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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Tipo tipped for Aug. 8 UK release, pricing info emerges

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Entry-level ICS handset to cost £89.95 on PAYG, or free on £10.50 p.m. contracts

Earlier this week we heard that Sony's new budget-oriented Xperia Tipo would be arriving on O2 and Orange in the UK in August, and now we have the first firm information on pricing and availability. Independent UK retailer the Carphone Warehouse is now listing the Xperia Tipo for pre-order on a range of different price plans.

If you're after a network-subsidized Tipo, you'll pay nothing for the handset itself, which Carphone is offering on-contract with O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and Talkmobile, starting at £10.50 per month. Pre-paid (PAYG) customers get the best deal, though, as the Tipo is just £89.95 when bought with a £10 top-up on your network of choice. Those after an unbranded handset, fresh from Sony can pick one up for £119.95. The Tipo is due to ship to pre-order customers starting next Wednesday, Aug. 8.

The Xperia Tipo is a fairly basic Android handset, with an 800MHz single-core CPU, a 3.2-inch screen and a 3.2MP rear camera. Nevertheless, it's a nicely-designed little phone that runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box. You could certainly do a lot worse for your 89 pounds and 95 pence.

Source: Carphone Warehouse; via: UnwiredView

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3 years ago

AT&T Inspire 4G update now available, Sense 3.0 included

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HTC has been busy trying to justify their lack of ICS on the Inspire 4G / Desire HD to users but that doesn't mean they've forgotten about the device entirely. AT&T Inspire 4G owners should soon see an update notification on their device or if you're unwilling to wait, you can download the RUU direct from the HTC website. As noted on their support site, the update has quite a few changes in it:

New features:

  • HTC Sense 3.0
  • Task Manager
  • AT&T Address Book

Fixes/Updates:

  • Call optimization improvements (fewer dropped calls)
  • Improved security functionality
  • SMS/MMS Thread – Contact Display Fix
  • Background Data Use Improvement

Even though it's not Android 4.0, it's still a nice update. Keep in mind, if you download the RUU you'll need HTC Sync installed and you'll lose all your current data on the device. With some patience though, you can just wait for the OTA update to arrive and don't forget to drop by the forums and let us know how things are working out.

Source: HTC, via: Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

Browse all of your online pictures with Pictarine for Android

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A new photo app called Pictarine was launched today, tying into multiple photography sites and offering a single a dashboard to flip through them. 11 networks are currently supported, including the biggies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr, as well as some smaller ones like 500px, Photobucket, and Shutterfly. It can even tap into your Google account, Tumblr blog, or Dropbox for pictures. Depending on the networks you plug into, you can also see what your friends are sharing and leave comments or likes without leaving the app. Here's a quick feature run-down. 

  • Connect Pictarine up to 11 social networks, streamlining photos and activities like commenting, liking and sharing.
  • Rediscover your memories through our selection of the photos that matter most to you. You will be surprised!
  • Get photos from all of your services in your pocket, so they are always one touch away.
  • Bookmark your favorite photos in playlists
  • Works with Android versions 2.2 and above

It seems like this is a great little app for those that don't want to get too invested in any single network. Where do you tend to share most of your mobile pictures? Are they scattered in a million different places, or do they tend to all get dumped in the same spot?

(Background image)

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3 years ago

Nexus 7 official travel cover review

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Our Nexus 7 official travel cases have arrived, and of course we want to share some quick thoughts and impressions with you guys, The gray travel case has so far been pretty difficult to get, as they would disappear from Google Play as soon as they appeared it seemed. Late last week we jumped in and ordered a couple as soon as they became available, and they arrived very well packaged in this afternoon's UPS run.

Once you crack it open, you'll find a very bland dark grey TPU case with a folding cover. We're not complaining -- in fact I prefer the nondescript and subtle grey color -- but if you're looking for something fancy or colorful you'll need to look elsewhere or wait for the leaked cases we saw yesterday to appear for sale. What you get here is a plain, yet very protective piece to keep your shiny new Nexus 7 shiny and new. 

