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Google working on experimental 3.8 Linux kernel for Android

Google working on experimental 3.8 Linux kernel for Android

Kernel version

Google has opened a public kernel repository, marked as experimental, for the Linux 3.8 kernel. The kernel repo is built from the standard Linux kernel, with Android modifications added by the folks in Mountain View working on the Android project.

The reason this is good news? 3.8 includes three important and interesting changes for mobile devices -- support for open source NVIDIA Tegra and Samsung ExynosDRM drivers, support for theFlash-Friendly File-System, and a lower memory footprint -- in some cases much lower. Having native support means less development time by Google or anyone else building the kernel for Android, and everyone loves more memory for apps instead of the system.

It's important to realize that this is by no means official support.Currently, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean ships with the 3.4 kernel on the Nexus 4, but versions 3.0 and 3.3 are supported as well for other Jelly Bean devices. Maybe we'll see 3.8 in the next version of Android.

Source: Phoronix

Via: Google working on experimental 3.8 Linux kernel for Android

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE now available from U.S. Cellular

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE now available from U.S. Cellular

Android Central

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 isn't a new device, but the LTE version continues to find new homes. This time out, the news comes from U.S Cellular who today is making the 16GB version of the device available for purchase for $499.99, when paired with a data plan of 2GB or more. Not a small amount of money by any means, but if you want a 10-inch tablet with pen input, the Note 10.1 is still the way to go. The tablet is available to purchase both online and in retail stores.

Previously U.S. Cellular has offered the WiFi only Note 10.1 for sale, but adding the LTE version now brings the carriers LTEdevice portfolio up to 11.

Picking one of these up? Be sure to jump into the comments below or into the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 forums

U.S. Cellular Launches The 4G LTE-Enabled Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Portable, lightweight tablet is available online and in stores, delivering premium productivity and creative capabilities
CHICAGO (February 27, 2013) U.S. Cellular (NYSE: USM) and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the United States, announced the 4G LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is now available in U.S. Cellular stores and at The 16GB Galaxy Note 10.1 is $499.99 when paired with a plan with 2GB or more of data.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 joins U.S. Cellular's innovative line-up of 4G LTE devices that includes the Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Note II and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Customers who purchase the Galaxy Note 10.1 from U.S. Cellular receive benefits no other carrier offers, including a valuable rewards program that recognizes customer loyalty.

"The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 makes it easier to get more work done and stay connected while you're away from the office, and enhances the moments you share with your family too," said Edward Perez, vice president of sales and marketing operations for U.S. Cellular. "Its speed and performance are even better when backed by the 4G LTE network, which delivers data up to 10 times faster than 3G."

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1's integrated S Pen offers users with the precision of a pen and the control of a mouse. With S Pen, users can take meeting notes, personalize emails, edit documents and more. The S Pen can also be used as a tool for PC-like shortcuts and to preview content simply by hovering. There's also a multi-window capability to browse the web, check emails, watch videos and work on office documents at the same time. The Galaxy Note 10.1 includes a free preloaded version of Adobe Photoshop Touch and 2GB of free file storage in Adobe's Creative Cloud. Consumers and artists alike can use Adobe Photoshop Touch to create presentation graphics, works of art, or simply modify photos. With the S Pen, it's a breeze to cut away layers or paint new backgrounds.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 also includes Samsung's Smart Remote, leveraging a universal remote control application and integrated infrared (IR) blaster to optimize TV watching experiences. Control any TV from your Galaxy Note 10.1 and get a personal guide that makes it easier to find something everyone wants to watch.

With the powerful Android 4.1 operating system, users can browse swiftly and smoothly through apps and all of the functions and features of the Galaxy Note 10.1. Google Now sends automatic and real-time notifications such as traffic alerts, sports scores and weather bulletins customized to the user's location and interests. Google Voice Search allows you to get search results on-the-go by simply speaking the question directly you're your phone.

Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
Quad-Core, 1.4 GHz Exynos processor, 2 GB RAM
16GB internal storage
5 megapixel autofocus rear-facing camera
1.9 megapixel front-facing camera

U.S. Cellular, in partnership with King Street Wireless, currently offers 4G LTE service covering 61 percent of its customers in select cities in Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. By the end of this year, 87 percent of U.S. Cellular customers will have access to 4G LTE speeds. For more information about the 4G LTE experience, visit

Via: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE now available from U.S. Cellular

Google+ Photos app coming to Chrome, developer gives us a peek

Google+ Photos app coming to Chrome, developer gives us a peek


A new Chrome app is in the works, and developerFranois Beaufort has let the cat out of the bag and shown the world a quick peek at Google+ Photos.

Nicknamed "Pulsar" the app is powered byNative Client technology and is gives you the ability to upload and share photos from Google Chrome. For now, Beaufort warns the app is broken (we can't get it to open on our Chromebook Pixel running the latest Chrome stable build, but it does install), but he's shared a few pictures showing a good bit of the UI.

Two of the features are mentioned specifically are automatic selection of the best shots and automatic import when inserting a memory card or plugging in a camera. It's a great example of what a full Chrome app might look like, and lets us know Google still has plans for ChromeOS.

If you're interested in checking out the source, you'll find it at the link below. Be sure to jump through the break to see the screenshots.

