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3 years ago

T-Mobile LG Optimus L9 hands-on

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Entry level is the name of the game for the LG Optimus L9 on T-Mobile. We knew that, of course, from T-Mobile and LG's positioning of the Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone, as well as from the specs on paper. Let's recap:

  • Android 4.0 (ICS)
  • Dimensions: 5.19 x 2.69 x 0.36
  • Weight: 4.41 oz
  • 4.5-inch qHD Corning Gorilla Glass 2 Display (540 x 960)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB built-in storage
  • MicroSD storage expansion (up to 32GB)
  • 1GHz dual-core processor
  • 5-megapixel camera w/ LED flash
  • 0.3-megapixel VGA front-facing camera
  • 2,150mAh Battery
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n/a

Nothing the spec-conscious crowd will write home about, no? But here's the thing: It's a surprisingly solid entry-level device. You can't quite appreciate just how light it is until you grab it. 

In the hand, though, the L9's a ridiculously light device. It's decidedly plastic, but it's a soft plastic. (Kind of like a dry heat, I suppose.) The user interface seemed quick enough, though the device is loaded down in T-Mobile and LG applications. This is a buy-and-drive device, designed to be used out of the box, for folks who don't want to do a whole lot of customization.

The good news is that it's got a removable battery and microSD card. The power plant is respectable, but the four gigabytes of built-in storage most certainly isn't.

We've got a bevy of pics and video after the break.

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3 years ago

LG Nexus love and hate, Discussing Android 4.1.2 for the Nexus 7 [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

First cinematic trailer for Arcane Legends released

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Spacetime Studios is set to release another chapter in its "Legends" series of MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) games, this time called Arcane Legends. As a teaser for the upcoming game, the studio has released a full cinematic trailer.

The 30 second spot shows the highlights of the new game, including three new classes -- warrior, rogue and mage -- as well as the use of loyal battle pets. As is the case with these types of games, players will be able to level up and hone their skills over time, customizing their characters and abilities.

Source: SpaceTime Studio's on Youtube

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3 years ago

LG Nexus design shown off in two new pictures

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The LG Nexus (LG-E960) just keeps showing up in leaked images, this time over on the XDA forums. These new images give us a much better look at both the back and front of the device. The back plate, now seen in proper lighting, looks very similar to what we've just seen today on Sprint's model of the LG Optimus G over at CTIA MobileCON, and is much more understated than it seemed before. The front of the device continues to look reminiscent of the current Galaxy Nexus, but with a chrome-like bezel and different speaker grille at the top. The home screen and buttons all look as they should for a Nexus device -- stock and on-screen.

As far as specs go, the poster gives the following list:

  • CPU: quad core ARMv7 1.5GHz
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Memory: 8GB (no SD slot)
  • GPU: Adreno 320
  • Android version: JellyBeanMR1
  • Kernel 3.4.0
  • Screen: 768x1184 (320 dpi)
  • Camera: 8 MP

This is all lining up with the previous leaks, including the anemic 8GB of internal, non expandable memory. The seemingly odd vertical resolution of 1184px can be explained by the on-screen buttons taking up some room, while the horizontal resolution of 768px fits previous leaks. With those resolution numbers and the reported DPI, we're looking at a device with about a 4.7-inch display.

The poster also points out that the phone seems to only support HSPA+ data access, not LTE, which fits with what we've found in the FCC filings. To clarify on previous posts, if this device were to be on sale with the same bands tested and confirmed by the FCC filing, it will work on both AT&T's and T-Mobile's HSPA+ networks.

Things just keep falling into place for the next Nexus device. We've got one more picture for you after the break.

Source: XDA Forums; Thanks, Mike!

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3 years ago

Gameloft teases Zombiewood, a run-and-gun game for Android

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Gameloft is preparing a zombie-themed run-and-gun game with a Hollywood twist called Zombiewood. A new teaser shows a stuntman wearing a variety of costumes and using a bunch of different weapons to eradicate vast swathes of undead. It looks like the same old in-app purchase model with premium currency is in place, though there's no word if it's going to be free up-front.  In any case, the graphics look solid, and the action, though straightforward, is bound to entice at least a few people. 

Gameloft hasn't made any big official announcement about the game yet since they're busy pimping our Real Soccer 2013 for iOS, so details on Zombiewood are scarce. Over the last week, Gameloft's twitter account has been teasing the game with funny warning posters from the Los Angelas Dept. of Zombie Management, which read like "Check before you shoot - sometimes they're just ugly people", and "Fire is not a toy - flaming zombies are a safety hazard". 

There's no mention of a release date, but with Hallowe'en right around the corner, it can't be too far off. Any takers, or are games that rely on IAPs a deal-breaker? Does the game look like fun, or has the zombie thing been done to, err, death? 

