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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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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has SwiftKey prediction built-in

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One of the Galaxy Note 2's best features may be one of its most hidden

A funny thing about SwiftKey. We've questioned, in the past, its strategy of forgoing deals with manufacturers to be preloaded onto devices (like Swype chose to do) and instead relying on Google Play downloads. It seems it's survived that strategy just fine, consistently remaining in the top 5 paid Android applications as well as spending its share of time in the top spot. 

But we've also seen it branch out a little bit. SwiftKey's prediction engine has appeared on BlackBerry, of all places. And now, we've learned, it's on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. And that phone should sell a few more units than BlackBerry, no?

Samsung didn't respond to a request for comment. SwiftKey had no comment. (That's in line with the BlackBerry implementation of SwiftKey. Neither the keyboard company nor the struggling RIM would 'fess up, either.)

More: Read our Galaxy Note 2 review

Sure enough, in the keyboard settings on the Note 2, you can find options for "Predictive text." There's an overall on/off switch for personalization. And under that you see the familiar "Learn from ..." options. Sign in to Facebook, Gmail and Twitter, and SwiftKey (erm, the Galaxy Note 2) can learn from what you type. 

There's also a conspicuous link to the privacy policy -- which is really good to see, given that this is snooping on your messages. But we've also been using SwiftKey with its personalization for more than a year, and we've really got no worry here.

The short version is that this is a good thing for Samsung. And it's a good thing for SwiftKey. And, untimately, it's a good thing for you.

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3 years ago

LG's Nexus 4 - here's what we know so far [Updated]

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First came the HTC-built Nexus One in early 2010. Then it was Samsung's turn with the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus in the years that followed. And in recent days it's become pretty clear that Google’s 2012 Nexus partner is LG, with the upcoming fourth-generation Nexus phone being based on the Korean manufacturer’s Optimus G.

Photos have leaked showing a curved design with a glass back, and reported specs include a beastly 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, a 4.7-inch IPS display and, as ever, a "pure Google" vanilla Android experience. And there's been plenty of discussion and speculation over on the Android Central forums. But there are a lot of rumors circulating as to the exact nature of LG and Google's upcoming high-end smartphone, and it's not always easy to separate out the facts.

So just what do we know about the upcoming 2012 Nexus phone? We’ve collected all the most reliable leaked information into one handy report, which you can check out after the break.

Update, Oct. 15: This article has been updated with the latest information on the LG Nexus that's come to light in recent days.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 gets official for T-Mobile

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Sprint had their turn this morning, now T-Mobile has an announcement of their own for MobileCON. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will be landing on T-Mo, as expected, though they're just as vague with pricing and release dates. Both white and grey options will be available, in any case. Last night T-Mobile also announced the LG Optimus L9, and who knows what else they'll unveil before the end of the show. The Galaxy Note 2 is shaping up to be a hugely popular device, and based on our experience, it's worth all of the hype. Here's a quick overview.

  • Processor: 1.6 GHz quad-core processor
  • Display: 5.5” HD Super AMOLED (1,280 x 720)
  • OS: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • Camera: Main(Rear): 8 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash, BSI; Sub(Front): 1.9 Megapixel VT Camera, BSI; Best Photo, Best Faces, Low light shot
  • GPS: A-GPS; Glonass
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth v 4.0 (Apt-X Codec support) LE; USB 2.0 Host; WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz), Wi-Fi HT40; Wi-Fi Direct; mHL; NFC
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, RGB Light, Digital Compass, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer
  • Memory: 16/32/64GB User memory + 2GB (RAM); microSD (up to 64GB)
  • Dimensions: 80.5 x 151.1 x 9.4 mm, 180 g
  • Battery: Standard battery, Li-ion 3,100mAh

Keep an eye out for the Galaxy Note 2 on T-Mobile shelves "in the coming weeks". T-Mobile customers, are you pumped?

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3 years ago

Nexus 7 getting Android 4.1.2 update, adds landscape mode

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Hot on the heels of the Android 4.1.2 AOSP announcement, an over-the-air update to the freshly-minted version of Android is slowly starting to roll out to Nexus 7 tablets. Reports from EE Times and the Android Central forums say that the update (finally) adds a landscape mode to the tablet's home screen launcher, in among the usual bug fixes and performance enhancements. We're sure that launcher change will please more than a few Nexus 7 owners sick of being stuck in portrait mode all the time.

