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4 years ago

Android Central international round-up - March 17, 2012

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Despite the obvious hype surrounding a certain Apple tablet, it's been another busy week of international Android news. Sony finally gave its "Pepper" smartphone an official name, the Xperia Sola, and we saw some interesting new touchscreen tech introduced in this mid-range device.

It's also been a big week for rumors and release date info. We spotted not one, but two unconfirmed Galaxy S III renders out on the web, though we're still uncertain as to how genuine they are. And finally, there was some good news for those waiting on Android updates, as the international Galaxy S II got its ICS update, as did the HTC Velocity in Australia. Meanwhile the HTC One X got a tentative UK release date of April 5.

Check some highlights from past week's Android developments in Europe, Asia and beyond in the list below. And if you've got international news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

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4 years ago

Verizon adding remote diagnostics tool to latest LG Revolution update

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Verizon just gave us a heads up to a new update for the LG Revolution that, among other things, will add "Verizon Remote Diagnostics" to the smartphone.

Before anybody freaks out, Verizon describes this as a "new customer care solution to improve device issue diagnosis during customer support calls." You'll have to give a customer service rep permissions, and they they'll be able to "remotely view the user's device for troubleshooting and application demonstrations."

In other words, they'll be able to see and take over your phone -- again, with your permission -- to show and fix stuff. Different from a Carrier IQ-type analytics tool hanging out in the background (though we're willing to bet it's got full access to that same sort of information if need be). Should be interesting to see what folks pull out of this.

Other fixes coming down the pike in version VS910ZV8 include:

Device Enhancements

  • Resolved reboot issue found during operating system upgrade from Froyo
  • to Gingerbread.
  • Playing AVI video files through HDMI no longer causes display to flicker.
  • Placing an alarm on snooze while on a voice call will set snooze to 5 minutes.
  • Dolby presets have been updated to use loudness, bass and spaciousness
  • to improve the user’s experience.
  • When placing the device into Airplane Mode, the 4G icon no longer appears.
  • Email, Messaging & Web
  • Sending a text message to a 7 digit number will display as sent and received.
  • Improved device messaging to fix delays or incomplete sends.
  • Pressing the back key while browsing will take the user back to the previous page.

Applications & Widgets

  • Verizon Video is now preloaded.
  • Calendar widget now displays correct month for November.

It'll be interesting to see if this is just the first Verizon phone to have Verizon Remote Diagnostics added. Either way, props to Verizon for being up front about the addition.

More: LG Revolution VS910ZV8 changelog (pdf)

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4 years ago

'Samsung Galaxy S III' pictured, May 22 London unveiling rumored

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ZOMG!! Is this the Samsung Galaxy S III???

Who knows. But at the very least it looks a bit more legitimate than the past few alleged images to have emerged online. The screen capture above appeared on Reddit this morning with little in the way of supporting information. However based on the dates and locations shown in the render, there's already rampant speculation that the Galaxy S III will be unveiled in London on May 22, tying into the build-up to the Summer Olympics (of which Sammy is a big sponsor). No doubt it's possible, but it's still a bit of a stretch based on one image of questionable veracity.

If it is accurate, though, we could be looking at a phone with the usual physical/capacitive button setup, a 16:9 display, ICS, TouchWiz and a physical camera button -- none of which is particularly surprising. The presence of a metallic trim similar to that of the Galaxy Tab 2 and Galaxy Note 10.1 is interesting to note, too. If nothing else, there's way less wrong with this image than other purported Galaxy S III pics. Though that doesn't necessarily mean it's legit.

The logo you see in the bottom right belongs to Weber Shandwick Worldwide, a large global PR firm. Samsung uses a whole bunch of PR agencies around the world, so it's entirely possible these guys are involved with promoting a future Samsung device. It's also entirely unconfirmed.

We're sure to hear more about Samsung's next big thing as the Summer approaches, so keep it locked to AC for all the latest.

Source: Reddit; thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Heads up: We're giving away a THIRD ASUS Transformer Prime and dock

So we're already giving away two ASUS Transformer Prime's with their keyboard docks -- one via Google+, the other in our forums. Only, as some of you have noticed, the Google+ link is mostly dead. Pesky rules or something. No matter. Here's what we're going to do:

We're going to give away a third Transformer Prime and keyboard dock. To enter, just leave a comment in this post. That simple.

So now you've got three ways to win -- in the now-dead Google+ thread (don't you worry, we can still see it, so we can still pick a winner), this thread in our forums, and now here on this post. We'll shut it down at the same time -- 8 a.m. PDT Monday morning.

​Who do ya love?

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4 years ago

Late-night poll: Would you buy a tablet because it was Google branded?

