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3 years ago

Sprint Galaxy S3 having a turn at the Android 4.3 update

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It seems Samsung has ironed out any issues with the Galaxy S3 4.3 update, at least in the US

Sprint has joined the fray and the Android 4.3 update for the Galaxy S3 is now pushing out hard and heavy on all three of the four major US carriers. Besides the improvements and stability that should come with 4.3, this one will add support for the Galaxy Gear if you've been eyeing Samsung's smartwatch but don't feel like buying a Note 3.

As usual, results for the OTA will be mixed and at least a few folks will hit a snag or two. Everything you need to know will get talked about in the forums, so that's where you should be.

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Ask AC: Should I switch phones because updates?

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+Russ Clark asks,

I have a G2 and it is a great device, but this attention by Moto towards the Moto X makes me wonder if I should sell my G2 and switch. I know you used the G2 for a bit, what input would you have about that idea?

We're hearing this a lot. Not necessarily about the G2 or the Moto X, but anytime a phone makes the news because the manufacturer is doing something right, people get interested and start thinking about switching. While the people who make these phones probably love seeing and hearing about this, does it really make sense?

Consider why you bought your G2. Chances are you really liked what it had to offer just a handful of weeks ago when you bought it. Nothing has changed. It's still fast, still has the best camera on any Android phone, and still has a killer LCD to look at it all. The Nexus 5 having Google Now built into the launcher, or the Moto X getting KitKat before anyone else didn't change any of that.

Soon, the Moto X will stop being on the front page of any of the blogs. The phone you're holding — whether it be the G2, or something from Samsung or HTC or any of the other OEMs — will have it's turn there. You have to remember, that your phone not being plastered all over the blogs means it's working well and as intended for most users, the same way it did when it was brand-new. 

Keep that G2, Russ. Use it well and enjoy all that it can do for you. And when it gets KitKat or something else happens that should be front and center, be sure to let us know.

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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3 years ago

Moto G review

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Motoro​la's latest is the best cheap Android phone you can buy, by a surprisingly wide margin

Outside of Google's Nexus line of products, good, inexpensive Android phones have been hard to come by. Instead, the word "cheap" has frequently gone hand in hand with "nasty" when describing handsets in the £100-150 (or $160-200) price range. That's outright, with no contract signed. But with its new budget phone, the Moto G, Motorola is seeking to change this.

In its recent presentation from Brazil, the new, fully Googlified Motorola took aim at both the low-cost competition and rival Android device manufacturers in general. The former, it said, typically consisted of compromised, out-of-date hardware that in turn delivered a lackluster user experience. And the latter had a wrongheaded approach to smartphone design, according to Moto VP Punit Soni, loading Android down with unnecessary bloat and features that compete with Google's ecosystem.

Instead the manufacturer insists its entry-level plan makes more sense by focusing resources on key specs like the display and CPU — and building apps, not intricate new UIs atop Google's OS. Moto G is the result — a budget Android phone unlike any other in its price range, and one that looks set to shake up the low-cost Android space.

Let’s see how it shapes up, as we give the Moto G the full review treatment.

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3 years ago

Moto G now available in Canada

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Low-cost Motorola phone arrives on TELUS and Koodo Mobile

Following its launch in parts of Europe and Latin America last week, Motorola's new low-cost handset, the Moto G, has arrived on Canadian shores. The device has gone on sale today at TELUS and Koodo Mobile — on TELUS you'll get the Moto G for free on a 2-year contract, or for C$200 outright; on Koodo it's between C$200 and C$50 on the carrier's sliding "tab" payment system.

The Moto G delivers a 4.5-inch, 720p display and a quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU, and runs near-stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with a handful of Motorola software additions. Stay tuned to Android Central later today for our full review of the device.

Source: TELUSKoodo Mobile; via: MobileSyrup

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3 years ago

Phones 4u extends Note 3 + Tab 3 deal, throws in S View case

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British retailer Phones 4u sends word that it's extended its deal offering Galaxy Note 3 buyers a free 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 tablet for another week. And to sweeten the deal, the outlet is throwing in a free S View cover for all orders, both SIM-free and on-contract, placed online and in-store from today. The S View case provides a cutout for the phone's display, allowing you to view notifications and other information, unlock the device and even take pictures while the cover is closed.

