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3 years ago

T-Mobile investing over $4 billion in 2013 for LTE rollout

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As part of an investment meeting, Deutsche Telekom announced today that it plans to make some major investments in the network infrastructure of its subsidiary, T-Mobile USA. First and foremost is a $4.7 billion investment in the rollout of LTE for the carrier, all taking place within 2013. As the last major carrier to start an LTE rollout, it will need all the investment it can get to catch up. For 2014-15, T-Mobile plans another $3 billion per year in general network enhancements as well.

In total, $10.7 billion in investment will be made over the next 3 years, which is drastically higher than the average of $2.7 billion per year for the prior 3. Its clear now that with the merger with MetroPCS and this continued investment, Deutsche Telekom is far from done operating in the U.S. market. Hopefully these investments will turn T-Mobile into a formidable opponent to Verizon and AT&T going forward.

Source: Deutsche Telekom

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3 years ago

Gameloft's Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour hitting Android 'very soon'

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Gameloft is quickly expanding on its popular "Modern Combat" game franchise with the latest revision: "Zero Hour." The game has just launched on the iOS platform, but Gameloft assures us that the developers are putting the final touches on an Android version and "expect it to launch very soon." Games this big can never come too soon, so we hope to see it go live in Google Play very shortly.

You can get a taste for the gameplay in the latest version in the trailer above. (Spoiler alert: you shoot guys in the face.)

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 bumpers finally shipping in the UK

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After a few weeks, it seems the first batch of Nexus 4 bumpers is starting to make its way out to customers in the UK. Two UK Nexus 4 bumper orders placed by AC's British division shipped today, and the Twitters are alight with reports of fellow Brits whose bumpers are also in transit. (Update: we're also hearing reports that one or two bumpers shipped in the UK in the past week, too.)

Official Nexus accessories have been hard to come by in the past, particularly outside the U.S. So it's a small relief to see bumpers finally arriving with customers in Europe, even if it is more than three weeks after the first orders were placed on Google Play.

Unfortunately the UK Play Store still lists the Nexus 4 bumper as sold out, with no indication as to when fresh stock will arrive. So if you've yet to place an order you may have to be patient, or start looking elsewhere.

More: Nexus 4 bumpers on Google Play

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3 years ago

Sony releases flash tool for unlocked Xperia phones

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If you've hacked around with a bootloader-unlocked Sony Xperia phone at any point, you may be familiar with the unofficial Xperia Flashtool maintained by the forum denizens at XDA. The app allows Xperia owners to flash firmware packages to their phones in a similar manner to the ODIN utility that works with Samsung phones. Now Sony Mobile has released an official app of its own to allow unlocked Xperia phone owners to perform these kinds of tasks.

An initial beta version of the Xperia Flash Tool is available to download now, and can be used to flash official firmware back onto an unlocked Xperia phone. Right now the number of supported phones is minimal -- three, to be precise -- but if you have an Xperia S, Xperia Arc or Xperia Arc S, you should good to go with the official Flash Tool. Additional devices should receive Flash Tool support in the months ahead.

You'll find a quick overview of what the Flash Tool can do in the video above, and more details over at the source link.

Source: Sony Developer World

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3 years ago

Spotify adding new music discovery features, and entire Metallica catalog

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Today is a big day for music streaming service Spotify and its users. They're introducing a whole bunch of new music discovery features, some of which will eventually go 'cross-platform.'  But, they're also introducing the entire back catalog of one of the most well-known rock bands in history. Spotify users, say hello to Metallica. 

We'll start there, because this is huge news. There have been noticeable holes in Spotify's library since day one, some of which have been filled, but the Metallica shaped hole ever remained. The drought ends today with the addition of 30 years worth of music from the legendary rockers. Every single album, every single song. This one's going to keep us going all through the weekend. 

With that out of the way, the new discovery features being rolled out are pretty interesting. Initially we're looking at desktop only features rolling out in the coming weeks, with a full 'cross-platform' upgrade in 2013. There are two main portions to it, so we'll take you through them one at a time. 

