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3 years ago

Verizon weighs in on the future of the 'DROID' brand

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No DROID devices in nearly seven months? Oh, noes!

The Verizon HTC ONE will not be the Verizon DROID HTC One. That's probably a good thing, if only to spare us all from the cursed "DROOOOOOOOOOID" notification sound. That's not to say it won't come without any other horrid sounds, but at least can expect that one to not be there. Anyhoo. A "DROID" phone it is not.

It's been some months since we've seen a new "DROID" phone from Verizon. (That'd be the Droid DNA in November 2012.) The branding and ensuing marketing campaigns, of course, is what helped launch the first real generation of consumer-friendly Android smartphones. T-Mobile's annoying uncapitalized "myTouch" brand fizzled, HTC's original 2012 "HTC One" brand was a marketing mess, and Sony's Xperia line spans basically every letter in the English alphabet. (We got the Xperia M today, for what it's worth.)

But through it all, DROID has persisted, even if some of us dropped the all-caps spelling. The original Motorola Droid. The Droid Eris. Droid Incredible. Droid 2 and Droid 2 Global. Droid Incredible 2. Droid Incredible S. Droid X. Droid 3. Droid Charge. Droid Bionic. Droid Pro. Droid 4. Droid XYBOARD 8.2 and 10.1 tablets. The Droid RAZR. Droid RAZR M. Droid RAZR Maxx and Maxx HD.

And that's just off the top of our heads.

So it's natural to question the future of the DROID brand after going nearly seven months without a new DROID device. Verizon's answer doesn't shed any light on any upcoming devices -- not that we expected it to -- but give the appearance that we've probably not yet seen the end of DROID.

Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney, in an e-mailed response to Android Central, told us that "the Droid brand is very important to us and will continue to represent the best of the best that is exclusive to the Verizon Wireless network."

Parse that any way you want, but we wouldn't hesitate to put a little money on the arrival of a new DROID-branded device this year.

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3 years ago

Wikipad 7-inch gaming tablet launches June 11 for $249

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U.S. launch details confirmed, first retailers will be Wal-Mart.com, BestBuy.com and TigerDirect.

The delayed gaming-centric Wikipad tablet will finally arrive in the U.S. this month, as the manufacturer has announced a launch date of June 11. The tablet, which includes attachable physical gamepad controls, will cost $249 in the U.S. The first retail partners will be Wal-Mart.com, BestBuy.com and TigerDirect, with international launch plans due to be announced after next week's E3 Expo.

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3 years ago

What's the dark side to mobile gaming?

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Until a few years ago, mobile gaming was confined to Minesweeper, Solitaire, Brick Breaker, and a handful of strategy-style games like the classic Warfare Incorporated. The rise of iOS, Android, BlackBerry 10, and Windows Phone has changed that, bringing immersive, innovative, and addicting gameplay to our mobile devices.

3 years ago

White Nexus 4s apparently being intercepted, returned to Google [Updated]

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Update: Google Play support tells us that white Nexus 4 buyers should disregard the "intercepted" message, and that delivery times should be unaffected by the error. We've got the full statement after the break.

Original story: Those of us waiting on our white Nexus 4s to be delivered today apparently are going to have to wait a little longer. On Monday, the UPS shipping status was updated to "The shipper has requested a Delivery Intercept for this package. / Return to sender pending."

And this morning, we're now showing "The Delivery Intercept request for this package was successfully completed. / Shipper requested return of package."

LG announced the white version on May 28, and it went on sale in Google Play in the U.S. a day later. The 16-gigabyte version is currently listed as being out of stock, while the 8GB model is still for sale.

A quick call into the Google Play support line tells us that they're aware of the "intercepted" updates, but we don't have much more to go on than that. We've got e-mails into Google to see what's going on, and when the white Nexus 4 may ship again, or be delivered again, or whatever. Stay tuned.

More: Nexus 4 forums

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3 years ago

Some of your kids' favorite shows move from Netflix to Amazon

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Viacom deal brings Dora, other kid TV along with the more adult Tosh.0 to Amazon Prime Video

Amazon this morning announced that it has scooped up Viacom's suite of children's shows, bringing some of your kids' favorite episodes to Amazon Prime Video. Previously available on Netflix, you'll now have to move to Amazon for "The Backyardigans," "Bubble Guppies," "Team Umizoomi" (that's the one with the robot that Android fans sometimes think is a Bugdroid) and "Blue's Clues," among others. You'll also be getting future episodes of "Dora the Explorer," "SpongeBob SquarePants," the "Fresh Beat Band" and more.

Basically, anything a toddler refuses to turn off.

The multiyear, multination deal also brings MTV and Comedy Central shows such as Tosh.0 and Awkward.

Source: Amazon; More: Android for kids

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3 years ago

Help us reach a YouTube milestone!

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Have you subscribed to the Android Central channel on YouTube yet? Now would be a fine time pressing that button, because we're just a stone's throw away from the almighty 100k, as our pal Cory points out on Twitter. And you know how we get when we reach milestones -- we like to give stuff away!

