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3 years ago

HTC confirms some current devices will get Sense 5, or at least parts of it

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Don't get too excited yet, however; details still loom

HTC overnight on its Facebook page publicly confirmed what it first told us some weeks ago (and that we've largely expected anyway) -- that some current phones will receive updates that contain some features of Sense 5, which will make its debut in the coming weeks on the new HTC One.

Devices specifically mentioned were the HTC One X, One X+ and One S -- from the original "HTC One" line of 2012 -- as well as the HTC Butterfly, which was the first 1080p display phone that emerged late in the year.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile says LTE network now complete in Las Vegas, Kansas City

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In its Q4 2012 results, T-Mobile had some interesting notes on the deployment of its LTE network -- mainly that the network is now "completed" in both Las Vegas and Kansas City, Missouri. The network rollout has now apparently been accelerated, and T-Mobile is projecting it will reach 100 million people with LTE by mid-2013, with more than 200 million being covered by the end of this year. Las Vegas and Kansas City are great test locations, but with these lofty projections they're going to have to light up LTE in the big population centers quickly as well.

Additionally, T-Mobile took time to tout some numbers about its current HSPA+ footprint. Several new areas are moving to 1900MHz today, including Orlando, FL and Richmond, VA. The carrier states that 225 million people are now covered with its HSPA+ service, with 144 million being covered by the new 1900MHz service. These two rollouts go hand-in-hand, as T-Mobile will need the AWS (1700/2100MHz) spectrum freed up by the HSPA+ move to 1900MHz in order to completely roll out LTE.

It comes as a bit of a surprise that T-Mobile has fully completed two city-wide networks before a single consumer device with LTE has even been announced, but it's good to see that the network is being built out quickly in anticipation of a launch. Current rumor pegs March 27th for the launch of several LTE-enabled devices on the network, and hopefully T-Mobile will have more cities to announce at that time as well.

Source: T-Mobile

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Q4 2012 results: $4.9 billion revenue, data and prepaid ARPU up

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T-Mobile has just posted its Q4 2012 operating results, with $4.9 billion in revenue, net customer additions of 61,000 and contract customer churn of 2.5-percent. Overall, it seems to have been a positive quarter for the carrier. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • $4.9 billion in revenue for the quarter, down 5.2-percent year-over-year
  • 61,000 net customer additions for the quarter, up from 512,000 lost in Q4 2011
  • Net income of just $24 million, mostly due to high marketing and capital expenditures
  • Branded contract churn of 2.5-percent, down 50 basis points y-o-y
  • Branded prepaid revenue of $474 million, up 35-percent y-o-y

The results were again a bit of a mixed bag for T-Mobile as the nation's 4th place carrier pushes with its strategy to stop contract subsidies and launch an LTE network. Branded contract ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) fell 4.7-percent y-o-y to $55.47, mostly due to high adoption of Value Plans which have lower service revenues. T-Mobile claims a full 30-percent of its customers are now on subsidy-free Value Plans, up 1.6 million in the quarter.

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3 years ago

Google working on experimental 3.8 Linux kernel for Android

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Google has opened a public kernel repository, marked as experimental, for the Linux 3.8 kernel. The kernel repo is built from the standard Linux kernel, with Android modifications added by the folks in Mountain View working on the Android project. 

The reason this is good news? 3.8 includes three important and interesting changes for mobile devices -- support for open source NVIDIA Tegra and Samsung Exynos DRM drivers, support for the Flash-Friendly File-System, and a lower memory footprint -- in some cases much lower. Having native support means less development time by Google or anyone else building the kernel for Android, and everyone loves more memory for apps instead of the system.

It's important to realize that this is by no means official support. Currently, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean ships with the 3.4 kernel on the Nexus 4, but versions 3.0 and 3.3 are supported as well for other Jelly Bean devices. Maybe we'll see 3.8 in the next version of Android.

Source: Phoronix

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3 years ago

Google Play Books updated; Now available in India and 'over 90' issues fixed

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Google tossed out an update to Google Play Books this evening, making it a whole lot better by fixing "over 90" issues, allowing users in India to be able to install and use the app, and finally tossing in some UI improvements. While they don't go into any detail about the 90 issues that were addressed they do tell us that they added a drop-down menu in the library to filter books by type, and now place names are identified on the current page when the controls are up and showing. Of course, support for India and the growing smart phone user base there is huge, and long overdue.

What wasn't addressed is the lack of the ability to import your own DRM-free books. Until that happens this is one I'll hide in my app drawer, no matter how great the app is. Hit Google Play to update or click the Google Play link above.

Thanks, Anshi!

