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4 years ago

Android Central international round-up - July 21, 2012


With this week being Nexus 7 launch week around the world, there's been plenty of news to keep us occupied. The Jelly Bean tablet is slowly but surely starting to work its way out to pre-order customers, and the word on the street is that the Nexus 7 is now sold out in some countries. It's still early days, but it seems the N7's on track to be a major commercial success for ASUS and Google -- a first for any Android tablet.

Elsewhere, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean reared its head on the Nexus S, with the official launch of that phone's over-the-air update. Google announced in the past few hours that five major carriers are now pushing out the Jelly Bean OTA, following the OS's official debut on the Galaxy Nexus last week.

We also reviewed the Desire C, HTC's new entry-level phone for Europe, and got to play with the ZTE Grand X down in London. Both devices represent different approaches to making a value-oriented smartphone. HTC has focused on hardware and software design on its tiny 3.2-inch phone, while ZTE's offering cuts an unassuming figure with a plastic chassis and near-stock Android, choosing instead to differentiate itself with a gaming-focused Tegra 2 CPU. Though at the £180-190, it's hard to find fault with the Grand X's specs.

Finally, announced new, cheaper shipping options for international buyers -- fantastic news for anyone outside of the U.S. looking for great Android accessories!

We also had a fair selection of minor stories at the international desk this week, so dig into the list below. If you've got international news, you can tip us at the usual address.

Special features:


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4 years ago

Late-night poll: Did your Nexus 7 ship yet?


July 19, the day that all the early orders of the Nexus 7 were to ship, has come and gone. According to Google, everyone who ordered on or before July 11 should either have their tablet in their hot little hands (they're even showing up in Canada), or it should be in transit. We're hoping this is the case, because the shipping of these things has turned our hair a bit grey. Everyone wants one, and because we're Android nerds, we want them now, and Google can't get them out the door fast enough. Yeah, it's Google's first time shipping out a device at launch, and selling your wares as fast as you can make them is always a good problem to have, but it's easy to feel that way when you're not the one waiting for the delivery truck.

So did you get yours? Is it on the way? Or are you still waiting to hear anything about it? Tell us in tonight's poll, and discuss away in the comments.


Has your Nexus 7 shipped?

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4 years ago

The Dark Knight Rises review - Batman is ready for Android


Batman is on a mission to beat the snot out of crime. If the bad guys happen to be in your Android phone, so be it. 

The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters today, and along with it is an Android game from Gameloft. Much like The Amazing Spider Man, The Dark Knight Rises for Android is inspired by the movie, and though the mechanics are similar, the brooding atmosphere is what really sets the Batman game apart. 

Players get to zoom across a bleak cityscape by gliding, swinging, or motoring through Gotham. Missions follow closely in the footsteps of the movie, but as you go, you can kit out Bruce Wayne with the latest tech and upgrade particular parts of his suit and vehicles to suit your playstyle. There's plenty of open world exploration too, and a whole bundle of hidden items to find. 

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4 years ago

Color adjustment settings, Ouya console [From the Forums]


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.

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

HTC: Desire HD to stay on current software, no ICS update


After all the confusion surrounding the status of the HTC Desire HD's Android 4.0 update, we have confirmation from HTC that it's completed its analysis of the software and reached a decision. Unfortunately, it's disappointing news for Desire HD owners -- the manufacturer has decided not to update the phone to Ice Cream Sandwich, saying it has the best software experience possible for its hardware on the current Android 2.3/Sense 3 ROM.

Here's the company's statement in full --

"After extensive testing, HTC has determined that the current version of HTC Sense with Android provides customers with the best experience on the HTC Desire HD.  When we consider new versions of software, we weigh a number of factors, but ultimately the customer experience on the product is the deciding factor. We apologize for any confusion this change may have caused our customers."

So it's sad pandas all around this evening. It looks like Desire HD owners will need to rely on the custom ROM community if they want a taste of Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean. In any case, the device already has several unofficial Android 4.x ROMs available, so at least those brave enough to root won't be short of options.

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean is now running on the (wait for it) Optimus S via a CyanogenMod 10 port



The LG Optimus One line will never die. I have a feeling that one day, far into the future where apes control the planet and man is farmed like livestock, The little Optimus that could will still be going strong and folks will be hacking them with their stubby, apish hands. As proof, I offer Android Developer drewwalton19216801's CyanogenMod 10 (Jelly Bean) port for the Optimus S. 

It's not perfect, as Drew puts it "There will be bugs, and things may crash from time to time", and the usual suspects like camera and MMS still need some work, but I'd wager that more than a few of the folks using and loving the Optimus S will be more than happy to run this as their daily driver. 

