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4 years ago

EE becomes the UK's first 4G LTE network


New 4G network launching 'within weeks' - first devices include Galaxy S3 LTE, HTC One XL

We're live in London, where Everything Everywhere -- the organization formed by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile UK -- has just announced its new brand, and a new 4G LTE network to go along with it. EE's 4G network will be the UK's first, and will run on re-farmed 1800MHz spectrum from Orange and Tmo. The company promises speeds "five times faster" than current 3G offerings, allowing for faster streaming and downloading on handsets.

At its event at the Science Museum in London this morning, EE said its new 4G and fiber broadband network would launch "within weeks," and that it'd be broadly available by the holidays. The old Orange and T-Mobile brands will continue for 3G services, but new customers wanting 4G, or existing Orange and Tmo subscribers who want to make the switch to LTE, will be able to "upgrade" to the new EE network.

The network will switch on today "for testing" in London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol. By Christmas, EE says some 20 million subscribers in 16 UK cities will be covered by its network. The full list is as follows -- Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Sheffield and Southampton.

But of course, a 4G network is only as good as the devices you can use on it, and today EE announced that new LTE phones from manufacturers including Huawei, Samsung, Nokia, HTC and others will be available on its fledgling network. 4G smartphones mentioned by name include the Android-powered HTC One XL, Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE and Huawei Ascend P1 LTE. On the Windows Phone side, EE says it'll carry the Nokia Lumia 820 and the 920, which will be an EE exclusive. Tomorrow, we strongly suspect Apple's LTE-capable iPhone 5 may join that list.

So far there's been no word on exactly how much it'll cost for early adopters to get their 4G fix, though given EE's effective monopoly on 4G for the next year, we're not expecting it to be cheap.

So it's an exciting time for mobile data in the UK. Stay tuned for further developments, including hands-on with EE's new 4G devices.

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4 years ago

CyanogenMod 10 'M1' builds released


CyanogenMod 10 development continues apace, and if you've been following the progress of CM10 for your favorite device, you'll know that nightly builds and unofficial "KANG" releases aren't always the most stable or reliable. As such, the CM team has stepped in with a new type of release for the popular custom firmware -- "m-series" builds.

Typically "M" in the context of software refers to "milestone" -- M1 would be milestone one, and so on. However, the CM team says it doesn't have anything specific in mind as to what its M builds will stand for, just that they're meant to be more stable than nightly builds, and more frequent than beta builds. Currently, they're rolling out at the start of each month.

So the first CM10 M1 builds that are rolling out today should give owners of certain devices the chance to enjoy a more stable Jelly Bean-based CyanogenMod experience while we wait for the first official beta builds to appear. The current M1 builds are available now for 18 phones -- primarily Samsung devices. These include various flavors of Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, Galaxy S, Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3. There are also builds for the AT&T Galaxy Note, Nexus 7, Sony Xperia Acro and Xperia S. The team says more devices will be added as things become more stable.

To pick up CyanogenMod 10 M1 for one of these devices, head on over to the download link below.

Source: CyanogenMod, Download:

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4 years ago

First look at the LG Intuition


We're here in New York where LG today invited the press to take its first look at the Intuition, the much anticipated hybrid device that arrived in Verizon Wireless stores today. The Intuition is nearly identical to the international Optimus Vu, which has made quite a name for itself as a unique competitor in the increasingly popular "phablet" market. Unlike Samsung's Note, the Intuition is sporting a 4:3 aspect ratio, which adds up to a totally different experience both in terms of use and purpose. Hit the break for my full first impressions.

The Intuition, LG says, is meant mainly for document and text viewing-- if you're in the market for a device to watch movies and take photos with, you're going to want to look elsewhere. For its intended purpose though, the Intuition shines, and is definitely worth keeping an open mind for.

And with that, read our for our initial thoughts.

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 gets thorough teardown and repair video


The Nexus 7 has been out for a while, plenty long enough for some to have accidentally dropped and possibly broken it. It's terrible, but not all accidents can be avoided. We've seen the teardown pictures before, but sometimes you need a video walkthrough to help if you're interested in having a go at fixing the device yourself. Luckily, the folks over at DirectFix have taken the time to thoroughly tear down to Nexus 7 on camera and point out the important parts of repairing the device.

After watching the video, the Nexus 7 looks surprisingly easy to disassemble, but probably isn't something you should be doing just for fun. Remember, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Source: DirectFix YouTube

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4 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Do you use the Amazon Appstore?


Android is an open platform. Many folks mistakenly think this only refers to hacking, or source code, but the main part of being open means that you're free to install outside third-party software from any source. It's part of the whole "diversity equals strength" argument, and one that worked pretty well for companies like Microsoft.

