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4 years ago

Big Android BBQ tickets now on sale!


It's that time, boys and girls. Tickets for the Big Android BBQ -- that annual gathering of Android fans, nerds, family and friends -- are now on sale. The event's running October 19-21 this year, at the Hurst Conference Center outside Dallas.  There are 1,000 tickets available. Starting today, you can get them for $50 each.

We were at the event in 2011, and this year promises to be even better. Get your tickets now before they get gone!

More: Big Android BBQ

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4 years ago

ZTE team up with Virgin Mobile UK and announce the ZTE kis, budget Android device


It looks like ZTE and Virgin Mobile UK and made friends as today sees them announce the ZTE kis, a small budget Android smartphone which should be on sale today. The kis will be an exclusive initially from Virgin and will retail at just £49.99 on pay-as-you-go.

These budget Android devices seem al the rage at the moment. It was only yesterday we saw Motorola announce the MOTOSMART for T-Mobile and the Carphone Warehouse. This new ZTE offering certainly is the cheapest new release we have seen in the Android camp. A good result for Google if it will get the OS into new customers hands.

Features of the ZTE kis include:

  • 3.5" display, HVGA 480*320, 262k colours, TFT, capacitive
  • 800Mhz processor
  • 3.2MP camera with auto focus and 2 x digital zoom
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.12, WiFi, GPS, WAP 2.0, Tri Band
  • Storage: 512MB ROM, 256MB RAM, MicroSD support up to 32GB. 2GB card included
  • Dimensions: 114.4 x 61.6 x 11.5mm. Weight: 120g
  • Battery: 140 mAp Li-Ion

You can see the full press release below.

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4 years ago

Starbucks app update bringing coffee goodness to the UK and Canada


Attention coffee fans. Great news; the Starbucks app for Android has today received a large update bringing support to the UK and Canada. That means that coffee addicts on both sides of the pond can now enjoy mobile payments, the store locator, My Starbucks Rewards Stars, check balance and reload, pin code protection, a home screen widget and transfer capabilities. Good stuff!

Users of the app in the USA still get a few added features including a widget, PayPal support, pin code protection and the ability to view 'My Starbucks rewards' history.

You can find the full press release below or just grab your download of the updated Starbucks app here.

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4 years ago

Google Wallet working again after EVO 4G LTE update


Who's in the mood to squash a few bugs? The Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTE has gotten a bit of an update this morning. The big feature is that Google Wallet working again. Also of note is that local search is still working -- you'll recall that Sprint and Samsung just stripped it out of the Galaxy S III -- so there's that.

Other changes of note, per Sprint itself, include:

  • Google security updates
  • Wifi disconnect issue
  • Time zone issue
  • Side loaded video pause issue
  • Random power cycling issue
  • Pioneer Bluetooth Car Kit connection issue
  • Gallery app crash
  • Calendar reminder (all day even time) issue

Looks like a healthy changelog. Make sure you're charged above 35 percent, then hit settings>system updates>HTC software update to get the ball rolling if you haven't already gotten the notification.

Source: Sprint; more: EVO 4G LTE forums

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4 years ago

T-Mobile USA announces the Huawei-made myTouch and myTouch Q


T-Mobile USA has today announced two new phones in its usability-focused myTouch series -- the new myTouch and myTouch Q, both manufactured by Chinese firm Huawei. The myTouch and myTouch Q sport a similar spec list, with the most obvious difference being the Q's inclusion of a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Other specs for both devices include an unnamed (presumably single-core) 1.4GHz CPU, a 4-inch WVGA screen, 1500mAh battery and 5MP rear amera with LTE flash. On the software side, the new myTouch phones run Android 2.3 Gingerbread (sigh), with a custom UI and a Swype-based virtual keyboard.

Tmo plans to launch the myTouch and myTouch Q from August 8, priced at $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate when purchased with a two-year service agreement. Both phones will be available in both black and white.

We've got T-Mobile's press release after the break.

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4 years ago

LG VS930 photos and service manual leak, looks like an Optimus LTE II for Verizon


It’s been awhile since we’ve spotted a new LG flagship phone headed for the U.S., so those leaked shots you see above, purportedly showing the LG VS930, have arrived right on schedule. The pics, obtained by Engadget, show an apparently Verizon-branded version of the Optimus LTE II, and come with a list of alleged specs, too.

It seems the VS930 (a possible Spectrum II, perhaps?) runs a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, with a 4.7-inch 730p IPS display, 16GB storage and global radios, in addition to Big Red’s CDMA and LTE. Also said to be included is NFC support, 1GB of RAM and an 8MP rear camera. On the software side, Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich is running the show, along with LG’s Optimus UI 3.0. Design-wise, the phone is a spitting image of its international cousins, the Optimus LTE II and Optimus 4X HD.

