Headlines

3 years ago

Sony Ericsson announces Xperia Ray and Xperia Active

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Sony Ericsson has announced two new Android smartphones this morning -- the aluminum-framed Xperia Ray, and the ruggedized Xperia Active.

The Ray is a 3.3-inch phone running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, powered by a 1GHz CPU -- presumably the same second-gen Snapdragon used in recent Xperia phones. Like the Xperia Arc and Xperia Neo, the Ray also comes equipped with Sony's Mobile Bravia Engine and Exmor R technology powering its 8.1MP rear camera. Other notables inlcude the addition of a front-facing camera, and of course the custom Sony Ericsson software that we've seen on the Arc and other devices.

The Xperia Active is smaller still, measuring just 3 inches diagonally. It too runs Gingerbread, and sports a 1GHz CPU. Sony Ericsson is pitching the phone towards more active smartphone users, including a dust and water-resistant screen, as well as features like "wet finger tracking", so the phone's touchscreen is usable with wet hands. On top of that there's bundled software for monitoring your heart rate and general fitness levels, if you're into that sort of thing. And you also get a 5-megapixel camera with 720p recording capability, though no Exmor R this time around.

Both devices are due for release in "selected markets" sometime in the third quarter of the year. Join us after the jump for videos of both phones, along with the full press release.

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3 years ago

How Verizon will ease you into its new tiered data plans

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July 7, 2011. A day that will live in infamy. OK, maybe not. But it's looking like it'll be the day that Verizon changes its data plans to a tiered structure, and there are plenty of rumors, half-truths and whatever else going on out there. Let's add one more to the pile, shall we?

What you see above is part of Verizon's training for the new plans. A couple of things to note: Nowhere will you find the words "tiered data." And don't expect to hear them when you walk into a store, either. What you will hear about is customizing a data plan for your usage needs. And that makes sense, doesn't it? Do you mainly surf the web? Check e-mail? Stream music and video? Or are you a heavy photo uploader? If you're reading this blog, chances are the answer to all those questions is "Yes." Your friendly neighborhood Verizon rep will crunch some numbers (they have an online data calculator to do that piece of fourth-grade math), and match you up to a plan that fits you best. What has people up in arms is the pricing structure. News flash, folks: Verizon ain't cheap.

Something else you're likely to hear about then is Wifi -- it's all over the suggested responses on Page 3 -- and how you should use it whenever possible. Doesn't really make sense, does it? Verizon wants your money (as any good company should). And if the rumored pricing structure is true (and those rumors are still far from official), you might end up paying more for a lower data cap. So why the push for Wifi? Remember that data's not free. Each MB costs Verizon something, too. And Verizon's (relatively excellent) LTE network didn't come cheap. You hear the word "billion" used a lot in conjunction with a 4G rollout. And carriers are feeling a crunch for spectrum -- the frequencies and such that the data's actually transmitted on. Their answer to that? You'll use Wifi more. (Sit though a CTIA keynote and you'll know exactly what we're talking about.) And so when you're talking to a Verizon rep about these new plans, you'll be urged to connect to Wifi whenever possible. And that's not exactly the worst idea in the world. A good Wifi signal can still be better than a bad LTE signal. And, more important, it's much easier on your battery life.

Anyhoo: Ease on past the break and check out the training material. There's not a whole lot of actual news there -- though the $30 for 2GB of data appears to be confirmed, as well as the death of unlimited plans. RIP.

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3 years ago

Keep your existing data plan on Verizon after the rumored 7/7 switch?

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Right off the bat -- Verizon has kept quiet about any rumored data plan changes coming on July 7.  We're all going on insider information, and filling in the blanks where we can.  We can be sure that something is coming, and very few people are going to be happy about it.  Maybe today's rumors can alleviate a little of the pain.

According to the latest, existing customers with an unlimited smartphone data plan will be able to keep their current plan if and when they change to a new phone.  That makes perfect sense, all other carriers have done the same in the past.  What we're assuming, based on leaked screenshots (and a little desperate hope) is that this applies when you use a two year upgrade as well.  The wording suggests it, but falls short of confirming it.  We just don't know, so we can't say.  Our own Verizon expert says if you can use an upgrade and keep your old plan, don't expect to make any changes (like text packages or tethering) or sign up for any promotions -- that's going to require a plan change. 

Then there's a new rumor we've heard more than once -- the bad news about tiered data pricing is actually shared family data plans.  Individual plans will be a bit cheaper, and have a low price, small data cap offering.  Again, this is nothing more than a rumor, and anyone who can verify any of this is wisely keeping quiet about it.  What we are sure about is that Verizon will do exactly as they have planned to do, will feel it is in their best interests, and announce it when they are ready.  And we really can't expect more than that.

More: Droid-Life; MyDroidWorld; Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Sprint HTC EVO View 4G hands-on

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How do you make the HTC Flyer even better? Pop in a Wimax radio, put it on Sprint, and call it the Sprint HTC EVO View 4G. What you see above you is the second version of the Flyer to hit the United States -- the Wifi-only version is currently available at Best Buy; this one's on sale June 24 -- this Friday -- for $399 on contract.

So what do you get for all those bones? How's about a slick 7-inch tablet with Android 2.3.3, a custom version of HTC Sense that's pretty much like what you get on the new HTC Sensation and EVO 3D, a1.5 GHz single-core processor, and, of course, the HTC Scribe stylus for some serious note-taking.

But, as you'll see in the video after the break, everything's not coming up roses, despite all that awesome hardware. Take a look.

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3 years ago

Motorola Xoom now available at select US Cellular locations

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US Cellular has thrown their hat into the tablet ring, and now will be selling the wifi version of the Motorola Xoom in select stores.  The price is the same as anywhere else at $599, so folks who want support and customer service from USCC instead of another retail outlet can do so at no premium.

