Recent Articles | Android Central

Pre-order Pixel: Google | Verizon Shop Chromebooks: Asus Flip | Acer 14 | Dell 13


4 years ago

ICS for Sprint Epic 4G Touch leaks again, still not ready for prime time


We've seen a couple new Ice Cream Sandwich builds leaked out for the Sprint Epic 4G Touch, and that makes us happy.  It means someone is hard at work making this happen, nobody has forgotten about these great phones, and eventually ICS will show up for everyone that has one.  But it's also easy to see why it's not there yet.

We love seeing leaks, and we try them, too.  It's a fun part of Android, and having access to something a wee bit early appeals to the nerd in each of us.  But when Sprint releases the ICS update, it has to work for everyone.  That's why it hasn't been released for the E4GT just yet -- it's simply not ready for prime time.  Some folks are seeing problems with the data connection, others are seeing issues with MTP, issues with overheating are being reported, and some general wonkiness is still going on.  To make matters worse, some folks seem to have no issues at all.  When you take user error out of the equation, you're left with a piece of software that acts a bit different from one device to the next.  That's the sort of headache software developers have to deal with on a daily basis, and that's why it often takes longer than we'd like to see the latest version of shiny and new hit our phones. 

The past couple of builds are great fodder for the ROM builders and hackers.  If that's how you roll, you'll be seeing some new goodies from your favorite developer soon for your flashing enjoyment.  If you're not that type, the news is still good -- Samsung and Sprint are hard at work, and aren't going to release anything to the public until they think it's ready.  That's the way it should be.

More: XDA-Developers.  Thanks everyone who sent this in!

Read more and comment

4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Ch-ch-ch-changes, permissions and paranoia, Droid 4 and Galaxy Note thoughts


I am an excited editor. No, really.

Excited because I've seen the roadmap for Android Central. Excited for the way we're going to bring you more Android news than ever before. For the way we're going to continue to be your first, last and best source for all things Android. For all the new devices. For all the best apps. For all the live events. For all the tips and how-tos. And for this, I am excited.

You're already getting a taste of it, with the latest iteration to our homepage. If you missed it, read my post on the changes. But the idea is to bring you the most important news quickly and succinctly, as well as continue to cover the bits and pieces that make Android the most fascinating platform around. And, perhaps more important, we're bringing to the front page the latest and greatest forum discussions. The news is awesome and important, to be sure. But the forums truly are where the real work is done. Nearly 700,000 members. More than 1.5 million posts. Members helping members. A kick-ass cadre of moderators and advisors steering things along. All with a sense of respect and professionalism you'll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

(Fun fact: If you wonder how I ended up with this job, it started by posting the TreoCentral/WPCentral (nee WMExperts) forums back in the day. Dieter Bohn asked if I'd like to try writing and the rest, as they say, is history.)

And this is just the beginning. It's not final, and it's not perfect. We're improving things every day and will continue to do so. If you've got a suggestion on how we can make your time at Android Central better, feel free to e-mail me.

And now, with all that gushing over with, here's how I'm seeing things ...

Read more and comment

4 years ago

5-inch devices - a great half-way to tablets, or a phone only a giant could love?


I'm 6 feet, 8 inches tall. For our metric friends, that's 203 centimeters. I have, on more than one occasion, been called the tallest blogger in the world. (And may well be.) I can palm a basketball without any trouble. I cheer on the giants in Skyrim when they punt my lackey into orbit. Sometimes I imagine them doing cute little drawings on the Samsung Galaxy Note, mapping out the constellations the poor soul will be visiting shortly. The fact is, when someone first sees a 5-inch smartphone, be it the ill-fated Dell Streak or Samsung's latest stylus-toting follow-up, most folks think only an unnaturally gigantic person could use the thing to make a call. Well, they're wrong; even for us Gigantors, it's pretty unwieldy. 

I have to say, my time with the Samsung Galaxy Note has definitely helped me appreciate what you little people are going through with ballooning screen sizes. 4-inch displays are now the norm among Android hardware, and make the 3.5-inch screen on the iPhone 4S, sharp as it may be, feel extremely cramped. While 4 inches is perfectly fine for me, cranking it up to 5 makes me realize just how unrealistic it is to use a bigger phone one-handed.  Those larger screens also mean tighter pockets, awkward grips when making a call, and can be a significant drain on the power supply, even if the battery gets an equivalent up-size.

Read more and comment

4 years ago

LG unveils Optimus Vu, complete with 4:3 aspect ratio and stylus


LG has made the Optimus Vu official, announcing the 5-inch phone on their Korean Newsroom site early this AM.  Running Gingerbread (Android 2.3) and packing a 5.0-inch display with a 4:3 aspect ratio and a specialized stylus, the size alone makes this one a force to reckon with.

