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3 years ago

Motorola MOTOROKR S305 Bluetooth headset review

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The search for  awesome Bluetooth stereo headphones for my Galaxy S3 that also function as a wireless headset continues with the MOTOROKR S305. 

 

Bluetooth stereo was originally billed as stereo without compromise – a truly wireless way to experience your music. Unfortunately Bluetooth audio often sounds compressed and “low fidelity” compared to a good set of wired headphones.

Music capability is just one of the important features to look for, however. Today’s headsets need to also field and control the phone functions of your Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) or other Android phone as well as the ability to control what you listen to.

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3 years ago

Dragon's Lore review - a lazy port from Symbian

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Dragon’s Lore (99 cents) is a simple block-matching puzzler that recently launched on Google Play. The game pulls players through a series of islands where they have to overcome a variety of challenges; some of them as simple as wiping out so many blocks, others more specific, such as beating a level within a certain time-frame. A not-so-subtle Chinese theme weaves its way through everything, including the music, block design, and menu styling.

Players slide a random assortment of blocks from one of two axes on a grid in an attempt to have three or more of the same kind matching. There are a bunch of different game modes, including hotseat multiplayer, story, classic, arcade, puzzle and infinity. As you play, you earn coins that can be spent on upgrades that can improve your chances, though if it’s taking too long to earn coins, you can always buy more through in-app purchases.

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3 years ago

Motorola RAZR V now available from Bell in Canada

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Back in July, Motorola took the time to introduce the Motorola RAZR V to Canada and after a slight delay; the device has now arrived on Bell Mobility. Coming preloaded with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with a 4.3-Inch display and 8MP camera, the Motorola RAZR V will serve as a good entry-level device for folks out there. In what has become typical Motorola form, they've also covered the device in Kevlar to keep its 8.3mm thin frame safe from regular wear and tear. If you're looking to pick one, Bell is selling it for $30 on a three-contract or $400 with no carrier agreement.

Source: Bell

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3 years ago

MetroPCS announces Samsung Galaxy S Lightray 4G for $459

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So you want a Samsung Droid Charge, without the monthly contract on Verizon, and with another of the infamous ridiculous names? Well, meet the Samsung Galaxy S Lightray 4G, MetroPCS's version of the Droid Charge which they have just made available. As you know by now MetroPCS offers many devices without contract, and they claim to have a heck of a 4G network that they will give "unlimited" access to for just $40 a month.

Featuring a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display, the screen is sure to grab your attention, and being powered by a 1GHz processor sure doesn't hurt the speed here. With an 8MP camera on the back, and a 1.3MP camera on the front you will easily be able to capture your memories on the go, with nice clean pictures or a video call back home to check on the loved ones. They have opted to include a 16GB card with the device, and it can be expanded up to a 32GB card if you desire, so storing your apps, pictures, videos, or favorite tunes to take with you should be no problem.

Retailing at $459, the Galaxy S Lightray 4G will also be the first smartphone in the U.S. that offers an application to stream live television. (Not really, but that's the company line here.) Dyle will allow customers to stream television while on the go over the 4G network provided by MetroPCS, and with no additional cost. The only big downside is that it is only in some markets at this time, but we hope that will change. This device will also be the first one on MetroPCS to offer the ability to become a mobile hotspot, so if you are looking to be able to get wifi on your favorite Android tablet while on the go, you now can. Be sure to check out their site, and see if this may be your next prepaid device!

Source: MetroPCS

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3 years ago

U.S. retailer nabs Galaxy Note 10.1 ahead of official announcement, shipping today

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, though unveiled back at Mobile World Congress, hasn't been announced for the U.S. market yet. However, retailer Negri Electronics says it's got its hands on Note 10.1 stock ahead of time, and it'll begin shipping them to pre-order customers today, Aug. 3. Price-wise, you're looking at a cool $750 to get your mitts on Samsung's latest quad-core, stylus-toting Android 4.0 tablet.

The version on sale at Negri​ is the Wifi and 3G version, which includes a quad-band HSPA+ radio, allowing you to use it on European networks and AT&T in the U.S. Other specs include a 1.4GHz Exynos 4 Quad chip, 16GB of storage and a 10.1-inch, WXGA (1280x800) display for you to use with that Wacom-powered "S Pen."

