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4 years ago

Sprint StarStar Me offers vanity phone numbers and controlled call forwarding

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Sprint has kicked off a new add-on service today called StarStar Me. For $2.99/month, subscribers can register a new number that's accessed by people dialing ** and a name of your choosing. Calls sent to that number (which could be, for example, "**COOLDUDE") are then forwarded to your regular line, but thanks to an Android app, you get a lot of extra control, including automated SMS replies, selective blocking, or sending virtual business cards with full contact information. The only real downside here is that StarStar Me will only work with other phones within the United States, but for most folks on Sprint that should be fine.

If you're interested, you can sign up for StarStar Me at Sprint's landing page. It certainly sounds pretty handy for anyone that does a lot of networking and doesn't want to cut down on the hassle of making sure people get your right phone number. Any Sprint customers thinking of getting this? How often have you been inconvenienced because you couldn't remember a friend's number?

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 now available in titanium grey from Clove UK

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Clove UK has recently confirmed that they have the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 available in titanium grey, which may be a nice change of pace from the white version which seems to be the only thing available on Vodafone. Three's version is available in the grey as well, and EE is also supposed to be launching theirs soon, but if you just can't wait, Clove has their on sale here for £440

If you haven't heard, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is an excellent piece of kit. Here's a quick run-down of the specs.

  • Network: 3G: HSPA+ 21Mbps (HSDPA 21Mbps / HSUPA 5.76Mbps); 4G LTE: 100Mbps/ 50Mbps
  • Processor: 1.6 GHz quad-core processor
  • Display: 5.5” HD Super AMOLED (1,280 x 720)
  • OS: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • Camera: Main(Rear): 8 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash, BSI; Sub(Front): 1.9 Megapixel VT Camera, BSI; Best Photo, Best Faces, Low light shot
  • Sharing Features: Samsung AllShare Play & Control; Samsung AllShare Cast(WiFi Display) – Mirroring & Extension; Samsung AllShare Framework; S Beam
  • GPS: A-GPS; Glonass
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth® v 4.0 (Apt-X Codec support) LE; USB 2.0 Host; WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz), Wi-Fi HT40; Wi-Fi Direct; mHL; NFC
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, RGB Light, Digital Compass, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer
  • Memory: 16/32/64GB User memory + 2GB (RAM); microSD (up to 64GB)
  • Dimensions: 80.5 x 151.1 x 9.4 mm, 180 g
  • Battery: Standard battery, Li-ion 3,100mAh

For the full nine yards, you'll want to meet our Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review. Any Brits thinking of picking one up? Which carrier would you go with and why?

Via: Clove

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4 years ago

Verizon announces Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

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Following a few scattered releases in Europe, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 is landing in the U.S. by way of Verizon. All of the stuff you'd expect is there, including a new tab for handling home screen widgets, a data usage monitor, revamped settings menu structure, and a few other odds and ends. The full feature list can be found in this PDF

If you've been thinking of picking one up, you can check out some of our hands-on time with the device back at CES when it was still running Honeycomb. Here are the specs. 

  • 7.7-inch 1280 x 800 Super AMOLED Plus display
  • 1.4 GHz dual-core processor
  • Full 1080p HD playback
  • 5,100 mAh battery
  • Supports microSD up to 32GB
  • Supports LTE and HSPA+
  • Samsung Game Hub
  • Voice call support

There's still no word on specific dates, but don't be surprised if ICS becomes available sooner than later. Any Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 users in the house?  Anyone tempted to pick one up for $400 now that the software is reasonably current, or is it not worth a second glance without Jelly Bean? 

Via: TalkAndroid

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4 years ago

Angry Birds Star Wars hits Android on November 8

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Last week Rovio teased the announcement of a Star Wars-branded Angry Birds game and today they have officially taken off the wraps of the project. Angry Birds Star Wars is due to hit Google Play and the Amazon Appstore on November 8, featuring stages based on classic settings like Tatooine and the Death Star. As you can see, there will be plenty of familiar characters there as well. As hinted by the original invitation to check out Toys 'R Us, there will be a big merchandising push, but it won't kick off until October 28.

It's still early, so it's hard to say if the game will be significantly better or different from previous Angry Birds titles, but the Rovio CEO boasts that this will be "the best Angry Birds game we've ever done". Angry Birds Space added a nice spin on the classic gameplay, though it was still very much in line with what we've come to expect. 

Needless to say, lots of people love Star Wars, and there's something to be said for piggie-shaped TIE fighters. Is the Angry Birds brand still fresh and lively to you, or does this kind of co-branding qualify as jumping the shark? It certainly feels like between the merchandising and the endless tide of off-shoot games, the brand is been worn out, but maybe that's just me.   

Source: Rovio

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4 years ago

32GB Nexus 7 looks increasingly likely as new details leak

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Reports of a 32GB Nexus 7 have been circulating for the past week or so, and fresh details emerging today suggest there could be more to the device mere rumor. First up are reports from a Japanese Nexus 7 buyer on Twitter, who claims to have been mistakenly shipped one of the 32GB units. The tablet purchased by Twitter user @oppese was reportedly boxed up and labeled as the 16GB model, but when powered on revealed a total of 27GB available for media storage, after the 5GB or so reserved for the OS.

