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4 years ago

Is Google planning to launch a physical Wallet credit card?

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We'll smack a big old rumor sticker on this one for now, because it isn't real, until it's real. But, according to Android Police, who claim to have a leaked Google Wallet apk, a physical, Google Wallet credit card -- for your real wallet -- could well be on the horizon. 

We already know that something is afoot for Google's mobile payment service, after a recent sign up page appeared for whatever it is that Mountain View has in store for us next. But, if this all pans out, could we really be looking at a physical credit card linked to our Google Wallet accounts and all the associated credit cards? Sounds interesting.

The story goes that even from within the application itself, you will be able to request a physical card that will work just as a normal credit card does. This would mean that you could still get away with using Google Wallet in stores that haven't yet adopted NFC payments. Not just that, but apparently we'll be able to top up and withdraw money to and from our Google Wallet account, and transit cards are also allegedly on the way. 

A famous man once sung "Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?" -- Freddie Mercury, for anyone unsure -- Who knows for definite, only Google. But changes are-a-coming to Google Wallet, we do know that. For the rest, we'll have to wait it out and see what makes the final cut. 

Source: Android Police

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4 years ago

Images of the Samsung Stratosphere 2 leak out

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The original Samsung Stratosphere on Verizon was released in mid October last year, so given the way Verizon runs its product cycles this makes a whole lot of sense. Consistent leak source @evleaks just put up pictures of what convincingly looks like the Samsung Stratosphere 2 (SCH-I415), complete with Verizon branding. No word on official specs just yet, but we don't expect this one to be a screamer by any means. The original Stratosphere was a decidedly mid-range device, even right at its launch date. Still, it fills a spot as one of the last QWERTY slider devices with LTE available today.

These mid-range devices aren't made for the power users, but still hold an important spot in Verizon's yearly device portfolio.

Source: @evleaks

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4 years ago

LG Mach coming to Sprint November 11 too

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Alongside the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Sprint will also be kicking off the LG Mach on November 11 for $99.99 on contract. Oh, not to mention that preorders for the LG Optimus G went live this morning too

We've spent of a bit of time with both the LG Mach following Sprint's first announcement earlier this month. The specs are pretty middle-of-the-road, but you can judge for yourself.

  • Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 4” WVGA touch screen (480 x 800)
  • 8GB eMMC and microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
  • Battery: 1700mAh Li-ion
  • 3G/4G LTE Mobile Hotspot capability supporting up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously
  • Wi-Fi® 802.11 b/g/n
  • Dual Cameras: 5-megapixel rear-facing with flash and video capture and 0.3 megapixel VGA front-facing camera
  • Bluetooth 4.0

A quality slide-out keyboard is hard to find, nevermind one attached to a good smartphone. Any Sprint customers eyeballing the LG Mach, or do you need something a little higher-end? LTE isn't much of a selling point without the coverage, is it? 

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4 years ago

App updates rolling out for Google Chrome and Google Earth

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Updates are now pushing out for two major Google apps on the Google Play Store. First up is Google Chrome, the de facto default browser for Android 4.0 and above. ARM-based devices are updated to Chrome 18.0.1025464, while Intel-based phones like the Motorola RAZR i get version 18.0.1026320. The official Chrome release blog notes important stability fixes for the newly-announced Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, while the Play Store listing indicates performance improvements for all devices.

Meanwhile, Google Earth has been bumped up to version 7.0.1, which has been pushed out to fix a handful of remaining bugs.

Hit the Google Play Store on your device to grab today's updates. Or if you've yet to try them, you can pick up Chrome here and Google Earth here.

Source: Google Chrome Releases, Google Play

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4 years ago

LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 coming to Sprint November 11

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Following its announcement at MobileCON, Sprint has given us a date and pricetag for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. The tablet is due to hit stores on November 11 for $549.99 with a month-to-month plan. 

You can check out our full review and video to get a feel for what the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is all about, but here's a quick run-down. 

  • Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core processor (Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset)
  • 10.1-inch WXGA PLS TFT 1280 x 800 display
  • 7,000mAh Lithium-Ion battery
  • 1 GB RAM, 8GB ROM and microSD card slot supporting up to 64GB memory card
  • Personal and business email, as well as IM through Google Talk
  • Google Mobile wireless services such as Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps for Android, Google Calendar, Voice Actions and YouTube
  • 3G / 4G LTE mobile hotspot capability supporting up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously
  • Face Unlock uses state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to allow the user switch on the phone and look at it to get past the lock screen – no passwords to remember, nothing to type or swipe
  • AllShare Group Cast lets the user share a presentation or photo album in real time with multiple friends on the same Wi-Fi network
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

Seeing as Sprint's LTE network is still so young, I can't imagine it being overly burdened, but that also means coverage may still be a big issue, depending on where you live. Sprint's tablet data plans start at $14.99/month. Is it worth it for you, or does it make more sense to simply use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for a Wi-Fi-only tablet? Are there any LTE tablets you'd see worth getting a separate data plan for?

