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4 years ago

Kindle Fire HD 7 unboxing and initial impressions

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UPS just dropped off our Amazon Kindle Fire HD, and we wanted to share a look at the first new Kindle to be released. It's a 7-inch tablet that sort of runs Android -- Amazon has forked off the stock Ice Cream Sandwich build and made it their own, never once mentioning the word Android on the device or packaging. The Fire HD 7 (my new name for it) comes with 16 or 32GB of storage (we grabbed the 16) and features a TI OMAP 4460 under a 7-inch 1280x800 screen.

Of course we're going to review the unit at length, but first impressions come back positive. The Fire HD 7 is well built, and feels like it was constructed out of quality materials. It's light enough to use with one hand, and balanced well -- it should serve purposes just fine for reading or lounging and watching a video or two.

All your Amazon content is instantly available from the moment you register the device with your Amazon account, which was painless. The screen itself seems to be of good quality, is nice and bright, and easy to see. We'll have to put it to further testing, but I'm not afraid to call it "good" at first glance. The tablet's performance seems fine as well, but of course we need to see how it handles some gaming or streaming long video.

We'll have more about the Kindle Fire HD 7 coming, including the inevitable comparison to the Nexus 7 over the next few days, and stay tuned for the full review. For now, hit the break for an unboxing and quick 10 minute look .

Amazon Kindle Fire HD forums

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4 years ago

Motorola RAZR M Developer Edition now ready

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The Developer Edition of the Motorola Droid RAZR M is now available to order for those looking for an unlocked bootloader. Google and Motorola were rather vocal about their developer support at the launch event last week, and it's great to see them making good on the sentiment so quickly. Motorola already offers bootloader unlocking utilities for a few of their other devices at their landing page here

The civilian-issue Motorola Droid RAZR M hit stores just yesterday. You can check out our in-depth review for the full tour, but here's the short version. 

  • 4.3-inch qHD (540×960) Super AMOLED Advanced display
  • Dual-Core 1.5GHz Qualcomm S4 CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB ROM MicroSD Storage
  • Rear Camera:  8MP; Front Camera: VGA; 1080p HD video recording
  • DLNA, NFC, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. Bluetooth 4.0
  • Android 4.0.4
  • 2000 mAh battery

Developers and tinkerers alike are welcome to buy the developer edition of the Motorola Droid RAZR M over here for $549.99. Just remember, there's no warranty on that sucker. Any devs in the house considering grabbing one of these? 

Source: Motorola

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4 years ago

Google Wallet no longer working on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus

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Verizon Galaxy Nexus users have had a long and shaky history with using Google Wallet on their devices. Now it seems that some entity -- be it Verizon or Google -- may have finally pulled the plug on this one. Users in our forums are reporting that the Google Wallet app is no longer working on their devices and is unable to be updated or installed in the Google Play Store. We're not sure at this point why the app is pulled or whether it will be coming back, but hopefully we'll hear something more definitive soon.

We recommend you go check out the thread in our forums where users are reporting their findings. There's a good chance some ingenious hackers will find a way around this soon enough: Verizon Galaxy Nexus Forums: Google wallet problem.

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4 years ago

To-Fu 2 slingshots onto Google Play

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To-Fu 2, a free and addictive puzzle game, is now on Android. Some of you might have played the original, which also featured the headband-toting wobbly white cube which you stretch and release to fling through treacherous mazes.

Players have to hit the big pink fortune cookie at the end to win, though you earn extra merit for gathering all of the Chi orbs throughout the level or completing the whole thing within a limited number of moves. The levels are really mind-bending, and require precision and timing to make sure you ricochet and stick to the right spots. The new version of the game includes a whopping 115 levels, and a new time trial mode to see how many Chi orbs you can collect within a certain time limit. There are ads, but buying any of the vanity items through in-app purchases will remove them. 

I played the first one a bunch, and To-Fu 2 is just as fun. Give it a shot!

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4 years ago

Verizon LTE turned on in Jefferson City, set to expand elsewhere

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Following up on a significant LTE expansion last week, Verizon has announced plans to expand in a whole bunch of markets this week. The switch will be flipped on in many of them on September 20, just in time for the iPhone 5 launch, though Android users will see plenty of benefit from the expansion too. Here's the list.

  • Jefferson City, Missouri (now live)
  • Kansas City, Missouri (planned expansion)
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (planned expansion)
  • The Hays, Kansas (planned expansion)
  • Rolla, Missouri (planned launch)
  • Lawrence, Kansas (planned launch)
  • Bremerton, Washington (planned launch)
  • Silverdale, Washington (planned launch)
  • Emporia, Kansas (planned launch)
  • Coffeyville, Kansas (planned launch)
  • Buffalo, New York (expansion live)
  • Tallahassee, Florida (planned launch)
  • Fort Myers, Florida (planned launch)
  • Tampa Bay, Florida (planned launch)

Anyone in these markets hooting and hollaring for the upcoming LTE coverage? How is it comparing to, say, AT&T? You can get a closer look at Verizon's LTE coverage over here

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

International Xperia Ion receiving Ice Cream Sandwich update

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Back at IFA in Berlin a couple weeks ago, we got a look at a yet to be released version of Ice Cream Sandwich running on the Xperia Ion. It looks like the official release wasn't far behind that build, as the international version of the Ion has started to receive its update. Only the LT28i models are seeing it at the moment, but hopefully this is a sign of things to come for those of you with the Ion running on AT&T's network here in the states.

