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5 years ago

Archos Smart Home Phone now available -- get Android on your landline


It was way back in June 2011 that we first saw Archos' Android based Smart Home Phone. Flip forward to January 2012 and the device is finally available to purchase, coming in at £130 over here in the UK.

Archos promises that this is a fully featured Android smartphone, with a wide range of communication applications installed as stock. As with several Archos products, the Smart Home Phone does lack official Android Market access. Applications are taken care of via their Appslib service. 

Aside from apps, the phone is WiFi-enabled, comes with a 3.5-inch touchscreen, 8GB of internal storage and even a front facing camera, possibly a little excessive for a home phone. But, hey, it's running Android. Thats never a bad thing.

Source: Archos
More: Archos 35 Smart Home Phone spec sheet

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5 years ago

Sprint rolling out OTA updates for EVO 4G, Epic 4G, EVO Design 4G


Sprint has over-the-air updates scheduled to roll out beginning today for the HTC EVO 4G, the Samsung Epic 4G, and the EVO Design 4G.  Using the opportunity presented by removing Carrier IQ, Sprint has bundled up a few other fixes for these handsets and the OTA updates, beginning today, should be 100 percent complete in 10 days.  The update information is as follows:


  • Update to version 2.12.651.5
  • Security Update
  • Updated Peep client (to align with Twitter)
  • Updated Sprint Zone client
  • Battery life improvements
  • 3LM Enterprise Tool Access (no user interface changes)

Epic 4G

  • Update to version S:D700.0.5S.EL30
  • Security update
  • Speaker feedback fix
  • The QIK and Asphalt 5 applications are no longer preloaded.  When opening the applications using the application icon, you will be redirected to the Android market to download and install the full application.
  • After the QIK install, you will need to login using your original account information or create a new account.  All contacts should remain intact
  • After the Asphalt 5 install, previous game play data (eg. levels) will not be retained.

EVO Design 4G

  • Update to version 4.67.651.3
  • Security Update
  • Updated Peep client ( to align with Twitter)
  • Battery life improvements

While these don't sound like major updates, it's always advisable to keep your phone current.  For more information and discussion, be sure to hit the EVO 4G forums, the Epic 4G forums, or the Design 4G forums!

Source: Sprint (1), (2), (3) ;   via Android Police

Thanks, @Dronak!

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5 years ago

LightSquared claims government testing 'rigged' by GPS industry insiders


This is getting interesting.  After the recent news that federal testing determined LightSquared's LTE network plans would never work without interfering with GPS (and a cease to any further testing) LightSquared has come back with guns blazing.  In a statement, the company has accused the GPS industry of rigging the results by using antiquated equipment, shrouding the entire process in secrecy, and using unrealistic parameters for failure.  Jeff Carlisle, LightSquared’s Executive Vice President of regulatory affairs and public policy, Geoff Stearn, LightSquared’s Vice President for spectrum development, and Edmond Thomas, former chief engineer at the FCC held a press conference and had the following to say:

Testing was shrouded in secrecy, no transparency. The GPS manufacturers cherry-picked the devices in secret without any independent oversight authority in place or input from LightSquared. The GPS manufacturers and the government end users put non-disclosure agreements in place for the PNT EXCOM’s tests, preventing any input by an independent authority or from LightSquared before the tests began. This secrecy made it impossible for independent experts to properly oversee or challenge the process and results, thereby leaving taxpayers who paid for the testing no option but to take the PNT EXCOM’s word for it.
The testing protocol deliberately focused on obsolete and niche market devices that were least able to withstand potential interference. When LightSquared finally obtained a list of the devices tested, after all testing in this first phase of tests had been completed, it was able to determine that the testing included many discontinued or niche market devices with poor filters or no filters. The units tested represent less than one percent of the contemporary universe of GPS devices. In fact, the only mass market device alleged to “fail” during this round of testing performed flawlessly during the Technical Working Group testing, which used best practice protocols agreed to by all parties, thus raising doubts about the integrity of PNT EXCOM’s process.
The testing standard does not reflect reality. To guarantee favorable results, the PNT EXCOM selected an extremely conservative definition of failure – one dB of interference. Independent experts agree that a one dB threshold can only be detected in laboratory settings and has no impact on GPS positional accuracy or user experience. In fact, GPS devices are designed with the ability to withstand eight dB or more of loss of sensitivity due to man-caused and natural interference. By setting the definition of interference at one dB, the testing was rigged to ensure that most receivers would fail. It should be noted that PNT EXCOM and others have justified the one dB threshold by citing an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) standard. However, that standard explicitly states that it does not apply to general purpose GPS receivers.