Source:+Franois Beaufort

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Via: Google+ Photos app coming to Chrome, developer gives us a peek

Google+ sign-in coming to apps and web

Google announced today that it is rolling out Google+ sign-in support for both apps and the web, giving users one-click login to third party services with their G+ account. Technically called "application sign-in", this new feature will replicate what many are used to with plain old Google sign-in, but now with enhanced features that come along with Google+. Similarly to the way sites and apps can now authenticate you with your Facebook or Twitter accounts, Google+ will now be an option when visiting sites that have integrated the service.

You get all of the perks of having site credentials tied to your Google Account, as well as the improved sharing functions that come along with Google+. When sharing from an app that has the service integrated, people that see the post on Google+ will be able to directly act on the item you shared -- for example sharing a radio program from TuneIn Radio will give a direct "listen" button right in the post, or sharing a listing on Open Table will give a button to view the restaurant's menu. This is very similar to the way Google already integrates app installs and music purchases into Google+ posts.

Developers that use Google+ sign-in on the web will also be able to offer users their Android apps directly from their own website, with a pop-up "install" screen that looks identical to the one found on the Play Store. About a dozen different sites are on board with this initial launch of the new application sign-in, with more on the way. It will be interesting to see how many apps take advantage of the new Google+ sign-in option and sharing improvements.

Source: Google Developers Blog

Via: Google+ sign-in coming to apps and web

LG showcasing wireless Ultra HD transmission technology at Mobile World Congress

LG showcasing wireless Ultra HD transmission technology at Mobile World Congress

Android Central

Android Central at Mobile World Congress

Last month's CES over in Las Vegas had a whole lot of 4K Television news. After HD, comes Ultra HD, and with it some pretty amazing looking TV sets with an amazing price to match. If you were sat there wondering; "when will I be able to push my smartphone content to one of these," then wonder no longer. Over in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress, LG is showcasing what they're saying is the world's first wireless Ultra HD transmission technology.

It's pretty much as simple as it sounds. Wirelessly transmitting content from a smartphone, to a 4K TV in real time. Further more, LG claims the technology consumes less than half the power of some other wireless transmission technologies. You'll find the full release after the break.

SEOUL, Feb. 25, 2013 LG Electronics (LG) will showcase its industry-leading Wireless Ultra High Definition (Ultra HD) Transmission technology for the first time at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013 in Barcelona. This exciting next generation mobile feature enables users to view games and other smartphone content on Ultra HD TVs in real time, via wireless data transfer.

Thanks to our innovative Wireless Ultra HD Transmission technology, users can now enjoy their favorite mobile content on todays most advanced Ultra HD TVs, said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. With the development of this cutting-edge technology, LG again confirms its industry leadership in the area of display and mobile convergence for a truly enjoyable viewing experience.

Wireless Ultra HD Transmission technology makes the delivery of smartphone multimedia content to TVs faster and smoother than previous mobile video compression and transfer systems. With minimal lag and data loss, LGs next generation mobile feature performs this feat using ubiquitous WiFi connections. During transmission, multimedia content is automatically adjusted to match the receiving TVs screen resolution, resulting in flawless visuals.

Whats more, LGs Wireless Ultra HD Transmission system consumes less than half the power of other similar transmission technologies. It achieves this by reducing the burden on the smartphones CPU and other hardware resources.

Visitors to MWC can see this technology for themselves at the LG Booth in Hall 3 of Fira Gran Via from February 25-28.

Via: LG showcasing wireless Ultra HD transmission technology at Mobile World Congress

Qualcomm announces Gobi chipset with LTE Advanced and Carrier Aggregation

Qualcomm announces Gobi chipset with LTE Advanced and Carrier Aggregation


Android Central at Mobile World Congress

Qualcomm, well known for both its radio chipsetsand processors, is announcing today that its latest Gobi chipsets -- the MDM9225 and MDM9625 -- are capable of LTEAdvanced and Carrier Aggregation for higher data speeds. Carrier Aggregation (which isn't what you'd think) is a technology that allows the LTE radio in a device to pull down data across multiple bands of spectrum. This means that a device could simultaneously receive data over two (or more) different frequencies, combining it to give data speeds similar to what it would be over a larger chunk of a single frequency. For example, if a carrier has deployed 10MHz of spectrum in one frequency and 10MHz in another, the chip could combine those two and give users the same experience as if the carrier had deployed 20MHz of continuous spectrum in one band.

This is some nerdy radio stuff, but the end result is very important. There's a lot of spectrum out there, but it's not always allocated to each operator in the most efficient way. As networks transition between older 3G technologies and LTE, the spectrum may not be allocated in complete 20MHz blocks for use by a single network. These new Qualcomm chips let devices connect to these disjointed bands simultaneously.

These new MDM9x25 chips are manufactured using a 28nm (nanometer) process, and offer LTEAdvanced with downlink speeds up to 150mbpson top of extensive 2G and 3G (includingDC-HSPA+)support all in one chip. The process has already been shown off inside of a Sierra Wireless mobile hotspot, and Qualcomm says that OEM partners began sampling the chips in November of last year to make it into consumer products in late 2013.

