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3 years ago

Verizon lists which apps will kill your battery and use up your data plan

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The folks at Verizon have put up a couple of interesting apps lists. Of course there's the requisite "Must have apps", but they are taking things a step further in app recommendations.

They are providing a list of the top 25 apps from Google Play, and rating them based on battery usage, data usage, and security. The list has a few surprises, like Draw Something getting bad marks for battery drain, while HD Widgets (which most users report as using plenty of battery) gets a perfect score. They qualify their ratings like so:

A low rating means the app might negatively affect your overall experience with your device. If you see a low rating on an app you currently use or intend to download, you should review the potential areas of concern to decide if it’s an app you want to have on your device.

In addition, they have created a naughty list of 13 apps that they are calling high risk because they "might have serious negative effects on your device." The nominees include favorites like Wreck it Ralph and GTA III, as well as Fruit Ninja free (but not the full version).

They mean well, and we're not going to fault them for trying, but one can't help but think some of their choices are a bit odd. We think your best bet when looking for information about a particular app is right here at AC, where the forums are filled with folks using all the awesome apps on Google Play. 

Source: Verizon (1), (2); Via GigaOM

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3 years ago

Real Boxing on Project Shield looks like a knock-out

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NVIDIA has posted another Project Shield teaser, this time showing off the controls of the clamshell playing Real Boxing -- an unreleased title for the Tegra platform. 

Real Boxing looks like a smash hit in the making. A full career mode, mini-games to build your character, and action inside the ring filled with blood are the keys to a great boxing game, and Real Boxing has all this and more. Since it' designed for the Tegra 4, you'll have extra texture packs, better physics, more polygons, and everything else that comes along with NVIDIA sponsored games. I'm a sucker for boxing titles, and I cant wait for this one. 

Having a built-in controller for games like Real Boxing should really take things to the next level of fun. Android, and quite a few games support external controllers, but I've found this can often be a bit janky and require a lot of setup to get things working. Having the controller as part of the device, and titles made especially for use with it, should allow us to throw all the left hooks and upper cuts we can handle. 

There's a video after the break, be sure to have a look -- especially if you're a fan of boxing games like I am.

Source: NVIDIA

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3 years ago

Evleaks: 'HTC M7 coming to market as simply the HTC One'

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Well here's an interesting rumor to end the week on -- notorious Twitter leaker @Evleaks is claiming that HTC's upcoming high-end handset, codenamed M7, will come to market as simply "HTC One." Not One X II, not One Y or One Z, just HTC One.

The M7 codename leaked out late last year, and in the absence of any official branding, it's been the only name we've had to refer to the upcoming HTC flagship. The use of "HTC One" would keep things simple, while not putting to waste the brand awareness that HTC's built over the past twelve months. (Also remember that HTC CEO Peter Chou was caught leading chants of "HTC One!" right after "M7!" at a recent company party.)

Evleaks has a good track record when it comes to pre-release leaks and rumors, but we'd still take this with a pinch of salt until we hear the official word from HTC on Feb. 19.

In the meantime, how would you feel about picking up an "HTC One" later this year? Share your thoughts on the possibility down in the comments!

Source: @Evleaks on Twitter

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3 years ago

T-Mobile drops on-contract Nexus 4 price to $49 until Feb 18

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T-Mobile is dropping its on-contract pricing for the Nexus 4 all the way down to $49.99 for the next 10 days. In conjunction with an online-only discount the latest Google handset can be yours, provided you're willing to sign up for 2 years on a Classic Plan, for $150 off what it was sold for previously. This still involves a $50 mail-in rebate (please, stop that) but even that's worth the hassle at this price. We're not sure what the motivation is here from T-Mobile's point of view, but we're not complaining.

Although we still strongly consider you look into buying the Nexus 4 full price from Google Play and heading to T-Mobile with a Value Plan or prepaid option, if you're stuck buying phones subsidized on contract (such as in a Family Plan situation), there probably won't be any better time than now to pull the trigger on this device.

Source: T-Mobile; Via: TmoNews

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3 years ago

Roller Rally Snake Pass: jump, flip and skate through this great game

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We're always fans of well designed, easy to play (but tough to master) games, and Roller Rally - Snake Pass certainly fits the bill. Recently released, Roller Rally takes downhill roller skate racing and puts a fun cartoon twist that makes it a joy to play. Good characters, sound and gameplay all add to the appeal of this title.