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3 years ago

Amazon sees 500 percent growth in Appstore downloads in one year

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There's no doubt that Amazon is trying to become a strong competitor in the Android tablet game, and a big part of that is the success of its own Appstore. There's always been an issue with properly quantifying the success of Amazon's products though, as the company is intentionally vague about sales and usage numbers. As part of a press release about A/B testing in its Appstore today, however, it announced quite a few interesting statistics.

Amazon has seen a 500 percent increase in app downloads from its store in the past year, which is a huge number. Additionally, apps making use of its GameCircle (centralized gaming platform) have more than doubled. Developers making use of in-app purchases doubled in the third quarter of 2012 as well, and 23 of the top 25 grossing apps are now using them.

Those are impressive numbers indeed, and we hope Amazon continues to give some information as to how well its Appstore and Kindle Fire platforms are performing in the future. (Like maybe some actual numbers of how many it's sold.) The company will surely continue to push its version of Android for the foreseeable future.

Source: Amazon

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3 years ago

Elements Battle RPG released on Google Play today

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There seems to be no shortage of RPG (Role Playing Game) titles on Google Play, but some really are better than the rest. Popular game developer Game Insight is throwing its proverbial hat into the ring today with Elements Battle. The game is set up as a mix of puzzle gameplay and standard PRG gameplay, with over 100 quests available at launch. Elements Battle spans 5 expansive worlds to explore as well, and is surely a title that's capable of being built upon for many updates to come.

Elements Battle is available now in the Play Store, and its free to boot. Check it out at the Google Play link at the top of this post if you're interested in a download.

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3 years ago

Archos releases Android-powered GamePad for €149.99

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Archos announced back at the end of August an interesting product it called the GamePad. The idea was the make an Android tablet that was very gaming-focused, with a full host of physical gaming controls flanking the screen (much like a PSP or PS Vita). When it was announced, it seemed to be written off as a concept device that wouldn't make it to market. Well, here we are just three months later and the GamePad is going on sale in Europe for just €149.99.

The device has a 7-inch 1024x600 display between those controls, and is powered by a 1.6GHz dual-core processor with a Mali 400 MP GPU. The device has 8GB of internal storage (expandable by SDcard) and is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The press images are flattering for sure, but the device really is quite thin at just 10mm.

The device is on sale now in Europe and is expected to hit the U.S. in Q1 2013 according to Archos. More info can be found at the source link and in the press release below.

Source: Archos

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3 years ago

WordTag: It's like Draw Something, only with words

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Want to play a game where someone has to describe a word somehow, and you have to guess it? Not new, we know. But WordTag takes the the style of the old "Password" game with the new hotness of Draw Something, only minus all that pesky artistic necessity.

Here's how it works: You've got 120 characters in which to describe a word. And there are six "locked" words. Don't use 'em, unless you wanna "pay" for it. Your opponent has to guess the word, as quickly as possible. You know how it goes. Play friends, play strangers, earn badges as you go. You can sign up with your e-mail address, or through Facebook, if that's your thing. And WordTag is a cross-platform game, which is good. There's a free version (which we're linking to here), or a premium version for $1.99.

We've got demo video, the presser and some screen shots after the break.

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3 years ago

The basics: How to install the Nexus 4 SIM card

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This one's super basic, but we've had enough people ask, so here's how to install the SIM card on the Nexus 4.

With the phone's display facing you in your hand, look on the left-and side. (If you see "Nexus", you're looking at the back, and so the SIM card tray will be on the right.) Look just below the volume rocker, and you'll see a little pinhole next to the SIM card tray.

In your Nexus 4 box there's a little metal SIM card tray ejector tool thingy. Kinda looks like a circle with a little pin sticking out of it. Press is straight into that pinhole, and the SIM card tray will pop out.

There's only one right way to insert the SIM card into the tray. Look for the notched corner, and make sure it matches up with the notch in the tray. The slide the tray back into the phone. (The printed side of the card faces the same direction as the front of the phone; the gold contacts face the rear.

