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3 years ago

What Android features will Apple 'invent' tomorrow?

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Tomorrow's iPhone Day, in case you haven't heard. Or it's Apple Day. Either one is fine, we're told.

Us? We like to refer to it as Rex Manning Day

Anyhoo. You've got to be at least a little excited to see what Apple invents tomorrow. A 4-inch display? NFC? On-screen home buttons? Who knows! It's just all so exciting!

We'll be watching it all go down at our sister site, iMore.com.

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3 years ago

Verizon launches McAfee-powered Android security suite

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Verizon has just launched a mobile security service powered by McAfee with a whole bunch of useful security tools. The free version provides protection against spyware keyloggers, and potentially harmful sites that are visited in the native Android browser. For $1.99/month (or $1/month if you have Total Equipment Coverage already) you gets you remote tracking, audible alarm sounding, locking, and wiping, along with App Alert, which flags apps that are accessing personal data. 

While I'm not personally concerned about viruses in the traditional PC sense, there's plenty of malware out there that's worth protecting against in some form or another. How do you guys make sure your personal data is safe from malicious apps? Is it worth paying a monthly fee for protection?

Head on over to Verizon for more information or to sign up for Verizon Mobile Security.

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3 years ago

Google Play treats Android owners to free Boingo Wifi through September

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If you're trucking through an airport or are near one of the any other 4,000-some Boingo Wifi hotspots, you'll be able to connect for free through September, thanks to the fine folks at Google Play. But only if you're using an Android device, or a Mac or PC. iPhones and the like are excluded from this promotion, Boingo confirmed to Android Central.

So sowwy.

On the other hand, it's Google promotion, to do with as it sees fit. And we're cool with that. And if you're at JFK, O'Hare, Sea-Tac, a handful of Manhattan subway stations, or a bunch of malls and other places -- and if you're rocking Android (you should be) or a Mac (acceptable answer) or PC (we'll take it, too), you can get your WIfi on for free. Be sure to thank the folks in Mountain View when you see 'em.

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3 years ago

U.S. Cellular announces mid-range LG Splendor

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The LG Splendor will be in U.S. Cellular stores starting tomorrow for $79.99 after mail-in rebates. We caught a glimpse of this one a few days ago with a hint that it's sporting a 1700 mAh battery. As far as official specs go, the LG Splendor has a 4.3-inch display, 1 GHz processor, and a 5 megapixel camera on the back with a nifty voice-activated shutter - just say "cheese".  It's only 0.34 inches thick, though it only hosts 2 GB of internal storage plus the 4 GB microSD memory card it comes with. On the software side, the LG Splendor is running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and has a cool Smartshare DLNA app for shunting photos and video to the TV, as well as QuickMemo, for handwriting notes on top of pictures. 

Sure, it's dab smack in the mid-range, but since we're in the thick of back-to-school, affordability is king. Any U.S. Cellular customers in the house looking for a new phone?

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3 years ago

Hands-on with EE's new 4G LTE - fast network is fast

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In Central London earlier today, the newly-rebranded EE mobile network was launched, promising the UK's first 4G LTE services in the coming weeks. EE plans to bring a number of Android handsets to its new 4G network, including the Galaxy S3 LTE and HTC One XL. Mobile Nations' James Richardson and Richard Edmonds were on-hand to test out EE's 4G speeds using the Speedtest.net app and downloading Angry Birds from the Google Play Store.

Needless to say, the speeds we enjoyed at today's event were considerably higher than anything we've seen from the UK's existing HSPA+ network, delivering speeds of around 30Mbps down and 20Mbps up. Impressive as that is, we'll have to wait and see how the network holds up under real-world usage, as EE's 4G isn't yet available for public use. Check out our video above, and for more on today's EE 4G announcements, check our earlier summary.

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3 years ago

News360 with an all new UI for Android tablets released today

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About a year ago News360 for tablets came on to the Android scene, and ushered in the era of personalized news feeds in an aggregator that looked as good as it worked. Today, they have upped the ante with an all new UI that not only makes everything more intuitive, but looks even better.

At it's core, it's still the same app you've been using. You can set up customized feeds from over 20,000 different sources, or use your own Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Evernote, or Google Reader account to tailor what you see. The app then presents the feeds in a Web 2.0-esque block layout, or you can switch to a column view if that's what you prefer. Navigation is as easy as swiping and tapping, and the whole app is fluid and responsive. Instapaper and Pocket are integrated, as well as offline page saving in the News360 app itself.

What's really cool is how you can dive deep into a category and tailor the feed more to your liking. Want to follow the gadgets feed, but not interested in televisions? Edit the feed and uncheck TVs, and you're good to go. Your Google+ "feed" and Google Reader account work the same way -- they're parsed, and broken into subcategories -- like psychedelic music or cameras. Mix and match to get exactly what you're looking for. Finally, News360 analyzes your viewing, and can help promote and recommend things you'll want to see based on things you've already looked at. We love it when apps do all the hard work.

