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4 years ago

Who won a free phone from Sprint and Android Central? Find out now!


With the first week of the new year almost under our belts, it's time to let you all know the names of the lucky people that won the SEVEN phones we teamed up with Sprint to give away!  If your name is listed below, watch your email as I'll be in touch in the near future to get your shipping info. Congratulations to all the winners, enjoy your new phones!

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4 years ago

Leaked renders show new colors for Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini


We first heard whispers of fresh paint jobs for some of Samsung's 2012 devices a couple of months back. Among them was the Galaxy S3 Mini. The previous rumors from SamMobile said that the new colors for Samsung's 4 inch Galaxy S3 Mini would be landing in December 2012, or early 2013. 

Of course, December has been and gone, but SamMobile is back, this time packing some press renders of the new varieties. In addition to the current white version, it looks like we'll be seeing Onyx Black, Garnet Red and Titanium Gray. All these colors are available on the regular Galaxy S3, and unlike the Galaxy Note 2, it looks like we won't be seeing this one in brown

The Galaxy S3 Mini shares the general look and feel of the Galaxy S3, but in a decidedly lower spec body. It does come with Jelly Bean out of the box though, and now at least it seems like there will be more than just plain old white to choose from. No expected date for these new versions has been mentioned at this time.

Source: SamMobile

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4 years ago

Falcon Pro update adds light theme and multi window support


The Falcon Pro for Twitter updates continue to come thick and fast, as today the developers have pushed another one out the door. The headline new features this time around are a "brand new sexy light theme" -- their words, not ours -- and multi window support on compatible Samsung Galaxy devices such as the Note 2. The light theme won't be for everyone, but multi window is a nice touch if you're rocking a device that has it. 

That's not all though, theres a bunch of other fixes and improvements that reads like this:

  • Better Retweet system, with 3 RT options
  • Better image upload, faster and more stable
  • Better double tap
  • Fixed character count with URL's
  • Fixed new tweet button not appearing on search
  • Fixed the FC on new tweet while on followers list
  • Fixed rotation issue on new DM
  • Little UI changes

Falcon Pro has quickly become one of the favorite Twitter clients around these parts, and the developers of the application are among some of the most pro-active we've seen when it comes to updates and new features. Grab a copy of the latest version for yourselves from the link above. 

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4 years ago

Belkin introduces WeMo light switch, control your household lighting from your Android device


Home automation is the stuff nerdy dreams are made of, and Belkin is today introducing a new device to bring a little part of that to life. The WeMo Light Switch, being displayed at CES in Las Vegas, is a replacement for your standard household light switches with WiFi connectivity. The cool part -- it'll be controllable from your Android device. 

The WeMo connectivity means you can turn lights on or off from anywhere, schedule an on/off time, and doesn't require your Android device to be connected to the same WiFi network in order to work. So, you leave the office late, it's dark, and as you pull up on the driveway you can turn on the lights so you don't trip over the dog. OK, not the best example perhaps, but you get the idea. 

Android connectivity has been a much asked for feature of WeMo's existing, iOS compatible only, range of home automation devices. With the arrival of the WeMo Light Switch and the app into the Google Play Store, connectivity with their other devices will be opened up to Android users. An open beta will begin in February for users of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and "other leading devices." The Light Switch will become available this Summer, and the Android app is expected to exit beta by the device's launch. 

Source: Belkin

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4 years ago

HTC One VX review


The HTC One VX looks to be a great (and cheap) way to get an entry-level LTE smartphone on AT&T

This may be one of those rare instances in which we know too much. For those of us who live and breathe smartphones all day long (and that includes many of you out there), it's tough to look at an HTC One phone without seeing the entire line in context. With regards for pecking order, there's the One V. The One S. The One S. (There's also the new One SV in Europe and Asia, and in the U.S. on Cricket.) And now, on AT&T, we have the HTC One VX.

Where the hell does this phone fit in?

To answer that question, you need to take it out of context a little bit. Instead of looking at where it sits in the HTC family, think about where the One VX sits in the AT&T lineup. Things start to make a little more sense in that respect, especially considering that as of this writing, the One VX is exclusive to the U.S. carrier.

As its name might imply (again, to those of us who live and breathe this stuff), and as the spec sheet spells out, the One VX picks and chooses from some of the best features of the other phones in the HTC One line. You can't help but compare it to its older siblings. But it's also important to remember where it stands for AT&T. This phone serves a purpose for AT&T -- filling a hole in its lineup -- more than it does for HTC. And that's OK. Because what we end up with is a really good entry-level phone.

So, with all that said, on to our HTC One VX review.

