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5 years ago

Xperia bootloader unlocking will be available in 'upcoming weeks'


Xperia Arc

A while ago we reported that Sony Ericsson would be offering a bootloader unlocking solution for their 2011 Xperia line, and today Xperia Blog has some information about how this will play out.  According to SE developer Karl-Johan Dahlström, Sony Ericsson plans to have a bootloader site "up and running in the upcoming weeks."

The website will allow you to enter the IMEI number from your Xperia device, and you'll be given a key to unlock that devices bootloader via Fastboot.  SE has promised more details, but as it stands this is great news.  I'm loving the way Sony Ericsson has tackled this issue, and given hardware access to the people who paid for their devices.  We know that SE realizes the mistakes of the past, and this is a great way to make the future more user friendly. [Xperia Blog] Thanks, Rick!

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5 years ago

Developer Test Market and new Music app leaked


New test Music app

As we first told you last night, a developer test Market has surfaced, along with a new version of the Music application from Google.  Here's your (and mine) chance to get some hands-on time with both, as they have been leaked out in the Android Central forums.  Your're warned to have a full backup before trying these, and mentions a few different methods to install them.  On stock Android 2.3.3, they both installed and overwrote the normal system apps, but your mileage may vary.

We also have a bit of new anonymous information about exactly what we're seeing:

"As for the test bed it is actually the android developers market related testing site for new versions of the market, security fixes, and the new in-app billing.
Gallery 3D & Desk Clock are not available on gingerbread devices, Camera v12 is a redesigned camera that only has a different icon and background color inside the app. And the Android Music Store can only be accessed if you have an android music account."

As I said last night, it's pretty cool to get a peek behind the scenes of Google's closed-source stuff, even if most of it isn't that useful.  You can find a link to both the Market and Music app at the source, with no guarantees how long either will work -- so hurry, hackers :)

We also have a couple more pictures of the Music player after the break.   [Android Central forums] Thanks, Anonymous!

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5 years ago

Fring group video now in limited beta, sign up today to help beta test


We all know Fring was one of the first app developers on board for video calling and now, they are at it once again. This time around though, they are now working on group video calling for multiple devices making it so that you are no longer just tied to a two-way conversation. While it's not yet available in the Android Market, Fring is now accepting new sign-ups for their beta testing of the upcoming group video app. If you feel like giving them a hand and doing some bug testing in the near future, check out their blog post announcing the details -- or just click here to sign up. [Fring]

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5 years ago

Galaxy S Gingerbread update 'expected in next couple of weeks', says Three


 Galaxy S Gingerbread

Three UK has revealed via its official Twitter feed that it expects to release the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for its Samsung Galaxy S phones "in the next couple of weeks". However, the carrier adds that it doesn't have a firm release date in mind yet.

The news follows the leaking of a Euro Galaxy S Gingerbread ROM late last month. That ROM reportedly originated from a Samsung service center, and hasn't been pushed out officially yet. If Three's timings are correct, the Galaxy S series will be among the first phones to receive an official update to Android 2.3. The HTC Desire is also expected to receive its Gingerbread update in late April or early May, according to an earlier tweet by Three. [@ThreeUK]

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5 years ago

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 bootloader cracked


 Xperia X10 bootloader cracked

It's turning out to be a good month for Xperia X10 owners wanting to eek a little extra life out of their phones. First Sony Ericsson announced that the device, previously abandoned on Android 2.1, will receive an official Gingerbread update this summer. And now some enterprising hackers on XDA have managed to crack the device's bootloader, allowing users to install custom kernels for the first time, and paving the way for further customization of the device.

If you're partial to a bit of X10 hacking, then hit the source link to find out how to get started. [XDA]

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5 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Prevail on Boost Mobile's site ahead of tonight's event


Samsung Galaxy Prevail

A few days back we saw the leaked pricing of the Samsung Galaxy Prevail that is believed to be heading to Boost Mobile, and today the device has made an appearance on the carrier's site. For $179 you will get yourself an Android 2.2 powered 3.2 inch touchscreen running on Sprint's CDMA network. The device does only have a 2MP camera, not the greatest, but you still got the rest of the bells and whistles, like Bluetooth, GPS, etc. We expect an announcement of the device tonight in NYC, and we'll be there for it! [Boost Mobile] Thanks, Tasheena!

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5 years ago

Android Central on Facebook


Android Central on FacebookNow that you're one of our 74,000-odd Twitter followers, it's time to step things up a notch.

