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3 years ago

ASUS Fonepad review

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Take a 7-inch ASUS Android tablet, add an earpiece and a dialer, and what comes out is the Fonepad. 

The ASUS Fonepad — mainly tablet, but also part phone. And ASUS is definitely marketing this as something you would use to make phone calls — just check out their official marketing videos for proof. But it's also a 7-inch Android tablet, with Intel internals and a competitive price point. It's a device with a pretty specific use case, but for the kind of person who might put the Fonepad to good use, it could be invaluable. But is it any good as a phone, or a tablet, or either? Let's take a look. 

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3 years ago

Using the 7-inch ASUS Fonepad: A tale of convenience and looking ridiculous

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I used the ASUS Fonepad with my main SIM card — the one people call me on. So how did it go?

For the past few weeks I've had in my possession an ASUS Fonepad. A 7-inch Jelly Bean tablet with Intel internals and, oh yes, an earpiece. For this is more than just a tablet — it has full phone capabilities. ASUS is even marketing the Fonepad as a phone, too. The manufacturer's first promotional videos clearly showed what they envisaged users doing with this device — holding it up to their head.

So I put my main SIM card into it — the one my family calls me on — and tried it out. Is it really so ridiculous to use a 7-inch "phone" in this way? Read on to find out.

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3 years ago

Grab a hot deal on a refurbished Nexus 7 via eBay UK

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Deal of the day features 16GB Nexus 7 from Tesco for £119 while stocks last

It may be a year old, but pound-for-pound the Nexus 7 is still arguably the best Android tablet money can buy. If you've still to pick one up, or you just want another one, and you're in the UK, then head on over to eBay for a great deal on a refurbished unit. Being sold by Tesco Outlet, a 16GB Nexus 7 can be yours for just £119, £40 below the usual retail price. Better yet, despite being a refurb, it still comes with a 12-month warranty from Tesco. They won't stick around for long at this price, so if you want one, hit up the source link below. 

Source: eBay UK

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3 years ago

Google Play edition phones now shipping

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A quick heads up that, as promised, the Google Play edition Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One have begun shipping directly from Google. 

In case you've been living under a rock the past couple weeks, these are the (mostly) "stock Android" versions of the phones. Same hardware, with the software as God and Google (HOLOYOLO) intended, for better or for worse. They're SIM-unlocked, with full LTE support here in the U.S., and with just a superficial control over the bootloader, so they're developer-friendly.

Be sure to check out our full review if you haven't already.

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3 years ago

How to get rid of the on-screen menu bar on the HTC One with Android 4.2

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On the newest firmware, a simple setting change will banish one of this phone's major annoyances

The HTC One's unsightly on-screen menu bar was never the most elegant way to handle apps that still use Android's legacy "menu" key. We said as much in our review of the phone back in March. Thankfully with the new Android 4.2 update that's now rolling out in some countries, it's now possible to get rid of it entirely, and use a long-press of the home key to access menu functionality instead.

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3 years ago

Sony Smartwatch 2 not coming to the UK July 15

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Clove has updated information suggesting watch won't be available until September

Announced on June 25 along with the Xperia Z Ultra, the new Sony Smartwatch 2 features NFC pairing support, as well as the ability to remote-control certain apps on supporting Android smartphones. UK retailer Clove had originally stated they would be selling the Smartwatch 2 from July 15, and has been accepting pre-orders based on this information. Now though, an updated release schedule suggests that it will not be available until September 9. 

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active now available SIM-free in the UK

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Water-resistant, rugged S4 priced at £494.98

U.S. carrier AT&T was first to get hold of Samsung's ruggedized, waterproof Galaxy S4 Active late last month, but now the device is starting to appear in international markets. Independent retailer Unlocked-Mobiles which is stocking the Active in the U.K. today, priced at £494.98 — a little less than the average asking price for the regular GS4.

Our own Phil Nickinson reviewed the U.S. Galaxy S4 Active yesterday, calling it "a fun, robust Android smartphone that is a serious contender for anyone looking for a high-end phone on AT&T." For more on the Active, be sure to check out the full review.

