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Sony Releases New 'Flash Tool', Lets You Easily Flash Stock Firmware On Your Bootloader Unlocked Xperia Device

It's no secret that Sony has been a long-time supporter of the custom ROM community, but now the company has released a tool that lets owners of bootloader unlocked Xperia devices easily return back to stock firmware from a custom ROM. According to Sony's blog post, this tool has been oft-requested by the community, so it's good to see Sony deliver on that.

As mentioned, use of this tool requires the bootloader to be unlocked on supported Xperia devices, but past that, it seems pretty simple and intuitive to use.

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Google+ Is The 'Fastest Growing Network Thingy Ever': 500m Users Upgraded, 235m Active Across Web, 135m In The Stream

As if the news out of Google couldn't get any hotter today, the company decided to just casually announce that it has over 500 million users with Google+ accounts, 235 million of whom are active "across Google" which means anything from +1ing things in various Google products to "connecting with friends in Search"...whatever that means. The most important stat, though, is 135 million users are active in the stream. That means, if we can assume past definitions are still true, those users either visit plus.google.com or use the mobile app to view content.

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Snapseed, The Image Editor That Google Bought After It Won iPad App Of The Year, Is Now On Android

There are no shortage of image editors on Android. Even Adobe, which makes the class-leading Photoshop, has a version of its editor on the platform. Today, though, Google gets one of its very own: Snapseed. You may recall this particular piece of software when it was demoed by NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at CES this year. At the time, it was only available on the iPad where it had won App of the Year in 2011.

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Google+ Starts Rolling Out 'Communities', Finally Adds The Group Functionality It So Desperately Needed

One of the biggest problems with Google+ has been its inability to create a group wherein all peers are equal. You can create a hashtag that everyone can post to but you can't control the membership of, or a Page that a few moderators can share to, but it's difficult to add users to (for non-public posts, Pages can only add users to circles once they add the Page first). Communities finally fixes this problem by creating public or private groups that anyone within can share to.

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Google Now Offering Up Play Books And Movies In Brazil

After the successful launches of Play Music in Europe, Magazines in Canada, and Movies in a handful of countries, Google has made another step in its international Play crusade, today bringing Movies and Books to Brazil.

brasil

Android users in South America's largest country will now have access to thousands of Brazilian titles from Google's collection, along with movies and TV shows. Interestingly, Google's own international availability page hasn't been updated at the time of writing to reflect the expansion to Brazil, but just the same, users can access the store and look for their favorite titles.

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T-Mobile Removes Nexus 4 From Its Website Entirely [Update: It Returns, And At $199]

Remember earlier today when T-Mobile inexplicably cranked up the price of the LG Nexus 4 from $199 to a whopping $399 on-contract? Well, you don't have to worry about folks being gouged like that anymore. No, T-Mobile didn't realize how boneheaded that price was. It has just removed the Nexus 4 from the website entirely.

nexus 4 Tmo

The device does not show up in the list of Android phones available from T-Mobile, but it does still appear in search results on the site.

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Sony Announces Xperia E And E Dual, Low-End Jelly Bean Handsets, Optional Dual-SIM

Sometimes, it can be a bit arguable what counts as a "low end" phone these days. Even cheap phones are so powerful that calling them anything lower than mid-range can seem insulting. This one, however, makes us pretty comfortable with the moniker. With a 1GHz Snapdragon S1 processor, a 320x480 TFT display, and a 3.2MP rear camera, the Xperia E fills out Sony's budget line just fine.

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Optionally, the Xperia E Dual has the option for dual SIM card slots, which is great for business users, and those who need to work with multiple networks.

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Samsung Pushing Android 4.1.2 To The Unlocked International Galaxy S III In Poland

While the majority of Galaxy S III owners on U.S. carriers are still waiting to get the Android 4.1.1 update, those with unlocked handsets in Poland are already receiving the Android 4.1.2 OTA. This update brings more than just a Jelly Bean point release, though; it also comes with a host of new features:

  • Multi-Window (a la Note II)
  • Page Buddy
  • New Gallery app (also from the Note II)
  • Customizable Notification panel
  • Smart rotation
  • Swype-like keyboard
  • Paper Artist app
  • ...and more

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The update is rolling out in phases over the air right now, and is also being made available via Kies.

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[Update] Nexus 4 Returns To T-Mobile Yet Again, Only Now The Subsidized Price Is $400? What?

Getting your hands on Google's latest iconic Android handset seems to just get harder and harder as the holidays approach. Today, T-Mobile has the device back in stock yet again, however, the subsidized price is now bizarrely raised to $400 with a 2-year contract for existing customers. Um, T-Mobile...what?

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This is still $100 off the "Suggested retail" price, which hasn't changed, but it's still $50 more expensive than buying it from Google outright.

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Jelly Bean Now Rolling Out To The Archos 101 XS

If you have a 101 XS from Archos, it's time to furiously start hitting the "check updates" button, as the company just began pushing Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean) to the device. This bumps the tablet up to version 4.1.0, and brings a couple other enhancements along for the ride, as well:

  • Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1 firmware release
  • Archos Video: major upgrade with simplified video information retrieval and media indexing, new network shares infrastructure
  • Archos applications: future updates of Archos Video, Music, File Manager, System Monitor applications (embedded in the firmware) will be carried out through Google Play

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So there you go - if Jelly Bean is what you've been feening for, the wait is over.

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