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3 years ago

Google, U.S. carriers and PayPal join mobile payments standards comittee

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The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) announced that it has formed what they are calling the Mobile Payments Committee -- a group of companies working together to create common standards and advance the current mobile payment situation in the U.S. Notable partners include AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, as well as other industry partners like Google and ISIS

While the companies are all focusing on competing products, they realize the benefit that comes with getting merchants on board working with regulators to get some standard rules in place. According to ETA CEO Jason Oxman, "The idea behind the committee is to get all the players around the table, ask everyone to take off their company hats and put on their industry hats, and talk about what issues need to be resolved."

We agree. In the end only the companies who can offer what consumers want in a safe and easy to use way will survive, so it's important to get all the rules and standards put in place while the technology is still in the early stages. We don't see any of the participants willing to drop their offerings in favor of another, but hopefully a set of common goals can be used to get mobile payment technology into the public's hands where the best product can win. Waiting until one or more of the partners have pulled ahead will only make it harder to adopt legislation that's fair to all parties.

The Mobile Payment Committee will hold its first meeting in late August, with regular monthly meetings to follow. We've been crowing for some standardization for a while now, so we think this is great news. The full press release is after the break.

Via  MobileBurn

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3 years ago

OTA Update Center brings over-the-air updates to any ROM developer

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Nothing pleases Android fans more than a notice that they have an update. Millions of words have been spent on countless blogs and forums discussing OTAs (or the lack of them) and we get a little giddy when we see the notice that one is available. The folks at the OTA Update Center have worked out the supporting infrastructure and methods to offer a free OTA service to any ROM developer, so that hackers and modders can enjoy that fuzzy feeling an update brings as well.

It' not really anything new -- hackers and ROM devs have been doing custom ROM OTAs since the days of the HTC Hero, and we see similar services offered from ROM Manager and Goo.im Manager. The OTA Update Center will work in a similar fashion, where an app will be installed into the system that communicates with the servers to pass out OTA updates to anyone using the ROM. For the end-user, it's a simple and impressive way to keep the OS on your phone up-to-date.

The real difference here is to the developers. They no longer need to host files or insert framework for an FOTA system into their ROM, and instead can use the supplied tool with a few edits. This will get everything up and running with  minimum of extra code, and provide a sort of standard that all developers can follow. We like standards. Developers like standards. Users like things that "just work", and standards allow that to happen easier.

If you're an end user, you'll have to wait and see if your ROM development team decides to use the OTA Update Center. If you're a developer, you should check out the source links and think about giving it a try. Be sure to give us a shout if you incorporate this into your ROM, we'd love to give it a look!

Source: OTA Update Center, via XDA-Developers

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3 years ago

Intel to bring wireless charging to smartphones and ultrabooks in 2013

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According to DigiTimes' "upstream supply chain," Intel is readying technology that will wirelessly charge Intel powered smartphones via over-the-air induction. To put it in layman's terms, hardware inside the phone will be able to grab low power electricity from mid-air and charge the battery. It's safe, and already has a standard in the Wireless Power Consortium's Qi method, which we've seen in action with contact induction charging on the Thunderbolt. The real barrier, according to the sources has been cost.

Both Sharp and NTT Docomo have launched devices that charge wirelessly via the Qi standard in Japan, but prohibitive costs have kept it from becoming the norm. Samsung was expected to release a similar product this summer, but the project has been delayed until the end of 2012 or early 2013. 

What's different about Intel's rumored offering is the power "source". Supposedly to debut on ultrabooks, a chip inside the laptop will transmit power through the air to an Intel powered smartphone, like Orange's San Diego model. Intel's resources and software group can likely bring the price point down to more reasonable levels, which other OEMs could integrate into their hardware. 

Hopefully options that consist of a wall socket that works stand-alone with the correct smartphone hardware will follow soon, then we can stop worrying about battery life and just buy a sub-station for home and the office. It's one way to address battery life issues that smartphone users suffer from on every platform, and with Intel behind it, it becomes a real possibility now.