USCC does advise you to call and check your local store before you drive in, and "some restrictions apply" so be sure to find out exactly what you're getting yourself into before you hand over the credit card. 

via @USCellularThanks, John!

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3 years ago

Honeycomb 3.2, WiFi only video chat apps [From the Forums]

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We've been chugging along today, shaking off what was left of the Monday blahs and we've still got plenty more planned for this week. That is, as long as Rovio doesn't release the next Angry Birds update in the next few days -- if they do, we may have to slow down. We've got a lot of folks busy in the Android Central forums as well so be sure to check em out especially the EVO 3D forums. Folks in there are getting pretty stoked.

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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3 years ago

HTC EVO 3D - What apps will you load first?

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It's been a while coming but now that the HTC EVO 3D is here, we know a lot of you are picking one up. With picking up a new device comes the task of loading up some apps as well, unless you have a previous device and just plan to use what is already synced on your Google account. For new comers to Android who may be making the HTC EVO 3D their first device we have to ask, what apps will you load first? We've listed some of our top choices after the break, share yours in the comments.

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3 years ago

Samsung releases Galaxy Tab 10.1 kernel source

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Samsung has posted the kernel source for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, allowing Tegra kernel developers to get to work and Tab 10.1 users to get ready for what they build for us.  As usual, the average user won't be able to do much with these files, but for developers they are electronic gold, allowing for overclocking and additional features that make the Tab 10.1 different, and maybe even better with custom software.

Developers, grab it from the source link.  Users, get ready and support your development community, because this is going to start getting fun.

Source: Samsung Open Source via @SamsungCarla

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3 years ago

Firefox 5 now available, brings 'Do Not Track' function

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Firefox has just hit another milestone for their mobile browser releases. Previously in beta, Firefox 5 has now gone official and is available for all to download. The latest release includes the Do Not Track feature to ensure safe and private browsing among many others bug fixes such as faster page loads over 3G as well as improved compatibility with SwiftKey keyboard. The full list is available after that break, as well as the download link for the Android Market.

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3 years ago

Motorola Triumph hitting Virgin Mobile on July 19?

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When we last saw the Motorola Triumph -- a relatively high-end Android phone headed for the prepaid Virgin Mobile -- we'd been given a time frame of July for release, and that was that. If this image taken from a magazine is on the level, it might be headed our way come July 19.

The Triumph, as you'll remember from our hands-on, is a 4.1-inch stock Android phone with a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 5MP rear camera and HDMI out, running Froyo. That's certainly nothing to sneeze at, now is it?

So, anybody going the prepaid route on July 19?

Source: Stephen Gariti's Flickr; via Facebook; Thanks, girldroid, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Angry Birds Seasons Summer Pignic coming ... this summer

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

The birds are back. One bird, rather, according to the latest teaser from the folks behind Angry Birds. "Summer Picnic" will be the latest addition to the Angry Birds Seasons lineup. And, like always, you'll be flinging a bird at pigs. And you won't be able to stop.

And as you'll see in the trailer, in addition to traditional Android devices, it'll also be available on the Barnes & Noble Nook Color, as part of its new app store.

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3 years ago

Bolt browser's back, in private beta (and we have codes!)

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You folks who came from Windows Mobile or, more recently, defected from BlackBerry should well remember the Bolt browser. It's webkit based, as are a good number of other browser these days, and it's full of all that HTML5 goodness the kids are talking about it.

And now it's coming to Android. It's currently in a closed beta program. But we've got your key to entry. Head on over to boltbrowser.com/android, give 'em your name and address, and use the code androidcentral. It's that easy.

Better hurry, though, cause it's only open to the first 500 who enter. And we know how much you folks like beta testing. 

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3 years ago

Sense 3.0 on the HTC EVO 3D vs. the HTC Sensation

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We tucked this into our review of the HTC Sensation 4G, but it's worth mentioning on its own. We've talked about how Sense 3.0 appears to be just a little bit faster on the EVO 3D, even though both phones have a dual-core processor running at 1.2GHz. Our bet (and it seems like most of you agree with us) is that the EVO 3D's faster because it has a few hundred extra megabytes of RAM inside. That could well be the case. But remember that there are any number of tweaks that have to be made from one carrier to another -- so the hop from Sprint to T-Mobile could be it, too.

Or if you're into flaming, you could just argue that anything is better on Sprint, period, end of story.

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3 years ago

Vulkano Flow from Monsoon Multimedia brings TV from home to your smartphone

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These days, digital content is everywhere. You can purchase movies, TV shows and music from a multitude of places but when it comes to getting the content you already own or pay for on your device -- that's where things get a little tricky. Monsoon Multimedia is looking to make all that easier with their Vulkano Flow system. As described in their press release:

The Vulkano Flow gives consumers the freedom to watch their TV anywhere in the world using smartphones, tablets and computers. Vulkano users can now instantly begin recording their favorite television programming so they never miss historic news or memorable sporting moments.

The system itself is comprised of two components. The base station, back at your house and the application available for Android in order to control things from afar. When combined, you then have access to full DVR capabilities on any one of your devices on the go. The Vulkano Flow will set you back $99 and the app needed to connect is available now in the Android Market for $12.99. You can jump on past the break for the full details.

Source: MyVulkano

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3 years ago

Zipcar for Android comes out of beta

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Now that summer is here it's perfect timing for Zipcar for Android to arrive officially. Having been available in the Android Market for a while now under the beta tag, Zipcar has taken v1.0 through the approval process and made it available for all.

If you're not familiar with Zipcar, it's a metro-based service that makes the process of renting cars easier just by simply signing up for their site and reserving a car as needed. You'll find the full press release and more information about the service past the break.

Source: PRNewswire

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