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4 years ago

Sprint Motorola Photon Q available today for $199

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Just a quick heads up that the Sprint Motorola Photon Q is available today for $199 with a two-year contract. If you've yet to do so (slacker), be sure to check out our hands-on with the Photon Q (we'll have a more thorough review this week), but already it's shaping up to be a solid slider from Moto, with Ice Cream Sandwich and a new UI.

It's also important to remember that this is a world phone, so you business types who have been longing for something with a keyboard that'll work outside the states have something new to consider. And it's also worth noting that the Photon Q is the first to take advantage of Motorola's new bootloader unlocking tool -- a tool of which we've already availed ourselves -- so you hacker types can have your way with it, too.

So ... who's buying?

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4 years ago

Snapshot: Verizon Galaxy S3 captures lightning strikes [from the forums]

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That the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a great camera is hardly a secret. But just how fast is that burst mode? Android Forums member BasPilot says he took nearly 2,000 pics of a recent storm in burst mode and got 25 or so good ones. Never mind the percentage on that one. Any good photog knows to just keep shooting. (This is the digital age, after all.)

Even better is that BasPilot's sharing a few of his captures in the forums. Hit the link below to check 'em out.

More: Caught Lightning in Action

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4 years ago

Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Student Edition Bundle goes on sale tomorrow for $250

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Samsung will be offering the special Student Edition Bundle of the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 in select stores tomorrow. For $250 you'll be able to buy an Ice Cream Sandwich powered, 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2 (the 8GB version in a limited white color), a keyboard dock, and a USB adapter from Best Buy, Tiger Direct, Fry's Electronics, Amazon, or Costco. The keyboard dock and USB adapter will bring more functionality to the tablet, and Samsung is also including an insert of recommended education applications available at Google Play. This offer will only be available until September 1.

The price of this package is a hundred dollar savings over buying the individual pieces, so it's worth a look if you need a tablet with a keyboard. Of course, there is another 7-inch option out there in the Nexus 7, but the Tab 2 7.0 does offer an SDcard slot, IR blaster, and a rear camera. We just like to see all the different choices. Samsung's press release is after the break.

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week - 1Weather, Steam, Perfect Viewer and more!

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Another week in the books and that means yet another chance for us to show you all some of our favorite applications. While some may be fun, others a bit more practical, they all serve a purpose, and rock at doing so. Let's hit the break and check out some of our favorites from this week!

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4 years ago

Sprint ready to offer up to $400 in-store credit to certain customers?

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It looks like Sprint really wants your business, to the sum of a potential $400 in-store credit to be had for activating three lines on their Everything Data Share or Simply Everything Data plans. Said credit is then to be available to use towards the purchase of "qualifying devices," whichever they may be. 

A 2-year deal will be required -- as you would expect -- and all lines must be active a minimum of 60 days. The qualifying period is set to start in stores only tomorrow, Aug 19, running through September 15. 

As with all offers, there looks to be some fine print, a few caveats. Qualifying devices appear to be only phones. Tablets, accessories and portable hotspots look to be right out. And, if the device you're getting using the credit is eligible for a mail-in rebate, you won't get that on top. Can't have everything, after all. The credit has to be used in full at the time of purchase too. 

The definite catch though, is that one line must be transferred from another carrier, and one that isn't affiliated with Sprint such as Virgin or Boost Mobile. Sprint definitely wants your business, but they also want new business. 

All this comes from a leaked flyer, so it's not exactly 100% concrete. But, if it sounds like your kind of deal, maybe head into a local Sprint store tomorrow. See what's going on. 

Source: Phonearena

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4 years ago

Android Central international round-up - August 18, 2012

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As it often is, Samsung was the focus of much of the last week’s international Android news. The Korean manufacturer finally announced and released its Galaxy Note 10.1, an Android 4.0 tablet with a quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM and a Wacom-powered stylus. We were live at the launch event, and we’ve got a hands-on preview of the device for you to take a look over.

