Headlines

2 years ago

Feds just say no to LightSquared's LTE network, say it will never work with GPS

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Think back to last summer, when the weather was warm and we all expected a formal announcement about LightSquared and Sprint launching their shared LTE network.  Back to today, and we find out that the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Executive Committee (some of the folks who decide all this stuff) have determined that none of the proposals submitted by LightSquared will ever work without affecting GPS.  Last year during preliminary testing, it was discovered that LightSquared's LTE plans greatly affected GPS, and after a handful of re-submittals, changes, and more testing that didn't alleviate the problems, the feds have said enough is enough.  

Based upon this testing and analysis, there appear to be no practical solutions or mitigations that would permit the LightSquared broadband service, as proposed, to operate in the next few months or years without significantly interfering with GPS. As a result, no additional testing is warranted at this time

To make matters worse, the FAA also said that LightSquared's network would interfere with aircraft safety systems.  Of course LightSquared disputes these findings, going as far as claiming there may be a conflict of interests at work trying to hold their network plans back.  

This one may be dead in the water folks.  We'll have to see if the people in Washington and LightSquared can figure it all out, or if this is the end of LightSquared's broadband dreams.  Sprint has moved on and have their own LTE network in the planning stages, but it's always nice to see competition.  Hit the source link to read more.

Source: ComputerWorld

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2 years ago

Flash ICS on a Stock LTE Xoom, RAZR anger [From the Forums]

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With CES 2012 now in the history books, it'll soon be time to look forward to Mobile World Congress but we got some time before then. As you can guess, a lot has been happening in the forums while we were all focused on Las Vegas. Check out some of the highlights below:

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

Contest Winners: ClockworkMod Tether

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If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our forums always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. This week's winners are as posted after the break, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up shortly. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to this week's winners!

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2 years ago

Adobe Flash and AIR updated, includes compatibility fixes for Ice Cream Sandwich

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Although Adobe has stopped all new development on the mobile front for Flash, they're keeping their word by rolling out updates to address compatibility and security concerns. The latest update for Adobe Flash Player 11 is now available in the Android Market and in addition to that, Adobe also went ahead and updated Adobe AIR as well:

  • This update to Adobe Flash Player 11 includes compatibility with Android 4 supported devices, performance improvements and bug fixes related to security and stability. The complete set of release notes can be found at: http://adobe.ly/s16mAX.
  • Adobe AIR 3.1.0.557 for Android includes compatibility with Android 4 supported devices, performance improvements and bug fixes related to security and stability. The complete set of release notes can be found at: http://adobe.ly/s16mAX.

Looking at the full change logs for, these updates should cover any issues you had with videos being green on Ice Cream Sandwich. Both updates are available in the Android Market right now.

Download: Flash Player 11; Adobe AIR

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S II HD spotted on retailer websites

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It seems that British retailer Mobicity may have jumped the gun with the announcement of a new high-end smartphone from Samsung -- the Galaxy S II HD. The device appeared on Mobicity's site today, alongside a promotional blurb promising "a larger, higher resolution screen and more battery power."

So the Samsung Galaxy S II HD, in case you hadn't guessed, is a Samsung Galaxy S II with an HD (720p) screen. The display size and CPU speed have also been increased, to 4.65 inches and 1.5GHz respectively. We first saw the device in Korea back in September, although the Korean variant was packing an LTE radio as well the larger screen and bumped-up specs. It's worth noting that Mobicity is using old promotional photos from the Korean version on its site, rather than any new images.

Veteran mobile blog MoDaCo notes that Mobicity's Australian counterpart is also listing the phone, again with images of the Korean version and specs which include the larger HD SuperAMOLED screen and faster CPU, as well as Android 2.3 Gingerbread and an 1850 mAh battery.

As always with retailer links, this is far from confirmation of the device's arrival in the UK or Australia. But given the rate at which Samsung's launching Android smartphones these days, we certainly wouldn't be surprised to see a refreshed Galaxy S II arriving internationally, alongside Samsung's hero device for 2012.

Source: Mobicity; via: MoDaCo

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2 years ago

Android Game Review: Attack from Outer Space!

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It's easy to make a side-scrolling game. It's a little harder to make a good one, and harder still to make a side-scroller that will keep you coming back. Attack From Outer Space falls into the latter category.

It's a simple game with simple controls -- you've got a slider for moving Sergeant America (yes, that's his name) back and forth, and a joystick for aiming your arsenal toward the aliens. You've got to take out as many as you can (and you get combo bonuses for being quick about it) while dodging their bombs. You'll pick up new weapons along the way, and acquire nukes for those times when only a nuke will do.

Each level has three stages, with a "World boss" at the end of each. Make your way across the U.S. in the "Adventure" mode, and you'll unlock Area 51.

