3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Feb 11, 2012


The never ending hunt for awesome Android apps can really take its toll on not only your battery, but also your brain. Lucky for you we take the time each week to bring you some of our favorites so you can check them out as well, so let's hit the break and check out what we got in store for this week.

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3 years ago

Apple at it again, calling for injunction against the Galaxy Nexus


Apple has once again called Samsung into court. This time it's about the Galaxy Nexus and four patents that Apple says it infringes. The patents in question are:

Apple is requesting that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus be blocked from sale in the United States because it violates these patents.  Should the court find in favor of Apple, a ban against the Galaxy Nexus would be put in effect until the final court decision.  

Could it happen? Certainly. But if it does, it won't go into effect any time soon, it would only affect stores inside the U.S. selling these products, and no jack-booted thugs from Cupertino will come pry your Nexus from your hands. We can't be sure how the courts will act, but all of these are pretty shaky patents, and once again Apple is not going after Google directly -- even though the Galaxy Nexus has a pure vanilla version of Android.  The only certainty here is that the patent system is broken and only serves the company willing to spend the most in the courts.

It's time for Google to step in and put a stop to this bullshit. The first patent in question is the same one that was upheld against HTC in a move that shocked the tech community at large, essentially giving Apple the rights to the hyperlink -- something invented over 20 years ago by numerous companies that aren't Apple.

The other three are just as laughable, or would be if not for the fact that Apple was allowed to secure the patents at all. Every single one of them has existed as prior art long before Apple became relevant, yet a patent was granted each and every time. This is the core of the problem. You can't blame Apple for trying, it's cheaper to litigate away your competition than it is to out-innovate them.  And make no mistake -- that's exactly what's going on here.  Apple wants Android to go away, and a look at any chart that shows market share will tell you why.  It's a shitty way to get ahead, but it's too easy not to try. It's going to take a tech giant to change the way this all works, and we know nobody can count on Apple or Microsoft to do it, because this is their system, created the way they like it, and making them rich. If Apple is afraid to go after Google, Google needs to go after Apple instead of sitting on their laurels waiting to ride in and save the day at the last minute.

Now blast away in the comments, telling me how subsection F of title code XXIVI (or some other ridiculous lawyer speak) makes my points invalid. In reality, they make it even more valid -- spending money on lawyers, and twisting common sense into something that kills your competition works with the current patent system. That makes us sad.

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3 years ago

Android Central international round-up - Feb. 11, 2012

3 years ago

Google disables prepaid cards in wake of Google Wallet exploit


Google late Friday night disabled the ability to provision new Google Preaid Cards, fallout from the discovery of a flaw in the Google Wallet app. The gist is that if someone were to find your phone, they could reset the Google Wallet PIN and gain access to your Google Prepaid Card. In a separate incident, rooted phones were found to be vulnerable to a brute-force crack.

And so, Google has temporarily disabled provisioning of prepaid cards as an interim step, and it says it will have "a permanent fix soon."

Google also reminds us that rooted devices are by definition not as secure as un-rooted phones and "we strongly discourage [rooting] if you plan to use Google Wallet because the product is not supported on rooted phones."

In addition, Google provides toll-free phone support 24 hours a day if you have concerns or questions about Google Wallet. In other words, just like with a traditional credit card, call if you lose it. Or have issues. Or just need a friend.

Source: Google Commerce Blog
via Android Forums

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3 years ago

Droid 4 root method now available


We only got the Motorola Droid 4 officially a day ago, but today we see the release of a root exploit for the device, courtesy of security researcher Dan Rosenberg. 

That's good news for you guys out there that have thought about picking up a Droid 4 and have to have root access. And as our image here shows, all works, and works well. 

The method is Windows-only for now, but it's simple enough. Download a .zip file, put your Droid 4 into USB debugging mode, and run the exploit file. Takes just a couple minutes and a couple reboots.

Download: Vulnfactory.org
More: Droid 4 forums

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3 years ago

Win a Monster ClarityHD Precision Micro Bluetooth speaker from Poweramp and Android Central!


