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3 years ago

Field Trip gets some useful changes and polish

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Google's latest location-centric app, Field Trip, just received an update that has added quite a bit of polish and some usability features. As far as new features go, version 1.03 adds the ability to swipe away cards to dismiss notifications, view card locations on the map all the way at the city level, mute notifications while using Google Navigation and choose walking or driving directions when navigating via the Field Trip app.

On the bug fix side, this latest version fixes issues with the screen staying on too long because of a notification, crashes on specific devices, text to speech and issues with the app not respecting the device's silent mode.

That's a pretty big changelog for an early update on a new app, and all of them are much appreciated. If you haven't had a chance to download and take a look at Field Trip, it's really worth your time. Sure you'll look like a tourist walking around with your phone in front of you going "ooh, ahh", but that's part of the fun.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro arrives on AT&T on Oct. 21

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Announced along with their full holiday line up in New York not long ago, AT&T will be making the Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro available to those looking for a rough and rugged device come October 21st. For $100 you'll get yourself a military grade, waterproof, shock resistant and dust proof device with Android 4.0, LTE connectivity, a 5MP camera and a 4-inch Super AMOLED display at 480 x 800. Sure, it won't win any beauty pageants but it's built to last. We've already gone hands-on with it and set up a nice gallery for you all in case you're thinking of picking this one up.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile showcase hits NYC Oct. 29

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Right. So T-Mobile's doing a showcase on Oct. 29 in New York City. Yes, that's the same day as Google's "Playground" event, where we should see a new Nexus phone, and maybe a tablet or two. But this is a T-Mobile event, folks. Google's is in the morning. Don't freak out if there's no "T-Mobile Nexus" at this thing. Chances are any new GSM Nexus will be pentaband anyway, so it'll be "T-Mobile" as much as it is "AT&T" or GSM for the rest of the world. No biggie.

No, what I'm expecting is a whole lot of Galaxy Note 2 and other T-Mobile Android phones from this year (including new but lesser-spec'd devices)  -- and a bunch of new Windows Phone hardware, including the HTC 8X (I've played with that, and it's freakin' gorgeous), and the more portly Nokia Lumia 810, which I saw last week in San Diego. Microsoft is finally showing off Windows Phone 8 on the morning of Oct. 29 in San Francisco, and one phone does not a showcase make. There will be more than Nexus, one way or the other.

Oh, and there's a pretty good chance this might happen as well. We hope.

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3 years ago

Fake Sony Nexus was fake

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That 'Sony Nexus X' was an elaborate hoax, but not of the kind we expected

Remember those Sony Nexus X images doing the rounds a few days back? Remember how we pointed how that things looked a bit fishy? Well, the person who created the photos has come forward today, and it turns out they were indeed fake, as we reported at the time.

But that's not the interesting part. What's astonishing is the amount of effort that went into creating a couple of low-quality images. Turns out the images weren't the result of Photoshop trickery alone, but hours of painstaking 3D model work based on earlier Sony and Nexus designs. It was fake, all right, but not in the way we thought.

The entire process of creating the Nexus X images was laid out for all to see in an infographic entitled "The Anatomy of a Hoax." Using phones like the Galaxy Nexus and Xperia T as a starting point, the creator first fashioned a 3D model, then placed it in a virtual background, and added a reflection from the back of a Galaxy Nexus for good measure. After that, it was put through Photoshop to, well, make it look crappy enough to have come from a Galaxy Nexus camera. In total, he estimates it took a total of over seven hours work to create the images.

The reason for the hoax, apparently, was to demonstrate consumer interest in a Sony Nexus to Google, and show how the tech news echo chamber can throw basic caution and fact-checking to the wind.

This is something we're all too familiar with -- we deal with shit like this on a daily basis, especially in the pre-Nexus silly season. We weren't caught out this time, though like everyone else, we have been in the past.

In any case, we encourage you to go take a look at the full infographic, if only to appreciate the effort that went into producing those tiny, blurred (and yes, fully faked) JPEGs.

Source: Anatomy of a Hoax

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3 years ago

A 32-gigabyte Nexus 7 in a box

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Yeah, yeah. We all know there's a 32-gigabyte Nexus 7 coming down the pike -- very possibly at the Oct. 29 event in New York City. And the box of one apparently has made its way into our forums. We've got one member, KidCuda, saying it's ringing up at $249, which is the current price of the 16GB Nexus 7. (Perhaps that means the 8GB is on its way out?) This picture comes courtesy of member stonerman34, clearly showing the 32GB of storage.

Now we just need to be able to buy it. Ah, hey. Stonerman34 says it's got an Oct. 29 street date. Which would make sense.

Source: Nexus 7 forums

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3 years ago

Here's what LG's Nexus 4 looks like on the inside

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We've all seen numerous photos of the LG Nexus 4 from the outside, but if you've been curious as to what's lurking behind that shiny glass back, then wonder no more. A source has passed the above image to us, showing what you'll find if you unscrew the phone's back panel and look inside. As has been extensively reported in recent weeks, the back is intended to be non-removable, but with a bit of disassembly, it is possible to get inside.

