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4 years ago

Samsung reveals U.S. Ice Cream Sandwich update list

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For the past several months we've had a general idea of which U.S. Samsung phones and tablets are slated to receive an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. But today the manufacturer has stepped in with a full carrier-by-carrier breakdown of which devices are set to get the latest version of Google's OS.

The big picture is that if you've got a Galaxy Tab or Galaxy S II-class phone, chances are you're in line for an ICS update later in the year. The only real surprise comes from T-Mobile, which doesn't have any confirmed devices, though Samsung promises a list in the "coming months." There's also no mention of the original Galaxy S, but then that stopped being news a few months ago.

Unfortunately there are no specifics offered about exactly when these updates will begin rolling out (except for the Nexus S, of course, which already has its ICS update). Though with ICS for the international Galaxy S II already rolling out to handsets in Europe and Asia, we're hopeful S II owners in the U.S won't have too much longer to wait.

Source: Samsung Support; via: Samsung Mobile USA

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4 years ago

AT&T breaks own smartphone sales record in Q1, iPhone still dominates

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AT&T this morning announced its first-quarter 2012 earnings. The carrier sold a Q1 record 5.5 million smartphones -- 78 percent of them iPhones. That leaves 1.2 million Android and BlackBerry smartphones to make up the difference. AT&T didn't give a breakdown of non-iPhone sales, but it is worth noting that the heavily marketed Samsung Galaxy Note wasn't available until Feb. 19, so it missed half the quarter.

AT&T added 726,000 subscribers for the three months ending March 31, and saw its lowest churn in seven quarters.

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

O2 confirms it'll stock 'next Galaxy', references to 'Galaxy S3' in official app keep us guessing

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Following yesterday's 'next Galaxy' revelations from Vodafone, O2 UK has confirmed that it'll also be carrying Samsung's upcoming (and as yet unnamed) flagship smartphone for 2012. Again, we're not too surprised, as in the UK it's the norm that major handsets like the 'next Galaxy' appear on all major networks.

In related news, references to a "Galaxy S3" have been spotted within the listing for the Samsung Mobile Unpacked app that was released last night. The name is tucked away in a list of keywords at the bottom of the description in the Google Play Store. This is far from confirmation of the official name, but it's yet another piece of the puzzle, and it wouldn't be the first time an "Unpacked" app has provided hints about future Samsung products. In any case, we can bet Samsung will keep us guessing over the next week, as the May 3 announcement approaches.

Source: Google Play, @O2

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4 years ago

Google preparing to launch Google Drive this week with up to 100GB of paid storage?

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By now, Google Drive is no longer a secret. It has appeared enough times now to not only say it exists and is in development but to say that it's coming soon. The exact details behind its offerings haven't fully made their way to the internet but some information coming from Reuters may give further insight into what is already known:

Consumers will get 5 Gigabytes of storage for free with Google Drive, while various versions with incrementally more storage capacity, topping out at about 100 Gibabytes, will be available for monthly fees

Google will be looking to target both consumers and businesses with Google Drive so keeping up with competitors such as Dropbox, Box and Evernote will be vital for them. If the information we've heard thus far is accurate, they'll be well positioned to do so by taking advantage of some of their already existing products such as Google Images, Google Docs, Gmail and even Google+. When will it arrive to masses? No one is certain as of yet but it could be as early as this week, with some saying Tuesday will be the day.

Source: Reuters, Image Credit: Life at Google

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4 years ago

Motorola Droid RAZR/MAXX update rolling out now

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For you night owls with the Motorola Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX, know this: A decent little update, which we first told you about a few days ago, is now available. No, it's not Ice Cream Sandwich (not yet, anyway). But here's what you can expect in software version 6.12.181:

Device Features:

  • Improved device stability.
  • Optimized device performance to extend battery life.
  • Added easy access to preloaded VZW bookmarks through quick key access.
  • Corrected loud call end and connect tones over Bluetooth.®
  • Enhanced device security preventing unauthorized access of telephony database by third parties.
  • Device is now updated with IPv6. - As new Internet addresses are introduced, you will be able to continue to browse and view web pages with this latest Internet enhancement.

Network Connectivity:

  • 4G coverage indicator accurately displays data connectivity.
  • Improved Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity when utilizing WPS security.

Email, Messaging & Data:

  • Improved text message delivery.

Applications & Widgets:

  • Improved Visual Voice Mail performance with data disabled and visual voicemail notification delivery.
  • Enhanced security in Verizon Apps.

MotoCast Updates:

  • Included a new MotoCast widget to enable easier access and discoverability of MotoCast services.
  • Modified the storage settings screen to make it easier to understand total storage versus available storage.
  • Implemented a number of MotoCast performance improvements.