Source: DigiTimes

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3 years ago

LG Optimus Vu review

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Oh Optimus Vu, what an odd little device you are. Developed as a less than subtle knee-jerk reaction to Samsung’s Galaxy Note, the Vu went on sale in Korea earlier this year, and it’ll soon be making its way to Japan on NTT Docomo, too. Stateside, it's known as the Verizon LG Intuition. In any case, this is LG’s 5-inch, stylus-using, 4:3 aspect ratio squarish slab. It ran Android 2.3 at launch, but it’s recently received a substantial update to version 4.0 and the new LG Optimus UI 3.0. Shaped more like a placemat than a telephone, the Optimus Vu is one of the most outlandish-looking devices to have ever passed across our desk.

The Vu’s internal specs closely match the device it emulates, and the recent ICS update has done a lot to unlock the potential of that hardware. But considering the 5+ inch phone space is dominated by Samsung, is there space for a second device in this product class? And with the Galaxy Note 2 expected in a matter of weeks, is there any reason to consider LG’s offering? Find out in our full review of the LG Optimus Vu.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy S Blaze Q press shot appears, Aug. 15 release rumored

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A press render for the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S Blaze Q (gasp) has emerged, seemingly confirming rumors of an Aug. 15 release for the upcoming QWERTY slider. The device, which we'll mercifully call the Blaze Q from now on, is rumored to rock a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 720p screen and Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. Essentially, a Galaxy S3 with a full physical keyboard, which is exactly what it looks like in the shot above.

Today's render, obtained by TmoNews​, hints at a possible release next Wednesday, Aug. 15. The date is mentioned in the clock and weather widget on the phone, and last month a leaked internal screen claimed that's when the Blaze Q would launch. As you may have noticed, certain manufacturers like to include launch and announcement dates in promotional photos -- for example, the Galaxy S3 press renders all showed May 3, the date of that phone's unveiling in London. It's far from conclusive, but the evidence is certainly stacking up in favor of a Blaze Q launch in just under a week.

Tmo customers, anything here catch your eye? Let us know in the comments.

Source: TmoNews

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 9 gets stable for the Galaxy Nexus

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Just a quick heads up that CyanogenMod 9 has hit stable build status for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. (That's the GSM Maguro version of the GNex.) That means you'll be running Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich and not the newer Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. But if you've got a hankering for some stable CM9 on the GNex, you're ready to go.

If you do choose to download and are comfortable with torrents, be sure to seed. You'll be doing the world a favor.

Download: CyanogenMod 9 (stable) for the Galaxy Nexus; thanks, @zacharystern

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia GX now available in Japan on NTT Docomo

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Right on schedule, Sony's new flagship smartphone, the Xperia GX, has today launched on NTT Docomo in Japan. The slim-line device is the spiritual successor to last year's Xperia Arc, and it comes with a spec list that should tantalize Android fans after a relatively tepid early 2012 showing from Sony.

The GX boasts a 4.6-inch 720p Sony HD Reality Display, a dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM, a 13MP rear camera (based on Sony's new CMOS sensor for smartphones). On the software side, there's Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, backed up by Sony's UXP NXT software, and all the proprietary Sony Entertainment Network and PlayStation functionality you'd expect. Android purists will be pleased to hear that the GX sports on-screen buttons, including a dedicated multitasking key.

If you're in Japan, you can view pricing details and other info at the source link below. If not, you'll have to wait until later this month, where Sony's expected to unveil an international version of the GX at its IFA press conference in Berlin.

Source: NTT Docomo

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3 years ago

International Galaxy S3 gets OTA update with new baseband

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Owners of the international Samsung Galaxy S III (S3, GT-i9300) are waking up to a new over-the-air update this morning. This tiny update weighs in at under 1MB, and comes labeled as a "stability improvement" patch. As far as we can tell, the only thing this version changes is the phone's baseband (radio firmware), bumping it up version XXLH1. The rest of the system image, where the remainder of the software is housed, doesn't seem to have been touched at all since the last OTA.

