3 years ago

Verizon to kill grandfathered unlimited data plan


Verizon has plans to kill the current unlimited data add-on and force users to a shared pool of tiered data. Speaking at today's 40th annual J.P. Morgan Technology, Media, and Telecom conference, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo stated that all customers will be migrated off of current unlimited data plans and on to a new data-share plan to launch this summer. "Everyone will be on data share", according to Shammo. As people renew contracts and move to new 4G LTE smartphones and other devices, their current data plan will no longer be available. There was no mention what would happen to current LTE subscribers, but we imagine they too will be pushed towards the new sharing plans.

There is no word on exactly how these plans will work, only that  all 4G connected devices on Verizon will share the same data pool. We don't yet know how big that data pool will be, nor how much it will cost. Hopefully, Verizon realizes that they are pushing customers to use more and more data and makes them generous.

Of course, Shammo says this will be a better option for everyone involved, but I've a feeling that more than a few of you will disagree. To see the webcast in it's entirety, see the link below. 

Source: Fierce Wireless; view the webcast
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Sony details Xperia S ICS update further, arriving 'late may or early June'


Pretty much the only thing missing from Sony's flagship Xperia S, is Ice Cream Sandwich. For many, a 2012 Android device without Android 4.0 on board out of the box, makes it a non-starter. But, for those that did take a punt and buy an Xperia S, the ICS flavored reward is almost here. 

The update is due to hit around "late May/early June," according to a post in the Sony Xperia S support forums. While nothing specific to go on, that does suggest within a calendar month we'll be seeing it. As ever, those devices bought unbranded and carrier unlocked will likely see it first, with the usual delays presented by carriers to follow for branded devices. 

Source: Sony Support Forum via Unwired View

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3 years ago

Sprint finally acknowledges EVO 4G LTE delay on its community forums


Sprint's community forums this morning have acknowledged that the EVO 4G LTE has been delayed, stuck in customs. It hasn't gone out and said that it won't be available for Friday morning's launch, but pre-ordered phones are "on hold," writes dshoem01. Pre-ordered phones should still arrive first. Here's the full statement:

  • HTC EVO 4G LTE availability
    The U.S. availability of the HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed.  HTC is working to resolve this issue and appreciates your patience as they work to get products into Sprint channels. We can’t provide specific timing for product availability at this time and we appreciate your patience as HTC works to get products on store shelves as soon as possible.
  • Pre-order status/availability
    Delivery of products for pre-order are on hold and Sprint will provide a ship date as soon as possible. Sprint will maintain the promise for the preorder customers that they will be among the first to receive their HTC EVO 4G LTE units.

Update: The author of the post has since removed pre-order cancellation info, saying it was inaccurate. To cancel a preorder, you'll need to either refuse delivery or call for a return authorization kit.

Sprint PR continues to refer questions to HTC. Check back for any updates.

Source: Sprint community forums; via EVO 4G LTE forums

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3 years ago

LG promotes Optimus UI 3.0 ahead of new phone launches


With its new range of Android 4.0 devices, LG's make a clean break with its old user interface design, starting over with the new Optimus UI 3.0. And in the run up to the launch of its upcoming flagship phones, the Optimus 4X HD and Optimus LTE II, LG's officially announced its new UI, which it says is designed to add new features, while being "unobtrusive and simple."

Of course, we've seen LG's new ICS-based software a few times before, including during our hands-on time with the Optimus 4X HD at MWC and CTIA. But until now LG's remained relatively quiet about exactly what's new in the new Optimus UI.

Among all the new features, LG's highlighting its re-vamped lockscreen, which allows the phone to be unlocked by dragging anywhere on the screen to create a window through to the apps or launcher below. And changes to pattern lock allow common apps to be automatically loaded while security features are enabled, too.

Also of interest is the new voice shutter, which enables the phone to take photos in response to voice commands. And just like leading phones from HTC and Samsung, LG's included burst-shot mode, and the ability to automatically pick the best shot from a series of snaps.

