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4 years ago

Comscore: Modest growth for Android and iOS in June, Samsung still top manufacturer

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Analytics firm Comscore has just released its latest stats covering the U.S. smartphone market for the quarter ending in June 2012. Overall, the picture hasn't changed much since they released their last set of numbers. Samsung is still the largest smartphone manufacturer by market share, and Android still lays claim to a bigger chunk of the market than any other OS.

Apple's share of mobile subscribers grew 1.4 percent at the expense of all Android OEMs but HTC, which grew by 0.4 percent compared to the previous stats. In terms of OS share, Android continues to advance beyond half of the U.S. smartphone market, with a 51.6 percent share compared to 51 percent last time. Apple's growth was a little more aggressive, going from 30.7 percent to 32.4 percent. Lower down the table, RIM, Microsoft and Nokia's Symbian OS continue to slowly bleed market share to the big players.

We'll be interested to see how the numbers pan out for July, as we'd expect a fairly sizeable bump for Samsung and Android on account of the U.S. Galaxy S3 launch.

Source: Comscore

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4 years ago

MIPS announces $125 Jelly Bean tablet

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Low-cost chip designer MIPS has announced today that they're releasing the "World’s Lowest-Cost Android 4.1 ‘Jelly Bean’ Tablet" at the surprisingly low price of $125. If the MIPS name rings a bell, you may remember we reviewed the MIPS Novos 7 back in December of last year. Similarly to the Novos 7, MIPS has teamed up with Chinese chip maker Ingenic to produce this tablet, currently being marketed as the Karbonn Smart Tab 1, for sale immediately in India, and assumedly through other channels to the rest of the world soon.

As far as specs, the Karbonn Smart Tab 1 isn't exactly a barn burner, but you get what you pay for:

  • 7-inch capacitive touchscreen
  • 1.2 Ghz Ingenic JZ4770 processor
  • 2MP front-facing camera
  • 1GB of storage, expandable to 32GB
  • 3700 mAh battery

Be sure to read through the full press release after the break if you want to learn a bit more about MIPS, Ingenic and Karbonn.

Source: MIPS Newsroom, Karbonn Mobiles

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4 years ago

How to turn your non-magnetic Nexus 7 case into a marvel of modern industry

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Oh, that Jerry Hildenbrand. He's not just another pretty face. (Another pretty neckbeard, maybe. But another pretty face?) It seems our resident tinkerer has taken the official Nexus 7 case (read our full review), which for some reason lacks the magnet that will automatically turn on the Nexus 7 when the cover's open, and has, shall we say, fixed it.

Tools required: One Nexus 7 case. One multitool. One magnet. Homer Simpson and Spider Pig preferred, but not required.

Jerry's got the full deets in this forum thread

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4 years ago

Tablified Market HD revamps dedicated tablet app store

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​Tablified Market HD has been offering an easy way to find tablet-optimized Android apps for awhile, but they've recently updated with a whole new user interface (including a dedicated one for 7-inch tabs like the Nexus 7), fewer ads, and faster load times. The core functionality of finding categorized apps that are built for bigger screens is still the same, of course. There are a few features reserved for pro users, such as filtering by price, one-click downloads from Google Play, font resizing, and marking apps as favorites. 

It can be a pain to find quality Android apps that aren't just blown-up smartphone versions, so it's great to Tablified Mark HD around and staying up-to-date. If you're thinking of going pro, we're giving away 20 copies of the pro version in our forums. You can always make do with the free version at the download link below.

What are your favorite Android tablet apps? How do you usually find new ones?

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Pocket headed to Three UK in September

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Announced back in March, Samsung's entry-level Galaxy Pocket has yet to see widespread release on any UK networks. That's set to change next month, though, as Three UK has updated its "Coming Soon" page to show that the tiny 2.8-inch phone is due in September.

With Android 2.3 Gingerbread on a QVGA (240x320) display, a 832MHz CPU and a 2.3MP rear camera the Galaxy Pocket is squarely aimed at budget-conscious phone buyers (this ain't no Galaxy S3). We'd expect it to sell for well under £100 on Pay As You Go, and to be given away for free on all of Three's contracts.

