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3 years ago

Phones4U to sell Huawei Ascend P2

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Phone seller will have exclusivity over white Ascend P2

Independent British retailer Phones4U has announced plans to stock the Huawei Ascend P2 when it's released next month. It's only the second retailer or operator to announce that it'll carry Huawei's latest handset, after Three UK revealed its plans last week.

Phones4U also says it'll exclusively offer the white version of the phone.

The Huawei Ascend P2, which packs a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU, a 4.7-inch, 720p display and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, is due to launch in the UK starting next month. For more on the device, check out our hands-on coverage from Mobile World Congress.

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3 years ago

TuneIn Radio now lets you buy music you hear from Google Play

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Direct links to the Play Store make music buying easier

TuneIn Radio has just released an update to its streaming radio service that lets users quickly find and purchase the music they're listening to in Google Play. The app has simply added a Google Play icon to the action bar between the share and search buttons, and tapping it brings you to a pre-populated search page in Google Play where you can purchase the track being played. Presumably the button doesn't show up when it can't find a match for the music (it doensn't show up on talk radio, for example), but in our few tests it always returned results.

The update is available for both free and paid versions of TuneIn, and is certainly one to update right away if you find yourself trying to remember and search for music to buy later. You can grab the free version from the Play Store link at the top of this post, and the $4.99 paid version right here as well.

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3 years ago

Airbnb adds new host tools, calendar management

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Approve, deny and request information on guests right from the app

In an attempt to bring its Android app up to parity with the features of the iOS version, Airbnb has added a few new features that should make the experience of setting up travel arrangements a bit easier. The main focus is on the hosting side of the service, where you're setting up a residence to have others come and stay at. The new update now lets hosts pre-approve, deny or request information about the guests without going to the web, which is a huge improvement. You can also now completely manage your calendar from the app, making it easier for guests to find availability dates for residences.

Airbnb also says it has made a "truck full of bug fixes", including a fix for push notifications. Along with the new features and a nice visual refresh, the app has really come together to feel like a more complete experience. If you're an Airbnb user this update will be a worthwhile one to get.

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3 years ago

OPPO Find 5 review

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A name you've probably never heard is making devices better than you may think

The name "OPPO" probably doesn't come to mind when thinking of which phone to buy next, but the Chinese manufacturer is working hard to try and change that. Best known for making high quality Blu-Ray players and various other consumer electronics, the company has only dabbled in phones previously. But with an aggressive strategy of building high-end devices and selling direct to customers with some impressive prices, the components are all there to make at least a little splash in the market. The Find 5 is OPPO's latest attempt at a device that on paper has all of the line items to make a great phone.

But making smart phones is a difficult business to get into, and selling high-end unlocked handsets is the toughest area to aim for. Does OPPO have what it takes to branch out from making other consumer electronics and take a meaningful foothold with consumers? It certainly has some things going for it. Read on past the break for our full OPPO Find 5 review.

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3 years ago

Google introduces Google+ content recommendations for mobile sites

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A simple and unobtrusive way to suggest more relevant content to users

Website operators with mobile versions of their site can now simply and quickly include code that suggests additional content based on information from Google+. The suggestions will rise up as a small bar from the bottom of the site, and only when the user scrolls up -- similarly to the way interface elements hide and show in some of Google's Android apps. The small bar shows a Google+ logo and a recommendation, which will be based on Google+ activity such as +1's and shares, as well as content from the current page you're viewing. Tapping the bar will expand the recommendation to the full page, with a scrolling list of cards of different page recommendations. For example when browsing Android Central, a recommendation page will show other articles +1'd by people in your circles. You can then +1 those posts directly and tap them to read in a new tab.

 

Any website with a Google+ page can easily enable Google+ recommendations with a single line of javascript on the mobile site, and additional tweaks can be made from the Google+ page dashboard. Once enabled, the recommendation bar will show for users running Android 2.3.3 and above, in both the stock Android Browser and of course Chrome.

More: Google Developers

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3 years ago

Samsung working on '5G' technology to deploy by 2020

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Adaptive array transceiver technology to offer several Gbps speeds on very high frequencies

Before most of the world has seen a consistent 4G LTE connection (or even 3G in many places), Samsung is already talking about its research into new 5G technologies. It's a lot of technical speak, but Samsung has developed what it is calling an "adaptive array transceiver technology" to deliver extremely high speed mobile data over millimeter-wave frequencies. Previously considered a poor choice for transmitting data because of their extremely high frequency when compared to what's being used today, Samsung has proven that it can send data in the millimeter-wave frequencies quite efficiently. Testing at a frequency of 28GHz (today's networks are in the 600MHz to 3GHz range), it has successfully made data transfers of 1.056 Gbps over the distance of 2 kilometers. Samsung says its 5G technology would be consistently several hundred times faster than current 4G tech.

