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4 years ago

Pantech Discover update to Android 4.1.2 rolling out today

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The update to Jelly Bean will be sent out to users over-the-air

Pantech Discover owners should be on the lookout for update notifications, because starting today an OTA rollout has begun for Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. This is a significant update from the Discover's launch OS, Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. Pantech has outlined the key new features of this update below:

Google Now, which will allow Discover users to automatically receive relevant information when they need it based on their interests, activities and habits, including weather, sports, shopping, upcoming events and more; Voice Search, a part of Google Search, lets you launch apps or add meetings to your calendar and provides personal results based on your location, and an expandable and actionable Notification Bar which allows for easier return of calls, sending and scanning multiple emails and sharing photos directly from your notification panel.

Pantech certainly is on a roll with its Jelly Beans, with the Pantech Flex getting a similar update just last month. It's good to see such support for manufacturers.

Are there any other new and notable changes present? How about bugs and problems with updating? Those that have already received the update, sing out in the comments.

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4 years ago

Android 4.3's subtle and delightful feature: A smart status bar clock

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It's the little things that count.

We've started building up a list of features that came with the Android 4.3 update, but sometimes it takes a little while to pick up on some of the more subtle changes. With this latest release of Jelly Bean, Google has finally figured out how to hide the status bar clock when your lock screen is displaying a clock — something that seems trivially easy and has been implemented in other mobile platforms for years.

 

When your lock screen has a clock widget on it (as is the case by default), the status bar will now hide the system clock. If you replace the clock with another widget — say, the Android Central app widget — the status bar clock comes back.

We know, a simple tweak like this shouldn't get us that excited, but as we said sometimes it's the little things that make a difference.

Thanks, Tom G and TyBec!

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4 years ago

Chromecast getting its first OTA, you don't need to do anything

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Performance, reliability and security are all improved in the coming update.

The Chrome Releases blog has announced a scheduled over-the-air update for the Chromecast will begin pushing out in the next few days. The update is said to improve reliability, security and performance — things that we always appreciate when they are at their best.

The best part of the news is that you'll never know you're getting the update, and that you don't have to do anything to get it. Like Chrome OS on any of the Chromebooks, the update will be downloaded and applied automatically without telling you or needing your intervention. 

Some of us like to know every little version bump, but for the most part seamless updates are appreciated by consumers. Those that want to know can read Android Central, everyone else can just enjoy the enhancements.

Source: Chrome Releases

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4 years ago

Google Calendar update adds notification dismissal sync

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Feature first implemented in Google+ app now makes its way to Calendar

An update to Google Calendar is rolling out in the Play Store today that enables a single feature, but it's an important one – notification dismissal sync across devices. First unveiled at Google I/O 2013 as a new service, the notification dismissal sync will clear calendar notifications on all of your other devices as soon as it is dismissed (by swiping or entering the app) on one device.

If the feature sounds familiar, you may recall that Google quickly added it to the Google+ app when it added a redesigned notifications system across both its apps and web. Google is doing its best to lead by example here, and we sure hope that more developers will implement this service into their own apps and keep our notification bars clean(er) — especially with increasing usage of tablets alongside phones.

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4 years ago

Google working with Netflix to solve Android 4.3 lock up problem

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Putting some Android 4.3 devices to sleep while using Netflix causes freezing

Android Central forums member WwonderLlama has posted about problems he is having using his new Chromecast to watch Netflix:

I just updated my Nexus 4 to [Android] 4.3 via the OTA. That afternoon, I got my Chromecast in the mail. After playing with it for a while, I've found that if I start casting something from my Nexus 4 and lock the screen (just clicking the power button), after a few seconds, the Chromecast audio will stutter and then my Nexus 4 will be hard-locked. I can't get it back without doing a hard reset.

He is not alone, as many people -- specifically those with the Nexus 4 or 2013 Nexus 7 -- are having freezing issues when using Netflix on Android 4.3. Once the app is opened, sleeping the display will lock the device up, forcing a reboot by holding the power button.

Considering the emphasis Google put on Netflix to promote the recently released Chromecast, Google has taken specific interest in finding a solution. Googler Dan Morrill posted on Reddit that "we have top men working on it now." Until these top men send out an update, be sure to keep those Nexus 4 and new Nexus 7 screens on when watching Netflix on Chromecast.

via: Android Police; More: Android Central Forums

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4 years ago

The 2013 Nexus 7 giveaway winners are ...

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Congrats guys, and enjoy your new Nexus 7 tablets!

We got a bit excited last week when the new Nexus 7 was announced, and ordered a couple of them to give away to our awesome readers. It's a great update to the original, and most everyone seems to think they are the best small-form tablet ever made (so far). We've been using the heck out of ours, and we're glad to help a couple of you guys have one to use the heck out of as well!

Your winners:

Send these two fellows some warm thoughts guys and gals, and we'll get their tablets out to them shortly. Look for more giveaways and contests from us soon, there's nothing we enjoy more than spreading the Android love around.

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4 years ago

Weekly Photo Contest: Traffic

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Show us your best shot of traffic for a chance to win a new phone tripod!

We're getting back into the swing of things with weekly photo contests, and we hope that this will compel more of you to get out there and take some pictures. Practice makes perfect, so let's get to this week's topic.

This week, the subject is "Traffic". We had you show off your best travel photos a couple of weeks back, and now it's time to show off the best representation of the commute -- be it to work or to that vacation spot. Now we don't condone or encourage that you take pictures while driving, so maybe this will be best handled from the passenger's seat of a car or on the sidewalk if you happen to be making a walk past everyone sitting in gridlock.

The lucky winner this week will get their hands on an iStabilizer Flex phone tripod and holder.

