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4 years ago

Samsung doing... something... at Phones4U in London on March 30

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Everyone start the rumor mill rolling. The photograph seen here was snapped by a reader over at ​Eurodroid, and shows the current window dressing at Phones4U, on Oxford Street in London. It appears that something Samsung related will coming to them on March 30. That'll be this coming Friday, then.

The first thing to note is that this is the flagship Phones4U store. The same store that had an initial exclusivity to sell the Galaxy Nexus at launch (at an extortionate £100 mark-up over the RRP, we might add). Being a store as well, it's pretty unlikely (though not impossible) that they're advertising some kind of launch event. It's more likely that they're preparing to sell a new Samsung device. There's also a good chance that it's something we've already seen, and that this is just a marketing exercise on the part of both companies. 

At this point, we know that a whole lot of you would hope and pray that we're going to see the Galaxy S III. But we aren't. Really. Let's not forget that this is a phone store in London. Samsung's last major London event was at the slightly more impressive Battersea Power Station, where the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Nexus were both on show. Taking all this into account, we're going to take a punt on this and say that it's likely to be something mid or low range. 

In an effort to stifle the speculation, we reached out to Phones4U to see if they could shed any light on what's going on. The official comment, is that at this time there is no official comment, but that we should watch this space. We only have to wait 5 days, and then we'll know. We'll contain our excitement for the moment -- chances are it's probably just the Galaxy Beam, or one of Samsung's many other mid-range devices.

Source: Eurodroid

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Quick hits

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It's a working weekend, so here are a few quick thoughts to keep things moving:

  • Picked up the Kindle Fire again this week. Google should be praising it publicly as being a shining example of what Android can do. And we should be, too. What Amazon has done with the Kindle Fire will do more for Android as a whole than 37 versions of a Samsung tablet will. You might not see it this year, but it's no doubt lighting some fires under folks.
  • Speaking of Samsung. How many devices do they have? How many do they have coming? Not every leak or every rumored event has to be the mythical Galaxy S III. (Nor can they be.)
  • Same goes for random Motorola phones coming out of China. I don't think those of us in the states have any sort of real appreciation for just how many models are manufacturered for Asian markets.
  • If you care at all about the AT&T version of the HTC One X, I'd keep an eye on this thread. Testers dropping deets.
  • Kinda sorta actually getting excited to try Instagram for Android. At least to see what the fuss is all about. Be sure to sign up for their mailing list so you'll know when it's released. Or, you know, read Android Central. (Or probably just stick your head out a window that day.)
  • Or I could just go try it on my wife's iPhone 4S, I guess.
  • Nahhhh.
  • If you're interested in design, the latest Iterate podcast is pretty killer.
  • And the more I think about it, the more we need to stop talking about "skins." They're really not a second UI on top of another UI.
  • Don't forget, general sales for Google IO tickets start Tuesday morning. Shouldn't last long.
  • I think I might have been a little hard on the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G, at least when it comes to the hardware. (And an early typo in the specs didn't help matters any.) It definitely deserves a look if someone's in search of a mid-level Android smartphone. (I also think I might not have been hard enough on the ridiculous name.)

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4 years ago

Iterate Podcast Episode 17: de With

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Marc, Rene, and Seth iterate about the new iPad Retina display, Photoshop touch, Jonathan Ive, the Android UI template, Android Niceties, and the Google Play rebranding, and interrogate Sebastiaan de With. This is Iterate!

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4 years ago

OMGPOP detail forthcoming update to Draw Something

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The latest "must-have" app on the block, is without question OMGPOP's insanely addictive Draw Something. Currently it occupies the top spot in the free, and paid app sections of the Android Market Google Play Store. It's even got the AC staff hooked in -- that's a bonfire I've drawn in case you were wondering. Not resting on their laurels though, the developers have outlined a few pieces that will be arriving soon in a forthcoming update. 

An email that landed in our inbox today details what we can expect. First out of the gate is a whole bunch of bug fixes. Seems there are a variety of bugs affecting players, including crashes, problems completing turns and coins, colors and bombs not displaying -- and sometimes you really need one of those bombs. The good news though, these will all be fixed when the update lands. 

