Sunday, April 15, 2012

Update - 246

Posted: 18 Mar 2012 04:31 PM PDT
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If you are a custom ROM user and CyanogenMod fan, we have good news for you. The CyanogenMod 7.2 RC1 (Release Candidate) has just been released, and is available for 69 devices.
If you are new to this, a Release Candidate is a ROM version that is considered mostly ready for use. There will be a few bugs and issues here and there, but the ROM is at its final stages and should be stable enough to use as a daily driver.
No, this is not based on Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. The CyanogenMod team has added some improvements and fixes from the Android 4.0 software, though. Aside from this, there are many bug fixes and new features included. One of the most important fixed issues is the vanishing ringtones from the SD-card.
As it goes with such topics, there is the usual disclaimer. Flashing a ROM requires root access and may harm your device and/or void your warranty. Please be careful and do your research before performing any of these tasks, as the responsibility will fall on your hands if anything goes wrong.
With that said, head over to CyanogenMod’s site to see the list of supported devices, as well as the equally long changelog. If you are still ready to enjoy CM 7.2 RC1, head over to their mirror network to download the files. Happy flashing!
[Source: CyanogenMod]

Posted: 18 Mar 2012 03:54 PM PDT
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HTC has changed its strategy this year. The refreshed idea is that the Taiwanese manufacturer will have fewer, better devices. And Mobile World Congress was the take off point, with HTC announcing the HTC One X, One S and One V. Said smartphones were among the most important highlights in Barcelona, and UK customers are now able to pre-order two of them.
The UK popular retailer phones4u has recently updated its website. It now has pre-orders available for the HTC One X and One S with the carrier and plan of your choice (Orange, O2 and Vodafone).
If pre-ordering devices is not your thing, you might be lured by the fact that they are throwing in and HTC Medialink with every pre-order. This nifty device will allow users to stream their content to their TV. And for free, this is a no-brainer if you were planning on getting one of these devices already.
If interested, our UK readers might want to go over to phones4u to pre-order their HTC One X or HTC One S. It might also be important to note that Best Buy US already has the HTC One XL (AT&T variant of HTC One X) for pre-order. Is anyone signing up for an HTC One device?
[Via: Talk Android]

Posted: 18 Mar 2012 03:17 PM PDT
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A notable issue with today’s powerful smartphones is battery life. Android (and other) devices have not exactly provided users with the best battery performance. Especially once those 4G devices started being released. But, are users willing to stick to 4G until battery technology improves, or would they simply stick with 3G devices until then.
Granted, we no longer have much of an option – unless we want to personally turn off those 4G radios. The fact is that once I turn off 4G and rely on 3G networks, my battery life almost doubles. Am I satisfied? Definitely not. But I have grown accustomed to the idea of using my Powerbag, extended batteries, external chargers and constantly charging. All of this in order to keep the blazing LTE speeds that haunt my battery life. I would no longer go back to 3G.
According to a recent J.D Power study, 4G users are much less satisfied with their devices, in terms of battery life. While still substantial, the numbers are not outrageous, though. In a scale of 10, 4G-enabled smartphones were ranked at 6.1 in satisfaction, while 3G devices were higher at 6.7.
Said numbers were determined by users’ claims. And the general consumer may not exactly have an idea of 4G and its consequences. Hell, many iPhone users believed that the iPhone 4 was a 4G device. But that is another story. Battery life highly depends on the manufacturer and the type of 4G. The latter currently holding its position among one of the most discussed topics in the industry – What is real 4G?
Regardless, technologies like LTE and WiMAX are known to be battery hogs. While others (like HSPA+) are more of an enhanced 3G and provide a more energy-efficient experience. It is safe to assume that a good percentage of the surveyed population may not know the difference. And isn’t exactly unsatisfied with 4G, but with smartphones, over all.
But even after considering these factors, devices connected to battery draining networks are improving substantially in this department. We are seeing devices like the Motorola DROID RAZR Maxx, with a whopping 3,300 mAh, and much longer battery life. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is also said to be much better than past devices. Most recently released LTE devices almost match (or surpass) the battery life of last year’s 3G devices.
These arguments leave us wondering just how much the 4G factor affects the customer’s satisfaction. In an attempt to better understand the phenomena, it would be great to see how our readers see this subject. Do you guys mind losing some juice in exchange of speeds up to 10 times faster? Do you prefer sticking with HSPA+ for now? Please participate in the poll, and hit the comments to share your opinions.
Take Our Poll
[Source: J.D. Power Via: The Verge]

