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3 years ago

US Cellular gets the Alcatel One Touch Shockwave

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US Cellular this morning announced it'll carry the Alcatel One Touch Shockwave, a 3.5-inch Android smartphone. It's running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, has a 3.2 megapixel camera and sports a shock-resistant casing, Dragontrail tempered glass and is water resistant.

The Shockwave is available today for $49.99. 

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3 years ago

Mobile Nations 19: Passport

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The editors of the greatest sites in mobile tech comes together to unveil the new Mobile Nations Passport, plus catch up on all the impending events from Apple, Google, Microsoft -- and even BlackBerry.

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3 years ago

USPTO invalidates Apple rubber-band scrolling patent used in Samsung trial

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Good news for Samsung this morning, as a preliminary U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ruling has declared Apple's "rubber band" scrolling patents invalid. According to reports from TNW and FOSS Patents, the ruling isn't yet set in stone, but it means that, for the moment, 20 patent violation claims against Samsung relating to patent no. 7,469,381 no longer stand. Crucially, FOSS Patents says, this includes one claim involved in Apple's recent courtroom victory against the Korean manufacturer.

The USPTO is reported to have found evidence of prior art in some cases, and in others the inventions were deemed to have been obvious.

The "rubber band" scrolling feature can be found throughout Apple's range of iOS and OSX devices, as well as older Samsung smartphones. However, Samsung has long since pulled the feature from its Android-based phones.

As with everything relating to the on-going litigation between Samsung and Apple, and the wider patent wars, this is not yet finalized. Nevertheless, if things proceed in this direction, it could be helpful to Samsung's appeal in the high-profile California case.

Source: TNW, FOSS Patents

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3 years ago

'My Xperia' trademark filing points to possible Sony cloud service

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A trademark filing by Sony Mobile suggests the company may look to launch its own mobile-centric cloud service in the future. Sony has applied to trademark the term "MyXperia" at the European OHIM (Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market), and the listing is available online for all to see. 

The trademark application lists a number of mobile-based services for MyXperia, including “upload, storage, retrieval, download, transmission and delivery of digital content and media." That's a fairly vague definition, but it points to a possible proprietary Sony cloud service for exchanging photos, music and other data between Xperia phones and other devices.

Previously, Sony Mobile has relied on a partnership with Box.net to bring cloud storage to Xperia smartphone buyers.

The company also owns MyXperia.com, though currently that hosts nothing more than a nondescript login page.

With more and more mobile device manufacturers -- including Android giant Samsung -- getting into the cloud storage game, we wouldn't be too surprised to see MyXperia making an appearance on upcoming 2013 Xperia phones. Precisely what form it'll take, though, will remain to be seen.

Source: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

Give an artist the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and he makes magic with the S Pen

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The artist is Gérémy Arène. His tools are the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with the S Pen, and the Sketchbook Mobile app. The result is amazing. 

I tried to say it before when we first saw the Galaxy Note 10.1. These are more than Android phones or tablets. The S Pen and Wacom digitizer makes them a real appliance. Gérémy says it better in this 10-minute video than I ever could.

Source: PhonAndroid (French); via +Cory Teague

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3 years ago

New Samsung Chromebook now available in the Google Play Store

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Update: Looks like the $249 price was right. The Chromebook seems to have sold out, and is now listed as "coming soon".

Google's new Chromebook, made by Samsung, is available in the Google Play Store starting today for just $249. The latest iteration, which is now based on an ARM processor rather than Intel, comes packed with an 11.6-inch 1366x768 screen, Exynos 5 dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. The sparse internal storage is supplemented by 2 years of 100GB free Google Drive storage, which is a nice feature.

The idea of a Chromebook may be appealing to many of the Google-centric users among us, so what do you think? Can you live with just Google Chrome as your entire operating system? For $249, you may consider it.

Source: Google Play Store

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3 years ago

Wireless charging technology, Rooting the Sprint Optimus G [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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3 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: What has you excited for the October 29 event?

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Google is "opening the playground" in just seven short days, and by now everyone thinks we know exactly what we're going to be seeing come October 29. I'll leave the editorializing on how we try to spoil every big surprise for another day, but if we're right it means we'll be seeing three major things come next Monday.

The one with the most hype surrounding it is easily the Nexus 4. The Internet has spent the last two months speculating on every possible nuance of the next Nexus phone, and by now we've got a pretty good handle on exactly what we're going to see -- a 4.7-inch, quad-core S4 pro device from LG with 2GB of RAM. Based on what we've seen from the Optimus G, it should be a powerhouse.

