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4 years ago

Late-night poll: Do you use lockscreen security?

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Security is important.  We carry a crapload of information in our phones, and with the world of NFC payments slowly becoming a reality, we'll be keeping even more in our pocket and in the cloud.  As we saw earlier today late yesterday, keeping things like PIN codes safe is tough with so many eyes out there trying to find a way around it.  Nobody should have been surprised, nothing is 100 percent secure.  

That's why it's always a good idea to use more than one way to stay safer.  You have secure tokens and password encrypted information on you phone, but keeping people from even getting that far is easy to do with a secure lockscreen.  Android is like Unix, and when someone gets to your homescreen, they're essentially logged in as you.  They can start any application that you can, and start any service.  If you're rooted it's even worse, they can grant super user privileges to anything.

On the other hand, having to unlock your phone every time you get an IM or e-mail gets old fast.  For someone who has never lost a phone, the idea of skipping secure methods seems sensible.  We're not going to argue, your logic is sound (even if others think differently) and it's your device to use the way that makes you happy.  But we're curious.  Answer the poll and let us know!

Thanks, Icebike!

 

Do you use lockscreen security?

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4 years ago

Google-Motorola deal set to be approved by U.S. Justice Department, says WSJ

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Google's aquisition of Motorola Mobility is set to be approved by the U.S. Justice Department as early as next week, according to the Wall Street Journal and people "familiar with the matter." These sort of deals are never a given, as the various governments across the world always have the final say on matters of commerce. This deal would arm Google with very desirable hardware patents for mobile devices, which really is the reason for the entire investigation.

The Justice Department, as well as European Union legislators, are very concerned that Google allows other companies to use these patents under FRAND (fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory) rules, which prohibit things like overcharging for licenses or blocking access to the patents outright.  They should be -- look at all the legal mess smartphone manufacturers are in now, then muddy that picture further by changing license requirements for the things that make a cell phone work. We're not talking lock screens or rounded corners here, Motorola owns IP that all cell phones need and use to operate. Taking away licenses for core technology would benefit nobody, and Google has pledged not to do it. 

Instead, Google has sent letters to to numerous standards organizations, stating that it would offer FRAND licensing for patents in Motorola's portfolio. They didn't promise not to seek damages or injunctions from potential violators, though. Google stated that it "reserves its right to seek any and all appropriate judicial remedies against counterparties that refuse to license its FRAND patents."  Mutual destruction tactics at their finest.

We tend to take things like this from the Wall Street Journal at face value, and this is no exception.  Their track record stands on it's own.  If this is true, and the EU (whose own deadline for a decision is Feb. 13) gives a green light we should know more next week.  We'll keep you posted.

Source (paid content): WSJ

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4 years ago

Google+ app updated with 'massive performance improvements' and some UI tweaks

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If you're a Google+ fan and have an Android phone, you'll want to hit the Android Market because there's an update for Google+ that promises (among other things) "massive performance improvements" across the app.  The full changelog:

  • Massive performance improvements across the app
  • What's Hot!
  • View who +1'd a post or comment
  • Stream posts shortened to fit more per scroll
  • Infinite photos feed in 'From your circles'
  • Stream no longer jumps to the top for an automatic refresh

I never really noticed any poor performance from the app to start with, so I'm not yet ready to judge these massive improvements, but the rest of the list has a bunch of welcome changes.  The addition of What's Hot! and ability to see who +1'd a post or comment are things many have been asking for, and UI improvements like better formatting of posts and no longer bouncing to the top and losing your place when you refresh are always welcome.  Now let's focus on a tablet optimized version, shall we Google?  Maybe walk over and visit the cubes of the folks working on Currents.

Download link is after the break.

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4 years ago

HTC, Vodafone Germany to launch first 4G LTE phone -- the HTC Velocity

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Vodafone Germany customers will soon be able to pick up the network's first 4G LTE smartphone, the HTC Velocity, according to reports from German site Computer Woche. The device will be familiar to readers in the U.S., as stateside it's known as the AT&T HTC Vivid. As well as supporting the insane speeds we've come to expect from LTE networks, the Velocity also sports HSPA+ connectivity up to 42.2 Mb/sec, alongside good old-fashioned 2G and 3G.

Internally, the device is similar to many of HTC's other high-end smartphones. There's a 1.5GHz dual-core chip inside, along with a full gigabyte of RAM, a 4.5-inch qHD (960x540) screen and Android 2.3 Gingerbread, backed up by HTC Sense 3.5. Frequency-wise, the HTC Velocity supports LTE on 800/2600MHz in addition to UMTS/HSPA on 900/2100MHz, meaning it should work on other LTE networks across Europe once they start rolling out.

So it's an HTC Vivid for Europe. Speaking of which, you can check out our review of that device to get an idea of what you'll be dealing with if you pick up an HTC Velocity in the future. We'll keep you posted with any release date or pricing info as it becomes available.