We're still waiting for Ice Cream Sandwich on some of last years best phones (hello there, HTC Rezound) but this is proof positive that a little bit of source code and some awesome developers can make magic happen. Whether you're using the Optimus S, or just a fan of all things awesome, hit the link below and have a look. Be sure to give Drew a little well-earned love!

CyanogenMod 10 port for the Optmus S 


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4 years ago

Linux Foundation E.D. Jim Zemlin: 'Android is going to continue to gain traction in the enterprise'


Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin sat down with the Wall Street Journal to talk about Android and the enterprise market, and needless to say he's pretty confident about the future. Zemlin may be a bit biased towards Android, as are most of us here, but he does have a history with large corporate environments, having worked previously with companies like Western Wireless (now T-Mobile) and Covalent Technologies. 

Zemlin seems confident that as HTML 5 application deployment moves forward, Android and the diverse group of OEMs that bring a selection of hardware at all price points are uniquely situated to provide "a better way to provision, manage and deploy their application infrastructure." In short, choice equals strength here, too. We'll have to agree, and throw in that the ability to customize the system to better suit the needs of your company has to sound awfully good to those CIO's who are thinking of the future of mobile enterprise. We heard yesterday during Google's quarterly earnings report that G is eyeing the enterprise market, so we expect to see more features roll out across Google's services -- including Android.

He also has a few words to say about the Google buyout of Motorola Mobility, and the idea that the Nexus 7 is a service, not a product. It's a great read from someone held in high regard in the open-source community, and paints a pretty bright future for our favorite mobile OS. Hit the source link below and take a gander.

Source: WSJ

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4 years ago

Samsung to show new Galaxy device at Aug. 15 event


"Save the date" e-mails are landing for a special event to be held by Samsung Electronics America next month, where the manufacturer promises to show off its "newest Galaxy device." The e-mail sent out today indicates that this will be a "major product announcement," but gives no real clues as to what exactly will be unveiled.  We're pretty sure the Galaxy Note 2 is on the horizon, but all indications are that that device will instead be making its debut at the IFA show in Berlin in late August. That aside, other candidates for the August 15 event include the newly-announced T-Mobile Galaxy Note, and the Galaxy Note 10.1, which we first saw at Mobile World Congress, and which is said to have recently undergone some hardware changes.

So we'll probably be in for a bit of a surprise, but our money's on some sort of tablet announcement, whether or not it's a model we've seen at a previous event. If you've got any wild theories, let us know down below...

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4 years ago

Google confirms Nexus S Jelly Bean roll-out, lists carriers


We broke the news yesterday that some GSM Nexus S models were starting to see their Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update rolling out, and now we have the official confirmation from Mountain View. Google took to its +Nexus Google+ account to bring news that Jelly Bean is currently pushing out to customers on at least five carriers around the world, as well as the unlocked GSM models, presumably. Here's the official word --

"We've started rolling out Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, to Nexus S phones on a number of carriers including T-Mobile, H3G [Three], O2, Rogers as well as Vodafone in most countries, with more to come. Enjoy!"

No word on Sprint's Nexus S 4G just yet, but given that phone's history with updates, owners could be in for a fairly long wait. If you've already gotten Jelly Bean on your Nexus S, shout out in the comments and let us know how you're doing.

Source: +Nexus

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4 years ago

Google Play Music is not compatible with the new Sony NSZ-GS7/GX70 units


Heads up if you're thinking about grabbing one of Sony's new Google TV set-top boxes -- unfortunately Google Play Music is not compatible with the device(s). The UPS man dropped one off here earlier, and I've been setting things up to replace my aging Logitech Revue, and just hit this, which is a showstopper for me. I'll have more thoughts and some first impressions of the device for you guys and gals tomorrow, but I wanted to spread the word in case you're a music lover and thinking of picking one up with today's paycheck.

We've got no idea whether we should point our fingers at Sony or Google over this one, but hopefully it can be rectified shortly. I've reached out to both parties, and will update everyone when I have something to share. For now, I'm switching inputs and going back to the Nexus Q so I can let Black Sabbath relax my tension away.

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4 years ago

Dead Trigger now free and updated with new content


Yesterday we heard that Dead Trigger would be offering a bunch of new weapons for dealing with the zombie apocalypse, but what we didn't know is that the game would be going free to play. This is great news, considering how much the game leans on in-app purchases. Here's a recap of the new features. 

