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3 years ago

Google officially unveils Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

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After weeks of speculation and leaks, the next version of Jelly Bean is finally official

Google has announced a new version of Android — 4.3 Jelly Bean — at its breakfast event in San Francisco today.

As expected, version 4.3 brings new features and tools for developers, including Bluetooth Low Energy support and new for devs to interact  with Android's notification center. OpenGL ES 3.0 is on-board, making Android the first platform to support the new standards. New DRM APIs allow content providers to deliver more options, for example Netflix has released a version of their app that streams in 1080p. 

On the tablet side, "restricted" user profiles are pretty big news. They have built-in parental controls, and limited access for things like kiosk systems. This opens up a new way to use an Android tablet.

Primarily, though, this is another maintenance release for Jelly Bean, and the 4.3 release builds on what was already there in 4.1 and 4.2. Most of the new additions to the Android code base are focused on getting the OS prepared for connecting to wearable devices (with Bluetooth LE) and helping developers make even better applications.

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean will be hitting Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 10 devices from today, so now's the time to start hammering that "Check for updates" button, if you're into that sort of thing. Google Play edition phones are promised updates "very soon."

We'll bring you more on the new release as it comes. In the meantime, share your thoughts down in the comments.

More: Google event liveblog

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3 years ago

The new Nexus 7 is official

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Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 1920x1200 display, 4G LTE option

We're live from Google's San Francisco event, where the company has just unveiled the successor to last year's Nexus 7 tablet — the new Nexus 7! This year's 7-inch tablet is once again made by Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS, and boasts a higher-resolution screen, faster CPU.

The 2013 Nexus 7 is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU and the display resolution has been bumped up to 1920x1200, while still fitting in a 7-inch diagonal frame. Unlike last year's model it also boasts a 5-megapixel rear camera and dual rear speakers.

In the U.S. there'll be a 4G LTE model offered, too.

Keep watching our liveblog for continuing coverage of Google's announcements today.

More coverage: Google event liveblog

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3 years ago

More than 70 million Android tablets activated, Android chief says

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We're live from Google's "Breakfast with Sundar," where the Android (and Chrome) chief is touting the next generation of Android tablet. 

Putting things in perspective, he said, is that there have been more than 70 million Android tablets activated. That's more than 1 in 2 tablets running Android, he said. Of that, some 10 percent — that's 7 million — of Android tablets are the Nexus 7.

In Japan, the Nexus 7 was the highest-selling tablet over the holiday period.

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3 years ago

Take the Talk Mobile Platforms survey for a chance to win a $100 Best Buy Gift Card!

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If there's one thing that really gets our engines revving, it's numbers and quantifiable data. We might be nerds. As with the previous weeks of Talk Mobile, we're rounding out the week with a survey to compile that data we so love. Week four was all about platforms - not what makes Android better than iOS or BlackBerry 10 better than Windows Phone - no, it's about how we can make them all better and what the platform of the future is going to look like.

So here's the survey. It should only take a minute or two of your time, and because we like to give things away, completing the survey enters you for a chance to win a $100 Best Buy gift card. Is it an incentive? Sure. Could you use $100 to spend on some gadgets? Of course. Hit the link below to take the survey!

Click here to take the Talk Mobile State of Mobile Platforms Survey!

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3 years ago

Sprint LTE hits Brooklyn, the Bronx on July 30

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Sprint today announced that it'll officially launch LTE data in two New York boroughs — Brooklyn and the Bronx — on July 30. Parts of Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens are coming later this year, but you testing is already underway, and you might already be seeing LTE signals.

In addition, Sprint said it'll bring service to all 277 underground subway stations in New York. You'll start seeing coverage in three dozen stations in Midtown, Manhattan and Chelsea early next year (and so long as you're on Sprint).

Source: Sprint

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3 years ago

EE 4G live in ten more markets, 'double-speed' hits three more cities

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EE, the UK's only 4G LTE operator, has announced that LTE network has gone live in ten new towns. From today, 4G services have been switched on in Altrincham, Bedford, Camberley, Crawley, Farnborough, Farnham , Maidstone, Rochdale, Tonbridge and Welwyn Garden City.

What's more, EE's faster "double speed" 2x20MHz LTE has arrived in an additional three British cities — Belfast, Newcastle and Southampton.

With the latest round of switch-ons, EE says it now covers 95 UK towns with LTE, 15 of which have access to "double speed" 4G. Some 60 percent of the UK population is now covered by its LTE service, the carrier claims.

