Headlines

2 years ago

Amazon Kindle Fire official at $199, ships Nov. 15

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There it is, folks. The Amazon Kindle Fire. Looking a little more like an e-reader than a tablet -- though it certainly does resemble the BlackBerry PlayBook on which it's based -- the Kindle Fire's getting its official announcement this morning in New  York. The 7-inch device will run a version of Android, but don't expect it to look or feel like a top-shelf tablet.

Price, however, may be its killer feature. At just $199, it pretty much undercuts everything available today, including the highly popular Barnes & Noble NOOK Color.

It'll ship Nov. 15.

Specs include:

  • 14.6 ounces
  • 7-inch IPS display at 1024x600
  • Gorilla Glass
  • 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP processor
  • Wifi-only
  • Whispersync
  • Amazon Silk browser
  • WiFi, no 3G option
  • 8GB of on-board storage

Source: Bloomberg
More: Amazon Kindle Fire Forums

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2 years ago

HTC invites fans to London for Beats Audio event

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HTC UK is using its Facebook page to invite fans to London to celebrate the launch of "HTC with Beats Audio", in a party at London's Roundhouse next Thursday, Oct. 6. The party, which follows on from a press conference earlier in the day, features performances by Fedde le Grand, Martin Solveig as well as a "surprise headliner." More importantly, we'll also be there.

As far as shiny new HTC products go, we can probably expect an appearance from its new flagship phone, the Sensation XE. And we wouldn't be surprised to see an official unveiling of the frequently-leaked HTC Runnymede, either.

HTC has 1001 spaces available, which it'll fill with a random selection of applicants. To apply for your ticket, you can head over to HTC UK on Facebook and click the button. If you want to bring a friend, there's also the option to apply for two tickets.

Source: HTC UK on Facebook

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2 years ago

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light to arrive first on Xperia Play

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Looks like Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play has scored yet another Android gaming exclusive. This time Xperia Play owners will get first access to Square Enix's Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, an isometric adventure/puzzle game based on the Tomb Raider franchise.

Guardian of Light, which first appeared on consoles and PC last August, will launch on the Xperia Play this November. The game joins other notable Xperia Play timed exclusives, including Minecraft and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. In addition, Sony Ericsson is promising "more established hits" from Square Enix in the coming months.

Join us after the jump for the full presser.

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2 years ago

Microsoft, Samsung reach licensing deal over Android smartphones, tablets

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Samsung will pay Microsoft royalties for smartphones and tablets running Android. A cross-licensing deal reach between the two companies was announced Wednesday morning. And while that means both companies will receive "broad coverage for each [other's] products," Microsoft's also going to be getting money in the deal. As for how much money per device? That wasn't disclosed.

Here's the official word:

REDMOND, Wash — Sept. 28, 2011 — Microsoft announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., to cross-license the patent portfolios of both companies, providing broad coverage for each company’s products. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will receive royalties for Samsung’s mobile phones and tablets running the Android mobile platform. In addition, the companies agreed to cooperate in the development and marketing of Windows Phone.

“Microsoft and Samsung see the opportunity for dramatic growth in Windows Phone and we’re investing to make that a reality,” said Andy Lees, president, Windows Phone Division, Microsoft. “Microsoft believes in a model where all our partners can grow and profit based on our platform.”

“Through the cross-licensing of our respective patent portfolios, Samsung and Microsoft can continue to bring the latest innovations to the mobile industry,” said Dr. Won-Pyo Hong, executive vice president of global product strategy at Samsung’s mobile communication division. “We are pleased to build upon our long history of working together to open a new chapter of collaboration beginning with our Windows Phone “Mango” launch this fall.”

This is just the latest licensing deal involving Microsoft and Android device manufacturers. Acer and Viewsonic reached deals earlier this month, and HTC already had one in place.

No matter how broken the current patent system may be, this is still the way it's done, folks. And while it might not be the one you hoped for, it's certainly better than lawsuit after lawsuit, no?

Source: Microsoft

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2 years ago

LG Esteem gets official on MetroPCS

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The LG Esteem -- a phone we first told you about last week -- has been officially announced for MetroPCS. Specs are pretty much as we told you:

  • 4.3-inch display
  • Gorilla Glass
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 1GHz Snapdragon processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 8GB on-board storage
  • 5MP rear camera (capable of 720p video recording)
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 1500mAh battery
  • DLNA streaming
  • Metro PCS' CDMA/LTE network.