Since it's open, we're free to install other non-Google application markets on to our phones and tablets -- like the Amazon Appstore. For a while, everyone used it, if only to get that free app of the day. But lately it's not been in the news as much so we're wondering who still uses it?

Of course, on a Kindle or on of the new Kindle Fire HDs it's a no-brainer. But what about the rest of the Android devices? Amazon's apps are now available outside the US, so it's time to revisit. You'll find the poll in the sidebar to the right, or you can just click past the break for it.

Before we go, let's discuss last week's poll. We asked if you were interested in a dedicated camera that runs Android. The results were about what we expected:

  • Yes: 62.05 percent
  • No: 28.85 percent
  • Yes, but not a point-and-shoot: 9.1 percent

With over 60-percent of us interested, Samsung and Nikon putting one on the shelves seems to be a great idea!

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4 years ago

Contest Winners: Nexus 7 prize packs, Google Play gift cards and Cygnett cases!


If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our forums always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. This week's winners are as posted after the break, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up during the week. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to the winners!

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4 years ago

Two-tone Cushnie Et Ochs HTC One X appears on eBay


News of the two-tone Cushnie Et Ochs HTC One X broke last week, and earlier today HTC gave fans a chance to win one in a Pinterest contest. Now it seems you may be able to get hold of the exclusive device using cold, hard cash. The two-tone black and white One X has appeared on eBay, where a seller has started bidding at $350 with just under seven days to go.

Seller 2012greatwhite86, who we should point out has a feedback score of zero, claims that only 150 of the devices were made, and that some were given out to members of the fashion community at New York Fashion Week. The listing is backed up by what appears to be a photo of the real deal, complete with two-tone packaging. In addition to the unique chassis design, the phone apparently comes with a “Ben Watts "Watts Up Photo" App, with Instagram-like functionality,” according to the listing.

We’d always recommend caution when bidding on this kind of thing, but if you’re feeling brave, you can find the eBay auction listing down in the source link.

Source: eBay

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4 years ago

Google discontinuing their pre-paid credit card from Google Wallet


Back when Google Wallet first launched, Google also launched their own, pre-paid credit card for use with the mobile application. Then, just recently the service was opened up to allow the addition of other credit cards. Today, we're receiving emails in our inbox from Google themselves with further Wallet related news. As a result of opening up the service to other cards, the Google pre-paid card is going away. So you need to spend that money, and spend it soon.

It isn't just over, just like that, though. There are some key dates provided that run down to the discontinuation of the card. On September 17, additional funds can no longer be added to the card. Then, following behind a month later on October 17, the card will disappear completely from Google Wallet. If you still have remaining funds on there though, don't panic, you will be able to request a refund. 

One further point to note however, is that resetting the application after September 17 will also remove the card. And it can't be re-added. So, probably better to spend your money first. 

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4 years ago

Twitter starts allowing image uploads from their mobile site for Android 4.x users


As if we needed any further indications that Twitter is moving away from third party clients, a new addition to their mobile website seems to have recently appeared. First spotted by the guys over at The Sociable, the mobile tweet composer now has an image upload button tucked in the bottom left hand corner. The catch, it seems the new feature is only available to users on Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. It apparently also works on iOS 6 -- not that we'd know anything about that around these parts. 

It works just as you would expect it to. You tap the icon, and you're presented with the standard Android sharing window that will allow you to choose from whichever gallery you please. Also, we're seeing an option labelled as "Android System" which in fact allows you to upload a picture directly taken from the camera. 

While adding functionality is something that Twitter should actively be doing, it still isn't likely to go any part of the way to replacing many users favorite third-party clients. The mobile site is still too clunky to navigate -- much like their official Android app. 

Source: The Sociable via TNW

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4 years ago

Naztech N15 Mini Boom Speaker review


The Naztech Mini Boom speaker is a compact, affordable external speaker that plugs into your device with a built-in 3.5 mm jack. The interesting thing about this little guy is that it doubles as a reasonably good stand-alone music player too, thanks to a microSD memory card slot, playback control keys, and a dedicated headphone jack. Of course, if you want to share the music, the Naztech N15 Mini Boom Speaker unscrews and opens slightly to allow sound to spread evenly in all directions.

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4 years ago

T-Mobile announces pricing and availability of Samsung Galaxy S Relay


T-Mobile announced the QWERTY keyboard-clad Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G last week without a peep about how much the thing will cost or when folks will be able to buy it. Today, T-Mobile tacked on a September 19 launch date and a $149.99 pricetag after mail-in rebate and a two-year contract.  The Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G is squarely in the mid-range, but a low pricetag, some new unlimited plans, and an honest to goodness keyboard may be enough to sway back-to-school buyers. Here's a recap.