  • New weapons: Chain Saw, Lewis Machine Gun, Marine Engine with blades and American West Rifle
  • New gadget: Head-Flator X100 to inflate the heads of zombies to XXXL size!
  • New zombies: mutated mobsters or armoured SWAT members
  • New environments: underground car park or secret research base
  • Survival arena, that is tailor-made for massacre of hordes of zombies
  • Daily rewards
  • Casino: try your luck with a slot machine
  • Save game data with cloud backup
  • Support Adreno 205, including Sony Xperia Play

Madfinger Games warns that folks with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus or a Nexus 7 running 4.1.1 shouldn't install due to an issue on Google's side that causes the game to force close after opening. As for other devices, the developer promises that they're gradually adding more and more support as fast as they can. iPhone and iPad owners can expect this updating landing on the iOS side sometime next week. 

You can get downloading at the link below, or check out my review of the game over at iMore. It's an awesome, action-packed game with stellar graphics and more than a little bit of goofiness. Anyone else eager to try out the Head-Flator X100?

Download: Dead Trigger

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4 years ago

Jet Set Radio skating onto Android 'this summer'


Here's a blast from the past for everyone. Sega has been pretty good at bringing us some of our favorite games from yesteryear to play on our Android devices, and this summer we get to play another one. It's been announced today that the HD remake of Jet Set Radio, due to land on consoles, will also be coming to Android. 

Anyone who owned a Sega Dreamcast will quite possibly remember, fondly, Jet Set Radio from the first time around. In my case, I've still got a copy. The mobile version will have some mobile-centric features too, one of which is Openfeint integration. Apparently, players will also be able to use pictures taken on their device as the in-game graffiti. Now that's a nice touch. Just don't do anything rude with it, OK, kids. 

We're really looking forward to this one, and despite no more accurate date than "this summer," we're sure it's going to be worth waiting for. Check out the full press release after the break. 

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4 years ago

Hailo branches out, can now hail a cab with your Android device in Dublin, Ireland


Hailo has been something of an overnight success since its launch towards the end of 2011. The idea was so simple, but truly a way in which Londoners could use their Android devices in actual, real world, day-to-day situations. By making a sometimes unpleasant experience -- trying to flag down a cab -- and getting your Android device to do the work. Anyone in London for the Olympics, seriously, download a copy of this app while you're there. 

Today the Hailo team marks another milestone since the launch of the service, in their first expansion outside of London. The second city to go live, is the Irish capital, Dublin. This is fantastic news, and hopefully the start of a bright, and widespread future for the service. There's a whole lot of cities around the world that could benefit from something as useful as this. 

Source: Hailo, Download: Hailo

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4 years ago

How to: Activate the Google Sound Search widget in Jelly Bean if it's not in the drawer


One of the many added goodies within Jelly Bean, is the Google Sound Search widget, sometimes referred to as Google Ears. It's really simple, but also a really nice touch to have built in to the OS. 

For some reason -- quite possibly some licensing stuff -- it isn't always there to choose from in the widget drawer for everybody. True, that when both my own Galaxy Nexus got the 4.1 update, and my new Nexus 7 arrived, neither had this widget. Being based in the UK, I imagine that it's got something to do with location. There are alternative apps, Shazam, Soundhound for example, but why should you have to use an alternative application when Google supposedly builds the functionality into the OS. 

Installing the apk that's been doing the rounds for a while doesn't do the trick either. On Jelly Bean it doesn't seem to like installing, but it works great on ICS. The app itself isn't missing from the device, it's just frozen so you can't use it. As too is Google Play Magazines, and Google Wallet. 

So, how do you use it? Well, to unfreeze it requires root. But from there, it's real simple. Titanium Backup is a fantastically useful root application, and is what we'll be using here to make things happen. If you're not sure on what freezing and unfreezing is, we'll walk you through it.

Once you've opened Titanium Backup, and all the application data has loaded, go ahead and hit the "backup/restore" button at the top. You should then be presented with a comprehensive list of every single application installed on your device. Including, all the system apps. Scroll through until you see "Sound Search for Google Play" -- which will also be highlighted by a purple bar -- click on it, and hit the defrost button. Next time you go into the widget drawer, there it will be, ready and waiting. 

Also, remember that clicking on a song once it's been identified won't do anything either, other than take you to the main Google Play Store front page. One day, maybe, Google will bring the full range of content to non-U.S. users. We can hope.  

The same tactic also applies to Google Play Magazines, and Google Wallet. But, outside of the U.S. there's not really anything you can use these for anyway, and Google Wallet will tell you so if you try to launch it. 

The only downside -- when you reboot your device, things will be reset and the app will be frozen again. But, if you're like me, your device rarely gets rebooted unless you're going in and out of recovery. So it's inconvenient, but not massively. 

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4 years ago

Amzer TPU Case for Galaxy S3 review


TPU – thermoplastic polyurethane – might just be the most durable material for a phone case.


Your new Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) is one of the most sophisticated and technologically advanced phones you can buy.  TPU is a sophisticated material known for resisting abrasion, great low temperature performance, good transparency and elasticity and resistant to fingerprints.

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