Posts Tagged Reportedly

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

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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.

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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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Samsung Reportedly Acknowledges Galaxy S3 “Sudden Death” Issue, Has Fix Ready

According to Tweakers.net, Samsung is reportedly aware of a “sudden death” issue with its flagship Galaxy S3 phone. For those not familiar, the “sudden death” issue popped up on forums like XDA a month or so ago in forum threads that have now exceeded the 100-page mark. “Sudden death” refers to the device dying out [...]

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Is Foxconn Making The Amazon Smartphone?

Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. is reportedly making a new smartphone for Amazon, according to an article from Taiwan Economic News.

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Citing industry sources, the newspaper indicates that the phone will be made “on an exclusive basis.”

Reportedly, the Amazon smartphone will be released sometime between next year’s second quarter and third quarter. This would place it around April to September. Pertinent events that will be occurring at said time frame are Google I/O, which is scheduled for May, and a possible Apple event in June.

The Amazon smartphone will allegedly have a price tag of around US$100 to $200, as revealed by some manufacturers of the smartphone’s parts. Furthermore, Foxconn will be sending five million units of the smartphone to Amazon in 2013. Slashgear notes that five million units does not appear to be a very large number if one considers that Apple was able to sell five million units of the iPhone 5 in three days in the United States.

Taiwan Economic News points out that Foxconn wanted the Amazon deal because it needs a new company that will be a “driver for its handset shipment.” It would be recalled that Foxconn’s old partner, Nokia, has not been as successful as other smartphone companies in recent times.

Foxconn is expected to be working with parts suppliers such as J Touch Corp. and Young Fast Optoelectronics Co., Ltd., both makers of touch panels, in the Amazon project.

Since it entered the hardware manufacturing industry in 2007, Amazon has made itself into a key competitor among other hardware companies. Its strength mostly lies in the low prices of its mobile devices, including the Kindle Fire tablet, which was able to best other more established electronics companies.

Along with its new smartphone, Amazon is also expected to release a new version of the Kindle Fire tablet, which might be available on the third quarter of next year. Quanta Computer Inc. and Compal Electronics Inc. are reportedly the two companies that will be making the device.

via 1, 2

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2 Million Units of the iPhone 5 Reportedly Sold In China

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The iPhone 5 is Apple’s new flagship device and undoubtedly it has seen plenty of takers ever since it was launched last month. And to further boost the sales of the device, Apple this time around decided to launch the device in several countries making this the widest roll out for an iPhone, ever. Over 100 countries will see the iPhone 5 by the end of this month. However this past weekend when the device was launched in China, there weren’t lines or overnight campers outside the store. This led to suspicion that the device was not seeing a lot of buyers in China.

However, all of that seems to be false now with Apple reporting sales of over 2 million iPhones in China over the weekend. It seems like the stores didn’t have lines outside by intention, as Apple had decided on a new policy to give each pre-ordered buyer a specific time to collect the device, which as a result avoided the hassles of standing in lines. Apparently, the users would have to book the device a day in advance. Analysts predicted the iPhone 5 to not do all that well in China and expected a pretty lukewarm response. And since there were no lines seen over the launch weekend, many thought they were spot on.

A reason for the improved sales compared to last year could be due to the fact that the iPhone 5 is available on China Unicom and China Telecom, both popular carriers of the country. Previous iterations of the iPhones were only sold on China Unicom. The carrier apparently received a pre-order of 300,000 for the new iPhone, compared to 200,000 last year, which speaks volumes of the device’s sales this time around. Apple will be very convinced with how things went this time around with the iPhone launch compared to the iPhone 4S launch in January where people standing outside an Apple Store grew impatient which resulted in violence. It is commendable how Apple changed its old ways so as to accommodate for a new iPhone launch, and the sales speak for themselves. Apple sold 5 million units of the iPhone 5 during the first wave of launch (9 countries) in November, so the fact that China alone has sold 2 million over the weekend, tells us a lot about the demand for the smartphone in the country.

Apple and the carriers however, refrained from giving exact sales figures merely letting us know that 2 million units were sold. There’s no word yet on how other countries are selling the device, where the device arrived this past weekend along with China. The CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, was excited as always and had this to say – “Customer response to iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China. China is a very important market for us and customers there cannot wait to get their hands on Apple products.”