And another leaked inventory screen is doing the rounds today, purportedly from UK retailer Dixons Stores Group (Currys/PC World). The shot shows the 32GB Nexus 7 priced at £199.99, same as the current price for the 16GB model. If this image is accurate, it stands to reason that the 32GB model might replace the 16GB version at the $250 price point in other territories, likely leading to a further price cut on the 8GB and 16GB Nexuses.

None of this is officially confirmed, but with Apple's 7.8-inch iPad due to make its debut in the next couple of weeks, we're sure Google and ASUS will be looking for ways to remain competitive in the 7-inch tablet space.

Source: @Rage06, The Digital Reader

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4 years ago

Red Samsung Galaxy S3 down to £399 at UK retailer today

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Want to stand out from the crowd with an unusually-colored "garnet red" Samsung Galaxy S3? If you're in the UK, you can get hold of the handset in this color at a significant discount, for today only, thanks to an offer from Expansys UK. The retailer is offering the garnet red Galaxy S3 SIM-free for £399, a significant markdown from the starting price of £550. A bright red smartphone might not be for everyone, but if you're in the market for the unique-looking phone, this is probably the cheapest you'll find it on this side of the pond.

Expansys says the deal will run, while stocks last, until 11pm UK time today.

Source: Expansys UK

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4 years ago

Huawei and ZTE a risk to national security, says U.S. Congressional report

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Chinese electronics firms Huawei and ZTE represent a potential threat to U.S. national security, according to a draft congressional report. The report from the U.S. House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee follows an 11-month investigation into the firms. A draft seen by Reuters suggests that the companies may be  subject to the influence of the Chinese government, thus representing a possible espionage threat.

Much of the panel's conclusions are drawn from Huawei and ZTE's failure to deliver documents relating to their interactions with the Chinese government. The panel said it also received evidence from "industry experts and current and former Huawei employees" suggesting corruption, bribery and copyright infringement at Huawei in particular.

The document states that Huawei and ZTE "cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems," and that "U.S. network providers and system developers are strongly encouraged to seek other vendors for their projects."

Speaking on CBS's "60 Minutes," committee chairman Mike Rogers said U.S. companies should "find another vendor if you care about your intellectual property; if you care about your consumers' privacy and you care about the national security of the United States of America."

In addition to Android smartphones, both ZTE and Huawei produce networking equipment such as routers. Though the U.S. represents a small quantity of their overall business, the companies are looking to rapidly expand within the U.S., particularly where smartphones are concerned. The Reuters report does not specifically mention whether networking equipment alone is suspected, or whether smartphones, too, could make up part of the alleged espionage threat.

In statements given to Reuters today, Huawei and ZTE deny the committee's allegations. Huawei dismissed the accusations as "baseless" and a "dangerous political distraction," while ZTE says it "profoundly disagrees" with the panel's conclusions.

The full report is due to be released later this morning.

Source: Reuters

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia TX launches in Hong Kong

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Sony has released the Asian variant of its international flagship, the Xperia TX, starting in Hong Kong. The Xperia TX, which we saw for the first time at IFA 2012 in Berlin, is almost identical to its more worldly sibling, the Xperia T. The main differences in the TX include the lack of a microSD card slot, a slightly thinner, lighter chassis and a smaller battery (1750mAh versus 1850). Besides that, it's the same 4.6-inch IPS HD Reality Display, same ICS-based Sony interface, and same Snapdragon S4 dual-core CPU (though previously it's been erroneously reported that the TX was running an S3).

Hong Kong buyers looking to pick up an Xperia TX will find it for sale for HK$4,698 (£375, €465, $606), according to XperiaBlog. As the Xperia T and TX are very similar handsets, Sony says it doesn't plan on releasing both in the same market.

Source: XperiaBlog

More: Hands-on with the Xperia TX

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4 years ago

Samsung releases Galaxy Note 2 open-source bits

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Samsung has released the Linux kernel source code, and other open-source bits, for the recently-launched international version of its Galaxy Note 2 handset (model number GT-N7100). These files won't be of any use to regular Note 2 owners, but they may help out custom ROM developers looking to develop Jelly Bean-based firmware for the device, meaning better and more stable ROMs for all of us. The files are available from the Samsung Open Source Release Center, linked below. Just plug the model number -- GT-N7100 -- into the search box, and you'll be good to go.

If you're still on the fence about the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, be sure to check out our full review.

Source: Samsung Open-Source Release Center; via: SamMobile

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4 years ago

HTC revenue slide continues as Q3 results reported

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HTC has reported its financial results for the third quarter of the year, showing a continuation of the slump in revenues that has characterized the company's 2012 performance. From July to September, HTC's net revenue was $2.397 billion (NT$70.2 billion), down from $3 billion (NT$91.04 billion) in the second quarter. Net income after tax is reported at $133 million (NT$3.9 billion), down from $247 million (NT$7.40 billion) in Q2. According to reports from Bloomberg, today's numbers represent a 48 percent fall in revenues over the past year. The NT$70.2 figure sees HTC narrowly land within the forecasted NT$70-80 billion window.

