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4 years ago

Samsung stops injunction requests in several European countries

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Seemingly out of nowhere, Samsung has said today that it will stop pursuing injunction requests against Apple products in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands. Coming on the heels of mixed news in the big Samsung v. Apple trial here in the states yesterday, Samsung looks to be slowing down on its lawsuits in Europe now. What this basically means is that in the countries listed above, it will no longer be trying to receive sales bans on Apple devices. The Verge received this quote from Samsung on the matter:

Samsung remains committed to licensing our technologies on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, and we strongly believe it is better when companies compete fairly in the marketplace, rather than in court. In this spirit, Samsung has decided to withdraw our injunction requests against Apple on the basis of our standard essential patents pending in European courts, in the interest of protecting consumer choice.

Quite the turn-around from the litigious nature of previous Samsung statements and actions, and everyone is wondering why the company has decided to make the switch. The likely reasoning is that Samsung is trying to put all of its time and effort into pushing the FRAND (Fair, Reasonable And Not Discriminatory) licensing of its standards-essential patent portfolio. This makes Samsung look like the good company that's working to keep a competitive marketplace, something that the regulators will like to see.

This surely doesn't take future lawsuits or possible sales bans off the table entirely, but Samsung would likely be happy to just license its extensive set of patents and be done with the matter if it had the chance.

Source: The Next Web; The Verge

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4 years ago

Samsung extended battery for Galaxy S3 up for pre-order, 3000mAh for £40

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Update: Thanks to @PDTechHD who has sent us this picture of the Samsung Galaxy S3 extended battery in its retail packaging!

If the 2100mAh battery that comes stock with the Samsung Galaxy S3 still isn't quite enough for you, you'll be pleased to hear that Samsung appears set to launch an extended battery pack for the device. The extended battery hits 3000mAh, and has appeared for pre-order at British retailer, MobileFun. 

There are no images, or release date offered at this time, but the price for the battery is currently set at £39.99. Included is a replacement battery door -- in white or blue only it seems at the moment -- and the new battery will still come complete with NFC as with the standard one. 

The new battery will no doubts increase the overall thickness of the device, but many will take that for such a large battery. It isn't overly priced either for an OEM accessory, but for now we'll have to watch and wait to see when they appear. 

Source: MobileFun

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4 years ago

Google Music scan and match feature now live in the US

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With the roll out of Google Music in Europe we saw Google include the scan and match feature that offers up a quick scanning of your library and then instantly makes the tracks available in the cloud much like how iTunes Match works. At the time, Google made no efforts to divulge when that feature would see other regions. Now though, they've gone ahead and made it available in the US as per their announcement on Google+:

Traveling this season and want to make sure your music goes with you? Add up to 20,000 songs from your music collection to Google Play and stream it to your Android devices and your computer, anywhere you go.

Our new music matching feature gets your songs into your online music library on Google Play much faster. We’ll scan your collection and quickly rebuild it in the cloud - all for free. And we’ll stream your music back to you at up to 320 kbps.

This feature is live today for people in the US, following our European launch last month. Check it out: http://goo.gl/Hehq6!  It’ll be music to your ears.

The advantage for Google here is the fact that they've kept it free and it's automatic. As a Google Music customer, you're likely to not even notice it happening as it's all pretty much done in the background. It's a pretty slick feature that a lot of people are sure to love. Say goodbye to uploading your whole music library!

Source: Google+

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4 years ago

Sprint shuts down 'Upgrade Now' program ... for now

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Sprint today confirmed to Android Central that its Upgrade Now program, which would let you pay a little extra to get upgrade pricing a little early, is "currently now unavailable." The internal memo adds "until further notice," which seems a bit ominous until you read the line that notes it's "temporarily discontinued." Sprint's e-mail to us also says to "check back later to see if the program has been reinstated," giving us another reason to believe this is just temporary.

Thanks, anon!

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4 years ago

LG Spectrum 2 review

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It has been quite a year for LG, which despite its top spot among dumbphone sales has had a bit of a difficult time making it big in the Android world. Faced with stiff competition from fellow Korean handset maker Samsung, as well as HTC and Motorola, LG has struggled to create a brand for itself-- despite solid hardware, it has consistently failed to catch the attention of those who decide which Android devices sell and which ones flop-- the consumer. 

Then came the Optimus G and, subsequently the Nexus 4, both of which helped LG get back in the game. The Nexus 4 is widely considered to be the best Nexus to date, and the Optimus G has been called one of the best smartphones of 2012, besting even the Galaxy S 3 and the One X.