The Note 10.1 went back to the drawing board after it was officially announced at MWC, getting a new CPU and a redesigned chassis with a slot for its S Pen. The tablet was widely expected to be officially unveiled at a special Samsung Electronics event on Aug. 15. If Negri's shipping plans pan out, though, devices may already be in customers' hands by the time that announcement takes place.

Source: Negri Electronics, @NegriElectronic, via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia T may be the final name for LT30 'Mint'

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Already extensively leaked ahead of its expected launch at the Sony IFA press conference, the Sony LT30 "Mint" appears to be a smaller version of the company's H2 2012 flagship, the LT29i "Hayabusa" (known as the Xperia GX in Japan).

Now it seems we may have stumbled across the final branding for this device, as a newly unearthed DLNA testing certificate identifies the LT30 as the "Sony Xperia T." It'd certainly tie in with Sony's letter-based naming scheme, and clearly position it above the Xperia S in Sony's smartphone line-up. Specs are rumored to include a Snapdragon S4 dual-core CPU inside, a 720p display, 13MP camera and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, complete with on-screen buttons.

The name might also lend some credibility to unconfirmed rumors that the "Hayabusa" will come to market under the name "Xperia Z." That'd certainly leave plenty of letters in between for any intermediary or entry-level devices Sony might have planned.

Whatever letters Sony picks out of its bowl of corporate Spaghettios, we'll be live in Berlin, Germany later this month to cover the resulting products.

Source: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

HTC reports Q2 2012 financial results, expects lower Q3 revenues

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HTC reported its audited second quarter earnings today, releasing figures in line with the earlier unaudited results reported last month. From March to June, the smartphone maker generated revenues of NT$91.04 billion (~$3.04 billion), while net income after tax was NT$7.4 billion (~$247 million), with a gross margin of 27.01 percent and operating margin of 9 percent.

Looking ahead, HTC expects lower revenues, profits and operating margins from July to September. The manufacturer expects revenues to reach somewhere between NT$70 to 80 billion (~$2.33-2.67 billion), with an expected gross margin of around 25% percent and operating margin of 7 percent. If accurate, such a figure would represent a significant year-on-year fall from the NT$135.82 billion (~$4.53 billion) reported at the height of HTC's success in Q3 2011.

Despite the launch of the well-received HTC One series earlier in the year, 2012 has been an uneasy year for HTC, with profits declining amid strong competition from Samsung and Apple in the smartphone market. HTC recently sold back half of its share of headphone maker Beats Audio, less than a year after acquiring its stake in the company, following the failure of Beats to emerge as a differentiator for a HTC's smartphones. And late last month the manufacturer pulled out of South Korea after its market share in the country reportedly dipped below a single percentage point.

Despite these difficulties, HTC continues to hold a significant chunk of market share in the U.S. -- around 14 percent, according to recent Nielsen numbers.

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3 years ago

Samsung: Next Galaxy Note to be unveiled Aug. 29

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The next Galaxy Note smartphone will be a revealed in just over three weeks time, Samsung has reportedly confirmedconfirming what many -- including ourselves -- had already suspected, a Samsung representative told Reuters​, "we plan to unveil the next Galaxy Note at the Samsung Mobile Unpacked event in Berlin on August 29."

So that takes care of that -- Samsung's confirmed that we will indeed see a "next Galaxy Note" in Berlin later this month, just as it did with the "next Galaxy" announcements that preceded the Galaxy S3 launch event. In any case, it's not like Samsung was being particularly coy about its Note-based plans for the event -- see the stylus/magic wand in the official invite above.

For now, though, the nature of the Galaxy Note 2 -- or whatever it ends up being called -- remains a bit of a mystery. Internet rumors focus on a possible 5.5-inch screen in the device, as well as a higher-clocked version of the Exynos 4 Quad chip in the Galaxy S3, though those come from easily-fakeable online benchmark listings.

Feel free to launch into rampant speculation down in the comments. We'll be live in Berlin later this month for the Samsung Unpacked event and the rest of the IFA show.

