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3 years ago

Pandora launches fully in Australia and New Zealand

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Pandora has been trialing its service in Australia and New Zealand via a web-only trial, and now it has launched the service fully in both countries. Users down under can now sign up and have fully-functional Pandora accounts, including the apps on both Android and iOS. Pandora says that 75-percent of its traffic in the U.S. comes from mobile apps, so this is a big deal to be offering complete access to the new countries as well.

Australia and New Zealand are the first countries outside of the U.S. to have full access to Pandora, and hopefully the deals can be made to let the rollout continue to other countries also. Eager Aussies can grab a download of the app at the Google Play Store link above.

Source: TechCrunch; Pandora

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3 years ago

Android Central Stocking Stuffers Week 1 winners

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We're into the second week of our month long Stuff Your Stocking contest here at Android Central, and that means that we've got a handful of winners to announce.

Last week we had random drawings from the forums, and we've tallied things up, consulted the random number generator, and picked winners for each day's contest. Each winner will need to check their inbox for all the details, but there's a $10 Google Play gift card with your name on it. I imagine everyone wants to know who those winners are, so let's get on with it!

A big holiday congrats goes out to each of you from all of us here at Android Central, and we know you'll find something great in Google Play to spend your gift cards on. Plus, you're automatically entered to win a Nexus 4 from us!

Don't forget that this week (we still have 23 gift cards that need a home) to enter you'll need to subscribe to our Youtube channel and leave a comment on a video. Read the full details here. Good luck, congrats to last week's winners, and thanks everyone for entering!

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3 years ago

New at ShopAndroid.com: Andru 1A USB Charger in green, black or white

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If you're still on the hunt for a cool stocking stuffer this Christmas, ShopAndroid.com now has all three colors of the Andru 1A USB charger in stock. That's the traditional Android green, black, and white, available for $24.95 each. So put that beautiful Bugdroid to work and let it charge your favorite device. Get your now at ShopAndroid.com.

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3 years ago

Payment processor Bango bringing carrier billing to Google Play

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Bango, a mobile payments and analytics company, works with carriers (and other companies) as a middle-man to help set up payment systems and has now started offering Google Play billing as well. Carrier billing for items on Google Play is something that many carriers around the world are looking to get involved with. It's not always practical (or profitable) at the start to get it set up, however. Effectively outsourcing the payment processing and setup to another company makes sense for many companies out there trying to get into this game.

The first carrier on board with Bango for their mobile payments is Telstra in Australia. Given some of the big names that Bango currently does business with, we could see more carriers rolling out Google Play carrier billing with them soon. You can check out the full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Android revamps in-app purchasing

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The Android developer blog has just unwrapped a nice little present for developers -- Version 3 of in-app purchasing. This is mostly back-end stuff that us civilians might not notice, but that doesn't make them any less important. Here's what's new:

  • Streamlined code. Google says what used to take several hundred lines of code can be done in as few as 50 now. 
  • A more robust architecture.
  • Local caching, so API calls happen faster. That means part of the legwork is being done on your phone, without the need to call into Google Play.
  • And "the ability to consume managed purchases and query for product information."

OK, so that's all good for us, the user, too. Google says Version 3 will work on Android 2.2 and up, which means 90 percent of active devices should be good to go.

Source: Android Developers blog

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3 years ago

HTC One X+ (AT&T) Review

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HTC’s fourth-quarter refresh of the One X is good, but is it good enough to keep you from waiting for the next tier of hardware?

When first holding an HTC One X+ (or any One device, for that matter) in your hand, it's hard to believe that the company has had such abysmal sales figures the past several quaters. It arguably has one of the best screens on the market, paired with an upgraded Tegra 3 processor and bumped up internal storage of 64GB. On top of all that, the device is downright gorgeous. It really does seem like it checks all the boxes.

The One X+ seems every bit a capable high-end device as its competition, much the same way as the original One X from earlier this year. Should it be considered as your next device? Read on and you may have a better idea if it's the right choice for you.

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3 years ago

Gmail is down, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it [Updated]

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Have you ever felt so helpless before in all your life?

Update: GMAIL IS BACK! GMAIL IS BACK. PRAISE LLOYD ALMIGHTY, GMAIL IS BACK.

Update 2: OMG IT MIGHT BE DOWN AGAIN. HOLD ME.

Update 3: Looks like anything connected to Google is failing. Ads. Google Play Store. Basically, it's Judgment Day, people.

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3 years ago

Playing around with clip on lenses: Part 1

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Magnetic clip on lenses aren't new. They've been around for a while, often marketed as an accessory for the iPhone. Our buddies over at Windows Phone Central started playing around with some on the new Nokia Lumia 920, but we couldn't sit back and let them have all the fun, could we? 

A quick trip to eBay later and a pair of clip on lenses were on their way. They're a pretty inexpensive accessory, the 2 that I ordered cost me around £10 ($16) for the pair. As with real camera lenses, there seems to be plenty of choice out there over what to get, but I went with a Fisheye and a Wide Angle. I'm planning a week of goofing around with these and my LG Nexus 4, so part 2 of the post will drop next week. This week, a look at the lenses themselves. Next week, the results. Let's take a look.

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3 years ago

Another week, more LTE locations for AT&T

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AT&T's march toward a network full of 4G LTE data continues, with three four new cities announced (so far) this morning. They are:

  • Wilkes-Barre, Penn.
  • Nashua, N.H.
  • Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Auburn-Opelika, Ala.

