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4 years ago

C Spire announces it's getting the Galaxy S III

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The march of the Galaxy S III continues, with regional carrier C Spire announcing that it plans to carry Samsung's latest. Pricing and availability will be relayed "in the coming weeks," said the carrier formerly known as Cellular South. The GSIII will be one of C Spire's first LTE-capable devices, and the 4G network is still slated to launch in 20 markets in Mississippi in September.

C Spire didn't specify whether it'll carry both the 16- and 32-gigabyte versions of the phone, but it did mention that "it comes" in marble white and pebble blue, which suggests it'll carry both colors.

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4 years ago

Spotify for Android officially updated, all new UI and Last.fm scrobbling on board

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The Spotify app for Android has always been a let down to what is otherwise a first rate music streaming service. We recently got a preview of their latest efforts in the form of a preview edition, and the difference was staggering. For some people -- myself included -- it rekindled a love affair with the service. Suddenly, Spotify for Android had become beautiful as well as functional, following the Android 4.0 design themes superbly. Today sees the end of the preview, and the general release of the update into the Google Play Store.

But, not content with what we've already seen and played around with, Spotify has gone and added yet more new features. One of which being Last.fm scrobbling, another being a new widget. 

So, what do we actually get? The answer, quite a lot: 

  • Totally new app with full support for Android 4.0
  • Top-to-bottom redesign
  • All-new slide-out navigation
  • Even more social - check out friends’ profile pages and playlists on the go
  • Artist imagery in high resolution
  • Related artist view - available for the first time on mobile
  • ‘Extreme’ sound quality setting for 320kbps listening
  • So much faster!
  • Play queue
  • Last.fm scrobbling
  • Crossfade/gapless playback settings
  • Widget – control Spotify from the home screen
  • Folder support

The update now seems to be live in the Play Store, so head on over and grab yourselves a copy. As always though, please remember it does require a Spotify Premium account to use on mobile. But, if you've ever thought about signing up, now is definitely as good a time as any. 

Download: Spotify

Source: Spotify

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4 years ago

Verizon launches Share Everything Plans

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You knew it was coming. First, the death of Verizon's unlimited data plans, and Verizon today announced its new "Share Everything Plan," which lets up to 10 devices on a single account share data while keeping unlimited voice minutes and text messaging. Let's get right to it:

Initial smartphone access runs $40 a month. Voice minutes and text messages are unlimited. After that, you can share data with as many as 10 devices (so that'd be nine additional devices) with the following breakdown.

  • 1GB shared data - $50
  • 2GB shared data - $60
  • 4GB shared data - $70
  • 6GB shared data - $80
  • 8GB shared data - $90
  • 10GB shared data - $100

So, for example, say you and your spouse each have Android smartphones (as you well should). That's $80 up front. You could then share 4 gigabytes of data a month for $70, which brings you bill to $150 a month. Have an Android tablet? You can add one to the shared plan for another $10 a month.

Sweetening the deal just a little bit is that Wifi hotspot access is included. You'll be using the data from your bucket, but at least it won't cost you any extra for the privilege. 

The plans go into effect June 28.

So, who's jumping on board this one?

More: Share Everything Plans at Verizon Wireless

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III gets first official firmware update

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Samsung's latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S III, has received its first official firmware update, bringing the phone up to firmware version LF2. Right now we're seeing that the unlocked UK version of the Galaxy S III is the first to have the update pushed out through Kies, as well as over-the-air. Reports vary as to which route Galaxy S III owners are taking to grab the update, and we had to use Kies after our S III wasn't able to find any OTAs.

The update apparently includes "stability improvements," though we haven't noticed any immediate changes in our newly-updated Galaxy S III.

In any case, the latest firmware also boasts freshly-baked radios and kernel, and it's still based on Android 4.0.4, 'cause that's still the latest version. British S III owners should be able to update right now. Other territories should start to receive the update in the days ahead, so keep checking Kies and the built-in updater.

