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3 years ago

Lockitron announces new NFC, Bluetooth, and SMS-friendly door unlocker

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Lockitron has recently announced their latest and greatest smart deadbolt access system, complete with remote door unlocking, per-user access control, access via SMS or NFC, and a knock sensor. There's a dedicated Android app to handle everything, while the door unit itself connects over your home's Wi-Fi network. This model is an iteration on the considerably clunkier, more expensive model launched last year. 

While RFID access control has been available in business situations for a long time, Lockitron is clearly way more viable for home situations. With Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility, Lockitron can unlock automatically as you approach the door, which is great for when your hands are full with groceries. 

Lockitron has already blown way past their funding goal, but you can still preorder one for an early-bird special of $149. The first batch should be shipping in March 2013. What do you guys think? Totally awesome, or are there way too many potential security issues with a system like this? 

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3 years ago

PlayStation Mobile game store starts trickling out to select Android devices

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Today's the day that PlayStation Mobile launches, and not just on Sony's own Xperia devices. Keep in mind that the list of non-Sony phones compatible with PlayStation Mobile is still pretty short. Even if you have a compatible device, you'll need to live in Japan, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, or Australia to get in on the action. I still can't download it here in Canada, but you can expect the switch to be flipped soon. The initial selection of games in the new store isn't great, but Sony promises that new titles will be added every Wednesday.

  • Frederic – Resurrection of Music ($3.99 / £3.19)
  • Loot The Land ($3.99 / £3.19)
  • incurvio ($7.49 / £5.89)
  • Wipe! ($1.49 / £1.19)
  • Magic Arrows ($4.99 / £3.99)
  • Everbody’s Arcade (Free trial / IAP)
  • Underline ($2.79 / £2.19)
  • Nyoqix ($5.49 / £4.49)
  • Numblast ($2.99 / £2.39)
  • Super Crate Box ($3.49 / £2.79)
  • Aqua Kitty – Milk Mine Defender ($3.49 / £2.79)
  • Flick Hockey ($2.29 / £1.79)
  • Word Blocked ($1.99 / £1.59)
  • Rebel ($1.99 / £1.59)
  • Tractor Trails ($2.29 / £2.59)
  • Hungry Giraffe ($2.99 / £2.39)
  • Beats Slider ($0.79 / £0.65)
  • Fuel Tiracas ($0.49 / £0.40)
  • Twist Pilot ($3.49 / £2.79)
  • Samurai Beatdown ($0.99 / £0.79)
  • Beats Trellis ($0.79 / £0.65)

Once purchased, these games can be played on up to three devices. More info on PSM can be found at Sony's landing page. Are any of you guys able to get into the new PlayStation Mobile store? Are any of these games really catching your eye, or are there particular titles that you'd like to see make the leap from PS3 to Android?

Via: PSNStores

Source: PlayStation Mobile

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3 years ago

T-Mobile, MetroPCS merging in $1.5 billion deal

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T-Mobile this morning announced that it's merging with MetroPCS in a $1.5 billion deal. The two companies will unite under the T-Mobile name, with current TMo parent company Deutsche Telekom to keep a 74 percent stake. The rest goes to MetroPCS shareholders, who also get the cash.

There's a conference call scheduled for this morning, and we still have to find out exactly what this'll mean for consumers. But MetroPCS already has LTE up and running -- a technology sorely lacking from TMo's current U.S. offerings, so we'd expect that's part of the impetus behind all this. But it'll take a little time to get all that worked out.

Stay tuned. This should get interesting.

Update: OK, a few important points from the conference call:

  • The two companies actually will remain operating as fairly separate entities. Two business units. One network. MetroPCS isn't going anywhere for a few years.
  • They're hoping to have GSM-capable devices ready to sell on MetroPCS when the deal closes next year.
  • As we figured, LTE's playing ia big part here.

