There have been some Nexus 5 users that have been experiencing some issues with the volume on their Nexus 5. After having experienced this issue himself developer Adam Outler dug a bit deeper to try to find out what could be causing the low speaker volume on his phone when some others weren't experiencing the same issue. Adam found that the cause of the speaker volume issue turns out to be due to the construction process and the glue used to assemble the device leaking into some areas which obstructs the speaker port. This defect has shown up in many devices, but is not all that difficult to fix. The fix does require you to tear open your phone and do some hardware modification. While this can void your warranty, it should also increase your volume by 2.5x's. This only works if you have initially experienced the problem. Head to the link below for the full guide with photos.
Nov 18, 2013 - 7:08 PM - by pc747
Nov 18, 2013 - 3:14 PM - by pc747
Chromecast at Motorola - A Google Company
You can now purchase a Chromecast straight from Motorola; with Motorola selling the Chromecast how long until we see one unified store to buy both Google and Motorola products?
Nov 18, 2013 - 3:07 PM - by dgstorm
Amazon just released the newest version of their Kindle Fire OS. This one is for the Kindle Fire HD and the HDX. Here's the full changelog below:
Kindle Fire OS 3.1 changelog:
- Find and share books with Goodreads: Goodreads on Kindle lets you connect with the Goodreads community to follow friends and see what they are reading, and share and rate books on your Kindle Fire.
- Organize your content with Cloud Collections: Organize your content library into collections like "Favorite Books" and "Sports Apps" that are synchronized with compatible Kindle devices and reading apps.
- Watch movies and TV shows on another device with Second Screen: Fling movies and TV shows from your Kindle Fire to your 2013 Samsung Smart TV or PlayStation 3 using Second Screen.
- Learn more about books with Smart Lookup: With the Smart Lookup feature, you can quickly look up words in the dictionary or Wikipedia or translate text in a book.
- Print from Your Kindle Fire: Print Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, photos, e-mails, calendar events, and contact information from your Kindle Fire to a printer that supports mobile printing.
- Free up storage space with 1-Tap Archive: With 1-Tap Archive, your Kindle Fire groups all content that has not been used recently so you can move it to the Cloud with just one tap.
- Enhanced enterprise features: Manage security certificates and connect to your company’s Wi-Fi network—whether you’re at home or at work—with remote VPN capabilities.
- Set alarms and view additional time zones with the Clock app: Use the all-new Clock app to check the date and time, set an alarm clock, and more.
Nov 18, 2013 - 12:53 PM - by dgstorm
It looks like Asus has been busy working on Android 4.3 for the newest Transformer Pad Infinity. The TF701T just launched at the end of October, but Asus is already pushing out the OTA update of Android 4.3 to the device.
Just a few days ago we shared that Asus was going to start sending out the update on November 18th and they were true to their word. The update includes all of the following:
- Standard Android 4.3 functions
- Improved battery life
- Improved trackpad responsiveness (in dock)
- Improved dock battery charging
In that story from last week Frederuco reported that some users where already getting the update. Sound off if you are one of those lucky few who got it then or now.
Picture Source: AndroidPolice
Nov 18, 2013 - 12:33 PM - by dgstorm
We are calling this one a rumor for now, because we still don't have any confirmation that LG will be the next maker of the Nexus 10 Android tablet. Furthermore, these pics could have been easily faked, leaving us skeptical. Despite our reservations, we wanted to share the above supposedly leaked pics of an LG made Google Nexus 10 tablet.
Along with the leaked pics there are also some other tidbits. First, we can obviously make out a price in the pic on the left. This would suggest a US retail price around $450-500, although if you factor in VAT and price differences, it's possible the tablet will be even cheaper than that. Additionally, this report suggests we will acutally see this device launch on November 22nd, which is this Friday. we will keep an eye on things and let you know what we find out.
Nov 18, 2013 - 12:19 PM - by dgstorm
We have reports filtering in that the Verizon version of the Moto X has already started receiving the Android 4.4 KitKat update. This only applies to folks who are Verizon Wireless beta testers in the Motorola Feedback Network. Still, it bods well for am imminent launch of the update to all users. Verizon usually doesn't send out a test update unless it is very close to completion.
