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3 years ago

Week one of the TegraZone Player's Choice awards is done, let's announce a winner!

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The first week of NVIDIA's TegraZone Player's Choice awards has run its course, and that means two things -- the first is that you only have two weeks left to hit the TegraZone contest page and vote for your favorite games and developers, and the second is that we need to announce a winner of our own prize giveaway. Let's do that!

Congrats, cckgz4! You just won a killer ASUS Transformer Pad TF 300 from your pals at ASUS, NVIDIA, and AC. Check your e-mail for details.

It's a great piece of gear, and Ice Cream Sandwich runs lovely on it. But let's be honest -- the highlight of the TF300 is the Tegra 3 that's packed away inside it, and the incredible Tegra optimized games available. They bring things to an entirely new level, and it seems like each new game released pushes the envelope even further -- the gameplay on Sonic 4: Episode II is simply amazing. 

With week one over, it's time to start week two. You'll want to be sure to hit the TegraZone and vote, where they are giving away seven prize packs consisting of the TF300, a keyboard dock (a must-have accessory!), a Logitech wireless controller, and a Jambox portable Bluetooth speaker. It's like a personal arcade, but with better games! When you're done there, jump into the Android contest forums and enter our own giveaway, as AUSU and NVIDIA have partnered with us to give away another prize pack each week for the duration. 

You don't want to miss this opportunity, so be sure to throw your name into the ring and try your luck. At the same time, hard working developers get a bit of recognition, as NVIDIA will be hosting a special event for them at E3 on June 6. 

VOTE IN THE PLAYER'S CHOICE AWARDS AT THE TEGRAZONE!
ENTER TO WIN IN THE ANDROID CONTEST FORUMS!

 

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3 years ago

Temple Run updated to address compatibility issues with Android 4.0 devices

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If you've been having any sort of issues playing Temple Run on your Android device now would be a good time to check for updates. The team at Imangi Studios has now released the latest update to the game and it has plenty of bug fixes and improvements added that will hopefully make the in-game experience better for all.

  • Fixed many compatibility issues with Android 4.x ICS devices
  • Fixed bug that caused low resolution textures to be used on high DPI devices
  • General bug fixes and improvements

Personally, I never had any issues with it on my Galaxy Nexus in the past but there seems to of have been enough reported concerns for Imangi Studios to correct whatever the issues were. If you had issues try out the latest build and see how it works. Remember, if you're still experiencing problems -- reach out to the developers. They're openly asking for feedback so give it to them if need be. As always, download link is below in case you've not yet checked out Temple Run.

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3 years ago

Best Buy sending e-mails saying EVO 4G LTE preorders ship May 23

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Our inbox and our EVO 4G LTE forums have just lit up with some potentially good news -- Best Buy is letting pre-order customers know that they're expecting a May 23 release date of the phone that's currently hung up in Customs. We just checked back in with HTC, and it's got nothing new on its end, but at this point any movement is welcomed. 

The EVO was supposed to be released at 8 a.m. Friday, May 18. But it and AT&T's HTC One X, which has been listed as out of stock for several days, have been held for review by the International Trade commission over issues with patents own by Apple. (If you haven't seen it, The Verge has nice piece showing that HTC has worked around the patent in question, so it's unclear whether there's a substantiative holdup, or if the delay is bureaucratic.)

On Wednesday, Sprint on its Community blog acknowledged that the EVO was being delayed by the Customs hold. All other questions have been referred to HTC.

It should be mentioned that Best Buy's new shipping date doesn't necessarily have to match up with Sprint's (or anyone else's for that matter), so stick around and hopefully we'll get something a little more official soon.

More: EVO 4G LTE forums; thanks, Rodrigo, and everyone else who sent this in!

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3 years ago

HTC One S now available on TELUS

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Canadian service provider TELUS today announced the availability of the HTC One S for $99.99 on a three-year contract, or $569.99 with no contract. The HTC One S made its way to T-Mobile U.S. late last month following on the European release, but for those unfamiliar, here's a quick refresher on the specs.

  • 4.3-inch 960 x 540 SuperAMOLED display
  • Android 4.0.3 with HTC sense
  • 1.5 GHZ dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor with 1 GB of RAM
  • 42 Mbps HSPA+ connectivity

If you're thinking of picking one up from the TELUS online store, be sure to read at least one (if not two) of our reviews first. The non-removable battery and storage might be a bit of a turn off, and the PenTile display may not stack up to some of the competition, but it still feels great in the hand, and has an awesome camera. Any takers? Perhaps some testimonials from our American neighbours could sway some opinions.

