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4 years ago

Friday free-for-all - win one of 5 free Lloyd t-shirts

Comment and win a Lloyd t-shirt. It couldn't be easier!

It's been a busy week around here. Galaxy S4 stuff coming down like rain, Phil abandoning us being in New York for #tm13 ninja secret shenanigans, and I'm out of coffee. That means it's time to relax a bit -- and give away t-shirts!

There are comments below. Or there will be. Your job is to talk about whatever you want to talk about (without getting out of line -- you know better). Discuss Android if you want to, or talk about the Red Sox if that's your thing. Just let if flow. 

Tonight at midnight Eastern time, I'll close the comments and pick 5 of them at random. If I pick your comment, I'll shoot you an email asking where I should send a free Lloyd t-shirt. Make sure the email you used to register for the site is legit, and go.

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4 years ago

HTC One in black appears on Sprint site, looks ready to order

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Long-awaited Black HTC One makes an appearance, complete with a button to buy today

If you've been waiting for the HTC One in black, it looks like Sprint just put it up for sale about an hour ago. Of course it's the same One as the silver version, but it's black. A few people are concerned that these aren't shipping right away, but we see nothing to suggest that on Sprint's website -- for all intents and purposes it looks like they are ready to roll out the door.

Now who is going to be the guinea pig and order the first one and see when it ships? Hash it all out in the forums.

Source: Sprint; via: Android Central forums

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4 years ago

Galaxy S4 torn apart, looks easy to fix everything but the front glass

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Samsung Galaxy S4 given a reparability score of 8 out of 10

The fellows over at iFixit got their Samsung Galaxy S4, and that means it's time to tear shit apart. Unlike most folks who try to take good care of their expensive electronic toys, these people live to break them open and see what the innards look like. This go around, they found most things pretty easy to get to and replace, the front glass and panel being the exception. Here's their highlights:

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Reparability Score: 8 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)
  • The battery can be replaced in seconds, without any tools.
  • Very easy to open and access internal components.
  • There are only 11 screws in the entire device, all standard Phillips #0 (no proprietary or security sizes).
  • Most of the smaller components are modular and can be replaced individually, but several of them are adhered in place, increasing replacement difficulty.
  • The glass is fused to both the display and the display frame, increasing repair costs.
  • You'll have to go through the entire phone in order to replace the front panel, since everything is built into the back of it.

The good news is that it looks easy enough to fix things if you ever need to. The bad news is that the part most likely to break, the glass, is the hardest part to replace. The sensible part is that most people will never do anything like this anyway. 

It's still reassuring that someone, somewhere can fix your phone should you do something stupid or just have a string of bad luck. Unlike the HTC One, which was found pretty damn difficult to repair, the Galaxy S4 is one of the easy ones. Be sure to click the link below to see all the steps.

Source: iFixit

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4 years ago

HP Slate 7 now available online for $170

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You could spend $170 on a HP Slate 7, but you shouldn't

You can officially not buy the HP Slate 7 today, as the tablet nobody would ever want is now available at HP's website. Your $170 does get you a nice design and quality materials (and Beats audio!), but the lackluster internals and low resolution 1024 x 600 display means you should give this one a pass. For $30 more you can get a Nexus 7 from Google or your local brick and mortar retailer.

But, if you insist, click the link below to order. 

Source: HP; via: Engadget

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4 years ago

Top Samsung Galaxy S4 forum threads

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As devices start to make their way into more hands, the forums are jumping with discussion

There's been more news about the Samsung Galaxy S4 than you can shake a stick at as of late, and that means two things. Firstly, it's time for them to start trickling in from preorders and more people have them. The second is that people want to talk about it. That's where oru forums come into play. You can talk as much Galaxy S4 as you want with people just like you and me, who can't get enough and are excited. Take a look at a few.

So have look at our review, then head into the forums and see what all the fuss is about!

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4 years ago

The new Android Central App: What do you want to see?

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We're not just in New York City working on the (more or less) super secret #tm13 -- we're also still hard at work at the all-new Android Central application.

We're edging closer to a public beta. But before we put this guy out in the wild, I want to hear what you folks want to see in it. We like to think we've thought of everything that we want to have in a v1 release, but it's still possible we've missed something completely obvious.

So what are you looking for in the all-new Android Central application? Let us know in the comments. And I'll maybe even drop a few hints of what's ready to go, what's in the works and what's a great idea for a future feature.

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4 years ago

WSJ: Rugged Samsung Galaxy S4 Active coming in July

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Water and dust resistant Samsung Galaxy S4 Active could be on store shelves this summer

A couple of days ago we told you that a Samsung executive let it slip that there was a rugged version of the Galaxy S4 in the works, and today the Wall Street Journal says the same. According to their sources, the water and dust resistant version will be called the Galaxy S4 Active, and we should see it this summer in July.