That's quite the changelog, actually. To download the update, you can either wait for it to push, or go to Menu>Settings>About Phone>System updates to get your download on. And if you need a little extra help, hit the forums links below.

Source: Verizon; More: Droid RAZR forums; RAZR MAXX forums
Thanks. @Fusedgutz24, for the tip!

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4 years ago

LG Optimus Vu does its 5-inch, 4:3 thing in white next week

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Tired of big black slabs? How's about a nice big white slab? The LG Optimus Vu is bringing its 5-inch, 4:3 aspect ratio in white starting next week, the Korean manufacturer announced today. As you'll recall from our last encounter with this massive beast at Mobile World Congress, the Optimus Vu is a stylus-happy phone/tablet hybrid that pretty much was a direct response to the Samsung Galaxy Note. It's not all bad, but boy howdy is it ever big.

We've still got no idea if it'll ever hit the States, nor do we really know if that'd be a bad thing. 

Source: LG

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4 years ago

Virgin Mobile getting rid of grandfathered plan options with new smartphone purchases?

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A new text message is currently being sent out to Virgin Mobile USA customers with what may be an in important announcement if you're looking towards picking up a new device from them anytime soon.

VMFreeMsg Starting 5/27/12, new smartphones will be subject to current plan rates. This will apply if you switch phones. Go to http://msg4u.us/src for info.

At first glance, it may appear as though Virgin Mobile might be releasing some new smartphone plans, but that's not the case. When you visit the link they're advising folks that anytime you upgrade now you're required to pick from one of the already existing plans available. This looks to imply that if you're on grandfathered plan, they'll no longer allow you to keep it when upgrading to a new device. Anyone else on Virgin Mobile get this message or any further clarification in it?

Thanks, Brian!

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4 years ago

Paid apps back from brief hiatus from Google Play

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Update 2: And they're back. Crisis is averted!

Update: Google's now telling developers that it's aware of the issue. Help is on the way!

Everybody panic! Paid applications have disappeared from Google Play! Well, that's half true. They're still visible in the Android app, but trying to purchase just leads to an error. But the web portal (at least anything that's not on the front page) has been wiped of anything that costs anything.

It should go without saying (but we're about to say it anyway) that this certainly is a temporary thing. But we imagine there are a few developers of paid applications who are none too happy about this.

In the meantime, free apps are available for download, and books and music appear to be unaffected.

We've got an e-mail into Google to see what's going on.

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4 years ago

Samsung Unpacked 2012 app now available from Google Play, offers usual slim pickings ahead of event

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It's definitely getting close to that time again. Another Samsung event is almost upon us, and as always theres a Samsung Unpacked Android application to participate in the buzz. Simply titled Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2012, the app is free to download right now from the Google Play Store. An initial word of warning though -- it's buggy. It won't open on my HTC One X, so at least for now some of you won't be getting any joy from trying to open it. It could be an ICS thing, as theres already a comment that it also doesn't work on a Verizon Galaxy Nexus. Hopefully come the big day though, it'll be fixed. 

Anyone who has used these apps before will be right at home, it's pretty much business as usual. Naturally at the moment it's pretty useless, unless you're actually going to the event. The address for the venue and travel details from the major hubs in and around London are about all that's present right now. The teaser is also there, just in case you haven't seen it yet.

The important feature -- mobile streaming of the event. If you can't be there, or more to the point, if you're at work, this could prove key to keeping up with events. That and following Android Central of course, as we'll be there come May 3 to keep you guys fully up to speed. You'll find the download links after the break.

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4 years ago

Dropbox on the One X, Tips for navigating between apps [From the Forums]

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In case you haven't noticed, we did some cleaning up over the weekend and it looks like it arrived just in time. Monday kicked off with plenty of news both here on the blogs and in the forums so, if you happened to miss out on anything -- now is your chance to get yourself caught up:

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

Check out the newly redesigned Free Android Wallpaper Gallery!

If you're looking to download wallpapers for your Android smartphone or tablet, you've come to the right place. We've got hundreds and hundreds of wallpapers ready to go, and more are being added every day. Have a wallpaper you want to share with the world? Upload it to the gallery!

And best of all, it's all completely free! Check out the Android Central Wallpaper Gallery today!

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4 years ago

Dropbox for Android updates, folder linking now available

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The Dropbox app for Android (and the related web service and desktop apps) has been updated today with "performance improvements and bug fixes", along with the option to share links to specific files or folders. The idea is to make it easier to make stuff you've uploaded directly accessible by providing a button next to them on the web site and mobile app. If you recognize these new features, it's because they've been in beta testing for a while, but from today they're accessible to all Dropbox users.