Also, if you're one of those Sony types -- or just appreciate hard working designers -- and somehow missed our great piece by Alex with the Sony design team, it's definitely still worth a look.

Source: Xperiablog

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4 years ago

Conan O'Brien introduces the $5 Amazon Wendell

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Conan O'Brien did a bit on the Kindle Fire HD earlier this week, taking a jab at how Amazon is willing to lose out on device profits in order to undercut the iPad. To that end, he mocked up an ad for the Amazon Wendell, who's some dude who will read you e-books and tell you how well you're doing in Angry Birds for a fiver. 

We were generally pretty impressed with the devices in our hands-on experiences with the new Amazon devices, pricetags notwithstanding. Conan raises a point though: how low is too low, and what are you willing to sacrifice for affordability? This isn't the first time Conan has made fun of the Kindle Fire, though; do you think he's got a particular bias against Amazon?

If you're thinking of picking one up, a few of the new Kindle Fires went on sale today

Via: Phandroid

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4 years ago

AT&T LTE rolls out in Philadelphia and Wilmington

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AT&T has announced LTE network expansion into Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware today. AT&T's has a lot of plans for LTE expansions before the end of the year, though that's only as appealing as the devices they're offering. The last LTE phone AT&T announced was the LG Escape, which targeted first-timers, though there are always faithfully established options like the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S 3.  AT&T also has a handful of new shared data plans, though you might want a bucket to yourself if everyone's going to be blasting through their cap at LTE speeds. 

Want to know if you've got access to AT&T LTE? They've got a full coverage map over here. Anyone in the new coverage zone happy to get sweet, sweet, LTE?

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia T's visit to the FCC hints at T-Mobile launch

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The Sony Xperia T, which was unveiled at IFA a few weeks ago, may very well be headed to T-Mobile after its FCC filing has revealed support for pentaband HSPA+ networks, but no LTE. Of course, AT&T is still a possibility, but so far we've only seen official announcements across the UK on Vodafone, Three UK, and O2, where we're expecting it to launch soon. As a quick reminder, the Sony Xperia T is shaping up to be a pretty sweet piece of hardware. Here are the specs.

  • 4.6-inch 1280 x 720 touchscreen
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8260 processor
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 13 megapixel camera with LED flash
  • 7 hours talk time, 450 hours standby

For a closer look, be sure to check out our hands-on video with the Sony Xperia T, or dive into the user manual released by the FCC

Via: Engadget

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4 years ago

Tetris available for free today on the Amazon Appstore

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Classic puzzle game Tetris is available today for free on the Amazon Appstore for today only. You know the drill: shaped blocks come down from the top of the screen, and you have to guide them down to create solid rows to make them disappear. Players earn bonus points for knocking out multiple rows at once, though the blocks come down faster as you plow onwards. The remake has a few new twists to the original, such as a variety of challenge missions and power-ups to help clear away blocks. 

The game's normally $2.99, so definitely worth picking up while it's free. Head on over to Amazon to get downloading. 

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4 years ago

7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HD now shipping

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The 7-inch version of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the refreshed version of the previous Kindle Fire are both available for sale and currently shipping to those who preordered. Unfortunately, the 32 GB Kindle Fire HDs aren't shipping until October 25. For those that missed the big announcement last week, here's a run-down of Amazon's latest tablets. 

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7-inch - starting at $199

  • 16 GB / 32 GB storage
  • 7-inch 1280 x 800 touchscreen at 216 PPI
  • TI OMAP 4460 1.2 GHz dual-core processor
  • 802.11n 5 Ghz MIMO Wi-Fi antenna
  • 7.6 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • 11 hours battery life

Refreshed Amazon Kindle Fire - starting at $159

  • 8 GB storage
  • 7-inch 1024 x 600 touchscreen at 169 PPI
  • TI OMAP 4430 1.2 GHz dual-core processor
  • 8.5 hours battery life

If you haven't picked either one up yet, be sure to check out our hands-on time with both devices, and when you're ready to pull the trigger, you can get the refreshed 7-inch Kindle Fire or the new Kindle Fire HD at Amazon. Of course, you can always hold out for the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD, which you'll have to do if you want the LTE model anyway, though it won't be available until November 20. Any of you guys going to hold out for the bigger one?

Also: haaaaaave you met our Kindle Fire HD Forums?

