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4 years ago

Fresh HTC Ville pics give a clearer look at HTC Sense 4.0

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Last Monday we got out first look at the HTC Ville, an upcoming handset that we're expecting to see unveiled at Mobile World Congress in a few weeks. Today four new photos of the phone have appeared over on Chinese forum ePrice, giving us a closer, clearer look at the currently unannounced device.

Judging by the icon placement, location, date, time and background, it looks like these images come from the same original source as last week's leaked video. However, unlike the video, these are of (reasonably) decent quality, showing off the chassis of the phone and HTC Sense 4.0's redesigned, geometric stylings.

Today's photos seem to confirm that version 4.0 will give HTC Sense it's biggest visual overhaul yet. The classic Sense dock is gone, replaced with ICS-style icons. And the iconic clock widget had undergone a few changes too, with more clean lines and less translucency. The lockscreen, however, seems to be more or less unchanged from Sense 3.x -- you've still got the familiar metal ring and four shortcuts. And in terms of industrial design, it's clear we're looking at a pretty thin device, with what seems to be slightly raised areas at the top and bottom of the back panel.

As with any unofficial leak, things can, and likely will change as the unveiling and eventual release approaches. We've got our fingers crossed for more HTC Ville goodness at MWC later this month. You'll find two more photos after the jump.

Source: ePrice; via: Phandroid

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4 years ago

Swype promises it's almost ready for Ice Cream Sandwich

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Here's one of those good news/bad news things, which we're going to tell in reverse. The bad news is that Swype, the uber-popular third-party keyboard that lets you trace your finger from letter to letter instead of pecking, still isn't ready for Ice Cream Sandwich devices, never mind that they've been available for a few months now.  The good news is that ICS is still only on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S. (Officially, anyway.)

The gooder news is that Swype's got an update waiting in the wings that will finally enable it on the latest version of the Android operating system. It's "only days away," Swype says on Twitter. And along with the Ice Cream Sandwich support, Swype's promising "more goodies" as well.

Here's to hoping one of those goodies is a release in the Android Market. While we understand Swype's decision to stick with a business model where it's preloaded onto devices by the carriers and not available in the Android Market, it's getting a little old. Having to run to the Swype website to get our "beta" copy (nudge nudge, wink wink, know what I mean?) hasn't gotten any more fun. We're not going to bet that we'll see a shift in that sometime soon, but we can certainly hope. 

Anyhoo, stay tuned. Swype for Ice Cream Sandwich is on the way.

Source: @Swype 1, 2

 

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4 years ago

There's no way Verizon's VDay Confessions contest could get risque, is there?

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Oh, this could get good. Verizon's cooking up a little Valentine's Day contest, wherein you can win a Motorola DROID RAZR. (Not a new RAZR MAXX? Lame.) The contest kicks off Feb. 13 and runs through Valentine's Day. To enter, you'll have tweet a "creative" Valentine's Day confession -- poems and pics are suggested -- and tag the stories with #tweetheart.

So, ya know, you could say something nice about your sweetie, something about along romantic dinner, maybe a walk through the park. Or we could well see sordid tales from the Red Light District. Because this is, after all, the Internet. 

Find out next week, we suppose.

More: @vdayconfessions

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4 years ago

Free Android Wallpaper of the day - Iowa Sunset

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Today's free Android Wallpaper comes to us from reader jcarley0830, who snapped this sunset on Jan. 31 in Altoona, Iowa, with a Canon T2i and an 18-55mm lens. 

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4 years ago

Latest Galaxy S III rumors suggest May launch, 7mm thickness

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We now know it won't be at Mobile World Congress, but that hasn't stopped the steady trickle of rumors relating to the Samsung Galaxy S III. The latest round of unconfirmed, unverifiable info comes from Korean site ETNews, which cites its own "industry insiders."

According to these sources, the phone includes such previously-rumored specs as Android 4.0, a quad-core CPU and LTE support -- none of which is particularly unsurprising for a Samsung flagship product in 2012. However, the most interesting rumor concerns the device's dimensions -- it's said to measure just 7mm thick, thanks to the introduction of thinner internal components. At 7mm, the Galaxy S III would still be a hair thicker than Huawei's P1S, but considering its souped-up internals, it's still incredibly impressive. That figure would see Samsung shave almost a millimeter and a half off the girth of the Galaxy S II, which measured 8.49mm.

Other rumored specs for the Galaxy S III include a 2MP front-facing camera and 8MP rear-facing shooter, which apparently protrudes slightly from the back of the device.

