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3 years ago

Isis mobile payment system to launch mid-2012, lists Chase, CapitalOne, and Barclaycard as partners

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Isis Mobile Wallet, the service backed by AT&T, T-Mobile US, and Verizon has announced new launch partners and it's long awaited trial launch date. New financial partners Chase, CapitalOne, and Barclaycard join Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express for the  trials in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah which are expected to begin sometime in mid-2012. Isis isn't sharing much past that, as they say the nationwide rollout will follow the trial with no further details.

Isis partners will allow users to program both credit and debit cards into the mobile system, which gives it another leg up on Google Wallet. Add in the fact that Isis has carrier backing and pre-approval, and chances are that this will be the mobile NFC-based payment system we'll see on our devices when and if it catches on, at least in the US. That doesn't mean Google Wallet will disappear, but being available and being relevant are two different animals.

This doesn't mean that Isis is inherently bad, though. It may turn out to be an excellent product, and I'm excited to give it a try. We have to remember that Google Wallet isn't open and lovable, it is a for-profit venture from Google, much like Isis is a for-profit venture for its backers. When it comes to finances, few things are open and best for the consumer. The best product will be defined by the users and that's the one that will win out. 

The full press release follows the break.

via BusinessWire

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3 years ago

StumbleUpon for Android - Updated with new widget, Google+ sharing and home screen improvements

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StumbleUpon has announced the latest update to their popular Android app and with this release, they've gone ahead and done some house cleaning on the app and added in a bunch of new features that are deeply integrated with Google services.

  • Android Beam (NFC): Users of the StumbleUpon app for Android can now share any content they discover on StumbleUpon to other NFC-enabled devices running Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. This will make sharing content discovered through StumbleUpon seamless and fun.
  • Action Bar: The StumbleUpon app will now feature the native Android Action Bar, enabling users to explore the Web via the familiar Android navigation interface.
  • Resizable Widget on device home screen: The StumbleUpon app for Android will now be accessible directly from the device home screen. Users will be able to preview StumbleUpon-recommended content directly from the home screen of their device without having to launch the StumbleUpon app.
  • Sharing to Google+: The StumbleUpon app for Android will now include a sharing button to Google+. In addition to sharing to Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and email, Stumblers can now easily share content they discover through StumbleUpon with their connections on Google+.
  • Sign in with Google: With the new app, users will be able to sign in to StumbleUpon through a Google log-in with any mobile device and on the desktop.

Aside from the new features added, StumbleUpon also updated the homescreen experience for the app, making it easier then ever to get logged in and not only finding but sharing the content you enjoy the most. The updated version is available in the Android Market right now, full press release and download link can be found past the break.

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3 years ago

Chrome for Android Beta now available in 20 new countries

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We're live at the Eric Schmidt keynote at Mobile World Congress, and Hugo Barra, Director of Product Management, for Android, has announced that Chrome for Android Beta is now available in 20 new countries, bringing the total to 32. Unfortunately, you'll still need Ice Cream Sandwich to use it, which limits the adoption just a bit. Here's the full list of available countries:

  • Argentina
  • Hong Kong
  • Norway
  • Australia
  • Hungary
  • Poland
  • Austria
  • India
  • Russia
  • Belgium
  • Ireland
  • Singapore
  • Brazil
  • Italy
  • South Africa
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Spain
  • Czech Republic
  • Korea
  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • Luxembourg
  • Switzerland
  • Finland
  • Mexico
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Netherlands
  • United States
  • Germany
  • New Zealand

 

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Panasonic Eluga Power

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Following on from the Eluga, Panasonic will launch its first high-end smartphone for Western comsumers, the Eluga Power. This device takes the design language of the original Eluga, and builds on it with a 5-inch HD buttonless display, a faster 1.5GHz dual-core CPU and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

We got to play with a very early prototype unit today at Mobile World Congress, and despite some understandable software quirks, we were pretty impressed by what we saw. We've got first impressions after the jump, along with our hands-on video.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Panasonic Eluga

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A long-standing player in the Japanese smartphone world, Panasonic has recently announced its first smartphone for Western markets, dubbed the "Eluga". With a thin and light frame, a qHD OLED display and dual-core 1GHz CPU, the Eluga looks like a solid contender in the mid-range Android space. Panasonic's also brought over a couple of features which are common to Japanese phones, but rare in their international counterparts -- dust and water-resistence.

Join us after the break for our first look at the Panasonic Eluga from Mobile World Congress, including a quick video tour of the device.

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3 years ago

Panasonic unveils the Eluga Power at Mobile World Congress

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We knew Panasonic was coming to Mobile World Congress to unveil something special but the details were rather slim. Their first break for the European market came way of the Panasonic Eluga and now they've unveiled the Panasonic Eluga Power.

Features include:

  • A 1280x720 HD, 5.0 inch LCD screen with a 9.6mm thin frame.
  • Slim form factor – 136x70x9.6mm.
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.0.
  • International standard IP57 water and dustproofing.
  • NFC – allowing for contactless payment and data transfer.
  • Main camera with 8MP autofocus and 1080p Full HD video recording, including auto scene recognition and 8x digital zoom, as well as a front-facing camera.
  • Superfast charging – 50% charge takes just 30 minutes, and 80% takes 57 minutes (provided it starts charging from a 10% charged status).
  • 8GB of internal memory, with Micro SD Card Slot supporting a further 32GB.

Hard to say how well Panasonic will do with either device, the Eluga and the Eluga Power but we're guessing this won't be the last we hear of them if they're looking to keep things moving. Full press release can be found past the break.

