4 years ago

LG Optimus G Pro could head to Korea with bigger screen, larger battery


The LG Optimus G Pro became official on Japanese carrier NTT Docomo last month, but we've yet to hear anything official about where else the phone might launch. Today brings a rather tantalizing leak, however, suggesting that the G Pro might be headed to LG's native South Korea with a refreshed spec sheet.

According to images obtained by PhoneArena -- one of a spec list, the other of the device itself -- it appears the Optimus G Pro could be headed to Korea with a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS-LCD display and a 3140mAh battery. That's up from a 5.0-inch screen and a 3000mAh battery in the Japanese version. Also listed is microSD card support up to 64GB. Other specs match Docomo's version directly -- there's a a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro inside, along with 2GB of RAM and a 13MP rear camera. And Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is preloaded along with LG's custom UI.

Based on branding seen in the second image, it looks like the Optimus G Pro will launch on Korean carrier LG U+. We'll likely see the G Pro in person at Mobile World Congress at the end of the month, where we might also learn more about international availability.

Source: PhoneArena

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4 years ago

3G-capable Nexus 7 hits Japan this Saturday


Hot on the heels of the Nexus 10, the Wifi+3G version of Google's Nexus 7 tablet is set to go on sale in Japan in a couple of days. Like its big brother, the Nexus 7 3G has been available elsewhere since late 2012, but until this month there had been no official Japanese launch.

Now Japanese site Impress Watch brings news that the launch is imminent, with Feb. 9 being touted as release day. The Japanese version's hardware, it says, is identical to the tablet sold in other markets, with a Tegra 3 CPU inside,  32GB of storage and pentaband HSPA+ support.

Upon release the Nexus 7 3G is said to sell for around ¥29,800 ($318).

Source: Impress Watch (Japanese); via: Engadget

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4 years ago

Sony confirms Xperia V, T, TX Jelly Bean update, details changes


We've been hearing reports to this effect for the past week or so, but today Sony has officially confirmed the arrival of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for the Xperia V, Xperia T and Xperia TX. A post over on the official Sony Mobile blog details exactly what's new in this firmware update -- and there's quite a bit, besides the usual Jelly Bean stuff like Google Now and "project butter."

The update includes new, redesigned Sony media apps such as Walkman for music, Album for pictures and Movies for, well, movies. There're also new personalization options in the home screen launcher, including support for up to seven screens, and auto-resizing of widgets, like the stock Jelly Bean launcher. Changes to the app drawer make creating folders easier, and the drawer itself now features a search box.

Sony also promises camera improvements, including a new "auto" scene setting, and a button for switching between the front and rear camera.

Xperia V, T and TX owners, let us know in the comments if you've got your Jelly Bean update. As always, carrier-locked devices may take a little longer. Sony says the update may only be available through the PC Companion or Bridge app for Mac "in some instances," so you may want to check that if you've not had anything arrive over the air.

Source: Sony Mobile Blog

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4 years ago

LG throws words at you in MWC 2013 trailer


LG's going to have... something... to show us at Mobile World Congress 2013, but good luck working out exactly what based on this primarily buzzword-based trailer. The underlying message seem so to be that a "breakthrough is coming," though various nodes linking terms like "stylish," beautiful," "speedy" and "edgy" leave us guessing as to exactly what the company has planned. All in all, it's about as vague as LG's recent Facebook teaser.

The stylish, speedy, beautiful and edgy Android Central editorial team will be live from Mobile World Congress in a few weeks to see exactly what LG unveils.

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4 years ago

HTC 603e certified in China - mid-range Jelly Bean handset


Much of the HTC-related buzz in North America and Europe may be centered on the rumored "M7" handset, but let's not forget that China is a hugely important mobile market. That's where HTC will be hoping its latest smartphone, carrying the model number 603e, will make an impact. A mid-range device with a 4.3-inch WVGA display, a 1.15GHz dual-core CPU and 1GB of RAM, the 603e has just shown up in the Chinese telecom equipment certification database, where it's been spotted by local outlet TENAA.

Other key specs for the phone include a 5MP front camera, a 2MP rear shooter, a thickness of 9.8mm and weight of 130 grams -- nothing too outstanding by any means. But at least the 603e is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, so it's relatively up-to-date.