The guys behind the awesome Poweramp app were super pumped by the response to their recent giveaway, and want to show Android Central readers some more love with a Valentine's Day contest. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment with your favorite love song, and you could win one of two Monster ClarityHD Precision Micro Bluetooth speakers!

This speaker is totally portable and connects easily to your phone or computer, delivering big sound in a small package. Charge it up with the provided USB cable (it's a mini, not a micro) and then take it with you wherever you go. You can use it in the car for hands-free calling while paired with your phone or pair with your computer for Skype or iChat calls. The ClarityHD has a built-in mic with advanced noise-canceling technology so you can use it for conference calls without having to lug a big heavy microphone around. The small size and light weight make it easy to take with you in a briefcase or in the glove box of your car, so you can always have it nearby.

I am really impressed with the compact style of the ClarityHD and the big sound that comes out of it. I also really appreciated how easy it was to pair with my devices. If you're interested in entering to win a free Monster ClarityHD Precision Micro Bluetooth speaker in time for Valentine's Day, leave your comment in the forums, telling us your favorite love song! Sorry folks, this contest is open to US Android Central members only and ends Sunday at midnight. Compatibility and general specifications for the Monster ClarityHD Precision Micro Bluetooth speaker can be found after the break, along with a few more pictures.

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3 years ago

'HTC Endeavor' quad-core phone reportedly on the way


HTC may be about to make smartphone history with the world's first quad-core handset, if the latest reports from veteran phone blog MoDaCo are to be believed.   According to MoDaCo's source, the manufacturer will soon unveil the HTC Endeavor, and it'll be powered by a beastly quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor. Other reported specs include 1GB of RAM, a 4.7-inch, 720p display, an 8MP main camera and 1.3MP front-facer.  Connectivity-wise, Wifi a/b/g/n support is reported, along with Bluetooth 4.0. A quad-band (not penta-band) HSPA+ radio is apparently in the bag too, which suggests this device may be AT&T-bound in the US.   On the software side, the phone is said to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and HTC Sense 4.0, just like the couple of leaked devices we’ve already seen.   The Endeavor, which seems to have started life with the codename “Edge”, has been the subject of numerous leaks since late last year. Recent reports have suggested that “Endeavor” is actually a codename, and that the device will be branded as the HTC Supreme. Given the differences in the spelling of “Endeavor” (or Endeavour, if you prefer) around the world, our money would be on “Supreme” being the final name.   It’s likely we’ll see more of HTC’s quad-core monster in a couple of weeks at MWC. We’ll be there, of course, to bring you all the announcements as they happen!

Source: MoDaCo

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3 years ago

Late-night poll: How big is too big?


4-inches, 4.65-inches, 5.3-inches, when will it all end?  When we decide they are too big and stop buying them, that's when.  When the HTC EVO 4G came out at 4.3-inches, people wanted more.  The Galaxy Nexus checked in at 4.65, people are wanting more.  Now we have the Galaxy Note at 5.3, and the rumored LG Optimus Vu at 5-inches but with a 4:3 aspect ratio.  Those are big phones.  Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to the size of their phone, but there is a market sweet spot that will eventually be found.  We figured we could do some market research of our own and predict a little bit of the future, so let us know in the poll about how big your ideal phone would be.


I want a phone that's:

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3 years ago

Bell Samsung Galaxy Nexus receiving Android 4.0.2 OTA update


The interesting saga of Samsung Galaxy Nexus OTA's has now spread to Canada. Users of Bell Mobility in the Great White North are now reporting Android 4.0.2 is now setting off update notifications on their devices. This version is still a bit behind as some have since moved on to Android 4.0.3 but if nothing else it's interesting how the updates have been rolling out. If you're on Bell and have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus go ahead and check for updates.

Thanks, Mario!

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3 years ago

LG Optimus Vu picture surfaces, holds hands with Galaxy Note


The LG Optimus Vu has appeared in a picture next to the Samsung Galaxy Note, giving us all a great side by side look at the next phablet to hit the pipeline.  As we can see from the picture, the Vu's overall size is pretty close to the Note, meaning both are big, bold, and in your face.  The 5.3-inch Note is slightly taller than the Vu, but the latter's 4:3 aspect ratio makes it the wider of the two.  The unofficial specs are said to be a 1024x768 display, a dual-core Qualcomm WPQ8060 processor running at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of ROM, and an 8-megapixel camera.

