Headlines

2 years ago

Peoria, Ill., seeing Verizon 4G LTE today; official announcement nigh?

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Good news for those of you in Peoria, Ill. -- looks like Verizon's unofficially flipped the switch on its 4G LTE network in your fair city. You've got more phones than ever to take advantage of it, so no more excuses. Figure we'll see an official announcment any time now.

More: 4G LTE in the Peoria Area; thanks, Joel!

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2 years ago

Watch the Intel keynote from CES, featuring the first Atom-powered Android devices

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Ask us what we thought the most important story out of CES was for 2012, and we'll likely tell you it's Intel's entrance into the Android ecosystem -- and its partenership with Motorola for devices coming later this year. 

Hopefully you caught our liveblog from Intel CEO Paul Otellini's keynote address -- including a surprise appearance from will.i.am, who talked Ultrabooks. And now you can watch the keynote in its entirety (and maybe even see the back of our heads). Check it out, after the break.

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2 years ago

Follow @shopandroid for the latest in Android accessories!

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We're already your No. 1 source for Android news, reviews, rumors -- well, everything! And we're also your No. 1 source for Android accessories thanks to Shop Android. And to that end, be sure to follow @shopandroid on Twitter. It's a quick and easy way to find the latest and greatest accessories pouring into Shop Android each day, all in one easy Twitter feed.

Follow @shopandroid today!

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2 years ago

RIM rumored to be eyeing Samsung for buyout, but don't get too excited yet

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Research in Motion never released a long-rumored Android client for its BBM service. Samsung never got around to purchasing HP's webOS. So it only makes sense that the latest and greatest anonymously sourced rumor puts RIM as "going hard after Samsung," hoping to be whisked away from the Island of Misfit Toys. That's according to BGR, which "heard" that RIM's looking to get between $10 billion and $15 billion for the company.

The question for us then becomes what the hell Samsung would do with RIM, given that (lawsuits notwithstanding) Samsung's pretty much leading the way in the Android space. First and foremost, RIM's sitting on a pretty pile of patents. Secondly -- but perhaps no less important -- is the whole enterprise field. It's between RIM and Microsoft on that front, and having BIS/BES under your belt is a pretty mean weapon to wave. And then there's BlackBerry Messenger, which provides slick device-to-device messaging that's long been one of the crowning features of BB. Of course, Samsung just released its own ChatON cross-platform messenger.

We're a long, long way from this happening. And we're likely a long, long way from seeing the likes of BIS/BES integrated into Samsung Android phones if it should happen. (And there's no promising that Android-BB children would be born out of it anyway.) And it doesn't surprise us in the least to hear that RIM's shopping itself around. Or that it's talking to Samsung. Or that it's talking to everybody. Welcome to business, folks.

Source: BGR; via CrackBerry

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2 years ago

Comparing the Sony Xperia Ion to the Sony Xperia S

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This year at CES we saw a bunch of new phones get announced, in particular two Sony phones that were very similar yet very different. Sure you can take time and watch the Sony Xperia S hands-on video and then compare that to the Sony Xperia Ion video and go back and forth looking to see which one you are most interested in. Alternatively you can just sit back and enjoy as we allow Sony to explain to us the benefits of each. So, which one appeals the most to you? Either of these potentially your next device? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

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2 years ago

Android Wallpaper of the Day - Marbles

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Our Jan. 17 Android Wallpaper of the Day comes to us from member JeffDenver. He brings us this nice little design of colored marbles, in a stylish three-dimensional pattern.

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2 years ago

HTC confirms it's pulling Carrier IQ from Sprint ROMs in future updates

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When Sprint first told Android Central that it has ceased using the Carrier IQ analytics software on its Android smartphones, throwing a switch on the server side while leaving the app itself dormant, we kind of figured that would be that. Sure, future smartphones likely wouldn't have the maligned software embedded, but current phones would remain as-is.

But it looks like stripping Carrier IQ from ROMs might be easier than we imagined. The HTC EVO 3D saw it removed entirely in an update this week, and HTC has confirmed The Verge that indeed it's pulling Carrier IQ from its Sprint ROMs, saying "we're working with Sprint to provide maintenance releases that will remove Carrier IQ and provide security enhancements and bug fixes beginning in January."