Elsewhere, we had two Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean leaks in quick succession. Early, but official Samsung firmware for the international S3 (GT-i9300) leaked out on Thursday, followed by a more recent build on Friday. Rumors suggest that Sammy may announce Jelly Bean for the Galaxy S3 alongside the Galaxy Note 2 at its pre-IFA press conference on Aug. 29. Based on what we’ve seen so far, we certainly wouldn’t rule it out.

This week also saw the first wave of Galaxy Note 2 rumors, with some believably -- and not-so-believable -- images of the upcoming Note successor showed up online. The first photo, leaked to a French blog, claimed to show the phone’s front panel and screen -- a 5.5-inch 16:9 aspect ratio display with a gap below for a Galaxy S3-style clicky button. This was followed later in the week by a couple of renders we’re all sure are fake.

What we now know isn't fake, however, is the long-rumored black version of the Galaxy S3 -- that was confirmed as being real by two different retailers this week. The black S3 is said to be launching around early October with 64GB of internal storage on-board.

Expect more IFA leakage over the next seven days, in the run up to one of Europe’s biggest tech shows. We’ll be live in Berlin to bring you full IFA coverage the week after.

Check out some of the weeks’ biggest international Android stories below. If you’ve got news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

Special features:

News:

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4 years ago

New Samsung Galaxy Player photo and specs leak

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We're pretty convinced at this point that Samsung is ready to launch a new iteration of its questionably-successful PMP line, the Galaxy Player. This time around, they're surely pulling a lot of design language from the extremely popular Galaxy S3 -- with nicely curved edges, bright white casing and the "love it or hate it" hard home key.

As far as specs go, we're looking at a very large device. The leak indicates a 5.8-inch 540x960 (that's qHD) resolution screen, which is physically larger than the Galaxy Note, but much lower resolution than the Note's 800x1280. Other specs seem pretty much what we'd expect from a high end device: 1GB of RAM, dual-core 1Ghz CPU, 2500mAh battery and Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz powering it all.

Source: SamMobile

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4 years ago

T-Mobile myTouch and myTouch Q review

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In a day and age where everyone seems to want the latest and greatest, and nothing short of the best, it can be a rough world out there for entry-level devices. But not everyone is looking for -- or needs -- the latest multi-core, 4.5-plus-inch Android smartphone. That said, there still is a market for those who just would rather something with some more features than their basic phone, but without the cost associated with the top of the line products.

T-Mobile has had the myTouch line for a few years now, changing a bit each time, and this year it was Huawei’s turn to take a stab at it. They have brought to the table a pair of phones -- the myTouch and myTouch Q. Could a well styled entry level device succeed in today's market, or will it be overlooked and left in the storage closets?

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4 years ago

Google launches 'experiment' to bring AOSP vanilla Android to Sony Xperia S

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More interesting news for open-source geeks this morning, as it's emerged Android Open-Source Project head Jean-Baptiste Queru has kicked off an “experiment” to bring AOSP support to Sony’s Xperia S. Previously, the only official AOSP target devices have been Nexus phones and certain “Google Experience” products like the Motorola Xoom. So the fact that work is underway to bring this kind of support to the Xperia S, which ships with a skinned UI and a bunch of proprietary Sony tech, is a fairly big deal, even if it is just an experiment for the time being.

In selecting the Xperia S, JBQ notes that it’s a powerful GSM device with an unlockable bootloader, and said that Sony had been “very friendly” towards AOSP. On that last point, Sony has long contributed code back to AOSP, and it’s even helped out amateur devs like the FreeXperia team working on CyanogenMod support for Xperia phones, giving them AOSP-friendly proprietary code for certain devices. The manufacturer has also released alpha and beta builds of some major software updates ahead of time, and actively sought feedback from advanced users. So despite its comparatively small market share, Sony seems a good for for this kind of project.

