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4 years ago

Best Buy changes its tune, has no idea when the EVO 4G LTE is shipping


Can't say we're overly surprised to see this one, but it doesn't make it any less disappointing. Best Buy early today sent ​another​ e-mail to customers who preordered the HTC EVO 4G LTE, saying that, whoopsie, it doesn't actually know when the Customs hold will lift and the EVO will be allowed to ship. This comes less than a day after Best Buy got hopes up by saying May 23 was the new target date, which was quickly followed by HTC telling us it had nothing new to announce. So, yeah.

And yes, there are plenty of "insider" sources feeding possible dates, too. But this thing's going to get out of hand right quick. Hopefully we'll hear something official from Sprint of HTC soon.

More in the EVO 4G LTE forums; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III sees 9 million pre-orders



Yes you read that correctly, according to a report from ​Korea Economic Daily​ a Samsung executive let it slip that 9 million units have been pre-ordered.  Let that sink in for a minute.  It wasn't that long ago that the Galaxy S II hit the 20 million mark, and now we have its successor reaching half that lofty goal before it's been released.  Impressive to be sure, especially since the US, a large smartphone market, won't see it released until June at the earliest.

With Samsung taking the lions share of phone sales worldwide is there anything that can be done to stop their dominance in the market?  With all the rumors, hype, and expectations leading up to the launch, we already knew Samsung would have a hit on their hands.  Even after the initial euphoria wore off, we were still impressed with what Samsung has done with the Galaxy S III.  While the vote was almost dead even between this and the HTC One X, odds are good that the Galaxy S III won't get stuck in customs.

Jealous of our friends overseas?  Have questions about the phone?  Find your answers in the forums.

Source: Korea Economic Daily; via: Engadget

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4 years ago

HTC EVO 4G LTE RUU now available - let the games begin


We're still waiting for word on when to expect the HTC EVO 4G LTE on the shelves at Sprint, but that wasn't enough to keep the RUU from leaking out. Football has posted the file up for the folks who want to get an early start on the device ROMs, so things should be looking sweet shortly if you're in to that sort of thing -- and we know plenty of you are. Keep in mind this isn't something you should be fooling with if you don't know what you're doing, just let your favorite developers do their thing with.

Now if only they could make their way out of jail.

Source: XDA; via Android  Central forums

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4 years ago

DoubleTwist announces 2 million daily active users, celebrates with special app sale


The folks from DoubleTwist have announced a major milestone for their company. People all over the world are now making use of their app daily to listen to music, view videos and take in podcasts -- 2 million of them in fact. To celebrate the milestone they're having a sale, doubleTwist Player in-app upgrades, AirSync and doubleTwist Alarm Clock are all on sale right now for 50% off their original price. Congrats to doubleTwist on their achievements, now hit the link below to grab yourself some of their apps!

DoubleTwist Apps In The Google Play Store

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4 years ago

HTC one X vs. Galaxy Nexus, Could the Galaxy S III become an Apple target? [From the Forums]


We're getting ramped up for the Android Central podcast right now but in case you missed out on anything today -- get yourself caught up. Need to know what we'll be talking about? Head on back ohhh... 5-6 pages. If you're looking for something to do before we kick things off, check out the threads below from the Android Central Forums.

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

Motorola XOOM WiFi Android 4.0.3 OTA now available in Canada


Although Motorola Xoom WiFi owners in the US have had Android 4.0.4 for quite some time now, Android 4.0.3 is only just now pushing out to folks in Canada. As noted in the Android Central Forums, the update went live earlier today for the masses. Checking with Motorola also shows that to be the case, as they've highlighted the update via their website.

  • Updated Browser with faster rendering, zoom and pan Users can also now save pages for offline reading and request desktop versions of websites.
  • Swipe to dismiss notifications, tasks, and browser tabs You can now dismiss individual notifications, apps from the Recent Apps list, and browser tabs with a simple swipe of a finger.
  • Redesigned app launcher In All Apps launcher, you can now simply drag an app to get information about it, immediately uninstall it, or disable a pre-installed app.
  • New System Font for Improved Readability An entirely new typeface (called Roboto) optimized for high resolution screens improves readability and brings a polished feel to the user interface.
  • Updated "People" Application Replaces contacts and integrates seamlessly with Google+ and other social networks.
  • Improved text input and spell-checking The keyboard now features improved accuracy to make text input faster. It also now includes an in-line spell checker to make corrections easier.
  • Type with your voice Now you can simply touch the microphone on the keyboard and start talking to write emails, SMS, or any other text-more than 20 languages supported. Text appears in real time, so there's no waiting for server processing.
  • Richer and versatile imaging capabilities For capturing larger scenes, the camera introduces a single motion panorama mode. Also, you can now take still shots while shooting video just by tapping the screen as video continues to record. You can also launch camera directly from the Lockscreen. When you shoot videos, you can now choose from a number of silly faces and other fun effects which recognize individual facial features so you can give your friends big eyes, squeeze heads, make noses bigger, or change the scenery with background replacement.
  • Redesigned Gallery app with photo editor To help pictures look their best, the Gallery now offers a powerful photo editor so you can crop and rotate pictures, set levels, remove red eyes, add effects, and much more.
  • Richer, resizable widgets You can expand widgets to show more content, or shrink them to save space.

