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4 years ago

Android Central Stocking Stuffers week 2 winners

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We're into the third week of our month long Stuff Your Stocking contest here at Android Central, and that means that we have more winners to announce.

Last week we asked you to follow us on Youtube and comment on a video, and we've checked our list, rifled through our Youtube inbox, and picked winners for each day's contest. Each winner will need to check their Youtube inbox for all the details, but there's a $10 Google Play gift card with your name on it. I imagine everyone wants to know who those winners are, so let's get on with it!

  • timecop1080
  • laurel2510
  • elemental1
  • vmmini91
  • milton abaunza
  • what316austin1
  • sleepyhollow57

A big holiday congrats goes out to each of you from all of us here at Android Central, and we know you'll find something great in Google Play to spend your gift cards on. Plus, you're automatically entered to win a Nexus 4 from us!

Don't forget that starting tomorrow is a new week, and we have more gift cards to give away. Keep an eye on the blog for just how we're going to do that. Good luck, congrats to last week's winners, and thanks everyone for entering!

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4 years ago

The Samsung Exynos kernel exploit - what you need to know

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A new kernel exploit has been found (credit to alephzain at XDA) that affects some Samsung Exynos chipsets -- which happen to power many of Samsung's more popular phones. Normally kernel exploits don't make the rounds as news, but this time the word "malware" got attached to it so it has a bit of steam behind it.

Let's start this by reminding everyone that any app or program that roots your Android phone or jailbreaks your iOS device is malware by this definition. People really need to give up on that damn click-bait, and instead worry about educating people to help keep them safer. That's what we're going to try to do, so read on and lets have a look.

Update: A couple new things here. First is that Supercurio has worked up a quick and easy app that'll patch this exploit if you're worried about it. It'll let you know if your device is vulnerable, closes the exploit without requiring root access (so it should work on any phone or tablet), and it "doesn't modify your system, copy files or flash anything." You can turn the fix off and on as you choose, which is good because it breaks camera functionality on some devices (read more after the break on why that happens), and it could mess with HDMI output on some devices, Supercurio says. Also, we're re-emphasizing Chainfire's thread in the link below. Great stuff from the Android community. Let's hope Samsung gets something pushed out on its end as soon as it can.

Source: XDA; More: Chainfire's ExynosAbuse root exploit thread

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4 years ago

The week in international Android news - Dec. 16, 2012

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The holidays may be just around the corner, but the pace of news shows no sign of slowing. So here's another quick recap of the week's main Android events around the world. It's been a busy week packed with device launches on various UK  networks, app updates from Google and the BBC, as well as review and first impressions features here on AC.

Check past the break for this week's round-up.

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4 years ago

Google UK boss offers 'unreserved apology' for delayed Nexus 4 orders

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Dan Cobley says pre-Christmas deliveries on track for this week, offers shipping refund for late orders

As we've reported in great detail over the past month, customers hoping to pick up the Nexus 4 directly from the Google Play Store haven't had the easiest time ordering the device. Even after dealing with a tumultuous ordering process, some in the UK have found that their orders had missed the shipping window they'd been given by Google Play.

As a result, some disgruntled customers decided to go straight to the top to get answers, reaching out to Google UK & Ireland Managing Director Dan Cobley on his Google+ page. Today Cobley has responded with an update on the situation, an apology to those affected, and a shipping refund for those whose orders had missed the quoted 3-5 day window. The bottom line is that orders with pre-Christmas shipping estimates should be processed in the coming week.

In his Google+ message, Cobley also addresses the subject of stock levels, saying supplies from Nexus 4 manufacturer LG have been "scarce and erratic." The first wave of Nexus 4 stock sold out in under an hour, and the second wave was back-ordered by over one month in under a day.

Check past the break for Cobley's message in full.

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4 years ago

Carphone Warehouse offering pre-Christmas deals on Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

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If you're in the market for an inexpensive tablet this Christmas time, be it for yourself or a loved one, Carphone Warehouse in the UK has just made the choice a little wider. Many -- including the Android Central staff -- would automatically recommend the Google Nexus 7. But, it's not for everyone. 

