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4 years ago

Rovio explains why Angry Birds update needs SMS permission

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Bad Piggy Bank

More than a few of us (and us) noticed that when you got the latest update to Angry Birds, the app stated that it needed permissions to your SMS messages. At the time, Rovio told us it likely was a mistake, and that they'd look at it on Monday. However, it turns out it has a purpose and is part of an in-app payment system, called Big Bad Piggy Bank, which can be used to purchase the Mighty Eagle and other content. From Rovio's blog:

Bad Piggy Bank purchases will be paid through operator billing. No credit card is required, you simply select the content you want to purchase in the game, and select the Bad Piggy Bank icon. You confirm your purchase, the payment is made via SMS, and you will be charged in your phone bill.

The Android version of Angry Birds asks for SMS permission because this mobile payment capability has been added in version 1.5.1.

Angry Birds does not use the SMS functionality of the device for any other purpose than Bad Piggy Bank payments.

If the Bad Piggy Bank is not available for your operator, no purchases can be made, and you cannot be charged for anything.

All that said, it's only available in Finland at the moment. And note that this is separate from the in-app billing that Google just announced with Honeycomb.

So the good news is that there's nothing malicious (not that we ever thought there was) in the update. The bad news is it gives the app a permission that so far a very large number of users can't actually use. [Rovio] Thanks, Justin!

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4 years ago

Honeycomb can now be installed to the Nook Color's internal memory

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Have a Nook Color and wonder how much better Honeycomb would run if it didn't have to be run off of an SD card?  You're in luck, because we have the instructions for installing it to your Nook's internal memory (emmc), which might run faster and smoother than an SD card (though running it with an overclock kernel on a Class 10 SD is very fast--and much less dangerous).

This is advanced command line stuff, and this is still a developmental port, so please look everything over and only proceed if you're feeling adventurous, and are comfortable with the instructions and with the risk involved: How to Install Honeycomb to Nook Color's Internal Memory

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4 years ago

Preorder the HTC Thunderbolt today at Best Buy for $50

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HTC Thunderbolt Preorder

Still no word on when you'll actually be able to get the HTC Thunderbolt. But remember how we broke the news about preorders at Best Buy? They've started today for $50. The weekly ad circular's now available online and in the Sunday paper (ask your parents, they probably have one). Now all we need is, you know ... A launch date. [Best Buy] Thanks, Nate!

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Feb. 5, 2011

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apps

Finally, market.android.com has gone live, and man is it pretty sweet. If you have been spending hours poking around and looking for something new, you may have found some great apps, but many of you may still be struggling to find something new. If that is you, and you are interested in finding some new applications for your device, be sure to hit the jump with us and see what some of our favorites from this week were.

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4 years ago

Mystery HTC phone caught on camera yet again

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 Mystery HTC phone

HTC has had something of a leak problem lately, and once again one of its unreleased and unannounced phones has found its way on to the web. The device you see above seems to be the same one that got spied on a subway in Taiwan late last month. Hopefully HTC will end all this speculation and just announce its upcoming lineup once MWC rolls around in a little more than a week. [Mobile01 via Engadget]

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4 years ago

ThunderBolt, Inspire accessories show up at Best Buy ahead of launches

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Find the latest HTC ThunderBolt accessories

Thunderbolt/Inspire accessories

Hmmmmmm. Looks like Best Buy is getting its accessories ready for the HTC ThunderBolt and Inspire 4G. The latter will be on sale in a week, that much is official. As for the T-Bolt? That's still up in the air. We can't glean too much from this, except that you have to have cases ready by launch time. So it's coming -- we just don't know for sure when it's coming. Thanks, J!

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4 years ago

Google Honeycomb event recap

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Andy Rubin at the Honeycomb event

There was quite a bit of news to come out of Mountain View, Calif., this past week, with the Android team giving us a more in-depth walkthrough of Honeycomb, plus the bevy of developers on hand. We got looks at a number of new (or revamped) applications coming soon to an Android tablet near you, and got to meet the talented developers behind them.

To say that there's an excitement building around Honeycomb would be quite the understatement. This is far, far more than just Android on a big screen.

So let's revisit the news of the past week. After the break, you'll find the entire presentation, plus demos of the apps. Enjoy!

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4 years ago

HTC Thunderbolt launch date may be up in the air yet again

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Thunderbolt launch date?

Couple of conflicting stories coming out this morning regarding the launch of the HTC ThunderBolt on Verizon. Above, you have a screen shot leaked to DroidAttic, which appears to confirm the Feb. 14 launch date on Best Buy, news we broke a week ago, and presales start tomorrow. But then there's a post at DroidForums.net passed on by the infamous Miami1683 saying that the ThunderBolt has been pushed back a bit, until Feb. 28.

Miami says the delay is because of the popularity of the iPhone launch, but we'd be willing to wager that with all the hemming and hawing over simultaneous voice and data -- an old feature that would be new to Verizon -- they're still working out some kinks. Guess we'll just wait and see. [DroidForums, DroidAttic]

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4 years ago

HTC Merge (yeah, really) passes the FCC, still headed to Alltel?

