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3 years ago

Canalys: Android accounts for 70% of smartphone market and 34% of all phones shipped in Q4 2012

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image credit Epsilon Creations

Canalys is in the business of counting things. Things like how many of each make of smartphone gets shipped, and what operating system runs on them. We're glad they do it so we don't have to, and they do a great job keeping everyone abreast of how the market breaks out for each category they measure by. They have released the tally for Q4 2012, and as expected, Android continues to dominate the market. In Q4 of last year, 70-percent of all smartphones shipped were running some flavor of Android on them. If you've been following along, you're not surprised.

What is surprising is some of the other facts one can get from their latest report. Like the fact that of all phones shipped during the quarter Android was running on 34-percent of them. That means that one of every three phones sold are smartphones running Android, and that's important. Android was designed to get the Internet into the hands of the people. To get them to ditch their "dumb" phones (I hate that label) and step up into an entry level smartphone. Seeing Android at 34-percent of the total means that people are doing just that -- ditching the old messaging phone for something more fitting the 21st century. These are the phones we forget about, or ask "why?" when we see them getting released. We shouldn't. They are important phones for the future of Android.

Another little-talked about fact from today's report? Huawei is now in the number three spot (behind Samsung and Apple, in that order) of smart phones shipped. Look out for them -- they will be coming in hard and have some awesome things to show us.

For the rest of the numbers and where everyone places in the race for market share, hit the source link and check out the report.

Source: canalys

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3 years ago

LG Viper 4G LTE getting a small maintenance update

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The LG Viper 4G LTE has a small update coming according to Sprint. Relax, it's not Jelly Bean. It's actually even better, as the update addresses LTE network acquisition improvements. This means that your Viper 4G should find and connect to LTE towers better, improving the data connection (and as a secondary, the battery life). 

While an update that isn't full of bells and whistles, or a full on OS version update, isn't very exciting, they are pretty important. Keeping the phone working the way it was advertised is the best thing any of the manufacturers can do for us. If we want more, we can handle that ourselves.

Source: Sprint. Thanks, Tommy!

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3 years ago

Editorial: On fragmentation, malware, and clicks

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Who's ready for the next round of the "Android is riddled with malware" game? Apparently the Washington Post is. John Gruber of Daring Fireball linked everyone to their story today that explains how Android's open model creates a fragmented system that is "like a really dry forest, and it’s just waiting for a match." That match, of course, is malware. It's a shame, really. Today's story at the Post brings several real issues to light. Manufacturers and carriers do have a problem keeping Android up to date, and failure to include Google's security patches makes things tough in the enterprise. Too bad it's all hidden under the buzzwords and click bait.

Malware that can execute on Android exists. Only a fool would think otherwise. But something else also exists, and it affects more people than Android based malware ever will. You don't realize it's happening when it happens, and it's everywhere. You see, the more you interact with a website, the more money the owners of that site make. The business of getting you to click a link because it has a sensational headline is alive and well, and getting bigger.

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3 years ago

Plume for Twitter updates widget design, adds new features

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Plume for Twitter updated its main app to closely tie into Android's new design guidelines many months ago, but its widget still lacked the new visual holo flare until today. The new widget is the same as far as functionality goes, but has received a drastic facelift. It is now a "holo dark" theme, with buttons and colors that more closely match that of the actual app. You still get a great visual representation of tweets, mentions and messages, as well as direct compose, refresh and search keys.

There are also several other improvements as part of this update. You can now make multiple columns in both the app and widget that specify between accounts -- which is a huge deal for multiple account users -- and Facebook accounts can now display in the widget as well. There's also now smoother scrolling, resend dialogues when picture uploads fail and fixes with pull-to-refresh.

That's a whole bunch of notable updates that should keep Plume users happy. If you've yet to try out Plume, you can head the Play Store link at the top of this post to check it out.

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3 years ago

Motorola Electrify M on US Cellular receiving Jelly Bean OTA

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The Motorola Electrify M, which has only been available on U.S. Cellular since November, is getting its Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update starting today. The update should be similar to what we've seen come out on other recent Motorola devices, taking Jelly Bean and putting some very light, but useful, customizations on top of it. You'll be getting Google Now, Project Butter and expandable notifications as well as Motorola's own tweaks.

As is usually the case, large updates like this roll out in phases and it may take some time to arrive. If you're seeing the update on your Electrify M, be sure to chime in here and let us know.

Source: Motorola

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3 years ago

Creating beautiful and functional Android apps: an interview with Stitcher Radio's Tyler Pearson

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Stitcher Radio, one of the most popular news, radio and podcast apps on Android recently underwent a complete redesign. Lead Android developer at Stitcher, Tyler Pearson, was kind enough to take some time out of his day after the launch of the new app to talk to us. We had a chance to (virtually) sit down and talk to Tyler about their newly redesigned Android app, Google design guidelines and the state of the Android ecosystem.