Now these are the very early stages of just a proof of concept, as Samsung doesn't expect these technologies to be commercialized until at least 2020. That gives Samsung -- and other companies -- plenty of time to refine its processes to see what works best. If it can indeed take advantage of these previously unusable extremely high frequencies, it could be part of the solution to the "spectrum crunch" we seem to hear about all too often.

Source: Samsung

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3 years ago

Amazon Coins can now be used for Appstore purchases

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Kindle Fire owners receive $5 worth of Amazon Coins for free as an incentive

Amazon is debuting its new virtual currency, Amazon Coins, today as an alternative means for buying content from the Amazon Appstore on Android and Kindle Fire devices. The coins, which Amazon gave the details on back in February, can be used to purchase apps, games and in-app purchases -- but not subscriptions -- the same as you would with just dollars previously. Each Amazon Coin is worth 1 cent, so for example a $1 app can now also be purchased with 100 Amazon Coins if users prefer. Although developers receive the same cut for purchases made with Amazon Coins, Amazon seems to think this may be a good model to help fuel more purchases in the Appstore going forward.

The driving reason to use Amazon Coins over directly purchasing with dollars is that Amazon is offering a discount on bulk purchases of 500, 1,000, 2,500, 5,000 and 10,000. For example 500 Amazon Coins can be purchased for $4.80 rather than their purchasing power of $5. If you purchase 10,000 coins, you save 10-percent and pay just $90. Coins can of course only be used at Amazon, so it's banking on using the discount to lock people into having currency that can only be spent on certain purchases.

Kindle Fire users (provided you're in the U.S.) should see their 500 free coins deposited in their account today, but if they're not showing up a reboot of the device should fix that. If you're interested in checking out Amazon Coins as a way to save a few bucks on your Appstore purchases, see the source links below.

Source: Amazon; FAQ; Buy Amazon Coins

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3 years ago

Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 release moves up to May 23rd

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16GB version to cost $200 with a new agreement, $650 if bought outright

Great news for all of you on Verizon, the Samsung Galaxy S4 (read our review!) release date has been moved up to May 23rd from May 30th. The news comes from a Tweet from Ken Muche, who works for Big Red. Last month, we received confirmation that Samsung's new flagship device would not be released until the end of May. This upset many of us on Verizon as the rest of the carriers were getting the S4 out to customers' hands much earlier. This news should appease many as you'll be able to snatch up the phone in just 10 days.

To refresh what we know about the release, the 16GB version will cost $200 with a new contract or $650 with no contract.

So, for all of you on Verizon, who is excited and will be picking one up on May 23rd? Let us know in the Samsung Galaxy S4 Forum.

Source: Twitter

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3 years ago

Eric Schmidt on privacy, Glass and working at Google

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'I would lose my job, be fired, and be sued to death' for reading someone's Gmail

Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, recently fielded an interview with Peter Sagal of NPR to talk a little bit about Google -- and when Schmidt talks, we listen. The entire interview was kept quite casual, but the best parts of course pertained to Schmidt's views on privacy, how he feels about Google Glass and how some of the early principles of Google came to be. A few interesting quotes from the interview:

  • On how much Google knows about users: "Well, as much as you'll let us know. We keep information about your searches for 12 to 18 months, and then we forget everything."
  • On Googlers being able to read your email: "Yes, and I would lose my job, be fired, and be sued to death... Someone would find out, trust me."
  • On keeping things casual at Google: "Well, we actually had to have a rule, we had to have two rules. The first rule - these are both rules I enacted. The first is that you had to wear clothes to work. The second rule is that you have to have fun. You can be serious without wearing a suit, and we wanted to invent the future."
  • On what we'll be using Google Glass for: "Well, we don't quite know yet. We have maybe 2,000 of these. We've shipped them out to developers, and we're seeing what they develop. There's obviously issues, shall we say, of appropriateness of how people are going to use these things. There's a right time to have Google Glass on, and there's a right time to have it off, if you take my drift."
  • On '20-percent time: "Yeah, that's another one of our ideas is that engineers should spend 20 percent of their time working on whatever they find interesting. Now, before you get too excited, remember, engineers are not that interesting... A lot of the Google inventions came from engineers just screwing around with ideas. And then management would see them, and we'd say, boy, that's interesting. Let's add some more engineers."

NPR has made available a complete transcript of the interview, as well as audio, at the source link below.

Source: NPR

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3 years ago

Bringing it all together: Gmail, Drive and G+ Photos to share 15GB common storage

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New 15GB shared storage replaces old 10GB for Gmail and 5GB for photos on Google+ and 5GB for Drive

The Google goodies are already coming our way, before we even get to Google I/O. Announced today, no longer will your Gmail storage sit at 10GB for free, or 5GB on Google+ photos and Google Drive. Google has introduced a new, 15GB free allowance which covers all three products. 