The Galaxy Pocket will go up against the likes of Sony's Xperia Tipo, due to launch next week, and HTC's Desire C, which is currently available on a wide range of UK networks.

Source: Three UK

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4 years ago

ZTE Q2 2012 shipment numbers make it fifth-largest smartphone manufacturer

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Chinese manufacturer ZTE has hailed its arrival into the ranks of the top five smartphone manufacturers, following the news that it shipped 8 million smartphones in the second quarter of 2012. This, the ZTE says, makes it the fifth-largest smartphone manufacturer in terms of units shipped. In terms of overall (smartphone and dumbphone) shipments, the company maintained its place as the fourth-largest mobile phone vendor.

ZTE says its worldwide market share was 0.5 percent behind HTC and 1.4 percent behind Nokia, which would place it at a 5.2 percent overall.

Though still relatively unknown in the West, ZTE is a big deal in its native China, where its sales are strongest. Recently the company has renewed its efforts to break into the European and North American market with devices like the ZTE Grand X, which was recently released in the UK. However, it's been dogged in recent months by a fall in its stock price, and an FBI investigation into its dealings with Iran.

Do you own a ZTE Android phone, or are you thinking of picking up something like the Grand X? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 travel covers to be available outside the U.S. within 2 weeks?

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The whole Nexus 7 purchasing process has been a mixed bag for many people, but outside of the U.S. one thing in particular is still lacking. The official OEM cover isn't yet even an option to pre-order in countries such as the UK and Australia. And, that's discounting any potential forthcoming colorful ones. It's frustrating to say the least, there are third party options out there, but for many OEM accessories are the only way. 

The guys down under at Ausdroid are as frustrated as everyone else, and they've been badgering Asus Australia for some information. The response -- via Twitter, it should be noted -- was such: 

@phroghollow At the moment I don't have a date for you but it should be within the next two weeks.

We should remember that messages via local social media accounts are far from the most reliable source of information. Needless to say, it doesn't sound unreasonable either. That sort of time period puts it about a month after the initial launch of the tablet, and that's got to be long enough to get some cases up for sale, right? 

If you've got a hankering for one of these, so far elusive, Nexus 7 covers then don't forget to check out our review.

Source: Ausdroid

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4 years ago

Google Play developer policies have been updated, we like where this is heading

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Google has sent out an e-mail about updates to their Google Play developer policies, and it's clear that they are trying to reign in some questionable behavior that goes on in our beloved app store. There's some standard stuff to go along with new features, like guidelines and cancelation policies for the new subscription billing service, but the bulk of the new changes are user facing and designed to make our experience better all around. Here's a quick bullet point of the major changes:

  • Restricting the use of names or icons confusingly similar to existing system apps in order to reduce user confusion
  • Providing more detail on the kinds of dangerous products that are not allowed on Google Play. For example, apps that disclose personal information without authorization are not allowed.
  • Giving more examples of practices that violate the spam policy.
  • Adding a new section that addresses ad behavior in apps. 

The first couple of points are easy enough to understand, and Google is stepping in to keep folks from being tricked by unscrupulous developers. With over 600,000 applications in Google Play, there are bound to be a few who just want your eyeballs on ads and will do anything to make that happen. A lot of these apps also will try to work around the rules and just want your address book or web history. It stinks, but just like the rest of the world some folks take the low road to make a buck. With these new policies in place, Google can show them the door if they get crafty and don't play fair.

The third point is downright awesome. Have a look at the complete policy here, and see how Google makes it plain about what is and isn't allowed in their store, and just what they consider as spam. This is how we like to see things explained -- in clear, concise language with no weaseling around. In their house, you play by their rules, and now you know them.

Finally, they are getting a grip on ad SDKs and networks that practice in shady behavior. With words like deceiving consumers and disruptive behavior, Google has lain the smack down and let these companies -- and the developers who use them -- know that the days of the wild west are numbered. A clear set of rules on how ads can behave has been a long time coming.

