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3 years ago

Canonical releases dual-boot Ubuntu and Android developer preview

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Files and instructions available to run both operating systems on your Nexus 4

If you're looking to have a little bit of Ubuntu fun on your Nexus 4 during the holiday break, Canonical has something that should interest you. They have released a method to flash your phone so that it can boot into Ubuntu from Android, and boot back to "normal" using what looks and acts like normal applications to the end user.

Looking through the instructions, you'll need to be running Ubuntu on your home computer and know your way around the command line. It's all scripted so there is little room for error, and the only path back is a full wipe and reflash of the factory images. You'll also need to flash an old radio if you want to make phone calls on the Ubuntu side, using a Jelly Bean factory image. 

While this isn't for everybody — and is clearly marked as a developer preview — it is a good way to have a look at how Ubuntu is progressing and still be able to revert back to something more familiar for those times when you need it. Follow the link below, and read everything, if you're interested.

Source: Ubuntu Developer Portal

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3 years ago

Sony rolls out Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for four more devices

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Sony today announced that it's pushing out Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for four more devices. They are:

  • Xperia Z
  • Xperia ZL
  • Xperia ZR
  • Xperia Tablet Z

Along with all the base Jelly Bean features, you can also expect Sony's "social camera," new experiences for messaging, smart connect, MyXperia and Walkman, as well as new themes. Plus Sony's thrown in Xperia in Business.

The exact timing and feature set may vary by market, Sony says.

Source: Sony

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3 years ago

Moto X in bamboo: Ridiculously awesome [hands-on]

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Behold, the bamboo Moto X. OK, only the back is bamboo — but this thing looks sweet. We opted for the white face this time around (and it's already collecting pocket lint), along with black buttons.

Maybe you'll love it. Maybe you'll loathe it. Maybe you'll look at the extra $100 you have to pay for it and scoff. Or maybe you're hoping one of the other three wood backs (yes, we know bamboo is a grass) we saw earlier this year will soon become available. To each his own.

Also cool: The setup wallpaper is — you guessed it — bamboo.

For now, just feast upon the glory that is the best Android phone you can buy — in bamboo.

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3 years ago

Verizon's LG G2 OTA now pushing, relax it's not KitKat

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Update fixes some bugs, adds Verizon's Cloud app and issues a Google Security Patch

Verizon and LG are pushing out that LG G2 OTA they spoke of yesterday. The 172MB update brings the software version to VS98012B, and addresses some bugs, forces Verizon's Cloud into your app drawer, and contains a security patch that everyone seems sure will break root. Here's the official changes.

  • Video playback quality has been improved when viewing on websites
  • Dialing *611 will now appear on device screen
  • TalkBack reads each deleted letter when using Messaging Keyboard
  • Backup Assistant Plus resumes syncing after completing a voice call
  • Device lockups have been reduced
  • Viewdini application has been removed
  • Verizon Cloud app is now preloaded
  • Messaging is now supported via QSlide
  • Voice quality has been improved
  • Google Security Patch has been added

Reports of people seeing the update are growing, so there's a good chance it's waiting for you if you jump into the settings and try to fetch it. 

Everyone is discussing — especially the possible root breakage — in the forums. Jump in and have a read!

More: Verizon G2 forums; Verizon (.pdf)

Thanks, Doug!

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3 years ago

Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition passes Google CTS, launching Dec. 24

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The "CyanogenMod Edition" Oppo N1 — the limited edition version with CM 10.2 out of the box — has passed Google's Android Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) and is scheduled to become available from Dec. 24. It's the first time a CyanogenMod-powered phone has passed Google's tests, which are designed to ensure device security and compatibility with apps in the Android ecosystem.

The news was shared on the CM-dev mailing list and on Twitter by manufacturer Oppo, which gave glimpse of the exclusive packaging, stickers and case included with the device. Writing on the CM-dev list, community lead Abhisek Devkota (better known as ciwrl) described it as "a major milestone for everyone in this project," adding "aside from root access, we were not forced to make any compromises in terms of features or functionality."