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4 years ago

Amazon Appstore set to finally launch in Europe this summer?

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We first got a hint of an International launch of the Amazon Appstore back in September of last year. Back then though, it turned out to be some kind of huge error on the part of Amazon, and access was soon revoked to anyone outside the US. If the latest rumors are to be believed however, Europe could finally be receiving official access as soon as this summer. 

Sources familiar with the matter have been speaking to the guys over at AllThingsD. And, while timing is a little vague at this moment in time, Amazon are apparently to announce plans next week over accepting app submissions from developers. 

The bigger question this poses -- will it be followed by a European launch of the Kindle Fire? While it is accepted that the Amazon Appstore monetizes well for developers, without the Kindle Fire following, many consumers will see little reason to use it aside from the daily free app. After all, Google Play offers up not only apps, but also books and movies too. Europe doesn't currently benefit from any of the Amazon online content services aside from the MP3 store, so we'll have to wait for the relevant deals to be done before there is any sniff of the Fire emerging. Bringing the Appstore could well be the first step though. 

Source: AllThingsD

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4 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy S II Ice Cream Sandwich update now live in Samsung Kies

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T-Mobile and Samsung have made the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy S II live and available via Samsung Kies. Because they have labeled this an "optional" update -- ICS brings a good many changes some may not like or want -- there will be no OTA firmware update. Yeah, we don't like Kies either, but what can you do?

Anyhoo, if you do want the optional update to 4.0.3, fire up Kies and follow the on-screen information to update to the latest available firmware. Besides all the goodness that comes with ICS, T-Mobile tells us there are enhancements to Wifi calling, the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), and enhancements to user voicemail. We're just glad ICS is finally here.

Source: T-Mobile; Samsung

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4 years ago

Trade One X for S III, LED Notification on the S III [From the Forums]

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Although it'd been a busy day elsewhere on the web, if you're looking to escape all that we have a spot where you can hang out. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below.

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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4 years ago

Linaro shows big improvements to Android 4.0.4 with ARM optimization

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If you're a fan of Linux on ARM hardware, you've probably heard of Linaro. If not, the short version is that they're a group of ultra-smart engineers who work on optimizing open-source and Linux software (and the tools to build them) for the ARM architecture. Yes, Linaro comprises the people who build the tools regular nerds use to build apps and software. Why am I rambling on about Linaro, you ask? First, because every embedded Linux nerd (hi there!) has a secret crush on the whole team, and also because they have shown off Ice Cream Sandwich built with their optimization process. It's fast. Very fast. Faster at benchmarks than you ever thought an OMAP 4430 could ever be. So much faster that it's going to translate into real-world benefits, unlike many of the other tweaks and tricks there are for Android.

How can this happen? In the video after the break, Bernhard Rosenkränzer, Android toolchain expert at Linaro,  puts it in perfect perspective. Google builds Android. Linaro takes it and tweaks it, squeezing out every bit of performance possible. Using the Android 4.0.4 source as a base, the fellows at Linaro have tweaked both the source (string routines in Bionic are mentioned by name) and the tools used to compile it. It's like those guys on TV who tinker with car engines to get performance that GM or Ford could never imagine. Make no mistake -- this is not something you can flash on your phone and make it work. Yet.

As Rosenkränzer explains, everything Linaro does is open source. The folks at CM can (and are) working with it, as well as the collective behind AOKP. Linaro is even submitting changes back to the Android Open Source Project so Google can review and use the tweaks that offer performance increase without affecting stability. Linaro working closely with Google would be like chocolate and peanut butter. This Linux and Android nerd hopes it happens. Be sure to watch the video after the break!

Source: CNX Software. More: Linaro

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4 years ago

Exclusive: Sprint Touch Wallet slides show carrier is serious about NFC wallet app

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Last week we heard that Sprint was developing their own NFC-based mobile wallet application, and today an insider has passed along to us a couple presentation slides to let us know that it's real. We don't yet have any specifics about participating financial partners, but based on the screens we see McDonald's, Barnes and Noble, Macy's, Target, Best Buy and others look to be on board (or at the very least used as examples) with either loyalty cards, or they'll accept full payments.

