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Save on one year of unlimited talk and text [DEALS]

Posted by wicked July - 17 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Say goodbye to contracts and the associated headaches they bring with a smartphone and one year of unlimited talk and text from FreedomPop for 85% off at Android Community Deals. The Samsung Galaxy SIII & 1-Yr Unlimited Talk-and-Text from FreedomPop deal offers a full year of unlimited talk and text, 500MB of LTE data per month, and premium services like Visual Voicemail, usage alerts, and more for far less than what you’d pay with the other guys. In fact, with this offer, you can save hundreds of dollars over the course of the full year.

This package also includes a certified pre-owned Samsung Galaxy SIII, valued at $549.99. Though this particular model is a couple of years old now, it still packs a powerful punch that can certainly handle most users’ communications needs. It runs on Android KitKat 4.4, has 16GB of onboard memory and features an 8MP main camera as well as a 1.9MP front-facing camera.

The best part of this deal, however, is that there are no contracts to tie you down or early cancellation fees. In fact, there are no surprises whatsoever. It’s perfect for anyone who is tired of spending too much for mobile communications services including teens, casual users, and professionals alike.

The products available with this offer have a combined retail value of more than $1000 but, for a limited time only, you can get the Samsung Galaxy SIII & 1-Yr Unlimited Talk-and-Text from FreedomPop for just $149.99 with free US shipping at Android Community Deals. Add it to your cart now.

Android Community Deals is brought to you in cooperation with StackSocial. Generated revenue helps fund this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial and are not representative of the opinions of the Android Community staff.

Oldie but goodie: Galaxy S III and 1-Yr of FreedomPop [DEALS]

Posted by wicked June - 23 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

The Samsung Galaxy S III might be showing its age, but it’s still pretty much a classic and a decent entry level device by today’s standards. And when paired with a hassle-free FreedomPop subscription, it’s as good as gold. And that is exactly the pairing that we have right here at Android Community Deals. With a retail value that would normally cost you hundreds, you can get the Galaxy S III plus a one-year subscription on FreedomPop’s LTE network, all for only $149.99 instead of a more than $1,000.

We’ll be honest. The Galaxy S III won’t burn rubber. Powered by a dual-core Snapdragon S4, the smartphone is pretty much a budget-friendly Samsung-branded device, with usable specs to boot. A small 4.8 inch screen with a 720p resolution isn’t common and 16 GB of storage on an entry-level piece is even rarer.

The added value to the smartphone comes via FreedomPop and the freedom from contracts and termination fees that it offers. The one-year subscription not only comes with 500 MB of LTE data a month, a $132 value, it also has premium services like Visual voicemail, Data rollovers, Usage alert, VPN, and Data compression, which normally cost $360. But with this Galaxy S III + FreedomPop for a year deal, you only pay $149.99 and can easily cancel the service afterwards.

Bonus Deal! Perhaps to go with your new Galaxy S III, you can also try to aim for a new high-capacity battery pack. This Innori 15,000 mAh pack will deliver all the juice you need and more. With two USB ports, it can charge two devices at the same time. Built-in safeguards protect your smartphones from overcurrent and overcharge and the flashlight makes short work of dark situations. All that for only $29.99!

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Android Community Deals is brought to you in cooperation with StackSocial. Generated revenue helps fund this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial and are not representative of the opinions of the Android Community staff.

Samsung Galaxy S III Receives a KitKat Update in Official and Unofficial Flavors

Posted by wicked September - 25 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

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A few months ago, Samsung decided not to update the Samsung Galaxy S III to the latest version of Android. The reason of this shameless behavior was pretty trivial since they were having issues with TouchWiz and its bloat-related heaviness. The international variant of S III has only 1 GB of RAM and we have seen KitKat ports running flawlessly on devices with 512 MB of RAM.

The Korean variant of the S III codenamed as E210S, with 2 GB of RAM and LTE, got an official update to Android 4.4.4 a while ago. Everything has been running perfect, so the community decided to do the necessary and port the E210S’ version to international variant of SIII. The fun fact is that XDA Senior Member arter97 and his team needed just few hours to assemble a quite functional build.

An unofficial official ROM (sounds quite fun) has a few issues that separate it from being stable. Known issues are signal strength being displayed wrongly and SMS messaging. We are keeping our fingers crossed for the developers to fix those issues soon.

Once again the community has shown big OEMs that “impossible” things can be done within just few hours. TouchWiz for Samsung Galaxy S III is just an example.

If you own the international version of the S III, make your way to the development thread to get the latest unofficial port of Android 4.4.4. If you are an owner of the Korean variant, visit the post by XDA Senior Member LKS007 to get the system image.

[Big thanks to XDA Forum Moderator Siberian Tiger for the tip!]

