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2 years ago

Motorola takes to Twitter to address concerns over SD card support on U.S. Xooms

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If you're a Xoom owner here in the United States, you probably felt more than a pang of jealousy this morning when Motorola announced that the Android 3.1 update would begin rolling out to European Xooms, bringing along with it SD card support. Motorola has taken to Twitter to quell your rage, responding to one disgruntled owner who called the company out on the American Xoom’s unusable SD card slot.

@Motorola: @portareaf Google is refining the SD card solution for U.S.-based Motorola XOOM devices & we'll share timing info as soon it’s available.

While Moto’s response gives us no definitive time frame, it does imply that SD card support is more of a matter of “when” than “if”. Sit back and relax, we have the whole summer ahead to wait.

Source: @Motorola

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2 years ago

Verizon's new data plans broken down in complete detail

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Having a hard time wrapping your head around the upcoming changes to Verizon's smartphone data plans? We just got all the dirty details dropped in our laps. Charts, e-mails, the whole kit and kaboodle, folks.

Let's start with what you see above. That's the official chart from the official training document (which you can see in full after the break.) As previously rumored, smartphone plans will start at 2GB for $30 a month, with $10 per gigabyte if you go over. There also are 5GB/$50 and 10GB for $80 plans. Unlimited plans are dead. These rates apply to 3G smartphones and 4G LTE smartphones.

Mobile hotspot access will cost $20 a month for 2GB of data.

Other points to note (many of which are detailed in an internal e-mail we've posted after the break):

  • If you have Verizon's $29.99 unlimited data plan, you'll be able to keep it after July 7.
  • You'll also be able to keep the $29.99 unlimited plan when you upgrade to a new phone. (No word on if there's a pricing difference or when that policy could change.)
  • If you add a line to an existing account, you'll not be able to chose the $29.99 unlimited data plan.
  • If you're a new customer between now and July 7, you'll still be able to choose the $29.99 plan.

So if you're in the market for a Verizon phone and want to get in on the current unlimited plans before the major changes take effect, you've got two weeks, folks.

Now continue past the break to see the full documents and e-mail.

Thanks, Eric!

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2 years ago

Android 101: Connecting to a Wifi Network

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2 years ago

Android Quick App: GMail Label Notifier

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For someone who uses labels so extensively in Gmail, I'm not quite sure how I lasted this long without this app. I was one of those compulsive manual refreshers, spamming my refresh button when I was out and knew a label was expecting mail. It seems those days are now behind me, thanks to GMail Label Notifier.

GMail Label Notifier is just what the title suggests, a notification for all your labels that aren't your Inbox. Once you've installed, setup is beyond simple. Open the app, select your Google account or add another Google account, and you'll be taken to a menu that shows you all your labels. From here, you select the labels you want to be notified about (one at a time), and customize your settings for each label.

This is especially cool because you can set certain labels to blink the LED while others don't, for example. Similar options exist for vibrating the phone and playing a notification sound. Every label can have a different sound/vibration pattern/LED color, if you so desire it, so you can really make these notifications your own.

My favorite part is that you can pick a color for each label's Gmail envelope. The list is pretty long, so I actually managed to have each label's envelope color be the same as the label color online.

For everything to work smoothly, you've got to make sure the labels you want to be notified about are set up to sync (Gmail settings > Labels > Choose your label), but that doesn't take any time or effort to get working, either. Once you've got all your labels set up to sync and have set everything up in GMail Label Notifier, it's just a matter of time until you start seeing notifications.

GMail Label Notifier also comes with customizable 1x1 widgets that display an unread counter. You can customize the envelope's color as well as label with these, if you prefer a widget to a notification.

The one difference between this and Gmail's native Inbox notifications is that Gmail's notifications show you the subject and sender, whereas GMail Label Notifier only shows you the unread count of your label. It's not a huge deal and it doesn't really sully the experience, but if Hubris was to ever change that in the future, I wouldn't mind at all.

GMail Label Notifier is pretty inexpensive, costing around 81 cents. So if you're dependent on Gmail's labels, I'd snap this app up right away. It's wonderful peace of mind, knowing your phone will let you know about new emails without chronic refreshing, plus, setup is so easy you can totally make the 15-minute refund window if you don't like it.

More pictures, as well as the download links, are after the break.

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2 years ago

Sprint EVO 3D getting pre-launch update to fix calendar bug

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It's not the strangest thing in the world to see an unreleased phone get a pre-launch update -- think way back to the Motorola Droid X -- and the Sprint EVO 3D is the latest to do so. Software version 1.13.651.7 will bring a fix for "Calendar entries in certain formats force close while editing." Important, indeed.

Oh, and look at that. Our review unit's already got the update. It's a sizable 26.59MB and installed with nary a problem. More in the link below, if you're interested.

More: EVO 3D forums; Thanks, anon!

 

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2 years ago

Pre-ordered EVO 3Ds arriving today

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Got a few excited e-mails in the overnight stating that preordered Sprint EVO 3Ds were shipping and will be arriving today. Can't beat that, can you?

