servers", but doesn't explain how he guarantees this, nor why he feels his server is better. He also makes it clear that nobody should criticize or question him for doing so in his thread. Normally, that's where I would just close the tab and move on, but I figured I'd finish what I started here. I'll leave it to each of you to decide how much you trust this, but I felt the need to let you know ahead of time.

So I backed up a few files, and copied over the files for this fix. You can push them via adb, flash them via custom recovery, or do like I did and copy them in place and manually set the permissions. Sure enough, I got my first ever indoor GPS lock after about 45 seconds. Seeing this made me have to take it for a spin, so I grabbed the wife and took a little drive. Navigation was hit-or-miss (the device still won't stay locked while moving about), but I'm sure it found more satellites and locked faster outdoors than it did before. This fix certainly makes it locate those metal birds faster, but it isn't going to fix the whole issue for everyone. I'm very curious how these changes will work in tandem with any GPS dongle ASUS supplies, and if both will make the Prime a real GPS alternative for the car. I'm hopeful, and will test it again once the dongle's start shipping and I get mine. In the meantime, decide how you feel about the server situation, then give it a try if you're OK with it. It can't work any worse than it does now, right?

Source: XDA-Developers

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4 years ago

Instagram updated, now works on the HTC One X, among other fixes

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Android's Instagram app just got an update. Included in the fixes -- among blanket better support for Tegra 3 devices -- is specific support the the HTC One X. So there's that. Here's the full changelog in Version 1.0.4:

  • Bug fixes for tablet users
  • Location for photo geotag is updated more often
  • Fixed Instagram photos not appearing in gallery
  • Better support for Nvidia Tegra 3 handsets/tablets
  • Increased device support for Instagram built-in camera and filters, including the HTC One X

So, there's that. Go tell your iOS friends.

Thanks, @madeincanon!

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4 years ago

Moving info from device, AOKP ROM's [From the Forums]

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With Tuesday comes to end of the long weekend for some and that means trying to get back into the swing of things after having consumed copious amounts of chocolate. If you're looking to get caught up on all the latest, check out what's new on the blogs and 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

Adobe Reader adds eSignatures capability - Electronically sign and send documents without printing or faxing

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Adobe has rolled out their latest improvement for their Adobe Reader application and it solves an issue that you may have ran into in the past. Adobe Reader now includes the Adobe Echosign feature for allowing you to sign, annotate and even request signatures on the go across all of their offerings be it on smartphone, tablet or desktop:

  • Ink Signature Tool – Users can electronically sign a document by hand-drawing their signature with their finger on a touchscreen.
  • Send for Signature – Users can connect to Adobe EchoSign to get others to sign documents electronically, enabling senders to track and manage the status of documents online. In addition, signed contracts are archived in the cloud, making it easy for users to retrieve documents from anywhere, at any time, via a Web browser.

In addition to the Echosign feature being added, Adobe has also improved upon other features in the app as well such as annotation of documents, sticky note comments for PDF files and a new form fill option that allows you to fill out forms, save them and then forward them off to others. The full press release and download can be found past the break.

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4 years ago

HTC One X screen flex 'flaw' -- should we worry about it?

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In the process of reviewing the HTC One X, CNET UK flagged up a potential build quality issue. On four different review units, they reported that pushing down on the edges of the screen caused it to flex and produce a series of discoloured pixels on the display. Going back to the Creative Director at One & Co, HTC’s design consultancy, they received the response, “we would never let that ship.”

So that would mean retail units shouldn’t be affected, yes? Well, no. See, I purchased a shiny new HTC One X on Three UK, and should I press down on the edges of the screen, I see exactly the same as CNET reported. HTC haven’t confirmed anything either way, but based on my retail unit alone I’d say that there’s little point in denying it.

A more important question should be, should you worry? Is this a reason to not buy the phone?

Any kind of design flaw is not exactly welcome, especially in such a high end, expensive device as the One X. But you have to press -- really press -- on the sides of the screen to replicate this yourselves. How many of us do that in general day-to-day use? Apart from this one time, in the name of research, I am pretty much sure that I won’t be doing it again. Neither will you guys most probably. The HTC One X is exceptionally well made, so much so that perhaps some have been looking for reasons to score it down. After all, how many of us have done something like this whilst trying out a new phone for the first time?

This is really a non-issue. If you’ve already bought a One X, or are planning on doing so, don't worry and enjoy it. I know I’m enjoying mine a whole lot, and that’s all that matters. Oh, and don't forget to check out our extensive review as well, just in case you need a little help deciding. 

Source: CNET UK

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4 years ago

From the mail bag: Accidentally erased everything!

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Kelly writes,

HELP! While attempting to remove an email account from my phone I erased everything. Now all I get is the phone set up screen. Since I do not have a phone account I fear that I have lost all my applications and everything. Can I restore it, or at least download the basic apps that were on the phone when I bought it?

Yikes! Sometimes the settings can confuse the best of us, and we imagine this sort of thing happens from time to time. For most people, it's an easy fix. Go through the setup you're seeing and get signed back in to Google. The apps that came with the phone will still be there, and anything you downloaded from the Android Market is still available, just not installed.

You can find all the apps you installed from Google here: https://play.google.com/apps. Make sure you're signed in on your web browser, and open each one you want to re-install and they will be sent right back to your phone.

Good luck, Kelly!

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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4 years ago

POGO Games bring Poppit, Word Whomp and other favorites to Android

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If you have ever been bored on the computer and looked to kill some time, odds are you have stumbled across some of the POGO Games. Today the folks at EA have made some of the classics from POGO available on Android devices. Bringing titles like Poppit!, Word Whomp, Turbo 21, Sweet Tooth 2 to Android is a great thing.

In addition to access to these free games, you have the ability to unlock World Class Solitare, and if you are interested in joining Club POGO you will gain access to 40 more games, plus the removal of adds. If you want to get down with some of your computer classics, be sure to hit the break and download this today! 

Download: North America; rest of world

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