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3 years ago

Polaroid launches 7-inch kid-focused tablet at $150


Polaroid (yes, that Polaroid) is launching a durable, kid-friendly 7-inch tablet today at a pretty great price point. The tablet, which doesn't seem to have a proper name, is designed to be rugged enough to be handled and controlled by a young child as you can see with the large buttons and bezels. The device is actually running Ice Cream Sandwich -- though you'd never know it -- and is pre-loaded with 35 "premium apps" out of the box, with more available in a kid-friendly App Shop. It's probably best not to give a little kid Google Play access right from the get-go anyway.

There's 8GB of storage and some moderate specs here, so for $149.99 it may be a compelling option if you're looking to get a young child in your life a "my first tablet" kind of device. The tablet is on sale now from Polaroid directly or in stores later this month.

Source: Polaroid (BusinessWire); Polaroid Store

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3 years ago

Catch the first Android Central Podcast of 2013 this afternoon!


We're back, boys and girls! It's a new year, and we're ready to kick this podcast into high gear. Coming up this afternoon -- at a special time of 3:30 p.m. Eastern -- we'll be recording Episode 121 of the Greatest Android Podcast in the World! On tap today -- our predictions for the year, a preview of what we expect next week from CES in Las Vegas, and more of your e-mails and voicemails.

Not at a computer? Pick up the free UStream Viewer from Google Play [link] and search for Mobile Nations a little before the show (it won't appear until we go live). We'll see you there!

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3 years ago

Kobo Arc review


Kobo's latest Android tablet is a marked step up from previous efforts, but does it make for a compelling purchase in an increasingly crowded space?

The small tablet space is becoming increasingly populated of late. The Google Nexus 7 undoubtedly sets the bar pretty high, but recent months have seen respectable releases from Amazon, Acer and on the other side of the fence, Apple. Now, along comes Kobo. A Canadian company better known for e-Readers and their eBook store, they have dipped their toe in the Android tablet space before. 

The Kobo Vox wasn't the greatest tablet on the market by any stretch of the imagination. Quite chunky, a less than impressive touch response and Gingerbread sadly overshadowed a cheap, and -- unlike Amazon's Kindle Fire -- fully Google Certified tablet. Fast forward though, and things are quite different. 

First unveiled to a small group of press in Berlin at the annual IFA conference, the Kobo Arc is the company's latest attempt at an Android based, content focused tablet device. Immediately it was clear that this was something much more interesting than its predecessor. Better software, better hardware, and a competitive price point. But, looks can be deceiving, as we all know. We've had one for a little while now, so click on past the break and we'll take you through it.

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3 years ago

What I used in 2012: Jerry Hildenbrand


It's the end of one year and the beginning of the next, and that means lots of lists covering all manner of tech stuff. I like reading lists. Everything laid out in an easy-to-read format fits my analytical side, and helps me process more information faster. I don't much like writing lists though, because that leaves less space for me to ramble and drift away from the topic at hand. Sort of like now, huh?

Anyways, back to my list. I used a crapload of mobile stuff this year, most of it some flavor of Android. I'm not even going to run through them all, just what I use everyday while working for AC or as a general technophile. A lot of you will disagree with my choices, and that's a good thing. The world would be pretty much a suck-fest if everyone were like me. Jump through and have a read.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile USA to sell Nexus 4 in all stores in January


If you're in the U.S. and weren't able to bag a Nexus 4 through the Google Play Store -- and let's face it, many of us weren't -- then your other option was to pick one up from T-Mobile. But not all T-Mobile stores were offering the handset, and the carrier's online store quickly sold out of stock.

So in 2013, it seems T-Mobile will address these availability concerns by offering the Nexus 4 from all of its retail locations. A leaked internal screen obtained by TmoNews indicates that all T-Mo retail stores will sell the LG-made Nexus in January. As TmoNews points out, the carrier could only support such an expansion with a hefty influx of new inventory, which could bring hope of the device becoming more attainable in the weeks ahead.

In the meantime, there's still no hint of the Nexus 4 becoming available through Google Play anytime soon. The device was back-ordered by several weeks in December, and remains sold out at present.

Source: TmoNews

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3 years ago

LTE-toting HTC One SV now available SIM-free in the UK


HTC's mid-range 4G LTE phone for Europe and Asia, the One SV, has begun making its way to British shores today, first dropping by online retailer Clove Technology. Clove has the One SV in stock today, and is selling the device unlocked and SIM-free for £350 (approx. $569) in white and blue color options.

In addition those 4G data capabilities, the One SV packs a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 chip, 1GB of RAM and a 4.3-inch WVGA SuperLCD2 display. Around the back, it's packing a 5MP HTC ImageSense camera. Unfortunately it's not running Jelly Bean, and instead comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box.

So the HTC One SV is a mix of high-end and low-range tech, but what you're really paying for here is the ability to pick up an unlocked 4G LTE device without breaking the bank.

The One SV will also be coming to EE, the UK's only LTE carrier, in the near future. Right now, though, there's no mention of the device on EE's site.

Source: Clove Technology

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3 years ago

Those 'glitterless' Nexus 4 stories are bullshit


OK, folks. This has gotten ridiculous, and it needs to stop. Now.

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3 years ago

Is 2013 the year of the smart appliance? LG thinks so, and is bringing them to CES


LG is a big ass company. Like Samsung, another Korean electronics giant, they make a little of everything -- if you plug it in, chances are LG makes several different models of it. Of course they make appliances, and their new breed of "smart appliances" look to be pretty damn cool if you're an Android fan.

