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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 10.1 'M3' builds now available for some devices

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Should be more stable than the latest nightlies

The third batch of 'M snapshot' builds for CyanogenMod 10.1 are starting to roll off the servers today. The 'M' builds of the Android 4.2-based custom firmware are designed to be more stable than the regular nightly builds, while still allowing users to keep on top of the latest features and improvements.

Right now CM 10.1 M3 builds are available for devices including the U.S. Galaxy S3, international HTC One X, various Galaxy Notes and Galaxy S2s and the current crop of Nexus devices. More are sure to follow in the hours and days ahead, so even if your phone or tablet isn't listed above, it's worth checking the CM download page for more info (or heading to the CM updater if you're using an earlier build).

Source: CyanogenMod Downloads

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3 years ago

Lloyd FX cases now available at ShopAndroid.com!

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You wanted 'em, and now we've finally got 'em. The fine folks at ShopAndroid.com have given word that the Lloyd FX cases you see here are now available for three of the most popular smartphones in the Android stable.

They're made from shock-absorbent and scratch-resistant TPU material (that's short for thermoplastic polyurethane -- but you knew that, right?), that's durable enough to protect the body of your phone during daily use and from accidental dings and falls. Each case has precise cutouts for the ports, microphones and buttons. Wrapping slightly around the front of the phone, it also helps keep the display off a table or desk when left face-down.

The Lloyd FX cases are available for a limited time for just $14.95. Hit the links below to check 'em out.

Want to see a Lloyd FX case for your favorite phone? Let us know in the comments and we'll make sure the ShopAndroid.com folks see it!

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3 years ago

AT&T confirms Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket getting Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean

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Update only available via KIES software, AT&T makes the update offical

The Jelly Bean flavor of Android is hitting yet another phone today. (OK, this one's been available for a couple days now, but this morning AT&T made it official.) This time it's AT&T's Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket that's getting Android 4.1.2, some nine months after its Ice Cream Sandwich update. This one's only available through Samsung's KIES desktop software, unfortunately, but that's a small price to pay for a big update. 

Here's what you have to look forward to:

  • Google Now with enhanced voice activation
  • Adds Browser bar, Drive Mode, ATT Locker, Mobile Hot Spot, Featured Apps widget as preloaded applications
  • Removes Qik and MSpot applications
  • Improved Call Quality

Samsung's KIES software is available on Windows or Mac. Be sure you've got at least 50 percent battery before performing surgery.

Download: Samsung KIES; Galaxy S2 Skyrocket Jelly Bean Instructions

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3 years ago

Sprint's Samsung Galaxy Victory gets its Jelly Bean update

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An early Jelly Bean ROM leaked out for the Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE about a month and a half ago, and today Sprint has made it official. Android 4.1.2 (that's a newer version than the leaked ROM) is headed out the door.

The update's coming over the air, Sprint says (feel free to hop into the settings and see if it's available now). In addition to the Googleriffic features like Google Now and the Project Butter speed improvements, you'll also get the following new features:

  • Swype
  • Notifications now display full text of incoming SMS messages, and when you receive an MMS you can view full photo in the notification
  • Pinch notifications to expand or collapse them
  • Notifications from the same application are grouped together, and the first item is automatically expanded
  • Conversational text-to-speech voice in U.S. English
  • Voice typing without an Internet connection
  • Manage/create Google+ Events from device
  • Zagat ratings and reviews built into Google Maps™
  • Indoor walking directions integrated into Google Maps

Source: Sprint

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3 years ago

Google Map Maker finally hits the UK

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Crowd-sourced mapping tool arrives on British shores

Long absent from the country, Google's crowd-sourced mapping tool Google Map Maker has finally arrived in the UK today. The tool allow Brits to improve the mapping data provided through Google's web and mobile-based products by adding missing information, or bringing more detail to existing maps.

Google's kicking things off with a MapUp event at the former WW2 code-breaking facility at Bletchley Park, adding more detail to road maps of the complex with buildings and paths.

Users in the UK can find the new-map making tools at google.com/mapmaker.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

HTC and Wallpaper* release Global Design Tours app

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Virtual tours of design events Milan, New York and Hong Kong

HTC has released a new virtual tour app for Android in partnership with design magazine Wallpaper*.  The app launches today with tours of design events in Milan, to be followed by New York and Hong Kong next month. The initial Milan tour, from the Salone del Mobile home furnishing show, includes guides from Wallpaper* editor-at-large Henrietta Thompson, One & Co (HTC's design consultancy) principal Claude Zellweger and designer Christian Zuzunaga.

Each one features 30-40 photos and an accompanying soundtrack. Bizarrely, though, the soundtrack isn't included, and here in the UK you're linked to each particular track on Amazon MP3. Same thing in the U.S.