Qualcomm Technologies Announces First 4G LTE Advanced Embedded Connectivity Platform for Mobile Computing Products

-- Newest Addition to Gobi Embedded Platform Increases LTE Data Speeds up to 150Mbps, Supports Carrier Aggregation, Provides Additional LTE Bands Worldwide --

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), today announced the industry's first 4G LTE Advanced embedded data connectivity platform for mobile computing devices, including thin form factor laptops, tablets and convertibles. The technology, based on Qualcomm Technologies' Gobi chipsets -- the MDM9225 and MDM9625 -- is the first embedded, mobile computing solution to support LTE carrier aggregation and LTE Category 4 with peak data rates of up to 150Mbps.

The introduction marks the arrival of Qualcomm Technologies' third-generation 4G LTE embedded chip, extends Qualcomm Technologies' modem technology leadership in mobile computing, and promises to deliver the fastest 3G and 4G LTE connections worldwide, while offering the broadest multi-region coverage via a single SKU solution. PC OEM customers can now select from a broad ecosystem of embedded module vendors that support a range of Gobi chipsets, from 3G solutions with speeds up to 42Mbps to cutting-edge 4G LTE Advanced. Coupled with new and innovative pay-as-you-go, no contract data plans, these products enable thinner, lighter and better connected mobile computing devices running leading operating systems such as iOS, Android, Windows 8 and Windows RT, and support a variety of modules for thin form factors, including PCI Express Mini Card, PCI Express M.2, and Land Grid Array. The Gobi MDM9x25 embedded platform also includes an embedded GPS receiver with GLONASS support for enhanced asset tracking, turn-by-turn navigation and other location-based services. Additionally, the Qualcomm RF360 Front End solution, providing expanded active band support integral to Qualcomm Technologies' single SKU LTE World Mode solution will also be included.

"Our broad portfolio of Gobi chipsets -- including 3G 42Mbps, 4G LTE and 4G LTE Advanced -- features industry-leading LTE multiband support for seamless connections to the fastest networks worldwide," said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies and co-president of Qualcomm Mobile Computing. "This latest addition can be easily implemented across enterprise, SMB and consumer industries allowing end users to download and stream rich HD content, access enterprise applications, share large files quickly and connect virtually wherever they are in the world."

Qualcomm Gobi MDM9x25 chipsets began sampling to module vendors last November and will enable commercial device launches in the second half of this calendar year.

"Fujitsu's mobile computing portfolio is adapting to meet the changing needs of today's workers. In addition to new and innovative form factors, connectivity is increasingly important, which is why we rely on Qualcomm Technologies' Gobi technology," said Akira Nagahara, senior vice president, Personal Systems Business Unit, Fujitsu Ltd. "Gobi modems enable us to offer the fastest LTE connections our customers demand across a range of devices, including the latest Fujitsu hybrid tablets and convertible laptops."

"Qualcomm Gobi embedded mobile broadband connectivity is a compelling solution for users of our ThinkPad laptops, further enhancing wireless access options to offer connection virtually anywhere" said Dilip Bhatia, vice president and general manager, ThinkPad, Lenovo. "As the leading worldwide commercial notebook vendor, we're devoted to continually improving our products and thrilled to be bringing our customers even faster LTE connections thanks to Qualcomm Gobi's newest connectivity platform."

"Integrating Qualcomm Gobi technology into our industry-leading family of Toughbook mobile computers provides tremendous flexibility to our multi-carrier, multi-national customers by dramatically simplifying the ordering process and delivering an all-in-one solution for fast and reliable connectivity worldwide," said Victoria Obenshain, vice president, wireless, for Panasonic. "Today's global business environment demands flexible connection options and the ability to access the fastest 3G or 4G network regardless of your location."

"Huawei mobile broadband modules and data cards featuring Qualcomm Gobi technology are enabling business and consumer applications around the globe," said Steven Lau, vice president of mobile broadband product line, Huawei Device Company. "With the Qualcomm Gobi embedded platform now supporting LTE Advanced, we'll be able to offer our customers even faster and more versatile connectivity options worldwide."

"Fast and reliable 4G LTE connectivity is more important than ever as we expand our product portfolio to include embedded computing solutions," said Dr. Junhong Du, chairman, Longcheer. "As a Qualcomm Technologies customer, we count on Qualcomm Gobi technology to deliver our module customers the industry's best and most advanced mobile broadband connections worldwide."

"We congratulate Qualcomm Technologies with this first-to-market launch," said Rob Hadley, chief marketing officer, Novatel Wireless. "The latest Qualcomm Gobi platform with LTE Advanced and carrier aggregation supports the evolution of mobile broadband solutions delivering advanced technology and very fast connectivity. The latest Gobi 9x25 platform will enhance our ability to bring the most advanced mobile broadband devices to the market and deliver the experience to connect seamlessly, anywhere, any time."

"Sierra Wireless is committed to offering its customers leading-edge wireless technologies to support the best possible performance for their devices and applications," said Dan Schieler, senior vice president, mobile computing, for Sierra Wireless. "Working with Qualcomm Gobi technology enables us to offer the fastest LTE mobile broadband speeds with higher data rates and support for carrier aggregation to improve performance as network operators move to LTE Advanced networks."