Google is still wide open. With the tick of a checkbox users are free to install any application they please, and we wouldn't want it any other way. We also want a consistent, and dare we say better, experience from Google's own store. We're tired of fake Temple Run games and apps that seem to exist only to harvest marketing data. As savvy users we tend to quickly ferret out these kind of apps and give them the boot, but now it looks like Google is prepared to step in and help those who may not be Android enthusiasts. With the apparent push of the Google Play brand, we say the timing is perfect.

Check out the full text of the e-mail after the break.

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4 years ago

Gears & Guts brings together zombies and reckless driving

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Gears & Guts cruised into Android today, bristling with all manner of unlikely weaponry. This free top-down action game puts players up against a horde of zombies that they have to clear out with car-mounted chainsaws, flamethrowers, and machine guns. Here's what you can expect. 

  • Wide-open combat in massive environments.
  • Sports cars, monster trucks and armored vehicles.
  • Dozens of cars and items to earn, including rare, experimental weapons.
  • One car vs. hundreds of zombies, like...
  • The Walker: Cannon-fodder, but deadly in groups.
  • The Bruiser: A walking mountain of undead flesh.
  • The Runner: Keep your speed up or they’ll drag you down.

Glu recently churned out Mutant Roadkill with an obscene reliance on in-app purchases and ads, and was also oddly about running over mindless shamblers. I've played around with Gears & Guts for a little bit, IAPs and ads aren't quite as obnoxious, though they're still a big part of the picture. If you're into gore, give Gears & Guts a shot. 

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4 years ago

AOKP nightly ROM's, Nexus Q orders [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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4 years ago

Poll: Did you preorder a Nexus Q?

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You might have heard that Google is postponing the retail launch of the Nexus Q, and as compensation they are giving one to everyone who preordered for the low price of free. It's a shocker, and more than anyone expected to hear when we found out that the Q would be held back to add some more functionality. I'll leave the comparison to Oprah for the comments.

We're all busy discussing what sort of awesomesauce Google could bake into the Q, and words like mirroring and Wifi Direct are getting thrown all over my Gtalk. We're just speculating of course, but we're genuinely excited to see what G has in store for the cannonball. All we know for now is that it's been delayed for a it, and that Google is handing them out for free if you preordered.

Which of course means we have to ask, just how many folks did preorder the $300 Nexus Q? Everyone who doesn't have one seems to hate it, and those that do have one (Google handed out about 6,000 of them at Google I/O 2012) seem to be divided about how useful the device is in its current state. We don't imagine very many folks jumped at the chance to get one, and that now everyone wishes they had, but rather than guess, we'll just ask. Let us know in the poll!

Did you preorder a Nexus Q?

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Tipo tipped for Aug. 8 UK release, pricing info emerges

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Entry-level ICS handset to cost £89.95 on PAYG, or free on £10.50 p.m. contracts

Earlier this week we heard that Sony's new budget-oriented Xperia Tipo would be arriving on O2 and Orange in the UK in August, and now we have the first firm information on pricing and availability. Independent UK retailer the Carphone Warehouse is now listing the Xperia Tipo for pre-order on a range of different price plans.

If you're after a network-subsidized Tipo, you'll pay nothing for the handset itself, which Carphone is offering on-contract with O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and Talkmobile, starting at £10.50 per month. Pre-paid (PAYG) customers get the best deal, though, as the Tipo is just £89.95 when bought with a £10 top-up on your network of choice. Those after an unbranded handset, fresh from Sony can pick one up for £119.95. The Tipo is due to ship to pre-order customers starting next Wednesday, Aug. 8.

The Xperia Tipo is a fairly basic Android handset, with an 800MHz single-core CPU, a 3.2-inch screen and a 3.2MP rear camera. Nevertheless, it's a nicely-designed little phone that runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box. You could certainly do a lot worse for your 89 pounds and 95 pence.