The full list of specs according to LG:

  • 139.6 x 90.4 x 8.5mm
  • Weight: 168g
  • 5-inch IPS 650 nit display at 1024x768
  • 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front
  • 32GB storage
  • 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 2080 mAh battery
  • HDMI
  • DLNA
  • Wifi Direct

We've already seen the Optimus Vu holding hands with the other member of the ginormus-phone club, the Galaxy Note (which went on sale for AT&T hours before this announcement), but it's nice to see some clearer press shots.  No word on any worldwide release, but we're told to expect it in Korea on SK Telecom in early March.  LG also says to expect more at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona about the Vu, and we'll be right there to hear and see it.  

We've got more pics and the full presser after the break.

More: LG Korea (Korean)

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note available today on AT&T for $299


The the Samsung Galaxy Note is finally available in the United States, hitting Best Buy and AT&T's websites right this second, and brick-and-mortar stores just as soon as the sun rises. (And, you know, the stores actually open.)

The Galaxy Note is no stranger to these parts. We reviewed the European version some months ago -- it's already shipped more than 1 million units worldwide -- and we've had the AT&T version for a few days now. They're larger the same (large) smartphone. It's got a hulking (but beautiful) 5.3-inch Super AMOLED display -- with a whopping 800x1280 resolution -- powered by a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor running Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread.It's got an 8-megapixel camera in the back, and a 2MP shooter ujp front.

The AT&T version varies slightly by switching to the traditional 4-butoon scheme below the display, whereas the Euro version opts for a larger, centered home button. That's not unusual -- the Galaxy S and Galaxy S II lines did the same. AT&T's Galaxy Note also throws in a 4G LTE radio in addition to the HSPA+ radio. (Take that, Europe!)

It's a smartphone, to be sure. Makes phone calls and everything. But the noted feature of the note -- and really the reason it's so big -- is the included stylus, called the S Pen. It brings a whole 'nother level of functionality to the traditional Android experience. And when not needed (or wanted), it tucks away neatly into the phone itself, out of sight, out of mind.

There's your teaser. We've got lots more coming in our full AT&T Galaxy Note review. If you're the early adopting type, head into a store today, or hit the links below.

Buy the Samsung Galaxy note: AT&T, Best Buy
More: Galaxy Note forums

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Feb 18, 2012


Looking for something new to try out on this long President's Day Weekend? Well, if you already grabbed some accessories at a discount the next thing to do would be to check out some new applications for your device, right? Let's hit the break and check out some of our favorites this week!

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Motorola Droid RAZR, RAZR MAXX update pushing out


Update: Because so many people are just starting to get the update (thanks for the e-mails, everybody!), we're going to bump this post -- something we try to avoid doing for obvious reasons.

Original from Feb. 6: If you're the proud owner of a Motorola Droid RAZR, or it's brother with a bit bigger gas tank the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX, (read the review of the MAXX right here)  there's an OTA update ready and waiting for you.  Version 6.12.173.XT912.Verizon.en.US (there's no way we could make that one up) started slowly rolling out over the weekend and is now pushing hard and heavy, and chances are you can grab it yourself by simply going to Settings>About Phone>System Updates.  

The update itself is about 150MB in size, and updates the software to Android 2.3.6.  I know many were wanting Ice Cream Sandwich, but this update brings some welcome bug fixes and security patches, so we'll gladly take it.  The full change list, line by line:

  • Mobile Hotspot will now successfully allow other devices to connect to all
  • Improvements in the Mobile Hotspot security.
  • VZ Navigator has been updated with the latest 3D map improvements.
  • Visual Voice Mail messages can be marked as read.
  • Visual Voice Mail message playback resumes when audio is switched to speaker.
  • Visual Voice Mail will successfully subscribe or unsubscribe while connected with Wifi.
  • Successfully press back key after playback in Visual Voice Mail without error.
  • V CAST App now comes preloaded.
  • MotoCast installation steps have been improved for easier use.
  • Improved stability of data connectivity after Airplane Mode is disabled.
  • Improved data throughput performance in low-signal 4G environments.
  • Improved Battery life when using Phone Book Access Profile (PBAP) Bluetooth headsets.
  • Successfully save multimedia ringtones.
  • Favorite Contacts widget has been updated.
  • Improved device stability when moving between home screen panels.
  • Email icon has been updated for improved visibility.
  • When performing an Over the Air (OTA) update, the display will correctly show the remaining download time.
  • CMAS (Commercial Mobile Alert Service) feature has been added.

That's a hell of a list, and seeing improvements with 4G data connectivity is certainly something everyone likes to see.  Things should go smoothly after this one, but if you hit any snags or just want to discuss it all, be sure to hit the forums!

