Headlines

2 years ago

Android increases its U.S. market share, according to latest ComScore numbers

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Analytics firm ComScore just released a new batch of numbers, showing Android extending its lead over, well, everybody in the United States for September through November of 2011.

Out of the 91.4 million smartphone subscribers in the United States, ComScore says 46.9 percent -- about 43 million give or take -- have Android smartphones. That's up 3.1 percentage points from the June through August. Apple, meanwhile, saw slower growth, at 28.7 percent (up from 27.3 percent for the previous period).

Those were only platforms to see growth -- RIM was down 3.1 percentage points to 16.6 percent, microsft fell a half-percentage point to 5.2 percent, and Symbian down three-tenths of a percentage point to 1.5 percent. WebOS was a no-show.

Source: ComScore

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2 years ago

'Xperia Ion' trademark hints at possible next-gen SE branding

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With CES looming, we've already heard our fair share of rumors about upcoming Sony Ericsson handsets, including leaked photos of the "Xperia Arc HD" and specs for the elusive LTE-toting LT28at. A recent trademark filing may provide some further clues about Sony Ericsson's branding for future devices, as shortly before the holidays the manufacturer applied for the "Xperia Ion" trademark in the U.S., for use in connection with "mobile phones".

It should be noted that a trademark filing is far from a guarantee that a product with this name will see the light of day. However the timing -- and the fact that we've yet to hear any reliable info about SE's 2012 Xperia branding -- suggests that the unveiling of an "Xperia Ion" phone could be on the cards for next month's CES, or February's Mobile World Congress.

Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; via: XperiaBlog

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2 years ago

The 2011 Android Central Awards Readers-Choice Picks

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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and children of all ages. It's time to announce the winners of the 2011 Android Central Readers Choice Awards.

These are the awards in which you, the reader, picked the winners. They're not necessarily our favorites (as you've already seen). But with thousands of you voting over the course of a couple weeks, we now know your favorites. 

It's been a hell of a year, to say the least. With what felt like dozens of smartphones and tablets announced at CES in January 2011, to more a month later at Mobile World Congress, and more still at CTIA in March -- plus new releases weekly, plus a lot of stuff that doesn't even deserve mention -- we've seen dozens and dozens of new devices. And more apps than we can count.

This isn't scientific. This is a snapshot at what ends 2011 as your favorite Android devices and apps. You voted 'em in, you reap the whirlwind, folks. Enjoy, and let the flaming begin!

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2 years ago

Amazon says 2011 holiday was great for Kindle, fails to mention how great

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Amazon announced this morning that 2011 was its Kindle line's best holiday season to date, with over one million devices sold per week throughout December. Amazon seems particularly proud of how well received its Kindle Fire has been, citing the device's title of #1 best selling, most wished for, and most gifted device on the site for the past 13 weeks. The popularity of the Kindle line, Amazon says, has given rise to the growth of its Kindle Direct Publishing program, which generated the #1 and #4 titles on Kindle's best selling list this year. Just how well the Kindle line, and the Kindle Fire in particular, is selling is still a mystery, as Amazon has failed to release any hard numbers for holiday sales. Read into that tidbit as you wish. Amazon's full statement is at the source link.

Source: Amazon

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2 years ago

Samsung hits milestone with Galaxy Note; one million shipped globally

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Samsung announced today that it has reached a respectable milestone with its Galaxy Note tablet/smartphone hybrid, citing one million units shipped globally to date.What makes the figure even more impressive is that the Note isn't officially available yet in one of Samsung's largest markets-- the United States. The Galaxy Note is currently gaining in popularity in France, Germany, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Samsung says, and will hit American shores "next year." Hit the source link for Samsung's full statement, via its Flickr account.

Source: Samsung

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2 years ago

Contest: Win a copy of Android Tablets Made Simple

We've got 15 copies of Android Tablets Made Simple by Marziah Karch to give away to you fine, oustanding Android Central Readers. So, let's give some away. Just leave a comment in this post and we'll pick 15 of 'em at random. This one's U.S. only (don't worry, we'll have something for you international folks on Friday), and we'll shut it down at the end of today. Good luck!

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2 years ago

Verizon keen on making major changes in January, it seems

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It really doesn't seem that long ago, but with today's news that Verizon will be charging an extra $2 a month for some methods of bill payment starting Jan. 15, 2012, we got to thinking about some of the bigger changes we saw in 2011 -- and exactly 366 days before this latest move takes effect. To wit:

And both of those major changes came on Jan. 16. That's not really a great surprise -- start of the year and all. But does anyone want to do some doomcasting and predict what Verizon customers will lose come January 2012?

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2 years ago

Chris's most-used apps of 2011

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While I spend a lot of time checking apps out so that I may share them with you all, friends and family and just generally know what I'm talking about it, fact is -- I rarely stray away from my main ones. I'm a creature of habit, and once I find something I like I find it hard to move on to something else. My main apps of choice may interest you though, and if that is the case -- jump on past the break to see what I use most often.

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2 years ago

FYI: Android Wallpaper Gallery gets larger previews

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Just a quick heads up that we've added larger preview images to our Android wallpaper gallery. Now when you're checking out an individual wallpaper, you can click the small thumbnail to open up a larger image. It's a little thing, we know, but it's one you guys wanted. And now you have it. 

Free Android Wallpapers | Upload your own wallpapers

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2 years ago

Verizon to charge $2 fee for some methods of bill payment

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We're used to getting nickled-and-dimed by our wireless carriers, but this is just getting ridiculous. Verizon confirmed to PhoneScoop today (update: and issued a press release - link below) that it's set to start charging a $2 "convenieince" fee for paying your bill come Jan. 15. With a few caveats, of course. Here's the breakdown:

You'll be charged the $2 if you:

  • Pay with a credit or debit card online
  • Pay with a credit or debit card via Verizon's call-in channels

Now that's not necessarily a complete stroke of evil by Verizon -- it wouldn't surprise us at all to learn that Verizon's getting charged more for those transactions by whichever service it uses. Passing the buck to the customer isn't new, but nor does it make it any easier to swallow. 

The "good" news here is that there are ways to avoid that $2 fee. You can:

  • Pay by electronic check
  • Use auto-pay -- which allows you to pay via  debit or credit card, or electronic check
  • Direct bill pay via your bank
  • In-store payments
  • Verizon gift, rebate or rewards cards
  • An old-school paper check mailed to Verizon

It's pretty clear that Verizon's looking to push people toward automatic bill payments. But we'd rather see Big Red use a carrot than a stick here. Perhaps discounts for using auto-pay instead of penalties for using completely reasonable and accepted payments might be a better way to go, especially given that Verizon is very much in the doghouse of late.

Source: PhoneScoop; Verizon Wireless

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