Other additions include a "downloads" category in the app drawer , and the ability to customize icons for individual app shortcuts. All interesting stuff, and we're eager to see how these features work in practice when we get our hands on LG's new stuff.

LG says Optimus UI 3.0 will launch on the Optimus LTE II in Korea this week, and internationally on the 4X HD in June. We've got the full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile HTC Sensation 4G ICS update rolling out today, Amaze update coming May 21


Good news this morning for anyone rocking T-Mobile's HTC Sensation 4G -- as we reported a couple of days ago, the Sensation's update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich begins rolling out today. So head to Settings > About phone > Software updates to see if your update is ready yet.

In addition, T-Mobile has today revealed that its HTC Amaze 4G will be joining the Sensation on ICS from next Monday, May 21. Just like the Sensation's ICS upgrade, the Amaze OTA will bring it up to Android 4.0.3 and HTC Sense 3.6. That's the same intermediary version of Sense that we've seen on other updated phones, adding many of the features we've seen on newer Sense 4.0 phones, but sticks with the visual style of the older Sense 3.x.

If you're updating your Sensation to ICS today, be sure to drop by the comments and let us know how it went!

Source: T-Mobile (1, 2)

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3 years ago

HTC Desire C arriving May 24 for £190, says retailer


If you're after one of those new HTC Desire C's and don't want to wait until June for the carrier-branded versions, it looks like you'll be able to pick up the device SIM-free in just over a week. British online retailer Clove Technology sends word that it'll be stocking HTC's latest budget handset from next Thursday, May 24. Clove's price is £189.99 including VAT, a little higher than the £170 or so that networks will be asking for, but that's to be expected for an unlocked handset.

The Desire C, which was officially announced yesterday, revives the classic Desire brand and the in a 3.5-inch device that looks like a cross between a One S and a Wildfire S. It's powered by a 600MHz Snapdragon S1 chip, so it's hardly bleeding edge, but the inclusion of ICS, NFC and Beats Audio should give budget buyers plenty to play with.

For more Desire C goodness, check out yesterday's announcement post.

Source: Clove Technology

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3 years ago

International HTC One X gets minor bug fixes in new OTA


According to forum reports, the unlocked, international HTC One X (that's the One rocking Tegra 3 as opposed to Snapdragon S4) has received another small over-the-air update this morning, bringing the device up to version 1.29.401.11. This one's smaller than some previous One X OTAs, at just 14MB, and according to early reports it fixes issues with screen flickering and USB storage, though the dreaded Wifi disconnection bug apparently remains.

If you're running an unlocked One X, be sure to grab the latest update (Settings > About phone > Software updates), and let us know in the comments if you're noticing any major differences.

More: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III available a day early for pre-order customers in some stores


Samsung originally revealed May 29 as the official launch date of the Galaxy S III in Europe, before retailers started announcing the device for a purported May 30 release. Today it seems the original date of May 29 will still stand, but only for pre-order customers in a handful of stores across the UK.

This morning Samsung UK sends word that customers pre-ordering the Galaxy S III at the Samsung store at London's Westfield Stratford City will be able to pick up their phones from 6pm local time on Tuesday, May 29. But if you're not in London, then don't worry -- Samsung is giving other retailers the chance to hold its own early launch events for pre-orderers, as early as 7pm on that evening. So it's worth checking with any stores in your area if you fancy getting your hands on an S III a few hours before everyone else.

Regardless, the phone will go on sale nationwide on May 30, and it'll be available on all five major UK networks.

We've got Samsung's press release after the jump. For more on the Galaxy S III, check out our full coverage from the London launch event earlier this month.

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3 years ago

HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE imports stalled by U.S. customs


HTC this evening has confirmed in a statement to Android Central (and everybody else, we imagine) that importation of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE handsets have been delayed at the U.S. border because of a customs review. As first reported by The Verge, this likely stems from the ITC exclusion order Apple was granted last December over hyperlinks in the messaging app and browser.