From what we can tell, it looks very much like Google's own Wallet app -- which for now has Sprint as its lone official carrier partner. Using a passcode, Touch Wallet is unlocked and you'll be presented with a screen of options, or if the phone is tapped to a card reader you'll see your credit cards presented. When it's all done, everything locks back up. Yeah, that sounds pretty familiar to everyone with a Nexus S 4G, doesn't it?

The biggest and most important questions are still unanswered. Namely, what bank partners will Sprint have, when will we see it unveiled, and will there be any extra security or lock-down on Touch Wallet enabled phones to keep things like this from happening. Nobody with those answers is talking just yet, but we expect to hear more sometime soon. 

Could this be the one for everyone to get behind? Maybe. With all the competing "standards" one will have to rise to the top before NFC wallets become more than a novelty in the US. We'll all just have to wait it out.

We've got one more pic after the break.

Thanks, Anon!

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4 years ago

Android A to Z: LG's L-series smartphones

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This time on Android A to Z we're going to be talking about LG's L-series phones. They made a big splash earlier this year at Mobile World Congress, and a few carriers in Canada jumped at the chance to sell them, but then they seem to have fallen off the map. I'll admit, even I have to look and see what we're talking about when we have potential news about the L3, L5, or L7. Let's have a refresh.

Imagine LG's Prada phone, but remade for folks who don't buy Prada. The L-series phones are all stylish (and really resemble LG's iconic Prada phones -- check out our look at them in Barcelona) and have an emphasis on good looks. The entry-level L3 competes with phones like HTC's One V and Samsung's entry-level Galaxy phones. It's running Gingerbread on a 3.2-inch display, but it looks nice doing it. Compared to something like the Motorola Defy Mini, you get good looks along with your dirt-cheap pricing. The L5 takes things up a notch to Ice Cream Sandwich and a 4-inch screen, placing it in the middle of the road where most people look first when buying a new smartphone. They'll see the L5, and notice the build materials and design. Finally, the L7 looks to compete with the big dogs of the Android world, with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a high-end smartphone, in a damn fine looking external shell. All three are eye-grabbing, and getting people to notice is the first hurdle. We're really not sure why we don't hear more and see more about them, but we're guessing a saturated market has something to do with it. 

Maybe we'll see the L-series phones make their way into the spotlight, maybe we won't. But at least now we all know what we're talking about when we see them mentioned.

Check out the complete Android Dictionary

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4 years ago

Max Payne Mobile for Android finally landing June 14

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The wait is almost over boys and girls, as Max Payne Mobile will finally shoot its way onto Android this coming Thursday, June 14. Fully optimized for Android, promising HD graphics and the full and uncut classic Max Payne experience, it looks like it will be worth the wait when we finally get our hands on it. 

Pricing is set at $2.99 from the Google Play Store, but as with GTAIII there is a slight catch. Officially at least, there is a compatibility list at launch of the lucky phones and tablets that will be able to play. Notably missing -- the Samsung Galaxy S III. We're sure that won't be for long though. The full list reads as follows: 

Supported Android Phones: Motorola Razr,  Razr Maxx, Motorola Atrix, Motorola Photon, Motorola Droid Bionic, HTC Rezound, HTC One X,  HTC One S,  HTC Evo 3D, HTC Sensation, HTC Droid Incredible 2,  Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Nexus S, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung S2, Samsung Galaxy R, Sony Xperia Play, Sony Xperia S, Sony Walkman Z Series Media Player

Supported Android Tablets: Acer Iconia, Asus Eee Pad Transformer, Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, Dell Streak 7, LG Optimus Pad, Medion Lifetab, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 / 10.1, Sony Tablet S, Sony Tablet P, Toshiba Thrive, HTC Flyer, HTC Jetstream

Source: Rockstar Games

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4 years ago

Euro 2012 Live Wallpaper lets you cheer on your team and play with balls!

