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3 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S3 gets Jelly Bean starting Dec. 14

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Friday's the day, folks, when the Verizon Galaxy S3 finally gets its official Android Jelly Bean update. The carrier has been teasing us with the support docs for a couple days now, and finally it's announced that Dec. 14 is the day the update will begin -- albeit in "phases," which is par for the course and means you might not get it first thing. Verizon says we should all be able to pull it manually within a week or so.

Also, Verizon says, the update will make it ISIS ready, which means the phone will work with the NFC-payment solution that's competing against Google Wallet.

Source: Verizon; More: Verizon Galaxy S3 forums

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3 years ago

Google introducing confirmed clicks into all mobile advertising banners

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Mobile ads are sometimes really, really annoying, but they serve a purpose -- devs got to get paid. However, perhaps the most frustrating  thing of all is when you accidentally tap on an ad banner, soon finding yourself nowhere near the app you were in. Google is putting an end to that today, with the announcement that confirmed clicks are to be implemented into all in-app image advertising banners on smartphones. 

It's incredibly simple, but sure to delight users around the globe. From their research, Google has deduced that the biggest majority of accidental clicks occur around the outer edges of the banners. So, going forward, taps in these areas will prompt a confirmation button to appear before heading out to any related websites. Google claims it will be good for the companies that are buying advertising, as they will be getting valuable clicks for their money instead of a number of people who didn't really care much for the advertised product or service. 

And, of course, it's fantastic news for us, the end user. People still get paid, and we lose a big source of frustration. 

Source: Google Mobile Ads Blog

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3 years ago

EVO 4G LTE - Jelly Bean update - NOW!!!

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OMG, it's finally here. As a reminder, here's the full changelog for Android 4.1, software version 3.15.651.16:

  • Upgrade to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • HTC Sense 4+
  • Improved camera capabilities and gallery
  • HTC Get Started Support - the HTC Get Started website lets customers set up their new smartphone from their home computer
  • Wi-Fi Authentication improvement
  • Personalized ringtone issue fixed
  • Hyperlinks routing to phone app from calendar description issue fixed
  • Calendar improvement

Get your download on, folks! Got to Settings>System updates>HTC Software Update>Check now to pull it.

And you can find more in our EVO 4G LTE forums.

More: Sprint

Thanks to Jonathan for the pic, and everyone else who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Barnes & Noble makes the Nook HD and Nook HD+ available at Walmart

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Tablets are hot property this Christmas, and there's no shortage of choice out there. One such choice is the Barnes & Noble Nook line, and today it has become a little easier to pick one up. Starting today, the Nook HD and Nook HD+ are available in Walmart stores across the U.S. and online. Costing from $199 for the Nook HD and $269 for the Nook HD+, in price at least, they're going head to head with Google's own Nexus 7. But, there's a tablet for everyone, and the 9-inch 1920x1280 display on the HD+ in particular could be a head turner at the price. Full press release can be found after the break. 

Source: Businesswire

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3 years ago

ZTE to unveil 5-inch Grand S at CES on January 8

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Show season is right around the corner, and as such we're subject to the usual rumor mill churning overtime. What we're seeing here though isn't one of those rumors, it appears to be cold hard facts. ZTE will announce the Grand S in a press event at CES 2013 in Las Vegas next month. The source -- the CES Press Event schedule page. 

Being unveiled on Jan. 8 in a press event at the main Convention Center in Las Vegas, the ZTE Grand S is the Chinese OEM's latest and greatest. It's a 5-inch device, with an FHD display. More so, it's supposedly the worlds thinnest 5-inch FHD smartphone -- although that market isn't exactly bursting at the seams right now. So, it's thinner than the HTC Droid DNA/Butterfly, and according to the folks at CNET, there'll be a quad-core processor of some variety in there as well. We'd expect Jelly Bean of some variety to be on there too, although there's no information at this time. 

The 5-inch market is expected to come alive during 2013, and it certainly looks like we're going to hit the ground running in January. Of course, Android Central will be on the ground in Las Vegas throughout to bring you everything you'll need to know. 

Source: CES via CNET

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3 years ago

Elf on the Shelf gets a new Android game

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The Elf on the Shelf is everywhere. That's kind of the point, right? It bounces around various spots in your home until Christmas, keeping an watch on who's naughty and who's nice, reporting back to Santa each night before staking out a new hiding place. You can't hop on Facebook or Instagram or walk through a store without seeing one of these things.

