Recent Articles | Android Central

Order Google Pixel: Google Store | Verizon Shop Chromebooks: Asus Flip | Acer 14 | Dell 13

Headlines

3 years ago

Mophie Juice Pack for the Galaxy S3 - an update

33

A few weeks ago we reviewed the Mophie Juice Pack for the Samsung Galaxy S3. Mophie PR was a little surprised that we came away not all that impressed, given that we've sung the praises of its iPhone Juice Pack. In fact, Mophie was concerned that because we'd purchased our first two units from resellers on Amazon (separate resellers, actually), we might well have received counterfeit Juice Packs, leading to the sharp edge at the bottom of the case, as well as a couple of the other more minor gripes we'd had.

Stranger things have happened, so we let Mophie send us a review unit, and it arrived about a week later, on Feb. 8. In the meantime, we purchased a third Mophie Juice Pack -- this time directly from Mophie -- and had it overnighted to us, arriving on Jan. 31.

In all four Galaxy S3 Mophie Juice Packs, there remains a sharp edge on the chin, and that remains our biggest complaint. It's not going to attack you or anything. But it's noticeable, it's uncomfortable, and it makes us want to take a file to the case -- something you should never have to do. 

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z kernel source code published ahead of phone launch

9

The Sony Xperia Z isn't due to be available globally until the end of the month, but being the good, GPL-abiding OEM that it is, Sony Mobile has already published the device's kernel source code. The code, which will only really be of use to custom ROM developers, weighs in at 203MB, and can be found at the Sony open-source archive linked below.

With the phone as yet unavailable for those outside Japan, we doubt there'll be too much development activity going on over the next couple of weeks. But it doesn't hurt to have code ready and waiting for when devices start to make their way out -- especially as so many manufacturers lag behind with their open-source duties.

For more on the Xperia Z, check out our hands-on coverage from CES 2013.

Source: Sony Open-Source Archive; via: XDA

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

SwiftKey Flow beta updated with fresh round of bug fixes

9

The SwiftKey Flow beta test continues with another release for phones and tablets today. Version 4.0.0.99 includes a new round of bug fixes, including behavior fixes for the Google Chrome Beta, various crash fixes and a new Turkish layout. Here's the full changelog for your perusal --

  • Fixed crash on changing keyboards
  • Fixed force close on clicking update language
  • Fixed other crashes
  • Resolved majority of non-English punctuation problems
  • New look installer to match SwiftKey Flow colors and include an introduction to SwiftKey Flow
  • Added Turkish layout
  • Chrome Beta should now behave like Chrome
  • Snap and tap (correction of words) now compatible with Vietnamese
  • Memory usage of settings app reduced
  • Improved handling of non-zero length selection in Chrome and Samsung mail client
  • Fixed jumping cursor in ExDialler and Samsung calculator
  • Microphone key disabled in fields that don’t support voice input
  • Fix for keyboard disappearing when phone build installed on tablet sized devices
  • Disabled predictions in Kingsoft Office and UC browser to make SK usable in them
  • Double space for period turned off by default to prevent accidental period insertion when flowing
  • Replaced ‘learnt’ with ‘learned’ in personalization page (US English)
  • Turned off slide down from candidate bar to close keyboard when flow is on (to be consistent with the description in the Settings menu)

There's still a handful of known issues in the current beta build, so you might want to take a look over them at the source link before installing for the first time. That's also where you'll find download links for both phone and tablet versions of the keyboard.

SwiftKey Flow remains the keyboard of choice for many of us here at AC, despite its beta status. Hopefully we'll see it graduate to Google Play soon.

Source: SwiftKey

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Real Racing 3 coming Feb. 28, speeding down the freemium route in the process

6

Some great news has emerged for those eagerly awaiting the arrival of the latest in the Real Racing series, Real Racing 3. The title now has a release date, and a price. The so far stunning looking title will be dropping into Google Play on Feb. 28 and will be a completely free download. 

That's right, Real Racing 3 will be a freemium title. Knowing that would be met with mixed reaction, the developers, Firemonkeys, made a statement regarding the decision:

Today we announced Real Racing 3 will be free. And yes, Real Racing 3 was designed from the ground up to be a free to play experience. We are so excited about this game and wanted it to be accessible to everyone so we didn't want there to be any barriers to entry. This accessibility is also what drives the awesome new Time Shifted Multiplayer feature, in that you can play competitive multiplayer with anyone any time, and they don't need to be online with you at the same time. At launch we have 46 licensed vehicles covering 3 classes, a 22 car grid, real world tracks, 8 varied event types and 900+ events. This means hundreds of hours of gameplay for free making this one of the most expansive games ever on mobile. We plan to continue to add more free and exciting content with every update.

Doesn't sound all that scary, and being free to download will potentially drive higher initial download figures. In any case,  we're looking forward to this one a lot, and thankfully we only have a couple more weeks to wait. 