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3 years ago

Huawei Ascend G710 press render leaks out, details still sparse

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Huawei has released plenty of devices between CES and MWC, but there are surely more in the pipeline as press images of a Huawei Ascend G710 leaked out today. Like so many devices nowadays, the G710 is going to have a 5-inch display, but this one will purportedly have just 720x1280 resolution. That's quite a bit lower than the previously-announced Ascend D2 from Huawei, which has a full 1080P panel. The G710 will have capacitive keys at the bottom of the screen though, which leaves physically more space on the screen than the D2.

The only other known spec is a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, which is a Huawei staple lately. No other specs, availability or pricing is coming out on this one just yet, but we would be surprised if it ever hit the U.S. market.

Source: @evleaks; Via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Field Trip adds more sources, lets you 'snooze' notifications

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Google's Field Trip app may not be at the front of everyone's mind, but it's still being developed and improved. The latest update has added several new sources of information and added a new way to dismiss and snooze notifications that appear. You will now see more content from Art Nerd New York, Cultureist, Mad Girl Eats, Weekend Sherpa, Wilderness Press and more when searching for local info. There has also been a pretty big overhaul of the notification system of Field Trip. One of the complaints early on was Field Trip being a little too notification happy -- turning on your screen, talking and vibrating too often -- which made many people turn it off or uninstall it completely.

When you receive a notification on the lockscreen now, you'll have options similar to an alarm: swipe right to unlock, up to "snooze" (and not receive notifications for the rest of the day), and left to dismiss. There are also more configuration options for how you would like to be notified, letting you receive regular status bar notifications and keep Field Trip from waking the screen when they arrive.

There are a lot of major usability improvements in this update, so you may want to give it another try if the early issues pushed you away before. You can grab a download at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 found to have OpenCL drivers

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The researchers and ubergeeks over at Anandtech have discovered undocumented OpenCL drivers on both the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10. I know a few folks out there just got a little bit excited, but for the rest of us OpenCL needs a little explanation.

The chip in your modern Android smartphone has both a CPU and a GPU (there's other stuff, but we're going to ignore it for now) on board. The CPU handles all the heavy lifting and number crunching, while the GPU sits mostly idle, with all it's high-speed cores doing a whole lot of nothing unless you're running a graphically intensive app. 

OpenCL is a standard that puts all that untapped GPU power to use, allowing it to also crunch numbers and help the CPU along. Of course this is a simplified explanation, but it gets the general point across -- you can use the GPU to help do things faster, and use less battery to do it. It's a form of parallel computing that you find on new processors in modern desktop and laptop chips.

There's a few caveats here (isn't there always?) to keep in mind though. To start with, Renderscript is the parallel computing API officially supported in Android. OpenCL is likely there only because Qualcomm and ARM now officially support the API, not because anyone at Google requested it. Because of this, the drivers aren't likely to stay up to date or improved in any way. In fact, they could disappear in a future firmware update. 

Of course, that's not likely to stop tinkerers and hackers from trying to use them. If that sounds like you, you'll want to head to the source link where you can read a little more about exactly what was found, and some source code to check it out yourself.

Source: Anandrech

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3 years ago

MLS MatchDay updated for 2013 with new interface, tablet support

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The 2013 MLS season kicks off in just three days, and the MLS MatchDay app has been updated right on time with a new interface and full tablet support. Last year's update was functional but certainly not easy to use or perfectly designed. For 2013, they've pulled out all the stops and gone with a complete redesign that should keep Android users happy for the whole season. The interface has taken on a holo design, shedding the legacy menu button and adding a slide-in panel to improve navigation. There are also now more granular notification settings, so you can see when lineups are available, to get condensed match stats, and breaking news alerts.

The new update also added tablet support, which takes advantage of the larger screen to display news articles in a newspaper-style format rather than a list, and offer more navigation options on individual team and match pages. Over and above the new interface, you can now watch matches directly on your devices with MLS Live, as well as see Goal of the Week videos.

Stick around after the break and see the new phone UI, along with a few comparisons to what the new app does on a 7-inch tablet. Then head to the Play Store link at the top of this post to get the app.

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3 years ago

Super Sync Sports makes Chrome sync between devices fun!

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The latest Chrome Experiment out of Google shows off the power of sync between devices with a fun little game called "Super Sync Sports". Head to chrome.com/supersyncsports on your computer and g.co/super on your phone or tablet (Android 4.0 and above), enter the code to get them synced up and you're off to the races. Literally. You use your phone or tablet as a controller, with the computer display as just a portal to view the game. Select a character, and you can run, swim or bike against the computer or friends that you invite.

