Headlines

3 years ago

How to download maps data on Google Maps

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One of the more interesting (if less publicized) additions to Google Maps 5.7 is the ability to download map data locally to your phone. That's a godsend if you're traveling somewhere that has a spotty connection, or if you're overseas and trying to avoid roaming charges.

To enable downloading map data, you'll need to go into the Labs section of Google Maps. Hit the menu button, then More, then Labs, and tap on the Download Map Area section, like you see above.

You'll be able to download a 10-mile radius from any point. Hold your finger down on the map or choose a saved location, then tap Download Map Area. It's simple.

Need more? We've got video after the break. Bon appetit.

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3 years ago

Google Maps 5.7 brings public transit navigation, better search, improved Places

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Google Maps just got a sizable update, with a slew of new features that those of you in major metro areas are going to want to check out. First and foremost is the addition of Transit Navigation. It's in beta (of course), but gives you directions via public transit in more than 400 cities worldwide, tying it all into turn-by-turn directions.

And speaking of directions, you're getting easier access to the nav button (anyone who's ever used it will be thankful for this). Also, Google Places are easier to get to, and they're better integrated into the search results. Also, photos are now integrated into Places results.

Here are the bullet points you'll see after updating:

  • Get GPS stop-by-stop public transit directions in Navigation (beta)
  • Receive search suggestions based on previous direction destinations and visited Place pages
  • Get directions in fewer clicks with the updated directions experience
  • Improved battery power management for Navigation (beta)
  • Browser photos of Place pages in a gallery view
  • Use the Download Map Area lap to save map areas for offline viewing

Google's demo video and Market links are after the break. Get to updating, everybody!

Source: Google Maps Blog

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3 years ago

HTC ChaCha review (Three network)

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The persistent rumors of an Android-powered “Facebook phone” culminated in the unveiling of the HTC ChaCha and its larger sibling, the Salsa, at Mobile World Congress back in February. With its full QWERTY keyboard and slightly silly name, the ChaCha drew attention for being the first phone to put the social network at the center of the user experience. Avid Facebookers were promised hardware and software to help them stay in touch with their legions of friends and followers -- a dedicated Facebook button was introduced, along with a specially-customized version of HTC’s Sense UI.

We’ve spent the past couple of weeks getting to grips with the HTC ChaCha on Three UK, which is available on Pay As You Go for £199.99, or for free on contracts starting at £20 per month. Read on to find out if we ‘Like’ the ChaCha, or whether we’d rather unfriend it and go our separate ways.

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3 years ago

Microsoft reportedly demanding $15 per Android phone from Samsung

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Microsoft and Samsung reportedly are in discussions over licensing fees concerning the latter's Android smartphones. Reuters, citing "local media," reported that Microsoft was "demanding" $15 per smartphone. Samsung reportedly countered with $10 per phone in exchange for "a deeper alliance with Microsoft for the U.S. company's Windows platform."

And thus the world continues to work as it's intended to. It's important to note that just as when HTC started forking over licensing fees to Microsoft, we're talking Microsoft and Samsung here, not Microsoft and Google, or Microsoft and Android. OK, maybe indirectly. But there are countless lines of proprietary code in Android, and any number of ways that code -- or, yes, possibly code from the Android Open Source Project itself -- could infringe on another company's patents. Problem right now is that nobody's saying which toes are getting stepped on, just that there's pressure on the foot.

Source: Reuters

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3 years ago

Sam's Club looking to get Samsung Conquer by July 24

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And, finally, we round out the Launch Date Leakapolooza with Sprint, and the Samsung Conquer. That's the mid-level Android smartphone that a brief appearance on Sammy's website last week before being yanked. Specs, as you'll recall, include:

  • 3.5-inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen
  • 1 GHz CPU
  • 3.2MP rear camera, 1.3MP front facing camera
  • Android 2.3 (without TouchWiz and with Sprint ID)
  • Tri-Band CDMA (including the 800MHz frequencies)

So, we may well see the Samsung Conquer by July 24. Also note that the Motorola Photon appears to be slated for July, which narrows things down a little more than just "coming soon."

