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4 years ago

From the mail bag: What the heck does deodexed mean?

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Clark writes,

What the heck does odex and deodex actually mean? I see the terms mentioned in almost every custom ROM thread and can't find an answer that I can understand. I'm hoping that Android Central can help out.

Awesome question, Clark. And one I think we can answer in terms that most folks will understand. As you've noted, you see the terms odex and deodexed in many forums posts about custom ROMs or assorted hacks for phones and tablets both. It takes a lot of work for developers to create deodexed ROMs from "stock" ROMs, like the ones offered from both OEMs and Google alike.

To begin, we need to know what an odex file is.  It's a part of an application (the .apk file) that has been prebuilt to make the Dalvik Virtual Machine load it faster using less resources. If you look in the /system/app/ folder on your Android phone or tablet, you'll see that just about every application has both an .apk file and an .odex file. These files work together through the Dalvik VM to make the apps run as they should on our devices. Let's break it all down after the break.

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4 years ago

Tapatalk HD hits the Google Play Store in beta

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One popular method of hitting up your favorite vBulletin forums -- including of course, the Android Central Forums -- from your Android device, is Tapatalk. While Tapatalk does a great job at hooking you into a pretty wide range of forums, the versions out there on public release don't include a dedicated Tablet app. There was a special version released through Samsung Apps for the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1, and we've known of a more general version in the works for a while now. 

It seems as though the finished product is almost ready for the big time, with the release of a beta version of Tapatalk HD into the Google Play Store for all to download and try out. And, with it being a beta product, it will cease to continue working once version 1.0 hits the Play Store, estimated to be sometime in late January. 

There are a few new features along for the ride, such a gallery view on larger forums -- ours included -- and push notifications. The biggest difference to anything we've seen before though, is the UI. As it's been specifically designed for use with tablets, we get a split pane view, adjustable fonts, and viewing posts fits the dimensions of a tablet display much better than Tapatalk 2.0. Grab yourselves a copy at the Play Store link above, and click on past the break for a selection of screenshots.

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4 years ago

Free Gmail calls in Canada and U.S. extended through 2013

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Google has been offering Gmail users the ability to call standard phone lines for awhile, and it looks like the service will be continuing through 2013. Americans and Canadians can keep making calls for free, while international users will still have access to reasonable rates. 

It's not a huge surprise that the service is continuing, since Google has extended Gmail calling since launching in the summer of 2010. Right now it's still only for desktop, but it sure would be nice to see the feature folded into Android's Google Talk or Voice (for those that have it) at some point.

How often do you guys use Gmail's phone calling service? How much do you figure services like this peeve carriers? Can Google reasonably expect to compete with Skype (and by association Windows Phone) on the VoIP front?

Source: Gmail

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4 years ago

ZTE announces high-end Nubia Z5 for China

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ZTE has unveiled a phablet with a 1080p-resolution display, the Nubia Z5. ZTE had first kicked off their Nubia brand in late October, which included a mention of the Z5. At that point they didn't say much more than it having a 13 megapixel camera, 5-inch display, and quad-core processor, but now we've got a much closer look at the specs.

  • 7.6 mm thin
  • 5-inch 1920 x 1080 with 2.67 mm bezel (443 PPI)
  • 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm 8064 processor with 2 GB RAM
  • 13 megapixel f/2.2 camera
  • 2300 mAh battery
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.1

As you might expect, this handset is due for China first, without any mention of international availability. The real kicker here is that the Nubia Z5 will cost a rather steep 3,456 yen (or $550) when it goes on sale in January. Pretty slick, but odds are we'll see plenty of smartphones with 1080p screens in 2013. You can find more info about the Nubia Z5 over at ZTE's minisite

via Engadget

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4 years ago

How'd your holiday Photospheres turn out?

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Google a couple weeks ago made a rather nice commercial out of the Photosphere feature, in which you make a 360-degree (more or less) panoramic photo that all gets stitched together on your phone. The holiday spot has someone taking a Photosphere in a (very) large house, with a bunch of family members in the shot.

Now, we all know Rule No. 1 of taking Photospheres is to not have anything too close to you as you take the picture. Rule No. 2 is the fewer people, the better, as people tend to move.

So I waited until things had died down a little bit. My result? Not horrible, especially since I didn't tell anyone to hold still. Check out the full Photosphere pic here. And if you took any over the holidays, be sure to tag them with #photosphere on Google+ so we can all see!

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4 years ago

Our Google Play Gift Card giveaway continues today!

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Oh, my. So ... full. Can't ... hardly ... type. But the giving must go on. We're marching toward the final round of our month-long (ish) Google Play Gift Card giveaway, in which we're giving 31 lucky winners $10 to spend on Android apps, movies, music, magazines or TV shows from Google Play.

Oh, and by the way -- all 31 winners (one for each day in December) will be entered to win a shiny new Nexus 4, still in its box, sitting here on our desk. (In case you had any concern for our ability to snag what remains an unsnaggable device.)

So ... for today's entries: Leave a comment on this post and tell us the top Android-related feature you're hoping for in 2013. One entry per person, yadda yadda yadda.

Good luck!

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4 years ago

The Kindle Fire HD

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The Kindle Fire HD delivers a tablet experience many folks will love, but is it the right choice for me? Have a read and see what a total Android nerd thinks of Amazon's latest offering.

