Posts Tagged mess

New antenna from SkyCross hopes to alleviate LTE band fragmentation

Android Central

You've heard tech pundits talk about the absolute mess that is LTE frequencies before I'm sure. Even Apple was forced to break the tradition of "one phone for all" when they decided to incorporate an LTE radio, and Apple never likes change. The problem is that there are 38 different frequencies with active LTE networks or planned LTE networks world wide. That means that your LTE phone set up for one carrier probably won't work on another. It's a big problem that needs a solution, and quickly.

Android Central @ CES

Enter SkyCross. They just started shipping an LTE antenna that can support up to 12 different frequencies on one piece of hardware. That's just the type of hot hardware injection the future of LTE needed — as things are about to get worse. I'm going to use US examples, but this applies world-wide (none of you are safe). 

Verizon has been the fastest at rolling out LTE. The currently use the 700MHz band for their LTE network. The issue is that spectrum isn't infinite, and Verizon also has to buy and repurpose 2100MHz spectrum. They will have to bond both frequencies together in what's called aggregation, and any antenna they use will have to support both bands. Now compound this for manufacturers trying to make a device that runs on multiple networks, as we all hope that will be the future of LTE. In the US, the big four will need an antenna that supports up to eight different frequencies to make it happen. We're going to need better antennas that can handle it.

SkyCross plans to officially announce things at CES, and they say we should see their gear in phones this year. We'll keep an eye on this one.

Via: Gigaohm

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SwiftKey Flow beta updated with new features and bug fixes

The team behind the wildly popular SwiftKey Flow keyboard have just issued a quick update to their VIP community as version 4.0.0.61. In the latest update to the SwiftKey Flow beta you’ll enjoy tons of bug fixes, enhanced features, a better typing experience, and overall better performance. Their keyboard is still in the testing phase but works wonderfully, so read on for the full changelog and known issues.

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SwiftKey didn’t just update us all with a changelog, they went a step ahead and mentioned what’s new, things to be aware of, as well as a full known issues list. All of this has been detailed over at the SwiftKey Flow Blog. One of SwiftKey’s best features is being able to flow not just a word, but an entire sentence without lifting a finger. Then it predicts everything using their prediction engine and even puts in the spaces. Their previous beta if you make a mistake on a word, any word, the entire sentence was lost when you hit backspace — a real bummer.

I can happily confirm they’ve integrated a “save sentence” feature they’re calling Flow-through-space autocommit: if you flow-through space but mess up your last word, all the prior words will be inserted (instead of losing all the words). They’ve fixed that pesky double capitalization issue, fixed memory errors and much more. Here’s their huge detailed update information:

Flow-through-space autocommit: if you flow-through space but mess up your last word, all the prior words will be inserted (instead of losing all the words)
Flow in landscape on tablets (not on split layout with numpad)
Battery usage improved (when flowing and when not in use)
Performance of flowing and tapping improved
Longpress of bottom-right (smiley/enter) button now works
Fixed some force close issues
Fixed some memory leaks
Predictions not lost when changing keyboard layout (e.g to symbols)
Fixed DOuble CApitalization issue

Instead of blasting this post with their known issues and things to be aware of when using SwiftKey Flow, just head to their Blog Post for all the details. You can also check out our Flow Fingers-on post for a first hand look. More details are provided below and hit the links to give the latest SwiftKey Flow beta for smartphones and tablets a try. Enjoy!

Download:
SwiftKey Flow smartphone
SwiftKey Flow tablet

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SwiftKey Flow beta updated with performance improvements, bug fixes

Android Central

Four weeks on from the original SwiftKey Flow beta launch, a new version of the app is available. The new version 4.0.0.61 of the trace-enabled keyboard features improved performance, as well as fixes for a number of bugs identified over the past month –

  • Flow-through-space autocommit: if you flow-through space but mess up your last word, all the prior words will be inserted (instead of losing all the words)
  • Flow in landscape on tablets (not on split layout with numpad)
  • Battery usage improved (when flowing and when not in use)
  • Performance of flowing and tapping improved
  • Longpress of bottom-right (smiley/enter) button now works
  • Fixed some force close issues
  • Fixed some memory leaks
  • Predictions not lost when changing keyboard layout (e.g to symbols)
  • Fixed DOuble CApitalization issue

The new version is available for tablets and phones over at the source link below. Remember that SwiftKey Flow is still  in beta, so the app won't be as stable as the current version of SwiftKey 3.1 on Google Play. (A list of known issues can also be found at the source link.)

