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3 years ago

HTC One versus Sony Xperia Z

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The HTC One is due to launch globally in the next month, so how does it compare to Sony's latest, the Xperia Z?

The Xperia Z is Sony’s best smartphone yet, and it’s one of the first major flagship devices of 2013 to hit the market. But there’s competition coming, and not just from Samsung. HTC will be launching the HTC One in Europe from the end of the month, and the Taiwanese manufacturer’s going all-out with its very best build quality, redesigned software and a new kind of smartphone camera.

So how does HTC’s latest hold up against Sony’s glass-clad beast? We’ve got comparisons in video, pictures and words after the break.

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3 years ago

Pocket Casts hits v4.1 with new dark theme, various playback improvements

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Pocket Casts just received an update to version 4.1, bringing a new "dark" theme and several notable playback improvements. Even though it just recently made the major jump to version 4 with a complete redesign, the updates don't stop there. Version 4.1 has a new dark theme, which should be easier on the eyes when viewing in dim environments and generally just please the crowd that likes a darker UI. On the playback side, v4.1 adds global playback speed options, set "start from" times for episodes, larger buttons and various other little fixes.

If you haven't taken a look yet, the new and redesigned Pocket Casts 4 is certainly worth consideration. You can grab a download from the Play Store at the link above, and stick around after the break for a quick side-by-side comparison of the light and dark UI.

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3 years ago

Beam Player: simple, clean folder-based music player

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There are countless music players out there offering buckets of features and flair, but sometimes you just want a basic app to play music from a folder structure. Beam Player fits the bill for this use perfectly, and doesn't go over the top on design or unnecessary features either. Best of all it's holo, tablet responsive, and has great widgets and notification controls.

Hang with us after the break to see more of what Beam Player has to offer as a simple music player.

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3 years ago

U.S. Galaxy S4 model to be powered by Snapdragon 600 CPU

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At yesterday's big Samsung Galaxy S4 announcement, the manufacturer revealed that multiple versions of the phone would be produced running differing CPUs, as was the case with last year's Galaxy S3. Certain markets, including the U.S., will get a 1.9GHz quad-core chip powering their S4, while other territories, including the UK and Europe, would get an octa-core Samsung Exynos 4 chip at 1.6GHz.

However, there was some confusion as to exactly which quad-core chip would be fitted in the quad-core Galaxy S4 -- Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 600, or the slightly older Snapdragon S4 Pro. Today a Qualcomm spokesperson has confirmed to us that the quad-core Galaxy S4 is indeed packing the faster Snapdragon 600 chip, so hopefully we can all avoid any more sleepless nights worrying about that one.

The U.S. variant Galaxy S4 joins the HTC One and LG Optimus G Pro, which will also ship with Qualcomm's latest chip. While the S4 Pro, found in devices like the LG Optimus G and Nexus 4 is certainly a capable chip, we'll always welcome a little more processing horsepower -- Qualcomm claims its new chip offers an up to 40 percent increase in performance over the S4 Pro.

More: Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S4​; Galaxy S4 forums

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3 years ago

Reminder: Still time to win a Samsung Galaxy S4 in our 'World's First' contest!

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Now we know exactly what's coming in the Samsung Galaxy S4, there's still time to enter our World's First Galaxy S4 Contest to win a handset of your own as soon as it's released.

How do you enter? Simply post a comment on the original contest news post (not this one!). That's it -- do that and you're automatically entered. But we'll be closing the contest soon, so get in your post while you still can. We'll be closing the contest at 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, March 17th, and we'll announce a winner the following day.

When you're done, you'll find plenty of friendly Galaxy S4 discussion over in our GS4 forum. Good luck to everyone who enters!

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3 years ago

HTC One $100 trade-in deal extended to April 4th

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Not overly impressed with Samsung's latest offering? HTC is here for you. The deal that started last month has been extended -- buy an HTC One and get a $100 Visa gift card when send in your old smartphone. All you have to do is sign up online by the new deadline to qualify for the deal. After you register with HTC by April 4th, just send your HTC One proof of purchase and old phone in to HTC to claim your $100 Visa card. Easy money.

HTC says the extension is due to "overwhelming response" from fans, but we suspect the reported delay in shipments of the phone might also be a factor.

No doubt there were a lot of people waiting for the Galaxy S4 announcement before signing up for any manufacturer promotions. The competition between these two phones is going to be fierce, and a free 100 big ones from HTC is going to make the choice that much more interesting.

More: Complete HTC One previewHTC One forums

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3 years ago

Mobilicity, Wind, Videotron and Sasktel to carry Samsung Galaxy S4

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If you're in Canada and were wondering why your carrier was left out of our initial availability announcement, have no fear - more carriers are here. Four more Canadian carriers have confirmed they will carry the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4: Mobilicity, Wind, Videotron and Sasktel. The details on pricing of release dates are still yet to be announced, and it looks like we'll have to wait until we get a little closer to the Galaxy S4 launch in Canada to get them.

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3 years ago

HTC: Galaxy S4 is 'more of the same,' 'pales in comparison' to HTC One

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HTC digs its claws into Samsung following Galaxy S4 unveiling

HTC has issued a statement dismissing Samsung's Galaxy S4 as "more of the same," claiming the handset "pales in comparison to the all-aluminium unibody HTC One." The statement, attributed to recently-appointed Chief Marketing Officer Benjamin Ho, singles out the S4's plastic chassis and familiar design for criticism -- 

“With a continuation of a plastic body and a larger screen being the most obvious physical change, Samsung's new Galaxy pales in comparison to the all-aluminium unibody HTC One. This is more of the same.