Source: Reuters; via: SamMobile

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3 years ago

Multi-user support shows itself in Jelly Bean, but it's definitely not finished yet

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Something a lot of us really want to see in Android, is support for multiple accounts on a device. With the ever increasing uptake of tablet use, it would be pretty awesome to be able to have one tablet with a different account for each member of your family. Lord knows, you wouldn't want your kids Justin Bieber apps littering your home screens so being able to give them their own sign in would be positive for all. You do it on your computer, so why wouldn't you want to do it on your tablet. 

Over recent days and weeks since the launch of Jelly Bean, various parties around the interwebs have been diving into the code and really getting into the details. Your average user -- and sometimes average Android Central writer -- wouldn't even know where to begin or what we might hope to see. Thankfully for us the community is filled with those who are never happier than when knee deep in code, and what has been recently revealed is reference to future multi-user account support. It's clearly not even close to being ready for the prime time -- if it was, we'd have it already -- but it is there. And, with a little bit of tinkering, you can see it for yourselves on your Jelly Bean device. 

The key word is tinkering, and the key components are root access and a terminal emulator on the device. Heading into the terminal, you have to enter the command for superuser access, "su", and once you're in you can go ahead and create yourselves a new account. The next command you'll need to enter is:

pm create-user (insert account name)

And that's it. When you come out of terminal back to the home screen, hold down the power button and the menu presented to you will look a little bit like that you see here. Upon selecting your alternatively created user account, it'll be as if you've just fired up your device for the very first time. Tutorials and all. 

So, it's pretty cool to try out, and it's great news that it's there -- somewhere -- because it just reinforces the chances that future builds of Android will be seeing this as a full feature. But, while cool, it's far from usable. For one, any app updates that your main account notifies you of allows a backdoor into the Play Store and all the apps you've already purchased. Hitting the Play Store icon from the app drawer does prompt to add a Google account, but with a hole the size of that you aren't going to want to put much faith into it just yet. And, without passwords to protect each login, you're really better off not bothering. 

But, we need to remember again that this isn't a feature yet, and it is far from finished. The story is, it should be coming in the future. Maybe a future Jelly Bean update, maybe the next version of Android, who knows. They're obviously working on it though. 

Just for a little extra if you want to take a look at this for yourselves, hit the break for a walkthrough video. 

Source: XDA via Slashgear

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3 years ago

HTC releases Desire C kernel source

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HTC has released the 3.0.16 kernel source for the Desire C, giving Android hackers and developers a chance to dig in and make some greatness. The kernel source is required to be released because of the license, and this means that developers have access to all of it for modifying.

The rest of us probably won't have any need to download this one, but if you're using a Desire C and have rooted and aren't afraid to flash custom software, you'll be in for some sweet treats from the developers. If you are a developer working with the Desire C, hit the link below to get started -- and don't be afraid to give us a shout once you're done. We love looking at hacks and assorted Android fun.

Source: HTCDev

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3 years ago

Music Players, Comic Book readers and ICS on the Rezound [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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3 years ago

HTC's fix for the 'menu button issue' is welcome, but not very elegant

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HTC and AT&T have pushed out an OTA update for the One X today, and while it provides the standard bug fixes and security enhancements, it brings a new feature to address the menu button "issue." Previously, if you were running an application that wasn't updated to support the latest Android style guidelines, you'd have a full-width black bar about 48 pixels high that held an on-screen menu button. It was horrible to look at, and we hoped that Android application developers would soon update their apps to get rid of it. We can't knock HTC, they used the correct layout for their capacitive buttons (we do question why they went with capacitive buttons in the first place, though) and did what they were supposed to do. But it was still pretty darn ugly.

Then along comes Samsung, with a menu button on what will probably turn out to be the most popular Android phone ever in the Galaxy S 3. They shouldn't have done it (according to the Android developer team's way of doing things), but they did. A quick look at the HTC One X tells us why -- that big, ugly, black bar. 

Of course, application developers don't have to update to make their app look good on the phone that is selling the most, so very few did. Love it or hate it, time saved is money saved, so the folks at Twitter or Facebook (as well as smaller development teams) just let it ride. It became an HTC problem instead of an application problem.