Without a doubt there is a market for "weather proof" phones. Motorola has offered a few along the years and while they aren't always pushing the edge with the latest specifications, they are popular with folks wanting equipment that will stand up to less than ideal conditions. Should Samsung release their top-end phone in a version that can take a little extra abuse, it should get some attention.

With July just a few months away, we should know more soon. We'll keep you updated.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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4 years ago

AT&T launches 'Digital Life' security and home automation service in 15 markets

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Enhanced security and control over your home from anywhere

AT&T is stepping beyond serving internet, television and phone service today by launching its new home security and automation platform, which it calls "AT&T Digital Life". The service, which is available starting today in 15 U.S. markets, gives users control over many functions of their home from anywhere via mobile devices. Similarly to current security systems, Digital Life provides 24/7 monitoring and support for emergencies at your home. AT&T's new service goes beyond this though, giving you access to cameras in and around your home, locking and unlocking doors, operating the garage door, and more.

This is a bit more involved than just installing an app however, and requires both hardware installation at the home and a monthly service fee. The base cost for Digital Life will be $29.99 per month with an $149.99 installation fee, and includes several sensors and a battery backup system along with the aforementioned 24/7 security monitoring. From there, users can pay higher monthly fees if they would like to monitor and control more functions in the home such as cameras, controllers for appliances, automated door locks, and water control systems.

The services are launching today in 15 markets, which cover many major cities across the U.S.: Atlanta, Austin, Texas, Boulder, Colo., Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Riverside, Calif., San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis and select areas of the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area. AT&T expects 50 markets in total to be served by Digital Life by the end of 2013. You can take a look at the newly launched Digital Life app at the Play Store link above, and see more information about the service from the source link below.

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

Google: If you distribute your app through Google Play, you'll update it through Google Play

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Facebook had been confusing users with unsolicited 'beta' updates outside the app store

Google recently changed its Google Play Developer Program Policies to prevent applications from using Google's app store and then going off the reservation for updates. 

The change likely is in direct response to Facebook doing that very thing under the guise of a "beta" program. While there might be any malicious intent there, it is a bit specious, and confusing to consumers.

The new policy language reads thusly:

An app downloaded from Google Play may not modify, replace or update its own APK binary code using any method other than Google Play's update mechanism.

That should still leave room for applications that are distributed through Google Play to simultaneously have beta tracks outside of Google's app store, so long as those trains stay on their proper tracks. 

Source: Google Play Developer Content Policy; via The Verge

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4 years ago

Samsung posts Q1 earnings, show $6,400,000,000 profit

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Sales are up, and we haven't even counted the Galaxy S4 yet -- look for Samsung to have another record quarter come July

I'm no financial wizard, but I know big numbers when i see them. And Samsung, as expected, is turning them out. They've just posted their Q1 2013 earnings, and the big news is that they have turned in net profits of 7.15 Trillion Won (that's 6.4 Billion US dollars), with total sales of 52.9 Trillion Won, up from 45.3 Trillion last quarter.

Phones make up a big portion of these numbers. About $358 Billion worth, though it's worth noting that not all the phones sold are Android-powered, or even smart phones. The Mobile unit's operating profit was 6.51 Trillion Won on the back of 68 million units. And they expect things to get even better in Q2, suggesting that Samsung will ship 78 Million handsets out of their mobile division. I have a feeling millions of them will be the Galaxy S4

You Wall Street types will want to check out the links below for the big picture, while the rest of us try to wrap our heads around these numbers. 

Source: Bloomberg. More: Samsung's earning s release (pdf)

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4 years ago

A quick look at the OPPO Find 5

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Amazingly high quality and design that you just don't get in your every day smart phone

Well look what we have here? It's the OPPO Find 5. As we get ready to put it through its paces for a full review, we wanted to give you a quick look at the new device.

Hardware

If the name wasn't any indication, we're looking at a 5-inch 1080P display here, and it is quite a substantial device all around. That display is surrounded by a couple different textures and colors of metal -- one to frame the glass of the screen, another as a complete rim around the device, and a final one as a solid back plate. The surround and back plate are the same material, which feels like a hefty metal with a light soft touch coating over it. Inside we're looking at a Snapdragon S4 Pro processor at 1.5GHz, 2GB of RAM, a 2500mAh battery, 13MP camera and 32GB of storage. To top it all off, the phone is pentaband, and compatible with both AT&T and T-Mobile HSPA+.

The phone feels nice in the hand from a materials standpoint, but at first impression isn't the most ergonomic ever. 5-inches for a phone is pushing the boundaries of one-handed use, and the angular design combined with very smooth materials make this a bit of a slippery phone to hold onto. The Find 5 feels like its built like a tank, and feels both denser and heavier than comparably sized devices

Software

We still have a whole bunch of time to spend with the software, but we're looking at a generously customized version of Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. The software reminds us a lot of MIUI, with lots of reflections, borders around apps and a bright, friendly color scheme. Our first impression is that a lot of the customizations OPPO have done are very user friendly, and there's an overall consistent design language. Some of the features of the launcher are just a bit too overboard for our tastes though.