Source: Apple Insider
Via: Phone Arena

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Verizon’s Galaxy Note II Available Today For $300 With A Two-Year Agreement

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Roughly 20 hours ago, Verizon and Samsung finally announced that the Big Red variant of the Note II would be available today. And, well, now it’s available.

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You can get this monstrous not-quite-a-tablet-but-more-than-a-phone for $300 with a two-year agreement, but it seems to me that Verizon should’ve knocked at least $50 more off that price for the obtrusiveness of the branding which they so graciously slapped on the home button.

Still, if constantly being reminded of your carrier ball and chain isn’t an issue, you can head over to any Verizon retail store, Best Buy Mobile (white), or Verizon’s site to fulfill your dreams of having a phone that’s almost as big as your head.

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Verizon’s Galaxy Note II Available Today For $300 With A Two-Year Agreement was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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441 PPI Screens Reportedly Too Much For Samsung To Handle

 Samsung Full HD Display

We typically caution against getting overly excited about rumors so it’s only fair to advise against getting too down about them as well. The Samsung 4.99-inch full HD AMOLED screens that seemed like a sure thing just a few days ago don’t feel quite so certain today. The latest round of Samsung super-screen rumors, courtesy of DigiTimes, suggest the company is having a hard go of producing 441 PPI (pixels per inch) screens for its handsets. They cite an industry insider as attributing the problem to “lacking high-end technology.” The unnamed source said Samsung had even sought help from 3M with LITI (Laser Induced Thermal Imaging) technology to no avail.

As most tech blog readers will tell you, you probably shouldn’t take a DigiTimes rumor to the bank but they have nailed a few early rumors in the past.  And no, I’m not making a broken clock is right twice a day joke either… or am I?

Source: DigiTimes


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Asus Padfone 2 spotted in white in a series of press shots

Android Central

It's an Asus Padfone 2. But, it's an Asus Padfone 2 in white. That's really all there is different here, but as a series of press shots obtained by VR-Zone show, there's a white version of Asus' phone/tablet combination on the way. The phone is all white, and the tablet dock shares the coloring too. Reportedly though the front face of the tablet — not shown in any of the images — retains the original black bezels. 

Considering the official looking nature of these shots, it's likely we'll be seeing this line up alongside the black Padfone 2 pretty soon. There's no mention of availability, but since nothing else changes but the color, it's safe to assume the price will remain the same. To see the rest of the images be sure to visit the source link below. 

Source:  VR-Zone via Unwired View

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DROID DNA Bootloader Reportedly No Longer Unlockable Through HTCDev

To no one’s surprise, the HTCDev bootloader tool apparently no longer works on the HTC DROID DNA. The timing couldn’t be worse, of course, as the device launches on Verizon in the morning. We first reported that the tool was working, but feared that a last minute change would ruin our fun. That change has [...]

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Apple v/s Samsung patent war escalates; Nexus, S III, Note and iPhone 5 aadded to the petition

The smartphone battle just got fiercer and uglier.

Apple v/s Samsung, Apple v/s HTC, Apple v/s Motorola- it seems like the technology playground has become a litigation battalion. We all know how just a few days back, Apple and HTC settled their patent issue by signing a 10 year agreement. Reportedly, for every phone HTC sells, it would have to pay 8 bucks to the Californian giant.

However, in the twist of tales, Samsung has refused to bow down to Apple’s half-witted claims, and has opted to fight back. Perhaps, the $1.05 billion blow has raised their eye-brows and made them relentless in their pursuit to knock Apple down on the legal front.

Samsung has reportedly hiked the price of processors offered to Apple by 20%, just to make Apple aware of the fact that it can play dirty too. It has also decided to fight-back by filing a petition against Apple, which includes the list of Apple devices that are under various copyright infringements.

U.S magistrate Judge, Paul Grewal, allowed both Apple and Samsung to add new devices to their case filings. Taking advantage of that fact, Apple added a number of Samsung devices like Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S III, and Galaxy Note (nothing about Note 2, yet). To counter Apple’s additions, Samsung added iPhone 5 to its list of devices.  Though Apple wanted to counter Samsung’s addition, Judge Grewal had warned Apple about its constant interruptions in the legal proceedings.

