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3 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy S2 receiving small OTA update, still ICS for now

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The T-Mobile version of the Galaxy SII (S2) is receiving an update today, either via OTA or Samsung Kies, that keeps the device on Android 4.0.4 but brings a few needed fixes. The update, which can bring you to baseband version T989UVLI1 or T989UVLH1, is just 11MB when downloaded OTA and has a few fixes on board. Apparently a Qualcomm fix is included, along with other security enhancements and Vlingo S Voice improvements.

When first seeing that an update was available for the Galaxy S2 we instantly jumped to conclusions, thinking that this may be the Jelly Bean update. The update started rolling out for the international S2 yesterday, but unfortunately T-Mobile's model is on ICS for just a while longer. Have you received the update via OTA or Kies? Head to the forums and chime in, as some users are already reporting seeing the update arrive on their devices.

Source: T-Mobile Support; More: T-Mobile Galaxy S2 Forums

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3 years ago

Ouya announces new controller with improved design based on feedback

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Taking a whole boatload of feedback into consideration, the Ouya team has made several notable improvements to its controller. Developers that have had their hands on the consoles for a few weeks have started to give their recommendations back as to how the controller could be improved, and the team is taking it all to heart.

First, the D-pad on the controller has switched from a "disc" to more traditional "cross" layout, which should help prevent accidental movements. The thumbstick caps have been redesigned to give more grip, and the touchpad area has better sensitivity now. The triggers have been improved as well, and are now more flush with the body of the controller. And last but not least, the battery compartment has been redesigned for a tighter fit, and some materials will be changed out for higher quality ones by the time the final units ship.

Those are some notable improvements, changing basically all of the input surfaces on the controller. Ouya seems committed to delivering a high quality product to consumers, so let's hope this all comes through in the end.

Source: Ouya

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3 years ago

Out of stock: T-Mobile's Nexus 4 inventory lasts about a day

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Can't say this is much of a surprise: A day after T-Mobile put the Nexus 4 back up for sale on its website, it's being listed as out of stock. TMo managed to keep it up for sale longer than just about anyone at this point, though, so we're not going to ding it too badly here.

On the other hand, that takes another major retailer off the table at a time when even Google still can't sell its flagship phone.

Source: T-Mobile; Thanks, Frank!

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3 years ago

G Cloud Backup isn't made by Google, but does a pretty good job at backing up your Android device

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Don't let the name confuse you, this isn't another app from Google. Despite the tenuous naming link, G Cloud Backup is made by a developer known as Genie9, and sets out to backup all your personal particulars on your Android device. We're not just talking about files and folders, or simply being a cloud locker in which to dump things either. SMS messages, contacts, external SD cards, call logs, all in addition to such items as photos, videos and music. And, root access isn't required for anything, so this one's for everyone. The cloud part is Amazon's S3 cloud storage.

There's no shortage of options when it comes to backing up, or indeed cloud services, on Android. But the cliché still applies -- choice is a good thing. No doubt at first glance, some of the offered services Google already takes care of, but does G Cloud Backup have enough to make it worth a look? Stick around and we'll find out.

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3 years ago

Vine for Twitter, and what it means for you on Android

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There's no Vine app for Android just yet, but that doesn't mean you can escape its 6-second video onslaught

Twitter and Vine today announced that (1) Vine is now available for iOS devices and (2) has been purchased by Twitter. If you hadn't heard of Vine before today, we're not too surprised -- it's been in limited beta testing until now, and it's not available for Android. But, seeing as how all roads (eventually) lead to Android these days, we're taking a quick look at it here.

The oversimplified version is that Vine is to video what Instagram is to pictures. In actuality, it's a fairly simple app that lets you take up to 6 seconds of video that might well be mistaken for a really good animated gif. It doesn't have to be 6 consecutive seconds, though. You can do two 3-second clips strung together. Or three 2-second clips. Or, if you hate your friends, six 1-second clips.

You're going to start seeing a lot of these, even if there's no Android app.

Rene reviewed how Vine for iPhone works (or doesn't) over on iMore.  More of my thoughts, after the break.

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3 years ago

Poetic Borderline bumper case for the Nexus 4

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Let's face it, the back of the Nexus 4 is glass and it will get scratched. But it's so darn cool looking you don't want to cover it up! This is why Google announced that it would be selling a bumper case alongside the Nexus 4, but it's pretty hard to come by. Luckily case maker Poetic has stepped in here, and makes a pretty nice bumper case for the Nexus 4 at an affordable price.

