Headlines

3 years ago

Google Wallet a reality: Brings real purchasing power to your phone

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Google today officially announced Google Wallet and Google offers: The search giant's foray into mobile payments. Teaming up with MasterCard, Sprint and Citi -- and using MasterCard's PayPass system -- Google Wallet is being put into beta mode starting in San Francisco and is scheduled for full launch later this summer.

The concept is pretty much how it sounds -- turning your NFC-enabled smartphone into your wallet. Credit cards use several layers of encryption, and you'll basically tap to pay using MasterCard's PayPass system.

Google debuted its Wallet services on the Sprint Nexus S 4G (the Nexus S is still the only smartphone in the United States with NFC). Launch the app, and it asks to connect to your account. Then you'll have to enter a PIN. You'll then enter your card information, again, a Citi MasterCard, for now. Note that this is different than merely storing your credit card information on the phone -- it's provisioned through a third party.

Don't have a Citi MasterCard? And don't want one? Google's also including a prepaid card that will let you add funds from other credit cards. But that's not to say you won't be adding other companies' cards in the future -- Google Wallet is an open platform.

More on security: If the phone's screen is turned off, NFC is turned off. And NFC also is inactive until the Google Wallet App is launched. It's got a tamper sensor as well, and will withstand laser attacks. Really. Google said so.

Google also announced Google offers -- deals done through Google, naturally.

Source: Google
More: Google.com/wallet

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3 years ago

Samsung Mobile announces 'Kick it with the Band' winner

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Today, Samsung Mobile announced the grand prize winner of their "Kick it with the Band" contest, which challenged Sidekick 4G owners to promote their music using nothing but their phone via social networks.

The winner was chosen by vote, and after everything was tallied, the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Champion artist is 18-year-old Jake Miller, from Weston, FL. As a result of his victory, Jake scored some marketing budgets as well as being invited to participate in some music videos that will be posted on Facebook.

Full PR is after the break.

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3 years ago

LG Revolution, Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and Motorola Droid X2 available now from Verizon

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It’s a big day for Big Red as three more Android devices come to Verizon. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (see our hands-on), LG Revolution (see our first look) and Motorola Droid X2 (initial review) are all available for purchase now, expanding Verizon’s already robust Android lineup.

Each phone has its advantages, it's just a matter of personal preference for which one you choose. The Xperia Play is the first "Playstation-certified" device and will be extremely robust for gaming. Oh, and Minecraft will be available exclusively for the Play for a limited time.

The Droid X2 is an incremental improvement over the original. The dual-core processor inside will make it incredibly snappy and the lack of LTE means good battery life.

The Revolution stands as the only 4G LTE device launched today, and that means you’ll be paying a bit more for the phone as it can be had for $249 with a 2-year contract. It is also the first phone to come preloaded with Netflix, an app that I'm sure many don't mind to come with the device.

The Xperia Play and Droid X2 can both be bought for the standard $199.

Verizon's Android lineup got a lot juicier today. What's everyone picking up?

Source: Verizon More: LG Revolution Forum

Motorola Droid X2 Forum

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Forum

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3 years ago

Android Quick App: WSJ

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The Wall Street Journal Android app is heavy on news
— as long as you're a member of the club

Fans of the Wall Street Journal -- WSJ is what the kids call it these days -- take note: an Android app is finally here. And with it you can get all of the stories, video, photos, podcasts and stocks info you've come to rely on in more traditional (ie: old) formats like computers and that ancient newspaper thing.

And the WSJ app is a pretty darn good one. It's easy to navigate, with the sections clearly labeled. Stories are easy to read, though we'd prefer to see some spacing between paragraphs. (Yeah, we're picky about our formatting.) And photos are vibrant, with easy-to-read captions.

One catch: If you're not a WSJ subscriber, you might as well go elsewhere. You're basically dead in the water if you're not logged in, and even then there's a mountain of content you still can't access without some higher-level subscription -- and possibly a secret handshake.