It’s actually shameful and unfortunate how some of the leading innovators of our times are busy filing litigation, instead of filing patents on new technologies. Though innovation needs to be respected and accredited, but that does not imply you start suing everyone, for using your technology, even in a rather deceptive way. Apple’s previous claims of the ‘rectangular-design’ and the ‘screen gestures’ were not only naïve, but also spurious and imbecile. Imagine how much of mockery Apple would have created, had it invented a cell-phone, Wi-Fi or cellular network.

None of us have any problems with tech companies making humungous amount of money, nor do we have any problem with their filing of patents. What we do object is the amount of resources- time and money, which are spent on fighting over insipid issues. Though competition is necessary to facilitate innovation, it does not mean you start chopping down each other’s heads, just to hold your ground. Technology was created to help people; it was not created to make it exclusive to certain set of people. Apple as the world’s most innovative companies should realize this. From a company that innovates, it has become a company that only litigates. It needs to be a little more co-operative in its approach. It’s abortion of Google Maps, YouTube, and many other services, just shows how cynical it is about co-operating with its rivals.

No matter who wins- Apple or Samsung, at the end of the day, it’s the people, who would have to pay for the legal paperwork. Less show of litigation would not only decrease the cost of smartphones, but the money could be used into research and analysis in order to design better products, and offer avant-garde services.

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Nexus 7 Reportedly Caught on Fire Whilst Charging

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The ASUS Nexus 7 is Google’s premier tablet out there. A combination of solid hardware and software for its price point makes it one of the most desired tablets out there. However, as with any device, some units are prone to faulty hardware. And that seems to have come to light now with a Nexus 7 reportedly burning itself whilst being charged overnight. The user apparently, set the tablet for charging at night and by the time it was morning there was smoke everywhere and most of the damage was already done.

The back has completely melted out and the parts inside seems to be pretty smoked too. This appears to be an isolated incident, with this being the first case reported since the tablet’s launch in July, which makes us feel if there is something the user is hiding from us. We can’t say for sure, but the tablet is as good as dead now for the user as you can see from the images. ASUS however has been a good sport by replacing it with a brand new device.

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This is certainly not an alarming piece of information, mainly because the root cause is still not known. If my memory serves me right, there was a certain user in Europe who had a fuming Samsung Galaxy S III, which was later investigated by an independent authority and foul play was spotted (he got it wet and put it in close to a microwave). So unless we know what caused the device to burn up like this, it’s hard to jump to conclusions. What we do know is that the device is ruined now, although there’s a replacement on its way, this is something ASUS wouldn’t have expected.

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We should see ASUS or Google come up with a statement regarding the issue soon. With the holiday season quickly approaching, it would behoove Google and ASUS to come up with some sort of an explanation. We cannot rule out any foul play as of now. Nor can we come to ASUS’ rescue and claim this isn’t a hardware issue. Let’s hope we see a resolution to this mystery. As for existing Nexus 7 owners, don’t worry just yet. But a word of advice, don’t sleep with the tablet close to you, especially if it is being charged.

Source: Notebook Italia (Translated)
Via: Phandroid

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LG Nexus 4 leaks again with £389 price tag and two color options

It seems that Google and LG’s Nexus 4 just can’t manage to stay out of the news. The new flagship LG smartphone that will be Google’s newest Nexus is going to be unveiled to the world on Monday at Google’s Android event, but we’ve seen more leaks the past two weeks than I’m sure anyone had imagined. Those folks from CarphoneWarehouse are at it again. Reportedly leaking the price, and color options.

At this point we know almost everything there is to know about the LG Nexus 4, but now the leaked screenshot from Carphone Warehouse online inventory is rounding out the story. According to their sources and system, Google will be releasing both a white and black LG Nexus 4. I’m interested in seeing how that crystal reflection technology on the back of the device looks in white. I’m guessing it will shine like diamonds.

The leak also states a price, something the earlier pre-order page did not. This leaks seems to suggest the Google LG Nexus 4 will launch and be available for £389 unlocked and SIM free in the UK. Now this could very well just be a placeholder because it sounds a bit high. Do the math on that and it ends up being around $628 USD. Don’t get out the pitchforks just yet, we seriously doubt Google will be asking anything over $399-$449 for this device — especially if they indent to sell it right on the Play Store. They’ve been all about budget pricing lately.