More: HTC One X forums

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3 years ago

T-Mobile introduces new mobile broadband service passes

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T-Mobile announced today that it is reshaping its no-contract mobile broadband packages for its 4G tablets, hotspots, and laptop sticks. Beginning May 20, customers will be able to choose between the following pay-as-you-go data plans:

  • 300MB 1-week pass for $15
  • 1.5GB 1-month pass for $25
  • 3.5GB 1-month pass for $35
  • 5GB 1-month pass for $50

The "No Annual Contract Mobile Broadband Service Passes" are priced lower than T-Mobile's current offerings, which include 100 MB for 7 days at $10, 1 GB for 30 days at $30, and 3 GB for 30 days at $50. T-Mobile says that the new passes will be simple to purchase and come with the option of auto-refill. The restructuring comes in the wake of T-Mobile's push to revamp its image, which resulted in a strong first quarter for the number four carrier.

The passes are available on T-Mobile's 4G tablets including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, and the T-Mobile Springboard, as well as the carrier's mobile hotspot and laptop dongle offerings.

Source: T-Mobile

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3 years ago

It might be your music, but it's still not your cloud

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This week brought a painful reminder that for as awesome as the ol' World Wide Web may be, it's still a pretty sorry state of affairs when it comes to online music. As a quick recap, Google implemented a limit on the number of devices you can unauthorize from Google Music in a year. You can still have up to 10 activated at any given time, but you can only swap out four of them for new devices. Sounds simple enough, right? And for the vast majority of folks out there, being able to play your music anywhere (in supported nations, anyway) from 14 different devices -- from smartphones and tablets to desktops and laptops and Google TVs -- is overkill several times over. But for others of us, our 10 slots were full, and any attempt to unauthorize a device -- something we'd previously been able to as often as we pleased -- was met with an orange-and-white message:

"Sorry, you've unauthorised too many devices."

Funny, I didn't feel like I'd unauthorized too many devices. (Also funny is that I've got the British spelling, where z's are traded for s's, but that was the least of my worries.) The problem I and many others had run into was that duplicate devices were taking up slots, and we now had no way of getting rid of them. for most folks, it was from flashing custom ROMs. For me, it was from my janky Logitech Revue, which requires a hard-reset every few weeks when it decides to forget some of the apps installed on it. (The latest victim to get sucked into the ether, ironically enough, was Google Play Music.) And so when the hammer came down, I was stuck with a Galaxy Nexus, the EVO 4G LTE, Nexus One, AT&T One X, international One X, a PC, a laptop and two instances of the Logitech Revue taking up precious device slots, with no way to get rid of any of them until 2013. Or, God forbid, until May 2013, if it doesn't go by calendar year.

(I'll be the first to say that that's hardly an embarrassing list of devices, though.)

Google's made me lazy, I think. I've gotten too used to having my music in the cloud. No longer do I have to worry about keeping my music synced from my desktop and laptop to my home NAS. So long as I'm not traveling, I use Google Music to listen to my music when tooling around town. When mowing the lawn. On the odd occasion that I exercise. 

I say "my music" because that's what I think of it as. My music. I've got the files somewhere and uploaded them to Google Music. It's my music.

Only, as soon as I decide to upload it to Google Music, it ceases to be mine. Well, it's still mine, but I've lent it to Google to share back to me. So it's no longer mine. It's subject to the rules and regulations of Google, which means it's subject to the wiles and whims of the music labels. Never mind that it's my music. I bought (most of) it. It's mine.

This week's deauth debacle is a reminder that while it might be my music, it's not my cloud. And while Google Music is the object of my ire, it's hardly alone here. Amazon Music's also subject to the record labels. Same for the streaming services. Even Apple has to go through negotiations with a bunch of old white men so that you can get your Bieber on over the air. 

This isn't a new issue. The good news is that Google's sorting things out on its end and in the meantime is letting us clean up our authorized devices. (A personal plea: Maybe some sort of exemption for those of us who test phones for a living?) But this week serves as a reminder that it's easy to become complacent, to accept the ease of streaming in exchange for sharing our files with a master whose best interests seldom are in line with our own. 

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3 years ago

How can Android vendors compete with Samsung?