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There's a lot of speculation about a Google branded tablet in the news recently, and we're all paying close attention to the rumors. A 7-inch tablet with decent internals, running ICS at the right price strikes home for some of us. But there's another thing to think about -- it's still a plain vanilla 7-inch tablet. We've seen ASUS and ACER can push out updates to their tablets, so being on the latest version isn't a question any longer.You're likely to get better customer service from a consumer-oriented company that you would from Google as well.

We love Android tablets. Most of you guys and gals reading this will as well. We're Android enthusiasts. But let's face it, Android on a tablet has been a bit slow to take off. Even as enthusiasts, we have to admit that. Is Google putting their name on the box the trick to make them sell?

That is the question, you have the answers. Would you buy an Android tablet solely because it was backed by Google? Tell us in tonight's poll.

 

Would you buy an Android tablet just because it was Google branded?

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4 years ago

Hands-on video with root options in CyanogenMod 9

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As you might've heard, popular custom ROM CyanogenMod 9 is introducing some changes in the way it handles root access. The gist of it is that root is now an option, not the default setting. It's still available if you need it, but you'll need to go into "developer options" and select whether you want apps, ADB or both to have root when you're done flashing your ROM.

As you'll see in our new video, if you try to run a root app without this setting enabled, you'll get a message directing you to the root setting. It's a bit like the "unknown sources" option that blocks non-Google Play apps by default -- enabled as standard for added security, but easy to bypass if you want.

We've got a quick video walkthrough after the jump.

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4 years ago

BlackBerry refugee, Leaked ICS for the Rezound [From the Forums]

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With the end of the week now here, we're all ready to roll on into the weekend. Today itself, was pretty bust for Android news with Cyanogen Mod dropping some news on us all and a new ICS leak for the Rezound -- exciting times. Get yourself caught up, and come hang out with us in the Android Central 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

Droid Pro update official, change log posted

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A couple days ago we told you about the soak test starting up for the Motorola Droid Pro, and it seems to have passed and version 4.7.3.XT610 has been made official. Verizon has posted the change log and update instructions on their support site, with some critical bugs being addressed. The full list:

  • Improved security with DigiNotar security patch.
  • Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
  • Device will no longer lockup or reset after an Over the Air update.
  • Device will no longer automatically power on after it has been powered off.
  • Pressing the spacebar key will no longer cause the device to lockup.
  • Improvements to keyboard backlighting.
  • Smart Forwarding will no longer cause forwarded messages to remain in the Outbox
  • V CAST Apps is now updated to version 2.00.54.
  • VZ Navigator is now updated to version 7.2.0.461

Users affected by the weird lockup and phantom reboot bugs should be especially happy, and security fixes are always welcome on a device designed for business use. For those who aren't using the Droid Pro for business and have been using other methods to keep it current, don't accept this one until a developer says you can. 

There's no timeline when you should expect the update, but as soon as we hear that it's begun rolling out we'll let you know. It's not ICS, but at least Motorola and Verizon didn't forget about the Droid Pro.

More: Verizon

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4 years ago

SPC Music Sketchpad 2 [Android App Review]

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

Music is something really close to my heart. It's what I'm majoring in (Go Bobcats!), something I've been involved in for years, and my other great passion besides writing about Android. When I'm lucky enough to find an app that combines music and Android, I'm in hog heaven. While SPC Music Sketchpad 2 (whew, that's a mouthful!) isn't as abstract as say, Plasma Sound, it's still really fun to use and powerful enough to create some really cool beats.

Once you open SPC 2, you're greeted with a grid of prepackaged sounds. Tap a sound and it starts to play, over and over. Each sound has a different pattern (and usually plays at a different time), so out of the box you've got some solid variety.

When you hit the pencil button you go into sound editing mode. When you touch a sound, instead of it turning on, you're taken to another grid where you can change when your sound activates, add more sounds, or turn it off completely. Then, you can save your edited sound so you don't have to remember how you changed it and redo the whole thing later.

There's also a cool effects panel where you can mess with things like distortion and reverb. Some of the effects are passive (just turn up their amount and they'll do their thing), but others you need to manually hit an effect button to have them work. (Distortion works this way.)

Finally, when you realize you've hit musical gold, you can record your sick beat onto your SD card, preserving it forever (or until your SD card fails). Assuming you get it onto a computer or other media device in a timely fashion, know that many dance parties will be had as the result of your musical ingenuity and tech-savvy nerdiness.

SPC Music Sketchpad 2 is $4.99 in the Google Play store for a limited time. We've got download links after the break.

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4 years ago

Early ICS build leaks for the Verizon HTC Rezound

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Have a hankering for some Ice Cream Sandwich on the HTC Rezound? Patience, folks, as Verizon's not pushing it just yet, but an early and very much unofficial build has been leaked to the folks at Android Police, who have in turn made it available to everyone.

