Sony C530X HuaShan images leaked ahead of MWC

Sony’s recent smartphone line is becoming quite impressive and it seems that they are off to a great start in 2013.  I recently had some hands-on experience with the new devices and I can attest that Sony has improved a lot, and I am looking forward to some new Sony devices at  Mobile World Congress.

Sony-C530X-HuaShan-1-300x401One Sony device we might see which has recently been leaked, is code named as Sony C530X HuaShan. The design structure is similar to that of Sony Xperia Z, also it features the signature Power/Lock key on the side as well. It is said that there will be total three phones in this new Sony family: the C5302, the C5303 and the C5306. It seems like Sony will be introducing this series as a mid-range Android powered phones for various markets across the globe.

Sony-C530X-HuaShan-4-300x401It is rumored that the C530X series will feature specs such as a 720p display, a 1.7GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 , Adreno 320 graphics, and a late version of Android, or 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.

Overall, it seems like a good Android package. So, are you looking forward to new Sony devices at MWC? Tell us about it in the comment box below.

via: Android Authority


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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Plus rumored with 2560×1600 display

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Samsung may soon introduce a new, high-resolution member of the Galaxy Tab, if rumors prove to be correct. Reportedly, details for a GT-P8200 have been spotted and point to a 10-inch tablet with a 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution display. Given this is the same stuff we have in the Nexus 10 it makes sense to consider the tablet would be a premium experience, and a premium price.

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As it appears today, Samsung will announce the Galaxy Tab 3 in the coming weeks with this new GT-P8200 getting a Galaxy Tab 3 Plus moniker. Rumors suggest that Samsung’s new round of tablets will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

If it were up to us we would like to see the following costs for the new Galaxy Tab 3 series.

  • Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 16GB – 9
  • Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 32GB – 9
  • Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 16GB – 9
  • Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 32GB – 9
  • Galaxy Tab 3 Plus (10.1) – 9
  • Galaxy Tab 3 Plus (10.1) – 9

Via: Unwired View


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AppDialer-T9 Makes Searching for Apps Easy and Fast

appdialer-T9

Applications for Android have come a long way. Gone are the days where there were only one or two good choices to accomplish a certain, relatively obscure task. Games have certainly improved dramatically, and productivity applications seem to gain new functionality at a breakneck pace. This increase in application availability coupled with increased device storage has resulted in many smartphone users accumulating well over 100 installed applications.

With so many applications installed, it often becomes laborious to scroll through various pages to find exactly the app you had in mind. However, a new application can help streamline things with a few clicks of a virtual T9 pad.

The application is called AppDialer-T9, and it was released by XDA Forum Member piligrimm. Its premise is quite simple. It opens a quick search box, where users can search for their applications. Instead of the usual keyboard, a T9 keyboard is included to make finding apps as easy as clicking a few buttons. This can be wildly helpful for people who have and use a lot of applications.

AppDialer-T9′s main function is lightning fast app search, but it also has some other functions. It keeps track of which applications you use the most, and puts them in order of usage frequency. You can also search apps by vendor or by name. So no matter how you search, you’ll find the application you’re looking for.

This app probably won’t be helpful if you “only” have a few dozen applications currently installed. People with such a sparse selection of installed apps can readily open the app drawer and swipe a couple pages over in the same time it would take to launch the app. However, if you’re a power user with a whole boat load of apps, this can make task launching much easier and faster than looking through app drawers. Users have had nothing but good things to say about the application, and it has amassed an impressive 4.7 rating in the Google Play Store. There aren’t many options for quick app searching, but this is one of the best currently available.

If you need some app searching goodness, check out the AppDialer thread. Those looking to complete the T9 makeover with a T9 dialer can also take a look at the previously covered Reactiv Dialer by XDA Senior Member Phat7.

Open Garden app review

Share mobile data connections among all your devices with this free Android app.

Face it, you don’t want to pay for a tethering app and you’re not in a hurry to add another a month to your data plan.  Many of you don’t even want to bother with “rooting” a phone.  Why bother spending extra money for a tablet that only needs a data connection every once in a while?  Why jump through hoops? What to do? Download and install Open Garden, that’s what.

Open Garden lets users share their mobile data connection with laptops, tablets, and other device. No rooting needed, no charges to worry about. FREE.

