Headlines

2 years ago

Google acquires Zagat to help with local search offerings

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If you thought Google was done with their acquisitions for now, today's announcement of them acquiring Zagat may come as a surprise. However, Zagat in the past has put themselves up for sale and considering what Zagat can offer Google, when you think about it -- it's not really all that surprising. So where will Zagat fit into the Google ecosystem? As outlined on the Google blog:

Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering—delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world.

With Zagat, we gain a world-class team that has more experience in consumer based-surveys, recommendations and reviews than anyone else in the industry. Founded by Tim and Nina Zagat more than 32 years ago, Zagat has established a trusted and well-loved brand the world over, operating in 13 categories and more than 100 cities.

Google will take the user-generated content gathered from Zagat and presumably insert it into things such as Hotpot, Places and Maps. That in turn will allow Google to provide its users with reviews and recommendations for restaurants around the world. Right now, the details of the deal haven't been disclosed but previously when Zagat was up for sale, the asking price was estimated to be around $200 million.

Source: Google, Zagat

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2 years ago

HTC EVO 3D in white and Kyocera Milano to hit Radio Shack on Sept. 9

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The HTC EVO 3D in white (ooo-la-la!) and the Kyocera Milano should be on your local Radio Shack's shelves come Friday Sept. 9 according to these information sheets we received from a friendly insider.  There's not much more to tell about the EVO 3D -- it's popular for a few reasons (fast as hell CPU and qHD display come instantly to mind) and if you don't mind a bit of gushing, it looks awful damn sexy in it's white dress.  If you have been on the fence and are a sucker for white phones (guilty!) go buy one and be sure to torture me with full frontal shots in the EVO 3D forums until I give in and get another Sprint line.

The Milano looks ready to pounce smack dab in the middle of the entry-level smartphone arena in a big way.  Combine an 800MHz CPU with a 3-inch touchscreen and 3.2MP camera, put a few goodies like Swype and Gingerbread on board, then sell it for $50 on a new contract and you have a pretty good formula for sales.  The real test will be how it performs a few weeks after the newness wears off, and we'll have our ears open to see just how it's received.  Hit the break to see the picture.

Thanks, Anon!

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the Sony Ericsson Live Dock

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It wasn't just phones on show at last night's Xperia Party in London. Sony Ericsson was also keen to show off the latest accessory for its 2011 Xperia smartphones -- the Live Dock. This is a brand new smartphone dock which serves not only as a charging station, but allows you to connect USB peripherals like keyboards and mice, and control your phone using good old-fashioned button-based devices.

And if you've got a HDMI-enabled Xperia, like the Arc or Arc S? Well, that's where things start to get really cool -- in that case, you can browse the web and play Angry Birds on your TV, using any standard USB wireless keyboard and mouse. Proof of this, in video form, is after the jump.

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray

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The Xperia Ray quickly piqued our interest when it was announced a few months ago. Up to now, Sony Ericsson smartphones had invariably been constructed of plastic, and while this has its benefits, an aluminum-framed device is always going to be sturdier and feel better in the hand.

We finally got the chance to fondle the Xperia Ray at Sony Ericsson's Xperia Party in London yesterday, and found it to be a worthy mid-to-high-end offering from the manufacturer. It packs all of the premium features of the Xperia Neo, while addressing one of our biggest concerns with that phone -- its looks.

Read on to find out what we thought as we got to grips with the Xperia Ray.

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2 years ago

Sprint's Kyocera Milano available Sept. 9 for $49.99

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Sprint this morning announced the Kyocera Milano, a phone we outed a week ago in the Sprint Playbook. The Milona looks to be a mid- to low-end Android smartphone, with a 3-inch display, Android 2.3, a 3.2MP camera and slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It weighs 5.6 ounces and has a 1490 mAHh battery, and 512MB of RAM and ROM.

It's also got a battery-saving "Eco Mode," and the Sprint ID custom themes.

The Kyocera Milano will be available Sept. 9 for $49.99 after two-year contract and $50 rebate.

Source: Sprint

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2 years ago

AT&T's Sony Ericsson Xperia Play available Sept. 18 for $49.99

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AT&T this morning announced that its version of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (see our hands-on) will be available Sept. 18 for a mere $49.99 with two-year contract. The Xperia Play, as you'll recall from our review, is the so-called Playstation phone, with a slide-out gamepad and Playstation-optimized games. It's rocking Android 2.3.3 with a 4-inch screen.