As for the rest of the U.S., the dual-core, 3D-capable, Android 2.3.3, Sense 3.0 smartphone will be available on Thursday Friday for $199 on contract.

More: EVO 3D forums

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2 years ago

Android 3.1 rolling out on European Motorola Xooms

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The latest version of Android for tablets has begun rolling out to Motorola Xoom owners outside of the US, according to a post on Motorola Europe's Facebook page. The new version of Honeycomb for the Xoom brings SD card support, UI refinements and hardware acceleration in the browser, amongst other things.

Moto says the updates will be gradually pushed to Xooms in Europe over the "next several weeks, until the roll-out is complete", so some may have to wait longer than others for the OTA. If you're a European Xoom owner who has already received this latest update, be sure to let us know in the comments.

Source: Motorola Europe on Facebook

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2 years ago

Best Buy Music Cloud hopes to draw cross platform users

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Best Buy this morning officially rolled out its Music Cloud service available on Android, iOS and BlackBerry devices. It aims to make storing your music simple, allowing access on all these devices from just a single upload.

The basic "lite" package allows web streaming, along with 30 seconds of each song from your mobile device, but for $3.99 a month you can upgrade to the premium package which will give you all of your music on the go (no limit announced yet) along with thousands of web radio stations.

For just shy of $50 / year the Best Buy Music Cloud appears to fall in line with other services, especially if there is no upload cap. Be sure to check it out, and let us know how it compares to the others, like Amazon Cloud Player and Google Music for you.

Source: Best Buy Music Cloud

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2 years ago

Sony Ericsson announces Xperia Ray and Xperia Active

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Sony Ericsson has announced two new Android smartphones this morning -- the aluminum-framed Xperia Ray, and the ruggedized Xperia Active.

The Ray is a 3.3-inch phone running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, powered by a 1GHz CPU -- presumably the same second-gen Snapdragon used in recent Xperia phones. Like the Xperia Arc and Xperia Neo, the Ray also comes equipped with Sony's Mobile Bravia Engine and Exmor R technology powering its 8.1MP rear camera. Other notables inlcude the addition of a front-facing camera, and of course the custom Sony Ericsson software that we've seen on the Arc and other devices.

The Xperia Active is smaller still, measuring just 3 inches diagonally. It too runs Gingerbread, and sports a 1GHz CPU. Sony Ericsson is pitching the phone towards more active smartphone users, including a dust and water-resistant screen, as well as features like "wet finger tracking", so the phone's touchscreen is usable with wet hands. On top of that there's bundled software for monitoring your heart rate and general fitness levels, if you're into that sort of thing. And you also get a 5-megapixel camera with 720p recording capability, though no Exmor R this time around.

Both devices are due for release in "selected markets" sometime in the third quarter of the year. Join us after the jump for videos of both phones, along with the full press release.

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2 years ago

How Verizon will ease you into its new tiered data plans

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July 7, 2011. A day that will live in infamy. OK, maybe not. But it's looking like it'll be the day that Verizon changes its data plans to a tiered structure, and there are plenty of rumors, half-truths and whatever else going on out there. Let's add one more to the pile, shall we?

What you see above is part of Verizon's training for the new plans. A couple of things to note: Nowhere will you find the words "tiered data." And don't expect to hear them when you walk into a store, either. What you will hear about is customizing a data plan for your usage needs. And that makes sense, doesn't it? Do you mainly surf the web? Check e-mail? Stream music and video? Or are you a heavy photo uploader? If you're reading this blog, chances are the answer to all those questions is "Yes." Your friendly neighborhood Verizon rep will crunch some numbers (they have an online data calculator to do that piece of fourth-grade math), and match you up to a plan that fits you best. What has people up in arms is the pricing structure. News flash, folks: Verizon ain't cheap.

Something else you're likely to hear about then is Wifi -- it's all over the suggested responses on Page 3 -- and how you should use it whenever possible. Doesn't really make sense, does it? Verizon wants your money (as any good company should). And if the rumored pricing structure is true (and those rumors are still far from official), you might end up paying more for a lower data cap. So why the push for Wifi? Remember that data's not free. Each MB costs Verizon something, too. And Verizon's (relatively excellent) LTE network didn't come cheap. You hear the word "billion" used a lot in conjunction with a 4G rollout. And carriers are feeling a crunch for spectrum -- the frequencies and such that the data's actually transmitted on. Their answer to that? You'll use Wifi more. (Sit though a CTIA keynote and you'll know exactly what we're talking about.) And so when you're talking to a Verizon rep about these new plans, you'll be urged to connect to Wifi whenever possible. And that's not exactly the worst idea in the world. A good Wifi signal can still be better than a bad LTE signal. And, more important, it's much easier on your battery life.

Anyhoo: Ease on past the break and check out the training material. There's not a whole lot of actual news there -- though the $30 for 2GB of data appears to be confirmed, as well as the death of unlimited plans. RIP.

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