What's more, 4G contract customers will get a free wireless (presumably Bluetooth-based) speaker in addition to the tablet and case. Phones 4u says the total value of the tablet, speaker and case amounts to more than £300 of free swag.

The new promotion runs through until next Thursday, Nov. 28, while stocks last.

Source: Phones 4u

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3 years ago

Sprint Spark: theoretical speeds are theoretical

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A step in the right direction for Sprint coverage and data speeds

When Sprint first launched its Spark LTE technology earlier this month, our curiosity was piqued. Utilizing 800MHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz frequencies, supported devices would be capable of reaching speeds of up to 60 Mbps in any of the five rollout markets, including New York, LA, Chicago, Miami and Tampa. With the carrier’s god awful 3G speeds and bumpy initial LTE rollout, the promise of being the fastest network in five of the largest consumer markets in the country seemed too good to be true.

Unfortunately, at least for now, it is.

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3 years ago

Reminder: Last chance to enter our BBM4ALL VIdeo Contest for a chance to win a Galaxy S4 or a trip to Toronto!

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Just a friendly reminder that you have about one week left to get in on our BBM4ALL Video Contest. The kids at CrackBerry have cranked out some great videos, but if you do one of your own thats even bigger and better, you can win a brand new Galaxy S4 or a trip to Toronto. Check out all the details below.

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3 years ago

Huawei Ascend P6 down to £199 in the UK

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Carphone Warehouse cuts SIM-free price by £80

With the arrival of phones like the Moto G and Nexus 5, pricing in the mid to high-end Android smartphone space has become more competitive than ever. Now we're starting to see other handsets creep down in price to meet this new challenge. UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has dropped the price of one such contender, the Huawei Ascend P6, to £199.95 off-contract, down £80 from its previous price.

Though it lacks LTE connectivity the Ascend P6 is a solid mid-range Android phone with a good-looking screen and decent build quality, including an aluminum-framed design. But we're less enamored by Huawei's software design and performance. Here's what our own Andrew Martonik had to say about the P6 in his review —

In terms of physical design and manufacturing prowess, Huawei has a winner on its hands with the Ascend P6. It has managed to take a well-made and good-looking body that is impossibly thin, fill it with some high-end components and cap it off with a really great screen. 

But none of that matters when you turn on the device and the software stutters and skips through even general app usage, and crumbles when you try to play games or record 1080p video. If the software performance was better we may even be able to look past the interface customizations that Huawei has included on the Ascend P6.

Still want to take the plunge? You'll find more details at the source link.

Source: Carphone Warehouse; via: Eurodroid

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3 years ago

Chromecast app gets a redesign

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There's not much reason to open the Chromecast app once everything's set up, but that doesn't mean Google's still not paying attention to it. the Chromecast app got itself a bit of a redesign tonight, adding the pull-out drawer that all good apps should have. A link to Chromecast-compatible apps is tucked away in that drawer, and the settings menu has been moved there as well.

You get a couple new things when looking at individual Chromecasts, too. The time-zone selector now shows the time relative to GMT, and you can now see the Chromecast MAC address, should you need to do some network troubleshooting.

All in all, a nice little answer to those who have worried that Google had forgotten about the high-def dongle.

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3 years ago

Verizon the latest retailer to begin selling Chromecast

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Listed as an online-only accessory for now

The days of constrained Chromecast supply are long gone, as Verizon is yet another retailer selling the $35 TV dongle. Coming in right behind Motorola which just started selling Google's accessory and long after both Amazon and Google Play have offered it, Verizon is prominently displaying the Chromecast as a great accessory on its main page.

It seems as though the Chromecast from Verizon is an online-only deal, at least for now, and with a free shipping offer this is certainly the "great gift idea!" that Verizon is touting it as. We can imagine more than a few people will be impulse-buying this accessory when they do their holiday shopping on the Verizon website this year.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Verizon introduces $5 'Daily Plan' 300MB data pass for tablets

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New plan targeted at infrequent mobile data users

Verizon is hoping to get more people hooked on mobile data for their tablets with a new $5 "Daily Plan." The new plan slots in below the previous low offering of $20 for 1GB of data each month, and gives you 24 hours of access to 300MB of data, with the plan running out at whichever limit you reach first.