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If you're a fan of The Beautiful Game (that's soccer for you Americans), you've no doubt been taking in some of the action already coming out of EURO 2012. Poland and Ukraine are hosting this year, and if the first few games are an indicator we're going to see a lot of awesome football games over the next few weeks.

And thanks to the new Adidas Euro 2012 live wallpaper you can cheer on your favorite team right from your Android 2.2 or greater device by placing the national flag of one of the 16 qualifying countries onto the homescreen soccer field. You can also customize the halfway lines to reflect the host countries.

The best part of this live wallpaper? You get to have fun playing with balls! You can select to have from one to five "Tango 12" Match balls appear on the homescreen, which you can kick, tap and volley around. Check out the video above to see it in action. My words don't do it justice.

This Euro 2012 live wallpaper is free so jump on over to the Google Play store to grab it. And while you're waiting for it to download, be sure to leave us a comment and tell us who you're cheering for. I'm Polish/Ukrainian (50/50) by descent, but being engaged to an Italian (and seeing what happens when they lose) I'm cheering for Italy all the way!

Get your download on after the break.

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4 years ago

Apple ditches Google Maps for its own solution

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We knew it was going to happen, right? Apple has ditched Google Maps for iOS, rolling its own in-house cartographic solution, including turn-by-turn navigation, which has never been as good on the fruit phone as it has on Android.

What's that mean for us? Not a whole hell of a lot, and it's not like Google's been resting on its mapping laurels. It was just last week that El Goog announced some major 3D renovations, which will be coming to Android along with offline access. We'll be just fine, thank you very much.

Also: iMore's WWDC coverage

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4 years ago

Galaxy S III case review: official clear TPU case

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If you've just blown £500 or so on a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S III (or committed to a new 24-month contract to get a subsidized model), you'll want to do everything you can to prevent it from knocks and scrapes. One of the first cases to appear for the S III on the European launch day was the official clear TPU case, manufactured by Anymode. This is a basic flexible plastic shell that matches the curved design of the S III, and features raised areas along the sides to allow easy pressing of the power button and volume rocker. And you've also got cut-outs for the LED flash, camera, rear speaker, mics, headphone jack and microUSB port. The case extends around the edge of the device, covering the corners, which are most susceptible to damage from falls or sudden impacts.

Texture-wise, the case is typical of most TPU offerings -- it's flexible and a little plasticky, without awkward rubber-like feeling that characterizes some silicone cases. Its flexibility means it's easy enough to put on or remove from the phone, while the patterned area inside the case grips the back of the phone securely to avoid slippage.

As it's transparent, you won't be upsetting the aesthetics of the Galaxy S III too much. The extra thickness isn't all that noticeable during regular use, or when the two are pocketed. Our only design concern stems from the slightly rough edges of the case, likely caused by the molding process, though that's true of many cases of this kind.

The clear TPU case for the Samsung Galaxy S III is available for around £15 from retailers in the UK. We've got more photos after the break.

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4 years ago

Ford SYNC and AppLink for Android set to expand globally

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Back during CES 2012 we got a real good look at all the things Ford was doing with their Sync service including the deep integration with Android and AppLink. Having put it all to the test in the U.S. Ford has now announced they'll be expanding the offerings globally with the introduction of the services to Asia.

“We will continue to work closely with leading developers and companies in local markets and around the world to make existing apps compatible with SYNC AppLink and provide the best services for our customers,” Ed Pleet, Director, Connected Services, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, and Europe.

To help expand the offerings, Ford will be working with developers locally to create localized content using the SYNC Developer SDK. On hand at Computex 2012, Ford will be hosting a hackathon with Ford engineers to help developers started on integration applications and more. The full press release from Ford is available below.

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