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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II software update brings improved performance and many bug fixes

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Software version JZO54K.I415VRBMF1 is going out over-the-air in Verizon's latest update

Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II owners should be on the lookout -- a new software update is on the way, care of our good friends over at Big Red. The Galaxy Stratosphere II's newest software version, JZO54K.I415VRBMF1, includes numerous small bug fixes and improvements.

Reliability and stability enhancements were made to the Data Usage Meter, mobile hotspot connectivity, and Kindle App (when downloaded separately from the Play Store) connectivity. Bugs that were addressed include the internet browser reset issue, blue/monotone screen requiring reboot, and text message deletion during word correction.

New features and improvements include the following:

  • Caller Name ID is now supported as a downloadable (from Google Play Store) application
  • SIM pin entry screen now displays the correct number of remaining attempts
  • Lock screen functionality has been improved when in Emergency calling mode
  • Enhanced lock screen security
  • Custom ringtones for the contact list have been improved

Update notifications should be appearing on users' devices soon. For those that want to be a bit more proactive, updates can be initiated by the user as well. To check for available updates, the 'Check New' menu button must be pressed. It can be found by going to: Settings > About Device > Software updates > Check New.

If anyone has received this update, hit the comments and let us know.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Cricket announces Samsung Galaxy Discover for $129

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Latest low-end device hits the right price point with modern features

Along with announcements of new device payment plans and updates to Muve Music, Cricket announced that it will be carrying a new low-end device, the Samsung Galaxy Discover. The Galaxy Discover ticks some boxes but isn't going to wow anyone -- with a 3.5-inch display, 3MP camera and few extra features, it's clearly meant for the first-time smart phone buyer. It still has access to Google Play, along with Cricket's Muve Music service and most modern features.

The Galaxy Discover is available starting July 21st for $129.99 on Cricket's unlimited plans, which start with talk, text and 1GB of high speed data for $50 per month.

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3 years ago

Cricket to offer monthly phone payment plans, Muve music updated to 4.0

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Cricket has announced today that they too will be moving forward with plans to purchase devices on payments. Their new flexible financing comes in three flavors, with a category for everyone. 

For users with good credit, Cricket will be offering a plan with no financing fees. For users with questionable credit, but still qualify, there will be a plan with low financing fees, and for folks who would rather skip the credit check all together there's a plan that will still offer competitive financing rates. For some phones, these plans will require a down payment. These down-payments will start at $25. Full details will follow in a Leap Wireless (Cricket's parent company) press release.

In addition to the phone payment options, Cricket also announced a major update to the Muve Music service. The new 4.0 version of the service will feature a new user interface to access all the features, and subscribers will no longer need to have a special SD card to use the music service. The new Muve Music 4.0 will first be available on the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Samsung Galaxy S4, the Samsung Galaxy Discover and the Samsung Galaxy Admire 2. Other devices will follow later in the year.

For more details, visit the Leap Wireless site below.

Source: Leap Wireless

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3 years ago

US Cellular to once again require contracts for existing customer upgrades

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Carrier changes its 'Belief' system in favor of contracts and restocking fees starting this month

Back in 2010, U.S. Cellular surprised many of us by announcing 'The Belief Project' -- a new, novel policy that gave existing customers increased freedom by no longer requiring that they sign a contract for phone upgrades. Only an initial contract was required to be signed by new customers; after that, subscribers could upgrade contract-free indefinitely. At the time, this was unheard of as far as the 'Big Four' carriers were concerned.

Ironically, as other carriers begin to move away from subscriber contracts, U.S. Cellular has decided that contracts are the best way "to invest in improving our customer experience." Beginning later this month, any existing U.S. Cellular customers who use an available upgrade to purchase a subsidized device will be required to sign a 2-year service contract. Also changing is the '15-Day Excellence Guarantee' policy, with customers now being charged a $35 restocking fee when a device is returned within the initial 15 day period.

How do U.S. Cellular customers feel about these new (or old, depending on how you look at it) changes? Sound off in the comments.

