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4 years ago

Android eating up Apple in China with huge market share

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We've all seen this picture before right? Well, over in China this is quite literally what is happening in their mobile market. While 1-in-10 people in the worlds most populated country own an iOS device, Android definitely rules the roost. 

A Beijing based analytics firm, has said that Android has risen from 33.6% to a staggering 68.4% market share by the end of 2011. iOS in comparison lagged behind with just 5.7%, behind Symbian who still maintain an 18.7% share. 

So what does this all mean? Well, it obviously means there's a whole heap of Android devices being sold in China. We should also consider the importance of low-cost devices, from manufacturers such as Huawei, ZTE and the like that sell well in Asia. Symbian too still inhabits a lot of low end devices.

On a lighter note, the report also suggests that the concept of "mianzi" also factors into the equation. In English this translates to "reputation," with the iPhone in particular being seen as a status symbol. With the iPhone 4S looking the same as its predecessor, there is less reason to upgrade and enhance ones status further. Crazy. 

via Macworld

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4 years ago

HTC One V hands-on video and initial review

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It's hard to believe it's been more than two years since we first met the venerable HTC Legend. HTC's angular, aluminum clad beast wowed us way back at Mobile World Congress 2010, with its impressive build quality and the then cutting-edge Android 2.1. Fast-forward two years and we finally have a worthy successor to the Legend's chinny mantle -- the HTC One V.

While nowhere near as flashy -- or expensive -- as the high-end HTC One phones, the One V aims to spice up the entry-level market with a solid hardware and software foundation, and some high-end treats. Inside that angled aluminum unibody there's a 1GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, ICS, Sense 4.0, Beats Audio and a 5MP ImageSense camera.

We've spent the past day or so getting to know the HTC One V, so join us after the break for some first impressions.

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4 years ago

From the Forums: Deploying in a month, what will be waiting for me when I get back?

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Casen writes in our Rumored Devices Forum,

I'm deploying in a month. What will be out when I return? When I get back around beginning 2013, what is your speculation of the phone I will be to get.

I'm feeling I will be able to get a phone with a 4.8 inch 720p screen, quad core, 1.5GB ram. It will have 64GB internal memory (because as nice as the cloud is, it does NOT work in all the places the military works.) It will have a SDcard slot, 3000 mAh minimum battery, and will feature actual stereo speakers (on the back in landscape mode) I honestly do not care about the thinness, but hopefully around the same thickness as a Droid Charge.

A small Bezel on top and bottom, (for holding) and a minimal Bezel on the sides. The camera won't have more than 10MP, but will be better engineered to not suck ass. The front-facing camera will be 5MP. Soft keys only on the screen, and there WILL be an actual camera button with 2 stages. Bootloader will be un encrypted (because that's the problem). Also, will be a Verizon device.

What are your hopes for an actual early 2013 device?

Hey, Casen! First off, thanks for doing what you do. As for the phone, a lot of what you're expecting is likely in the natural progression of smartphones. I'd certainly love to see 64GB of on-board storage (and for it to be economical to have), as well as the larger battery. But I'm also pretty well convinced that the major shift in 2012 going into 2013 is going to be interoperability among devices. Wifi Direct's likely to play a pretty big role in Android's plans for taking over living rooms as well as running what's in your pocket. And we're talking about beyond Google TV. And don't forget that we've still got Intel-based Android devices to look forward to later this year. 

Hardware is hardware. It'll always get better. It's where we imagine the software's at in 2013 that really has us excited.

Stay safe out there.

What do you expect to see in 2013? Leave a reply in Casen's thread here.

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4 years ago

Android Central international round-up - April 14, 2012

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With the HTC One series launch buzz beginning to settle down, the past seven days have been a little quieter than usual. Nevertheless, the steady stream of device updates and announcements has continued, even if the pace has been a little slower.

Sony Mobile is kicking off its Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update project, with Scandinavian countries being the first to get a taste of ICS on the Xperia Ray, Xperia Arc S and Xperia Neo V. Meanwhile, long-suffering Galaxy S II owners in Vodafone UK finally got their ICS update, as did Nexus S users on Wind Mobile and Videotron in Canada.

There were also a couple of interesting new device announcements -- Vodafone and Huawei announced the Ascend G 300, a surprisingly high-specced entry-level phone, while Korea got a bright pink Galaxy Note.

