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4 years ago

Android Central international round-up - July 28, 2012

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The Olympic Games kicked off in London this week, starting with an opening ceremony featuring two leading smartphones from Samsung, the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note. And with Samsung being not only a leading Android manufacturer, but a global Olympic partner, it's been behind many of the Olympic Android news over the past week, launching limited edition back covers and Android apps based around the games.

But it wasn't all good news for Samsung fans this week, as there was some confusion surrounding the fate of local search on the international Galaxy S3. First it appeared the feature had been pulled, seemingly to avoid further litigation from Apple. However, a few days later it emerged that local search had been removed in error, and since then an OTA has gone out to reinstate the feature.

Though the Olympics is taking place in London over the next few weeks, many Brits are still planning on traveling overseas, with a majority holidaying in Europe. So to help British visitors to Europe get the best deal from their network, we've published our complete guide to each of the UK carriers' roaming plans. A recent ruling from the EU has put an end to the days of paying several pounds per megabyte of roaming data, and there's actually a fair selection of good roaming deals around now. So you'll definitely want to check out our guide if you're hopping across the channel over the next couple of months.

We also got an early sneak peek at some Sony phones expected to be unveiled at IFA in Berlin next month. The entryl-level "Xperia J," as well as the flagship LT30p "Mint" and LT29i "Hayabusa" all leaked out in various forms. All three run Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, and it looks like Sony's abandoned the "clear element" in its earlier 2012 designs in favor of a more traditional candybar layout.

Check the list below for a full run-down of all the major international stories over the past week. If you've got news, you can tip us at the usual address.

Special features:

News:

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4 years ago

Apple UK spared from posting Samsung apology, for now

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Admit it, Android fan. When you first heard that Apple would have to publicly admit Samsung didn't copy the iPad's design, you let out a little cheer. The UK courts seemed to have taken a stand that could make these super rich companies think twice about submitting frivolous lawsuits. 

Now though, Apple has gone and got themselves a stay of execution though on this one it seems. According to Bloomberg, Cupertino has submitted an appeal saying the company didn't want to advertise for its rivals, and as such the order has been stayed until October. So, at least for the next couple of months, we won't get to read about the above device on Apple's website. It seems this, like other Apple versus Samsung lawsuits, will continue to drag on and on.

Source: Bloomberg via iMore

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4 years ago

LG Nitro HD sees another Android 4.0 ICS leak ahead of official update

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As we already know, AT&T will be updating the LG Nitro HD with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on July 31st but just in case you simply cannot wait, there is a new leak now out there claiming to be to be the official final build. You'll need to use the notably crappy LG Windows Suite to get it loaded up but it's there and available for download.

As with all things not officially official, we suggest some caution loading it but if you're one to tosses that suggestion to the wind, you'll find the link below. If you're on a different carrier, say Bell Mobility you're going to want to read through it all to ensure compatibility but that's where those cautionary measures come in once again.

Source: XDA

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4 years ago

From the Android Forums: Nexus 7 hard reset questions

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Willter12 asks in the Nexus 7 forums,

I have read that a hard reset is activated by:

  1. Turn off.
  2. Hold vol up/vol down/power on
  3. Select Recovery using vol buttons and press power button
  4. After several minutes, screen with red triangle will appear
  5. Hold volume up and press return for menu to make hard reset

All goes well til #4. Here I get blank screen showing "Google" and it never moves into the red triangle picture and just freezes. I have waited over 20 minutes for the boot into recovery menu and nothing happens.

Have I missed a step or is something wrong? If onboard recovery process is broke is there a way to fix it? I would like to have access to hard reset should something dire go wrong.

No I am not rooted nor have I tried to root and have only loaded apps at this point. Everything else is working fine and this appears to be an excellent device.

Thanks for any advice....

You read right, willter12. But it happens that there's a bit of a bug and you won't be able to follow those standard directions with the Nexus 7. Amend them with an extra step -- plugging the tablet into your computer. Once you are at the bootloader screen, you can't move on to recovery unless there's a connection on the USB port. Plugging it into the wall won't work, but the computer you use doesn't have to have the SDK or Fastboot set up on it, it just needs to be turned on. Change your steps to read like so:

  1. Turn off.
  2. Hold vol up/vol down/power on
  3. Plug the tablet into the USB port on a computer
  4. Select Recovery using vol buttons and press power button
  5. After several minutes, screen with red triangle will appear
  6. Hold volume up and press return for menu to make hard reset

It's inconvenient, we agree. But at least it's fairly easy to work around since the computer requires no set-up. As you mention, this is important for everyone -- not just those that live to hack. 

