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4 years ago

Sony Mobile announces restructuring and layoffs

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Sony Mobile is to reorganize its affairs and reduce its workforce by around 15 percent, the company has announced. As part of these latest changes, Sony Mobile HQ will move from Lund, Sweden to Tokyo, Japan in October, resulting in the loss of around 650 jobs in the city, “primarily consultants,” Sony says. As part of its efforts to reduce costs across the board, Sony Mobile will lay off around 15 percent of its workforce (around 1000 people) by the end of its 2013 financial year in March 2014.

Additionally, Sony says it will “redefine the roles and responsibilities” of its global development sites in Lund, Tokyo and Beijing to “leverage the strengths of each respective site.” Lund will continue to be an important site for Sony Mobile, the company says, one primarily focused on software development.

With a tiny slice of the smartphone pie, and a negligible presence in the U.S. market, Sony Mobile will be hoping this restructuring, combined with its next round of Xperia smartphones and tablets (expected to be announced at IFA), will help growth and profitability.

We’ve got today’s press release in full after the break.

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4 years ago

Google Play Magazines updated with Nexus 7 and Jelly Bean fixes

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An update has just been pushed out to Google Play Magazines with a small but welcome set of improvements. Version 1.0.1 has home screen and library performance improvements, better recognition of available space for your magazines and bug fixes targeted at the Nexus 7 and Jelly Bean.

These kinds of updates aren't glamorous, but we're okay with that. Every once and a while you've got to get excited about the ones that bring stability to your apps too. If you're a magazine reader, hit the Play Store link above and get your update.

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4 years ago

HTC says it's not cutting Beats Audio from its devices

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This is pretty cut and dry, folks. HTC tells Android Central that a rumor going 'round today about it cutting Beats Audio out of its smartphones simply isn't true. Here's the full line from HTC:

"HTC remains strongly committed to Beats Audio and including their innovation in our devices. Any rumor of HTC no longer integrating Beats Audio into our devices is categorically false."

You may now feel free to plug in your headphones.

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4 years ago

Disappearing APN settings, Why should I buy a tablet? [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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4 years ago

Facebook for Android updated to include faster photo uploads, easier event creation

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A new Facebook for Android update is now rolling out and for those of you who like to share photos and events, this is one you'll want to ensure you get installed. The noted changes include easier event creation along with a faster photo upload flow and the capability of adding emoji and photos into messages.

That new flow they mention pertains to the fact you can upload multiple photos within messages as well as directly to your photo area on Facebook. Overall, a simple upgrade but a huge one if you share a lot of images or tend to create a lot of events.

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4 years ago

FBI shutting down pirated Android app sites, will continue to do so

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We've seen it happen with movie and music sites in the past but the The Department of Justice has now set their eyes on some newer forms of piracy out there. Android apps. With the help of Dutch and French law enforcement, the FBI has now seized three popular Android app sharing sites (Appbucket, Snappzmarket and Applanet) that offered illegal downloads.  As noted in their press release, they will continue to seize such sites as part of their cracking down on the piracy of copyrighted works :

“Cracking down on piracy of copyrighted works – including popular apps – is a top priority of the Criminal Division,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Software apps have become an increasingly essential part of our nation’s economy and creative culture, and the Criminal Division is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to protect the creators of these apps and other forms of intellectual property from those who seek to steal it.”

“Criminal copyright laws apply to apps for cell phones and tablets, just as they do to other software, music and writings. These laws protect and encourage the hard work and ingenuity of software developers entering this growing and important part of our economy. We will continue to seize and shut down websites that market pirated apps, and to pursue those responsible for criminal charges if appropriate,” said U.S. Attorney Yates.

I won't go into a rant about piracy on Android but it's there and people know it. Now, with The Department of Justice stepping in and closing some of the more prominent sites down hopefully this will convince others to start paying for the apps they really want. Besides, there is other reasons to not pirate apps aside from the money you'll be spending.