Source: T-Mobile

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3 years ago

EE to launch UK's first 4G network on Oct. 30

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The UK's first 4G LTE network, operated by EE, will kick off in just under four weeks on Tuesday, Oct. 30, alongside EE's new fiber broadband network. The news was revealed in a statement from EE CEO Olaf Swantee this morning. No details of pricing were made available in today's announcement, but EE did confirm that the 4G network will cover ten major UK cities at launch. The carrier's coverage checker is now live, showing 4G availability at launch in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield.

The news follows an agreement between EE and rival networks, brokered by Ofcom and the British government, which accelerates the launch of rival 4G services.

Today's full statement from Swantee reads --

“We are delighted to announce that the official launch of our new customer brand, EE, offering the UK’s first superfast mobile 4G and fibre broadband service, will take place on the 30th October 2012.

“This is a significant milestone for the United Kingdom, and for the people and businesses of our country who will now be able to enjoy the huge advantages of superfast 4G technology for the first time.

“We are very proud to be pioneering, innovating and leading our industry in launching 4G for our nation through our new EE brand.”

4G Android launch devices include the HTC One XL, Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE and Galaxy Note 2 LTE.

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3 years ago

Nest Mobile for Android updated with tablet compatibility and stability improvements

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If you've bought yourself a fancy Nest thermostat, you'll want to go ahead and grab the latest software update for it that is currently rolling out. If you're an Android user though, Nest has gone a step further and addressed some of the concerns from owners looking to access their thermostat on the go. Previous versions of the mobile app were not compatible with tablets or even later versions of Android for that matter but a new version has been released and brings a whole slew of changes:

  • Now works with all Android devices (Android 2.2 "Froyo" or above), including tablets like Google Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire.
  • Improved speed and stability
  • Support for the 2nd gen. Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Support for System Match features (Early-On, Heat Pump Balance, True Radiant)
  • Ability to remotely lock your Nest
  • More info in Energy History
  • Nest Learning is now called Nest Sense
  • Now also available in French and Spanish
  • Overall bug fixes and improvement

If you're a Nest owner, go ahead and give it a go and let us know how it's working out for you. If you're looking to learn more about Nest and the recent updates, hit the source link below for further details.

Source: Nest

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3 years ago

Widespread UK 4G roll-out set for spring 2013 as networks reach agreement with regulators and government

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O2, Vodafone and EE have reached an agreement with UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom and the British government to significantly accelerate the roll-out of LTE services on 800MHz and 2600MHz bands across all of their networks. Previously EE, which had re-farmed some of its 1800MHz spectrum for use with LTE, was expected to be the only operator to run 4G services before late 2013. However the new agreement could see Three, Vodafone and O2's 4G services being deployed by spring instead.

The agreement means the perpetually-delayed auction of 800MHz and 2600MHz bands will take place earlier than expected, and the spectrum will be cleared for use more quickly, to allow services to be more rapidly deployed. According to BBC News, Vodafone and O2 have also agreed not to use legal action to block EE's 4G roll-out, and as such, EE should make an announcement on when it'll launch its 4G services "imminently." Previously the carrier had stuck to a rather vague statement indicating the launch was still a few weeks away.

Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive, said: "The actions we have taken with industry and government avoid the risk of significant delay and are tremendous news for consumers who might otherwise have waited a considerable period for the next generation of mobile broadband services."

So it seems it's good news whichever network you're on. EE gets to go ahead with its early 4G roll-out, and other carriers won't be as far behind as previously thought. And with the threat of imminent competition, EE might think twice before passing too much of the cost of its early launch onto customers.

Source: BBC News

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3 years ago

HTC One X+ headed to UK from Oct 22, priced £474, says retailer

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Hot on the heels of yesterday's HTC One X+ announcement, British retailer Clove Technology brings the first news of pricing and availability in the UK. Clove says it expects to begin stocking the refreshed version of the One X from Oct. 22, and is currently taking pre-orders for £474 inc. VAT (that's £395, or $630, ext. VAT). That's a lot of money, to be sure, but at least prices aren't advancing north of £500, as has been the case for devices like the Galaxy S3 earlier in the year.