But what about new features? Well, we're due a few of those as well. On the list are:

  • Sharing drawings on Twitter and Facebook
  • Save drawings to your devices' photo library
  • Notifications for Android devices
  • Increase of the max streak from 99 to 999
  • Pull down to refresh game status
  • Undo button for your last brush stroke
  • Even better performance
  • More Words
  • A slew of other fixes and tweaks

The extra dose of social integration definitely shouldn't come as a surprise. Certainly looks like we're about to see a whole lot of 'masterpieces' up and down our timelines. Notifications should be pretty good though. One can only assume that we'll get a handy little notification that our opposing players have sent us something to guess at.  

If you haven't yet succombed to the world of Draw Something, we've a handy download link to the free version after the break. Don't forget to check out our review of it as well, just in case you're still not convinced. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to try and draw the Amazon. 

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4 years ago

AT&T's HTC One X test units in the wild, AC forums member weighs in

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We're waiting patiently (mostly because we have no choice) for AT&T to sell us the HTC One X, and now we can drool over and talk to a fellow who's testing one for AT&T in the Android Central forums. Phonegeek (perfect name) has a One X in his hands and has let us in on a little bit of info, and is getting us even more excited for a release.

The AT&T version uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, and has 16GB internal storage. This is different from the international version, but is necessary to include the LTE radio. The S4 is no slouch though. Look in the thread and you'll see it rules the benchmark arena, handily beating out the Galaxy Nexus (and everything else) in both Quadrant and Browser benchmarking tool Vellamo. Benchmarks aside, the new generation of processor from Qualcomm means that this phone will perform like no other. One day, everyone will make chips and radios that work on all networks, but in the meantime HTC (like Samsung) has made sure that as far as performance goes, there is no difference between versions.

It looks as good as it operates, which is just as important. The speaker grill is slightly different, but otherwise it's the same One X we saw in Spain at MWC, and that's a good thing. Phonegeek also compares it to the HTC Inspire 4G, and it checks in a full 1.5 ounces lighter at about the same thickness. We're digging that, as sometimes too thin is just too thin. Also, be sure to check out a great picture taken with the new HTC camera setup and ImageSense software, which looks as good as we expected it to be. It's clear, in 2012 HTC is once again a force to be reckoned with. We wouldn't want it any other way.

Latest word is mid-May for release, and we can't wait. Hit the link below and have a look!

Source: Android Central forums

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4 years ago

Instagram for Android: Sign up now to find out when you can get it

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By now you should all know exactly why you want Instagram on Android so bad, and you are all probably dying to know when it will come. Well the folks at Instagram have opened up a sign up page for Android users to be notified about the progress and when it is available. While we aren't sure whether this is just to be made aware of when it is released, or to be part of the beta, but either way you won't want to miss out. The process is simple, click on the link below and then enter your email address. Just like that you will be registered to be notified of whatever Instagram has in the works for us. Here's to hoping for a release soon!

Sign up for Instagram for Android Information
Source: Instagram

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for March 24, 2012

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You love apps, right? Well, let me warn you -- this week we got a ton of them for you. So, without any further delays let's hit the break together and check out some of our favorites from this week.

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4 years ago

Required reading: CyanogenMod team Q&A

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There's some great stuff coming out of the CyanogenMod camp over the past week, and we're not talking about an alpha version of some phone long forgotten. No, this one comes in the form of a lengthy Q&A session that gives great insight into how the community project works.

You can guess where a lot of the questions lead -- "When will my device be supported?" ... "Why isn't my device supported?" ... "What devices are next?" ... and so on and so forth. But there's once answer that particularly stood out, because it's one we get asked a lot, too. In a nutshell, it's why can the CM team get updates of next-gen Android versions released for phones before carriers and manufacturers.

The answer:

  1. We aren’t trying to ‘beat’ anybody; such an idea leads to a lot of broken ROMs and potentially broken phones. That said, we do have fewer resources, but we also have less to upkeep. CyanogenMod is created as one large OS, a standardized image across all devices we support. The OEMs, for competition purposes, don’t do this – they need features that sell. Quite frankly, in some cases, it isn’t in their interest to update devices either. If they did, who would buy the next generation that comes out in 6-8 months time?
  2. “Continuity” for us is actually easier to maintain, if for nothing else than the points in response #1
  3. The carriers do take long to test, because they have to certify both the hardware and software aspects of the device, and go through a number of legal (FCC, for instance) and partner (operators and Google) certification stages before release. Devices that destroy their network towers or cause issues are no benefit to them. CyanogenMod gets the phones at the end of the chain – they have already proven to be network compliant, and we don’t have to worry about carrier requirements. We code our features to minimally alter the network connectivity as well. As for testing they have a Q&A division, with unknown (though likely not large amounts) of testers. We have nightlies that we utilize as our testing; so in our release cycles, there is actually a lot of time built in for testing.