From a Western perspective, what's interesting about this device is its appearance. It seems to channel a few of the design cues we've seen from alleged leaks of HTC's high-end "M7" device. Note the large earpiece and prominent front-facing camera, as seen in an in-software render weeks ago. And the angled curve of the back is reminiscent of the device that HTC CEO Peter Chou flashed on stage at a recent company party. So even if we never see the 603e outside of China, this design might show in broad strokes what to expect from HTC in the future.

There's no word on release dates, branding or pricing for the HTC 603e, as it's yet to be officially announced. As an educated guess, we'd speculate that we might see more at or around this year's Mobile World Congress.

Source: TENAA; via: Engadget

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4 years ago

EE to expand LTE coverage to 27 more markets by June


Carrier promises 55% UK population coverage in 65 markets by mid-year

Sole UK 4G carrier EE has announced that it intends to expand its LTE coverage to a further 27 towns and cities across the country by June of this year. The move, it says, will bring 4G reception to 55 percent of the UK population in some 65 markets, up from its current 45 percent UK population coverage across 28 markets.

Between April and June, EE says it'll light up 4G in Aldershot, Ashford, Basildon, Basingstoke, Blackpool, Bracknell, Camberley, Colchester, Crawley, Farnborough, Guildford, Horsham, Huddersfield, Leatherhead, Maidstone, Milton Keynes, Oldham, Oxford, Redhill, Reigate, Sevenoaks, Stevenage, Tonbridge, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Warrington, Wigan and Woking.

With the strengthening of its LTE network, EE will be looking to make the most of its advantage in being the ony British 4G network until the middle of the year. In late spring or early summer, rival carriers like O2, Vodafone and Three will look to launch their own 4G networks, with Three promising in recent days to provide the service without hiking prices. EE currently operates its service on re-farmed 1800MHz airwaves; the ongoing 4G spectrum auction will determine how the UK's 800 and 2600MHz spectrum is divvied up.

With competition likely to intensify later in the year, 2013 looks set to become an interesting and historic year for the UK wireless industry.

Source: EE

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4 years ago

Inevitable pink Galaxy Note 2 appears on Samsung Taiwan site


If you're feeling a sense of déjà vu while reading that headline, we can't blame you. Samsung has a history of rolling out bright pink products ahead of Valentine's Day. Recall the pink Galaxy S2 of 2012, and the pink OG Galaxy Note that reared its head around the same time. And a little out of season, but nonetheless relevant, is the Korea-exclusive "Martian pink" Galaxy S3 we saw back in September.

Today they're joined by an all-new rose-tinted rectangle, in the form of the pink Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The pink slab has appeared over on Samsung's Taiwanese site, where it's shown alongside the standard white and grey versions. The exact shade looks a lot like the "Martian pink" of the Galaxy S3, and there's also a matching pink S-Pen, which is nice.

No word yet on whether Samsung will offer this color option outside of Asia. But pink versions of the S2 and the original Note eventually made it over to Europe, so we'd say the chances are looking pretty good -- even if the same can't be said for the phone itself.

Source: Samsung Taiwan; via: UnwiredView

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4 years ago

Chrome Beta for Android updated, actually pretty speedy now


Google has once again updated the Chrome beta channel for Android, bringing the pre-release browser up to version 25.0.1364.74. The new update fixed compatibility issues with the Samsung Galaxy S2, while addressing the long-standing beta bug that caused the tap disambiguation popup to appear more often than it should. That's in addition to fixes for some other bugs.

But what we're noticing most in this beta update is the performance improvement brought by the latest Chrome graphics architecture. This was actually added in an earlier Chrome Beta release last Friday, but a bug which throttled scrolling speed on many pages prevented us from enjoying it. In this latest version it seems that's now been fixed, allowing us to get the most out of Chrome's new graphical goodness.

We should point out that this is still beta software, and performance on older devices like the Galaxy Nexus remains slow and laggy. The usual warning about software bugs alplies here, too. But if you're using a newer phone like the Nexus 4 and have been put off by the jankiness of earlier Crome betas, you may want to give this latest one a try. Hit the Google Play link above if you like to live on the edge when it comes to mobile web browser.