Stick around after the break to check out several close-ups of the hardware on the device, and be sure to keep an eye on the site for our upcoming complete review.

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4 years ago

Here's your chance to try out App.net for free; we've got 200 invitations to hand out. Update: here's 200 more!

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200 invitations won't last long, so if you're interested grab one quickly!

The good people at App.net have been trying something new by offering limited, invitation-only free tier accounts. It's a great way to try out the services App.net has to offer, like the Twitter-style social blogging, cloud storage, and messaging services before they decide to spend any money. Everyone likes to try before they buy, and it leads to more satisfied customers who know what to expect. It's a great idea, but invites aren't exactly the easiest thing to get.

We can alleviate that a little bit, as ADN has reached out to us and given us 200 invites to hand out. They know readers of sites like Android Central are the type who want to try out these sort of services, and can provide feedback to make everything as good as it can be. 200 invites won't last long, though, so if you're interested you'll need to jump on it.

Update: The first 200 went quickly, so here's 200 more from the fine folks at App.net!

Join App.net from AndroidCentral

If you use the invitation, you'll be automatically following Android Central, so you'll have some content in your stream while you look for others to follow and talk with. You don't have to keep following us though, there are no strings attached here.

This is a great way to try out the App.net service, so be sure to give it a look. We'll see you there!

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4 years ago

Vine coming to Android 'soon' say creators

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Vine creators to bring their social video app to Android "soon"

Vine is going to come to Google Play "soon", according the the folks who created the popular iOS app. Speaking to The Verge, there was no timeline or any further details given about the Android version, and we're not even going to guess.

If you're not familiar with Vine, think of it as YouTube for folks with very short attention spans. It captures six seconds of video, letting you stop and start as many times as you like, then assembling everything up ready to post to Twitter. There is no secret sauce or other magic at work -- just a six second video clip. Have a look at it here, where Phil breaks it down.

The app itself allows you to follow users and view their Vines, and there's an unofficial website to follow along for those who don't have the app at VinePeek. Warning -- this is exactly what you would expect to see when you give everyone an uncensored arena to post six second clips. If you find wieners and teenagers using foul language offensive, you have been warned.

When Vine does come to Android, we'll give it a good look. I'm calling in sick that day.

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4 years ago

Amazon posts Q1 2013 earnings: $16.07 billion in sales net just $82 million in income

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Net sales and operating cash flow up considerably; net and operating income still taking big hits

Everyone's favorite online retailer turned tablet maker and content aggregator, Amazon, has just posted its Q1 2013 financial report. There's a whole lot of numbers to jump into here, so let's get to the quick breakdown first:

  • Net sales of $16.07 billion, up a full 22-percent year-over-year
  • Operating income of $181 million, down 6-percent y-o-y
  • Net income of just $82 million, down sharply by 37-percent y-o-y
  • Operating cash flow (for the trailing 12 months) of $4.25 billion, up 39-percent y-o-y

This seems to be the trend for Amazon as of late, boasting high quarterly sales year after year, but coming up a bit short at the bottom line. Over $16 billion in sales is a massive number, but among other reasons currency fluctuations are to blame for the decreasing net income. Regardless of what the income numbers look like, Amazon isn't slowing down any time soon. During the release it took time to remind us of its current initiatives.

Amazon is continually boosting its Prime Instant Video catalog, bringing TV shows from A&E, FX, PBS, HGTV and many more. It also debuted pilots for 14 original series, which are coming out of Amazon Studios. Aside from touting increased availability of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" in several new countries, in typical Amazon fashion it didn't break out any sales or earnings for the devices. Rest assured that Amazon is likely selling a boatload of Kindles every quarter.

Source: Amazon (BusinessWire)

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4 years ago

Chrome Beta updated with better rendering and bug fixes

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Page rendering performance and frequently occurring crashes addressed in today's update

Chrome Beta has been updated in Google Play this afternoon, and along with the usual (and often cryptic) fixes and enhancements, this version was specifically updated with an "Improvement to page rendering performance."  Here's the full list of changes, because we know some of you are into that sort of thing.

  • 179250: Black screen during load on Huawei tablets
  • 224379: Cannot scroll images after zooming in
  • 226193: Blue line displayed below the omnibox
  • Improvement to page rendering performance
  • Fixes for some frequently occurring crashes

We don't post every time a beta version of an app gets updated, but we know more than a few folks are concerned with things like improvements to page rendering performance -- we know we are. You can update, or grab the beta from the Google Play link above.

Source: Google Chrome blog

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