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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Z Android 4.2.2 update rolling out now

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Latest update hitting multiple models in different markets around the world.

Coming in just fashionably late behind its sibling the Xperia ZL, the Sony Xperia Z is receiving an update to Android 4.2.2 starting today. According to reports from users to XperiaBlog, the update is rolling out to several different regions already for the C6603 LTE model, and in Taiwan for the C6602 HSPA+ model. While the official support page hasn't been updated to reflect the newest build, the build number is reportedly the same 10.3.A.0.423 as the Xperia ZL. If you have your hands on an Xperia Z, you may want to download Sony's PC Companion (or Bridge For Mac) for the earliest shot at the update.

This also leads to a few questions about what version of Android will land on the Xperia Z when it hits T-Mobile in short order. Let's hope it's the same updated version as is rolling out worldwide today.

Source: XperiaBlog

More: Sony Xperia Z Forums; Sony Support

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4 years ago

Win 1 of 2 Snapdragon™ 800 Mobile Development Platform devices from Qualcomm and Android Central!

OK, folks. This is gonna be fun. We're teaming up with Qualcomm to give away a pair of Mobile Development Platform devices with Snapdragon 800. That's the latest and greatest Snapdragon that you're going to start seeing in retail devices in the coming months, in Android smartphones as well as tablets. 

And that's what you'll be entering to win here. We've got one smartphone and one tablet to give away.

Keep on reading for the full rules and details on how to enter.

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4 years ago

HP announces Slate 21 desktop-style Android all-in-one

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HP is adding another device to its expanding Android lineup today by announcing the Slate 21, a large "all-in-one" tablet-desktop hybrid device. As the name would suggest, this device has a 21.5-inch display putting it squarely in the market of HP's current line of all-in-one Windows desktop devices. The Slate 21 is running just Android 4.2 though -- there's no operating system switching or virtualization going on here. HP is pitching this as a media consumption device for current Android users that have built up a library of Android apps to have around the house, taking place of having additional tablets or mobile devices.

The Slate 21 stands on an adjustable kickstand in the back, which can pivot the screen to any angle between 15 and 70 degrees, giving a wide range of viewing options. As for specs, we're looking at a 21.5-inch full-HD IPS display, a Tegra 4 processor, Bluetooth 3.0, a front-facing camera and 8GB of internal storage (expandable by SDcard). The absolute specifics of every internal isn't yet known, but we'll surely have a better idea once we get closer to the September launch window where the Slate 21 will be available for $399.

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4 years ago

AT&T offering 50% off phones on-contract online this week

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Trade-in program for $100 off a new device in-store also available

AT&T has stealthily slipped a pretty great promotion into the fine print of its current trade-in offer which gives 50-percent off all devices when purchased on a 2-year contract from its website. The main offer, which requires trading in a qualifying device no more than 3 years old for a $100 discount, is only necessary for in-store purchases. The much more enticing deal is in the fine print, which shows that every on-contract device AT&T current sells between $0.99 and $199.99, including brand new devices like the Galaxy S4 Active, is 50-percent off until June 30th.

There's no special code or hoops to jump through to grab this promotion. Just add any device up to $199.99 to your cart, select any voice and data plan and the promotion will show up in your final shopping cart when you check out. Saving $100 in the scheme of things probably isn't enough to make anyone switch over to AT&T, but if you were planning on picking up a new on-contract device at the carrier this week is a good time to do it.

More: AT&T

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4 years ago

Money to burn? Buy this gold-plated HTC One for $2,900

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A brand new HTC One with a seriously limited edition casing

Luxury goods maker Goldgenie has made a name for itself by gold-plating all kinds of items, including a few phones along the way, and its latest item up for sale is a 24ct. gold HTC One. Coming in at the completely unnecessary price of £1895 ($2919), this is the same HTC One you know and love that has been gold-plated from head to toe in a rather stunning fashion. If you want to show off to your friends even more, Goldgenie also offers a Rose Gold-plated version and Platinum-plated version for £1995 ($3073) and £2095 ($3227), respectively.

