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4 years ago

Texas Instruments getting ready to shift away from the smartphone chip business


Texas Instruments, possibly better known by most for their calculators than their smartphone chips, looks to be shifting away from the business of providing systems on a chip for smartphones and tablets. Some of the bigger names in processors, like Qualcomm and Samsung, have really run away with the top-of-the-line chip business, which has put TI in a tough position. Looking into the future, TI plans to move its focus from smartphones to hopefully more profitable areas such as the industrial and automobile sectors. Executives at the company indicate that they know the growth and profits may not be as strong as the smartphone arena, but should provide better stability in the long run.

Its really unfortunate to see TI move away from smartphones, as its chips have powered some of the best devices on the market, most recently the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and range of Kindle Fires. Instead of the next generation OMAP 5 platform competing for placement in tomorrow's smartphones, we may be looking at a market almost completely dominated by Qualcomm and Samsung chips.

Source: Reuters

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4 years ago

ADT 21 plugin preview 5 now available for download [Android development]


The Android developers crew has released a new build of the Android Developer Tools plugin for Eclipse, and ADT 21 preview 5 is now available for download. As the ADT is getting older and more robust, we're seeing less glamorous changes and more maintenance "stuff", but that doesn't mean this build isn't feature rich.

Improvements include pre-dexing of libraries and jar files to speed up build time, new lint checks, big changes in the way the layout editor displays, and the Eclipse IDE will now remember the previous mode and open ready for editing. Of course, it also includes the requisite "large number of bug fixes" that we would expect from any preview builds.

Of course a good many of you re scratching your head wondering what all this means, and that's OK. What you're seeing is a new version of the tools developers use to build and debug the awesome Android apps you find in Google Play. It's software geek stuff, but better tools means better apps. We all can get behind better apps.

If you're interested in taking the new ADT plugin for a spin, you'll need to be running Eclipse 3.6.2 or higher and the tools 21 preview. You can find the tools component update in the SDK manager by selecting the "Preview Tools" option, and you can grab the new ADT from the link below. Get coding!

Source: Google; via +Tor Norbye

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean factory images now available for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus


A few days back Verizon finally got the LTE Galaxy Nexus updated to Jelly Bean, and that means new factory images to play with. Google has updated the Nexus factory image page to include build JRO03O, which is unadulterated, pure Android and frankly sexy as hell. Ask anyone who just got the update -- Jelly Bean brings the Galaxy Nexus right up to the front of the smartphone pack, even with the "dated" hardware of the year-old Galaxy Nexus.

So, what does all this factory image stuff mean? Don't worry, it's nothing you have to fool with if you don't want to. It's a set of disk images that are flashable directly to the Galaxy Nexus hardware, to bring the phone back to a fully updated factory state. Think of it as a fail safe incase things get so screwed up that the path back is gone. It's great for hackers and flashers, but it's also a good thing to have on hand for regular folks as well. If you ever need them, there's people in the Verizon Nexus forums who enjoy nothing better than flashing phones, and they're ready to guide you. Hit the source link for the download.

Source: Google

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4 years ago

ASUS Transformer Primes in Sweden getting Jelly Bean update


ASUS Sweden has taken to Facebook and let everyone know that users of the Transformer Prime in Sweden should be seeing an OTA update to Jelly Bean available. While there is no word on other areas, this is a good sign that ASUS is prepared to roll the update out en masse shortly. My own source "close to the matter" says we should see it in the U.S. in early October should everything go well in Sweden.

Along with the obvious perks of Jelly Bean, ASUS wants to remind everyone that they will be losing Adobe Flash official support, and that the Jelly Bean update will remove Wifi-Direct from the Prime. On that note, they also say no users will be forced to accept this update.

If you're rooted and ROM'ed, ignore all this and be ready for better custom work from your favorite developer. If you're not, you can check for the update from the device settings -- let us know if you see it!

Source: ASUS. Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Water-resistant, LTE-connected Sony Xperia V tipped for December launch


As Sony prepares to launch the Xperia T in the UK this week, eyes are already on the T's quirky sibling, the Xperia V. Unveiled alongside the Xperia T at IFA last month, the V boasts water resistance and LTE connectivity, in addition to similar internals to the Sony flagship. The screen's been shrunk down to a 4.3-inch panel, although the resolution remains the same, at 1280x720.

Today a Swedish retailer has given us our first tentative Xperia V release date and price point. is now listing the Xperia V as available for pre-order, with a price tag of SEK 4299 (around $650) and a release date of Dec. 3. That's a long time to wait for Sony fans, who'll have plenty to tempt them in the fourth quarter. We'll be crossing our fingers for an earlier release, as it's not every day you see LTE, a 720p screen and water resistance in a single handset.

Tempted by a high-end waterproof device like this? Shout out in the comments.

Source:, via: XperiaBlog

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4 years ago

Replacement Google: In case the real thing goes on strike


We won't spoil the surprise. Hit the source link below and get searchin'. 

