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4 years ago

New Kindle Fires can be ad-free for a one-time $15 fee


The Internet has been in a tizzy since we heard that Amazon would not be allowing the removal of the "special offers" package from the new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD units. If you weren't aware how all this works, previous Kindle readers were available at a little bit lower price, but included ads to help support them. For a small fee, you could have these removed.

We first heard that Amazon would be including this on all the new Kindle Fire devices, and apparently that they would not be offering an ad-free experience. Ars Technica has received word from Amazon that they will be allowing users to go ad-free for a one-time payment of $15.00 This hasn't yet been updated on the Amazon special offers website, but we're inclined to believe the fine folks at Ars Technica. 

Short version -- if you were worried about having non-removable ads on your new Kindle Fire or Kindle Fire HD, there's nothing to fear. They can be removed if you pay Amazon a $15 fee. 

Source: Ars Technica

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4 years ago

Editorial: Could there soon be a new fork in the Android road?


Editors note: We're re-posting this after yesterday's mention of Samsung creating their own operating system by Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam. We don't know that anyone is doing anything at this point, but we thought it was a good time to reopen this discussion.

Android. The word itself makes each of us think of futuristic mechanical things that evolve quickly and know no bounds in their abilities. It's a good word, and perfect to describe the devices we hold with such high regard around these parts. And like the androids we think of from Hollywood movies or dusty old science fiction novels, our phones and tablets are slowly working their way into every nook and cranny of our life, taking over one step at a time. We embrace it, we benefit from it, and most of all we enjoy it.

But Android is changing. Very few phones are released with stock Android, and the custom versions (don't call them skins) are getting more and more intricate and polished. OEMs are putting a lot of work into the software running on the phones they sell, making them stand out as their own product. Join me after the break, and let's talk about what Android is, what it isn't, and what might happen in the future.

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4 years ago

Swiftkey looking for users in San Fran, NYC, and London to talk on camera


The folks at SwiftKey are looking for a few people that want to get in front of the camera and tell the world about why they use SwiftKey. They're looking to do a series of short videos featuring users in San Francisco, New York City, and London, and have put out the call.

There's plenty of reasons to use SwiftKey, the biggest of which is the awesome prediction engine. I've been a believer since it first came out, and I never have to type more than a few words while the magic underneath it all finishes my thoughts for me. Without it, I'd still be wanting a QWERTY keyboard on my phone. It learns as you use it, and really is that good. If you haven't tried it yet, now is your chance as it's on sale in the Google Play store until Monday for just $0.99.

If you would like to share your thoughts about SwiftKey, and live in or around the San Francisco, New York, or London metro areas, hit the break and see what you need to do to get in touch. If you're not close to any of those places, use the comments below to share your thoughts!

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week - Playboard, TVCatchup, Gear of the Day Outdoor Deals and more!


Another week, another great list of app picks from the Android Central writers. Interestingly, this week there aren't any games! We've gone straight for apps that might actually be useful and save you some time (or in Sean's case, money) rather than waste it away playing Granny Smith. Don't worry though, we're sure there are more game picks to come in the future.

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4 years ago

Android Central international round-up - September 8, 2012


As we venture forth into the fall smartphone silly season, there’s plenty of international news to go around. Coming out of IFA, we learned a little more about Samsung’s Galaxy Note II, including tentative release dates and price points for the UK and Europe. Elsewhere, Sony’s Xperia T failed to show up on the retailer-promised release date of Sept 5, and Sony’s now telling us to expect a launch around Sept. 28. And in other Sony news, the new Xperia Tablet S, which was announced just a week ago in Berlin, is now available to buy.

Following Motorola’s big event in New York City, some details slipped out surrounding Moto’s international plans for the RAZR M, its new mid-ranger. Apparently the phone will arrive on British shores later this month with an Intel Atom chip inside, instead of the Snapdragon S4 found in the U.S. version. That’d make the RAZR M the first Intel-powered Android smartphone from a top-tier manufacturer, which is a big deal around these parts.

In carrier news, Vodafone announced a new price plan for heavy network users, dubbed ‘Vodafone Red.’ Red offers unlimited calls and texts -- just as customers are using less and less of both -- and keeps data capped at between 1 and 2GB. There are promising noises coming from Everything Everywhere on the data front, though, as the offspring of Orange and T-Mobile UK looks set to announce its new brand and 4G network at a London event next Tuesday (we’ll be there!)