Source: Unlocked-Mobiles

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3 years ago

HTC Butterfly being upgraded to Android 4.2 and Sense 5

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Taiwanese devices have an update to the latest software waiting

Big news for HTC Butterfly owners this morning, as Engadget sends word that the Taiwanese version of the device is receiving an update to Android 4.2.2 and HTC Sense 5. That brings the Butterfly in line with the HTC One, which shipped with Sense 5 and started to see its own Android 4.2 update in recent days. It's a significant update for the Butterfly, which has been on the older Sense 4+ since it launched late last year. While Engadget reports that not all of the HTC One's user experience has made it across, the core software — including the BlinkFeed home screen reader — is in place.

Butterfly owners in Taiwan can expect an small, initial update to prep the phone, followed by a larger OTA containing the new firmware. No word yet on when the latest update will be hitting the U.S. version of the Butterfly, Verizon's Droid DNA — fingers crossed for a speedy turnaround on that one.

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

ZTE U988S images appear, could be world's first Tegra 4 phone

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Familiar ZTE styling with the latest internals from NVIDIA make good on previous promise

If rumors and leaked images (shown above) are to be believed, ZTE is set to launch the U988S as the world's first Tegra 4-powered handset. While ZTE and NVIDIA announced a partnership to make the Chinese manufacturer the first to bring Tegra 4 phones to market this year, it was unclear up until this point what the phone would look like or what its final specs would be. We've got our hands on a bit more info now, with both leaked images and purported specs. The outside is clad in a solid plastic shell somewhat reminiscent of other 2013 ZTE devices, with capacitive buttons on the front and coming in at about 9mm thick.

On the inside, we are expecting a 1.8GHz Tegra 4 processor accompanied by 2GB of RAM, a 1080P display, 13MP camera and SDcard support. Rumor has it that the device is running Android 4.2, which we would expect for a phone launching in mid-2013. We don't yet have any specifics on the final naming or availability of the device, but we don't have high hopes for it to hit U.S. shores any time soon, if ever.

Source: PhoneArena

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3 years ago

William Lynch resigns as Barnes & Noble CEO

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General failure of Android-powered Nook tablet line accelerated executive's exit

Following a slow and steady drumbeat of bad news associated with its Nook hardware division, William Lynch has resigned as CEO of Barnes & Noble, effective immediately. Lynch had been CEO of Barnes & Noble since March 2010, continuing a career of employment at various companies in the technology space prior to being chief executive of B&N. In the three years since taking the helm, B&N has seen the slight rise and sharp fall of its Nook hardware division, which failed to make much of a splash in the tablet market for a variety of reasons.

As the company sees continual drops in sales from many parts of its business, B&N has indicated for some time now that it is done making its own hardware and would prefer another company buy out that division completely. The prices on remaining stock of its latest Nook HD and HD+ tablets continue to drop, and aside from the last-ditch addition of the Google Play Store on the tablets there is no indication of any further software development either.

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3 years ago

Facebook app gets an update, features from beta brought to build 3.4

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If you decided to not join the beta track for Facebook's Android app, you have an update ready and waiting

Folks using the release build of Facebook for Android have an update this evening, bringing all the features from the last beta to the current stable version (that'd be 3.4). The biggest forward-facing feature is for users of Facebook Home, and that would be folders. Just like you're able to do with most other home applications, dragging one app on top of another app will create a folder containing both applications. Unfortunately, Facebook Home is still only available for a few select phones: the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Samsung Galaxy Note II, the HTC One X and the HTC One X+.

In addition to the new home screen features, here is the rest of the changes:

  • Share News Feed stories in a private message
  • Swipe left and right to open chat and bookmarks
  • Based on feedback, you can now store the app on your phone's SD card (Android 2.3.7 and lower)
  • Fix for a bug with data transfer on app start

Now if only they would bother to fix the dreaded black bar.

Grab your update from the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Congratulations to the winner of the 24ct. Gold HTC One!