The update package weighs just over 31MB, and is slowly starting to push out to Nexus 7 owners. We're not seeing it on any of our devices yet, but if you want to try your luck, head to to Settings > About device > Software updates and start mashing that button.

If you're one of the lucky few to have already received the update, be sure to shout out in the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

Source: EE Times, Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Android 4.1.2 pushing out to AOSP today

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Google's Jean-Baptiste Queru has announced today on the Android Building group mailing list that a small revision to Jelly Bean -- Android 4.1.2, build JZO54K -- is pushing out to AOSP (Android Open Source Project) right now. While the Android world is still spinning following a the leaking of a whole bunch of LG Nexus pictures showing 4.1.2 on-board, JBQ's only comments in terms of this 4.1.2 release are in reference to the Nexus 7. His warning to community builders of software for the Nexus 7 is that future variants of the device are coming with a different power management chip, one that is completely incompatible with the current 4.1.1 builds of the software.

Details are sparse at  the moment, but we'll keep you posted as we do some digging and find out what this means as far as changes and updates go. If there are changes or fixes relating to other Nexus devices, you can bet we'll see OTAs start to roll out in due course.

Source: Android Building

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3 years ago

LG announces Optimus G and Mach for Sprint

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The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 isn't the only thing announced for Sprint today. LG has announced the Optimus G and the Mach as the latest LTE-enabled additions to Sprint's line-up. Sprint also snuck in a tri-mode USB modem into the announcement, if you're into that kind of thing. We're already been pretty up-close-andpersonal with the Optimus G, but what's this Mach device? Surely not the Optimus Mach from awhile back, right? Nope, though it's still in the mid-range and pales in comparison to the Motorola Photon Q as far as sliders on Sprint go. Here are the broad strokes.

  • Full QWERTY slide out keyboard
  • Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • 4” WVGA touch screen
  • Super thin design - only .48”
  • 3G/4G LTE Mobile Hotspot capability supporting up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously
  • Dual Cameras: 5-megapixel rear-facing with flash and video capture and 0.3 megapixel VGA front-facing camera

As you might expect, pricing and launch dates are still hazy for either one of these, but it's probably safe to assume that we'll be getting them before the holidays. Any takers?

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3 years ago

Isis Mobile Wallet launch tipped for Oct. 22 in Austin and Salt Lake City

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Google Wallet competitor Isis could go live in trial markets in a matter of weeks, according to a leaked internal document obtained by Android Central. The doc, sent our way by an anonymous tipster, says that beginning Oct. 22, customers in Salt Lake City, UT and Austin, TX will be able to use the Isis Mobile Wallet service on "Isis Ready devices" -- though no complete list of devices was provided.

The document goes on to state that payments through Isis "supporting banks'" credit cards will be supported, and that Isis users will get a complementary $10 balance on their pre-paid Isis Cash Card just for signing up and activating their wallet. That'll sound awfully familiar to anyone who's used a Google pre-paid card through Google Wallet.

Isis has some big names backing it, and whenever the eventual widespread launch comes, you can bet we'll be hearing much more about it.

Thanks, Anon!

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3 years ago

Sprint announces LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

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MobileCON kicks off today with an announcement from Sprint and Samsung for the LTE-enabled Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. No details on pricing or dates, but they did give us the spec sheet. There are another three devices Sprint also announced, which we'll get to in a second. 

  • Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1.5GHz dual-core processor (Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset)
  • 10.1-inch WXGA PLS TFT 1280 x 800 display
  • 7,000mAh Lithium-Ion battery
  • 1GB RAM, 8GB ROM and microSD card slot supporting up to 64GB memory card
  • Personal and business email, as well as IM through Google Talk
  • Google Mobile wireless services such as Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps for Android, Google Calendar, Voice Actions and YouTube
  • 3G/4G LTE mobile hotspot capability supporting up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously
  • Face Unlock uses state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to allow the user switch on the phone and look at it to get past the lock screen – no passwords to remember, nothing to type or swipe
  • AllShare Group Cast lets the user share a presentation or photo album in real time with multiple friends on the same Wi-Fi network
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

We reviewed the AT&T version of this bad boy awhile back, so feel free to take a read-through. Anyone biting?

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3 years ago

Rogers launches Motorola RAZR HD LTE

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Following an announcement last month, the Motorola RAZR HD LTE hit Rogers store shelves across Canada today for $99 on a three-year contract. It's an awful lot like the Droid RAZR HD that announced for Verizon last month, except this one is made for GSM networks. The main selling points for the Motorola RAZR HD are its 4.7-inch display, its strong battery life with LTE usage, and the triggered response software system, SmartActions. 

