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3 years ago

60-percent of U.S. smartphone owners want to customize their plans

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Here's a piece of information that probably isn't surprising to most of us. According to data collected by Strategy Analytics, 60-percent of smartphone owners in the U.S. would prefer if they could customize their plans. It's no secret that carriers structure plans in a way so that you're overpaying for data, calls and texts you're not actually using. Considering that truly unlimited data is only a reality (grandfathered plans aside) on two of the four big carriers in the U.S. -- T-Mobile and Sprint -- it's not surprising that users with tiered plans would prefer more options to get the most out of the money they're paying for service.

Interestingly, slightly fewer users -- 56-percent -- in the U.K. would prefer more customizability of plans. Users in china were much higher at 76-percent wanting customization. If you could design your own plan, what would it look like?

Source: Strategy Analytics

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3 years ago

Weekly photo contest: Caption this picture

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Something a little different this week, as we're going to supply the picture and you get to caption it up. Phil is putting the camera on the Nexus 4 through the paces, and this picture just begs for something witty to be done to it. That's where you come in.

Hit the contest thread in the forums, do your best work, and the best one gets a pretty cool prize -- a Plantronics Blackwire USB/Bluetooth headset (as seen here). Take a few minutes, have a little fun, and get a chance to win a pretty kickass piece of gear. Make sure to read the rules posted in the thread, and let 'er rip!

Last week we were talking 'bout the weather, and got a bunch of great entries. The winners, in no particular order are:

Nice work folks, keep an eye on your inbox!

Enter this week's photo contest

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3 years ago

Verizon HTC Droid DNA press render leaks

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Over the past few weeks we've shown you Verizon and HTC's Droid DNA (codenamed DLX) in the flesh, and we've covered various device leaks from other sources, too. But the shot above, which comes from prominent Twitter leaker @evleaks, could be our clearest look yet at the 5-inch handset. The promotional render shows the front face of the phone, complete with HTC Sense home screen and a very Verizony wallpaper. Like many HTC One series phones, it sports three capacitive keys -- back, home and task-switching, and the stylized earpiece can clearly be seen up top.

So now it seems highly that Verizon is getting its own version of the HTC J Butterfly, a Japanese handset sporting a quad-core Snapdragon S4 chip and a 5-inch, 1080p SuperLCD3 screen.

As for possible launch windows, early December seems likely. Next Tuesday we'll be in New York City for a joint Verizon-HTC event, where we're expecting to witness the phone's public unveiling.

This could be a killer handset for Verizon going into the holiday season. Anyone considering picking one up? Let us know down in the comments.

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

Motorola announces Atrix HD Developer Edition

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Well this is a bit out of left field -- Motorola has announced it will be selling an Atrix HD Developer Edition. The Droid RAZR HD Developer Edition just went on sale a couple weeks ago, and it looks like the Atrix HD will be following suit. Motorola doesn't give any price or availability -- assume its going to be expensive and coming out later -- but an official announcement is good nonetheless.

As part of the announcement, Motorola also seems to imply that the original Atrix HD is going to be part of the developer program that gives bootloader unlock tools to willing hackers. If true, this is probably more important to most users. You have to assume that most people who were interested in an Atrix HD have already purchased one and wouldn't be interested in buying a completely new handset. Unfortunately the bootloader unlock page still doesn't list the Atrix HD, so we can't completely confirm that this is the case.

Source: Motorola; Motorola Support

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3 years ago

Rhapsody for Android updated with personalized recommendations

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Rhapsody's subscription-based music app for Android has been updated with personalized recommendations on the home screen based on what you've previously listened to and what time of day it is. That last part is very reminiscent of what Songza's offering, though the update also includes a UI overhaul, and some performance improvements for offline playback. 

As always, Rhapsody offers the usual streaming music features, including creating playslists, sharing tunes out to Facebook, and offline caching.

Any Rhapsody subscribers out there, or are the existing free streaming alternatives good enough for you? What's your favorite on-demand mobile music app? 