If you feel like you might just start seeing pigs fly, you are not alone. It's highly unusual for Verizon to start getting new updates sooner than other carriers for their devices. This suggests they have been working diligently and closely with Motorola to knock out this update quickly. More than likely we can expect the final rollout within the next 3-4 weeks; we'll keep you apprised as things develop.
In the mean-time, if you are one of the lucky soak test partners, don't share how you like it, because we don't want you to get in trouble and lose your Moto Feedback Network status.
Nov 18, 2013 - 11:00 AM - by dgstorm
It looks like Google will be finally working on improving their most neglected feature in Android, the camera software. First, a developer named Josh Brown noticed in some Android code that Google is working on a new Android camera API. This new API would allow the camera to store RAW (uncompressed) images along with the JPEG ones. This would provide users with a massive amount of correction and manipulation capabilities after the image is captured. It looks like the new API might also get some stock support for modular and external cameras, which would be rather unusual.
That's not all. Here's a quote with more of the details,
Finally, there are also hints in the code that Google is working on improving the image quality and "fine-grain control" in the camera capabilities on Android. Supposedly this new API work was started in December of 2012, so it's possible we might see it show up in a later version of KitKat. It's exciting to see Google finally paying attention to one of the most important aspects of a smartphone.
The new API also supports face detection. This includes bounding boxes around faces and center coordinates for the eyes and mouth. In addition to the face-focus capabilities, the system can assign unique IDs to each face (provided they stay on screen) so developers could do things like assign silly hats to multiple faces in a video feed. While you may have seen face detection on some Android devices, those were all solutions built by Android OEMs.
There's support for burst mode, too—another feature that you would swear was already included in Android, but isn't. On Nexus devices, the only "burst mode" involves the user pressing the shutter button really fast.
Nov 18, 2013 - 10:16 AM - by dgstorm
It looks like a nearly whole build of Android 4.3 recently leaked for the GT-N7100 Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The new build is version N7100XXUEMK4, and includes several new features like Samsung's KNOX security and compatibility with Samsung Galaxy Gear. It is remarkably stable so it should be one of the "final" builds of the device. Here's a quote with a breakdown of how to try it out below. (Of course, be cautious and follow the directions perfectly. We don't want you "bricking" your device.)
Version: Android 4.3
Build date: Sun, 10 Nov 2013 14:55:01 +0000
Product Code: INU
- This test firmware will NOT increase your binary counter NOR void your warranty.
- This test firmware is a pre-release firmware and not official from Samsung.
- Extract (unzip) the firmware file
- Download Odin3 v3.09 (From here
- Extract Odin .ZIP file
- Open Odin3 v3.09
- Restart phone in download mode (Press and hold Home + Power + Volume down buttons)
- Connect phone and wait until you get a blue sign in Odin
- Add AP_N7100XXUEMK4_2099172_REV04_user_low_ship.tar.md 5 to AP
- Add BL_N7100XXUEMK4_2099172_REV04_user_low_ship.tar.md 5 to BL
- Add CP_N7100DDEMJ9_REV08_CL1423182.tar.md5 to CP
- Add CSC_ODD_N7100ODDEMK1_2099172_REV04_user_low_ship.t ar.md5 to CSC
- Make sure re-partition is NOT ticked
- Click start button, sit back and wait a few minutes.
- If you encounter any issues with the firmware (Any FC, Bootloop etc)
- Boot into recovery mode (Home+power+vol up)
- Choose to wipe/factory reset. (THIS WILL ERASE ALL OF YOUR DATA INCLUDING YOUR INTERNAL SD CARD!)
- Then choose reboot and you should be good to go!
Nov 18, 2013 - 9:26 AM - by dgstorm
We have some reversal news which might bring sadness to Samsung Galaxy S4 owners on AT&T. Just last week we reported that the Android 4.3 update was pushing out to these devices, and that was true as some folks already got the update. However, it turns out there have been some issues crop up and they have had to put the update on hold.