Stick around after the break and see what he had to say.

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3 years ago

Wikipad 7-inch gaming tablet to launch this Spring for $249

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As a follow-up to the launch of its 10-inch gaming tablet in conjunction with Gamestop, Wikipad is taking the wraps off of its 7-inch offering today. The concept here is to have a powerful tablet that is also capable of being slotted into a proprietary controller case for added functionality. We're looking at the same specs as before, but that's not a bad thing -- Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, 1280x800 IPS display, 16GB of storage (with microSD slot) and a front-facing camera. As for game support, the 7-inch Wikipad is running Android 4.1 with full Google Play access, NVIDIA's TegraZone and is also Playstation Certified. There will be no shortage of games available on this device.

While the device has the same controller layout and specs inside, the 7-inch model should be notably easier to carry around and use than was the 10-inch. The new, lower price should make some folks happy as well. The 10-inch retails for $499, but the 7-inch will be only $249, which is quite impressive. Wikipad says the new smaller tablet will be available at major retailers in the Spring, but no specific dates are given at this point.

More: Wikipad

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3 years ago

OUYA CEO: 'There will be a new OUYA every year'

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OUYA may be pitched as a home console, but when it comes to product cycles, the company is following the lead of mobile device manufacturers. OUYA CEO Julie Uhrman sat down with Engadget recently, where she offered some choice quotes on topics ranging from games to hardware strategy.

First off, Uhrman talks up her company's plans for successors to the Tegra 3-powered, Android-running OUYA console. "Our strategy is very much similar to the mobile strategy [...] There will be a new OUYA every year. There will be an OUYA 2 and an OUYA 3."

Uhrman also seems open to tweaking the box's hardware to get gamers the best bang for their buck. This includes "better, faster processors," and more flash storage, if possible. Despite possible changes in hardware, the OUYA CEO reassures that compatibility won't be an issue. Backwards compatibility will apparently be baked in, something we're sure the Android  platform will help out with to some extent. She was also quick to dismiss any fears about games being tied directly to hardware. Instead, an accounts system similar to Steam and Google Play will be employed.

On the subject of hardware, Uhrman says her team is working flat-out with chipmaker NVIDIA to get the best performance possible out of the console's Tegra 3 CPU. As the OUYA doesn't use a battery and features active cooling, the power constraints of mobile devices don't apply. As such, the company's promising "the best Tegra 3 device on the market."

OUYA development kits went out to devs earlier in the year. Kickstarter backers should get the console in March, ahead of a general launch in June. The device will cost $100.

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

ZEN and TECH 50: Fitness month exercise special!

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Georgia and Rene are joined by CrackBerry.com's Kevin Michaluk to talk Fitness Month 2013 and the benefits of exercise. From smartphones to pedometers to social scales, from sports to gyms to sex, we break down the urban myths and help get you moving!

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3 years ago

LG Optimus G Pro could head to Korea with bigger screen, larger battery

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The LG Optimus G Pro became official on Japanese carrier NTT Docomo last month, but we've yet to hear anything official about where else the phone might launch. Today brings a rather tantalizing leak, however, suggesting that the G Pro might be headed to LG's native South Korea with a refreshed spec sheet.

According to images obtained by PhoneArena -- one of a spec list, the other of the device itself -- it appears the Optimus G Pro could be headed to Korea with a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS-LCD display and a 3140mAh battery. That's up from a 5.0-inch screen and a 3000mAh battery in the Japanese version. Also listed is microSD card support up to 64GB. Other specs match Docomo's version directly -- there's a a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro inside, along with 2GB of RAM and a 13MP rear camera. And Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is preloaded along with LG's custom UI.

Based on branding seen in the second image, it looks like the Optimus G Pro will launch on Korean carrier LG U+. We'll likely see the G Pro in person at Mobile World Congress at the end of the month, where we might also learn more about international availability.

Source: PhoneArena

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3 years ago

3G-capable Nexus 7 hits Japan this Saturday

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Hot on the heels of the Nexus 10, the Wifi+3G version of Google's Nexus 7 tablet is set to go on sale in Japan in a couple of days. Like its big brother, the Nexus 7 3G has been available elsewhere since late 2012, but until this month there had been no official Japanese launch.

Now Japanese site Impress Watch brings news that the launch is imminent, with Feb. 9 being touted as release day. The Japanese version's hardware, it says, is identical to the tablet sold in other markets, with a Tegra 3 CPU inside,  32GB of storage and pentaband HSPA+ support.