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 Industry research firm Gartner just released its latest data on mobile phone sales for the first quarter of 2012. There are some interesting points to be pulled out of this report that I wanted to address. Samsung dominates Android. Gartner’s data says that Korea-based Samsung shipped over 40 percent of all Android handsets last quarter. So that still leaves 60 percent of the market to other vendors, right? Yes, but according to Gartner none of these other vendors make up more than 10 percent of Android volume. None. In terms of handset brands, Samsung is also now the No. 1 phone maker in the world, ahead of Nokia. Nokia may have the No. 2 position in the market, but we need to remember that most of Nokia’s volume is based on the dying Symbian OS. Very little is based on its Windows-powered future at this point. So, considering that we’re looking at the death of the dumb phone over the next few years, let’s look at smartphone vendors and volumes. Samsung is the #1 player, having shipped 38 million smartphones. Most of these are Android powered, with a smaller number of Bada OS phones. Here’s how smartphone market share looks, by vendor, based on the Gartner data:

  1. Samsung with 26 percent market share
  2. Apple with 23 percent
  3. RIM with 7 percent

These are essentially the top three smartphone players right now. I realize that ZTE, LG and Huawei have a larger portion of the mobile market than RIM, but RIM is a pure play on smartphones whereas these three are not. Remember that other Android vendors have less than one quarter of Samsung’s volume.

What these data mean to Android manufacturers

If you look at the Gartner chart we’ve shown above, it’s crystal clear that most Android manufacturers are not having a lot of success right now. Even HTC, who was a former darling of the stock market, has been getting hurt. At the high end of the market, competing with Samsung is difficult. It’s tough to differentiate from an OS perspective because everyone’s using Android. There are only so many UI skins you can bring forward. I think one way to compete in the Android space is to develop amazingly useful middleware that turns your brand into a platform more than just a piece of hardware. But even then, Samsung is already heading down this path by recruiting Android developers for cloud-based middleware. At the low end, the biggest opportunity remains killing Nokia’s positioning. There is a lot of low hanging fruit here. Symbian is dying, and the only real challengers here are Android and BlackBerry right now. Windows Phone isn’t going after the low end yet, and neither is Apple. The bottom line is that Android manufacturers can’t think of themselves as competing against other Android manufacturers. That’s a recipe for disaster. They need to compete against Nokia’s 20 percent market share or build cloud services that differentiate their product from Samsung at the high end. Otherwise they’ll just be commodity hardware makers who earn no profit. But hey ... that’s still all good for consumer smartphone adoption.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Nexus vehicle dock launches in the UK on May 22

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When the first official accessories for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus started appearing late last month, one piece of kit was conspicuous in its absence -- the long-awaited car dock. Today, however, we have news that Nexus owners' wait for an official vehicle mount for their phones is finally over. British online retailer Clove Technology has announced that it'll be stocking the official Samsung vehicle dock -- that's the one that connects with the gold contacts along the side of the phone -- from next Tuesday, May 22.

The price is a predictably high £49.99 (~$80) including VAT, but then expensive first-party accessories are nothing new. In the box you'll find the dock itself, along with suction cup, and a microUSB car charger that connects the dock's microUSB port to your cigarette lighter.

There's still no word on U.S. availability for this accessory, but we'll keep you posted if anything emerges.

Source: Clove Technology

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3 years ago

HTC and Samsung make up 86% of UK Android sales according to new report

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According to a new report, almost 9 in every 10 Android devices sold in the UK belong to either HTC or Samsung. Android itself is also said to account for half of all smartphone sales, vastly outnumbering the Apple iPhone

The information provided by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech show that Android has a 50.1% market share in the UK, up from 44.6% 12-months ago. In the last three months alone, Samsung and HTC between them have accounted for 86% of all Android devices sold. The launch of the HTC One series does no harm, as does the continued success of the Samsung Galaxy range. With the imminent arrival shores of the Galaxy S III on British shores, these numbers are not likely to slide much over the coming months. 

The report also shows that Sony is still struggling to make serious headway in the smartphone market. It's slipped to 10.4% of the Android market, despite the recent launch of the Xperia S. It could be worse for Sony though. LG accounts for less than 1% of all Android sales in the UK. And, with stories of yet more lengthy waits for updates to existing devices, the company's image isn't likely to improve much further. This is despite the forthcoming launch of the Optimus 4X HD next month, which looks like a solid high-end product from the Korean manufacturer.

All in all, it really isn't surprising that HTC and Samsung have such a stranglehold on the British market. Samsung push their phones in the UK really hard. HTC have upped their marketing too since the launch of the One line, with a massive marketing campaign that even sees an advertisement nestled within the Virgin Media Tivo interface. The sheer scale of the two's dominance is still slightly surprising though. 

Source: CNET UK

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3 years ago

Crazy Optimus 4X HD trailer reminds us LG's flagship is on its way

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If you ever wanted to see a smartphone turn its cores into wheels and start flying through a Tron-like backdrop, then LG's got just the thing for you with its latest Optimus 4X HD trailer. The video highlights a few key specs and features of LG's opcoming flagship, which is due to launch internationally soon. Among the hardware clout the 4X HD brings to the table is a quad-core 1.5GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, a 4.7-inch 720p IPS "True HD" screen. There's also a thin, compact frame punctuated by a unique prism design around the trim, similar to what LG's got going on with the Prada 3.0.

