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3 years ago

Sprint shuts down 'Upgrade Now' program ... for now


Sprint today confirmed to Android Central that its Upgrade Now program, which would let you pay a little extra to get upgrade pricing a little early, is "currently now unavailable." The internal memo adds "until further notice," which seems a bit ominous until you read the line that notes it's "temporarily discontinued." Sprint's e-mail to us also says to "check back later to see if the program has been reinstated," giving us another reason to believe this is just temporary.

Thanks, anon!

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3 years ago

LG Spectrum 2 review


It has been quite a year for LG, which despite its top spot among dumbphone sales has had a bit of a difficult time making it big in the Android world. Faced with stiff competition from fellow Korean handset maker Samsung, as well as HTC and Motorola, LG has struggled to create a brand for itself-- despite solid hardware, it has consistently failed to catch the attention of those who decide which Android devices sell and which ones flop-- the consumer. 

Then came the Optimus G and, subsequently the Nexus 4, both of which helped LG get back in the game. The Nexus 4 is widely considered to be the best Nexus to date, and the Optimus G has been called one of the best smartphones of 2012, besting even the Galaxy S 3 and the One X.

Not all of LG's releases this year have been as stellar, though, and unfortunately for Verizon customers, two of LG's misses have landed on Big Red's network. The LG Intuition was too "groundbreaking" for its own good with its awkward 4:3 display, and the Spectrum 2, despite its best efforts, manages to feel like an outdated afterthought and a slap in the face to Verizon loyalists who have had to watch LG's comeback from the sidelines. 

Read on for our full review.

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3 years ago

New at The Lloyd Gear Sticker


Just a quick heads up that has the official Lloyd Gear Sticker (featuring everyone's favorite Android Central mascot) available for less than a buck.

It's 3.5-inches in diameter, and it's perfect for showing that you're a part of the biggest and best Android community on the web. Plus, it's less than a buck. So buy two. Or three. Or 12.

Get yours today!

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3 years ago

Ask AC: How do you keep up with all the CyanogenMod updates?


A question I get asked a lot involves updates to custom ROMs, and CyanogenMod in particular. How do we keep up with all the builds, all the updates and all the devices?

Here's a secret: We don't. Because we don't have to.

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3 years ago

Sprint adds new LTE cities in Indiana, California, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico


Sprint this morning announced that it's lit up a handful of new cities with its 4G LTE data. They include:

  • Indianapolis/Carmel, Ind.
  • Santa Rosa/Petaluma, Calif.
  • Vallejo/Fairfield, Calif.
  • Southern Puerto Rico (including Ponce, Coamo and Guayama)
  • York/Hanover, Pa.
  • Franklin County, Pa.

Also, Shenandoah County and Page County (Va.), as well as Chicago, should see enhanced LTE coverage, Sprint says. 

So if you've got an LTE-capable Sprint device and live in one of those areas, congrats. And let's hope the Myans are wrong. We've got a full list of Sprint's LTE locations after the break.

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3 years ago

Mysms now available in a tablet-optimized version


Mysms, the popular cross-platform SMS application is now available in an Android tablet optimized version. With My SMS you can send and receive text messages on your Android device (as well as other popular platforms) or your desktop running Windows or Mac OS -- complete with desktop notifications. There are even versions that run inside Evernote, Chrome or Facebook. It's a full service SMS application for just about any screen in your house or office.

It's done by syncing from your phone (you use your number as a username) to the mysms cloud, and from there your messages get synced with all of your devices. It's something we have seen from other desktop SMS programs, but few offer this many connection options. Because it uses the cloud, you can send pictures and files as well. The tie in with Evernote makes media available for everyone, as well as provide SMS backup to your Evernote account. 

Maybe the best part is that messages are free to other mysms users, regardless of where you (or they) are in the world. You can send messages from your phone as normal, and be charged the normal rates, or use the mysms app on both ends and save a few bucks. The OS support makes this a real option if you have family or friends in other countries.

There's a reason a half-million people have downloaded mysms for Android, and now with a tablet version, there is even more of one. If you're not a Google Voice user (we had issues getting Google Voice to work with mysms) you really need to have a look. It's absolutely free, so grab it by clicking the ink above. There's a short video, a couple screenshots, and a press release after the break.

Update: There was bit of confusion on our end. The Phone and desktop applications are free, the tablet edition is available at an introductory price of $1.99.

