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3 years ago

EE launches limited edition 4G price plans - budget £31 contract and 20GB 'super-user' plans

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When EE (Everything Everywhere) first launched its 4G LTE service in the UK, two common complaints focused on the price of its subsidized smartphone contracts and the 8GB ceiling for data allowances. Today it seems the carrier's ready to test the water with some more adventurous price plans, as for a limited time it'll offer a budget-centric £31 per month, 24-month deal, along with a new "super-user" contracts with 20GB of data per month. 

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3 years ago

Deer Reader walks the line of appealing to casual and power RSS users

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Deer Reader, a Google Reader client for Android, has a great design and set of features that has the ability to appeal to a wide range of users. News reading apps usually fall into either the "casual user" (think Flipboard, Google Currents) or "power user" (GReader, Press) category, and Deer Reader is taking a shot right down the middle with its client. Integrating with Google Reader instantly pushes you towards a more involved setup, as most "normal" users aren't keeping curated news and podcast RSS feeds, but what Deer Reader does with the presentation of these RSS feeds is what makes it more user-friendly.

Stick around after the break for a video walkthrough of the UI on both phones and tablets, and to see if Deer Reader is a good choice for you. 

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3 years ago

Latest reports tip Samsung Galaxy S4 for April release following March 'Unpacked' event

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The latest round of reports have Samsung’s Galaxy S3 successor coming to market this April, following an unveiling at a March “Unpacked” event in the United States.

Firstly, Korean news outlet Asian Economies reports via “telecommunications industry” sources that Samsung is planning to unveil the Galaxy S4 at an "Unpacked" event in the U.S. in late March. Specifically, Friday, March 22 was highlighted as a likely date for Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2013, which is said to be the largest such event yet. If accurate, it’d be the first major Unpacked event in the U.S. since the original Galaxy S made its debut in 2010.

News of a possible Galaxy S4 unveiling this March, also fits with the second report we’re seeing today, which comes via Samsung fansite SamMobile. SamMobile’s sources have a pretty consistent track record in revealing details of pre-release Samsung handsets, and today the site claims that the Galaxy S4 is on track for launch sometime in April.

The S4, supposedly known internally by the codename “Altius,” is said to come in black and white color options initially. It’s reported that current shipping timetables call for the device to become available from week 15 of this year -- that's the week commencing April 15. Other information reported by SamMobile includes details of the phone’s battery -- allegedly a 2600mAh unit -- and apparent confirmation of earlier rumors of an optional wireless charging back. This accessory is to be sold separately within "a couple of weeks” of the S4’s launch, the site claims. (That’d be an improvement on the lag time of several months for official Galaxy phone accessories in years past.)

It’s worth taking reports of this nature with a pretty major pinch of salt until the official confirmation arrives. Nevertheless, the more reliable Galaxy S4 rumors seem to be crystallizing around a late Q1 or early Q2 launch window. A stateside unveiling would certainly make sense for Samsung, given the importance of the U.S. market. What’s more, an Unpacked event less than a month after Mobile World Congress would minimize the amount of breathing space given to Android rivals like HTC, which is expected to use MWC to unveil its major 2013 handsets. Keep it locked to Android Central in the months ahead -- it’s going to be a crazy year, and things are just getting started.

Source: Asian Economies via PhoneArena; SamMobile

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3 years ago

Phones4U to launch own virtual mobile network using EE's infrastructure

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'LIFE Mobile' to launch 3G service this March, 4G later

British phone retailer Phones4U has announced it's to get into the network operator game through a new virtual network operated on EE's infrastructure. The new "LIFE Mobile" network is scheduled to launch this March, with 2G and 3G services being offered at first, followed by 4G LTE options later in the year. EE is, of course, currently the only operator to offer 4G services to British consumers.

Phones4U has not yet revealed details of pricing on the new service provider, but says it'll offer "variety of tariffs and services" with a "broad appeal" to consumers.

According to today's press release, the deal with Phones4U brings EE's total number of MVNO partners up to 25. Phones4U's biggest domestic rival, the Carphone Warehouse, already operates its own virtual network, Talkmobile, through a partnership with Vodafone UK.

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3 years ago

More Sense 5 screenshots spotted on a Droid DNA

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Following today's leak of an unreleased version of Sense 5 running on the Droid DNA, we're now seeing more screenshots from users claiming to have their hands on the software as well. Member mdeejay at XDA has just put up several screenshots of what is said to be a stable build of Android 4.1.2 with Sense 5 running on the Verizon phone, as ported from -- wait for it -- a Sprint version of the rumored M7.