If you're more interested in a 10-inch tablet, the UK retailer has dropped the price of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 to just £195 for the 16GB model. Better still, the tablet is still eligible for £50 cashback from Samsung too, making the net price just £145. At that price it's a potentially compelling purchase, and add to that the recent Jelly Bean rollout that started here in the UK, and it could make a great gift. It's by no means perfect, but it's cheaper than even the Nexus 7. It's limited to 2 per customer and it looks like stock is selling fast. It's currently out of stock online but we found a couple of our local stores with stock left. 

The Tab 2 isn't alone in the deals section either, as the 2nd Generation Amazon Kindle Fire has been reduced to just £98. As a content consuming device the Kindle Fire is a good choice, with built in LOVEFiLM streaming as well as Amazon's extensive content ecosystem. No Google Apps might be a deal-breaker for some, but at under £100 the Kindle Fire is a bonafide bargain.

Source: Carphone Warehouse (Tab 2 10.1) (Kindle Fire)

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4 years ago

Best Buy offering Samsung Galaxy S3 for $49 for one day only on Sunday Dec. 16

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If you fancy a little pre-holiday treat for yourself, Best Buy might have something for you. For one day only tomorrow, Sunday Dec. 16, the retailer is dropping the price of the Samsung Galaxy S3 to just $49 on a new 2-year contract. It's not the first time in recent months that the Android Central International and U.S. Best of the Best pick has been reduced. The difference this time round is that the Galaxy S3 will be available for that same price on the four big carriers. If you've been holding off, there might be little better opportunities to pick one up on the carrier of your choosing.

Source: @BBYNews 

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4 years ago

Photo buffs - be sure to give Snapseed a good long look

13

Like that old dog who is reluctant to learn new tricks, I may have written off the new Android Snapseed app a bit too soon. In our last podcast, I was quick to dismiss it as yet another hipster filter app, with controls that are too difficult to use on a phone. We all agreed that it's better on a tablet (and it still is -- real estate FTW) but after a bit of practice today -- inspired by Google Android engineer Tor Norbye -- I'm Loving it. With a capital L. 

Gesture based apps aren't really new, but most folks are used to controls and numbers being shown when editing photos. I know I am, but after actually trying it for a while, I've got the hang of it and can use the image adjustment tools that aren't grunge and other lo-fi dramatic effects. It's helpful for phones with less-than-stellar cameras like the Nexus 4, and really does a number when you're using something like the Galaxy S3 or One X.

Take a few and try it on some old pictures. Chances are you'll see what all the fuss is about and end up keeping it. Be sure to show them all off, and enter the photo contest with your result. Install it by clicking the link up top.

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week: Ski & Snow Report, Christmas Countdown, Holo Lamp and more!

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Welcome back to another edition of our Android Central app picks. We've only got a few more of these before the end of 2012, so we're hoping to make the most of 'em. It's the holiday season, so of course we've brought a couple of seasonal apps here -- with a few of our usual great picks thrown in as well. Stick around after the break and see how we did this week.

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4 years ago

Samsung denies claims of underage workers at their parts supplier

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Samsung has responded to and rejected claims from China Labor Watch saying that one of their component part suppliers, HTNS Shenzhen, was hiring underage workers. The investigation by Samsung into the matter concluded yesterday, where the worker in question affirmed that they are over 18 years of age. Two other workers who are no longer with the company were also found to have been over 18 when hired. 

Samsung builds and supplies over 90-percent of their own parts, but like many electronic manufacturers they still have a need for pieces from mainland China. Because of the attention this episode has drawn, Samsung has stated that they will implement new hiring practices, including face to face interviews and the introduction of electronic devices to detect fake IDs.

Even when not true, allegations of child labor can be damning to a company in the eyes of the west. Samsung will be doing everything possible to make sure it doesn't happen, and that nobody thinks it may be happening. They have a big reputation to uphold on the world stage, after all. For the full statement, see the source link.

Source: Samsung 

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4 years ago

Android Central 2012 Gift Guide: Richard's holiday wish-list

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Nights are drawing in, the temperature is heading below zero, and my wallet is empty. It's the festive season alright, which means giving killer gifts to the nearest and dearest. Me, as long as I get Back to the Future on the TV and the annual Boxing Day soccer football match, I'm happy. 

But, you want to give those you a love a great gift, right? Makes sense, so click on for some suggestions from across the pond. Pre-warning -- none are as good as Jerry's Glazed Ham.