The post Samsung Galaxy S III Receives a KitKat Update in Official and Unofficial Flavors appeared first on xda-developers.

Enable Heads Up Notifications For The Sprint Galaxy S3

Posted by wicked September - 15 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

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Heads up notifications, in case you didn’t already know, are an experimental type of notification that can be found in 4.4.x versions of Android. They aren’t openly available to use on an unmodified ROM, but many custom ROMs will have this feature enabled by default. As always, the Xposed Framework can be used to enable the feature. There are also third party applications available to activate heads up notifications as well.

While there’s no shortage of quick and easy ways to enable these notifications, knowing how to do something from scratch is never a bad thing. As such, XDA Senior Member moonknightus has provided a pretty comprehensive tutorial on how to make these modifications manually. The tutorial is quite useful as it seems that simply enabling heads up notifications caused several issues that effectively made it unusable and some of the steps described should address those issues. The guide is geared towards the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S3 running an ND8 Kit Kat firmware. However, using the information provided, it may be possible to get the desired result on other devices or ROMs. There are indications within the thread that this method can indeed be transferred to a variant of the Galaxy Note 2.

The process is fairly straight forward and accomplished by using a combination of apktool and your text editor of choice to decompile and modify the code contained within the SystemUI and SecSettings APK files. Once the changes have been made, you can push the files back to your device and enjoy your new notifications. Some previous experience with decompiling and editing system files would be a great help but this is also quite a good and straight forward project for someone keen to learn how to do this sort of thing.

If you’d like to learn more and try this out for yourself, then check out the original heads up notification tutorial thread for more information.

The post Enable Heads Up Notifications For The Sprint Galaxy S3 appeared first on xda-developers.

5 free HD video players for Android you should try

Posted by wicked July - 4 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

With the proliferation of high definition video – whether streaming or in file form – available for Android devices, and with the ever-improving video performance and higher video resolutions being shipped with handsets and tablets, one would now start to understand the need of a great media player application that will be able to handle such content. Given that the stock Android players that come together with your new devices would probably be able to handle most of the file types out there, it would be unbecoming of any user to not look around the Google Play Store and see the multitude of options – free options at that! – available. So we took it upon ourselves to give you our top 5 free HD video apps.

Moboplayer

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Any respectable discussion about free media players will honestly not be complete without mentioning Moboplayer, as it has been one of the most popular free media players out there for quite a bit of time now. MoboPlayer supports a lot of the video file formats that are rampant in the Internet, including ones that your device might not normally support, this through a feature called software decoding. The player itself also supports multiple audio tracks, subtitles – even multiple onscreen subtitles, and media streaming to media and home entertainment servers. The player takes some time in opening HD video files – especially 1080p ones – but it is rarely more than 3 seconds. With our Samsung Galaxy S3 Alpha (SC-03E) test bed – 4.8-inch 1280×720 screen, 1.6Ghz Exynos processor, Mali-400MP graphics, 2GB RAM – there was no visible lag opening a 1080p MP4 file.

It is available free the Google Play Store, with ad support.

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MX Player

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One of the more substantial free media players out there, great for general purpose video viewing, is MX Player. Using this app, you get a feeling that the developers chose to put in just that right balance between ease-of-use and robust features. The video viewer itself is sleek and logical, and the app supports most popular formats. For better format support, there is a codec download available, both from the developers, or you may choose to use any other codecs out there. There are gestures galore, and pinch-to-zoom. You have access to subtitle options, aspect ratio control and other stuff just from the main screen, while a lot more tweaks can be discovered in the settings menu. No lagging on this one as well, the software and hardware decoding holds up well. And since this is a free version, there will be ads, but the experience was altogether unobtrusive and tolerable.

Download from Google Play Store here.

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Vplayer

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Vplayer is a simple approach to a media playing. It lacks the bells and whistles of most premium players and even like Moboplayer and MX Player, but if you want a straight up video player, this is one of the “lighter” media players out there. It supports the common file formats, and then some. Vplayer will also detect all your folders that contain video files and display them in folder view, but there are no ways of filtering or organizing your content. One of the cool things about Vplayer is that it lets you copy and paste links out of Youtube and Vimeo and play them on Vplayer.

Download free from Google Play.

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DicePlayer

Dice-Player

DicePlayer is another feature filled player that leverages on a streamlined and uncluttered viewing window, with some straight up features available. When viewing your movie, the controls for view lock, playback speed controller, audio track and subtitle support, and aspect ratio adjustment is immediately available. DicePlayer even has controls for subtitle sync calibration, for those times when annoying subtitles are just not synced with your movie file. Finally, Dice Network playback support allows users to push their device-based media to media servers and home networks over Samba filesharing, FTP, and other such processes.

Download free over Google Play.