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3 years ago

Panasonic Eluga Gallery

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Ace II hands-on

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The Samsung Galaxy Ace line has proven to be a solid piece of mid-level fare outside the United States, and the follow-up -- the aptly named Samsung Galaxy Ace II looks to conitnue in that vein. There's no mistaking that you're not handling a phone from Samsung's top shelf. Whereare the Galaxy S II and Google's Samsung Galaxy Nexus scream sex appeal, the Galaxy Ace II is decidedly middle class. And that's not a bad thing.

The 3.7-inch WVGA display is competent enough, and the 800 MHz processor pushes the Android 2.3 build along quite smoothly. The UI is sparse. Actually, it's boring. But, again, we're talking bread and butter, not steak tartar. It's loaded with Samsung's suite of apps, and it's got GLONASS for GPS, if you're into that sort of thing. 

We've got a full hands-on after the break.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with Fujitsu's Android prototype with ICS, Tegra 3 -- and LTE

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Fujitsu is excited about its newest Android phone -- which we first heard as a faint whisper -- and rightfully so. It's got a beautiful high-resolution 4.6-inch LCD display and is running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Plus it's got an external antenna, which always excites those of us from North America.

But the feature -- pair of features, actually -- that you really need to pay attention to is the fact that it's an LTE device with a Tegra 3 chipset. If you've been going through life thinking the two can't co-exist because of some sort of hardware incompatibility, get that out of your system now. Tegra 3 and LTE can (and will) play nicely together.

As far as the rest of the Arrows prototype goes, it's a mix of new beauty and old design. It's got a trio of physical buttons for menu, home and back. It's also got the 3.5mm headphone jack and microUSB ports covered by clunky doors. But that's all done for a reason -- this sucker's waterproof and dustproof.

Another notable spec is the 13.1-megapixel camera that has an ISO of 25600. Wowzers.

We've got more hands-on video and pics after the break.

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3 years ago

Video hands-on with the ASUS Padfone

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ASUS' Padfone is one of the most unusual devices we've seen at MWC so far -- a phone, which transforms into a tablet, which in turn transforms into a laptop, with pen input that can also be used as a handset. But while this may sound gimmicky, it's actually pretty well executed. The user experience is fast whether in phone, tablet or notebook mode, and the transition between the three is seamless, as you'll see in our hands-on footage after break.

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3 years ago

Mobile Nations Special: MWC 2012 Day one

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Phil, Dan, Alex, and Simon talk Mobile World Congress day one, including Nokia on both Windows Phone and Symbian (biggest. Camera. Phone. Ever.), Galaxy Note 10.1, the return of the Padphone, Huawei, and yet another plethora of Android devices. Listen in! (And send food!)

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3 years ago

Mobile World Congress day one wrap-up

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We grabbed a few hours sleep after yesterdays Android landslide, and got right back into full swing in Barcelona for the first official day of Mobile World Congress 2012. While all day yesterday was spent bouncing from one venue to the next to see official press events, we got to spend a good part of the day today doing what's coolest about going to a big show like MWC -- talk one-on-one to vendors, developers, and all manner of PR people. The boys put miles on their shoe leather cruising the show floor and meeting with the exhibitors, and we get the benefit of hearing it all without the sore feet.

Hit the break, let's see what went down today.

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3 years ago

Nvidia announces new Tegra 3 optimized titles, redefines mobile gaming

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I know a lot of you folks out there like games. I like them, too, and it's a big part of the reason I'm a fan of what NVIDIA has brought to Android with their Tegra chipsets. When you build the hardware and help developers optimize their software for it, you get something that works great, looks great, and is a load of fun. It's the reason that companies like Apple can have games and apps that perform so well without having great hardware specs. 

NVIDIA powered devices, especially ones with the new Tegra 3 chip, have great specs. They also have optimized software available for them, through the Market or places like the Tegra Zone. When you mix the two together, they really shine. 

Tonight, NVIDIA has set the bar a bit higher and is bringing a new set of Tegra optimized games to Market -- Sonic 4: Episode II, Golden Arrow THD, Dark Kingdom THD, Eden to GREEEEN THD, and Hamilton's Great Adventure THD. Hit the break to have a preview of each of them.

More: NVIDIA

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3 years ago

HTC One V hands-on

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At HTC's Mobile World Congress press event on Sunday evening in Barcelona, it was a strickly look-but-don't-touch affair for the HTC One V. Disappointing, to say the least. Today at the Google booth we got a chance to muck one up with our grubby fingers, and let us just say this about that:

The HTC Legend is reborn.

The iconic form factor that many of us fell in love with two years ago at this very conference has returned. The chin, obviously, is what makes this phone stand out. But It's been updated for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and now sports just three capacitive buttons below the 3.7-inch Super LCD display. It's got the same unibody design as the original Legened. It's got a 1GHz Qualcomm 8255 processor and 512MB RAM. (We'd love to tell you how fast it is, but the software's not yet finished and we've yet to see a working model.)

Put it this way: If you loved the fit and finish of the orignal Legend, you're going to want to check this one out. We've got more pics after the break to hold you over while you wait for this one's release.

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3 years ago

ZTE unveils the quad-core ZTE Era with Android 4.0

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ZTE noted ahead of Mobile World Congress that they would be unveiling a small bevy of devices for folks to enjoy in the coming months. The ZTE Era is one highlight from that lot and brings some well rounded specs along with it.

Making use of the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core mobile processor the ZTE Era as it's known will arrive with Android 4.0 on-board along with a 4.3-Inch 960 x 540 display with 8GB of memory expandable with a MicroSD card and HSPA+ connectivity. When it comes to size, the ZTE comes in at only 7.8mm thick.

There was no mention of availability time or carriers currently but the ZTE Era  will serve as ZTE's flagship device in the coming months. You can view the full press release past the break.

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