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3 years ago

Carphone Warehouse to carry Sony Xperia T, expected September

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The Xperia T is the pick of the Sony smartphones announced yesterday at IFA 2012 in Berlin. The 4.6 inch Ice Cream Sandwich device is likely to turn a few heads, and we're starting to get the first information on where and when the Xperia T will be available. 

High Street UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has thrown up a pre-registration page for the Xperia T, announcing their plans to stock Sony's new flagship. While it may launch with Android 4.0.4, Sony has confirmed that an upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean will be made available following the launch of the device. We haven't any detailed timing on that, but it does make the Xperia T even more attractive. 

No pricing information is provided at this time, but Carphone Warehouse expects the Xperia T to be available some time in September. 

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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3 years ago

Newly unveiled Sony Xperia J heading to Three UK

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It isn't all that long since the Sony press conference at IFA 2012, but already we're starting to see the first signs of carriers picking up some of the new devices. Three UK has announced their intentions to carry the more budget orientated Xperia J on the network. 

Sadly no pricing or release schedule information is available at this time, only that the Xperia J will be "coming soon." In their own teaser video for the device, Three specifically mentions the 4-inch screen, and that it is the biggest screen available at this price point. Certainly, if it hits the right price point the Xperia J makes a compelling case for a budget buy. 

We've got lots more still to come from IFA 2012, so stay tuned to Android Central for all the best as we get it. 

Source: Three UK

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3 years ago

PayPal updated with refreshed UI

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Although the previous version of the PayPal app was functional, it wasn't going to win any design awards. It was clearly something from a previous era -- one where phones had menu buttons to be specific. Luckily the latest version has undergone quite a bit of a makeover, following a few of the latest Android design guidelines for 4.x devices. Gone is the legacy menu button, replaced by an overflow settings button in the top action bar. The app now looks like it follows more of a "holo" UI, with separate tabs at the top of the app, but unfortunately looks can be deceiving and the only way to switch between tabs is to select them directly. It's understandable that each app will tailor the guidelines to their own needs though.

Overall, it's great to see another app developer putting in the time to update and follow the latest guidelines. The apps look and perform better, especially as a higher percentage of users move up to Android 4.0 and above. Hit the Google Play link above to download or update the app on your device.

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3 years ago

IFA 2012 pre-event day 1 wrap-up

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IFA 2012 may not have officially started yet, but for Android fans today was a pretty big day. We saw a lot of news from Sony and Samsung, and of course Alex and Richard were right there to bring it all to those of us watching from home. We're looking forward to tomorrow and beyond (you never know what you might see from the show floor), but let's have a look at todays news in case you missed any of it.

The day started with the rocking music and dazzling light show that was Sony's IFA 2012 press conference. There was three big items on the agenda, the Xperia T, the Xperia V, and the entry-level Xperia J. The Xperia T looks like Sony means business this year, with it's 4.6-inch Reality HD display and the V comes in close behind with a 4.3-inch Bravia display of its own and LTE on board. The J looks to be a really solid offering for the teen in your life or a first-time smartphone purchase, and if priced right could be worth taking a good look at. Check them all out here, and be sure to have a look at the Xperia Tablet S hands-on and the Xperia TX hands-on previews. 

We'll also get a good look at the Xperia T in the hands of the Crown's best man, Mr. James Bond, in the upcoming Skyfall film. Marketing -- that's how you move product.

Sony wasn't happy with three new phones though, as they also announced the "splash-proof" Sony Xperia Tablet S. Looking a lot like its predecessor, the Tablet S features the NVIDIA Tegra 3 under the hood and will offer a full suite of accessories. Be on the lookout for things like keyboard covers, stands, docks, and speakers. We can't wait to get our hands on this one!

As soon as Sony was done showing off, the fellas had to jet on over to see what Samsung had in store for their Mobile Unpacked 2012 show. With typical Samsung flair we got a look at two big new devices -- the Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy Camera.