"The need for faster and more versatile mobile broadband connectivity has never been greater and we're excited to be working with Qualcomm Technologies to provide LTE Advanced support in the next-generation of USB modems, embedded modules, and mobile hot spots from ZTE," said Ding Ning, vice president, ZTE Corporation. "Business travelers and consumers alike will benefit from the consistently fast and reliable data feeds these products will deliver on Gobi technology."

Via: Qualcomm announces Gobi chipset with LTE Advanced and Carrier Aggregation

Hands-on with the LG Optimus Pro flip cover and wireless charging puck

LG Optimus G Pro.

It only makes sense that the LG Optimus G Pro, which bares a striking resemblance to another 5.5-inch Android phone/tablet mash-up, should also ape a few accessories along the way. The G Pro does precisely that with its own flip cover, which we took a look at this morning at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Android Central at Mobile World Congress

The flip cover -- well, it's a flip cover. It replaces the battery cover on the G Pro, then wraps around the front of the phone, starting at the hinge. There's a cutout for the home button, and the volume rocker is still accessible through the hinge, with little indicators to show you where it is.

The flip cover comes in number of colors and textures, and they're a nice addition to the Optimus G Pro.

LG Optimus G Pro Accessories.

We also got a look at LG's wireless charging puck. It's a simple affair. It lies flat on a desk, and the phone goes on top of it. That's it. It's not specific to any phone, so as long as you've got something that's Qi-compatible, it should work. It's a different animal than, say, the wireless charger for the Nexus 4 (another LG product, but Google's baby), and it's a perfectly viable option.

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Via: Hands-on with the LG Optimus Pro flip cover and wireless charging puck

Snapdragon BatteryGuru (Beta): is better battery life really just an app install away?

Snapdragon BatteryGuru (Beta): is better battery life really just an app install away?

Snapdragon BatteryGuru

Qualcomm has seemingly out of nowhere released Snapdragon BatteryGuru, an app to help users with devices that have Snapdragon processors make the most out of their batteries. The app has some pretty lofty promises, and with support from the same manufacturer as your processor you'd hope that it would be able to help with battery life a notable amount.

So can Snapdragon BatteryGurusolve the battery woes on your new phone? Hit the break and see our results.

Android CentralAndroid Central

The Snapdragon BatteryGuru will only install on (you guessed it) Snapdragon-powered devices. Luckily with the popularity of the S4 Pro in the recent months, that's a whole lot of phones. I let the app have a go at improving the battery life on my stock Nexus 4. The tutorial when first opening the app gives you a pretty good idea of what the BatteryGuru plans to do. It explains that your phone has dozens of apps constantly syncing to the internet, sometimes unnecessarily, and it can help manage that syncing to improve battery life.

Once you exit setup, you'll see a notification hit your status bar indicating that the app is "In learning mode", and it will notify you when the battery savings start. The idea is that Snapdragon BatteryGuru will "watch" how you use your phone -- which apps are open most often, whether you use Wifi, etc. -- and adjust the sync settings of individual apps accordingly. After 2-4 days (ours popped up in 2), the app will let you know that it has learned all it can, and it is ready to save your battery life.

At this point there's actually nothing to do. The app will continue on its merry way, saving you battery without any user intervention. We would think that because this is an app made by the processor manufacturer that it would be able to offer more than the average battery-saver app, but we're not so convinced that this is the case. On the surface, it seems that the only thing BatteryGuru is doing is changing the sync interval for individual apps, which is always a double-edged sword.

Android CentralAndroid Central

We must admit that in our few days of anecdotal testing, the battery did seem to last longer on our Nexus 4 than it did before installing the app. The other thing we noticed is that we were not getting push email alerts from Gmailanymore -- which is not a good thing. Although I check my Gmail dozens (okay, maybe hundreds) of times a day, BatteryGuru still made the decision to lower its sync interval to save battery life. This is fine for an app like Words With Friends because I really don't need to know when someone makes a play that exact second, but for apps like Gmail and Google Talk, this isn't a good idea.

Thankfully, you can go into BatteryGuru's settings and manually override the interval it has chosen to sync for each app it has access to. The problem being that it's not exactly clear if this will always be the case, or if at some point the app will choose to turn off sync again. For the most important push notifications, I want to be completely certain that I'll receive them.

If you're someone that doesn't always need 100-percent push alerts for items like Gmail, Skype and Google+, and have a Snapdragon-powered device, then BatteryGuru can probably add a bit of a buffer to your battery life. If you absolutely need to have certain apps syncing right on time, then I'd be weary to completely trust this app to manage the sync intervals for you. Go give it a shot at the Play Store link above, and let us know how it works for you.

Via: Snapdragon BatteryGuru (Beta): is better battery life really just an app install away?

From the Editor's Desk: Welcome to Barcelona

From the Editor's Desk: Welcome to Barcelona

Phil Nickinson

We're back, once again, for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. This is my fourth year here. And like previous years, this one appears poised to present its own challenges as well as opportunities to showcase new tech.