Yes, there are plenty of news aggregators for Android out there. Some even look as good as News360, but if you're the kind who wants to get under the hood and tailor things exactly the way you like, News360 is one you want to have a look at. Grab it from Google Play, and check out the video and gallery after the break.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia V boasts 'sensor-on-lens' screen technology

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Sony's late 2012 Xperia smartphones are about to hit store shelves in Europe, and among them is the LTE-capable Xperia V, a 4.3-incher with similar internals to the larger Xperia T. One feature that's unique to the V, however, is Sony's "sensor-on-lens" screen technology, which integrates touch sensor directly onto the surface of the display. Similar techniques like have been employed by manufacturers like ASUS in the Nexus 7, and Apple's iPhone 5 is widely rumored to have similar tech lurking within its display.

The result of combining these parts into a single layer is a brighter display -- Sony estimates a 5% improvement in luminance -- with less distortion when viewing the screen off-angle. The closeness of the touch sensor to the display, Sony says, should also remove the parallax effect involved with using traditional touchscreens.

The Sony Xperia V should arrive sometime in Q4. Unlike the xperia T, we've yet to hear any specifics regarding pricing of launch markets.

Source: Sony Developer Blog

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean still rolling out to Sprint Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S 4G

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Sprint began rolling out Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) to the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S 4G last week, but they've just announced that the update will continue. We already knew the OTA will come in waves, but it's a great way for Sprint to stay in the headlines during all of the other news this week. The bottom line: if you have a Nexus S 4G or a Galaxy Nexus and haven't received your update yet, hold tight, it's coming.

Once again, here are the improvements that come with the 4.1 update:

Upgrades phone operating system to Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean)

  • Smoother user interface
  • Enhanced Accessibility functions
  • Bi-directional text and other language support
  • User-installable keyboard maps
  • Expandable notifications
  • Ability to turn off notifications on an application specific basis
  • Shortcuts and widgets can automatically be re-arranged or re-sized to allow new items to fit on home screens
  • Android Beam – Use Android Beam to Bluetooth transfer data
  • Offline voice dictation
  • Improved voice search
  • Improved camera application
  • Google Wallet (for the Nexus 7)
  • High resolution Google+ contact photos
  • Google Now
  • Multichannel audio
  • USB audio added for external sound Digital to Analog Conversion
  • Audio chaining also referred to as Gapless Playback.  Gapless playback is the uninterrupted playback of consecutive audio tracks

Discontinuing support for Adobe Flash Player:

  • Adobe will not be certifying the Adobe Flash Player for Android Mobile devices that either release with or update to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean).
  • Devices that upgraded from Android 4.0 to Android 4.1, may exhibit unpredictable behavior, as it is not certified for use with Android 4.1.  Adobe recommends uninstalling Flash Player on devices which have been upgraded to Android 4.1.

Many of our Forum members have received the update, so if you want to discuss yours or find out how the improvements are, head over to our Sprint Galaxy Nexus Forum or Sprint Nexus S 4G Forum.

Source: Sprint

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3 years ago

Motorola reminds us we're going to the edge next week

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Ol' Motorla's posted this little teaser video for next week's event in London, where we'll apparently be taken to "the edge," with Intel along for the ride. So pretty much we're expecting some Medfield action -- that's Intel's first foray into the Android world -- and dollars to doughnuts (not donuts) we'll see a display along the lines of the recently announced RAZR M, with its "edge-to-edge" glass.

Anyoo, we'll be there next week to bring you the whole thing live and in living color, so stay tuned.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia T gets priced in the UK - yours for £415

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The Xperia T emerged as Sony's international flagship at IFA 2012, and now we have the first tentative information on how much the handset will cost when it arrives in the UK. British retailer unlocked-mobiles is listing the phone for pre-order at a price of £415 inc. VAT. That's surprisingly good value when you consider that most high-end smartphones sell for £500 or more in the UK. At launch, the Galaxy S3 would've set you back a whopping £550 SIM-free.

The T isn't light on specs either, with a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 720p HD Reality Display and a 13MP rear camera. If Three's on-contract prices are similarly competitive, Sony could have a sleeper hit on its hands.

The retailer says it's expecting stock in early October, which fits with what we've been hearing about the phone's likely release window. Anyone tempted by an Xperia T at this price? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Unlocked-Mobiles, via: Eurodroid

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3 years ago

EE becomes the UK's first 4G LTE network

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New 4G network launching 'within weeks' - first devices include Galaxy S3 LTE, HTC One XL

We're live in London, where Everything Everywhere -- the organization formed by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile UK -- has just announced its new brand, and a new 4G LTE network to go along with it. EE's 4G network will be the UK's first, and will run on re-farmed 1800MHz spectrum from Orange and Tmo. The company promises speeds "five times faster" than current 3G offerings, allowing for faster streaming and downloading on handsets.

