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3 years ago

Motorola publishes new software update support page

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Motorola has just put up a new page that helps users easily find the software update status of any phone or tablet it sells. The new page is extremely user friendly, and walks users through finding their device and more information about it. You start with selecting your carrier, then a model and at that point you'll be presented with the update information and support links. Most recent devices will get a "This device will be upgraded to Jelly Bean (Android 4.1)" notice, while the older devices are told they'll be kept on Gingerbread.

For those who are stuck on older versions, they'll often be notified that their devices qualify for Motorola's trade-in program, which gives a credit towards a new Motorola device. This is a great move by Motorola to help users understand -- in no uncertain terms -- which devices will get the updates going forward.

Source: Motorola Support

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3 years ago

Material (Beta): yet another social news reader

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Material is an interesting app that's hoping to take a slice of the pie in the social news reader space, and is doing so with a beta version of its app that initially impresses in both design and functionality. Where Material may fall a bit short is in the category of differentiation. The implementation and execution of its solid design goals doesn't necessarily set it far enough apart from other apps that are in the same category.

Hang with us after the break and see what makes Material compelling, even in its current beta state.

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3 years ago

Android 4.2.1 update for international Galaxy S3 leaks

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Frequent firmware leaker SamMobile has just released what it believes is a build of the Android 4.2.1 update for the international (i9300) Samsung Galaxy SIII (S3). What we're looking at here is someone testing the new firmware -- Android 4.2.1 JOP40D -- that has chosen to give a system dump for others to try. It looks like many of the new features such as lockscreen widgets and Daydream are included, but this is certainly not final firmware.

SamMobile has re-packaged this firmware into an ODIN Flashable file that other users with the device can try out if they wish. There are of course risks involved, above and beyond the binary counter being increased and the device reporting as "modified" when running the firmware. If you're interested, you can give it a look at the source link below.

Source: SamMobile

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3 years ago

Gmail for Android – A Complete Walkthrough

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According to our not-so-scientific poll taken this time last year, chances are good that if you’re reading this then you use Android’s Gmail app. The latest update to Gmail bumped it up to version 4.2.2, adding some useful new features like swipe to delete, as well as the long awaited pinch to zoom. You may or may not have already read about these and started to use them. What about all those features that came before the last update?

Perhaps you’re new to Android, and are still exploring a lot of what Gmail has to offer. Maybe you’ve been using Android for a long time, and want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your Gmail experience. Whatever your level of expertise, this comprehensive walkthrough of Gmail's controls and settings will help advance, or at least refresh, your Gmail skills.

Hit the break for a review of the basics, as well as a deep dig into Gmail's features (and a couple lesser known tricks).

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3 years ago

Google I/O 2013 registration opens March 13 [Updated]

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Update: It's official -- a tweet from Google Developers confirms that registration opens at  7AM PDT on Mar. 13. Make a note of it, and good luck to everyone hoping to score a ticket!

Original story: Here's an interesting tidbit for anyone hoping to land a ticket to Google I/O this year. The registration date for the three-day dev conference seems to have shown up briefly on the official I/O site, before being swiftly pulled. If the info that showed up is to be believed, registration will open at 7AM PDT on Wednesday, Mar. 13 -- two months ahead of the event itself.

Last year's registration sold out in record time, so if the info above is accurate, would-be attendees will need to be hitting that registration site at 7AM sharp on Mar. 13.

You'll probably want to wait for the official confirmation before penciling the date into your diary, however. We'll keep you updated with any news as it emerges.

Source: +Chris Pick; via 9to5Google

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3 years ago

HTC settles with FTC over insecure implementation of Carrier IQ, HTC Logger

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HTC America has settled with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) over concerns that the company put millions of customer's personal information at risk with insecure implementations of software on its devices. The FTC found that HTC did not take a reasonable amount of care in implementing best coding and security practices when creating software for its devices, having this to say:

"[HTC] failed to provide its engineering staff with adequate security training, failed to review or test the software on its mobile devices for potential security vulnerabilities, failed to follow well-known and commonly accepted secure coding practices, and failed to establish a process for receiving and addressing vulnerability reports from third parties."

