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3 years ago

Of course you'll put up with ads in your Facebook Home

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It was a simple, direct question asked more than once today at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park in Silicon Valley. There are ads on Facebook. Will there be ads in Facebook Home, the new Android home screen replacement (along with its snazzy if underwhelming new phone) that'll be available starting next week?

Apparently those of us in the audience needed a little clarification, despite the answer having been delivered just minutes before.

"Yup," said Mark Zuckerberg, this time leaving absolutely no doubt.

At some point, Facebook Home will have ads. Not next week, but somewhere down the road.

And you'll be perfectly OK with that. And if you're not, it won't matter.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the 'HTC First'

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A couple quick thoughts on the "HTC First," aka the first Facebook phone.

First off, the hardware most definitely isn't the most important part of this phone. If you're the kind of nerd who lives for specs -- the speeds and feeds crowd -- head elsewhere. In fact, there was very little talk at today's event at Facebook HQ (and same for the ensuing press releases) about the nuts and bolts of the HTC First. And that's because it's Facebook Home that's the star of the show.

We did get an answer to the burning "Why!?!?!" regarding Facebook doing its own hardware. It's pretty simple, in fact, and it's something we should have thought of. While using Facebook Home on an existing device is a pretty damn good experience, there are certain low level things -- particularly regarding notifications -- that you can't do with a launcher. You need deeper hooks into the existing operating system. And, so, we have the HTC First.

The phone itself is unassuming. It's got the usual HTC curves, and a 5MP camera out front your usual "did I really just use that" front-facer out front. It's deceptively light, and and thin to boot. (OK, for the speeds and feeds folks, it's got a dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor and it's running on Android 4.1.)

But it's Facebook Home that's the real star, and for good reason. It looks good. If you don't live in Facebook -- and chances are if you're a regular reader of this blog -- you may well not have a great need for it. But on the other hand, it's still a full-fledged Android smartphone, complete with all the Google apps -- and, more important, access to Google Play -- that you're used to. That was almost certainly a necessity, and it means all of your existing applications should still work, and they're completely accessible through a normal app drawer.

We'll have deeper looks in the coming days and weeks as Facebook's HTC First comes to market. Video hands-on and more hands-on pics are after the break.

More: HTC First forum

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3 years ago

HTC First to cost $450 without a contract

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Going contract-free can be expensive up-front, and the $450 HTC First proves it

By now you've heard that you can snag the HTC First at AT&T in the US for $99, and soon you can do the same in the UK on EE (pricing to be determined), but what if you just want to buy one outright? If that's what you're looking to do, be prepared to shell out $450 for it.

There are a lot of reasons why people want contract-free phones. Inexpensive prepaid service, the freedom to switch carriers at will, and not having an upgrade option from your carrier are just a few. They're all good, valid reasons and we're 100-percent behind folks who want to take a bit more control and save a few dollars if they can. And $450 is far from the most expensive contract-free price we've ever seen. But it is also a far cry from $99, so decisions will have to be made.

While it's likely that HTC made a few extra changes to Android for the First, chances are a cheaper, higher spec'd Nexus 4 is a better buy. Eventually Facebook Home will make it's way to other phones, and the Nexus 4 is bound to be on the short list. We won't presume to tell you how to spend your pennies, but it's something to consider. 

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

HTC First video walkthrough

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We're live at Facebook HQ, where the company's just announced Facebook Home and the aptly-named HTC First -- the first handset to run Facebook's new software suite. Before we dig into our full hands-on preview, there's just time to  take a look at the hardware and software in our video walkthrough of the phone.

As we've come to expect from HTC, the 'First' is a sleek piece of hardware, with a soft-touch plastic back and a minimalist look reminiscent of its Windows Phone 8 stuff. And on the software side, Facebook has radically altered what we've come to expect from Android phones, bringing a home screen experience based upon photos, content and people.

Check out our video walkthrough above. The HTC First ships on Apr. 12 on AT&T, priced $99.99.