Not all of LG's releases this year have been as stellar, though, and unfortunately for Verizon customers, two of LG's misses have landed on Big Red's network. The LG Intuition was too "groundbreaking" for its own good with its awkward 4:3 display, and the Spectrum 2, despite its best efforts, manages to feel like an outdated afterthought and a slap in the face to Verizon loyalists who have had to watch LG's comeback from the sidelines. 

Read on for our full review.

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4 years ago

New at ShopAndroid.com: The Lloyd Gear Sticker

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Just a quick heads up that ShopAndroid.com has the official Lloyd Gear Sticker (featuring everyone's favorite Android Central mascot) available for less than a buck.

It's 3.5-inches in diameter, and it's perfect for showing that you're a part of the biggest and best Android community on the web. Plus, it's less than a buck. So buy two. Or three. Or 12.

Get yours today!

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4 years ago

Ask AC: How do you keep up with all the CyanogenMod updates?

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A question I get asked a lot involves updates to custom ROMs, and CyanogenMod in particular. How do we keep up with all the builds, all the updates and all the devices?

Here's a secret: We don't. Because we don't have to.

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4 years ago

Sprint adds new LTE cities in Indiana, California, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico

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Sprint this morning announced that it's lit up a handful of new cities with its 4G LTE data. They include:

  • Indianapolis/Carmel, Ind.
  • Santa Rosa/Petaluma, Calif.
  • Vallejo/Fairfield, Calif.
  • Southern Puerto Rico (including Ponce, Coamo and Guayama)
  • York/Hanover, Pa.
  • Franklin County, Pa.

Also, Shenandoah County and Page County (Va.), as well as Chicago, should see enhanced LTE coverage, Sprint says. 

So if you've got an LTE-capable Sprint device and live in one of those areas, congrats. And let's hope the Myans are wrong. We've got a full list of Sprint's LTE locations after the break.

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4 years ago

Mysms now available in a tablet-optimized version

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Mysms, the popular cross-platform SMS application is now available in an Android tablet optimized version. With My SMS you can send and receive text messages on your Android device (as well as other popular platforms) or your desktop running Windows or Mac OS -- complete with desktop notifications. There are even versions that run inside Evernote, Chrome or Facebook. It's a full service SMS application for just about any screen in your house or office.

It's done by syncing from your phone (you use your number as a username) to the mysms cloud, and from there your messages get synced with all of your devices. It's something we have seen from other desktop SMS programs, but few offer this many connection options. Because it uses the cloud, you can send pictures and files as well. The tie in with Evernote makes media available for everyone, as well as provide SMS backup to your Evernote account. 

Maybe the best part is that messages are free to other mysms users, regardless of where you (or they) are in the world. You can send messages from your phone as normal, and be charged the normal rates, or use the mysms app on both ends and save a few bucks. The OS support makes this a real option if you have family or friends in other countries.

There's a reason a half-million people have downloaded mysms for Android, and now with a tablet version, there is even more of one. If you're not a Google Voice user (we had issues getting Google Voice to work with mysms) you really need to have a look. It's absolutely free, so grab it by clicking the ink above. There's a short video, a couple screenshots, and a press release after the break.

Update: There was bit of confusion on our end. The Phone and desktop applications are free, the tablet edition is available at an introductory price of $1.99.

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4 years ago

FCC publishes AWS-H Block spectrum auction rules

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The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has just published the rules it will apply to a spectrum auction for the AWS-H Block. We saw last week that the FCC finally approved Dish's proposal to use its spectrum holdings for a terrestrial cellular network, and this auction was part of the deal. The auction will have 10MHz of spectrum up for grabs, in the 1915-1920MHz (uplink) and 1995-2000MHz (downlink) bands. This is directly adjacent to PCS G spectrum that Sprint currently owns, and therefore the carrier will be a likely participant in the auction.

Part of the rules to the auction are that the winner must build out its network to 40-percent of the coverage area within 4 years, and 70-percent within 10 years. Also, if a company other than Sprint were to win the auction, they will be required to work closely with Sprint to make sure that its usage does not interfere with Sprint's neighboring spectrum.

It will be interesting to see how the discussions surrounding this auction go, especially considering Sprint's intimate involvement in the process from the beginning.

Source: FCC; PhoneScoop

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4 years ago

Polaroid rumored to be working on Android-powered camera with interchangeable lenses

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Nikon and Samsung have already brought Android-powered smart camera to market, and now it seems Polaroid may be looking to edge into this market with a somewhat different device. According to the latest round of online rumors, the company may be bringing to market the world's first Android-based compact camera with interchangeable lenses.