Those are some pretty strong words for the company, but where it really hits home is the consumer-facing issues that were caused by this lack of oversight. The FTC explains that HTC's implementation of Carrier IQ and HTC Logger on its devices left customer data vulnerable to attack, alongside errors that would let third parties bypass Android's built-in permissions system.

The second part of the FTC's complaint is that it finds HTC was deceptive in telling consumers about the security risks of its software implementations, stating that the device user manuals and interface of the "Tell HTC" app were misleading. Both of these issues in implementation are said to have undermined the normal consent mechanism of Android that would have kept user's data safe.

So what does this mean for HTC? The FTC is requiring that the company develop and release software patches for its devices that are affected with these vulnerabilities, and HTC has said that it has already released some patches at this point. Furthermore, HTC will have to submit to "independent security assessments" every 2 years for the next 20 years. HTC will also be forbidden from making misleading statements about the security of its devices and user's data going forward.

This is a pretty big finding from the FTC, but isn't necessarily uncommon. Although their may not have been widespread exploits that were taking advantage of these security holes, it's important that HTC is going to be making changes to help security going forward. Though we would have preferred if HTC was implementing best practices in the first place, rather than it coming to an investigation by the FTC.

Source: FTC

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3 years ago

Android at Mobile World Congress 2013 - what to expect from this year's show

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February is drawing to a close, and we’re getting ready to head to Barcelona, Spain, for another Mobile World Congress. Usually one of the highlight events of the year in mobile, MWC takes place between Feb. 25 and 28, although we’ll start to see the first announcements over the weekend. And despite HTC jumping the gun with the HTC One, and Samsung holding back for an expected post-MWC Galaxy S4 launch, there’s still plenty of Android to be found at this year’s show.

I’ll be there, as will Phil, and Daniel Rubino and Jay Bennett from Windows Phone Central will be joining us to cover the Windows Phone side of things.

As always, it’s going to be an interesting week. So let’s break down what the major players are likely to bring to Barcelona ...

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3 years ago

Archos 80 Titanium on sale in the UK starting at £129

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Archos introduced a whole raft of new Android tablets last month at CES, and in the UK the budget oriented 80 Titanium is now on sale. Available from high street retailer, Carphone Warehouse, the cheapest 80 Titanium -- actually made of aluminum -- will set you back a mere £129. 

For that price you get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, an 8-inch 1024x768 IPS display, a dual-core 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of on board storage expandable by way of microSD card. There are cameras too, although the rear shooter is just 2MP, and the front although not specified, is likely of VGA resolution. So, not a high end device by any means, but for £129 a potential bargain to be had. 

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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3 years ago

MLB At Bat 2013 changes payment options, makes interface improvements

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The official MLB At Bat 2013 app has been updated in time for spring training with a new payment structure and several interface improvements. First up is the new payment methods, which in every case will save users money. The app is now free for download, with a $20 flat rate in-app purchase to get live gameday audio and premium features -- from Spring training all the way through the World Series. Previously, it was a paid download and then also a separate purchase for the premium features. If you're a MLB.tv premium subscriber, you can simply log in and receive all of the premium content and features as part of your package.

Having a basic log-in and one-time purchase method also means that you only pay once to get the content on all of your devices, which is a big plus to the model. On the interface side, the UI for phones is improved in several places, mainly in the individual team and news pages. There's a lot to get excited about with the MLB At Bat app this year, so if you're a baseball fan head to the Play Store link at the top of this post and grab a download.