For now we’ll just have to patiently await Google’s Android event that takes place Monday morning. We’ll be hearing about the Nexus 4, Android 4.2, and most likely that Samsung Nexus 10 tablet too. It’s going to be an exciting Monday in the world of Android so stay tuned.

Would you buy the LG Nexus 4 for £389?

[via MoDaCo]


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LG India Exec Reportedly Confirms Nexus 4 Coming Next Week

According to a report out of IBNLive, LG’s Amit Gujral, the head Mobile Product Planning, confirmed during an Optimus Vu launch event that LG would be making the next Nexus and that it would be announced on October 29 in NYC. He also mentioned that it will hit Indian markets by the end of November.  His [...]

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Official Galaxy S III Jelly Bean Updates Continue Rolling Out Across Europe – Now In France, Spain, Romania, And Austria

imageThe floodgates seem be open, folks – the Jelly Bean updates for the Galaxy S III are now rolling out all over Europe. Last month, Samsung shared Android 4.1.1 with Polish users, took a break to fix some bugs, and restarted the process two days ago in Sweden. As of today, the list of countries has expanded quite a bit – France, Spain, Romania, and Austria. All signs point to a much wider rollout, and I wouldn’t be surprised if even more territories and carriers show up within the next 48 hours.

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Image courtesy of @TodeaCristian

The build version of the update is the same as before: I9300XXDLIH.

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Official Galaxy S III Jelly Bean Updates Continue Rolling Out Across Europe – Now In France, Spain, Romania, And Austria was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Isis Mobile Wallet To Launch On October 22

After several delays, Isis Mobile Wallet is finally launching this coming October 22. Reportedly, the postponements were due to several factors which were all deemed important for ensuring an optimal user experience.

To recap, Isis Mobile Wallet is a mobile payment system that harnesses the power of Near Field Communication technology. It is a joint effort of several wireless carriers, namely Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, and T-Mobile USA.  Isis, which may be used in buying items, or transactions involving coupons or loyalty cards, will be a direct competitor of Google Wallet. The service features virtual credit cards and a section where users can view special offers. Using Isis for the first time also provides a $10 bonus card, which can be boosted into a reloadable card, entitling the user for an extra $15. Isis likewise comes with a security feature that will enable the carrier to freeze the wallet in case one’s smartphone is stolen or lost.

In time, Isis Mobile Wallet is expected to be available on future handsets from said wireless companies. Earlier, it was revealed that Isis Mobile Wallet will be supported, as well, by credit card companies and merchants like American Express, Barclaycard, Visa PayWave, MasterCard Paypass, and Discover Zip, among others. Apart from this, phone makers including Samsung, HTC, Sony, and Research In Motion, are said to be planning to release phones supporting the payment system.

Isis Mobile Wallet will have a test launch in two areas: Salt Lake City, Utah, and Austin, Texas on Verizon’s Droid Incredible 4G smartphone. Already, Verizon has rolled out an update that makes the smartphone ready for the arrival of Isis Mobile Wallet.

Droid Life also reports that the wireless company will also hold a promotion that will run from October 22 to November 20. Consumers may purchase the Incredible 4G LTE and get a $50 Visa Pre-Paid card. It appears that users will need to use Isis and submit a rebate form to be able to receive the Visa Pre-Paid card.

via droid-life

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HTC One X Jelly Bean Update leaked, custom ROM now available for download

Taiwanese manufacturer, HTC, has already confirmed that HTC One X will be getting Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update at the end of the month. While it is good news for some owners, others can’t just wait to see JB in action. Consequently, we have seen One X running the latest version of Android as early as July. Thanks to the brilliant minds of XDA Developers who were behind the successful port, although it was not really perfect that time.

However, a month prior to the official roll out of HTC One X Jelly Bean update, the ROM was leaked giving XDA developer community a huge opportunity to make it work perfectly this time. Users who are into taking risks just to make their devices run custom ROMs may be the ones who could enjoy it; average users are advised not to venture out in flashing the ROM as it requires skills only experienced developers know. Reportedly, there is an issue in update HBoot with S-On; thus, it was released specifically for developers.