Maybe the Nexus phone doesn't tickle your fancy, Maybe you feel it's lacking features you want, or (heaven forbid) you're happy with the phone you have and don't want a new one. Good news! Google should also be announcing a 10-inch Nexus tablet, complete with Samsung's powerful new internals and a high-res (2560x1600; 300ppi) screen with millions and millions of pixels. That's bound to make more than a few of us all happy inside.

Of course, a new version of the OS is coming to make these new devices shine, and we fully expect Android 4.2 to come along and bring polish and closure to many of the features Google has been working on for the past year. For some of us, new software is the best shiny, and will overshadow any new hardware announcements.

We get the feeling there will be more to show as well. We know a 32GB Nexus 7 is coming, probably with a 3G version tagging along. And you can bet we'll see at least a couple announcements about the Play Store itself. It's an exciting time to be an Android fan. We'll be on the floor on October 29 to let you know exactly what's going on, but in the meantime we wanted to know what potential announcement has you the most excited. Answer the poll in the sidebar to the right, or jump past the break and let us know.

Before we go, a look at last week's results:

What's the most important feature in your next Android phone?

  • Battery life -- 37.96-percent
  • Android version -- 23.12-percent
  • CPU cores or clock speed -- 13.49-percent
  • Screen size -- 8.96-percent
  • Amount of RAM -- 6.10-percent
  • External storage -- 6.02-percent
  • LTE -- 4.34-percent

By the looks of things, a quad-core phone with the latest version also needs to have great battery life to become the crowd favorite. Let's hope we see one next Monday!

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3 years ago

Google Wallet coming to the MetroPCS Galaxy S3

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The Samsung Galaxy SIII (S3) has just gone out to MetroPCS stores for widescale availability, so it's fitting that the official Google Wallet twitter account has just confirmed that the device will be compatible with Google's NFC payment system. Galaxy S3 users on the regional carrier will now be able to download the Google Wallet app from the Play Store directly, and have it work at any of the thousands of stores where Google has implemented its Google Wallet payment terminals.

We're happy to see more and more devices supported officially by Google Wallet, especially the more popular ones like the Galaxy S3.

Source: Google Wallet (Twitter)

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3 years ago

Official word on the Optimus G bootloader

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A lot of people are excited about the upcoming LG Optimus G launch on AT&T and Sprint, but it seems like the most common question I'm hearing is about the bootloader.

LG has historically been pretty open with their Android phones, and adding in no extra security or encryption on the bootloader. That all changed with the past couple releases, and plenty of folks were surprised when they found the bootloader on the Optimus 4XHD and Optimus VU locked up tight and encrypted. Everyone wants to know if the powerhouse that is the Optimus G will be hacker friendly, so I asked a contact at LG for the answer.

Hi Jerry,

The Optimus G doesn’t support an unlocked bootloader.

So there you have it. Expect things to be pretty locked down, and possibly never be cracked open. I can't say I'm any happier about it than you are, and I'm just glad we got the firm answer before money changed hands on release day.

Will this affect your decision to buy the Optimus G? Hash it all out in the Optimus G forums.

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3 years ago

Happy birthday to the T-Mobile G1

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Four years ago today, the world of smartphones changed. The T-Mobile G1 made it's debut, with little fanfare, a small following, and a huge BlackBerry-shaped shadow over its head. Some of us knew it would be a game-changer, but I don't think anyone expected what we're seeing today. 1.3 million daily activations, over 500 million (that's half a billion) Android phones sold, and consistent growth in market share every quarter.

Google knew. There were few Android-centric websites back then, but the little bit of news we all got from Google about the Android project let us know they had big plans. An open-source platform for manufacturers to build apps and access the web was a lofty goal -- a goal we're glad the folks in Mountain View had.

The G1 was the phone that got me hooked. It wasn't quite good enough to replace my BlackBerry, but the nerdy side of me was excited and looked forward to the day when the Android platform was robust enough to be my daily driver. Now that those days are here, I'm happy. 

I still have one of my original G1 phones, and every now and then I throw the SIM card in it and use it. It's no barn-burner, and pales when compared to today's monster-spec'd phones, but it's one I'll be keeping forever.

Join me while I say Happy Birthday to the little G1, and check out a gallery after the break.