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3 years ago

Weekly photo contest: Panorama

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Panorama of the DMZ between North and South Korea, taken with the LG Optimus G. Check the full size Image here.

This week the photo contest is going to be a fun one, with a great prize! If you haven't guessed based on the picture above, we're doing panoramas.

Panorama pictures are a series of shots that special software has stitched together into one big wide view. The software that creates them has been in Android phones for a while, but even if you're still happily rocking an older model Android phone you're in on this one. Check out all the Panorama apps available in Google Play, both free and paid. Get one installed, then read on!

Ready? Cool deal. Now grab your Android phone and head outside. Play with the panorama feature, or the new app you just installed. Get good with it, then snap a pic for the contest. Head into the forums to post it in the contest thread, and we'll pick the best one Sunday. 

The prize this week is the Supertooth Disco 2 Bluetooth speaker! The same one we reviewed here, in all its glory. You don't want to miss this one.

I'm also working on a great way to show off the winners, but in the meantime hit the break to view the last two contest finalists. When I get the new method worked up, we'll add them in -- the pictures are too good not to.

Enter this week's photo contest

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3 years ago

How to manually update your Nexus 7 to Android 4.1.2

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The Android 4.1.2 update has started rolling out to Nexus 7 tablets around the world. But if your tablet has yet to receive the update, then don't despair -- we've got a quick walkthrough that'll get you updated in a few minutes, assuming you've got a little experience with a command line.

Note that this is for stock Nexus 7 tablets, and for people who want to update without really doing any real hackery, but don't mind a little command line work. Nothing we do here is permanent, other than the update itself. If you've already flashed a custom recovery, you should be able to update manually using that, instead of our method. And with that...

Caution: This guide is intended for technically proficient users only. Proceed at your own risk. Dragons ahead, etc.

The prerequisites

Check past the break to see the full manual update process.

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3 years ago

Angry Birds updated with power-ups and Bad Piggies levels

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The inevitable cross-promotion between Rovio's classic Angry Birds title and their latest creation, Bad Piggies, has kicked off today. The original Angry Birds game has been updated with an extra 15 pig-themed levels, along with a new power-up mechanic, so players can get kitted out with the shiniest of slingshots to help them through tricky levels.

Power-ups include Super Seeds, the Almighty Sling King, the Sling Scope Laser Targeting System, the Birdquake. As you might expect, these are all wonderful new ways in which Rovio can nickel and dime you with in-app purchases. At least it's got a bit more interesting than the Mighty Eagle. 

As for the new levels, there's a full 15 dedicated to Bag Piggies, along with another 15 summer-themed Surf and Turf levels. Little seasonally late on that second one, but I think we can let it slide. It's also good to see the core game is still getting some support, even though Star Wars Angry Birds is right around the corner. What do you think of the new mechanic, Angry Birds fans? Are you tired of Rovio trying to sell you stuff yet? 

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3 years ago

Verizon Wireless CTO: Expect VoLTE "by the end of 2013"

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Verizon Wireless held a briefing today here in San Diego as part of MobileCON's day one festivities, citing the inroads it has made with its extensive LTE network. According to VZW CTO Nicola Palmer, Verizon's LTE footprint currently covers 75-percent Americans, and is scheduled to duplicate the 3G footprint by the end of 2013. At the end of September 2012, 35-percent of all of Verizon's data traffic was over its LTE network.

Speaking on the future of LTE, Palmer said that Verizon will now focus on capacity, using an "entire toolbox of tools", including LTE Advanced and the carrier's recently-acquired AWS spectrum. "We are looking forward to [LTE Advanced] and we will likely pick and choose features when they become available." Palmer said that customers can expect AWS-compatible devices to hit the market sometime in 2013.

Also on the horizon for 2013 is the much-awaited arrival of Voice over LTE (VoLTE), which Palmer said she has tested personally. "Putting voice on our LTE network is something we are pretty excited about. We are testing it, we have deployed all necessary infrastructure." According to Palmer, VoLTE will arrive on Big Red by the end of 2013.

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3 years ago

Google brings trial subscriptions to Google Play

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The Android Developers team has announced new "try-and-buy" in-app subscriptions are coming to Google Play.

Starting today, developers can set up a trial period for subscriptions, where a user is charged a zero fee for the duration and the subscription is marked as paid until canceled or the trial period has finished. Users (that's you and me!) can cancel the subscription at any time during the trial, and when the trial period is over they will be charged through Google Wallet for the cost of the subscription. There are no big changes for developers, as the new methods use existing apk files and are all done server side. 

