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3 years ago

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3 years ago

Week 1 of our Stuff Your Stocking contest wraps up today


We're wrapping up our first week of our Stuff Your Stocking contest -- which is running all month long --  in which we're giving away a $10 Google Play Gift Card every day in December. That's 31 winners in 31 days, with an easy $10 to spend on apps, books, music -- whatever you want!

What's more is that each of the 31 winners will automatically be entered to win a free Nexus 4, which we'll choose and announce the first week of January.

We're going to change things up each week to keep it fresh. Here's the breakdown:

  • Dec. 1-8: Leave a post in the appropriate thread in the Android Central Forums.
  • Dec. 9-15: Subscribe to our YouTube Channel. (You can subscribe now if you want, but only subscriptions during that time frame will count as an entry.)
  • Dec. 16-22: Comment on that day's giveaway blog post. (Look for our hatted friend you see here.)
  • Dec. 23-31: To be announced. It'll be fun one way or another.

Week 2 kicks off on Sunday. And that's just the beginning, folks. Stay tuned for an even bigger giveaway announcement early next week!

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3 years ago

Delta updates app with a privacy policy; California is safe again


Delta Airlines has updated its Android app, bringing $2,500,000,000 worth of new features. All in the form of a privacy policy. 

It's still the same app as before, letting you check in to your flights, grab a mobile boarding pass, or even check your SkyMiles balance. If you are a frequent flier on Delta, it's probably a very useful download.

So what is this upgrade all about, and what does it have to do with billions of dollars? Good question, with an easy answer. Seems that the state of California slapped Delta with a lawsuit because the app had no clear privacy policy attached. Delta had 30 days to comply, or be faced with fines that could total up to $2.5 billion (with a b). Rather than make a large donation to California's economy, Delta updated their app today. Quick work, and the addition of the privacy policy is easy to get to -- simply tap Traveling with Us, then tap Privacy Policy. 

It's good to see a privacy policy for any app, especially one that collects your credit card info by design. It's also good on some level that the state of California looks out for their citizens, keeping them safe from those who would steal and abuse their private data.

But I can't shake the feeling that threatening a $2.5 billion fine ($2,500 per download)is the best way to go about it. Anyhoo, if you're using the Delta app go grab the update, and if you're not using it but think you should be, download it from Google Play.

More: InformationWeek

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3 years ago

Hands on with the LG Nexus 4 bumper


We finally got our hands on the LG Nexus 4 bumper, so is it worth the wait?

It's here. It's finally, finally here. Proving far more difficult to lay hands on than any accessory ever should, the LG Nexus 4 bumper has proved somewhat elusive. The order for a bumper was placed on the same day -- launch day no less -- as the phone, but while the phone arrived, the wait for the bumper went on. Emails and phone calls to Google Play customer services passed, only to discover there were stocking issues. And, all this despite -- in the UK at least -- the Play Store claiming the item was in stock to ship within 3-5 days. 

Indeed, some customers in various markets got theirs almost immediately, but for many others the wait went on, and on, and on. But, ours has finally arrived just a day after receiving the shipping notice. So, we ripped open the box, fired up the camera, and went hands on. We'll take you through it after the break. 

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3 years ago

T-Mobile testing new prepaid 'GoSmart' plan in select markets


There's no shortage of big T-Mobile news out there right now, and this one seems to fit in with what we're hearing the last couple of days. After announcing that it will no longer be subsidizing handsets starting in 2013, T-Mobile is also putting a new prepaid option through trials in select markets. FierceWireless has confirmed with T-Mobile directly that the carrier is looking to lanch a new set of plans called "GoSmart" with three different tiers:

  • $30 for unlimited voice and text
  • $35 for unlimited voice, text and 2G data
  • $45 for unlimited voice, text and "high speed" data

The first two tiers probably won't be too appealing to readers of this site, but the last one is quite interesting. T-Mobile's current prepaid offerings are a bit more complex, and you have to pay a minimum of $60 for any meaningful amount of data with unlimited talk and text. What is yet to be determined is what T-Mobile means by "high speed data" with these plans.

