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4 years ago

T-Mobile announces another 5 markets with 1900MHz HSPA+

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We saw T-Mobile light up three new markets just a few days ago with its "network modernization," and now its ready to announce five more. Network Modernization is a big deal for T-Mobile, as it brings improvements in voice and data traffic, better building penetration and overall improved signal strength. It also of course means that the carrier has deployed HSPA+ on the 1900MHz band in that market as well, which enables use of most GSM handsets sold in the world -- including AT&T branded devices. Users in the following markets should see the improved service live starting today:

  • Chicago, including the surrounding areas of: Aurora, Berwyn, Chicago Heights, Cicero, Des Plaines, Downers Grove, Evanston, Evergreen Park, Naperville, Oak Park, Schaumburg, Wilmette and Winnetka.
  • Reno, Nev.
  • Sacramento, Calif., including the surrounding areas of: Antelope, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Loomis, North Highlands, Rancho Cordova, Rio Linda, Rocklin, Roseville, Vacaville and West Sacramento.
  • Fresno, Calif.
  • Southern Calif., including: Alhambra, Anaheim, Claremont, Culver City, El Monte, Encino, Garden Grove, Granada Hills, Inglewood, Irvine, La Crescenta, Laguna Niguel, Monrovia, Monterey Park, Newport Beach, North Hills, North Hollywood, Paramount, Pasadena, Redlands, Reseda, Rosemead, Santa Ana, San Fernando, San Gabriel, Santa Monica, South El Monte, Temple City, Torrance, Upland, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Westminster and Wilmington.

This announcement brings the number of markets with 1900MHz HSPA+ up to 23 in total, which T-Mobile claims is covering 100 million Americans.

Source: T-Mobile

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4 years ago

Dell officially exits the smartphone market

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Although one could argue Dell never really was in the smartphone market, they did make several attempts to gain traction both on Android and Windows Phone. The Dell Streak and Venue Pro Windows Phone lines turned out to be pretty lackluster overall. Despite that fact, up until March Dell was still selling the devices on their web site but they've now finally disappeared.

Jeff Clarke, Dell's head of consumer business, confirmed Dell's lack of future smartphone intents at the recent Dell World conference stating "It needs a lot of investments to really be successful". For now, Dell will concentrate their efforts on PC's running Microsoft's Windows 8 and tablet computers based on Windows RT.

In speaking further of their Android ventures, Clarke noted “It’s a content play with Android. Amazon is selling books and Google is making it up with search. So far we couldn’t find a way to build a business on Android,” Android isn't being ignored though as Clarke also mentioned “It doesn’t mean we’re not looking at Android. You should come and see what’s in our labs.”

Source: Forbes via: PhoneScoop

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4 years ago

BBC iPlayer app updated with new UI, higher quality video and Android 4.2 support

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Also BBC Media Player improvements, including background audio playback

Yesterday the BBC detailed exactly what it's planning to do with its iPlayer app for Android over the next few months, highlighting the importance of tablet support, feature parity with iOS and improved video quality. Now it seems the first of those improvements have arrived, as the Beeb is now pushing out an update to version 1.5.0.666 of the TV and radio streaming app.

New features include better video quality over Wifi connections, a re-vamped UI more in keeping with Android's "Holo" design guidelines, and support for Android 4.2. Previously, it had been possible to use iPlayer on an Android 4.2 device, but only if it was installed before applying a 4.2 update. Today's app update means iPlayer has full support for the latest version of Google's OS, and can be directly downloaded onto newer devices like the Nexus 4. There's also support for Gaelic-language TV channel BBC Alba, which may be of interest to viewers in Scotland.

Alongside iPlayer, the BBC Media Player companion app has also been updated. That update brings similar improvements in video quality over Wifi, along with background audio playback support, including ICS lock screen controls, and "currently playing" info in the notification bar. This makes it possible to listen to radio content without keeping the app in focus and the screen switched on. The Beeb cautions that there are still issues with the Sony Xperia Arc running Android 4.0 on this version, however, so owners of that device may want to hold off updating.

Readers in the UK can hit the Google Play link above to grab the new version of iPlayer, or here for the BBC Media Player app.

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4 years ago

Google Calendar adds more actionable notifications, location improvements

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Google has updated the Calendar app to improve notifications, location entry and event creation today. We were very happy to see Google break Calendar out of Android and make it available to everyone (provided the device is on 4.0.3 or higher) in the Play Store back in October, and now we're seeing the fruits of that decision because updates can be rolled out independent of the OS.

Now when you create an event, the app will suggest proper locations as you type. For example when I type "Starbucks" in the location field, it will suggest specific addresses of store locations, much like the location field in Google Maps does currently. Additionally, when you receive a notification for the event, you can act on it by either snoozing or going directly to a map view of the location in the event.