The app is said to be optimized for the new HTC One, though it should run just fine on just about any phone running Android 4.0 or above. It's basic, but well-designed (natch). If you like pretty pictures of well-designed things, you can take a look by hitting the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Mega specs

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Full spec listings for the new 5.8- and 6.3-inch smartphones

Samsung has just announced the Galaxy Mega series, two new mid-range Android phones with ridiculously large screens. The Galaxy Megas' hardware isn't exactly high-end, but they're nothing to sniff at either. In particular the 6.3-inch version boasts a HD screen and LTE connectivity, and a sleeker overall design.

We've got the full spec sheet for both Galaxy Mega devices after the break.

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3 years ago

Samsung announces 5.8-inch and 6.3-inch Galaxy Mega smartphones

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Android 4.2 and the latest Samsung software on new, larger-than-life devices

After a couple of weeks of rumors, Samsung has today officially confirmed the Galaxy Mega series -- a line of big-screen smartphones aimed to straddle the space between the traditional phone and tablet markets. The official names, as rumored, are Galaxy Mega 5.8 and Galaxy Mega 6.3.

Unlike the popular Galaxy Note series there's no Wacom-based 'S Pen' stylus included. But both Galaxy Mega devices include just about all the Samsung software features of newer Samsung phones like the Galaxy S4, due to the fact that they're running the latest version of the company's TouchWiz UI. That means new features like 'S Travel' and 'Story Album' come included out of the box, alongside the latest version of Google's mobile OS, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

A few other differences between the two Megas -- the Galaxy Mega 6.3 boasts LTE connectivity and a 1.7GHz dual-core CPU, while the 5.8-incher runs at 1.4GHz on HSPA+21. The 6.3 also has a higher-resolution screen -- "HD" (presumably 720p) according to today's press release -- as opposed to the 5.8's qHD (960x540). The 5.8-inch model offers a 2600mAh battery, as opposed to the 6.3's 3200mAh juicer. Both devices pack 1.5GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.9-megapixel front-facers.

So it the 6.3-inch Galaxy Mega is definitely the higher-end of the two, and you can see that reflected in its design. With its minimal bezel and redesigned silver trim, it's the spitting image of the Galaxy S4, whereas the Mega 5.8 looks closer to the Galaxy S3.

Today's news comes as Samsung faces increasing competition in the large-form-factor smartphone space, including 5-inch-plus devices from the likes of LG, ZTE and Huawei.

Samsung says the Galaxy Mega series will debut in Europe and Russia starting this May. We've got official images and the full press release after the break.

More: Samsung Galaxy Mega specs

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3 years ago

T-Mobile gives 'best and final offer' for MetroPCS takeover

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Better terms to hopefully lessen MetroPCS shareholder disapproval of the deal

T-Mobile USA's parent company Deutsche Telekom has submitted its "best and final offer" to shareholders, sweetening the deal for the MetroPCS reverse takeover. Amidst the growing sentiment among MetroPCS shareholders that they're getting the bad end of the deal, T-Mobile is reducing the amount of debt transferred to the new company as part of the deal. The current terms are good enough for most, and see MetroPCS shareholders receiving $4 per share and a 26-percent stake in the newly combined company. The new deal will also now see a reduced amount of debt transferred to the new company, now at $3.8 billion -- along with a slightly lower interest rate.

Although there is a vocal minority of shareholders disapproving of the current terms, they're still the minority. With T-Mobile previously stating that it felt its initial terms are fair, it's interesting to see it come back with a better offer to help guarantee the deal is accepted. MetroPCS shareholders are currently sending in their votes to approve or disapprove of the deal ahead of a shareholder meeting, which has been pushed back to April 24th because of the new terms. Pending that shareholder approval, all indications point to the deal going through at some time in 2013.

Source: WSJ

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3 years ago

LG Optimus G Pro 'value pack' features shown in new video

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New camera features and eye recognition shown in official video

Last month we talked about an upcoming software update for the LG Optimus G Pro, dubbed the "value pack". Corny name aside, it promised to deliver a few new features to the popular Korean handset. Tonight LG has pumped out a video showing off some of them.

In the video (after the break) you'll find a nice walkthrough of LG's Smart Video eye recognition, the dual-camera video and still capture, and seamless pause and resume video recording. These features should go over well in LG's home market, where the Optimus G Pro is currently sold.

LG hasn't giving any time frame for the update yet, We've checked our Optimus G Pro for updates, and nothing is here just yet. We'll have a deeper look at the features when it does arrive.

Source: LGMobileHQ

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3 years ago

Motorola Atrix HD debuts in Mexico with Nextel PRIP direct connect feature

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The Atrix HD was one of my favorite phones last year. It was easy to hold and use, had a great screen, and handled everything I threw at it really well. It's now launching on the Nextel network in Mexico, with Jelly Bean and a new push to talk / direct connect service.