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4 years ago

The Simpsons: Tapped Out makes its second debut in Google Play


Earlier in the week we saw the Dutch branch of EA launch The Simpsons: Tapped Out to a limited audience, and tonight it seems to be available for everyone else. Loosely based on the show that's been on TV forever, The Simpsons: Tapped Out is part Sim City mixed in, a dash of Farmville, and a tiny bit of Mafia Wars. Mix this all together and you have the makings of a decent game.

Progress your way through the missions to rebuild Springfield after a small "accident" down at the power plant, collecting XP, cash and donuts along the way. The gameplay is great on the Nexus 10, with smooth animations and no stuttering. I've been playing it a couple hours and have had a good time doing it.

The app is free (of course in-app purchases are there if you like) and various versions exist for multiple devices in Google Play. From the comments it looks very well supported on a myriad of different devices, and it installed and runs well on all the phones and tablets I've tried it on. Hit the Google Play link above and give it a shot. The game trailer is after the break.

Update: This release seems to have broken the earlier version available in Europe here. It's a shame the launch of an excellent game was ruined like this. All I can suggest is to keep trying, and if we hear anything from EA I'll let everyone know.

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4 years ago

Carbon (Twitter) update fixes bugs and adds Nexus 7 "support"


Carbon (the Twitter client) has just received its first notable update since release in the Play Store, and it fixes a whole bucket of bugs. Notifications have been improved, fixing crashes and duplicate notifications. Several other crashes have been fixed related to avatar loading, deleting DMs, message long presses, account selection when tweeting and duplicate tweets. That's quite a few crashes being fixed for one update.

One other item that wasn't part of the changelog is "support" for the Nexus 7. We put support in quotes because although the app can now be downloaded on Nexus 7 devices, it's just the same phone UI as before. We reached out to the developer to ask why this was done and received this response pertaining to the Nexus 7 inclusion:

... it does [support the Nexus 7]. It's not a UI that we're designing exclusively for tablets, but the only reason it is now available on tablets is to avoid the 1-star reviews that it's been causing on Play Store. A full fledged tablet app with a UI designed from scratch for tablets is in the works.

The app will warn users at startup and informs users that the UI is not optimized for tablets yet.

We knew from before that the developer planned to release a separate tablet app that properly scales and takes advantage of larger screens in the near future. It's unfortunate that his hand has seemingly been forced into adding Nexus 7 support on the current version, which is obviously a suboptimal experience, just because of a barrage of 1-star reviews. 

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4 years ago

Samsung and EA make plans to bring more games to Samsung's App store


Samsung and Electronic Arts have closed a revenue deal that will bring new games to Samsung's App Store, and put more money in game developer's pockets. The deal starts March 4, and participating developers will get 100-percent (as in all of it) of the profits from sales for the first six months, then Samsung will collect 10-percent for the next six months, and finally the fees return to the industry standard 20-percent the following year. This is a pretty big deal, from a pair of pretty big players in the industry.

Update: Samsung and the 100% indie team has sent us a correction. Developers will receive 100% revenue from March 4, 2013 through September 3, 2013, 90% revenue share from September 4, 2013 through March 3, 2014, 80% revenue share from March 4, 2014 through March 3, 2015, and after March 4, 2015, Samsung Apps developers will begin receiving the industry-standard 70% revenue share. The part about this being a really good deal for developers is unchanged. 

The program is also focused towards indie games, and is designed to put those obscure titles on the same plane as well-known games like those in the Angry Birds series. Developers who participate aren't tied up in any sort of exclusivity deal, and are free to publish their games at other markets like Google Play or Amazon. They are also encouraged to bring existing games into the Samsung App market. 

Of course Samsung benefits as well here. Getting people tied into their "ecosystem" instead of Google's or Amazon's is no easy task. Samsung is now the top seller of smart phones in the world, but when everyone has a smart phone it's always good to have a secondary source of revenue. Eventually, smart phone ownership will reach its peak, and Samsung hopes their services will keep people interested in the brand, and keep the money flowing. Having a rich content catalog is one of the best ways to make that happen.

