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3 years ago

BlackBerry Messenger announced for Android!

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Today at BlackBerry Live 2013, the quintessential BlackBerry Messenger was announced as coming to Android this summer! It's going to be totally free, which is a welcome surprise. 

CEO Thorsten Heins announced his company's goal to make BBM the standard in cross-platform messaging and that they'll be bringing their long-standing device-exclusive service to iOS and Android. In the long run, they intend to include advanced features like groups, screen sharing, and the recently-announced Channels to the other platforms. Keep an eye out for this one in Google Play over the next couple of months, and expect it to displace a lot of the current messaging platforms out there. 

Any of you guys know folks that still use BBM? Any ex-BlackBerry-owners that miss BBM?

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3 years ago

BlackBerry announces new Android support in enterprise management suite

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The better part of the CrackBerry crew are at BlackBerry Live 2013 this week, and there was a bit of news for Android fans amid the general session. BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.1 was announced, which includes support for Android devices. That means your IT guy can roll out apps and lock down BlackBerry devices throughout the company just as easily as it can with any Android devices. 

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3 years ago

Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile join AT&T's 'It Can Wait' campaign

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The fight against texting and driving has done something nearly unheard of in this mobile industry -- the four major U.S. carriers are joining forces to take part in the "It Can Wait" campaign. The new initiative begins May 20 with a co-branded advertising campaign in which you'll hear the real stories of folks whose lives have been affected by texting and driving. It'll kick off with the story of Xzavier Davis-Bilbo, AT&T says, who in 2010, at just 5 years old, was paralyzed from the waist down after being struck by a car driven by a young woman who was texting while driving.

In March, a study commissioned by AT&T found that 49 percent of commuters reported having texted while driving, compared to 43 percent of teenagers in a companion study.

You'll also see the "It Can Wait" campaign in various retailers nationwide.

More: AT&T

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3 years ago

A new look at the newly official NVIDIA Shield [video]

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It's coming this June for $349, and we've got your first look at the refined NVIDIA Shield with stock Android

Easily two of the more exciting announcements to come out of CES 2013 this past January were the Tegra 4 mobile processor and graphics platform from NVIDIA, and its "Project Shield" handheld Android gaming controller. Combining some of the most powerful mobile processing graphics available with a traditional gaming controller -- and a 5-inch, 720p display for good measure -- we finally had the potential for some real console-style gaming on Android.

The big question, of course, would be the price. Today, that's been answered. Shield -- having dropped its "project" designation -- will retail for $349, a bit lower than what many of us here had expected. But "we're not selling Shield at a loss," NVIDIA told us from its headquarters in Santa Clara.

However the math works out, what you get is a highly capable mobile gaming system that in fact can best consoles in some areas.

We got a new look at NVIDIA Shield, with its refined hardware and expanded gaming roster. 

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3 years ago

'Project' no more: NVIDIA Shield preorders start May 20 for $349, ships in June

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NVIDIA promises to change mobile gaming with the Shield -- a handheld console that's pure Android and pure fun

Think back to CES this past January, and chances are you'll remember NVIDIA's Project Shield. It sort of stole the whole show, and it's finally here. In case you missed all the hub-bub surrounding the device, think of a 5-inch, 720p multi-touch display, paired with a full game controller powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 4 chip. It's plenty powerful to play console-grade games, and the best part -- it runs Android so it launches with a full compliment of optimized titles to put it all to use.

It doesn't stop there, either. Using an NVIDIA graphics card in your gaming desktop (GeForce GTX 650 or higher) you'll also be streaming titles using Steam, getting a cross platform experience like no other. The Shield promises to bring your gaming to a whole new level. And of course, we expect things to work quite nicely between the Shield and NVIDIA's new Grid platform.

To get you started, there are two great titles pre-loaded -- Sonic 4 Episode II, and Expendable: Rearmed. You'll also have all the great games in Google Play available, including Tegra 4 optimized titles like Dead Trigger and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. In addition, NVIDIA has five new titles all lined up to make the most of the great hardware the Shield has on-board: Broken Age and Costume Quest from Double Fine, Flyhunter: Origins from Steel Wool Games, Skiing Fred from Dedalord Games and Chuck's Challenge from Niffler. Look for these titles to come soon.

It all sounds pretty exciting, but the big questions are when, where and how much? We're going to detail the full availability, including how preorders will work, but know that general preorders start May 20, and the Shield will have a retail price of $349 when it ships this June. We're expecting this to be a whole lot of fun, and we can't wait to get units into our own hands. In the meantime, the forums are open for all the discussion you would ever want about the Shield, and the press release is after the break.

More: NVIDIA Shield forums

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3 years ago

Test flight: NVIDIA Shield and the Parrot AR Drone

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The NVIDIA Shield might be a powerhouse of an Android-based gaming system, but that's really just the tip of the iceberg, right? If you're really looking to take your brain for a spin, you've got to try Shield with the Parrot AR Drone. 