Get your fridge, or oven, or dryer (you get the picture) installed and turned on, then touch your LG Android smartphone to it and the magic of NFC sets it up so that your phone controls your appliance. You have a Smart Control app to use if you like, or you'll be able to use your voice -- "Home-bot, start cleaning" starts up the Roboking cleaning unit, or "Have you got a few minutes, washer?" will tell you the status of the load of laundry you've got washing. As long as you're on the same Wifi network, you're in control.

While it's not quite the level of automation control we see from Hollywood movies, it sounds awful damn cool (and expensive). You bet your ass we're going to look at these next week at CES.

Source: LG (Korea)

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3 years ago

Dailymotion app updated with new UI and features


Dailymotion Streaming Video, an app that is the second largest video provider on the internet, has just updated its app substantially in both design and functionality. This newest version -- 3.0.1, to be exact -- has a completely overhauled UI that fits nicely into Android 4.0 and above's holo design, taking advantage of the new tabbed interface, overflow settings button and UI fragments.

As if that wasn't enough, there's also a lot of new behind the scenes fixes to improve overall responsiveness of the app. The video player is quicker, there's a new offline mode and improved search suggestions. The latest small update brought many bug fixes to keep everything smooth as well. If you want to know a little more about Dailymotion you can take a look at the press release after the break, or just head straight to the app at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

The Ubuntu phone's time, if ever, is now - not in 2014


And any number of hurdles still stand in Canonical's way, no matter how cool things look now

Canonical has been buzzing in our ears about Ubuntu as a mobile device operating system for a while now. We've seen them tout integrating a solution into Android for a year, and before that they had plans for their own mobile version of Ubuntu that more than a few Linux geeks were following. Today they came full circle and showed off a native OS on an Android phone, getting some of us pumped for the "next big thing."

But with yet another announcement without a single flashable image, will Ubuntu OS even have a chance?

Let's discuss the pros and cons, and see why 2014 might be too late for any success for Canonical. Read on.

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3 years ago

Google to deliver Q4 2012 results on Jan. 22


Here's your early warning that Google is scheduled to announce its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time on Jan. 22. Or, if history repeats, its printer may decide to do it a few hours early, sending Wall Street into a tizzy

Source: Google

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3 years ago

Over-the-top VOIP users to reach 1 billion in 4 years


Over the top (OTT) VOIP users will top 1 billion by 2017, according to some new research. It's no surprise that traditional voice call usage is going down, but that doesn't mean that people are stopping voice calls all together. The transition to VOIP (Voice Over IP) calling services is on the rise, according to a report out today by Juniper Research, and could reach a massive 1 billion users in just 4 short years. Today, current VOIP solutions like Skype and Talkatone don't integrate natively with phones but rather run as standalone apps, and don't always work as well as users would expect over regular 3G data technologies.

Fortunately as LTE becomes the standard for mobile data, the higher speeds and lower latency will help this move. Apps will start to take advantage with better audio codecs and other software innovations as well. The unknown in all of this is how carriers will react to the move towards VOIP solutions as primary calling options for users.

Source: FierceWireless

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3 years ago

Google's Eric Schmidt headed to North Korea on 'private, humanitarian mission'


North Korea as seen from the Dora Observatory

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt is going to North Korea as part of a "private, humanitarian mission," The Associated Press reported this afternoon. North Korea is all but cut off from the rest of the world when it comes to the Internet (among other things). Will Schmidt's trip the the beginning of any sort of change there? We can only hope.

Source: Associated Press

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3 years ago

What I used in 2012: Richard Devine


And so, with 2012 now behind us, the traditional reflection on the year past begins. Being British, last year was pretty memorable -- the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Summer Olympics in London two standout moments. We've also seen the mobile world continue to grow at an incredible rate, as our smartphones and tablets become an increasingly integral part of every day life. 

AC's editor-in-chief, Phil Nickinson, couldn't have put it better -- "In this job, you can't help but be buried in plastic from time to time." It's true of each member of the team. We talk about devices and apps all day every day, but we don't really talk about what we're using in our own, every day lives. It's been a heck of a year in these parts, so click on past the break to find out what I've been using the most during 2012. 

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3 years ago

Canonical announces its Ubuntu smartphone OS


In its infancy for quite a long time now, software maker Cononical today is taking the wraps off of the smartphone variation of its Linux operating system Ubuntu. The interface will be distinctly in the Ubuntu style, and have many features of other modern smartphone operating systems. There are edge gestures, disappearing controls, global search, voice commands and support for both native and HTML5 web apps.

But Ubuntu for smartphones is more than just a phone OS, as it also provides a full desktop experience when the phone is docked to a mouse, keyboard and monitor. With the current specs of phones, its not unreasonable to expect a single device to be able to handle both a phone and desktop operating system when in each situation. Ubuntu is generally pretty lightweight, so it should run nicely while still remaining feature rich (unlike Motorola Webtop before it.)

Let's not forget that Ubuntu is also open source, giving plenty of options to later customization and tweaking by users as well as quick and free updates in the future. Canonical is holding an informational conference call to provide more details on the launch of its smartphone OS today, which should answer some burning questions. Canonical will also be showing off Ubuntu for smartphones at CES in under a week. In the meantime, take a look at the quick press release after the break.

More: Canonical

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