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2 years ago

Motorola Droid 4 lands on Verizon's Droid Does site

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As the Motorola Droid 4 inches closer to release, the device has taken its place on Verizon's "Droid Does" site, rubbing shoulders with the likes of the Droid RAZR and Droid Xyboard. You'll find the usual teaser content, as well as a rundown of specifications for Verizon's first 4G LTE QWERTY slider. As we saw during our hands-on time with the Droid 4 at CES, the phone sports a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU and a full gigabyte of RAM, just like the Droid RAZR. The Droid 4 sets itself apart from older Droid models with its laser-cut, edge-lit keys, and differentiates itself from most modern smartphones just by having a QWERTY keyboard. The site itself even acknowledges “the decline of other fixed QWERTY devices”.

Display-wise, you’ve got a 4-inch qHD (960x540) panel with Gorilla Glass and “splash-resistant nanotechnology”. And on the software side you’ll find Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, along with Motorola’s Motoblur Philblur UI. Moto’s Smart Actions app is also included, which should help with conserving battery life and automating common tasks, and you also get streaming capabilities through MOTOCAST. We’d expect an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to be on the cards for the Droid 4, too.

There’s no official release date for the Droid 4 just yet, though unconfirmed rumors point to a launch later this month. And with Verizon starting to promote the device on DroidDoes.com, it certainly looks like we could be seeing it sooner rather than later.

Hit the source link to check it out for yourself -- if you’re eager to pick one of these up, you can also sign up for updates at the bottom of the page. Be sure to check out our full hands-on with the Droid 4 from CES for more info.

Source: DroidDoes.com

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2 years ago

New Zealand winery uses QR codes and augmented reality app to suggest food pairings

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Brancott Estate, a winery based out of New Zealand, has just launched their first Android and iOS app, and along with it, they've started putting QR codes on all of their wine bottles. When you use the app to scan the code printed on the label with your phone's camera, it offers food pairing suggestions, along with some more elbaorate promotions, like an augmented reality view and a puzzle game. The Brancott Estate app (called "World's Most Curious Bottle") also provides descriptions of  aromas, and some info on the climate in which the grapes were grown for 14 of their wines.

While there are plenty of other apps out there that offer a broader selection of wines to reference, not to mention the ability to search by meal, it's not often you see retail products ship with legitimately helpful QR codes on them. For wine in particular, a few third parties have stepped in to provide rich data for wines, namely Cellar Key, which hangs a little QR code around the bottleneck. 

Considering how little I know about wines, quick, in-store references like this can be hugely helpful when picking something out. Even seasoned wine-drinkers will appreciate the added level of detailed information set-ups like this can provide. It's just unfortunate that even after over a decade of being largely available, QR codes still haven't quite caught on. Maybe pairing up with apps will become more of a necessity if they're going to see any real use. I'm also a little worried that as much hype as there is behind NFC, it will end up in the same boat. 

You can download the Android app at the link below, if you're curious. Do you guys use QR codes regularly? What would it take to get you to use them more often?

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2 years ago

German court rejects Apple bid to ban sales of Galaxy Tab 10.1N, Galaxy Nexus

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The Munich Regional Court in Germany has rejected Apple's latest attempt to block sales of two Android-powered Samsung devices, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1N and Galaxy Nexus.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1N is a redesigned version of the original Tab 10.1, which Samsung brought to market to work around an earlier ruling preventing them from selling that model in Germany. If successful, Apple's attempts to block Galaxy Nexus sales would've been a major blow for Android, on account of that device's place as the flagship Google Experience smartphone.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, today's case related to touchscreen patents for smartphones and tablets. On rejecting the motion to block sales of the Samsung devices, Presiding Judge Andreas Mueller indicated that the patent in question would likely be revoked --

"Samsung has shown that it is more likely than not that the patent will be revoked because of a technology that was already on the market before the intellectual property had been filed for protection."