All in all, it's a lot of fun, and a hell of a lot of gameplay for just 99 cents. We've got some hands-on video, screenshots and download links after the break. Check it out!

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2 years ago

Epson releases SDK for Android to support wireless POS printing

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You see handhelds being used in businesses just about anywhere these days.  Your doctor probably uses one, so does the place you grab your coffee.  Heck, even some lumber yards use them.  Today, Epson is trying to make them easier and more efficient for businesses to use by releasing an SDK for Android (and iOS) that allows devices to communicate wirelessly with a POS (Point of Sale) printer.  The SDK will shorten development time and make it cost-effective to implement mobile technologies into the workplace.  A report from IHL Consulting predicts that by 2015, more than 2.7 million tablets a year will be sold to retail establishments for use as mobile POS devices and consumer information tools.  All of these need a way to print out their data, and Epson is ready to help provide one.  Read the full press release after the break.

Source: Press release

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2 years ago

ZTE Warp Review

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The market for prepaid cell phones continues to rise as more of us look for ways to reduce expenses in everyday life but no one wants to be stuck with a run of the mill phone because of it, right? Well lucky for us we have seen some more powerful Android handsets arriving in the pre-paid market, so you can now slash the price tag without giving up a whole lot when it comes to the device.

ZTE has recently released the Warp, a Gingerbread powered device with a 4.3-inch display that carries a rather affordable price tag of only $199 with no contract needed. Could a device at this price point hold up in comparison to others that have released recently? Let’s hit the break and break it all down.


The ZTE Warp offers a great combination of nearly the most current OS (no ICS) along with a nice large display without breaking the bank.


ZTE's record in Android has yet to be established here in the United States -- with U.S. carriers, so we are unsure what to expect as far as updates. 



If money is a determining factor in your next cell phone purchase, but you don't want it to allow you to completely limit your purchase the ZTE Warp is a great device to consider. Keeping up with most of the specs of a high-end device, or an entry level price allows it to be ultra competitive in the market.
 

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2 years ago

Android A to Z: What is fastboot?

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What is fastboot? In Android, fastboot is a special diagnostic and engineering protocol that you can boot your Android device into.  While in fastboot, you can modify the file system images from a computer over a USB connection.  It's a powerful, nerdy tool that deserves to be broken down into terms we all can understand -- let's try and do that.

Not all phones have a fastboot mode that the user can access.  It's turned on with Nexus devices by default (as well as a few other phones and tablets) and has been enabled by independent Android developers and enthusiasts on some other phones.  It also requires more than what ships with the Android SDK, and different USB drivers for Windows computers.  Fastboot runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux and all the information about setting it up can be found in the forums if you're interested.  Once set up, you boot your phone to fastboot and you can flash image files to your phone's internal memory.  Flashing a custom recovery like ClockworkMod is a popular use case, as is resetting it all back using factory images after we're done breaking things.  The images you flash don't need to be signed with a particular key, so just about anything will try to flash -- even if it shouldn't be used, so use care.  There are other commands you can use with fastboot, and they're a bit more advanced.  Things like erasing partitions and overriding kernel command line options can be done, and this makes the tool very useful for developing hardware and software solutions that may need customized booting procedures.  With a little bit of knowledge, and the right Android hardware, fastboot can be a great tool.

Previously on Android A to Z: What's an ETF?; Find more in the Android Dictionary

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2 years ago

OnStar API kicks off with ridesharing app

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At CES 2012, GM was showing off their remote control and monitoring Android app, but I would say their more interesting announcement from the show was a new OnStar API, which will enable outside developers to start plugging into their connected electric car. To showcase the new capabilities, GM partnered up with the guys at RelayRides, which is basically Airbnb for cars. Using the mobile app, you will be able to post your vehicle as available for rent within certain dates, and if it's with a Chevrolet Volt, the car will only begin functioning in the specified timeframe. Once a rental time kicks in, customers can use the app to find the Volt via GPS, and remotely unlock the car to grab the keys inside. Even if you don't have a smartphone, you'll be able to unlock the car via text message. From the renter's side, you can search based on vehicle type, proximity, timeframe, price, and all of the other usual criteria. Rental rates can go as low as $5 to $6, which includes a million-dollar insurance policy. 

This is pretty big news because so far, the only other car manufacturer seriously wooing app developers has been Ford, and they've been doing it for some time now with AppLink. They haven't been able to crank out a ton of apps since AppLink has come out, but RelayRides was apparently wrapped up in under a month. Of course, they made their app specifically for the OnStar API, so they might have been able to get it up a bit quicker than others will be able to, but it's a promising start.

The OnStar API will be available for Android and iOS starting in the first half of this year, but if you're interested in getting involved sooner than later, you can pitch your app idea to developers@onstar.com

Source: OnStar

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