Looking further ahead, ETNews suggests that Samsung, apparently undeterred by lukewarm uptake of other 3D phones, may be planning to launch its own 3D smartphone later in the year.

Today's rumors indicate a possible May 2012 launch for the Galaxy S III, which certainly wouldn't surprise us, and would fit within the Samsung's previously-announced timeframe. In any case, we're expecting to hear more about the Galaxy S III sometime after Mobile World Congress.

Source: ETNews; Thanks, Erich!

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4 years ago

Kayak abandons BlackBerry, will support 'Googlerola phone' -- or other Android devices

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It's bad enough that when Kayak.com announced it was dropping support for its BlackBerry app that it said it was a "practical decision." That's gotta sting, right? (Even if it's true. Or especially if it's true.) But what really gave us a chuckle was Kayak's line about devices it will continue to support. 

"If you're thinking of switching to an iPhone, Googlerola phone, other Android device, Windows Phone 7 device, or a Nokia device, we will continue to innovate and maintain our free apps for you," Kayak's billo wrote on the company's news section. "Googlerola phone." Heh. Looks like we're not the only ones chomping at the bit to see what what comes out of the proposed merger (acquisition, really -- Motorola's getting about $12.5 billion out of it) between Google and Motorola. And Kayak, like many of you, is of the mind that soon enough in the future you'll have two classes of Android -- Googlerola, and everything else.

Google's Andy Rubin, of course, has said otherwise -- that Motorola continue to operate as a separate company, and that it doesn't have a lock on future Nexus phones. (Of the major smartphone manufacturers, HTC and Samsung have been tapped for the three Nexus devices.)

"We don't expect that to change at all," Rubin said back in August 2011. "The acquisition is going to be run as a separate business. They will be part of that bidding process, and part of that lead development process. And obviously Android remains open to other partners to use as they are today."

The two companies expect the merger to be finalized "in early 2012," meaning any time now, once regulatory approval is received.

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4 years ago

Rdio app updated with new interface, lock screen track control

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Rdio, a big-name streaming music service (and my personal favourite out of the bunch), today updated their Android app with some significant changes. The last update was this summer, and simply optimized the app for Ice Cream Sandwich. With the latest version, the home landing page is now a lot more helpful, offering quick links to trending tracks, new releases, and recommendations. Thanks to Android Ice Cream Sandwich, the app also lets you control tracks and view album art from, the lock screen. The app is also getting a bit more sociable; now you can also search for users, view their collections, and add them as friends from the app. That feature in particular is great, because I consider the social element the biggest benefit of Rdio. Search has been further tweaked so that you can filter results for only what's cached locally - ideal for those times that you want to get your tuneage, but don't want to kill your battery with streaming. 

As always, Rdio for Android lets you build up a personal collection of music out of a 12 million-track library, stream individual songs and playlists, sync up some songs to your phone for offline access, and discover new music through friends that are also using the service. Up here in Canada, we don't have access to Spotify and Pandora, so Rdio and Slacker are our only options for sharing mobile music to the Facebook stream. Slacker has some solid tailor-made stations, but I tend to side with Rdio for being more personal. 

Interested? You can find a download link and video demo of the update after the jump. Just keep in mind that you have to shell out $10/month for mobile access. 

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4 years ago

HTC posts final Q4 2011 financials, expects weaker Q1 2012

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HTC has published its final Q4 2011 financial results, confirming the 2.49% year-on-year slip in earnings revealed in last month's unaudited numbers. In the fourth quarter of last year, HTC brought in NT$101.42 billion, down from NT$104 during the same period in 2010. There was also a gloomy outlook for the first quarter of 2012, with projected revenues of NT$65-70 billion (down from NT$104.16 billion in Q1 2011), and a much lower operating margin of around 7.5%.

The manufacturer said the Q4 slump, and expected weakness in Q1 2012, were a "temporary phenomenon" due to its current "product cycle transition", as it looks to unveil new handsets at Mobile World Congress later this month.

HTC faced strong competition in late 2011, with a resurgent Apple launching the iPhone 4S, as well as growing dominance of the Android space by Korean rival Samsung. The company has recently indicated its plans to do more with fewer models in 2012, focusing on stronger "hero" devices.

New models unveiled in Barcelona in a few weeks are expected to include the "HTC Ville", which leaked last week, and the quad-core "HTC Edge."

Source: HTC

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4 years ago

Monday Brief: WP8 Features, Fitness Month, Free PlayBooks, and an iPad 3 Giveaway

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4 years ago

ShopAndroid Daily Giveaway No. 1: Galaxy Snap-On Cover, Galaxy SII Extended Battery & more!