HTC's official statement:

The US availability of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed due to a standard U.S. Customs review of shipments that is required after an ITC exclusion order. We believe we are in compliance with the ruling and HTC is working closely with Customs to secure approval. The HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE have been received enthusiastically by customers and we appreciate their patience as we work to get these products into their hands as soon as possible.

HTC has said that the issues raised by Apple in front of the ITC were trivial and would be removed from their products, but customs must review the shipments coming in after the April 19 deadline set in place by the ITC. We hope HTC's confidence is warranted, and we see the phones on the shelf, where they belong.

Opines Rene Ritchie at our sister site, iMore.com:

Apple's lawsuits against HTC -- and Samsung and Motorola -- stem from Apple's feeling that Android was "grand theft" of iPhone intellectual property. Basically, they believe Google partnered with Apple, had their then-CEO Eric Schmidt on Apple's board, and then not only stole Apple's ideas about smartphone technology, but gave them away "promiscuously".

The late Steve Jobs reportedly vowed to go "thermonuclear" over Android, and spend every dime in Apple's tens of billions of dollars in the bank to reap horrible vengeance upon them.

Current Apple CEO Tim Cook has thus far been much calmer, but every bit as deadly about patent litigation, saying Apple shouldn't be the developers for the whole world.

Currently, the HTC One X is out of stock on AT&T's website, and it looks like it may stay that way for the near future. The EVO 4G LTE is due to go on sale at 8 a.m. Friday. The status of in-store stock is unclear. A Sprint spokesperson referred questions on the delay to HTC.

Can we fix the bullshit patent and trademark office yet?

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3 years ago

Multitasking on the HTC One X isn't broken, it's customized


There's been a bit of fuss over the way the HTC One X (and One XL) handles multitasking, with some folks saying the phone is broken when talking about the way it handles tasks in the background. While it certainly is different than what we see on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, or other devices running previous versions of Android, it's not broken at all -- HTC has just tweaked it. Like everything else in the Android source code, the way the kernel and system free memory from background tasks is wide open and subject to the whim of whoever does the software building. In this case, it's an area we're pretty familiar with, and something we've been hacking at since the days of the lowly HTC Hero -- the minfree settings and kernel low memory killer. 

What's happening is that the settings have been adjusted to keep more memory free for Sense 4 to gobble up, at the expense of applications running in the background. It's not a big edit, but with the One X's big screen and Sense 4's big footprint, it's a big enough edit to force things to close in the background more aggressively than we're used to seeing. Apps that have a bit of priority (ranging from the important things like the phone dialer to the less-important like the music player) seem to act just fine, but bigger applications, like Chrome beta for example, seem to suspend and need to re-open whenever they are returned to from the application switching menu.

For the more nerdly among us, I've looked and found one set of changes in the One X's boot image. The Stock AOSP build of 4.0.4 writes these values to the minfree settings:

8099, 10132, 12165, 14213, 16245, 20295

The AT&T HTC One X uses these settings (as we're using the system, anyway):

7746, 9720, 11694, 13742, 15715, 24709

Our Tegra 3 version of the HTC One X is showing the following, again, as we're using the system:

8192, 10240, 12288, 14336, 16384, 20480

It's very likely that there are other changes in the kernel source as well. 

The real issue here is that it's different than what we're used to seeing. Many seem not to like it, and would prefer the "old way". If you're riding the root train, that's a possibility -- our own Senior Developer Beezy is looking at things, and working on a few edits. If you're not into hacking your device, you're going to have to realize that HTC has built the One X their way. It's not wrong, it's just not stock Android.

Source: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Google bringing multiple manufacturers to the Nexus line, WSJ reports


What would be better than a new Nexus phone each year? How about several Nexus devices, built by multiple manufacturers? According to the WSJ (and their confidential sources) that will become a reality in the near future. According to the Journal, Google will be working with as many as five device manufacturers to build Android lead devices, which they can then sell directly to consumers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia from their online device store. This is Google's way of exerting a modicum of control over Android, without stepping on the open-source toes at its roots. 

