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3 years ago

Cab hailing service Hailo launches in the U.S, with its arrival in Boston

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We're big fans of Hailo, the service that lets you hail and pay for a cab using your Android device. It helps make commuting through London less of a struggle, and we like that. Almost a year on from its first inception in the UK, Hailo has since branched out to Dublin and to Toronto. But, from today, the service finally arrives on U.S. shores beginning with Boston. 

While Chicago and New York City are both currently under active development, it's Boston that gets the nod as the first to experience the service. By partnering with licensed taxi drivers, Hailo offers not only an easy way to flag down a cab, but also offers a guarentee of safety to its users. 

The app itself is free to download, and if you're in Boston and decide to try this out, hit us up in the comments with your experience. 

Source: Hailo via TNW

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3 years ago

Motorola DROID RAZR M, RAZR i, RAZR HD, Atrix HD get root method

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Motorola Droid users rejoice! xda-developers forum user Dan (@djrbliss) has managed to root the Motorola DROID RAZR MAtrix HD, the Photon Q, and the upcoming RAZR HD with an exploit called MotoFail2go. The RAZR i appears to be included, although the developer notes that additional hacking might be needed, involving replacing some of the binaries with x86 versions if your attempts fail.

The entire root process looks like a one-click operation, with the exploit requiring you to press some buttons along the way. You’re going to need a Windows PC for this, the latest Morotola USB drivers along with the Motofail2go_windows.zip exploit.

As always, back up before you proceed.

Source: xda-developers forum

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3 years ago

LG Optimus Vu available unlocked from Expansys for £349

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The LG Optimus Vu has popped up on Expanys for £349 (approximately $564). This is basically the same version that we reviewed, except it has a Tegra 3 processor rather than the Snapdragon S3.

AT 5-inches, the Vu is a Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note 2 competitor. It also costs much less than the Note 2, which can also be had from Expansys for £529 (approximately $854).  There are reasons for the cheaper price, however. We've mentioned a few aspects of the Vu that we've had issues with, such as the 4:3 aspect ratio, lack of slot for the stylus and lackluster camera performance.

Nevertheless, if you've been waiting for an opportunity to purchase an unlocked LG Optimus Vu, Expansys can help you out.

Source: Expansys

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3 years ago

Buy Google Play credit directly from the Google Play web store

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It seems that Google has enabled an option in the web version of the Play Store that allows users to directly buy Google Play credit. If you're in the web version of the Play Store, scroll to the bottom and you'll see an option that reads "Buy Google Play Credit." You can purchase credit in increments of $5, $10, $15, $25 and $50 and it seems that you can only buy the credit for yourself thus far, so no gifting. No word yet on how many markets, if any, are supported outside the U.S., so if you are elsewhere and are seeing this option, let us know in the comments.

Source: Google Play Store; thanks to everyone who sent this in.

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3 years ago

Samsung reminds us the U.S. Galaxy S3 will get Jelly Bean, can't say when, though

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New TouchWiz features confirmed for U.S. Galaxy S3 update

If you were after a vague, unspecified timeframe for your Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update, look no further than today's announcement from Samsung, which indicates that the update will be rolling out to U.S. S3 models "in the coming months." In a press release today, the manufacturer reveals that the eagerly-anticipated update will land at some point in the future between "the coming weeks" and "the coming years." In any case, at least it's on still its way to the U.S. (The update is, of course, rolling out right now in Europe.)

Also revealed is a list of new TouchWiz features in the U.S. S3 Jelly Bean update. We've already covered many of these on the international Galaxy S3 models, but these include new Android 4.1 features like Google Now and "Project Butter," in addition to new TouchWiz additions like blocking mode for added notification and contact control, resizeable Pop-up Play windows and an optional "easy mode" for the launcher. New AllShare functionality will be added too, including wireless mirroring through the AllShare Cast Wireless Hub, and one-touch NFC pairing on supported Bluetooth devices.

We've got the full breakdown of new TouchWiz features after the break.

More: Hands-on with new TouchWiz features in Jelly Bean Galaxy S3 update

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia T coming to Canada in November

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Sony has confirmed that Bell, Rogers, Mobilicity, and Videotron will all have the Sony Xperia T on sale in Canada come November.  We've begun putting the international version of the Xperia T through the paces, if you're interested in a closer look, but here's the short version. 