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

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4 years ago

Dead Space updated to include support for the Google Nexus 7

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If you happened to get your hands on a Nexus 7 but were feeling a little bitter because your previously purchased Dead Space wasn't compatible with it, turn that frown upside down. Electronic Arts has issued an update for the game and you'll find the only change is the inclusion of support for the Nexus 7. Go ahead, fire up the Google Play Store and grab the update. If you're new to Dead Space, you'll find the link below.

Download: Dead Space

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4 years ago

Favorite Jelly Bean ROMs, Removing WiFi reminder on One X [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

Pantech Star Q spotted, headed to Verizon packing 4G LTE

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Although Pantech hasn''t had a much success in the high-end market, they're still coming out with some entry level options to entice those people who may be jumping into the smartphone market for the first time. A new device for Verizon has now appeared going under the name Pantech Star Q. It's no head turner but considering it's suggested to retail for only $99 with 4G LTE it's worth a look:

  • Android 4.0.4
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor
  • 4-inch WVGA display
  • 3 MP rear camera, front-facing camera
  • Bluetooth 4.0

It is, what it is. The 5-row QWERTY may appeal to some folks given there is a shortage of those on Verizon other than that, we know whoever has one in their possession has uploaded some pics to Picassa and certainly likes Hemp seeds. We'll leave it at that.

Source: Android and Me

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean factory images released for (some) Nexus models

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The Jelly Bean 4.1.1 images for selected Nexus models have been released by Google, allowing you to roll back to a safe, factory state no matter how bad you've f&%^#d up your Nexus. The particular models are  --

This is good news for all of us who hack and modify our Nexus devices, as having an easy and safe way to return to a booting device is the first rule of Android hacking. You can grab the images at the source link, and be sure to hit the forums for more information about how this all works if you have any questions.

Source: Android Developers; via Android Central forums

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4 years ago

HTC One X sees a price drop at Radio Shack, and the Trade & Save special is back

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If you're looking to pick up a new Android phone on AT&T this weekend, you might want to swing by Radio Shack and have a look at the HTC One X this Sunday. The folks at the Shack are dropping the price down to $100 (on a contract, of course) and have brought back the Trade & Save specials. That means that if you bring in any working phone when you buy a new one (again, with a contract) you will score somewhere between $30 and $300. Beats the heck out of trolling Craigslist looking for a buyer, or just letting your old phone sit in the junk drawer.

We know the best way to buy a phone is to get an unlocked GSM model and be free of pesky multi-year contracts. We get it. But not everyone is ready to spend upwards of $700 on a new phone, and if you're happy with your carrier and plan to be there for two years anyway, why not save some cash, right? Radio Shack is making it easy to get a great phone, at a great price, and maybe you'll even get some folding money from your old one. The promotion starts Sunday July 29, and the Trade & Save offer will run until Saturday Aug. 11. 

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4 years ago

Google Play Store down in Puerto Rico

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The Google Play Store appears to be down for users in Puerto Rico. A thread over at the Android section of the Google Code site has received lots of responses from people in Puerto Rico confirming the issue. The problem is affecting a variety of handsets, including the Motorola Xoom (pictured above) to the Galaxy Nexus.

If you're in Puerto Rico and are also experiencing the issue, please head over and report it to Google. Make sure to tell them which device you have and what version of Android you're running.

Hopefully this issue can be quickly resolved.

Source: Google Code

Image courtesy of gcolon

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4 years ago

Out of Milk review - now you have no excuse for forgetting groceries

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Out of Milk has been providing a clean, feature-rich task management app for some time, and earlier this month they started offering list sharing and syncing for free, along with having a major UI overhaul. We decided to take a look because hey, who doesn't have trouble keeping track of all the stuff they have to do?

The core functions of Out of Milk are just about what you would expect: make shopping lists, and mark them as done. There are dedicated interfaces for the pantry and more generic task lists, but groceries are really the main thing. If you're willing to pay $1.99 through an awkward separate app download, you can get even more, such as additional themes, fonts, home screen widgets, coupon tracking, and customizing tap and long-press actions.