Source: SwiftKey blog

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SwiftKey Flow Beta Updated To v4.0.0.61

flooow

SwiftKey Flow Beta, which came out just a month ago, has received its first major update since release. Version 4.0.0.61 brings some significant changes, along with a massive changelog (well, it’s a things-to-be-aware-of / known issues log, too). More important to you, though, is probably where and how to download it. Here’s the smartphone version, and here’s the tablet version. Now, for the log:

SwiftKey Flow Beta 4.0.0.61 changelog

  • Flow-through-space autocommit: if you flow-through space but mess up your last word, all the prior words will be inserted (instead of losing all the words)
  • Flow in landscape on tablets (not on split layout with numpad)
  • Battery usage improved (when flowing and when not in use)
  • Performance of flowing and tapping improved
  • Longpress of bottom-right (smiley/enter) button now works
  • Fixed some force close issues
  • Fixed some memory leaks
  • Predictions not lost when changing keyboard layout (e.g to symbols)
  • Fixed DOuble CApitalization issue

Things to be aware of:

  • Flowing currently only works in fields where you see the prediction bar: in fields that have their own prediction or completion there is no prediction bar and therefore no Flow (e.g.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

SwiftKey Flow Beta Updated To v4.0.0.61 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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New SwiftKey Flow beta available

Folks in the SwiftKey Flow beta will want to check their emails as chances are you’ll find a nice email letting you know a new beta version is available. Nothing groundbreaking or exciting will be found here, but the barrel of bug fixes and improvements will be sure to make any beta user happy. The list of what’s changed is rather long so let’s jump right into it:

  • Flow-through-space autocommit: if you flow-through space but mess up your last word, all the prior words will be inserted (instead of losing all the words)
  • Flow in landscape on tablets (not on split layout with numpad)
  • Battery usage improved (when flowing and when not in use)
  • Performance of flowing and tapping improved
  • Longpress of bottom-right (smiley/enter) button now works
  • Fixed some force close issues
  • Fixed some memory leaks
  • Predictions not lost when changing keyboard layout (e.g to symbols)
  • Fixed DOuble CApitalization issue

Of course, this is still a beta and there are still some glaring issues. The folks at SwiftKey have already identified some issues that are still being worked on, including the personalization service continuing to run when not in use, a lingering flow trail at the end of words, enlarged prediction text on LDPI devices and more. You can find the full list over at SwiftKey’s site if you’re curious to know what else might not be working right just yet.

And remember: if you download a beta, well, you’re a beta tester. If you notice something that’s not already on the known issues list then leave some feedback. If everyone does their part then it’s easier on the developers, which means we get a stable version faster, and in turn means everyone can ride off into the sunset as happily as the happiest man ever could. Grab your download here for smartphones, and here if you want to install it on your tablet).

[via SwiftKey]

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Samsung Starts Pushing Update (Build I9300XXELLA) To The Galaxy S III In The UK, Reportedly Fixes The ‘Exynos 4 Bug’

wm_GALAXY S III Product Image (8)_B

I’ll be the first to admit – this one’s a bit of a mess. Samsung just started pushing a small OTA update to Galaxy S III units in the UK, which is said to bring a number of potentially major fixes. Considering there’s no official word (or changelog) from Samsung, however, we’re having to go on hearsay for this one.

Firstly, this update fixes the bug that allows any app to root and gain full access to Exynos 4 systems. That’s a good thing, and has been confirmed over at XDA as patched with this OTA. From here, however, things get a little fuzzy.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Samsung Starts Pushing Update (Build I9300XXELLA) To The Galaxy S III In The UK, Reportedly Fixes The ‘Exynos 4 Bug’ was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Cut the Rope developers, Zeptolab, releases Pudding Monsters

Pudding MonsterJust the other day I was mentioning that ZeptoLabs placed their HD versions of Cut the Rope and Cut the Rope: Experiment on sale. Again, that sale is still going on. I was thinking though, they haven’t put out a new game in a while. Now we find out that they have just put a new game in the Play Store. Meet Pudding Monster.

Pudding Monsters is an innovative stick ‘em together puzzle style game. You have to move some poor little pudding monsters together to make larger blobs of pudding. Growing into the ULTIMATE MEGA MONSTER. All in an effort to save yourself and your friends from being eaten. What a mess. The game comes out of the gate for free with a total of 75 levels to conquer. There will be many more to come. Take a quick watch of the game trailer below.

 

 

Pudding Monsters 4 Pudding Monsters 3 Pudding Monsters 2 

It looks pretty awesome. You know coming out of Zeptolabs that it is going to be a winner. If you can’t swing some of the other games that are on sale right now, then you should definitely pick up this new free title. Just click or scan the QR code down below and enjoy.