We want to take a little time to highlight the features of this game, so stick around after the break and check it out.

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3 years ago

LG set to unveil new phones on Feb. 25 at MWC

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Monday, Feb. 25 is the first official day of Mobile World Congress, and things look set to start bright and early in Barcelona with the unveiling of new smartphones by LG. The manufacturer's done its best to drum up publicity for its MWC line-up in recent days, though there's been little in the way of firm info about the devices themselves.

If we had to guess, we'd say the Optimus G Pro and new L-style phones are likely candidates for the morning event, but we'll just have to wait and see. We'll be live from Barcelona on the day, so stick with Android Central for full coverage of LG's new devices.

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3 years ago

Three UK launches 'Ultrafast' Galaxy S3 with DC-HSDPA support

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Three UK is marketing its DC-HSDPA and upcoming LTE networks under the the consumer-friendly name "Ultrafast," and today sees the launch of a new Galaxy S3 variant intended to take advantage of this network. Three's Ultrafast Galaxy S3 is identical to the vanilla 3G version, except it'll run at full-speed DC-HSDPA, as opposed to maxing out at plain old HSPA+. Basically, that means you get up to double the download bandwidth wherever there's support for the faster network speeds. (If you want to get even more basic, it means your 3G will be twice as fast.)

It's not explicitly confirmed in today's press release, but it's likely that Three's Ultrafast S3 is actually the Galaxy S3 LTE (GT-i9305) -- that's the international LTE version that also includes DC-HSDPA support thanks to its Qualcomm radio chip. We've reached out to Three to clarify whether its "Ultrafast" model will support the upcoming LTE service, and we'll update this post with any info they provide. (Update: Three tells us that the Ultrafast Galaxy S3 will indeed support LTE when it's launched.)

In any case, you can expect to pay £449.99 to buy the Ultrafast S3 on PAYG, or between £34 and £36 per month with a £29 up-front fee on Three's 24-month contracts. The phone launches online and in Three stores next Tuesday, Feb. 12.

Source: Three

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3 years ago

OG Droid Incredible random reboot fix now rolling out

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The original Verizon/HTC Droid Incredible is rapidly approaching its third birthday, but if you've still got one knocking around then there's a new update you should be downloading. Software version 4.08.605.19 -- still based on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, by the way -- has begun rolling out this morning, according to reports from the Android Central forums and tipster emails.

Verizon's official changelog shows only one notable difference in this new software, and that's a fix for random reboots on the device. So it's great -- if a little strange -- to see this kind of a fix being rolled out for such an old handset. OG Dinc owners, keep a look out for that OTA notification this morning, and be sure to hit the comments so we know how many of you are still out there!

Source: Android Central Forums; Thanks, Brandon!

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3 years ago

O2 pushing out Xperia T Jelly Bean update

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Following Sony's official announcement yesterday, British network O2 has revealed that it's now pushing out the Xperia T Jelly Bean update. As well as bringing the device up to Android 4.1.2, the upgrade brings various Sony software improvements, including new music player, gallery and video apps, and some tweaks to the stock launcher.

It's a quick turnaround for O2, which in the past has spent weeks certifying major Android OS updates for its branded devices. If you've got an O2-branded Xperia T, head to Settings > About > Software Updates to grab the latest OTA.

For more details on what's in this new Sony update, check out our report from yesterday.

Source: O2; via: Eurodroid

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3 years ago

Canalys: Android accounts for 70% of smartphone market and 34% of all phones shipped in Q4 2012

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image credit Epsilon Creations

Canalys is in the business of counting things. Things like how many of each make of smartphone gets shipped, and what operating system runs on them. We're glad they do it so we don't have to, and they do a great job keeping everyone abreast of how the market breaks out for each category they measure by. They have released the tally for Q4 2012, and as expected, Android continues to dominate the market. In Q4 of last year, 70-percent of all smartphones shipped were running some flavor of Android on them. If you've been following along, you're not surprised.