Beyond the pretentiousness of the device, you'll also get a very nice cherry oak box with what looks to be a full array of the OEM accessories for your $3000 purchase. What a nice touch. We don't expect anyone reading this to be buying one (the order page hilariously has a "quantity" box you can fill in), but it's fun to take a look -- you can see a few more details at the source link below.

Source: Goldgenie; (2)

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4 years ago

Hisense Sero 7 Pro Review

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An unbelievably low-priced tablet that manages to top Google's own Nexus 7 in the specs department — but is it good enough to justify a purchase this late in the game?

One of the most important factors for any device — especially 7-inch tablets — is price. It's not uncommon to hear that if something is twice the price, it should be twice as good to justify that price. When looking at the $149 Sero 7 Pro, it begs the question: are other tablets that cost an additional $50, $100, or more, that much better than Hisense's new offering?

Many potential buyers no doubt passed up this tablet completely, not recognizing the manufacturer and immediately labeling it a "no name" Chinese Android tablet. Those who frequent Android forums, on the other hand, have likely heard the buzz created by the popularity of this new budget tablet.

The question becomes — even at this price — is it worth it? With specs that match or beat the immensely popular Nexus 7 in almost even area, and at $50 cheaper, it would seem like a no-brainer. Are the improvements over the 11 month old Nexus 7 enough to bring the Sero 7 Pro up to today's spec standards? If not, does the price merit a purchase anyway? How does Hisense's hardware stack up in the quality department?

Keep on keepin' on for our full review.

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4 years ago

How to transfer your Google Reader RSS feeds to Feedly

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Fear not, there is a comparable replacement to Google Reader out there

It's time to face the facts here, folks: Google Reader is shutting down on July 1. Many of us (myself included) have been in the "denial" phase assuming that Google would come up with a replacement for the service, but it's time to start thinking about alternatives. Of the handful of potential replacements, Feedly seems to be in the lead right now and offers a nearly painless transition over from Google Reader.

Let's break down the process of moving your beloved RSS feeds over from Google Reader to Feedly, and give a few tips and tricks along the way to make the process as smooth as possible.

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4 years ago

Start spamming your friends today for an early shot at Jay-Z's new album

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Samsung is teaming up with rapper Jay-Z to bring 1 million copies of his upcoming album "Magna Carta Holy Grail" a few days before it goes on sale, and the Android app that'll do it for you is now available for download.

You'll need to have the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4 or Galaxy Note 2 to participate. And then you'll need to log in using either Facebook or Twitter. And then you'll have to spam share content from the app with your friends. At 12:00:01 a.m. July 4, 1 million lucky fans will get the record that might or might not leak early anyway, a full three days before the official July 7 release.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 series hits the U.S. on July 7

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7, 8 and 10.1-inch Tab 3 variants heading stateside, pre-orders begin tomorrow

Already announced internationally, Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 series will be heading to the United States in a couple of weeks. The 10.1, 8 and 7-inch tablets go up for pre-order tomorrow, and begin shipping on July 7. In its latest line-up of Android-powered tablets, the Korean manufacturer has scaled things back a bit, focusing on affordable, thin, light devices for the mass market.

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4 years ago

AOL Reader beta now live on the web

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New RSS reader hopes to scoop up Google Reader refugees — no mobile apps yet though

As promised last week, starting today you can request an invite to the new AOL Reader, the internet giant's entry into the world of RSS. A week ahead of the planned Google Reader shutdown date, AOL's hoping to scoop up new user accounts by targeting Reader refugees. Using an existing AOL account, or single sign-in through Google, Twitter or Facebook, the AOL Reader beta is open to anyone and everyone — a simple email address verification is the only barrier to entry.

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4 years ago

Garmin Monterra a 4-inch handheld Android GPS

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Garmin today announced the Monterra, a handheld GPS device with a 4-inch display running Android. It's got a proper WIfi connection, and full access to Google Play. 

The device itself is rugged and waterproof, Garmin says. It's loaded with sensors you'd expect in such a device, including a three-axis compass, accelerometer and gyroscope, barometric altimeter and built-in UV sensor. It's running a dual-band GPS and GLONASS as well. It's got an 8-megapixel camera as well that records video in 1080p. Bluetooth 3.0 is on board, as is NFC (useful for ... NFCing in the wilderness) and is ANT+ capable for those fitness trackers.