We're not sure if that answers more questions than it creates, but it certainly gives us a lot to think about. This probably isn't the last leak (or purported leak) we'll see in the coming weeks, as HTC is likely set to show off a number of new devices at MWC in February. You can take a gander at several more screenshots at the source link below.

Source: XDA

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3 years ago

NTT Docomo announces 11 new Android devices, Optimus G Pro and Xperia Tablet Z included

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As Japanese carriers tend to do, NTT Docomo has just released its complete spring lineup of devices, 11 of which are running Android. The 9 phones and 2 tablets cover a wide range of features and styles, with a few names we're not used to seeing here in the states. For phones we've got the "with" series, both with 720P displays, 1.5GHz S4 Pro processors, LTE and Android 4.1:

  • AQUOS PHONE EX (SH-04E)
  • MEDIAS X (N-04E)

The "NEXT" series of devices is a big group, with six devices, several of which have 1080P displays, large batteries and LTE:

Then we have two tablets, and one phone for kids:

  • Xperia™ Tablet Z (SO-03E)
  • dtab
  • Smartphone for Juniors (SH-05E)

Now that's more devices than you can shake a stick at, with just as many specs to go along with 'em. Most interestingly is the inclusion of the recently announced Xperia Tablet Z, as well as the Optimus G Pro which was only rumored up to this point.

If you want to check out these new devices coming to Docomo, hit up the source link below. If you want a direct link to the spec pages for the devices, check the second link instead. There are some pretty impressive phones and tablets here, and they'll start to become available starting January 25th.

Source: NTT Docomo; (2)

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3 years ago

Weekend project: Visit the Google Web Lab in London, or online

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OK, so technically it's more of an outing than a project -- in London, at least. It's also not strictly Android, but it's all Google, so it's all good. In the basement level of the London Science Museum, the folks from Mountain View have moved themselves in and built an exhibit they call the Google Web Lab.

A series of interactive exhibits designed to show off the power of the web, and of Google Chrome. Because, at the heart of it all, Google Chrome is controlling the whole show. The best part, is that each and every one of you, the Android Central readers, can play about with all of them without leaving your home. But, if you're in London anytime between now and June, pop by. The Science Museum is free to enter, and has a whole host of other cool, nerdy, non-Google things to look at too. It's the Google bits we're interested in here though, so lets take a look.

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3 years ago

LG Optimus G begins its worldwide availability rollout with Jelly Bean on board

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LG has just announced plans to roll out its latest flagship, the Optimus G, globally to 50 new countries. The Optimus G may seem like "old news" to some of us -- the phone has been available in the United States, Canada, Korea and Japan for some time now -- but it hasn't rolled out globally until now. Coming first to Singapore at the end of January and to dozens of other countries afterwards, this model of the Optimus G will have LTE connectivity onboard in any country that supports it. LG is really pushing the idea that their LTE technology and knowledge is top-notch, hoping to make an impact launching the same device with the fastest network capabilities in multiple countries.

Interestingly enough, the press release stipulates that the Optimus G heading out globally will also be running "the latest Jelly Bean OS and improved software," a huge upgrade from the original devices that ran Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box. That said, Android 4.2 isn't specifically mentioned, so it wouldn't surprise us in the least if we see Android 4.1 instead.

The full presser's after the break.

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3 years ago

RIM schedules 'BlackBerry Live' conference same week as Google I/O

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And, really, that's about all we have to say about that. We'll be South of Market in San Francisco May 15-17 for the Google I/O developer conference. Perhaps you remember last year's event, which included skydiving (twice), the introduction of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Google's Project Glass.

RIM will be at the Orlando Howard Johnson's (or somewhere nearby, we suppose) in Orlando May 14-16. And you might see an encore of the following presentation (after the break).

*Update from CrackBerry Kevin (w/ Phil's permission): Hey folks, just a little clarification here that the scheduling of this event really doesn't conflict with Google I/O from a developer perspective. BlackBerry Live, formerly BlackBerry World, formerly Wireless Enterprise Symposium, it not a developer event. Historically it's for enterprise customers, BES admins, carriers, and people in the business of BlackBerry. This past year RIM held a BlackBerry Developer conference in parallel with BlackBerry World, so they could get the Dev Alpha developer hardware into the hands of devs to build apps in preparation of the upcoming BB10 launch. BlackBerry's annual developer conference happens in the fall. *

*Update 2 from Phil: Whatever.

Source: CrackBerry

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3 years ago

'HTC Sense 5' spotted on Droid DNA in China

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Following the leaked images of a new version of HTC Sense running on what seems to be HTC's upcoming "M7" flagship, another photo has emerged apparently showing Sense 5 on Verizon's Droid DNA. The shot surfaced via the user "LeakROMs" on Chinese social network Weibo, and it's a dead ringer for the software pictured on the supposed M7 device just a few hours ago. In addition to the re-worked icons, we can also see the new Sense weather widget and a home screen split into dedicated sections for social networking, news and tutorials.

