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4 years ago

Samsung isn't forgetting about devices for emerging markets

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Samsung may be spending tens of millions of dollars to put on events for the unveiling of the Galaxy S4, but it hasn't forgotten about making devices targeted at emerging markets. We see a lot of new Samsung devices come through that are targeted at the mid range -- such as the Galaxy S3 Mini -- but the Korean manufacturer is also targeting the hyper low-end of emerging markets such as India and Indonesia. In areas where the landscape until recently has been dominated by feature phones, Samsung has gained considerable market share with devices that cost about $100 unlocked. The Wall Street Journal points out that Samsung's market share in Indonesia has risen from 2-percent in 2010 to over 50-percent last quarter.

While there is still a huge untapped market of feature phone users trying to make the move to smart phones, some are worried that Samsung's race to meet the low-end demands will cut into profits. Analysts calculate Samsung's operating margin on these low-end devices at about 12-percent, or less than half of what it is for high-end devices. It's hard to fault Samsung for trying to grab every piece of the market, however. In many cases these consumers are either buying a cheap phone or no phone at all, so choosing to not offer a low-end device to them is a completely lost sale. And with a company the size of Samsung, there's hardly a fight for resources to push into a new market.

Samsung is likely smart to push into emerging markets, if for no other reason than to get consumers acquainted with their smart phones for future purchases. Building up both market share, but also mind share, is extremely important for the long-term viability of sales in a market. They may be buying just $100 entry-level smart phones today, but in a couple of years there's a good chance that the same group of consumers will be ready for the higher end device -- and Samsung will be waiting there to sell them one.

Source: WSJ

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4 years ago

Verizon Messages now offers texting via tablets and computers

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Verizon is updating its own messaging app today to support cross-platform syncing of SMS and MMS messages using your Verizon phone number. Users taking advantage of the Verizon Messages app on their Android phone can now carry on continuous conversations between the phone, their Android (or iOS) tablet and on the web from their computer. The apps send and receive regular SMS or MMS messages that appear as though they're coming to and from your own Verizon phone number. Messages stay saved and synced for 90 days on Verizon's end, but can also be exported and saved to external storage on your devices.

The new apps not only keep conversations synced between all of your devices, but also provide a central repository for all of the pictures, links and other attachments you receive. The new update has also added the ability to set an auto-reply for when you're busy and to optionally show your location to friends you're talking to.

If you're interested in trying out the new Verizon Messages service, you can download the app for your phone or tablet form the Play Store link above. The web interface can be found at the source link below, or under your "My Verizon" account.

Source: Verizon; More: Verizon Messages

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4 years ago

Ravensword: Shadowlands now available in Google Play; this is what a mobile RPG should look like

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Ravensword: Shadowlands, Crescent Moon Games third in the Ravensword series, is now available in Google Play. I'll tell you up front -- it's not cheap. The game checks in at $6.99, but after just a few minutes playing it I know a lot of folks will think it's worth every penny. 

Ravensword: Shadowlands is an evolution of the RPG / adventure game genre, bringing character skills, plenty of items to hunt for, and a decent storyline. The kicker is that it also has some of the most impressive visuals we've ever seen. Running through the world, both above ground and in dungeons, comes to life because of incredible 3D details. It's a very "Elder Scrolls" look and feel. Mounted combat, multiple weapon choices, enchantments and quests make the gameplay exciting, and it's all very playable. In addition, if you're using a Tegra 3 device like the Nexus 7, you'll also have some superb bloom effects, real-time shadows, and life-like ragdoll physics. 

There is no way we can give this a full review in just one day, but we wanted to let everyone know it's now available. We'll revisit after we've had a chance to hack and slash our way through a little more. For now, hit the break to see the gameplay trailer, and the Google Play link above will direct you to the download. 

More: TegraZone

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4 years ago

The Da Vinci Code free in the Play Store; Inferno prolouge and first chapter as a bonus

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Many times we get asked where good free books can be found for Android. Not only is this one free, but it also comes with some extra content. Dan Brown's runaway hit The Da Vinci Code can now be downloaded from Google Play Books for free until March 24 for your phone or tablet. Packaged with this e-copy are the prologue and first chapter from Brown's upcoming novel Inferno, available May 14.

