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3 years ago

Ingress invites passed out to players level 2 and higher

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Recruiting your friends and family just got easier, as Ingress has sent out new invites to level 2 and higher players

If you're an Ingress player, and have been wanting to spread a little love and get some of your friends and family involved, there's a good chance you just got a couple invites to hand out. The official Ingress profile on Google+ has announced that players level two and higher will receive invite codes they can pass out to folks in need. 

With rumors of "dark matter" portals and a new Red faction to compete with the Enlightened and the Resistance being talked about, it looks like the summer is going to be quite a fun time for Ingress players. Be sure to help out your friends who need an invite with the codes you got today. If you're looking for an invite, or have a few to spread around, be sure to hit the Ingress forums!

Source: +Ingress

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3 years ago

IDC: Android now leads the tablet market with a 56.5% share

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There were more Android-based tablets shipped in Q1 2013 than all others combined, and here's why that matters

The Q1 2013 numbers from IDC, a technology and telecommunications research firm who keeps track of this sort of thing, show that Android tablets now lead the market with a 56.5-percent share. The 27,800,000 units shipped in the quarter is a 247-percent improvement from this time last year, when just 8,000,000 units were shipped. It's important to note that this increase doesn't come at the expense of Apple, who shipped 65.3-percent more tablets in Q1 2013 than they did in Q1 2012 -- it shows the market is growing, and the lions share of new purchases are Android.

These sorts of numbers make CEOs and people who count pennies pretty happy, and will be the fuel for fanboy wars across the Internet, but why are they important? I'll tell you why -- because the available selection of applications designed for Android tablets sucks.

Google keeps telling developers exactly how to build their app to take advantage of the real estate on a tablet, but because there weren't that many out there, nobody listened. Sure, there are some really great applications done "right" and look fabulous on our tablets, but most of them are just the phone version blown up to fill the seven or ten inch screen on your tablet with unused white space. Have a look at iPad apps, and you'll know exactly what I mean.

Hopefully, with more Android tablets being sold than any others, developers will take notice and change this. You simply can't afford to ignore over half the market, and we saw what happened when Android took the phone market away from everyone else. I'm looking for big things now that we can no longer be ignored.

Source: IDC

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3 years ago

Twitter relents, adds an actual menu button to its Android app

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When Twitter overhauled its Android app last month, we lauded its update to the Holo design while facepalming at the settings being buried behind one of the tabs (to say nothing of the broken menu system on HTC phones). Twitter's done a solid with an update today, however, tucking the accounts and settings menus into that overflow button. 

Also new in this update are location-based trending topics, along with "a smoother experience thanks to bug fixes and other improvements." We, however, would say following basic Android design guidelines already took care of that.

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3 years ago

Sprint will shut down its iDEN network on June 29

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Voice, data and 911 service will cease the morning of June 30th

Sprint reminds us today that its iDEN network shutdown is right on schedule, expected to hit the date the carrier set out over 11 months ago. Starting "first thing" on June 30th, the carrier will turn off switch locations in rapid succession, quickly followed by powering down equipment and removing backhaul from the cell cites. The carrier has been urging customers since the announcement of the network's shutdown to move away from their legacy devices and onto one using EVDO and LTE going forward. Sprint says it has sent letters, legal notices, emails and text messages to customers consistently in order to remind them of the June 29th deadline.

Customers who eventually do make the move to Sprint's "Direct Connect" service to replace iDEN devices will experience better coverage, international Push-to-Talk service and much faster 3G data speeds. All they have to do now is make the switch.

Source: Sprint

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3 years ago

T-Mobile/MetroPCS deal finally complete, public trading begins

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Trading of the combined company can be tracked by the "TMUS" ticker on the NYSE

After a standard delay when looking to combine companies of this size, the T-Mobile/MetroPCS reverse takeover has finally gone through. While there may not be any instant noticeable changes on the consumer side, there's a whole lot of business restructuring going on. The combined company will now be known as "T-Mobile US, Inc.", and will in effect be taking T-Mobile "public" (previously a private company owned by Deutsch Telekom) under the stock ticker "TMUS". The "new" company has the same CEO, John Legere, with former Vice Chairman and CFO of MetroPC J. Braxton Carter taking over the new CFO position. The board of directors will now include two members previously of MetroPCS as well.

