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3 years ago

Install Ubuntu on your Nexus 7 with Canonical's installer

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A lot of people love the idea of having a full-blown desktop version of Ubuntu on their Android tablet, including the folks at Canonical. Today we see that they have released a semi-official installer to do just that -- install Ubuntu (a special build based on 12.10) right to your Nexus 7, as a full native install.

It's also pretty easy to do -- they provide a PPA repo for the installer an dependencies, and all you need to do is type a few commands, have fastboot set up and working, and find the USB cable that came with the device. Of course your bootloader has to be unlocked, but that's easy enough to accomplish when you've got a Nexus device. 

The Nexus 7 is the official reference device for Ubuntu development on ARM touch devices, and the purpose of this is for users to run and find bugs. Don't go thinking the install will be perfect, as there's a list of things that need attention. Rotation doesn't yet work, there are some scrolling issues, Bluetooth isn't working, and the camera isn't active. Nothing that can't be overcome, but know ahead of time what to expect.

Don't get me wrong, I think this is great, and that Ubuntu is a great choice to run on a small tablet. I am a little miffed that a so-called developer preview is only available as a one-click application, specific to Ubuntu. I may think Ubuntu is a good choice for my tablet, but I don't think it's the best choice for my desktop. I would have liked to see the images and scripts delivered in a package that advanced users could use without installing Ubuntu on their computer. Hopefully they can address this and let everyone play.

Full instructions, and notes about known issues and tester protocol can be found at the source links.

Source: Ubuntu (1), (2),; via OMGUbuntu

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3 years ago

Xbox SmartGlass now available on Android

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Looking to extend your Xbox to your Android smartphone? It's now possible, with today's release of Xbox SmartGlass for Android. (Never mind that Microsoft itself said it wasn't coming until 2013.)

In a nutshell, the app connects your Android smartphone to your Xbox live account. From there, you can expand Xbox content onto your phone, control the console, or even browse the Internet, though your phone certainly can do that well enough on its own.

The release of SmartGlass (which also is available on Windows 8) is part of Microsoft's slightly ridiculous (but equally impressive) launch of Windows 8, and coming soon, Windows Phone 8.

Here's to hoping we see Xbox music hit Android sooner than expected, too.

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3 years ago

Hands on with the UK Amazon Kindle Fire

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It's been a long time coming, but this week finally sees the release of the Amazon Kindle Fire in the UK and selected markets across Europe. With prices starting at just £129 for the cheapest version, there is huge potential for Amazon to capture the casual tablet buyer market. 7-inch tablets are great for consuming media, no doubts. The Google Nexus 7 could be seen as a direct competitor, but there are differences, and there are areas where Amazon has a slight leg up on Google. And, it's all to do with content. 

In the US, Nexus 7 owners can watch movies and TV shows, read magazines and books, and buy music. In the UK, we're limited to just the movies and books offerings, which to this day still disappoints. Yes, there's nasty licensing issues to deal with, but Amazon has done just that. We've had the MP3 store for a few years now, along with the Kindle offerings. In recent weeks though, Amazon has opened up the Appstore, Cloud Drive and Cloud Player, and has revealed how their LOVEFiLM rental service will be baked into the Kindle Fire to provide the video content. 

So, is this the content consumers tablet of dreams? Maybe, it's had success in the United States, and Amazon is a well known, well trusted brand on these shores. But, just how good is the content that Amazon is offering up to UK customers? Lots of things look good on paper and then fail to stack up in reality. 

The good news for you guys out there is that we've got one. A UK Kindle Fire landed on our doorstep, so we've opened it up and taken a very quick first look. We've got the standard Kindle Fire, the 8GB, £129 version, and first impressions are pretty positive. The hardware is nice -- if a little chunky -- and while frustrating at times, the Amazon software is nice to look at and easy to navigate. 

But, that's enough talk. Click on past the break for a quick video walkthrough. Be sure to stick around in the coming days too, as we get to know this little guy some more. 

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3 years ago

Apparent pictures and specs of Samsung Nexus 10 tablet leak

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A batch of photos and a specification list of the Nexus 10 tablet have surfaced today, making the rumored Samsung device seem all the more real. It's running Android 4.2, which still counts as Jelly Bean. We heard that there's some new action in the settings pull-down menu in 4.2, but the rest of the features are still a mystery. If this is real, it's probably what we're going to see next Monday. Here's what's inside the Nexus 10, according to the source.