As the fastest selling adult hardcover of all time, and second best in sales only to Harry Potter in 2004, this book has been hard to avoid - but if you've managed to do so, or just want to relive the mystery while getting a sneak peak at Inferno, make sure to hit that download link by the 24th.

Download

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4 years ago

Nexus 4 Bumpers in stock in the U.S. Google Play Store

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Perhaps one of the most sought after accessories on Google Play, the bumper case for Google's Nexus 4 is back in stock. Ever since the launch of the Nexus 4, Google has had problems getting these bumpers out to customers. Even those who ordered on launch day were told to expect delays up to 3 weeks. Since then, the availability of the bumpers has gone from back in stock, to out of stock, and even to "no longer available for sale." This forced Nexus 4 owners to either buy 3rd party bumpers, or pay incredibly inflated prices on sites like eBay.

While a tad expensive, the official bumper definitely has a fit and finish that compliments the Nexus 4 nicely. For a better look, check out our full review.

Hopefully Google has gotten their supply problems under control like they did with the phone itself. I wouldn't risk it though - if you've been waiting for one of these, order now.

Source: Google Play Store; thanks, Michael!

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4 years ago

The Greatest Android Podcast in the World returns tonight

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We're back, baby! After a couple of busy weeks and a schedule change or two, we're back to our regularly scheduled time and place tonight. There will be plenty of talk about phones, and CPUs, and Zoes, and life companions, as well as some discussion of what Google's been up to recently -- both good and bad.

So join Phil and the gang -- and, of course, the chat room -- live tonight at 1 a.m. GMT / 9 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. PDT for the live broadcast. You should be there. You will be there. You must be there. After all, you are what makes it the Greatest Android Podcast in the World.

Not at a computer? Pick up the free UStream Viewer from Google Play [link] and search for Mobile Nations a little before the show (it won't appear until we go live). We'll see you there!

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4 years ago

Huawei Ascend G700 leaks as an affordable option for the Chinese market

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Shortly after MWC we saw a leak of the Huawei Ascend G710, and now a very similar G700 is making an appearance online. The renders above, tweeted out by leakster @evleaks, show a device that falls in line with current Huawei design. According to some sleuthing on the part of Engadget, the plastic device will be sporting a 5-inch "HD" (assumedly 720p) display, along with 2GB of RAM and a MediaTek quad-core processor. The indication is that the device will eventually sell for around $300 unlocked, which would put it well under the recent flagship Ascend D2 and Ascend Mate.

Interestingly, those specs line up very similarly to those of the previously leaked G710 although the designs seem to be different. With very similar names, we'd expect these devices to slot into price points right next to each other. Don't get your hopes up for a U.S. launch though, these are likely bound for just the Chinese market.

Source: @evleaks; Via: Engadget

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia E officially on sale in the UK, costing £129.99

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Sony's latest entry level offering, the Xperia E, is now officially on sale in the UK. In the past it had been pegged for a February release, but retailer Clove Technology now has the device for sale for the pretty reasonable price of £129.99. 

Only the black versions are currently available -- white ones are due sometime in April. For your money, you're getting a solid entry level Android smartphone. Better still, it's a solid entry level smartphone running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Other specs include a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 3.5-inch HVGA display, 4GB of onboard storage, 512MB of RAM a microSD card slot and a respectable for its size, 1500mAh battery. 

This is by no means going to excite those that breathe bleeding edge devices, but the Xperia E also has a little party piece. Sony has released an experimental Firefox OS ROM for the Xperia E, so for those so inclined, it's not an overly expensive way of checking that out either. 

Source: Clove

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4 years ago

Droid RAZR HD and MAXX HD Android 4.1.2 update is live

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Droid RAZR HD and MAXX HD owners have started receiving an update for their devices. This latest OTA will bump both versions of the RAZR HD to Android 4.1.2, and comes with security patches from Google and a fix for data roaming.

Multiple software improvements have also been made. Detection of USB cables has been improved, as has the devices' Wifi connectivity. Wallpaper options have been added when selecting home screen icons, and the camera app has had improvements made to its touch-to-focus, notifications, and low light performance. Headset connectivity is better, as is pixelation in video streaming. Media sync problems should also be gone, now that sync more stable.

