S Voice APK now fixed for non rooted users plus a slew of other apps pulled from the Galaxy S III available now

by Robert Nazarian on
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As we reported, S Voice was pulled from the Galaxy S III over the weekend, but unfortunately stopped working when Samsung (or Vlingo) blocked any non Galaxy S III phone from the server. Yesterday we told you about a fix for rooted users, but now the APK has been re-built with the proper credentials to trick the server into thinking you have a Galaxy S III. This means its now open to all again.

There’s more good news because more treats were pulled from the Galaxy S III, which include Accuweather, stock analog clock, stock digital clock, wallpapers, the video player, and more. You have to love XDA!!! Hit the break for all the download links.

» Read the rest

Verizon Confirms What We Already Knew: Certain Smartphones Will Be Updated For Global Use

by Roy Alugbue on
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Verizon Wireless has finally let the cat out of the bag. After previously seeing a hint that some of its devices would be turned into global handsets, Big Red has gone out and confirmed well… some of its devices would be turned into global handsets. It mentions certain devices will receive special software updates which would allow them to connect to GSM networks outside of the U.S. The specific devices that have SIM cards and will receive the update are the HTC Rezound, Motorola DROID RAZR, DROID RAZR MAXX and DROID 4.

Once owners of those devices receive the update, it should be a fairly straightforward process to use your phone abroad. All you need to do is add on a global plan to your existing service and slap on the new SIM in your host country and you’re in business.

source: Verizon Wireless

The One X and Galaxy S III are top dogs for now but will become goats when Jelly Bean arrives

by Robert Nazarian on
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There’s no question that right now the top two phones to buy are the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S III, but they won’t be so popular 6 months from now. It won’t be because better handsets will be released, it’s more about Android version updates or lack thereof. Both phones come with Ice Cream Sandwich onboard, and for now seem like the latest and greatest. A little later in the year, Android 5.0 Jelly Bean will be announced and the SDK will be released. This will probably take place in October, and unfortunately neither of these phones will see Jelly Bean until at least March/April 2013. If you’re in the U.S. the prospects are even more dismal. So for now everyone is enjoying their new greatness, but come November, the crying and complaining will begin about why their phone isn’t getting updated.

In case you’re thinking that things will be different, unfortunately we go through this every year, and to be honest, things aren’t getting better, they’re getting worse.

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HTC’s Bluetooth Music Adapter Now Available, Works with Most Bluetooth Enabled Devices

by Stacy Bruce on
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I am not sure if you remember hearing about HTC’s cool new Bluetooth Music Adapter that was announced at this years Mobile World Congress. If not, it’s this great little dongle that allows you to wirelessly stream music to an auxiliary input on any stereo that has a 3.5mm headphone jack and is finally available for purchase. What’s great about this little guy is that although it is made by HTC, it is not limited to HTC devices only. Since it uses Bluetooth it should work with any device that has Bluetooth connectivity and will eliminate the need for that annoying audio cable while driving or playing music at home. Simply plug the dongle into your car or home stereo’s auxiliary input and stream away! It will even auto-pair with select HTC smartphones and tablets.

The dongle supports A2DP as well as CSR aptX so music will sound much better than Bluetooth audio has sounded in the past. Sporting a microUSB port for charging, the dongle’s 85 mAh battery is rated at 5 hours of play time and will last 120 hours on standby. It also has a handy power-off feature that will activate after the device remains idle for a set period of time. Retailing for $59.99, you can order one right now from Sprint and have it delivered to your house in only a couple of days. I called my local Sprint store and ordered one so be on the lookout for a review in the near future. In the meantime, if you want to get one for yourself click through the source link below to place an order. This is going to be one handy accessory for those of you who use your Android device as a music player.

Thanks Kevin!

source: Sprint


Samsung Galaxy Note Gets London Olympic Treatment

by Roy Alugbue on
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In some understandable excitement and pride for the upcoming Summer Olympics, Samsung has come up with a rather stylish special edition of the Samsung Galaxy Note phablet. Samsung will commemorate the summer games with the upcoming special edition of the device by including an alternate UK flag-covered back in the box. Plus Sammy will even throw in a donation of £1 to an Olympic-funding charity each time it sells one of these custom Notes.