The basic idea of a bumper case is to cover up the sides of the device to provide some grip and keep either the front or back panels of the phone lifted off of any surface you put the phone on. This way the edges of the case take most of the bumps and bruises instead of the glass, but you still get to keep the nice aesthetics of that glittery back plate. In this respect the Borderline case does its job. The hard plastic colored sides are accented with grippy grey rubber material, which pulls double duty adding grip for when you're using the case and grip on tables when you set it down. Speaking of colors, as of now the Borderline is available in blue, green, purple, red, yellow and black.

The case definitely adds a bit of bulk to the Nexus 4, which may push it over the edge of being too big for some people's hands. I have pretty large hands and don't really notice the extra width and thickness, but this definitely isn't a paper-thin case. Because the edges are raised up higher than the whole of the back plate, the bumper actually does make the phone a little awkward to hold. With most devices you're used to having a convex back that you can wrap your fingers around, but using a bumper on the Nexus 4 means the back is technically concave and it definitely takes some getting used to.

The Poetic Borderline bumper case is probably your best bet right now if you're looking for a good middle ground between protecting your device and showing off the striking design. And at a hair under $10 on Amazon, it's kind of a no-brainer even if you'll only occasionally use it. Stick around after the break for a quick hands-on video and photos of the case.

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3 years ago

Big News - a simple and well-designed news widget

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There are plenty of news readers and widgets out there, but not many do their job as elegantly as Big News Pro. Since moving to a new design language with Ice Cream Sandwich, we've been looking to fill our homescreens and app drawers with as many properly-designed holo apps as possible. Big News fits right in with this design, and actually has a nice feature set hiding behind its simplistic exterior. 

Read on past the break and see what Big News has to offer as a news widget.

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3 years ago

Pebble smart watch app for Android now available

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For those of you who have one on the way, Kickstarter-funded smart watch maker Pebble has released its Android app onto Google Play today. The app allows the Pebble smart watch to connect to your Android phone over Bluetooth, showing information like weather, email alerts, incoming calls and messages. In addition, it acts as a "dashboard" for the watch, notifying you of software updates, allowing you to install new watchfaces and assisting with troubleshooting.

The watch itself is now shipping to Kickstarter backers on a first come, first served basis. If you've got one coming, be sure to shout out in the comments.

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3 years ago

Third Carbon backup beta drops with Google Play release imminent

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A third (and probably final) beta release of Koush's Carbon backup app was let loose this morning, adding support for the Box cloud service, notifications, a cancel option and other features and fixes. Also new is a accompanying Windows desktop app that will let you backup and restore an unrooted device.

Koush, in his Google+ post, says the beta should stop working on Jan. 30, by which time we should see the app in Google Play, with free and premium versions.

Source: +Koushik Dutta

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3 years ago

'Galaxy Note 8.0' spotted in the wild, has traditional button setup

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Update: Fresh images have now emerged showing the Note 8.0, its software and the S Pen in greater detail.

We've learned much about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 over the past week or so, from specs to a purported release date. Now we have what might be our first proper glimpse of the tablet itself out in the wild -- and it's packing a few surprises. In spy shots obtained by Italian outlet DDAY.it, we see an unknown Samsung tablet sporting a curved chassis similar to the Galaxy S3 and Note 2 -- a far cry from earlier Samsung tablet designs. The size of the tablet, and the "S Pen" holder shown in the bottom right in the pic above, would seem to confirm this as the Galaxy Note 8.0.

More surprising still is Samsung's apparent decision to eschew on-screen buttons in favor of a traditional menu, home and back setup. It's a break from usual Android tablet designs, though it could be argued that changes to Android's action bar in version 4.2 mean that on-screen controls are less important than they were back in the Honeycomb days.

We should also consider the possibility that this might not be the final Note 8.0 design. In the past, Samsung has craftily put out several pre-release versions of devices (like the Galaxy S3) in the hope of keeping the final design secret. Regardless, it's in Samsung's best interest, branding-wise, to make the Note 8.0 visually close to its smartphone line-up, and this kind of design certainly achieves that.