We're closing in on We've surpassed 17,000 followers on Facebook. That's nearly more than 17,000 of you who get the latest news, leave comments, share your pictures, and generally harass us day in and day out -- and we love it!

Plus there are hidden gems, such as a picture of our own Phil Nickinson and CrackBerry Kevin hard at work at CTIA. You won't find that anywhere else, folks. Plus we've got contests and other goodies in the works.

So if you're into the Facebook thing, be sure to swing on by Tell 'em Lloyd sent ya.

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5 years ago

T-Mobile adds another 10 HSPA+ cities



T-Mobile announced this morning that it's bringing 10 more cities into its HSPA+ (aka 4G) circle of trust. They are:

  • Ames, Iowa
  • Anderson, Ind.
  • Battle Creek, Mich.
  • Benton Harbor, Mich.
  • Jackson, Mich.
  • Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo.
  • Lawrence, Kan.
  • Manhattan, Kan.
  • Springfield, Ill.
  • Wichita Falls, Texas

T-Mo also reminds us that it'll be flipping the 42Mbps switch on Las Vegas, New York and Orlando later this year. We wouldn't read too much into T-Mobile continuing expansion as if the whole AT&T acquisition thing might not happen. Because it might not happen. And it's better to be bigger than not. Full presser's after the break. [T-Mobile]

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5 years ago

NYT subscibers on the Nook will soon get free access to


New York Times on the Nook Color

Bummed about the New York Times paywall? Have an Android-based Barnes & Noble Nook or Nook Color and already subscribe to the New York Times? Oh, happy day. You'll soon also be able to visit from your awesome little e-reader in the coming weeks.

Yeah, that's a little redundant, seeing as how you've already got the Nook-optimized content, but we like free stuff as much as the next guy. Not sure how this will affect a hacked Nook. Check out the full presser after the break, and you can find everything you need to know about the Nook -- stock or hacked -- in our Nook Forums.

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5 years ago

Android Quick App: Domino Solitaire [video]


Domino Solitaire

Domino Solitaire is a new puzzle game on the Android Market, and I, for one, am loving it.  It's a great way to spend a little quiet time exercising your gray matter, and it's fun.  Some puzzle games are too easy to offer a challenge, while some are too difficult to make you want to return for more. Domino Solitaire falls right into the in-between space that makes a great app. Paired with the big 10.1 inch display on the Motorola Xoom, and it's something we had to take a better look at.

The premise is simple -- a domino deck is used to draw a board, and you have to try to find out which domino is which.  It's not as easy as it sounds, because each domino will fit in multiple places until you start getting some of them filled in.  It sounds much more confusing than it really is, and in just a few minutes you'll have it down and be hunting dominoes like a pro.  As a bonus, you also have the game Buccaneer Domino, which ramps up the difficulty a bit.  The objective is to place the double tiled dominoes on the bottom of seven stacks.  You can move dominoes from one stack to another, as long as at least one side of each matches.  The trick is that each stack can only hold five tiles, so there's a lot of strategy involved.  I haven't been able to beat this one yet, but I'm having a lot of fun trying.

Both games have clear and easy-to-understand gameplay, and should provide a lot of fun to anyone who is a fan of relaxed single-player games.  Domino Solitaire is free on the Market for Android 2.0.1 and up, works on both phones and tablets, and will install to the SD card on Android 2.2 or higher.  The download link, and a video are after the break.

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5 years ago

A look at Android's 'Test Market' -- complete with a new Music app


"Test" Market

The folks over at Tech from 10 have ran into an interesting scenario -- it seems that somehow they have received a test or pre-release version of the Android Market.  It just appeared, and they even tried to remove it.  Since that wasn't happening, they decided to take a look at it and found some major changes.  They found a few differences in the interface, but the two things that stand out are some apps marked as test or beta, and a new section for content rating.  The content ratings are something we first heard about way back in Nov. '10, so they've been a long time coming, but certainly will be a welcome addition.

Among the test and assorted oddities in this market is a version of the Music app marked version 3.0 (.zip install files).  It looks and acts like the Honeycomb Music app on the Xoom (or the last leaked version), just shrunk for the smaller screen and built with settings for the Google Music cloud.  Other cool finds were test apps from Sony, and a few apps from Google --  Gallery 3D, Camera v12,  and Desk Clock 10.  None of these would launch after installed though. 

We're not exactly sure if this is all a preview of whats to come, or just a test bed, but it's an interesting look at what goes on behind the scenes in Google's proprietary apps.  Hit the source link for more, as well as a slew of pictures.  [Tech from 10] Thanks, Tim!