  • 4.6-inch 1280 x 720 Reality Display powered by the Mobile BRAVIA Engine for razor sharp clarity
  • 13 MP fast capture camera that goes from sleep mode to snap in just over a second
  • Easy connectivity with ‘One-touch’ function enabled by NFC
  • PlayStation™ Certified
  • Latest generation 1.5GHz dual core processor for improved battery life, fast performance and ultra sharp graphics
  • Android version 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Will be upgraded to Android version 4.1 (Jelly Bean) following launch.
  • MHL connectivity for viewing content on a big screen without the need for a charger
  • 16GB of internal memory
  • Battery: 1850mAh (embedded) - 7 hours talk time, 450 hours standby

The Xperia T will be hitting Canada with all of the usual James Bond branding to coincide with the upcoming Skyfall movie. There's no mention of pricing just yet, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough. And hey, good on Mobilicity for getting such a swanky phone. I wonder if TELUS is going to get it? They aren't mentioned by name in the press release, but that doesn't necessarily rule them out. Canadians, are any of you interested in the Xperia T?

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3 years ago

HTC J Butterfly video round-up

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Japanese carrier AU is set to launch what's arguably the highest-spec'd Android handset we've seen to date, the HTC J Butterfly. With 4G LTE support, a beastly quad-core Snapdragon CPU and a whopping 5-inch 1080p SuperLCD3 (yes, three) display, there's little more you could want from a smartphone. (Well, OK, maybe a bigger battery.)

It's unlikely we'll see this exact handset outside of Japan -- although a Verizon version has long been rumored for release later in the year. Nevertheless, hands-on videos are starting to crop up around the web of the original Japanese version, and so we've collected some of the best for your perusal. Check 'em out after the break.

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3 years ago

Google will/won't bring out $99 Nexus tablet this quarter

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From (where else), DigiTimes:

One supply chain source says it'll be released later in the fourth quarter (which we're now in, by the way). Meanwhile, ASUS, DT reports, says it "has no plans to launch a $99 Nexus." Which is nice, but it's Google that sells this thing, not ASUS.

Shocking.

Chances are if we do see a $99 Nexus 7, it'll be carrier subsidized. Which would be ridiculous given the outright price is only twice that.

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3 years ago

32GB Nexus 7 coming to the UK for £199.99

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It's been rumored for the past few weeks, and now we have confirmation that a 32GB version of Google and ASUS' Nexus 7 tablet will arrive in time for the holidays. UK retailer Argos just released its Christmas gift guide, and we tracked down the listing for the 32GB Nexus 7, which is marked for sale at £199.99. The £199 price point is significant, as this is the current standard retail price for the 16GB Nexus 7 in the UK, adding fuel to speculation that the 32GB will replace the 16GB model entirely. (In the UK, the 8GB Nexus 7 is only sold through the Google Play device store.)

The extra storage space should address one of the major concerns with the Nexus 7, as on the basic 8GB model just over 6GB is actually available for users' own media. At just £40 more than the 8GB Nexus, this new 32GB variant should make for a tempting upgrade. No release date information is provided in the Argos gift guide, but we've got to believe it'll be hitting store shelves sooner rather than later.

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3 years ago

LG Optimus G coming to Japan in blue and white on KDDI

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The LG Optimus G certainly seems to be making the rounds lately, and now Japanese carrier KDDI has announced the availability of the handset on its network. Overall, its the phone we know from previous launches, complete with the quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, 13MP camera and LTE. The only difference here is the color choices -- white and two-tone blue/black -- in typical Japanese carrier fashion.

The Optimus G will go on sale with KDDI on November 2nd. For those of you in the states, we're working furiously on our reviews of the Sprint and AT&T versions of the Optimus G, and have already put up a couple quick hits on the device. 

Source: KDDI

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3 years ago

Sony announces Xperia VL for the Japanese market

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At this point, you almost feel like Sony is coming up on the limit of one and two letter combinations to put after "Xperia". There's at least room for one more, as Sony is adding yet another device to its expansive Xperia line -- the Xperia VL. This device, which is coming to the Japanese market (and likely only that market), seems to have some pretty standard specs on board from what has been released at this point.

This Sony "arc" designed device has a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4.3-inch Reality Display, 13MP camera with new shooting modes, NFC and LTE networking -- all running underneath Android 4.0.4. Sony says the device has "high levels" of dust and water resistance as well, which is often found on many Japanese handsets.

Our brilliant deduction and sleuthing makes us think that the VL is simply a reworking of the previously announced Xperia V, which should give you a better indication of the spec level. The Xperia VL is set to launch before the end of the year on KDDI in blue, white and pink varieties.