If you're rocking a Droid RAZR HD or MAXX HD, be sure to hit the forums and let us know how you're getting on..

Source: Droid Life

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4 years ago

Kobo Arc to receive Jelly Bean update starting today

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The 7-inch Kobo Arc (read our review), which was released just a couple of months ago, will start its Jelly Bean update rollout today. The update will bring everything you'd come to expect from Jelly Bean -- Project Butter, actionable notifications, Google Now and new keyboard functions. Presumably the update will still include Kobo's software customizations, which it calls the "Tapestries UI".

This seems to be just a basic updating of the OS, with other Kobo-specific updates being announced. That's completely fine with us -- Jelly Bean is a big jump up in overall functionality and usefulness. Happen to have a Kobo Arc and receive the update today? Let us know in the comments.

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4 years ago

Trapster 4.0: navigating through the latest update

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Trapster has been around for many years now, and although it has gone through a lot of changes since 2010 none may be as important as the move today to version 4.0. The newest version of Trapster leaves no portion of the interface or functionality untouched -- improvements can be found across the entire app. There's a new and user-friendly main interface, but the revamp goes all the way through to the settings.

Best of all, the mapping data has been improved substantially with the switch to the latest HERE Maps as the base, with a new 3D view and vector-based images. So what makes the new version of Trapster so great? Read on past the break and see what version 4.0 has to offer.

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 8GB on sale for $139.99 at 1saleaday

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Google's Nexus 7, one of the most popular tablets around, is available on 1saleaday for today only. These units are factory-refurbished versions of the 8GB model, which is no longer available directly from Google. They come with a 90-day warranty, as well as the AC adapter and micro-USB cable. At this price, you can grab yourself a Nexus 7 and the dock for less than the price of the cheapest model in the Play Store.

If Google sticks to a yearly refresh cycle for their tablets, we can expect a new version of the Nexus 7 tablet to be announced in less than two months. But if a deal is more important than having the latest and greatest, and you don't mind having 8GB of storage, then jump on this deal before it's gone.

1saleaday Wireless

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4 years ago

Turn the web into a phone-controlled 3D puzzle with Chrome's World Wide Maze

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Google's Chrome Experiments are wacky technological showcases designed to demonstrate what's possible with a modern web browser. And the latest of these experiments is a doozy -- World Wide Maze lets you turn your favorite website into a 3D marble-based puzzle.

To get started with World Wide Maze you'll need the latest desktop version of Chrome, and a phone running iOS 5 or Android 4.0 or greater. Next you synchronize your desktop and mobile browsers by entering a code, or using the Chrome Tab Sync feature. Then use a keyword search to find a site to turn into a maze -- an image heavy site like Android Central works pretty well.

Once Google's finished crunching the site in question, it'll be presented to you on your PC as a multi-level 3D maze -- think Marble Blast or Super Monkey Ball -- controlled by your smartphone's accelerometer and on-screen touch controls. Pretty cool!

Check out the Google Chrome World Wide Maze at the link below. Alternatively we've got an official video after the break.

Source: World Wide Maze; via: Engadget

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4 years ago

MetroPCS picks up Huawei Premia 4G

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MetroPC this morning announced the availability of the Huawei Premia 4G, a 4-inch Android smartphone. It's running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, has a 5-megapixel camera with Flash and is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. The display is covered with Gorilla Glass.

On the software side, expect MetroPCS to push the "joyn" feature, which adds video and Wifi-calling, instant messaging, and file sharing. You'll have to have a 4G LTE data plan to use it.

The Huawei Premia 4G is available today for $149.

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4 years ago

Nexus 4 back in stock at German Google Play Store

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The UK isn't the only country that's just seen a fresh influx of Nexus 4 stock at its Google Play Store. Today the official +Nexus Google+ page sends word that the coveted handset is now back in stock in Germany. The phone is available in 8GB and 16GB flavors for €299 and €349 respectively, and set to ship in 3 to 5 days.

(Incidentally, the phone's still in stock in the UK and shipping within the same timeframe)

Grab 'em at the links below --

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