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5 years ago

Sprint beta testing Google Voice integration


Sprint and Google testing Google Voice integration

Sprint and Google have already teased us about Google Voice integration on Android phones, and they were serious.  We're getting numerous reports that the beta program has started, and a little bit of information comes with them.  You'll have two options -- use your existing Sprint number to replace your Google Voice number, or use your Google Voice number to replace your Sprint number.  The first option sounds very much like a carrier-supported version of porting your cell number to Google Voice, while the second option should provide the benefit of using Android's native (or a third party) SMS/MMS client.  Both sound awful useful to me, and I can think of use case scenarios for each. 

The drawback to enrolling in this testing is the lack of customer support.  Instead of calling customer service, you'll be at the mercy of support via a Google Group.  I guess that beats Google's python script help center, though.  And to answer your next question -- no, there's no place to sign up, it looks like Sprint is cherry picking testers from their user base. 

I expect we'll see this open to the public sooner rather than later, but right now I'm more curious about where this one is heading, and Sprint's new relationship with Google.  Things could get very interesting here.  The full text of the email testers are receiving is after the break.  Thanks, Dave and riggsAndroid!

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5 years ago

ESPN text alerts shut out of Sprint network [Update: Or did ESPN shut out Sprint?]


ESPN text alertsThis isn't, strictly speaking, just an Android issue. But enough of you Android peeps have pinged us over ESPN's text alert service no longer working on Sprint's network that we'll make an exception. It seems you're getting a text message that declares:

Alerts Unavailable
Dear Sprint / Boost / Nextel / Virgin Mobile subscribers,
ESPN Alerts are no longer available from your carrier. We apologize for the
inconvenience, however, our service is available across most other US

And that sucks. Because ESPN's also announcing this on its text alert sign-up page, We're willing to bet it's a money thing (when is it not?) and that it has nothing to do with your using an Android phone. (Which makes you a pretty awesome person.) And unfortunately it means Boost, Virgin and Nextel are caught in the crossfire. Let's hope they get this worked out soonest. But in the meantime, you could give a full-fleged ESPN app a shot. [ESPN] Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

Update: And just like that, we get a tip about what's really going on. Here 'tis:

It's not a "money thing" in the traditional sense. They didn't give us a real clear picture of what's going on, but ESPN offers these messages free of charge to members, and Sprint is going to start charging their customers for each individual text message, regardless of having an unlimited messaging package. ESPN really isn't going to put up with it being "free," yet not free.

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5 years ago

Android Quick App - GoodNews Google Reader


GoodNews Google Reader

I'll admit, coming from mostly a BlackBerry background I struggled when hopping onto Android in finding some apps that fit my needs. Not due to lack of apps, but mostly due to the fact there were so many to choose from. RSS readers, for example, was one genre in particular that stuck out as having plenty of options, but none that seemingly fulfilled my needs.

Luckily, I came across GoodNews Google Reader, which fit nicely into what I was looking for. Given that I maintain a lot of RSS feeds, GoodNews handles them and the sharing aspect of RSS feeds quite nicely. The ability to listen to and play podcasts from with the app itself was an added bonus. While in beta the app did have some rough edges but for the most part they are now a thing of the past. Jump on past the break for a full list of features built into the app.

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5 years ago

Body Glove Snap-On Case for the HTC Thunderbolt review


Body Glove Snap-On case for the HTC Thunderbolt

If you need a sturdy hard-shell case for your HTC Thunderbolt, the Body Glove Snap-On Case might be just the ticket.  It's a two-piece case, with a rubberized outer shell over a hard plastic protective case, that wraps around all four corners.  You have the option of using the included belt clip, or switching out the removable knob for the flush insert for pocketability.  The belt clip also doubles as a sturdy, adjustable vertical kickstand.

The case itself goes on easily, and once it is on you'll need a flat screwdriver or a coin to remove the interlocking pieces.  Just place either in the slot on the lower right, and twist.  This one's not coming apart on its own.  Make no mistake -- this case adds in a bit of bulk, but it's providing a lot of protection, too.  The case lip keeps the screen off the surface if it's laying face down, and is plenty thick enough to protect the camera lens cover when placed on its back.  The cut-outs for the ports and controls are well placed, and they are all easy to use while the case is on, and ample space is provided for all the noise cancelling microphones.  Of course, the kickstand is cut-out, too.

If you're looking for a sturdy case that gives the maximum protection from bumps and dings, and want or need a non-slip texture, you can grab the Body Glove Snap-On Case for the Thunderbolt for $27.95 from the Android Central store.  Hit the break for more pics.

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