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5 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Discussions with devs; CM10 nightlies; Kate Upton, where were you?


No rest for the weary, so here are a few quick hits to start the week:

  • Developers rock: A late-night quip on Google+ about how there are some good Android apps with horrible scrolling has turned into a pretty awesome discussion about how things work. My point is that scrolling is one of those basic things that most of us (at least those of us who don't code for fun or money) take for granted, but it's also more difficult to do well than you'd think. The developers of Carbon and Tweet Lanes weigh in. (And you get some insight into what's taking Carbon so long to be release, if you're curious.) Check out the whole thread here.
  • CM10 nightlies: Remember me? The guy too busy to put anything custom on his Galaxy Nexus, a process that takes all of 10 minutes? Well, I just slapped the first CyanogenMod 10 onto the Verizon Galaxy S3. Only took three flashes back to stock (thanks, Odin!). Guess I'm a little out of practice. I've used the New TouchWiz for a month or so now. It's been a while since I've run a CM ROM. The biggest thing I'm missing thus far is a good camera app. Samsung's just has far more features. (So do all the manufacturers' camera apps, actually.) It's only been a day, but overall, I"m liking what I'm seeing.
  • Google Play gift cards: Finally! This is a big deal, folks. Because the music labels and movie and television studios presumably are involved, this couldn't have been simple as ginning up some redeemable codes and putting them in stores. Let's just hope things don't go sour after someone thought it was a good idea to share how to redeem codes that you're not supposed to yet have in the first place. Unzipping a Google Play apk to see what's what is one thing. Telling folks how to purchase things with money they're not yet supposed to have access to to is another thing entirely and crosses a line.
  • The other Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 event: Apparently our invitation to the second GNote 10.1 event was lost in the mail. Don't get us wrong, it was a fine press event. I just think Samsung missed a golden opportunity to have some bloggers teach those models and celebrities a thing or two. That and Kate Upton kept texting, asking us where we were.
  • The NFL returns: Preseason sucks, but, man, I can taste it.

TTFN. It's back to work I go.

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5 years ago

Sony Xperia SL gets official - 1.7GHz Snapdragon S3, coming in four colours


After numerous leaks, Sony's Xperia SL (LT26ii) -- a refreshed version of the Xperia S -- is now listed as "coming soon" on the company's website. The site listing confirms earlier rumors that the phone's Snapdragon S3 CPU has been clocked to 1.7GHz (up from 1.5GHz), and that two new colors, grey and pink, will be available in addition to the Xperia S's black and white. On the software side, the Xperia SL comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, so you won't need to worry about applying any updates when you first start the phone up.

We imagine the Xperia SL will be joined by a wide range of other Sony Xperia phones at the company's IFA press conference on Aug. 29. Naturally, we'll be live in Berlin to bring you full coverage.

Source: Sony, via: Engadget

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5 years ago

Huawei P1 to be 'enhanced' as it arrives on UK shores


We have only just got first UK availability of the Huawei Ascend P1 -- read our full review here -- but according to the fellas at Coolsmartphone it might just be about to get some improvements.

By the time it gets into UK Android fan hands, the P1 will definitely qualify as a mid-range handset. A dual-core device living in a quad-core world, but it doesn't mean it isn't a perfectly capable smartphone. Apparently the UK version is to be given a more "premium" feel -- whatever that entails -- and the battery will actually be an 1800mAh powerplant. Not the 1670mAh we saw in our review unit and in the one listed for sale at Clove Technology. Considering we already spoke pretty highly of battery life on the P1, an additional bit of juice can be no bad thing. 

Source: Coolsmartphone

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5 years ago

Sprint Motorola Photon Q available today for $199


Just a quick heads up that the Sprint Motorola Photon Q is available today for $199 with a two-year contract. If you've yet to do so (slacker), be sure to check out our hands-on with the Photon Q (we'll have a more thorough review this week), but already it's shaping up to be a solid slider from Moto, with Ice Cream Sandwich and a new UI.

It's also important to remember that this is a world phone, so you business types who have been longing for something with a keyboard that'll work outside the states have something new to consider. And it's also worth noting that the Photon Q is the first to take advantage of Motorola's new bootloader unlocking tool -- a tool of which we've already availed ourselves -- so you hacker types can have your way with it, too.

So ... who's buying?

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5 years ago

Snapshot: Verizon Galaxy S3 captures lightning strikes [from the forums]


That the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a great camera is hardly a secret. But just how fast is that burst mode? Android Forums member BasPilot says he took nearly 2,000 pics of a recent storm in burst mode and got 25 or so good ones. Never mind the percentage on that one. Any good photog knows to just keep shooting. (This is the digital age, after all.)

Even better is that BasPilot's sharing a few of his captures in the forums. Hit the link below to check 'em out.