Source: Reuters

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4 years ago

Multi-window update rolling out to Canadian Galaxy Note 2s


We heard just two days ago that Canadian models of the Galaxy Note 2 would be receiving their multi-window update today, and that seems to be going along as planned. Our own devices have started to pull down the update, all 230MB of it, to be installed and others are finding it arrive on their devices as well. This update will bring the much-anticipated multi-window feature, along with Chinese language support. The multi-window function let's the device run two apps side-by-side on the large screen, increasing the potential for multitasking.

The update arrived on other Note 2 devices -- and even Galaxy S3's -- in Europe and the U.S. late last year, so it's about time Canadian users got their opportunity to try out multi-window as well. Seeing the update on your own device yet? Let other users know in the forums.

More: Galaxy Note 2 Forums

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4 years ago

Quick contest: Win one of 20 Carbon (backup) unlock codes


Carbon (the backup app) is a kick ass way to backup and restore apps and their precious data on your Android phone or tablet. It's simple, looks great, works even better, and doesn't need root or any fancy hocus-pocus to get it to work. We think it's the way Google should have done it. The free version works great, backing up all your data to the device, but the premium version takes things a step further by placing all your data in your Dropbox, Google Drive, or Box.net account. Yay the cloud!

There's one thing that could make it better, and that's getting a free Carbon Premium code. Koush hooked us up with 20 of them to give away, and here's your chance. Comment on this post, telling everyone what data you need to back up, and sometime after midnight (Eastern time) we'll pick 20 winners. No muss, no fuss.

If you're not sure because you haven't tried Carbon backup just yet, now is the time. Hit the Google Play link above and see why everyone is loving this one.

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4 years ago

comScore: Android market share in US increases slightly in Q4 to 53.4-percent


Research firm comScore has just released its quarterly U.S. smartphone market share numbers, and as expected Android is leading the charge. Comparing Q4 2012 numbers to those of Q3, Android saw a 0.9 percentage point increase in share to 53.4-percent of the total smartphone market. Apple held down the second place spot at 36.3-percent, up 2.0 percentage points. BlackBerry and Windows Phone held down third and fourth, both declining in their share of the market.

Breaking down the numbers from a manufacturer perspective, Apple is still in the lead with the aforementioned 36.3-percent, with Samsung in second at 21-percent, which is up 2.3 percentage points. The next three round out to HTC at 10.2-percent, Motorola at 9.1-percent and LG at 7.1-percent. Both HTC and Motorola lost market share in the quarter.

If you haven't yet speculated about which smartphone OEM will come out on top in 2013, be sure to let us know what you're thinking in this week's sidebar poll. You may have a better idea of which to vote for now after seeing these numbers. Stick around after the break to see chart breakdowns of the top spots in both categories.

Source: comScore

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4 years ago

The Valentine's Day contest is getting huge, lets make it even bigger


A few days back we started up a great contest where you and your Valentine could win a Nexus 4 and a Nexus 7. We're loving the response and all the pictures of the happy couples. It's awesome to see the people who make Android Central what it is, and just how normal we all are. Looking through the contest thread and seeing folks from all walks of life, of every shape and color, united because we all use the same smartphone operating system makes us feel good inside. Really good.

So we're going to turn it up to 11.

Right now we're at 38 pages full of entries. If (and when!) we hit 50 pages, we're going to double the prize. That means two entries will have a chance to win a Nexus 4 and a Nexus 7. In fact, if it can grow to 75 pages, we'll triple things, and give away three Nexus 4s and three Nexus 7s! A reminder of how this one works:

  • To enter this contest, you will need to post in this forum thread. <--------- Use that link right there. Don't use the comments in this post. (Those of you who do shall be mocked mercilessly.)
  • This is our first couples contest. It's going to require a picture of you and your significant other. Guy, gal, four-legged friend. Doesn't matter to us. We wanna see you with someone you care about. Or at least someone you bribed for a picture. (Or if all else fails, show us a pic of you and your beloved phone.)
  • Those who post pictures (again, do it in that forum thread) of you and your significant other get entered to win some great grand prizes: A 32GB Wifi Nexus 7 and a 16GB Nexus 4. Plus we'll throw in a couple of sweet LloydGear T-shirts for each set of winners.
  • Five runners-up will receive Lloyd T-shirts.

The contest ends February 15 at 8 am Eastern time. Be sure to get entered, and let's push this thing as far as we can.

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