In his message to the Android Building mailing list, Queru encourages community developers to get involved with the project, but to do so while staying on the right side of the rules when it comes to handling proprietary binaries. As far as we’re aware, AOSP-friendly propertiary code will have to be released by Sony in order for this experiment to progress towards fully-functional builds, just as was the case with FreeXperia and CM. The camera firmware, for instance, is packed with proprietary Sony tech, so an entirely new binary might have to be created for this project.

Aside from the technical challenges ahead -- and there are more than a few -- it’s certainly cool to see the AOSP brass playing around with open-source Android on one of the more dev-friendly Android devices. We're a long, long way off having easily-flashable Google-approved AOSP available for certain devices alongside the manufacturer’s own ROM -- in fact, we’ll go on record and say that probably won’t ever happen. However, if this little experiment is a success, it could open the door to other non-Nexus phones being initiated into AOSP, and that can only be a good thing. We can't help but wonder what Google's long play might be in this respect.

We’ve reached out to Sony Mobile for comment on this experimental project, and we’ll keep you posted with any information they have to share.

Source: Android Building Group, via: The Verge

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4 years ago

CyanogenMod 10 nightly builds now rolling out for certain devices

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If you’ve been waiting patiently to get your hands on experimental Jelly Bean-based ROM for your phone, today could be your lucky day. The team behind popular custom firmware CyanogenMod has opened the floodgates and started churning out CM10 nightly builds for some supported devices.

Nightly builds are highly experimental, probably unstable and likely not suited to being used as a daily driver. However they do give owners of supported phones the chance to try out near-vanilla Android 4.1 Jelly Bean months before their official update will drop, in addition to introducing some helpful software tweaks from the CM team.

Notable devices now receiving CyanogenMod 10 nightlies include, but are not limited to --

  • The US SGS3 variants
  • The Galaxy Nexus variants
  • The Nexus S varaints
  • The Nexus 7
  • The Transformer and Transformer Prime
  • The SGS1 variants (Vibrant, Captivate, International, and i9000b)
  • The SGS2 i9100g
  • P3 and P5 tablets (Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and 10.1)

Other devices are getting nightlies too, so to see if your phone or tablet is supported, check the get.cm download link below. Kudos to the entire team of CM maintainers for bringing a taste of Jelly Bean to dozens of devices this morning!

Source: +CyanogenMod

Download: get.cm

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4 years ago

ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 gets its Jelly Bean update

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Some good news out of the ASUS camp this morning, as it appears the Transformer Pad TF300 is in the midst of getting its promised update to Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. Erckul and prissysox in our forums are leading the way on this one, noting that you're warned Adobe Flash is no longer working (but you knew that already), and that apparently Wifi Direct took a hit as well.

The update appears to only be over-the-air at the moment, so keep an eye out.

Source: Transformer Pad TF300 forums; more: ASUS support

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4 years ago

Send/Receive text messages on Nexus 7, Unboxing the Note 10.1 [From the Forums]

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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.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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4 years ago

Google goes after Apple via Motorola patents

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Motorola has filed with the International Trade Commission (that's the same one that blocked the HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE for a spell) to sue Apple over seven undisclosed patents. The patents relate to the iPhone, the iPad and the iPod touch, for which Motorola is seeking an import ban.

So far, the only official word from Motorola has been "We would like to settle these patent matters, but Apple's unwillingness to work out a license leaves us little choice but to defend ourselves and our engineers' innovations." Also pertinent to the case is the fact that the patents in question aren't standards-based, so Motorola does not have to license them. Based on the history of patent litigation involving Apple (and sometimes Motorola) it sounds like the status quo, right?

Not so fast.

We've seen Motorola go after folks in the courtroom before, with a mixed bag of results. I hated it then, but it was just one company fighting with another company over your money -- in other words, business as usual. But that was all initiated before Google took over the helm. Today's news is something different.