So what can we expect as consumers now that the deal has gone through? As a T-Mobile customer, not a whole lot. The "UNcarrier" is in a serious transition phase with its new plans, device financing and LTE rollout right now, and this deal completing doesn't change those plans. As a current MetroPCS customer, you can expect things to shake up a bit as the CDMA network is quickly phased out in favor of T-Mobile's GSM one and T-Mobile's vision for the MetroPCS brand is put into effect. As we previously noted, MetroPCS will continue on offering service as a separate brand for the time being. 

The end result will hopefully be a stronger T-Mobile with more customers (43 million now) and money to work with to expand its new LTE network. MetroPCS brings a positive cash flow and solid spectrum holdings that compliment T-Mobile's existing spectrum nicely. T-Mobile stated today it plans to have a 20x20MHz LTE network available in 90-percent of the top 25 metro areas in 2014, and cover 200 million PoPs with LTE by the end of 2013.

Source: T-Mobile (BusinessWire)

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3 years ago

How to turn off those annoying Galaxy S4 sounds

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If you're new to the Samsung Galaxy S4, you might well think you're under attack by bloops and bleeps and drops -- the cacophony of "nature' sounds Samsung's got baked into everything these days. They're there by design, of course. That whole "designed by nature" thing started last year with the Galaxy S3, and it continues in the latest iteration. They're not necessarily that harsh, they can just get a little old after the first five minutes.

Those of us who have been using Samsung devices for a while are more used to this, of course, and are pretty adept at turning them off. This post isn't for you. Move on. But things have changed a little bit in Samsung's latest, so here's your primer for getting rid of those annoying system sounds.

More: Check out our Galaxy S4 forums!

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3 years ago

Sam's Club adds U.S. Cellular to its wireless offering

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US Cellular has announced this morning that it will now have a presence in select Sam's Club stores across the country and offer postpaid plans and devices.

You will be able to find US Cellular in certain Sam's Club stores now in the following states:

  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Maine
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Then beginning May 7th, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas will join.  If you're a big Sam's Club member, you can now purchase postpaid plans from US Cellular. Full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

New day, time for the Android Central Podcast!

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A quick heads up for those of you who like to catch the Android Central Podcast live -- and for those who haven't been able to because it cuts into your hot-yoga class. We're going to try a new day and time starting this week. It's not going to do anything about our crazy travel schedule, which tends to be the biggest disruptor in our recording schedule, but we're hoping the change will make for a better show.

So, here's the deal: We're going to shoot for 4 p.m. Eastern on Fridays. That's 1 p.m. on the west coast, and 9 p.m. in London. We'll be a little more awake, a little less harried, and hopefully you will be, too.

Look for the usual event invite to go out on Google+ soon enough, and get ready for more of the Greatest Android Podcast in the World.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile and MLB continue partnership, offer MLB At Bat for free

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Back in January, T-Mobile announced a partnership with Major League Baseball that would enable the carrier to control on-field communications. It has now furthered that deal by allowing T-Mobile customers to download MLB At Bat for free and enjoy it for the full 2013 season.

We covered some of our favorite baseball apps at the beginning of the season and MLB At Bat remains near the top. They continue to do a stellar job with the app and we like how they changed their payment options this year. In case you have forgotten, it is free to download the app. You can then pay a one-time fee of $19.99 for premium features such as MLB Game of the Day live-video, audio broadcasts and more.

This offer is for the premium version of MLB At Bat, so a $19.99 savings. It is not for a MLB TV subscription, which is the level that gives you access to live video from all out-of-market games.

To take advantage of this offer, you must be a T-Mobile customer and you must download the app between today, May 1st, and June 30th.  If you have previously purchased the app, you cannot take advantage of this offer. If you're a T-Mobile customer and a baseball fan, check out the Google Play link. Full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

AT&T makes its Optimus G Pro official, $199 on contract starting May 10

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Optimus G Pro preorders start May 3

AT&T this morning officially announced the LG Optimus G Pro. It'll be available starting May 10 for $199 on contract. Preorders kick off May 3 online. (Looks like what we heard a few weeks back about a May 10 AT&T launch was right on the money.)

We're no stranger to the Optimus G Pro, having enjoyed the Korean version for a couple months now after its unveiling at Mobile World Congress. It's surprisingly svelte for a 5.5-inch device, and the 1080p IPS display is downright gorgeous. It's plenty snappy, too, with a Snapdragon 600 processor cranking along at 1.7 GHz. The 13MP rear camera proved to be decent enough as well. 