Source: Rhapsody

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3 years ago

HTC and Verizon hooking up Nov. 13 in NYC

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Hmmmmm. HTC and Verizon are having a little get-together on Nov. 13 in New York City.

The invite doesn't exactly lend itself to interpretation, just "come experience our latest collaboration." Chances are pretty good we'll see the Droid DNA, the 5-inch smartphone we brought you the first pictures of a few weeks ago under its Droid DLX codename. The phone has since all but been confirmed through a couple of leaked renders as well.

Set your alarms, boys and girls, cause we'll be there.

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3 years ago

Verizon sales staff start talking internally about HTC Droid DNA

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As if we didn't have enough confirmation that the HTC DLX would be coming to Verizon as the Droid DNA imminently, a shot of briefing slide shows that retail training isn't far off. Sources say that the device proper is being thrown around pre-holiday sales meetings. If the HTC Droid DNA does hit the streets before Black Friday (November 20, last we heard), it would make sense that Verizon is starting to get their retail staff prepped now. 

There still hasn't been any official announcement, but we've got a pretty solid idea of what to expect based on numerous leaks, including one of our own. The HTC DLX will be running Android 4.1.1 with Sense 4+, have a 5-inch 1080p screen, and run a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor with 2 GB of RAM. There's an 8 emgapixel camera on the back and 2 megapixel shooter on the front, confirmed by the sales slide. 

So, who's excited for this one? When are we going to start seeing some hints of an international launch? 

Via: Droid-Life

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3 years ago

Curiosity experiment tempts Android users to dig into a mysterious cube

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Famous game designer Peter Molyneux has kicked off his first of 22 mobile experiments today called Curiosity. It presents players with a large cube composed of an inordinate number of smaller cubes. That big cube is the same one shared by all of the other players around the world, and they have to work together to chip away at it to find what's at the middle. The catch? Only one person finds what's in the middle, and it's apparently a "life-changing secret buried inside." On the way, players earn coins which can be spent on more powerful cube-destroying tools. Sure beats tapping them away one at a time. The whole thing has a surreal, artsy vibe with wispy music.  I'm just surprised that in-app purchases weren't employed to sell more coins. 

I've played a little bit of it, and Curiosity seems like little more than a worldwide collective scab-picking game. Players just mindlessly scrape away at a layer just  because they know that there's something else underneath, though I guess showing that this is how people act is kind of the point. There's already plenty of progress being made on the cube, revealing parts of an image on at least one side. In fact, it's so busy that their servers are having trouble keeping up with the activity. It's definitely neat to see thousands of users collectively weather away a shared object, and what kind of patterns emerge when they do it. 

What do you guys think? Is there anything practical to be gleaned from an "experiment" like this? How long do you figure it will take to get to the middle? Or is there even an end to it? The app is free, so there's really nothing to lose from trying it out.  

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3 years ago

Help page provides further evidence for Google Wallet card

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Screenshots from a leaked Google Wallet app emerged last week, suggesting that Google Wallet may be headed to your real, actual wallet in the form of a physical payment card. This card, it seems, might be linked to your Google Wallet account, and as such, your associated payment cards.

Today further evidence has emerged suggesting the Google Wallet card might soon become a reality. The Google Wallet help page was briefly updated with references to the card and devices which will be compatible with it.

There's still no info as to when this card might be arriving, or which countries it'll be available in (though U.S.-only is a good bet). But the fact that help pages are being prepared suggest the launch might occur sooner rather than later.

Update: Seems all references to the Google Wallet card on the page in question have been pulled.

Source: TechCrunch, Google Wallet Help

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3 years ago

Green Throttle hopes to turn your phone into a game console replacement

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While Ouya is trying valiantly to create a new Android-based home gaming console, a new start-up founded by the guys behind Guitar Hero is trying to see if your existing device can do the job. Today Green Throttle released a software developer kit that will enable Android devs to map games to their Bluetooth hardware controllers. Once an Android phone or tablet is plugged into a TV over HDMI, users will be able to play games just as they would on any other traditional console. You'll even be able to play with two separate controllers for the real multiplayer experience. When out of the house, players will be able to continue playing the same game with standard on-screen controls. An on-device app will enable discovery of compatible games and quick access to any existing favorites. 