  • Samsung Exynos 5250 clocked at 1.7 GHz, Dual-core Cortex-A15, Mali-T604 GPU
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage (other options possible)
  • 10.1-inch Super AMOLED display, 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution, 298.9 pixels-per-inch
  • 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, LED flash
  • Front-facing camera
  • NFC
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Dual speakers located on front of device

We've seen a few other signs of Samsung's Nexus 10 device, including EXIF data buried in pictures posted by Google's Vic Gundotra, and a few glimpses from a supposed manual. Sure, these pictures look convincing enough, but we've seen  some pretty elaborate hoaxes lately... What do you guys think - is this legit? Would you buy one if these specs panned out? How much would you pay for one?

Source: BriefMobile

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3 years ago

Huawei Ascend D Quad XL review

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High performance at a reasonable cost, but can it ever be considered over the more popular manufacturers' offerings?

There's a pretty decent chance you've used a Huawei phone without even knowing it. A longtime seller of spec devices, Huawei has started to step into the competitive arena that is the high-end smartphone market. For 2012, Huawei offers this, the Ascend D Quad XL.

When the Ascend D Quad XL was first shown off by Huawei at Mobile World Congress back in February, it was touted as “the fastest smartphone in the world.” We hear a lot of claims about specs, but “fastest” isn’t exactly something you can measure accurately. By today’s standards, it’s likely that it isn’t going to best the top of the top -- but what really matters is the real-world user experience. Does the Ascend D Quad XL have what it takes to pull users away from the likes of Samsung, HTC and LG? Read on and find out.

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3 years ago

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for Android announced

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As a part of their 10-year anniversary for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Rockstar Games has announced that the classic console game will be finding its way to Android this fall. The original graphics will be included along with a few "enhancements" for mobile. It sounds like device compatibility is going to be limited for the time being, but they aren't telling us specifics just yet. 

The third-person shooter puts players in control of Tommy Vercetti, a mobster who has been sent from New York Liberty City to Miami Vice City after being in jail for a few years. While there's a main storyline, GTA games are well-known for their open-world exploration, allowing you to really soak in an exaggerated, parodied atmosphere of 1980's Florida. Of course, there's plenty of random acts of crime to indulge in, too.

GTA 3 has been available on Android since last December, and is actually on sale now for $0.99 as a part of the Vice City anniversary. Any big Vice City fans out there? How well did Rockstar do porting GTA 3 to Android?

Source: Rockstar

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3 years ago

Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 comes to Android

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Following an initial launch on PC, Penny Arcade's latest game, On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3, has found its way to Android and iOS for $2.99. As an added bonus, they've included the first DLC pack and a Fanfiction option where you can gender- and species-swap the sprites for the main characters (if you're into that kind of thing).

While the game follows closely in the footsteps of the last two as a tried-and-true turn-based RPG with hilarious writing, OtRSPoD 3 cranks up the 16-bit charm.  The main characters from the popular webcomic, Gabe and Tycho, figure prominently in your party, with plenty of cameos made by the supporting cast throughout the rest of the game.  Just a few of the classes you'll be able to level up as include Crabomancer, Tube Samurai, Hobo, and Delusionist. Combined with the above screenshot, you should be amply prepared for the hilarity On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 has to offer. 

Any of you guys Penny Arcade fans? Played the other two games? Anyone headed to PAX East? 

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3 years ago

Panasonic may be leaving the European mobile market

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Panasonic may be pulling out of the European market, barely after they got back into it. There was an ambitious plan by the Japanese corporation to return to the mobile game after introducing the Eluga (see our hands-on) at Mobile World Congress. Panasonic had hoped for for 1.5 million units to be sold this year and then to build up on year-on-year.

Panasonic's plan didn't really take off after the Eluga -- which didn't really get a proper release -- produced lackluster sales. Panasonic appears to be cutting their losses now and pulling from Europe altogether. No word yet on what they'll do in other markets, but Panasonic's mobile strategy isn't looking promising at the moment.

Source: The Verge

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3 years ago

Google's Vic Gundotra is posting pics with the Nexus 10 tablet

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It's not unusual to see top-level Googlers vacationing in some really cool places. It's also not unusual to see them taking pictures with unannounced devices.

So here's Google senior VP of engineering Vic Gundotra on a beach with a Samsung Nexus 10, as posted on Google+. It's shot at 2048x1536 -- or 3.1MP -- resolution (which seems low and likely is a G+ resize, especially given that these pics look pretty darn good), and the camera type clearly says "Nexus 10." (That can be manipulated, of course. But c'mon, would Uncle Vic really troll us?)

The Samsung Nexus 10 is one of two devices we expect to be announced Monday at Google's "The Playground is Open" event in New York City, the other being the LG Nexus 4. (Remember to keep it locked here Monday morning -- we'll be covering it live!)

Gundotra's actually posted a few pics from the Nexus 10 now. Check 'em out in his G+ feed.

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3 years ago

Android Central Podcast 113: Haters gonna hate

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Audio-only stream below

We've got the whole gang back together on the eve of Google's "Playground" event in New York City, where we expect to see some new Nexus love. Plus, Phil takes a beating.

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3 years ago

HTC reveals disappointing consolidated Q3 results

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HTC has announced its consolidated third-quarter financial results, revealing yet more disappointing numbers after a year of financial woe for the Taiwanese company.

From July to September, the company reported revenues of NT$70.2 billion ($2.4 billion), with gross margin of 25.0% and operating margin of 7.0%. Net profit stood at NT$3.9 billion ($133 million), with earnings per share of NT$4.7 ($0.16).

The year-on-year figures make for grim reading, as revenues are down some 48 percent compared to Q3 2011, when HTC was in a comparatively strong position.

In today's statement, HTC singled out China as a key growth driver for the third quarter, and noted that the U.S. performed in line with expectations. The company also took the chance to highlight major upcoming product launches, such as the Android-powered One X+ in Europe and J Butterfly in Japan, as well as the new Windows Phone 8X and 8S.

However, HTC's outlook for Q4 2012 is similarly bleak, with expected revenues of NT$60 billion ($2.05 billion), a gross margin of 23% and operating margin of 1%.

Source: HTC

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3 years ago

HTC 'Best Deals' service to arrive on One S, X and X+

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HTC is to launch its own "Best Deals" app on upcoming Android and Windows Phone 8-based handsets, the company has announced.

Partnering with services like Living Social and Trip Advisor, HTC's Best Deals will hook customers up with deals in their local area, which they'll then be able to catalog and share. HTC says it'll launch with over 1700 deals initially, across five European countries and twelve deal providers.

Best Deals will be available at launch on the HTC One X+, as well as the company's new Windows Phone 8X and 8S handsets. It'll also be pushed out to the One X and One S in a future software update, likely the same on that brings Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to those devices.

We've got more details in the full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Apple's apology: Samsung didn't copy the iPad, but Samsung totally copied the iPad

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Apple publishes court-mandated statement on UK site, but it's probably not what Samsung was hoping for.

As required by a UK High Court ruling, Apple has updated its British site with a link to a message indicating that Samsung was found to have not infringed the iPad's patented design in the UK. The statement, which reads like it was crafted by a small army of lawyers, also points out the judge's remarks on Apple's "simple" design and "cool" products, and echoes the widely-reported conclusion that Samsung's tablets were "not as cool". Naturally.

However, Apple fires back in the final paragraph, where it draws attention to a more successful court case elsewhere in Europe --

"So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple's far more popular iPad."

That's probably not what either Samsung or the court was hoping for. The judge indicated that in forcing Apple to post such a statement, his intention was to "correct" the copycat label that had been applied to Samsung. The final paragraph only serves to muddy things further, by suggesting that while Samsung didn't copy the iPad, it totally copied the iPad.

We've got the full statement after the break. You can also find it linked at the bottom of apple.com/uk

So what's next? More courtroom wrangling over the exact wording of Apple's statement? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Source: iMore

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3 years ago

LGE960 support page goes live on LG site

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The product support page for the LGE960 has went live this evening, which pretty much tells us nothing we didn't already know -- the LG Nexus 4 is coming. As the folks at Ausdroid have found, the device warranty information points folks both to Google as well your "Telco", which makes it sound that we'll eventually see a version sold by carriers.

We've got just three days until we know all there is to know about this one, and we'll be there to watch it all go down. In the meantime, we'll just feast on the rumors and tidbits like this one. Silly season indeed!

Discuss in the LG Nexus 4 forums

Source: LG; via Ausdroid

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia T review

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Despite its status as a global electronics giant, Sony remains on the periphery of the smartphone world, with a tiny share of the market outside its native Japan. In Europe, it’s struggled to make a dent in Samsung and Apple’s dominance. In the U.S., Sony Mobile’s market presence is barely measurable.

After a shaky start to 2012, Sony enters fall with an unusually thorough product refresh, led by the Xperia T, its new international flagship. With a slimmed-down design, a faster CPU and refreshed software, the T offers some tangible improvements over its six-month-old sibling, the Xperia S. But in terms of software, Sony remains behind the technological curve, shipping a flagship running Android 4.0 on the eve of a possible Android 4.2 announcement.

So can Sony’s ICS-based beast measure up against to the storm of smartphone late 2012 competition? Find out after the break, in our exhaustive Sony Xperia T review.

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