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4 years ago

HTC explains decision to drop Desire HD Ice Cream Sandwich update

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After a little confusion earlier this month, it was eventually revealed that HTC wouldn't be updating the venerable Desire HD to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich after all. At the time, the manufacturer simply said that the current Gingerbread-based firmware "provides customers with the best experience" on the phone. Now HTC has elaborated a little on the specific technical issues keeping the DHD from getting an Android 4.0 update. Basically, the system partition of the phone isn't large enough to hold Sense and Ice Cream Sandwich, and HTC found the device's performance on ICS to be below-par anyway.

Here's the company's statement in full, which goes into a fair amount of detail about what's involved --

We’ve heard your feedback on our decision not to update the HTC Desire HD to Android 4.0. We completely understand that this is a controversial decision.

For more background, due to how storage on the HTC Desire HD is partitioned – and the larger size of Android 4.0 – it would require re-partitioning device storage and overwriting user data in order to install this update. While technically advanced users might find this solution acceptable, the majority of customers would not. We also considered ways to reduce the overall size of the software package, but this would impact features and functionality that customers are currently using. Even after installing the update, there were other technical limitations which we felt negatively impacted the user experience.

We believe an update should always improve the user experience and carefully evaluate each update based on this criteria. While we are very aware of the disappointment from this decision, we believe the impact to user experience was too great. We recognize this is a change from our previous statement and for that we’re truly sorry.

So that's that. Clearly there's no way HTC could have anticipated the hardware or partitioning requirements of ICS when designing the Desire HD in mid-2010, so it's the decision to cut the update is an understandable one. Nevertheless, we're sure custom ROM developers will still find a way to get ICS ROMs loaded onto the Desire HD's smaller partition setup. So if you're still rocking a DHD, the custom ROM route should still be open to you.

Source: HTC Blog

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4 years ago

Lenovo goes outside the box, offers vanilla ICS build for the Lenovo IdeaPad K1

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Although Lenovo IdeaPad K1 never really got much love, the folks from Lenovo have now gone ahead and prepared a little treat for tech-savvy buyers. Retail units have long since been pulled from brick-and-mortar and online shelves, leaving the device stuck on Android 3.2 Honeycomb. But instead of pressing forward with an update to Android 4.0 ICS to the masses, Lenovo has dropped a vanilla build for anyone who wishes to load it manually. They even outlined instructions on how to do it.

A few caveats do exist though, as it's a vanilla build. You'll not find the Google Play Store loaded on this release plus, it's going to wipe everything you currently have loaded. But that's all minor stuff for the intended audience of developers and tech geeks. No matter how you look at it, it's a nice gesture from Lenovo and something that we'd personally like to see become more widespread. Good on ya, Lenovo.

Source: Lenovo via: Engadget

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4 years ago

Google Maps debuts higher resolution imagery around the world

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While Google Earth recently impressed us with its 3D antics at Google I/O, its 2D counterpart, Google Maps is just as important. Today Maps sees its 2D imagery significantly upgraded in a number of countries, with higher resolution satellite pictures, aerial imagery and 45-degree shots.

Google says it's rolled out high-resolution aerial and satellite-based images for 25 cities and 25 "regions/countries." And new 45-degree perspective shots are now available in a total of 28 cities, 21 in the U.S. and 7 overseas. While perspective shots have yet to be rolled out to mobile, Android users can get access to the high-resolution top-down images right away by enabling the "Satellite" layer from within the Google Maps app.

We've got list of all the new cities and countries covered by the new high-res imagery after the break.

Source: Google Lat Long Blog

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4 years ago

Original Final Fantasy now available in Google Play

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Black mages, it's time to put on your robe and wizard hat. The original Final Fantasy is now on sale in Google Play, offering the same turn-based combat and high fantasy as the classic with fresh graphics. 

Final Fantasy isn't quite as aggressive as Final Fantasy III was with pricing, but $6.99 may still be more than you're used to paying. Of course, when it comes to nostalgia, sometimes money is no object. Any old-school gamers excited to get back into the first Final Fantasy?

Download: Final Fantasy ($6.99)

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