This is the latest chapter in the on-going patent war between Apple and Samsung, which began in mid-2011 and shows no sign of abating. The two companies remain locked in battle in courtrooms across the world.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

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2 years ago

Sony Ericsson Bridge for Mac updates to version 2.0, adds OS update support

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Sony Ericsson is updating its "Bridge" application for Mac users, adding the ability to apply OS updates to Xperia smartphones over USB. This functionality has been available in SE's PC Companion tool for Windows for some time, but until now Mac users have had to wait for updates to roll out over the air.

If you're rocking the Xperia/Mac combo, you can grab the current version 1.2 of the SE Bridge app from the source link, and you'll be notified when the new version is available.

Source: Sony Ericsson Product Blog

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2 years ago

T-Mobile's Sensation 4G and myTouch not quite ready for EOL

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A few days back a leaked T-Mobile USA inventory screen seemed to suggest several of the carrier's mid to high-end Android phones would soon be reaching end-of-life (EOL) status. Today, however, an updated inventory screen has emerged over at TmoNews, indicating that the HTC Sensation 4G, myTouch Q and myTouch 4G Slide still have a few months of shelf life left in them. The devices are marked as "sell through", meaning that they haven't yet reached EOL, but that production will soon be coming to a end.

There's no such luck for the HTC Amaze 4G or LG DoublePlay, though, as today's leaked screenshot reveals that those devices have now reached EOL. But as we said earlier this week, EOL status doesn't affect software updates or warranties, and really isn't worth worrying about in our opinion. Your phone doesn't suddenly become any less awesome because of three letters in a spreadsheet, and we'd still expect devices like the Amaze to get ICS in due course.

Source: TmoNews

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S Advance available in the UK from Feb. 6, priced at £350

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We heard last week that the Galaxy S Advance would be coming to Russia later this month, and now it's been confirmed that Samsung's latest mid-range smartphone will be hitting the UK around the same time. Independent retailer MobileFun has the device up for pre-order, with stock expected next Monday, Feb. 6. What's more, the Galaxy S Advance comes in at a relatively wallet-friendly £349.99 off-contract.

For your money, you'll get a 4-inch phone running Adnroid 2.3 Gingerbread and Samsung's TouchWiz 4 UI. There's also a 1GHz dual-core chip inside, and WVGA (480x800) Super AMOLED display on the front -- so not quite bleeding edge, but a powerful device nonetheless.

If you're after one of these on contract, then Three UK is your best bet -- the network announced yesterday that it'll be carrying the Galaxy S Advance in the future. For more info on the Advance, check our original announcement post.

Source: MobileFun; via: Eurodroid

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2 years ago

US Cellular taps Samsung for first LTE devices, will hit in March

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US Cellular this morning announced that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Samsung Galaxy S Aviator  will be the first tablet and smartphone, respectively, on its new LTE network.

As previously announced, the regional carrier's 4G network will be available in select citites:

  • Wisconsin: Milwaukee, Madison and Racine.
  • Iowa: Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport.
  • Maine: Portland and Bangor.
  • North Carolina: Greenville.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is, well, it's the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with Honeycomb, which we've enjoyed for the better part of a year now, and it'll be available on USCC in March. The 4.3-inch Samsung Galaxy S Aviator should be familiar as well, along with its preloaded Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread. The Aviator will arrive in April.

US Cellular says more LTE markets will be announed later this month. We've got the full press release after the break.

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2 years ago

Galaxy Nexus set to blow in on WIND Mobile on Feb. 3

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WIND Mobile, one of Canada's youngest wireless carriers, will begin selling the Samsung Galaxy Nexus this Friday, February 3,  for $599 without a contract. The flagship device, the first to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will cost customers with a WINDtab+ a reduced price of $249.

WIND Mobile launched in 2009 as an alternative to Canada's big two, Bell Mobility and Rogers. WIND has earned a name for itself for its no-contract options and low monthly rates, including a new  unlimited voice, text, and data package for $40. WIND's WINDtab+ system subsidizes the cost of a phone by allowing customers to pay for the device over a three-year period using an allocation from the existing monthly payments.

