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4 years ago

Party like it's Q1 2013 with this BB10 lockscreen mod

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If you've at all paid attention to the recent news from RIM, the latest version of its OS -- BlackBerry 10 -- is definitely coming (no really guys, we're serious this time). We don't know when that'll be for certain, and we're not so sure it's going to pull anyone away from the Android world. If you're curious to try out the lockscreen from BB10, however, here's your chance.

The always hacker-minded folks over at XDA have conjured up a mod to add the lockscreen to some specific devices on specific versions of Android, mainly 4.1 Jelly Bean at the moment, but hopefully expanded support is coming soon.

Source: CrackBerry; XDA

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4 years ago

PSA: Google services appear to be down [Update: we're back]

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Update: After 15 minutes of misery, it seems we're now able to access Google services once again.

Google is in the midsts of a bit of an outage, with Talk, Drive, Calendar, Google+, the Play Store, Gmail and others unavailable for many users, including via mobile. We're sure Google's working on getting things back up and running. In the meantime, vent your frustrations down in the comments.

More: Google Status

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4 years ago

Samsung launches Galaxy Note 2 Smart Dock, yours for $100

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If the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 doesn't already strike an imposing enough figure on your desk top, then you might want to take a look at this latest accessory release for the 5.5-inch behemoth. Unlike some previous accessory launches for Samsung devices -- remember the Galaxy Nexus debacle anyone? -- this is an actual product that is actually for sale right now.

We first saw the Smart Dock -- albeit locked away in a glass case -- back at IFA 2012, in Berlin, the same event which saw the launch of the Note 2 itself. It promises to give you a makeshift desktop and media set up with a variety of useful connecting ports all rolled into one handy device. 

Packing a set of USB ports, a HDMI out connection and even a speaker line out port, the Note 2 Smart Dock is pretty well connected. It also comes with a pretty hefty price tag of $99.99. If the price doesn't put you off and you're thinking of picking one up, be sure to sound off in the comments below and let us know your thoughts. 

Source: Samsung

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4 years ago

Who needs a Nexus 4 (and why)?

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It's Nexus season again. That means a new phone, a new version of Android, and a bunch of folks arguing the merits (or lack thereof) of the new device. Everyone always wants the latest and greatest to actually be the latest and greatest, but the fact is that the Nexus 4 isn't for everyone. And that's OK.

Android is not "one-size-fits-all." There will be a slew of phones released for the holiday season, and plenty more following in 2013. (To say nothing of all the excellent phones already released this year.) Different sizes, different shapes, and definitely a different set of features. There's a very good chance one of these upcoming or current phones will suit you far better than the Nexus 4 ever could. That's what we're going to look at here. Discuss a few of the pros and cons of the Nexus 4, and hopefully help in your informed decision.

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4 years ago

Sony puts a spin on the concept of racing games

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The NFC marketing bandwagon is coming out in full force, and Sony’s latest campaign will pit users against each other in a racing game with real toy cars, as part of its "Xperia Face Off" promotion.

The Japanese phone maker will outfit its latest Xperia T phones in little race cars and the idea is to race around an obstacle course filled with NFC devices. Players have two minutes to transfer their Facebook profile pictures to as many of the other devices around the track as they can.

It looks like the “Xperia Face Off” competition is only open to players in the UK, and will happen starting this weekend for the next three consecutive weekends.

Prices are pretty sweet. The top 100 scores get selected for a prize draw, and the champion gets an all-expenses paid trip to Vegas with a plus one. The grand prize winner also gets to attend CES (maybe you'll see us there!)

When:

  • (11am to 11pm)
  • Saturday 3rd – Sunday 4th November
  • Saturday 10th – Sunday 11th November
  • Saturday 17th – Sunday 18th November                

Where: Shop 13, The Truman Brewery, 15 Hanbury Street, London, E1 6QR

Entry is free.

Source: Xperia Face Off

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4 years ago

'It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown' free today in the Amazon Appstore

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Looking for a fun way to entertain the kids -- or big kids -- in your house this fine Halloween? Amazon has you covered, as their free app of the day today is "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown." When launched in the Google Play Store, this storybook app cost $5, so if you've got access to the Amazon Appstore, this is a great deal for this and future Halloween's.

Of course, if Charlie Brown is a little too young for you, or your kids, be sure to check out our run down of the best Android games for Halloween.  