The timing of the update is interesting, with Google rumored to be unveiling its competing "Google Drive" service sometime this week. If it's to succeed in taking users away from Dropbox, Google will have to offer a compelling sharing solution of its own, particularly in light of today's new additions.

We've got the usual Google Play Store linkage waiting for you after the break, along with today's press release.

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4 years ago

From the Android Forums: Would an HTC One XL ROM work on the AT&T One X?

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Sddfdds asks in the Android Central forums,

Just thinking out loud ... would this be possible? Take the XL ROM from HTC (do they provide stock (stock Sense that is) images for their phones in the same way you can get them from Google for the Nexii?) and slap it onto the AT&T One X to get rid of whatever crap they put onto it, and even do the occasional free tether in a pinch? (Do the HTC ROMs have the stock android tether app?)

It might work. I know that's not much of an answer, but every One XL and the AT&T One X may not be identical. Different LTE frequencies may need different equipment, and there's a chance that we'll see several different versions of HTC One XL hardware, with the AT&T version matching some of it (Rogers in Canada comes to mind), or not matching any of it. Hopefully, this isn't the case, but until the "right" people get in there and dig around, the safe bet is to consider the possibility of two (or more) separate animals. Yeah, it can get confusing. The good news is that even of they are different, developers will be able to use bits and pieces of both. This is all hypothetical, as HTC really has no incentive to sell an unbranded, unlocked LTE phone. 

HTC probably won't provide images for the One X or XL the way we see Google provide them. They aren't required to, and with so much proprietary software at play we don't see them bucking the trend any time soon. Chances are someone will be able to leak out RUUs, they seem to get them for every HTC phone, so there will be a "stock" image out there, albeit not necessarily factory authorized.

My best advice, without knowing how everything will play out, is to prepare to root and install custom software if you plan on changing things. You'll be voiding any warranty by swapping out to an XL image anyway, and this way you'll find exactly the options you're looking for. The AT&T version of the One X is bound to be a popular device, and hacking at it will follow shortly after release. 

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

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4 years ago

Samsung announces Galaxy Note S Pen App Challenge winners!

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The Samsung Galaxy Note S Pen App Challenge of which our very own Phil Nickinson was a judge, has now concluded, and the winners have been announced. The grand prize winner has scored $100,000 with second place pulling in $50,00 and third taking home $20,000. The goal was to create apps that make use of the Samsung Galaxy Note's S Pen in unique ways and according to Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile the results exceeded expectations both in terms of quantity and quality. So who won? Check out the list below:

  • Best Overall App – Grand Prize - $100,000 “Monkey Write * Learn Chinese” by Chiu-ki Chan (Square Island LLC): Learn to write Chinese with Monkey Write – a game that makes it fun to learn. Chinese characters are written in a specific order to give them structure. Follow the stroke numbers to learn to write each character.
  • Best Overall App – Second Prize - $50,000 “Maze Racer” by Roger Peters (SmartyPantsGaming) and David McCanless: Maze Racer is a simple maze inspired game where you draw a line from start to finish. In Maze Racer, you get rewarded stars based on how quickly you reach the finish. Maze Racer is optimized for precision from the S-Pen over traditional finger input.
  • Best Overall App – Third Prize - $25,000 “Drawing Pad” by Christopher Lott and Daren Murtha (Murtha Design): Drawing Pad is a mobile art studio with a beautiful user interface that puts the fun into creating art. Drawing Pad provides amazing realistic textured brushes with the pressure sensitivity data of the S Pen.
  • Popular Choice - $2,000 and a Galaxy Note - “SignDoc Mobile” by Softpro North America: Professionally capture user handwritten signature using pressure sensitivity of the S Pen

In addition to the top three winners and the popular choice award, Samsung also opened up a segment for honorable mentions where the winners took home $2,000 and a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note. Congrats to winners! You can check out the full press release beyond the break.

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4 years ago

Verizon drops the price of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus by $100, pick one up now for only $199

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Just in case you're on Verizon and haven't picked up a Verizon Galaxy Nexus as of yet, Verizon is making it harder to resist. What originally started off as a $299 buy in cost has now been dropped by $100 making the grand total of picking one up only $199 with a new two-year contract. We're gonna go out on a limb and say Sprint might have had something to do with the price drop but however you want to look at it, a savings of $100 is something to be happy about. If for whatever reason you avoided the Galaxy Nexus thus far, have a look at our full review and then hit the link below if you're going to be picking one up.

Source: Verizon; thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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