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Let’s say you have a phone with a 4G data plan and a tablet that you want to take with you for a road trip.  Open Garden will take the data connection from your handset and share it with your tablet. In an office environment and have various devices with 3G/4G speeds and/or Wi-Fi?  Why not connect them all together and share that data?

Users can find the fastest connection and most powerful signal without checking every available network, and can move between networks seamlessly. Open Garden provides a way to access more data at faster speeds in more locations.

It doesn’t matter whether you have a 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi connection and it surely doesn’t matter which carrier or model you’re using.

Simply install the app, press “connect” and let the two devices find each other over Bluetooth.  Once running, you’ll see a visual representation of all of the devices talking to each other and get an understanding of how you’re connected.

open_garden_demo_screen

Open Garden is essentially a free mobile WiFi hotspot app and provides the same features of tethering apps. If you’re familiar with PDA Net or EasyTether then you have a sense of what’s happening.  Where Open Garden trumps these two is that it does not require a USB cable. Yes, it works like a few other tethering apps out there but many of them require users to have root access on the phone(s) or tablet(s).

I was impressed with the quick and painless setup; installation takes but a few seconds. It’s simply a matter of running the app on my phone and tablet and tapping the “connect” button.  From there, the two will talk to each and establish a connection. And, for those of you who have devices with NFC, you can tap them together to initiate the connection.

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It’s worth pointing out that not all applications or games will work properly via Open Garden. Some apps look for 3G,4G, or Wi-Fi connection to send and receive data and will not “know” that there is available internet. Some of the instances we ran into included downloading from Google Play, Netflix, Gmail, Google Now, Slacker Radio, and Pandora.

While this might seem like a turnoff for a few, we did find that all of the browsers we tried (Android, Chrome, and Firefox) worked just fine and Facebook was no problem. We were content with checking email from the browser and accessing other services through the internet.

These “connection issues” are actually known and documented and stem from the Android platform and apps not checking for VPN as a mode of connectivity. The developers of Open Garden are actively working on solutions and workaround and have even reached out to other apps to help. In other words, we recommend keeping an eye on the app’s dedicated forum thread for updates. Also, Google has recognized the issue and plans to implement a fix for future releases of Android.

I’ve yet to try Open Garden in the field with a handful of devices sharing data to a Wi-Fi tablet but my understanding is that this should work quite well. I have read multiple comments in Google Play where users are pleased with the results so I expect it to work without issue..

What we liked:

  • Very easy to set up and connect devices
  • Connect multiple devices to provide optimal network speeds
  • No rooting required
  • Free

Room for improvement:

  • Drains battery a bit more than we’d like
  • Sometimes need to disable Bluetooth in order to stop from connecting

Download Open Garden (Google Play)


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See Contacts Notes During Calls with Call Notes

Call Notes for Android

Long gone are the days when we were limited by the phone books of our dumb phones to store numbers of only the closest of our contacts. Smartphones now allow practically limitless phone book entries, and we often end up saving numbers of people we have just met once or twice. In such cases, it’s sometimes useful to jot down a note about them in order to remember them when they call.

While our smartphones do allow us to save notes for our contacts, the stock dialer app and even most third-party dialer replacements don’t show them when they’d serve the most use: when receiving a call. XDA Forum Member nikanorov, who previously brought us Download Scheduler, has come up with a solution for this with his app Call Notes.

Call Notes does one thing, and it does this well. It lets you save notes for your contacts, and then it shows them on screen when they call you or you call them. If you don’t care for the note to be displayed throughout the entire call, you can specify a duration for it to be displayed. After the preset time, it is automatically dismissed. You can also choose the note’s size, color, background color and alignment.

More information and download links can be found in the forum thread.


Verizon, AT&T consider monthly installments for devices

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Verizon and A&T are both considering the switch to full-priced cell phones, according to a recent Reuters report. The two carriers are are weighing whether to follow T-Mobile into the non-subsidized smartphones territory and offer monthly installments.

“That’s something we’ve looked at on several occasions. I kind of like that idea…It’s something we’re going to be watching.” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, a tad guarded, says the idea is “very intriguing” but worries customers won’t want to pay full-price for devices.

T-Mobile is expected to sunset Classic Plans this year and will move to full-priced handsets though it isn’t clear when this takes effect.