If you're rooted, you may need to return back to stock in order to apply the update but no matter -- you can root your Motorola Xoom once again after the update is applied. With the update having been tested aplenty on the US version already, you shouldn't run into any issues with it. If so, head on into the Android Central Forums to get yourself some help.

Source: Motorola Canada, via: Android Central Forums

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4 years ago

Samsung opening first Samsung Store in Canada


Samsung is moving into Burnaby, B.C. Samsung Electronics Canada has announced construction of the first Samsung Store set to open Summer 2012. As noted in the press release, Samsung is planning to offer plenty of interactive experiences at the new location by offering in-store education programs, labs and hands-on experiences.

"Samsung is excited to bring a new level of retail experience to Canadians," said James Politeski, President of Samsung Electronics Canada. "Our vision is to provide an immersive space where consumers can interact with our products in totally new ways and enjoy unprecedented service levels."

Samsung notes that this is the first Samsung Store to be opened in Canada though, there is no mention of the possibility of other locations opening up. Exact dates for the opening were left out as well, so it'll be something to look forward to for Canadian Samsung fans.

Source: Newswire, via: Mobile Syrup

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4 years ago

Verizon clarifies new data plan policies


After yesterday's news of Verizon killing off unlimited data plans for grandfathered users, we were left with a lot of questions. That will happen when you don't get official word about changes, and analysts and pundits alike are forced to hypothesize. Luckily, Verizon has released some more official news about what to expect with their new shared data plans, and how this will affect current customers with unlimited data plans. Here's the full statement --

As we have stated publicly, Verizon Wireless has been evaluating its pricing structure for some time.  Customers have told us that they want to share data, similar to how they share minutes today.  We are working on plans to provide customers with that option and will introduce new plans later this year.

When the new options are introduced, Unlimited Data will no longer be available to our customers purchasing handsets and signing a new contract. Customers who choose to purchase phones at full retail price and are currently on an unlimited smartphone data plan will be able to keep that plan. The same pricing and policies will apply to all 3G and 4GLTE smartphones.

We will share specific details of the plans well in advance of their introduction so customers will have time to evaluate the plans and make the best decisions for their wireless service.  It is our goal and commitment to continue to provide customers with the same high value service they have come to expect from Verizon Wireless.

It seems as if yesterdays speculation was on the mark, and Verizon will be pushing folks with a grandfathered unlimited data plan to the new shared data plans whenever a new contract is signed. Thankfully, there is a way out -- pay full price for your phone or tablet, and don't sign a new contract. Of course that's not a good solution for many folks, and with no subsidy a lot of the value of sticking with a carrier is lost. It's not the news many were hoping for, but at least we're all aware of the situation now. We're all interested to see more specific details about fees and data cap sizes as they are announced.

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

Week one of the TegraZone Player's Choice awards is done, let's announce a winner!


The first week of NVIDIA's TegraZone Player's Choice awards has run its course, and that means two things -- the first is that you only have two weeks left to hit the TegraZone contest page and vote for your favorite games and developers, and the second is that we need to announce a winner of our own prize giveaway. Let's do that!

Congrats, cckgz4! You just won a killer ASUS Transformer Pad TF 300 from your pals at ASUS, NVIDIA, and AC. Check your e-mail for details.

It's a great piece of gear, and Ice Cream Sandwich runs lovely on it. But let's be honest -- the highlight of the TF300 is the Tegra 3 that's packed away inside it, and the incredible Tegra optimized games available. They bring things to an entirely new level, and it seems like each new game released pushes the envelope even further -- the gameplay on Sonic 4: Episode II is simply amazing. 

With week one over, it's time to start week two. You'll want to be sure to hit the TegraZone and vote, where they are giving away seven prize packs consisting of the TF300, a keyboard dock (a must-have accessory!), a Logitech wireless controller, and a Jambox portable Bluetooth speaker. It's like a personal arcade, but with better games! When you're done there, jump into the Android contest forums and enter our own giveaway, as AUSU and NVIDIA have partnered with us to give away another prize pack each week for the duration. 

You don't want to miss this opportunity, so be sure to throw your name into the ring and try your luck. At the same time, hard working developers get a bit of recognition, as NVIDIA will be hosting a special event for them at E3 on June 6. 



