4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Leaving the desert


What do you do if you're covering the final spring CTIA event in Las Vegas, at which not a single major mobile manufacturer has a booth, the only real hardware releases came from Kyocera (which is very much trying to get a foothold in the smartphone space, and good on them for doing it), and the only major operator news came from ... Jennifer Lopez?

Yeah, that was our week in Vegas. It'd be easy to bitch and moan about it being a "slow" show. But then again it'd be easier (and far, far cheaper) to not have come in the first place. So we did what we do -- we cover what we can see, and search for things we can't. In fact, it almost becomes a bit of a game among the press. With no pressure to be "first," it's a test to see who can dig up something to write. 

We had three of us here, which probably was two too many. The An(n)drews, as I've taken to calling them -- Anndrew Vacca and Andrew Martonik -- did fine work while I mostly tended to some #TM13 duties. But then came Verizon's announcement, which pretty much was the only thing we knew we had to be at. We had no idea what it was going to be, but it was the only real press invite of the week. So, we went. And what did we get? The one and only Jennifer Lopez standing about 20 feet away, awkwardly squinting into a large teleprompter, launching Viva Movil, which promises a better mobile shop shopping experience aimed at Latinos. A fine proposition, I think, and I've got nothing against marketing to certain demographics. (For those decrying the move as racist, every marketing campaign is racist. And sexist. And takes age and prosperity into consideration. Welcome to the real world.)

The next morning, after a good portion of the attendees had cleared out (to say nothing of most of the press), Ashton Kutcher had a little fireside chat with CNBC's Julia Boorstin. It was interesting, if a bit rambling, but on the whole not the worst way to spend an hour.

Readers' reactions were interesting, though. It's nice that folks worry about us wasting our time -- and it happens, sure -- but this is our job, after all. There was so much more gnashing of teeth over the Verizon/Jennifer Lopez announcement (which really had less to do with Verizon, since it's a silent player in all this) and less talk of Ashton Kutcher's 60 minutes on stage, which was filled with great quotes and (surprise, surprise) even a few insights. It's easier to get upset than parse, I guess.

Me? I was just stoked to have taken some of the best liveblog pictures in my career. Maybe I'm finally getting more comfortable with it. Or maybe it helped having them closer and well-lit.

Read more and comment

4 years ago

OPPO launching the Find 5 in Europe from Monday May 27


11am CEST sees the Find 5 officially arrive in Europe with the launch of the new OPPO Style Europe store

The OPPO Find 5 is an intriguing device, and as we found out in our full review, much better than some may give it credit for. One major sticking point since the device first launched has been availability, particularly in Europe. If you really wanted one, getting one into Europe hasn't been a very cost effective exercise. 

That all changes as of Monday May 27, as at 11am CEST/10am BST the OPPO Style Europe store launches, and the Find 5 becomes available to purchase. Pricing will start at €399/£341 with free shipping promised anywhere within Europe. Not a bad price point to hit given some of the hardware specs, though the software may not be to everyone's tastes. In any case, if you've been gazing at the Find 5 from afar, hit up OPPO Style Europe to bag yourselves one.

Source: OPPO Style Europe

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Sky TV apps hacked, all now removed from the Play Store


Hack allegedly carried out by Syrian Electronic Army, Sky advises users to uninstall apps from devices

Sky TV has advised that their Android applications have been hacked, and as such all have been removed from the Google Play Store. The image seen here coincided with the latest 'update' to the Sky Go app, and appears to show the culprits behind the hacking. On their official Twitter feed, the Sky Help Team had this to say to their customers: 

UPDATE: All Sky's Android apps were hacked and replaced... please uninstall it, And we will let you know when it will be available

If you've downloaded a Sky TV app in the last 24 hours, the advice is clear. Remove it from your device, and Sky will update when they have resolved the situation. As it stands, all apps have now been removed from the Google Play Store. 

via Android Police

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Apps of the Week: Wag.com, SphereShare.net, Blip Blup and more!


A couple tools, a game and a few odds and ends to keep you busy this weekend

We all love to discover new apps, but no matter how much the Play Store tries to highlight the quality ones, with hundreds of thousands to choose from it can be a daunting challenge. The best app recommendations we often get are from friends and family about an app "you just have to try". We try to help out with this app discovery problem every week by showing off one app from each of the Android Central writers -- the ones that we're using on a regular basis.

Hang around with us after the break on this Saturday afternoon and find a few new apps to install on your devices for the long weekend.

Read more and comment

4 years ago

In honor of memorial day, get FREE SHIPPING all weekend from ShopAndroid.com!