Rival LTE offerings from O2, Vodafone and Three are expected later in the year.

Source: EE

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3 years ago

NVIDIA bringing Kepler GPU to mobile, will provide a single architecture across their product line

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NVIDIA has released a bunch of information about the upcoming Kepler mobile GPU project. As a component on the Logan SoC, the Kepler will bring performance in gaming, multimedia and computational power that nobody would have thought possible just a year or so ago. They're calling it as big of a milestone as the GeForce GPU was on the desktop 14 years ago. Those are some big shoes to fill, and from what we've seen so far they just might be right.

The Kepler GPU will bring PC class performance and power to mobile, including full support of traditional desktop-only features like OpenGL 4.4, Tessellation, and DirectX11. The addition of full CUDA 5.0 support for raw computational power makes the Kepler a real piece of future tech, and the first of the next generation's mobile hardware. And it does it all using just two watts of power. Compare this to the current NVIDIA GeForce Titan desktop graphics card -- which supports the same feature-set and needs 450 250 watts of power to do it.

It all sounds really great, but if you really want it to rock your socks off, you'll need to see the demos. We've got them both embedded after the break, but you need to be aware of what you're seeing. Both the demos are digital renders, with no live action involved. Everything was drawn and rendered by the mobile Kepler GPU, and the effects are astounding. The "Ira" demo in particular, which has support for full tone mapping, bloom, FXAA 3.0, and full HDR. These are features that have previously only been available on PCs.

There are still plenty of other features about the Logan chips that we don't yet know -- including a street date. but what we're seeing from the GPU, which has always been NVIDIA's forte, get us excited for the future. Be sure to keep reading for some slides and the above-mentioned videos, you'll not want to miss this.

More: NVIDIA

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3 years ago

The Google event liveblog!

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Google's holding a big event in SF - Android 4.3 and a new Nexus 7 could be on the cards

This is it, boys and girls — the second event of the week, and possibly one of the biggest Android presentations of the year. Google's summoned the press to San Francisco, where it's holding a breakfast event hosted by Android and Chrome boss Sundar Pichai. If the recent stream of leaks is anything to go by, Android 4.3 and the new Nexus 7 tablet are highly likely to make an appearance. And given Pichai's role as head of Chrome as well as Android, we might also see some news relating to Google's browser and desktop OS.

However the day unfolds, we'll be live in San Francisco to bring you full coverage of all the announcements, software and hardware. Make a note — the action kicks off at 9 a.m. PDT (12 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. BST).

Bookmark this page — we've got our liveblog and the official live stream after the break.

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3 years ago

Next Nexus 7 now available for pre-order at Best Buy

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$229.99 for 16GB, $269.99 for 32GB

Google isn't expected to officially take the wraps of its new Nexus 7 tablet until a little later today, but Best Buy has jumped the gun and is already offering the new tablet for pre-order. The "new Nexus 7" is listed in 16 and 32GB flavors for $229.99 and $269.99 respectively, with Wifi data connectivity only — we're not seeing the rumored LTE version anywhere. A full selection of press renders is also provided, clearly showing the device we exclusively revealed last week.

Here's a rundown of what the Best Buy listing reveals about the new tablet —

  • 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 7.9x4.5x0.3 inches
  • 11.2 ounces
  • 7-inch, 1920x1200 display
  • 16/32GB of storage
  • 1.2MP front-facing canera, 5MP rear camera
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS
  • Bluetooth 4.0 support
  • Wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n

That lines up with what many were expecting from the ASUS-made tablet, and it represents a sizeable upgrade upon last year's N7. We'll be live from Google's presentation in San Francisco later today, where the company's expected to show off Android 4.3 and its new Nexus tablet. Stick around for full coverage of the day's events!

Source: Best Buy 16GB, 32GB

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3 years ago

LG Q2 2013 earnings: 12.1 million smartphones shipped, mobile revenue of $2.78 billion

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Mobile revenues up 34.5-percent year-over-year, still the smallest division in terms of operating income

LG has announced its Q2 2013 financial results, showing strong growth in all of its divisions including its mobile business. For that mobile business, LG posted revenues of $2.78 billion for the quarter, an increase of 34.5-percent year-over-year. Record sales of 12.1 million smart phones in the quarter led to an operating profit of $54.37 million, which is up year-over-year but down quarter-over-quarter due to lower average sales prices of phones.

