Headlines

3 years ago

Spotify now live in the United States

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Take just about every feature from every streaming music service available, and you you get Spotify. But until today, those of us in the United States were left on the sidelines. No more. Spotify's now live. Create playlists, share music, search from millions of songs, play offline. And, most important, play on your Android phone.

Free invites are going out fast and furious this morning, and there are deals that can get you bumped up to the premium levels pretty quickly. Or if you don't mind paying monthly, $4.99 a month gets you the basic service, sans advertising. For $9.99 a month "premium" (and this is the one most of you will be shooting for), you gain full Spotify access on your Android smartphone, offline mode, and better streaming quality.

We're right in the middle of deep-diving this thing, but so far, Spotify's living up to its expectations.

More: Spotify

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3 years ago

Swiftkey X comes out of beta for Android smartphones and tablets

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Swiftkey X -- the latest generation in what has proven to be an excellent predictive-type keyboard for Android -- exits public beta status this morning and enters the Android Market as a full-fledged paid app.

Available for 48 hours at $1.99 (it'll increase to $3.99 thereafter), Swiftkey X is the phone version of TouchType's venerable keyboard app. It combines the two major facets of an on-screen keyboard -- predictive typing and the skinning of the keys themselves -- for what has quickly become (yet again) one of our favorite third-party Android keyboards.

Also available today is Swiftkey Tablet X, designed for Honeycomb tablets and their larger screens. It's available for 48 hours for $1.99 as well, and increases to $4.99 thereafter. With Swiftkey Tablet X, you have the option to type in a typical keyboard design, or you can switch to the thumb layout (seen above).

If you've previously purchased Swiftkey, you'll be upgraded to the full version of Swiftkey X for free.

We've been using Swiftkey X in its various beta builds for the past several months. The key to its success lies in its Fluency 2.0 engine, which learns the way you type and adapts to better predict your next word. You also have the option (it's opt-in) to connect Swiftkey X to your Facebook, Gmail and Twitter accounts, where it can better learn your typing habits. Are you particular in your hunting and pecking? Or do you just kind of go for it, and rely on autocorrect to get your message across? Swiftkey X can work with both.

Other features: Swiftkey X now supports 22 languages and can interpret as many as three simultaneous for you tri-lingual typers out there. Look and feel are also greatly improved, and the long-press timing is as good as we've seen. And Swiftkey X now has three themes from which to choose -- dark, light and neon.

Check out videos of Swiftkey in action after the break.

Download: Swiftkey X (phones); Swiftkey Tablet X

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3 years ago

Cricket launches the Huawei Ascend II

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Following up on their successful launch of the Original Huawei Ascend, Cricket has announced the availability of the Huawei Ascend II, which also is slated to hit US Cellular in the fall. This time around there is no trackball to be found on the device and it comes pre-loaded with Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

This value-priced Android comes with a 3.5" HVGA touch-screen with virtual keyboard, Wi-Fi capability and 3G Real Web Browsing. The Ascend II has lots of great smartphone features packed into an affordable package. Cricket's fifth Android smartphone also includes great features like a 5 MP camera/camcorder and a MP3 player/microSD slot. The Ascend II features the Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS and a 600 MHz processor.

That value-price equates to $179.99 at Cricket retailers but you'll also nee to sign on for Cricket's all-inclusive $55 Android plan, which provides users with unlimited talk, text, 411 information, international text, unlimited and video picture messages with unlimited data included.

Source: Leap Wireless

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3 years ago

Samsung Replenish to get EF27 update on July 18

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Another thing we found while digging through the leaked Sprint playbook was a maintenance release update for the Samsung Replenish, scheduled to hit July 18.  With it will come enhancements to the LED, a fix that sounds the roaming alert before roaming is activated, and a fix for the issue of the ##RTN# attribute resetting to all zeros that was introduced with ED23.