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4 years ago

Temple Run updated to address compatibility issues with Android 4.0 devices


If you've been having any sort of issues playing Temple Run on your Android device now would be a good time to check for updates. The team at Imangi Studios has now released the latest update to the game and it has plenty of bug fixes and improvements added that will hopefully make the in-game experience better for all.

  • Fixed many compatibility issues with Android 4.x ICS devices
  • Fixed bug that caused low resolution textures to be used on high DPI devices
  • General bug fixes and improvements

Personally, I never had any issues with it on my Galaxy Nexus in the past but there seems to of have been enough reported concerns for Imangi Studios to correct whatever the issues were. If you had issues try out the latest build and see how it works. Remember, if you're still experiencing problems -- reach out to the developers. They're openly asking for feedback so give it to them if need be. As always, download link is below in case you've not yet checked out Temple Run.

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4 years ago

Best Buy sending e-mails saying EVO 4G LTE preorders ship May 23


Our inbox and our EVO 4G LTE forums have just lit up with some potentially good news -- Best Buy is letting pre-order customers know that they're expecting a May 23 release date of the phone that's currently hung up in Customs. We just checked back in with HTC, and it's got nothing new on its end, but at this point any movement is welcomed. 

The EVO was supposed to be released at 8 a.m. Friday, May 18. But it and AT&T's HTC One X, which has been listed as out of stock for several days, have been held for review by the International Trade commission over issues with patents own by Apple. (If you haven't seen it, The Verge has nice piece showing that HTC has worked around the patent in question, so it's unclear whether there's a substantiative holdup, or if the delay is bureaucratic.)

On Wednesday, Sprint on its Community blog acknowledged that the EVO was being delayed by the Customs hold. All other questions have been referred to HTC.

It should be mentioned that Best Buy's new shipping date doesn't necessarily have to match up with Sprint's (or anyone else's for that matter), so stick around and hopefully we'll get something a little more official soon.

More: EVO 4G LTE forums; thanks, Rodrigo, and everyone else who sent this in!

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4 years ago

HTC One S now available on TELUS


Canadian service provider TELUS today announced the availability of the HTC One S for $99.99 on a three-year contract, or $569.99 with no contract. The HTC One S made its way to T-Mobile U.S. late last month following on the European release, but for those unfamiliar, here's a quick refresher on the specs.

  • 4.3-inch 960 x 540 SuperAMOLED display
  • Android 4.0.3 with HTC sense
  • 1.5 GHZ dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor with 1 GB of RAM
  • 42 Mbps HSPA+ connectivity

If you're thinking of picking one up from the TELUS online store, be sure to read at least one (if not two) of our reviews first. The non-removable battery and storage might be a bit of a turn off, and the PenTile display may not stack up to some of the competition, but it still feels great in the hand, and has an awesome camera. Any takers? Perhaps some testimonials from our American neighbours could sway some opinions.

More: HTC One X forums

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4 years ago

T-Mobile introduces new mobile broadband service passes


T-Mobile announced today that it is reshaping its no-contract mobile broadband packages for its 4G tablets, hotspots, and laptop sticks. Beginning May 20, customers will be able to choose between the following pay-as-you-go data plans:

  • 300MB 1-week pass for $15
  • 1.5GB 1-month pass for $25
  • 3.5GB 1-month pass for $35
  • 5GB 1-month pass for $50

The "No Annual Contract Mobile Broadband Service Passes" are priced lower than T-Mobile's current offerings, which include 100 MB for 7 days at $10, 1 GB for 30 days at $30, and 3 GB for 30 days at $50. T-Mobile says that the new passes will be simple to purchase and come with the option of auto-refill. The restructuring comes in the wake of T-Mobile's push to revamp its image, which resulted in a strong first quarter for the number four carrier.

The passes are available on T-Mobile's 4G tablets including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, and the T-Mobile Springboard, as well as the carrier's mobile hotspot and laptop dongle offerings.

Source: T-Mobile

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4 years ago

It might be your music, but it's still not your cloud


This week brought a painful reminder that for as awesome as the ol' World Wide Web may be, it's still a pretty sorry state of affairs when it comes to online music. As a quick recap, Google implemented a limit on the number of devices you can unauthorize from Google Music in a year. You can still have up to 10 activated at any given time, but you can only swap out four of them for new devices. Sounds simple enough, right? And for the vast majority of folks out there, being able to play your music anywhere (in supported nations, anyway) from 14 different devices -- from smartphones and tablets to desktops and laptops and Google TVs -- is overkill several times over. But for others of us, our 10 slots were full, and any attempt to unauthorize a device -- something we'd previously been able to as often as we pleased -- was met with an orange-and-white message:

"Sorry, you've unauthorised too many devices."