The new Daily Plan is applicable to any of Verizon's tablets or connected devices, like a Samsung Galaxy Camera, and can be used as many times as you please. For example you could simply string together three Daily Plans for 900MB over those three days for $15, but anywhere past that and you'd likely prefer to just sign up for a monthly plan or pay the $10 to add the tablet to a Share Everything plan.

It isn't exactly the best deal in the world considering T-Mobile is offering any tablet (whether they sell it or not) 200MB of data per month for free, but if you're already a Verizon customer you may want to take a look on your next trip with a data-enabled tablet.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Motorola Connect hits the Play Store as well, compatible with Moto's KitKat devices

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Updated Chrome extension supports rich notifications

Yet another Motorola-specific app is making its way from being pre-loaded to now being managed on the Play Store, and this time it's Motorola Connect. Falling in right behind the move of Motorola Assist to Google Play, the latest version of Motorola Connect will be available to update on Motorola's Android 4.4 devices, and have a few new features.

The app, which lets you manage calls and texts in conjunction with a Chrome browser extension, will now work even if you've integrated your SMS into Hangouts and can be updated independent of the OS now that it's in the Play Store. You'll need the latest version of the Motorola Connect Chrome extension as well, which now supports Chrome's rich notifications, to complete the system. The latest Android app can be found at the Play Store link above, and the Chrome extension is downloadable from the source link below.

Source: +Punit Soni; Chrome Web Store

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3 years ago

Play Store will now show tablet-designed apps by default on tablets

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Another reason for developers to consider tablet designs for their apps

Just as was previously announced, the Play Store is undergoing a few changes for those with tablets today. Although it has been an option for some time, when browsing app categories on a tablet you'll now be shown apps that are marked as "designed for tablets" by default. In addition, any apps that haven't been updated to be fully tablet-compatible will be marked as "designed for phones" under their title in the Play Store, giving you a warning of sorts that the app may not work properly.

Google is taking this opportunity to remind developers how to make their apps compatible with tablets, as well as to go above and beyond to make experiences that are preferable on tablets rather than simply compatible. Through the Developer Console you can simple head to the "tablet optimization tips" area and see what is keeping your app from being listed as tablet ready.

Source: +Android Developers

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3 years ago

Motorola puts Motorola Assist in Google Play, adds custom autoreply option

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Motorola today added Motorola Assist to its growing stable of software features that have moved from the system level of its smartphones into Google Play.

Along with that change comes the addition of a new "quick reply" feature. When you're driving or are in a meeting, incoming calls can be automatically declined, and a custom text message automatically sent. 

Motorola Assist will work with the Moto X, Droid Ultra, Droid Mini and Droid Maxx.

Motorola also has put Touchless Control, the Moto X camera, Droid Zap and a number of other device-specific features into Google Play.

via +Mark Rose

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3 years ago

T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint take stance against fraudulent premium SMS charges [update]

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Customers continue to have the option of requesting refunds for false charges

Update: The Vermont Attorney General indicates that both AT&T and Sprint have also signed on to block all premium SMS charges aside from donations, although the carriers have not released official statements on the matter.

Original story: T-Mobile published a support FAQ today indicating that the carrier will take a stronger stance against bogus premium SMS charges as soon as possible. Following a realization that large-scale actions by the entire wireless industry were not completely effective, T-Mobile has decided to cease all billing for premium SMS other than charitable and political donations.

Premium SMS, while having its legitimate purposes, is seemingly primarily used as a tool for scamming wireless customers into paying outrageous SMS rates to unwanted companies. Realizing that few cases of premium SMS — outside of charitable and political donations — were actually being used for legitimate reasons, T-Mobile has already halted business dealings with one of the largest premium SMS service providers.

Going forward, the carrier plans to stop all non-charitable and political premium SMS, and reiterates that customers will continue to have the option of requesting refunds for fraudulent premium SMS charges

Source: T-Mobile; Vermont Attorney General; Via: Engadget

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