Remember a couple of days ago when we had a look at HBO Go, a new video streaming service in the works for HBO subscribers? The video posted had a not-so-subtle hint that the service would launch on May 2, and it seems that Direct TV has confirmed this via their official Twitter account.
No word on what phones are going to be part of the "selected" few, but it stands to reason that it will be a DRM requirement of sorts, much like Netflix is doing. I guess we'll know all the details shortly, as May is almost upon us. [@DIRECTV via @BigRickz10]
With the huge push Rogers is having for Android right now, they've never made their launch of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and Xperia Arc a secret. They did however, keep the launch date under wraps for a while but that has since been confirmed as being April 29. The only other thing left to figure out was the pricing of each device and now, we have that as well thanks to some leaked internal documents. Confirmed pricing:
3-year promo: $99.99 ($45 monthly voice and data plan)
2-year contract: $449.99
1-year contract: $499.99
Yes, Canada has 3-year contracts and yes, they are dreadful and should most certainly go away but that's not going to happen. So, with that out of the way -- $99 for either the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play or Arc is a reasonable price all around, we suppose. [Mobile Syrup]
Everyone knows us Android users love the visual voicemail, but if YouMail Visual Voicemail leaves you wanting, then you're definitely going to want to check out Better YouMail.
Say the developers, Best IT Guys:
YouMail provides a public API for their service, so we decided to make our own app that used their service. You’ll notice that there is a heavy iPhone influence on the graphics, but there are also some features that other visual voicemail apps don’t have. We specifically designed the app to have the most streamlined layout, so that most of the common functions could be accessed with as few clicks as possible.
Let's examine some of these extra features after the break.
Popular music streaming service company mSpot is jumping into the video streaming arena, and in a big way.
They're introducing the mSpot Movies Club, a monthly subscription based streaming service for computers and mobile devices. Better yet, they're undercutting their competitors on new releases by a whopping 99 cents, which in the mobile world, actually matters.
I had the opportunity to take the service for a spin using mSpot's Movies 2 app and I must admit, everything worked like a charm.
"TRON: Legacy" streamed with nary a hiccup on hi-bandwidth while I was on Wi-Fi and while it wasn't quite as stellar on 3G, it's definitely usable and still enjoyable.
Pausing and having the movie pick up where I left off on my desktop browser was really impressive, and if mSpot can keep this up as more users jump on board, it's going to put some serious pressure on their competitors in the market.
We tend to not look too deeply into this sort of thing, because it's just far too easy to edit a build.prop file to show whatever Android version you want. But between our own Google Analytics, plus the help of a little bird or two, it's starting to look like there's an Android 3.1 version of Honeycomb undergoing testing.
We're not expecting this to be the convergence of Honeycomb and Gingerbread back into some uber-phone/tablet Android OS -- that's most likely going to be in the "I" version of Android. Hopefully we'll get a peek at that at Google IO here in a few short weeks. But in the meantime, we certainly wouldn't look down on an improved version of Honeycomb.
Like most folks around here, I like to know what makes things tick. How they work, why they work and what stuff is needed to make them work. Luckily, there is now an official app for that from the folks over at How Stuff Works and Discovery that allows for on the go access to all their great content. The app itself is quite nice and overall feels rather polished -- meaning they took their time and did it right rather then just making some silly mobile link. Once the app is installed, you have the option to get push notifications for all the shows, videos and podcasts if you do so choose.
Stuff You Should Know: Josh and Chuck give fans permission to ponder.
Stuff You Missed in History Class: If you weren’t paying attention, Stuff You Missed in History Class has you covered.
BrainStuff: HowStuffWorks founder, Marshall Brain, shares quick nuggets of stuff that will make you smarter!
Stuff Mom Never Told You: SMNTY keeps listeners looped in on the stuff that mom forgot.
TechStuff: The perfect podcast for seasoned techies and novices alike, this show breaks it down in a way that comforts even the staunchest technophobe.
Stuff to Blow Your Mind: For the nerd in us all, this podcast will blow your mind.
CarStuff: HowStuffWorks.com goes behind the wheel and under the hood in this auto-enthusiasts favorite.
All the above content and more is featured within the app, so if you're a fan of How Stuff Works be sure to jump on past the break for the download and some more screenshots of it in action.
Samsung has announced that it is taking Apple to court for 10 counts of patent infringement. The lawsuits come in response to Apple's suit against the Korean giant filed for allegedly copying the aesthetics of the iPhone in California earlier this week. Interestingly, Samsung is choosing not to counter-sue in the United States and is instead bringing its cases around the world in South Korea, Germany, and Japan. The main area of dispute from Apple's perspective is that Samsung's Android skin, Touchwiz, looks a little bit too much like iOS for their comfort. [Samsung via Engadget]
Listen up if you're a Motorola Defy user -- you've finally got some Froyo on tap, just waiting for you to go get it. T-Mobile announced that the update is optional (I know you guys better than that!), official, and available through the phone settings. To get to those, in case you haven't been checking every few hours since you got the phone; open the menu, press settings, then about phone, and choose system updates.
Froyo for the Defy checks in at 112 MB, and is best done on Wifi while your phone is on the charger. Now get to it before anyone changes their mind. [T-Mobile] Thanks everyone who sent this in!
Since the announcement of the Samsung Infuse 4G it's kind of been overshadowed by other devices that beat it to market, that's not to say interest is gone but the noise of the device has diminished a little for sure. Either way -- it's still coming to market and while there is no official release date as of yet, Walmart is now producing some circulars that have the device slated for a release next month.
Release date aside, the circulars are now also showing a price of $178.88 presumably with a new 2-year contract. That is of course, subject to change but that's the info we have for now. Anyone still waiting for this device? Let us know in the comments if you are. Thanks, for sending this in, Anon!
Thursday folks, normally we'd be telling you all to make sure you tune into the Android Central podcast but since Phil has been on the road and since he busted his hump to get the ASUS EeePad Transformer stuff up for us all -- we're taking a night away from the podcast. No matter though, still lots of Android talk in the forums and on the blogs for you all to enjoy plus we'll be back next week, well rested and ready to drink talk.
So what happens exactly when you take the Palm Pre and load it up with a healthy dose of Android -- more specifically a Gingerbread AOSP. The folks over at PreCentral have done all the hard work for us and were even kind enough to film it. If you happen to have a Palm Pre kicking around that you want to have some fun with, then by all means -- head on over to PreCentral and take a look at k3dar's work, or just hit up the video above. Instructions and a downloadable shell script are available to help you along should you like to go on this adventure. [PreCentral]
Following the news last week that Best Buy had put it's pre-order page up for the Gingerbread-rocking Sprint Samsung Nexus S 4G, some of you will be glad to know that the official ordering page is now up, albeit without an ETA. The $199.99 new two-year contract or upgrade price holds true and but if you're looking to buy this pure Google experience outright, expect to pony up almost 700 big ones! That's right, off contract pricing is running $699.99 compared to the $529.99 for the T-Mobile Nexus S, which also sells for $99.99 on contract. Now, that's not say things can't change between now and launch date, but given that Best Buy is ready to take our credit card info, it seems to be set in stone. [Best Buy] Thanks for the tip repsak187!
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