Source: Computer Woche; via: Engadget Mobile

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4 years ago

Galaxy Nexus now available on Videotron, C$150 on contract

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Just as planned, Quebec-centric carrier Videotron has today launched the Samsung Galaxy Nexus on its network. Canadians wanting to use Samsung and Google's flagship smartphone on Videotron can now pick one up for the subsidized price of C$149.95, with a qualifying service plan of C$40 or more per month. Or if you don't fancy paying 40 dollars per month for the next three years, Videotron's also selling it on its own at the retail price of C$599.95.

Videtron is the latest in a long list of Canadian networks currently offering the Galaxy Nexus. This includes the big three -- Bell, TELUS and Rogers -- as well as smaller players like Fido, Mobilicity and WIND. Hit the source link for more on Videotron's Galaxy Nexus deals, and check out our review of the thing if for some reason you're still on the fence.

Source: Videotron

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4 years ago

White HTC Sensation XE revealed, due Feb. 20 in the UK

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Last week we saw that HTC's planning to launch a white HTC Sensation in parts of Europe from the beginning of next month, and now it seems its big brother, the Sensation XE, will also be getting a fresh coat of paint.

UK retailer Clove Technology sends word that it'll be stocking a white version of the Sensation XE from Feb. 20, with SIM-free prices coming in at £408 (~$640). The Sensation XE, which first launched towards the end of 2011, is a refresh of the original Sensation. It's got a faster 1.5GHz dual-core CPU (up from 1.2 in the original), a larger battery and Beats Audio support, complete with bundled earphones. While the dimensions are the same, the XE comes with red accents and Beats branding, which we have to admit looks a lot better on the white version than it did on the original grey model.

With HTC expected to launch a range of new handsets just a week later, we're not sure whether too many people will be lining up to part with £400 for Sensation XE. But if you do, you'll be getting a pretty powerful dual-core phone, with an ICS update on the way in the months ahead.

Source: Clove Technology

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4 years ago

Motorola confirms UK Motoluxe launch for late February

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Motorola has confirmed its UK launch plans for the Motoluxe, a new Android smartphone that aims to deliver an attractive, lightweight design at an affordable price point. In line with what we heard at the device's CES unveiling (and later from retailers), Moto is planning to bring the Motoluxe to British shores from late February. There's no official price point provided alongside today's announcement, but earlier reports indicate it'll set you back around £260 (~$400) SIM-free. As such, we're sure to see it it offered for free on-contract when it eventually hits the carriers.

Under the hood, the Motoluxe provides a modest hardware package -- an 800MHz CPU, 4-inch screen, 8MP camera and Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread backed up by Motorola's MotoSwitch UI (which seems to be the new name for PhilBlur MotoBlur in Europe). As we saw at CES, the device incorporates a unique grid-shaped widget that provides links to your most-used apps and contacts. All in all, it's not going to knock your socks off, but it looks like a decent mid-range Android smartphone.

For more on the Motoluxe, be sure to check our CES hands-on feature from the show floor.

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4 years ago

LG Optimus Vu teases a 5-inch display with 4:3 aspect ratio

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The first half of 2011 was all about 3D displays for Korean manufacturer LG, with the likes of the Optimus 3D and the Optimus Pad. Looks like LG has something new cooked up for 2012. The LG Optimus Vu has bade an early appearance on LG's Youtube channel. And, yeah. It looks a little squat there. That's a 5-inch display you're looking at with a 4:3 aspect ration. Not something you see every day. 

Other hardware features we've been able to glean from the video are a couple buttons (or maybe screws?) on the top bezel (perhaps three, actually), along with a USB port that appears to be hidden behind a door, and a headphone jack. The volume rocker appears to be on the right-hand side.

Other unofficial specs are said to be a 1024x768 display, a dual-core Qualcomm WPQ8060 processor running at 1.5GHz, 1GB or RAM, 8GB of ROM, and an 8MP camera.

Interesting here is that most of the phones we've seen leaked for the first half of the year have gone to three capacitive buttons -- including the already released LG Spectrum on Verizon -- presumably in preparation for an Ice Cream Sandwich update. We've got no idea when an Ice Cream Sandwich update might be in store for the Optimus Vu (though it's said to be destined for one), nor if it's intended for any markets outside Korea.

Check out the video for yourself after the break, and stay tuned, as we're willing to put money down that we'll see this guy at Mobile World Congress in a few weeks.

Source: LG Blog (Korea); via Datacider (translated), The Verge

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4 years ago

T-Mobile celebrates Valentine's Day with free 4G devices

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T-Mobile announced today that it will be celebrating Valentine's Day with a blow-out sale on all of its 4G smartphones. On Saturday, February 11, a respectable lot of devices will be free after mail-in rebate both in stores and online. Below is the list in its entirety, which includes some heavyweights such as the Galaxy S II, the Amaze 4G, and T-Mobile's Springboard tablet:

If you've got a sweetie that's still carrying around a G1, now might be the time to show him or her how much you love them. Hit the source link for the sale page, and remember, phones are the new box of chocolates.