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We're kicking off this week's ShopAndroid Daily Giveaway with a closer look at the Qmadix Galaxy Nexus Snap-on Cover, a Rezound Hard Shell, the Seidio Galaxy SII Extended Battery, and the Droid RAZER Case-Mate Tough Case.

Leave a comment stating which one of the featured accessories you'd like to have. We will pick a winner from each daily post Sunday at midnight. Pretty simple, right? Let's get this thing started.

Qmadix Snap-On Cover for Samsung/Verizon Galaxy Nexus

The Qmadix Snap-On Cover is form-fitted to your Samsung or Verizon Galaxy Nexus and features a textured rubberized exterior to allow a firm grip on your device.  The case is lightweight, and fairly thin-- keeping your Galaxy Nexus' slim profile as close as possible.  The Snap-on cover features cutouts for all of the Galaxy Nexus features, and leaves the screen exposed for full functionality. 

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4 years ago

White Galaxy Nexus is official, coming to the UK from Feb. 13

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Following reports from some online retailers early last month, we now have official confirmation from Samsung that the white Galaxy Nexus is the real deal, and will be going on sale next week in the UK. Sammy promises that the white (GSM) Galaxy Nexus will be making its way to "a range of stores across the country" from next Monday, Feb. 13.

Like last year's white Nexus S, the white Galaxy Nexus switches up the color of the chassis, rather than the bezel surrounding the screen. That means you'll get a classy white finish on the back and sides of the device, while the front is furnished in the same black glass as the original. Internally, it's the same Galaxy Nexus we all know and love.

So far we've heard nothing about any possible North American release for the white Galaxy Nexus, however our fingers are crossed for the launch of the Sprint LTE version later in the year.

We've got Samsung's press release after the break.

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4 years ago

Pantech Burst review

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The Pantech Burst is one of AT&T's latest LTE-enabled handsets, and it's clearly aimed at the first-time or budget-minded smartphone buyer.  That's a huge market, and this is the first time we've seen 4G LTE directed at it.  But two years is a long time, and you're wise to do a little homework before you sign that commitment, no matter how low the up-front cost is.  Hit the break and see what we think of the Pantech Burst.

 


The Super AMOLED screen is great.  Pantech has done very nice things to Android, while keeping an overall stock feel to things.  The $399 off-contract price is quite a bargain.


The poor battery life while on an LTE network is still a sticking point.  The benefits of a low upfront cost pale when considering the price of the contract.



The Burst is really a nice little phone.  But the other AT&T LTE handsets offer a little more in the way of customizations and features.  If you're going to sign-on for two years, you should get the best product available.  If you're looking for a solid and inexpensive LTE phone for AT&T, and buying outright, that's where the Burst shines.

Inside this review

More info

  • Pantech Burst specs
  • Pantech Burst forums
     

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4 years ago

DoubleTwist updated again, no longer requires payment for podcast streaming [updated]

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Update: As doubleTwist's Monique Farantzos points out, streaming podcasts is now free, but you still have to upgrade to the premium version to download, subscribe and manage podcasts.

Original: Seems that the guys over at doubleTwist have been listening to the comments from the community. The application has been updated again about a week after they first brought in podcast streaming, to remove the necessity to pay for them.

A lot of you out there weren't too impressed by the charge imposed to unlock the podcast feature. Considering you can sync your subscriptions from iTunes for free if you already shelled out for the AirSync add-on, it seemed a little steep. All that is put to bed now though, as with this latest update podcasts are available for all -- which naturally includes the worlds greatest Android podcast. No word on whether or not they intend to refund anyone who did fork out, but we're guessing that not many of you parted with your cash. 

Aside from this, we also get a couple of improvements elsewhere in the app. Fixes come for video and podcast position saving, last.fm scrobbling and general bug fixes. We also get support for the Ice Cream Sandwich lockscreen which is always a welcome addition. You'll find the download links after the break.

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4 years ago

Android Central international round-up - Feb. 5, 2012

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It's been another eventful week for Android news around the world. We've seen phone announcements, on-going legal skirmishes between Samsung and Apple, and confirmation that we won't see the Galaxy S III at Mobile World Congress later this month.

We also delivered our list of top European smartphones for the UK and Europe, and gave you the chance to win a HTC Sensation XL just by proving your superior Android knowledge.

Here are a few highlights from the past week in international Android developments --

Features

News

Got an international story? Tip us at the usual address!

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