You'll need to reboot once you've got the SIM card installed. But after that, you're golden.

Need more Nexus 4 help? Ask a question in our Nexus 4 forums!

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3 years ago

Soundcloud introduces new UI and features with latest app update

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Soundcloud has always managed to have a pretty respectable app across platforms, and the latest update to their mobile app keeps that tradition going. The app has been revamped with a new UI that uses the sliding panes we've seen in many apps as of late. It not only looks great but more importantly, it works great. Smooth and fluid describes it nicely. Aside from the UI change, Soundcloud did manage to add in a few new features as well that improve the experience as well:

  • Hear, favorite, repost and comment on sounds shared in your Stream
  • Record your own sounds with one touch and share to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr
  • Includes optional Record Widget for the home screen
  • Lock screen playback supported

The core features remain as well, they've just been improved. Searching for music, following artists and discovering new music with the app is better than ever. According to Soundcloud, over 10 hours of music & audio are posted every minute to their services so alas, you can take Taylor Swift or whatever it is the cool kids are listening to these days off repeat and go out and discover some new music.

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3 years ago

Snapseed for Android now available

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Snapseed developer Nik Software, now owned by Google, has released an Android version of its photo sharing app. The app has several filtering and tweaking options to allow photos to be improved, distorted or stylized. And of course there's a big Google+ button up top, so there's no doubt as to where Google wants you sharing your snaps.

Bundled image tools include basic stuff like cropping, brightness and contrast controls, as well as more exotic capabilities like framing, "grunge" and "drama" filters.

In addition to the Android launch, the iOS version of Snapseed is available for free from today.

Hit the Google Play link above to get downloading, and let us know how you're getting on with Snapseed down in the comments.

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3 years ago

Google announces Google+ communities; G+ now at 235m active users

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The first of Google's big social announcements today is a new addition to Google + -- communities. Communities are groups of people arranged around a Google+ hub page dedicated to a specific topic. Community membership can be public or private, Google says, and support anything from local neighborhoods to groups arranged around a common interest or activity.

Like circles, Google+ will let members share to particular communities with posts, photos, +1's and hangouts, so the community experience should be a familiar one for regular G+ users.

We're not seeing Google+ Communities on our accounts just yet, but we'd expect to see them appearing for most people later today -- check the sidebar menu on the right.

Alongside today's announcement, Google also dropped in a couple of stats detailing the progress of its 18-month-old social network. Some 500 members have "upgraded" their Google accounts to Google+, while 235 million are "active" on the service. Google includes users taking part in hangouts and +1ing items on the web and Google Play in this number; the number active "on stream" is apparently 135 million.

More details in today's promo video after the break.

Source: Google Blog

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3 years ago

Our long national nightmare is over ...

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It appears the Nexus 4's Yellow Box of Death (remember, we didn't make that up) seen by many who ordered in the Nov. 27 wave overnight has morphed into the Green Box of Jubilation, and devices are on their way. (We might have made that up.) Folks in the forums are seeing it as well, and all is right in the world.

For now ...

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3 years ago

Tasks update adds lockscreen widget for Android 4.2

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Tasks is a bit of a favorite in these parts. We all rely on Google's services immensely day in, day out, one of which is Google Tasks. In lieu of any kind of official application from Google, Tasks is the next best thing. Simple, excellent looking Holo UI, and of course, syncing up with Google Tasks. Today, the developers have pushed out a little update aimed specifically for users on Android 4.2

We're talking about a lockscreen widget. While the whole notion of widgets on the lockscreen is a point of debate for some, the ability to add something like a tasks list is potentially a great time saver. You get the same great widget as on the main homescreen, without the need to unlock your phone. 

Additionally, theres a bunch of minor bug fixes, and an updated app icon for anyone with a Nexus 10 and other ultra high density screens. Tasks comes in free and paid versions, and the updates apply to both. You'll find a link to the free version at the top of this post. 

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