The case is form-fitting, and easily slips on and off the tablet. The ample cut-outs provide easy access to the ports, microphones (there's two) and external speaker assembly. The edges and corners wrap around to keep the case from coming off when you don't want it to come off, and the familiar raised TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) blocks are present so you can find and operate the volume and power switches. Of course, the full-face cover will keep the screen of your Nexus 7 from getting scarred up while in a bag or backpack. Unfortunately, there is no magnet embedded to activate the switch and power on the tablet when the cover is opened. I'm searching amazon for supplies to cut and insert one of my own, and I'll be sure to get that in the forums if and when I find out more.

The only real drawback of these cases is the price. One will set you back $30 after shipping, and it's very likely that you'll be able to find a more inexpensive option on Amazon or even locally sourced. These are manufactured by ASUS, and OEM equipment, so we expect to pay a bit extra. Price aside, they do seem like a great way to keep your Nexus 7 from getting scratched and otherwise damaged, and are worth considering if you prefer a simple, utilitarian option. Hit the break for a short video hands-on and a handful of pictures, and if you're interested in buying you'll find a link to Google Play below.

Order the Nexus 7 travel case from Google Play

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3 years ago

Google postpones Nexus Q retail launch, will give pre-order customers a free sphere

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Google has postponed the consumer launch of the Nexus Q to add additional functionality. To make up for it, Google will give those who pre-ordered a Nexus Q a free device.

Here's the e-mail that just went out:

We have an important update about your Nexus Q pre-order.

When we announced Nexus Q at Google I/O, we gave away devices to attendees for an early preview. The industrial design and hardware were met with great enthusiasm. We also heard initial feedback from users that they want Nexus Q to do even more than it does today. In response, we have decided to postpone the consumer launch of Nexus Q while we work on making it even better.

To thank you for your early interest, we'd like to extend the Nexus Q preview to our pre-order customers and send you a free device. If you had other items in your order, your credit card will be charged for those items only.

Your Nexus Q will be on its way soon and you will receive a notification and tracking number from Google Play when it ships.

The Nexus Q Team

The Nexus Q, for those of you who don't have one -- which is most everyone -- is a small sphere that connects to your Google account and streams music, Youtube and movies and TV shows to a television and stereo set or bookshelf speakers. And that's all it does, though it certainly does so stylishly. The device is hackable, and folks have already gotten CyanogenMod and Android apps running from it, and XBMC has plans as well.

It was nearly a week ago that we first noticed that Google had limited new orders of the Nexus Q -- if you'd already ordered one, that was it.

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3 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich arrives on the Sprint HTC EVO Design 4G

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Hot on the heels of this morning's Sprint HTC EVO 3D Ice Cream Sandwich update, it looks like the Android 4.0 update is also rolling out for the EVO Design 4G. Promised around the same time by the carrier a couple of weeks back, the EVO Design update consists of the same cocktail of Android 4.0.3 and HTC Sense 3.6, and the OTA package weighs in at just over 256MB. The update's arrival follows the launch of ICS for the international EVO 3D and HTC Raider, earlier this month.

So you've got a slightly polished up version of HTC's custom UI, in addition to standard Ice Cream Sandwich features we've become familiar with over the past eight months --

  • A refined, evolved user interface that is simple, beautiful and useful
  • Face Unlock: use state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to unlock your phone with a smile
  • Redesigned camera app which introduces Scenes like Panorama, and Effects such as Vignette, Depth of Field, Vintage and Posterize
  • Web browser now lets you sync Google Chrome™ bookmarks, request full desktop versions of sites, see your open tabs in a new layout
  • People: browse friends, family and coworkers, see their photos in high-resolution and check their latest status updates from Google+
  • Improved keyboard with incredibly accurate typing, an inline spell checker and improved copy and paste support
  • Redesigned Gmail™ app that now lets you swipe between conversations to catch up quickly and search for emails even without a data connection
  • Google+ integration that lets you hangout and video chat with up to 10 friends using your front-facing camera

Sprint EVO Design 4G owners will want to head to Settings > About phone > Software updates and hit the button to check whether their update to ICS is ready. If you're rocking an EVO Design, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on with ICS.

Thanks, Anon!