So it looks like this is just a minor OTA to address some issues with the radio firmware, which will be welcome news to S3 owners still experiencing the elusive "cell standby" battery drain issue that's been reported on forums. Though we've yet to receive confirmation that the update fixes this issue, it's the most likely reason for a quick radio update like this. We should also mention that local search is alive and well in this version, after it was restored a few weeks back.

If you're rocking an unlocked international Galaxy S3, you'll probably have already received the notification for this update. If not, head to Settings > About device > Software updates on the phone, or fire up Samsung's Kies desktop software to grab the new OTA. Carrier-branded phones may have a little longer to wait before they get this latest update.

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3 years ago

Android 4.1 for the T-Mobile G1 probably won't be your daily driver...

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... But damned if it isn't cool to see the original Android phone from late 2008 getting some custom Jelly Bean love. Yes, it's slow (sloooow), unstable, and the hardware's prehistoric, but it's Jelly Bean -- based on a port of CyanogenMod 10 -- and it's running on the T-Mobile G1 (aka HTC Dream). See the full preview video from the developers above, or check the forum thread linked below if you fancy firing up your G1 for old time's sake and flashing this custom ROM.

Source: XDA

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3 years ago

Vodafone Australia finally rolls out Jelly Bean on its Nexus S

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You might remember that Vodafone Australia halted the roll-out of Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean to its version of the Nexus S last month, following regulatory concerns over the handling of emergency calls. Well, it now seems everything's been straightened out, as according to Ausdroid, Aussies are waking up on Thursday morning to a brand new Vodafone Nexus S OTA.

In addition, customers on the Vodafone-based Crazy Johns network (yes, that's a real carrier name down under) are reporting that their Nexii are also seeing the update to Jelly Bean.

It's bound to have been a frustrating few weeks for subscribers on these networks, as U.S. and international Nexus S phones started to receive Jelly Bean way back on July 19. But it seems the wait is over now, so if you're on Vodafone Australia, head to Settings > About phone > Software updates to see if it's your turn to grab the OTA.

Source: Ausdroid

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3 years ago

Sprint Motorola Photon Q release rumored for Aug. 19

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Sprint fans eager to try out the Motorola Photon Q's potent mix of 4G LTE connectivity, a dual-core CPU and a QWERTY slider may be able to pick up the device sooner than expected. Reports from PhoneDog​, which cites sources at the carrier, suggest that Sprint currently plans to launch the Photon Q next Sunday, Aug. 19. As ever, that doesn't necessarily mean the date is set in stone.

The claims follow earlier reports that Sprint staff had begun training with the new Photon -- usually a sure-fire sign that release day is fast approaching. Officially, though, Sprint and Motorola are still offering no firm release window for the Photon Q. Last we heard was from the announcement press release, which said the phone would be "coming soon."

In addition to a full physical keyboard, a dual-core CPU and support for Sprint's shiny new LTE network, the Photon Q offers Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, an 8MP rear camera and a qHD "ColorBoost" display. All in all, that probably makes it the highest-spec'd QWERTY slider around.

Tempted by Sprint and Moto's latest offering? Shout out in the comments if you're planning on picking one up.

Source: PhoneDog

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3 years ago

LG Optimus Vu with Ice Cream Sandwich hands-on

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Oh Optimus Vu, what an odd little device you are. Developed as a less than subtle knee-jerk reaction to Samsung’s Galaxy Note, the Vu went on sale in Korea earlier this year, and it’ll soon be making its way to Japan on NTT Docomo, too. Stateside, a Verizon launch is rumored, though far from certain. Shaped more like a placemat than a telephone, the Optimus Vu is one of the most outlandish-looking devices to have ever passed across our desk.