Right now you can walk into your carrier store and buy a great phone that runs an Android-based operating system like Sense 4, or the new TouchWiz, complete with full carrier support and customer service. With this news it sounds like those of us that aren't concerned with carrier subsidies or support may be able to shop at our own Android store. It's an answer that many of us have been looking for.

The devices are expected to run Jellybean, be completely SIM unlocked, and available near Thanksgiving. Start saving your pennies. 

I think this is a long time coming. It sounds like what Google was trying to do in 2010 with the Nexus One, but back then they didn't have the foothold (or is it stranglehold?) on customer mind-share that they do now. Two years later, and I'll wager a good many of us would jump on this opportunity, including some that didn't when the Nexus One was released.

If Google wants to pull this off, they will need to offer quality hardware at a reasonable price (I'm thinking under $500 per unit), and convince customers in the U.S. to switch away from Verizon and Sprint to GSM carriers. If they can manage this, they will have finally changed the mobile world, like they wanted to do all along. They certainly have my support.

Source: WSJ

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3 years ago

LG Optimus Elite now available from Virgin Mobile USA


It was only a few days ago that pre-orders for the LG Optimus Elite were happening but now Virgin Mobile USA is ready to put their first device with NFC and Google Wallet into the hands of consumers. Yes, today is the day the LG Optimus Elite goes on sale today and you can pick yourself one up for only $150. A reminder of the specs let's us know it's not for everyone out there but it a reasonable device for those looking to possibly jump from a feature phone:

  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 3.5-inch touchscreen
  • 800 MHz processor
  • 5MP rear-facing camera

As a bonus, LG has also team up with the folks from Box so if you pick up an LG Optimus Elite, you can download the Box app from the Google Play Store and get yourself 50GB of cloud storage space for free. Keep in mind though, that offer only runs until July 22, 2012. Need more details? Check out the full press release below or have a look at our hands-on.

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3 years ago

Sprint Galaxy Nexus review


Welcome to Part 3 of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus story -- the one where the latest Google reference phone makes its way to Sprint, ready to put the upcoming LTE network to the test. Sprint was kind enough to loan us a review unit for a while, and I get to walk everyone through things this time. Luckily, we've got a couple excellent reviews of the Galaxy Nexus as it debuted for other networks in other places, so we can take this time to deviate from the standard path a bit, and focus on how the phone we all know and (mostly) love performs -- something that rarely gets covered in-depth in a "regular" review. Hit the break, and I'll walk you through how the Galaxy Nexus on Sprint worked out for me with a week's hard use.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III user manual appears in all its 181-page glory


If you've been struggling to pass the time awaiting the moment when you can buy a Samsung Galaxy S III for yourselves, Samsung's got you covered. The full user manual for the international version of  the device is now out there on the interwebs for anyone interested in reading it. All 181 pages of it. Will it contain anything we haven't already covered? Most probably not, but it's there for those who want it. 

The only contentious point arising so far seems to surround the supported microSD card sizes. Page 20 of the manual states that the Galaxy S III will support sizes up to 32GB. We know from the keynote in London though, that the initial presentation of the S III's specs showed support for 64GB cards. Could be a mis-print. Or, there could be something more sinister behind it. For now though, we'll hedge our bets on the first one. In any case, hit the source link below if you're interested in taking a look. 

Source: SamMobile

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3 years ago

China gets the music-friendly Motorola Motosmart Mix XT550


Motorola today announced the Motosmart Mix XT550, a China-bound for for "people who really care about music." The 4-inch Android 2.3 smartphone comes loaded with Dolby Mobile software, SRS WOW HD enhancements and is an exclusivity on the Sina Micro Music app. The Motosmart Mix XT550 also sports a 3MP rear camrea and a front-facing VGA camera, all powered by a 1750 mAh battery. 

More: Motorola

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