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HTC Merge at the FCC

Hey, look at that. The HTC Merge -- which has been mostly MIA since we got our hands on it last fall -- has made it through the FCC as PG32100, which lends credence to the rumor that it might find a bit of life on Alltel. That's not quite the same as being released on Verizon. But it beats being killed off before ever touching consumer hands. [FCC via PocketNow]

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4 years ago

External battery review: 3GJuice Android Lunchbox (We've got 12 to give away!)

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3GJuice Android Lunchbox

We travel quite a bit, which means we're always looking for ways to keep our phones charged while on the go. And the folks at 3GJuice sent us a fun little charger to try out. It's called the Android Lunchbox, and it's a nifty little 1000mAh battery that can keep you going in a pinch.

First off, it's a tiny little thing, about 1.5-inches square, 5/8 of an inch thick, and weighs 1.5 ounces. So you can slip it in your pocket and not get goofy looks. The front of the battery has a mirror finish. When you're charging the Lunchbox, little red arrows tell you its progress, and they blink when it's all juiced up.

Then there's the shining feature. While most external batteries need to be charged using the old miniUSB plugs (not many phones use them anymore, so it's one more cable to carry), the Android Lunchbox charges with miniUSB and microUSB. Nice.

But wait, there's more. tucked inside a little rubber flap on the back are miniUSB and microUSB plugs for charging your devices. Handy, indeed, though don't try to charge two devices at once. And you'll need to remember that this only a 1000mAh battery -- most phones now have a 1500mAh battery (or thereabouts), so you're not going to get back to 100 percent from dead. But it's great for keeping topped off, or in an emergency. You can buy a 3GJuice Amazon Lunchbox on Amazon for $30.

We've got more pics of it in action after the break. And as a special treat, we've got a dozen of the Lunchboxes to give away! Head into the Android Central Forums to enter!

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4 years ago

Angry Birds update brings 30 new levels

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New Angry Birds levels

There are only a handful of things I like to be awakened by on a Saturday morning. One is the wife and kids. Another is a giant pile of pancakes. And a third is a massive update to Angry Birds, one that brings 30 new levels to the uber popular game. And such was the case this morning, as we now have "Ham 'Em High" to keep us occupied.

Go ahead and get your update on, or hit up the download link after the break if you've yet to play. And now, to go find those pancakes ...

Update: You might well have noticed that the app now says it needs/has permission to access your SMS messages. The developer, Rovio Mobile, tells us on Twitter that it "Must be a mistake in some permission file. Will get it sorted on Monday."

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4 years ago

Honeycomb on Nook Color rooted

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With wild (and unconfirmed) rumors swirling about the future of rooting on the Nook Color, those who already have one of the modded Android tablets just got some good news: the port of the Honeycomb preview that's running on the Nook Color can now be rooted.

Dev NuroSlam posted a method of installing the necessary su and busybox files, which will grant apps like Root Explorer, Titanium Backup, and SetCPU root access.  It still isn't working in conjunction with SuperUser app (which asks your permission for root), so you're missing that extra layer of precaution.  But if you're handy with a command line, check out our how-to root Nook Color Honeycomb thread and enjoy your rooted Honeycomb! [xda-developers]

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4 years ago

Sony Ericsson Neo breaks cover again, first hands-on appears

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Sony Ericsson Neo

Sony Ericsson hasn't even announced the Neo, but that didn't stop the good folks at Techradar from getting their hands on a unit.  Formerly known by the name Hallon, the SE Neo is the Android version of the Symbian powered Vivaz's unique form factor.  Ask anyone with a smartphone fetish and they'll probably agree that Sony Ericsson brings beautiful and very well designed hardware to the table.  The curved back and center mounted rear camera (8.1 MP) on the Neo are great examples of this.  The truth comes when you turn them on, though.  Techradar says that Timescape running on Gingerbread has been improved, but we'll have to withhold judgment until we get our hands on one.  In the meantime, head over to the source link and have a look.  You know you're as curious as we are.  [Techradar]

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4 years ago

'HTC Desire 2' appears in Vodafone Germany stock system

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HTC Desire 2 listing

An image of a listing for the "HTC Desire 2" in Vodafone Germany's stock system has emerged on German blog HTCInside.de. The device, with a product code of 00300446, is listed alongside current HTC phones such as the Desire Z and Desire HD.

Following the announcement of the Thunderbolt and Inspire 4G at CES last month there's been plenty of speculation about future European HTC handsets. The original HTC Desire was revealed for the first time at last year's Mobile World Congress. We'll have to wait and see whether a possible successor will emerge at this year's MWC, which runs from February 14-17. [HTCInside.de] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Market no longer installed; Push and Sync not working [from the forums]

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Android Forums at Android Central

TGIF! Been chaotic around here for Android news this week, and next week's Sprint event is coming up, erm, next week! If you happened to miss out on the podcast be sure to get caught up over the weekend. Also, take some time to hit up the forums today, tomorrow, whenever and don't be afraid to ask some questions of you have some problems that need sorting out.

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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