Unsurprisingly, the back is dominated by the battery, which we now know to be a 2100mAh unit. It's not intended to be user-replaceable, but there are just a few standard screws between you and the battery. At a push, we imagine a technically proficient user could perform a successful Nexus 4 battery transplant if required.

The rest is pretty much as we'd expect it to be -- there's a plastic frame, gold contacts for antennae, and cutouts for the rear speaker, 8MP camera and LED flash. Peeking out from under that plastic is the PCB, which houses the 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, along with RAM, flash storage and other gubbins. Naturally, the SIM card slot isn't sealed behind the glass panel -- instead it's accessible via an iPhone-style microSIM tray on the right edge.

The Nexus 4 is so close, we can practically taste it. Don't forget we'll be live from New York on Oct. 29 for the announcement event!

Discuss in the LG Nexus 4 forums

Thanks, Anon!

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3 years ago

Latest LG Nexus 4 leak provides minor new details

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2100mAh battery, slightly thicker and heavier than the Galaxy Nexus

It's been a while since we've had any fresh LG Nexus 4 leaks, largely because much of the upcoming phone's hardware has already been laid bare. Nevertheless, notorious Twitter leaker @evleaks has today revealed a few minor, yet previously unknown specs, along with a new photo of the device's front face. The Twitter post also confirms earlier leaked specs, including a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 8GB and 16GB storage options.

According to the latest leak, the Nexus 4 will be slightly thicker than its predecessor, measuring 9.1mm -- though let's remember that there's no unsightly hump down below this time around. In addition, weight is reported as 139 grams, a little heavier than the GSM Gnex's 135 grams. And the internal, non-replaceable battery is said to be rated at an ample 2100mAh.

Capacity is one thing, but it'll be interesting to see if the Nexus 4 sports the same "800 charging cycles" tech that LG's been pimping with the Optimus G as an increase over the competition. We're also curious to see whether, like newer Nexus 7 models, the Nexus 4 hardware supports the new power management features of the 3.4 Linux kernel.

On software, evleaks reports Android "JellyBeanMR1" as being loaded onto the device -- that's the same numberless version we've seen floating around on other prototypes. It's widely expected that the final device will ship with Android version 4.2, which may or may not wear the Jelly Bean badge.

So the bottom line is this -- slightly thicker, a tiny bit heavier, and you shouldn't need to worry too much about battery life. Of course, we'll reserve final judgment until we get our hands on the finished product, likely at Google's "Playground" event on Oct. 29. There's a lot to talk about, so discuss it all in the LG Nexus 4 forum.

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

O2 UK begins rollout of Jelly Bean to Galaxy S3, Vodafone to follow

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Yesterday, Three UK began to send out the Andorid 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update to Samsung Galaxy S3 phones, and now we have two more British carriers following closely -- Vodafone and O2. O2's rollout will begin today, it says, while Vodafone customers will have to wait until Monday.

Again, we're pleasantly surprised at how fast the British and European carriers have been able to get the updates to their devices and hope those on the American side are paying attention. Both updates will be a gradual rollout and are available via OTA over WiFi or via Kies.

If you have questions about a specific carrier's implementation, hit up the source links. We'd love to hear from you if you're on one of these carriers and update your Galaxy S3.

Source: O2Vodafone; via Techradar

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3 years ago

Orbitz releases Hotels by Orbitz app for Android, aims to help travelers

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Orbitz.com, the travel booking site, has released a new app, Hotels by Orbitz. The app is designed for a singular purpose: to help you locate hotels and book them through Orbitz.

With the app, you can search hotels that are closest to your current location or specify a different one if you're planning ahead. Once you see the list of hotels, you can sort by value, price and distance. When trying to decide on one, you can view reviews, amenities and see all room options available. Orbitz then provides an easy way to book the room if you choose.

To celebrate the release of the app, Orbitz is offering a 10% discount on any hotels booked through the app through Sunday, Oct. 21.

This makes sense for Orbitz. They want to help customers book more rooms and the mobile space is becoming increasingly significant to do that.

The app is free and available from the Google Play Store.

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3 years ago

WhitePages for Android updated with more location awareness

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WhitePages for Android has been updated with a whole bunch of location-based features, including finding nearby people that have checked in on Foursquare, viewing nearby businesses, and looking for specific shops nearby. (Edit: Scratch that, the Nearby People feature is powered by WhiePages' own people database.) By plugging into Foursquare, you can also conduct searches for places near your friends where you can meet up. Some restaurants will even list their menu and have it accessible in the app.

As always, WhitePages also provides reverse phone lookup, reverse address lookup, and plain (but useful) people and business search functions. WhitePages also has their Social Caller ID app, though the use case for that is a fair bit more different (even if it's equally free).