The Olympic-themed G-Note will be sold exclusively through O2 UK in a special bundle. The bundle will include the “win a Team Samsung experience” in with each phone, though you’ll need to act before Thursday, May 24th.

source: Samsung UK
via: Gizmodo UK

Telus Set To Drop The Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Perhaps Looking Ahead To Galaxy S III’s Arrival

by Roy Alugbue on
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The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is to this date one of the best Android phones available today. So it’s surprising that Canadian mobile carrier Telus has decided to prematurely retire the pure Android device. It’s reason for doing such a thing? Well— it’s not exactly certain, but there’s increasing speculation that the mobile carrier is clearing the path for a certain smartphone featuring S Voice. The move makes sense too as Telus pulled a similar move by pulling the Nexus S smartphone when the Galaxy S II arrived in the past. It is also presumed the Nexus line of smartphones have had a harder time being adopted by the mainstream, despite it being a true Google device. Perhaps the Samsung Galaxy S III will have more recognition and a bigger base for Telus customers. Still, you can’t help but feel surprised and/or sadden by the end of the run by the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

source: Mobile Syrup

Samsung Galaxy S III Gets Its First Taste Of Custom ROM Goodness, Mouths Water Everywhere

by Roy Alugbue on
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Well that certainly didn’t take long. While the Samsung Galaxy S III still has yet to arrive in stores, we have certainly been treated in the last few days. We’ve already seen everything from the complete firmware of the device being available to .apk files such as S Voice being extracted– but now we have some even more exciting news. The developer community has done the inevitable and successfully created the first custom ROM for the device. This newly born ROM is actually created off a former community-collaborated ROM based off Android 4.0.4 build XXALE8 (build as of May 13th, 2012). More importantly, the new ROM is completely deodexed, rooted and zipaligned. Huzzah!

As previously mentioned— the Galaxy S III has yet to be released, so the ROM is understandably untested as of now. But hey— any custom ROM is a good ROM, right gang? Since we know you’re interested in seeing more details of this achievement, be sure to hit the source link for more information.

source: XDA Forums

ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 gets minor update

by Robert Nazarian on
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If you own an ASUS Transformer TF300, you might want to check for an update since one has taken place over the weekend. It’s software version and it’s still based on Android 4.0.3. This is a minor update that brings stability improvements and some sort of enhancements or bug fixes to the camera and WiFi. Most users are reporting a better and smoother experience.

You’re probably going to have to check for this one manually. Hit the Settings / About Tablet / Software Updates and see if you can grab it. Let us know if you received it and if you’ve noticed any particular improvements or fixes.

If you don’t own a TF300, don’t forget to enter Week 2 of our Transformer Pad Prize Pack giveaway for a chance to win the TF300, a matching keyboard dock, a Logitech controller, and a Jambox speaker.


China Says OK For Google To Buy Motorola As Long As Android Stays Free And Open For 5 Years

by Ed Caggiani on
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We just heard about China finally approving Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, but now we learn that in order to get China’s approval, Google had to promise to keep Android open and free for anyone to use for at least the next five years. There’s no reason given for this request but it stands to reason that China wanted to make sure that Motorola wouldn’t be given special treatment over other Android manufacturers. This is interesting since Google has never given any indication of not keeping Android open and free. They’ve actually said just the opposite.

It makes sense, though, for China to want to ensure Android’s continued openness since Chinese manufacturers and carriers often build heavily customized versions of Android on many devices, and this assurance from Google would keep their gears turning for some time.

The Google buyout of Motorola Mobility hasn’t closed yet, but the Chinese condition won’t slow it down. Google assures everyone that their stance has not changed and they will keep things running as they are. A Motorola spokesperson stated “we are pleased that the deal has received approval in all jurisdictions and we expect to close early next week.

There’s no reason to believe Google has any plans to change the way they handle Android. Why fix what isn’t broken?

source: wall street journal
via: the verge

Samsung Mobile Chief Open To Cross-Licensing Deal With Apple

by Ed Caggiani on
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Apple and Samsung are set to meet May 21st for settlement talks, and Samsung’s mobile head JK Shin is sounding optimistic that talks can be fruitful, though he does warn that there’s still a lot they are not seeing eye-to-eye on. At the Seoul airport on the way to the U.S. talks, Shin told reporters the following:

There is still a big gap in the patent war with Apple but we still have several negotiation options including cross-licensing.

This is definitely a softening of the language used by Shin in March when he promised “no compromise.” It’s hard to believe tomorrow’s talks will end in rainbows and unicorns.

When asked about the 4G chip shortage Samsung is currently experiencing, Shin said it was expected to continue until early in the fourth quarter of this year, meaning some time in October. This could be a big problem as the LTE-capable Galaxy S III is on the horizon in the United States and could be forced to use other vendors’ 4G chips to keep production numbers up.

source: reuters
via: engadget