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4 years ago

Hands-on with the NTT Docomo 'Translator Phone' service

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Face-to-face voice and text translation across multiple languages 

We're at CTIA 2013 in Las Vegas and while a lot of business and back-end technologies are being talked about here, companies like the Japanese carrier NTT Docomo are showing off at least a couple of consumer-facing products. Its recently announced "Translator Phone" service was on display today and we had a moment to see how it all worked. The app and service, which will be pre-loaded on nearly every one of its devices going forward, gives near real-time voice and text translation between English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and several other languages.

The UI is extremely simple, and all you have to do is select which two languages you'd like to have a translated conversation between. The app then has two buttons -- for example English and Japanese -- that you tap, speak to and receive a translation. Voice is nearly instantly transcribed into text, translated into the text of the other language, then also read aloud in that language. You can then hold the phone to the native speaker of the other language, where they can read the text and give their response for you to read. The translations come through in a threaded conversation view, and any of the translations can be read aloud or re-transcribed at any time.

NTT Docomo is also working with this same technology to provide nearly real-time translation over phone calls, but it is only working in a limited capacity with English, Japanese and Chinese with about a 2 second delay when translating. The hope is to eventually provide seamless translation between languages while on phone calls one day. Be sure to watch the video above of the service in action.

More: Android @ CTIA 2013

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4 years ago

Catch Phil tonight on TWiT's All About Android!

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It's my pleasure to announce that I'll be joining Jason Howell, Ron Richards and Gina Trapani tonight on TWiT's "All About Android" show to talk about the new Xbox One. Wait. That's not right. We'll be talking Android. All about Android. But maybe a little bit about the Xbox One. And a lot about last week's Google I/O, and maybe a bit about CTIA this week.

The show should kick off somewhere around 5 p.m. PDT -- that's 8 p.m. on the East Coast -- but things are a little bit in flux due to today's live Xbox One coverage. So check in to live.twit.tv and show 'em what the Android Central fan base can do, won'tcha?

See y'all this evening!

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4 years ago

Galaxy S4 'Google Edition' to be U.S.-only at launch

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Google edition S4

The Nexus experience device won't be available outside the US at launch, sources tell CNET

It appears that folks around the world are going to have to wait to not order their very own Google Edition Samsung Galaxy S4, as CNET says Google has confirmed the launch to be US-only. The device, which was unveiled during the Google I/O 2013 keynote presentation, is the same Galaxy S4 you all know and love, but without Samsung's Touchwiz software -- or it's features. Instead the device has the same "Nexus user experience" that Google's own Nexus 4 delivers. The version shown at the I/O keynote will be penta-band HSPA+ and LTE, and will be completely compatible with both AT&T and T-Mobile in the US.

It was a bold, if strange, move by the two companies, and nobody is quite sure why either side wanted it to happen. Around these parts, we still think you're better served buying the "non-Google" version and doing a little software hackery if you just have to have Google Android instead of Samsung Android, allowing for an easy path back should you want or need all the features the hardware can deliver.

There was no word on when to expect the device to be sold in other countries, but we imagine Samsung and Google both want to make it available and will work out the logistics and details as fast as they can.

Source: CNET UK

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4 years ago

Xbox One - Where have we heard that name before?

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Interesting name. And so far this is making Google TV look like a bad dream.

We're keeping up with the Xbox news over at WPCentral.

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4 years ago

Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile to offer Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE

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Available from June, no pricing details available yet

Following T-Mobile's announcement yesterday, Sprint-based MVNOs Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile have confirmed that they'll offer a 4G LTE-capable Galaxy S3 from next month. The device will run on Sprint's 4G LTE network, which will be available to Virgin and Boost customers in some 88 markets.

Pricing for the phone itself remains up in the air, but you'll get the usual range of price plan options from Boost and Virgin. On the Boost Mobile side, you've got the Android Monthly plan with shrinking payments, starting at $55 per month, going down to $40 in $5 increments. That gets you unlimited calls, texts and web use. With Virgin Mobile, you've got monthly no-contract plans starting at $35 per month, which give you unlimited messaging and data.

Besides the changes in availability and price, this device is essentially the same Sprint Galaxy S3 we've gotten to know over the past year -- 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 720p SuperAMOLED display and 8-megapixel rear camera. On the software side, you've got TouchWiz'd Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box.

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4 years ago

Live from the CTIA 2013 Day 1 keynote!