Android Central at Mobile World Congress

On one had it's easy to look at the schedule, what we know is coming -- and what we think we know is coming -- and shrug it off. HTC, usually the highlight (or at least one of them) at MWC, has already announced its flagship for 2013 in the HTC One. Samsung's not expected to do the Galaxy S4 for a few more weeks, though it did already drop the Galaxy Note 8.0 on us. (And it did so on a day usually reserved for travel and/or accidentally leaking devices on the sides of buildings.)

So what's left to look forward to? LG's going to roll out a slew of new devices. ASUS always brings something interesting. And I'm curious to see where things stand with Mozilla and its Firefox OS, which we've played with before. Ubuntu may get the nerd credit, but it's Mozilla that's set to have the first dedicated hardware. It's not Android, specifically, but it's set to take on Android in emerging markets. So my interest is piqued.

Plus, Mobile World Congress moved to a new venue this year. I'll sorely miss the view of the Fira de Barcelona, with the towers at the entrance and the castle looking down from the hill. But the Gran Fira(just a train change and another stop down the road) promises better logistics, we're told, and is a much newer, more modern venue. So we'll see if that makes up for whatever majesty is lost.

And the food. Oh, the food and wine in Barcelona. If you can ever get the chance to come here and gorge on tapas for a few nights, I highly recommend it.

Before we get to work this Sunday -- yes, there's a lot of stuff going on today, on the eve of the actual show -- a few more thoughts on recent events.

  • So Falcon Pro has run up against Twitter's API token limits. As I wrote on Google+, this should surprise exactly no one. Twitter announced six months ago that this is how things would work going forward. Petitioning Twitter to change its mind now is futile. It's simply not going to happen. The time to speak up was last year, when the API changes were announced. And by "speak up" I mean quit using Twitter, and encouraging others to do so as well.
  • Interesting take from developer KoushikDutta, on how the limits are actually a good thing, placing some actual value on Twitter apps. I agree that it's a good thing for developers. But I'd argue that it's a good thing for good developers. Separating the wheat from the chaff isn't a bad thing. But there's a much higher barrier for entry now for anyone looking to develop a Twitter client. And we've already seen some promising apps essentiallybe cast aside because of it. (See Boid, Tweet Lanes.)
  • From an end-user perspective, though, Twitter's heavy-handedness still sucks. But it's also a really interesting business model. Build up a free service, attract everyone to use it, then lock it the hell down.
  • For the record, I've gone this entire column without mentioning DashClock Widget. Until now.

That's enough for this week. It's work time here in Barcelona. Enjoy.

Via: From the Editor's Desk: Welcome to Barcelona

Slingshot Racing brings one-touch steampunk bobsledding to Android

Slingshot Racing for Android

An absolutely fantastic racing game called Slingshot Racing hit Android today, and I couldn't wait until our next Apps of the Week to tell you guys about it. Players are thrust into steampunk-style world where, for some reason or another, bobsled racing is a big thing. Instead of manually steering as one usually does in racing games, players have to instead tap, hold, and release the screen to deploy grappling hooks to the nearest spinning pivot point and slingshot around the bend. Timing is critical, and with competitors muscling for rank, it can get pretty intense. The best part about the control scheme is that it enables four people to play locally on the same device, which is a ton of fun.

All sorts of game modes are available, including the standard time trial, another where you have to collect cogs, and one where you have to flee for as long as possible from a nasty chomper. The graphics in Slingshot Racing are full of character, and there's no shortage of replayability. Pick this one up for a mere $0.99 - trust me.

Via: Slingshot Racing brings one-touch steampunk bobsledding to Android

Google looking to launch subscription music service later this year

Google looking to launch subscription music service later this year

Google Play music

According to sources of the Financial Times, and corroborated by The Verge's own sources, Google has been talking to music labels about licensing deals for a subscription music service to launch in the third quarter. Play Music (then Google Music)has only been around since May of 2011, and only received notorietywhen several major music labels finally signed on to sell music in the Play Store. If these new deals pan out, Google could be looking to offer a montlhy paid subscription music service for users that would prefer not to purchase individual tracks, with a free tier that offered unlimited play but with advertising.

If Google was able to extend its existing licenses to a subscription streaming model, it could take the likes of Spotify and Rdiohead-on, furthering the amount of compelling content available in the Play Store. Details on the deals are sparse at this point, with the launch window still up in the air. The best indication right now is the third quarter of this year, but things could certainly change.

Source: Financial Times; Via: The Verge

Via: Google looking to launch subscription music service later this year

Android 4.2.1 update for international Galaxy S3 leaks

Android 4.2.1 update for international Galaxy S3 leaks

Galaxy S3 Android 4.2.1Galaxy S3

Frequent firmware leaker SamMobile has just released what it believes is a build of the Android 4.2.1 update for the international (i9300) Samsung Galaxy SIII (S3). What we're looking at here is someone testing the new firmware -- Android 4.2.1 JOP40D -- that has chosen to give a system dump for others to try. It looks like many of the new features such as lockscreen widgets and Daydream are included, but this is certainly not final firmware.

SamMobile has re-packaged this firmware into an ODIN Flashable file that other users with the device can try out if they wish. There are of course risks involved, above and beyond the binary counter being increased and the device reporting as "modified" when running the firmware. If you're interested, you can give it a look at the source link below.