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Android Central at CES


In case you've been living under a rock the past week or so, CES -- the Consumer Electronics Show -- is this week in Las Vegas. And, yes. We're here. Or we're on our way here. You get the idea.

It's easy to be overwhelmed by CES. The flashing lights. The noises. The jingling of coins from the slots. The gratuitous nudity. And that's just the airport.

So here's an easy primer:

  • This evening: Toshiba and NVIDIA are doing their things. You can probably figure out which is the bigger of the two. We'll be liveblogging, of course.
  • Monday: It's Media Day. That's the one where we really go nuts, with 1,700 sites in close quarters, all liveblogging the same thing at the same time. We'll be doing that, too.
  • Tuesday-Friday: CES actually opens at the Las Vegas Convention Center. 

See? That's not that difficult. So how can you keep up with all the Android news at CES? Just keep it glued to AndroidCentral.com/ces. It's that easy.

If you really want to get the behind-the-scenes scoop, though, you need to hop on your favorite social network thingy. Here's who's on the ground for us in Vegas:

And for all your non-Android news, we've got a host of folks from our other sites in town, too. Find them after the break, and get ready for some fun!

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4 years ago

Samsung announces new Bluetooth speaker with NFC and apt-X codec support


Samsung has just announced a new set of digital audio equipment, most importantly to us smartphone nerds being a new Bluetooth speaker for pairing with phones and tablets. This newest speaker, model DA-F60, supports both NFC pairing and the apt-X audio codec. This is a not-so-common yet interesting use of NFC, which lets users tap a tablet or phone to the speaker to initiate the bluetooth pairing connection meaning there's no messing around with a manual Bluetooth setup -- pretty neat.

Apt-X, if you're not familiar, is a relatively new audio codec available in some devices that improves the dynamic range and quality of streaming bluetooth audio. The list of supported devices is small but growing -- including the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, the HTC One (X, S, V) line and Motorola RAZR (original, HD, Maxx, i, M) line.

We should see a bit more of the new speaker (and Samsung's other offerings) at CES this week, and hopefully have some time to play around with these new ones. No pricing or availability is out just yet, but we should expect those shortly as well.

Source: Samsung (BusinessWire)

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4 years ago

Samsung Korea details Jelly Bean update for Galaxy S2, without giving a date


Samsung Galaxy S2 owners eager for a piece of Jelly Bean action will no doubts be delighted to hear the first official information surrounding the update. While no expected date has been provided, Samsung Korea has provided some details on what will be contained within the update to Android 4.1. 

First up the less positive points. The available internal storage will be reduced from 12GB to 11GB, thanks to a new system partition. Samsung says the changes in structure potentially means the update can take an hour to flash. Also, apparently it's only going to be available by Kies, with no OTA update option available. 

Now onto the fun stuff. Of course, an update to Jelly Bean brings the likes of Project Butter and Google Now to the table. As part of the update, some additional applications such as Google+, Google Play Books and Google Play Movies will be pre-loaded. Additional functionality will come to the camera app, and Pop Up Play and Smart Stay from some of Samsung's newer devices will also be added to the Galaxy S2. 

It's sadly still a waiting game at this point, but with some official news coming out from Samsung, we'd like to hope it means the update isn't that far away from dropping. 

Source: Samsung Korea (Translated) via SamMobile

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4 years ago

Windows Phone users to get their broken Google Maps web experience back


Yesterday it seems that every single Windows Phone user was over at WPCentral lamenting the loss of the Google Maps web app for Windows Phone. It seems that Google made a change that redirected users with a Windows Phone browser UA string to Google search page instead of the Google Maps page they were expecting.

Google later chimed in and said that Google Maps on the mobile site was designed for webkit browsers, which IE on Windows Phone is not. Questions were raised about why it used to work, why it stopped working, and why Google was the devil. Turns out that a big fuss was made over a relatively minor (minor to Google anyways) product change. Google has reverted things back the way they were, and delivered this statement to The Next Web.

We periodically test Google Maps compatibility with mobile browsers to make sure we deliver the best experience for those users.

In our last test, IE mobile still did not offer a good maps experience with no ability to pan or zoom and perform basic map functionality. As a result, we chose to continue to redirect IE mobile users to Google.com where they could at least make local searches. The Firefox mobile browser did offer a somewhat better user experience and that’s why there is no redirect for those users.

Recent improvements to IE mobile and Google Maps now deliver a better experience and we are currently working to remove the redirect. We will continue to test Google Maps compatibility with other mobile browsers to ensure the best possible experience for users.