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4 years ago

Motorola loses rubber-banding patent case against Apple in Germany

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Not long after its stateside patent win against Samsung has Apple secured another victory against Android, this time for an overscrolling bounce-back patent against Motorola in Germany. The win will likely mean a sales injunction as soon as Apple posts its 25 million euro bond, and for an extra 10 million euros, it can get Motorola to destroy the infringing devices. For another 10 million euros beyond that, Apple can force Motorola to announce a recall. It's worth noting that pushing that hard will also give Motorola a chance to appeal. Moto will also have a shot at appealing the damages for past infringement. 

Motorola has been contesting the validity of this patent, "List Scrolling and Document Translation, Scaling, and Rotation on a Touch-screen display", through the entire case, though Apple has defended it successfully so far and will do so one more time in Mannheim Regional Court on December 7 before all is said and done. 

Although Google owns Motorola and any patent wins against them ultimately affects Android, stock Android has been using glow effects instead of rubber-banding for overscrolling for some time now. At worst, it's a mild irritant that Google has to find work-arounds for these sort of things, but they're ultimately small details that won't significantly impact the Android experience. 

There's been quite a bit of talk about how many companies will sue Apple for LTE patent infringement once the iPhone 5 launches, which may be considerably more difficult to get around depending on who files the lawsuits and on what grounds. Should stuff like rubber-banding be patentable, or does it too obvious to be laid claim to? How many of Apple's complaints up to this point have you seen as valid? Has Google's investment in Motorola as a patent bulwark proven to be effective or is it more of a liability?

Via: FOSS Patents

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4 years ago

Triggertrap fires up an Android app, new dongle for remote photography

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Attention all photo buffs and Android fans: You now have a new option for remote shooting. Triggertrap just released the second version of its mobile dongle (appropriately called the Triggertrap Mobile Dongle v2), with an Android application to to with it.

The dongle's been redesigned, and it's now smaller, faster and supports more cameras. It'll run you $29.99, which isn't bad at all. The Android application costs another $4.99 on top of that -- again, perfectly reasonable. With the app, you get eight options for remote shooting:

  • Cable release
  • Time lapse
  • Bulb ramping timelapse
  • Eased time lapse
  • Distance lapse
  • Star trail mode
  • Long exposure HDR
  • Long exposure HDR time lapse

The app is available now in Google Play.

More: Trigger Trap; Mobile Dongle v2

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4 years ago

Verizon's Galaxy Tab 10.1 getting Ice Cream Sandwich

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And then there's the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which finally is slated to get its upgrade to Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. 'Bout time, too.

You want a changelog? We got a change log, which reads thusly:

  • Applied Android Ice Cream (ICS) OS upgrade to 4.0.4.
  • Pinch to Zoom functionality has been added in homescreen and main menu screen.
  • Google Plus has been integrated.
  • Google Text-To-Speech Engine has been integrated in the upgrade.
  • In Email search menu, search criteria by date, sender & title.
  • In Email Composer, ‘undo’ and ‘redo’ options have been added.
  • A quick response message may be quickly inserted into the body while composing a message.
  • Initiate a ‘New Meeting Invitation’ for Exchange accounts.
  • Redesigned Gallery app with photo editor includes:
  • More ways to sort albums by time, location, people and tags.
  • Photo studio that allows users to crop and rotate pictures, set levels and remove red eyes.
  • Improved Picture Gallery widget lets users look at pictures directly on their home screen.
  • Rich and versatile camera capabilities including:
  • Android 4.0 Zero shutter lag exposure.
  • Continuous focus
  • Built-in face detection to locate faces in the frame and automatically set focus
  • Stabilized image zoom.
  • Single-motion panorama.
  • Apps can now set custom metering regions in a camera preview.
  • Wi-Fi Direct support by Android platform.
  • Android 4.0 introduces built-in support for connecting to Bluetooth Health Device Profile (HDP) devices. With support from third-party apps, users can connect to wireless medical devices and sensors in hospitals, fitness centers, homes and elsewhere.

So, there's that. Look for it on a tablet near you.

Source: Verizon (PDF); thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Incoming Verizon Galaxy S3 update brings fixes, remote diagnostics

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The Verizon Galaxy S3 is slated to get s software update that will bring bug fixes along with Verizon "remote diagnostics" application that will let the carrier fix your phone from afar should you break something. (Not that any of our readers would ever do that.) No, it's not Jelly Bean, yet. You'll still have to wait a little while for that one, and, no, we don't know how long. (But being that we're talking about Verizon here ...)

Anyhoo. Here's the full changelog for version IMM76D:

  • Improved stability and connectivity with Back Up Assistant.
  • Added support for viewing the Guided Tour video’s over the Cellular Network.
  • Enhanced Customer Support with Verizon Remote Diagnostics.
  • Improved Data Connectivity when using SBeam.
  • NFC (TecTile) tagging issue resolved to ensure pre-programmed text messages are accurate
  • “No SIM” pop up issue has been resolved.

No word on when it'll start rolling out, but you can assume it will be "imminent," "soon," or any other nondescript term.

Source: Verizon (pdf); thanks to everyone who sent this in

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