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3 years ago

HTC First an EE exclusive in the UK

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Facebook Home-powered phone will be exclusive to the UK's first 4G network

British mobile network EE has announced that it'll exclusively carry the new HTC First in the UK. The first handset to run the new Facebook Home suite out of the box, the HTC First also packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU, a 4.3-inch screen and 4G LTE connectivity.

No UK pricing or release date has been offered yet, but with the phone launching on Apr. 12 in the U.S. we'd imagine it'll be hitting British shores sooner rather than later.

More: HTC First forums

Source: EE on Twitter

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3 years ago

AT&T's HTC One now available for preorder

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Snag one by April 18 and get a free HTC Media Link HD as well

Just a quick heads up in amongst all the Facebook craziness that AT&T's version of the HTC One is now available for preorder. Pony up $199 and you'll get 32 gigabytes of on-board storage. Another $100 gets you the 64GB version. That's all on-contract pricing, of course, but AT&T tells us you should be able to pre-order off-contract as well.

Plus, if you preorder by April 18 (the HTC One is officially available April 19), AT&T's throwing in a free Media Link HD for wireless streaming. (See our full review of the Media Link HD.)

You can preorder the HTC One from AT&T here.

More: Our HTC One review; HTC One forums

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3 years ago

HTC First the first Snapdragon 400-powered phone

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Hidden away in today's HTC First and Facebook Home announcements was the news that the Facebook-centric HTC First is powered by Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 400 processor -- a mid-range chip announced back in February. The Facebook Home-running handset is the first to incorporate this new chip.

The Snapdragon 400 in the HTC First includes a dual Krait aSMP CPU running at 1.4GHz. That's paired with an Adreno 305 CPU, native Miracast wireless display technology, and 4G LTE connectivity options.

The HTC First will launch on Apr. 12 on AT&T, priced at $99.99.

More: HTC First announcement; HTC First forums

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3 years ago

HTC and AT&T announce the HTC First with Facebook Home, coming April 12

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The new Facebook phone is official, and it'll launch this month

We're live at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, Calif. where HTC and AT&T have taken the wraps off the HTC First, the first handset to come with the new Facebook Home experience out of the box.

A minimalist design with curved corners and a widescreen display, the HTC First puts Facebook Home's content and people-centric UI front and center. The device runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on a 4.3-inch screen, and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU.

The HTC First will be available on April 12, for $99.99 on AT&T in four color options -- black, white, red and blue. Preorders begin today. In Europe, it'll launch on EE and Orange.

Keep watching Android Central for more information as it emerges. In the meantime, we've got more photos after the break.

More: Facebook Home forum; HTC First forum

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3 years ago

AT&T LG Optimus G Jelly Bean update is official

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AT&T's Optimus G gets Android 4.1.2 and ISIS Mobile Wallet​

The over-the-air update started hitting devices a day ago, but today it's official -- AT&T's LG Optimus G has its Jelly Bean upgrade. AT&T PR has confirmed the update to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, bringing improvements such as "Project Butter" performance enhancements and Google Now predictive search.

The update also enables the ISIS Mobile Wallet -- an NFC-based Google Wallet competitor currently in testing in Salt Lake City. Utah and Austin, Texas.

To grab the update, turn on Wifi and head to Settings > General > About phone > Software Update > Update. Once you're updated, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on with the newer version of Android.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

O2, Three UK to offer Sony Xperia SP

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Latest Sony mid-ranger "coming soon" to Three, O2 launch expected this month

Data-friendly mobile operators O2 and Three have announced that they'll range the Sony Xperia SP. Though there's no release date on Three just yet, O2 says it expects to launch the SP sometime this month.

The Xperia SP follows Sony's high-end Xperia Z onto the market, but also borrows design elements from some of Sony's 2012 handsets, including the illuminable "transparent element" below the screen. Notable specs include a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, a 720p "HD Reality" display and an 8-megapixel Exmor RS rear shooter.

There's no on-contract pricing available yet, but with SIM-free prices emerging at around £300, we imagine both networks will have plans which offer a free Xperia SP on contract.