Unfortunately, for now, the leaked update is not compatible with all versions of One X. In fact, there are only a handful of owners who will be able to enjoy it. To determine whether your device is okay for this update, you have to check your device’s CID number. You can either download the CID Getter app from the Google Play Store or run the following command on fastboot: Fastboot oem readcid.

HTC One X smartphones that have the following CID numbers are the only ones compatible with this leaked Jelly Bean update.

  • 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

If your device has any of the CIDs above and you think you have what it takes to make the flashing successful, then you have to visit XDA Developer forums to know the step-by-step tutorial. For those who do not want to take the risk, wait for HTC One X official Jelly Bean update. After all, there is only a couple of weeks left before the roll out.

Sources: Flashing Tutorial | FAQ

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Official Galaxy S III Jelly Bean Update Reportedly Rolling Out In Europe, Starting With Poland

wm_IMG_1429One of the most anticipated OS upgrades in recent Android history has reportedly begun in Europe (specifically, Poland) where official Samsung Galaxy S III Jelly Bean firmware was discovered via Kies a couple of hours ago. Since no carrier marking was attached to the announcement by SamMobile’s tracker, it looks like the update applies to the unlocked, unbranded variant localized to Poland – specifically, GT-I9300MBDXEO. Google Now and the updated Google Search, offline speech recognition, Project Butter, expandable notifications – it’s all there.

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Earlier this  month, Samsung promised that the international S III units would start seeing Android 4.1 as soon as October, so it appears the company is actually ahead of schedule.

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In the Least Surprising News on the Planet, Verizon’s Galaxy Note 2 Will Reportedly Have a Locked Bootloader

Surprised that the Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will reportedly have a locked bootloader? You shouldn’t be. In fact, going forward, you should assume that every Verizon smartphone will have a locked bootloader. That’s who they are and they aren’t about to change it.  Big Red thinks that you could potentially harm [...]

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[Rumor] Surprise! The Bootloader Is Reportedly Locked On Verizon’s Galaxy Note II

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We already know that the Big Four will be getting their own respective renditions of the Galaxy Note II. We also expect that it’ll also be part of a unified release much like the Galaxy S III. We’ve even seen how Verizon defiled its home button. Turns out leaving its mark on the face of the device wasn’t enough for Big Red, though; the carrier has also done some work to the bootloader.

They locked it, and there probably won’t be any official method of unlocking.

Normally we don’t post this type of rumor without confirmation from the development community, but at this point we have no reason to believe otherwise.

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[Rumor] Surprise! The Bootloader Is Reportedly Locked On Verizon’s Galaxy Note II was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Samsung Will Reportedly Unveil the New Galaxy S4 in February, You Don’t Say!

Let the games begin! Only three months after Samsung released the Galaxy S3 into our lives, we have the first Galaxy S4 rumor to mock. According to today’s rumor which is straight from company officials who wish to remain nameless, Samsung will unveil the next generation flagship Galaxy in February at Mobile World Congress. The [...]

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Acer Reportedly Cancels Announcement Of Aliyun-Powered Smartphone Following Google Warning, Says Alibaba

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Earlier this evening, Nasdaq reported that Taiwanese manufacturer Acer decided to cancel a press conference scheduled for Thursday, which would have seen the announcement of Acer’s CloudMobile A800.

The smartphone, which would have been unveiled in Shanghai, was set to run on Aliyun, a mobile OS developed by a Chinese Internet firm called Alibaba Group, the largest internet firm in China by transactions. Acer indicated that the press conference was canceled after Google, according to Nasdaq, “expressed concerns about the smartphone.”

An anonymous official at Acer commented that “Acer will continue to communicate with Google and the company still wants to launch the new smartphone based on Alibaba software.”

Alibaba chimed in on the news as well, with an unnamed representative stating that Acer was “notified by Google that if the product runs Aliyun OS, Google will terminate its Android-related cooperation and other technology licensing with our partner,” adding “we regret Google’s action.”

It’s pretty clear that this story has a very intricate grapevine in front of it – no one is sure if (or why) Google issued such a warning to Acer, and the search giant has thus far declined comment on the story.