Source: Replacement Google; via @CharlesApple

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4 years ago

How to tell if your Samsung phone is vulnerable to today's USSD hack


A quick way to tell if your Samsung phone is at risk, and what to do if it is 

There's a lot of confusion as to exactly which Samsung phones are affected by today's big scary USSD vulnerability, which could cause some phones to factory reset themselves upon visiting a malicious web page. Some Galaxy S2 and S3-class phones are susceptible, others less so. In some cases it depends if you're running the latest firmware or not. In others, there's no patched firmware available yet.

Samsung will surely be hard at work rolling out fixes for devices that remain susceptible, but in the meantime we've got a quick, easy to tell if your phone is at risk, without taking the plunge and running the malicious code itself. Find out more after the break.

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4 years ago

How we'd improve the Nexus Q


The Google Nexus Q is the coolest sphere sitting atop our entertainment center. OK, so it's the only sphere we've got. And despite how cool it looks, and its great build quality, it really doesn't do all that much, especially when you consider its $299 price tag.

Of course, that was before Google decided to shelve the Nexus Q, ceasing sales and giving away a free sphere to anyone who preordered. Now it sits in a state of limbo as Google works "on making it even better." Maybe it'll return. Maybe it won't. We're holding out hope.

So how would we improve the Nexus Q? We've got a few ideas.

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4 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich finally coming to the Motorola Atrix 2 - but first, a soak test!


Update: We've confirmed that this, indeed, is the Ice Cream Sandwich soak test. Huzzah!

Good news, everyone! Maybe. There apparently is a soak test going out for the Motorola Atrix 2 this afternoon. Is it the long-awaited Ice Cream Sandwich update? Dunno, and Motorola's site still just says "Further plans coming soon." We'll keep our fingers crossed, though.

Here's the text of the message:

Thanks for signing up for the Atrix 2 software test. Our apologies for the delay in starting this test! The software will begin to be pushed out later this afternoon; however, it may take several hours for all targeted devices to receive the update.

We're eager to hear your feedback. Please share your experience on the private community provided, and via the survey I will send out after you've had some time to work with the software.

To ensure we hear you, please follow these guidelines:

  • Please post all your feedback in our private community (link below). This also where you'll find help during the soak.
  • Please do not call or contact Motorola, AT&T or your carrier support for help during the soak. Those teams are not yet ready to support this software.
  • I'm not able to check private messages on the forums during soaks, so if you need immediate help that's not a good route to take. Post in the community instead.
  • If you have any problems accessing the private community, please click here for help.
  • Please do not post questions publicly, on our site or elsewhere.

Please start your visit to the private community here. You'll find additional important information in the Welcome message as soon as you sign in. (Note that you will not be able to post in the public communities during the soak test.)

Thanks so much for your participation! We really appreciate your time and insights.

Keep your ears to the ground, folks.

More: Atrix 2 forums; Thanks, anon

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4 years ago

Now playing: 10-Pin Shuffle


I'm a sucker for bowling games. Always have been. (It's part of the reason I've kept the Zune HD around for so long.) This week I've been playing 10-Pin Shuffle, which as the name implies is a shuffle-bowling game. The app itself is free, but it's limited to just one poker-style game until you cough up a few bucks via an in-app purchase.

Game play is simple enough -- flick the puck forward. It's also plenty smooth, and the graphics are decent. Not great, but good enough for some quick play. Give the free version a shot before paying, though, and see if this one's up your ally.

Also available on Amazon and Nook.

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4 years ago

Barnes & Noble brings its own streaming video this fall


Those of you rocking a Nook Tablet will have more video options in the weeks and months ahead. Barnes & Noble this morning announced Nook Video, which will stream, erm, video from HBO, Sony, STARZ, Viacom, Warner Bros. and Disney to the Android-based e-reader. That brings it a little more in tune with the likes of Amazon's Kindle Fire, which long has taken advantage of streaming video

Also, you'll be able to link your purchases of physical DVD and Blue-ray discs to your Nook via UltraViolet, making the deal that much sweeter.

Customers in the U.S. will get Nook Video this fall; those in the UK have to wait until the holiday season.

Source: Barnes & Noble

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4 years ago

Indestructible brings free multiplayer demolition derby to Android


Glu has just launched a free-to-play multiplayer game on Google Play called Indestructible. It puts players in the driver's seat of some dangerous vehicles, and pits them against others online. More often than not, they're just cars with all manner of dozer blades, laser cannons, and armor plating riveted to them, but you'll also see armored personnel carriers, hovercraft, and semi trailers. game modes include the good old-fashioned deathmatch, capture the flag, and a collection game type called recover the charge. As you play through, you earn experience points, level up, upgrade skills, and unlock new gear for your various cars. 

Those of you that are worried that this is a pay-to-win scenario, don't be. I hopped into a game last night, and came out on top even though I was using the bare-bones entry-level vehicle. Some of the upgrades are really sweet, and the four-player action ran nice and smooth on my Nexus 7. 

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia acro S now available unlocked in the U.S.


The Xperia acro S has been hanging out in the Sony online store for a few weeks marked as coming soon, and today it goes on sale for $599.99 unlocked. 

Just as a reminder, the Xperia acro S is a solid mid-range phone with respectable (if not top-of-the-line) specs. 