So that's that. A nice news app from a great news organization -- just make sure you're a subscriber. The app itself is free; download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

Android 2.3.3 pushing out for European Xperia Play, Xperia Arc

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Good news for those of you in Europe with Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play and Xperia Arc -- an Android 2.3.3 update has started to roll out. The list of improvements, in handy bullet form, includes:

  • Battery performance
  • General software stability
  • Wi-Fi stability
  • HD Video recording performance (Xperia arc)
  • Touch responsiveness

All that, plus Sony Ericsson's "Facebook Inside Xperia" feature. (More on that after the break.) Remember that this update is for the non-U.S. version of the Xperia Play (which just launched today on Verizon).

Source: Sony Ericsson

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3 years ago

mSpot Radio Spotter rolls out -- stream free radio based on cloud locker suggestions

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Today mSpot released the latest in their suite of products, mSpot Radio Spotter. mSpot Radio Spotter is a free part of the mSpot music app and broadens your access to not only your own music stored in the cloud, but also streaming radio finely tuned to your listening habits.

What helps to set mSpot apart from the other music solutions out in the Market is that mSpot combines a full cloud storage locker with a personalized radio station or stations that match the style or genre or whatever song you're listening to or the kinds of music you listen to most often.

The mSpot Radio Spotter Discovery Feature is easy to use, as you just click the radio icon when you're listening to a song, and mSpot will populate a list of songs similar in taste to what you're listening to. mSpot has also partnered with more than 80 commercial-free online radio stations and live, local radio stations to stream their content to you from the 'Radio' section of the app.

mSpot Radio will also generate a list of suggested stations for your use based on what you listen to the most from your cloud storage locker, so the more you use the cloud service, the more fine-tuned your suggestions are.

This is a pretty big step forward in uniting cloud storage and streaming radio into a single entity, and it works rather well. Now, we can only wait to see if any other products come up to challenge.

Full PR and download links are after the break.

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3 years ago

US Cellular's HTC Merge officially launches May 31

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Updated Sense UI has remote-wipe capability

That the US Cellular HTC Merge will be launched on May 31 should come as no surprise -- we first brought you that date four days ago (along with an early look at the regional carrier's dummy units). But USCC's gone and made it all official on Facebook, saying:

The Android-powered HTC Merge is officially launching on May 31! UPS trucks will start arriving at stores starting tomorrow so call your local U.S. Cellular location for availability.

And USCC's sweetened the deal (the phone's only $149 after contract and rebate) with a tweaked Sense UI that allows for remote wiping, should you lose the exceptional horizontal slider. Nice!

Source: Facebook; via Engadget
More: US Cellular

HTC Merge Specs | HTC Merge Forums | HTC Merge Accessories

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3 years ago

Droid Charge sees its first custom ROM [from the forums]

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Besides that SAMOLED plus display and LTE radio, the Samsung Droid Charge has another thing going for it that's important to many of you guys -- no bootloader monkey business.  All you hackery types know what that means; easy custom ROMs and kernels.  Lo and behold, we have both for the Charge in a very advanced stage of testing and ready for the public to download and try.  Android Central forums adviser DroidXcon is spearheading the Altered Beast project, and he and his fellow developers have things looking and working quite nicely.  Having said that, keep in mind this is still a testing release.  If you can't handle ferreting out a few bugs now and then, you may want to take a wait-and-see approach. 

The ROM is completely deodexed, most of the bloat is removed, working Clockwork recovery built in, and has a custom VooDoo kernel to really speed things up.  Best of all, it has great instructions and support.  If you're rocking the Charge and hankerin' for some custom ROM love, now's your chance.  Two more pictures after the break, you know where to click.

Source: Android Central forums. Thanks DroidXcon and jt1134!