As we all know, LG makes far more than just phones and posted solid profits in its Home Entertainment, Home Appliance and Air Conditioning and Energy Solutions divisions. LG as a whole posted $13.58 billion in revenue and 426.92 million in operating profit for the quarter.

In many previous quarters these stronger divisions were there to prop up its wavering mobile division, but it's nice to see LG doing well in mobile as a stand-alone business. With strong growth across a wide range of devices -- and more on the way -- we may be looking at the resurgence of LG.

Source: LG

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3 years ago

Fixed camera app update now available for the T-Mobile HTC One

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Earlier we told you about a little snafu with the latest T-Mobile HTC One OTA, where the HDR camera option disappeared from the camera settings. HTC responded to our query, telling us it would be fixed "as soon as possible". It turns out that soon came faster than anyone expected, and an updated camera app is now available from HTC for affected customers.

We've no idea if this is rolling out to everybody just yet, but be on the lookout for an update notification in your status bar.

Nice work, T-Mobile and HTC.

Thanks, Shawn!

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3 years ago

Motorola to be sole manufacturer of Verizon 'Droid' devices going forward

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New Droid products expected to have longer shelf lives than predecessors

Starting today with the launch of the Droid Mini, Ultra and Maxx, Motorola will be the exclusive partner making Droid-branded devices for Verizon. According to a report from CNET, Verizon has agreed to use Motorola as the sole manufacturer for its flagship devices, pushing other manufacturers -- most notably Samsung and HTC -- to the side. The exclusivity will likely give Verizon more choices when it comes to creating new bespoke devices, as well as a secured revenue stream for Motorola. 

While this certainly isn't the only partnership that it should be focusing on, Motorola has locked up a pretty great exclusive here -- Verizon has spent a serious amount of time and money building a brand around the Droid name. As if there were ever any doubt in the future of the Droid franchise, Verizon has indicated that it plans to keep the line going far into the future. Expanding on this, these new Droid devices are expected to have longer shelf lives than previous devices as well.

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3 years ago

Anker announces 'highest efficiency' 12000mAh backup battery

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Astro3 offers 80-percent efficiency and charging for three devices at once

Anker, maker of phone accessories and backup batteries, has just announced its most efficient mobile battery to date -- the Astro3. This 12,000mAh battery pack, which Anker calls "flask sized" (4.4 x 3.3 x 1-inches), offers charging for three devices simultaneously over USB. The pack outputs up to 4a in total across the ports, meaning you'll have more than enough juice to power a tablet and two phones if necessary. There is also a circular LED power indicator that shows how much power is left in the pack, which is a nice touch.

Anker says that the Astro3 is the highest efficiency backup battery it has made, with 80-percent efficiency on its capacity offering a quoted 6-7 charges for most modern phones before it has to be recharged itself. For the road warriors among us this would be a great solution. The Astro3 is retailing for $49.99 and can be purchased from Amazon at the source link below.

More: Anker Astro3 on Amazon

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Droid MAXX, Droid Ultra and Droid Mini

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Verizon dropped three new Motorola Droids on us this morning. We've had a good look at the Droid MAXX, the Droid Ultra and the Droid Mini, but sometimes a video is worth a thousand words ... errr pictures. Dan got to spend some quality time with a presenter and the new Droids, and we've got 8 minutes of video for you.

Things like the new camera, Droid Zap and the new lost phone features are covered, and there's also a good look at active notifications. It's something you'll not want to miss, so head past the jump and have a look.

Droid MAXX forums | Droid Ultra forums | Droid Mini forums

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3 years ago

T-Mobile HTC One update loses HDR camera settings in error, fix coming as soon as possible

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Fix coming soon to restore HDR setting says HTC

The recent software update for the HTC One on T-Mobile has been pretty well received, except for one nagging little issue -- HDR mode in the camera setting for still pictures has disappeared. The setting remains for video, but there's just no entry for taking HDR pictures. A few people have noticed, and we reached out to HTC to see what was up. 

Turns out it's just a bug, and HDR mode hasn't been removed from the HTC One camera. HTC's official statement:

A recent software update for the HTC One on T-Mobile USA provides a number of software fixes but it also inadvertently removes HDR mode from the camera settings. HTC is aware of this issue and will be pushing out a fix for impacted customers as soon as possible.

As soon as possible can mean different things to different people, but we're going to think it means just that -- soon. Keep an eye out for an update and we'll do the same.

Via: T-Mobile HTC One forums

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