A leaked service manual has also emerged, showing in-depth technical info, along with screenshots from the device and photos of internal components. As for when the device will eventually appear on Verizon, the service manual suggests a shipping date of this Friday, July 13. Given that we don’t know how old this document is, and the fact that it’s pretty close to Verizon’s expected Galaxy S III launch date, we’d be surprised to see this device arriving so soon. Nevertheless, it looks like the VS930 is ready to go, so it’s certainly possible we’ll see it sooner rather than later.

Source: Engadget

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4 years ago

Android 4.0.4 update for international Galaxy Note has a couple of tricks up its sleeves


Samsung’s Android 4.0.4 updating spree continues, with today’s news that the international Galaxy Note (that’s the one with GT-N7000 on the box) has also been bumped from 4.0.3 to 4.0.4 (build IMM76D to be precise). The update to the newer version of Ice Cream Sandwich brings with it a couple of interesting new software additions from Samsung, too.

First up, the Pop-up Play feature from the Galaxy S III, which allows videos to be played in a window over the top of existing apps, has been ported to the Note in the new software update. And “signature unlock” has been introduced as a new unlock method, whereby you can sign your name on the screen using the S Pen instead of using PIN or pattern unlock. Aside from that, Android 4.0.4 itself is a pretty minor update to ICS, and we wouldn’t expect too many major changes, besides the usual performance tweaks and bug fixes.

The Android 4.0.4 update for the Galaxy Note is available now on unlocked German handsets, and other territories should start seeing it in the days and weeks ahead. German Note users will be able to pick up the update to the new XXLRG firmware versionover the air, or through Samsung’s Kies desktop software. If you’ve already got yours, hit the comments and let us know how you’re getting on.

Source: XDA, SamMobile; Thanks, @android_indian

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4 years ago

Late-night poll: Samsung and Verizon are offering a developer Galaxy S III, are you buying?


Samsung and Verizon pulled a shocker this afternoon by announcing an unlocked "developer" model of the Verizon Galaxy S III. The idea makes sense, and we've heard Motorola make similar statements, but this is one nobody saw coming. But not all is rosy, because the only way to get one is by paying full price from Samsung, and there's no guarantee that you'll get warranty service if needed.

Two schools of though clash here. On one side, it's a you break, you buy sort of thing when you start hacking your phone. And buying it off contract means Verizon doesn't have to subsidize a phone you may break. On the other hand, the timing of this pretty much sucked, and people are being punished because they can't afford a phone off contract. Which side do you fall on? Are you going to grab one? Hit the poll!

Are you buying a "developer model" Verizon Galaxy S III?

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4 years ago

How to manually flash today's Jelly Bean updates to your GSM Galaxy Nexus [updated with 4.0.4 files]


So you want the latest version of Jelly Bean, but don't want to wait for your turn at the OTA and don't want to flash a custom version of it. We completely understand -- Not everyone is into that. The good news is that a little bit of hackery (just a little, we promise) and an unlocked bootloader can get you some tasty new Jelly Bean with no wait. And when you're finished, you're good as new and completely stock.

You'll need to be running the takju version of the Galaxy Nexus, with the Google I/O preview of Android 4.1 already installed. If you're running the 4.1 preview, download the first file. If you're running 4.0.4, download the second file. Pay close attention to this part. This method may work on other versions, but you don't want to be the guinea pig for that. If you're not running this hit the forums and look for advice.

You'll also need a few tools, namely ClockworkMod recovery, the fastboot files you used to unlock your bootloader, and the OTA package. Grab them here:

ClockworkMod recovery for the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus

 The OTA package if you are running 4.1 (direct from Google)

The OTA package if you're coming from 4.0.4 (direct from Google)

Next you'll need to find the folder where your fastboot installation resides. Place the ClockworkMod recovery image file (it has a .img file extension) in the folder with fastboot. Copy the OTA package zip file to the storage on your phone. Shut your phone off, then hold both volume up and volume down, then press power to enter the bootloader. Now follow along!

  • Plug your phone into a high-speed USB port on the host computer.
  • Open the command line on the host computer, and browse to the folder where fatsboot and the ClockworkMod image are located.
  • At the command line, you're going to tell your phone to reboot into ClockworkMod. You're not going to flash anything. If you're running windows on the host machine, type in fastboot-windows.exe boot recovery-clockwork- . If you're using a Mac or Linux, type in fastboot boot recovery-clockwork- .
  • Your Galaxy Nexus will reboot into ClockworkMod recovery, where you can follow the on screen instructions and flash the OTA package you downloaded and copied to the phone in the beginning of this procedure. 
  • When you're all done, choose to reboot your system from the ClockworkMod recovery menu. You will boot normally, into Jelly Bean, and since we didn't flash CWM, you're still 100% stock.

It looks more complicated than it is, but if you're a bit put off or having trouble unlocking your bootloader, head into the forums. They'll fix you right up, and have you rocking some Jelly Bean goodness in no time. Ummmmm, Jelly Bean.

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4 years ago

Rovio's next game, Amazing Alex, launching on Android this Thursday


The creator of Angry Birds is about ready to launch their next franchise this week - a physics puzzler called Amazing Alex. Rovio has been teasing this game for awhile, and though it's being painfully branded towards tweens, I have no doubt the gameplay will be polished.