And, yes, the Elf has an app. A game, actually, with the slightly double-entendre'd title of "Slide n' Glide." (Remember, even Santa has a naughty side, too.) The premise is you move the Elf to determine how far a package will fly off a chute and onto a platform. Get all the presets loaded, and you move onto the next level.

More: See other Android kids games

It's a simple (and free!) game, and adults won't get much out of it. But your kids? Chances are we just found another reason they'll be fighting you for the phone. (Plus there are more than Slide n' Glide available.) We've got some demo video on a Galaxy S3 (the game apparently is having issues on some phones) after the break.

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 now available from Three UK

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As promised, Three UK has today launched the LG Nexus 4, following the expiration of O2's month-long exclusivity period. Three's selling the new Nexus online on its £35-per-month, 24-month "One Plan" contract, which includes 2,000 minutes, 5,000 Three-to-Three minutes, 5,000 texts and unlimited ("All You Can Eat") data. There's an up-front charge of £29 for the phone when buying with this contract.

The Nexus 4 supports Three's 42Mbps DC-HSDPA network, which it's been promoting over the past month as an alternative to EE's faster but more expensive 4G LTE. Besides a possible SIM lock, Three's Nexus 4 is the same phone we've become familiar with over the past month -- a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro running stock Android 4.2, sandwiched between two layers of Corning Gorilla Glass 2. For anyone wondering, this is the 16GB model -- we've yet to see the cheaper 8GB version outside of the Google Play device store.

Right now Three isn't selling the Nexus 4 on Pay As You Go online, so you may be out of luck if you want to pick up the device without a monthly commitment (especially considering the long wait facing UK Google Play Store customers.) We've reached out to Three to check up on any future PAYG Nexux 4 plans, and we'll update this post with any response.

Source: Three UK

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3 years ago

Google Play gift card redemption page live in UK, cards still unavailable

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So far Google Play gift cards have been limited to customers in the U.S., however we're starting to see the first indications that that may be about to change. This morning the Google Play gift card redemption page is live on the British Google Wallet site for those with UK accounts.

The page isn't of any use without a gift card or code to use with it, and we've tried crediting a UK account with a US code -- that doesn't work either. Nevertheless, the fact that the page is live suggests that Google might be preparing to sell gift cards outside the U.S. in time for the holidays.

Google has wasted no time in rolling out Google Play goodies internationally in the wake of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 launch. Last month Google Play Music became available in select European countries, and last night Google Play Magazines launched in the UK.

If you're based in the UK, you can stare longingly at the code redemption form at the source link below.

Source: Google Wallet; Thanks for the tip, +Lee Jarratt

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3 years ago

Google reportedly not keen on building out apps for Windows

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Google is gradually building out its apps portfolio for non-Android platforms, notably iOS. In recent months -- and since being pulled from the platform at OS level -- we've seen Google release dedicated YouTube, GMail and now Maps applications for Apple's mobile OS. But, what about Windows? Windows Phone 8 is gathering momentum, and Windows 8 will eventually be on billions of machines worldwide, or so you'd think, surely the next investment of time for Google? 

Not so, it seems. Clay Bavor, a Google Product Manager, went on record speaking to V3 about where the future may lie for Google expanding their apps to the latest Windows platforms: 

We have no plans to build out Windows apps. We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8. If that changes, we would invest there, of course

Ouch. It all makes perfect business sense of course, if there's no market, Google wouldn't target it. Both platforms are in their infancy, and we'd expect -- from Windows 8 especially -- increased user numbers to come with time. But, we all know the best way to get the best Google experience on our devices, right? 

Source: V3 via WPCentral

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3 years ago

Sprint EVO 4G LTE Jelly Bean update: We're all patiently waiting this morning

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There's nothing quite like the rollout of a major update on Sprint, folks. Never experience one before? Picture Times Square on New Year's Eve. Add a dash of a major chess tournament, a giant bag of Doritos, and a case of Red Bull. That's pretty much what we've got going on now. It's a friggin' party in our EVO 4G LTE forums as we all patiently <cough> await the arrival of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Anyhoo, here's a better shot of the Sprint Playbook page detailing the update that finally made its way out last night, for those who like things crisp and clear. (Lord knows my tired eyes do.)

