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3 years ago

Verizon set to launch several new LTE markets on Dec. 20


It's hard to find cities that don't have Verizon LTE coverage at this point, but they're still rolling it out. Big red is taking its new high-speed network to several new cities and towns, all expecting to launch on December 20th:

  • Lamar And LaJunta, Colorado
  • Price And Richfield, Utah
  • Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Kemmerer And Pinedale, Wyoming
  • Port Angeles, Port Townsend And Sequim, Washington
  • Kennewick, Pasco And Richland, Washington
  • Klamath Falls And Roseburg, Oregon

Just one week away from seeing LTE go live in these places if you happen to live there. The few of you not yet covered by LTE should be seeing it soon at this rate.

Source: Verizon; (1); (2); (3); (4); (5)

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3 years ago

Facebook SDK 3.0 for Android comes out of beta


Alongside its release of a native Android app, Facebook is bringing its SDK 3.0 for Android developers out of beta today. The Facebook SDK for Android lets app developers on the platform integrate social functions into their apps by calling Facebook API's and embedding their functions. This means simple actions like connecting a Facebook account to another app or calling up a friend or location list will be easier to implement and use. For example, users will be able to log-in to their Facebook account without ever leaving the primary app -- really cool stuff.

Facebook says the beta version of the SDK was downloaded over 80,000 times since it was released, so let's hope that some of those developers give it a closer look and use the tools to their advantage. This isn't something most end-users will be dealing with, but we all want this regardless. When developers have better tools, they provide an improved experience for all of us.

Source: Facebook Developers

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3 years ago

Official Nexus 7 audio dock gets unboxed on Youtube


Here's a look at the elusive Nexus 7 docking station live and in color on Youtube. We don't have a lot of information here, just that the fellow posting the video bought it at Yodobashi Camera in the Akihabara district in Japan. He had the opportunity to buy it a day early, and like any of us would, he jumped on it. 

It looks to be the same dock we saw in late November, utilizing the pogo pons for charging and audio. That dock is no longer "coming soon" on the Asus Japan site, but it is listed as out of stock. There is no listing on the ASUS America site or the Global site. 

We're not sure of what the availability will be, or if it is even coming to the states. We assume that it will, as the demand for the Nexus 7 is still very high. The dock would make for a great holiday gift, so hopefully we see it offered very soon.

Discuss it in the Nexus 7 forums

Source: Youtube; via  +William Gunther!

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3 years ago

Walmart improves Android app to help holiday shoppers


Walmart has made some subtle updates to its app -- now v1.4.1 -- that should help customers looking to ease the headaches of shopping this holiday season. Now in addition to online ordering and shopping cart management, you can view the localized ads for specific stores in your area. After letting the app view your location, you can see the newspaper circular for each store, and see if there are any special deals. You can swipe through the pages casually, and if something catches your eye you can tap into a certain page and get a simple list of the items on it.

The app with the updated UI is out now, and can be downloaded at the Google Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Nexus 10 Pogo charger sighted, release rumored


It seems Nexus 10 owners may be about to get a new, more convenient, more magnetic way to charge their tablets. Android Central forums poster jstevenkim has posted an image of what he says is a Pogo charger for the Samsung-made 10-inch tablet. Unlike a traditional microUSB getup, this pogo charger would be held in contact with the tablet's pogo pins magnetically, similar to an Apple MagSafe connector.

The poster claims he works for "the original and direct supplier of the pogo cable to S[amsung] in Korea," and that this charger will become available soon via Amazon and eBay, priced around $19.99-24.99. We'd take this with a pinch of salt -- the image provided certainly looks like it'd fit the Nexus 10, but there's no way of verifying how official it really is.

Of course, we're still waiting on the official pogo dock for the Nexus 10 -- not to mention its little brother, the Nexus 7. In the meantime this accessory may open up a novel way of charging the 10-inch Nexus, if microUSB is cramping your style.

Hit the Android Central Nexus 10 forum at the source link for more discussion and speculation.

Source: Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

Leap Wireless and MetroPCS starting handset financing programs


Leap Wireless and MetroPCS, both smaller prepaid carriers, are starting to offer handset financing programs for their devices. One of the issues facing carriers that only operate on a prepaid basis is the high up-front cost of handsets. Even though the customers will be saving lots of money in the long-run, the $500 or more required to buy a high-end device may turn some away. 

Leap, which operates the Cricket Wireless brand (which is somewhat confusing,) started offering its financing plans a couple weeks ago and now have them rolled out to all of its stores nationwide. Purchases of $200 or more -- both phones and accessories -- can qualify for financing of up to 90-percent of the purchase price. If the loan is paid off within 90 days, there are no fees or interest charges as well. This means that someone buying a device that is normally $500 will be paying just over $100 out the door for the device and the first month's service paid in full. MetroPCS wouldn't comment specifically on its financing plans, but intends to launch a similar setup of handset financing to its customers very soon.