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Samsung Reportedly Confirms That The International Galaxy S III Will Get Jelly Bean "As Soon As" October

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Speaking to CNET UK, Samsung has confirmed the Galaxy S III sold abroad will be getting Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) “as soon as” October. Which sounds wonderfully non-committal. Though if that October estimate holds true, it’d probably be a record for Samsung. Perhaps they’ve finally realized people care about OS updates.

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We’ve already seen leaks of Jelly Bean firmware for the international S III, as well as the T-Mobile edition in the US, so this sounds about right to us.  When the LTE version of the S III launches in the UK on the Everything Everywhere network, it will actually come with Android 4.1 pre-installed.

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Amazon Phone Reportedly Being Announced Tomorrow Alongside New Kindle Fire and E-Reader

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Tomorrow, Amazon will mostly announce their brand new Kindle Fire and Kindle e-readers to the world. But if you though that was all they had up their sleeve, wait until you hear this. According to sources at The Verge, it seems Amazon could have something their very own “one more thing” moment planned for tomorrow’s press event and will involved the unveiling of a Kindle phone.

Sources say the device is still very early but will run on the same modified Android 4.0 OS as its bigger brother. With that, we can’t be sure sure if they will have a hands-on with the device, or if it will remain behind glass.

We wont have to wait much longer to find out. I’ll be up bright and early tomorrow morning bringing you guys the latest of what I admittedly thought was going to be a snooze-fest. Now, with the possibility of a Kindle Phone… things just got interesting.


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Google and Apple CEO’s Reportedly Engaging In Over-The-Phone Patent Talks

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According to an exclusive report from Reuters, Google CEO Larry Page and Apple CEO Tim Cook have been chumming it up, engaging in behind-the-scenes talks over each of their company’s intellectual properties. It wouldn’t be the worse idea we’ve heard and sure, we’d like to see Google rise up off the ground like a sleeping giant, crushing Apple with patent violations and injunction rulings, but offensive legal action isn’t typically how Good Guy Google plays ball.

Apparently, the two megacorps are simply keeping the lines of communication open, despite Apple’s trial win against Samsung last week over trade dress and design patents. It was said both CEO’s have spoken over the phone with future phone meetings scheduled for a later time. But it’s not just the chief executive officers, discussions are also being conducted by lower-level officials as well.

So what exactly is being discussed? Well, that can only be speculated. But in my mind’s eye I can see Larry Page making the first move, calling up Tim on his direct line, asking if there’s some kind of mutual middle ground that can be reached. Tim would respond with an astronomical number pulled out of thin air and perhaps that’s when the convo ended.

It’s been suggested Google should simply do what they can to quell Apple and get back to doing what they do best — innovating. I’d be inclined to agree but still, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about trolls from my short time writing on Android blog, it’s that sometimes they can’t be appeased… and a swift ban-hammer is the only way to deal with the situation.

 


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LG Optimus Vu Reportedly Coming To Verizon As The ‘Intuition’ – New Name, Same Ridiculous Proportions

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We’ve known for a while that Verizon is slated to get its own variant of the massive LG Vu, but it seems the “Vu” name just isn’t good enough for Big Red. According to a new leak that landed in the hands of Droid Life, the Vu for Verizon is slated to be named the… wait for it… LG Intuition.

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While we don’t know exactly when it will be available, the Vu Intuition should be available for $199 with a two-year agreement ($549 off contract).  Looks like this is as close as we’re getting to a phablet on Verizon; unless, of course, the rumored 5″ HTC monster becomes a reality.

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Verizon Reportedly Blocks Vacations in September Because of iPhone 5 Launch, Poor Motorola

According to TechCrunch, Verizon has blocked employees from taking vacations between September 21 and September 30 because the next iPhone will launch during that time. Their source didn’t specifically mention that the iPhone was indeed launching on the 21st, but since everyone is expecting Apple to announce the phone on September 12, a launch of [...]

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Ubi Develops an Inexpensive, Voice-Activated Android Device for Your Home

Most Android gizmos are tablets or smartphones with palm-sized, resplendent screens and god-knows-how-many cored processors.