What is surprising is some of the other facts one can get from their latest report. Like the fact that of all phones shipped during the quarter Android was running on 34-percent of them. That means that one of every three phones sold are smartphones running Android, and that's important. Android was designed to get the Internet into the hands of the people. To get them to ditch their "dumb" phones (I hate that label) and step up into an entry level smartphone. Seeing Android at 34-percent of the total means that people are doing just that -- ditching the old messaging phone for something more fitting the 21st century. These are the phones we forget about, or ask "why?" when we see them getting released. We shouldn't. They are important phones for the future of Android.

Another little-talked about fact from today's report? Huawei is now in the number three spot (behind Samsung and Apple, in that order) of smart phones shipped. Look out for them -- they will be coming in hard and have some awesome things to show us.

For the rest of the numbers and where everyone places in the race for market share, hit the source link and check out the report.

Source: canalys

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3 years ago

LG Viper 4G LTE getting a small maintenance update

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The LG Viper 4G LTE has a small update coming according to Sprint. Relax, it's not Jelly Bean. It's actually even better, as the update addresses LTE network acquisition improvements. This means that your Viper 4G should find and connect to LTE towers better, improving the data connection (and as a secondary, the battery life). 

While an update that isn't full of bells and whistles, or a full on OS version update, isn't very exciting, they are pretty important. Keeping the phone working the way it was advertised is the best thing any of the manufacturers can do for us. If we want more, we can handle that ourselves.

Source: Sprint. Thanks, Tommy!

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3 years ago

Editorial: On fragmentation, malware, and clicks

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Who's ready for the next round of the "Android is riddled with malware" game? Apparently the Washington Post is. John Gruber of Daring Fireball linked everyone to their story today that explains how Android's open model creates a fragmented system that is "like a really dry forest, and it’s just waiting for a match." That match, of course, is malware. It's a shame, really. Today's story at the Post brings several real issues to light. Manufacturers and carriers do have a problem keeping Android up to date, and failure to include Google's security patches makes things tough in the enterprise. Too bad it's all hidden under the buzzwords and click bait.

Malware that can execute on Android exists. Only a fool would think otherwise. But something else also exists, and it affects more people than Android based malware ever will. You don't realize it's happening when it happens, and it's everywhere. You see, the more you interact with a website, the more money the owners of that site make. The business of getting you to click a link because it has a sensational headline is alive and well, and getting bigger.

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3 years ago

Plume for Twitter updates widget design, adds new features

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Plume for Twitter updated its main app to closely tie into Android's new design guidelines many months ago, but its widget still lacked the new visual holo flare until today. The new widget is the same as far as functionality goes, but has received a drastic facelift. It is now a "holo dark" theme, with buttons and colors that more closely match that of the actual app. You still get a great visual representation of tweets, mentions and messages, as well as direct compose, refresh and search keys.

There are also several other improvements as part of this update. You can now make multiple columns in both the app and widget that specify between accounts -- which is a huge deal for multiple account users -- and Facebook accounts can now display in the widget as well. There's also now smoother scrolling, resend dialogues when picture uploads fail and fixes with pull-to-refresh.

That's a whole bunch of notable updates that should keep Plume users happy. If you've yet to try out Plume, you can head the Play Store link at the top of this post to check it out.

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3 years ago

Motorola Electrify M on US Cellular receiving Jelly Bean OTA

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The Motorola Electrify M, which has only been available on U.S. Cellular since November, is getting its Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update starting today. The update should be similar to what we've seen come out on other recent Motorola devices, taking Jelly Bean and putting some very light, but useful, customizations on top of it. You'll be getting Google Now, Project Butter and expandable notifications as well as Motorola's own tweaks.

As is usually the case, large updates like this roll out in phases and it may take some time to arrive. If you're seeing the update on your Electrify M, be sure to chime in here and let us know.

Source: Motorola

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3 years ago

Creating beautiful and functional Android apps: an interview with Stitcher Radio's Tyler Pearson

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Stitcher Radio, one of the most popular news, radio and podcast apps on Android recently underwent a complete redesign. Lead Android developer at Stitcher, Tyler Pearson, was kind enough to take some time out of his day after the launch of the new app to talk to us. We had a chance to (virtually) sit down and talk to Tyler about their newly redesigned Android app, Google design guidelines and the state of the Android ecosystem.

Stick around after the break and see what he had to say.

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