Source: Firemonkeys via Facebook

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Shapes & Sound: a beautifully designed and Android-exclusive game

3

Retro-style arcade games are definitely "in" right now, and the new title Shapes & Sound: The Shape Shooter is a great offering in this quickly expanding genre. Shapes & Sound brings a clearly well thought-out game from end-to-end, with awesome gameplay, soundtrack, graphics and performance that all add up to a great experience.

Oh, and did we mention this is an Android-exclusive title? Read on past the break and see what it's all about.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Motorola Solutions launches Android-based AME 2000 with secure wireless communications

4

Motorola Solutions -- that's the other Motorola that wasn't bought by Google -- has announced the launch of AME 2000, a secure platform including an Android handset, aimed at federal agencies. Using Moto's Assured Mobile Environment tech, AME 2000 combines an off-the-shelf smartphone with additional hardware and software to enable secure voice and messaging services, as well as secure VPN connectivity over mobile data or Wifi.

The AME 2000 includes Security Enhanced Android -- the NSA-approved custom version of the OS designed with high-security use in mind. In addition, it features Motorola's CRYPTR hardware security module for microSD security.

Moto hasn't released an exact spec sheet for the phone itself, but based on the images published, it looks like we're dealing with a RAZR-class device running Ice Cream Sandwich or higher. Regardless, if you want to get down into the details of the security features provided, you'll find that over at the source link.

It's by no means the first time we've seen Android used in high-security devices. Just over a year ago it emerged that U.S. government and military officials were to be outfitted with secure Android-based phones, and in 2010 General Dynamics was said to be looking at Android for use in "next-gen wearable" computers.

Source: Press Release

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

DashClock Widget for Android 4.2

53

I've made no secret about my outright displeasure for the new lock screen widgets in Android 4.2. Clunky, for one, often lacking style for another. 

DashClock Widget is quickly changing my mind. It's the work of Roman Nurik, a Googler and Android design guy and was released this morning to Google Play and as open-source code.

The widget itself is devilishly simple. Add it to the Android 4.2 lock screen like you would any other widget. From there you add "extensions." At launch you've got extensions for weather, missed calls and texts, your next calendar appointment, unread e-mails and your next scheduled alarm. Chances are we should see additional extensions pretty quickly. (Here's hoping for some world clock love, which is the only thing I'm missing from the stock Android lock screen clock.) Want to get rid of an extension? Just swipe it away. Nice.

This one's free, it's open-source, and it's definitely worth a look. Hit the link above, and ease on past the break for a little hands-on action if you need more convincing.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

BlueStacks brings Android apps to Microsoft Surface Pro

26

BlueStacks, which is a product that lets users run Android apps on Windows computers, is releasing a new version today that brings the functionality to Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface Pro. Until today, BlueStacks has only been available for Windows 7 and Mac OSX. The latest version of BlueStacks fully supports Windows 8 -- including new features like charms bar support and rotation support -- but is also optimized for the recently released Surface Pro.

BlueStacks has partnerships with several OEMs already, and users have made over 5 million downloads of the software directly from its website alone. The software is also free, which is fantastic for Windows 8 users looking to try out the experience of running Android apps on their PC's with full touch capabilities. You can get more information and grab a download at the source link below.

Source: BlueStacks

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

LG confirms 5.5-inch 1080p display for Korean Optimus G Pro

8

As has been rumored recently, the LG Optimus G Pro is indeed heading to South Korea, with a 5.5-inch display in tow. The device, which first appeared in Japan with a 5.0-inch screen, was reported to be heading to LG's home market with a refreshed spec sheet in the past week -- and we'd even seen some leaked photos to back up these claims.

LG's promotional site for the G Pro doesn't reveal much beyond the screen size and resolution, so we'll have to wait on confirmation of other changes like the larger battery and microSD support. However, the device in the image above certainly looks a lot like what we saw in last week's spy shots.

As for whether the Optimus G Pro will eventually extend its reach outside of Asia, that's something we'll likely find out at Mobile World Congress in a couple of weeks.

Source: LG; via: UnwiredView

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Three UK's 'Ultrafast' Galaxy S3 now available - DC-HSDPA now, LTE later

1

As promised, Three UK has just launched its "Ultrafast" Galaxy S3 variant online and in stores. Coming in the familiar marble white and pebble blue color options, the new model is essentially a Galaxy S3 LTE (check out our review). That means its hardware supports DC-HSDPA (the fastest flavor of 3G) as well as 4G LTE. Three's putting both technologies under its "Ultrafast" banner, hence the naming of this device, and the carrier tells us an over-the-air update will switch on LTE by default when it launches its 4G network.

The Ultrafast Galaxy S3 sells for £449.99 on Pay As You Go, and it's also available on two-year £34-36 per month contracts, which include "All You Can Eat" data. If you're buying on contract, you'll need to stump up a £29 up-front fee.

Source: Ultrafast Galaxy S3 on Three

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Vertu announces $10,000 Android phone - titanium and sapphire on the outside, Ice Cream Sandwich within

36

Vertu, perhaps best known as a purveyor of ridiculously expensive Symbian phones, has turned its attention to the Android smartphone market with a new device, dubbed the Vertu Ti. In keeping with what you'd expect from this kind of brand, the Ti is pegged as a luxury device, as is reflected by its €7,900 ($10,000) price tag.