Application: Pudding Monsters
Developer: ZeptoLab
Cost: FREE

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Apple’s request for permanent injunction denied, as is Samsung’s juror misconduct claim

Android Central

Judge Koh (the presiding judge in the Apple v. Samsung mess) tonight entered two orders pertaining to the case this evening. The first one, and arguably the most important one, says Apple is not to be granted a permanent injunction against offending Samsung products. Seems that even though a jury found plenty of offending instances last August, Judge Koh feels that an injunction is not warranted, as the infringements were but small parts of what makes up the whole device. In fact, the motion was dismissed in its entirety, meaning this part of the case is over — save for the inevitable appeal from Apple. (So, no, it's not really over yet.)

The second order is pertaining to juror misconduct. You might remember that Samsung took issue with the fact that the jury foreman had previous legal dealings against a Samsung-invested company, and there was some concern over statements made after the end of the trial to the media that made the foreman's conduct come into question. This issue is closed, and the judge denied any further hearing on the matter.

In judge Koh's statement on the matter of injunction, she writes:

The phones at issue in this case contain a broad range of features, only a small fraction of which are covered by Apple's patents. Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple, it does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few narrow protected functions.

We're certain that this is still far from over. Unfortunately, we'll continue to follow things as they progress.

Via: CNET

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Apple’s request for permanent injunction denied, as is Samsung’s jury misconduct claims

Android Central

Judge Koh (the presiding judge in the Apple v. Samsung mess) has entered two orders pertaining to the case this evening. The first one, and arguably the most important one, says Apple is not to be granted a permanent injunction against offending Samsung products. Seems that even though a jury found plenty of offending instances last August, Judge Koh feels that an injunction is not warranted. In fact, the motion was dismissed in its entirety, meaning this part of the case is over — until the inevitable appeal from Apple.

The second order is pertaining to jury misconduct. You might remember that Samsung took issue with the fact that the jury foreman had previous legal dealings against a Samsung invested company, and there was some concern over statements made after the end of the trial to the media that made the foreman's conduct come into question. This issue is closed, and the judge denied any further hearing on the matter.

In judge Koh's statement on the matter of injunction, she writes:

The phones at issue in this case contain a broad range of features, only a small fraction of which are covered by Apple's patents. Though Apple does have some interest in retaining certain features as exclusive to Apple, it does not follow that entire products must be forever banned from the market because they incorporate, among their myriad features, a few narrow protected functions.

We're certain that this is still far from over. Unfortunately, we'll continue to follow things as they progress.

Via: CNET

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Google UK boss blames “scarce and erratic” supplies for Nexus 4 stock nightmare

Dan Cobley, the Managing Director of Google UK & Ireland, has been pulled into the Nexus 4 stock crisis, with an email from the big boss of Google giving more detail on the dreadful problems the company has had in selling the Nexus 4 direct to buyers.

The current stock crisis is effecting all Nexus devices, with the majority of Nexus phones and tablets out of stock on Google’s Play Store. The situation regarding the Nexus 4 is worst of all, with users who ordered machines nearly a fortnight ago and promised delivery within “3-5 days” still waiting for their phones.

Here’s what Cobley has to say about the whole mess:

I know that what you are going through is unacceptable and we are all working through the nights and weekends to resolve this issue. Supplies from the manufacturer are scarce and erratic, and our communication has been flawed. I can offer an unreserved apology for our service and communication failures in this process.

For those that originally received a 3-5 days shipping estimate, your orders are now in process for fulfillment. You can expect an email notification early this week which will include tracking information. Although you will be initially charged in full, you will receive a credit for the shipping charge soon after.

For others that received pre-Christmas shipping estimates, we anticipate processing your orders for fulfillment this week.

I realise that the people who ordered the Nexus 4 so early are among our most committed and loyal users and we are doing all we can to put things right.

nexus 4 stock

The email comes from a user on the XDA Forums, where an enormous thread is tracking the ongoing difficulties UK buyers have had in getting their Nexus 4 devices out of Google.

Link via Twitter.

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Google Maps for iOS is now useless because Apple is rearranging the Earth’s geography to improve Apple Maps

As you might have heard, Google released their version of Maps for iOS yesterday finally giving Apple users a proper Maps app, or so they thought. Turns out Apple had a plan all along and they are working on a complete rearrangement of the Earth’s geography. Apparently they already started renaming streets, switching the location of buildings, and destroying some landmarks. Apple CEO Tim Cook said..

“Apple is committed to providing the best user experience possible, which is why we are working to dismantle Brooklyn Bridge and put London in Canada.”

Leave it to Apple to disrupt the entire world to straighten out their mess. Head on past the break for the full video highlighting the details, and hopefully you will get a good laugh for this fine Friday morning.

source: theonion

 

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Google Maps for iOS is now useless because Apple is rearranging the Earth’s geography to improve Apple Maps

As you might have heard, Google released their version of Maps for iOS yesterday finally giving Apple users a proper Maps app, or so they thought. Turns out Apple had a plan all along and they are working on a complete rearrangement of the Earth’s geography. Apparently they already started renaming streets, switching the location of buildings, and destroying some landmarks. Apple CEO Tim Cook said..