The Galaxy Nexus is just the latest high-end Android device to make it to the low-cost carrier; it joins a respectable line up that includes the Nexus S, the HTC Amaze 4G, and the LG Optimus 2X. WIND's full presser can be found after the jump.

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2 years ago

Samsung Infuse 4G finally gets its official Gingerbread update

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The AT&T Samsung Infuse 4G is finally -- finally!!! -- getting its update to Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread. (A point release higher than a recent leak.) The official rollout begins today, AT&T says.

Here's the full changelog:

  • Improved Copy and Paste functionality
  • Redesigned Multi Touch Software Keyboard
  • Download manager for long running HTTP downloads
  • Improved power management and application control
  • Notification Shade: “Flight Mode” added (“Silent” removed)
  • New Fonts options added include Choco Cooky, Cool Jazz, Rosemary
  • Keyboard Changes: Android Keyboard with Wider Spaced keys and Quick Keys at the top
  • New Widgets: The name of the content provider will be listed on the widget list along with the widget name. Previously only the widget name was provided.
  • New Widget: Traffic (Android) added to list of available widgets
  • Menu Changes/New Apps: Downloads and Google Books added new, Promotional pre-load of Angry Birds removed.

Note that because the preload of Angry Birds is being removed, you'll have to re-download and start from scratch again.

But the Infuse 4G is finally getting Gingerbread. That's the good news. The bad news is that the download link AT&T's providing is dead at the moment, and the update won't be made available over the air, nor can you use a Mac to install. Stay tuned, folks.

Download: Android 2.3.6 for Samsung Infuse; Source: AT&T
Via: Android Central Infuse 4G forums

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2 years ago

Whitepaper for Sony Xperia S gives us a detailed look at its specs

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While we're not expecting to see the Sony Xperia S until early March, we're gradually seeing more and more details on the device trickling out. British retailer Clove has received a copy of the Whitepaper for the Xperia S and within its 18 pages we get a pretty detailed look into its specs. 

The Playstation certified device will come pre-loaded with a copy of Need for Speed Shift, and will come bundled with a micro-HDMI cable.

The 720p display is protected by a "shatter proof sheet on scratch resistant glass." Disappointingly the on-board storage is listed as "1 to 1.5GB" although at least we do get microSD card support expanding this. Taking a look at the rear 12mp camera, we see it sports a 16x digital zoom, a f/2.4 aperture and the 3D sweep panorama mode previously found on the Xperia Arc S

Delving into the software, anyone who's ever used an Xperia device will be right at home. The Timescape application is still there, along with an "infinite button" which acts as a smart filter within Timescape. 

We've already seen mention of support for GLONASS, but we also see that USB tethering and WiFi hotspot functionalities come built in. 

If you're liking the look of the Xperia S, hit the source link to take a look at the whitepaper in its entirity. 

Source: Clove
More: Hands on with the Sony Xperia S

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2 years ago

Casio G'zOne Commando update brings bug fixes and push-to-talk

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Casio and Verizon are continuing to roll out software updates for the G'zOne Commando, following the rugged phone's Android 2.3 Gingerbread update late last year. The latest software for the Commando brings it up to version C771M100, and adds free push-to-talk capability, along with the usual sprinkling of bug fixes. The new software is also apparently built on a newer build of Gingerbread than the last version, and includes the "latest Google security patch."

G'zOne Commando owners can find a full list of changes over at the source link, along with update instructions. The update is marked as "coming soon", so we'd expect to see it rolling out over-the-air in the weeks ahead. If you've received your update already, be sure to shout out in the comments.

Source: Verizon Support

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2 years ago

Japanese carrier to stop sending push notification ads

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Japanese mobile network KDDI says it'll stop using push notification ads on its Android handsets, following some recent online controversy. Late last month it emerged that KDDI was using an updated version of its "AU One Market" application to send ads via push notification to some of its customers. We're not the biggest fans of push notification ads, and we're even less impressed when ads are delivered by a carrier-mandated app with no clear way of opting out.