It sounds promising, and with devices with 1080p displays becoming more prevalent, games that properly take advantage of the high resolution won't look bad at all on the big screen. Of course, optimizing titles for TV isn't something all developers will have the resources to do, nevermind going through the trouble to map in proprietary controls. On the upside, Green Throttle will be making some of their own games within the framework, which should set a solid bar for what to expect from other devs and provide at least a few titles for end-users to enjoy. I'm also worried that not every player is going to have a phone powerful enough to play a wide selection of high-end games optimized for 1080p. For those that do, a real, solid, controller will be more viable than on-screen controls for some game types, like first-person shooters and racing games. 

Developers can get testing with the hardware controllers by pre-ordering two controllers with connectors for $89.95, with shipments heading out December 12. The included HD connectors are compatible with the Galaxy Nexus, One X, Galasy S2, and Galaxy Note. The SDK can be downloaded from the Green Throttle developer page. Any developers interested in giving this a shot? Gamers, are you willing to pitch in for an Ouya system, or would you just as soon see if your phone or tablet could do just as well? How many of you already use separate Bluetooth hardware controllers for your Android games? 

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3 years ago

New at ShopAndroid.com: The Andy Splat T-Shirt

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Made from 100% ring spun, preshrunk cotton the Cruzerlite Andy Splat T-Shirt brings Andy the Android to life on a high quality T-shirt for all to see.

With a variety of sizes to choose from you can express your own allegiance to Android with these T-shirts, or give them to a fellow Android user as a gift! Each T-shirt is printed in the United States using the very latest in direct to garment techniques, ensuring that the design is high quality and long lasting.

Plus, you know, it's Android. So it's automatically awesome. And it's currently on sale for just $19.95 -- that's 20 percent off!

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3 years ago

The Android Central Straw Poll

It's Election Day here in the U.S., which means the long national nightmare that is the democratic election process (still better than any other in the world) is nearly over, thank Zeus, and we can get back to what really matters -- bashing each other over which smartphone is better. 

So let's have a little fun. We're all friends here. We're even going to turn comments off on this  post, because some folks just can't help themselves. Enjoy. Go vote. And when the sun comes up tomorrow, remember that we're all in this together anyway.

It's Election Day - for whom are you voting?

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia V gets price drop and Jelly Bean upgrade, now due January

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Here's some mostly-good news for Sony fans in Europe. It seems the Xperia V, the company's European LTE-powered 4.3-incher, is to be held back until January 2013, but with good reason -- it'll be launching with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, as opposed to the originally-planned 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. It's also due a small price cut to €529. The phone was originally scheduled for release in France and other countries in December for €549.

The news comes from the official Sony Xperia France Twitter account, and although there's no word about delays elsewhere in Europe, we wouldn't be surprised if the same applied to other European territories. A notable exception might be Sony's native Japan, where the Xperia V is due to be released imminently.

Sony has already launched several late 2012 Xperia handsets running ICS, including the Xperia T, Xperia TX and Xperia TL. These phones are due to be updated to Jelly Bean sometime during the first quarter of next year.

 Source: Sony Xperia FR, via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

HTC October 2012 financials make for troubling reading

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HTC has released its unaudited October 2012 financial results, showing a year-on-year fall in revenues of 60 percent. Last month the Taiwanese phone maker brought in NT$17.2 billion ($588 million), down from NT$44.114 billion ($1.5 billion) during the same period in 2011.

For the year to date, HTC reported total unconsolidated revenues of NT$246.2 billion ($8.4 billion).

Today's news follows similarly disappointing third-quarter numbers that saw HTC narrowly hit its revenue target, marking a 48 percent year-on-year fall for that quarter.

HTC will be hoping that new devices like the One X+, Windows Phone 8X and 8S as well as the (unannounced) Droid DNA will help to change its fortunes in the dying days of 2012. But with stronger competition than ever from the likes of Samsung and Apple, it won't be an easy task.

Source: HTC

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