If somehow you've been able to avoid the AR Drone -- or its cousin, the Quadricopter -- picture this: A lightweight flying machine with four rotors, a few cameras and a Wifi Direct connection straight back to your smartphone. You control this miracle of modern mechanized flight using the controls on your phone or tablet. 

But anyone who's used onscreen buttons knows that a physical controller is much better. So many more options Tactile feedback. With NVIDIA Shield, you get the best of both worlds. You get a physical controller, plus a 5-inch display so you can see what the AR Drone is seeing. It's a ridiculous amount of fun. And it being my first time with the AR Drone, I was horrible at it. So, after the break, we get a little help from an old friend in taking the AR Drone with NVIDIA Shield for a spin. Check it.

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3 years ago

NVIDIA Shield accessories: Carrying case and custom lids

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NVIDIA has a couple of kick-ass accessories to keep your Shield safe and looking unique

We know where and when you can finally get your hands on an NVIDIA Shield, but once you get it you'll probably be interested in some of the official accessories for the device. At the time of launch, NVIDIA is making both a carrying case and removable custom lids for the Shield available. The carrying case will retail for $39.99 and is a hard-sided zippered affair that will keep the Shield nice and protected while you're not using it. The back is designed to let you charge it while completely closed in the case -- a nice touch.

For the device itself, you can buy replaceable custom lids that adorn the back of the screen at $19.99. There will be several different colors and patterns available, with surely more to come. The stock lid is a brushed silver color, which matches the plastic insets on other parts of the device. Stick around after the break for a few more pictures of the case and a nice animation of how the custom lids are removed and replaced on the back of the Shield.

More: NVIDIA Shield Forums

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3 years ago

Here's how you make sure to get your hands on an NVIDIA Shield

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Be one of the first to get your hands on NVIDIA's latest handheld gaming behemoth

So now that NVIDIA has let the cat out of the bag on the device formerly known as Project Shield, it's time to find out where and when you can get one. First off, the Shield launch will be limited to just the U.S. and Canada for now, and we have no indication of when it will expand unfortunately. Official pre-orders for the general public will be kicking off on Monday, May 20th from NVIDIA's Shield website at the aforementioned price of $349. Eager gamers among us can sign up for email updates from NVIDIA on the product and get the bonus of pre-ordering starting today, which is certainly worth it. Pre-order devices will ship in June, which is when general retail availability will kick off as well.

Those who opt to wait for the official retail launch of the Shield can buy directly from several different retailers. NVIDIA itself will sell the devices from its Shield website, as will Newegg at launch. For those wanting to see the hardware in person before buying, brick and mortar retailers GameStop, Micro Center and Canada Computers are all on-board for the launch day. We don't have a specific date for retail availability just yet, but you can bet we'll have a bit of a heads up before pre-orders start hitting people's doorsteps.

More: NVIDIA Shield Forums

Also see: NVIDIA Shield Pre-orders

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3 years ago

Nokia takes aim at Android rivals with aluminum-clad Lumia 925

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We're suckers for sleek metal smartphones here at AC, so when Nokia unveiled its new aluminum-shelled beast, the Lumia 925, we had to sneak over to Windows Phone Central for a closer look. Nokia's latest Windows Phone 8 handset boasts an aluminum-framed design and outstanding camera features, like a certain Android handset we could mention. On the camera side, Nokia's packed in a 8.7-megapixel PureView shooter with Optical Image Stabilization, the same sort used by its predecessor the Lumia 920. That device is one of the few cameras that can compete with the HTC One in low light, and Nokia's promised hardware and software tweaks, so expect some impressive photographic capabilities.

But it isn't all about the comparison with HTC's latest device. The Lumia 925 launch also gives Nokia a fresh product to hold up against the Galaxy S4, which will be backed up by Samsung's monstrous marketing budget. With its aluminum chassis and unique, minimalist software, Nokia will be hoping for favorable comparisons against the GS4.

Our sister site Windows Phone Central has been spending some quality time with the Lumia 925 at the launch event in London this morning. Editor-in-Chief Daniel Rubino writes --

For those of you who dismiss this as just another 920, we’d suggest you reconsider. The phone feels like a Lumia 720 (which we love) but it has the 920 guts inside, making it a very compelling device for those who want a thinner, lighter phone. It’s not an iteration of the 920, but “another expression” of it.

Check out Windows Phone Central for full coverage of the Lumia 925 launch.

More: Nokia Lumia 925 hands-on at WPCentral

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3 years ago

Phones4U to sell Huawei Ascend P2

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Phone seller will have exclusivity over white Ascend P2

Independent British retailer Phones4U has announced plans to stock the Huawei Ascend P2 when it's released next month. It's only the second retailer or operator to announce that it'll carry Huawei's latest handset, after Three UK revealed its plans last week.