However, Ubi, a voice-activated, screen-less and Android powered device is one such device which has transcended the barrier of conventionalism and emanated from waters of innovation.

Ubi is another product which has kick-offed by grabbing some cash from the Kickstarter campaign. Well, not merely just cash, but eyeballs as well. Reportedly, they have well surpassed their $36,000 goal and are going strong on finances.

Ubi stands for Ubiquitous computing, which means omniscient computing. The name perfectly annotates what Ubi does. The idea behind developing Ubi was to take advantage of Android’s voice-powered interface to develop an inexpensive home computer which would allow users to do things they like, just by talking.

You just have to plug device into a wall-jack (make sure you choose a place where you can keep in on all day long) and connect it our Wi-Fi network. That’s it. You can talk to her and make her do anything you like. (Okay, not anything!)

Ubi comes with an eye-catching, resplendent indicator light on its rear which changes on events like weather and stock-prices. Ubi can be easily paired up to work with your home theatre system or any other device on your Wi-Fi network.

Ubi would come powered by the latest version of Android- Jellybeans 4.1. You can use Ubi’s voice-control features to set alarms, voice memos, listen to music or podcasts online, make calls or even surf Internet. We know it doesn’t have a screen, but well, it would read it out for you. Other applications which could be embedded into this adroit Android device could be intercom system, baby monitor system, noise pollution monitor (!!) and temperature control monitor.

The hardware configurations are decent too. Ubi comes powered with an 800 MHz Allwinner A10 ARM Cortex-A8 single core processor, 1GB of RAM, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, an RF transceiver, mic and speakers, and light, humidity, temperature, and air pressure sensors. Ubi would also support USB connectivity, which means you can also plug-in your external storage.

Ubi just measures 4″ x 4″ x 1.1″, which means it can be easily plugged onto any wall-socket, anywhere in your home.

Though the concept is extremely sly and innovative, the ‘screen-less’ feature still hurts me. Though Google’s Voice control features are sumptuous, how can it describe a picture, map or video which the search results might throw up? I think Ubi developers might have just missed the trick, by not including the most vital component when it comes to Android devices (or any devices) – the display.

However, Ubi still would turn out to be a boon to those who have visual, hearing or mobility impairments.

Ubi team hopes to deliver the first beta version by January 2013 and would start shipping devices from February onwards. If you choose, you can reserve you gig for $189 from the Kickstarter page.

P.S: So, post January, if someone mocks you with “Who are you talking to, the Wall?”  You can turn back and say “Yes” with a Duchenne smile.

Catch Ubi in action, here:

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Chinese App Stores Hit by SMS Malware, Half a Million devices Infected

We have been interminably reporting on the increasing presence of Android malware and how their tentacles are spreading tenaciously.

Reportedly, Chinese App stores are hit by the discovery of a new type of virus capable of running in stealth mode and instating unauthorized payments. As we know Google Play Store has been barred in China, but with Android on the rise in the South-Asian nations, these app stores have sprung to life.

TrustGo was the first to identify the presence of malware which is believed to have affected nearly 500,000 devices by now. The sophisticated malware has been nicknamed as ‘Trojan!SMSZombie’ and was first identified on July 25 by the firm.

TrustGo has successfully implemented a technique to remove the malware, which has potentially ‘barricaded’ into thousands of devices.

According to TrustGo, the virus is capable of making unauthorized payments, accessing bank/ credit card/ debit card details, details of past payments and bill history. The virus runs in complete stealth mode, thereby avoiding any detection. TustGo in fact was the first security specialist to cite the presence of the malware in Gfan- one of the most famous Chinese App Stores. The App Store has a combined membership of over half a million people. Though the count is puny in comparison to China’s 683 million subscribers, it still has enough potential to create sordid mayhem.

The creators of the malware were canny enough to build a potent virus which avoided any detection by running in complete stealth mode. They recharged accounts for online gaming sites and other anonymous services by making “relatively low” deposits from infected phones. The clandestine approach helped them to stay relatively inert and avoid any detection.

The malware exploits the vulnerability present in China Mobile’s SMS payment gateway system. As many users in China are using SMS to make payments, it becomes relatively easy for the malware to gain the details of bank cards and accounts.

