Headlines

2 years ago

Sony Ericsson 'Xperia Arc HD' sighted in Hong Kong, rumored for unveiling at CES

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It's been just over a month since we got our first glimpse of Sony Ericsson's next big thing, the Xperia Arc HD (previously known by its codename, "Nozomi"). Today a new photo has emerged of the device, which is reportedly going through carrier testing in Hong Kong. Despite sections of the phone being strategically blurred out, you can clearly see that the Xperia UI has undergone a bit of a facelift, and that the chassis seems to be incredibly thin, just like its predecessors. Some mystery still surrounds the purpose of the glowing section at the bottom of the device though -- as we've seen in the earlier shots, it seems to extend all the way around the shell.

Chinese blog Techorz, the source of the leak, claims an unveiling at CES in early January is on the cards, which wouldn't surprise us considering that's where we first saw the original Arc almost a year ago. As for rumored specs, the site reports exactly what we've heard elsewhere -- a 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU inside, with 1GB of RAM, a 4.3-inch, 720p display and a whopping 12MP camera, presumably sporting Sony's Exmor R tech. Crucially, though, there's no mention of which version of Android is powering the Arc HD at present. Last time we saw it, it was rocking Android 2.3.5, though if it does launch with Gingerbread we'd expect a relatively speedy upgrade to ICS.

Fingers crossed, hopefully we'll be getting our hands on this beast sooner rather than later.

Source: Techorz, Thanks, Alfred!

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2 years ago

Android Market App reviews now include permalinks and device details

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Let's face it, while app reviews in the Android Market might be helpful to developers and potential customers for finding out some of the best and worst features of the current release of an app, they haven't been altogether too informative, and could be skewed to show the app as being worst/better than it really is. Old reviews can still weigh heavily on the user's choice, especially if those reviews mention glaring bugs that had been fixed in recent updates or that were only present on older Android phones. Also frustrating is when developers see a review with good feedback that they would like to save/share later, only for it to get lost in the thousands of other reviews for that same app - going back in to find it later is like trying to find a specific needle in a pile of other similarly formatted needles.

The web version (not on your devices yet) of Android Market has solved those two concerns with a simple and effective update. Users can now see the type of device that the reviewer was using the app on (such as the LG Optimus 2X in Juan's review above) and the version number of the app that they were reviewing (version 2.9, again, in the screenshot above).

On top of that, developers (and anyone for that matter) can now grab the permalink to individual reviews for sharing or reading later. To the right of every reviewer's nametag and device info you will see the universal symbol for "link". Click that icon and the page will reload with that review on top and a fresh URL that you can send anywhere.

In the future it would be nice to sort reviews by specific devices or app versions being used, rather than asking us to browse through or link them all individually (it would also be great if they reproduced this in the mobile app soon), but for now this update is a welcome change.

Thanks for the Tip, Stephen!

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2 years ago

Coming up Thursday night: We're answering all your Verizon Galaxy Nexus questions live!

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Here's the deal. We're just as excited about you are about the Samsung Galaxy Nexus finally hitting Verizon this week. It's about damn time, even if Verizon still hasn't officially said anything. No matter. It's coming this week. (It better come this week.)

So on Thursday night's edition of the Greatest Android Podcast in the World, we're only going to talk about the Galaxy Nexus. But even better than that, we're only going to answer your questions. Yeah, the user manual's floating around. Yeah, you've read the prelease theads. But we've got two people who have been living the Galaxy Nexus for weeks now, and more who have been swimming in Ice Cream Sandwich. It's time to really pick our brains.

Here's how to ask us about the Galaxy Nexus, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, or anything else having to do with Verizon, galaxies or the odd celestial nexus:

This is going to be fun. Or end with someone in tears. But it won't be me, because I know to get to the settings by pulling down the notification bar. And knowing is half the battle.

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2 years ago

Secure tokens will cause issues with NFC and battery swapping on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus

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One of the little bombshells dropped from the Verizon Galaxy Nexus training materials concerns NFC and the swappable battery.  Because the NFC chip resides on the battery itself, the hardware changes when you change the battery.  Not only does your replacement battery have to have NFC capabilities, but the system and NFC chip use a token to match things together for security.  We're speculating that ISIS requires this sort of extra layer, but that's just an educated guess.  Note that this doesn't mean things won't work, Verizon simply says:

Customers attempting to use more than one battery with the Galaxy Nexus may have less than an optimal experience since the NFC chip within the battery must register a token between the device and the battery each time the battery is swapped.

Less than optimal may mean different things to different people, so this may mean that it takes a bit longer for the system to initialize, NFC settings will need adjusted, not all apps will work properly, or the whole enchilada may not work.  We'll know more when the Verizon version hits the shelves.  Hopefully, that's soon.