Source: SamMobile

Via: Android 4.2.1 update for international Galaxy S3 leaks

LG Optimus G finally arrives in Europe, enhanced and improved along the way

LG Optimus G finally arrives in Europe, enhanced and improved along the way

Android Central

Sometime after the initial launch of the LG Optimus G, Europeans are finally getting a chance to sample it for themselves. We'd previously heard rumors that the Optimus G would be available in European territories before the end of Q1, and low and behold here it is. Better yet, the Optimus G has been 'enhanced and improved' during its long voyage to Europe.

The big news is of course that the Optimus G now ships with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean on board. For whatever reason, LG decided to ship the Optimus G -- essentially the same hardware as the Nexus 4 -- on Ice Cream Sandwich, but that's old news now at least as far as prospective European customers should be concerned.

With the Jelly Bean upgrade, the Optimus G receives the usual Google flavored treats such as Google Now and Project Butter, but LG has thrown in a couple of goodies too. QSlide, which allows users to use multiple applications at once as transparent layers on top of each other is included, as Safety Care and Privacy Keeper.

Initially the Optimus G will go on sale in Sweden sometime before the end of the month, soon to be followed by other markets including France, Germany and Italy. Despite being somewhat overshadowed by the Nexus 4, the OptimusG is still one whole heck of a phone. The full press release can be found after the break.


Optimus G to Captivate European Consumers with Upgraded OS and Additional UX Features

SEOUL, Feb. 22, 2013 LG Electronics (LG) rolls out its most advanced smartphone, Optimus G, in Europe this month with features that have been enhanced since the de-vice first launched in select markets at the last quarter of 2012. LGs well-received smartphone makes its European debut in Sweden this month followed by other Europe-an markets, including France, Germany and Italy.

Since the successful initial launch of Optimus G, LG has continued to improve the smartphone to offer better usability and value for our customers, said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. Were excited to be bringing to Europe the improved Optimus G, our most powerful Quad-Core device optimized for 4G LTE networks.

The European Optimus G will feature Googles latest Android Operating System, Jelly Bean 4.1.2, to provide the most premium user experience for European customers. LGs superb True HD IPS Plus display together with Zerogap Touch technology will make its debut in Europe in the Optimus G. LG applied its new Zerogap Touch technology to the True HD IPS Plus display to offer not only the sharpest and most vivid display but also the smoothest, most sensitive touch experience on a smartphone today. All this comes to life with stunning clarity and crisp, natural color on the vibrant 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 IPS display protected by scratch resistant Gorilla? Glass 2.

LGs original Optimus G UX received positive feedback from customers and the en-hanced UX is expected to be even more popular with its additional user conveniences, such as:

QSlide: Upgraded for 2013, the QSlide function allows users to operate multiple applications at the same time, as transparent screen layers as opposed to side-by-side frames. The size, position and transparency of the QSlide screen can be ad-justed according to the users preference. In addition to the included video play-er, QSlide now works seamlessly with the included browser, memo, calendar and calculator apps.
Safety Care: Safety Care provides real-world assistance by automatically send-ing location information to user-designated persons via text messages in certain situations such as when emergency services is dialed, when the phone goes un-used for a certain length of time and after the user has ended a call with a desig-nated contact.
Privacy Keeper: Privacy Keeper allows users to hide a callers information such as the name, number and photo in an incoming call. The callers infor-mation can be viewed by swiping the icon on the screen.

Additional features such as Google Now, Filmstrip View and Expandable Notification will also be available in the enhanced Optimus G. Google Now offers personalized information in real-time whenever its needed. Filmstrip View simplifies the viewing and deleting of images and Expandable Notification allows users to see more notifications at a glance and preview certain content directly in the notification area.

Via: LG Optimus G finally arrives in Europe, enhanced and improved along the way

Financial Times gets onboard with BlinkFeed on HTC One

Financial Times gets onboard with BlinkFeed on HTC One

HTC One BlinkFeed home screen

The meat of HTC's new home screen experience in Sense 5 is the BlinkFeed -- a vertical-scrolling feed of news, social updates and other relevant info. This includes content from leading news organizations, and today the Financial Times has confirmed that it's onboard with BlinkFeedsupport on the recently-announcedHTC One. As is the case when reading on the web, selected FT content will be available for free, but access to everything will require a subscription.

At Tuesday's press conferenceHTC boasted that it had more than 1,400 outlets supported within BlinkFeed, as part of the curatedexperience it's offering through the HTC One home screen. The presence of FT content is a plus for BlinkFeed, but that pesky paywallstill stands in the way of full access to FT content.

For more on the Sense 5 home screen, BlinkFeed and the rest of the HTC One, check out our hands-on preview.

Via: Financial Times gets onboard with BlinkFeed on HTC One

HTC One Otterbox cases in the works

HTC One Otterbox cases in the works

HTC One Otterbox

Sure, the back half of the HTC One is made of metal, but the front half is all glass, baby. And both of them could use some protection. One of the early entries in the HTC One case department is the venerable Otterbox, which has a trio of shells in the works. The cases actually are several layers of protection, with polycarbonate shells combined with rubber internals that cushion your HTC One as much as protects it from outright blows. There's a screen protector, too, if that's your thing.