They go on to say other great quotables like asking reporters to enquire if it's "fair that taxpayers funded a testing regime they cannot review?" and speaking of violating "conflict of interest" laws.  They are serious, and should be.  Earlier this month, LightSquared was given just 30 days to get regulatory approval by Sprint, who is a heavy investor and has (had?) plans to use LightSquared's service for their nationwide LTE roll-out.  Losing funding from Sprint would be a major financial blow to LightSquared.  We're pretty certain Sprint will still be able to roll out their LTE network as planned, but they see an advantage in using LightSquared and would like to see everything resolved as well.

Were the testing procedures rigged? Will LightSquared get another shot with different testing procedures? Will Sprint continue to invest in the company?  Join us next week for another episode of the Guiding LightSquared.  See the press release after the break.

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5 years ago

Verizon LG Spectrum available today for $199 on contract


Verizon this morning announced that as expected, the LG Spectrum is now available in stores and online for $199. The Spectrum, as you'll recall from our recent hands-on, is a 4.5-inch Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread device (it'll be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich later) powered by a dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm processor. It's also got an 8MP rear-facing camera, front-facing 1.3MP camera, and can share its 4G LTE data with up to 10 Wifi-connected devices. 

Buy: Verizon; Source: Verizon; More: LG Spectrum forums

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5 years ago

Epic 4G and Epic 4G Touch have new kernel source available, look for OTAs soon


Both the Samsung Epic 4G and the Samsung Epic 4G Touch have new kernel source up at Samsung's open source portal.  The Original Epic 4G has the kernel and other open-source bits for update version EL30 ready to download, and the Epic 4G Touch has the same for version EL29.  

Usually when we see source code up for grabs at Samsung, it's soon followed by an OTA update.  We've heard rumors of both the Epic brothers getting one in the near future, but this seals the deal.  An OTA for both phones should be coming, now it's just a matter of when.  And developers -- your goodies are available at the link below.

And here's a wrinkle: Sprint's already said that it's stopped using Carrier IQ software on the server side, and it followed up by having HTC strip it from the HTC EVO 3D (and future device updates)  this week.  Might Sprint have had it stripped from Samsung ROMs, too? If it's that easy for one, might it be for more? Stay tuned.

Source: Samsung Open Source; via Epic 4G Touch forums

Thanks, dtm_stretch!

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5 years ago

AT&T bringing new data plans for phones and tablets on Jan 22


AT&T has announced some changes to their data plan pricing.  Starting January 22, new plans that offer more data, albeit at a slightly higher cost, go into effect for both smartphones and tablets.  The new plans are as follows:

Smartphone plans

  • AT&T Data Plus 300MB: $20 for 300MB
  • AT&T Data Pro 3GB: $30 for 3GB
  • AT&T Data Pro 5GB: $50 for 5GB, with mobile hotspot / tethering

Tablet plans

  • AT&T DataConnect 3GB: $30 for 3GB
  • AT&T DataConnect 5GB: $50 for 5GB

Smartphone customers needing additional data can pay $10 per additional gigabyte on the AT&T Data Pro 3GB and Data Pro 5GB plans; AT&T Data Plus users will receive an extra 300MB for $20.