Thanks, +Butch Yon for the heads up!

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2 years ago

Required reading: Carrier IQ around the web

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Our mantra around here is that you should aways start and end your day with Android Central -- we're the center of the Android Universe, after all. But when we're not busy stroking our own egos, we're busy stroking other people's and reading everything we can get our hands on. And there's been some damn fine work regarding the Carrier IQ saga from people we respect that you must read. Here's a recap:

  • Lance Ulanoff, Mashable: "From the moment I read about Carrier IQ’s explanation about what its software does and watched this video, I recognized it as pretty much run-of-the-mill debugging and diagnostic software."
  • Paul Thurrott, WinSuperSite.com: "Trevor Eckhart is many things, perhaps, but he's not a security researcher. ... His accusations set off an incredible torrent of news and recriminations, especially for Carrier IQ, the company that makes the eponymously named software. But I'm pretty sure almost all of this is baloney."
  • Sascha Segan, PCMag: "Your carrier can read your text messages, sniff your packets, and listen in on your phone calls, [Carrier] IQ or no. So what's changed? Immediacy and trust."
  • Rene Ritchie, TiPb: "Does that mean it’s wrong to feel violated? Certainly not, but right now a lot of the attention is being focused on Carrier IQ and that’s a lot like blaming a gun — what you really want is the shooter. It’s the carriers and the manufacturers who are implementing Carrier IQ."
  • Sean Hollister and Dieter Bohn, The Verge (extended interview): "Other technical details — including how exactly Carrier IQ stores and transmits its data and how carriers utilize it — are both comforting and disquieting by turns. ... At the very least, how Carrier IQ’s software is implemented on various devices needs wider scrutiny from both security experts and regulators."

Take some time and give 'em a read. You'll be smarter for it.

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2 years ago

Market apps on ICS, Unknown icons [From the Forums]

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With Galaxy Nexus news creeping out everywhere, we've been keepin up-to-date on it all so, if you missed any of the news -- make sure you skip on back a page or two and get caught up. If you're looking for more Android discussion jump on into 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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2 years ago

Holiday gift guide: What to get the fitness nut

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With the holidays right around the corner, we're staring down the ugly double-barrel of gifts and the inevitable New Year's resolutions. Finding the right gifts for the fitness freak in your life can sometimes be a chore, but here at Android Central, we've got you covered.

And what about those folks who'll pledge to be more active and exercise more in the new year? Well, there's gifts for them on this list, too.

Join us after the break for the whole shakedown of what'll get yours (or their) blood pumping.

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2 years ago

GTA III finally gets priced and dated, not everyone can play just yet

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It's been teased for sometime now, but it's now been revealed that the 10 year anniversary mobile edition of the epic Grand Theft Auto III shoots it's way onto selected Android handsets on Dec. 15.

It'll set you back a measly $4.99, way less than we paid for it 10 years ago but sadly, at launch at least, not everyone will be able to enjoy this masterpiece. 

Supported devices at launch are: 

  • Phones: HTC Rezound, LG Optimus 2X, Motorola Atrix 4G, Motorola Droid X2, Motorola Photon 4G, Samsung Galaxy R, T-Mobile G2X
  • Tablets: Acer Iconia, Asus EeePad Transformer, Dell Streak 7, LG Optimus Pad, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1, Sony Tablet S, Toshiba Thrive

There are going to be a lot of disappointed people out there, not least anyone who's just bought or planning on buying a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. But, our guess is that more devices, especially the Nexus, won't be far behind. Meanwhile if you're fortunate enough to own one of these devices, salivate over the Android version screenshots after the break, and try to wait patiently for the next 9 days.

Source: Rockstar Games

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2 years ago

Future Shop drops the price of the Rogers Samsung Galaxy S II LTE to $20

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While Rogers is still looking to charge you $150 for the Samsung Galaxy S II LTE online, Future Shop is a little more forgiving on your bank balance and is now offering the device for only $20 in retail locations across Canada. That won't save you from the 3-year contract required but hey -- getting the device cheaper is better then a swift kick in the arse, right?

Source: Future Shop

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2 years ago

Financial Times finally arrives on Android, beta tag in tow

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The Financial Times may have parted company with the iOS App Store, but they haven't given up on native applications completely as the financial news powerhouse brings their Android offering to the table. 

First things first, if you own a shiny new Galaxy Nexus, hold off a moment as the beta available for download isn't yet compatible with Ice Cream Sandwich. If you're somewhere above Android 2.2 on phones and 3.1 for tablets then you're in luck, and it promises to automatically optimise for your device's screen size for the best user experience. Auto-downloads of the latest edition for offline reading are also along for the ride.

The app is free to download, but the FT does operate as a subscription service. The free registration allows access to eight articles per month, so it's at least possible to try it out without ponying up the cash first. 

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