Games included with AT&T's Xperia Play at launch are:

  • Dungeon Defenders™ Second Wave by Trendy Entertainment
  • Asphalt™ 6 Adrenaline by Gameloft
  • Star Battalion by Gameloft
  • Madden NFL™ 11 by Electronic Arts
  • The Sims™ 3 by Electronic Arts
  • Tower Bloxx™: My City by Digital Chocolate
  • Crash Bandicoot® by SCEA/Naughty Dog/Universal

As if a $49 Xperia Play isn't a good enough deal, AT&T's also sweetening things by throwing in the DK300 Multimedida Dock (check out our review of the dock) and MC100 music cable.

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active

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Last night we dropped in on the Sony Ericsson Summer Showcase (aka Xperia Party) in London's Mayfair district, to check out some of the manufacturer's upcoming Android phones. One of the stars of the show was the tiny Xperia Active, a small but ruggedized phone designed for outdoorsy types who don't want to worry about a little dust, dirt or water getting in the way of playing Angry Birds in the middle of a hardcore kayaking session. The Active demo units at the Xperia Party were frequently dunked in nearby glasses of water to demonstrate its water-resistant features, which includes Sony Ericsson's unique "wet finger tracking" tech, allowing touchscreen use even when there's water on the screen.

Join us after the jump for a full run-down of the Xperia Active's features, along with a hands-on video tour and a bunch more photos.

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2 years ago

Microsoft announces licensing deals with Acer, Viewsonic over Android devices

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Microsoft this morning announced it has reached licensing agreements with Acer and Viewsonic over the companies' Android devices. Terms of either agreement were not announced, but Viewsonic will pay royalties to Microsoft. No royalties were mentioned in Acer's deal, which could point to some sort of reciprocal licensing.

Microsoft VP of IP and general counsel Horacio Gutierrez issued the following statement in both press releases:

“We are pleased that [Acer/Viewsonic] is taking advantage of our industrywide licensing program established to help companies address Android’s IP issues,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft. “This agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercially reasonable arrangements that address intellectual property.”

This is just the latest in licensing for Microsoft, which already has reached a deal with HTC, while suing Barnes & Noble and others. Meanwhile, we haven't heard much from Microsoft and Google lately in their patent-lawsuit back-and-forth. Perhaps we're due?

Source: Microsoft (Acer, Viewsonic)

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2 years ago

Hands-on with Cricket's Samsung Vitality with Muve Music

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We've spent some quality time the past few days with the Samsung Vitality from Cricket Communications, and we've come away pleasantly surprised. With the Vitality, you've got a mid-level Android smartphone that's light, thin and surprisingly quick. It's running Android 2.3.4 with the stock user interface, with an 800MHz processor pushing a 3.5-inch display at 320x480 resolution. There's a 3.2MP camera on the back. A dual-core, high-megapixel, high-end phone this is not.

But the raw specs aren't the shining features of the Vitality. Can you believe, unlimited everything for just $65?

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2 years ago

Cricket announces the Samsung Vitality with Muve Music

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See our hands-on with the Samsung Vitality

Cricket Communications this morning announced the Samsung Vitality -- the first Android smartphone with deep integration of the Muve Music service. Muve itself has been around for a while -- it already has 200,000 users -- but this is the first time it's been built into an Android smartphone.

The Vitality itself is a capable mid-range Android smartphone. Specs include:

  • Android 2.3.4
  • 3.5-inch display at HVGA (320x480)
  • 800MHz processor
  • 3.2MP rear camera
  • 4GB microSD card (3GB for music storage, 1GB for user downloads)
  • 3G/Wifi data
  • Stereo Bluetooth
  • 1600mAh battery
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Dimensions: 4.6x2.4x.06 inches
  • Weight: 4.16 ounces
  • Muve Music

The Samsung Vitality will be available later this month on Cricket for $200 on contract (update: That's outright; Cricket doesn't do contracts). Unlimited data, voice and Muve Music will cost $65. (Yes, you read that right.) Full press release is after the break.

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