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 in Canada becomes next in line for a software update

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Galaxy S4 model SGH-M919V gets update that includes Apps2SD support

Continuing to make the rounds -- this time in Canada -- model variant SGH-M919V of the Galaxy S4 has begun its over-the-air update rollout. Reports of receiving this update are not widespread just yet, but users on carrier-branded phones in Canada are likely to start seeing the update notification very soon.

The firmware version for this new update is M919VVLUAMG1, and reportedly includes the following changes:

  • Apps2SD
  • Some new icons in the settings
  • Additional 'Smart Pause' button in quick settings
  • Stability improvements
  • Upgrades the camera firmware.
  • Storage shown as 16GB now, but 6.38 GB is occupied by System memory under 'Misc'

Screenshots of the update are also available. For the screenshots -- as well as the original forum post -- see the source link below.

Thanks arjunamin! More: XDA Deveopers

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3 years ago

Google schedules Android event for July 24

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Invites are going out for a Google event in San Francisco, Calif. next Wednesday, July 24. Dubbed "breakfast with Sundar Pichai," the event will likely cover new developments in Android or Chrome, the two product areas Pichai now oversees. The event will also be livestreamed on YouTube for those who can't be there.

On the Android side, we're expecting the arrival of a new OS version — version 4.3 — and possibly a new ASUS-built Nexus tablet along with it. There's also the possibility that the newly-Googlified Motorola could drop in to show off its new Moto X handset.

Whatever happens, we'll be live from San Francisco next Wednesday to bring you full coverage.

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3 years ago

Phone Wars: In the fight for the cloud, who wins? - Talk Mobile

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You have the ultimate device with the ultimate software. There's just one thing missing: something to which you'll connect once you get to that great wide information superhighway. We need services.

On a base level, a service is pretty much anything that feeds content to an application. That can be as simple as a Google log-in on a third party site, or as complex as a continuous client that's kept in sync across multiple devices in real time.

3 years ago

Nexus 7 sequel pricing leaks - 16GB for $229, 32GB for $269

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The Nexus 7 refresh finds its way into retail inventory software, we hope that means it soon finds its way into our hands

While we still can't say for sure when the Nexus 7 refresh will be available, we now have a pretty good idea what it will cost. In this leaked inventory screen, we see listings for both the 16GB version, priced at $229, and the 32GB version, checking in at $269. Those prices aren't bad at all, as the rumored specs for these show a Snapdragon 600 processor, 5MP camera, and possibly a 1080p display.

Both models are simply listed as quad-core, so there is no new information on that front. We also see that zero units of either size are in inventory at this particular ninja's location right now.

With retail locations getting ready for inventory of the new Nexus 7, the wait can't be very much longer. That's a good thing, because we're getting excited for some new Nexus gear, and possibly the launch of Android 4.3 to go with it.

Thanks, Anon!

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia SP hitting Canada this summer

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Sony mid-ranger coming to Rogers, Fido, Virgin

A quick heads-up for Sony fans in Canada — the Japanese manufacturer's current mid-range offering, the Xperia SP, will be headed to Canadian shores this summer. A Sony press release brings word that Rogers, Fido and Virgin will range the device, which packs a 4.6-inch 720p display, a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 1GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel Exmor RS camera.

We recently reviewed the Xperia SP and found it to be a decent mid-ranger, though one with a few niggling issues concerning performance and display quality.

There's no specific release date for the Xperia SP in Canada, however Sony did confirm that it'll be offering the black version of the phone in the Canadian market.

More: Sony Xperia SP review

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3 years ago

Sprint's HTC One getting an update for HD Voice

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If you've got an HTC One on Sprint, be on the lookout for a little update starting today. Sprint's pushing software version 1.31.651.2 that has an "HD Voice enhancement" and fixes things so Sprint's ringtones will show up in the ringtones list. HD Voice, of course, requires you to be speaking to someone else who has an HD Voice-capable phone. 

Keep an eye out for it any time now.