  • 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor
  • 5MP rear and 1.3MP front cameras
  • 1GB of RAM
  • T-Mobile WiFi Calling support
  • SAFE enterprise-ready features and capabilities

Personally, I prefer portrait-oriented keyboards, but I think I could get used to this one. Anyone else thinking about picking up a Galaxy S Relay?

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4 years ago

AT&T announces budget-friendly, LTE-equipped LG Escape


AT&T announced a new mid-range handset from LG today called the Escape. The LG Escape made its first unofficial appearance a few days ago, and though it might not be the highest-specced phone out there, it's hard to complain for $49.99 on a two-year contract. Here are the main features.

  • An advanced 5 MP camera with time catch shot, “cheese shutter,” and different shot modes including Normal, HDR, Continuous and Panorama
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • AT&T’s 4G LTE Network
  • The innovative and convenient QuickMemo to create and share personalized memos by writing messages or drawings on screen captures
  • A 1.2 GHz Dual-Core Processor
  • True-to-Life 1080p HD recording
  • Long-lasting 2,150mAh battery
  • Bluetooth® Version 4.0
  • A crisp 4.3” qHD true-color IPS Touch Screen with Gorilla® Glass durability
  • Google™ Integration with Google Play, Google Maps Navigation and other preloaded Google apps
  • Add music and themes to videos and photos with Video Wiz
  • Data sharing with Android Beam and NFC Technology

The LG Escape goes on sale next week, starting September 16. Any back-to-schoolers looking for something affordable but decent? Or maybe the LG Escape looks a little too run-of-the-mill for you? There are a handful of neat software features included, which you can see in the video below.

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

Demolition Dash brings endless running destruction to Amazon Appstore


Demolition Dash has just made the leap to Android with a launch on the Amazon Appstore. The endless running game puts players in control of Zilla, a monster that has recently awoken from an ancient slumber and is now eager to wreak some havoc in cities across the world. Although Zilla has his Disney-esque charm, there's are plenty of explosions and panicking military personnel to keep the game entertaining for us older folks. Here's a quick run-down of the features. 

  • Two game modes guarantee hours of lasting fun - World Rampage, with 24 stages, and now: Endless Run
  • Training mode: casual, relaxed pace for both newbies and connoisseurs!
  • Control Zilla with just two buttons - easy to play but challenging to master!
  • Physics-based destruction: smash everything in the cities to bits
  • High-quality sound effects with matching music in each city
  • Supported languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian - little Zilla is a cosmopolitan!

Having the games locked down to Amazon is a bit of a pain for us international folks, but I'm sure once the exclusivity period is up, we'll see it on Google Play soon enough. Until then, Demolition Dash can be found over here on Amazon for $1.99.

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4 years ago

Google Drive gets updated, new features for presentations, comments and creating folders


Sometime last week, an overeager Tweeter let the cat out of the bag about an update to Google Drive that wasn't quite ready. Fast forward to today and it is ready, and has pushed out into Google Play. The full changelog is pretty hefty, but there's a few key points worth noting. 

Folder options are now included, allowing you to now create, upload to and move files between folders. For many of us omitting this for so long has been a cause of constant frustration with the mobile app, so it's definitely a welcome addition. 

The presentation viewing experience has also been improved, and now includes the option to swipe between slides, view slides full screen and view accompanying speaker notes. Basic table elements have also been added to the document editor, as has the ability to create, reply to and resolve comments. The full changelog reads thusly: 

  • Create folder, upload to folder and move to folder
  • Filter folder contents by file type
  • Option to auto-sync pinned content while on 3G
  • Richer Google Presentations viewing experience
  • Basic table support in Documents Editor
  • Create, reply and resolve comments in Documents Editor
  • View and change fonts in Documents Editor
  • Pinch to zoom in Documents Editor
  • Print files using Google Cloud Print
  • Option to resume interrupted uploads

Google Cloud Print may not be the most widely used service either, but a welcome integration to the mobile Drive application. Grab yourselves a copy from the Play Store now, but do also check out the video after the break. While showing off some of the new features, it also shows off a forthcoming feature that isn't included in this update -- native editing and real-time collaboration for spreadsheets. 

Source: Google Blog

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4 years ago

Prepaid: Not just for burner phones anymore


My phone works just like yours. It makes calls, sends texts and has a high-speed data connection with nationwide coverage. As a matter of fact, I have the same device as many of you, a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. That’s all run-of-the-mill, so why’s this important? I pay $45 every month to use my phone.

“That’s crazy,” you might be saying, “I pay more for my data plan than you pay for your entire phone bill”. You’re right, it is kind of crazy. The cost of cellphone service in the United States is quite astronomical when compared to services around the world. The common misconception, however, is that there are no other options if you want to pay less for your service.

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