Don't be evil

Google has made "Don't be evil" its company tagline. For the most part, Google has held true to its word. Google finds itself in hot water every now and then, but there's no malicious intent behind its goals. Better mapping and new pictures for Street View are things they care about. Thinking about all the repercussions and people who have no idea how to secure a Wifi network probably wasn't even an afterthought. And the deal with using what they call a standard, while knowing Apple's Safari browser didn't recognize it as such, to place cookies can be written as some folks at Google thought the +1 button was so cool they wanted it to work anywhere. Stupid, yes. Evil? Well, I don't think so. 

Again, this is different. Inside I've always been able to placate myself by thinking that throughout all this patent nonsense, Google has kept their hands clean. They've sued nobody, and fought hard for what they (and I) think is right. That all changed today. Since May, Google is directly responsible for the things Motorola do as a company, and the Motorola name in the middle is just a proxy. Yes, Google says Motorola will be run as a stand-alone venture, but ultimately they have the final word.

While you cheer and say Apple deserves a taste of their own medicine, I'll be here thinking of the people who might be saving to buy an iPad, only to (potentially) have the opportunity taken away  -- by Google. That makes me sad, and seeing Android fans cheer in droves makes me even sadder. We pride ourselves on the choice Android and Google give us, so seeing them try to take away a fair choice is not something I can support. Don't be evil, Google. Even when the other kids on the playground are.

More: WSJ online (paid content)

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4 years ago

Gameloft's new Order & Chaos spin-off will be lane defense

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Gameloft has been teasing a spin-off of their World of Warcraft clone for Android, Order & Chaos, for a few weeks now, and today took off the the wraps. It turns out Heroes of Order & Chaos will be a lane defense game (or MOBA), similar to Defense of the Ancients, League of Legends, and others in that sphere.

For those unfamiliar, you pick one of many flavorful, unique heroes, and use them to defend your headquarters against waves of mindless drones coming to do destroy your towers through three seperate lanes of attack. Not only do players have to defend, but they have to push into the opposing team's area and take out their base in order to win. 6 free heroes will be available on a shifting rotation, though you'll be able to pay through in-app purchases for permanent access. 

I'm just starting to get into Dota 2, and am finding the gameplay really great; it's actually pretty surprising that we haven't seen more games like it on Android yet, and I'm pretty confident Gameloft will do a good job with adapting the experience for mobile. Any LoL or Dota fans out there? Would you be willing to weather a gauntlet of microtransactions to play it on Android? At least you're already used to it from PC, right? We can expect Heroes of Order & Chaos to hit Google Play on October 11. 

Source: IGN

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4 years ago

Sprint's Motorola Photon Q one of the first phones to grace Moto's bootloader unlock page

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Remember the Motorola bootloader unlock site we talked about just an hour or two ago? We've got some great news to share direct from Moto -- the Sprint Photon Q will be one of the first phones eligible to use it. Per Motorola:

As of August 2012, the only Motorola devices which can be unlocked are:

  • Photon Q 4G LTE (Sprint)
  • RAZR Developer Edition (Europe Only)
  • XOOM

This leads to one huge question, which Moto addresses -- what about other phones? Moto says that they have to evaluate that on a phone-by-phone basis, and that they have worked with Sprint to come up with a solution that's favorable to everyone involved. It certainly appears that as far as Moto is concerned, unlocking shiny, new LTE phones is cool with them (using the right tools), but a lot of it will depend on the carrier. I don't want to sound discouraged, but we're all aware how that's going to fly with Verizon and AT&T.

Of course, there are risks involved when making your phone unsecure on purpose. Moto goes over these well, and it's a must read for anyone thinking of taking the plunge. We're just glad to see Motorola doing the right thing here, and now Android hackers and developers might not have to work as hard to own the phone they paid for.

As you can see, we've unlocked the Photon Q. The process only takes a few minutes, and pretty much mirrors what HTC's done with its more recent phones. You reboot into fastboot and get a token (you'll need the Android SDK installed, of course), feed that token back to Motorola, which gives you yet another number to repeat back. Quick, relatively easy -- if you can't follow these instructions, you really shouldn't be mucking about with custom software anyway -- and the way it should be done.

Source: Motorola

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