Even with the financing plans, neither Leap nor MetroPCS will require a contract for its services and will remain completely prepaid. Both operators aren't requiring a credit check for financing either -- just an active bank account -- which is a big deal to many customers. Anything that can help users make the choice on going to prepaid to save money on their cellphone service is a good thing.

Source: FierceWireless

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3 years ago

T-Mobile announces another 5 markets with 1900MHz HSPA+


We saw T-Mobile light up three new markets just a few days ago with its "network modernization," and now its ready to announce five more. Network Modernization is a big deal for T-Mobile, as it brings improvements in voice and data traffic, better building penetration and overall improved signal strength. It also of course means that the carrier has deployed HSPA+ on the 1900MHz band in that market as well, which enables use of most GSM handsets sold in the world -- including AT&T branded devices. Users in the following markets should see the improved service live starting today:

  • Chicago, including the surrounding areas of: Aurora, Berwyn, Chicago Heights, Cicero, Des Plaines, Downers Grove, Evanston, Evergreen Park, Naperville, Oak Park, Schaumburg, Wilmette and Winnetka.
  • Reno, Nev.
  • Sacramento, Calif., including the surrounding areas of: Antelope, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Loomis, North Highlands, Rancho Cordova, Rio Linda, Rocklin, Roseville, Vacaville and West Sacramento.
  • Fresno, Calif.
  • Southern Calif., including: Alhambra, Anaheim, Claremont, Culver City, El Monte, Encino, Garden Grove, Granada Hills, Inglewood, Irvine, La Crescenta, Laguna Niguel, Monrovia, Monterey Park, Newport Beach, North Hills, North Hollywood, Paramount, Pasadena, Redlands, Reseda, Rosemead, Santa Ana, San Fernando, San Gabriel, Santa Monica, South El Monte, Temple City, Torrance, Upland, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Westminster and Wilmington.

This announcement brings the number of markets with 1900MHz HSPA+ up to 23 in total, which T-Mobile claims is covering 100 million Americans.

Source: T-Mobile

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3 years ago

Dell officially exits the smartphone market


Although one could argue Dell never really was in the smartphone market, they did make several attempts to gain traction both on Android and Windows Phone. The Dell Streak and Venue Pro Windows Phone lines turned out to be pretty lackluster overall. Despite that fact, up until March Dell was still selling the devices on their web site but they've now finally disappeared.

Jeff Clarke, Dell's head of consumer business, confirmed Dell's lack of future smartphone intents at the recent Dell World conference stating "It needs a lot of investments to really be successful". For now, Dell will concentrate their efforts on PC's running Microsoft's Windows 8 and tablet computers based on Windows RT.

In speaking further of their Android ventures, Clarke noted “It’s a content play with Android. Amazon is selling books and Google is making it up with search. So far we couldn’t find a way to build a business on Android,” Android isn't being ignored though as Clarke also mentioned “It doesn’t mean we’re not looking at Android. You should come and see what’s in our labs.”

Source: Forbes via: PhoneScoop

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3 years ago

BBC iPlayer app updated with new UI, higher quality video and Android 4.2 support


Also BBC Media Player improvements, including background audio playback

Yesterday the BBC detailed exactly what it's planning to do with its iPlayer app for Android over the next few months, highlighting the importance of tablet support, feature parity with iOS and improved video quality. Now it seems the first of those improvements have arrived, as the Beeb is now pushing out an update to version of the TV and radio streaming app.

New features include better video quality over Wifi connections, a re-vamped UI more in keeping with Android's "Holo" design guidelines, and support for Android 4.2. Previously, it had been possible to use iPlayer on an Android 4.2 device, but only if it was installed before applying a 4.2 update. Today's app update means iPlayer has full support for the latest version of Google's OS, and can be directly downloaded onto newer devices like the Nexus 4. There's also support for Gaelic-language TV channel BBC Alba, which may be of interest to viewers in Scotland.

Alongside iPlayer, the BBC Media Player companion app has also been updated. That update brings similar improvements in video quality over Wifi, along with background audio playback support, including ICS lock screen controls, and "currently playing" info in the notification bar. This makes it possible to listen to radio content without keeping the app in focus and the screen switched on. The Beeb cautions that there are still issues with the Sony Xperia Arc running Android 4.0 on this version, however, so owners of that device may want to hold off updating.

Readers in the UK can hit the Google Play link above to grab the new version of iPlayer, or here for the BBC Media Player app.

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3 years ago

Google Calendar adds more actionable notifications, location improvements


Google has updated the Calendar app to improve notifications, location entry and event creation today. We were very happy to see Google break Calendar out of Android and make it available to everyone (provided the device is on 4.0.3 or higher) in the Play Store back in October, and now we're seeing the fruits of that decision because updates can be rolled out independent of the OS.