The CM Edition Oppo N1 isn't listed on the manufacturer's online store just yet, but the vanilla N1 recently launched in the U.S. and Europe for $599 and €449, so it's likely the CM version's price will fall somewhere around this level.

Source: @Oppo; Google Groups via Engadget

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3 years ago

HTC Butterfly S updated to Android 4.3 + Sense 5.5

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The HTC One family may be the focus of HTC's Western product lineup, but the Butterfly line remains a popular choice in Asia, with the Butterfly S being the current flagship in that series. And from today the 5-inch handset is being updated to bring it in line with its metal-clad sibling, moving up to Android 4.3 and HTC Sense 5.5. A changelog posted on Twitter by ROM developer @LlabTooFeR shows a familiar list of new features — including an improved Gallery app with new video highlights, BlinkFeed improvements including custom feeds and improved social network support.

The version number of the latest firmware — 2.21.708.1 — indicates that this is for the Hong Kong version of the Butterfly S, so if you've got that model then it's time to start hammering that "Check for updates" button.

Source: @LlabTooFeR

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3 years ago

Moto G getting Android 4.4.2 KitKat starting today!

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No preamble needed: Motorola is delivering Android 4.4.2 KitKat starting today for the Moto G.

Here's the full changelog:

  • Android 4.4, KitKat: Android 4.4.2, KitKat, is the latest release of the Android platform. KitKat includes enhancements such as restyled status and navigation bars, a new full-screen mode, color emoji support, improved closed captioning support, stronger security, smarter power use, and more tools and capabilities for better app development.
  • Phone dialer: Improved the phone app with the ability to look up contacts directly from the dial pad, see and tap frequent contacts, and search your corporate directory easily.
  • Camera - Focus and exposure: Enhanced the "touch to focus" option with a new circular, on screen control that can be dragged by your finger around the viewfinder to adjust a photo's focus and exposure.
  • Gallery - Photo editing: Added new photo editing options to the Gallery app including new filter effects, draw on your photos, advanced cropping, and adjustments to color, exposure, contrast and more.
  • Printing documents and pictures: Added support for printing photos, Google Docs, GMail messages, and other content via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and hosted services like Google Cloud Print and HP ePrinters.
  • Hangouts - SMS/MMS support: Incorporated a new version of Google Hangouts that supports integrated SMS/MMS messaging. Hangouts can be set as the default SMS app under Settings > Wireless > Default SMS app.
  • Accessory: support Added support for Square credit card reader.

The update is for both the U.S. and global versions of the Moto G.

Source: Motorola

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3 years ago

Android 4.4 KitKat update hitting Droid Ultra, MAXX and Mini

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Update rolling out 'in phases' starting today

Verizon has taken to Twitter to announce that the Droid Ultra, Droid MAXX and Droid Mini will start receiving their over-the-air updates to Android 4.4 KitKat from today. The update is rolling out "in phases" according to the carrier, following a short soak test over the weekend. In addition to the new Android OS features, today's Droid update includes a new version of the Droid Zap sharing utility with a revamped interface, according to the official changelog.

It's a remarkably quick turnaround for the Verizon-branded handsets, coming a month to the day after the Moto X KitKat updates started, and less than two months after the Android 4.4 open-source code drop.

If you're seeing KitKat on any of the 2013 Droid phones today, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

Source: @VZWNews; More: Verizon Changelog (PDF)

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1 f launches in Japan

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Miniature Xperia Z1 hits Docomo amid rumors of upcoming international version

As expected, today's the day the Sony Xperia Z1 f hits store shelves in Japan. The Docomo-branded phone is effectively a shrunk-down version of the Xperia Z1, Sony's current high-end handset. However unlike many "mini" versions of flagship smartphones, the Z1 f retains the high-end internals of its big brother — including a Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 20.7-megapixel Exmor RS camera unit — all packed into a smaller chassis with a 4.3-inch 720p display.

Full price for the phone is listed at ¥79,800 ($768), which is reduced when buying on contract. The device comes in white, black, lime and pink color options.

