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3 years ago

All Samsung phones going on sale at T-Mobile for two days


It's no secret that the Samsung devices are huge sellers for T-Mobile. Unfortunately, sometimes T-Mobile's on-contract pricing is a bit higher than other carriers, as we've seen with the recent launch of the Galaxy Note 2. Luckily if you're planning on grabbing the Note 2, Galaxy SIII (S3) or any of the several Samsung phones available on T-Mobile it looks like many will be free -- or very cheap -- on contract (with a Classic Plan) on November 16th and 17th.

T-Mobile's pricing structure is set up to try and incentivize you to buy phones on their Value Plans or Monthly 4G Prepaid plans, but if for some reason you're looking to stick with a Classic Plan, this next weekend will give you a good opportunity to save a few hundred dollars up-front.

Source: TmoNews

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3 years ago

Ask AC: Is Android Linux?


While trawling through the Internet today I came across the Linux Foundation's page, and my eyes were pulled to their top story. Now this is nothing new, I often find plenty of great articles and news to read there, but this was different. This was a post that was about Android. 

It got me thinking (sometimes I do that) -- is Android Linux? The folks at the Linux Foundation seem to think so (and seem awfully happy about it), and I'm going to have to agree with them. Now before you purists come to West Virginia to beat some sense into me, I'm not saying that Android is unadulterated GNU Linux. Clearly it's not, there's far too many differences and psudeo-open source licensing at play to call it pure. But for all intents and purposes, it's close enough.

Android now runs on top of a standard Linux kernel, and uses many of the same kernelspace utilities and code that my desktop does. Essentially, that's what Linux is -- the heart of many different systems. Google, and the Android partners like Samsung, HTC, and CyanogenMod, then build things out to present the user with an interface to interact with the kernel. The kernel does stuff, all our taps and swipes and presses are telling it the stuff we want it to do. Just like any of the popular Linux distributions that you can install on your computer at home or work.

Android looks and acts a little different because it needs to look and act a little different to be useful on a small touch screen device. Of course, this is the simplified version of things, but if you're the type who understands how the kernelspace and userspace interact, you see where I'm coming from. Too much nerd is often too much.

So the next time you grab your Android-powered phone or tablet, just remember that you're part of the long standing tradition that is Linux. It's a good place to be.

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3 years ago

AT&T giving $100 off on tablets


  AT&T’s giving customers $100 off tablets purchased under a two-year data plan.   The offer starts tomorrow, Friday, and applies to devices bought online or at AT&T-owned and selected agent retail stores.   AT&T has three DataConnect plans:
  • 250Mb for $15
  • 3Gb for $30
  • 5Gb for $50
  It also charges $10 under its Mobile Share plan for customers to share between 1Gb and 20Gb of data with up to nine other devices. 

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia S removed from AOSP, project will live on at Sony GitHub


The Sony Xperia S has been kicking around in the Android Open Source Project for a while now. It never was an official target, but with the work from Sony and JBQ it was a usable option for those willing to tinker around, and by most accounts a success. With things ramping up and preparing for the AOSP to move on to Android 4.2, it has been removed.

The project will still live on, though, as Sony has set up a dedicated git for the Xperia S at their GitHub space. Interested parties can still hack away at Android 4.1 for the device, with plenty of community and official support. Full instructions for pulling and building are available, and folks interested should find the experience hasn't changed much.

As for why it was removed, Sony engineers explain that Google can't commit time and resources to maintaining anything other than Nexus devices in the official AOSP. We still see the Pandaboard in AOSP though, so there's more to the issue. It appears that Sony is unwilling to release all the binary files needed to boot the Xperia S into a usable state, which is a good reason to have it removed from the AOSP. We're not sure if the move was mandated or voluntary, but it certainly wasn't unexpected with needed files being withheld.

Update: Jean-Baptiste Quéru, Google's "Android Open Source Tech Dude" and wrangler of the huge AOSP, has taken the time to reiterate that there is no conspiracy going on, and that Sony is now the company with the expertise needed to carry on the project, not Google. In addition, none of the current devices have all the proprietary files available, and never have. Thanks for taking the time, JBQ! 

Sony, we applaud you for taking an interest in the AOSP, and for the time you've spent working with the community and Google to come this far. We're not so happy about the binaries not being made available, but it's good the see a strong base being continued by your own engineering team instead of just abandoned.