In any case, this is LG’s 5-inch, stylus-using, 4:3 aspect ratio squarish slab. It ran Android 2.3 at launch, but it’s recently received a substantial update to version 4.0 and the new LG Optimus UI 3.0, and that's what we're looking at here today. For LG phones like the Vu, ICS provides not only performance improvements and new features, also a much needed visual refresh.

We'll bring you a full review of the Optimus Vu with ICS soon. In the meantime check out our video walkthrough above.

More: LG Optimus Vu non-unboxing unboxing

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3 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S III review

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It has been one heck of a summer for Samsung, with both good press (Olympic sponsorship) and bad press (ongoing litigation with Apple) fueling sales of its biggest device to date, the Galaxy S3. Since it went on sale just a few short months ago, the GS3 has been flying off the shelves, with nearly 10 million sold to date.

Late to the party is Verizon, the last of the big carriers to release its Galaxy S3 into the wild. So how does it stack up to the rest of Big Red's cache, and more importantly, how does Verizon's flavor compete with the rest of Samsung's flagship line? 

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3 years ago

HTC 'Endeavor C2' rumored to be a spec-bumped One X for late 2012

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HTC's flagship One X may be set to receive a minor specification bump before the end of 2012, according to reports from ​Stuff​. The re-vamped model is known only by its codename "HTC Endeavor C2" -- note that the original One X was "Endeavor". It'll allegedly ship with a souped-up 1.7GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU, along with an "improved" battery, new color options and urBeats earphones included in the box. ​Stuff​ also claims that the new "Endeavor C2" will be compatible with all existing One X accessories, which to us implies that the chassis design will remain identical.

Essentially, the C2 could be to the One X what the Sensation XE was to the original Sensation last year -- the same design, with slightly upgraded internals. The news also converges nicely with rumors we've heard from T-Mobile USA, suggesting an "HTC One X+" may be arriving on that network later in the year.

Some software enhancements are reported too, including ClearVoice tech for improved voice call quality, in addition to "HTC Watch 2," a new version of the HTC movie streaming service. Though not confirmed in today's leak, we suspect Jelly Bean and HTC Sense 4.1 may also be on the cards, depending on the timing of the eventual release.

Speaking of which, the Endeavor C2 is said to be slated for a UK release around Oct. 1, with on-contract prices reportedly around £5 more per month than the original One X. HTC isn't expected to have a big showing at this year's IFA event, but if this release date turns out to be accurate, it's possible we might see an official announcement sooner rather than later.

Source: Stuff

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 2 reported to use flexible AMOLED panel

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Samsung's flexible AMOLED displays, long demonstrated to slack-jawed journos at trade shows, could be about to find its place in an upcoming smartphone, if reports from South Korea are accurate. In a recent article on the latest AMOLED display innovations, the Korea IT Times reports that the Galaxy Note 2, due to be unveiled in Berlin on Aug. 29, will utilize the bendy display tech. In addition, Samsung's new, thinner Unbreakable Plane (UBP) tech is also said to be used in the Note 2, freeing up space for extra battery capacity. That's interesting given that just a month ago the Korean press was reporting that UBP was off the table for the Note 2.

These rumors, combined with recent reports of RGB AMOLED displays reaching pixel densities of 350ppi, make for encouraging reading, suggesting that Samsung's upcoming stylus-toting smartphone may usher in a host new display technologies. In particular, the reported use of flexible AMOLED might suggest some sort of curved device encompassing a curved screen. Samsung has dabbled with curved glass in its phones before (in the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus, to name a couple), so it's possible the Note 2 might develop these ideas further by curving the AMOLED display beneath. (It should go without saying that the actual phone itself won't bend.)

We still know almost nothing about the Galaxy Note 2, but rumored specs suggest it'll sport a 5.5-inch, 16:9 display, up from the 5.3 inches of the original Note. Whatever form it takes, we'll be live from Berlin on the 29th to bring you full coverage of the next Galaxy Note, so keep it locked to AC.

Source: Korea IT Times

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