“Apple is committed to providing the best user experience possible, which is why we are working to dismantle Brooklyn Bridge and put London in Canada.”

Leave it to Apple to disrupt the entire world to straighten out their mess. Head on past the break for the full video highlighting the details, and hopefully you will get a good laugh for this fine Friday morning.

source: theonion

 

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Google Maps for iOS is now useless because Apple is rearranging the Earth’s geography to improve Apple Maps

As you might have heard, Google released their version of Maps for iOS yesterday finally giving Apple users a proper Maps app, or so they thought. Turns out Apple had a plan all along and they are working on a complete rearrangement of the Earth’s geography. Apparently they already started renaming streets, switching the location of buildings, and destroying some landmarks. Apple CEO Tim Cook said..

“Apple is committed to providing the best user experience possible, which is why we are working to dismantle Brooklyn Bridge and put London in Canada.”

Leave it to Apple to disrupt the entire world to straighten out their mess. Head on past the break for the full video highlighting the details, and hopefully you will get a good laugh for this fine Friday morning.

source: theonion

 

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No Comments

Google Maps for iOS is now useless because Apple is rearranging the Earth’s geography to improve Apple Maps

As you might have heard, Google released their version of Maps for iOS yesterday finally giving Apple users a proper Maps app, or so they thought. Turns out Apple had a plan all along and they are working on a complete rearrangement of the Earth’s geography. Apparently they already started renaming streets, switching the location of buildings, and destroying some landmarks. Apple CEO Tim Cook said..

“Apple is committed to providing the best user experience possible, which is why we are working to dismantle Brooklyn Bridge and put London in Canada.”

Leave it to Apple to disrupt the entire world to straighten out their mess. Head on past the break for the full video highlighting the details, and hopefully you will get a good laugh for this fine Friday morning.

source: theonion

 

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No Comments

Google Maps for iOS is now useless because Apple is rearranging the Earth’s geography to improve Apple Maps

As you might have heard, Google released their version of Maps for iOS yesterday finally giving Apple users a proper Maps app, or so they thought. Turns out Apple had a plan all along and they are working on a complete rearrangement of the Earth’s geography. Apparently they already started renaming streets, switching the location of buildings, and destroying some landmarks. Apple CEO Tim Cook said..

“Apple is committed to providing the best user experience possible, which is why we are working to dismantle Brooklyn Bridge and put London in Canada.”

Leave it to Apple to disrupt the entire world to straighten out their mess. Head on past the break for the full video highlighting the details, and hopefully you will get a good laugh for this fine Friday morning.

source: theonion

 

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Nexus 7 Gets Wireless Charging With a Tricky/Risky Mod

nexus-7-wireless-charging

The Google Nexus 7 tablet is widely popular with Android fans for more than one reasons. However, it lacks certain bling features which you see in new age devices. And one of them is Wireless Charging. While the feature isn’t available in most devices in the market today, it is a good feature to have. So what if we told you that the Nexus 7 is capable of having Wireless Charging too? Of course, it’s not enabled by default and involves some messing around with the device, but it is possible. Since this is completely hardware based, it might not be for everyone, but it’s still fun to realize what can be done when you’ve got the will.

A fellow named Rod Whitby is currently working on the mod for the Nexus 7 and it involves completely removing the back cover, which as you know isn’t a very easy process. He used the innards of an old Palm smartphone to insert it inside the Nexus 7, but found the space to be too little. After that the induction coil he inserted inside the tablet didn’t seem to carry enough juice in it to charge the bad boy up. So his solution was to add two induction coils one above another to give it double the power.

Bear in mind this is merely an experiment from Rod and not a final working solution. However, we would be disappointed if this didn’t work as the guy has put in some effort to make this a reality. Let’s hope it happens soon, but there’s a price to pay when you open the device up and mess with the insides. Well in simple terms, your warranty gets voided. So if you mess around when soldering the parts together inside, your device is as good as a slab of junk. So I suggest you wait until the mod is completed if you intend to try this out yourself. Rod Whitby is pretty active on Google Plus, so make sure you keep an eye out on his page for updates and developments in this new mod. And yes, he’s using the Touchstone dock to try and charge the device wirelessly.

Say what you will, but we have to give it to this guy for being thoughtful enough to work out this hack/mod. Although in many cases wireless charging is merely a luxury and people still prefer the standard medium of charging a device, it’s a good novelty to have. In this case though, it might be a little risky. The Palm Touchstone has been used in several experimental projects before to bring wireless charging to devices which don’t support the feature. And it’s good to see that components from the Palm Pre are being repurposed, despite its poor showing in the market. Palm launched the Palm Pre bundled with the Touchstone wireless charging dock in 2009. The idea seemed pretty attractive, but the device in itself failed to succeed.