Source: DOJ; via: BGR

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4 years ago

Google Canada launches official blog to keep Canadians informed

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Although many folks may not be aware of it, Google actually has a few offices in Canada. Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo and Montreal are all homes to Google in Canada and finally, they've gone ahead and launched the official Google Canada blog. Chris O’Neill, Managing Director of Google Canada had the pleasure of doing up the first post and shared some details about what Google's plans are for the blog:

We'll be using this blog to share some of these stories from Canada and about Canadians, to make announcements about Google products and events, and to share a glimpse of life at Google in Canada. We’re going to keep it informal, even a little bit fun, with many different Canooglers—Canadian Googlers—posting to the blog.

We can only assume some of that focus will be Android driven at this point but for now, I've gone ahead and added it my RSS reader and if you're Canadian, you should as well.

Source: Google Canada; via: Mobile Syrup

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4 years ago

Skippable ads coming to YouTube mobile apps

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Google announced today on its Mobile Ad Blog that the full TrueView ad experience will be coming to YouTube mobile apps in the same way that it has rolled out to desktop users. TrueView is Google's fancy way of saying that users can skip a pre-roll advertisement after a short period of time if they don't like it. This provides both a better ad experience to the end users who don't want to see terrible ads and better feedback to the companies buying ad placement on videos.

The post points out that implementation of TrueView is still in testing, but early indications are that it is having the same positive effects that were seen when it was implemented on the desktop. Be sure to let us know in the comments if you're starting to see skippable ads in your videos.

Source: Google Mobile Ad Blog

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4 years ago

Google Play Music updated, brings Google TV support and expanded notifications in Jelly Bean

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The Google Play Music app has received an update, which brings a few welcome and overdue features. One new feature is the support for expanded notifications for Jelly Bean devices. One of our favorite features of Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) is the richer and more interactive notifications, so it's great to see more apps taking advantage.  Plus, Google Play Music is one of my most used apps, so I'm definitely glad that I'll be able to control and view more directly from my notification tray. Another new item is a quick link to your Nexus Q settings should you have the Nexus Q app installed.

The update also brings support for Google TV devices. When we received Sony's new Google TV box last month, we were astonished to find that the Google Play Music app was deemed 'incompatible'. It was frustrating to say the least; If you are buying a Google TV unit, you expect to be able to install the core Google apps. This update has corrected that and should make the app work with the newer Google TV models, such as the Sony box mentioned earlier and the Vizio Co-Star.

To get the update or the free app, hit up our Google Play Store link, and screenshots of the notifications and settings are after the break.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Rush hands-on

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Rather than letting Virgin Mobile steal the show, Boost Mobile also introduced a handful of new devices tonight, one being the Ice Cream Sandwich-powered Galaxy Rush. Unlike it's Galaxy counterpart on Virgin, this phone's got a 3.5-inch display, a 3 MP camera and a 1 GHz processor. This guy is noticeably less powerful than the Reverb, and its display is noticeably worse. However, for the $149.99 price tag, it'll be a tough device to beat, especially for those tantalized by the promise of $40 unlimited plans. The Rush will be available online and in stores in late September. Check it out below.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Reverb hands-on

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We're live in New York tonight where Samsung is teaming with Boost and Virgin Mobile to announce a bevy of new devices to flood the prepaid market in the coming weeks. First up is the Samsung Galaxy Reverb, a remarkably handsome little device that'll be available for preorder on Virgin Mobile starting on August 29. For $249.99 you'll get a 4-inch WVGA display (it looks great), a 5 MP camera, 4 GB of internal storage, and a 1.4 Ghz single-core processor. It's relatively thin and light at 128.7 grams and 11.30 mm thick, and it will run on Virgin's 3G EVDO Rev A network.

For a prepaid "budget" device, the Reverb is certainly packing a punch with that processor, and speeding through the homescreens felt fluid and smooth. The Reverb will thankfully ship with Ice Cream Sandwich, skinned with a TouchWiz that's not too different from just about every other recent Galaxy device. We'll put it through its paces in the coming weeks, but until then, you can check out our shots from this dimly lit bar below. The Reverb will hit shelves in mid-September.