As ever, pre-order prices are subject to change, but with the One X+ UK launch just a couple of weeks away, we feel fairly confident these numbers will be accurate.

Tempted by a One X+ at this price, or are you holding you holding out for a cut-price original One X? Shout out in the comments.

Source: Clove, More: Hands-on with the HTC One X+

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3 years ago

EE's new 4G LTE network put through its paces with more speed tests

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You may have seen our recent coverage of the EE (Everything Everywhere) event, where the company announced the UK's first 4G LTE network. That was pretty exciting stuff, as us poor Brits have been left behind in the LTE race compared to many other countries. Luckily EE's 4G roll out is now imminent, and although we don't have an actual fixed date as yet, we're told it should be within the next few weeks.

Once again, we had the chance to play with a few 4G devices this week, including the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, HTC One XL, Huawei Ascend P1 and the iPhone 5. But what we were also interested in was the speed of the network.

As you'll see from the video, the speeds are mighty fast. It was great to see that as well as fast download speeds, the upload too was quick. In fact, the highest download speed of the session we managed to get was just over 42Mbps, which is faster than most UK home broadband connections.

Looks like EE are on to a real winner here -- not just because of the speeds they can offer, but because they will be the first UK mobile network to launch LTE in the country. So once the new EE service rolls out, they'll have a huge advantage over the other carriers. All signs point to a huge marketing campaign in the run up to the holidays.

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3 years ago

Barnes & Noble updates Nook reading app

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Not to be overshadowed by all of the recent Amazon news, Barnes & Noble is following up on its latest Nook hardware announcements with an updated Nook reading app for Android (and yes, iOS). This update to version 3.2 of the app adds lots of good features, including zooming for comic books, improved fonts and margins, a full dictionary and a fix for pre-ordering with the app.

Many people have pretty much locked themselves into Amazon if they're big book readers, but if you've yet to lock yourself into a certain book ecosystem, it's always worth looking into all options before taking that plunge.

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 2 LTE coming to the UK on EE's 4G network

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EE (Everything Everywhere) will launch the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE on its network in the next couple of weeks, according to reports. UK tech blog Pocket-Lint has word that the international Galaxy Note 2 with LTE will arrive on EE from Oct. 15. As EE's 4G network has yet to launch, customers will first be required to sign up with one of EE's existing 3G network brands -- Orange or T-Mobile. Later, they'll have the option to switch to an EE 4G tariff, though pricing details and launch timeframes have yet to be announced.

The Galaxy Note 2 LTE will reportedly become available from Oct 15 on EE, joining the likes of the HTC One XL, Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE and iPhone 5, which are available now. We met with EE today for a quick demo of some already announced handsets, though they remained tight-lipped about the Note 2.

The Galaxy Note 2 and 4G LTE connectivity will be a tantalizing proposition for Android power users, but with EE's effective monopoly on 4G for the time being, it likely won't be cheap to get hold of the device and a matching service plan.

Source: Pocket-Lint

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 2's Smart Rotation solves the ultimate first-world problem

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We've all been there before. You're reading something on your smartphone while laying down on a bed or sofa. You turn sideways, and the screen rotates. Suddenly, whatever you were reading is at 90 degrees to where it needs to be, and you're left trying to read at an awkward angle. Fortunately, we found a feature on the Galaxy Note 2 that seems to have been developed for this exact eventuality.

"Smart rotation" makes its debut on the Note 2, and like the Galaxy S3's Smart Stay, it uses a bit of front-facing camera trickery. When the phone rotates, the device uses the front-facer to work out what orientation your face is in and then match the orientation of the screen accordingly, based on the built-in sensor. That means even if you're reading at an angle, the Note 2 can recognize this and keep things the right way up. In our experience it functions pretty well, though the fact that it uses the front-facing camera means you need a little ambient light in order for it to work.