Amazon’s new Kindle tablets don’t get the attention that other Android tablets get. Android purists tend to scoff at them, thinking that the operating system being used -- a true custom fork of Android 4.0 -- is entirely too basic, lacking many of the features and customization settings that stock Android or the more traditional OEM builds like Sense or TouchWiz have.

But simple -- and consistent -- software has a place. Amazon’s removal of some of the more advanced parts of the Android OS are also part of the reason not much talk goes on about the Kindle Fire HD -- it tends to just work, and users have few issues they need to sort out. Amazon has perfected the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) philosophy of smart devices.

I’ve had both Kindle Fire HD devices here for a while, and have spent a good bit of time playing with the hardware and Amazon’s operating system as shipped. It’s time I put down a few words about them.

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4 years ago

ZTE Grand X passes through FCC with T-Mobile radio and branding

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A revision of the ZTE Grand X (read our review) has just passed through the FCC, undoubtedly destined to land on T-Mobile. Not only does the device have FCC clearance to operate on T-Mobile's 1700/2100MHz AWS frequencies for HSPA+, but also has a nice bit of T-Mobile branding on the back. Other than the new radio and branding, we're likely looking at the same device that was released internationally a few months back -- a 4.3-inch qHD (540x960) screen, Tegra 2 processor, 5MP camera and stock Ice Cream Sandwich.

T-Mobile regularly picks up some of these less than mainstream devices, and usually ends up offering them at pretty compelling price points. The Grand X is no slouch by any means, and should be a solid mid-range offering for many customers.

Source: FCC; Via: PhoneScoop

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4 years ago

Round-up: Android games on holiday sale

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Happy holidays, everyone! Got some time off and looking to unwind or get away from the Christmas chaos? There a bunch of solid Android games that have steep price cuts, and we've rounded some of them up for you here. Go on, treat yourself to a few - you deserve it. Of course, if you spot anything else that's on sale, don't be shy about dropping a comment!

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4 years ago

Stuff your stocking with Android Central, Christmas Day edition

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Right. It's Christmas Day, and the gifts just keep on coming in our Stocking Stuffers contest. Want to win a $10 Google Play Gift Card? Here's all you have to do: Leave a comment on this post. Tell us the coolest thing you got this holiday season. That's it. Get a new tablet? New phone? New puppy? Fruitcake? Nutcase? Crazy horse? Tell us all about it, and you'll be in the running for $10 of free apps, movies, music, magazines and TV shows.

And don't forget -- all 31 of our daily winners will be entered to win a free Nexus 4, which we'll pick just as soon as we've got 31 winners.

Good luck!

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4 years ago

Merry Christmas from Android Central!

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From all of us here to all of you out there, we wish you the most splendid of holidays. Here's hoping each and every one of you found a little bit of Android with a bow on it today.

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4 years ago

Rom Manager updated, now you can download flashable zip backups to your computer

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If you use Rom Manager to manage your flashing habit and curate all your CWM backups, you're going to want to take a look at the latest update. Beside the theme fixes for older devices, there is a new feature that plenty of folks are going to find useful -- a backup server built right into the app.

It's not just any backup server though. There are plenty of options out there to browse the files on your phone or tablet via Wifi. What Rom Manager is doing provides an extra handy service -- it transforms the backup files into a flashable zip file that you can flash back to your device (or any device) from ClockWorkMod Recovery.

Granted, it's always been possible to pull and share CWM backups, but the new Rom Manager update takes the confusion away and makes it easy for everyone to pull a backup file that's ready to flash, without worrying about the right folder structure or location. As Koush says, this is the first version so there may be a few quirks in it. Be sure to report any of these you may run into back to him. I just tried it, and what I'm seeing works exceptionally well. Give it a go yourself with today's update. 

Via: +ClockWorkMod

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4 years ago

The Nexus 7 giveaway winners list is here

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You might remember that we hooked with Google last week and set up some giveaways for Nexus 7 tablets and Google Play gift cards. That's the kind of awesome stuff we do around these parts, and spreading the Android love around is something we enjoy. Anyhow, back to those giveaways.

We went through the forums threads and picked out our winners, and here they be.

Congrats all around! Keep an eye on your inboxes, as I'm going to need to know where to send the Nexus 7s. Thanks everyone for entering, and keep an eye out for more big contests. 

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4 years ago

HTC One S getting its Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update with Sense 4+

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Not sure that pushing out OS updates on Christmas Eve is the wisest of moves, but we're not going to knock them either. HTC's following in Motorola's footsteps today, pushing out the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update for the international One S. The 612-megabyte update (jeez, that's big) brings the software version up to 3.16.401.8 (for those of you keeping track at home).

Bullet points for the update include:

  • Android 4.1.1 and HTC Sense 4+
  • Enhanced UI with better performance in Camera
  • New landing page and event/map view in gallery
  • Power management improvement

We're installing now. This sucker's big.

More: HTC One S forums; thanks, @SebasB37!

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4 years ago

Original Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX receiving Jelly Bean OTA update

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It's a Christmas Eve miracle! Seemingly out of nowhere, the original Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX are pulling down an OTA update to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Several different users in our forums are reporting that their handsets are (often slowly) downloading a very large update, and being greeted with Jelly Bean goodness when they reboot. We don't have any official support documentation from Verizon yet, but it doesn't get much more official than updates currently being downloaded.

So are any of you seeing the update hit the notification bar of your RAZR or RAZR MAXX? Head to the forums and let us know.

Source: Droid RAZR Forums; Droid RAZR MAXX Forums; Thanks, Sean!

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