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BSPlayer

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Our last media player on this list is definitely not the least of them all, as the BSPlayer is a solid all around media app as well. Robust to the core, BSPayer offers software and hardware decoding in what seems to be a pretty uncluttered viewing pane – and we do realize that an uncluttered and simple viewing pane is one of our main considerations in a video player. One of the major selling points for the BSPlayer is that it lets you customize the interface to your liking with a variety of skins available. The app has support for subtitles, even built-in subtitles in video container files such as MKVs. As an added feature, the BSPlayer can even automatically find subtitles for your files online – very neat. The BSPlayer also has a “pop-out viewer” where you can keep your video on top of any app you may be running at the moment. As with everything here, it is available for free download and install over at the Google Play Store.

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One last app that is probably worthy of mention outside of this list is the VLC Media Player Beta for Android. The downloadable app, even in its beta stage, is still very much usable with your device, and like its desktop version, it can pretty much play whatever file format you throw at it. The app is far from perfect, and being in the beta stage, it has a number of bugs and lags in most cases playing 720 and 1080p files. But in its defense, the team behind it keeps improving the program towards perfection until it finally decides to release it as a full pledged app.

This list is not by any means a comprehensive list, just the ones we like. Tells us what you guys like over at the comments section.

Verizon Galaxy S III, S4 Mini now getting Android 4.4

Posted by wicked June - 20 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Samsung and its carrier partners are continuing the much-welcomed onslaught of Android 4.4 updates this week. Living up to “better late than never”, Verizon is rolling out the latest version, though only Android 4.4.2 in this case, to the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Galaxy S4 Mini.

The update for the Galaxy S III on Verizon’s network follows that of AT&T’s release yesterday. Outside of the US, the 2012 flagship also enjoyed an update coming from Canadian carriers such as Bell and TELUS. This practically covers most of the Galaxy S III devices found on this side of the globe. However, this is once again only for the LTE version of the device, as the fate of the update for the international GT-I9300 remains unkown.

On the other hand, this is the first reported update for the Galaxy S4 Mini. The update arrives on time, at least based on the leaked Samsung schedule which puts the update for the device around June. This makes the 2013 device even more interesting¸that is if AT&T pushes the same Android 4.4 update to its own devices. The Galaxy S4 Mini has been chosen as AT&T’s first VoLTE-enabled device.

As for new features, most of you will probably be quite familiar with the new things that Android 4.4 itself brings, including cloud printing, improved performance, immersive mode, and redesigned navigation and notification bars. Samsung and Verizon are, of course, throwing in their own changes along with this firmware upgrade, like the latest KNOX 2.0 security framework and new pre-installed apps like ISIS Wallet, Verizon Cloud, and Emergency Alerts.

SOURCE: Verizon (1), (2)

Samsung Galaxy S III, Note II, and Tab 3 8.0 seeing Android 4.4 rollouts

Posted by wicked June - 19 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Samsung hasn’t forgotten about its 2012 and 2013 devices just yet. Rolling out across the US and Canada are Android 4.4 updates to the company’s 2012 flagship, the Galaxy S III, as well as the Canadian version of the Galaxy Note II. Meanwhile, across the pond in France, last year’s affordable 8.0-inch Galaxy Tab 3 is also getting its KitKat treat.

The Galaxy S III has actually already enjoyed an Android 4.4.2 upgrade late last month, but that has been limited to to those coming from carrier US Cellular. Now the model that is being covered is the AT&T version, specifically the SGH-i747. However, the update is also available for those under Canadian carrier Bell, Rogers, and TELUS, under the SGH-i747M model number. This, more or less coincides with the schedule for the Galaxy S III leaked earlier, though a bit late by a few weeks. It should be noted, though, that the international version of the device, specifically the GT-I9300, still has no Android KitKat update available.

Also a bit behind schedule, the Canadian models of the Galaxy Note II are also reported to be receiving Android 4.4.2 today as well. In the US, the device only got the update last week, at least for those under Verizon’s network. According to the same leaked schedule, the 2012 S Pen phablet was meant to get the update around April, but you know what they say about the best laid plans.

Going a bit forward in time, the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0-inch edition, which was released last year, is also getting an update. The 7.0-inch model already had its Android 4.4.2 update a few days ago, but that was for the US. This time, it is France that is getting dibs on the KitKat update, though other regions are likely to follow suit soon.

SOURCE: Samsung
VIA: SamMobile (1), (2)

US Cellular Galaxy S III getting Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat

Posted by wicked May - 29 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

The Samsung Galaxy S III is far from the newest device in the US Cellular lineup. But despite having a pair of successors (Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5) enter the lineup, it seems US Cellular is giving the Galaxy S III some attention. Simply put — the handset is getting an update.