While it's not a major OS update to Gingerbread, it's refreshing to see issues and bugs get quickly fixed.  If you're using a Replenish, you'll be notified when the update is sent to your phone, and given installation instructions at that time.

Thanks, Anon!

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3 years ago

Latest Sprint Playbook foretells return of the mail-in rebate, TEP increase, takes shot at Verizon

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Thanks to an anonymous friend, we have our hands on the latest edition of the Sprint Playbook, and this time it's chock full of news about everything from rebates to device launches.  Some of it confirms what we already knew, some reinforces some rumors floating around, and some is stuff we've not thought of yet.  Hit the break and have a look.

Thanks, Anon!

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3 years ago

Motorola Electrify (aka Photon), LG Optimus Black top US Cellular's Q3 roadmap

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Way, way back in early June, US Cellular teased seven Android phones and tablets to be released by the end of the year. The breakdown went thusly:

  • Three HTC devices -- two smartphones and a tablet (which we presumed would be the Flyer
  • A 4.3-inch Motorola device with a dual-core 1GHz processor and world phone radio
  • An LG device with a 1GHz dual-core processor, 4-inch touchscreen and "ultra-bright LCD display that is easy to view in sunlight." We figured that to be the LG Optimus Black
  • Plus, entry-level phones from Samsung and Huawei.

We've since seen the HTC Desire II and Wildfire S show up in USCC's inventory. So put a check to them.

As for the other devices? We've got US Cellular's entire third-quarter roster after the break, if you're into that sort of thing.

Thanks, Anon!

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3 years ago

T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide initial review

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The T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide is the latest in the myTouch line from T-Mo, and should be hitting the shelves on July 27.  It has some pretty big shoes to fill, as the myTouch 4G/Glacier/Panache is one hell of a phone, though often overlooked because of it's carrier.  The latest iteration of the myTouch brings the hardware specs into the "superphone" range, and gives a decent horizontal sliding qwerty option for those that need or want one.  Hit the break and have a look at our hands-on and first impressions of this one.

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3 years ago

New Android Market allows you to choose your Google account

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Google just showed us the new updated Android Market client that brings a UI overhaul, as well as Google Books and Movies for folks in the states.  Not long after, we gave you a way to download the new Market for yourselves, and you guys got to work checking it out.  It has a lot of different features, including one that a lot of us have been wanting -- the ability to switch to any Google account on your phone for Market use.  You can even choose a Google Apps account.  This could be a pretty handy feature, but also opens up the possibility of abuse via shared account credentials.  We'll have to see how it all unfolds.

Source: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

PayPal unveils peer-to-peer NFC payment system

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PayPal has shown their new peer-to-peer NFC payment system at MobileBeat 2011 today, using two Android powered Samsung Nexus S phones.  The premise is simple -- open the app on both phones, enter the payment amount on one, and bump them together.  After the buzz, enter account details, and the payment is processed.  Afterwards, the normal email receipts are generated and sent out, just like we did it in the old days.

There's no firm date when to expect this, but PayPal says "late this summer".  Another compelling reason for manufacturers to put NFC capabilities in their new models, or just a security concern?  Either way, we'll find out soon enough.  Hit the break to see a demo video.

Source: PayPal

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3 years ago

Reminder: Win 1 of 2 HTC EVO 3Ds from Sprint and TeleNav


Youtube link for mobile viewing

Just a quick reminder here that we're giving away (with some sweet help from TeleNav and Sprint) a HTC EVO 3Ds to two lucky readers. (Don't worry, each winner will get their own, so they don't have to share.) And check out the video above for a look at what TeleNav brings to navigation on the EVO 3D.

Here's what you need to do to enter:

  • Follow @telenav, @sprint and @androidcentral on Twitter.
  • Leave a comment on the original contest post, including your twitter handle.
  • Contest ends at 5 p.m. PST July 15, 2011, at which time two winners will be picked at random (provided you followed the instructions above).
  • It's a Sprint phone, so you need to be in the United States. (Sorry, world.)
  • Telenav's offering the hardware only. Prize(s) estimated retail value is $600 per phone, or $1,200 total in prizes.
  • We can't stop you from entering more than once, but we'll know if you do.

