Headlines

3 years ago

Skype adds video calling -- and ads - to another round of phones

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You don't usually get sumpthin' for nothin', and the adage rings true with the latest update to Skype for Android. The good news: A baker's dozen devices have had video calling turned on, but at the price of having to put up with advertising.  You can get around the ads (which show up for everyone, not just the new crop) if you've got Skype credits laying around, which we're betting most of you don't.

Anyhoo. Here's the list of phones that gained video calling:

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (T-Mobile)
  • HTC Shooter (KDDI)
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Live with Walkman
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V
  • Acer Iconia Tablet (A500)
  • LG Optimus Black (landscape only)
  • LG Optimus 3D (landscape only)
  • LG Optimus 2x (landscape only)
  • Motorola Photon
  • Motorola Droid 3 (landscape only)
  • Motorola Bionic (landscape only)
  • Motorola Xoom
  • Motorola Atrix

A nice smattering, indeed. Download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

HTC Rhyme now available from Verizon

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Seems not all that long ago the HTC Rhyme was nothng more then a rumor and now Verizon will gladly sell you one for $199 on a new 2-year contract. You get that fancy interactive charm to go along with it so it's not all that bad of a deal, especially considering the package as a whole. 

Nothing mind blowing can be found in the specs but that's not what the HTC Rhyme was built for. Everything about the devices is geared towards females, even the weird commercial that went along with its launch which can be found past the break for you all.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

LG Esteem for MetroPCS gets unboxed

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

We're all over the place, but we can't always be everywhere. That's where you come in. And sniper1087 has done an excellent unboxing of the LG Esteem for MetroPCS. He'll walk you through the UI, benchmarks, and don't blink, or you'll miss the very cool boot sound.

Need a reminder on specs?

  • 4.3-inch display
  • Gorilla Glass
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 1GHz Snapdragon processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 8GB on-board storage
  • 5MP rear camera (capable of 720p video recording)
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 1500mAh battery
  • DLNA streaming
  • Metro PCS' CDMA/LTE network.

There you have it. Peep the video. It's well worth a watch.

Thanks, sniper1087!

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3 years ago

Samsung and Google appear poised for some possible Ice Cream Sandwich at CTIA

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Allow us a little inside baseball here. We normally don't post every event we're invited to at the usual trade shows. We'll be there, and you know we'll be there. But this one's a little different.

Behold the invitation to the Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2011 "Google Episode" at CTIA in San Diego. So, first, it's the "Google Episode." That's new. Second, they're going to stream it for everyone to see, live on Youtube. Normally such bandwidth is reserved for Google events. And this very much appears to be a Google event.

So we're going to figure we've got some Ice Cream Sandwich in our future in San Diego. Some Nexus Ice Cream Sandwich. Some Samsung Nexus Ice Cream Sandwich.

We'll see you there.

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3 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich supposedly seen in short video - is it the real deal?

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So here's the story -- supposedly an anonymous fellow purchased a Nexus S on eBay, and to his surprise found it running Ice Cream Sandwich.  There are quite a few visual differences, namely a new launcher style, a new "Google Apps" folder, a new notification bar, and a new lockscreen.  There's also what looks to be a panorama feature in the camera, and the "Movie Studio" icon in the app drawer.  Everything is nice and fluid -- at least everything we get to see.

Here's where things get sticky -- those things can all be (and have been) faked.  Would it be easy?  Hell, no, but it's entirely possible.  With ICS coming sometime soon, this very well could be a development unit that somehow slipped away from Mountain View -- we've been expecting a leak or two for a while now.  But we have to hold off judgement and will let you guys decide and discuss yourselves.  Be sure to hit the source link and check out the video after the break if you haven't already.

Source: Engadget
Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Isis NFC mobile payment group gets backing from handset manufacturers

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Isis, a joint venture of Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, has announced that the major hardware makers of Android  (and Windows 7) phones have climbed on board and will offer hardware that implements Isis' NFC tech and standards.  The press release names LG, Motorola, HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and BlackBerry manufacturer RIM as hardware partners, as well as DeviceFidelity to offer solutions such as NFC enabled memory cards for phones built without NFC hardware.  Scott Mulloy, chief technology officer at Isis, says the following:

Isis’ technology standards provide the direction and certainty needed for the development and deployment of NFC devices and the mobile commerce ecosystem.  Working together with the device makers and our founding mobile carriers, Isis can provide the consumer choice and scale necessary for widespread adoption of mobile commerce.