Source: Rod Whitby on Google Plus
Via: Phone Arena

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TweetLanes developer introduces Action Launcher, a unique launcher experience [VIDEO]

In this day and age it’s hard for developers to create truly unique launchers. The line between enhancing the experience and making it a convoluted mess is very thin, and it’s easy for one small miscue to ruin the entire thing. Well, Chris Lacy — the developer responsible for TweetLanes — has decided to try his hand at a launcher replacement app.

His rendition is called Action Launcher, and it’s designed to get you to where you need to go within one second of you deciding. The launcher utilizes an apps try that can be accessed using a swipe to the right.

What comes up is an alphabetized list of the apps installed on your phone that you can either scroll through in a traditional list format or jump between using the letters on the right side of the pane. We’ve seen a bit of this in the likes of TouchWiz and Pantech’s own Easy Mode launcher, but it looks very refined and simple in this app that anyone can download.

The home screen features a persistent action bar with several different buttons. From left to right, you can open the apps list,  open search, open the Play Store or access more of the launcher’s settings using an overflow menu.

Another key element that sets this launcher apart are Covers. Covers is a unique feature that allows you to expand on the traditional home screen shortcut that we all know and love.

Say I have a shortcut to my browser — tapping it once will open the browser in whichever state is most appropriate (depending on if there was a session saved to memory or a new session altogether). That’s nothing new, but double tapping that same icon could then bring up a few bookmarks to my favorite websites. Likewise, touching the dialer would bring you up to the phone’s default dialer app, but double tapping that same icon could bring up shortcuts to quickly dial my favorite people.

Sure, folders work well enough for most people but this is a truly unique way of keeping the clutter down if you tend to have a lot of shortcuts you like to add to your home screen. This would be perfect for someone like myself who loves second level app shortcuts but rarely use them because I prefer my traditional folders to take center stage. Now, I don’t have to compromise. To get an idea of how this works be sure to watch the quick demo video up above.

Finally, Action Launcher makes it easy to change the launcher however you like. Holding down on an empty part of the home screen gives you one touch access to the ability to place shortcuts and apps, as well as set your wallpaper.

The developer is asking for $4 to own the launcher, but is it worth that much? Early reports indicate there are some bugs keeping it from being the blissful experience we’d like it to be, like an odd bug that doesn’t allow one to add a widget where there should be enough space to do so.

Other sentiments expressed include the desire to have features that other popular launchers, like Nova launcher, have. We’re sure the developer will add tons of different options and fix bugs in a timely fashion as he has with TweetLanes, though, so those worrying about support can rest easy knowing that Chris Lacy stays on top of things as well as any developer in the game. If you like what you see then be sure to give it a try in the Google Play Store.

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Android GTA Vice City pulled due to “technical issue”

The supposed simultaneous iOS and Android release of GTA Vice City has gone rather TITS UP, with publisher Rockstar Games deleting the Android version launched yesterday due to some technical issues with the additional data download required to get the full game on people’s phones.

The publisher is currently pretending that the game never launched for Android in the first place, which is a bit of a weird way of explaining the fact that loads of users were complaining about it being broken.

Here’s one of Rockstar’s many comments on the issue:

It’s not out for Android yet so please don’t bother downloading that. There was a technical issue that came about today upon live deployment that will take a few days to fix. We’re aiming to have it out by end of next week. Sorry for this and please hang tight.

vice-city-android-1

So it might be fixed in time for when your Nexus 4 eventually arrives. Another fine mess.

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Nexus 4 Goes Back On Sale In Canada Today At 12PM PST, Let’s Hope It Goes Smoother Than The US Re-Launch

1[4]

The Nexus 4 release has been a mess since the beginning. All across the globe, people tried to get their order in on launch day, and, well, they couldn’t. Most who tried were left waiting until Google put them back on sale. That time has already come and gone for the U.S., where the second-coming of Google’s newest flagship went about as smoothly as the first (read: not very). Even when sales first went live, the device had a “ships in 1-2 weeks” status, which got longer and longer as the day went on. Now the 8GB version is completely sold out, and the 16GB variant ships in 5-6 weeks.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Nexus 4 Goes Back On Sale In Canada Today At 12PM PST, Let’s Hope It Goes Smoother Than The US Re-Launch was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android 102: Wireless file transfer

Wifi File Explorer

I use Linux for my PC operating system. That means I don't get any fancy Android File Transfer programs to use to copy files on and off of my devices, and setting up MTP support is a hassle — not to mention the closed nature of the whole mess. I can use the command line and adb to copy files back and forth, and sometimes I do, but the easy way is to use an app that acts as a remote server and "browse" my files with Chromium or Firefox. They also work with Windows or Mac OS for those times when you don't want to look for a cable.