In honor of the Memorial Day Weekend, if you're in the United States you will receive FREE SHIPPING on your ShopAndroid.com order. This special offer is valid all weekend long until Monday night (midnight PT).

We have tons of cases, batteries, chargers, Bluetooth accessories and more for popular Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, so be sure to browse around and take advantage of the savings on shipping.

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Google Play no longer able to pay Argentine Android devs


Google to stop accepting payments for Argentine developers from June 27, apps to be pulled from July 27.

Android developers based in Argentina have received notice from Google that it'll no longer be able to accept payments for them from June 27. A letter from Google to devs, obtained by South American phone site Celularis, indicates that the changes apply to both paid apps and in-app purchases. The Verge points out that the change is likely due to tough new restrictions on currency exchanges recently imposed by the Argentine government. But Celularis notes that despite the changes to Google Play, Google AdSense for mobile continues to operate in the country.

The letter from Google states that it'll stop accepting payments on behalf of Argentine developers from June 27. Paid apps and in-app items from these devs will be pulled a month later, starting July 27, following final payments on July 22. One solution for Argentina-based app developers is to move their account to another country where they're able to legally do business, an option Google itself suggests in its email to developers.

Google states that it hopes to restore payouts to developers based in Argentina in the future, but that "no specific plans are in place at the moment."

Source: Celularis; via: The Verge

Read more and comment

4 years ago

EE makes up for network outage with free data


Customers' data counters reset for holiday weekend

Good news for EE customers in the UK this weekend -- the operator has announced that by way of apology for network issues earlier this week, all customers will have their data counters reset to zero. That means however much of your monthly data allowance you'd used, it'll reset to zero this weekend, allowing you to use an extra portion of data before your monthly billing date.

We've confirmed that our own account's meter was reset to zero as of this morning, and it looks like the changes apply to data-only contracts as well as regular phone customers. In fact, the reset seems to apply to all EE customers, regardless of whether you were affected by the recent outage.

Source: EE

Read more and comment

4 years ago

How to turn on data compression in Chrome 28 Beta


Help save that valuable mobile data with just a few taps in Chrome Beta

One of the lesser talked-about features rolled out at Google I/O last week was a new option for Chrome on mobile devices to cut down on the bandwidth used while browsing. Well the feature has been rolled out in an experimental capacity as part of the latest Chrome Beta update on Android, and it's a quick way to help save on data usage while browsing. Like most systems that work to preserve data while browsing, Google routes your browsing traffic through one of its own proxy servers, compressing it along the way as data is sent back and forth to your phone. Correctly, Google has chosen to only route HTTP connections through the proxy, and HTTPS request will always be sent directly. Google claims data savings can be as much as 50-percent, which is nothing to sneeze at.

To enable this new feature, you'll have to be running the latest Chrome Beta update (version 28, technically) on your phone or tablet. You will likely be greeted by a splash page the first time you open Chrome Beta after the update, but if you're not, head to the browser settings, scroll down to "Bandwidth management" and then tap "Reduce data usage" and hit the button at the top right to enable it. (If you don't see the option, try heading to "chrome://flags" in the navigation bar and enabling it manually.) You'll be able to come back after you do some browsing and see how much data you saved by enabling this new feature.

Read more and comment

4 years ago

C Spire expanding LTE coverage to Alabama and Florida


Customers in 21 cities across 6 counties will receive higher speed data this fall

C Spire Wireless, a regional carrier primarily serving the Southeastern U.S., has announced today that it will be expanding its LTE coverage to South Alabama and Northwest Florida starting this fall. The rollout, which will offer customers drastically higher data speeds, will cover a total of 2,899 square miles across 21 cities and offer the service to 687,000 people utilizing and 146 cell sites. Here's the city breakdown:

  • Alabama: 15 cities in the south Alabama counties of Mobile and Baldwin, including Mobile, Prichard, Saraland, Satsuma, Chickasaw, Daphne, Fairhope, Foley, Gulf Shores, Loxley, Orange Beach, Summerdale, Robertsdale, Silverhill and Spanish Fort
  • Florida: 6 cities in four northwest Florida counties, including Gulf Breeze, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Mary Esther, Cinco Bayou and Miramar Beach

There isn't a detailed schedule for when the areas will start to roll out other than "this fall", but we'll surely hear more about the specifics as we near that launch window.

Source: C Spire Wireless

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Nexus 4 running what could be Android 4.3 found at Thailand mobile expo



Could these be some of the subtle changes to be found in Android 4.3?