And later in the week, HTC addressed reports that some One S phones were experiencing chipped edges on their ceramic coating -- owners of affected phones can return their handset for a refund, or have it replaced under warranty. The manufacturer also says it's making small changes to ensure the problem doesn't crop up again.

Special features:

News:

 

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4 years ago

Late-night poll: Do you use, or want to use, the FM radio feature?

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Tonight's poll comes thanks to our lovable forums Admin Cory Streater, who brought up a great question on episode 93 of the Android Central podcast -- I wonder how many people really use the FM radio? None of us were any help (we can't ever agree on anything) but you guys sure can be. 

I get why people use it. It's subscription free, doesn't use data, and has a bigger selection of music that you could ever hope to have in your personal cloud or on the phone itself. Maybe the best reason I've ever heard is that it's great for listening to the news while on the treadmill at the gym. The other side of the coin -- wired headphones suck, radio stations suck, commercial music sucks, etc. People have just as many reasons why they don't use it as those who do use it.

I'm somewhere in the middle. I don't use it, but I do see the appeal. And not everything on the radio sucks. But asking you guys is a much better idea, so tell us all in the poll, and fire away in the comments to let us know why you voted the way you did.

 

Do you use the FM Radio app on your phone?

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4 years ago

Sprint LTE, HTC One X bugs [From the Forums]

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We're heading on into the weekend here at Android Central after a fairly busy week. If you happened to miss out on anything, the weekend is great time to get yourself caught up on the blogs, the Android Central podcast and even the 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

Google Wallet updated with improvements and enhancements across the board

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Google Wallet has seen another update, and this time Google has made all sorts of improvements and enhancements to the app. Per the change log in the Google Play store:

  • Prepaid Card top up forms more flexible
  • Citi Mastercard management improvements
  • UI improvements
  • Privacy enhancements
  • Bug fixes
  • Updated Terms of Service

The most interesting, on the surface anyway, would be the UI improvements. They must be very subtle, because we're not really seeing any. It's the same fluid and simple UI that has been there for a while, and while we're not complaining, we just don't see any improvements. We're pretty sure that some of this change log is just leftover from the last update. It's OK, Google. We all slip.

We can certainly get on board with improvements, though. Bug fixes are always welcome, as are privacy enhancements. Anything to keep our money safer is a good thing. You'll also be faced with the new terms when you update, and we suggest you read them carefully. There's nothing there you wouldn't expect, but it's always wise to stay informed. 

All the ballyhoo aside, we expect the biggest thing behind this update are new privacy enhancements and bug fixes, and we're glad to see them. You'll find your update in the market, or you can hit the link after the break.

Thanks, Beezy!

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4 years ago

'HTC Wildfire C' appears in leaked press image

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Looks like HTC may be preparing to bolster its entry-level line up with a new member of the Wildfire family. The image above leaked out today on PocketNow, claiming to show the HTC Wildfire C, previously known by its codename "Golf. A list of purported specs appeared alongside the pic, claiming a 3.5-inch HVGA screen, 4GB of internal storage and a 5MP camera. On the software side, the device apparently runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and HTC Sense 4. Again, no surprises there.

If the specs are accurate, it looks like this phone will be positioned below the HTC One V, which includes a slightly larger, higher-quality screen. And if the history of the Wildfire name is any indication, we'd carriers to offer the 'Wildfire C' for free on fairly low-cost contracts.

Source: PocketNow

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4 years ago

Android Central in the Sudan

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Oh, that Lloyd. Everybody's favorite Android Central mascot sure does get around. 

We've seen him in Kuwait. He sneaked into the iPad 2 launch. He crashed the BlackBerry PlayBook party. Invaded Minecraft. Plays beer pong. So, yeah. Dude gets around. And here he is in Khartoum, Sudan. Not quite sure what he's doing, but damned if he don't look good.

via @khalidhamdi

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4 years ago

Dolphin Browser HD updated with UI enhancements and improved performance

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For some folks, using the stock Android browser just isn't something they do. One alternative browser out there is Dolphin Browser HD and its had a fair amount of success on the Google Play Store and they've just rolled out the latest update bumping it to version 8.0 that adds some noteworthy enhances.