Source: Sony Xperia Product Blog; KDDI

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3 years ago

HTC J Butterfly with 5-inch 1080P screen makes its way to Japan

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We've heard a lot of rumors swirling lately about HTC releasing a 5-inch 1080P phone, and it looks like the first proof of this device's existence has just shown up in Japan. The HTC One X's SLCD 2 screen still holds the title in most people's minds as the best smartphone screen on the market, but they seem to have outdone themselves with the SLCD 3 on the J Butterfly. At 5 inches and a full 1080x1920 resolution, this screen produces a staggeringly high 440 ppi (pixels per inch), much higher than any other display we've seen. If HTC's previous screens are any indication, this is going to be a huge step up in display technology going forward.

Moving along past the screen, the J Butterfly has a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, LTE, NFC and an 8MP camera. For software, it is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sense 4+. It comes in a flashy red, more subtle black and white varieties, and will be released in Japan on KDDI in December. Hopefully we'll see this device's counterparts show up outside of Japan soon as well.

Source: KDDI; HTC

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3 years ago

Chameleon Launcher reaches v1.1 - Brings performance enhancements, UI refinements and major feature additions

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If you haven't gone all in with Chameleon Launcher it's quite understandable. While a beautiful next-level launcher it is, the entry price of $10 and somewhat limited feature set has made it a hard to justify purchase for some folks out there. The latest version may change some minds though as Chameleon has now reached v1.1 status and brings along with it performance enhancements, UI refinements and major feature additions. Some of which, have been long asked for by users:

  • Native Android Widget Support - Thats right, Chameleon widgets and native Android app widgets can now live side by side on your home screens. Android widgets in Chameleon work exactly as they would on the standard Android launcher, even while living inside our grid block containers. It’s almost like unicorns are real!
  • Chameleon Widget SDK 1.1 - One of the big, yet hidden features of v1.1 is the updates to the Widget SDK. There is a lot of plumbing that has been added that allows for access to local device data using Android Services. The Chameleon Widget API docs will be updated in the near future with details and examples. We have also published a design section on the make a widgets documentation site outlining how to handle CSS markup for your widgets, and handling widget resizing. You can find that here.
  • Twitter Widget - The Twitter widget has gotten the biggest boost out of all the widgets in this update. There are now inline options for reply, retweet and favorite. Retweeted tweets are also now displayed as per Twitters display guidelines. The cherry on the top of this enticing sunday is the ability to display your lists. Yummy.
  • Calendar Widget - For those who need to stay super organized, the calendar widget now supports an All Calendar view as well as an Events List view.

Overall, the update looks pretty pleasing. They've also gone ahead and corrected plenty of bugs in the system as well, including a major one wherein Chameleon tended to freeze upon start up. Whether or not the changes make it a more viable purchase remains to be seen but if nothing else, it shows support is still going strong and updates will keep on coming. If you've not checked out our hands-on review -- you can have a look at Chameleon right here.

Source: Chameleon

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3 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S3 receiving small update, still not Jelly Bean

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Users in our forums are reporting that their Verizon Galaxy SIII (S3) handsets are pulling down a moderately sized (62MB) OTA update. Unfortunately, this isn't the Jelly Bean update that most users are hoping for -- you're still on 4.0.4 for now -- but it does seem to be bringing some useful enhancements. The latest software version, VRALHE, brings the Enhanced Zooming feature to the browser, email and more. It also claims to fix an issue with device restarts, as well as enhance stability in Google Play.

All good and necessary updates, but let's hope the next OTA is to Android 4.1. Take a look at the support document for the update at the source link below, then head to the forums and let us know how the update process went for you.

Source: Verizon (PDF)Android Central Forums; Thanks, Christopher!

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3 years ago

Official Twitter app updated with large-screen improvements and bug fixes

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The official Twitter for Android app has been updated with a couple small but useful additions today. First off, the profile layout has been better designed to work on larger screens. As more and more people buy Android tablets, it's a good thing that Twitter is paying attention. We just hope they can continue this feature creep and add some more functionality to the app. Additionally, the changelog indicates there have been a few bug fixes in this update.

At this point, we don't see much reason to choose the official Twitter app considering how many great third party choices there are out there. But with the increasing restrictions on these other clients coming in the future, we're glad the official app is at least improving at some rate. Take a look at the update at the Google Play Store link above.

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