We still don't know much more about this one, but now that it's showing off for the camera we expect we will see it at Mobile World Congress in a week or so.  The real question remains -- is the world ready for a phone this big, or are we entering the tablet space once we go past ginormous on the size chart?

Source: HelloAdam100 blog; via UnwiredView

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3 years ago

AT&T's upgrade fee set to double on Sunday


Heads up to those who are on the cusp on buying a new device on AT&T. According to this screen shot sent through the Android Central app, AT&T's getting ready to double it this Sunday, Feb. 12, from $18 to $36. That's not a whole lot of money, we suppose, but it's still 100 percent higher than what it is currently, and nobody likes paying more.

The reasoning? According to AT&T's talking points here, it's because "overall costs associated with upgrading to a new device have increased," and that "devices today are more sophisticated than ever."

AT&T has confirmed the upgrade fee increase to Android Central and tells us that it's actually the first time it's increased the fee in nearly a decade. Said an AT&T spokeswoman:

Wireless devices today are more sophisticated than ever before. And because of that, the costs associated with upgrading to a new device have increased and is reflected in our new upgrade fee. This fee isn’t unique to AT&T and this is the first time we’re changing it in nearly 10 years.

Clock's ticking if you want to get in before the change, folks.

Thanks, anon!

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3 years ago

Incredible 3 rumors, Security lock codes [From the Forums]


We've gone full steam ahead this week and now the weekend is upon us all. You'll want to stay tuned for all our weekend features but if you missed out on anything from this week, get yourself caught up either here on the blogs or 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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3 years ago

HTC EVO 4G HDMI dock review



As one of the first Android phones with a dedicated HDMI-out port, the HTC EVO 4G is the perfect candidate for a multimedia dock.  The official HTC HDMI dock is that perfect multimedia dock.  It's stylish, simple, and works great -- which is what most of us look for in our electronic accessories.  

Inside the box is everything you need to get going.  The dock, a 72-inch (that's six feet) HDMI cable, and a quick and easy set of directions and you'll soon be watching video on your television or monitor.  And the dock's small size makes it perfect for carrying along with you to share video and pictures from your EVO on any television.

Just plug one end of the cable into the dock, the other into the TV, and go.  There's even a microUSB port on the dock so you can charge while watching.  The dock itself is weighty, and has four rubber feet to keep it from sliding around while using it.  You precious EVO 4G fits tightly, and there's no fear of breaking anything because it fell out of the connector.

The HTC EVO 4G was one of the most popular Android phones ever, with good reason.  It was a real game changer, and the current crop of big, bright displays and media-centric devices can all trace their roots back to it.  And you know what?  It's still great. Hit the break for a few more images.

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3 years ago

Acer said to be bringing CloudMobile smartphone with Ice Cream Sandwich to Mobile World Congress


Back during CES 2012 Acer showed off something called Acercloud, a new service from them much like Apple's iCloud services in the fact it will keep documents and media libraries in the cloud with sync being offered across their line of smartphones and tablets.

Jumping forward to the present, Acer apparently just won the iF Product Design Award for outstanding achievement in design with a AcerCloud enabled device called the Acer CloudMobile but the full details and specs surrounding the device are still pretty slim.

What we did learn though is that the Acer CloudMobile will be the first device coming equipped with AcerCloud services, it will be packing Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in a body less then 10MM thick with a 4.3-Inch HD display and Dolby audio and to top it all off, it's expected to see a full unveiling at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. We'll see.

Source: Pocket Lint, iF Product Design

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3 years ago

Pulse News updated with support for international characters in articles, bug fixes for tablet reading


Pulse News is currently rolling out their latest update to the masses. (That would be us.) This release will bring some much needed supported for articles written in international characters as Pulse previously sometimes jumbled things up a bit on that front. It also includes some bug fixes for tablets, if you've been having issues with that. Personally, I've not seen any issues with tablet mode, but apparently enough users have to warrant some bug fixes for it. Jump on past the break and get the latest release, should show as v2.7.5.

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