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3 years ago

Carphone Warehouse expects Xperia E for Feb. 2013 release


Sony hasn't given any date other than "Q1 2013" for the launch of the upcoming Xperia E, but U.K. phone retailer Carphone Warehouse says it expects the handset by February 2013. We got some pricing and spec info for the mid-range handset in the last week, but one thing left out was the release time.

This is shaping up to be a nice looking handset for the budget-conscious among us -- at a price of about £130 SIM free -- when it finally becomes available.

Source: Xperia blog

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3 years ago

Google Play Gift Cards get one step closer to UK availability


Following yesterday's discovery of a redeem page on the Google Play website for Gift Card codes in the UK, we took that to mean that the Gift Cards were on their way to British shores. Today we have further reason to believe that their arrival may well be imminent.

Tucked away in the menu in our UK Play Store apps is a "Redeem" option which brings up the page we see here. Google Play balance is in the correct currency, and besides linking to redeeming your codes, there's also a link to the Gift Card TOS page. We've still not seen any UK currency gift cards in the wild as yet, but with Christmas just around the corner, these would make a great stocking stuffer for anyone who uses an Android device. 

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3 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update now available!


The Verizon Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update. We've got it. Some of you have got it. We're installing now. 

... And we're up and running. The 400MB update takes a few minutes to install. Once you're done, you're at Android 4.1.1, build JRO03L.I535VRBLK3.

As is usually the case with updates, you're not going to see a huge visual change. TouchWiz is still TouchWiz. But you now have features like Google Now, which you access by long-pressing the menu button, and improvements to the notification area. The camera's gotten some improvements as well, including, of course, filters. Plus, the GS3 is now ready for the ISIS mobile payment system, but that only does you any good if you're in Austin, Texas, or Salt Lake City.

Update: And now we've got a quick video after the break.

More: Verizon Galaxy S3 forums

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3 years ago

Motorola Atrix HD gets Jelly Bean


Mark it, Dude. The AT&T this morning announced that the Motorola Atrix HD is getting an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean starting today. That means you get cool things like Google Now, that Project Butter smoothness, plus all the other bells and whistles AT&T and Motorola have added in. 

You can get the update now by going to Settings>About Phone>Software updates. And we suggest you do.

Source: AT&T; More: Atrix HD forums

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3 years ago

Major Google+ app update launches, including new photo + event features [updated]



Update: The new version of the Google+ app is now live on Google Play. Go get it!

Google's been on a roll with software and feature updates this past week or so. And so when Google social boss Vic Gundotra remarked that he "couldn't sleep" last night, we suspected there might be big Google+ news coming today. And it seems that's exactly what we're getting, as Google prepares to roll out version 3.3 of Google+ for Android, along with updates for the web version. Highlights in this release include new photo features, including better Photo sphere support, and integration with the newly-launched G+ Communities feature.

The new Google+ app will land later today, along with new features for the desktop version of Google's social network. Here's what we can expect from the new app --

  • New photo stuff -- Instant upload now offers up to 5GB of  full-sized photo backups. Photo sphere panoramas recorded on Android 4.2 can be viewed on devices running Android 2.2 or higher.
  • Events and communities -- Communities support for the mobile app. And it's now possible to send messages to individual event guests and see who's opened invitations.
  • Hangouts -- Now only 150kb of bandwidth is required to participate in a hangout.
  • General improvements -- The ability to edit your profile on-the-go, new "subtle" notices when new posts arrive, and improvements to the posting menu. 
  • Google Now integration -- Birthday notifications through cards on Google Now, including G+ links to wish the person a happy birthday.
  • Other goodies -- Animated GIF support and a lock screen widget for Android 4.2. Also, new "mood" posts based around a gallery of emoticons.

Several other updates for the web version of Google+ are expected to be rolled out today too, including improvements to solo broadcasts via Hangouts on Air, the ability to easily create duplicate events and easier RSVPing. You'll find more details over at Google's full feature breakdown, linked below.