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3 years ago

FCC publishes AWS-H Block spectrum auction rules


The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has just published the rules it will apply to a spectrum auction for the AWS-H Block. We saw last week that the FCC finally approved Dish's proposal to use its spectrum holdings for a terrestrial cellular network, and this auction was part of the deal. The auction will have 10MHz of spectrum up for grabs, in the 1915-1920MHz (uplink) and 1995-2000MHz (downlink) bands. This is directly adjacent to PCS G spectrum that Sprint currently owns, and therefore the carrier will be a likely participant in the auction.

Part of the rules to the auction are that the winner must build out its network to 40-percent of the coverage area within 4 years, and 70-percent within 10 years. Also, if a company other than Sprint were to win the auction, they will be required to work closely with Sprint to make sure that its usage does not interfere with Sprint's neighboring spectrum.

It will be interesting to see how the discussions surrounding this auction go, especially considering Sprint's intimate involvement in the process from the beginning.

Source: FCC; PhoneScoop

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3 years ago

Polaroid rumored to be working on Android-powered camera with interchangeable lenses


Nikon and Samsung have already brought Android-powered smart camera to market, and now it seems Polaroid may be looking to edge into this market with a somewhat different device. According to the latest round of online rumors, the company may be bringing to market the world's first Android-based compact camera with interchangeable lenses.

Today's leak comes from Photo Rumors, which sources a company profile for article in industry publication Dealerscope. The article about Sakar international, which is apparently collaborating with Polaroid on the device, reveals the camera as the Polaroid IM1836. This apparently features a 18.1MP sensor, pop-up flash, a 3.5-inch touchscreen and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The camera is said to offer Wifi and HDMI connection options, but there's no mention of any cellular data option, or internal hardware like CPU or RAM.

Visual similarities between the IM1836 and the Nikon 1 J2 have led to speculation that the Polaroid may use the Nikon's lens ecosystem, though right now the relationship between the two cameras remains unclear.

Crucially, the inclusion of interchangeable lenses would indicate that this device is more focused on image quality than earlier Samsung and Nikon offerings. Image quality been a common complaint of the Samsung Galaxy Camera, which costs as much as a mirrorless camera, but produces point-and-shoot quality pictures.

There's no word as yet on when Polaroid's Android-powered camera might make an official appearance, but we'll be on the lookout for it at CES in Las Vegas next month.

Source: Photo Rumors; via: The Verge

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3 years ago

Samsung announces 5-inch mid range Galaxy Grand


Samsung has just taken the wraps off of yet another variant in the Galaxy lineup, the Galaxy Grand. This looks to be a weird mash-up of the Galaxy S3 Mini and original Galaxy Note, but the end result is a decidedly mid range device. We're looking at a 5-inch WVGA (that's just 480x800) display here, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor (model not specified,) 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. There's an 8MP shooter on the back and 2MP on the front, a 2100mAh battery and the whole thing is running Android 4.1.2 with TouchWiz.

We're only seeing 21mbps HSPA+ as a connectivity option, with the standard 850/900/1900/2100MHz frequencies for most networks around the world -- no LTE to be seen here. The Galaxy Grand will roll out in two flavors: the GT-I9080 and GT-I9082, with the latter being identical but with dual SIM slots.

Given its specs and features we can assume this is going to be targeted at certain European and Asian markets, and we'd bet the U.S. carriers won't be picking this up unless Samsung makes some specifically different models for this market. By that time it'll likely be a completely different device. There's no pricing or availability information in this release, but we're not expecting Samsung to make too big of a splash about this device.

Source: Samsung

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3 years ago

AT&T 4G LTE launches in several new cities


In the run up to the holidays, it seems AT&T is wasting no time expanding its 4G LTE coverage -- we've counted at least thirteen in the past few weeks. Today brings the news that the carrier's LTE network has just been lit up in four new cities:

  • Melbourne, Fla.
  • Green Bay, Wis.
  • Oxford, Miss.
  • Springfield, Mass.
  • Tucson, Ariz.

In addition, Phoenix and Los Angeles are seeing expanded coverage. If you're seeing AT&T 4G LTE reception for the first time today, be sure to shout out in the comments.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia 'Yuga' prototype gets unofficial preview


After it leaked photos of a prototype device yesterday, Russian site Mobile-Reviews has published a detailed preview of Sony's upcoming 2013 high-ender, currently known by its codename "Yuga." According to today's preview, the 5-inch, 1080p device packs a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2GB of RAM and a glass-clad chassis. There's also expandable storage via microSD card, world LTE connectivity and a 12MP camera, so if specs alone are any indication, the "Yuga" should measure up favorably against other high-end phones in early 2013.