Now when you create an event, the app will suggest proper locations as you type. For example when I type "Starbucks" in the location field, it will suggest specific addresses of store locations, much like the location field in Google Maps does currently. Additionally, when you receive a notification for the event, you can act on it by either snoozing or going directly to a map view of the location in the event.

This is a great update and we're glad Google is improving even on its most basic apps. It is an interesting update, however, because this is functionality that's already included as part of Google Now, which will alert you of upcoming events and even adjust the alert time based on traffic or other appointments. This is a good stopgap for devices that are on Ice Cream Sandwich and can use the new Calendar but not Google Now, but that group of devices will only be getting smaller as time goes on.

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3 years ago

Want to attend CES 2013 for Free? Now's your chance, thanks to the The Mobile Nations 2013 CES Experience!


Do you love mobile gaming? Are you active on Twitter and Facebook? Do you spend hours on end posting in Mobile Nations' communities? More important, have you ever wanted to attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and are available the second week of January next year? If you answered YES to all of these questions -- have we got an experience lined up for you!

There's no doubt that CES in Las Vegas is an event any tech junkie MUST attend at least ONCE in his or her lifetime. All of the latest and greatest (and sometimes bizarre) tech is at CES -- it's something to see. And even better than going to an event like CES as an outsider is to go insider. That's why we are thrilled to announce the "Mobile Nations 2013 CES Experience," in which six lucky individuals will receive round-trip travel and accommodations for CES 2013, courtesy of NVIDIA Tegra! Woohoo! Keep reading for all the details

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3 years ago

The YotaPhone and its e-ink display gets shown off on video for the first time


The YotaPhone from Russian broadband provider, Yota, was only unveiled yesterday with Android 4.2 and a second, e-ink display. It packs some pretty tasty specifications, but the difference maker is the e-ink display on the back -- or the front, whichever way you're looking at it. And, while we had a selection of renders to whet our appetite, what we really want is to see this thing in action. 

The good folks over at The Digital Reader stumbled upon this hands on video, shot with the Head of Software Development at Yota Devices. It shows off both sides of the device, the interesting looking gesture area that replaces the capacitive or on-screen buttons, and how some apps look when mirrored to the e-ink display. He goes through a series of use case scenarios for such a device, but no-one can say it isn't an interesting concept. It's also worth noting that it seems the on board storage and the final name of the device aren't yet decided. 

via The Digital Reader

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3 years ago

The 2012 Android Central Awards - voting is now open!


Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the 2012 Android Central Awards. You've been listening to us go on and on and on and on (and on!) this year about Android smartphones and tablets and apps. Now it's your turn to have the definitive say in what's the best of the best from 2012 and have bragging rights going into 2013.

For the hardware side of things, we pared down the suggestions to what we think will be the most popular choices. But if we missed your favorite smartphone or tablet, no worries. Just give us your write-in candidate in the "Other" choice in each question. Apps of the year are completely up to you.

Voting for the 2012 Android Central Awards will remain open until 5 p.m. EST Dec. 21. We'll tally up the winners over the holiday break, then announce them shortly after the new year, so stay tuned for that. (And for those of you who rock the forums on a daily basis, be sure to vote in our Community Awards.)

Enough preamble.

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3 years ago

Facebook finally releases a native Android app


After what seems like an eternity of dealing with a sluggish web view Facebook app on Android, the social media behemoth is finally releasing a new and improved version written in native code. Everyone got their hopes up when an improved, native app came to iOS a few months ago -- but the status of the Android version was still "coming soon."

The new version will drastically improve performance in critical areas such as load/resume times, navigating the timeline and loading of photo albums. Because much of the computation is now happening quickly on the device, there's no more waiting. Facebook's main descriptor when talking about the update is "fast," and keep stressing that this is a complete rebuilding of the app.

The update is now live in the Play Store at the link above. We're just getting through the features initially here and things are looking good. This one is definitely going to be a worth-while update for any Facebook users out there.

Source: Facebook; (2)

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3 years ago

iTunes snubs Android Central - all of Android, actually - in annual awards


Bear with us, folks -- we're still coming to terms with this. Apple and iTunes have snubbed Android Central in its "Best of 2012" podcast listings. Instead, Apple, in its infinitely looped wisdom, has gone with some guy named Leo Laporte, a couple of people who apparently like to beat geeks, and a blue letter "e" for best technology podcasts of 2012. Hell, there's not even an Android category! Steve Jobs never would have let this happen.

But fear not. We will soldier on. The Greatest Android Podcast in the World will return yet again this evening for Episode No. 119, live at 9 p.m. EST, 2 a.m. (Thursday) GMT, and all points in between, where we once again will bring you the best of Android world, plus your e-mails and voicemails -- and we've got some stuff to give away this week, as well.

So join use tonight for the Android Central Podcast and help right this injustice. We'll be at

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