Sprint Launches StarStar Me, a vanity number service

In this age when people hardly ever remember new numbers longer than the time it takes to put it in a phone, Sprint has started a service to change that. StarStar Me will allow subscribers to assign a new dial code to their phone that starts with two star signs and then a name or number, **SARAH in the picture. This service costs $2.99 and also provides “custom text messages when they’re busy, as well as a unique way to share links to their blog, website or social media accounts.” There is an app available now to accompany the service that helps manage calls and automate text messages. Hit the break for the full press release.

US House Committee Reports Indicates ZTE & Huawei Pose Major Security Threats In The US

 

Looks like there’s an emerging issue going on between two Chinese manufacturing giants here in the US. ZTE and Huawei have each been targeted by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee and may pose a major risk to U.S. security. According to a report based off an 11-month investigation of each company, the U.S. panel found both Huawei and ZTE each failed to satisfy its requests for documents, including detailed information about formal relationships or regulatory interaction with Chinese authorities and the Chinese government. In addition, the special panel found it received credible allegations from “unnamed industry experts”, as well as current and former Huawei employees suggesting Huawei in particular, may be guilty of “bribery and corruption, discriminatory behavior and copyright infringement”. The major goal of the investigation and subsequent report was to essentially find “long-term security risks supposedly linked with Huawei and ZTE’s equipment and service”.

Naturally each manufacturer is not the least bit happy with the U.S. Government’s assertions. ZTE expressed its disappointment by highlighting “profoundly disagrees” with the claim and  “ZTE should not be a focus of this investigation to the exclusion of the much larger Western vendors“. Huawei spokesman William Plummer added “baseless suggestions otherwise or purporting that Huawei is somehow uniquely vulnerable to cyber mischief ignore technical and commercial realities, recklessly threaten American jobs and innovation, do nothing to protect national security, and should be exposed as dangerous political distractions from legitimate public-private initiatives to address what are global and industry-wide cyber challenges“.

Boy oh boy this may get a little messy, especially considering we’re looking forward to some sweet superphones from the manufacturers this year. Here’s hoping we see some sort of resolution sooner than later.

source: Yahoo News

Rovio Announces Angry Birds Star Wars Game, Will Ride The Death Star Into Gamers’ Devices On November 8th

 

Can’t get enough of your Angry Birds fix, young Jedi? Well you’re in luck because Rovio has announced its Angry Birds Star Wars game that is due to arrive in November. The game will feature the standard Star Wars locales from the deserts of Tatooine to the depths of the Death Star, giving players many chances to channel their inner Luke Skywalker. This game is set to take the Angry Birds franchise to new heights as Peter Vesterbacka, CMO of Rovio claims it will be “the best Angry Birds game we’ve ever done“.

The game will hit the Play Store and Amazon Appstore on November 8th— but in the meantime, Rovio promises to tease us by releasing various screenshots and trailers highlighting the games well, awesomeness. You’ll find additional information once you hit the source link below. And remember friends, may the force be with you.

source: Rovio

Reports on Android 4.2 with Project Roadrunner, updated Google Now, and Customization Center apparently false

Last week Android and Me originally broke the story that the soon to be released Android 4.2 would feature a Customization Center, an updated Google Now, and Project Roadrunner. Just like that, they have retracted the story saying it was completely false. On the good news front, it looks the like the rumors about the LG Optimus G Nexus, or whatever they are going to call it, appear to be true as well as some some sort of Android 4.2 update.

source: androidandme

Ready-to-flash official Jelly Bean ROM’s for certain HTC One X’s available

Gotta love leaks right? Looks like several leaks of HTC’s upcoming Jelly Bean ROM for the HTC One X has been leaked and ready for flashing for certain One X’s with the supported CID’s. These ROM’s are based on the One X+’s firmware and features Android 4.1.1 with Sense 4+. If one of these CID’s matches your device, then you’re lucky as you are able to give it a shot!

  • cidnum: HTC__001
  • cidnum: HTC__E11
  • cidnum: HTC__203
  • cidnum: HTC__102
  • cidnum: HTC__405
  • cidnum: HTC__Y13
  • cidnum: HTC__A07
  • cidnum: HTC__304
  • cidnum: HTC__M27
  • cidnum: HTC__032
  • cidnum: HTC__016
  • cidnum: HTC__J15

Any brave flashers wanna give this a shot? Let us know how it is!

source: XDA

O2 UK launches “Bond Phone” Xperia T variant

Last month we reported that the UK carrier O2 would have rights to release the exclusive “007 James Bond Skyfall branded Sony Xperia T phone. The phone is now available through O2 priced from free at £36 per month on O2’s “On & On” tariff.