At its event at the Science Museum in London this morning, EE said its new 4G and fiber broadband network would launch "within weeks," and that it'd be broadly available by the holidays. The old Orange and T-Mobile brands will continue for 3G services, but new customers wanting 4G, or existing Orange and Tmo subscribers who want to make the switch to LTE, will be able to "upgrade" to the new EE network.

The network will switch on today "for testing" in London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol. By Christmas, EE says some 20 million subscribers in 16 UK cities will be covered by its network. The full list is as follows -- Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Sheffield and Southampton.

But of course, a 4G network is only as good as the devices you can use on it, and today EE announced that new LTE phones from manufacturers including Huawei, Samsung, Nokia, HTC and others will be available on its fledgling network. 4G smartphones mentioned by name include the Android-powered HTC One XL, Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE and Huawei Ascend P1 LTE. On the Windows Phone side, EE says it'll carry the Nokia Lumia 820 and the 920, which will be an EE exclusive. Tomorrow, we strongly suspect Apple's LTE-capable iPhone 5 may join that list.

So far there's been no word on exactly how much it'll cost for early adopters to get their 4G fix, though given EE's effective monopoly on 4G for the next year, we're not expecting it to be cheap.

So it's an exciting time for mobile data in the UK. Stay tuned for further developments, including hands-on with EE's new 4G devices.

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 10 'M1' builds released

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CyanogenMod 10 development continues apace, and if you've been following the progress of CM10 for your favorite device, you'll know that nightly builds and unofficial "KANG" releases aren't always the most stable or reliable. As such, the CM team has stepped in with a new type of release for the popular custom firmware -- "m-series" builds.

Typically "M" in the context of software refers to "milestone" -- M1 would be milestone one, and so on. However, the CM team says it doesn't have anything specific in mind as to what its M builds will stand for, just that they're meant to be more stable than nightly builds, and more frequent than beta builds. Currently, they're rolling out at the start of each month.

So the first CM10 M1 builds that are rolling out today should give owners of certain devices the chance to enjoy a more stable Jelly Bean-based CyanogenMod experience while we wait for the first official beta builds to appear. The current M1 builds are available now for 18 phones -- primarily Samsung devices. These include various flavors of Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, Galaxy S, Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3. There are also builds for the AT&T Galaxy Note, Nexus 7, Sony Xperia Acro and Xperia S. The team says more devices will be added as things become more stable.

To pick up CyanogenMod 10 M1 for one of these devices, head on over to the download link below.

Source: CyanogenMod, Download: get.cm

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3 years ago

First look at the LG Intuition

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We're here in New York where LG today invited the press to take its first look at the Intuition, the much anticipated hybrid device that arrived in Verizon Wireless stores today. The Intuition is nearly identical to the international Optimus Vu, which has made quite a name for itself as a unique competitor in the increasingly popular "phablet" market. Unlike Samsung's Note, the Intuition is sporting a 4:3 aspect ratio, which adds up to a totally different experience both in terms of use and purpose. Hit the break for my full first impressions.

The Intuition, LG says, is meant mainly for document and text viewing-- if you're in the market for a device to watch movies and take photos with, you're going to want to look elsewhere. For its intended purpose though, the Intuition shines, and is definitely worth keeping an open mind for.

And with that, read our for our initial thoughts.

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3 years ago

Nexus 7 gets thorough teardown and repair video

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The Nexus 7 has been out for a while, plenty long enough for some to have accidentally dropped and possibly broken it. It's terrible, but not all accidents can be avoided. We've seen the teardown pictures before, but sometimes you need a video walkthrough to help if you're interested in having a go at fixing the device yourself. Luckily, the folks over at DirectFix have taken the time to thoroughly tear down to Nexus 7 on camera and point out the important parts of repairing the device.

After watching the video, the Nexus 7 looks surprisingly easy to disassemble, but probably isn't something you should be doing just for fun. Remember, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Source: DirectFix YouTube

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3 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Do you use the Amazon Appstore?

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Android is an open platform. Many folks mistakenly think this only refers to hacking, or source code, but the main part of being open means that you're free to install outside third-party software from any source. It's part of the whole "diversity equals strength" argument, and one that worked pretty well for companies like Microsoft.

Since it's open, we're free to install other non-Google application markets on to our phones and tablets -- like the Amazon Appstore. For a while, everyone used it, if only to get that free app of the day. But lately it's not been in the news as much so we're wondering who still uses it?

Of course, on a Kindle or on of the new Kindle Fire HDs it's a no-brainer. But what about the rest of the Android devices? Amazon's apps are now available outside the US, so it's time to revisit. You'll find the poll in the sidebar to the right, or you can just click past the break for it.

Before we go, let's discuss last week's poll. We asked if you were interested in a dedicated camera that runs Android. The results were about what we expected:

  • Yes: 62.05 percent
  • No: 28.85 percent
  • Yes, but not a point-and-shoot: 9.1 percent

With over 60-percent of us interested, Samsung and Nikon putting one on the shelves seems to be a great idea!

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