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3 years ago

Galaxy S4 on AT&T and Verizon, S4 Active now have Safestrap support for ROM loading

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Load custom ROMs without touching the original boot loader using Safestrap

Folks with a Galaxy S4 on AT&T or Verizon, as well as users with the Galaxy S4 Active have a new method of loading custom ROMs in the works — Safestrap. Originally born out of necessity for the Motorola Droid line — many of which were and still are locked down tightly — Safestrap allows you to load a custom ROM of your choosing after your phone is booted.

What happens is that a system process the runs at the end of the boot process gets hijacked by crafty Android hackers, and is pointed to a bit of custom code that loads a sort of virtual machine running a custom recovery, which can continue loading a ROM of the users choosing. The original ROM is still safe and sound, it's just not active. Of course this is a simplified version of events. For the more technically inclined, you'll want to have a look at the further discussion here

Since AT&T and Verizon seem to have a need to get manufacturers — even ones who have been typically developer friendly like Samsung — to lock down their phones, seeing this come to the S4 and the S4 Active is really cool. The project is still in its infancy, so there will be bugs galore, but I have a feeling this one will grow into something very nice. Have a look at the link below for all the information you need to give it a try.

Source: XDA. Thanks, Matthew!

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3 years ago

Sony's QX Lens Cases get priced for Xperia Z

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One of the cool accessories for the Sony Cyber-shot QX10 and QX100 lenses — those are the crazy awesome stand-alone lenses we saw at IFA a few weeks ago — is a slim-line case for the Sony Xperia Z and new Xperia Z1. It's an extremely thin case that the lens then clips onto directly.

And we've now got some pricing for the lens case — around $30 in the U.S. It fluctuates just a bit in Europe. And while you don't get a whole lot of case for that price — again, it's thin and really basic — this is the sleekest way to attach one of the QX lenses to the Xperia Z line of phones. Sony's got it up for preorder for the Xperia Z, shipping in early October.

Check it out in action after the break.

Source: Sony (US listing; UK listing; EU listing); Via Xperia Blog

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3 years ago

YouTube to get some sort of mobile offline viewing starting in November

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The fine folks at the YouTube Creator Blog this morning dropped an early heads up that starting sometime in November, we'll be able to watch YouTube videos offline "for a short period." It doesn't sound like this is full offline downloading, but instead you'll get temporary access while you're disconnected.

To wit:

This upcoming feature will allow people to add videos to their device to watch for a short period when an Internet connection is unavailable. So your fans’ ability to enjoy your videos no longer has to be interrupted by something as commonplace as a morning commute.

Looking forward to it. In the meantime, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, wont'cha?

Source: YouTube Creator Blog

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3 years ago

Dead Trigger 2 shambling onto Google Play October 23rd

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Rocket chickens, personal hideouts, regular content updates, and some gruesomely-rendered zombies - what's not to love?

After plenty of teasing, the folks at Madfinger Games have announced that Dead Trigger 2 will be hitting Google Play on October 23. If the screenshot above is any indication, the game is retaining its tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, though there's a lot of new stuff happening. 

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3 years ago

New Android app for EE customers

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'My EE' app gets much-needed redesign

UK mobile network EE has debuted a new, redesigned Android app today, with the goal of making it easier for customers to view allowances and manage their accounts and usage. There's a new, more attractive layout, with prominent placement given to key info like remaining data, billing info and active add-ons. A new side-loaded settings menu also provides quick access to all the various areas of the app.

The new app is available now from Google Play, and can be used by EE, Orange and T-Mobile UK customers. Hit the link above to grab the new app. If you were already using the old EE Android app, you'll get the new one as an update.

Today also sees the launch of new apps for iOS, Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10.

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3 years ago

AT&T gets the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini for 99 cents starting Sept. 27

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If you're looking for a little(ish) phone with a diminutive price, AT&T's about to have it. The U.S. carrier will, erm, carry the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini starting Sept. 27 for just 99 cents on contract. It'll go up for preorder on Sept. 19.