HTC had to fix it themselves. Never mind the fact that they were only following guidelines, their phones look bad running an app that needs a menu button and Samsung's don't. We saw a bit of it in the Desire C, and we're pretty sure we heard Android hacker/developer/guru Paul O'Brien mention that it was coming. 

It's here now, at least on the AT&T One X. Filed under Settings > Display, gestures and buttons is an entry where users can choose how they want the multi-tasking button to work. It can work as normal, or have a second function if you long-press. Phil's been playing around with it, and he says the best and most natural way it to have a single tap bring up the menu, and a long-press open the multi-tasking view -- just like Samsung's Galaxy S 3

We would prefer that developers just use the action bar on their apps as instructed. Hopefully, new apps will be written that way and eventually this whole mess goes away. Until then, at least we have a way to get rid of the black menu bar. We expect to see a similar fix roll out for the rest of the HTC One series of phones, and for hackers to grab some code and do the same in custom ROMs until then. For now, enjoy your 48 pixels of freedom.

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3 years ago

AT&T One X getting an OTA to Android 4.0.4, addresses the menu button and patches root methods

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AT&T's version of the HTC One X looks to be getting an over-the-air update to Android 4.0.4 for a select few users today, and if the rumors are true, some hackers will want to skip this one. There's no official change log posted from HTC or AT&T just yet, but some are saying that a big part of this one is security fixes that block known root exploits. In addition, there is now a setting to remove the menu button "bar" for apps that haven't been brought up to current Android standards. Users can now long-press the multitasking button for a pop-up menu. We're pretty sure the rest of the One series from HTC will be seeing a similar update soon. We've gone into the whole menu button thing in-depth, have a look here to read it.

What we do know is that it's build number 2.20, and a version bump to Android 4.0.4 -- something any Android fan would want, right? Not so fast -- security enhancements, a standard bullet-point in most every OTA, often fix exploits that are used to get root access. Since HTC and AT&T don't offer bootloader unlocking on this particular One X, that's the only way to get some root on.

If you're not worried about root, be happy that you're getting an OTA that probably fixes something and makes something better. If you are worried about root, or rooted now, hold off and wait for word from the hackers who focus on the AT&T One X for further instruction. In either case, the AT&T One X forums are the best place to find more info.

Source: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

OneLouder releases Slices, an innovative Twitter app

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OneLouder Apps, makers of the extremely popular Twitter client TweetCaster, have released a new client that takes a different approach, called Slices. This new app is focused on better managing the stream of information into proper lists, and enabling better discovery of new content. Here are the headline features:

  • Twitter Directory, with 21 browsable, searchable categories to discover users and content.
  • Live Event Streams to aggregate tweets surrounding an event.
  • Timeline Slicer, which helps organize timelines into smaller digestible ones.
  • Mobile-to-Web synchronizing between the app and web interface.

If Slices sounds like something you'd be interested in, you can find it in the Google Play Store for free with ads or $4.99 without. You can also see the web interface in Beta form at slices.me.

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3 years ago

Silver Sony Xperia SL caught in leaked photos

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The Sony Xperia SL is rumored to be a re-vamped version of the company's earlier 2012 flagship, the Xperia S. It's very similar to its predecessor, with a more-or-less identical chassis design, but its CPU speed has apparently been boosted to 1.7GHz, and it comes in a couple of new colors, including silver, as seen for the first time today in a set of leaked photos. The image above comes from ​GSMArena​, which was tipped with a collection of photos of the unannounced Sony phone.

From the outside, it's almost indistinguishable from the Xperia S, except that that phone only comes in black and white. Aside from the bump in CPU speed, the Xperia SL also sports Android 4.0.4 out of the box, a much-needed improvement upon the Gingerbread-based firmware still used by many Sony phones.

We're expecting to see Sony take the wraps off the Xperia SL at the IFA show in Berlin later this month, where it's expected to appear alongside the Xperia J, the international Xperia GX and the Xperia Tablet. Keep watching AC in the weeks ahead for more on all three as the announcement nears.

Source: GSMArena

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