Source: Carphone Warehouse; via: UnwiredView

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4 years ago

AT&T Inspire 4G update now available, Sense 3.0 included

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HTC has been busy trying to justify their lack of ICS on the Inspire 4G / Desire HD to users but that doesn't mean they've forgotten about the device entirely. AT&T Inspire 4G owners should soon see an update notification on their device or if you're unwilling to wait, you can download the RUU direct from the HTC website. As noted on their support site, the update has quite a few changes in it:

New features:

  • HTC Sense 3.0
  • Task Manager
  • AT&T Address Book

Fixes/Updates:

  • Call optimization improvements (fewer dropped calls)
  • Improved security functionality
  • SMS/MMS Thread – Contact Display Fix
  • Background Data Use Improvement

Even though it's not Android 4.0, it's still a nice update. Keep in mind, if you download the RUU you'll need HTC Sync installed and you'll lose all your current data on the device. With some patience though, you can just wait for the OTA update to arrive and don't forget to drop by the forums and let us know how things are working out.

Source: HTC, via: Android Central Forums

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4 years ago

Browse all of your online pictures with Pictarine for Android

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A new photo app called Pictarine was launched today, tying into multiple photography sites and offering a single a dashboard to flip through them. 11 networks are currently supported, including the biggies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr, as well as some smaller ones like 500px, Photobucket, and Shutterfly. It can even tap into your Google account, Tumblr blog, or Dropbox for pictures. Depending on the networks you plug into, you can also see what your friends are sharing and leave comments or likes without leaving the app. Here's a quick feature run-down. 

  • Connect Pictarine up to 11 social networks, streamlining photos and activities like commenting, liking and sharing.
  • Rediscover your memories through our selection of the photos that matter most to you. You will be surprised!
  • Get photos from all of your services in your pocket, so they are always one touch away.
  • Bookmark your favorite photos in playlists
  • Works with Android versions 2.2 and above

It seems like this is a great little app for those that don't want to get too invested in any single network. Where do you tend to share most of your mobile pictures? Are they scattered in a million different places, or do they tend to all get dumped in the same spot?

(Background image)

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 official travel cover review

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Our Nexus 7 official travel cases have arrived, and of course we want to share some quick thoughts and impressions with you guys, The gray travel case has so far been pretty difficult to get, as they would disappear from Google Play as soon as they appeared it seemed. Late last week we jumped in and ordered a couple as soon as they became available, and they arrived very well packaged in this afternoon's UPS run.

Once you crack it open, you'll find a very bland dark grey TPU case with a folding cover. We're not complaining -- in fact I prefer the nondescript and subtle grey color -- but if you're looking for something fancy or colorful you'll need to look elsewhere or wait for the leaked cases we saw yesterday to appear for sale. What you get here is a plain, yet very protective piece to keep your shiny new Nexus 7 shiny and new. 

The case is form-fitting, and easily slips on and off the tablet. The ample cut-outs provide easy access to the ports, microphones (there's two) and external speaker assembly. The edges and corners wrap around to keep the case from coming off when you don't want it to come off, and the familiar raised TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) blocks are present so you can find and operate the volume and power switches. Of course, the full-face cover will keep the screen of your Nexus 7 from getting scarred up while in a bag or backpack. Unfortunately, there is no magnet embedded to activate the switch and power on the tablet when the cover is opened. I'm searching amazon for supplies to cut and insert one of my own, and I'll be sure to get that in the forums if and when I find out more.

The only real drawback of these cases is the price. One will set you back $30 after shipping, and it's very likely that you'll be able to find a more inexpensive option on Amazon or even locally sourced. These are manufactured by ASUS, and OEM equipment, so we expect to pay a bit extra. Price aside, they do seem like a great way to keep your Nexus 7 from getting scratched and otherwise damaged, and are worth considering if you prefer a simple, utilitarian option. Hit the break for a short video hands-on and a handful of pictures, and if you're interested in buying you'll find a link to Google Play below.

Order the Nexus 7 travel case from Google Play

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