More: Verizon

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Late-night poll: Is your Android phone rooted?


Since we started doing our polls each weeknight, the most popular requested subject from you guys was about root.  People want to know who is rooting their phones, and why they're doing it.  It's a choice everyone should consider before making, as these little (and not so little) pieces of glass and plastic can get pretty darned expensive to replace.  Futzing around with the software can be a risky move, and when your done your phone is a bit less secure.  

But man, can it be fun.  So let's take a poll and see what the average reader of Android Central has to say.  Do you root your phone?


Do you root your phone?

Read more and comment

4 years ago

In love with the Rezound, Naked or with a Case? [From the Forums]


We've rock and rolled all throughout this week with plenty of content and even found time for a podcast.. somewhere in between keeping up-to-date with all the news and launching a more refined version of Android Central. If you missed out on anything, get caught up and then join us in the Android Central Forums:

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Google counting down, building up to Mobile World Congress



You didn't really think Google would have just any old countdown page for Mobile World Congress, did you? And instead of saying Google's counting down to MWC, it looks more like el Goog is building up to MWC. What you see above is where we stand as of Feb. 17, and just below is a little slider that goes from a blank canvas to what should be a fully formed Android extravaganza.

Google's not going to half-ass its MWC presence, that's for sure. Last year there were smoothies of every major version flavor (well, most of them anyway), a two-story slide, and more developers than we could shake a stick at. It was magical.

Source: Google at Mobile World Congress

Read more and comment

4 years ago

What the hell did we just do to Android Central?!?!?!?


Welcome to the next iteration of Android Central. We'd give you a version number but, frankly, we have no idea what version we're on.. Just like Android, we keep on doing our thing. (Though we're able to get updates to all of you at one time, which is awesome.)

So what's new? We just rolled out a new version of our homepage filter, with much more filtering power behind it.

You now have three main options for content on the Android Central home page.

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Angry Birds headed into space on March 22


Maybe Rovio's running out of holidays, because it's sending the Angry Birds into Space next month, as part of a deal with brings in NASA and National Geographic as launch partners. Details from Yahoo Games suggests that the new version of Angry Birds will introduce new gravity-based gameplay as well as slow-motion puzzles and "lightspeed" destruction.

Rovio plans a simultaneous launch across all mobile platforms, including Android, from Mar. 22.

We've got the full teaser trailer after the jump.

Source: Yahoo Games, Rovio

Read more and comment

4 years ago

HTC adds more North American phones to Ice Cream Sandwich update list


HTC sends word via its official Facebook page that in addition to the handful of phones already announced, Verizon's Rhyme, Droid Incredible 2 and Thunderbolt will be getting the latest version of Android later in the year. And on the Canadian side, the manufacturer has confirmed that the HTC Raider on Rogers and Bell will also see ICS in the months ahead.

We have more good news related to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, and can confirm that upgrades are planned for Verizon Wireless customers with the HTC Rhyme, HTC Thunderbolt, and DROID Incredible 2 by HTC, as well as the already announced HTC Rezound.   In addition, the HTC Raider is on the list to receive ICS for customers of Rogers and Bell in Canada. Stay tuned for more news on Ice Cream Sandwich releases in the coming weeks.

So great news for owners of those phones, especially the long-suffering Thunderbolt, which took long enough to get bumped from Froyo to Gingerbread. HTC expects to begin updating international handsets to ICS in the next month, starting with the Sensation and Sensation XE.

Source: HTC USA Facebook

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Archos 35 Smart Home Phone review


If there’s one area of communications that remains firmly rooted in the 20th century, it’s the humble home phone. Dumb, unloved and tethered to a wall, these devices have been left behind, as cellphone technology continues to soar further into the stratosphere. With Android expanding its reach to ever more product classes, it was only a matter of time before someone attempted to bring the home phone up to date by introducing it to the leading smartphone operating system. And that’s precisely the idea behind the Archos 35 Smart Home Phone.

However, questions remain as to whether a smartphone OS belongs on such a device. Smartphones are personal, portable gadgets, neither of which applies to the typical home phone. And we have some concerns about the hardware too, particularly the nasty resistive touchscreen that’s been used.

Read on to find out our full thoughts, as we dive further into the Archos 35 Smart Home Phone.

Good call quality, DECT functionality works well. Offers a decent, if basic Android experience.

Abysmal resistive touchscreen, cheap build quality, awkward button placement and a couple of software bugs. No Android Market support.

We’re still not convinced that a home phone is the right place for a smartphone OS and matching hardware, and if we are to be persuaded, the Archos 35 Smart Home Phone isn’t the device to do it.

Inside this review

More info

Read more and comment

Show More Headlines