“HTC remains the best option for those people looking for the best technology wrapped in premium design. Our customers want something different from the mainstream, who appear to be the target for the Galaxy. Our customers want original cutting-edge technology, mouth-watering design and a premium feel from their mobiles, which is why we created the HTC One.”

And HTC's reaction to the S4 wasn't limited to an official statement. Company reps dressed in HTC One shirts trolled the line outside Radio City Music Hall last night, handing out chips, hot chocolate and HTC One promo materials. Later in the night, the official @HTC Twitter account became a source of snarky live commentary and retweets.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 will integrate 'Mobeam' barcode trasmission technology

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Following up on Samsung's announcement today, Mobeam is saying that its barcode transmission technology is going to be integrated into the Galaxy S4 software. Mobeam's patented technology allows phones to mimic the characteristics of a standard 1-D barcode so that laser scanners used in most POS (Point Of Sale) systems can read them. Typically these laser scanners can't read smart phone screens, so Mobeam gets around this by having the device send pulses of light that mimic the reflection of scanning a barcode. It's pretty technical (and secretive, naturally) but the end result is that the phone can store barcodes for coupons, gift cards, event tickets and more.

This is an interesting development considering Samsung just announced its Wallet app at MWC, which aims to offer tickets, membership passes and coupons on devices. We could see Samsung integrating this Mobeam software solution into an app like Wallet to offer better payment options. We'll have a better idea of Samsung's plans once we dive deeper into the software on the Galaxy S4.

Source: Mobeam (BusinessWire); Mobeam

Samsung Galaxy S4 Forums | Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S4 | Samsung Galaxy S4 Details

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3 years ago

OtterBox confirms Galaxy S4 Defender, Commuter and Reflex cases

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Right on time, OtterBox is confirming that it will bring its most popular case styles to market for the just-announced Samsung Galaxy S4. The popular case maker will sell the Defender, Commuter and Reflex cases for the S4, giving a wide range of options depending on the amount of device protection required. The heaviest of the bunch, Defender, is a three-piece setup consisting of a hard plastic shell shrouded in a silicone outer layer along with an integrated screen protector. The Commuter is lighter, with an inside layer of silicone to protect against shocks. Reflex is thin two-piece design that is ideal for users that would like to occasionally dock their devices.

OtterBox says the three case models will be coming "soon" for the Galaxy S4, but hasn't given any pricing or specific availability at this time. It's good to know that accessory makers are pledging to get products out the door as soon as possible, though.

Source: OtterBox (BusinessWire)

Samsung Galaxy S4 Forums | Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S4 | Samsung Galaxy S4 Details

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3 years ago

Press plans to continue development post Google Reader shutdown

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One of our favorite Google Reader clients, Press, released an update to its app today explaining that it plans to continue development after Reader shuts down on July 1, 2013. First and foremost, Press is not shutting down when Google Reader goes away. The team is already looking into another backend syncing solution, which will ideally be cross-platform one. Noting that they, too, just found out yesterday about the shutdown, they state:

"We have used RSS for many years and believe it's a powerful and efficient way to follow your favorite websites. We're absolutely committed to keep working on Press. We've poured a lot of time and energy into it, and we love our app."

Press isn't alone in their search for a new platform to provide cross-platform RSS news syncing. There are dozens of popular news readers and podcast managers that rely on Google Reader as a syncing platform that will all be either shutting down or looking for a new means to keep going.

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3 years ago

Android Central Podcast: Galaxy S4 special edition

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Audio-only stream below

We're back from the Samsung Unpacked event at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, where the Galaxy S4 was just announced. We've gotten to play with the phone a bit, and now it's time to share our initial thoughts. Join Phil Nickinson with a couple special guests for this special-edition, audio-only podcast!

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3 years ago

Sony SmartWatch update brings seven new watch faces, notification previews

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The Sony SmartWatch controller app is receiving an update that brings several new flashy watch faces and increased functionality to the accessory. The new watch faces cover all the bases -- analog, digital, abstract -- and come in different colors as well. The update also brings improved battery level information, notification previews from your device and improvements to search when looking for new apps for the SmartWatch.

The app should also now be easier to get installed on non-Sony devices, which is a plus. If you happen to be using a Sony SmartWatch, you can grab a download or update to the app at the top of this post.

Via: Keith Myers (Google+)

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3 years ago

Ingress update lets users submit portal locations and information fixes

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Ingress has just been updated today to give users the ability to submit and update portal location information. For existing portals, players at those portals can now submit new photos that they feel better show the location. You can also now submit suggestions for improvements to the portal name, description or location information. For areas that users think would be good portal locations but aren't yet, they can submit a photo and information for consideration to open a portal there.

The update also claims to improve GPS location accuracy and stability, along with a host of nondescript "bugfixes and performance improvements". If you're a hardcore Ingress player, this will be an update to get. You can grab an update or download of the latest version from the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One?

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You knew this was coming. We know all the details of both the HTC One and after tonight's event we know what there is to know about the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Now we need to know which one you'll be picking up.

Will it be HTC's newly designed One with Sense 5, or Samsung's familiar looking, yet all new Galaxy S4? Or neither?

There's a poll in the sidebar to the right, and it's also embedded after the break. Vote, and let everyone know why you feel the way you do in the comments. Try to be kind to each other, OK?

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