Source: Sprint

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4 years ago

Why you shouldn't worry about Android 4.2 updates

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Using a skinned version of Android? You’re already up-to-date on 4.1.

We’re not huge proponents of using the term “skin” to describe the manufacturer customizations put on most Android-based smartphones. In most cases, the changes are more than skin deep. Look at the latest versions of HTC’s Sense and Samsung’s TouchWiz and you’ll see features and UI changes that go beyond mere visual gimmicks. But it’s a term that most people are familiar with, so let’s stick with it.

So if you’re using a skinned Android phone, chances are you’re accustomed to waiting for software updates. It’s a fact of life for every non-Nexus smartphone. And with the announcement of Android 4.2 earlier this week comes the certainty of more waiting for updates to drop. Few devices are on Jelly Bean, and OEM updates already in the works will be based around 4.1 rather than 4.2. After that, there’s the standard maze of regulator and carrier approval processes to traverse, adding additional weeks to the update roll-out timeframe. And with the holidays looming, and CES and MWC approaching thereafter, we doubt we’ll see Android 4.2 on many current devices before spring 2013. Engineering effort will be spent getting new products ready for launch rather than chasing a minor OS update.

But really, that doesn’t matter. And the reason why goes to the heart of what Android 4.2 actually is. Before release it was referred to internally as Jelly Bean MR1 -- MR standing for “maintenance release.” And a glance down Android 4.2’s feature list further confirms that there’s not a whole lot of game-changing stuff to be found, rather additional polish to the existing Android UI. Hence the decision to stick with the Jelly Bean moniker -- Google is striking a balance between pushing out new features and allowing hardware partners to catch up.

Read on to find out exactly what's going on, and why owners of Sense or TouchWiz devices need not worry about Android 4.2.

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4 years ago

US Cellular announces 4G Motorola ELECTRIFY M, available Nov. 8

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US Cellular announced a new handset this morning, the 4G LTE-capable Motorola ELECTRIFY M. Just yesterday, the carrier announced upcoming expansions to their 4G LTE service, and today brings a new device that can take advantage of the higher speeds.

US Cellular's Motorola ELECTRIFY M will feature:

  • 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED Advanced display
  • Dual-core 1.5GHz processor
  • Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Android 4.04 (Ice Cream Sandwich); upgradeable to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • 8 MP rear-facing camera with HDR
  • 1.3 MP front-facing camera
  • 2000 mAh battery

The ELECTRIFY M will be available online next Thursday, Nov. 8 and in-stores on Nov 9 for $99 after a $100 mail-in rebate for customers who are in an area that supports 4G LTE. Elsewhere, you're looking at $149 after $100 mail-in rebate.

The full press release can be found after the break.

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4 years ago

Vodafone Huawei Ascend G300 gets Ice Cream Sandwich update

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Vodafone UK and Huawei have begun pushing out an update to Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich for the budget-friendly Ascend G300. The update is available as an over-the-air download, but Voda advises G300 owners that the update will delete all person data on the device, and so the carrier's offering a step-by-step walkthrough on its forum.

Ascend G300 owners are told to first download an update to the older Gingerbread-based ROM, then use a "quick backup" utility to save all personal data to their SD card. Later, after the ICS update is done installing, this can be restored from an SD card. It's not the most elegant ICS update procedure we've seen, but there are many entry-level phones that aren't getting ICS at all, so we'll concede that a messy ICS update is better than no update at all.

Full instructions can be found over at the source link.

Source: Vodafone eForum

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4 years ago

CM File Manager added to latest CyanogenMod 10 nightlies

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The CyanogenMod team has announced that as of the latest round of nightly builds, CyanogenMod 10 will include a new file manager app. The CM File Manager, developed by Jorge Ruesga, conforms to Android's "holo" design language, and is root-friendly, meaning it'll let you fiddle around with system files if you so desire.

The code was forked into CyanogenMod 10 last night, so if you pick up a CM10 nightly from today onwards, it'll include the new file manager app.

CM folks, be sure to let us know what you think of the app down in the comments!

Source: +CyanogenMod

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4 years ago

Sprint LG Optimus G available for pre-order starting today

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Today is November 1, and that means two things. Firstly it means the start of the 30 days of Movember for the Mobile Nations team, and secondly, today is pre-order day for the Sprint LG Optimus G. We've known it was coming for a couple of weeks now, but true to their word the Optimus G can be reserved today for $199 on a new 2-year contract. 