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The liveblog kicks off at 9am PT right here

We're ready to go on the official first day of CTIA 2013, and the events kick off with the first of three keynote sessions. It is set to run from 9am to 11am PT, with several industry leaders expected to speak.

More: Android @ CTIA 2013

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Kyocera Hydro EDGE and Hydro XTRM

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Two ruggedized mid-range devices destined for Sprint, Boost and U.S. Cellular

Making their appearance as successors to the original Kyocera Hydro, the Hydro EDGE and Hydro XTRM have been unveiled here at CTIA 2013 in Las Vegas. Doing what Kyocera does best, the latest two iterations in the Hydro family are mid-range devices that pack a solid feature set with the added bonus of water, shock and dustproofing. First up is the EDGE, which is only officially rated as being waterproof but still sports what feels like a solid case, destined for both Sprint and Boost Mobile. The XTRM (as the name would suggest) is officially certified as resistant to not only water, but also shocks, drops and dust and will arrive instead on U.S. Cellular.

Both devices are decidedly mid-range, with 4-inch WVGA displays, 5MP cameras and dual-core Snapdragon processors. Stick around after the break where we have a bit more information, as well as some hands-on pictures and video to get a better feel for both of these new devices.

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4 years ago

LG Optimus G Pro confirmed for May 30 launch in Asia

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Just a quick heads up that LG has confirmed that its May 30 event in Macau, China, indeed is for the Optimus G Pro, as we originally suspected, and not a successor to the smaller Optimus G. That makes more sense from a release-cycle standpoint, as the Optimus G is all of eight months old at this point.

In the United States, the Optimus G Pro is currently (and exclusively) available on AT&T.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 coming to the UK in July

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6.3-inch Galaxy Mega to go on sale at UK retailer in July for £459.99

If the likes of the recent 5-inch devices, or the Galaxy Note 2 just aren't quite big enough for you, then you may be interested in the Samsung Galaxy Mega. A colossal 6.3-inch smartphone, the Mega was announced back in April for launch in Europe and Russia sometime in May. We're now seeing the first signs of UK availability for this monstrous device, and it can be yours in July, though the exact date is still unknown.

Retailer Clove Technology has started taking pre-orders for the Mega, and for £459.99 you get the 16GB version in either black or white. Other notable specs on the device include Android 4.2.2 and Samsung's latest version of Touchwiz, a 1.7GHz dual-core CPU, a HD display, LTE, an 8MP rear camera, 1.5GB of RAM and a pretty sizeable 3200 mAh battery. You may also need large hands to use one. 

Get all your pre-order information at the link below, and if you're thinking of picking one of these up, do please tell us in the comments below. 

Source: Clove

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4 years ago

NVIDIA demos Cat 4 LTE on Tegra 4i at CTIA

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i500 LTE modem gains support for 150Mbps LTE with software update

At CTIA in Las Vegas, chipmaker NVIDIA has taken the opportunity to showcase the LTE capabilities of its upcoming Tegra 4i SoC, its mobile processor designed for mainstream smartphones. Announced back in February, Tegra 4i includes an integrated NVIDIA i500 LTE modem -- the new "soft modem" that can be reprogrammed over-the-air.

The CTIA demo we sat through saw Tegra 4i bumped from Cat 3 LTE (100Mbps) up to Cat 4 (150Mbps) with only a software update. In testing, the NVIDIA Phoenix reference phone was used in conjunction with an LTE testing unit designed to emulate a Cat 4 network. So we're not dealing with real-world radio conditions here, but it does show the potential of NVIDIA's new software-defined radios, as new hardware would usually be required for a jump between radio standards.

For what it's worth, we also watched Phoenix dutifully connected to AT&T's LTE network, which it was able to use to stream video and make voice calls, though the latter bumps down to 3G because no U.S. carrier has turned on Voice Over LTE yet.

There's still no sign of any consumer devices running Tegra 4i -- these aren't expected until early 2014. And real-world Cat 4 LTE networks are essentially non-existent at this point. Nevertheless, NVIDIA is ready, as is its programmable LTE modem.

Source: NVIDIA

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4 years ago

Budget-friendly LG Optimus F3 pictured for Sprint

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Optimus G Pro also rumored for the Now Network

LG is keen to make inroads into the budget LTE space with its Optimus F series devices, first announced at Mobile World Congress back in February. But one device that wasn't shown in Barcelona was the Optimus F3, a budget-focused 4G handset with a 4-inch WVGA display. Now it seems the F3 may be headed to Sprint, as prolific leaker @evleaks has unearthed a render of the device with Sprint branding.