Although we didn't get a big reveal of the next version of Android at Google I/O, some evidence is mounting that Android 4.3 could be the impending next version. According to pictures posted by a user at XDA, at a mobile expo in Thailand at least one Nexus 4 is being put on display running a purported build of Android 4.3 (JWR45B). Now we've seen plenty of faked "About phone" screens in our days, and that is a very real possibility in any of these types of leaks. But as the user poked around the phone to show a revamped camera UI, we tend to give this more credibility. The UI basically looks to be an expansion of the current long-press and swipe gestures found in Android 4.2, with multiple levels of settings that can be accessed -- thankfully none of which can be hidden by your thumb anymore.

Aside from the slightly different numbering and a visual refresh of the camera, we're very light on details for this potentially upcoming release. Hang around after the break for a video of the device in action, with most of the time spent on the new camera UI.

Source: XDA; (2)

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Google gives sneak peek at probable future Gmail app design


A good portion of Google I/O was spent, naturally, on the design of applications, and Google apparently gave a little sneak peek at what probably is an upcoming redesign of the Gmail app. As evident in the Structure in Android App Design session, Jens Nagel shows off a redesign navigation drawer that combines several views into a single drawer-style UI.

As the slide above shows, there are different layers to the views, collapsed by default. And most important is that you can get to this drawer from anywhere in the app, which is what lets them get rid of that lower Action Bar. (It's almost in the same vein as the BlackBerry Hub in BB10, just at an application level instead of at the homescreen level.) It should also mean a much faster switch between labels, long a sore spot for some of us here.

If we had to guess, we'd expect to see an updated Gmail app roll out with the expected Android 4.3 update, whenever that's available.

Source: YouTube; via Android Police

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Sony Xperia S Jelly Bean now rolling out


Early 2012 flagship gets bump up to Android 4.1.2

The Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.2) update for the Sony Xperia S has begun rolling out. For a few months, now we've heard rumors that Sony was preparing the update to send out and now we finally have confirmation.

The official news comes from Sony's official French Twitter account, which said that the latest version of Android has begun pushing for the first builds. No timeline yet for everyone else, but we expect it shouldn't be too long, so keep checking through the Sony PC Companion app.

Have any of you Xperia S owners received the update yet? We'd love to hear how you like it, so shout out in our Sony Xperia S Forum!

Source: Twitter via Xperiablog

Read more and comment

4 years ago

'Google Edition' HTC One coming soon with vanilla Android


The rumors are true — HTC and Google will collaborate on a 'Nexus user experience' version of the HTC One

Ever since the Samsung Galaxy S4 “Google Edition” announcement at Google I/O last week, rumors have been circulating that HTC might follow suit with a vanilla version of its own flagship device. Recently, Russell Holly of Geek.com and Paul O’Brien of MoDaCo have chimed in with reports that such a device is on the way. Today we can confirm through our own sources that despite official denials, the “Google Edition” HTC One is indeed real, and will be announced in the next week or so.

Let's take a look at what we know, and what it could mean.

Read more and comment

4 years ago

BBC iPlayer app updated with 10-inch tablet support, UI tweaks


Support for larger Android tablets finally arrives in the BBC's streaming app

The BBC has updated its iPlayer app for Android, bringing support for 10-inch tablets for the first time. The new iPlayer version 1.7.0 has just landed on Google Play, allowing larger tablets like the Nexus 10 and Xperia Tablet Z to enjoy the full iPlayer experience. In addition, the Beeb says it's tweaked the phone and 7-inch tablet layouts, though we're not noticing any huge differences on our own devices.

Download support -- long present in the iOS version of iPlayer -- is still absent, but a note in the changelog reminds users that the BBC is working on bringing this feature to Android.

Hit the Google Play link up top to grab the new version of iPlayer. You'll also want to grab the BBC Media Player companion app for video playback.

Read more and comment

4 years ago

Todo Pro beta for Android now available on Google Play



Team-based task management solution brings app to Android

Developer Appigo has announced the launch of Todo Pro in beta for Android, a companion app for its task management service of the same name. The app has been in private testing since February, and now a beta build is available on Google Play now for devices running Android 2.1 and above.

Todo Pro is a collaborative task management service with an app presence on iOS and MacOS for several years. The new Android app allows tasks to be managed and shared between team members, and assignments to be given to individual members, complete with support for comments and location tagging.

It's a subscription-based service, but basic web accounts are free, and premium accounts come with a 14-day trial period. Beyond that, it's $1.99 per month or $19.99 for a year.

Hit the Google Play Store link above to grab the Todo Pro beta.

Read more and comment

Show More Headlines