Source: O2, Three

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3 years ago

HTC One Australian availability announced

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HTC and carriers announce on-contract availability on Optus, Telstra, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile

The HTC One is headed down under, and pre-orders start as early as April 5, and general availability is stated to be April 23. Prices and details are outlined below.

Telstra: With a 2-year contract at $60 per month, you'll have a $10 monthly handset payment. The full cost off contract is $768. Customers who pre-register before April 23 will receive a free set of Beats Solo headphones. The registration page is here.

Optus: With a 2-year contract at $60 per month, you will have a $3 monthly handset payment. Optus pre-orders start April 5.

Vodafone: With a 2-year contract at $60 per month, you will have a $5 monthly handset payment. Vodafone has the HTC One listed on their site here, but the pre-order button is currently disabled. Vodafone is also offering the Beats Solo bonus for pre-orders.

Virgin Mobile: The $59 monthly 2-year contract comes with a $3 monthly handset payment. Their pre-order page is here, but as of now it is disabled.

Now that we know the dates and prices, are any of our Aussie readers ready to buy? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Ausdroid

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3 years ago

LG Optimus G Pro now available in Japan

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LG packs a 5-inch screen and powerful Snapdragon 600 into a smaller frame for the Japanese market

LG and NTT DOCOMO have announced that the Optimus G Pro is now available in Japan. It's a beast of a phone, with a 5-inch 440ppi display, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600, and a feature-packed UI to run it all. For the Japanese market, LG has chosen to release the smaller 5-inch display (it's still 1080p) versus the 5.5-inch display used on the Korean version.

We're not sure exactly which size LG will choose to roll out to the rest of the world, but we do know it's coming to more markets -- including the US -- sometime in the second quarter of 2013. We're looking forward to it either way! Skip past the break for the full press release.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia ZL goes on sale in Germany

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€549,99 inc. VAT or subsidized on contract, now available at Phonehouse.de

After going on sale in Canada yesterday, Germany now gets a chance to order Sony's premier smartphone, as the Xperia ZL is currently shipping from Phonehouse.de in black only. Those looking for a red or white version of this phone will have to wait a little longer, as is stock listed as "available soon." The phone is priced at €549,99, but can also be purchased with various subsidy prices on contract.

Potential buyers only have one option at present, because Phonehouse.de is the only retailer taking orders for the ZL at this time. Amazon.de has no launch date listed on their site, and Cyberport.de is reporting they will start taking orders and shipping phones in May.

While we here in the states are still waiting for our launch, time can be well spent looking over a close relative of the Xperia ZL, the Xperia Z, in our detailed review. Be on the lookout for a our review of the Xperia ZL, in the near future.

Source: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

New Nexus 4 accessories debut on Google Play

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Headphones with line mic, charger and microUSB cable now available separately

Google has launched three new accessories for the Nexus 4 through the Google Play devices store. Well -- of the three, only one is really new -- the wired headset with line mic -- but it doesn't hurt that the official charger and microUSB cable are now available alongside it.  The charger and cable are exactly like what you'll find boxed up with your Nexus 4, while the headset is a new addition, consisting of earphones and a flattened cable containing a mic for calls.

A quick breakdown of pricing in the U.S., U.K and eurozone --

The Nexus 4 bumper is also still available, priced $19.99, £15.99 or €19.99

via Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

AT&T's LG Optimus G getting its Jelly Bean update today

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It's been a couple days now since the AT&T LG Optimus G got a mysterious Easter update. Today we've got something just as unofficial, but much more recognizable. Android 4.1.2 has begun to push out for the LG Optimus G on AT&T. 

AT&T's PR says no official update has started, but that's in disagreement with our inbox -- and with AT&T's own community forums, which sport several folks saying they're getting the 336-megabyte update to Android 4.1.2, Build E97020j.

If you've got an AT&T Optimus G, now would be a good time to check for an update. Just sayin'. 

More: LG Optimus G forumsThanks, tuckerman725!

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