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3 years ago

SeatGuru by TripAdvisor helps you get that extra legroom on your next flight

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Today TripAdvisor launched a new Android app called SeatGuru, which helps users book flights, pick seats, and monitor flight status. The app has access to over 700 seat maps across almost 100 airlines, as well as a plethora of user reviews from their travel network to make these choices a bit more easily. 

The last we heard from TripAdvisor, they were focusing mostly on city guides, but they've made a name for themselves by hooking up travellers with hotels, flights, restaurants and events across the world for awhile now. 

As a dude who measures in a six-foot-eight (or 203 centimeters for our metric friends), I can appreciate an app that helps me get that exit row seat before anyone else. Anyone booked anything through TripAdvisor lately? Any testimonials as to the quality of their service? Which mobile app do you usually use to book flights?

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3 years ago

Rogers rolling out update for the HTC One X, corrects WiFi issues

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Although there has been a few updates to the international and AT&T versions of the HTC One X, Rogers in Canada has been taking their time pushing things out but finally, a new update has arrived. Showing as version 1.94.631.3 and coming in at 67MB this update according to Rogers will fix some WiFi connectivity issues as well address Media Link improvements. If you've got a Rogers One X, you can hit that software update button and grab the download.

Source: RogersBuzz

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3 years ago

Verizon to pay $1.25 million for blocking tethering apps on C block devices

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The FCC has released a statement today concerning its investigation into Verizon Wireless blocking access to applications (specifically tethering apps) for devices using the "C block" spectrum they use for LTE services. Under the terms of the settlement announced today, Verizon will be paying $1.25 million to the U.S. Treasury, and implement a "compliance" plan consisting of more training to ensure that they do not violate the C block rules in the future. 

The issue stems from the rules of the C block auction, which Verizon bid on and won to get the spectrum they use for LTE. I won't bother going into all the numbers here, but the wavelength of the C block makes it a very desirable piece of the airwaves, and the FCC placed a mandate that the auction winner must allow customers to freely use devices and applications of their choosing when accessing the frequencies. Verizon had successfully blocked tethering apps from appearing in Google Play, including their LTE devices. This is against the rules, and the FCC had to take action. 

There also are couple things here we need to keep in mind. Other carriers (hello, AT&T!) can block apps from the Play Store, as they didn't win the C block auction and don't have to follow those rules. The second is that while Verizon has to allow access to the applications, nothing was mentioned that said they had to allow free tethering on its LTE network. It can still block access server-side, or monitor accounts and charge users that download and use applications to tether. We're not sure what, if any, precautions Verizon is going to implement here, but before you celebrate by downloading Easy Tether and burning through a few GBs of data, keep in mind that few things in life are actually free. 

Source: FCC

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3 years ago

Amazon Cloud Player now matches iTunes purchases and CD rips

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Amazon Cloud Player has been updated with a bunch of new features, including some hefty new licensing deals with Sony, EMI, Universal, and Warner to beef up their music selection for sale. There's also some new ways to make sure all of the music on your computer is in line with what's being stored in the cloud, namely that 250 of your songs (even ripped or purchased iTunes music) is automatically added from Amazon in 256 Kbps audio. 

  • Amazon MP3 purchases — including music that customers purchased in the past — are automatically saved to Cloud Player, which means that customers have a secure backup copy of the music they buy from Amazon, free of charge.
  • Amazon scans customers’ iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries and matches the songs on their computers to Amazon’s 20 million song catalog.  All matched songs – even music purchased from iTunes or ripped from CDs – are instantly made available in Cloud Player and are upgraded for free to high-quality 256 Kbps audio.  Music that customers have already uploaded to Cloud Player also will be upgraded.
  • Any customer with a Kindle Fire, Android device, iPhone, iPod touch, or any web browser —and soon, a Roku streaming player or Sonos home entertainment system — can play their music anywhere.

Soon, Amazon Cloud users will be able to access their remote libraries through Sonos and Roku boxes too - a palatable option for real music junkies. Currently, Amazon Cloud offers 5 GB of free storage with plenty more available for $24.99 annually. Of course, any music you buy on Amazon doesn't count towards your storage limit, which is a nice touch. A significant change starting today is that Amazon Cloud Player and Cloud Drive will be separate storage bins and have their own subscription fees. That's not so great news for those that use the service for both tunes as well as documents, though they've lowered the Cloud Drive price to $10/year for 20 GB.  