The Motorola RAZR HD LTE isn't showing up in the Rogers online store just yet, but feel free to call up your closest brick-and-mortar location to see what's up. There's also a bunch of information on Motorola Canada's site about detailed specs. Canadians, are you guys interested? Personally, I'm having a hard time imagining signing a three-year contract for any phone with WIND and Mobilicity in the picture. Any Americans interested in importing the RAZR HD LTE to use on A&T? Verizon customers, are you itching to pick up your version?

Source: @Motorola_CA

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3 years ago

Motorola Atrix 2 bestowed with Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade

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Motorola Atrix 2 owners can now emerge from Gingerbread now that AT&T has begun rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade. We had an inkling that the update was on the way, so no huge surprise, but welcome nontheless. The update includes Motorola's new quick-launch lock screen, along with the usual ICS features, like Face Unlock, tabbed browsing, a data usage monitor and a few other odds and ends. 

Earlier this week, Motorola also started rolling out ICS for their Droid XYBOARD tablets, but there are still a few more devices on the timeline that we're waiting for. For those that aren't getting an update reasonably soon, Motorola has a pretty sweet upgrade incentive in place

With all of these ICS updates, it's starting to actually feel like Google owns Motorola. Hopefully it won't take long before Motorola sets the standard for software update timeliness, but for the time being, which manufacturer have you been most pleased with on that front? Which manufacturers take way too long for their ICS updates? Should manufacturers even be bothering with Jelly Bean in the picture? Is Google rolling out these new features too quickly, or do manufacturers and carriers just need to hurry and catch up? 

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

ZTE says its equipment is safe, poses no threat to U.S. national security

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We reported yesterday on a U.S. Congressional report suggesting that ZTE and Huawei should be blocked from operating within the U.S. for national security reasons. The report singled out both companies with allegations of corruption, bribery and possible influence by the Chinese government. Hot off the press this morning ZTE has hit back with a statement in its defense.

In its statement, ZTE notes its status as a "Trusted Delivery Partner" for 140 other governments, and says it's "China’s most transparent, independent, globally focused, publicly traded telecom company." The company also points out that the vast majority of U.S. telecommunications equipment currently in use is manufactured in China. 

We expect this one to go back and forth before any final outcome is reached. For ZTE's full statement, check past the break. To read more about exactly what they and Huawei are alleged to have done, see our report from yesterday.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Music is official - ICS on a 3-inch display with stereo speakers

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Dual-SIM Galaxy Music Duos also confirmed

Following numerous rumors and leaks, Samsung has officially announced the entry-level, music-focused Galaxy Music and Galaxy Music Duos this morning. The Galaxy Music takes the front-facing stereo speaker design seen in certain Samsung tablets and PMPs and incorporates it into a budget smartphone with a 3-inch (QVGA) display.

The device comes in three colors -- silver, blue and yellow -- and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, backed up by Samsung's TouchWiz Nature UX. The official spec list doesn't mention what's powering the Galaxy Music, but we can presume it'll be a fairly modest single-core affair. In terms of musical prowess, Samsung's plugging the phone's Sound Alive & SRS playback enhancements, as well as support for OGG and FLAC formats and FM radio capabilities.

Also announced today was Galaxy Music Duos, a dual-SIM variant which we'd expect to see targeted at emerging markets. There's no word on pricing or availability for either product, but we'd expect both to be competitively priced.

Source: Samsung

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3 years ago

LG Electronics Q3 earnings announcement and conference call set for Oct. 24th

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If you're interested in learning how LG Electronics doing financially, you'll want to tune into their Q3 2012 earnings announcement and conference call taking place on Oct. 24th at 13:00 (KST) followed by a Korean language news conference at 16:00 (KST). Just in case you're not fluent in Korean though, there will also be an English conference call that will take place on Thursday, Oct. 25 at the following times --

  • Seoul - 10:00 AM
  • Hong Kong - 09:00 AM
  • London - 02:00 AM
  • New York City - 9:00PM (Wednesday, October 24) 

If you'd rather spend your time sleeping, don't worry. We'll be sure to follow up with any news coming from the call and let you all know how LG is faring in the business thus far. Besides, you never know what other details may happen to slip out.

Source: LG

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