Motorola ATRIX HD combines cutting-edge smartradio technology with PRIP Nextel’s new radio service that offers instantaneous high-performance communication using a software based solution integrated with Nextel’s wireless network. Users can enjoy direct connect with anyone, anywhere across the globe by making direct communication calls via Nextel Evolution Network, Wi-Fi or roaming. In addition, the unique PRIP service keeps users connected through Nextel Evolution, the fastest voice and Internet network in the market. 

This new PRIP service is also fully backwards compatible with previous IDEN PTT services from Nextel and Sprint. We don't yet have a date or price, but Nextel Mexico has an expansive information page about PRIP and it's features right here. Hit the break for the full press release.

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3 years ago

Nexus 10 flip cover now available in Google Play

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If you go back to our Nexus 10 review, you'll see where there's a removable strip along the rear that would make a perfect place to attach a cover of some sort. Today, Google finally put such a cover up for sale in Google Play. Available in scarlet or dark gray, the covers will fold over and protect the screen on your Nexus 10, and puts the device to sleep when closed.

The Play store says these will ship and be delivered in three to five days, and they are a bit pricey at $30. But really, the screen on the Nexus 10 would likely cost so much to replace that this is cheap insurance to help prevent scratches and other mishaps. For more information, and to order, click the link below.

Source: Google Play

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3 years ago

Google: Glass Explorer edition to ship within the next month

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Developers (and non-developers) who signed up for the Google Glass Explorer program should have their very own pair right before Google I/O

If you plunked down the $1500.00 to become a Glass Explorer at Google I/O last year, you should have your very own set of Google's next big thing in your hands within a month. This is according to what Google has told the folks over at Tech Crunch during today's "Glass Collective" event with Google Ventures. 

The timing for this just screams Google I/O, and we certainly expect to see Google Glass spend a good bit of time front and center during Google's yearly developer conference. Since the project was first unveiled at Google I/O last year, we've seen quite a bit of push from Mountain View to keep people interested, and get developers on board. We wouldn't be surprised to see things come to a head with special developer sessions for Glass, along with plenty of exposure during the keynotes.

If you're a part of the Glass Explorer group, keep an eye on your inbox for more information.

Source: Tech Crunch

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3 years ago

Sprint HTC One - the Android Central casual review

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Network - not software or hardware - is the big difference in the Sprint HTC One, for better or worse

Finally, we're getting our first look at the U.S. versions of the HTC One, the phone that many believe (right or wrong) will either make or break the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer, which has been struggling financially for a number of quarters.

The HTC One represents a bit of a shift for HTC. As the name implies, it's one line. One brand. For all intents and purposes, we're looking at the same smartphone from Europe to Asia to the U.S., and everywhere in between. There will be a few small changes, of course -- radios and storage space and what not. And he U.S. carrier versions will have slightly different applications packages preloaded. But put, say, the Sprint HTC One beside an unlocked, European phone, and you'll not see a difference in looks, or in function. And maybe most important -- they're the same phone in name, finally giving HTC a proper platform to push its brand. That's something HTC has tried and failed at for a number of years, most notably with the 17 variants (more or less) in the originally attempt at the HTC One.

But no more.

I've had the Sprint HTC One for a week or so now, and I've had a European version for a number of weeks. There's simply no real difference in terms of hardware and functionality. For that, please see Alex Dobie's excellent comprehensive HTC One review.

We're going to do things a little differently here. What follows is not a deep dive into the Sprint HTC One. It's just not that different from what we've already reviewed. Instead, it's my thoughts on the HTC One in general and a breakdown of the specifics for Sprint's version. School's in session.

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3 years ago

Google gives away devices and gift cards in Play Store sweepstakes

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Win a Nexus 4, 7, 10, or $10 in Play Store bucks

If you like free stuff, Google has some great news: it is giving away ten Nexus 10 tablets, seven Nexus 7 tablets, and (you guessed it) four Nexus 4 phones, as well as 100 gift cards worth $10 a pop in the Google Play Favorite Things Sweepstakes. Only U.S. residents 18 and older need apply, and a Twitter account is required to enter.

First, you'll need to follow @Google Play. Next, pick something you're fond of in the Play Store -- it can be any movie, music, book, app, game, magazine, or TV show. Tweet a link of the item with #favoritethings. The example given by Google is "My favorite movie on @GooglePlay is Toy Story https://play.google.com/store/movies/details/Toy_Story?id=c3986gGp3Qs #favoritethings." Finally, complete the official entry form.

Entrants have until 11:59PM PT on April 24, 2013 to complete the above. For a complete list of official rules, follow the link below. Google luck!

Source: Entry PageOfficial Rules

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