We last took a look at this guy way back in December 2012. It's a 4-inch device running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, powered by a  dual-core 1.2 GHz processor with 1GB of RAM. It's also got a 5-megapixel camera.

The usual suite of Samsung apps is on board as well — including the TouchWiz user interface, S Beam for sharing files, and S Voice for voice control. 

Check out our hands-on video after the break.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

NVIDIA announces the Tegra Note

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The Tegra Note will serve as the new reference tablet for the Tegra 4 platform

NVIDIA has taken the wraps off the Tegra Note this morning, making the device that's been slinking around various wireless certification sites official. Complete with a special processor supported stylus, the Note serves to be the reference platform for NVIDIA's partners to use and showcase the features that are built into NVIDIA's latest Tegra 4 SoC.

Manufactured by NVIDIA but sold through trusted partners around the world, the 7-inch, 1280x800 Tegra Note will retail for $199. It certainly look like you'll be getting your money's worth, and the list of features is impressive, even if the display resolution is a little disappointing. The note name implies stylus support, and NVIDIA is promising an uncompromised experience from their DirectStylus support. Other features include a powerful camera that will be capable of 100 fps recording for slow-motion playback.

In addition, the Tegra Note, which sports a 5MP rear camera, will launch with the Android version of SmugMug's Camera Awesome, one of the top camera apps from iOS. Accessory makers are also on-board, and NVIDIA suggest that we will see "accessories galore" including smart covers, special tips for the DirectStylus, and Bluetooth capabilities that turn the tablet into a game controller.

Maybe the best news, at least for people reading Android Central, is that NVIDIA will directly handle any and all updates for the tablet. Experience from having the Shield let's us know this is a good thing, as they have been quick to respond to issues and aren't afraid to roll out the OTAs.

For more, see the link below. The full press release and another press image is after the break.

More: NVIDIA

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3 years ago

ShopAndroid.com end of summer sale: Save a Sizzling 15% on ALL Android cases and Accessories!

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As much as we hate to say it, summer is coming to an end. It's back to school, back to work, and depending where you live ... back to cold weather. We're going to keep the heat with us a little longer though thanks to some sizzling savings in our ShopAndroid.com End of Summer Sale!

Android Central readers can save 15 percent on all Android accessories for the next few days when using coupon code SS13 at checkout. We have tons of cases, batteries, chargers, Bluetooth accessories and more.

The sizzling savings won't last forever though, so take advantage while you can. The sale ends at Midnight PST on Sunday, Sept. 22.

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3 years ago

Chromecast update brings a few 'maintenance' fixes

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Google this morning announced an update to the Chromecast stick that'll roll out over the next week. It's calling this "largely a maintenance release." Here's what's new:

  • Kernel update
  • Security fixes
  • Robustness improvements
  • Security enhancements

Find more in our Chromecast forums.

Source: Google Chrome Releases

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3 years ago

Samsung UK launches 'My Galaxy' app

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Deals, accessories, support and feature guides for Samsung phones

Samsung UK has today launched "My Galaxy," a new app for its Android-powered smartphones. The app incorporates user guides for popular Galaxy phone features, official "news" from the company's social media channels, a built-in Samsung accessory store and offers exclusive to owners of Samsung devices. There's also an on-device assistant feature for troubleshooting.

To get started with "My Galaxy," you'll need to cough up some personal details through the email sign-up process (not currently working, as far as we can tell) or sign in through Facebook. The app is at least well-designed, and seems to broadly abide by Google's Android design guidelines — though you'll want to double-check the "Settings" pane to make sure you're not pestered by unwanted notifications.

The "My Galaxy" app is available now on Google Play for Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note, Note 2, S3 Mini and Galaxy Fame users, and Samsung says it'll be preloaded on upcoming handsets sold in the UK.