Currently, customers pay $5 less per plan for 200MB, 2GB, and 4GB plus tethering.  Users will have the option to keep any existing plan, or to change to the new rates when they become available.  For more info, the press release is after the break. 

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5 years ago

SiriusXM now available on Canadian Sonos systems



Sonos, the Android-friendly speaker system, has been able to stream SiriusXM Radio since 2007, but only in limited geographies. Today, Sirius announced that Canadian subscribers can now remotely stream their favourite stations out to the Wi-Fi-enabled sound system. 

You can check out our full review of the Sonos over here, if you were thinking of picking one up. I've spent a bit of time with it myself, and I was definitely impressed, and it works great from your phone. It's really ideal for bigger homes where you want to have consistent music across multiple rooms, since the whole family of products talks to one another wirelessly. Of course, that gets a little pricy for the speakers alone, and then if you want something like Sirius, then you're also paying subscription fees on top of that, but hey - if you love your music, this is one smart way to get it into your home without the hassle of wires. 

Us poor saps in Canada are usually subject to limited content licenses, so it's no surprise to see a delay here, but when it comes to music, there's really not much we don't have access to anymore. So what's the hold-up, Pandora? Slacker and Rdio are doing business up here just fine. 

Head over to Sonos to snag your system, Sirius to start subscribing, and if you're already a part of the sister service, XM Radio, you should be able to plug in to Sonos later on this year. 

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5 years ago

Every Android smartphone free on C Spire when you add a line


C Spire wireless (formerly Cellular South) is running a promotion where you can add a line and pick any of their Android phones for free to put on it.  They have 11 different models of Android phones to choose from, including the Motorola Milestone X2, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, and even our old friend the HTC Merge.  This offer runs for a limited time, and you'll have to do it online or via C Spire's telesales department.  Sounds like a nice way to get your hands on a great phone, without hitting your wallet too hard.  Hit the link for more information, and the press release is after the break.

More: C Spire

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5 years ago

White Motorola RAZR now up for pre-order in the UK



Our friends across the pond will be happy to know that the white Motorola RAZR can now be pre-ordered through online retailer Clove Technology in the UK, and is set to ship sometime in mid to late February. The unlocked device will set you back  £430.80 after taxes (that's a cool $662.18), and will ship with a free set of Motorola MOTOROKR EQ3 Wired Compact Folding Speakers, a £20 value. Those who are willing to part with such a hefty penny only to wait at least a month can do so at the source link below.

Source: Clove Technology

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5 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich Google Apps tip: long press any icon for its name


Here's a little tip you may not have known about -- while working inside Google's applications in Ice Cream Sandwich, you can long press any icon and its name will appear.  This can be handy for figuring out what all those fancy new icons mean, and is a heck of a lot better than Jerry's method of "just press it and see what happens".  For now, this seems limited to Google's apps, but it certainly seems like something that can be done for any application.  Let's see more of this sort of thing, Google! When things are easy to learn, we all love them just a little more.

Source: +Android

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5 years ago

Prada Phone by LG 3.0 coming to T-Mobile UK in February


Good news for any fashionistas looking for an upgrade on T-Mobile UK. The British network has today confirmed that it'll be getting LG and Prada's latest smartphone in February, in a new entry on its "coming soon" page.

The LG Prada 3.0 (full name 'Prada Phone by LG 3.0') combines a sleek physical design with some high-end specs, along with a unique monochrome UI which we think may have something of a "love it or hate it" quality. Find out more at the link below, or continue past the jump for our video hands-on with the LG Prada 3.0.

More: T-Mobile UK

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5 years ago

Motorola MOTOLUXE and DEFY Mini priced and dated


UK online retailer Clove Technology has just revealed when it expects to ship two new mid-range Motorola phones, along with information on exactly how much each device will set you back.