There are plenty of apps available that will work. Airdroid is a pretty popular one that also offers the ability to send and receive SMS message through your PC. It's also free, and free is always good. I like things a bit more lightweight and simple, so I use Wifi File Explorer Pro. It's not free ($0.99) and doesn't let you text from your PC. It's just the first one that was made available and I hate change. My point is, there's plenty of apps that will work, and they all work basically the same.

  1. Grab the app from Google Play, install it, and run it.
  2. The app will tell you a URL to put in your browser. You may need a code or need to scan a barcode to log in.
  3. When the page loads, you see everything that's on your phone storage, and can transfer files both ways, or play music or video. 

The apps are actually running a tiny web server on your phone, so the result acts like a website. You will need to have both machines on the same Wifi, and in theory a cable is faster, but wireless file transfer is pretty darn easy.

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easyMute for Android Means No More Hassles When Pausing Tracks

Sometimes when you’re listening to your music, there comes a time when you need it be paused or the volume lowered very fast. Other times, when you’re on your lockscreen and the music controls don’t pop up, you have to unlock the device and then go to the music app and mess with all of [...]

Click through to continue reading…

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Nexus 4, Take Two: Back In The U.S. Play Store (For At Least The Next Few Minutes)

nexus4

Update: Google says the Nexus 4 isn’t sold out, but that the Play Store is just being inundated with demand. Here’s what we’re seeing on the Nexus 4 page right now:

Google Play is currently experiencing very high traffic. Nexus 4 is not sold out and will still be available for purchase. Please try again shortly. Thank you for your patience.

It’s no secret that Google didn’t handle the Nexus 4 launch as well as it should have. There was a problem with the system, orders got lost and/or cancelled, they sold out way too quickly – the whole thing was a complete mess.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Nexus 4, Take Two: Back In The U.S. Play Store (For At Least The Next Few Minutes) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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The USPTO needs to refine their patent system. But how? [OPINION]

If you think the United States Patent and Trademark Office is anything short of a complete mess in regards to tech patents, than you’re sorely mistaken. If you think everyone besides your favorite OEM is the culprit behind eroding tech innovation, than you should take off your fanboy hat. But I think the vast majority of tech enthusiasts can agree that the patent war movement – where thousands of very general protective patents are submitted, awarded, and litigated upon – is suffocating innovation.

But how can we change the patent system? We’ll always have huge corporations with tens of millions to spend on legal fees and patent submissions. The USPTO will always have a mile high stack of dozen page long patent applications to process, so complicated you would need an Adderall prescription to even understand the claims. And then of course there is the already long-running list of approved patents for which combing through would be a nightmare.

I’m no government policy expert, but I think it’s fair to say that something needs to change. Half of the patents being approved are nothing short of embarrassing. But identifying and diagnosing the problem are much different than finding and prescribing a remedy. That’s the hard part.

Any regular Joe can create a petition on Change.org, but the petition by Mike Winmill in regards to Apple and the USPTO caught my eye when it came across my news desk. Is the patent war topic finally hitting more mainstream consumer irritation, or has it simply become the focal point of tech fanboys beating the drum of their master? Let’s be honest, Phandroids, Apple isn’t the only company whose patents catch our eye (and again, can we blame them?).

In some regards, it’s hard to blame the manufacturers themselves. The tech landscape is incredibly competitive and to get ahead, you do what works. They’re investing hundreds of million in R&D so to spend some of those millions on patent protection seems reasonable. On the legal side, if your job is to protect intellectual property than you apply for anything and everything you could possibly be awarded: that’s what a good business person would do. So the sheer volume of patents coming in creates quite the labor for the USPTO whose job is to govern and make fair the competitive landscape. And based on the results, it doesn’t seem as if they’re doing a very good job.

I admit, I feel guilty pointing a finger when I’m:

  1. Not 100% sure of the entire process and system the USPTO employs
  2. Don’t have any direct input on how to improve said mysterious system

My only input comes from seeing some of the many approved patents and immediately thinking to myself, “How can someone patent that? That’s ridiculous! Stupid [insert company here]. Stupid USPTO.” I think that’s the same flow every tech fan finds themselves going through lately.

So let’s put the obvious aside:

  • We know companies are applying for patents by the thousands, often more general than anyone would like.
  • We know the USPTO is approving patents by the thousands, often more general than anyone would like.

But what specific measures, restrictions, laws, or systems would you put in place to directly improve the fairness of the US patent system while balancing the rights to protect intellectual property and still promote innovation and competition? This is your chance to sound off… make it count!