Posted: 18 Mar 2012 02:00 PM PDT
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ZTE is not necessarily your Android manufacturer of choice, but they offer affordable devices. Those not willing to pocket out many Benjamins for a smartphone now have another option – the ZTE Score M from MetroPCS.
It is the same low-end ZTE Score that Cricket released last year. The device comes with 600 MHz processor, a 3.5-inch display, Android 2.3 and a 3.2 MP camera.
The device didn’t manage to get any great reactions last year, and it definitely won’t in today’s market. But the $50 price point (after mail-in rebate) might be enough to convince new smartphone adopters and pocket-conscious individuals. It could also be a good device to give to your children.
“There is an increasing number of consumers that see how the functionality of a smartphone will enhance their lives, but still may not be prepared to commit fully to a costly device. Working with MetroPCS to offer these customers the ZTE Score M will allow them to have the smartphone experience at an incredible value.” – Lixin Cheng, ZTE USA CEO
Considering the options, even within MetroPCS, we don’t see many of these flying off the shelves. But another option is always good. Would any of you consider a device like this?
[Source: MetroPCS Via: Android Guys]

Posted: 18 Mar 2012 01:33 PM PDT
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If you have been looking for a good VoIP application to use with your tablet, this may be the one that hits the note. Bobsled (by T-Mobile and Vivox) has recently released a new Honeycomb optimized application, bringing all its services to the larger display.
For those that haven’t heard of it, Bobsled is a free VoIP service that uses Facebook as its backbone. You can make calls, leave voicemails and send messages. And if the user is not a Bobsled subscriber, everything gets re-directed to Facebook. But users will also get the messages or calls in their Android or iOS device, if available.
The application also allows users to call landlines and mobile phones in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico. Facebook won’t keep everything private. If the social network isn’t exactly deserving of your trust, you can still take advantage of regular calls. And Bobsled-to-Bobsled calls are also available with high-definition audio, making this app a bit more enticing.
If you want to check out how the service works with your tablet, simply head to the Google Play Store and try it. Are any of you current Bobsled users? What VoIP service do you prefer?

[Via: Android Police]

Posted: 18 Mar 2012 01:02 PM PDT
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Google TV has taken some time taking off, one of the main reasons being that it is focused on the US market. The company has plans on rolling out its smart TV services internationally within 2012. The exact date is unknown, but those looking for any clues should take the new Google TV international apps as good news.
The Search Giant has just released a flurry of international apps to bring US residents closer to their home countries. The list includes Asian channel PPTV, Yupp TV, Raaga and Crunchyroll. As well as Al Jazeera app (Arabic), IslamBox and Euronews.
Those that feel like they are missing out on their country’s content can now head straight to the Google Play Store and download these TV applications. But if you are out of the US, you will still have to wait a bit.
These international applications could be a good sign that Google is set to release Google TV internationally soon. It has already been stated that this is a plan slated for 2012. Release dates and markets are not yet announced, but we can expect major markets like Asia and Europe to be included.
For now, let’s stay tuned for more details. We might hear some good news regarding this matter during Google I/O. And if you are in the US, go ahead and enjoy your new apps.
[Source: Google Via: GTVHub]

Posted: 18 Mar 2012 12:09 PM PDT
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Sony seems to be getting ready for the real battle. After the Japanese manufacturer acquired Ericsson’s mobile department, it has been substantially improving and investing in its Android products. And it seems like the company is preparing a nice high-end device for all the NVIDIA fans out there – the V150.
A new benchmark has showed up in NenaMark, displaying what could be the next Sony high-end device. Said data displays that it comes with a 1.4 GHz Tegra 3 quad-core processor, Android 4.0.3 and a 1280×752 display.
The device comes up with a 59.70 NenaMark score. To give you an idea of how good that is, the ASUS Transformer Prime averages at about 50. And that tablet is quite the beast. This V150 model will surely bring some good competition to the table.
While nothing is for sure yet, we are assuming that this will be a tablet. Probably the successor to the Sony Tablet P. The Tablet P has recently seen a good price drop. Whether the company is trying to make room for a new product, or the Tablet P just didn’t sell, we will have to see. But this device sure looks promising, and could be a good stepping stone for Sony’s brighter future.
[Source: NenaMark Via: Engadget]