Funny, I didn't feel like I'd unauthorized too many devices. (Also funny is that I've got the British spelling, where z's are traded for s's, but that was the least of my worries.) The problem I and many others had run into was that duplicate devices were taking up slots, and we now had no way of getting rid of them. for most folks, it was from flashing custom ROMs. For me, it was from my janky Logitech Revue, which requires a hard-reset every few weeks when it decides to forget some of the apps installed on it. (The latest victim to get sucked into the ether, ironically enough, was Google Play Music.) And so when the hammer came down, I was stuck with a Galaxy Nexus, the EVO 4G LTE, Nexus One, AT&T One X, international One X, a PC, a laptop and two instances of the Logitech Revue taking up precious device slots, with no way to get rid of any of them until 2013. Or, God forbid, until May 2013, if it doesn't go by calendar year.

(I'll be the first to say that that's hardly an embarrassing list of devices, though.)

Google's made me lazy, I think. I've gotten too used to having my music in the cloud. No longer do I have to worry about keeping my music synced from my desktop and laptop to my home NAS. So long as I'm not traveling, I use Google Music to listen to my music when tooling around town. When mowing the lawn. On the odd occasion that I exercise. 

I say "my music" because that's what I think of it as. My music. I've got the files somewhere and uploaded them to Google Music. It's my music.

Only, as soon as I decide to upload it to Google Music, it ceases to be mine. Well, it's still mine, but I've lent it to Google to share back to me. So it's no longer mine. It's subject to the rules and regulations of Google, which means it's subject to the wiles and whims of the music labels. Never mind that it's my music. I bought (most of) it. It's mine.

This week's deauth debacle is a reminder that while it might be my music, it's not my cloud. And while Google Music is the object of my ire, it's hardly alone here. Amazon Music's also subject to the record labels. Same for the streaming services. Even Apple has to go through negotiations with a bunch of old white men so that you can get your Bieber on over the air. 

This isn't a new issue. The good news is that Google's sorting things out on its end and in the meantime is letting us clean up our authorized devices. (A personal plea: Maybe some sort of exemption for those of us who test phones for a living?) But this week serves as a reminder that it's easy to become complacent, to accept the ease of streaming in exchange for sharing our files with a master whose best interests seldom are in line with our own. 

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4 years ago

How can Android vendors compete with Samsung?


 Industry research firm Gartner just released its latest data on mobile phone sales for the first quarter of 2012. There are some interesting points to be pulled out of this report that I wanted to address. Samsung dominates Android. Gartner’s data says that Korea-based Samsung shipped over 40 percent of all Android handsets last quarter. So that still leaves 60 percent of the market to other vendors, right? Yes, but according to Gartner none of these other vendors make up more than 10 percent of Android volume. None. In terms of handset brands, Samsung is also now the No. 1 phone maker in the world, ahead of Nokia. Nokia may have the No. 2 position in the market, but we need to remember that most of Nokia’s volume is based on the dying Symbian OS. Very little is based on its Windows-powered future at this point. So, considering that we’re looking at the death of the dumb phone over the next few years, let’s look at smartphone vendors and volumes. Samsung is the #1 player, having shipped 38 million smartphones. Most of these are Android powered, with a smaller number of Bada OS phones. Here’s how smartphone market share looks, by vendor, based on the Gartner data:

  1. Samsung with 26 percent market share
  2. Apple with 23 percent
  3. RIM with 7 percent

These are essentially the top three smartphone players right now. I realize that ZTE, LG and Huawei have a larger portion of the mobile market than RIM, but RIM is a pure play on smartphones whereas these three are not. Remember that other Android vendors have less than one quarter of Samsung’s volume.

What these data mean to Android manufacturers

If you look at the Gartner chart we’ve shown above, it’s crystal clear that most Android manufacturers are not having a lot of success right now. Even HTC, who was a former darling of the stock market, has been getting hurt. At the high end of the market, competing with Samsung is difficult. It’s tough to differentiate from an OS perspective because everyone’s using Android. There are only so many UI skins you can bring forward. I think one way to compete in the Android space is to develop amazingly useful middleware that turns your brand into a platform more than just a piece of hardware. But even then, Samsung is already heading down this path by recruiting Android developers for cloud-based middleware. At the low end, the biggest opportunity remains killing Nokia’s positioning. There is a lot of low hanging fruit here. Symbian is dying, and the only real challengers here are Android and BlackBerry right now. Windows Phone isn’t going after the low end yet, and neither is Apple. The bottom line is that Android manufacturers can’t think of themselves as competing against other Android manufacturers. That’s a recipe for disaster. They need to compete against Nokia’s 20 percent market share or build cloud services that differentiate their product from Samsung at the high end. Otherwise they’ll just be commodity hardware makers who earn no profit. But hey ... that’s still all good for consumer smartphone adoption.

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