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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Stellar receiving Jelly Bean OTA

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Verizon has published support documents indicating that the Jelly Bean update for the Samsung Galaxy Stellar is on its way out. The update to Android 4.1 -- software version JZO54K.I200VRBMA1 -- is rolling out to devices OTA (Over The Air) now, and weighs in at a hefty 403MB. Users will see several improvements from Jelly Bean, such as Google Now, expandable notifications and Project Butter. The update also brings support for 64GB SDcards, improved networking and removes the Verizon app store.

If you have a Galaxy Stellar, be on the lookout for the update notification to hit your device. As always, you can check for the update manually via the "About phone" menu as well. Once downloaded, expect your device to be out of commission for about 15 minutes while it installs. If you want a little more information on the update, hit the source links below.

Source: Verizon; Instructions (PDF)

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4 years ago

'Bring Your Own Sprint Device' lets users activate used Sprint phones on MVNOs

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Sprint is announcing a new program called "Bring Your Own Sprint Device" that is aimed at reducing waste by letting users bring used and inactive Sprint devices to approved MVNO partner carriers. The program will let deactivated and otherwise unused phones be re-activated on MVNOs that use the Sprint network, like Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile. The MVNO carrier will determine the device's eligibility to be re-activated -- although the requirements have not yet been specified -- and then activate it for use like any other device on the network. Sprint is focusing on reducing the waste associated with the number of phones that sit unused or are thrown away, which could be notably decreased if more used phones can be reused on other carriers.

Another big part of this is increasing the number of devices available to Sprint MVNO customers. Traditionally these carriers have limited device selection to those they sell directly, which aren't always great. If this program is indeed open to all used and deactivated Sprint-branded devices, carriers like Virgin and Boost could lure in many new customers that wouldn't have considered them previously because of their device selection.

Source: Sprint

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4 years ago

Google Play turns one year old, kicks off a week of special deals

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The rebranding of Android Market to Google Play happened just one year ago today, and to celebrate Google is offering discounts, gift cards and exclusive in-game content. The deals range from free books and music to discounted movies and TV rentals, as well as new Android-themed additions to some games. Deals seem to differ depending on the country and region, but this is what we're looking at for the U.S. Three different games -- Gnome Village, Royal Revolt and Yumby Smash -- all have new free levels, discounts on in-app purchases or exclusive characters available for a limited time. Fancy, Hotels.com and Gyft are all offering discounts on purchases made from the app or giving away free gift cards to be redeemed in-app as well.

There are 11 deals in total for today, but the page also says that this is kicking off an entire week of deals on different content, so be sure to check back and see what they offer in the coming days.

Source: Google Play

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4 years ago

Download the Sense 5 wallpapers from the HTC One

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An enterprising XDA member was able to yank the HTC One's default Sense 5 wallpapers while handling the device at an HTC event in Italy, and he's uploaded the files so everyone can enjoy them. There's 18 in total, and they range from the abstract to minimal, with a couple artsy black and whites thrown in for good measure. 

To use them, visit the source link below and download the rar file to your computer. Extract it and copy the files to your device storage, and set using the normal tools or a "helper" app like Image 2 Wallpaper from Google Play. There is some very nice pictures here, and it's well worth a look.

Source: XDA

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4 years ago

HTC One allows for 'distortion free recording' with dual membrane microphones

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A little information about the HTC One and BoomSound has been made available today, concerning the quality of audio captured by HTC's latest device. Very few of us know or care about things like the membranes over the microphone in our smart phones, but we all know what it's like to record some audio and hear the dreadful "hiss" when we play it back. It's also a great way to ruin an otherwise awesome video you've recorded. And it happens far too often.

HTC has found a way to correct this by using a twin-membrane microphone. Normally, only one membrane is used on a standard smart phone microphone, which means the sounds you want to hear aren't really separated from the sounds you don't want to hear, and loud, high pressure sounds can cut the mic completely. When the software does its job of leveling and equalizing the audio, we're often left with a background hiss and low levels. HTC says the twin-membrane setup will help make that a thing of the past.

With two microphones, each having a twin-membrane setup, there's more room for the mic to capture the sound you're trying to record via the extra sensitive membrane, while the high pressure membrane can handle the loud sounds that would normally shut a sensitive mic down. 

It sounds like a lot of voodoo that would be interesting to an audio engineer, but if HTC is correct and the outcome is "distortion free" then we all have reason to be excited. The release date is moving closer, and we'll soon be able to see for ourselves how well HTC's BoomSound operates.

Source: HTC blog

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Z camera - initial sample images and comparisons

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We take a first look at photo and video on the Xperia Z's Exmor RS-powered camera, and compare it to last year's Xperia T​​

If you've read our initial review of the Sony Xperia Z you'll know it's packing Sony's new Exmor RS camera tech, which incorporates a fancy new 13-megapixel stacked CMOS sensor. But how does this translate into actual photos and videos? Check out our selection of early sample images and video after the break to find out.

For comparison's sake, we've also got a few side-by-side shots with the 13MP Exmor R camera on last year's Xperia T.

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4 years ago

The latest Chrome Beta brings password and autofill sync to Android

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There's an update to the Chrome beta channel for Android, bumping it to version 26.0.1410.26. Along with a new number comes some fixes and enhancements that are important, but the real news here is that this version also includes support for password sync and autofill sync. 