TrustGo in its blog explains how the virus gains access to SMS functionality to make unauthorized payments:

The SMSZombie virus has been repackaged in numerous wallpaper apps, which attracts users with its alluring titles and pictures. When users use this app to set their device’s wallpaper, the app prompts the user to download additional files, which are associated with the virus. When the user gives the affirmation, the virus payload is received within a file named “Android System Service.”

After installation, the virus then tries to access administrator privileges on the installed device. It prompts the user for access. The developers were quirky enough to disallow cancellation from the user. Pressing the “Cancel” button only reloads the dialog box until the user eventually is forced to select “Activate” to stop the dialog box. These privileges would now disallow users to delete the given app. Uninstalling the app would cause the device to return to the home screen.

TrustGo also explains how the malware gets access of bank accounts and cards:

Using a configuration file that can be updated by the malware maker anytime, the malware can intercept and forward a variety of SMS messages. Because these messages often include banking and financial information, bank accounts can be easily hacked.

The presence of such malicious viruses is an acrimonious threat to openness of Android. Though users have the luxury to tinker with settings, customize the appearance and enjoy a wide number of apps, but enjoying all that at the cost of security does not sound like a fair-game to me.

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Google+ App Updated, Teens Can Create Hangouts from Mobile and Other Goodies

Google’s social network Google+, just received an update that is now live on Google Play. The update includes some added features for Hangout users including the ability to join a ‘Hangout on Air’ from your mobile and teens can now create their own mobile Hangout sessions. Reportedly, people under a certain age were unable to create [...]

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Blackberry App Store: an Amateur Android Developer’s Take-off board

“Two roads diverged by in a wood and I—took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference”- Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

For a developer, the two roads are apparent- Google and Apple. With both tech-giants hosting over half a million apps and encircling more than billion smartphone users, who would even think about any other plausible road?

Though these app stores provide limitless exposure, the sad reality of these stores is also that you may risk being over-shadowed in the never-ending ocean of mobile apps.

There are countless apps listed on these stores but as we know very few make it to the top. Reportedly, 1% or even lesser apps get the due attention of the main-stream audience.

For an amateur Android developer who has just started off on the Play Store, this can be a nightmare. No matter how good an app is, it stays right there unnoticed, as Google rarely hovers its spot-light over a newly launched app.

However, if you’re an Android developer, Blackberry has a workaround for you. Blackberry has released an Android app player for their Playbook a few days back, in an attempt to woo the developer community to switch from Android to Blackberry, as it realizes that the developer community won’t step over to developing native app for its platform until they see a potential audience.

Taking note of this, Cubifice- an Android app developer has seized this opportunity by porting its Android game to Playbook. To his utter amazement, the app got an overwhelming response and the app registered 25 times more downloads when compared to Play Store.

This is what Larocque told RIM in an interview:

“The Blackberry user community is extremely well-engaged and the Blackberry App world provides far better visibility for your application. The App World has a clear-cut layout and is void of any fragmentation/ segregation issues, something which is unlike Google Play Store, where your app feels lost into the huge sea of similar applications.”

He also added that not only did App World help in boosting the number of downloads, it also increased the visibility of the app. The visibility factor plays a crucial role while monetizing the app, as more reach and visibility would mean less investment on marketing and advertising to users.

He admits however that greater visibility on RIM Store is not because App World deploys some enigmatic code-patterns but because there are less number of apps in the App World. In a store where there are only thousand odd apps and dozen odd games, it’s easy to snatch the top position, given your app is fairly decent.

Though shady, App World would be idealistic for amateur Android developers or enterprise start-ups that are looking to build audience. Instead of splashing money on advertising and marketing, it would be far better to list app on a different app store.

If more and more developers find this switch lucrative, this can also compel Blackberry to rethink its strategy on adopting Android as its OS. Maybe, its time to choose the road less travelled, for both developers and RIM.

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HTC Sense 4.1 Reportedly Leaks in New ROM, We Look for Changes

A new HTC ONE X ROM was released over the weekend at XDA, one that was significant because it was said to be based off of a new Sense 4.1 RUU. To this point, Sense 4.0 is the most current version of HTC’s custom Android skin, so naturally, we took this 4.1 ROM for a [...]

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