As suggested by Kevin Krause… a related video worth watching (series link):


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Catch the Android Central Podcast live tonight!

Android Central Podcast

Heard any good Android stories lately? We've got a mountain to move tonight on Episode 116 of the Greatest Android Podcast in the World. We'll kick things off with the mess that's been the Google Play store and the launch of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10. Then we'll pivot over to the new Verizon Droid DNA, and where it fits into our lives. (And whether the 5-inch display fits into our pockets.) Plus, don't forget that HTC and Apple have buried the patent hatchet (probably in a pile of money). Plus, more of your e-mails and voicemails!

So join Phil and the gang — and, of course, the chat room — live tonight at 2 a.m. GMT / 9 p.m. EST / 6 p.m. PST for the live broadcast. You should be there. You will be there. You must be there. After all, you are what makes it the Greatest Android Podcast in the World.

Not at a computer? Pick up the free UStream Viewer from Google Play [link] and search for Mobile Nations a little before the show (it won't appear until we go live). We'll see you there atAndroidCentral.com/live!

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Has This Random Purple Discoloration Happened to Your DROID RAZR HD Screen?

A few moments ago, I reached for my DROID RAZR MAXX HD, tapped the lock/wake button, and was greeted with a not-so-exciting purple and green mess on the display. I have no idea what caused it other than maybe, because the phone had been plugged into a wall for an extended amount of time. Thankfully, [...]

Click through to continue reading…

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Vodafone users furious about “buggy” G300 ICS update

The Android 4.0 update for Huawei’s G300 hit the phones of Vodafone users last week, and it hasn’t been particularly well received. The problems come from the fact that Vodafone has released the B936 build of ICS for UK users to install, which, for some owners, is reportedly rather laggy and broken post installation.

Users who’ve updated are reporting issues with the phone’s dictionary and spellchecker, a broken caller ID system, regular app force closes and more, plus there’s still no support for hardware acceleration within the UI, despite users of the phone lobbying hard for its inclusion – and Huawei saying it would feature in the code.

g300-ics-mess

In fact, furious Vodafone G300 users are even claiming the phone fails some of Google’s mandatory compatibility requirements, which could lead to all manner of problems for Huawei. It’s another amazing OS update mess. Vodafone says it’s looking into the reports, but hasn’t offered any sort of timescale or promises of fixes.

Thanks to reader Paul for the extremely thorough tip.

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Here comes Hurricane Sandy: Charge ‘em if you got ‘em

Hurricane Sandy

OK, boys and girls on the East Cost. Listen up. Hurricane Sandy's on her way, and she's liable to make a mess of things next week. Just how bad depends on who you're reading, but regardless it's time to start getting ready. As we tend to do when storms like this pop up, let's review how our Android phones can help.

  • Charge your phones. Now. Keep them charged. And once the storm starts, keep them off. You'll likely lose power at some point, and there's a good chance your local cell network will go down for a bit, even with generator backups.
  • Spare batteries. If you got 'em, make sure they're charged, too. If you still have time to get some, do it.
  • Car charger. Get one. Get a couple, actually.
  • After the storm, text messages may work best. If the network's up, it's going to be clogged, and calls might not go through. Text messages have a much better chance.
  • If you're worried about damage and don't have a traditional camera, use your phone to take a few pictures of your home and your belongings. It'll make insurance claims much easier, should it come to that.
  • While you still have power and internet access, be it on your phone or broadbad, take advantage of features like instant uploading on Google+ Dropbox to make sure those pictures get somewhere that can't be destroyed by the storm. Better to be safe than sorry in that case.
  • If you just have to use Instagram during a storm, don't use a damn filter. Folks wanna see what's happening, and filters don't help that.
  • Use apps like Evernote to help keep track of your emergency supplies.
  • Before the storm, use those gas-finder apps to track down the cheapest petrol. That won't help you with the lines, but it may save you a few bucks.
  • See if your phone can serve as an FM radio, if you don't have any others around. (That's not out of the question in 2012.
  • Apps from FEMA and the Red Cross can help you find shelters and other emergency information.

And as of this writing, Google's "Playground" event is still on for Monday morning. If that changes, you'll hear it here first. Stay safe out there, people.

More: Hurricane Sandy updates from NOAA 

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New DMCA Exemptions Allow Rooting Phones (But Not Tablets), Unapproved Phone Unlocks Will Be A Thing Of The Past

gavelGood news, bad news, and really bloody ridiculous news, Android fans. Today, the latest round of DMCA exemptions has been passed and if you’ve ever jailbroken or rooted a phone, you’ll be happy to know that this will continue to be legal. At least, for your phones. If, however, you want to gain su access to your tablet, you’re fresh out of luck. Also, phones purchased after January 2013 cannot be legally unlocked for use on a carrier that didn’t give you explicit permission. Yeah, it’s kind of a mess.

