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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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3 years ago

Softbank not ruling out a possible Sprint bid for MetroPCS

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Sprint has finally confirmed that it will be taking a controlling stake in previous partner Clearwire. Now, even more interesting statements are coming out in regards to a possible bid for MetroPCS. Most assumed that with a confirmed buyout by Japanese carrier Softbank, Sprint was done trying to get in between a T-Mobile / MetroPCS merger. According to statements by CEO of Softbank Masayoshi Son and CEO of Sprint Dan Hesse, this may not be the case. Hesse, in a quote obtained by The Wall Street Journal, indicated that the structure of the Softbank buyout is set up in a way that gives Sprint cash to work with if a possible deal with MetroPCS arises:

"Think of it almost as an insurance policy. It's some money in the bank until the deal closes that, for some reason, if we wanted to do something we could."

Hesse continued, speaking to assumptions that in the future Sprint and T-Mobile could potentially merge to take on rivals AT&T and Verizon:

"We've got a transaction that's pending with Softbank, and then when we get together we'll take a look at the landscape and make our decisions then. If it's accretive and makes sense for our shareholders, I would do what it takes."

The U.S. wireless industry seems to be making some serious changes. It will be interesting to see what the carrier landscape in the states looks like in the next year.

Source: WSJ

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3 years ago

Stock Talk: Why Google's Q3 earnings aren't nearly as bad as you might think

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On Thursday, Google faced the embarrassing situation of seeing its Q3 financial results released prematurely. The stock tanked on the results, and Google asked to have trading stopped temporarily. I’ve already seen one story suggesting that the early release “wiped out $20 billion in valuation.”

But let’s get real. The loss has nothing to do with the accidental release. It was someone else’s mistake, not Google's, and anyone on Wall Street knows that the real reason Google was trading down was the quarterly miss.

More: Google's complete Q3 2012 earnings

Stocks -- or, more accurately, investors -- always react to quarterly results. Analysts keep detailed models of their expectations, and the average of these models is known as the “consensus estimate.”  If you miss consensus, as Google did, you get punished. It really means nothing in the long term, but it gives financial media types something to get excited about for a few days.

So, Google did something the pros call “shitting the bed.” The most important headline number is earnings per share, where Google came in at $9.03 (adjusted) versus the consensus estimate of $10.65. Big miss.

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3 years ago

Evernote updated with simplified note editor, tablet improvements

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Popular cross-platform note service Evernote has put out a notable update in the Play Store today with a couple new free and premium features. On the free side, the toolbar in the note editor has been simplified and you can jump directly to notes created in Skitch. A new premium feature allows you to select multiple notebooks at once to download for offline access. The UI on tablets has also received a small tweak that lets the action bar change based on the context of the view.

Evernote can be found at the Google Play Store link above. You can also check out a post from the developer about the update at the source link below.

Source: Evernote

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3 years ago

Facebook app receives photo-focused update

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Facebook has been making several improvements to its app in regards to photo sharing and uploading, and this latest update continues that trend. The changelog is just three bullet points. First, photo tagging has been improved to be faster. Second, you can now choose an album when uploading photos -- no more mashing everything into a "mobile uploads" album. Lastly, there is a bug fix related to photos not uploading for users with certain languages (although they're not listed).

If you're not one of the billion people using Facebook regularly (over half primarily on phones) and have yet to install the app, maybe now is the time to at least take a look. You can grab it at the Google Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Granny Smith updated to make latest levels easier

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One of the more popular games as of late, Granny Smith, has just received an interesting update to make its latest levels easier to complete. Following many user complaints that the new "space" levels were too difficult, game developer Mediocre released the update to ease the pain of the tough levels.

It's a tough line to walk if you're a game developer, not wanting your so-called "casual" game to be too difficult, but again you don't want to overdo it and make the levels too easy. Either way you're likely to have some users disappointed by the difficulty of the game. Mediocre saw the response and reacted to user input, which is something that needs to be noted regardless.

If you've yet to try out Granny Smith, it's certainly still worth a purchase and you can find it at the Google Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

The HTC J Butterfly looks amazing, Bionic owners getting ICS [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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3 years ago

Verizon confirms Droid Bionic ICS update is starting tomorrow

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Remember when we started hearing about a Droid Bionic soak test? Yeah, that's happening now. Verizon has just put up official documentation on its support site for the update -- software version 6.7.246 -- with the label "Coming soon!". The software update will be a whopping 368MB download, and will bring the device up to Android 4.0.4 with many of the recent software customizations people have come to enjoy on the latest Motorola handsets.

From its official @VZWnews Twitter account, Verizon has also confirmed that the ICS update will be rolling out for widespread availability tomorrow. This will certainly be a good start to many Bionic user's weekends.

Source: Android Central Forums; Verizon (Support) ; Verizon (Twitter)

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