With its current plans, that refers to HSPA+ (or "4G" to T-Mo) and the user is then throttled to EDGE (2G) speeds after a certain point. Documentation of this new plan at this point is referring to "3G" as high speed, which leads to some confusion. T-Mobile hasn't operated its UMTS (3G) network independently for years, and has completely moved to just EDGE and HSPA+ for data services. We have to think at this point that this is just early confusion about a new plan.

Trials have begun and we'll surely know more about this plan if it ends up going live nationwide in 2013.

Source: FierceWireless

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3 years ago

Google Now making it clear that it is keeping location data


If you've got a Jelly Bean device -- say a shiny new Nexus 4 -- and open up Google Now today, you'll likely be greeted with a notice about Google's location policy. The notice reminds users that Google does keep location history in order to serve location-relevant information (like traffic and walking stats), and prompts to be granted additional access to this data. This looks to be related to those "distance walked and ran" cards users saw a while back.

Even though you're reminded of this whenever signing into a new device or starting Google Now for the first time, we don't think it's a bad idea for Google to remind users of the data being collected.

More: Google Nexus 4 Forums

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3 years ago

Apple's '949 multitouch patent tentatively declared invalid by USPTO


The US Patent and Trade Office has made a preliminary ruling that U.S. Patent No. 7,479,949 (AKA the "Steve Jobs" multitouch patent) is invalid on all 20 points. The '949 patent is considered to be the key patent in all claims of multitouch infringement, and is one of the broader patents that some feel should have never been granted,

It's also one of the patents Apple asserted against Motorola in a case thrown out this past June. In that case, a federal judge dismissed the suit, stating that large parts of the patent in question were invalid in his opinion. It appears that at some level,  the USPTO agrees.

Before people get too excited and pop a cork, know that this is just the first step and may very well be overturned higher up the USPTO ladder. Stranger things than the government not listening to the experts they have hired have certainly happened before. 

Via: FOSS Patents

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3 years ago

Samsung product page confirms Galaxy Camera with Verizon LTE


We saw a Samsung Galaxy Camera go through the FCC just a week ago with Verizon LTE on board, and now a Samsung product page has confirmed the device. The spec page only lists 700MHz as a supported frequency, as well as only listing LTE connectivity. If this device really does only have LTE and no fallback to 3G, it shows Verizon must be pretty confident about its nationwide network rollout. It doesn't get much clearer than this though, and now all we're waiting for is the pricing and availability information.

This is a very interesting development, as the model first launched in the U.S. on AT&T is only HSPA+ and not LTE. Have to wonder what compelled Samsung to make an LTE model for Verizon instead.

Source: Samsung; Via: The Verge

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3 years ago

The best wine apps for Android


With the holidays just around the corner, odds are you’ll be uncorking at least a couple bottles of wine. While you might not need any help emptying them, there are a bunch of solid Android apps out there that can help you pick out the best ones and share your experience with the wine-loving community at large. Now, I’m not a wine guy at all and usually reach for whatever’s in the bargain bin, but maybe with the help of some of these apps, we can classy things up a bit.  

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3 years ago

Action Launcher now available - improves on folders with 'Covers'


We brought you the first look at developer Chris Lacy's "Action Launcher" a couple of months ago, and today we're happy to announce that it's now available in the Google Play Store for $3.99. (Actually, that's in Google Play is a "Pro" unlock code -- you'll download the launcher itself from within the app after you purchase.)

The basic premise, as you'll recall from our Action Launcher preview, is that the idea of the app drawer is just too slow. In Action Launcher, the drawer is moved to a list view, and the "main" home screen shifts to the far left. So all you have to do to open it is slide left once more. (Or hit the apps button in the top left, or your home button from the home screen.) From there you've got a an easy list of your apps. And new from our preview version are letter shortcuts, so you don't have to scroll all the way through the list.

Also customized is how you add widgets, apps and wallpapers -- all in one place, just long-press on the home screen.

But that's still not the really cool part.