You'll need to be on a stock bootloader -- HTC's unlocked bootloader won't work -- and you need to remember that this is likely to differ from what eventually gets pushed out. (When the official version will hit is still anyone's guess -- Verizon hasn't yet said.) So long as you're cool with that, hit the link below and get to flashing.

Source: Android Police

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4 years ago

UK property search site Rightmove launches new Android app on March 19.

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Rightmove is one of the biggest websites in the UK. Its property listings cover the length and breadth of the country and over 20000 estate agents and property developers. It's also how I found the house I currently own. Until now all that was missing was an Android app. As of March 19, Rightmove's first Android app will be live in the Google Play Store to cater to all your house-hunting needs. 

There was an iOS app released from Rightmove way back in 2009, followed by a Samsung SmartTV app last year. Quite why it has taken so long to come to Android is a mystery, but they got here which is the important thing. 

On the face of it, we're getting a full experience too. By hooking into your Rightmove account, you can share listings with other people, and look at your favourites on the go. It also takes full advantage of Google Maps by offering street view options. Seeing the street is almost as important as seeing the house, after all. 

Full-screen floor plans and photos are also promised, as is the ability to contact agents from within the app. On release Rightmove will be free in the Google Play Store. You'll find a quick walkthrough video after the break.

Source: Pocket-lint

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4 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich seen running on Asus Netbook

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Youtube Link for mobile viewing

When we think of Asus in the Android world, we think of their Transformer line of tablets first and foremost. But one of the beauties of Android is its open nature, and what enterprising developers can do with it. One such set of developers have crafted together a version of Ice Cream Sandwich that runs on an Asus netbook, demonstrated here on an Asus EeePC X101Ch.

This isn't endorsed in anyway by Asus, but the fellows on the Android x-86 project have compiled a  reasonably functional build of ICS for use on the netbook. They're still working on multi-touch support, support for external monitors, Ethernet support and support for all applications. That said, it's a pretty solid first attempt it seems, we even get treated to sound courtesy of the on-board Google Play Music app. YouTube also seems to work pretty well. Hit the source link below for more information.

Source: Asus Campuslife via Slashgear

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4 years ago

Activision developing Call of Duty ELITE for tablets

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Call of Duty fans have something to be excited for today, as T3 is reporting that a native tablet version of the ELITE mobile app is in the works. According to Activision Product Director Noah Heller, a tablet-optimized app was the natural next step, after the developer pushed over 2 million copies of the mobile title on iOS and Android. There are few details available just yet, though the game is said to be coming to both the iPad and Android tablets. It will offer a similar experience to what is now available on smartphones, meaning that you'll need an ELITE account and a copy of Modern Warfare 3 on your console or computer. We'll keep our ear to the ground for details as they trickle in.

Source: T3

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4 years ago

CyanogenMod 9 makes root access an option, not the default

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Since the earliest days of unofficial Android ROMs, root access and custom firmwares like CyanogenMod have gone hand in hand. However, future versions of CyanogenMod will take a step back from always-on root, disabling root access by default but allowing users to easily enable it through a menu.

In a statement on their official site, the CM team says that having root access enabled by default represents a "major security risk," one which can be remedied by introducing four user-configurable root options. Root access will be disabled by default, while three additional options will let CM users enable it for ADB only, apps only, or both. So there's nothing to panic about -- your root access will still be there if and when you need it, but your device will be more secure by default as a result.

A good analogy is Android's "unknown sources" option, which allows applications to be loaded directly from an APK file rather than the Google Play Store. It's there for those that want it, but disabled by default for security reasons. As CM matures and its audience grows more mainstream, it makes sense that there's a renewed focus on security.

There's more technical info about exactly how this configurable root access works over at the source link.

Source: CyanogenMod

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4 years ago

Google: Delayed app developer payments now going out

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Reports have emerged over the past couple of weeks that a significant number of European Android developers have yet to receive their payment for sales during February 2012. And today, Google has today informed affected developers that payment has been initiated, and that the money should start appearing in their bank accounts within three working days.

A statement for European devs on the Google Play developer console reads --

February 2012 Payout Delays
We're aware of reports from some European developers that they have yet to receive their March 2012 payout for February 2012 sales. Please rest assured that we are aware of this issue and have worked to resolve it. The payout has been initiated on 15 March 2012. However, it may take up to three additional business days to register the payout in your bank account. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced and appreciate your understanding.

Google has sent a similar message to affected developers by email, apologizing for the late payment and advising them to allow three working days for their banks to process the payment.

No explanation was offered as to why the payments were so late, but we imagine some kind of technical glitch was to blame, possibly relating to the switch-over from Android Market to the new Google Play Store. Hopefully this marks the end of a frustrating couple of weeks for European Android developers.

Thanks, Tom!

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