Previous rumors have the Galaxy Note 8.0 debuting at Mobile World Congress in late February ahead of a March launch. Reported specs include an 8-inch 1280x800 display, a 1.6GHz Exynos 4 Quad CPU, 2GB of RAM and TouchWiz'd Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. We'll be live in Barcelona next month to bring you full coverage of the Note 8.0 as it's announced.

Source: DDAY.it; via: SamMobile

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3 years ago

FCC application reveals Google's plans for campus-wide wireless network

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Earlier this month, Google applied with the FCC to create an experimental wireless network on its Mountain View campus. The network will initially cover a 2 mile radius of the Googleplex, and will run on a specific set of frequencies -- 2524 to 2625MHz. The set of frequencies is a bit obscure and isn't actively being used by any major carrier or devices, that is except for Clearwire. So we know Google is making its own cellular network for use around its campus, but what everyone's really wondering is why are they doing it?

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3 years ago

Aussie Google Play offering app/movie deals for Australia Day

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Good news for those in Australia looking to save some money in the run up to Australia Day. The Australian Google Play Store is right now offering discounts on Australian-made apps, games and movies. Hop into the Play Store app from Australia and you'll see two new promotional blocks for the featured items.

Here's a quick breakdown of some of the apps on sale --

In addition, some Australian-made movies are on sale as little as A$5.99, including the likes of Young Einstein, Muriel's Wedding and Mad Max. Definitely worth checking out over the next few days if you're looking to pick up an Australia Day bargain.

Source: Ausdroid

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3 years ago

Temple Run 2 for Android now available in Google Play

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Temple Run 2, the highly anticipated sequel to one of the biggest games ever, is now available in Google Play. It has all the twists and turns (and monkeys) of the original, but it's been completely redone with great new graphics, new environments, and even bigger monkeys! It's free to download (of course you can spend money via in-app purchases if that's your thing) and you can grab it at the link to the left.

I've not sat down and really played it yet, so holler if there's something we should take a look at. Of course, we'll spend some quality time sliding and jumping, then give this one a proper look. Hit the break for the official trailer.

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean OTA out now for HTC One X devices on Telus

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Canadian carrier Rogers started its OTA rollout for the One X earlier this month, and now Telus has started pushing it as well. Stated on the official HTC Canada twitter account, the update should start coming OTA (Over The Air) to users as of last night. It will be pushed automatically, but eager users can always check in manually and should have the update waiting at that point as well. These big updates tend to roll out in groups or phases, but usually don't take long to hit everyone.

One user in our forums, guyfrombc, has the update downloading on their device, so we know it's out there in the wild at least in some capacity. Are you seeing it on your own Telus One X yet? Head to the forums and let others know what your experience is.

Source: @HTCCanada; More: HTC One X Forums

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3 years ago

For better or worse, Google owns the mobile app space

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Google has captured five of the top six spots in the mobile app space, and it isn't likely that they will be slowing down any time soon. That chart you see above is the number of unique (as in you only get counted once) users of the top 10 mobile apps on Android and iOS for the month of December 2012, and as you can see Google is just tearing it up. In fact, according to Comscore Google would have also grabbed the number one spot were it not for the maps fiasco in iOS 6.

That my friends, is a whole lot of eyeballs.

We created Android in response to our own experiences launching mobile apps. We wanted to make sure that there would always be an open platform available for carriers, OEMs, and developers to use to make their innovative ideas a reality. We wanted to make sure that there was no central point of failure, where one industry player could restrict or control the innovations of any other. The solution we chose was an open and open-source platform. -- Google

Google has consistently stated that one of Android's primary goals was to put the Internet, and their apps, into as many hands as possible. With upwards of 75-percent market share alone, and close to 95-percent when combined with the Google-friendly iOS, I think they've succeeded in a very big way.

But while you're cheering and bumping bro-fists over Google's triumph,  I'm thinking of all the great alternatives we'll never get to see because they can't gain a foothold against these kinds of numbers. I'm not talking about Bing, or other apps like it that we already know and find pretty useless, but I think we all can agree that somebody out there has an idea for a way to do things that's better than what we have now. I'm not necessarily knocking Google. I use all of their services and appreciate the hard work and innovation that brought them to me. I just don't want to miss something better. I hope they can find a way to show it to us in this one-sided landscape.

Source: Comscore

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