Wait, What Are DMCA Exemptions?

A brief intro, for the uninitiated: the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, signed into law in 1998, has a certain set of rules concerning circumvention of DRM.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

New DMCA Exemptions Allow Rooting Phones (But Not Tablets), Unapproved Phone Unlocks Will Be A Thing Of The Past was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Seidio OBEX Waterproof case for Samsung Galaxy S III begins to Ship

If you are looking for the absolute best protection ever created for your Samsung Galaxy S III then the Seidio OBEX case is definitely it. The OBEX (which is Latin for “Barrier”) is probably the most protective case I have ever seen.

To begin with, the Seidio OBEX has been tested and exceeds the MIL-STD-810G test. In English that means it exceeds the testing for a military drop test from 6 feet from any and every angle. In super simple English, that means you can drop your phone all day long from 6 feet and below and your phone won’t break. Or at least it isn’t supposed to. How about a little more? The new OBEX case also exceeds the IP68. Again, in English, means that you can submerge your phone while it is in the case in two meters of water for at least 30 minutes and still have it come up just fine. This also means snow, mud, dust, dirt and pretty much anything else one can think of. You could dip it in chocolate and come out just fine, but that would be a mess.

All of this is possible due to the unique combination of Polycarbonate and Thermoplastic Polyurethane materials used to build the case. It doesn’t interfere with your devices radio signal, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or NFC capabilities either.

“We’ve [Seidio] spent months carefully designing the OBEX, and putting it through a serious of rigorous tests,” says David Chang, CEO of Seidio.  “Combining the finest materials, advanced protection technology, and a meticulous design- we are confident that the OBEX will completely safeguard the Galaxy S III anytime, anywhere.”

It looks pretty big, so if form factor is important, this might not be for you. Ideally this should be perfect outdoor adventurers from all walks of life. I could see myself using it at the beach, by the pool and while up snowboarding. I’m exactly sure I would tote it around for everyday use. I take pretty good care of my Galaxy S III. If this is exactly what you have been looking for then head over to Seidio’s website for further details. Be prepared though, this thing comes in at a hefty $79.99. Not all that surprising considering its military grade drop ability and underwater rating.

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Motorola Has Lost The Trust of Their Users: Avoiding A Publicity Mess [Part 3]

If you haven’t read the previous part yet, you can head on over here to read about it.

Before reading on, you should know that this part is completely of my opinion, and I have no sources for information about this. So take it as you will. The Motorola Atrix 4G and Motorola Atrix 2 were release in the same year with extremely similar specification in terms of hardware. So my question here is, why did the Atrix 2 get the update and not the Atrix 4G? There really isn’t a reason that the Atrix 4G shouldn’t of got it, aside from the fact that Motorola’s user base surrounding the Atrix 2 is much larger than its predecessor, the Atrix 4G. I’m proposing that the reason why Motorola did not update the Atrix 4G is because of the smaller user base  thus they would have a smaller and weaker user base to deal with than the much larger Atrix 2.

It sounds quite backhanded, I know. To back this thought up I want you to go to the two following links: Atrix 2 specs, Atrix 4G specs. You will notice that the specs on both of these devices are extremely similar to each other, so technical reasons shouldn’t of been a problem. Especially considering that before the Bootloader was locked up on the Atrix 4G, the XDA Community was already working on a stable custom Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich ROM. Heck, there is even a Android 4.1 Jelly Bean ROM in the works for it. What gives, Motorola?

In summary, I really think Motorola just updated the Atrix 2 to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to simply avoid bad publicity. It sounds a little underhanded, but we did at least get the Ice Cream Sandwich update. Still, this unfortunately means that the people yelling about the lack of updates for the Atrix 4G and other devices aren’t as loud. Again, this is solely my opinion, and I have seen companies do similar moves like this to avoid such bad publicity. I’m sure a lot of people have seen it happen before, and there aren’t any solid facts, but what other reason did Motorola have to not update the Atrix 4G? They’ve said that it is so they can focus on their newer devices, but would you really do that after promising and even influencing your users to get the Atrix 4G simply for Ice Cream Sandwich? It’s really questionable.

I guess it could just be because they wanted to move forward with their newer devices and they had to draw the line somewhere. It still seems rather shady to me, as I myself had seen them promise over and over again that the device would get the update along with the Atrix 2. Whatever the case, it really seems like they’re just trying to avoid a huge publicity mess by providing it for the Atrix 2, the more popular device, as opposed to the Atrix 4G, the less popular handset.

Stay tuned for part 4 where I will summarize everything and then provide a few ways to possibly get you updated to Ice Cream Sandwich if you are interested in ROMs from the XDA Community.

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