Today's leak comes from Photo Rumors, which sources a company profile for article in industry publication Dealerscope. The article about Sakar international, which is apparently collaborating with Polaroid on the device, reveals the camera as the Polaroid IM1836. This apparently features a 18.1MP sensor, pop-up flash, a 3.5-inch touchscreen and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The camera is said to offer Wifi and HDMI connection options, but there's no mention of any cellular data option, or internal hardware like CPU or RAM.

Visual similarities between the IM1836 and the Nikon 1 J2 have led to speculation that the Polaroid may use the Nikon's lens ecosystem, though right now the relationship between the two cameras remains unclear.

Crucially, the inclusion of interchangeable lenses would indicate that this device is more focused on image quality than earlier Samsung and Nikon offerings. Image quality been a common complaint of the Samsung Galaxy Camera, which costs as much as a mirrorless camera, but produces point-and-shoot quality pictures.

There's no word as yet on when Polaroid's Android-powered camera might make an official appearance, but we'll be on the lookout for it at CES in Las Vegas next month.

Source: Photo Rumors; via: The Verge

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4 years ago

Samsung announces 5-inch mid range Galaxy Grand

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Samsung has just taken the wraps off of yet another variant in the Galaxy lineup, the Galaxy Grand. This looks to be a weird mash-up of the Galaxy S3 Mini and original Galaxy Note, but the end result is a decidedly mid range device. We're looking at a 5-inch WVGA (that's just 480x800) display here, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor (model not specified,) 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. There's an 8MP shooter on the back and 2MP on the front, a 2100mAh battery and the whole thing is running Android 4.1.2 with TouchWiz.

We're only seeing 21mbps HSPA+ as a connectivity option, with the standard 850/900/1900/2100MHz frequencies for most networks around the world -- no LTE to be seen here. The Galaxy Grand will roll out in two flavors: the GT-I9080 and GT-I9082, with the latter being identical but with dual SIM slots.

Given its specs and features we can assume this is going to be targeted at certain European and Asian markets, and we'd bet the U.S. carriers won't be picking this up unless Samsung makes some specifically different models for this market. By that time it'll likely be a completely different device. There's no pricing or availability information in this release, but we're not expecting Samsung to make too big of a splash about this device.

Source: Samsung

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4 years ago

AT&T 4G LTE launches in several new cities

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In the run up to the holidays, it seems AT&T is wasting no time expanding its 4G LTE coverage -- we've counted at least thirteen in the past few weeks. Today brings the news that the carrier's LTE network has just been lit up in four new cities:

  • Melbourne, Fla.
  • Green Bay, Wis.
  • Oxford, Miss.
  • Springfield, Mass.
  • Tucson, Ariz.

In addition, Phoenix and Los Angeles are seeing expanded coverage. If you're seeing AT&T 4G LTE reception for the first time today, be sure to shout out in the comments.

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia 'Yuga' prototype gets unofficial preview

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After it leaked photos of a prototype device yesterday, Russian site Mobile-Reviews has published a detailed preview of Sony's upcoming 2013 high-ender, currently known by its codename "Yuga." According to today's preview, the 5-inch, 1080p device packs a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2GB of RAM and a glass-clad chassis. There's also expandable storage via microSD card, world LTE connectivity and a 12MP camera, so if specs alone are any indication, the "Yuga" should measure up favorably against other high-end phones in early 2013.

On the software side, the prototype is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Sony's own proprietary software. Highlights here include new live wallpapers, a re-vamped camera app with filters (because that's what everyone's doing these days), and a redesigned clock app. Visually, Sony's Xperia UI as seen on the prototype looks much the same as it did on earlier phones like the Xperia T and Xperia S.

You'll find a complete run-down of the prototype hardware and software at the source link below. Sony tends to announce its new high-end stuff at CES each year, so we expect we'll see the finalized design in Las Vegas in just a few weeks.

Source: Mobile-Review (Translated)

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4 years ago

Google's Field Trip app now available in the UK

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Following on from some other recent Field Trip updates, the app is now available in the UK. Field Trip is a Google-created app designed to highlight local points of interest, popping up notifications while you're out and about, and allowing you to browse through nearby places on a map, or based on location.

Previously limited to the U.S., Field Trip's UK debut is the latest in a series of UK launches for previously U.S.-only Google products, such as Play Music and Play Magazines.

Right now the usefulness of Field Trip to Android phone owners in the UK will depend on where in the country they live. London is pretty well-documented, with cards for restaurants, venues, historical sites and other attractions clustered around the center of the capital. However other UK cities are looking much more sparse at the moment, so hopefully Google will continue fleshing things out in the weeks ahead.

Brits can grab the latest version of Field Trip for Android at the Google Play link above. You'll need Android 2.3 Gingerbread or higher to get in on the location-aware action.

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