The Galaxy Note 2 looks to be a worthy successor to this years model, which ended up being quite the hit for Samsung globally. Its 5.5-inch 720p SuperAMOLED HD display hides the quad-core CPU and 2GB of RAM. Running Jelly Bean makes this a device to consider. We'll be looking at this one in more detail as soon as Samsung makes the units available, but for now be sure to check out the hands-on from Berlin.

Maybe the most intriguing thing we saw today was the Galaxy Camera. It's a premium point and shoot, featuring a f2.8 23mm lens with a 21x optical zoom, that shoots 16.3MP pictures. Add in a 4.7-inch touchscreen, Samsung's TouchWiz (based on Android 4.1), and all sorts of wireless connectivity and you've got our interest. Make no mistake -- this isn't Samsung attempting to make a "gimmiky" phone. This is a quality point and shoot camera that uses Android as its operating system. Android was designed for this sort of usage, and we're excited to see it done. Have a look at the hands-on with the Galaxy Camera while we wait for release and pricing info. 

And last but not least, you need to check out the IFA 2102 Podcast special, where Phil, Dan, Alex and Richard get down and dirty with everything we've heard so far. Be sure to keep an eye on Android Central, 'cause IFA 2012 is just getting started! 

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3 years ago

Google Now updated in the Google Play Store - Expands support for movies, sports and more

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For those of you making use of an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean device and wondering when Google Now might be updated with some new features, we now know. The latest update has gone live in the Google Play Store and is ready for download. The changelog is more so an expansion of features that already existed, though there is a few new things as well:

For Android 4.1+ (Jelly Bean) devices, this update to Google Now includes:

  • Movies - see movie showtimes and more
  • Public alerts - receive emergency messages such as storm warnings and earthquake alerts
  • Add favorite sports teams to follow in real time (from Settings)
  • Support for Korea

As some may have noticed, sports team access was there previously but it was never active, so now it is. Also, Public Alerts used to come through Google Maps, they'll now also come through Google Now. it's a nice update, so be sure to grab it.

Source: Android

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3 years ago

IFA 2012 Podcast Special Day 1

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Audio-only stream below

Alex and Richard check in from IFA 2012 in Berlin, as Phil and Dan Rubino from WPCentral.com lend a hand. We've got the latest on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, the Samsung Galaxy Camera, and more from Sony!

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia TX hands-on preview

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It's been an epic wait for the Sony Xperia TX, first rumored back in January under the codename "Hayabusa." Today we finally saw Sony's late 2012 flagship in the flesh, and it's brought in a whole heap of welcome changes. First up is ICS out of the box, complete with on-screen buttons to satisfy Android purists. There's also a 13MP BSI rear camera, promising improvements over the 12MP sensor in the Xperia S, and a 4.6-inch 720p HD LCD display, which looks as good as any smartphone screen we've seen. There's a lot to dig into in the latest Sony flagship, and we've kicked things off with a quick hands-on preview video. We'll have more from the TX, and the other new members of the Xperia family, from IFA in Berlin later this week.

More from the day's developments in Germany at our IFA 2012 portal

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Tablet S hands-on preview

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Sony announced its Xperia Tablet S today at IFA in Berlin, Germany, and we were on hand to take the new ICS-powered tab for a spin. At the new Sony booth, we found a slimmer, sleeker successor to last year's Tablet S, with a Tegra 3 CPU and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich running the show. Sony's also re-vamped its tablet UI, incorporating elements from its smartphone UX, and building features like windows apps on top of ICS. We've also got a full complement of Sony Entertainment Network content, including PlayStation support and a new Walkman music player.

Check out some quick first impressions in the post above. We'll have more later this week as part of our continuing IFA 2012 coverage.

More from the day's developments in Germany at our IFA 2012 portal

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3 years ago

Falcon review - a sharp, customizable Twitter home screen widget

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Falcon is a really great homescreen widget for Twitter. It follows closely in line with the Android design guidelines while still having its own distinct style.  The widget is fully resizable and offers a handful of solid color choices and layouts. It still carries a beta tag, so Falcon is totally free, but still a work-in-progress.