As you can see, according to the Playbook (which is sort of Sprint's all-but-public internal newsletter), you should be able to start pulling down the update today, and it'll be pushed out starting Jan. 3. (At least that's the current plan, apparently.) Not that folks are drumming their fingers in the forums or anything.

Oh, and Sprint's EVO 4G LTE product page now lists Jelly Bean, for what that's worth. Not that anybody's obsessing over it or anything.

If you wanna get in on the party, hit this link. Things really get going around Pages 42-43, again in the 70s, and it's a  madhouse at Page 82.

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3 years ago

Football Manager Handheld 2013 released into Google Play for $9.99

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Football Manager is the premier desktop soccer football management simulation game, with millions buying it every year. Last year, Sega brought the title to Android for the first time, in the form of Football Manager Handheld 2012. That was then, and this is now, and the latest version is here. And, it's called -- you guessed it, Football Manager Handheld 2013. The price isn't cheap, and as with last year will cost $9.99 or £6.99 depending where you are. 

With a new year comes new stuff, the first of which is in-app purchases. The very thought of in-app purchases in a game that costs $10 is difficult to get your head round, but the idea kind of works. In the same way as the real football world works, if you splash the cash, you can attract wealthy investors and improve your stadium quicker. There's also 'fresh challenges' available for purchase should you ever require them. It's still difficult to swallow though having dropped all that money for the game in the first place.

Other new features for 2013 includes additional leagues -- we now have leagues for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland -- media improvements, player photos, player comparisons and form updates, and of course the full licensed information for the 2012/13 season. There's no MLS included though, so American managerial wannabe types will have to make do with teams from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Scotland, Spain and Wales in addition to the two new Irish leagues. 

Best of all, the file isn't huge -- although there is a first time download file you'll have to get -- and it's available to anyone using Android 2.2 and above. 

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3 years ago

EE announces next wave of 4G cities, 17 more due by March 2013

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EE, the UK's first and currently only 4G LTE network provider, has announced that it'll bring its 4G services to some 17 new British towns and cities by March 2013. The carrier also revealed that with upcoming network switch-ons in Belfast, Hull, Maidenhead and Slough, in addition to recent LTE light-ups in Derby, Newcastle and Nottingham, will bring its total markets to 18 before the end of 2012. That's ahead of the previous estimate of 16.

By March, EE plans to bring its LTE services to Bradford, Chelmsford, Coventry, Doncaster, Dudley, Leicester, Luton, Newport, Reading, Rotherham, St Albans, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, Watford, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton, adding coverage for some four million Brits.

As it's been able to deploy LTE without yet acquiring new spectrum, EE has a monopoly over 4G services in the UK at the moment. But the company has faced criticism over its pricing, which is considerably higher than 3G competitors. EE has shown signs of budging on price in recent weeks, though, with data cap increases for mobile broadband users and the introduction of new 30-day data-only contracts.

Other UK network providers will be able to roll out their LTE services following the auction of 800MHz and 2600MHz spectrum, expected to complete early next year.

Source: EE

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3 years ago

AT&T announces six new LTE cities

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We've seen quite a few new AT&T LTE markets launch in recent weeks, and this morning the carrier has announced six new additions to its 4G LTE network --

  • Allentown, PA
  • Bethlehem, PA
  • Starkville, MS
  • Hattesburg, MS
  • Reno, NV
  • Moscow, ID

If you're seeing AT&T LTE light up in your neighborhood for the first time this morning, be sure to share your thoughts in the comments.

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3 years ago

Daily news roundup: December 12, 2012

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A lot went down today, covering everything from tablets for the kids to Google and Apple getting it together and giving us a great maps app for iOS. Great news days aren't made, they just happen. Check it out.

Device news

Software and updates

Industry news

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3 years ago

Google Maps lands in Apple's App Store

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Just a week before the Mayan Apocalypse, Google Maps is back on iOS. It actually looks pretty good, and should help keep folks out of dingo territory. Rene and company are looking it over, expect all the comparison you could ever want in the coming days over at iMore.

Me? I'm just glad the lamb and the lion have laid down together. Things work much better when the big boys play nice.

More: iMore

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