On the software side, the prototype is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Sony's own proprietary software. Highlights here include new live wallpapers, a re-vamped camera app with filters (because that's what everyone's doing these days), and a redesigned clock app. Visually, Sony's Xperia UI as seen on the prototype looks much the same as it did on earlier phones like the Xperia T and Xperia S.

You'll find a complete run-down of the prototype hardware and software at the source link below. Sony tends to announce its new high-end stuff at CES each year, so we expect we'll see the finalized design in Las Vegas in just a few weeks.

Source: Mobile-Review (Translated)

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3 years ago

Google's Field Trip app now available in the UK


Following on from some other recent Field Trip updates, the app is now available in the UK. Field Trip is a Google-created app designed to highlight local points of interest, popping up notifications while you're out and about, and allowing you to browse through nearby places on a map, or based on location.

Previously limited to the U.S., Field Trip's UK debut is the latest in a series of UK launches for previously U.S.-only Google products, such as Play Music and Play Magazines.

Right now the usefulness of Field Trip to Android phone owners in the UK will depend on where in the country they live. London is pretty well-documented, with cards for restaurants, venues, historical sites and other attractions clustered around the center of the capital. However other UK cities are looking much more sparse at the moment, so hopefully Google will continue fleshing things out in the weeks ahead.

Brits can grab the latest version of Field Trip for Android at the Google Play link above. You'll need Android 2.3 Gingerbread or higher to get in on the location-aware action.

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3 years ago

Daily news roundup: December 17, 2012




Mondays are always heavy news days, and you'd have to be crazy to somehow keep track of everything throughout the day. It's for this reason that we do daily news roundups so you can catch up on all that happened. Take a look through all of the stories, you'll likely find something you missed that's a worth-while read.

Hardware news to revisit:

Apps and software:

Industry things:

From Android Central and the editors:

See everyone back here on Tuesday!

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3 years ago

Apple's request for permanent injunction denied, as is Samsung's juror misconduct claim


Judge Koh (the presiding judge in the Apple v. Samsung mess) tonight entered two orders pertaining to the case this evening. The first one, and arguably the most important one, says Apple is not to be granted a permanent injunction against offending Samsung products. Seems that even though a jury found plenty of offending instances last August, Judge Koh feels that an injunction is not warranted, as the infringements were but small parts of what makes up the whole device. In fact, the motion was dismissed in its entirety, meaning this part of the case is over -- save for the inevitable appeal from Apple. (So, no, it's not really over yet.)

The second order is pertaining to juror misconduct. You might remember that Samsung took issue with the fact that the jury foreman had previous legal dealings against a Samsung-invested company, and there was some concern over statements made after the end of the trial to the media that made the foreman's conduct come into question. This issue is closed, and the judge denied any further hearing on the matter.

In judge Koh's statement on the matter of injunction, she writes:

The phones at issue in this case contain a broad range of features, only a small fraction of which are covered by Apple's patents. Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple, it does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few narrow protected functions.

We're certain that this is still far from over. Unfortunately, we'll continue to follow things as they progress.


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3 years ago

HTC M7 purportedly heading to Mobile World Congress, 4.7 inch 1080p screen in tow


A usually reliable source of juicy leaks, the guys at @evleaks, are back and bringing word of a potential high end device from HTC heading to Mobile World Congress in February. The rumored HTC M7 is supposedly the top of the line successor to the HTC One X, announced itself in Barcelona at the 2012 MWC. 

We're supposed to be seeing a first-of-its-kind 1080p display at 4.7 inches with an eye watering 468PPI. Underneath is said to be a second-generation Qualcomm quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Not an unlikely set of specs by any means, neither is the reported Jelly Bean out of the box or the reported new version of HTC Sense. 

The camera on the One X was -- and still is, in fact -- a stand out feature on HTC's current top line smartphone, and if the rumors pan out, the M7 will be no different. A 13MP rear shooter with an f/2.0 lens, and a 2MP front facer both with 1080p video recording capabilities. An improved "Cinesensor" image sensor is also said to bring increased image quality along with features such as HDR built in. 

Again, nothing here sounds too out of the ordinary, aside from perhaps the 1080p screen at less than 5 inches. But, we're expecting 1080p to be one of the must haves on high end devices coming in 2013, and since the Butterfly won't be heading to Europe anytime soon, maybe this device is why. The report also suggests that the M7 -- still a codename, in case you were wondering -- is scheduled to appear on Sprint and Verizon in the United States. Oh, and Beats. It's got Beats. 

It's no surprise to see rumor mills begin to grind as we prepare to enter the biggest show season of the year. Mobile World Congress is but 2 months away, so if HTC is preparing something special, we won't have to wait too long to find out what's what.

Source: @evleaks

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