The full complement of standard functions are available, including replying, retweeting (both native and quoted), favoriting, and sharing tweets via the system-wide menu. Conversations are threaded, though the tweets within the thread don’t have in-line reply/retweet/favorite controls, which is occasionally an issue.

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3 years ago

Watch the entire Samsung Mobile Unpacked event from IFA

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Perhaps you caught our coverage of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, or the Samsung Galaxy Camera, or our liveblog of the Unpacked straight from the source in Berlin. If you want to watch the entire event, though, here it is, in living color. Check it out after the break.

More: Our complete IFA 2012 coverage

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3 years ago

Hey, look - another Nexus 7 commercial

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Pretty much looks like my kids, actually.

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3 years ago

Cricket's Muve Music service will be bundled with all Android plans starting September 2nd

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Back in January, Cricket announced that its music service, Muve Music, surpassed 500,000 users. That number is about to increase as the wireless provider announced that the service will now come bundled with all of its Android plans.

The new package takes effect September 2nd, so any Android plan purchased from Cricket after that will come with Muze Music.  It's a pretty good deal, especially considering the fact that the cheapest plans start at $50/month.

If you're a Cricket customer and have been considering Muve Music but haven't yet pulled the trigger, a good time to try it out is after Sept. 2. Full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 9.1 stable builds going out with SimplyTapp NFC integration

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If you're looking to give CyanogenMod 9.1 a go, you'll find something new built into the ROM's. As noted on the CyanogenMod blog, CyanogenMod 9.1 compatible devices with NFC will bring integration with Tapp powered by SimplyTapp. The joint partnership was born back at the beginning of CyanogenMod 9 and is now being introduced to allow payments from your smartphone with just a tap:

  • To Sign-up – flash CM9.1 on your NFC capable device, and get the Tapp app
  • Costs – It is between $0 and $5 to get an NFC card. That all depends on the card or cards you select.
  • Cards supported – At the moment you can sign up for a Tapp Anywhere Card (like a gift card with a fixed balance), CyanogenMod Tapp Card (Reloadable), as well as various store cards (depending on location).
  • Security – Card credentials are stored in the cloud and enabled to the point-of-sale via standard security mechanisms. By evolving from the plastic card model, this keeps your credentials (aka payment information) secure, accessible by only you, and only when you need them.

Supported devices include Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S (4G), Samsung Galaxy S2 and pretty much any other devices supported by CyanogenMod 9.1 with NFC. Stable builds of CyanogenMod 9.1 are rolling out right now, so if you're interested in learning more about SimplyTapp or testing out CyanogenMod 9.1, you'll find the links below.

Source: CM Blog, Download CM 9.1

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3 years ago

Qmadix Snap-On Cover and holster review - two kickstands and modern style

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The Qmadix snap-on cover is a slim snap-on case with a sharp style and a kickstand that supports your device in either landscape or portrait orientation. It comes with a snug-fitting slide-out holster that has a nice felt interior to protect the screen and a lockable clip to use it as a kickstand as well.

The open front face limits a lot of the protection the Qmadix snap-on case has to offer. Sure, the rear is fine, but the corners are a bit of a toss-up, and the top and bottom are completely open. that said, the major utility you’re getting from the Qmadix shell are a cool look and a kickstand (unless, for some reason, you’re really interested in keeping the rear of your device in pristine condition).

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3 years ago

Audiobooks.com launches new Android app, offers all you can eat for a small fee

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If you dig audio books over their other physical and digital counterparts, then you might be interested to know audiobooks.com has now launched a new app for their customers. The app is available as a free download from the Google Play Store but in order to make full use of it, you'll need to sign up for a subscription.

Luckily, Audiobooks gives you a free trial to start off with offering an 'all you can eat' selection of audio books for 7 days wherein after that time, you'll be liable to pay $25/mnth. You can stream audio books from the app, your computer and more importantly there is a no hassle cancelation policy that goes along with it. Don't like it, cancel any time.

Learn more about Audiobooks.com

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