The answer in and of itself is important, but we're equally happy to see the CM team remind us all that by far the bulk of the code in a CM release is written by someone other than the CyanogenMod team. Or, as they put it, "CyanogenMod gets the phones at the end of the chain – they have already proven to be network compliant, and we don’t have to worry about carrier requirements." There are a lot of hands that go into putting out any Android update. And not having to answer to carrier, manufacturer and governmental testing absolutely speeds the process.

The entire Q&A is a must-read and can be found here. More: +CyanogenMod

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4 years ago

MyFitnessPal [Android App Review]

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One of the hardest pieces to the fitness puzzle is eating healthy, and paying attention to what you are consuming on a daily basis. While many of us think what we are eating isn't all that bad for you, most of the time we are completely wrong unfortunately. Today's society makes it so easy to grab a burger on the go, eat a chocolate bar in place of a lunch, and not only is it easier but it is also cheaper.  Since many of us don't know how many calories are in the average meal or any of the other nutritional facts we look to applications to help keep us informed, and that is where MyFitnessPal comes into play.

Taking control of what you eat is extremely important, and unfortunately if it is something that requires to much time it is something you are not likely to do. After downloading MyFitnessPal an account needs to be created with some basic personal information such as your height, weight, and gender. This information is very important, and you will want to input accurate information in, as this will actually help create your daily goals. After you enter the basic information it will ask how active you are on a daily basis, whether you have a desk job or an active job, and then it will also ask whether you wish to maintain, lose or gain weight.

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4 years ago

Android Central international round-up - March 24, 2012

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As we published our definitive review of the Sony Xperia S, many of the week's main stories focused on two highly-anticipated unreleased devices -- the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III.

Earlier reports of an April 5 launch for HTC's new One series were apparently confirmed by news of a launch party in Paris that evening. And we saw a couple more dubious images claiming to show Samsung's next big thing. And towards the end of the week, we got a first look at the Samsung GT-i9300, a buttonless mystery device running Ice Cream Sandwich and TouchWiz.

In software update news, the roll-out of Android 4.0 for the Samsung Galaxy S II continued, and news arrived of an upcoming "premium suite" for the international Galaxy Note, including new stylus apps, ICS and Angry Birds Space.

Check some highlights from past week's Android developments in Europe, Asia and beyond in the list below. And if you've got international news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

Special Features

News

 

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4 years ago

Flight Track gets update for ICS, bugfixes

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Flight Track -- an indispensable app for those of us who go places to do things for a living -- just got itself a sizable (if slightly cryptic) update. First, the changelog:

  • Customizable time zones for flight times
  • Added calendar-style date selection (phone)
  • Significant reduction in app size
  • ICS-based enhancements (phone and tablet)
  • Missing string localizations for some languages
  • Minor bug fixes

And now, a little tough love: We're not quite sure what these "ICS-based enhancements" are, but we know one thing: Flight Track is still using the legacy menu design that is supposed to be phased out with Ice Cream Sandwich. But Flight Track's still got the telltale menu button tucked down with the ICS navigation buttons, and that's not good.

Hey, developers. It's time for some spring cleaning. We're picking on Flight Track right now, but this remains true for far too many applications. And it's probably a good thing that they be updated now, before Google decides to bring down the hammer.

End of lesson. We've got download links for Flight Track after the break.

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4 years ago

First look: Tapatalk 2 beta

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Tapatalk is a great way to browse forums from your Android phone, and the bar just got moved a notch or two higher with the beta release of Tapatalk 2. It's the same basic premise --  an app that connects to forums software (through a plug-in installed on the server) so it can deliver an experience optimized for mobile devices. You have controls designed to be easy to use, forum-specific menus and features that you just don't get from a web browser, and a bandwidth-saving U.I. that focuses on delivering content versus themes and other fluff designed to look good on a computer. 