So as soon as we cross that 100,000-subscriber threshold, we'll dig up something to offer up to you fine, YouTube-subscribing readers. Thanks!

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3 years ago

Toshiba announces Excite Write, Excite Pro and Excite Pure tablets

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Two new high-def Tegra 4 tablets and a budget Tegra 3 offering

Toshiba has taken the wraps off three new 10-inch Android tablets this morning -- the Excite Write, Excite Pro and Excite Pure -- all powered by NVIDIA's Tegra processors. Both the Excite Write and Excite Pro are powered by the chipmaker's latest Tegra 4 chip, while the budget-centric will use the previous-generation Tegra 3. The high-end tablets also pack super-high resolution 2560x1600 displays, 8-megapixel f/2.2 camera and a Harman Kardon-branded speaker setup, whereas the Excite Pure opts for a less eye-catching 1280x800 panel. All three tablets come with microUSB, microHDMI and microSD connectivity.

On the software side, you're looking at mostly vanilla Android 4.2 Jelly Bean across all three tablets, which should please Android purists. Toshiba's also touting the Excite Write's improved digitizer, which has 1024 pressure points and is designed to work better with pen input. To that end it's also bundling a TruNote note-taking app on the Write.

The new Toshiba tablets will compete with the latest Android slates from ASUS and Samsung, both of which announced new 10-inch offerings yesterday at Computex.

Anyone in the market for a high-end, 10-inch Android tablet? Or the 7-to-8-inch screen size still the sweet spot for tablet devices? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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3 years ago

HTC COO reportedly steps down

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Matthew Costello is the most senior exec to step down after string of high-profile departures, Bloomberg reports

HTC Chief Operating Officer Matthew Costello has joined the list of high-profile executives to step down, according to a report from Bloomberg. Costello becomes the most senior employee to leave his job at the Taiwanese manufacturer, after a series of high-profile resignations were reported last month. According to an internal email seen by Bloomberg, HTC's president of engineering and operations Fred Liu will take over Costello's duties in a new, expanded role. Costello, the publication reports, will stay on in an executive advisory role following a move to Europe.

News of Costello's departure comes soon after the company reported improved May 2013 revenues following the launch of its flagship HTC One smartphone. However HTC has seen its market share and revenues dwindle over the past year, only recently showing signs of a turnaround off the back of the HTC One launch.

Other recent HTC departures have included the manufacturer's Asia CEO Lennard Hoornik, EMEA president Florian Seiche and Chief Product Officer Kouji Kodera.

Source: Bloomberg

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3 years ago

HTC sees revenue improvement in May 2013

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May revenue of $970 million gives HTC its best month of 2013

HTC has reported its unaudited revenue for May 2013, announcing that last month it brought in NT$29 billion ($970 million). This brings total revenue for the year so far to NT$91.4 billion ($3.06 billion), and revenue for the quarter so far to NT$48.6 billion ($1.62 billion). The numbers indicate that May was HTC's best month of 2013, putting it within striking distance of its expected Q2 revenue of NT$70 billion ($2.34 billion). The last time the Taiwanese phone-maker brought in this much cash in a single month was June 2012.

The increase in revenue follows the launch of the HTC One, the company's much-hyped flagship handset. HTC had endured lackluster revenues in recent months following delays to that handset brought on by component shortages. In recent weeks the company has also recently lost several high-profile executives. The resolution of these supply problems and the crucial U.S. HTC One likely contributed to the higher May numbers, and it was recently reported that HTC had sold around five million HTC One handsets as of mid-May. HTC will be hoping for continued strong sales in June and beyond, despite increasing competition from rival Samsung.

Source: HTC

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3 years ago

Sony announces entry-level Xperia M

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Jelly Bean on a 4-inch FWVGA screen, with a dual-core CPU and dual SIM option

Sony Mobile has added to its 2013 stable with a new entry-level offering, the Xperia M. Sharing many design traits with earlier Xperias, including the Xperia Z's trademark rounded power button and the Xperia T's chassis trim, the Xperia M is unmistakably a Sony phone.

The device has a 4-inch FWVGA (480x854) display on the front, along with on-screen buttons. Around the back there's a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera.

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3 years ago

Three UK experiences widespread data outage [Updated]

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Data connections return after outage of around 14 hours

Update: We're now seeing Three data services return to our devices. Three says it expects the whole network to return to normal this afternoon.

Original story: British mobile operator Three has confirmed that it's experiencing connectivity issues on its 3G data network. The outage is affecting many of us on the Mobile Nations team, and a quick look at Twitter reveals many other Three subscribers in the same position. Those affected are unable to connect to 3G data, with devices hanging when attempting to connect to the data network. Calls and text capabilities, however, do not seem to be affected.

Three says it's aware of the data issues and is working on a fix --

We're having some issues with our data network this morning. It's being worked on as a priority, sorry for any inconvenience. More to follow.

It's the first widespread outage to affect Three in recent years, but not the first to hit a major UK carrier. A series of high-profile network issues plagued rival network O2 in 2012, and more recently EE offered customers free data as an apology for network issues.