AT&T's version is sporting 32GB of total storage (actual available storage will be less, of course), and you can slap up to a 64GB microSD card in there for good measure.

AT&T's Optimus G Pro also will have that "Value Pack" update that brings features such as dual-video recording and that eye-tracking stuff the kids are crazy about these days. 

More: AT&T

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3 years ago

Sony 'Honami' rumored with Cyber-shot camera

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Camera-centric smartphone with 20-megapixel 1/1.6-inch sensor could be coming later this year

Smartphone imaging tech is constantly evolving, with manufacturers cramming ever more advanced shooters into handsets. Now it seems Sony may be taking things a step further with a new flagship phone for late 2013, codenamed "Honami." 

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 launches on Phones4U in the UK

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New Samsung phone available in-store and online through major retailer

British retailer Phones4U sends word that it's officially launched the Samsung Galaxy S4, with the handset being available online, in-store and in store-in-store locations at PC World and Currys. P4U offers the Galaxy S4 on a range of tariffs through EE, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Orange, with prices starting at £36 per month for a free GS4. That'll get you unlimited data and calls, and 2000 minutes.

The cheapest monthly price plan we could find was on Orange, with £26 per month (and £299 up-front) getting you unlimited texts and calls, and 250MB. 4G LTE plans are also available on EE through Phones4U, with prices starting at £199 up-front and £31 per month for 500MB, all the way up to an eye-watering £81 per month for 20GB with roaming included.

The full list of pricing options can be found over at the source link.

Source: Phones4U

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 review

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3 years ago

Mid-range HTC 'M4' reportedly looks like a miniature HTC One

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'Mini' HTC One could pack 4.3-inch, 720p display, dual-core CPU

HTC was won heaps of praise for the design of its new flagship smartphone, the HTC One. So it's natural that it might want to echo that same iconic look in its new mid-range product, and if the latest leaks are to be believed, that's exactly what's on the cards.

Prolific leaker @Evleaks, this time moonlighting for PhoneArena, brings us the first possible image of the HTC "M4," a device he says packs a dual-core CPU and a 4.3-inch, 720p display, 2GB of RAM and an 'UltraPixel' rear camera, powered by a 1700mAh battery. Naturally, it's a dead ringer for its big brother the HTC One, which carried the codename "M7" -- with key elements like the "BoomSound" speakers, unique two-button setup and chassis design making the transition over to the smaller handset. There's also some suggestion that the M4 might not use the same aluminum construction as the HTC One, on account of the duller look of the front and back panels in the render.

We should "expect [the M4] to ship with some manner of One branding," when it eventually appears, according to @Evleaks. (Our money would be on "HTC One Mini" or something similar.) The launch, he says, is scheduled for sometime in Q2, with LTE on-board, as well as Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

Source: PhoneArena

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3 years ago

HTC dropping HTC Watch support for 6 countries in Europe come May 31

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Users in Spain, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands will no longer be able to use the service after May 31

HTC Watch, the Taiwanese companies streaming movie service introduced last year with the HTC Sensation, is getting a bit of restructuring. According to an official response from HTC, the service will be discontinued in Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands after May 31.

As we continue to deliver new content for HTC Watch, we've made the decision to focus our efforts on markets with the highest engagement. After May 31, we'll discontinue support for HTC Watch in countries with less application traffic.

While users is Spain can fall back on Google Play Movies for their movie streaming and purchasing, Google's service isn't available in the other five affected countries so users will have to use a service offered by their local operator or one of the other web based services available. If you're in one of the affected countries and have a favorite alternative, sing out in the comments.

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3 years ago

Google I/O 2013 session schedule now available

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Find out when your favorite Google products will be talked about at this year's conference

It's hard to believe Google I/O 2013 is just a couple weeks away, but we were all reminded of that when Google posted its session schedule for the conference just a few moments ago. Spanning over three days, I/O is a place where Google gets to talk about much more than Android, and developers of all kinds need a good way to manage their time best. The session schedule gives you a great overview of the times and locations of each session, along with detailed information on the topic and speakers for them. There are six main "tracks" you can follow, or you can see all of the sessions on one all-encompassing calendar.

For those of you (well, most of us) watching anxiously from home, knowing the session schedule can certainly help know when the news on your favorite products may be coming out as well. And you of course won't want to miss the main keynote (there's only one this year), which should be live streamed on Youtube. Head to the source link below and start planning your Google I/O experience.

Source: Google

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