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3 years ago

EE announces UK 4G LTE pricing and data allowances

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Prices range from £36 to £56 per month, but unlimited data is MIA​

The UK's first 4G LTE carrier, EE, has finally revealed exactly how much it'll cost to get on the British LTE bandwagon at launch. The network, which officially launches in Oct. 30, will offer five tiers, each of which will come with unlimited calls and texts, and data allowances of various sizes as part of a 24-month contract. The cheapest package starts at £36 per month for 500MB, moving up to 1GB for £41, 3GB for £46, 5GB for £51 and 8GB for £56. So unlimited data is missing in action, but fortunately there's no limit on how you can use your allowance, so you won't have to purchase a separate tethering add-on.

EE's 4G smartphones, including the Galaxy S3 LTE, Galaxy Note 2 LTE and HTC One XL, will be available at various subsidized rates depending on the price of your monthly bill. A selection of SIM-only deals will be launching from Nov. 9, priced at £15 less per month than the 24-month, smartphone-inclusive tariffs. So that works out at £21 per month for 500MB, £26 for 1GB, £31 for 3GB, £36 for 5GB and £41 for 8GB.

EE customers will be able to increase their data allowances in various increments using "add-ons" -- £3 for 50MB, £6 for 500MB, £15 for 2GB or £20 for 4GB.

EE is also offering added incentives, including one-off £99 upgrade offers for Orange and T-Mobile UK customers who joined the network in the past six months, and one free movie rental per week from the new EE film store. And as part of the Orange and T-Mobile UK re-branding, all 700 of those carrier stores will be rebranded as "EE" before the end of the month, effectively ending those networks' high-street presence.

Tempted EE's 4G offerings now that the pricing has become known? Let us know what you think in the comments.

More: EE

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3 years ago

Sprint LG Optimus G review

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The Optimus G brings LG's 'A' game to Sprint, but is great hardware enough to sign on for two years?

A high-end, premium LG smartphone on a U.S. carrier is like a hen's tooth -- pretty darn rare. While other manufacturers were busy releasing top-tier products on the carriers in this country, it seems like LG was focusing more on the value space, and its products were lackluster to a dyed-in-the-wool Android fanatic.

There's something to be said for bringing the best of the bottom-end, and the various LG Optimus One phones really were a standout for the entry-level market, but as someone who is lucky enough to get to play with the heavy hitters LG has released in Europe and Asia on occasion, I've been waiting for this. The Optimus G is the best LG has ever offered, and it's a taste of quality hardware from LG that everyone needs to look at twice.

But there's a dark side to LG's foray into Android. Ask anyone who was excited and rushed to buy the T-Mobile G2X. I was one of those people (I bought one for myself and one for the wife) who was awfully impressed with the quality of materials and the build of the phone itself, and felt the small niggling software issues would soon be ironed out. Here we are, over a year later, and still waiting for those fixes. To put it frankly, the software on the Optimus G needs to be great out of the box, because there's no guarantee that it will ever get any better. 

Read on to see what I think of this one, and how my week with the best-spec'd phone ever made (so far) has turned out.

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3 years ago

Reminder: Our Million Member Giveaway is in full swing until Nov. 15

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What has one million members and happens to be the best damn Android site on the Internet? You're looking at it! To celebrate this milestone, our Forums admin, podcast personality, and all-around great guy Cory Streater is holding one heck of a contest in the forums. In case you've been under a rock for a week, here's the prize list:

in addition, Cory has a special prize package for long-time members (six months or more and over 500 posts) consisting of a new Chromebook, , a $100 ShopAndroid.com coupon code, a $50 Google Play gift card, and a Lloyd T-shirt from ShopAndroid.com. Word is that we're also going to see what Google announces on October 29 and consider it as well.

It's an awesome list of prizes for an awesome community of members, and we want to make sure you have a chance to enter. You do that by clicking the big link below. You don't want to miss out on this one folks!

Enter the One Million Member giveaway!

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3 years ago

LG Lucid and Spectrum get ICS update

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Verizon has announced that they're rolling out Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to the LG Lucid and LG Spectrum. We had already heard that the Spectrum would be getting an update soon, so this doesn't come entirely as a surprise. If the details are hazy on those devices, you can check out our reviews of the Lucid and the Spectrum when they still had Gingerbread. 

Of course, owners might be a little sour that the update isn't for Jelly Bean, but one can only imagine that LG and Verizon a little busy trying to make sure the latest devices have the newest updates. Any Spectrum or Lucid owners out there get their update yet? Will ICS be good enough to tide you over until your next phone, or are you going to find a custom JB ROM to stay with the times? 

Source: Verizon

More: LG Spectrum forums

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