  • Re-designed Dolphin Sonar and Gesture: New interface, design, and easier access to help menu
  • Menu bar: New design that gives easier access to most commands without having to leave the home screen
  • Add-on Sidebar: New design that displays both Add-on icons and names
  • New context menu and long press menu for more efficient browsing

All of that plus the usual stability and bug fix improvements have been included with this release. The addition of visual aids in the sidebar has been a long time coming and is certainly appreciated. You'll find some screenshots and the download past the break if you want to get a better look.

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4 years ago

HTC EVO Design 4G receiving an OTA security update

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If you own a HTC EVO Design 4G, odds are you may have already seen an update hit your device, and if not now would be a good time to check for one. Unfortunately this isn't the Ice Cream Sandwich update that we are all anxiously waiting for. This update is aimed towards some security fixes which is something we have seen HTC do previously. Hopefully this is just one step closer to the ICS update, but for now be sure to grab the update, and as always sing out in the comments if you notice anything else that has changed.

Source: Sprint

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4 years ago

U.S. Cellular discounts its Galaxy smartphones, adds new devices to its prepaid lineup

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U.S.Cellular today announced its latest promotion, which features the carrier’s entire line of Galaxy S devices discounted up to $100 off their regular prices. The Galaxy S Aviator, the regional carrier’s flagship 4G device, is now available for $99 after mail-in rebate, though you’ll have to live in an area covered by U.S. Cellular’s LTE network to take advantage of the discount. The Samsung Mesmerize is down to $49.99 after instant savings, while the Galaxy S II, now available in white, is down to $179.99 after mail-in rebate.

The promotion also brings the addition of three heavy hitters to U.S. Cellular’s prepaid lineup. Starting today, the HTC Hero S, the Motorola Electrify, and the Samsung Galaxy S II are all available on prepaid plans; the Hero S will set you back $299.99, while the Electrify and the GSII will cost a cool $399.99.

No word on how long the “limited time promotion” will last, but if you’ve been holding out for your shiny new Samsung smartphone, this weekend might be high time to pull the trigger.

Source: U.S. Cellular

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4 years ago

Sony kicks off its ICS upgrades; Scandinavia up first

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Here we go, boys and girls! Sony's kicked off its initial round of Ice Cream Sandwich updates today. First up are the Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo V and Xperia Ray -- but only if you're in Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Norway. (Fine places to be even if you're not waiting on Ice Cream Sandwich.) The update will be pushing over the next four to six weeks.

You'll need a Mac or Windows machine to update (boooooo, lack of over-the-air upgrades!), and Sony says it'll have additional information on the next round of updates at a later time. For now, if you've got a Scandinavian Xperia -- here's the complete list of phones for this round of  updates -- hit the links below to get going.

More: ICS update instructions; source: Sony Mobile

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4 years ago

Watch Coachella's livestream this weekend on your Android-powered Google TV, tablet or smartphone!

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We can't all be at Coachella this weekend, which sucks. Hard. But that doesn't mean we're going to miss out on all the incredible music. Youtube again will be streaming more than 60 acts, and that's where Android comes in. Probably the best way to watch is going to be from Google TV on a big screen. But because we're talking Youtube, we'll also be able to watch on our smartphones. Or on our Android tablets. Or, we suppose, on a laptop. 

It all starts this afternoon at 3:50 p.m. PDT (that's 6:50 p.m. on the east cost). Steer yourself over to the Coachella Youtube Channel for all the music. You're not going to want to miss this. Check out the trailer video after the break.

More: Youtube blog

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4 years ago

Barnes & Noble NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight announced

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Barnes & Noble has now taken the covers off their latest NOOK device headed to store shelves and online just in time for Mother's day, Father's day and graduations. The NOOK Simple Touch introduces the GlowLight screen that looks to solve the many concerns of folks reading in the dark be it the fact you don't want to wake others or just simply that you find reading in the dark strenuous on the eyes.

“To date, readers have had to compromise: either buying black-and-white E Ink reading devices to optimize their outdoor reading or color LCD devices to be able to read at night in bed with the light off. NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight is like two Readers in one,” said William J. Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble.

The NOOK Simple Touch weighs in at just under 7 ounces, will retail for $139 and will be available in early May. Couple that with the notably long lasting battery life of the NOOK series, WiFi support and enough storage space for up to 1,000 books it makes for an ideal E Ink reader. You can jump past the break for the full press release or just head over to the source link for more information.

Source: Barnes & Noble

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