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3 years ago

Sprint Kyocera Torque arriving March 8 for $99.99

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Sprint has announced that its latest ruggedized smartphone, the Kyocera Torque, is to go on sale on Mar. 8, priced at $99.99 on-contract. The torque, announced in late January, combined a hardened outer shell with 4G LTE connectivity and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Other vital stats include a 4-inch WVGA display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 2500mAh battery. Storage comes in at 4GB, expandable via microSD card. But it's the phone's durability that stands out, bring built to 810G MilSpec standards to help it withstand water, dust, dirt physical impacts and extreme temperatures. As such, Sprint's roped in adventurer Bear Grylls to promote the phone's nature-resistant capabilities, starting with a series of ads.

More details in the presser after the break.

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3 years ago

Samsung 'Orb' rumored to bring Photosphere-like panoramas to Galaxy S4

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Google's "Photosphere" 360-degree panoramas are one one of the stand-out features of Android 4.2. But we've been left guessing as to whether third-party manufacturers will get access to this tech when they ship their own non-Nexus devices. Now it seems at least one OEM may be prepared to go it alone with its own proprietary Photosphere-like feature.

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3 years ago

Android Central 126: HTC One recap, MWC preview, Ubuntu and Chromebooks!

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Audio-only stream below

It's as though we just dropped an entire podcast on you two days ago. But that's the way the news is this week. We're fresh off the HTC One events in London and New York, so we'll recap those in addition to looking ahead to Mobile World Congress early next week from Barcelona, Spain. Plus we take on Ubuntu Touch, now available in developer preview for Nexus devices, and the new Chromebook Pixel.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia E Dual up for pre-order in the U.S. - $199.99, shipping Mar. 1

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If you're after a dual-SIM Android option in the U.S., there'll soon be a new device for you to consider. Sony's just put the Xperia E Dual, an entry-level phone with the ability to carry two SIMs, up for pre-order on its U.S. store for $199.99. The Xperia E and E Dual hit Europe a couple of months ago, where they became two of the first budget Android phones to run Jelly Bean.

The internal hardware isn't much to write home about -- there's a 1GHz CPU running the show, a 3.5-inch WVGA screen on the front and a 3.2MP rear camera. But like most budget devices from Sony, it looks well-built with a pretty attractive design. Both black and gold color options are available from the Sony online store. (A note on radio compatibility -- the phone only supports 850 and 1900MHz HSPA, so if you were hoping for full T-Mobile support you're out of luck.)

Orders are estimated to begin shipping from Mar. 1, and Sony's offering free ground shipping.

Source: Sony Store

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3 years ago

Qualcomm announces global LTE solution for mobile devices

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Let's face it, LTE is a mess. The different flavors found all around the world causes issues not just for consumers -- try traveling abroad and getting LTE -- but also for OEM's who actually want to put LTE into their devices. What if, what if one device could pick up LTE wherever you happened to travel? 

Enter Qualcomm, and the announcement of the RF360, which is hailed as the worlds first global LTE compatible front end solution. We're not going to see anything carrying it anytime soon, Qualcomm says they expect the first devices to be available in the second half of 2013. But, that's still not all that far away. Exciting times for sure, and the full release can be found after the break. 

Source: Qualcomm

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3 years ago

HTC One available for pre-order on Three UK beginning Feb 22

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The new HTC One is causing some excitement -- head on in to the new HTC One Forums to join in -- and gradually we're getting more concrete release information for various territories. One carrier in the UK picking it up is Three, and today we know when it's coming and how much it will cost. 

The One will be available to pre-order from Three beginning today, ahead of general release on Mar. 15. Three is marketing the One as compatible with its Ultrafast network, although this isn't surprising and will work on the carriers LTE network when it launches. Two tariffs are mentioned specifically, both with an upfront cost of £69 for the device. On the Ultimate Internet 500 tariff you're looking at £34 a month, but for just £2 more you can get the HTC One on The One Plan -- a whole lot of One -- which gives tethering along with unlimited data. Additionally, Three is selling the phone on pay-as-you-go for £479.99. You can pre-order one for yourselves at the source link below. 

Source: Three

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