On the left here you see the Otterbox Defender Series with RealtreeXtra Green camouflage pattern. For those times that your phone has to go incognito and keep from being seen by furry woodland creatures, we suppose.

In the middle is the more traditional HTC One Defender Series case from Otterbox. Same bad-ass protection that'll go over a little better in the boardroom, we suppose.

And on the right is the Commuter Series case for the HTC One. It's toned down a little bit, still offering a great deal of protection, but without being mistaken for a tank.

The Otterbox line for the HTC One starts at $59 for the Realtreecase, $49 for the traditional Defender Series and $34 for the Commuter Series. You can leave your e-mail with Otterbox at the links below to be notified when they're available.

Source: HTC One Defender Series with Realtree; HTC One Defender Series; HTC One Commuter Series

Via: HTC One Otterbox cases in the works

SwiftKey hits version 4, brings 'flow' gesture typing to the best text prediction engine on Android

SwiftKey hits version 4, brings 'flow' gesture typing to the best text prediction engine on Android

SwiftKey 4

The folks at SwiftKeyhave made a hell of a good keyboard for Android phones and tablets. They've garnered numerous awards for it, from names like the GSMA, Fast Company, and our very own Editor's Choice awards for two years running. We're on record saying it's simply the best all around predictive text keyboard money can buy. There's a reason SwiftKey has sold over 2,000,000 copies and has over 70,000 5-star ratings in Google Play.

When they debuted their beta versions of SwiftKey Flow, which incorporates swiping gestures into the keyboard, folks fell in love with it all over again. It was a swiping keyboard, with great autocorrect and personalized predictions that seemed to read our minds.

SwiftKeyhas finalized things and they have released SwiftKey 4. It's on sale for $1.99 (it's normally a $3.99 app) if you don't already have SwiftKey, and it's a free upgrade for everybody who has already purchased. SwiftKey 4 incorporates "the flow" on top of the great features we're already using, and it just works. Ask anyone who has been using the beta builds -- you want this keyboard. Grab it from the Google Play link above, or install the tablet version from Google Play here.

SwiftKey 4 Best-Selling Android App Revolutionized with Innovative SwiftKey Flow Gesture Typing

SAN FRANCISCO -- February 20, 2013 SwiftKey 4 launches today on Google Play with smarter features that make typing on a touchscreen faster, easier and more accurate. Available now at the promo price of $1.99 and as a free upgrade for existing users, the new release features a unique take on gesture typing called SwiftKey Flow.

SwiftKey Flow combines the mind-reading capabilities of SwiftKeys personalized autocorrect engine with the speed of gliding your fingers across the screen. This revolutionary approach to continuous input begins predicting words from the moment a user touches the screen and goes on to predict their next word when they let go. A unique feature called Flow Through Space also makes gesture typing more powerful than ever before by allowing users to enter entire phrases simply by gliding to the space bar between words.

SwiftKey 4 adds to everything that has made the app a bestseller since first launching in 2010. Users can still tap to type, the app constantly learns a users style to ease the frustration of entering long words and users can further personalize predictions by granting access to their Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, SMS or blog posts.

Everyones had embarrassing autocorrect moments, said Ben Medlock, SwiftKey co-founder and CTO. Thats why we built SwiftKey to understand the context of words, not just their spelling. It works from the word go to adjust to you from the phrases you write to how you touch the screen. It means you dont have to worry about typing, it does all the hard work for you.

The new features in SwiftKey 4 include:

  • SwiftKey Flow - blending SwiftKeys mind-reading next-word prediction and autocorrect with the speed of gesture typing
  • Flow Through Space - lets users write entire sentences in one motion without ever having to lift their finger to add a space
  • Support for contextual prediction across 60 languages - with new support for Albanian, Bosnian, Javanese, Sundanese, Thai and Vietnamese, all with dynamic auto-correction and next word prediction
  • Easier corrections - tap on a word and SwiftKey 4 will move the cursor to the end of the word and offer two alternatives
  • Personalized typing style - whether you write inaccurately with two thumbs or more carefully using a single finger, SwiftKey 4 now automatically adapts to how users type to provide more insightful corrections and prediction

Beta versions of the app have been tested by more than 200,000 SwiftKey fans over the last 11 weeks, with more than 2.4 billion characters flowed. A No.1 best-selling app on Google Play in 38 countries, SwiftKey is available in 60 languages and counting. For more information about SwiftKey, visit

About SwiftKey

SwiftKey was founded by Cambridge University graduates Jon Reynolds, CEO and Dr Ben Medlock, CTO in August 2008. With a growing team of over 90 people, the company is based in Southwark, London, UK.

The companys technology makes typing much easier on touchscreen devices, powering the text entry experience with intelligent natural language technology. This is seen in the flagship SwiftKey keyboard app on Android, which launched in September 2010. The app understands how words work together to give much more accurate corrections and predictions than other keyboards. It can even predict a users next word as they type and also powerfully learns over time to make typing easier and even more accurate. Users can personalize SwiftKey using Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, SMS or their blog posts.