So, that's three more to go along with the dozens we've seen go live in the last few months. If you're still waiting, hang in there. The ball's a-rollin'. And if you've got an LTE-capable device, keep your eye on that data indicator.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

Nook Video UK launch announced with UltraViolet support

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Good news for Nook HD and HD+ early adopters in the UK -- Barnes & Noble has announced the launch of its Nook Video service for British Nook owners. The move brings B&N's tablets up to speed with the latest Amazon, Google and Apple tablets, all of which offer their own on-board video services.

The move is made possible through new, expanded UK licensing deals with content owners such as BBC Worldwide, HBO, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, STARZ, and Warner Bros. Entertainment, Barnes & Noble says. Individual TV shows and movies highlighted by B&N in today's press release include --

Sherlock, Call the Midwife, Game of Thrones®, True Blood®, Ted, The Bourne Legacy, The Amazing Spider-Man™, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Men in Black 3, Spartacus, Party Down, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Happy Feet Two.

Both high and standard-definition video content is available through Nook Video, with streaming and downloading supported on the service. Downloads are linked to the Nook Cloud service, allowing them to be played on other supporting devices.

What's more, Nook Video will also tie into the UltraViolet video system, allowing those who've purchased Blu-ray or DVD versions of titles to view a digital copy of this content on their Nook tablets.

You'll find more details in the presser after the break. If you've picked up a Nook HD or HD+ tablet in the UK recently, let us know how you're getting on in the comments.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia E + E Dual get priced in Europe

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When Sony announced the Xperia E in both single and dual-SIM flavors last week, it said the device would be affordable, however so far pricing info has been difficult to track down. Today that changes, as price details for the Xperia E and Xperia E Dual have emerged in a press release from Sony Mobile Germany.

Sony's priced the new entry-level Xperia at €159 (£128) with single SIM support, or €169 (£136) for the dual-SIM variant. Other Xperia E specs include a 3.5-inch HVGA screen, a 1GHz CPU and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on the single-SIM version (the Xperia E Dual will ship with ICS and get an upgrade later.)

One of the first Sony phones to ship with Jelly Bean, the Xperia E is due to go on sale during the first quarter of 2013.

Source: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

Samsung demos their Premium Suite upgrade headed to the Samsung Galaxy S3

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Update: Samsung has now shown part 2 of the Premium Suite update, and you can find everything after the break. 

Just as we saw when Android 4.1.2 rolled out to international Samsung Galaxy S3's starting with Poland, the Premium Suite upgrade adds quite a few features and enhancements for Galaxy S3 owners. To show off those goods, Samsung has now posted up part one of a series of demo videos that highlight the changes headed our way. In short, it's a mixture of stuff from the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 as well as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. Here's what you can expect:

 Contextual Awareness

  • Page Buddy: Your phone will smartly predict what you intend to do according to your actions. For example, when you plug in your earphones, the device automatically opens up a page with the music player.
  • Contextual Menu:  When you list up apps, you can now choose to see the most frequently used ones first. Especially convenient when you’re looking through apps  to find files to attach.
  • Contextual Tag:  When you take a picture on the phone, you can tag the weather, date, and place immediately.

Enhanced Features

  • Multi Window: You can open two different apps at the same time into two different windows on the mobile screen.
  • Auto Share Shot Pairing using NFC: By setting the camera to ‘Auto Share Shot’ mode, you can quickly share your photos and videos by simply tapping their GALAXY S III with other NFC and S-Beam enabled devices
  • Reader Mode: You can easily control the size of the text on your browser! Also, you can just click the webpage to share it!
  • Facebook Lock Ticker: The easiest way to see your Facebook News Feeds – set your phone to show it on your lock screen.

It's a pretty awesome pack to have arrive on an already great device but alas, the typical disclaimer applies here. Samsung notes that availability and timing of the Premium Suite upgrade will vary depending on the country and mobile carrier.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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3 years ago

Samsung reminds us that new things are coming at CES 2013

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Just in case you didn't already know, Samsung is reminding us that we'll see some killer new things at CES 2013. They don't give any hints, but rumors and speculation are already flying -- and that's half the fun.

We'll be at CES with cameras and keyboards at the ready, so keep glued to AC for everything there is to know from Samsung (and everyone else) in early January.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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3 years ago

Google and others petition courts to stop upholding vague patents

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A group consisting of Google, Dell, Facebook, Homeaway, Intuit, Rackspace, Red Hat and Zynga have filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals suggesting that courts stop honoring and upholding patents with purposely vague wording. 

The brief covers all the legal angles, but the layman's version is that phrases like "on a mobile device" or "over the Internet" are just too broad and meaningless. These types of patents should not be granted, and existing patents using such broad terms should not be upheld. Direct from the brief:

 Many computer-related patent claims just describe an abstract idea at a high level of generality and say to perform it on a computer or over the Internet. Such barebones claims grant exclusive rights over the abstract idea itself, with no limit on how the idea is implemented. Granting patent protection for such claims would impair, not promote, innovation by conferring exclusive rights on those who have not meaningfully innovated, and thereby penalizing those that do later innovate by blocking or taxing their applications of the abstract idea.

Notably absent from the group putting this forward are Microsoft and Apple, companies that have recently tried to enforce overly-broad patents against Android vendors with mixed success. Both companies have also had their share of run-ins with questionable patents, so their participation is something I would have thought was likely. 

Nobody knows how effective this will be, but it's great to see it happening. If more companies are vocal about the situation, the government will have to respond in some manner. Anything to get rid of the status quo is a move forward in my book.

Source: All Things D

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