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4 years ago

Boost Mobile announces the Samsung Galaxy S II 4G and the Galaxy Rush

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Boost Mobile has announced the addition of two new Android devices to their prepaid lineup, the Samsung Galaxy S II 4G, and the Samsung Galaxy Rush. The Galaxy S ii 4G looks pretty familiar with a 4.52-inch display, dual-core Samsung Exynos processor, and Wimax connectivity. It's pretty safe to say that this is a rebranded Samsung Galaxy S II, Sprint Epic 4G Touch. Thankfully, the name has been shortened but the features haven't. It still remains a popular phone on Sprint, and should be a big hit for folks looking for prepaid value, checking in at $370 dollars retail.

The Galaxy Rush is a bit more of a mystery, as all Boost is saying is that it's an "affordable Android 4.0 smartphone available late September for $149.99" with a 3.5-inch screen and front and rear cameras. Samsung makes many budget models in their Galaxy line, and this looks to fit right in.

Both phones can be activated on Boost's no-contract $55 Android Monthly Unlimited plan, which has a "shrinking payments" feature. For every six on-time payments, the cost of Boost Mobile’s Monthly Unlimited plan shrinks by $5, eventually getting down to as low as $40 a month for unlimited nationwide talk, text and data. 

The Galaxy S II 4G will be available starting Sep. 6, and the Galaxy Rush will follow later in the month. Read through for the full press release.

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4 years ago

From the Android Forums: Managing recovery versions

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Shiny Top asks in the Android Central forums,

I have two Galaxy Nexus phones, bought 3 weeks apart. I have uninstalled Rom Manager from both.

One, when I reboot into recovery, has CWM Recovery version 5.8.0.2 and the other has 6.0.1.0.1. The 5 version has larger letters and can be controlled by touch or volume and power button. The 6 version can only be controlled by the volume and power buttons. I don't know how to change the version and wonder if anybody can enlighten me. I prefer the 5 version if that matters.

We're glad you asked. There's two ways to install ClockworkMod recovery on your G Nex -- an easy way and a less-easy way. Let's hit the break and have a look at the methods.

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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4 years ago

US Cellular makes the Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G available today

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If you are a US Cellular customer who happens to be in the market for a new Android device featuring a physical QWERTY keyboard you will want to check out the Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G. Officially available as of today, this phone features a 4-inch Super AMOLED display and is powered by a 1GHz processor under the hood. With a 5MP camera on the back, and 1.3MP on the front the device is certainly capable of capturing your memories as they take place. The QWERTY keyboard offers five rows of separate keys, which is sure to help you answer those texts, emails, or shoot out a quick tweet without any delays. Additionally the Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G is also a 4G LTE device, so if US Cellular offers 4G LTE in your area you will now be able to take advantage of that.

The pricing of the device is a bit odd, but still reasonably priced. If you are in a 4G LTE market, or a market that will be live by the end of 2012 the device will run you $129 after the $100 mail in rebate currently available. If your area is not in the immediate 4G LTE plans the device will run you $179 after the same $100 mail in rebate.

Source: US Cellular

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4 years ago

AccuWeather for Android updated with Nexus 7 support

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The latest update to AccuWeather for Android brings several notable enhancements, the biggest of which is complete Nexus 7 support. The new 4x2 widget is quite nice actually, with a simple layout and basic white/black/blue color setup, showing the current time and weather, as well as today's and tomorrow's forecast. It's interesting to note that the design of the new widget is starkly different from the old 4x1 widget, which is still available. A quick list of the updated features can be found below.

  • Now supports Nexus 7
  • Includes a brand new (optional), beautiful, bigger widget with the clock
  • Fixed the rare maps issue on ICS devices
  • Simplified permissions as per user requests
  • Several other defect fixes including notifications, display and performance

If you're looking for another great weather app, especially if you have a Nexus 7, be sure to check out the Google Play Store link above. The app is free with ads, or $2.99 without.

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