It's a little used feature for most of us, but hopefully these new tryout periods change that a little and developers have a way to  offer quality content that we're all willing to pay for. I know I would be more apt to consider the subscribed content model if I has a trial period, what about you? Holler in the comments.

Source: Android Developers blog; via  +Android Developers

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3 years ago

Verizon CTO announces 400th LTE market to launch on Oct. 18

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At a CTIA MobileCON press conference in San Diego, Verizon Wireless CTO Nicola Palmer announced that the company plans to launch its 400th LTE market just 9 days from now, two months earlier than previously expected. The 400th. market will be the city of Marquette, Michigan, and will join 20 more LTE markets that are also going live on October 18th. These 21 new markets will push Verizon's nationwide total to a staggering 417.

The full press release can be found after the break, and remember to keep a browser tab pointed at our continuing CTIA MobileCON coverage.

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3 years ago

Live from the MobileCON day one keynote- mobile is changing the world

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It's day one here in San Diego at MobileCON 2012, and on-hand to kick off the festivities were a handful of executives from companies that are being shaped and reshaped by the ever-changing mobile landscape. The theme of the day wasn't about hardware or devices (though T-Mobile and Sprint seem to have thought otherwise), but instead about how smartphones and tablets are merely the delivery system for technologies, challenges, and opportunities that are changing the world we live in.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Sprint LG Optimus G

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The Sprint Optimus G in a nutshell: It's an LG Optimus G. On Sprint.

That's really about it. Sprint's iteration of LG's newest flagship is pretty much what we saw in the international version. It's got the same 4.7-inch WXGA IPS display (that's a lot of letters for "good"), same Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 pro quad-core processor. Same 13-megapixel camera that sticks out ever so slightly. Same cool "crystal reflection design" under the don't-call-it-glass backing.

And, yes, same non-removable battery, and no microSD card. (You do have 32 GB of on-board storage, with a good chunk of that already used by the operating system.)

Otherwise, no real surprises here. LG's customizations are all intact. Sprint's apps are all tucked away in SprintZone, the way we like them.

Now all we need is some availability and pricing information. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)

We've got a few more pics and video after the break. Be sure to stick around and see more from CTIA MobileCON over the next couple of days. 

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3 years ago

Samsung 'hears' Exynos community documentation concerns

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There's been a little hubbub in the Android developer community surrounding the lack of proper documentation and source code for some of Samsung's Exynos 4 chips. The absence of documentation has lead to some high-profile CyanogenMod developers giving up on porting to some Samsung devices, including the international Galaxy S3. To cut a long story short, smartphone chips are incredibly complex, and trying to port open-source Android to them without the right code samples and documentation is extremely difficult. 

Today, following a short social media campaign, Samsung acknowledged the dev community's desire for full Exynos documentation, saying on its official Twitter account -- 

We hear your concerns about documentation & source code for Exynos-based devices. We're discussing it with our team and will update you soon.

Samsung has proven itself to be relatively developer-friendly in the past, allowing unlocked bootloaders on devices, and even putting out a special developer edition of the locked-down Verizon Galaxy S3. Hopefully Samsung's internal discussions will result in a positive outcome for devs. If so, it'll mean better custom ROMs for owners of Exynos devices.

Source: @SamsungExynos, XDA, Thanks @android_indian

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Sprint LG Mach

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Sliders have always held a special place in many a heart -- and that includes Sprint, which today unveiled the surprisingly slim LG Mach at the CTIA MobileCON event in San Diego.

The Mach's got a 4-inch, WVGA display. And it proves that such a "low" resolution by today's standards can still work on a mass-market device, provided the screen's no bigger than that. It's easy to forget in this age of 5-inch, HiDPI devices.

Android 4.0.4 is on board, and we'd expect a Jelly Bean update at some point, though nobody's saying much of anything at this point. LG's new UI -- is there, so you get a whiff of what's on the higher-end Optimus G, without all the muss and fuss of ridiculously awesome hardware (and the cost that goes with it). Sprint's also living up to its promise to not muck up the phone with too many preloaded apps, smartly tucking them away in the SprintZone app. Sprint ID's on board as well;  you can choose to use it, or not.

But the keyboard's the real star here, right? LG's crammed a decent enough slider into a surprisingly thin form factor, with the whole kit and kaboodle measuring in at just less than a half-inch. The keys are decent enough, with a little bit of click to them and some nice backlighting to guide your way.

Also of note is that the Mach's got a removable 1700 mAh battery, so you can swap out a dead one on the go. It's also got a microSD card slot, which helps explains the rather anemic 8 GB of on-board storage. (And about 3 GB of that is taken up by the OS.)

No word on pricing or availability. But this'll be on the lower end of things.

We've got more hands-on photos and video after the break.

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