Source: Sony. More: Sony on GitHub

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3 years ago

Sprint spending additional $200 million on 3G network as LTE rolls out


Although Sprint's "Network Vision" project -- which will eventually move customers off of CDMA and to LTE -- is in full swing, the LTE network just isn't lighting up in as many places as customers would like. Seeing increased load on its 3G network because of a spike in customer additions in the recent months, Sprint has strategically decided to invest $200 million in improving the speeds on the legacy technology.

Its unfortunate to see Sprint having to make a tactical decision to invest in 3G with money that could surely be better spent on an LTE rollout, but the speeds can only get so slow before something has to be done. Hopefully as more of Sprint's customers move over to LTE the carrier will be able to better balance its network.

Source: FierceWireless

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3 years ago

GroupMe version 4.0 hits beta for willing participants


One of the more popular group messaging services out there, GroupMe, has just released a beta of its latest update -- version 4.0. The whole idea of version 4.0 is a cleaner and simpler to use interface, and looking at the screenshots it seems to be the case. To participate in the beta, hit the source link below. It'll involve allowing installation of 3rd party apps in your device's settings and installing it manually, but may be worth a look if you're a big GroupMe user.

GroupMe is hoping to get participants to try out the beta who have already been using the most recent stable version to get the best feedback, but if you're interested in trying out the beta you can always download the previous version first (at the Play Store link above) and register to move to 4.0.

Source: GroupMe Blog

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3 years ago

Angry Birds Star Wars review


After a few weeks of teasers, Rovio has finally released the next iteration in their Angry Birds franchise, this time with a focus on the classic Star Wars brand. Recognizable settings such as Tattoine, Degobah, and Hoth make an appearance, not to mention all of the birds are dressed up as characters from the movies, each with their own signature special abilities.

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3 years ago

Music and Movies coming to Google TV in more countries (update)


Update: The Google+ page has been updated to reflect that Canada and Australia won't be getting the update, and Google TV won't support Play Music and Movies in these countries.

The official Google TV page on Google+ just announced that Google Play Music and Movies will be expanding its reach to more countries. Users in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada and Australia can now use both Music and Movies on their Google TV devices without restrictions.

It's always good to see Google's content deals expanding to bring a full-featured experience to all markets that have Google TV available.

Source: +GoogleTV

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3 years ago

Humble Bundle for Android 4 features Superbrothers beta


The latest Humble Bundle for Android has been kicked off, and includes a bunch of exceptional games. Splice, Eufloria, Waking Mars, Crayon Physics Deluxe, and an early Android beta for the excellent Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery are all available. If you pay more than the average (currently $8.89) you also get Machinarium. 

You get to pay whatever you want for these, and the money is split up between developers, the Humble Bundle organizers, and charities like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Child's Play as you see fit. Every signle one comes with the original soundtrack, and is available on Windows, Linux, and Mac PCs. 

A lot of these games aren't in Google Play, so, go get the bundle! It's a great deal, and for a good cause. Hey, if you're in the charitable mood, why not contribute to the MO-bile Nations Movember run? We're raising money for men's health by sprouting exceptionally poor facial hair. Seriously, I don't know how I'm going to go out in public like this.  

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3 years ago

Inside Android 4.2: The new clock app


What's that? A separate piece about a clock app? It still tells time, right?

Yes. A separate piece about a clock app. And, yes. It still tells time. Actually, the new clock app in Android 4.2 is wearing four or five hats. Here's the breakdown:

  • Clock.
  • World clock.
  • Alarm clock.
  • Timer.
  • Stopwatch.

And what's more -- this thing looks good.

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3 years ago

HTC One X+ review


Six months on from the One X, a turbo-​charged successor arrives

After a tumultuous year, HTC needs to score some big wins this holiday season. Many critics, including ourselves, have been full of praise for its HTC One series, led by the venerable One X. But every passing quarter seems to bring depressingly familiar news for the Taiwanese manufacturer -- record sales and profits for Android rival Samsung, and tumbling revenues for HTC.

On the Windows Phone side, the HTC 8X -- a great handset by any standard -- looks set to make a big impact in the coming weeks. But what of Android? Well, as the year draws to a close, HTC is hoping to put the One series back in the spotlight with a revamped high-end offering, the One X+. On paper it’s a tantalizing proposition -- one of our favorite early 2012 phones re-imagined in a soft touch polycarbonate shell, with a larger battery, a faster CPU and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box.