That means that any other instances of Chrome (version 26 or higher) you've signed into and set up can now share things like log in details, or your address for web forms, or any text field that has a common label. This is great news if you visit a lot of sites on the web and have Chrome set up to securely remember your passwords, and the autofill sync is a blessing if you buy a lot of stuff online. 

Of course, you can also opt to turn this off if you use another method to manage your passwords and personal details. Chrome beta for Android works with phones and tablets running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher. You can download it, or update, from the Google Play link above.

Source: Chrome Releases blog

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean ticks up a few more points in latest platform numbers

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The latest Android platform version numbers are in, and things are marching slowly along in the direction you'd expect. Jelly Bean -- which comprises Android 4.1 and 4.2 -- ticked up a few percentage points to 16.5 percent of active devices as measured over the past two weeks. (It was a 2.9 percentage point increase, to be precise.)

More: See February's version numbers

Ice Cream Sandwich fell just four-tenths of a point, and Honeycomb dropped just one-tenth of a point. Gingerbread fell 1.4 percentage points. 

Source: Android Developer Dashboard

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Z hands-on and initial review

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For Android fans, the Sony Xperia Z was one of the highlights of a fairly quiet CES. A 5-inch, 1080p phone with a bold new design language and fancy new camera technology, the Xperia Z was probably the most compelling phone of the show. And just a couple of months later, it's now available to buy in the UK.

Without a doubt Sony Mobile's new baby is one of the largest, specciest Android phones around, but it's soon to be joined by the formidable HTC One and Galaxy S4. So how does it shape up? Check out our first impressions after the break.

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4 years ago

Humble Bundle 5 brings six games in one awesome deal

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There's no better way to get a handful of awesome Android applications for one low price than the Humble Bundle, and it's back in its fifth iteration with up to six titles. The gist is that you pay whatever you want and get these four apps:

  • Beat Hazard Ultra, a musically powered arcade shooter
  • Dynamite Jack, a 2-D stealth action game
  • Solar 2
  • NightSky HD, a physics puzzler

And if you opt to pay more than the average price (which as of this writing is a little more than $5 -- that'll change as time goes on), you also get Super Hexagon and Dungeon Defenders.

Plus, you can choose for some of your purchase to go to the Electronic Fronteir Foundation and the Child's Play Charity, which helps bring technology and games to children in hospitals. (Humble Bundle says it's donated more than $10 million to date.)

So peep the video above, and hit the link below for Humble Bundle 5.

More: Humble Bundle

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4 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S3 seeing its Android 4.1.2 update today

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Verizon's Galaxy S3 is getting its update to Android 4.1.2, with the new build hitting phones right about ... now! Here's the full changelog for VRBMB1:

  • Keyboard Predictive Text feature has been improved
  • User can take pictures while on a call
  • Manual refresh button has been added to lock screen stock ticker
  • Email syncing has been improved
  • Bluetooth® performance has been improved
  • VZ Navigator and Amazon have been added to stub applications

Not huge improvements, we suppose (with Bluetooth being the exception), but we'll never look an update in the mouth.

More: Verizon Galaxy S3 forums; Thanks, Craig!

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4 years ago

Super Hexagon update helps with lag on Nexus 7, other devices

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Super Hexagon, that ridiculously difficult and ridiculously awesome game from Terry Cavanaugh, received an update today that, among other things fixes input lag on a number of devices, notably the Nexus 7. That's been a sore spot for many of us since launch.

Also, the game should now launch faster, setup has been improved, and the legacy options button is gone. Plus, you'll find other bugfixes. 

Hit the link above to get your game on.

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4 years ago

Device Info Live Wallpaper: system information right on your homescreen

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A lot of live wallpapers are just for show, and while Device Info Ex certainly looks cool, it can actually show you some really useful information as well. This live wallpaper takes every bit of information about the internals of your phone and puts them on display in a minimalist control panel look behind every homescreen.

Take a look at a few bits of information about Device Info Ex Live Wallpaper with us after the break.

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4 years ago

Google Play gift cards now available in the UK, spotted in Tesco

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Google Play gift cards appear to be finally available in the United Kingdom, as they've been spotted in Tesco. We first got wind back in December of the UK redemption page going live, but no other news about the cards. Then, just a couple of days ago, we were given the gift card denominations that would be available, but still no physical items. Finally, they have been spotted in one of the most common grocery stores in the UK and hopefully will be found elsewhere as well.

The cards, as you can see, can be bought in the £10 or £25, though we heard that £50 options will also be available.

Source: EuroDroid

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4 years ago

Announcing our Winners in the 'Spring into TEGRA' Contest!

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First off, we would like to thank everyone for submitting their entries. The fun and creativity put into your entries was definitely on display. We really appreciate the time and effort put in to each and every entry… so THANK YOU!

Second, a BIG THANKS to our friends @NVIDIA. They've stepped up to partner with us on a few contests now, and for their continued support, we offer much thanks. If you're reading this, show them a little love and give them a follow @NVIDIA and @NVIDIATegra.

Now… it's time to announce the winners. Each winner will walk away with a brand new Tegra-powered HTC One X+… Drumroll please

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