A lot of Windows Phone fans are going to cry foul, and claim that their voices changed the world and moved the mountain that is Google, but even a few admitted Windows fans came to the very same conclusion that it was done because the experience, well, it sucked. 

The simple fact is that smart companies are going to build web apps that work well for Android and iOS because that's the vast majority of the mobile market. If that means building for webkit based browsers, then people on the fringe of the market won't be part of it. Google has decided to give Windows Phone users back the poor experience they want, but if future updates incorporate webkit-only features, you can bet Google will stop supporting IE once again. It's a decision about money, not about hate for Microsoft. 

Source: The Next Web

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week: Super Monsters Ate My Condo!, Netflix New Releases, AntennaPod and more!


We said we'd be back in 2013 with our weekly app picks, and here we are. Trying to start off the year right before some of us make the trip to Las Vegas for CES 2013, we've got a whole grouping of great picks for you this week. A mix of games, utilities and overall fun apps can be found here, so stick around after the break and see how we did.

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4 years ago

Weekend project: Customize your home screen with UCCW, the ultimate custom widget


Anytime you see folks discussing the virtues of Android, you hear the word custom being thrown around in one form or another. We're not talking about ROMs or kernels or anything like that, we mean the built in options to make your Android phone look like no other phone -- widgets. Specifically UCCW, the ultimate custom widget.

Ultimate is a pretty bold claim for any developer to make, especially when you're talking something as personal as the way our phones look. UCCW works it though, and is a way to change the look and feel of your home screen in a way only limited by your imagination. It's a "master" widget, which is simply a blank canvas that's painted the way you decide, either through your own talent or from themes (called uzips) that other talented folks have created.  Hit the jump, have a look, and get customized.

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4 years ago

The week in international Android news - Jan. 5


Happy New Year! CES is literally days away from us now, and with Alex en-route to Las Vegas as we speak, it falls to me to round up the weeks international Android news. CES leaks and rumors have dominated the headlines as we might expect since we returned from the holiday break, but there's been plenty to talk about since our last international round up.

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4 years ago

Play Magazines now offering 'free for print subscribers' option


According to a Google Play support document -- and confirmed when we browse to some magazines -- Google is now offering a "Free for print subscribers" option for certain magazines in the Play Store. When browsing many popular magazine subscriptions in the Play Store that have a print component, tapping on "subscribe" offers you three options. On top of the regular monthly or yearly subscriptions, you now have the option to get the digital version for free if you're already a print customer.

Google has likely signed some kind of content deals to make this happen, but however it happened it's a good thing. Many different publishers have offered this feature for their own websites and magazines, but its nice to see Google offering the same option with a digital subscription through the app as well.

Source: Google; Via: Android Police

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4 years ago

New 'Amber Brown' Galaxy Note 2 shows up again, this time in real photos


Quickly following on the heels of leaked renders of two new colors of the Galaxy Note 2, we've got some real hands-on images of the Amber Brown version of the device. The device seems to be all the same as the other Note 2 varieties, but now covered in a deep brown color. This is probably going to be a bit of a polarizing color -- either love it or hate it -- if we have to be honest, but more options are always better. This model is a Japanese version for the carrier NTT Docomo but it's feasible that we could see this color, along with the new "Ruby Wine" (aka red) color, come to other markets also.

We've got one more look at the device for you after the break. The source link below has several more with pictures of the box, accessories and color-matched brown flip cover as well.

Source: GizChina

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4 years ago

Sprint confirms own-branded prepaid service launching Jan 25


Following some rumors of a new prepaid option, Sprint has confirmed today with FierceWireless that it will be launching the new service under its own brand name on January 25th. Cleverly named "Sprint As You Go" will offer unlimited talk, text and data for $70 per month on smartphones or $50 on featurephones, with no annual contract required. The prepaid service will not throttle data, unlike its subsidiaries Boost and Virgin which have set plans to throttle data usage after 2.5GB.

Also unlike its other prepaid carriers, Sprint will only be selling these new Sprint As You Go plans in its own retail stores rather than with third party partners. The carrier is positioning these plans as a higher-end option that offers users most of the same features of the postpaid plans, but without a contract.

Sprint will unfortunately be limiting these new plans to just four phones right now, two of which are smartphones. The LG Optimus Elite for $150 and Samsung Victory for $250 are the smartphone options, the latter having LTE data connectivity. It's understandable that the new plans should launch with a limited selection of lower end devices, but we surely hope that this opens up quickly. Sprint is going to have to do something special to compete with other prepaid GSM carriers that offer similar (or lower) prices and a vastly wider selection of devices.

Source: FierceWireless

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