The LG Optimus G is simply a Goliath in the smartphone world when it comes to hardware. With the latest and greatest Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB of RAM, a gorgeous 4.7-inch IPS+ display and a 13MP camera on board, we know there's a good number of you guys out there that will be thinking long and hard about this one. Pre-order links can be found below, but while you ponder, be sure to check out our full review

Source: Sprint

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4 years ago

Movember app for Android review

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Righteous dudes the world over are preparing to get mustachioed for Movember, the international fundraiser for men's health. The charity originally focused on raising awareness for prostate cancer, but has since spread to include male mental  disorders. As a part of the movement, Movember has launched an app for Android where participants can keep track of their pledges, ping their various social networks for donations, check messages on their Mo Space wall, and snap photos of their stylish new facial accessory. The ladies can get involved as supporters, too. 

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4 years ago

Amazon Game Studios releases their first Android game, Air Patriots

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Amazon Game Studios launched their first Android game today called Air Patriots. It's basically Flight Control with a tower defense spin. Surprisingly, the game isn't being held back as an Amazon Appstore exclusive, so you can get downloading the free title on Google Play right now. 

Players pick a squadron of planes, draw their flight paths over an incoming army, and upgrade planes in between stages. There are only seven levels, but each has three difficulty levels and an endless survival mode. As a game published by Amazon, it's no surprise to hear that Whispersync cloud saving has been employed, as well as access to GameCircle for achievement tracking and socializing if you're playing on a Kindle Fire. 

I've played Air Patriots a little bit, and the gameplay is fun enough, even if it's sort of derivative. Anyone else try it? What do you think?

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4 years ago

Amazon releases Cloud Drive Photos app for Android

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Amazon has released a new app into the Google Play Store called Amazon Cloud Drive Photos. It allows you to view and download to your device photos that you have stored on your Amazon Cloud Drive. Amazon has steadily been adding more photo features to the service; last month we saw picture sharing and iPhoto export functionality added.

It is an interesting decision by Amazon to release a standalone app for photos rather than an all inclusive Cloud Drive app. But then again, many consumers want to view photos in an elegant way rather than in a file manager, so in that manner is makes sense.

The app's UI is designed quite nicely. When you open the app, you'll notice a similar look and feel to their Amazon MP3 app. Just like the music app, you'll be able to download any photos or albums to your device as you'd like and be able to view your entire collection in the cloud or only those stored on your device.

Do you think you'll use Amazon's Cloud Drive Photos app over the Gallery app or another photo app? Sing out in our comments or shout out in the Android Central Apps Forum.

The app is available for free from the Google Play Store.

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4 years ago

HTC One X+ retail unboxing and hardware tour

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We've got the HTC One X+ in our hands today, and it looks to be quite a beauty. However, for this particular post we are keeping things short and sweet. The above video is an unboxing of the retail SIM free version -- a quick tour of the final One X+ hardware, and assorted gubbins bundled with the device.

We'll be following up with a full software tour of HTC Sense 4+ in the next day or so. Yes, we may be teasing you slightly, but remember -- good things come to those who wait.

You can catch a reminder of the HTC One X+ specifications below and stay tuned for some more One X+ good stuff.

  • 1.7 GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2100mAh battery
  • 64GB of internal storage in the UK, other markets may vary
  •  4.7-inch laminated SuperLCD2 display at 720p (1280x720) resolution with Gorllla Glass 2
  • Internal speaker with built-in amplifier
  • 8.0MP rear camera with BSI sensor, f/2.0 lens and HTC ImageSense
  • 1.6MP front-facing camera with HTC ImageSense
  •  HSPA+ 42Mbps connectivity in Europe, LTE connectivity in the U.S.
  • Wifi, Bluetooth and NFC support
  •  Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS with HTC Sense 4+
  • Size: 134.36 x 69.9 x 8.9mm
  • Weight: 135 grams with battery

Thanks to Clove Technology for sending out the HTC One X+.

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4 years ago

Apple statement on Samsung tablets ruled non-compliant by UK court

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Apple given 48 hours to correct statement on its UK site

When Apple issued its legally-mandated statement, indicating that Samsung had not copied the iPad in its Android tablet range, we speculated that the British High Court might be displeased at the tone and content of the company's message. In the statement which remains linked at apple.com/uk, the iPad maker included a mandatory part about the UK court ruling in Samsung's favor, indicating that the South Korean firm had not copied Apple's tablet design. But in addition, Apple made reference to other cases in the U.S. and Germany where it had been successful in convincing judges that Samsung's designs were infringing. Apple's statement concluded -- "So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple's far more popular iPad."

Apple was also ordered to take out ads in a number of leading UK newspapers and tech publications, though these have yet to appear.

Today three High Court judges ruled Apple's online statement to be "non-compliant" with their order, giving the company 48 hours to replace the message on its site, and change the font to at least 11 points in size. According to reports from The Guardian, Apple attempted to argue that it'd take them 14 days to issue a changed statement, though this was rebuked by the judges.

Bloomberg quotes Judge Robin Jacob as saying, "I’m at a loss that a company such as Apple would do this. [...] That is a plain breach of the order."

Source: The GuardianBloomberg

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