While the device is identical to the normal Xperia T in the outside, the exclusive bond phone comes pre-loaded with Bond-themed ringtones, wallpapers, “screensavers” and geo-tagged photos from the production of the upcoming 007 movie Skyfall.

source: O2

“Adru Dark” by Gen Android charger coming on October 11th

Quite possibly the coolest charger I’ve ever seen would have to be this “Andru Dark” charger made by Gen. It features Android’s cool little figurine, but this time donned in all black with red “evil-like” eyes. Definitely a cool accessory to have if you love collecting Android collectibles. Andru Dark features a stand (which doubles as Andy’s feet), light-up eyes that glow red when charging and amber when on standby, movable arms and a 1.2 meter cable.

While it may not be on the cheap side at $25, it’s more or less the same price as chargers you buy at wireless carrier stores. Thus, if you plan on overspending on a charger at a carrier store, might as well grab this one right?

You can purchase this product starting October 11th, but if you’d like to know a little more about it you can actually check out our review of the green version right here. Links to purchase and a video demonstrating the product will be available after the break!

GFC approves ASUS Padfone 2 with LTE

ASUS fans have been eagerly awaiting October 16th to roll around as ASUS is scheduled to unveil the new Padfone 2 device. Originally thought to be on target for a 2013 release, the “Save the Date” announcement from ASUS was a pleasant surprise for those hoping the Padfone 2 will live up to the hype left by the original version. We have already seen the new device will have a quad-core processor based on AnTuTu benchmark scores. A leaked photo thought to be the device seemed to reveal some additional specs.

At least one of those specs, LTE capability, appears to be confirmed after the Padfone 2 showed up on the Global Certification Forum web site. U.S. buyers will be disappointed as the LTE bands listed correspond to Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Good news for consumers is those areas, although a U.S. LTE version is probably close behind.

source: GFC
via: Unwired View

AT&T cuts return and service cancellation window to 14 days

AT&T has long been praised for its lengthy return policy for new devices and service contracts, but that’s all coming to an end. The company has revealed a new policy via its official website, shrinking the return window from 30 to 14 days.

“AT&T has updated its device return policy. Consumer customers will have 14 days to return a device for any reason and cancel service without paying an Early Termination Fee. While this begins on October 7, AT&T customers will continue to have the option to update their voice and data plans at any time.”

The new policy goes into effect beginning today, meaning from this point forward subscribers will have just two weeks to decide if they are satisfied with both their smartphone/tablet and AT&T’s service. The carrier has also confirmed that purchases made on or before October 6th will still fall under the old 30-day schedule. For more on the specifics, head past the break.

Sony Provides Specific List Of Xperia Tablet S Serial Numbers Affected By Water Resistance Defect

 

It looks like we have an update to the Sony Xperia Tablet S fiasco. As stood before, all Sony mentioned is that there was approximately 100,000 tablet units that are affected by a water-resistance defect— though there was no way of confirming which tablets exactly were affected. However Sony UK and Sony US each have identified a means to pinpoint which exact tablet models are indeed affected. Both have released statements highlighting owners of the tablet can use the device’s serial number to see if it is part of the massive recall. For now, the specific Sony US units affected are:

 

  • SGPT121US/S
  • SGPT122US/S
  • SGPT123US/S
  • SGPT121US/MC
  • SGPT122US/KB

 

Sony UK hasn’t provided a list of what specific serial numbers are potentially affected, though it plans to release the full list “soon”.

source: Sony US | Sony UK

Motorola to phase out Webtop and laptop docks

Despite having been such a groundbreaking platform, the days of using a laptop dock are coming to an end. In a statement made earlier today, Motorola has announced its plans to kill of its Webtop program and line of laptop docks, first unveiled alongside the Atrix 4G at CES 2011.

“Motorola’s Webtop app helps users extend their smartphone experience to larger screens. While consumers around the world have adopted Webtop and the concept spurred a lot of innovation in the industry, the adoption has not been strong enough to justify continued resources being allocated to developing Webtop on future devices. We have also seen development of the Android operating system focus on the inclusion of more desktoplike features. Beginning with Photon Q and Droid Razr M/Droid Razr HD/Droid Razr Maxx HD, we will no longer be including Webtop on our products moving forward.”