The LG Esteem will cost $249 after $100 mail-in rebate. No-contract data plans run $50 or $60, with the latter giving you access to unlimited music from Rhapsody or videos from MetroSTUDIO.

Source: MetroPCS; Also: LG Esteem product page
More in the LG Esteem forums

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2 years ago

ASUS EeePad Transformer update to bring Android 3.2.1, fixes

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Read our ASUS EeePad Transformer Review!

ASUS today dropped word on its Facebook page about an impending update to the EeePad Transformer. Here's what's in store:

  • Google Update: Android 3.2.1: Security enhancement
  • New Feature: Supernote
  • IME/Translation: Added Farsi IME support; Czech IME improvement : support Qwerty & Qwertz; JP SKU fixed translation bug and Polaris office font; Added more language translation into ASUS App
  • App Updates: CN SKU 3rd party app bug fix; Polaris office & ASUS WebStorage update
  • Improvements: Browser with Adobe Flash improvement; ex: YouTube; Browser force-close improvement; Improve Wi-Fi stability; Improve Chinese handwriting prediction : recognize character from each stroke

Looks like some are seeing the update push out now.

More in the Transformer forums

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2 years ago

HTC ThunderBolt's Gingerbread update pushing out now!

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The word is spreading like wildfire in our ThunderBolt forums -- the Android 2.3.4 update for HTC ThunderBolt is finally pushing out. Go to Settings>Software update>Check new to start the download. Then sit back, open a cool tall one, and let the Gingerbread flow. You've waited long enough.

More: HTC ThunderBolt forums

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2 years ago

Sprint halts Optimus S Gingerbread update

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While many folks celebrated the release of Gingerbread for the LG Optimus S on Sprint, seemingly not all went as planned. A number of users have ran into some issues with the update as listed below:

  • Device not charging
  • No access to data services
  • SD card un-mounted or removed message
  • Device is not recognized by Windows XP, Vista, or 7 when connected to a PC
  • Predictive text with the Android keyboard is not working

Sprint has been actively tracking the issues as well as some of the possible workarounds for the situations listed above. No date has been set for a fixed version of the update but they are working to get things sorted out as soon as possible. Until then, it's probably best you stay away from the update.

Source: Sprint (1); via: Android Central Forums

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2 years ago

Toshiba announces the Thrive 7" Android tablet, available in December

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The Toshiba Thrive was one of the first 10-inch Android Honeycomb tablets with full-size port -- and it'll be joining the expanding ranks of 7-inch tablets come December.

Officially dubbed the Toshiba Thrive 7", it'll sport a 1280x800 resolution with Toshiba's Adaptive Display and Resolution+ video enhancements, stereo speakers, a 5MP rear camera and 2MP front camera, and be available in either 16- or 32-gigabytes. It'll run Android 3.2, powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual processor.

But back to the size. It'll weigh less than a pound at 14.1 ounces and is 0.47 inches thick. It's not skimping on ports, either, with miniUSB, microHDMI and a microSD card slot.

Pricing has yet to be announced. The full presser is after the break, and you can find more images here.

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2 years ago

ITC to investigate Apple over HTC's patent complaints

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Tech Armageddon continues, and now the ITC (International Trade Commission) will be launching an investigation against Apple Computer Corp. over disputes brought by HTC earlier this year.  TechCrunch reports (by way of BusinessWeek) a basic description of the patents in question as:

The patents in the ITC case relate to an interface that lets the user add identifiers such as .com or .org; an interface that enlarges characters being typed; a way to display information on mobile devices; and status bars that let a user check phone calls, text messages or calendar events.

The investigation itself goes well beyond the smartphone arena -- the ITC states it will cover "computers, tablet computers, and smartphones."  It's worth noting that some of the patents in question were granted to HTC by Google, who so far has stayed out of the current tech courtroom drama it's OEM's are involved in. 

As always, it's the consumer who will be the biggest loser here.  Licensing agreements will be worked out, and that cost will be funneled down to all of us.  It's a war with no winners.

Source: ITC; via Tech Crunch

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