Enter to win one of two EVO 3Ds from Sprint and Telenav

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3 years ago

Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro coming 'late September' in UK

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Sony Ericsson is now listing the new keyboard-toting Xperia Pro on its official UK store, with availability slated for "late September". This sees the phone slipping further into late Q3, following earlier delays which saw it miss its Q2 release window.

The phone will launch at SIM-free price point of £349.99 (~$560), which is comparable to what you'll pay for an Xperia Neo right now. It'll also come with a number of premium features that've already impressed us on current SE devices, including an 8.1MP Exmor R camera, Mobile Bravia Engine and HDMI connectivity.

With the HTC Desire Z looking increasingly long in the tooth, there's a shortage of decent mid to high-end Android QWERTY sliders in Europe right now. We'll be watching to see if Sony Ericsson can take advantage of this gap in the market this September.

Source: Sony Ericsson Store; via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Australia's Telstra network gets the HTC Sensation

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The HTC Sensation -- one of our favorite Android smartphones of the year so far -- is headed to Australia by way of the Telstra network. Same 4.3-inch qHD screen, Android 2.3, Sense 3.0 and that dual-core processor.

It also sports the TelstraOne app, which brings news, sports and weather feeds direct to the home screen.

Telstra Business customers can purchase the HTC Sensation on $59 Business Mobile Maximiser Plan with an additional handset payment of$13 per month (min cost is $1,728 over 24 months). This plan includes $550 worth of eligible calls, unlimited standard national text and 1.5GB of data to use in Australia each month.

It is also available to purchase for RRP $792 outright.

Source: HTC

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3 years ago

HTC Status, Motorola Triumph, Gravity Smart, and Pantech Crossover coming soon to Radio Shack

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Radio Shack is getting a slew of Android phones next week, and thanks to an anonymous friend we know which ones.  First up is the HTC Status (check out our hands-on), which should be for sale "early next week" for $20 on contract and $400 outright.  Perfect price point for that one!  Another $20 phone coming early next week is the Pantech Crossover (read our review), which goes for $350 if bought off-contract.  You'll be able to snatch the T-Mobile Gravity Smart this week, for $20 on a new two-year plan, or $50 for an upgrade.  And finally, next week you can spend your $300 on a Motorola Triumph of your very own, and get a great phone on a pre-paid plan.  Looks like that July 19 date for this one was close.

Looks like things will be busy at the Shack.  Hit the break for a couple more pics. 

Thanks, Anon!

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3 years ago

Grab the new Android Market app while it's hot

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You might have heard that Google was rolling out a new Android Market, complete with book and movie rentals.  You also might have heard it would coming in the next few weeks.  Well thanks to an anonymous source (possibly with a time machine) you can grab it today.

Hit the download link, and install it from your SD card like any other app.  Fair warning -- we don't know if there will be any complications from doing this, but we haven't seen any so far.  Use your best judgement.  Discuss it in the forums!

Download: New Android Market

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the AT&T HTC Status

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Here, ladies and gentlemen, is our first look at the U.S. version of the HTC ChaCha, known here in the states as the HTC Status on AT&T. Same as it ever was in Europe (only with proper 3G), a four-row QWERTY keyboard, and that dedicated Facebook button.

First impressions? Forgive us, but we're getting a bit nostalgic here. If you're looking to bang out e-mails on an Android phone, this one's going to deserve a look. The keys are to die for. You'll have to get used to the smaller screen, natch, but if gaming's not your thing, you're going to be flying on the Status.

The Facebook button's pretty intuitive, too, blinking when there's content to share. But we'd prefer it to be closer to screen. That's where our eyes are looking most of the time, and it's a bit of a stretch down to the bottom of the device.

But for now, feast your eyes on more pics after the break.

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