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3 years ago

Hands on and initial impressions with the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini


The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini may well be out gunned by its big brother the Galaxy S3 but that doesn't matter as they are not in competition with each other. The SGS3 Mini is perfectly suited for consumers that don't need a huge, top of the range smartphone and clearly this will be reflected in the price of the device.

Specs wise, the SGS3 Mini isn't bad at all for a mid range device. Sporting a beautiful Super AMOLED 4 inch display and powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor it is still pretty nippy. I think one of its selling points will actually be its size. Non smartphone geeks that go into a retail store to upgrade are going to be attracted to the SGS3 Mini, not only as it looks good, but it feels great in the hand. The 4 inch display is still the sweet spot for many smartphone users and with the device running Android Jelly Bean straight out of the box there really isn't much to dislike about it.

Available in both 8/16GB models, with MicroSD card support and removable battery these options will attract many consumers. With a 5MP camera and video recording in 720P HD the specs are more than adequate for the majority of Android users and I suspect this latest Galaxy variant could well be a great seller for the South Korean company.

You can catch the full specs below:

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3 years ago

Mobile Nations Survey: Do you use a car mount with your smartphone?


This Mobile Nations Survey comes to you via our accessories team. We're always putting new smartphone accessories to the test, and are often getting into debates over which are the best.

One topic where the team is 100% in agreement though is car mount docks. We think that car mounts are the absolute best way to take your smartphone with you on the road.

We're curious to know if you agree, if you own a car mount or not, if you like them or not and why. Thanks for sharing!

Take the Survey

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3 years ago

HTC Butterfly trailer confirms color options, still China-only for now


We don't yet have confirmation that the HTC Butterfly will launch anywhere outside of Asia. At the moment, it's only confirmed launch market is China, where it'll be available on the China Unicom carrier.

But what we do know is that it'll be available in three colors, as rumored, and it seems HTC will make a big marketing push for its latest high-end Asian handset. The promotional video released today by HTC China shows off a bunch of the phone's features, including splash resistance, Media Link HD sharing and fast photo capture, as demonstrated by a cast of attractive, stylish Butterfly owners.

Judging by the trailer, the Butterfly will be available in red, white and black. And the back panel on some models seems to have a slightly different, glossier finish, unlike its American cousin the Droid DNA.

We've got the trailer in full embedded after the break, if you'd like to see more of a phone you probably won't be able to buy.

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean updates ahoy for many Motorola phones in Q1 2013


As part of its new OS upgrade strategy, Motorola has published another update on the progress of new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (and ICS) firmware for its fleet of phones and tablets.

It's an extensive list, with a complete breakdown of phones by territory, however, we've picked out a few of the biggest upcoming upgrades for readers in the West --

  • RAZR i Jelly Bean update now scheduled for Q1 2013
  • Verizon Droid RAZR HD/RAZR MAXX HD still due Jelly Bean update before 2013
  • AT&T Atrix HD due Jelly Bean update before 2013
  • 3G/LTE Xoom Jelly Bean update delayed to Q1 2013
  • Canadian Atrix HD + RAZR HD due to get Jelly Bean in Q1 2013
  • Euro RAZR HD Jelly Bean update scheduled for Dec. 2012

No word on Android 4.2 for any Motorola devices just yet, but at least Jelly Bean part one should be on the way for a great many Moto phones early next year.

If you want to look up a particular phone or territory, you can do so at the source link below.

Source: Motorola Android Software Upgrade News

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3 years ago

HTC One VX available today from AT&T for $49.99


Despite having been announced for sale back in mid-November, and subsequently going M.I.A, the AT&T HTC One VX finally seems to have gone on sale. AT&T told us last week that we should be seeing it on Dec. 7, and true to their word we're seeing it on sale today. 

HTC's latest mid-range offering will cost just $49.99 on a 2-year deal from AT&T. For that you get Android 4.0 (with an update to 4.1 in the future,) a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon S4, a 4.5-inch qHD Super LCD 2 display, 1GB of RAM and 8GB onboard storage, expandable with microSD cards. 

All told it's a pretty nice device at this price point, but if you're still unsure, be sure to check out our hands on with the device back at the launch event in New York.

Source: AT&T

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