Now, this is far from official confirmation that Sense 5 is headed to 2012 devices line the DNA. But it seems to show someone, somewhere is experimenting with a new version of HTC's UI on existing handsets.

Who knows what form the finalized version of Sense 5 might take, but the prevalence of this design across multiple leaks suggests HTC is re-working its software from the ground up. We'll keep you apprised of any further details, and we'll be live from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month, where HTC is expected to publicly unveil its 2013 line-up.

Source: LeakROMS; via: HTCSource

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3 years ago

1Weather adds tablet, lockscreen support

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Popular Android weather app 1Weather slipped in a pretty major update over the weekend, adding a new user interface along with proper support for tablets. The radar section has been "optimized," you also get better notifications, and there's a new lockscreen widget for those of us running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

Hit the link above to get your update on, or download it for the first time for free.

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3 years ago

Production line leak claims to show 6.44-inch screen for Sony device

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In late 2012 rumors were circulating that Sony was hard at work at a 6-inch-plus large form factor Android phone. If the latest leaked image from China is to be believed, such a device could soon be on the way. The shot above comes from Chinese forum Digi-wo, and was posted by a member claiming that it's a part from a 6.44-inch, 1080p Sony smartphone/tablet device.

There's no way of verifying the image, except to say that the setting certainly looks like a traditional production line leak, complete with sterile-looking background and protective gloves. The screen itself sure looks large, but with nothing for scale it's difficult to get an idea of its exact size. In any case, some quick Photoshoppery reveals to us that it is indeed a 16:9 panel. Also, the lack of physical buttons suggests it's an Android device, though it doesn't match any Sony phone we're familiar with.

With 5-inch smartphones set to become increasingly commonplace this year, manufacturers look set to push things even further in the large smartphone space. At CES a couple of weeks ago we saw  Huawei attempt to gain traction with the 6.1-inch Ascend Mate. And rumors persist that Samsung will target a 6.3-inch screen size for the successor to its Galaxy Note 2.

If this is an upcoming Sony smartphone that's already starting to roll off production lines, chances are we might see it first at Mobile World Congress in late February. Naturally, we'll be there to bring you live coverage.

Source: Digi-wo; via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Samsung's JK Shin apparently confirms 8-inch Galaxy Note at MWC

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Last year in Barcelona, Samsung managed to out the Galaxy Note 10.1 on the side of a building at Plaça de Catalunya, a day ahead of the official announcement. Looks like we'll have no such slippage for Galaxy Note 8, as Samsung's JK Shin apparently has confirmed a previous report to INews24 that we'll see yet another size variation at  Mobile World Congress next month. 

What we don't yet know is whether this 'tweener will be more tablet than smartphone, or vice versa. We'll be in Barcelona, of course, and you'll be coming along for the ride.

Source: INews24; via Engadget

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3 years ago

Monday Brief: More BB10 leaks, The Galaxy Note 8.0, and more!

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3 years ago

Captain Clumsy is a fun and free time-waster game

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Anyone with time to kill or a public transit daily commute can always find use for a quality one-handed casual game, and Captain Clumsy fits the bill. The premise of this game is basic -- and purposefully so -- as a "falling" style game with simple controls. You're a clumsy pirate (you would be too with 2 hook hands) trying to steal his booty back from the angry gulls that are holding it captive. Your character barrels down through pirate-themed levels, collecting coins and avoiding the bad gulls along the way. The controls are simple -- tap on the left of the screen to go left, right to go right -- and that's it! It's easy to pick up and play casually, but if you want to do well you have to put some time and effort into it. The game keeps you entertained regardless, with a fun soundtrack and gameplay sound effects.

The game follows the "free to play" with in-app purchases model (or "freemium," if you prefer,) which many games are going nowadays. You can play through the whole game without spending any money, but if you get stuck on a certain level or want to progress quickly, you can pay for power-ups in the store. Purchases of "coins" range from $0.99 to $14.99 for general purchases, and there are some specific perks you can buy too. There are still ads in the game -- both banner ads at the bottom of the screen and post-level full page ads for other games -- but once you make a single purchase in the store they go away. It still would be nice to have an up-front paid version of the game to not have ads from the start, but we understand this goes against the free-to-play nature of it.

If you need a fun time-waster that appeals to a whole range of ages and skill levels, Captain Clumsy is definitely worth your time to check out. And as a free to play title, you can't go wrong with trying it out. Stick around after the break to see the developer's trailer for the game, and head to the link at the top of this post to grab it from the Play Store.

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