We'll keep you posted with further details when the app update drops later today.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

Android Central 119: Things that are not phones (but still excite us)


Audio-only stream below

The Samsung Galaxy Camera has Alex excited. The Samsung "S Pebble" Muse MP3 thingy has Phil strangely excited. And Jerry? Hell, he's always excited about something.

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3 years ago

Android 4.1.2 and 'Premium Suite' update hits Korean Galaxy S3


U.S. Galaxy S3 models may have just received their Android 4.1.1 update, but international versions are already moving ahead with the new "Premium Suite" upgrade, which includes Android 4.1.2 and new features like full-screen multitasking. The update started pushing out in some European countries earlier in the week, and now it's landed in Sammy's home territory, as SamMobile reports that South Korean S3 models have started to receive the new software over the air and through the Kies desktop app.

So if you're running any of the four Korean Galaxy S3s -- SHW-M440S, SHV-E210S, SHV-E210K or SHV-E210L -- then it's time to head to Settings > About device > Software update, or if you're feeling particularly masochistic, plug your phone into Kies.

The "Premium Suite" upgrade introduces a bunch of new features from the Galaxy Note 2, including "multi-window," which allows two full-screen apps to be run on-screen at once, a re-vamped Gallery app and "page buddy," a context-sensitive home screen tile that offers different widgets and shortcuts based on what you're doing with your phone. Check our earlier post for more details on other features of the upgrade.

Source: SamMobile

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Camera (LTE) now available on Verizon


If you'd like some 4G LTE with your Android-powered smart camera, you'll be pleased to hear that Verizon's version of the Samsung Galaxy Camera is now on sale, with support for Big Red's 4G service. Aside from the radio switch-up, the Verizon Galaxy Camera is more or less the same as its international cousin. It's got a 16MP sensor and a 23mm lens with 21X optical zoom, and it's powered by a quad-core Samsung Exynos CPU with 1GB of RAM. On the software side, it's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Samsung's TouchWiz interface running the show.

Verizon's Samsung Galaxy Camera sells for $549.99, $50 more than the HSPA+-capable model offered through AT&T and sold internationally. However, a Verizon promotion will allow customers to add a Galaxy Camera to their "Share Everything" plan for $5 per month instead of the usual $10. Surprisingly for Verizon, there's no red version of the Galaxy Camera, though it does have exclusivity over the black color option in the U.S.

You'll find more details at Verizon's store page, linked below. If you're curious about image quality, we've got  big ol' gallery of photos and videos from the Samsung Galaxy Camera, too.

More: Samsung Galaxy Camera photo and video samples

Source: Verizon Wireless

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3 years ago

EE announces plans to sell Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE, Nexus 7 tablets


British 4G mobile network EE has announced that it'll branch out from phones, iPads and Mifis, and begin offering contract-subsidized Android tablets directly for sale. The first two Android tablets to be sold on EE will be the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE and Google Nexus 7, the latter being offered with a 4G Mifi. All of EE's tablet contracts run for 24 months.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE should be more or less identical to earlier Note 10.1 versions, with the addition of European LTE support. So we're looking at a 10-inch tablet with S Pen stylus capabilities and a quad-core Exynos chip. There's no mention of specifically which version of Android it'll run out of the box, but we'd hope it'd be Jelly Bean. Prices and data bundles for the Note 10.1 LTE are --

  • £25.99 monthly and £249.99 up-front for 3GB
  • £30.99 monthly and £199.99 up-front for 5GB
  • £35.99 and £99.99 up-front for 8GB

Meanwhile the Nexus 7 will give you a bit more bang for your buck, as it comes bundled with a Huawei E589 LTE Mifi. EE doesn't confirm this specifically, but it looks like it's offering a Wifi-only N7,with mobile days available only through the bundled hotspot. (That'd make sense, as there's no Nexus 7 with built-in LTE.) It's also a good deal less expensive than the Note 10.1 --

  • £25.99 monthly and £49.99 up-front for 3GB
  • £30.99 monthly and £29.99 up-front for 5GB
  • £35.99 monthly and £25.99 up-front for 8GB

EE's prices remain comparatively high though, and you'll be locked in for 24 months. But at least it's starting to expand its tablet line-up outside of Apple's iPad range. The Nexus 7 and Note 10.1 on EE are due to go on sale starting this weekend.