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3 years ago

Sprint Navigation now available for the Nexus S 4G

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We all love the fact that the Nexus S 4G came free of carrier bloatware and foolery, but there are a great many of you who prefer Sprint's branded version of Telenav to Google's navigation.  And you're in luck -- Telenav and Sprint have released Sprint Navigation for the Nexus S 4G, and dropped it in the Android Market to make it easy to install.  Just hit the "Sprint" tab in the Market app on your phone, and you'll see it in the list.  We wish there was a place where all carrier apps were done this way, but even Sprint Navigation can't find one.

Thanks, Richard1864!

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3 years ago

Preparing for Gingerbread, notification bar spam [from the forums]

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Wednesday.. is everyone making it through the week ok? We hope so -- we've still got a ton of news to cover for the rest of this week and into the weekend. So if you're not feeling the best maybe you should just relax and take it easy with us tonight in the Android Central forums. Some threads below to get you started:

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

Motorola XPRT hits training status at Sprint

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In a day and age when release dates sometimes merely seem like suggestions, it's nice to see a phone marching steadily toward the public. And Sprint's upcoming Motorola XPRT appears to be on course, with training under way ahead of the June 6 release. The XPRT (pronounced "expert," natch) essentially is Sprint's version of the Motorola Droid Pro on Verizon, with that same 3.1-inch touchscreen, Android 2.2 and a 1GHz processor -- and the same dual GSM/CDMA capability. Nice.

Thanks, anon!

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3 years ago

Madfinger Games announces Shadowgun for Tegra 2 and upcoming quad-core Kal-El devices

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For anyone who has played Samurai II: Vengeance the name Madfinger Games may sound familiar. If it doesn't, we've got a sneaking suspicion you'll be hearing a lot more about them and their newly announced game -- Shadowgun. Having just dropped the details today, we now know that Shawdowgun will be available for Tegra 2 powered Android phones and tablets.

In addition to the Tegra 2 support, Madfinger is also optimizing the game to support NVIDIA’s Project Kal-El, the next-generation Tegra quad-core processor. Needless to say, we're pretty stoked to see how this game turns out and even more stoked for Project Kal-El. Hit the break for the press release, if you're looking for more background info on Mindfinger games and Shadowgun.

Source: Mindfinger Games

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3 years ago

Samsung Replenish updated for Exchange, security enhancements

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Let us not forget about the little guys. The Samsung Replenish (read our initial review) has received a little (4.6-megabyte) update that "includes Exchange Active Sync and security enhancements." Hey, not the most exciting update in the world. But if you've got a Replenish and are into the corporate e-mail thing (and there's a good chance that's the case if indeed you do have Sprint's eco-friendly Android phone), be sure to snag this one.

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3 years ago

Google Maps updates to v5.5.0

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A new Google Maps update is now available. This version -- v5.5.0 has only three changes listed in the changelog but it brings some stuff that users have been asking for all while addressing some privacy concerns within Latitude. The full changelog is as follows:

  • Check in and out directly from Place Pages
  • Change Latitude work and home addresses
  • Redesigned transit station pages

If any of those items pique your interest, you can jump on past the break for the Android Market download link or just simply fire up the Android Market on your device and install from there.

Source: Google Lat-Long Blog; Thanks, isaiah32!

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3 years ago

HTC Panache 4G unboxed -- the Glacier comes to Canada

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Heads-up to our readers who are Mobilicity subscribers -- you no longer have to pay full price and have a MyTouch 4G shipped from the states to get your hands on an HTC Glacier.  Mobilicity has scored an exclusive for the HTC Panache, complete with Gingerbread on board.  The specs haven't changed, though -- you still have the second generation 1GHz Snapdragon, 768 MB of RAM, 3.8 inch display, and 21 mbs 4G speeds.

Mobilicity is selling the Panache for $499.99 off contract, and it is available for use on the $25 monthly unlimited plan (CAD).  It's still a hell of a phone even when compared to today's dual core beasts, and we're glad to see it's made it's way up North.  The unboxing, and Mobilicity's press release is after the break.

Source: Mobilicity; YoutubeThanks, Eric!

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