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3 years ago

LTE Nexus 7 now available with AT&T sim package

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LTE-ready Nexus 7 now available on Google Play with AT&T activation kit

AT&T has announced that you can now purchase an LTE-ready Nexus 7 (2013) direct from Google Play, and an AT&T SIM activation package will be included. In addition, customers can receive a $100 AT&T bill credit if they sign up for a new two-year agreement. We saw the same thing last year with the 3G edition of the original Nexus 7, where T-Mobile and AT&T both offered bundled SIM cards and perks with a contract.

Also just like last year, you might want to think twice before signing up for two years with any carrier for your new Nexus 7. $100 may not be worth tethering yourself to 24 months of obligated service.

It's also worth noting that there is not a separate SKU for the AT&T version. They are the same tablet as the SIM-free version or the T-Mobile SIM equipped model, with the same pricing of $349. 

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3 years ago

Obama administration petitions FCC to require carriers to unlock phones

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Phone unlocking to be 'expeditious and transparent,' while not affecting service contracts

The Obama administration, by way of the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration), today officially petitioned the FCC to voice its opinion that carriers should be required unlock customer's phones. The petition cuts right to the point, stating that US consumers should be able to request that their phone, tablet or other device be unlocked — and have it done free of charge and with no strings attached.

“Americans should be able to use their mobile devices on whatever networks they choose and have their devices unlocked without hassle."

Said NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling, going further to say that the burden of handling unlocking should be put on the carrier, not the users, and that the process should be "expeditious and transparent." A Library of Congress decision regarding the DMCA took the ability for consumers to legally unlock their phones last year, and this petition hopes to secure these rights outside of that act.

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3 years ago

Verizon responds to inqury about LTE-enabled Nexus 7 activation issues

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Nexus 7 is a device "not yet certified" for Verizon's LTE network

There's a bit of a fuss going on about Verizon and the new LTE Nexus 7. It seems that people are facing some difficulty getting the device activated on the carrier, and the back-and-forth is getting even more confusing. We reached out to Verizon, who just replied with an official response. In all its brevity:

This is not yet a device that is Verizon 4G LTE certified. We’ll let folks know when it's certified.

We're not exactly sure of any further details, but we do know that the Nexus 7 seems to be working just fine for those folks who have robbed another device of its SIM card. 

For now, it appears that there is no Verizon support at all for the tablet. We think that will change, and you can bet we're keeping an eye on this one.

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3 years ago

iHeartRadio adds new navigation panel, favorites and talk radio stations

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Simpler navigation to access your new favorite stations

Popular internet streaming radio app iHeartRadio is picking up an update in the Play Store today that improves the app's navigation and adds both favorite station functionality and new talk radio options. The most noticeable visual change is a new slide-in navigation drawer that is accessed from the left edge and holds different "discover" areas along with the app settings and sleep timer.

Dominating the top of the slide-in panel is the new favorites section, which gives six slots for favorite stations — called "Presets" — to quickly access with one tap. You can add favorites to your Presets with a tap on the plus icon when listening to a feed. Also included in this update is a new selection of talk radio stations, which the app is calling "iHeartRadio Talk."

You can grab a download of the latest version of the app from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

Thanks, Andy!

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3 years ago

HP SlateBook X2 review

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The Slatebook X2 is a solid workhorse, as long as you're prepared to make some compromises

For some of us, the allure of having an ultra-portable computer and a tablet built around the same device is the future. It’s not anything new, as we’ve seen ASUS and others do this very thing for a while now, but when done right, a hybrid device can be the perfect piece of equipment for work and play.

That’s part of the idea behind devices like the HP SlateBook X2. You start with a Tegra 4 Android tablet, and with a quick snap you’re transformed into a laptop sized to fit perfectly with the current generation of ultra-portables we see from everyone who bought a Windows 8 OEM license.

The key is doing it right. See if HP did that, after the break.

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