There's no official word confirming what the issues are, nor how long the update will be put on hold. From doing some digging it seems like the issues might be related to Wi-Fi and/or cellular data connection issues. Additionally, there are reports of some other random bugs and glitches. Interestingly, this isn't the first time the Android 4.3 update was put on hold for a Samsung device. It just happened on Friday to the Korean and UK versions of the Samsung Galaxy S3. Of course we will keep you updated when the update starts rolling out again.
In the mean-time, if you have already received the initial rollout before it was put on hold, sound off in the thread and let us know if you are experiencing any unusual issues with this Android 4.3 update.
Nov 17, 2013 - 7:45 PM - by pc747
I personally like hearing what people have to say as far as Android and tech is concerned. Whether you agree with me or not I personally like reading your take and getting a different perspective. For most of us Sunday evening is the last moment to unwind before you get back to the daily grind. I personally use that time to get in some NFL football and browsing the web. That gave me an idea of a weekly article where I post a few (Android related) vids and articles I find on the web and open it up for an open chat session. Three articles caught my attention.
MKB review of the galaxy round. Found that review interesting and had me thinking. When Samsung first released the Note people did not warm up to that device, but Samsung was the first to go phablet (technically Dell was first but many recognize Samsung Note as the first) and took a huge risk. Now the note brand has increasingly grown into more and more consumer hands. So do you see Samsung doing it again and changing the industry with the round?
2) Getting To Know Android 4.4 KitKat Edition - Android Gets Cleaner, Brighter, More Useful
As I posted in another thread, this article does a good job pointing out and comparing 4.4 Kit Kat with the previous version of JB. What do you guys think of Kit Kat and where would you like to see Google go from here?
3) Motorola/Google. Earlier in the week I wrote an article comparing the Motorola X to the Nexus 5 and a few commented about the Nexus and the Motorola marketed to different people (good point by the way). My question following a statement here is that it is obvious that Google is trying to extend their Nexus brand beyond "geeks" (just look at the ads for the Nexus 7 tablets). I personally think Google is using both the Nexus and Motorola X to test the market and use what they learn to change the face of both Motorola and Nexus devices to change how we view software on a phone. How can Google utilize both the Motorola brand and Nexus brand to serve the diverse Android market ?
Nov 16, 2013 - 2:33 PM - by pc747
I remember starting a thread here a few years ago rallying for us to get a Nexus on Verizon. Now that I have owned a few Nexus devices, I have noticed a trend of quality control issue(s) that have become an annoying pattern. I was in line waiting for the Galaxy Nexus a few years ago and finally got a Verizon Nexus in my hands only to run into a batch of issues. Some I overlooked because the dev community produced fixes (ie volume). I went through 5 Nexus devices because of radio issues being unbearable. I finally gave up and bought an HTC Rezound (much better radios) but ended buying the Galaxy Nexus again.
As much as I loved my Galaxy Nexus, it was frustrating to see my signal drop constantly; I even swore off Samsung because of the radios only to buy a Note 2 which has been solid for me in every category. Still, even though I was disappointed in the Galaxy Nexus, I was more on the side of blaming Verizon and Samsung than Google so when I had the chance to get a Nexus 7, I jumped on it only to find out it had sleep of death and charging issues (charging issues was from the battery cable not being plugged in and sleep of death from powering off the device while still plugged into the computer).
We go to the Nexus 7 2013 and there are issues with the multitouch panel. Here we are with the Nexus 5 and I was so excited about it that I put in my order through Google via play store on day 1. If it was not for my gut telling me to cancel and make sure the first batch on Nexus 5s do not turn out to be plagued with issues I would have my Nexus 5 now. My eyes have been glued on various forums waiting to see every one say "this is the best Nexus ever I have no issues", sadly I saw issues (Nexus 5: Common Problems Users Have and How to Fix Them | Digital Trends) that ranged from dead pixels, vibration motor, and low speaker volume and on XDA a member believed the issue to be a result of glue. (How to Fix the Low Speaker Volume on Your Google Nexus 5 ? xda-developers)
So this brings me to the title question: Because the Nexus devices are being sold for cheap, have manufacturers given up on providing proper quality control?
