Download: New Android Market 3.4.4 Shows Significant Speed Improvement And More

by Joe Sirianni on
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Hot on the heels of a previous update back in November to 3.3.11, the Android Market is yet again receiving another noticeable one, now rendering the version at 3.4.4.  So what’s new?  While we’re still exploring all the new features of the update, some quick differences stand out.  One such improvement is the overall speed of the application.  It’s definitely faster than it was before as well as being smooth and crisp during navigation.  Another update includes a setting for the auto-adding of widgets to your home screen.  And note “widgets” not “app icons’ which appears to be in place of “auto-add shortcuts”.  It’s a tad confusing in my opinion but as always, Google often has a method to the madness.  According to a member over at Android Police, there is a point to be made:

As ZZ points out, “I think it’s because in ICS, what used to be known as ‘Shortcuts’ are now simply 1×1 widgets. If you notice ‘old’ shortcuts like Direct dial, etc. now live in the Widget folder. This change is simply for consistency moving forward.”

This explanation makes sense, though Google could have been smarter about the naming convention for devices that don’t yet have Ice Cream Sandwich.

So, for now, enjoy the update as we dig a little deeper to find all of the gems and tidbits Google included.  You can download the new version after the break.  And as always, don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below.   » Read the rest

Plants vs. Zombies Finally Lurks its Way into the Android Market, Brings Peggle Along for the Ride

by Stacy Bruce on
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Up until today, the only way you could get Popcap’s smash hit, Plants vs. Zombies, on your Android device was through the Amazon Appstore. It seems that Amazon had exclusive Android rights to the game before the Android Market could get a hold of it, but today that is old news as Popcap announces the availability of Plants vs Zombies and Peggle in the Android Market.

Both games are available now and can be downloaded for $2.99 through one of the download links below. If you are new to either of these games, let us know what you think.

Plants vs. Zombies – North America / Rest of World



Peggle – North America / Rest of World



LG Prada Formally Unveiled, Ready To Strut Its Stuff

by Roy Alugbue on
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Remember when we told you about that high-end designer phone last month? You know, the one we mentioned would be out sometime in 2012? We have some exciting news for you all. The LG Prada 3.0 has formally been unveiled and is ready to take to the runway. The phone is much more than its attractive exterior too. Inside you’ll find the the dual-core OMAP 4430 processor clocked at 1GHz, that gorgeous 4.3-inch screen and a not-too-shabby 8MP camera inside. Oh and you’ll find the elegant custom UI running atop Gingerbread 2.3.7 powers the device. This device tickle your fancy yet? Hit the break to see the full press release and details of the phone. » Read the rest

[Leak] Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for the Samsung Galaxy S II (I-9100)

by Robert Nazarian on
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Well what do we have here? It looks like an early build of Ice Cream Sandwich for the International version of the Samsung Galaxy S II (model I-9100). The build date is December 7 and it’s based on Android 4.0.1. For those of you wondering if TouchWiz will continue to play a part with ICS, the answer is yes. Checkout the source link if you’re interesting in flashing.

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[via sammobile]



T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II Gets Update, Fixes Caller ID, Battery and Wi-Fi Calling

by Stacy Bruce on
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The awesome T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II is getting a nice update today, bringing the device up to Android 2.3.5 and software version T989VUVKL1. The update brings improvements (“enhancements”) to caller ID, battery life, and Wi-Fi calling. T-mobile says that this update is not required, but why would you want to pass up on device enhancements?

The update is FOTA (Firmware Over the Air) and should appear as a notification when your device is ready. For further details hit the source link below.

[via T-Mobile Support]



Sony Walkman Z stops by the FCC, Could be destined for the U.S.

by Robert Nazarian on
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We got a glimpse of the Sony Walkman Z a few months ago, but it was only slated for Japan. It looks like the U.S. might get a little love as well as it just passed through the FCC. This is Sony’s answer to the iPod Touch. Basically it’s an Android device without the cellular radio so its WiFi only. We already have the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0, and I don’t see either of these setting the world on fire. Pricing will be the issue for the Walkman as it will start around $350. The Galaxy Player 5.0 is priced at $269 while the Galaxy Player 4.0 is priced at $229. Either way, it’s always nice to see more choices which is what Android is all about. If you want to see a preview video, checkout this link.

[via fcc]


Limited-Edition Toy Soldier Android Collectible Goes On Sale Today

by Roy Alugbue on
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It’s Christmas time, so why not give your loved one an Android? No, we’re not talking about an Android device silly— we’re talking about giving Android toy soldier. This pint-sized warrior– from Dead Zebra Shop, will be available today at 11AM EST. Quantities are limited of course, but don’t fret– there’s a second batch of limited-quantity toys to go on sale at 11PM EST as well. Oh and for all of you who prefer to buy in bulk– keep in mind you’re only limited to 2 per address. Everyone needs a chance to buy the sweet toy, right?

[via Dyzplastic]

Verizon to Release Galaxy Nexus Tomorrow, December 15th?

by Stacy Bruce on
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So, the latest leaks from Verizon insiders have us wanting to belive that tomorrow, Dec. 15, is the day Big Red will finally launch the Galaxy Nexus. This isn’t the first time we have heard this date, and we have seen Costo leaks showing the same thing.

Now, obviously something can still change, as it has many times in the past,  but we just wanted to keep you up to date with the latest GNex release rumors. If and when this info changes, we will let you know ASAP.

[via Engadget / Android forums]

Day 9 Of Google’s 10 Billion App Download Celebration, 10 New Apps For 10 Cents Each!

by Robert Nazarian on
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I can’t believe we’re already on day 9 of the big 10 cent sale. Yesterday brought us more repeats, but a total of 12. It looks like we’re back to 10, but only one repeat, SwiftKey X. We only have one more day folks so get your downloads on.

Is Your Sensitive Data Securely Managed With Google Wallet?

by Jack Holt on
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Even with the more and more handsets becoming capable of NFC transmissions, most them have yet to see Google Wallet. At least officially that is. I say officially because the folks at XDA brought Google Wallet to the Nexus S in an unofficial capacity. Even the Galaxy Nexus on Big Red’s network may not see it. However we should Google Wallet on more and more phones over time and NFC transactions becoming more commonplace. As this app becomes more common the question that is begging to be asked is, can you trust this or other NFC transaction apps with keeping your most sensitive data secure? Well according to a new report, yes and no.

Given identity theft and credit fraud are running rampant in this technological day and age you would think that your credit card number would be stored with the utmost security, and well, yes, Google Wallet does just that.  The app records these numbers only to the NFC chip’s secure storage area and not even a rooted phone will release that information.

The problems that could occur deal with the other bits of data that are still accessible. If an attacker were to get access to your phone, be it physically or through malware, they could learn the last four digits of your credit card number, your name, email, and card expiration date. This, coupled with a record of transactions you’ve made, and that stored data seems ripe for the picking by anyone wanting to make an identity theft attempt.

Given that we are moving closer and closer to our phones and devices being the way we do everything, we store almost all our data on our phones as is. Google should do its very best to encrypt all this data to make identity theft harder. Although Google knows that we trust them with our lives and if anyone could keep our secrets safe it definitely would be Google. So while this may or may not be overblown it’s still good to know what’s secure and what’s not. Hit the break below to get a link to both an overview and in depth view on how this was tested. So what do you think? Are you ready to trust Google with your financials yet? » Read the rest