The Motorola MOTOLUXE, which we saw last week at CES, is due in "late February/early March", for £258 (~$400) including VAT. For your money, you'll get Android 2.3.7 on Motorola's "Moto Switch 2.0" UI, running an 800MHz processor on a 4.0-inch display. The DEFY Mini, which is a more pocketable version of Moto's popular rugged device, is due around the same time as the MOTOLUXE, and can be yours for £175 (~$270).

Hit the source link for pre-order information for both devices, or check out our hands-on with the MOTOLUXE from CES for more on that device.

Source: Clove Technology Blog

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5 years ago

Sony '2012 smartphone list' leaks -- Atlas, Hayabusa and Mint among the highlights


Leaked product roadmaps are always good fun, giving us a cheeky glimpse at what a manufacturer or carrier may have planned for the next several months. The latest leaked roadmap to emerge comes from Sony, by way of GSMArena. According to the leaked list, the newly-minted Sony Mobile Communications has at least 11 unannounced devices in the pipeline for 2012. This is as unconfirmed and unofficial as it gets, so take this one with a pinch of salt. However, the information in the list does align somewhat with what we've heard from earlier Sony leaks. According to ​GSMArena​, all of the phones detailed in the roadmap run Android, and it should also be noted that we're dealing in codenames here, not official branding.

The first half of the year is supposedly dominated by the Xperia S, which we've just seen at CES, along with three new mid-to-entry-level phones -- the ST25i Kumquat, LT22i Nypon and MT27i Pepper. All three have surfaced before in earlier leaks, and we even saw some blurry-cam footage of the Pepper a few weeks back. The middle of the year apparently sees the release of a slew of phones, including the Tapioca, a budget offering, and the Hayabusa, a ~€500-level high-end device. September, too, sees both high and low-end devices coming to market, including the ~€550-level "Mint" and the sub-€200 "AFFM".

Of all the new codenames, the one that jumps out to us is "Atlas", a device which, according to the list, will arrive in September. If you'll allow us to engage in some dangerous and unfounded speculation, we'll point out that "Atlas" is the second Sony phone to carry the codename of an ancient Greek deity. The first, as you may remember, was the Xperia Play, which went by the name of Zeus.

Again, this is all well within rumor territory for the time being. The origin of the list is apparently a leaked Indian sales report, from which the prices have been converted into Euros. So don't be surprised if the actual pricing ends up landing either side of the converted figures, assuming they were even correct to begin with. For more, check the full list over at the source link.

Source: GSMArena

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5 years ago

Open NFC stack now available for Android 4.0, makes NFC hardware easy to use for OEMs


The good people at Inside Secure have ported over their Open NFC stack to Ice Cream Sandwich, giving OEM's one less hurdle to jump when getting devices ready for upgrading.  The new 4.3.3 release allows almost any NFC hardware to become Android compliant by using a Hardware Abstraction Layer and special kernel module to communicate via a set of consistent APIs.  What this means to you and I is that hardware developers can now use the free and robust Open NFC 4.3.3 stack to get their hardware working, and software developers can use the Android SDK add-on to communicate with it.  This means shorter engineering and development time dedicated to NFC from start to finish -- something that all impatient Android enthusiasts will be happy about.

Inside Secure says to expect new devices using the Open NFC 4.3.3 stack to ship later this year.  We don't know if this will be the push needed to make NFC relevant, but it sure can't hurt.  For more info, and more technical specifications than you can shake a stick at, see the links below.

Source: Inside Secure; via: PhoneScoop
More: Open NFC developer site

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5 years ago

Watch the Intel keynote from CES, featuring the first Atom-powered Android devices


Ask us what we thought the most important story out of CES was for 2012, and we'll likely tell you it's Intel's entrance into the Android ecosystem -- and its partenership with Motorola for devices coming later this year. 

Hopefully you caught our liveblog from Intel CEO Paul Otellini's keynote address -- including a surprise appearance from, who talked Ultrabooks. And now you can watch the keynote in its entirety (and maybe even see the back of our heads). Check it out, after the break.

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