And, while the kids are entertained, be sure to head on over to ShopAndroid.com to take advantage of the 15% off special Halloween deals, or enter our sweet Halloween costume contest

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4 years ago

Ouya confirms game console will launch with Jelly Bean

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The Android-powered Ouya game console is still on schedule according to the developers' latest update, and they've confirmed that it will launch with Jelly Bean. It wouldn't be surprising to see Android 4.2 folded in before the planned launch early next year, even though that version was just unveiled a few days ago. Apparently the Ouya folks have been busy talking with developers over the last few months, which is key considering porting high-resolution games to the big screen and optimizing controls for Ouya's hardware will be key to its initial success. 

To that end, they've outlined a few tips for developers in advance of the December launch of the Ouya SDK. For example, the gamepad will have a single-finger touchpad and a button for system-wide access to shutting down or quitting a game, but none of the familiar buttons like back or menu. Apps should be ready to run at 720p, 1080p, and 1080i resolutions. Notifications aren't employed, and all games are effectively free (though laden with ads and in-app purchases as the game creators see fit). Finally, Ouya reminds app-makers that the system is built for Tegra, and that anyone itching to get their game optimized should test with an Nvidia-powered Android tablet. 

As for the hardware, they've got the circuit boards printed, and are busy optimizing software and preparing dev kits for those that got in early. 

So, who backed Ouya? Any developers getting ready to make their games ready for the promising young system?

Source: Ouya

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4 years ago

AT&T and T-Mobile to share networks in hurricane aftermath

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AT&T and T-Mobile have struck up an agreement to share their networks in the New York and New Jersey area. They will enable roaming to mutual customers to share network capacity, so that those having trouble getting a cell signal may have a better chance.

The carriers said that customers can carry on using their devices as per normal, with voice and data traffic going over whichever network is most operational in their area. Since both carriers are GSM-based, sharing should be seamless for users.

Hurricane Sandy has caused a widespread power blackout in cities on the East Coast, and carriers have suffered infrastructure damage in its wake. In addition, it led to Google's last-minute cancelation of its anticipated Monday event.

Today's full press release can be found after the break.

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4 years ago

Verizon HTC Droid DNA name crops up again

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The story of Verizon and HTC’s Droid DNA has led us from a nameless blurry-cam, through rumors of an “HTC DLX” to clear photos of the actual device and news of what appears to be the final branding. The 5-inch, 1080p smartphone, known in Japan as the HTC J Butterfly, looks set to become a major launch for Big Red later in the year.

Today brings further confirmation of the Droid DNA moniker, as the “HTC Droid DNA” name has appeared on a Verizon support page listing devices with non-removable batteries. Alongside the name is the ADR6435 name previously associated with the “DLX” codename. If you've been following this device, you'll remember we first broke news of the Droid DNA name a few weeks back, when we spotted it on a leaked Verizon MAP document.

So barring some last-minute change, it’s probably a safe bet at this point that the DLX will come to market as the Droid DNA. Verizon folks -- anyone thinking of skipping the current crop of phones in favor of a shiny new DNA? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Verizon, via: Droid-Life

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4 years ago

US Cellular announces expanded, new and planned 4G LTE markets

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US Cellular this morning has announced an increased expansion of its 4G LTE network and aims to have 58% of customers covered by the fast service by the end of 2012.

There will be additional 4G LTE networks in Iowa, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Oklahoma.

In addition, new 4G LTE markets will be in Illinois,  Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

The markets will be able to access the higher speeds beginning on November 5th. There are also upcoming markets that US Cellular has planned an expansion for by the end of the year. Those are:

  • Rockford, Illinois
  • Medford, Oregon
  • Yakima, Washington
  • Knoxville, Tennessee

Always great to see LTE service expanding to new markets. Congrats if you live somewhere that will see faster speeds on November 5th. Full press release is after the break.

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4 years ago

32GB Nexus 7 now available in the UK at Currys + PC World, priced £199.99

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UK retailers PC World and Currys is now offering the 32GB Nexus 7 for sale. The stores, which are both part of the Dixons group, are selling the new Nexus 7 model for £199 inc. VAT, matching Google’s Play Store price. Home delivery is available, as is the option to reserve online and collect in person, assuming you’re near a PC World or Currys store. All the stores in our area seem to have stock, so if you’re anywhere near a major city, stock levels shouldn’t be a problem.