At the other end of LG's product portfolio, @evleaks also mentions that the 5.5-inch Optimus G Pro, currently exclusive to AT&T, will be headed to Sprint "this quarter." A model number of LS980 is given, tying in with a device we've already seen pass by the Bluetooth SIG.

As for the Optimus F3, that's expected "in the next few weeks."

Source: PhoneArena

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4 years ago

Opera browser leaves beta, stable version now on Google Play

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New WebKit-powered Opera 14 stable now available for Android

The Opera browser for Android has exited beta and arrived on the Google Play Store as a fully-fledged stable app. The mobile version of the long-running browser is based upon the WebKit rendering engine -- the same software used by the stock Android browser and (for the moment) Google Chrome.

But it's user-facing features rather than technical details that Opera's counting on to help it compete on Android. Speed Dial has long been part of the desktop Opera browser, allowing quick access to frequently visited bookmarks. The "Discover" tab provides a summary of news items. The "Off Road" mode uses data compression to make the most out of slow or expensive connections. And text reflow is included in the initial release, too.

Opera for Android is available now on Google Play at the Play Store link above. If you decide to take it for a spin, be sure to hit the comments and let us know what you think.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active briefly caught on video

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Rugged Galaxy S4 variant crops up once again in Croatia

Following yesterday's first photo appearance, today brings us a very quick video encounter with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. The ruggedized S4 variant, which sports physical buttons and a 1080p HD display, was captured in Croatia by an informant for MobileTechReview. The video mentions that it's powered by a Snapdragon S4 Plus CPU, however this is contradicted by earlier screenshots, which reveal a quad-core part at up to 1.9GHz with an Adreno 320 GPU. The S4 Plus line consists of dual-core Krait parts at up to 1.7GHz, so our money is still on a Snapdragon 600 being inside this thing. An 8 megapixel rear camera is also mentioned in the video, though this has yet to be confirmed.

The video is relatively short, but we can clearly see the latest version of Samsung's TouchWiz UI, and the "Active" seems just as snappy as its mainstream sibling. The footage appears to have been captured in the same demo station setting as yesterday's still images, and the weather widget shows Zagreb, Croatia as its location.

There's little doubt now that the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is indeed a real device. We imagine it'll only be a matter of time before it's officially announced by the Korean manufacturer. 

Source: YouTube; via: PhoneArena

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4 years ago

Hands-on with Otterbox Defender and Commuter cases for the HTC One

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Two cases with distinct styling and different levels of protection

We're here at CTIA 2013 in Las Vegas, and although the show hasn't officially kicked off yet we had the opportunity to play with two of Otterbox's latest cases for the HTC One. At the middle and high tier of protection from Otterbox, the "Commuter" and "Defender" cases for the One are stylish but extremely functional options. The Commuter is the thinner of the two, with a two piece design that's primarily a rubber wrap-around case with a hard plastic shell that clips onto it. It doesn't add a considerable amount of bulk to the device but does add a serious amount of protection. If the Commuter isn't enough, the Defender will likely cover your device from anything you throw at it. A larger affair, the Defender has an integrated screen protector in the case, as well as extra shock protection. The end result is a case that is a touch thicker than the Commuter but considerably more rugged.

Both cases keep every function and button of the phone unobstructed -- as you would hope -- including the power button IR blaster and all microphone ports. Stick around after the break for a gallery of the two cases wrapped around an HTC One, with the thinner Commuter first then followed by the thicker and more durable Defender.

More: Android Central @ CTIA 2013

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Otterbox Defender and Commuter cases for the Samsung Galaxy S4

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Otterbox is here in Vegas at CTIA 2013 with its Defender and Commuter series cases for the Samsung Galaxy S4

CTIA is always a hotbed for the latest and greatest accessories and this year's show is no different -- Otterbox was onsite tonight at the Showstoppers kickoff event in Las Vegas' Venetian Hotel with both its Defender and Commuter cases for the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Otterboxes probably aren't the most attractive cases you can buy for your shiny new S4, and they certainly aren't the sleekest, but they provide the ultra-protection you've come to expect from the company. Both the Commuter and Defender series come in a slew of color options and they're both available now for $34.95 and $49.95 respectively. A quick video, and some more shots can be found in the gallery after the break.

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