Some of us were perfectly OK with the server-side solution, but we're also perfectly happy with removing from ROMs apps and services that are no longer being used. Between Carrier IQ and bootloader unlocking, HTC's definitely impressing us all in the transparency department.

Source: The Verge; more: EVO 3D update

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2 years ago

JCB and Motorola team up for 'work-proof' DEFY+

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Motorola announced today that it has teamed up with construction equipment manufacturer JCB for the “work-proof” DEFY+, now available in the UK for RRP £259.99. The special edition will come with a JCB-patented rugged visco-elastic protective sleeve, along with push-to-talk connectivity and preloaded apps including a spirit level, theodolite, decibel meter and recorder and a unit converter. The DEFY+ JCB edition will retain the original’s 1 GHz processor, Gorilla Glass coating, 5 MP camera, and preloaded Gingerbread. Hit the source link for Moto's official announcement.

Source: Motorola Mobility

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2 years ago

Android A to Z: What is GSM?

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What is GSM? When it comes to Android devices, especially for us here in the U.S., there are two major differentiators that really have nothing to do with Android and everything to do with the carrier you plan on using the device on. When you're talking about a mobile device, you're either talking about a GSM device, or a CDMA device. GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communications and is the network standard for much of the world. 

Of the four major carriers here in the United States, T-Mobile and AT&T use GSM technology. In Europe, you'll be hard-pressed to find something other than GSM. In Asia, you'll still find some CDMA carriers. 

A major advantage, at least from an end-user perspective, of GSM is the ability to easily swap devices, thanks to the SIM card. That's the little card (like what you see in the picture above) that contains are information that allows you to connect to a network, and it also can contain contact information. Pop the card into a new phone, and your phone number and contacts come with you.

There are a couple caveats to that, of course. One is that the phone you're using has to have radios to work on specific frequencies. While T-Mobile and AT&T are both GSM carriers and share the same EDGE radio frequency, they use different 3G frequencies, and most devices released in the United States can only connect to one or the other. (That's not always the case though -- some phones, like the GSM Galaxy Nexus, have the ability to do both) Another hurdle is that carriers usually "lock" the device to only use their own SIM cards. That is, if you put an AT&T SIM card into a T-Mobile phone, it'll ask for an unlock code. You can purchase the codes online, or the carrier may give it to you for free, if your account is in good standing. Outside the U.S., this is less of an issue because phones often are purchased "unlocked," albeit at higher prices than you'll see here.

But, wait. It gets more confusing. The new 4G LTE is a GSM standard. Therefore, Verizon and (soon) Sprint are using GSM technologies on their otherwise-CDMA phones. And both of those carriers have had "world phones" in the past -- traditional CDMA devices with GSM radios tucked in for use outside the United States.

Is GSM preferred over CDMA? For some, it's just a personal thing. For others, it's a perceived technical thing (such as building penetration). For others, it's a business thing, like being able to more easily use your personal device overseas with a prepaid SIM.   

Previously on Android A to Z: What is fastboot?; Find more in the Android Dictionary

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2 years ago

Apple renews lawsuit against Samsung in Germany, targeting 10 smartphones

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Apple is looking to expand its current German ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to a variety of Samsung smartphones on similar grounds of design patent infringement. The Galaxy S II and Galaxy S Plus are both in the crosshairs, and no doubt many other touchscreen slate smartphones. 

Although the situation sounds dire, it's not all that bad. Apparently Samsung had released a modified version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany to get around the ban, and the courts admitted that they would have a heard time halting imports despite being able to lock down local sales. Apple, in turn, isn't exactly having a field day in Germany; Motorola recently won a case against Apple for infringing on some key 3G patents.

I'd be curious to see the other eight phones which Apple is claiming design infringement upon. These days, you could throw a rock in any direction and hit a smartphone that looks vaguely like an iPhone. Although it definitely feels like a flaky basis on which to screw with a competitor's business, it's clearly good enough for the German courts to act upon. Luckily not all international courts are siding with Apple in these design infringement cases. 

Source: Bloomberg

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