But as HTC knows, specs alone have never been enough to guarantee a device’s success. Today the One X+ is but a drop in a sea of quad-core, 720p Androids, The high-end mobile space is a lot more crowded than it was back in March, when we reviewed the original One X.

And speaking of that device, what does the One X+ mean for those who’ve already invested in the HTC One series?

Answers to all these questions, and many more, are waiting in our full review of the HTC One X+. Read on.

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3 years ago

AT&T's Samsung Galaxy Express available Nov. 16 for $99


AT&T this morning announced that its entry-level Samsung Galaxy Express will be available Nov. 16 for $99 on contract.

As you'll recall from our hands-on with the Express last month, it's a pretty basic Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone, with a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, a 1GHz dual-core processor and a 2,000 mAh battery. It's got a 5-megapixel rear camera, and a few of the software tweaks seen in more powerful (and expensive) Samsung phones, like the Galaxy S3. It also runs on AT&T's LTE network, if you've got it where you live.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

Purported Sony Yuga prototype shots emerge - 5-inch 1080p screen rumored


It looks like HTC's J Butterfly and Droid DNA could have some competition in early 2013. Rumors of a 5-inch, quad-core Sony handset in development have been circulating for the past month or so, and today brings what could be the first images of the device, which apparently goes by the codename "Yuga."

The image above comes from a set obtained by Swiss Android site Android Schweiz, and is apparently a prototype for the next-gen Sony flagship. Along with the leaked pics, the site claims the prototype is running a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU -- most likely a Snapdragon S4 -- along with 2GB of RAM, a 12MP camera and a 5-inch 1080p display.

Physically, it's a pretty nondescript smartphone design. Earpiece, speaker and front-facing camera can be spotted in the shot above, and other images in the set show Xperia T-style on-screen buttons. The back of the device is difficult to make out, but seems to be at least partially reflective. The alleged prototype is running Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean along with Sony's Xperia UI, which looks almost identical to what we've used on the Xperia T and other late 2012 Sony handsets.

Remember that both hardware and software are likely pre-production, so even if this is a legitimate Sony device, the final product is likely to differ from what we see in these leaked pics. We got to see several Sony prototypes recently, and as you might expect, they often don't quite match up with the finalized designs.

Sony tends to reveal new products first at CES each January, so we wouldn't be surprised to see the "Yuga," or whatever it's eventually called, making its public debut in Las Vegas in a couple of months.

Source: Android Schweiz (Translated)

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3 years ago

Google Shopper updated with new UI, GoodGuide product ratings and more


Today sees the launch of Google Shopper 3.0 on Google Play, bringing several major changes to Google's mobile shopping application. First up is a re-vamped, more image-centric design with a slide-out menu similar to many other Google apps. The main menu now shows a grid of available categories, and when searching, it's possible to view larger images of all products in a similar layout.

Shopper 3.0 also introduces GoodGuide product ratings, which Google says should allow shoppers to make more informed buying decisions. A new push notification area allows users to keep up to date with new Shopper features when they land.

Existing Google Shopper users should head to the Google Play Store to grab today's update. If you've not got the app installed yet, you can jump right to the most recent version using the Google Play link above. Google Shopper is a free download for devices running Android 2.1 and above.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 was Q3's most-shipped smartphone


18m Galaxy S3s between July and September, versus iPhone 4S's 16.2m

In case the recent 30 million milestone didn't give it away, Samsung shipped rather a lot of Galaxy S3s this summer. So much so, that S3 shipments eclipsed those of Apple's iPhone 4S during the third quarter, according to the latest numbers from Strategy Analytics. The firm's statistics for the Q3 2012 indicate that the Galaxy S3 shifted 18 million units worldwide, compared to the iPhone 4S's 16.2 million and the iPhone 5's 6 million.

Of course, things aren't quite as one-sided as the numbers would suggest. There's a good reason people weren't buying as many iPhone 4Ss during that time -- the iPhone 5 was looming large, with new features for iOS users, including a larger screen and LTE support. What's more, Q3 saw the Galaxy S3 launch in several key territories, including North America and Samsung's native South Korea. Also note that these are units shipped, not necessarily phones in consumers' hands.

So it's highly likely that strong sales of the iPhone 5 will launch Apple back to the top spot in Q4. Nevertheless, Samsung will be pleased that in this instance at the very last, it was able to best Apple's numbers.

via Engadget

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