More: Caught Lightning in Action

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5 years ago

Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Student Edition Bundle goes on sale tomorrow for $250


Samsung will be offering the special Student Edition Bundle of the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 in select stores tomorrow. For $250 you'll be able to buy an Ice Cream Sandwich powered, 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2 (the 8GB version in a limited white color), a keyboard dock, and a USB adapter from Best Buy, Tiger Direct, Fry's Electronics, Amazon, or Costco. The keyboard dock and USB adapter will bring more functionality to the tablet, and Samsung is also including an insert of recommended education applications available at Google Play. This offer will only be available until September 1.

The price of this package is a hundred dollar savings over buying the individual pieces, so it's worth a look if you need a tablet with a keyboard. Of course, there is another 7-inch option out there in the Nexus 7, but the Tab 2 7.0 does offer an SDcard slot, IR blaster, and a rear camera. We just like to see all the different choices. Samsung's press release is after the break.

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5 years ago

Apps of the Week - 1Weather, Steam, Perfect Viewer and more!


Another week in the books and that means yet another chance for us to show you all some of our favorite applications. While some may be fun, others a bit more practical, they all serve a purpose, and rock at doing so. Let's hit the break and check out some of our favorites from this week!

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5 years ago

Sprint ready to offer up to $400 in-store credit to certain customers?


It looks like Sprint really wants your business, to the sum of a potential $400 in-store credit to be had for activating three lines on their Everything Data Share or Simply Everything Data plans. Said credit is then to be available to use towards the purchase of "qualifying devices," whichever they may be. 

A 2-year deal will be required -- as you would expect -- and all lines must be active a minimum of 60 days. The qualifying period is set to start in stores only tomorrow, Aug 19, running through September 15. 

As with all offers, there looks to be some fine print, a few caveats. Qualifying devices appear to be only phones. Tablets, accessories and portable hotspots look to be right out. And, if the device you're getting using the credit is eligible for a mail-in rebate, you won't get that on top. Can't have everything, after all. The credit has to be used in full at the time of purchase too. 

The definite catch though, is that one line must be transferred from another carrier, and one that isn't affiliated with Sprint such as Virgin or Boost Mobile. Sprint definitely wants your business, but they also want new business. 

All this comes from a leaked flyer, so it's not exactly 100% concrete. But, if it sounds like your kind of deal, maybe head into a local Sprint store tomorrow. See what's going on. 

Source: Phonearena

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5 years ago

Android Central international round-up - August 18, 2012


As it often is, Samsung was the focus of much of the last week’s international Android news. The Korean manufacturer finally announced and released its Galaxy Note 10.1, an Android 4.0 tablet with a quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM and a Wacom-powered stylus. We were live at the launch event, and we’ve got a hands-on preview of the device for you to take a look over.

Elsewhere, we had two Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean leaks in quick succession. Early, but official Samsung firmware for the international S3 (GT-i9300) leaked out on Thursday, followed by a more recent build on Friday. Rumors suggest that Sammy may announce Jelly Bean for the Galaxy S3 alongside the Galaxy Note 2 at its pre-IFA press conference on Aug. 29. Based on what we’ve seen so far, we certainly wouldn’t rule it out.

This week also saw the first wave of Galaxy Note 2 rumors, with some believably -- and not-so-believable -- images of the upcoming Note successor showed up online. The first photo, leaked to a French blog, claimed to show the phone’s front panel and screen -- a 5.5-inch 16:9 aspect ratio display with a gap below for a Galaxy S3-style clicky button. This was followed later in the week by a couple of renders we’re all sure are fake.

What we now know isn't fake, however, is the long-rumored black version of the Galaxy S3 -- that was confirmed as being real by two different retailers this week. The black S3 is said to be launching around early October with 64GB of internal storage on-board.

Expect more IFA leakage over the next seven days, in the run up to one of Europe’s biggest tech shows. We’ll be live in Berlin to bring you full IFA coverage the week after.

Check out some of the weeks’ biggest international Android stories below. If you’ve got news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

Special features:


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5 years ago

New Samsung Galaxy Player photo and specs leak


We're pretty convinced at this point that Samsung is ready to launch a new iteration of its questionably-successful PMP line, the Galaxy Player. This time around, they're surely pulling a lot of design language from the extremely popular Galaxy S3 -- with nicely curved edges, bright white casing and the "love it or hate it" hard home key.

As far as specs go, we're looking at a very large device. The leak indicates a 5.8-inch 540x960 (that's qHD) resolution screen, which is physically larger than the Galaxy Note, but much lower resolution than the Note's 800x1280. Other specs seem pretty much what we'd expect from a high end device: 1GB of RAM, dual-core 1Ghz CPU, 2500mAh battery and Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz powering it all.