This is a great update and we're glad Google is improving even on its most basic apps. It is an interesting update, however, because this is functionality that's already included as part of Google Now, which will alert you of upcoming events and even adjust the alert time based on traffic or other appointments. This is a good stopgap for devices that are on Ice Cream Sandwich and can use the new Calendar but not Google Now, but that group of devices will only be getting smaller as time goes on.

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4 years ago

Want to attend CES 2013 for Free? Now's your chance, thanks to the The Mobile Nations 2013 CES Experience!

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Do you love mobile gaming? Are you active on Twitter and Facebook? Do you spend hours on end posting in Mobile Nations' communities? More important, have you ever wanted to attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and are available the second week of January next year? If you answered YES to all of these questions -- have we got an experience lined up for you!

There's no doubt that CES in Las Vegas is an event any tech junkie MUST attend at least ONCE in his or her lifetime. All of the latest and greatest (and sometimes bizarre) tech is at CES -- it's something to see. And even better than going to an event like CES as an outsider is to go insider. That's why we are thrilled to announce the "Mobile Nations 2013 CES Experience," in which six lucky individuals will receive round-trip travel and accommodations for CES 2013, courtesy of NVIDIA Tegra! Woohoo! Keep reading for all the details

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4 years ago

The YotaPhone and its e-ink display gets shown off on video for the first time

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The YotaPhone from Russian broadband provider, Yota, was only unveiled yesterday with Android 4.2 and a second, e-ink display. It packs some pretty tasty specifications, but the difference maker is the e-ink display on the back -- or the front, whichever way you're looking at it. And, while we had a selection of renders to whet our appetite, what we really want is to see this thing in action. 

The good folks over at The Digital Reader stumbled upon this hands on video, shot with the Head of Software Development at Yota Devices. It shows off both sides of the device, the interesting looking gesture area that replaces the capacitive or on-screen buttons, and how some apps look when mirrored to the e-ink display. He goes through a series of use case scenarios for such a device, but no-one can say it isn't an interesting concept. It's also worth noting that it seems the on board storage and the final name of the device aren't yet decided. 

via The Digital Reader

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4 years ago

The 2012 Android Central Awards - voting is now open!

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Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the 2012 Android Central Awards. You've been listening to us go on and on and on and on (and on!) this year about Android smartphones and tablets and apps. Now it's your turn to have the definitive say in what's the best of the best from 2012 and have bragging rights going into 2013.

For the hardware side of things, we pared down the suggestions to what we think will be the most popular choices. But if we missed your favorite smartphone or tablet, no worries. Just give us your write-in candidate in the "Other" choice in each question. Apps of the year are completely up to you.

Voting for the 2012 Android Central Awards will remain open until 5 p.m. EST Dec. 21. We'll tally up the winners over the holiday break, then announce them shortly after the new year, so stay tuned for that. (And for those of you who rock the forums on a daily basis, be sure to vote in our Community Awards.)

Enough preamble.

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4 years ago

Facebook finally releases a native Android app

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After what seems like an eternity of dealing with a sluggish web view Facebook app on Android, the social media behemoth is finally releasing a new and improved version written in native code. Everyone got their hopes up when an improved, native app came to iOS a few months ago -- but the status of the Android version was still "coming soon."

The new version will drastically improve performance in critical areas such as load/resume times, navigating the timeline and loading of photo albums. Because much of the computation is now happening quickly on the device, there's no more waiting. Facebook's main descriptor when talking about the update is "fast," and keep stressing that this is a complete rebuilding of the app.

The update is now live in the Play Store at the link above. We're just getting through the features initially here and things are looking good. This one is definitely going to be a worth-while update for any Facebook users out there.

Source: Facebook; (2)

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4 years ago

iTunes snubs Android Central - all of Android, actually - in annual awards

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Bear with us, folks -- we're still coming to terms with this. Apple and iTunes have snubbed Android Central in its "Best of 2012" podcast listings. Instead, Apple, in its infinitely looped wisdom, has gone with some guy named Leo Laporte, a couple of people who apparently like to beat geeks, and a blue letter "e" for best technology podcasts of 2012. Hell, there's not even an Android category! Steve Jobs never would have let this happen.

But fear not. We will soldier on. The Greatest Android Podcast in the World will return yet again this evening for Episode No. 119, live at 9 p.m. EST, 2 a.m. (Thursday) GMT, and all points in between, where we once again will bring you the best of Android world, plus your e-mails and voicemails -- and we've got some stuff to give away this week, as well.

So join use tonight for the Android Central Podcast and help right this injustice. We'll be at androidcentral.com/live.

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4 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S3 gets Jelly Bean starting Dec. 14

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Friday's the day, folks, when the Verizon Galaxy S3 finally gets its official Android Jelly Bean update. The carrier has been teasing us with the support docs for a couple days now, and finally it's announced that Dec. 14 is the day the update will begin -- albeit in "phases," which is par for the course and means you might not get it first thing. Verizon says we should all be able to pull it manually within a week or so.