EE says it'll have 4G up and running in some 18 British cities by the end of 2012, with that figure rising to 35 by next March.

Don't forget to check out our reviews of the Note 10.1 and Nexus 7 if you haven't already. 

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3 years ago

Daily news roundup: December 14, 2012




In case you missed any of the days news here's a wrap up of everything you need to know. Everything was covered, from LTE in the UK to LTE from AT&T, devices, and of course software. Have a read and see how it all went down.

Hardware news

Update all the things!!

Industry news


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3 years ago

Metago offering older version of Astro File Manager for sideloading


Metago, the folks behind the uber-popular Android app Astro File Manager, has reached out for us to pass along a bit of news. They are busy with Astro version 4.0, and realize that a lot folks just aren't ready to make the change. For those folks, version 3 can be directly downloaded from Metago's website. 

Truth be told, I think the version 4 update is pretty awesome, and love the direction the app is headed. The new included gallery, the cloud connections with SkyDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox are awesome, and swiping three-pane interface works really well.

Fortunately, Metago realizes not everyone feels that way. If you need your old version back, grab it at the link below.

More: Metago

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3 years ago

Verizon set to launch several new LTE markets on Dec. 20


It's hard to find cities that don't have Verizon LTE coverage at this point, but they're still rolling it out. Big red is taking its new high-speed network to several new cities and towns, all expecting to launch on December 20th:

  • Lamar And LaJunta, Colorado
  • Price And Richfield, Utah
  • Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Kemmerer And Pinedale, Wyoming
  • Port Angeles, Port Townsend And Sequim, Washington
  • Kennewick, Pasco And Richland, Washington
  • Klamath Falls And Roseburg, Oregon

Just one week away from seeing LTE go live in these places if you happen to live there. The few of you not yet covered by LTE should be seeing it soon at this rate.

Source: Verizon; (1); (2); (3); (4); (5)

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3 years ago

Facebook SDK 3.0 for Android comes out of beta


Alongside its release of a native Android app, Facebook is bringing its SDK 3.0 for Android developers out of beta today. The Facebook SDK for Android lets app developers on the platform integrate social functions into their apps by calling Facebook API's and embedding their functions. This means simple actions like connecting a Facebook account to another app or calling up a friend or location list will be easier to implement and use. For example, users will be able to log-in to their Facebook account without ever leaving the primary app -- really cool stuff.

Facebook says the beta version of the SDK was downloaded over 80,000 times since it was released, so let's hope that some of those developers give it a closer look and use the tools to their advantage. This isn't something most end-users will be dealing with, but we all want this regardless. When developers have better tools, they provide an improved experience for all of us.

Source: Facebook Developers

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3 years ago

Official Nexus 7 audio dock gets unboxed on Youtube


Here's a look at the elusive Nexus 7 docking station live and in color on Youtube. We don't have a lot of information here, just that the fellow posting the video bought it at Yodobashi Camera in the Akihabara district in Japan. He had the opportunity to buy it a day early, and like any of us would, he jumped on it. 

It looks to be the same dock we saw in late November, utilizing the pogo pons for charging and audio. That dock is no longer "coming soon" on the Asus Japan site, but it is listed as out of stock. There is no listing on the ASUS America site or the Global site. 

We're not sure of what the availability will be, or if it is even coming to the states. We assume that it will, as the demand for the Nexus 7 is still very high. The dock would make for a great holiday gift, so hopefully we see it offered very soon.

Discuss it in the Nexus 7 forums

Source: Youtube; via  +William Gunther!

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3 years ago

Walmart improves Android app to help holiday shoppers


Walmart has made some subtle updates to its app -- now v1.4.1 -- that should help customers looking to ease the headaches of shopping this holiday season. Now in addition to online ordering and shopping cart management, you can view the localized ads for specific stores in your area. After letting the app view your location, you can see the newspaper circular for each store, and see if there are any special deals. You can swipe through the pages casually, and if something catches your eye you can tap into a certain page and get a simple list of the items on it.

The app with the updated UI is out now, and can be downloaded at the Google Play Store link above.

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