Tapatalk 2 just does all this better. There also are a couple new features, namely an improved UI with multiple theme support, improved moderation tools, a nicer conversation style, and cloud-based account sync. Move past the bullet points and this means all the things you love about Tapatalk work better, look better, are faster and sync back to your phone when you reset the data on your phone. 

We know a lot (as in a lot) of people use Tapatalk to peruse the Android Forums here at Android Central. Tapatalk 2 is going to make all of us happy.  You'll love the new UI and theme options, forum moderators will love the new moderation options, crack-flashers will love the new sync option, and everyone will love how much faster it is. This is how you provide a major update -- everything works just like you're used to it working, and the improvements make the entire experience better without any change in the way you use the app. If you spend any time on forums from your Android phone, you need to give this a try. After the break you'll find a bunch of screenshots and a Google Play store link to the current version of Tapatalk (Android 1.5 and up, $2.99). You can also hit the source link and learn more about the beta from the folks at Quoord Systems Ltd.

More: Tapatalk forums 

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4 years ago

Ghost in the machine, Motorola XOOM WiFi update forthcoming [From the Forums]

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With another week almost over, we're kind of wondering where it went considering it seemed to fly by. With lots of content posted this week, including a new Android Central podcast for you all if you happened to miss out on anything, the weekend is a great time to get caught up both here on the blogs and in the Android Central forums:

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

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4 years ago

Droid R2-D2 getting a maintenance update, docs live now

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Remember the Droid R2-D2? Verizon does, and will shortly be issuing a maintenance update for the aging, but still capable R2-Droid2. The software version is getting a bump to 4.5.622.A957, on top of Android 2.3.4, and looks like it's chock full of security fixes and enhancements, bug-fixes, and newer versions of Verizon's installed apps. The full change log:

  • Enhanced security with DigiNotar security patch.
  • Increased browser cross-application scripting for enhanced multitasking stability.
  • Device will no longer automatically power on after it has been powered off.
  • Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
  • Successfully download and save purchased MP3 ringtones.
  • Camera settings will be saved, even after the device is powered off.
  • Increased device stability when keypad is opened and closed repeatedly.
  • Improved 3G data connectivity while using the Mobile Hotspot.
  • App shortcuts remain on the home screen after moving them from internal to external memory.
  • VZ Navigator is now updated to version 7.2.0.452.
  • V CAST Apps is now updated to version 4.4.1.0.
  • Successfully play WAV files.
  • Contact groups will sort correctly.
  • Successfully add application shortcuts or widgets to the home panel without error.
  • Fixed issue where duplicate text and multimedia messages were being received.
  • Improved ability to access and receive Gmail messages when the Mobile Hotspot is turned on.
  • Improved syncing with Yahoo! email.
  • Forwarded emails will no longer remain in the outbox when Smart Forwarding is enabled.

While it's not Ice Cream Sandwich, and the R2-Droid2 will never officially see ICS, it appears to be a welcome update -- especially if you were affected by one or more of the listed bugs. No word on exactly when this one will start to roll out, but it should be soon as the support documents are already live on Verizon's support sites. Have a look at them via the links below.

Source: Verizon (1), (2). Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia S headed to Canada, will run on Rogers [updated]

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Update: The reference to Rogers on Sony Mobile Canada's Facebook page has been removed, and the network has contacted MobileSyrup​ to clarify its plans for the device. The carrier says that while the Xperia S will run on its HSPA+ network, it won't be offered directly. This most likely means Canadians hoping to pick up an Xperia S will have to buy one outright from Sony.

Original story: Looks like Sony's new Xperia S will be arriving on North American shores in the near future, as Sony Mobile Canada has revealed that its high-end phone for early 2012 will be hitting the Rogers network. No release or pricing info is available just yet -- Sony just says the Rogers Xperia S is "coming soon."

The Xperia S is out now in Europe, and we recently got our hands on the finished article. While we were disappointed to see a flagship smartphone launching in Spring 2012 with Gingerbread, we were impressed with the Xperia S's build quality, HD Reality Display screen and 12MP EXMOR R camera. The phone's due an update to Ice Cream Sandwich during Q2, though, so depending on when Rogers launches it, Canadians may find their version comes pre-loaded with the latest version of Android.

For more on the Xperia S, check out our full review.

Source: Sony Mobile CA; via: MobileSyrup

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