Via: Electronista


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Chainfire Announces SuperSU Icon Winners with v1.0 of SuperSU

superSU

We talk a lot about the importance of developers here at XDA because the reality is XDA was born for developers and exists for developers. So when one of our own consistently puts out significant and useful applications, we make sure to talk about it. XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire is one of those. His work with CF-Root, Triangle Away, ExynosAbuse, PerfMon, FAAPT, adbd Insecure, and more is second to none. With SuperSU, he introduced an icon competition to pick the next icon for the upcoming version 1.00 of SuperSU. Now, both have reached completion.

With the icon competition, Chainfire decided to deploy some new SuperSU features into the mix, including the ability to choose from one of the four finalists for your app icon. Using SuperSU’s new UI enhancements, you choose the app icon in the Settings menu. The four choices are now:

Super Andy (Juan Castillo), 1746 positive votes, 403 negative votes

Chip (Shoaib Ahmad), 726 positive votes, 396 negative votes

Emblem (Tha Phlash), 596 positive votes, 312 negative votes

SuperSU (Robert McKenna), 553 positive votes, 300 negative votes

 

It goes without saying that the new icons are spiffy, and the new features for SuperSU are as well. To add to the icon selection, SuperSU now has theme selection, convert to system app, 7″ tablet support, reworked shell detection, and much more. To find out more about the new features, visit the original thread and help support Chainfire’s continued contributions to the community.

Strategy Analytics: Android gobbled up 70% of global market share in Q4 2012

android_logo_nexus_wallaper_720Android accounted for seven in ten smartphones shipped around the globe in the fourth quarter of last year, according to Strategy Analytics. With an estimated 152 million smartphones shipped in Q4 ’12, Android nearly doubled in volume over the previous year. Last year saw the platform raking in 51 percent of the market however the surge now puts it at a massive 70 percent.

strategy_analytics_q412

Android is clearly the undisputed volume leader of the smartphone industry at the present time. Android’s challenge for 2013 will be to defend its leadership, not only against Apple, but also against an emerging wave of hungry challengers that includes Microsoft, Blackberry, Firefox and Tizen.

The coming quarters will be interesting to watch as Windows Phone continues to step on the gas and BlackBerry tries to muscle its way back into conversations. Of course, Apple is not going anywhere anytime soon; things could be much different in Q4 ’13.  Speaking of which, iOS accounted for 22 percent of the pie, leaving only 7.9 percent of the global market to split across everyone else.

Strategy Analytics


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Fox Digital Entertainment begins hyping Alien Vs. Predator: Evolutions

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Fox Digital Entertainment has started up the hype machine for the latest release in the ongoing saga of Alien Vs. Predator. The game, Alien vs. Predator: EVOLUTION (AVP: EVOLUTION), is developed by Angry Mob Games (Muffin Knight, Predators) and looks to raise the bar in terms of visually stunning and flashy mobile games.

Using the Unity Engine, AVP:E is 3rd person action-shooter/melee combat title, that lets plays choose either the Alien or Predator. Immerse story? Check. Vicious battles? Check. Upgradeable weapons, armor and abilities? Check, check, check.

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Picture 1 of 8

KEY FEATURES:

  • Play as an Alien & Predator: Two distinctive gaming experiences, incorporating unique characters with numerous abilities
  • Rich Sci-Fi Universe: A gripping campaign draws players deeper into the world of AVP: EVOLUTION
  • 5 Unique Environments: Kill or be killed as you advance through the Temple Arena, the Marine Base, the Alien Hive, and more!
  • A Proven Developer: Angry Mob Games has a proven track record developing popular titles like Guerrilla Bob, Muffin Knight and PREDATORS
  • Upgradeable Characters: Create your own ultimate killing machine with character upgrades and enhanced abilities
  • Unity Graphics Engine: Rich detail, advanced character models and distinctive lighting makes AVP: EVOLUTION a showcase title for new iOS & Android phones & tablets

Unfortunately, we have no idea as to when this game will arrive as the press release only mentions Q1 2013. That said, we’ll be watching for more details in the coming weeks.


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Active Lock Screen review

Active lock screen headerLockscreens are tricky. Most users (at least in my experience) like to stick with the stock lockscreen, because it’s simple and/or familiar. But as I’m constantly flashing new ROMs, I’m always on the lookout for a different spin on certain aspects of Android. Sliding Messaging was one, and this week it’s something called Active Lock Screen. Believe it or not, this free app was actually suggested to me by Google Play, under “Recommended for You.” I usually never find anything worth downloading there, but this time luck was on my side. After a quick look, my curiosity was more than piqued (Thanks, Reddit!). I installed the app, and I was instantly hooked. There are some major and minor reasons for this, so let’s jump right into them.