Upon release the Nexus 7 3G is said to sell for around ¥29,800 ($318).

Source: Impress Watch (Japanese); via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Sony confirms Xperia V, T, TX Jelly Bean update, details changes

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We've been hearing reports to this effect for the past week or so, but today Sony has officially confirmed the arrival of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for the Xperia V, Xperia T and Xperia TX. A post over on the official Sony Mobile blog details exactly what's new in this firmware update -- and there's quite a bit, besides the usual Jelly Bean stuff like Google Now and "project butter."

The update includes new, redesigned Sony media apps such as Walkman for music, Album for pictures and Movies for, well, movies. There're also new personalization options in the home screen launcher, including support for up to seven screens, and auto-resizing of widgets, like the stock Jelly Bean launcher. Changes to the app drawer make creating folders easier, and the drawer itself now features a search box.

Sony also promises camera improvements, including a new "auto" scene setting, and a button for switching between the front and rear camera.

Xperia V, T and TX owners, let us know in the comments if you've got your Jelly Bean update. As always, carrier-locked devices may take a little longer. Sony says the update may only be available through the PC Companion or Bridge app for Mac "in some instances," so you may want to check that if you've not had anything arrive over the air.

Source: Sony Mobile Blog

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3 years ago

LG throws words at you in MWC 2013 trailer

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LG's going to have... something... to show us at Mobile World Congress 2013, but good luck working out exactly what based on this primarily buzzword-based trailer. The underlying message seem so to be that a "breakthrough is coming," though various nodes linking terms like "stylish," beautiful," "speedy" and "edgy" leave us guessing as to exactly what the company has planned. All in all, it's about as vague as LG's recent Facebook teaser.

The stylish, speedy, beautiful and edgy Android Central editorial team will be live from Mobile World Congress in a few weeks to see exactly what LG unveils.

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3 years ago

HTC 603e certified in China - mid-range Jelly Bean handset

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Much of the HTC-related buzz in North America and Europe may be centered on the rumored "M7" handset, but let's not forget that China is a hugely important mobile market. That's where HTC will be hoping its latest smartphone, carrying the model number 603e, will make an impact. A mid-range device with a 4.3-inch WVGA display, a 1.15GHz dual-core CPU and 1GB of RAM, the 603e has just shown up in the Chinese telecom equipment certification database, where it's been spotted by local outlet TENAA.

Other key specs for the phone include a 5MP front camera, a 2MP rear shooter, a thickness of 9.8mm and weight of 130 grams -- nothing too outstanding by any means. But at least the 603e is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, so it's relatively up-to-date.

From a Western perspective, what's interesting about this device is its appearance. It seems to channel a few of the design cues we've seen from alleged leaks of HTC's high-end "M7" device. Note the large earpiece and prominent front-facing camera, as seen in an in-software render weeks ago. And the angled curve of the back is reminiscent of the device that HTC CEO Peter Chou flashed on stage at a recent company party. So even if we never see the 603e outside of China, this design might show in broad strokes what to expect from HTC in the future.

There's no word on release dates, branding or pricing for the HTC 603e, as it's yet to be officially announced. As an educated guess, we'd speculate that we might see more at or around this year's Mobile World Congress.

Source: TENAA; via: Engadget

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3 years ago

EE to expand LTE coverage to 27 more markets by June

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Carrier promises 55% UK population coverage in 65 markets by mid-year

Sole UK 4G carrier EE has announced that it intends to expand its LTE coverage to a further 27 towns and cities across the country by June of this year. The move, it says, will bring 4G reception to 55 percent of the UK population in some 65 markets, up from its current 45 percent UK population coverage across 28 markets.

Between April and June, EE says it'll light up 4G in Aldershot, Ashford, Basildon, Basingstoke, Blackpool, Bracknell, Camberley, Colchester, Crawley, Farnborough, Guildford, Horsham, Huddersfield, Leatherhead, Maidstone, Milton Keynes, Oldham, Oxford, Redhill, Reigate, Sevenoaks, Stevenage, Tonbridge, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Warrington, Wigan and Woking.

With the strengthening of its LTE network, EE will be looking to make the most of its advantage in being the ony British 4G network until the middle of the year. In late spring or early summer, rival carriers like O2, Vodafone and Three will look to launch their own 4G networks, with Three promising in recent days to provide the service without hiking prices. EE currently operates its service on re-farmed 1800MHz airwaves; the ongoing 4G spectrum auction will determine how the UK's 800 and 2600MHz spectrum is divvied up.

With competition likely to intensify later in the year, 2013 looks set to become an interesting and historic year for the UK wireless industry.

Source: EE

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