Smart Rotation is switched off by default on the Note 2, but can be enabled under Settings > Display. Perhaps not the most practical or necessary software feature ever conceived, but damned if it isn't cool.

If you're reading this article at a 90 degree angle, be sure to shout out in the comments.

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3 years ago

HTC's 'Get Started' helps you set up your new Sense device from a computer

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HTC is not only trying to push the envelope with new hardware and fast software, they are also trying to make smartphones easier for the average person to set up and use. If you're reading AC, there's a good chance you're inside a tech bubble where smartphones, and Internet "things" in general are part of every day life, and you truly understand how to use the computer in your hands. But that's not the case for everyone.

Every time we talk about things like a ROM or an OTA update, someone new to smartphones is asking questions about setting up a Google account or what a Dropbox is. Nobody was born knowing this stuff, and HTC is making it as easy as possible to get started.

Right now, this will only be available for Sense 4+ devices like the One X+. HTC tells us that they have plans to back-port it to all One series phones, as well as the most popular Sense 3.5 phones. It's also geared for devices that are sold internationally, but we expect to see some sort of carrier partnership in the U.S. to use the new tools, much like AT&T is already doing on newer Android devices.

Read through to have a look at what HTC has in store.

More: HTC Get Started

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3 years ago

Survey says Android claims 48% of U.S. tablet market share

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A recent study by Pew examined how folks are using tablets and other mobile tech in the U.S., and revealed that 22% of American adults have a tablet, and of the tablets out there, Android powers 48% of them. Not bad considering Apple dominated the space last year with 81%. Other sources estimated that around this time last year, Android had 27% of the tablet space.The whole tablet space is set to continue growing, with 23% of those without a tablet responding that they were planning on getting one in the next six months.

About half of the Android tablets being used were Kindle Fires, which have earned a ton of popularity thanks primarily to their affordability. The survey further goes into detail about how tablet and smartphone adoption are increasing the consumption of news content, and that browser content (versus apps) is on the rise. 

There's a lot of interesting data in this survey, so definitely check it out at the link below. How do you guys consume news on your Android tablet? Do you even have one? What's holding you back from picking up a tablet? 

Source: Journalism.org

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3 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest: Colors

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Photo taken with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, watermelon and beer consumed by a neckbeard.

We're back with another Android Central weekly photo contest, and this time we're all about the colors. Look around while you're doing the normal things you do in a day (like grocery shopping for example) and notice how color plays an important role in what catches our eye. Whether they are bright and gaudy, or sublime and relaxing, colors are everywhere.

Think of this one as a free-form contest, one where we're not looking for any particular subject. Just one that captures color in a way you like. Get creative with the color settings, or just shoot what the lens sees -- it's your call. We just wanna enjoy looking at them while you do all the thinking.

There will be prizes! This week we'll pick the best five, and each winner will get a blind-box Android series 3 mini-collectible! These puppies are already sold out, so this is a great way to get your hands on one.

Entering is easy, just get your picture and head into the Android contest forums and post it for the world to see. We'll have a look next Monday and pick the winners. Good luck!

Enter this weeks photo contest

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3 years ago

Motorola drops ITC complaint against Apple

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In August, Motorola was seeking an import ban of the iPad and iPhone from the International Trade Commission due to patent infringement, but today Motorola has dropped the case. Since the seven non-standard-essential patents in question were never undisclosed, it's hard to say why exactly Motorola backed off. Motorola's statement clearly laid out that no out-of-court settlement was made, either. 

It's entirely possible that Motorola found they didn't have a strong case, or they needed to prepare more documents in order to properly sue Apple, or there were some other outside forces at play that we just plum don't know about. Conversely, Samsung has started its legal counterattack on Apple today, so the tension between Android and iOS isn't likely to let up, even if for whatever reason Google wanted to lay off legally antagonizing Apple. 

So, let's open up the floor to wild speculation as to why Motorola launched the complaint in the first place, and what could have made them retract from proceedings so close to an official investigation. 

Via: FOSS Patents

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