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3 years ago

European HTC Sensation gets first over-the-air update

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HTC is now pushing out its first over-the-air update for unbranded European Sensations, according to reports from users in several European countries. The update package reportedly weighs just under 27MB, and brings the Sensation up to software version 1.35.401.1 -- the exact same version which leaked last week in the form of an RUU (ROM update utility).

The general consensus seems to be that this is a small, incremental update consisting mostly of bug fixes and the like. The new software is still based on Android 2.3.3, and there's no sign that the bootloader has been unlocked in accordance with HTC's new bootloader policy. However, there are unconfirmed reports that the new software remedies some of the lag that users have been experiencing in the Sensation's homescreen launcher which, if true, would be very welcome indeed.

If you've got an unbranded European HTC Sensation, head over to 'Settings' -> 'About phone' -> 'Check for updates' to grab the new firmware, and report back to us in the comments if you notice any changes.

Source: XDA

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3 years ago

Qualcomm roadmap leaks, expect dual-core Krait soon, quad-core in 2013

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The Qualcomm roadmap for the next few years has leaked out, putting a time frame on the chips they announced last February.  According to the leak, we should expect dual-core LTE, HSPA, and HSPA+ chips clocked anywhere from 1.5 GHz to 1.7 GHz to be in the hands of manufacturers late in Q3 of this year, with the Adreno 225 GPU on board.  Come Q3 of next year, we should see the budget version start to make it's way into phones and other connected devices, with a Adreno 305 GPU and a bit lower (1.0-1.2GHz) clock speeds.

The "big deal," and what many are waiting for, are the quad-core Krait systems, complete with an Adreno 320 to push out 1080p video at 60 fps, and clock speeds in the 2 GHz and up range.  We won't get to see those until early 2013 though.  Of course, this is all subject to change -- if there's anything we all have learned from leaks, it's that they often don't hold true.  They will arrive when they arrive, and I think we will love them.

Source: MobileTechWorld; via Engadget

Update: Image and links removed at Qualcomm's request

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3 years ago

T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide looking at July 27 release?

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Up next in our launch date leakapolooza -- you've already seen the Verizon Motorola Droid Bionic, plus the LG Thrill and HTC Status on AT&T -- is the HTC Doubleshot, aka the myTouch 4G Slide, and it looks like it could be slated for release by July 27. The price, as was announced previously, is $199.

So, just a couple weeks to go on that one (if not sooner from a proper T-Mobile store). Who's in?

Thanks, Anon!

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3 years ago

Gingerbread finally arrives on Vodafone-branded Nexus Ones

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If you're still rocking an unrooted, Vodafone-branded Nexus One, then you'll be pleased to hear that today sees the release of the official, Voda-approved Gingerbread update for these phones. The carrier has announced that Android 2.3.4 has begun rolling out over-the-air to its Nexus Ones, bringing these handsets up to date with unbranded Nexii.

Of the many new features in Gingerbread, Vodafone has highlighted the re-vamped UI and keyboard, SIP calling and improved power management in its release notes. It's an over-the-air (OTA) update, so simply check for updates in Settings -> About phone to grab the new software.

Source: Vodafone UK

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3 years ago

Sprint Photon 4G: Now 'coming soon'

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When the Photon 4G was announced, Sprint said its first 4G Android device from Motorola would be coming "this summer." Looks like that's been bumped up to "coming soon." That doesn't exactly shed any light on when you'll actually be able to buy one. But any movement's better than no movement at all, right?

More: Photon 4G forums; Thanks, anon!

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3 years ago

Sprint HTC EVO 3D review

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Mild-mannered high-end smartphone,
or a three-dimensional breakthrough?

 

There are a couple ways to look at the Sprint HTC EVO 3D. One is that it's a high-end smartphone, with the latest hardware and software you can get. Another is that it's a high-end smartphone with the latest hardware and software -- and 3D recording and playback technology.