Beginning with the Photon Q, which was released earlier this year, Motorola has chosen not to include its Webtop software on any future devices. This means handsets like the Droid Razr M, Droid Razr HD and Droid Razr Maxx HD will not see the service, leaving users to look elsewhere for their portable computing needs. While we may have seen this decision coming for some time, it’s disappointing to see such an innovative piece of technology fade away. Regardless, this appears to be a step in the right direction for the new Motorola.

Source: CNET

Evidence suggests Android 4.2 could already be running on two new Motorola devices

New evidence has surfaced suggesting that Google’s upcoming version of Android may not be too far off. The folks over at Android Police have gone through their internal server logs, only to discover a slew of devices appearing to be running Android 4.2, which is rumored to be an iterative update to this year’s Jelly Bean release.

Linux; Android 4.2; Nexus 7 Build/JOO92B
Linux; Android 4.2; Nexus 7 Build/JOP02B

Linux; U; Android 4.2; en-us; Galaxy Nexus Build/JOP04C
Linux; Android 4.2; Galaxy Nexus Build/JOO92B
Linux; Android 4.2; Galaxy Nexus Build/JOP04

Linux; Android 4.2; occam Build/JOO92B
Linux; Android 4.2; occam Build/JOP04B
Linux; Android 4.2; occam Build/JOP04C
Linux; U; Android 4.2; en-us; occam Build/JOP03B
Linux; U; Android 4.2; en-gb; occam Build/JOP03B
Linux; U; Android 4.2; en-us; occam Build/JOP04

Linux; Android 4.2; manta Build/JOP04C
Linux; Android 4.2; manta Build/JOP03
Linux; Android 4.2; manta Build/JOP05

The code above signifies the naming scheme for the new Jelly Bean build, as well as two new pieces of hardware. Along with the Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus, two new devices, code named Occam and Manta, are listed as running the new software. The Occam has been pointed out to be a philosophical reference to “Occam’s Razor”, implying that the device could turn out to be a RAZR M or RAZR HD Nexus variant (hence the ironic name choice). The Manta on the other hand is reminiscent of Google’s  long tenure of using aquatic code names. You may remember the Nexus 7 being called Grouper before it launched, while the Motorola XOOM was known as both the Stingray and Wingray for Verizon and Wi-Fi models. This new device could very well be a new tablet, quite possibly the Nexus 10.

Obviously, this is pure speculation at this point. However, the evidence is starting to stack up as we draw closer to the end of October. So, while we may be confident in the idea of several Nexus devices–perhaps even Motorola-manufactured ones– it seems as though we’ll need to wait for a bit more information until we can truly say what exactly Google has in store for us.

Source: Android Police

Rumor: Upcoming Nexus Featuring Android 4.2 To Feature New Customization Center, Updated Google Now And Project Roadrunner

 

 

As we all await the arrival of the latest Nexus device (or devices if all holds true), we are also eagerly awaiting what Google has up its sleeves in the latest Android OS. Well it looks like the gang at Android and Me may have the inside scoop on not only the latest OS which is expected to be software version 4.2, but details on the direction of its Nexus line of devices. According to an anonymous source, Google is trying to promote its Nexus line among all major manufacturers. The various manufacturers will work directly with Google in regards to the hardware and driver details, though Google will be responsible for the hardware updates directly. Moreover, although these special Google devices are part of the Nexus line, they don’t necessarily need to be called Nexus as part of its name– sort of like of what Google did with the Motorola Xoom WiFi tablet. The thought is that by manufacturers joining the Nexus program, it would allow for the special variations of the devices to have even more access to specially-optimized Google content.

Of course since there will be added content, it’s only natural to have an idea of what exactly the Nexus devices will feature in regards to the newest Android OS, Android 4.2. The biggest features in the new OS are rumored to be identified as the new Customization Center, Project Roadrunner, an updated Google Now and revamped Play Store. The new Customization Center will be useful for all Android users as it essentially allows users to update the base Android OS, without having to wait for OEM manufacturers to update their skins. Here’s how it works: it is basically a way for you to do basic customizations through a range of options through the Play Store. When a new update is available, new items like filters and icons would be available via the Play Store. So when Google upgrades Android and a manufacturer doesn’t provide a compatible version of their custom UI initially, the device reverts simply to the stock UI or wait for the upgrade until the manufacturer catches up.