It seems many KDDI customers felt the same way, and after a wave of negative press over the past week, the carrier today announced that it'll cease pushing ad messages out to its handsets. KDDI reportedly said it was using the ads to deliver messages about its own services, rather than selling ad space to outside organizations. We're not sure that makes it any better, but at least KDDI customers will be free from the scourge of push notification ads from now on.

Source: Keitai Watch, Engadget; via: The Verge

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2 years ago

Samsung: No Galaxy S II successor at Mobile World Congress

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Galaxy S III unveiling due at Samsung event in first half of year

We've heard the rumors, and gone over the possibility in an editorial, but now we have it straight from the horse's mouth -- the Samsung Galaxy S III will not be making its debut at Mobile World Congress. In a statement released today, the Korean manufacturer clarified its plans for next month's show, saying --

"Samsung is looking forward to introducing and demonstrating exciting new mobile products at Mobile World Congress 2012.

"The successor to the Galaxy S2 smartphone will be unveiled at a separate Samsung-hosted event in the first half of the year, closer to commercial availability of the product.

"Samsung stays committed to providing the best possible mobile experiences for customers around the world."

So that's that -- no Galaxy S III at MWC.That doesn't change the fact that there'll still be a ton of new Android devices on the show floor, though. HTC, LG and Sony Ericsson will surely be out in force at MWC, and we'll also have those "exciting new mobile products" from Samsung to look forward to. As for the Galaxy S III, it's now on track to appear by end of June, and we're just fine with that.

Source: TechRadar

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2 years ago

Late night poll: Do you make in-app purchases?

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In-app billing is a bit of a touchy subject.  Nobody begrudges developers that try to make a few dollars, but billing for extra content as a per-app basis just isn't very popular among users.  Some don't like the fact that purchases are tied to a particular phone, and we can certainly understand that.  Wiping your phone or buying a new one and losing all your game content is no fun.  For others, the only acceptable way to monetize applications is to charge a flat fee up front.  We won't even comment on paid applications that offer in-app purchases as well, but they're out there.

On the good side, it's a way to offer a basic application for free, which everyone likes to see.  On the bad side, it can get expensive in addition to the above.  Tonight we're asking you guys.  Vote in the poll and let us know!

 

Do you make in-app purchases?

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2 years ago

Walt Disney Japan and NTT Docomo introduce 'Disney Mobile on Docomo'

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NTT Docomo has announced their new partnership with Walt Disney Japan to create the Disney Mobile on Docomo brand.  Docomo is an official corporate sponsor at Disneyland Tokyo and DisneySea Tokyo, and "special customer benefits" also will be offered from this spring at both locations for subscribers with the new phones.  Yes, they also announced to Android phones under the new brand -- the F-08D (that's the pink model you see above) and the P-05D (in black).  The F-08D packs a 1.2 GHz dual-core OMAP 4430 CPU with a 4.3-inch 720p LCD running Android 2.3, and the P-05D runs atop the same OMAP 4430 CPU clocked at 1 GHz under a 4.3-inch qHD Organic EL display running Gingerbread.  Both models have the standard options we're used to like GPS and Wifi, and come with a complete list of features and services including notables like Wifi tethering and mobile wallet through Osaifu-Keitai.  Running a customized version of Android, both phones will include movie services, original live wallpapers and other exclusive Disney content, puzzle and music game applications for children and family-entertainment.

The F-08D arrives Feb. 17 in "shiny pink" or "shiny white", followed by the P-05D in white and black in March.  Docomo has been a long-time supporter of Android, and these two look like devices that will do well in the Japan market.  Unfortunately for most of us, we'll never get our hands on either here in the Americas or Europe.  We also can;t forget the issue that NTT Docomo is currently having with Android and data traffic, but that doesn't seem to have stopped new Android phones from appearing on their network.

Spice must flow.

Source: NTT Docomo

 

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