Source: T-Mobile

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4 years ago

Huawei Ascend P1 S reportedly coming to China in late March

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It looks like Chinese consumers might not have long to wait before they can pick up Huawei's new Ascend P1 S. Huawei SVP Yu Chengdong has been dropping a few hints on social networks about when the super-thin smartphone will be arriving, Chinese site Tech.Sina reports. According to one of these messages, he says that Chinese buyers will be able to get hold of the P1 S in end-of-March sales, suggesting a launch is just weeks away.

Given the timing of previous Huawei launches, we'd expect to see the Ascend P1 S launching in Europe and the US in the months following its Chinese debut. This would fit with what we heard at the phones CES unveiling, where we saw it alongside its big brother, the P1.

The P1 S is expected to be one of the first non-Nexus phones to launch with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and a relatively untouched version of ICS at that. As we saw in Las Vegas last month, it packs some pretty impressive hardware inside its thin chassis, including a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, a 4.3-inch qHD SuperAMOLED display and an 8MP camera. For more on the device, check out our hands-on report.

Source: Tech.Sina; via: AndroidCommunity

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4 years ago

Samsung Infuse 4G Gingerbread update is on hold

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Remember that Android 2.3.6 update to the AT&T Samsung Infuse 4G that was prematurely announced last week before finally getting going? Yeah. It's on hold, apparently. According to an answer in Samsung's support forums, things didn't go quite as planned.

We currently have put a hold on the update. Samsung and AT&T are aware of the issue with the Infuse 4G Update and are developing a fix.

AT&T has confirmed to Android Central that indeed the update's on hold and that "we are working with Samsung to get this resolved as quickly as possible." For everyone  (including us) still stuck on Froyo, hang in there.

Source: Samsung, AT&T; more: Infuse 4G forums

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4 years ago

Announcing the Android Super Challenge on HyperQuiz winners!

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Over the weekend we gave you the chance to win one of two HTC Sensation XL handsets by proving your superior Android knowledge in the addictive HyperQuiz game. Today we're back with the full list of winners. Join us after the break to find out who managed to walk away with a shiny new handset...

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4 years ago

New Droid Bionic OTA rolling out, fixes bugs and stability issues

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Motorola and Verizon Wireless are now pushing out software version 5.9.902 to Droid Bionic handsets, bringing a lengthy list of changes and fixes to the LTE-guzzling slab. The update, which weighs in at 57.6MB, provides Droid Bionic owners with a handful of welcome stability improvements, fixing crashes and lock-ups in a variety of areas. Some highlights from the changelog include fixes for --

  • Black screen lockups
  • Camera multi-shot lockups
  • Idle resets
  • Multimedia dock lockup
  • Data connectivity and stability improvements

So if you've been plagued by crashes and stability issues on your Droid Bionic, you'll definitely want to pick this one up. Head to Settings > About phone > System updates to begin. Check the source link for the full list of changes in this latest OTA.

Source: Verizon Wireless (PDF)

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4 years ago

Rogers One Number lets you take video calls and answer texts on PC

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Today Rogers launched a new service called One Number, which lets you initiate video calls, SMS texts, and standard voice calls from a web console. Calls can be shunted to and from the computer with a few quick commands; dialling *11 on your phone pulls the call to your phone, while the browser app has a dedicated button to take the call from your phone to the PC. As a nice little perk, any calls to Canada started on your computer are free, even if you hand it off to your phone later on. One Number also lets you send e-mails easily to saved contacts through the web interface.On the mobile side, there are going to be Android and iOS apps available so you can manage permissions and visibility while you're on the move. 

It's an awful lot like T-Mobile's Bobsled Messaging, but unlike T-Mobile, Rogers is only offering it to their customers. At least it's free - normally, I wouldn't put it past Rogers to charge extra for these kinds of services. Since we don't have Google Voice in Canada, telephony-PC crossover apps like this are a rare sight, so it's good to see at least one of the carriers getting on the wagon.  With any luck, we'll see a few other service provers offer some alternatives. 

Rogers customers can head on over here to sign up for One Number. Video demo after the jump.

Source: Rogers RedBoard

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4 years ago

Verizon Motorola Droid 4 available Feb. 10 for $199 on contract

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The Motorola Droid 4 will be available on Verizon starting Feb. 10. It'll run $199 with a two-year contract.

The Droid 4, as you'll recall from our hands-on at CES, brings along the Droid RAZR MAXX design and throws in a redesigned five-row keyboard for good measure. They keys are "laser cut" (for what that's worth), and Motorola's backlit them, which is a nice touch. They've got a nice feel to them and are well-spaced. Pair that with all the tweaks Motorola has added to Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread (the phone has been promised an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich) and throw in 4G LTE data (it's the first in the original Droid line to have LTE), and you've got the makings of what should be a popular device among the business set thanks to some government-grade encryption, and it's got Citrix preloaded as well.

Other specs of note include a 4-inch qHD display and 8-megapixel rear camera. One thing to remember is that the Droid 4 has a 1785 mAh battery -- but like the original Droid RAZR, you can't remove it. Place your bets now on whether we see a Droid 4 MAXX with a monster battery in the coming weeks. (We kid, we kid. Maybe.)

We've got Verizon's complete presser after the break.

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