On the inside, the Vertu Ti isn't all that remarkable -- there's an unnamed 1.7GHz dual-core processor running the show, an 8MP rear camera with 1080p video recording, as well as a 1.3MP front-facer, a 3.7-inch WVGA screen, 64GB of storage and pentaband DC-HSDPA connectivity. Even less remarkable is the year-old skinned Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich powering the software side of things.

But Vertu's banking on its build quality and unique materials to set it apart -- the chassis is constructed out of titanium, and the screen is fashioned from sapphire crystal -- apparently designed to be more durable than the average plastic phone. What's more, customers get access to Vertu's "concierge" call service to help out with things like "local advice and restaurant booking." (Think of it as a little like Google Now, except with humans.)

We'll be honest here, we doubt anyone reading this will actually stump up the $10,000 to purchase a Vertu Ti, but the fact that this kind of manufacturer is embracing Android goes to show the wide appeal of the OS. If you've got ten grand to burn, the Vertu Ti is available for sale now at the manufacturer's website.

Source: Vertu; via: BBC

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Android 4.2.2 rolling out to Nexus 10 and 7, GSM Galaxy Nexus [Updated]

98

Over-the-air updates to Android 4.2.2 are rolling out now to the current crop of Nexus devices. Reports first started trickling in on Reddit about the GSM Galaxy Nexus having its update waiting. And more recently, news from Android Police, XDA and elsewhere indicates that Nexus 10 and Nexus 7 users are getting these updates, so it looks like we're in the midsts of the 4.2.2 roll-out.

No news on the Nexus 4, interestingly enough, but we'd assume if the rest of the Nexuses are getting it, the N4 will be on that train too. We're of course not sure what all this update has in it, but we're not expecting much more than bug fixes considering it's just a x.x.1 jump. After updating our own Galaxy Nexus to 4.2.2, there don't seem to be any immediately-noticeable changes.

So have at it folks, start checking your devices for that update. If you're into manually updating (advanced users only), we've got direct OTA package links for the Gnex and Nexus 10 after the break.

Source: AndroidPolice; Reddit; Thanks, Karl!

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Google Now widget possibly leaks out on Google support page

26

There's not a lot to look at, but the minimalism is part of what makes is great. We're talking about Google Now, and the fact that reference to a widget has appeared on a Google support page answers the prayers of many an Android fan. There isn't a lot of documentation, but very little is needed. Place the widget on your homescreen just like you would any other, and a click on one of the sections will open the relevant parts in Google Now. We assume that the widget will be populated based on your Google Now card preferences.

There's no word on when we'll see this, or if it will be part of an OS update or an update available via Google Play. We're guessing the latter, which makes it readily available for carrier phones that might be, shall we say, an OS version or two behind. We'll just have to wait to get the full details.

Update: Looks like Google's pulled that support page.

Source: Google. Thanks, @mattatwar1!

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

LG announces Optimus L series II device family

1

We've heard about a refresh of the LG Optimus L-style phones coming, and LG just made things official. There aren't many surprises here, as all three of the phones look to be mid-range devices, and based on dual-SIM specification, we assume they are destined for central and eastern Europe. 

First out of the gate will be the Optimus L7II, which debuts in Russia this week. It's a 4.3-inch (WVGA; IPS) Jelly Bean powered phone, with 768MB of RAM and an 8MP camera. The dual-SIM specification already mentioned is on board, and it's all powered by a healthy 2460mAh battery. On the software side, the L series II devices include LG's unique features like QSlide and QuickTranslator. 

Releasing at a later date, the Optimus L5II will be a 4.0-inch version with a 1700mAh battery, and the Optimus L3II will feature a 3.2-inch display and a 1540mAh battery. We'll know more about these soon, as LG plans to display the new L series II devices at Mobile World Congress later this month.

You can find LG's full press release after the break.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Verizon's Droid DNA to be updated with bug fixes

11

Verizon's HTC-built Droid DNA will soon be receiving a software update with a few important bug fixes, as the carrier has just posted word on its Droid DNA software support page. The new version 2.04.605.2 710RD comes with a sizeable changelog, including references to fixes for the mobile hotspot function, headset audio quality and Bluetooth --

  • User can load videos on HuluPlus
  • Improvements to Hotspot connectivity have been made
  • Improvements to Audio Quality for wired headsets and earpieces have been made
  • Bluetooth connectivity and volume level for specific models have been improved
  • Enhanced reliability and stability of the Contacts List have been made
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity has been improved
  • Improvements to default browser for zooming capability have been made
  • Incoming messages display with the correct timestamp
  • Enhanced Recent Apps functionality has been improved

We've had first-hand experience of mobile hotspot jankiness on the DNA, so hopefully this update will provide relief for this and other lingering issues with the phone. If previous Verizon updates are any indication, this new DNA firmware should start pushing out in the days ahead. When it does, the update file will weigh in at 103.5MB.

Source: Verizon Wireless

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages