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3 years ago

What the hell did we just do to Android Central?!?!?!?

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Welcome to the next iteration of Android Central. We'd give you a version number but, frankly, we have no idea what version we're on.. Just like Android, we keep on doing our thing. (Though we're able to get updates to all of you at one time, which is awesome.)

So what's new? We just rolled out a new version of our homepage filter, with much more filtering power behind it.

You now have three main options for content on the Android Central home page.

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3 years ago

Angry Birds headed into space on March 22

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Maybe Rovio's running out of holidays, because it's sending the Angry Birds into Space next month, as part of a deal with brings in NASA and National Geographic as launch partners. Details from Yahoo Games suggests that the new version of Angry Birds will introduce new gravity-based gameplay as well as slow-motion puzzles and "lightspeed" destruction.

Rovio plans a simultaneous launch across all mobile platforms, including Android, from Mar. 22.

We've got the full teaser trailer after the jump.

Source: Yahoo Games, Rovio

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3 years ago

HTC adds more North American phones to Ice Cream Sandwich update list

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HTC sends word via its official Facebook page that in addition to the handful of phones already announced, Verizon's Rhyme, Droid Incredible 2 and Thunderbolt will be getting the latest version of Android later in the year. And on the Canadian side, the manufacturer has confirmed that the HTC Raider on Rogers and Bell will also see ICS in the months ahead.

We have more good news related to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, and can confirm that upgrades are planned for Verizon Wireless customers with the HTC Rhyme, HTC Thunderbolt, and DROID Incredible 2 by HTC, as well as the already announced HTC Rezound.   In addition, the HTC Raider is on the list to receive ICS for customers of Rogers and Bell in Canada. Stay tuned for more news on Ice Cream Sandwich releases in the coming weeks.

So great news for owners of those phones, especially the long-suffering Thunderbolt, which took long enough to get bumped from Froyo to Gingerbread. HTC expects to begin updating international handsets to ICS in the next month, starting with the Sensation and Sensation XE.

Source: HTC USA Facebook

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3 years ago

Archos 35 Smart Home Phone review

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If there’s one area of communications that remains firmly rooted in the 20th century, it’s the humble home phone. Dumb, unloved and tethered to a wall, these devices have been left behind, as cellphone technology continues to soar further into the stratosphere. With Android expanding its reach to ever more product classes, it was only a matter of time before someone attempted to bring the home phone up to date by introducing it to the leading smartphone operating system. And that’s precisely the idea behind the Archos 35 Smart Home Phone.

However, questions remain as to whether a smartphone OS belongs on such a device. Smartphones are personal, portable gadgets, neither of which applies to the typical home phone. And we have some concerns about the hardware too, particularly the nasty resistive touchscreen that’s been used.

Read on to find out our full thoughts, as we dive further into the Archos 35 Smart Home Phone.


Good call quality, DECT functionality works well. Offers a decent, if basic Android experience.


Abysmal resistive touchscreen, cheap build quality, awkward button placement and a couple of software bugs. No Android Market support.



We’re still not convinced that a home phone is the right place for a smartphone OS and matching hardware, and if we are to be persuaded, the Archos 35 Smart Home Phone isn’t the device to do it.

Inside this review

More info

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3 years ago

Android Central 88: Samsung Galaxy Note, Motorola Droid 4, app permissions a go-go

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Audio-only stream below

We've got the Samsung Galaxy Note in our hot little hands, the Motorola Droid 4 is in our rear-view mirror, and we wax philosophic about what works and what doesn't in Android's app permissions scheme. Plus, we catch up on e-mails and voicemails. Join us!

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3 years ago

Android app permissions - How Google gets it right ...

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And how we, the users, still need to take responsibility

There's been a lot of news lately about a lapse in either security or judgment -- both, really -- at Apple that allows iOS applications to borrow your contact data and send it off to parts unknown without your consent. Apple has addressed the issue to members of the U.S. Congress, and will take steps to hold tighter control in a future iOS update. That's good news, and we're glad to see it happening.

But what about Android? During all this focus on apps doing things without explicit user permission, you see people referring to the Android permissions model. We're going to break it all down for you.  It's not perfect, but it works pretty well -- and it's certainly better than no permission system at all.

Let's walk you through permissions on Android, and how you need to be sure to do you part.

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3 years ago

State of the Mobile Nations Survey - What's Your Next Tablet?

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The tablet wars are heating up! Apple is getting set to announce the iPad 3 next month. BlackBerry is going to release a major PlayBook OS update any day. The Kindle Fire is hot as is the Transformer Prime in a sea of Android tablets. And Windows 8 tablets are getting ready to enter the battle.

With so much going on we wanted to take a moment and find out where you weigh in on the tablet wars. We have five quick questions (and one bonus) that will take you less than a minute. Hit the link below.

Take the Survey!

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3 years ago

Android 5.0 Jellybean in 2012? Better optimized for tablets? You don't say ...

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ZOMG A STORY ABOUT JELLY BEAN! But here's the thing. It's out of our favorite (not really) Taiwanese manufacturer rag, Digitimes. It's also as obvious as it is ridiculous. Here's the gist:

Android 5.0 Jelly Bean (neither the number nor the nickname is official, remember) is said to:

  • Launch in the second quarter. We dunno about "launch," but, yeah. Google IO is June 27-29. June is in the second quarter. And it's more than likely we'll get details on the next version of Android there. But "launch"? Nah.
  • Further optimized for tablets. We certainly hope otherwise, what's the point? Jelly Bean (or whatever it's called) probably will be further optimized for smartphones, too. Maybe even Google TV. Now will the UI undergo some major reconstruction for tablets? That's entirely possible, and it's not a bad idea at all. 
  • Integrating Chrome for "dual-operating system designs": Uh, OK. The idea, apparently, is to offer manufacturers the option of having an Android/Windows 8 system, without having to shut down. Hey, why not. BlackBerry's already doing that with its PlayBook tablet. But somehow we don't think adding a full second operating system and ecosystem is going to make choosing a tablet any simpler for consumers.
  • Google looking to get back into the netbook/notebook market with Jelly Bean: Sure. Why not. Android netbooks aren't new -- you'll recall our look at the HP Compaq Airlife 100 at Mobile World Congress in 2010. And you have the likes of ASUS' excellent Transformer line of tablet/notebook hybrids. Question is, should this have any legs to is, what happens with Chromebooks?

So, yeah. Really not a whole lot of meat there. A little patience, folks. We've got a good feeling that Google's got something up its sleeves for 2012.

Source: Digitimes

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3 years ago

Google Wallet pre-paid card exploit fixed

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Last week Google disabled the provisioning of pre-paid cards in Google Wallet, following the discovery that clearing app data could allow the PIN for these cards to be reset. Now Google says a fix is rolling out, and that pre-paid cards are available once again.

Writing on the official Google Commerce blog, VP of Google Wallet and Payments, Osama Bedier, said that the company was not aware that any pre-paid cards that had been misused as a result of the vulnerability.

Yesterday afternoon, we restored the ability to issue new prepaid cards to the Wallet. In addition, we issued a fix that prevents an existing prepaid card from being re-provisioned to another user. While we’re not aware of any abuse of prepaid cards or the Wallet PIN resulting from these recent reports, we took this step as a precaution to ensure the security of our Wallet customers. If you are unable to access your previous prepaid card balance for any reason, please contact our toll-free support for assistance.

So now we can all sleep a little safer at night, knowing that if someone steals your phone, at least they won't be able to pay for a Big Mac out of your pre-paid allowance.

The issue with obtaining PIN numbers on rooted devices via a brute-force method remains, however, as we discussed in our most recent podcast, a rooted device is by definition insecure. For its part, Google still recommends not installing Google Wallet on rooted devices.

Source: Google Commerce Blog

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3 years ago

DroidDoodle - Keeping your Google Wallet safe

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These days, it's all about protection.

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3 years ago

Editorial: Why is the stylus coming back?

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I've been playing with the Samsung Galaxy Note for the last week or so (be sure to check out our full review here), and though I'm still digging the novelty of a 5-inch smartphone, there's one feature I'm still not sold on - the pen. Ever since the HTC Flyer, pen accessories have been making a quiet comeback to Android devices. The HTC Jetstream included one too, and now the Samsung Galaxy Note is having a go at the stylus. 

We've seen a wholesale switch to finger touch input since the iPhone came around, so it's a bit anachronistic seeing stylus-enabled devices popping up again. Pen input hasn't been popular since Windows Mobile and Palm devices, and even then, it was mostly because the resistive screens demanded them. Of course, the devices making the rounds these days are using pens more as a secondary input with a few tailored applications, rather than being a necessity.

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3 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest: Animals

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It's time for another weekly photo contest, and this week the theme is animals.  It's a broad category, and we can't wait to see how some of you guys and gals dazzle us with your great pictures.  Whether it's a picture of your pet, something from the park or zoo, or something exotic, we wanna see those pics.  This week the winner gets a headset of his or her choice from ShopAndroid.com to keep the noise down while shooting those elusive wildlife shots.  

Rules are easy -- you'll need to use an Android device to take the picture, and be sure to let us know which one in case your photo is selected as a finalist.  Also tell us who you are so we can give proper credit.  Only submit one picture per person, and e-mail your entry to pics@androidcentral.com by Friday Feb 17.  We'll pick the best of the bunch, and announce the winners on the blog Sunday, Feb 19.  Good luck all, and we can't wait to see this weeks pictures!

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 unveiled, runs ICS on a 7-inch display

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Samsung has taken the wraps off yet another tablet, this time running the latest version of Android -- Ice Cream Sandwich. The Galaxy Tab 2 has a 7-inch form factor similar to the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, and the spec sheet shows similar internals, too.

The Tab 2 is powered by a 1GHz dual-core CPU, along with 1GB of RAM, and packs a 7-inch, 1024x600 display. As we said, the main attraction is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which makes the Tab 2 the first Samsung tablet to run the latest version of the OS. Other specs include a 3MP camera on the back and a VGA front-facer, optional 3G/HSPA connectivity, 8/16/32GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot. Like the original 7-inch Galaxy Tab, the Tab 2 offers voice calling capability, too.

So this appears to be a budget tablet offering from Samsung, and we'd expect to see it priced as such. What's a little strage, however, is that Samsung already has a 7-inch tablet that's almost identical to the Tab 2 -- the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. Design aside, the only differences lie in CPU speed and OS -- the Tab 7 Plus runs Honeycomb on an Exynos chip. So we have to wonder where this product fits in Samsung's increasingly crowded tablet line-up.

In any case, if the price is right, it looks like this could be a decent 7-inch tab for mid-range buyers. We've got the the full press release after the jump.

Source: Samsung
More: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 Specs; Galaxy Tab 2 forums

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7-inch) specs

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Complete specs for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7-inch)

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3 years ago

White Galaxy Nexus begins shipping in the UK today

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As we learned last week, the white version of Samsung's Galaxy Nexus is due to go on sale today across multiple retailers. The white Nexus, which first emerged around a month ago, retains the black bezel around the screen, instead opting to change the color of the side trim and back cover.

Besides that, it's still a Galaxy Nexus -- same 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and gorgeous 720p HD SuperAMOLED display. You'll also get to be one of the cool kids with the current Google Experience phone, giving you Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich along with timely updates straight from Mountain View. And if you're buying in the UK, you can expect the same £500 SIM-free price point. As far as we're aware, no British or European carriers are offering the white Nexus at subsidized prices right out of the door.

And we still haven't heard anything about a US launch for the white Galaxy Nexus, though you should be able to import the GSM version form the usual places, just like the original "titanium silver" version. We're hoping Sprint may surprise us with a white Galaxy Nexus model when it launches its LTE version later in the year.

More: Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

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