Screenshot_2013-01-29-06-02-14[1]The first noticeable thing about Active Lock Screen is that it’s very simplistic. There are only two target points for the lock icon: unlock, and a volume target (silent/vibrate/full volume). Seems pretty standard, right? Well, that’s where it ends.

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Once the user starts dragging the lock icon (or rather, the small ring that encompasses the lock icon), four icons appear, as shown above. Now, lockscreen shortcuts are nothing new. We’ve seen them in custom ROMs for quite some time, but this is a bit different. Each icon is a folder of sorts, holding up to eight different selections. The contact icon contains direct-dial shortcuts to user-set contacts. Basically, you drag the ring to the contact icon, then over “Dad,” and it jumps right into the phone to call your old man. It’s quite useful, although I do wish there were direct-text shortcuts as well.

Screenshot_2013-01-27-03-10-13[1]Moving on, the other three icons — messaging, camera, and a recent apps icon — are a bit more flexible. These can be loaded with up to eight apps. Obviously the intent is to put corresponding apps into each “folder,” but ideally anything could be done here. If you feel like throwing Temple Run 2 under the messaging icon, go for it.

Now, while each icon opens a wheel of apps or contacts within, each icon (with the exception of the recents icon) is also a target in itself. Dragging the ring just to the contacts icon opens the call log, the messaging icon opens the stock messaging app (or whatever third-party messaging app you use). And obviously, the camera icon launches the camera. The concept of folders in a lockscreen is great, but it’s nice to see that the developers put some thought into the basics as well.

Screenshot_2013-01-29-05-52-12[1]But wait, there’s more! Along with customizable folders, Active Lock Screen brings… (wait for it)… themes and plugins! There aren’t exactly hundreds of themes for ALS just yet, but Celltick Ltd., the developers, have released a fair number of themes already. I’ve settled on the Contrast theme, which is shown in the screenshots throughout this post. One downside to these themes is that the user can’t select the wallpaper, as it’s predetermined by the theme to match the icons. Slight bummer. Of course, if themes aren’t really your thing, you can always stick with the standard look of the app as well.

Screenshot_2013-01-29-05-47-13[1]Plugins are one of my absolute favorite aspects of ALS so far. They’re essentially widgets, but a bit more targeted. Celltick has a few plugins along with their collection of themes, and users can even have multiple plugins on the lockscreen at once. My personal favorite is the TED Talks plugin, which displays a new TED Talk that the user can jump to on YouTube, right from ALS. Users can swipe left or right to go from one plugin to the next, and this doesn’t affect the lock or sound icons at all. Active Lock Screen does this very smoothly, and it’s a nice change from the Android 4.2 lockscreen, where the lock icon disappears when swiping to another widget.

Screenshot_2013-01-29-05-47-52[1]Dragging any plugin into the lock ring performs a specific action, depending on the plugin. A few of these come with ALS, including Facebook and gallery plugins. The latter is somewhat useful, but really just fun to play with from time to time. It’s also worth noting that plugins must be dragged into the ring, not vice versa. Touching the lock ring will push the plugins to the background (still visible, just smaller and out of the way) to reveal those four icons we love so much. Again, it’s the little things that matter. Plugins may just be a fancier version of lockscreen widgets, but they’re done so well in ALS that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give them up.

After playing around with Active Lock Screen for just over a week, I can honestly say that it will take some time for me to leave it for another lockscreen replacement. In the end, it might be considered more of a “lockscreen trying to be a launcher,” but that doesn’t really matter. With the growing number of themes and plugins, users truly have the chance to make their lockscreen one of a kind. Celltick has something going here, and they seem to realize that. I can’t wait to see what new updates they bring to ALS in the near future. If you’d like to give it a shot for yourself, you can download Active Lock Screen below. I’ve also included a second link to the Contrast theme used in my screenshots.