Source: SamMobile

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5 years ago

T-Mobile myTouch and myTouch Q review


In a day and age where everyone seems to want the latest and greatest, and nothing short of the best, it can be a rough world out there for entry-level devices. But not everyone is looking for -- or needs -- the latest multi-core, 4.5-plus-inch Android smartphone. That said, there still is a market for those who just would rather something with some more features than their basic phone, but without the cost associated with the top of the line products.

T-Mobile has had the myTouch line for a few years now, changing a bit each time, and this year it was Huawei’s turn to take a stab at it. They have brought to the table a pair of phones -- the myTouch and myTouch Q. Could a well styled entry level device succeed in today's market, or will it be overlooked and left in the storage closets?

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5 years ago

Google launches 'experiment' to bring AOSP vanilla Android to Sony Xperia S


More interesting news for open-source geeks this morning, as it's emerged Android Open-Source Project head Jean-Baptiste Queru has kicked off an “experiment” to bring AOSP support to Sony’s Xperia S. Previously, the only official AOSP target devices have been Nexus phones and certain “Google Experience” products like the Motorola Xoom. So the fact that work is underway to bring this kind of support to the Xperia S, which ships with a skinned UI and a bunch of proprietary Sony tech, is a fairly big deal, even if it is just an experiment for the time being.

In selecting the Xperia S, JBQ notes that it’s a powerful GSM device with an unlockable bootloader, and said that Sony had been “very friendly” towards AOSP. On that last point, Sony has long contributed code back to AOSP, and it’s even helped out amateur devs like the FreeXperia team working on CyanogenMod support for Xperia phones, giving them AOSP-friendly proprietary code for certain devices. The manufacturer has also released alpha and beta builds of some major software updates ahead of time, and actively sought feedback from advanced users. So despite its comparatively small market share, Sony seems a good for for this kind of project.

In his message to the Android Building mailing list, Queru encourages community developers to get involved with the project, but to do so while staying on the right side of the rules when it comes to handling proprietary binaries. As far as we’re aware, AOSP-friendly propertiary code will have to be released by Sony in order for this experiment to progress towards fully-functional builds, just as was the case with FreeXperia and CM. The camera firmware, for instance, is packed with proprietary Sony tech, so an entirely new binary might have to be created for this project.

Aside from the technical challenges ahead -- and there are more than a few -- it’s certainly cool to see the AOSP brass playing around with open-source Android on one of the more dev-friendly Android devices. We're a long, long way off having easily-flashable Google-approved AOSP available for certain devices alongside the manufacturer’s own ROM -- in fact, we’ll go on record and say that probably won’t ever happen. However, if this little experiment is a success, it could open the door to other non-Nexus phones being initiated into AOSP, and that can only be a good thing. We can't help but wonder what Google's long play might be in this respect.

We’ve reached out to Sony Mobile for comment on this experimental project, and we’ll keep you posted with any information they have to share.

Source: Android Building Group, via: The Verge

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5 years ago

CyanogenMod 10 nightly builds now rolling out for certain devices


If you’ve been waiting patiently to get your hands on experimental Jelly Bean-based ROM for your phone, today could be your lucky day. The team behind popular custom firmware CyanogenMod has opened the floodgates and started churning out CM10 nightly builds for some supported devices.

Nightly builds are highly experimental, probably unstable and likely not suited to being used as a daily driver. However they do give owners of supported phones the chance to try out near-vanilla Android 4.1 Jelly Bean months before their official update will drop, in addition to introducing some helpful software tweaks from the CM team.

Notable devices now receiving CyanogenMod 10 nightlies include, but are not limited to --

  • The US SGS3 variants
  • The Galaxy Nexus variants
  • The Nexus S varaints
  • The Nexus 7
  • The Transformer and Transformer Prime
  • The SGS1 variants (Vibrant, Captivate, International, and i9000b)
  • The SGS2 i9100g
  • P3 and P5 tablets (Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and 10.1)

Other devices are getting nightlies too, so to see if your phone or tablet is supported, check the get.cm download link below. Kudos to the entire team of CM maintainers for bringing a taste of Jelly Bean to dozens of devices this morning!

Source: +CyanogenMod

Download: get.cm

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5 years ago

ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 gets its Jelly Bean update


Some good news out of the ASUS camp this morning, as it appears the Transformer Pad TF300 is in the midst of getting its promised update to Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. Erckul and prissysox in our forums are leading the way on this one, noting that you're warned Adobe Flash is no longer working (but you knew that already), and that apparently Wifi Direct took a hit as well.

The update appears to only be over-the-air at the moment, so keep an eye out.

Source: Transformer Pad TF300 forums; more: ASUS support

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5 years ago

Send/Receive text messages on Nexus 7, Unboxing the Note 10.1 [From the Forums]


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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