I understand that nexus devices are sold at a cheaper price but $400 is not pocket change (at least not for me) and if I spend my hard earned money on a product I expect the build to be up to standard. Now I am ok with Google deciding to go with cheaper parts but cheaper should not mean poorly assembled.
Am I scrutinizing Google too heavily or is this a fair assessment?
Nov 15, 2013 - 11:00 AM - by dgstorm
Speaking of the FCC, it looks like they are really doing great things to protect consumer rights lately. Not only are they currently working to make sure phones can be carrier unlocked by consumers, they also just released a cool app which allows consumers to test the data speeds of their smartphone. It is designed to help keep your carrier honest so they can't claim overly inflated download speeds for their network. Not only that, but this app also collects data from everyone who uses the app. This database will eventually cull enough data to show which carriers offer the fastest speeds and most consistent service throughout the country.
This is a similar app to the one they offered in 2011 for fixed broadband services. That one is meant to compare the advertised speeds of ISPs and compare them to what they actually deliver. You can download this new mobile based version from the Google Play Store at the source link below.
Source: Google Play Store - FCC Speed Test App
Nov 15, 2013 - 10:25 AM - by dgstorm
If you had any doubt that Android dominates the mobile landscape, prepare to have that doubt vanish. According to a new report from Gartner, their Q3 smartphone numbers reveal a startling statistic. Due to explosive growth in China, Android now empowers 81.9% of all smartphones across the globe... that's 4/5ths in other terms. Here are some other interesting factoids from their assessment:
- Android adoption rose 9.3 percent over last year.
- Apple smartphone sales dropped 2.2 percentage points over the year and now hold 12.1 percent of the smartphone market
- Windows Phone gained and now holds 3.6 percent of the market
- Lenovo actually leapfrogged LG to grab the number three spot in the world
- China accounted for 41 percent of all Android sales in the last quarter... this is an increase of seven percent from a year ago
- Samsung accounted for almost 1/3rd of all smartphones sold globally
There is one thing to keep in mind about this report. At the time of this report, which ended in Q3, very little of Apple's iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C sales were accounted for in this report. The Q4 report should show a difference in numbers, although ultimately, it won't topple the Android King. It will simply skew some of these figures, and slightly diminish the size of the Android Tsunami.
Nov 15, 2013 - 10:08 AM - by dgstorm
Several times throughout the year we shared stories related to the FCC law making it illegal for owners of smartphones to carrier unlock their smartphones without permission from the carrier. A petition was filed asking the US President and Congress to change this law. The President and several politicians from both sides have been working on laws to get this changed, but of course, we all know how glacially slow Congress moves on things. Luckily, folks who want to see this law changed have a little known ally from within the FCC themselves, Chairman Tom Wheeler.
Apparently, Chairman Wheeler has been working hard for the last eight months directly with the CTIA to get the regulations altered and allow customers to carrier unlock their devices when their contract is fulfilled. Unfortunately, the CTIA has been dragging their feet on the issue. Despite this, Chairman Wheeler is working on a plan to get things changed. Wheeler recently sent a letter to the CTIA. He demanded they take action on several key points, and gave them a deadline of December. If they don't comply, the FCC will take regulatory action against them. These are the five key points outlined in his letter,
- provide a clear, concise and readily accessible policy on unlocking
- unlock mobile devices for legitimate owners of those devices once their service contract has been fulfilled
- notify customers when their devices are eligible to be unlocked and/or automatically unlock those devices for free
- unlock devices or provide an explanation of a denial of any unlock requests within two days
- unlock devices for military service men and women upon deployment
Interestingly, right now the FCC and the CTIA are actually in agreement on all of these points except for one. Point number three is contentious to the CTIA because they don't want to be forced to tell customers when their phones can be unlocked, and especially not for free. Luckily, Wheeler's ultimatum means they can't really get stuck on this point for long. They either have to agree to his terms or come up with an alternative solution by December. If not, then the FCC will be able to step in and make the necessary changes.
Source: FCC Letter
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