Phones4U also says it'll exclusively offer the white version of the phone.

The Huawei Ascend P2, which packs a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU, a 4.7-inch, 720p display and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, is due to launch in the UK starting next month. For more on the device, check out our hands-on coverage from Mobile World Congress.

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3 years ago

TuneIn Radio now lets you buy music you hear from Google Play

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Direct links to the Play Store make music buying easier

TuneIn Radio has just released an update to its streaming radio service that lets users quickly find and purchase the music they're listening to in Google Play. The app has simply added a Google Play icon to the action bar between the share and search buttons, and tapping it brings you to a pre-populated search page in Google Play where you can purchase the track being played. Presumably the button doesn't show up when it can't find a match for the music (it doensn't show up on talk radio, for example), but in our few tests it always returned results.

The update is available for both free and paid versions of TuneIn, and is certainly one to update right away if you find yourself trying to remember and search for music to buy later. You can grab the free version from the Play Store link at the top of this post, and the $4.99 paid version right here as well.

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3 years ago

Airbnb adds new host tools, calendar management

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Approve, deny and request information on guests right from the app

In an attempt to bring its Android app up to parity with the features of the iOS version, Airbnb has added a few new features that should make the experience of setting up travel arrangements a bit easier. The main focus is on the hosting side of the service, where you're setting up a residence to have others come and stay at. The new update now lets hosts pre-approve, deny or request information about the guests without going to the web, which is a huge improvement. You can also now completely manage your calendar from the app, making it easier for guests to find availability dates for residences.

Airbnb also says it has made a "truck full of bug fixes", including a fix for push notifications. Along with the new features and a nice visual refresh, the app has really come together to feel like a more complete experience. If you're an Airbnb user this update will be a worthwhile one to get.

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3 years ago

OPPO Find 5 review

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A name you've probably never heard is making devices better than you may think

The name "OPPO" probably doesn't come to mind when thinking of which phone to buy next, but the Chinese manufacturer is working hard to try and change that. Best known for making high quality Blu-Ray players and various other consumer electronics, the company has only dabbled in phones previously. But with an aggressive strategy of building high-end devices and selling direct to customers with some impressive prices, the components are all there to make at least a little splash in the market. The Find 5 is OPPO's latest attempt at a device that on paper has all of the line items to make a great phone.

But making smart phones is a difficult business to get into, and selling high-end unlocked handsets is the toughest area to aim for. Does OPPO have what it takes to branch out from making other consumer electronics and take a meaningful foothold with consumers? It certainly has some things going for it. Read on past the break for our full OPPO Find 5 review.

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3 years ago

Google introduces Google+ content recommendations for mobile sites

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A simple and unobtrusive way to suggest more relevant content to users

Website operators with mobile versions of their site can now simply and quickly include code that suggests additional content based on information from Google+. The suggestions will rise up as a small bar from the bottom of the site, and only when the user scrolls up -- similarly to the way interface elements hide and show in some of Google's Android apps. The small bar shows a Google+ logo and a recommendation, which will be based on Google+ activity such as +1's and shares, as well as content from the current page you're viewing. Tapping the bar will expand the recommendation to the full page, with a scrolling list of cards of different page recommendations. For example when browsing Android Central, a recommendation page will show other articles +1'd by people in your circles. You can then +1 those posts directly and tap them to read in a new tab.

 

Any website with a Google+ page can easily enable Google+ recommendations with a single line of javascript on the mobile site, and additional tweaks can be made from the Google+ page dashboard. Once enabled, the recommendation bar will show for users running Android 2.3.3 and above, in both the stock Android Browser and of course Chrome.

More: Google Developers

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3 years ago

Samsung working on '5G' technology to deploy by 2020

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Adaptive array transceiver technology to offer several Gbps speeds on very high frequencies

Before most of the world has seen a consistent 4G LTE connection (or even 3G in many places), Samsung is already talking about its research into new 5G technologies. It's a lot of technical speak, but Samsung has developed what it is calling an "adaptive array transceiver technology" to deliver extremely high speed mobile data over millimeter-wave frequencies. Previously considered a poor choice for transmitting data because of their extremely high frequency when compared to what's being used today, Samsung has proven that it can send data in the millimeter-wave frequencies quite efficiently. Testing at a frequency of 28GHz (today's networks are in the 600MHz to 3GHz range), it has successfully made data transfers of 1.056 Gbps over the distance of 2 kilometers. Samsung says its 5G technology would be consistently several hundred times faster than current 4G tech.

Now these are the very early stages of just a proof of concept, as Samsung doesn't expect these technologies to be commercialized until at least 2020. That gives Samsung -- and other companies -- plenty of time to refine its processes to see what works best. If it can indeed take advantage of these previously unusable extremely high frequencies, it could be part of the solution to the "spectrum crunch" we seem to hear about all too often.

Source: Samsung

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