HTC has faced strong competition from the likes of Samsung and Apple over the past year, and despite putting out critically-acclaimed phones like the One X, HTC has failed to shift its devices in as great a quantity as Samsung's Galaxy line. The company will be hoping to reverse its fortunes with refreshed Android handsets this fall, along with a renewed focus on Windows Phone, through its Windows Phone 8X and 8S handsets.

Source: Bloomberg, TNW

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean leaks for some Tegra 3 One X variants

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The ever-resourceful fellows over at the XDA forums have posted a leaked Jelly Bean ROM for some variants of the HTC One X. Based on the shipping software that will be coming on the One X+, this Android 4.1.1 and Sense 4+ ROM is ready for flashing, but only on specific models of the One X running Tegra 3 processors. The following CIDs -- and only these CIDs -- are supported:

  • cidnum: HTC__001
  • cidnum: HTC__E11
  • cidnum: HTC__203
  • cidnum: HTC__102
  • cidnum: HTC__405
  • cidnum: HTC__Y13
  • cidnum: HTC__A07
  • cidnum: HTC__304
  • cidnum: HTC__M27
  • cidnum: HTC__032
  • cidnum: HTC__016
  • cidnum: HTC__J15

If your device is included in the above list and you want to get a sneak peek at the upcoming software version for the device, head to the source link below and check it out, and let us know in the comments how it goes. Oh, do yourself a favor and back up before flashing, will ya?

Source: XDA ; via Android Central forums

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4 years ago

O2 UK launches Xperia T 'Bond Phone' variant

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As we reported last month, O2 UK secured an exclusive deal with Sony to launch its own 'Bond Phone' branded version of the Sony Xperia T. Now the 007-themed handset is actually available from O2, priced from free at £36 per month on O2's "On & On" tariff. The On & On deal gets you unlimited minutes and texts, and 1GB of UK data. If you want to up your data limit, there's a 2GB On & On plan available for £46 per month. Cheaper monthly plans are available, though you'll pay an up-front fee for the phone.

The bond phone is externally idential to the vanilla Xperia T offered by other networks, but comes pre-loaded with Bond-themed ringtones, wallpapers, "screensavers" and geotagged photos from the production of the upcoming Skyfall. In case you missed the memo, the Xperia T will feature in the upcoming Bond flick.

In addition, the Bond Phone functions as deadly garrote wire, a short-range laser cutting tool and an orbital satellite weapons system, or so we're told.

Source: O2

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4 years ago

And we're glad to have you, too

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Have you registered with us yet? It's the only way to get in on the conversation -- and be eligible for loads of free stuff!

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Some quick thoughts ahead of MobileCON

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We're headed to sunny San Diego this week -- one of my new favorite cities -- for the fall CTIA event. The past several years it's been called CTIA "Enterprise and Applications," which pretty much was exactly what it sounded like. Put it this way -- it's no CES or MWC, that's for sure.

The fall event has been rebranded "MobileCON," which basically can mean anything the wireless industry organization wants it to. On the other hand, with bullet points like "Enterprise Industry Spotlight" and a keynote address from the BlackBerry CIO and a U.S. Air Force IT type, it's pretty safe to say we're still knee-deep in enterprise here.

Anyhoo, we'll be bringing it all to you this week.

A few other thoughts to get things going:

  • Speaking of CTIA, that means the Samsung Stratosphere turns 1. And it's having growing pains.
  • Nexus rumors sure are exciting, aren't they! Know what really excites me, though? What really tickles my fancy? Facts. I'm funny like that.
  • Even less exciting is seeing rumor reports hedged to within the last inch of their life. Either own the rumor, or don't publish it. Hedging is such sweet bullshit.
  • Is there a dearth of actual devices to cover or something? Did I miss the memo?
  • How much of these next-Android-version rumors are simply rehashed from what Google told us was coming at Google IO developer conference this summer? I've got some videos to watch again.
  • Why do we act like it's so surprising to see a new version of Android starting to peek out? It's not like work suddenly stopped and nobody was told, was it?
  • I'm all about getting a 32- or 64-gigabyte Nexus 7 tablet. (Or any other device for that matter.) That's not to say there's not a place in this world for cloud-storage-centric devices. I think it comes down to personal usage. I'm in airplanes a lot. I need local storage. I need both, actually, but I need the choice.
  • It was nice to actually podcast two weeks in a row. Forgot how much fun that can be. We don't make money on them. Hell, they cost money, and they're time-consuming. But they're also a lot of fun. And we're about to pass 2.5 million downloads, which just floors me.
  • And if you didn't catch the end of this past week's podcast ...
  • Plague Inc. is fun, and I'm surprised the prospect of ending all human life on Earth didn't bother me in the slightest. But it seems to be another one of those games that's trying just a little too hard for the in-app purchases. This sucker's tough.

That's it for today. See ya'll from San Diego.

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