And finally, Kindle Fire came to the UK. the second-generation Fire will launch in Blighty next month, along with the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. Amazon hasn’t revealed any plans to launch the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD outside the U.S. yet, but it is offering both 7-inchers at highly competitive price points -- £129 for the basic Fire, and a Nexus 7-matching £159 for the HD.

Check out all the latest international developments from around the Android world below. If you’ve got news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

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4 years ago

Spigen Ultra Thin Air Series case for Samsung Galaxy S3 review



Not every smartphone case has to be a heavy-duty, rubberized monster. Sometimes, you just want something slim and light to protect vulnerable areas of the phone, without adding too much extra bulk and weight. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy S3, Spigen's Ultra Thin Air series of cases fits that bill.

Lightweight and constructed of polycarbonate, the Air Series case protects the edges and back of the Galaxy S3 without introducing too much additional heft. If you've used a Galaxy S3 for a few weeks, you'll know how susceptible the back can be to scratches and knocks, and a case like this will protect those plastic areas from damage. There are also cut-out areas for all the major ports and keys, so the case shouldn't get in the way of regular use. And a screen protector is included in the box too, if you're concerned about keeping the front of your phone pristine.

A larger, bulkier case may offer more protection against falls onto hard surfaces, so if you're accident-prone, that's worth bearing in mind. However, as a basic safety precaution, it's hard to beat a lightweight case like this. 

The Spigen Ultra Thin Air series is available from for $19.99. We reviewed the satin silver version, but it's available in a wide range of colors, including black, white, pink and orange. We've got more photos after the break.

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4 years ago

Red Samsung Galaxy S 3 available at Carphone Warehouse in the UK


Just last week Samsung dropped a whole range of new colors for the Galaxy S 3, but as you would expect not everyone seems to be able to get all of them, everywhere. In the UK at least, the Garnet Red variety is available should you desire one. The phone is exclusive to the Carphone Warehouse in the UK, but seems to be available at the same price as the other colors, and across the major networks provided by the retailer.

Previously we've seen the Garnet Red Galaxy S 3 offered up by AT&T in the United States. And, whilst differing European carriers were displaying the black, and grey versions at IFA 2012 in Berlin, the red S 3 was nowhere to be seen. We've still not seen the brown version yet either. 

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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4 years ago

Ringtones reset, Adding contact info to lock screen [From the Forums]


Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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4 years ago

Audible for Android updated to support Whispersync for Voice


Amongst the slew of hardware announcements at Amazon's event yesterday was the confirmation that Whispersync was expanding to more of Amazon's services, such as Audible. The new feature, dubbed Whispersync for Voice, will let you sync reading/listening positions of a book if you own both editions. In addition, it will sync bookmarks and notes across devices. However, it doesn't appear to sync listening positions across devices, which is what I was really excited about. I listen to my audiobooks on a variety of mobile devices and would like not to worry about what position I'm at on any of them. This is a step forward, but I hope to see a full sync option soon. To download the free app, hit up our Google Play Store link. 

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4 years ago

Samsung preparing dual-SIM Galaxy Note 2 for Chinese market


Dual-SIM phones are big business in some global markets, and China is set to receive the biggest dual-SIM phone imaginable in current times. Samsung is reportedly preparing a dual-SIM version of the recently announced Galaxy Note 2. 

China is rapidly becoming one of the largest smartphone markets in the world, and so it makes sense that OEM's would want to cater for Chinese specific needs. This special version of the Note 2 is identical in every way to the International variant we saw in Berlin at Samsung Unpacked, until you remove the back. Lying beneath is a slot for a regular SIM, and a micro SIM next to the microSD card slot. 

It's said to be heading to China Telecom, but currently there is no word on price, or any possible availability in other global markets. For more on the Galaxy Note 2 be sure to check out our hands on coverage from the Unpacked event in Berlin.

Source: Mydrivers via Unwired View

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4 years ago

Samsung 'SPH-L900' could be Sprint's Galaxy Note 2


Newly-uncovered files on Sprint's servers suggest that a highly-specced Samsung device -- possibly a Galaxy Note 2 variant -- could be headed to the network in the future. RDF files on unearthed by XDA forum members, reveal a Samsung 'SPH-L900' device with a laundry list of impressive specs --

  • Exynos 4412 CPU
  • Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of storage
  • CDMA/EVDO/LTE connectivity
  • 8MP rear camera
  • 1.9MP front camera

With the exception of the radios, that's an exact match for the device we saw last week in Germany -- though the key specification that's not confirmed is screen size. News of a 5.5-inch screen would certainly seal the deal, but as it stands this could just be a spec-bumped Galaxy S3-class phone. Whatever it is, it's currently running software version L900VPLI2, which based on the way Samsung numbers its builds, indicates a ROM built sometime in the past week.