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Nothing makes us happier than being able to do cool things like partner with Goldgenie to give away a 24ct. gold plated HTC One. With the same great internal hardware we've come to know and love from HTC, coupled with a shiny 24ct. gold plated finish, this One is sure to stand out in a crowd.

Almost 6,000 of you entered to win this beauty, and now is the time to announce the winner.

Congratulations enel, and enjoy your new gold HTC One!

Everyone take a moment and wish the winner well, and watch for more great contests right here on Android Central, because we love giving stuff away as much as you all like winning it.

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3 years ago

Uber offering $20 fare discount for using Google Wallet

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A seamless payment system joins the simple car service with a new discount

Black car and taxi service Uber is rolling out a new offer today encouraging users to link up their Google accounts and pay for their car fare with Google Wallet. Following an update in late June that introduced the ability to sign-in simply with Google Wallet to the service, new users of Uber can now get a $20 discount on their fare for paying with Google Wallet. Existing users aren't left in the cold either, and are offered a $10 discount for using Wallet.

Uber has attempted from the start to make the process of calling a car and paying for the ride as seamless as possible, letting everything be managed by a smart phone app. This is one more step in that direction, as Google Wallet makes it easy to switch between different cards tied to a single account, and keep your payments all in one location.

You can grab a download of the Uber app from the Play Store link above, and link up your Google Wallet account in just a few taps from the settings.

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3 years ago

Platform numbers for June 2013: Android 4.x on the rise, 2.3 holding strong

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ICS and above now accounts for 61.2-percent of active Android devices

Google has just released its monthly "Platform Version" numbers for June, which give a snapshot of what version of Android is running on active devices in the world. The data is collected by looking at users who access the Play Store over a 14 day period surrounding the end of the month, in this case ending collection on July 8th. Here's how the numbers break down:

  • Android 1.6, 2.1 and 2.2 total just 4.6-percent of installs
  • Android 2.3 falls just 2.3-percentage points to 34.1-percent of installs
  • Android 4.x ("modern" versions) hit 61.2-percent of installs, up from 58.6-percent

The growth in devices using 4.x comes from a large increase in the install base of Jelly Bean, as the number of phones and tablets accessing the Play Store on Ice Cream Sandwich has actually decreased from month to month. The distribution of Android 1.6 and 3.2 are nearing extinction, sitting at just 0.1-percent each.

Hit the break for a couple more chart breakdowns of Android usage.

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3 years ago

Sprint's Galaxy S4 getting an OTA update, apps-to-SD support and Samsung Knox are notable additions

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The 357MB update may hold a locked bootloader as a requirement for Samsung Knox support -- hackers beware

The Samsung Galaxy S4 on the Sprint network is seeing a general rollout of the MF9 update, and it has a few welcome changes baked in. Users who have already received the update have noticed the following changes:

  • Allow apps to be moved to the SD card in the same limited fashion as the European S4
  • The addition of Samsung Knox
  • Smart Pause toggle in the notification panel
  • A legibility setting for the display
  • Status bar transparency now works with custom wallpapers
  • The addition of a briefing app, and an SPDclient app
  • A potentially locked bootloader

The first and last items on the list will get the most attention from the community, we're sure. As of now, nobody is certain that the bootloader is locked, but speculations are running high and the bootloader was updated along with the modem and kernel. A locked bootloader could very well be a requirement for Knox support.

The apps-to-SD card support will be a welcome change, as Samsung has caught some heat for the amount of free space left on the device compared to the amount advertised. You can see a tutorial on how this works right here.

If you're rooted or have a custom recovery installed, you won't be able to install this OTA. You'll need to revert back to factory settings or wait it out for the custom version from your favorite developer. If you're into the whole root and ROM thing with your Sprint S4, you might even want to wait until the bootloader's lock status is confirmed. 

For everyone else, the OTA will come the normal way, and you'll be faced with a 357MB download to install. For more information and discussion, see the links below.

Source: XDA; via Android Central forums

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