This is great news in particular for anyone who uses little of their allowance on Gmail -- like myself -- but is much heavier on photos and Drive usage. As the storage is shared across all three services, you get to use as much of it as you like, wherever you like. 

In addition to changing how your storage works, Google is also changing how the Google Drive storage page helps you understand how you're using your storage allowance. Hovering over the pie chart will show you a breakdown of how much you're using across each of the three services. And, because of the changes, heavy Gmail users are no longer limited to a 25GB upgrade only. Any Google Drive storage you buy will become available there too. 

Source: Google Drive Blog

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3 years ago

All developers can now reply to Google Play reviews

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The early pilot program expands to let all developers respond to issues directly and i​n public

Google is working to make the Play Store reviews system a little more constructive today by expanding the ability to respond to reviews to any developer, rather than just a small testing group. Developers can now respond to complaints, bug reports and general feedback from their Google Play Developer Console, which will show up publicly as a direct threaded response to the original review. When a comment is made, the original reviewer receives an email notification of it and can respond in-line again directly from that email or from the Play Store again as well.

Just as before, the original reviewer and developer can both edit their reviews and comments at any time, which is important to be able to do if the issues causing a bad review have been fixed. Together with the movement to using Google+ profiles to tie a real name (presumably) and picture to reviews to help cut down on spam, the Google Play reviews system is making big steps forward.

Source: Android Developers Blog; Via: TNW

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3 years ago

SoundCloud updated with Google login and Google+ sharing

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Audio streaming app gets new Google account capabilities

The Android (and iOS) version of popular streaming and music discovery app SoundCloud has been updated with new Google account features. The new version lets you log in with any Google account credentials on your phone, in addition to the ever-present Facebook login. What's more, you can now share directly to Google+ through the app, allowing you to send your favorite tracks directly to people in your circles. It's a relatively minor update, but both could be important changes if your big on Google's ecosystem. Google account login in particular makes signing up extremely painless on Android devices, as you just need to tap once to confirm the account you want to use.

SoundCloud users can head to the Google Play Store app to update to the latest version. Alternatively, hit the Google Play link above to view the full listing.

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3 years ago

Archos' ChefPad is an Android tablet for your kitchen

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Budget tablet with a focus on cookery

If you've ever wanted a tablet designed especially for your kitchen, Archos has a product that might be worth a look. The newly-announced Archos ChefPad is a budget-level Android tablet with a 9.7-inch XGA screen, an adjustable stand and silicone case to protect against splashes. Archos also has also loaded it up with a selection of cooking apps and suitably foody wallpaper.

The ChefPad is powered by an unnamed dual-core 1.6GHz CPU and Mali 400MP GPU, with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD slot. On the software side it's running a pretty vanilla-looking Android 4.1 Jelly Bean UI with Google Play.

The food-centric tablet is due to become available from June, with prices starting at $209.99 from the company's online store.

Source: Archos

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3 years ago

Report: No Nexus Q at Google I/O this year

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Google won't deliver a re-vamped streaming sphere at this year's conference, writes AllThingsD

Overpriced and under-featured, Google's Nexus Q was mothballed shortly after its introduction at least year's Google I/O developer conference. Officially, Google is still working on improving the phone-controlled streaming sphere -- the last update from January indicated that the company was still "hard at work" improving the Q.

But today there's news that a re-vamped Nexus Q might not be on the cards for this year's Google I/O conference. AllThingsD reports via "sourced familiar with the matter" that Google "won't have any news on the Nexus Q this week."

The Nexus Q won praise for its distinctive design and build quality, but was roundly criticized over its limited feature set and high price tag -- the orb cost $300 from Google Play, required an Android device to act as a remote, and could only stream content from Google Play or YouTube.

The Nexus Q still holds a special place in our heart. Hopefully we haven't seen the last of its rhythmic, colored glow.

Source: AllThingsD

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy S3 getting Android 4.1.2 and multi-window update

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T-Mo's Galaxy S3 gets full-screen multi-tasking in latest update

Looks like there's a new over-the-air update heading out to T-Mobile's Samsung Galaxy S3 today. Reports from XDA and TmoNews point to an official Android 4.1.2 update, which brings with it Samsung's "multi-window" feature. Multi-window, which we recently demonstrated on the Galaxy S4, allows the screen to be split between two concurrently-running applications. The new "Paper Artist" app, lock screen changes and a new "4G" logo are also among the reported changes.

The over-the-air update package weighs in at more than 186MB, so you might want to wait until you're on Wifi before hitting the download button. To see if your update is ready, head to Settings > About phone > Software updates.

T-Mo GS3 owners, be sure to hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on with this latest firmware version.

Source: TmoNews, XDA

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