Sprint didn't carry the original Samsung Galaxy Note, which in the U.S. was exclusive to AT&T until it landed on Tmo in early August. Samsung made a concerted effort to bring the Galaxy S3 to as many U.S. carriers as possible, and it's likely they'll want to do the same with their next big device. Rumors have already suggested the Note 2 could be headed to T-Mobile, and an AT&T launch is likely too, given the success of the original Note.

Would you pick up the Galaxy Note 2 on Sprint? Hit the comments and let us know.

Source: XDA

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4 years ago

Manually update your Sprint Galaxy Nexus to Jelly Bean


As predicted, the Jelly Bean roll out for the Sprint Galaxy Nexus is slowly happening, and we finally have a link where you can manually grab the file and do-it-yourself. It's not quite as straightforward as it used to be, but with a little bit of work you can have the latest and greatest on your Toro plus hardware, with all the bells and whistles working.

You'll need to download the update files of course, and thankfully cliche37 has found the URL direct from Google and posted it up in the Sprint Galaxy Nexus forums. Grab them from his post, which points you right at Google's servers. Then sit back and do a little reading about booting into a custom recovery and flashing the image. Forums moderator dmmarck goes over it pretty well in his megapost here, and more importantly, is there to help if you hit a snag.

Of course you could always wait until it's your turn to get the OTA, but we know that's not something some of us will want to do. Get it done, and enjoy some Jelly!

Source: Android Central forums

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Tablet S now shipping in the United States


The world first saw -- officially at least -- the new Sony Xperia Tablet S just last week at IFA 2012 in Berlin. Since then, the tablet has gone on sale in the UK, and now it's time for the United States. Sony has added the Xperia Tablet S to their online U.S. store with prices starting at $399.99.

That price gets you the 16GB variant, but for $499.99/$599.99 you can pick up a 32GB or 64GB version of Sony's Tegra 3 tablet. With such features as guest mode and a universal TV remote built in, the Xperia Tablet S is potentially a good choice for family buyers. Additionally, if you buy from Sony online, you're treated to three digital movies from Google Play with a value upto $45. Pretty sweet deal then. 

Accessories are also available now as well, including the pretty sweet looking cover with an integrated keyboard. That will set you back a cent under $100, but as we found out at IFA, it's not half bad. 

Head on over to Sony online for the run down, and be sure to check out our hands-on with the device and the mammoth hands-on from the Sony Booth in Berlin. 

Source: Sony

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4 years ago

Samsung Captivate Glide getting ICS update


One of the numerous reincarnations of the popular Samsung Galaxy SII (S2), the Captivate Glide, is ready to be updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich starting today. AT&T has indicated that the update won't be coming OTA (over the air), but instead has to be downloaded from the Samsung support website, and loaded via Samsung's proprietary software Kies. Nobody necessarily prefers or wants to use Kies for updates -- and we really wish AT&T would just push it OTA -- but if this is the only way to get some ICS in your life, it's worth dealing with.

Check out the source links for the announcement and the Samsung support page for the update.

Source: AT&T Consumer Blog, Samsung Support

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4 years ago

HTC One X+ specs supposedly leak


HTC has an event coming up later this month where we're expecting at least one new device to be announced. One tipster is suggesting that it will be a device called the HTC One X+ with the following specs. 

  • Size: 134.36 x 69.9 x 9.3mm
  • Weight: 129g
  • NVIDIA AP37 1.6GHZ quad core, 1.7GHZ single core
  • ROM:32GB
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • Battery: 1800 mAh
  • Android 4.1 Sense 4.5

The source has also been posting a bunch of HTC Windows Phone slides on Twitter, which adds plenty of legitimacy to the One X+ claims. He also says the screen hasn't changed since the HTC One X (which has a 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 screen). 

Overall, the One X+ is shaping up to be a decent update. The screen was pretty solid anyway, so not too much to complain about there. HTC's revenues aren't doing so hot lately, so they could sure use a big hit. What would you guys like to see in the next version of the HTC One X? 

Source: @Football4PDA

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