What We Liked

  • Very smooth and fast
  • Simplistic, but with important features
  • Plugins are genius and very well executed
  • Customizable with themes and/or plugins
  • Attention to detail is very noticeable

Room for Improvement

  • Adding direct-text shortcuts to the contacts icon/folder would be a nice touch
  • As always, more themes can’t hurt

Download Active Lock Screen (Google Play)

Download Contrast Theme for Active Lock Screen (Google Play)


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Galaxy Note 10.1 Receives Official CM10.1 Nightlies

CM10.1

Anyone who has spent time on XDA, or in the Android community at large, knows that when a device receives inclusion in CyanogenMod’s device tree, it is a beautiful day. This is because CM support ensures that the device will have a longer-than-manufacturer-intended lifespan. This of course depends on the manufacturer providing the tools and documentation necessary for development to occur. In many cases, OEMs do a pretty good job at publishing the documentation for instances in which they deviate from the reference design of a device’s board. Other times, however, manufacturers seem to go into brain fart-mode when it comes to this.

Samsung, in their infinite wisdom, has made it extremely difficult for devices based on the Exynos 4 reference design to receive CyanogenMod 10.x nightlies. This is not new news, as it’s been well-covered that Samsung continues to fail the community when it comes to devices based on their Exynos 4×12 devices (Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Camera, Meizu MX). The sources from Samsung are consistently missing required pieces in order to be GPL-compliant, and recent investigations have found Gingerbread-remnants in their ICS sources.

All of that has not deterred XDA Recognized Developers espenfjo and Entropy512 from diligently laboring to bring the CM10.1 experience to the Galaxy Note 10.1. There have been obstacles, but they have pressed through. Thanks to their work, the Note 10.1 (N80o0 GSM and N8010/N8013 WiFi) recently began to receive CyanogenMod nightlies. As of the time of this posting, there are issues with Netflix working on CM10.1 but Entropy512 has put together a workaround for all Exynos 4 devices via the Xposed framework.

As is always the case, the typical disclaimers apply as CM10.1 is a work-in-progress, especially on these devices. So if you have a bug to report, make sure you post a logcat in the thread with a detailed description of what you were doing and what happened. In order to flash the builds, you will need to use either TWRP or  Entropy’s CWM build because they are the only ones that are confirmed to work at this time. If you receive an ‘assert failed‘ error message, you should first confirm that you are indeed using one of the two aforementioned recoveries.

ZTe Blade C to be released soon with Android Jelly Bean

ZTE, who’s Blade line of phones is becoming increasingly popular, is set to release another Blade device. The company from China is going to be releasing the Blade C, or V807, and it will be the first from ZTE to come out of the box with Jelly Bean.

According to the specs, the phone will come with:

  • 4 inch WVGA display
  • 3G
  • 3MP rear camera
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • dual-core 1 GHz MediaTek MTK 6577 processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of internal memory
  • 1,600 mAh battery

The V889S is already available in China, and should be coming to European markets soon.

via unwiredview


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New Google patent may hint at Nexus or Motorola phone with multiple LED flashes

In a new patent, Google has released their idea for a device (or devices) with multiple camera LED flashes.This leads us to the possible conclusion that, perhaps, a new Nexus or Motorola phone may be in the works with this new feature.

For those wondering what good multiple flashes would do, consider this. Xenon flashes are much better than the LED flashes, and that’s a fact. However, a system of multiple LED flashes could, in theory, give greater depth to he pictures by illuminating things differently that are at different distances.

Be sure to check out the full patent here, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

via unwiredview


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HTC schedules press event for February 19

HTC is sending out invitations to a press event for February 19 where it is expected that a new flagship smartphone will be announced. Presumably, this is the day where see the official unveiling of the long-rumored HTC M7. Very little is known about the event as of now however HTC does plan to start at  7 a.m. PT (10 a.m. ET) with a simultaneous HTC conference taking place in London.

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Get this look for your Android home screen: Holo Cards

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One of our absolute favorite things about Android is the fact that you can bend and tweak the platform to your needs.  Sure, there’s rooting and modding for deep level personalization, but that stuff does not always concern the everyday user. Some of just want to change the home screen around a bit and create a new user experience. To that end, we present our weekly series of Get This Look posts.

In a nutshell we will show you a new look for your Android handset and tell you which apps you’ll need if you want to mimic the feel. Note that the following details are but the ingredients to which you can create your own delicious Android dish – results will vary.  But that’s awesome. In fact, many of the designs we highlight tend to use the same apps

Continue reading: Get this look for your Android home screen: Holo Cards


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