While we can't see the future, we're going to have to assume this isn't good news for Google and their own NFC payment system, Google Wallet.  Mired in some unknown exclusivity agreement with Sprint, Google Wallet was not provided for any unlocked, non-carrier branded Nexus S devices, though they would be fully capable.  With carriers and OEM's on board with Isis, it looks like another uphill battle for Google.  The good news for us is that now companies are seeing the value in devices with NFC technology, and the manufacturers are ready to provide it.  There's still one major player who hasn't chimed in yet, though -- Apple.  Only time will tell if Apple jumps on board with the upcoming "standard" or if they implement iWallet themselves in pursuit of a bigger cut.  The press release is after the break.

Read more about RIM and Isis at Crackberry

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3 years ago

US Cellular adds the HTC Wildfire S, Hero S and Flyer to its lineup

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US Cellular just droppeed word that it's adding a trio of HTC devices to its lineup -- devices that we outed back in July along with the rest of USCC's roadmap. Here's what's on tap:

  • HTC Hero S -- It's got a 4-inch Super LCD display at qHD resolution, 5MP rear camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera, Android 2.3, and HTC Sense. It'll cost $199.99 after a $100 rebate and contract.
  • HTC Wildfire S -- Stepping down just a tad, this one's got Android 2.3, a 3.2-inch display, a 5MP rear camera and will be available in grey or purple. It'll cost $79.99 after rebate and contract.
  • HTC Flyer -- The 7-inch tablet has been a favorite of many this year, with its 1.5GHz processor, 32GB of storage and the HTC Scribe stylus. It'll cost $199.99 after $100 rebate and two-year contract.

One thing we don't have are release dates, so stay tuned. Full presser's after the break.

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod support coming to Sony Ericsson Xperia devices

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The CyanogenMod and FreeXperia development teams have announced that they'll be bringing popular custom firmware CyanogenMod to all of Sony Ericsson's 2011 Xperia phones, along with many older X8 and X10 devices.

The developers promise full support -- with the exception of FM radio, which is still being worked on -- starting with the next release of CyanogenMod, version 7.1. Nightly builds are expected to start rolling out soon, so keep watching the CyanogenMod download site if you fancy testing some early builds on your Xperia phone.

In a blog post on the CyanogenMod site, the team praised Sony Ericsson for its "strong involvement with the developer community", and thanked the manufacturer for providing "devices and technical expertise that proved invaluable in making all this happen".

This is great news for custom ROM enthusiasts with Xperia devices, and even better news for legacy Xperia phone owners, most of whom are left without an official upgrade path to Gingerbread. Hit the source link for the full list of CM-supported Xperia phones.

Source: CyanogenMod

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3 years ago

HTC invites fans to London for Beats Audio event

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HTC UK is using its Facebook page to invite fans to London to celebrate the launch of "HTC with Beats Audio", in a party at London's Roundhouse next Thursday, Oct. 6. The party, which follows on from a press conference earlier in the day, features performances by Fedde le Grand, Martin Solveig as well as a "surprise headliner." More importantly, we'll also be there.

As far as shiny new HTC products go, we can probably expect an appearance from its new flagship phone, the Sensation XE. And we wouldn't be surprised to see an official unveiling of the frequently-leaked HTC Runnymede, either.

HTC has 1001 spaces available, which it'll fill with a random selection of applicants. To apply for your ticket, you can head over to HTC UK on Facebook and click the button. If you want to bring a friend, there's also the option to apply for two tickets.

Source: HTC UK on Facebook

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3 years ago

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light to arrive first on Xperia Play

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Looks like Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play has scored yet another Android gaming exclusive. This time Xperia Play owners will get first access to Square Enix's Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, an isometric adventure/puzzle game based on the Tomb Raider franchise.

Guardian of Light, which first appeared on consoles and PC last August, will launch on the Xperia Play this November. The game joins other notable Xperia Play timed exclusives, including Minecraft and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. In addition, Sony Ericsson is promising "more established hits" from Square Enix in the coming months.

Join us after the jump for the full presser.