Source: Sprint; via HTC One (Sprint) forums

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3 years ago

We've added more functionality to our Google Play badges!

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Attention, people of Earth! Somehow in the 1,000 or so words written yesterday on the Version 1.3 update to the official Android Central App, we managed to leave out another change — and this one actually affects the website as well as the app. 

The blog for some time has used the "Get it on Google Play" badges to link to apps. We've now implemented it in the same way in the app, which is a more consistent design. But we didn't stop there. Now we're using that badge to link to anything in Google Play. Books, magazines, TV shows and movies, music — anytime you see that badge, it'll take you to the listing in Google Play. In the app, on the blog, and straight to the listing. Done.

And if you haven't already (what are you waiting for?!?!?) be sure to check out the latest version of the Android Central App!

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z Ultra expected in stock Sept. 13

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A quick heads up for those in the UK that retailer Expansys expects to have the Sony Xperia Z Ultra in stock starting Sept. 13. Priced at £639.99, the Ultra, of course, is the monstrous 6.44-inch more-than-a-phone-but-not-quite-a-tablet device we took a look at a couple weeks ago. Here's how Alex Dobie put it at the time:

Our brief time with the device has left us impressed. This isn't a mainstream phone, but just like the Galaxy Note line it's not really trying to be. Sony's aiming for a heavy hitter with the Xperia Z Ultra, a device targeted at the growing audience of buyers who want a sizeable mobile device — something larger than a phone yet smaller than a tablet. And for the moment, Sony's 6.44-incher is the best big phone we've seen.

Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean running on a Snapdragon 800? Yep, it's a beast. 

More: Expansys

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3 years ago

T-Mobile and AT&T: JUMP to your Next phone purchase — or don't

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One is another option to buy a device, the other is giving the carrier more money for no good reason

We've seen a big couple of days in the mobile space. Following T-Mobile's announcement of its "boldest moves" last week that included a new way to upgrade your phone more often, AT&T announced today that it has launched its own device financing and upgrade scheme. "AT&T Next", as it is called, gives you another option to buy a phone outright on the carrier by paying the unsubsidized price spread out over 20 monthly payments. Similarly, T-Mobile's newly-announced JUMP! upgrade service lets users build on its device financing service to also allow returning of a device twice a year for a new handset with a monthly fee.

Both of these plans are new ways for you (and the carriers) to think about the device purchasing agreement, but that doesn't mean they're created equal. Let's do some (simple) math after the break.

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3 years ago

HTC One Mini crops up on Chinese certification site

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HTC '601e' single-SIM device with WCDMA headed to China

Adding further fuel to the HTC One Mini fire, Chinese certification database TENAA has listed a brand new single-SIM HTC device that's the spitting image of a phone we've seen in numerous leaked photos. The HTC '601e' is listed with Android software and HSDPA/HSUPA data connectivity, and looks an awful lot like a 4.3-inch HTC One — note the metallic back and trademark front-facing speakers. The volume rocker appears a little different to the HTC One in this image, as two separate buttons rather than a rocker. And the Mini's LED flash has been relocated to above the camera lens.

With HTC itself teasing the arrival of something small but mighty, hopefully it won't be too long before the One Mini is officially unveiled.

Source: TENAA; via: Engadget, ePrice

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3 years ago

The new Google Play: We've come a long way, baby

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The Android Market website, circa Feb. 2011

For better or for worse, Google does what Google does — we're going to have to adapt

I'm seeing a lot of hate about the new Google Play web redesign. It seems like no matter what Google does with it, haters gonna hate, and Google can't please everyone. We get it — change is not always a good thing, and it makes people uncomfortable. But love it or hate it, it's here and you're stuck with it.

The biggest complaints I'm hearing are about permissions, the "My apps" list, and filtering reviews by device. Now I don't claim to know why Google does the things it does, but to me there's an easy explanation about each of these changes. I like the easy explanation, because usually, it's also the right explanation. Occam's Razor and all that.

Hit the break, let's talk.

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