In the last year, SwiftKey won a Peoples Voice Webby Award for Mobile Experimentation and Innovation, Most Innovative App at the GSMA awards at Mobile World Congress and has also been recently named one of the top 10 most innovative companies in the world by Fast Company. Its bespoke product for clinicians using touchscreens, SwiftKey Healthcare, is currently shortlisted for Best Mobile Health Product or Service at the 2013 GSMA awards and last year won the Best Enterprise Appster at the Apps World conference.

Via: SwiftKey hits version 4, brings 'flow' gesture typing to the best text prediction engine on Android

This week's sidebar poll: Which U.S. carrier will you be getting the HTC One on?

This week's sidebar poll: Which U.S. carrier will you be getting the HTC One on?


HTC is billing the HTC One as the best smartphone available today. CEO Peter Chou said as much, and it's evident he believes it. We can't argue with anyone who agrees. It's packing an all-new next generation chip with the Snapdragon 600, has what looks to be an excellent camera, and amazing screen, and a sexy all aluminum chassis. The software side looks plenty innovative as well, and I can't wait to try out the Zoe features. In short, we know plenty of you guys and gals will be picking this one up.

Since the majority of our readers (hey, that's you!) hail from the United States, this week's sidebar poll is about US availability. Verizon was notably absent from the race to tell us all that we can buy an HTC One soon from our carrier's stores. We're not reading a lot into that by the way -- Verizon will be Verizon and do their own thing in their own time and the HTC One may show up there, Droid name in tow. Or it may not, and they end up with something completely different. Wait for an announcement before you blow a gasket.

Having sad that, we want to know who you plan on buying your HTC One from if you're going to buy one. When we have questions that only you folks can answer, we run a poll. Find it in the sidebar to the right, or just click past the break.

Via: This week's sidebar poll: Which U.S. carrier will you be getting the HTC One on?

Samsung launches WiFi only Galaxy Camera, promises better affordability

Samsung launches WiFi only Galaxy Camera, promises better affordability

Android Central

Samsung has added another device to its ever growing portfolio, and this time it's a minor -- very minor -- change to the Galaxy Camera. Until now, the Galaxy Camera has only been available to purchase with a cellular radio inside, and cellular radios always add something to the price of a device. Today Samsung announces the launch of a WiFi only variant of their connected camera.

Other than the lack of a radio, everything else about the Galaxy Camera remains intact. You still get a pretty impressive 4.8 inch HD display on the back, with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Touchwiz Nature UX on there, and a quad-core processor inside making everything hum along just nicely. Samsung promises that the WiFi only Galaxy Camera will be more affordable than its LTE capable counterpart, but fails to provide an actual price at this time. Or any availability information. But, we're sure we'll see this appear in the coming days and weeks.

More: Samsung Galaxy Camera review

Source: Samsung

Via: Samsung launches WiFi only Galaxy Camera, promises better affordability

Announcing our Valentine's Day contest winners

Announcing our Valentine's Day contest winners

Android Central

Back at the beginning of the month we decided to have a monster Valentine's Day contest.Now that it's closed, we're amazed at the response, and loved going through all the pictures. It's great putting a face to the names, yaknow? Valentine's Day has come and gone, and Mrs. Nickinson has picked out a mess of winners. Since everyone wants to know if they won, here's your lists.

Winners of the Grand Prize (one Nexus 4, one Nexus 7, two t-shirts)

  • justinbristoe
  • marc9569
  • fastnasty
  • JCfromtheBAY

Because there were so many great entries, we also picked eight runners-up, who will get a pair of t-shirts:

  • AxlMyk
  • mishie
  • apcyork
  • Phoenix Rev
  • borgdog
  • thamenacing1
  • luigi1285
  • tmbarta

Congrats to everyone, and a big thanks for entering. If you're a winner, be sure to check the inbox of the email you used to register here at AC. We need a little information abut where to send the prizes. Stay tuned for more great contests from the best damn Android site on the Internet.

Be sure to read through the break and check out the Grand Prize winning pictures.


JCfromtheBAY'swinning entry


fastnasty's winning entry


justinbristoe's winning entry


marc9569's winning entry

Via: Announcing our Valentine's Day contest winners

LG finally reveals Optimus G Pro specs, price, availability

LG finally reveals Optimus G Pro specs, price, availability

LG Optimus G Pro

Android Central at Mobile World Congress

Update: LG expects to begin rolling out the new Optimus G Pro in overseas territories including the U.S. during the second quarter.

LG technically officially announced the Optimus G Pro for the Korean market a few days ago, but now we've got all of the gritty details on the device. As we saw before, the new device will sport a full HD 1080x19205.5-inch (that's 400 ppi) display, with seemingly tiny bezels. Under that screen will be a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (SDcard expandable) and a removable 3,140mAh battery with wireless charging support. We're looking at 13MPrear and 2MP front cameras, LTE connectivity and shipping software of Android 4.1.2 with LG's latest UX customizations.

The press release indicates availability of "next week" for the Korean market. Pricing is quoted at 968,000 won, which with a quick currency exchange calculation is just shy of $900 (although that's not always indicative of eventual U.S. pricing). The Optimus G Pro will be on display at MWC in just a week, so you can bet we'll have our hands on one soon.

Source: LG

Via: LG finally reveals Optimus G Pro specs, price, availability