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3 years ago

Microsoft, Samsung reach licensing deal over Android smartphones, tablets

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Samsung will pay Microsoft royalties for smartphones and tablets running Android. A cross-licensing deal reach between the two companies was announced Wednesday morning. And while that means both companies will receive "broad coverage for each [other's] products," Microsoft's also going to be getting money in the deal. As for how much money per device? That wasn't disclosed.

Here's the official word:

REDMOND, Wash — Sept. 28, 2011 — Microsoft announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., to cross-license the patent portfolios of both companies, providing broad coverage for each company’s products. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will receive royalties for Samsung’s mobile phones and tablets running the Android mobile platform. In addition, the companies agreed to cooperate in the development and marketing of Windows Phone.

“Microsoft and Samsung see the opportunity for dramatic growth in Windows Phone and we’re investing to make that a reality,” said Andy Lees, president, Windows Phone Division, Microsoft. “Microsoft believes in a model where all our partners can grow and profit based on our platform.”

“Through the cross-licensing of our respective patent portfolios, Samsung and Microsoft can continue to bring the latest innovations to the mobile industry,” said Dr. Won-Pyo Hong, executive vice president of global product strategy at Samsung’s mobile communication division. “We are pleased to build upon our long history of working together to open a new chapter of collaboration beginning with our Windows Phone “Mango” launch this fall.”

This is just the latest licensing deal involving Microsoft and Android device manufacturers. Acer and Viewsonic reached deals earlier this month, and HTC already had one in place.

No matter how broken the current patent system may be, this is still the way it's done, folks. And while it might not be the one you hoped for, it's certainly better than lawsuit after lawsuit, no?

Source: Microsoft

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3 years ago

LG Esteem gets official on MetroPCS

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The LG Esteem -- a phone we first told you about last week -- has been officially announced for MetroPCS. Specs are pretty much as we told you:

  • 4.3-inch display
  • Gorilla Glass
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 1GHz Snapdragon processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 8GB on-board storage
  • 5MP rear camera (capable of 720p video recording)
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 1500mAh battery
  • DLNA streaming
  • Metro PCS' CDMA/LTE network.

The LG Esteem will cost $249 after $100 mail-in rebate. No-contract data plans run $50 or $60, with the latter giving you access to unlimited music from Rhapsody or videos from MetroSTUDIO.

Source: MetroPCS; Also: LG Esteem product page
More in the LG Esteem forums

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3 years ago

HTC ThunderBolt's Gingerbread update pushing out now!

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The word is spreading like wildfire in our ThunderBolt forums -- the Android 2.3.4 update for HTC ThunderBolt is finally pushing out. Go to Settings>Software update>Check new to start the download. Then sit back, open a cool tall one, and let the Gingerbread flow. You've waited long enough.

More: HTC ThunderBolt forums

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3 years ago

Sprint halts Optimus S Gingerbread update

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While many folks celebrated the release of Gingerbread for the LG Optimus S on Sprint, seemingly not all went as planned. A number of users have ran into some issues with the update as listed below:

  • Device not charging
  • No access to data services
  • SD card un-mounted or removed message
  • Device is not recognized by Windows XP, Vista, or 7 when connected to a PC
  • Predictive text with the Android keyboard is not working

Sprint has been actively tracking the issues as well as some of the possible workarounds for the situations listed above. No date has been set for a fixed version of the update but they are working to get things sorted out as soon as possible. Until then, it's probably best you stay away from the update.

Source: Sprint (1); via: Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

ITC to investigate Apple over HTC's patent complaints

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Tech Armageddon continues, and now the ITC (International Trade Commission) will be launching an investigation against Apple Computer Corp. over disputes brought by HTC earlier this year.  TechCrunch reports (by way of BusinessWeek) a basic description of the patents in question as:

The patents in the ITC case relate to an interface that lets the user add identifiers such as .com or .org; an interface that enlarges characters being typed; a way to display information on mobile devices; and status bars that let a user check phone calls, text messages or calendar events.

The investigation itself goes well beyond the smartphone arena -- the ITC states it will cover "computers, tablet computers, and smartphones."  It's worth noting that some of the patents in question were granted to HTC by Google, who so far has stayed out of the current tech courtroom drama it's OEM's are involved in. 

As always, it's the consumer who will be the biggest loser here.  Licensing agreements will be worked out, and that cost will be funneled down to all of us.  It's a war with no winners.

Source: ITC; via Tech Crunch

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