It's a fun game to play, especially with more than one device, but it what it really shows off is the power of Chrome to provide real-time syncing between devices using just a browser. When on Wifi, there isn't any perceptible lag between actions on the phone and the response on the screen, which is quite impressive considering that you're just using an HTML5 game in two browsers.

Google loves to do fun little experiments like this, and when they show it off to the public it's even better. Hopefully this means that it is planning to leverage these technologies in user-facing Chrome products in the future. Head to the source links to learn a bit more about how it works and to play the game for yourself.

Source: Google; More: Play Super Sync Sports

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 rumored to use multiple processor types

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We're just a few weeks away from knowing for sure, but news from Taiwan today suggests that Samsung will be using multiple types of processors for the different Galaxy S4 variants worldwide. According to the Taipei Times, investor group JP Morgan said in a note to clients

Similar to its previous Galaxy S3, Samsung is expected to adopt multiple solutions for the application processors and baseband chips in its new Galaxy S4, which will be unveiled in New York on March 14

In addition, the brokerage firm says the US versions of the S4 will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600, while the rest of the world uses Samsung's own octa-core Exynos 5.

If this is the case, we have to wonder if global units will have full LTE support. It stands to reason that Qualcomm's new gear will support LTE as well as their current offerings do, so maybe Samsung wants to provide the best experience possible while they work on LTE support in-house.

Right now, everything is just a rumor. We'll know more on March 14.

Source: Taipei Times

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE now available from U.S. Cellular

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 isn't a new device, but the LTE version continues to find new homes. This time out, the news comes from U.S Cellular who today is making the 16GB version of the device available for purchase for $499.99, when paired with a data plan of 2GB or more. Not a small amount of money by any means, but if you want a 10-inch tablet with pen input, the Note 10.1 is still the way to go. The tablet is available to purchase both online and in retail stores.

Previously U.S. Cellular has offered the WiFi only Note 10.1 for sale, but adding the LTE version now brings the carriers LTE device portfolio up to 11. 

Picking one of these up? Be sure to jump into the comments below or into the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 forums

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3 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Who brought the best devices to show us at MWC 2013?

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While some notable big names in Android were mostly missing, Mobile World Congress 2013 still had a lot of Android to show off -- not counting what was in Phil's shoulder bag. We saw this years upcoming gear from Huawei, ZTE, ASUS, and more. Some of it looks absolutely fabulous, some not so much. But that's just our opinion, and we want to hear yours.

We've set up a poll so you can sound off and tell us what you liked best. Will it be the Fonepad from ASUS? How about the ZTE Grand Memo? Hit the break, or look for the poll in the sidebar to the right and let us know, then discuss it all in the comments.

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3 years ago

LG Optimus LTE III spotted in the wild in South Korea

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At first glance you'd be forgiven for mistaking what we see here for an LG Optimus L7, but it is in fact reportedly the latest in the Optimus LTE line -- the imaginatively titled Optimus LTE III. Spied in South Korea, the LTE III is supposedly launching sometime later this year on the country's SK Telecom network. 

Like the L-Series devices, the LTE III is reported to carry some decent mid-range specs, such as a 1280x720 display, and dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960 processor. Software is said to be Android 4.1.2, which is hardly a surprise given what we've seen in Barcelona this week. It also supposedly packs a decent sized 2540 mAh battery to keep things ticking along.

Will LG release this outside of its native South Korea? Possibly not, but it's a nice looking device all the same -- though the physical home button still draws its critics. It also seems to have a sweet looking flip case available for it too, similar in style to that which we saw for the Optimus G Pro at Mobile World Congress. 

via Unwired View

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3 years ago

Sony releases experimental Firefox OS ROM for Xperia E

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Firefox OS has been on the horizon for a while now, and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona saw the first device partnerships announced for the fledgling mobile operating system. Though not showing any hardware in Barcelona, a press release was issued detailing Sony's plans to release a Firefox OS powered smartphone in 2014 in partnership with Telefonica. 

What we have here isn't quite a Sony Firefox phone, not by any stretch of the imagination. But, what it is, is a working experimental build of Firefox OS for the Xperia E. In line with their plans to develop devices carrying the software, Sony hopes that interested developers and early adopters will take a look and garner valuable feedback. 

The key thing to remember is that Sony has released this as an experimental developer ROM. It isn't meant to be a daily driver, although from the promo video we see here it looks reasonably functional, with even the camera app working properly. 

We know some of you kids like playing around with new stuff -- our own editor-in-chief Phil Nickinson played with an early, early build of Firefox OS -- so if you happen to have access to an Xperia E and try this out, be sure to share your experiences with us. 

Source: Sony Developer World

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