Google IO 2016 Coverage

AndroPlatina Utilities Aims to be the Root Toolkit for ALL Android Devices

I am a huge fan of rooting my devices, it allows deep customization and the ability to load any ROM I want to. I own a GSM version of the Galaxy Nexus and while I wasn’t planning on rooting it, 2 hours after delivery I was punching fastboot commands into terminal to do just that.

Well XDA recognized contributor, varun.chitre15, is working hard to make this easy to do for ALL devices and with one program none-the-less. It’s called “AndroPlatina” and is a toolkit to make hacking and modifying your Android device easy with just a few clicks.

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How do you protect your Android phone?

Choice is a wonderful thing, for many of us it’s probably the primary reason we own an Android phone in the first place. Speaking of which, it’s hard to beat that initial feeling when you get a brand new device. You remove it carefully from the box, peel off the plastic screen protector and admire it as it gleams spotlessly in your hands. Keeping your phone in such pristine condition throughout its life isn’t easy; however there are numerous solutions on the market that can help. The question is which solution works best? A quick search on the website of any mainstream tech retailer will bring up hundreds of sleeves, pouches, wallets, skins, cases and films. Would you prefer leather, suede, neoprene, plastic, rubber or even “invisible”? I’ve tried various solutions over the years with mixed results.

I’ve been a mobile phone connoisseur since the mid 90’s when Nokia ruled the roost. My trusty 3330 would be thrown in my pocket alongside my keys, coins and wallet without a care in the world. The one and only time I dropped it, I simply popped into town and bought a new exchangeable cover; job done. It was one of my early ventures into the smartphone world that made me re-evaluate the benefits of phone protectors. Back in 2004 I bought a sim-free iMate Jam (HTC Magician) and paid £500 cold hard cash. The store I purchased it from suggested a leather case for protection, which I decided to go for as I could definitely see the benefits. The case in question was a classic design which anyone who has been using phones or PDA’s for a number of years will definitely be familiar with. A couple of pieces of black leather on the front and back, joined by a few strips of black, elastic material with a leather ‘lid’ that folds over the top and sticks in place by way of some velcro tabs. If my memory serves me right, I think it even had a belt clip on the back (did anyone actually use those?). There was no question that this case would protect the phone. The problem was that the iMate Jam was a hefty old device. It was made of metal, as thick as a yellow pages directory and could probably have been used to anchor a small boat. Putting this phone in such a rugged case made it virtually impossible to pocket. It didn’t take long before I ditched the case and it also didn’t take long for me to regret that decision. On a visit to my parents’ house, the iMate was sitting in my shirt pocket. I bent down to pick something up and out it flew dropping a few feet onto the slate finished kitchen floor. I’d gained a sizable dent on the bottom corner and clearly some kind of loose connection somewhere as the device would perform a master reset every time I pressed the top half of the screen. Lesson learned.   Read more

US Cellular Offering $100 Activation Credit For Android Devices… For A Limited Time Only

US Cellular just announced an attractive incentive in order to draw more customers to its mobile service. The mobile carrier is set to offer a welcome $100 activation credit toward any Android device when you sign up for a plan— meaning you may have yet another reason to splurge on that upcoming Sammy Galaxy S II phone. Unfortunately, this offer is for a limited time, so you’ll have to jump on it ASAP if you want to take advantage. In addition, it will waive any of those pesky activation fees. The offer is web-only, but at least you’ll get to have free shipping on any Android purchase you make. Oh and US Cellular may also offer you up to a $150 additional credit if you leave your current mobile provider for its services. Sounds like a nice deal indeed. If you’re interested on over to US Cellular’s website today before it’s too late!

source: Android Central

Sony Ericsson Joins Billabong to Introduce the Xperia Active Billabong Edition

All the sport enthusiasts out there should keep their eyes peeled for the Xperia Active Billabong Edition. Sony Ericsson has partnered with Billabong, a sportswear and casual clothing manufacturer based out of Australia, to present the ultra hip branding you see in the picture above. The Billabong Edition will also have some exclusive screensavers, videos, and the Billabong LIVE app to track surfing events. When you’re not hitting the waves, you can play the preloaded game Billabong Surf Trip.

In our unboxing and review of the Xperia Active, we noted that it runs Android 2.3.4, has a 1GHz single-core processor, and a 5MP rear camera. It’s dustproof, waterproof, scratch resistant and can withstand any tough workouts. SE is putting the Billabong Edition into the hands of snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing athletes around the world to demonstrate just how tough the phone is.