Three (and its customers) will be hoping that its own issues are resolved in short order, and we'll keep you posted with any further developments. Three customers -- are you affected by today's outage. Shout out in the comments!

Source: @ThreeUKSupport

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3 years ago

The saga continues: Sprint fights back against Dish offer for Clearwire

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Sprint claims accepting Dish's terms would violate Clearwire's equity holder agreement

As we would all expect, Sprint has publicly voiced its opposition to Dish's attempted purchase of Clearwire -- citing a whole host of reasons why the deal should not and will not go through as long as it is involved. Following the announcement by Dish late last week that it had offered a $4.40 per share -- a full $1 more than Sprint -- to acquire 100-percent of Clearwire, it's a natural progression that Sprint will oppose the deal. Sprint's first defense against the deal is sheer numbers -- it currently owns a majority share of Clearwire. This means that the deal to sell the entire company to Dish effectively cannot go through without Sprint's approval, which it of course has no intention of doing. Barring some crazy turn of events, Dish's ability to purchase the whole of Clearwire is off the table as long as Sprint is involved, so the next step is to keep the minority shareholders from wanting to sell even a portion of the company to Dish.

Sprint thinks that it has a solution to this problem as well, citing that Dish's demands related to its buyout attempt would violate Clearwire's equity holder agreement, as well as Delaware law. Specifically referencing Dish's request for a minimum of three board of director appointments, Sprint claims that the demands are outside of the realm of possibility for the deal. In it's letter to Clearwire, Sprint made this statement:

"Many Clearwire stockholders appear to be under the mistaken belief that Dish's proposal is a viable alternative to the Sprint merger agreement, and this is simply not the case."

Sprint is banking (literally, in fact) on a revised June 13th Clearwire shareholder vote to determine if it will accept Sprint's offer to buy the other 49-percent of the company at $3.40 per share. The Now Network will need approval from at least half of the minority shareholders in order to get its deal through, but it is facing strong opposition from several big players that hold nearly 25-percent of the minority shares. These opponents see the Dish deal as a clear (pardon the pun) victory for the Clearwire shareholders given the 29-percent boost in price over Sprint's offering.

We don't see this ending simply. Remember, it's all just a big game of poker.

Source: Reuters

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3 years ago

Who won the trip to NYC for the Talk Mobile launch party? Find out now!

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Did you get your RSVP in for the Talk Mobile launch party in New York City next week? It's going to be a spectacular event, with all the Mobile Nations editors and a ton of fans and some very special guests all together under one roof to celebrate. This is the first time we've done a cross-site celebration like this, and we have no doubt that it's going to be a night to remember. We have DJ Mia Moretti lined up for some sweet aural stimulation as well as good food, strong drinks, and thousands of dollars in awesome prizes to be given away throughout the evening!

Aside from the lucky fans that managed to snag a spot at the party by RSVPing online, we had a contest to send one lucky reader and a guest to NYC for the party, with paid airfare and hotel, and it's time to announce who that person is!

Drum roll please...

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3 years ago

'4G ready' Xperia Tablet Z hitting Vodafone UK for as little as £99

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Two different data plan prices save you a good amount of money up-front

Vodafone UK just announced today that it will be carrying a cellular data-enabled version of Sony's latest tablet, the Xperia Tablet Z, in both black and white for £199 on a £28 per month data plan or £99 on a £32 plan. As a price comparison the 16GB Wifi-only model of the Tablet Z is currently retailing for £399, and those plans will get you a respectable 1GB or 2GB of data per month to use on the glass-laden waterproof device. Just as a quick refresher, the Xperia Tablet Z is a 10.1-inch 1920x1080 resolution tablet with a Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM and both 8MP rear and 2.2MP front cameras.

The carrier hasn't yet flipped the switch on its LTE network -- hence the "4G ready" branding -- but the tablet will indeed support the upcoming network as soon as its available. Vodafone is making a strong effort to have customers on LTE devices in preparation for the upcoming network launch, but we're not sure how many people are going to bite on a tablet like this before the LTE network is ready with a relatively expensive plan.

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3 years ago

Qualcomm announces new quad-core Snapdragon 400

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Designed for high-volume units, the Snapdragon 400 gets a quad-core counterpart

Qualcomm has had a busy day, and they recently announced the new additions to the Snapdragon 400 line. We've seen the Snapdragon 400 used in the HTC First and were impressed with it's mix of performance and price, so today's news should get everyone's attention.

The new 8926 quad-core variants will not only deliver even more processing power. The chips also house support for LTE and HSPA+42 networks, TD-SCDMA support for the Chinese market and dual-SIM configurations with dual standby and dual active functions. This is in addition to Miracast wireless connectivity, Qualcomm's VIVE 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth, FM, NFC and QuickCharge. The 8926 has been certified as compatible with both Android and Windows Phone 8 platforms.

Expect to see a new reference device from Qualcomm later this year, and the chip itself should be available in bulk for manufacturers by the end of 2013. The full press release is after the break.

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