Posted: 18 Mar 2012 10:49 AM PDT
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The Galaxy S III rumor train is going at full throttle right now. Sprint customers might be waiting to hear about another device, though. Especially those HTC fans who have been begging for some more details about the HTC One X. And the latest rumor affirms that HTC’s high-end device is to be released by Sprint on June 10th.
The rumor comes from S4GRU and their sources. which claim the device is now codenamed HTC “Jet,” internally. And it will be Sprint’s third LTE device, after the Galaxy Nexus and LG Viper. The sources did not specify that this was the recently announced HTC One X, but all the specs match. More specifically, the HTC One X is the only unveiled HTC device to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor, with NFC capabilities. Both of which are included in the “Jet’s” details.
Here are the rumored specs for the HTC Jet:
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core processor (Krait)
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 4.7-inch Super LCD 1280×720 display
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 2
  • CDMA 1X, EV-DO Rev 0/A/B (UE category 3)
  • LTE Band class 25
  • NFC, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n and bluetooth 4.0
Sadly, like the AT&T version (HTC One XL), these rumored specs do not include that Tegra 3 quad-core chip. Something US customers have been disappointed about. But the new S4 chip should do the trick for most users. Unless you really want that Tegra 3 optimized gaming.
Another factor to wonder about is the name. We know HTC has been planning to simplify its model line-up philosophy. Simpler names and less devices are part of the plan. But HTC has a history with Sprint and the EVO line. Not to mention that the rumored June 10th release date is close to both major members of the EVO family – The HTC EVO 4G and EVO 3D.
Speculations have started taking their course, and many believe that this will be yet another EVO device. Regardless, let’s wait and see how it all turns out, and let’s not forget that salt dosage. Even if these rumors happen to be legit, June 10th is a long way from today. Details and plans could change in that time. But what do you say? Are you more excited about the Galaxy S III or the HTC One X?
[Via: S4GRU]

Posted: 18 Mar 2012 10:29 AM PDT
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All Canadian readers, you may want to check oot this offer from TELUS, giving you two months of unlimited data fro $5/month. It also looks like the activation fee will be waived off.
[via mobilesyrup]

Posted: 18 Mar 2012 10:08 AM PDT
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Did you manage to demolish your smartphone while playing catch with it? Or maybe tried one of those drop test comparisons that went awry? No need to just throw it in the bin (in fact, NEVER EVER do that) or keep it in a drawer collecting dust. You can salvage some money for it on
While they accept devices with any degree of wear and use, from mint to completely dead, I’ve found that if you’ve got something that’s in a usable condition, you are probably better off selling your devices somewhere else. Their process is three step:
  1. Get a quote online
  2. Ship the device to them
  3. They’ll pay you the promised amount on PayPal or by check, as long as you haven’t overstated the condition of the phone.
They’ve been featured in several places, including The New York Times, CNET, Wired, etc. You can get more details on their site over here.
If you have used their service before, or another similar one, do share your experiences with us in the comments.
[via Operation Android]

Posted: 18 Mar 2012 07:09 AM PDT
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Yet another questionable friend of a Samsung employee has posted this image on Reddit, and went on to give some rather juicy details about it. There’s not much to say, other than "we can’t verify that this is the real deal".
Backstory: I am using a throwaway and I’m not going to disclose ANY information about his job because it could jeopardize it. He sent me this picture (I know, he shouldn’t have used the flash but i guess we will take what we can get). Ok he gave me some specs as well. He said that it will possibly have two optional launchers, ICS with touchwiz overlay and vanilla ICS. They aren’t 100 percent sure if they will stick with touchwiz or have the dual launcher option. If they go dual, you will have the option of picking which one to use at startup, and you can change any time. He said it has a 4.7 inch screen that nearly takes up the whole phone, but some bezel space was needed for the camera, , speakers, mic, and so cases would fit on it. He said it WILL be HD and have a ceramic “micro arc oxidation” back.
He said the processor is a quad core exynos (spelling?) 4412. The screen is Super Amoled Plus with HD. The camera is a 12 megapixel with flash. 2 gigs of ram. And it is exactly 8 millimeters thick, and no bump this time around, just “smooth”. 2250 milla-amp/hour battery, but no wireless charging.
Thanks, Colton Kaiser.
[Reddit via SuperTechBlog]

Posted: 18 Mar 2012 06:48 AM PDT
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Finished feeding Om Nom, you’re favorite candy-loving monster, in Cut the Rope? Good news for you, then, because the sequel to the cross-platform blockbuster game is now available on Google Play, after a day of exclusivity on the Amazon Appstore. All devices that are on Donut or up (that’s 99.6% of the platform) can get their hands on it for 99 cents.

[Google Play via The Verge]

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