As we reported a few days ago, the Optimus 4X HD is due to go on sale in Europe from next month.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III appears for pre-order from T-Mobile UK

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Following its initial pricing announcement, T-Mobile UK has today unveiled its full line-up of Samsung Galaxy S III price plans, at the same time as putting the phone up for pre-order. Heavy users will want to check out Tmo's 24-month "Full Monty" plan, which includes unlimited texts, data, Tmo-to-Tmo calls and 2000 minutes of calls to other networks. That'll set you back £49.99 up-front, then £36 per month thereafter.

If you're after a smaller monthly bill, plans starting as low as £10.50 per month are also offered, albeit with a much heftier up-front fee of £300. And if you really want a free Galaxy S III, then the network offers the phone without any up-front fee on a £41 per month plan which includes completely unlimited calls, data and texts.

More details over at the source link. T-Mobile's site indicates that orders placed today will arrive "after May 30," so even if you're pre-ordering, you might have to wait until after launch day to receive your phone. As we reported a couple of weeks back, the Galaxy S III will launch on every major UK network, so if Tmo's plans aren't doing anything for you, you'll have plenty of other options.

Source: T-Mobile UK

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3 years ago

Google Offers v1.3 update brings smoother app navigation

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Although it's a small update, it's an update nonetheless. Google Offers v1.3 has now been pushed to the Google Play Store and is ready for download. The change log for this release is rather small and only notes two overall changes:

  • Discover thousands of new, high quality deals from local businesses. Check the “Browse” section of the app to see offers near you.
  • Smoother app navigation

The first change, I assume means they added some new offer partners to the mix because the browse tab was there already. The smoother app navigation however, is nice to see because offers did tend to run a little laggy on all the devices I use it on.

If you're a Google Offers user, you can jump into the Google Play Store to grab the update or if you're looking to give it a go for the first time, the link below will take you to the install file.

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3 years ago

Late-night poll: If Google releases a Nexus line, will you jump carriers for it?

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We can't be sure that Google is really going to be selling what amounts to a Nexus line of devices, no matter how reputable the source. It's just too big of an idea to pretend to know all the particulars, and would be too big of a heartbreak should it not pan out, so being a bit skeptical is a wise choice. I'm sure something is going to happen, maybe even something wonderful, but nobody is sure exactly what that is just yet. There's a lot of speculation about this project being GSM only, at least at first. There's a pretty good reason for that, considering the last Nexus debacle.

So let's pretend that this will be the case. That means Verizon and Sprint are going to be on the outside looking in when it comes to using these mythical GSM-only Nexus phones. There's a whole lot of Android users on Verizon and Sprint, and plenty of them will be lusting after any type of pure Google offering.

If this sounds like you, will you switch? Sound off in the poll.

Will you switch carriers for the new Google Nexus line?

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3 years ago

Put a little sexy on your TouchPad moboot screen - webOS Nation style

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So you bought an HP TouchPad, threw Android on it (to make it worth a damn), and now you think you're done? You're not. It ain't done until you theme the moboot screen! And if you're gonna theme it, you have o check out the webOS Nation theme and show support for the other side of the TouchPad scene, where things are still webOS and they are gearing up for the open-source spectacular. 

The directions look simple enough, just flash a zip from recovery. Head over to the source link and give it a shot!

Source: webOS Nation

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3 years ago

Google addressing Music device de-authorization issues, back to 'normal' for now

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New: It might be your music, but it's still not your cloud

Google has made known that it is in the process of figuring out exactly how to handle the device authorization and de-authorization for Google Music, and for the time being they have reverted to the old method allowing unlimited device de-authorization. From Google Play's help pages:

Yesterday we made a change to our device policy for music on Google Play.  Any user can associate up to 10 devices to his or her account.  Once you have connected 10 devices, you may add a new device only by deauthorizing an existing one from your account, and you may do this up to four times per year.

We limit the number of times you can swap out new devices at the request of some of our music partners in an effort to limit abuse. We understand this has caused some issues for users who often deauthorize and reauthorize the same device, and we are currently re-implementing the solution in a way that works for our users and music partners.

We apologize for any inconvenience and will update this page as new changes are made.

We're not sure how they plan to address the issue, but we're sure glad they have given us all a chance to clear out all our old devices. Hopefully they can implement a fix that doesn't add the same device multiple times, but that still won't be a solution for folks who need to switch devices often. It's an interesting dilemma, and one that hits close to home. We'll keep our eyes on this one.

Source: Google; via The Verge

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