There's a larger discussion to be had regarding 3D recording and playback on smartphones. Do we really want it? Do we need it? Are we just seeing first-generation tech growing pains? That's a discussion we've been having for some time, and we'll continue to have it.

But back to the EVO 3D. It's one of the first dual-core-processor phones to be released by Qualcomm (along with the HTC Sensation). It's one of the first to run the new HTC Sense 3.0 user interface. Oh, and it's the first 3D smartphone to be released in the United States. And it's following up one of the hottest phones of the past year or so in the EVO 4G. So it's got a lot going for it, and lofty expectations. Will it live up to them? Find out after the break.

EVO 3D SpecsEVO 3D ForumsEVO 3D Accessories

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3 years ago

SIM-free European HTC EVO 3D gets pre-order price and date

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Many European retailers are taking pre-orders of the HTC EVO 3D (check out our initial review of the US version), but Amazon.co.uk is the first to offer up both a SIM-free price and a possible release date. Amazon's currently listing the EVO 3D with a due date of Sep. 12 and an unsurprisingly hefty price tag of £569.99 (~$910).

As we're always quick to point out, pre-order prices and release dates are never set in stone, and may be based off the retailer's best guess rather than anything official. While the price is about what we'd expect to pay for a phone like this, the release date seems a little wide of the mark given that HTC has already announced a July launch for the EVO 3D in the UK. With Vodafone being the only British network currently confirmed to be carrying the phone, we suppose it's possible that some sort of exclusivity agreement may delay availability of the EVO 3D through other channels for a few weeks, just as it did with the Sensation. Nothing has been announced yet though, so for the moment that's still just speculation.

Source: Amazon.co.uk

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3 years ago

One of these EVO 3Ds is not like the other

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Whoopsie. Reader Nelson passes along the following story about his EVO 3D:

I just bought these phones last night at a Nebraska Furniture Mart and one of them came with the camera plate upside down. I went back to the store to exchange it, but they said that is just cosmetic and if i change it will use my one-time store exchange. I just think that is not fair.

We're inclined to agree. Now we're not exactly up on our Nebraska Furniture Mart trainee's manual, but we're willing to bet that if we started using ʇɹɐɯ ǝɹnʇıuɹnɟ ɐʞsɐɹqǝu everywhere we went, they'd call it more than just cosmetic. If a store gives you a hassle over something like this, you might want to hit up the manufacturer, too. Couldn't hurt.

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3 years ago

Droid 3 appears headed for Verizon stores on July 14

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Direct fulfillment to start July 7

If you've got a hankering for the latest iteration of the venerable Motorola Droid, it's looking more and more likely that we'll see it here in the next couple of weeks. The latest round of leaked Droid 3 material shows a July 7 direct fulfillment (aka shipping) date, with in-store availability on July 14. Specs remain the same as what we brought you yesterday, with a 4-inch qHD display, dual-core 1GHz processor, five-row sliding keyboard, but no LTE data.

We can't help but wonder after last year's low-key launch of the Droid 2 (which was quickly replaced by the Droid 2 global), will Verizon throw a parade for this one? Or just settle with another press release? Either way, look for official word (and official pricing) next week.

Source: Droid-Life

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3 years ago

Did the Motorola Droid Bionic just clear the FCC?

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A Motorola cellular communications device, with EVDO and LTE 700MHz radios, Bluetooth, Wifi b/g/n, and inductive charging battery cover has cleared the FCC today.  I can't say with 100 percent certainty, but this sounds like it could be only one thing -- the Motorola Droid Bionic

There's not much to be gleaned from any FCC filing (see them at the source link) for most of us, but one interesting thing here is that the photos of the device and the user manual are under a confidentiality agreement that ends on August 7.  You make what you will out of that, but I'm pretty certain that means we'll be seeing this one before that date.  How soon before, is anyone's guess.

Source: FCC

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