One of Garmin's standout features on the Montera, however, is 3D MapMerge, which combines multiple kinds of maps, like TOPO, basemap or BirdsEye imagery.

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4 years ago

New Sony smartwatch, 5-inch mid-ranger tipped ahead of Mobile Asia Expo

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Sony 'Xperia C' and updated Android-powered wearable reportedly on the way

It seems Sony Mobile may about to reveal several high-profile devices at its press conference at Shanghai's Mobile Asia Expo tomorrow. We've already heard rumors about the "Togari" or Xperia ZU -- supposedly a Snapdragon 800-powered device with a 6.4-inch display -- and the latest round of leaks brings news of a possible smartwatch and mid-range handset to go with it.

The first report comes from CNET, which claims to have details of a new Android-powered smartwatch from the Japanese manufacturer. Supposedly a successor to the earlier NM2SW smartwatch, the new device will feature a larger display and feature a three-button layout similar to Xperia smartphones, according to the site's source. Like other Sony accessories, the watch is said to support pairing with smartphones via NFC, with further connectivity being handled over Bluetooth. For its part, Sony has been teasing a smartwatch-related announcement on its official Xperia Twitter account in recent days.

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4 years ago

Mid-range Acer Liquid E2 headed to Three UK

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Three UK has announced that it'll be carrying Acer's latest mid-range Android offering, the Liquid E2. The 4.5-incher, which comes with a qHD (960x540) display resolution and a quad-core MediaTek 1.2GHz processor, will be arriving "soon," the network said in a media release today. Three says the Liquid E2 will run on Three's 42Mbps DC-HSDPA network, though it looks like support for the carrier's upcoming LTE network is out of the question.

Other notable specs include an 8-megapixel camera, stereo speakers, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage, expandable via microSD. No release date has been given for the Acer Liquid E2 on Three, though with the device appearing on Three's "Coming Soon" page today, a retail launch probably isn't too far off.

More: Three UK

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4 years ago

Everything you want to know about Android's new Navigation Drawer

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Google's Android developers have delivered a great video all about the new Navigation Drawer

We've talked before about how the Android team is serious about design. They want Android, and the great apps that developers create, to not only work well, but to look good. We noticed this at Google I/O in May, that there was a new (and long-awaited) focus on building applications that look like they belong. Apps with a consistent and elegant user interface, versus the jumble of different design styles and choices of the past. 

It's a big undertaking. You have to account for different screen sizes, devices with or without the recommended button layout, and most of all you need to find a fluid look and feel that works well for the end user. Nobody likes an app that is difficult to use. Google tried to get everyone on-board with the action bar method, and it's a great solution for some things. But sometimes, you need to get dirty and have a list of user choices and options. That's where the new Navigation Drawer concept comes into play.

Grab your phone. Open the YouTube app or Google Play Books app. Swipe your finger to the right on the main screen (view). That's the new Navigation Drawer at work. Google Play Books could probably get away with just an action bar and overflow area (those three dots in the upper right) but the YouTube app has plenty of choices and options that would otherwise be buried three levels deep. The Navigation Drawer seems like a perfect way to present them all to the users -- you and me.

A lot of thought went into this, and luckily the Android developers are willing to share their thoughts about it all. Join Roman Nurik, Jens Nagel and Rich Fulcher after the break for 47 minutes of great information about why, where and when you would want to use the Navigation Drawer. Even if you're never going to design an Android app, it's a great watch and really drives the idea home.

Source: Android Developers YouTube

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Welcome to summer

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Has anyone come up with a way — short of moving to Sweden — that does something about that awful coating of sweat you get when you talk on the phone in the summer? I'm asking for a friend. OK, Bluetooth would be an answer, I guess, but who wants to be that guy?

Somehow, we're nearly through with June, and into July. (Yes, again.) Is it possible this has been one of the busiest years since I started doing this job full-time? Might well be, and we're not even covering things like the Xbox One (which I've preordered and will figure out why later) and the PlayStation 4. Insanity. Awesome insanity.

So, fresh off taking a break from this column for a week, some things I think I think. (With apologies to Peter King.)

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