US Cellular users carrying a Galaxy S III are getting Kit Kat. The update is arriving as Android 4.4.2 and will bump the baseband version to R530UVXCND4. You’ll be able to grab the update over-the-air (if connected to WiFi), or by connecting your device to a computer using a USB connection.

The former (WiFi option) is the easier of the two, however Samsung does have a detailed set of directions available for those looking to update through USB and a computer. And to clarify, the computer update process works on Windows 7, Vista or XP. Mac users will have to stick to the over-the-air option.

Perhaps key here — this update brings improvements with the Phone Dialer, Hangouts and the Camera app. Users will notice how contacts will now be prioritized based on how often you use them. The camera improvement means a new ‘touch to focus’ with the option to adjust the focus and exposure.

Anyway, those carrying a US Cellular branded Galaxy S III will want to keep an eye out for an update notification.

SOURCE: US Cellular

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You may recall that back in November of last year, we shared a leaked Samsung internal memo detailing the OEM’s tentative plans for updating its Galaxy line up to Android 4.4 KitKat. And with the exception of the canceled update for the International S3, this schedule has mostly held true, as we’ve seen KitKat roll out to many of the Korean company’s newer high end devices. Now, more internal documentation has appeared, giving us a clearer picture of what Samsung’s working on in its internal labs.

First up, we have the Galaxy S5 (SM-G900F and SM-G900H) and Galaxy S4 LTE-A (GT-I9506). According to internal Samsung documentation from five days ago, Android 4.4.3 KTU70 is now being actively worked on for these three device variants. For the S4 LTE-A, the firmware in progress comes in at version XXUDQNE4, and for the two S5 variants, we’re looking at versions XXU0BNE3 and XXU0BNE6. The builds for all three device variants are currently in the integration stage, which means that Samsung is adding its OEM customizations to the firmwares. Assuming all goes well with the integration and testing, it’s not unreasonable to speculate that we may see 4.4.3 arrive on these three devices in the next couple of months.

Next up, we have more information regarding Android 4.4.2 KOT49H updates for various older Samsung devices. According to the leaked documentation, Android 4.4.2 will make its way out to the Galaxy S3 LTE, Note II LTE, and Note 3 Neo later this month. Then some time next month, the S 4 Mini, S 4 Mini LTE, Grand 2, Mega 5.8, and Mega 6.3 will receive their own official Android 4.4.2 builds. Unfortunately, the update for the standard (1 GB RAM) S3 is still marked as “unstable,” and given Samsung’s public statement on the matter, it’s increasingly unlikely that this will change in the near future.

Do you own any of these Samsung devices and are you looking forward to these OEM-provided updates? Or instead, have you rooted and installed an AOSP-derived custom ROM? Let us know in the comments below.

[Source: Sammobile]

[Test Build Available] Samsung Galaxy S III Can’t Run Official KitKat? Not on XDA!

Posted by wicked May - 13 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

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Not too long ago, we learned that Samsung canceled its plans to release KitKat for their former flagship device from the first quarter of 2012, the Samsung Galaxy S III. This is due to their failure “to load system apps” because of the limited amount of device RAM—or at least that’s what we’re told in an official statement.

But of course, this is XDA, and our devs immediately undertook the task of getting TouchWiz-laden KitKat onto the device. From the same article linked above, you may have noticed that the Samsung Galaxy Note II has already received a fully functional official KitKat build. And given the similarities in hardware, it didn’t take long to see users attempt to port its ROM for use on the Galaxy SIII.

XDA Senior Member forumber2 noticed that eMMC partition is too small to run bloated TouchWiz properly, so he decided to try his luck booting from the SD card. After swapping kernels, the Note II’s build started properly and almost everything was running as intended. Well, other than sensors, WiFi, RIL, and a few other device features.

Forumber2 made a video demonstrating KitKat on the i9300. Now, it is believed that using some bits and pieces from GT-i9305 (a Qualcomm-based variant of the Galaxy S III) will help solving all of the remaining issues. Hopefully, soon everyone can enjoy TouchWiz-laden KitKat on the not-so-old S III.

The thread demonstrating KitKat on Samsung Galaxy S III can be found here. Hopefully the community will once again show the OEM that “impossible” is just a term to describe their laziness.

Update: If you are eager to try KitKat on your Galaxy S III, XDA Recognized Contributors JustArchi and Kryten2k35 have already released an experimental port of Note II’s KitKat firmware, which can be found in its development thread. It’s still in testing, so keep in mind that there are certain issues that need to be ironed out with RIL and sensors. However, WiFi, 3G, text messaging, camera, and most functions appear to be working fine, so it’s worth a try if you’re looking for Samsung-flavored KitKat on your SGS3.

[Big thanks to XDA Forum Moderator Siberian Tiger for the tip.]

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