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Sandy Hook

I don't much feel like writing about phones this weekend. Instead, I'll paraphrase a Facebook post from an old friend of mine from high school who leads a congregation in Nebraska:

It's so easy to say, "My heart/prayers goes out." How about this: Here's the address for Sandy Hook Elementary School: 12 Dickenson Drive, Sandy Hook, CT 06482.

Take five minutes. Sit down with your kid. Write a letter. Draw a picture. Make a card. Send it to them. Tell them you're praying for them. Tell them you're so sorry they're hurting. Tell them you love them. Don't just say you love them on Facebook. LOVE them for real. ... Make your love tangible.

Wise words. Hug your kids, remember the victims. And don't ever stop trying to make this world a little better.

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4 years ago

Samsung uses paper craft and the Note 2 to wish us happy holidays

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Kirigami is the ancient art of folding and cutting paper to make beautiful shapes or scenes. Most of us know it by the paper snowflakes we used to make as children. Samsung has taken it a step further, and along with the Note 2 have churned out another great commercial.

Using the Note 2 and it's large screen for motion effects, the paper craft work in the commercial really catches the eye. Commercials of this caliber are becoming the norm from Samsung, and we're enjoying each and every one. Have a watch, and if you decide to try any of this yourself (I know we have some very crafty readers) send in a short video or some pictures -- we'd love to have a look.

Souce: Samsung Mobile on Youtube

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4 years ago

From the mail bag: Why use Kies for updates?

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Richard writes: 

Why does Samsung hate OTA updates so much? Using Kies sucks.

We feel you Richard. Having to load software on your computer to perform an update seems like a step backwards, and in the wrong direction. And speaking for the minority as a Linux user who can't install most of these desktop suite programs, they do indeed suck. But in some cases, using Kies to update phones is actually a good idea. Read on.

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4 years ago

U.S. Cellular's Samsung Galaxy S II finally getting an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade

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If you're rocking a U.S. Cellular Samsung Galaxy S II, your long wait for Android 4.0 is finally at an end. The update is available for download, although it doesn't look like it's going out OTA. Hit the source link at the bottom of this post for more, but basically you'll need to download the update and install via your computer. 

While still Touchwiz'd up, the jump from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich is a sizeable one. New ICS features like Face Unlock are baked in, and it opens up a whole new world of applications to take advantage of, like Google Chrome. Also built in to this update are 'additional apps' with Google Play Movies and Slacker being installed as part of the package. Jelly Bean hasn't rolled out to any worldwide models of the Galaxy S II, so this at least brings the U.S. Cellular variant up to date with it's compatriots. If you've snagged the update, be sure to shout out in the comments and let us know how you're finding it. 

Source: U.S. Cellular

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4 years ago

Why Plume is still my Twitter client of choice

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It seems like there's a new wizz-bang fancy Twitter client released every week. Every single time you hear claims that it's the next best thing. Every once and a while those claims actually hold some merit, but it seems like more often than not these new clients just fade off into the ether and everyone goes back to their previous choice. For me, that choice is Plume and I've yet to find a client that can pull me away.

I've been using Plume exclusively since about February of this year, and it's only improved since then. After trying it out for about a week -- coming from the official Twitter app -- I paid $4.99 for the "Premium" version and never looked back. I initially chose Plume because not only did it ditch the legacy menu button, but also followed Android's new "holo" design guidelines extensively. There's something refreshing about apps that fit in nicely with the rest of the OS. Plume doesn't cut any corners in features or functionality to get "holo" either -- you have full customization of refresh, notifications (although not push, unfortunately), backgrounds, colors, display, URL shorteners, picture hosting and multiple accounts.

You also get three extremely functional widgets -- 2x1, 4x1 and 4x2 to 4x4 expandable. The largest is information dense and offers scrolling, tabs for tweets/mentions/messages and dedicated tweet/search keys. I interact with Plume through the widget a majority of the time, and it really is a joy to use. The developers are on top of updates for the widgets as well, offering an Android 4.2 lockscreen widget just days after the code released.

It's hard for me to consider using any other client when there's nothing I find in my use of Plume to drive me away. I'm not using it because it's the least broken out of the clients available -- I'm using it because I think it's the best available.

So what is your Twitter client of choice, and what has kept you from switching away? Let us know in the comments.

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