The game already did well for itself independently as Casey's Contraptions by developer Mystery Coconut last year, but Rovio had since acquired the company and is now molding it in their image. In all likelihood, that means lots of spin-offs and up-selling as per Angry Birds' precedent, but the trailer video below promises that there will be many free updates. Rovio also hints that there will be a level creator with sharing options, which should be pretty fun. 

The Incredible Machine was always a favorite of mine, so I'm definitely glad to see this kind of Rube Goldberg gaming coming back. Anyone else eager to give Amazing Alex a try?

Source: Rovio

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean pushing now, Newbie unlocking and rooting [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

Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean begins rolling out to HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus


Google has announced that the new version of Android, 4.1 Jelly Bean, is now rolling out to GSM/HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus phones -- that's the international model, and the one sold through the Google Play Store in the U.S. Google says the update will begin rolling out today, and continue "over the next several days." The update bumps the Gnex up to Android 4.1.1 (build JRO03C), the same version that  just pushed out to the Nexus 7, and landed yesterday on AOSP. We've updated our Google I/O edition with the new OTA, and we can confirm that the search results returned through the Google Search app haven't changed -- local results are still returned, just as they were on 4.1. Also, unlike version 4.1, Android 4.1.1 is blocked from downloading the soon-to-be-discontinued Adobe Flash Player -- after updating, the app is marked as incompatible in Google Play.

If you're curious about what's new in Jelly Bean, check out our landing page, and our Jelly Bean feature articles. Writing on the official Nexus Google+ page, Google says that other Galaxy Nexus phones (presumably the CDMA/LTE versions), as well as the Nexus S and Motorola Xoom are due to receive Jelly Bean next. No time frame is provided for this, however.

If you've already got the OTA notification on your device, be sure to hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on with the new version of Android!

Source: +Nexus

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4 years ago

Samsung to offer hacker-friendly 'developer edition' Galaxy S III on Verizon


Want a Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III without all the huffing and puffing that comes a long with encrypted bootloaders? The manufacture has you covered, as it will offer a "developer edition" Verizon Galaxy S 3 through its developer portal for $599.

The other U.S. versions of the Galaxy S 3 all ship with unlockable bootloaders. But not Verizon. Samsung, apparently, has decided to take matters into its own hands. 

There are all the usual caveats, though. If you bork the phone because of something you've done, with all that rooting and flashing and other things kids are prone to do these days, you're own your own. Warranty isn't going to cover it. But you already knew that.

Samsung's proffered a little Q&A about the developer edition, which we've got after the break.

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4 years ago

Android 4.1.1 pushing to the Nexus 7 tablet, boosts performance, adds Google wallet


The Google Nexus 7 tablet isn't quite available to the general public yet, but our Google I/O edition's just gotten an update. As you can see from the screen above, the 12.6MB update to Android 4.1.1 -- which just hit the AOSP servers yesterday --  "improves performance and responsiveness system wide." It also goes on to pimp out some of the newer features of Jelly Bean, including Google Now and the new notifications.

If you've already rooted your Nexus 7, this update will flash so long as you have stock recovery. OTA Rootkeeper works as it should, too, so you'll have no issues getting root access back. (Not that we ever though you would -- this is a Nexus after all.)

It also looks like local search is still enabled, which Jerry just finished explaining means we likely will see an update to Google's proprietary apps to get around that pesky Apple patent thing.

Also of note is that if you haven't installed Google Wallet before, it'll be there now. If there ever was a doubt Google was going to stick with its mobile payment solution, put it out of your mind.

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4 years ago

Android 4.1.1 - an early look at a compiled build


As the resident Android Central code-monkey (a badge I proudly wear) I've been running on fumes and caffeine to test out the AOSP 4.1.1 code since it dropped last night. You knew I had to do it, I knew I had to do it, so there was no use fighting it. For the nerdly inclined out there, building it is easy -- just change the branch to 4.1.1_r1 and go. We'll update the tutorial in the forums as soon as we're sure there are no new nuances we need to address. In the meantime, we were curious about the local search "issue" and if Google had made any changes in the code itself to be Apple-certified™.

Building the unedited, bone-stock Android 4.1.1 and using the Google apps from the Google I/O units and their Jelly Bean update, it looks as if on-device search still exists. Our theory (it's always a guess until Big G says otherwise) is that changes to search will be done with a change to the Google Now and Search applications themselves, which are part of the closed-source Google apps. That's why we see no changes here -- we're still using the old ones. This theory was further bolstered when we learned that Sprint removed local search from the Galaxy S III, but it could be restored by using the old search box app. 

There are two things to take away here -- when we see an OTA update for the Galaxy Nexus, Xoom, and Nexus S, we expect a newer set of G apps that remove the local search options, and that it will be easy enough to restore the functionality if you're willing to root your phone. 

I'll keep building and tinkering with 4.1.1, and if I come across any real changes (it seems a bit faster loading apps, but the placebo affect is strong) you'll be the first to know.

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