Also, Verizon says, the update will make it ISIS ready, which means the phone will work with the NFC-payment solution that's competing against Google Wallet.

Source: Verizon; More: Verizon Galaxy S3 forums

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4 years ago

Google introducing confirmed clicks into all mobile advertising banners

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Mobile ads are sometimes really, really annoying, but they serve a purpose -- devs got to get paid. However, perhaps the most frustrating  thing of all is when you accidentally tap on an ad banner, soon finding yourself nowhere near the app you were in. Google is putting an end to that today, with the announcement that confirmed clicks are to be implemented into all in-app image advertising banners on smartphones. 

It's incredibly simple, but sure to delight users around the globe. From their research, Google has deduced that the biggest majority of accidental clicks occur around the outer edges of the banners. So, going forward, taps in these areas will prompt a confirmation button to appear before heading out to any related websites. Google claims it will be good for the companies that are buying advertising, as they will be getting valuable clicks for their money instead of a number of people who didn't really care much for the advertised product or service. 

And, of course, it's fantastic news for us, the end user. People still get paid, and we lose a big source of frustration. 

Source: Google Mobile Ads Blog

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4 years ago

EVO 4G LTE - Jelly Bean update - NOW!!!

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OMG, it's finally here. As a reminder, here's the full changelog for Android 4.1, software version 3.15.651.16:

  • Upgrade to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • HTC Sense 4+
  • Improved camera capabilities and gallery
  • HTC Get Started Support - the HTC Get Started website lets customers set up their new smartphone from their home computer
  • Wi-Fi Authentication improvement
  • Personalized ringtone issue fixed
  • Hyperlinks routing to phone app from calendar description issue fixed
  • Calendar improvement

Get your download on, folks! Got to Settings>System updates>HTC Software Update>Check now to pull it.

And you can find more in our EVO 4G LTE forums.

More: Sprint

Thanks to Jonathan for the pic, and everyone else who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Barnes & Noble makes the Nook HD and Nook HD+ available at Walmart

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Tablets are hot property this Christmas, and there's no shortage of choice out there. One such choice is the Barnes & Noble Nook line, and today it has become a little easier to pick one up. Starting today, the Nook HD and Nook HD+ are available in Walmart stores across the U.S. and online. Costing from $199 for the Nook HD and $269 for the Nook HD+, in price at least, they're going head to head with Google's own Nexus 7. But, there's a tablet for everyone, and the 9-inch 1920x1280 display on the HD+ in particular could be a head turner at the price. Full press release can be found after the break. 

Source: Businesswire

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4 years ago

ZTE to unveil 5-inch Grand S at CES on January 8

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Show season is right around the corner, and as such we're subject to the usual rumor mill churning overtime. What we're seeing here though isn't one of those rumors, it appears to be cold hard facts. ZTE will announce the Grand S in a press event at CES 2013 in Las Vegas next month. The source -- the CES Press Event schedule page. 

Being unveiled on Jan. 8 in a press event at the main Convention Center in Las Vegas, the ZTE Grand S is the Chinese OEM's latest and greatest. It's a 5-inch device, with an FHD display. More so, it's supposedly the worlds thinnest 5-inch FHD smartphone -- although that market isn't exactly bursting at the seams right now. So, it's thinner than the HTC Droid DNA/Butterfly, and according to the folks at CNET, there'll be a quad-core processor of some variety in there as well. We'd expect Jelly Bean of some variety to be on there too, although there's no information at this time. 

The 5-inch market is expected to come alive during 2013, and it certainly looks like we're going to hit the ground running in January. Of course, Android Central will be on the ground in Las Vegas throughout to bring you everything you'll need to know. 

Source: CES via CNET

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4 years ago

Elf on the Shelf gets a new Android game

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The Elf on the Shelf is everywhere. That's kind of the point, right? It bounces around various spots in your home until Christmas, keeping an watch on who's naughty and who's nice, reporting back to Santa each night before staking out a new hiding place. You can't hop on Facebook or Instagram or walk through a store without seeing one of these things.

And, yes, the Elf has an app. A game, actually, with the slightly double-entendre'd title of "Slide n' Glide." (Remember, even Santa has a naughty side, too.) The premise is you move the Elf to determine how far a package will fly off a chute and onto a platform. Get all the presets loaded, and you move onto the next level.

More: See other Android kids games

It's a simple (and free!) game, and adults won't get much out of it. But your kids? Chances are we just found another reason they'll be fighting you for the phone. (Plus there are more than Slide n' Glide available.) We've got some demo video on a Galaxy S3 (the game apparently is having issues on some phones) after the break.

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