You can get more information about signing up here, but us international folks are out of luck on this one, unfortunately. How many of y'all are already Amazon Cloud Player users? Are you happy with the experience, or is Google Music doing the job for you just fine? Would these new features get you to switch?

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3 years ago

Romney to announce VP pick via Android, iPhone apps

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Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will announce his running mate ... on his official Android and iPhone apps.

The Android app, which gives you plenty of opportunities to sign up, sign in and donate (via a poorly formatted web view) will be the first place to learn who will join Romney on the Republican ticket this fall. In fact, jests the app, you'll learn it before just about anyone else. (Of course that's not actually true, but it's a nice selling point.) Says the app:

"Who will be Mitt's VP? There's no telling when the announcement will be, so check back often and enable push notifications to get the exciting news before the press and just about everyone else (except maybe Ann)."

The app gets some kudos for properly having an option to turn off push notifications (actually, they're off by default), and it's attractively designed, though it doesn't really follow Google's design cues.

Download: Mitt's VP

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3 years ago

ScoreMobile for Nexus 7 and Android tablets released

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Sports fans, you'll be happy to hear that most excellent ScoreMobile app for Android has been re-jiggered to run on the Google Nexus 7 and other Android tablets. The usual features are still there, like:

  • Personalized navigation with "My Score"
  • Game view offering scores, stats and Twitter streams
  • Interactive live blogs during key games
  • TV segments and video highlights for selected leagues
  • Integrated social sharing tools

There's also some dedicated 2012 Olympics coverage nestled in the app among all of the other football, basketball, golf, MMA, auto racing, soccer, and tennis sections. If you're seriously into the Olympics, be sure to check out our Olympics app roundup for a few more suggestions. 

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3 years ago

How to uncover and use the hidden Service menu on the Galaxy S3

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Hidden in your Galaxy S3 is the ability to test out all major display and sound functions.

I usually like to have some sort of diagnostic tool for my smartphones to make sure that every feature I pay for actually works. One great thing I just discovered about the Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) is that it has the diagnostic capabilities built right in.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I swear that I see a dead pixel on my phone or that the vibration isn’t working like it should. I want to always be sure that even if I don’t use all the features, they're in good working order.

The Galaxy S3 makes this incredibly easy for all of us, but Samsung doesn’t exactly let us know that we have that capability built in.

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3 years ago

My BMW Remote app unlocks car doors, starts the A/C, and more

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BMW just announced that their remote control application for cars has made the leap from iOS to Android. With it, users can unlock their car, find where it's parked, alter the climate control, and launch into local points of interest search. Here's the full feature list. 

  • "Remote Door Lock & Unlock" allows the car to be locked and unlocked from a smartphone.
  • "Climate Control” makes it possible to control the interior temperature by adjusting the auxiliary ventilation and heating settings, and programming the systems by timer.
  • With “Horn Blow” for sounding the horn and “Flash Light” for briefly switching on the exterior lights, users can trigger acoustic and visual signals to help them find their vehicle in crowded car parks, for instance.
  • If the car is out of sight and hearing distance but within a radius of up to 1,5 km, the “Vehicle Finder” function is able to display a map on the smartphone screen showing the way to the vehicle’s location. This function is only available when the ignition is switched off, thereby making it impossible to track the vehicle’s movements.
  • Finally, using Google Local Search, users are able to import points of interest (POIs) from their smartphone into the vehicle’s navigation system via the message list.

BMW 7 Series 2010, 6 Series 2011, 5 Series 2010, X3 2010, and 1 Series 2011 should all be compatible with the app. Any BMW owners in the house? 

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3 years ago

Jabra Wave Bluetooth headset review

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The Jabra Wave is a Bluetooth headset with very sophisticated wind reduction technology. 

 

On the Jabra website, there is a very cool video of a guy at the beach and you can really hear how this particular headset cuts out the wind and background noise. 

The Jabra Wave is a bit larger than most headsets and is designed to be worn behind the ear. Read on for a full review.

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