  • 4.3-inch 1280 x 720 display
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor and 1 GB of RAM
  • Android Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 11.9 mm thin
  • 12.1 megapixel camera with LED flash
  • Waterproof coating

You can get a quick glimpse of the device over here in our hands-on time at IFA, or dive into the official product page. The Xperia acro S definitely looks like a high-grade piece of equipment, but how many people will realistically be buying it unlocked? How much longer will it be until we hear some carrier announcements? Would any of you be interested in picking this one up if it was subsidized? 

Anyone with the coin can pick up the Sony Xperia acro S online here with black and white models available. 

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4 years ago

Major security vulnerability in some Samsung phones could trigger factory reset via web page


Update, 09/26: Samsung has told us that the latest Galaxy S3 firmware fixes this exploit. Our own testing has shown other phones, particularly Galaxy S2 models, may still be at risk, however. If you're still concerned, you can check our USSD vulnerability test to see if your phone is vulnerable.

A major security vulnerability has been discovered in some TouchWiz-based Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy S2 and certain Galaxy S3 models on older firmware. The bug was first demonstrated days ago by security researcher Ravi Borgaonkar at the Ekoparty security conference. It involves the use of a single line of code in a malicious web page to immediately trigger a factory reset without prompting the user, or allowing them to cancel the process. Even more serious is the possibility that this could be paired with a similar glitch to render the user's SIM card inoperable. And as the malicious code is in URI form, it can also be delivered via NFC or QR code.

Our Verizon Galaxy S3 was not reset by the malicious code embedded in a web page, though we were able to trigger a reset using similar code tied to a hyperlink. Mobile dev Justin Case tells us the issue is fixed in the latest AT&T and international Galaxy S3 firmwares, though devices that have not been updated may remain vulnerable. Others have reported that devices like the Galaxy Ace and Galaxy Beam are also affected. As far as we can tell, though, the bug does not affect Samsung phones running stock Android, like the Galaxy Nexus.

The vulnerability is the result of the way the native Samsung dialer app handles USSD codes and telephone links. USSD codes are special combinations of characters that can be entered in the keypad to perform certain functions, like enabling call forwarding, or accessing hidden menus on the device. On Samsung phones, there's also a USSD code for factory resetting the phone (and presumably another for nuking your SIM). This, combined with the fact that the dialer automatically runs telephone links that are passed to it by other apps, results in a particularly nasty issue for anyone unfortunate enough to run by a malicious web page.

There are, of course, other applications of this glitch -- for example, the ability to automatically run numbers through the dialer could be used to call premium-rate phone numbers. But the fact that just visiting a web site could factory reset your phone, wipe your internal storage and nuke your SIM is a very serious issue. So we'd advise you update your software if you're running an S3, and if you're not, we'd recommend using a third-party dialer like Dialer One until all this has blown over.

We've reached out to Samsung for comment on this issue, and we'll keep you updated with any information they provide.

Source: @Paul Olvia; via SlashGear, @backlon, @teamandirc

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4 years ago

Samsung reportedly developing its own mobile browser, just as it always has done


The Internet's in a bit of a tizzy this morning over reports from a Korean news that Samsung has begun development of its own WebKit-based mobile browser, to be used in future smartphones. ETNews reports that Samsung's browser will be offered as an alternative to Google Chrome on mobile. WebKit, of course, is the open-source software at the core of many mobile and desktop browsers, including Chrome, the native Android browser, and Safari. Today's report says Samsung has recruited several "WebKit professionals" in order to accelerate its browser efforts. The project is said to be based out of the Samsung Information Systems America R&D Center in Silicon Valley.

While this would be a fairly noteworthy development, it's not as big a deal as you might think. Google has been pushing Chrome as the default browser for Android for a while now, and it comes pre-loaded on upcoming phones like the RAZR M and RAZR HD, as well as Samsung's own Galaxy Camera. Samsung's already shown that it wants to foster its own ecosystem rather than relying on Google's. Competing Samsung and Google services are numerous -- Music Hub versus Play Music, Video Hub versus Play Videos and TV, Samsung Apps versus Play Store. So with Google taking the initiative to push Chrome center stage, a reaction from Samsung was only natural.

But today's news is only a natural progression of the work Samsung's been doing on its own native Android browser for the past several years. If you examine the bundled browser on a Samsung phone, you'll find it's quite far from the stock Android browser. Samsung was the first to introduce tiled rendering on Android in the Galaxy S2, and on the Galaxy S3 it offered its own unique tab control and power saving options. Other Android OEMs have done the same, so in a way they all have their own mobile browsers. And with Chrome replacing the stock browser as the default on Android handsets, we wouldn't be terribly surprised to see the likes of HTC and LG follow a similar path.

It's possible Samsung might be developing its browser from the ground up, based upon WebKit, though today's article is light on technical details like this. What we think is more likely is that we'll find Samsung's own S Browser, based upon the speedy stock Jelly Bean browser, made available alongside Chrome on future Samsung Android handsets. And really, that's not all that different from the way things work right now.

Source: ETNews, via SamMobile

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