It's an uphill battle in the world of mobile local search with Google around, bute WhitePages has been in the business for awhile, and I'm sure they still have at least a few tricks up their sleeve. The new Foursquare plug-in is great and all, but seems like it's largely dependent on if you actually use the social network. Also, isn't it a little creepy that the app can scrape public check-ins and provide a sort of heat map of where the popular places are? 

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3 years ago

BBC iPlayer app updated with Jelly Bean support

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The BBC has updated its official iPlayer app for Android with support for the latest version of the OS, 4.1 Jelly Bean. The new version comes weeks after the Beeb launched its self-branded BBC Media Player app, eliminating the requirement to use Adobe Flash Player to view BBC video content. Besides the addition of Jelly Bean support, the core of the app is largely unchanged.

The new iPlayer version 1.4.2.3, is available as a free download for Google Play users in the UK, and supports Android versions 2.2 and above. The BBC says the move to its own media player app also allows for improved video quality compared to older Flash-based content.

Brits can grab the BBC iPlayer app for Android from the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Galaxy S3 in select MetroPCS stores this weekend, everywhere Oct. 22

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MetroPCS this morning announced that its Samsung Galaxy S3 will be in select stores this weekend (it declined to say which ones), and everywhere starting Oct. 22. Samsung's premiere device will run $499; service plans start at $30, with unlimited voice, texting and 4G LTE data.

Source: Press release

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Jelly Bean updates to begin early 2013

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But 2011 devices will miss out on official Android 4.1 update

While other manufacturers have been confirming, and even releasing updates to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Sony Mobile has so far remained quiet. This morning the company broke its silence to reveal its official update plans for 2012 Xperia devices.

First to get a taste of Jelly Bean will be the company's three flagship products for late 2012 -- Xperia T, Xperia TX and Xperia V. These devices will be updated in "mid-Q1 2013," Sony says. In addition, Sony confirmed that international versions of the Xperia S, Xperia acro S, Xperia Ion, Xperia P, Xperia Go and Xperia J will also get Jelly Bean, though no release timeframe was offered for those phones. There no mention of the U.S.-specific Xperia Ion, or the upcoming Xperia TL, both AT&T handsets. That's not to say these devices won't get Jelly Bean, but it's likely there'll be a longer wait for any eventual update.

There's also bad news for 2011 Xperia owners, however, as Sony confirmed these phones will remain on ICS. The 2011 Xperia line includes devices like the Xperia Arc, Xperia Play and Xperia Neo. These phones will continue to be supported through maintenance updates, Sony said.

Sony promises more updates in the future, as it works towards bringing Jelly Bean to its ever-widening product portfolio.

Mid-Q1 is a long way off, and there's every reason to expect we'll be on Android 4.2 by then. But as we've already covered in excruciating detail, updates are hard, and there's a whole mess of other stuff that goes into the upgrade process, besides copy-pasting a skin on top of the latest open-source Android code.

Anyone just splashed out on a new Xperia T or Xperia TX? Hit the comments and let us know what you think of today's news.

Source: Sony Mobile

More: Why you'll never have the latest version of Android

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3 years ago

Android Central Podcast 112: Going back to the Google playground

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Audio-only stream below

Invites have arrived for an Oct. 29 Google event in New York City. Plus, HTC finally unveils the long-rumored 5-incher it's been hiding. And a whole slew of your e-mails and voicemails.

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3 years ago

EXIF data hints at Samsung-made Nexus 10 tablet

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We're usually a little skeptical of information coming from EXIF data in photos. This metadata is easy to tamper with, for one, and can sometimes paint a misleading picture of possible future devices. Nevertheless, the presence of a photo from a "Nexus 10" device on Picasa warrants further investigation, so bear with us while we do a little sleuthing.

The 5-megapixel image appears to have been taken in testing and automatically uploaded to the tester's Picasa account. The photo in question shows a color testing card in various shades, which suggests it was captured as part of manufacturing tests rather than in regular day-to-day use. What's more, the individual who took it, a Eun-Hee Kim, has a Google+ history containing check-ins at a Samsung manufacturing plant in Gumi, South Korea, suggesting he or she is a Samsung employee. Samsung, of course, is widely rumored to be producing the reported 10-inch Nexus tablet.

Other notable EXIF nuggets include a build number of JVP12C -- an unknown Jelly Bean build -- and a capture date just a few days ago, on Oct. 15.

So far we've seen very reliable little in the public domain surrounding the "Nexus 10" tablet. Purported specs include a Samsung Exynos 5 processor (incidentally, the same chip shipping in Google's new Chromebook), and a beastly 2560x1600 display. If the tablets are already being manufactured at Samsung's South Korean facilities, that might suggest a release is closer than we expect.

Could Nexus 10 make a surprise appearance at Google's "Playground" event in New York City on Oct. 29? Let us know what you think down in the comments.

Source: Picasa, Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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