It’s available now in select markets.  Check out the full press release after the break.

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T-Mobile Starts New Year With A Bang With “New Year, New Phone” Sale From January 6th Through January 8th Only

The holiday season may be over, but that isn’t stopping T-Mobile from wooing you into a new phone. The mobile carrier has announced they are having a 3-day “New Year, New Phone” sale for this weekend only, which starts Friday, January 6th. The prices of the various devices are certainly bonkers too. You’ll be able to find devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S II and the HTC Amaze 4G for $49.99 (with mail-in rebate) to the LG Doubleplay for the sweet price of gratis (after mail-in rebate also). Of course you’ll be tied down to monthly payments for any one of the listed devices themselves, but hey— a $49.99 Samsung Galaxy S II or even a free LG Doubleplay phone looks good to most of us around these parts.

[via T-Mobile]

Boost Mobile has Plans to Add LG Optimus Black, Samsung Replenish to Android Line-Up

Are you a little bummed that Boost Mobile only offers 3 different Android phones at this time? Well you in luck! A couple press shots just popped up over at Pocketnow showing 2 more Android devices that will soon be on their way to the prepaid carrier.

The LG Optimus Black (aka Sprint Marquee), and the full QWERTY Samsung Replenish, will soon be added to Boost Mobile’s line-up. We don’t quite have any definitive release date info, but we suspect they will arrive sometime in the first half of 2012. One bit of cool news to report is that LG had earlier confirmed that the Optimus Black is slated to receive the Android 4.0 update sometime in the future. ICS on Boost, Woot!

[via Pocketnow]


LG Majestic On US Cellular Press Shot Released

One can never be fashionably late to a party, right? That’s what US Cellular believes by taking off the wraps off the LG Majestic smartphone. Now some of you are thinking, “doesn’t that phone look awfully familiar”? It should look familiar as the LG Majestic will be the long-awaited US-version of the LG Optimus Black, a phone that’s been out in Europe for quite some time now. Also known as model US855, the Majestic will have minimal cosmetic and internal differences from the Optimus Black. That we means we can expect the same 4-inch NOVA display and 2 megapixel front-facing camera to be on the device. We know that some of you are dying to see the often-delayed Gingerbread 2.3 Froyo 2.2 phone finally make it to the States, so the wait won’t be too much longer. Expect a formal announcement of the phone’s release date soon.

[via PocketNow]

Charted: Android Fragmentation History Visualized

A fellow by the name of Michael DeGusta has recently compiled a chart comparing the Android OS update history between various phones from various manufacturers, he also decided to throw in Apple devices as well. The chart below will give you a visual idea of the history of Android fragmentation, showing the history of operating system updates for Android and Apple smartphones. DeGusta sums up his findings like this: Read more

HTC EVO 3D Security Update Rolling Out

We knew the security fix was coming. While the details are scarce, the new 2.08.651.3 update will include security improvements for the EVO 3D. What the exact security improvements are is anyone’s guess, but it’s nice to see that HTC & Sprint are being proactive with the security of its customers. Hopefully the update will give us piece of mind for our Sense-powered handsets. If you can’t wait, you can get the software update manually now by forcing a software update. The rest of the EVO 3D owners should receive the update OTA within the next few days.

[via Sprint Community]

Xperia Play 4G joining AT&T’s roster

It’s been a couple of months now since AT&T announced that they will be offering Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play 4G to their customers. Unfortunately, Big Red is currently the only carrier to sell the PlayStation phone in the US. A couple of weeks back, we told you that phone sales were “meeting expectations” according to Sony.  Hopefully, by adding another release from AT&T, sales will exceed their expectations.

If you’re an AT&T customer and looking to switch teams, September 8th will be the day to get your game on. To help you stand out in the mobile gaming world, AT&T will be releasing a new flavor: “stealth blue”. Along with the color change, you will receive a multimedia dock, music cable, and games to keep you busy.

Games to be included:

  • Dungeon Defenders Second Wave
  • Asphalt 6 Adrenaline
  • Star Battalion
  • Madden NFL 11
  • The Sims 3
  • Tower Bloxx: My City
  • Crash Bandicoot

Other than free accessories and a blue hue, the phone will adorn the same specs as the Verizon version with a $50 price tag on contract.

[via PocketNow]