Entering is easy. Just drop your entry in a post below. Tell us what Android you used to get the picture, and any back story you want to add to it. We'll pick a winner Tuesday (August 6) night at 11:59 PM ET, and announce them on the blog with next Wednesday's contest.

Enter this week's photo contest

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4 years ago

Fudging benchmarks? So what — benchmarks still suck

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adb shell cat /sys/module/pvrsrvkm/parameters/sgx_gpu_clk can never tell a lie

Samsung got caught cheating. They are manipulating benchmark results for the Galaxy S4 by allowing the GPU to run at a higher clock speed and locking the CPU to the max frequency, in a different way than other system processes are allowed to do. They give a few of Samsung's own apps limited time with these higher speeds, but clearly favor some popular benchmark apps. They got caught red-handed by Brian and Anand over at AnandTech — two of the best hardware geniuses in the business — and the Internet is in a tizzy, as the Internet is wont to do.

We've been reading all about it, including the responses of people who are in no way affiliated with any of the involved parties, and now that it's past noon and I've had a few cocktails with lunch I want to write a few words about it.

Join the fray in the Galaxy S4 forums: Samsung cheats at benchmarks

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4 years ago

AT&T Galaxy S3 getting Android 4.1.2 OTA now

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Initial reports of users receiving the update has begun, still no official change log.

After its first major update from Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean earlier this year, the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 is receiving another considerable update. The phone will still be on Android Jelly Bean, but it gets a version bump from Android 4.1.1 up to Android 4.1.2 (build JZO54K.I747UCDMG2).

Users are reporting an update file size of over 220 MB, which is definitely on the larger side. Some have had success downloading over LTE, while others have said they were forced to download over WiFi. It is also being reported by users that this update includes Samsung's multiwindow feature.

Keep an eye out for that update notification, and join the rest of our members in the forums to discuss the changes and fixes in the AT&T Galaxy S3's latest update.

Thanks, xisruno and Keith!

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4 years ago

BBC Media Player updated with Android 4.3 support

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A heads-up for newly-upgraded Android 4.3 users in the UK — the BBC Media Player app has been updated with support for the latest version of Google's OS. Previously, users who'd upgraded to 4.3 after downloading the player would've been able to continue using it, but if you tried to download it from Google Play using a 4.3 device you'd be out of luck. (The same applies to the BBC iPlayer app, as it happens.)

The app allows users to stream content from the Beeb through their mobile browser of choice, including BBC iPlayer content on the web. That's significant because the dedicated iPlayer app itself hasn't been updated with Android 4.3 support yet. So if you're coming from a fresh installation of Android 4.3, you can now get BBC video content on your device — you'll just have to use your web browser until iPlayer is updated to support Android 4.3.

As always, we should point out that most of the cool stuff that can be accessed through the BBC's player is still exclusive to TV license fee payers in the UK. If that's you, hit the Google Play link up top to grab the latest version of the app.

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4 years ago

AT&T expands LTE to ten new markets

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The nationwide network rollout continues with more markets this week.

As AT&T works to roll out its LTE network nationwide, it's going to be darn sure that people know about every single city that it launches in. This week we're looking at ten new markets that will have access to the higher speed network. Provided that you have an LTE handset (most do nowadays) and the proper provisioning on your account, if you live in one of the following markets you should see LTE live now:

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4 years ago

Android 4.3 and beyond: Is root going away for 'Stock' ROMs?

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New methods and security models have changed the way superuser permissions are handled in Android 4.3

You've probably heard some chatter about root and the latest version of Android, and maybe even heard things like "the death of root" being thrown around. Things have changed, and new security features in Android now limit what processes with superuser privileges can do on the system partition. I'll try to explain some of this as best as I can without throwing around too many words nobody (well, almost nobody) will understand. Some of it's unavoidable, though.

You might need to pour a stiff one for this.

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4 years ago

Catch Notes service shutting down after Aug. 30

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Current users have until the shut down date to download their data through Catch.com

After years of service to its web and mobile users, Catch Notes has made the difficult decision to shut down its services. One of a growing number of free note-taking apps, Catch Notes offered the capturing of voice, photo, and text for use online and offline, as well as checklists, reminders, and collaboration between friends.

Service will shut down after August 30, which is why the company urges all users to download their data from the Catch.com website before the deadline. Full directions are available at the Catch Help Center.

Disenfranchised users will likely be looking for other services to replace their beloved Catch. Evernote offers free and subscription-based services, while Springpad offers all of its services free of charge. There is also Google's official app Keep, which offers a simpler solution. Check out the Applications Forum for more ideas.

Source: CatchThanks Rachel!

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4 years ago

Free WiFi in Starbucks to be provided by Google starting in August

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Most fans of Starbucks know about the free WiFi that the coffee company offers. It's currently offered by AT&T and while it isn't the fastest connection, it is reliable enough to get some work done. This morning Starbucks and Google announced that the search giant will be taking the reigns on the free WiFi for all stores based in the United States (sorry for all of you who live elsewhere).

Google claims the WiFi they will provide will be 10x faster and in some cases will be 100x faster (if it's a location where Google Fiber is also available).

Last month Google and Starbucks announced a partnership that allows you to listen to Google Play Music All Access for free while connecting to WiFi at a Starbucks. This deal furthers that deal and will make All Access much faster than the current connection. It will be interesting to see what, if anything else, is down the road for the two companies.

Google-provided WiFi in Starbucks will begin in August and will rollout to all US-based Starbucks stores after that.

Source: Official Google Blog

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4 years ago

The death of privacy: The internet is always watching, and it never forgets - Talk Mobile

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Our smartphones and tablets are increasingly becoming repositories of our personal information. It's a treasure trove of data that could be used to build a frighteningly complete picture of you as a person. It's more than just your contacts, calendar, memos, and photos - it's your web history, your calls and text messages, your banking data and social network logins.

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