Announced on Monday, the 32GB Nexus 7 sells at the same price point occupied by the 16GB model since launch. The cheaper 8GB model has since been discontinued, and the £159 ($200) spot is now occupied by the 16GB’er.

So far there’s no sign of the 32GB 3G Nexus 7 in the UK, either at retail or in the Google Play Store. UK carrier Three will offer that version at subsidized prices, but currently offers no release date.

Anyone planning on picking up a 32GB Nexus 7? Shout out in the comments!

Source: PC World

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4 years ago

Waze updated with pick-up request and social features

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The Waze navigation app has recently been updated with a whole bunch of new social features, ranging from seeing the ETA of your friends, location sharing, pick-up requests, and lots more. Here's the full changelog for Waze 3.5.

  • See friends driving to your destination & everyone's ETA
  • Send a pick up request to grab anyone's location & navigate to them
  • Share your drive by sending a live map of your route & ETA to anyone
  • New design and UI throughout
  • Sign in with Facebook
  • Nearing destination bar
  • Toll road usage indication
  • Private messages
  • Parking location pin

As always, Waze continues to offer croudsourced mapping data, live traffic alerts, points of interest searching, finding the best gas prices, and the usual voice-based turn-by-turn navigation.

The new features are pretty sweet, especially being able to request a pick-up, even if you don't use Waze. Still, it seems like the majority of Waze's new features depend on other friends using the same app, which can be hard to count on for less regular meet-ups. 

Any active Waze users out there? How often do you think you'll use the friends ETA feature? Anything else new that's really leaping out? 

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4 years ago

ASUS: Nexus 7 sold 1 million units last month

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We've heard hints in the past that ASUS and Google's Nexus 7 tablet has been met with considerable commercial success. Today brings the strongest indication yet of the Nexus tablet's retail performance, as ASUS execs gave the Wall Street Journal a figure of 1 million units in the past month in a recent earnings call, according to the a report on the paper's website.

Speaking to the WSJ, ASUS Chief Financial Officer David Chang said, "At the beginning, it was, for instance, 500K units a month, then maybe 600, 700K. This latest month, it was close to 1 million."

That figure puts the Nexus 7 a considerable distance behind Apple's iPad, but still makes it one of the most successful Android tablets ever. With the launch of 32GB and 3G/HSPA variants of the Nexus 7, in addition to the Samsung-made Nexus 10, Google will be hoping this success continues into the new year. However, both Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 will face considerable competition from the latest Apple, Amazon and Nook offerings, particularly in the U.S.

Source: WSJ

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Premier is official - 4.65-inch screen, Jelly Bean and TouchWiz

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After numerous rumors and leaks, the Samsung Galaxy Premier has finally been officially announced by Samsung Ukraine. Aimed at Eastern European markets, the Galaxy Premier combines mid-to-high-end smartphone internals with the latest software from Google and Samsung.

The Galaxy Premier packs a 4.65-inch, 1280x720 HD SuperAMOLED display, and is powered by a 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4 CPU, backed up by 1GB of RAM. You've also got 16GB of storage, expandable via a microSD slot, an 8MP rear camera and 1.9MP front-facer. On the software side, you're looking at Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean and Samsung's latest TouchWiz UI.

At one point the Galaxy Premier was rumored as a possible Samsung Nexus device, owing to its product number (GT-i9260) being similar to that of the Galaxy Nexus. Instead, it merely looks like Samsung's re-using some Galaxy Nexus components in its latest mid-range handset.

The Samsung Galaxy Premier is due for a November launch, priced at ₴5,555 ($679). So far there's no information available as to any launch outside of Eastern Europe.

Source: Samsung Ukraine, via: Engadget

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4 years ago

LG Nexus 4 back up for pre-order at Carphone Warehouse

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After unceremoniously leaking its LG Nexus 4 product page last week, UK retailer Carphone Warehouse is once again showing the handset as available for pre-order. This time the expected delivery date is Nov. 13, same as the international Google Play launch date for the device.

As before, there's no SIM-free price listed -- on Google Play prices start at £239 -- and on-contract rates on Vodafone and O2 start at £31 per month with a free Nexus 4.

With O2 being the only UK network to directly confirm that it'll be offering the Nexus 4 directly, this could give those looking for a subsidized Nexus 4 on Vodafone the chance to pick one up for free. But with the Google Play SIM-free price being so low, any network-subsidized prices starting around the £30 mark are going to be a tough sell.

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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