The Japanese launch comes as rumors swirl surrounding a possible international version for the Xperia Z1 f. A device codenamed "Anami" recently passed through the FCC looking very similar to the Japanese model, but with radio bands suggesting it may be a European handset. The name "Xperia Z1 S" has been suggested as a possible name for an international version, and if the reports are accurate then it's possible we could see this device at Sony's CES 2014 press conference in early January.

Source: Docomo

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3 years ago

'Merlot red' Samsung Galaxy Note 3 launches in Korea

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When Samsung announced its new Galaxy Note 3 color options earlier this month, it said they'd be launched according to market preferences. And now we have our first indication of what that means for the company's native land — Korean consumers will have the chance to pick up the Note 3 in vivid "merlot red." The red Galaxy Note 3 launches today on Korean carrier SKT, and is targeted at "passionate and stylish men and women of all ages."

The red variant joins the original three — classic white, jet black, blush pink — as well as the new rose gold white and rose gold black announced alongside merlot red a few weeks back.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow (Korean)

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3 years ago

Bamboo Moto X now ships by the end of the year

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Heads up, folks: Just got an e-mail from Motorola saying that the new bamboo-backed Moto X will now be delivered on or before Dec. 27.

Good news! We previously estimated your Moto X with Bamboo to ship in January, however we’ve been able to work some magic.

Your Moto X with Bamboo will now be delivered to you on or before 12/27.  No need to call us—we’ll keep you updated on our progress and let you know when it has shipped via email.

And that is that. The bamboo version still carries a $100 premium. 

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3 years ago

Sprint's HTC One getting an update for HD Voice, bugfixes

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Word on the street is that Sprint's version of the HTC One is in the midst of a software update today. Still no KitKat — we're looking to January for that — but some update is better than none. The sparse changelog (on the device, anyway) reads thusly:

  • HD Voice enhancements
  • Fixes and invalid alert message after inserting SIM card successfully

Good fixes, it sounds like. The update brings you to software version 3.05.651.5 and weighs in at about 250 megabytes.

More: Sprint HTC One forums; image via @GoodByeBluMnday

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3 years ago

Red HTC One Max launching in Taiwan

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Hot on the heels of the black variant that appeared first in Hong Kong last week, HTC has launched a red version of the 5.9-inch One Max in its home territory of Taiwan. Hardware-wise the red Max is identical to the silver version — including the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner — but sports a red plastic trim in addition to the anodized coating found on its metal parts. That gives it a pretty striking appearance, perhaps more so than the red HTC One, which has black accents.

The red HTC One is available now from local retailers priced NT$23,900 (around $804.) There's no word of any plans to launch the red version in other markets.

More: HTC One Max review

Source: Engadget Chinese

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3 years ago

Gold HTC One now available in the UK

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UK retailers selling golden handset on-contract

Remember the gold HTC One? No, not the real gold HTC One — the one that's still made of aluminum but has a pale gold-colored exterior. The most exclusive of all the HTC One colors is now available from UK retailers Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u. Both outlets are selling the phone on-contract, but apparently not SIM-free, so you'll need to sign up for a monthly plan to get your hands on the champagne-hued device.

Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u have deals on all the major UK networks except Three, with prices ranging between £17 and £62 per month depending on monthly data allowances and how much you want to pay upfront for the phone. The cheapest deal for a "free" gold HTC One is a £29 per month plan on Vodafone with 1GB of 3G data.

Source: Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4u

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3 years ago

Pink Samsung Galaxy S4 arriving at Phones 4u in January

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New color variant available to pre-order now

UK retailer Phones 4u has scooped up yet another color exclusive — this time the Samsung Galaxy S4 in pink, which will be available from early January. The device comes with a light pink front and back, similar to the "blush pink" Galaxy Note 3, and sports a new bronze-color trim around its edges. P4u says it'll have exclusivity over the pink Galaxy S4 throughout January, and a pre-order page is live right now.

The pink GS4 will be sold on contract with prices starting at £33 per month for 3G (with 1GB of data on Vodafone) and £38 per month for 4G (6GB, also on Vodafone). And 4G buyers will get a free wireless speaker valued at £120 to sweeten the deal, the retailer says.

So... any takers?

More: Phones 4u

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