2 years ago

Inaugural 2013 has some curious app permissions


The Presidential Inauguration is next Monday, and I was all geared up to tell everyone about the Inaugural 2013 app from AT&T and PIC. It's a beautifully done application, has received rave reviews from the folks who have installed it and looks like it would be really helpful for anyone going to the festivities over the weekend as well as the Inauguration itself. But as Politico notes, there's a bit of a thing here -- according to the application's privacy policy it appears that the app is mining your data and sending it off to "candidates, organizations, groups or causes that we believe have similar political viewpoints, principles or objectives."

The election's over. But make no mistake, this is not a nonpartisan inauguration application. That's not to say it's not a fine app -- it is. And that's not to say it's evil -- it's not. But it belongs to the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2013, and so does any data it collects from you. If you're cool with that, then cool. It's just something to be aware of. 

I'm not a big conspiracy nut. I understand why apps ask for permissions like reading contact data or your phone's wake state, and it's usually always for a good reason. But this is a bit over the top for me. It may be normal for political groups to share supporter data with like-minded people, but that's just not good practice in a smartphone application. The data that Inaugural 2013 needs to help you get around and make the most of a weekend in the nation's capital just doesn't need to be going anywhere else.

So I'm going to advise everyone not to use the Inaugural 2013 app, and that's a shame. I'll keep looking for an alternative.

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2 years ago

T-Mobile now offering the Nexus 7 with SIM through Google Play; Nexus 4 in all retail stores soon


T-Mobile just hit us up with some new info regarding the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7. Here 'tis:

  • Nexus 4: Availability has been expanded to additional retail stores (so call yours to check), and it will be in all stores 'in the coming weeks." It'll be available again at T-Mobile's website starting Jan. 23.
  • Nexus 7: You can now get a 32GB version with a T-Mobile HSPA+ SIM card starting, well, now. Hardware is the same as the "AT&T version" that popped up yesterday, only this one says "T-Mobile" and doesn't come with a $100 credit on your bill. (We're double checking on any data plan requirements and will update.)

We still have absolutely no idea when you'll be able to buy an unlocked Nexus 4 through Google Play. Hopefully availability at T-Mobile's website next week points to general availability, but at this point who the hell knows ...

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2 years ago

Sony offering free PlayStation Mobile games for the next 6 weeks


Sony is hoping to entice more users to take advantage of its PlayStation Mobile platform today by offering 6 weeks of free games from its PlayStation Store. Every 7 days for the next 6 weeks Sony will make one game from its PlayStation Store available for download free of charge, hoping that once the promotion ends more users will stick around and use its store. This promotion is only available in select countries -- Japan, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Australia to be exact -- leaving U.S. users out in the cold for now, but this at least shows that Sony is willing to put some marketing behind its storefront.

This offer will only be useful if you have a PlayStation Certified device, which unfortunately doesn't encompass that many phones at this point. There's a full list of compatible devices at the second source link below, but it's primarily just a listing of Sony phones with a few recent HTC models thrown in. If you're interested in the first game that will be offered, Samurai Beatdown, you can see its game trailer after the break.

Source: Sony Mobile; PlayStation Store

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2 years ago

MediaFire launches file sharing app, includes 50 GB of cloud storage


MediaFire has launched their cloud storage app for Android today, offering new users 50 GB of storage for free. Files can be easily shared via e-mail, social networks, SMS, and just about any other avenue you could need. There are a whole bunch of subscription tiers if you need to host more files, or need more flexibility with your hosting. 

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2 years ago

Sprint announces 28 more cities getting LTE 'in the coming months'


Sprint has announced today that it is expanding its 4G LTE network to 28 more cities in the coming months. Work has already begun to bring the high speed network to these places, so hopefully the rollout can happen quickly.

Here are the cities that will be getting the faster speeds:

  • Albany, GA
  • Anderson, SC
  • Bay City, MI
  • Branson, MO
  • Bremerton/Silverdale, WA
  • Columbus, GA
  • Columbus, MS
  • Decatur, AL
  • Florence/Muscle Shoals, AL
  • Gadsden, AL
  • Gaffney, SC
  • Gettysburg, PA
  • Glasgow, KY
  • Homosassa Springs, FL
  • Hot Springs, AR
  • Lake City, FL
  • Lake Havasu City/Kingman, AZ
  • Midland, MI
  • Nacogdoches, TX
  • Opelousas/Eunice, LA
  • Oxford, MS
  • Paris, TX
  • Pittsfield, MA
  • Saginaw, MI
  • Spartanburg, SC
  • The Villages, FL
  • Waycross, GA
  • Winona, MN

If you live in any of these towns, sit tight as you'll soon be able to take advantage of 4G.

Source: Sprint

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2 years ago

Android developers invited to take part in 'BlackBerry 10 Last Chance Port-a-thon' this weekend


Porting and running Android applications on BlackBerry hardware is nothing new. Since the inclusion of an Android App Player in PlayBook OS 2.0, Android developers have had an additional outlet to which they can distribute their creations with minimal time and effort. Indeed, we first got our Android eye on things a little under a year ago at BlackBerry Devcon Europe.

Things in the BlackBerry camp are starting to kick up through the gears of late -- they're having some kind of launch, if you hadn't heard -- and the final push to have apps on BlackBerry 10 at launch is upon us. Having held 2 previous "port-a-thons," the folks at RIM reached out to us with word of the final app-porting event before the big launch. All kinds of app developers are invited to take part, including of course Android developers.

There's cash up for grabs for those taking part too, with no need to wait until users start buying your BlackBerry 10 apps after launch. Each approved app will net the developer a cool $100, up to a maximum of 20 apps. So, if you've a whole portfolio of Android apps to port across, by our math that's a cool $2000 you could make this weekend. Not bad. Not to mention the repeated promises of success for app vendors on the BlackBerry platform. 

Additionally, everyone who submits 5 or more approved apps will be entered into a random draw to stand a chance at receiving one of 250 limited edition BlackBerry 10 devices. One entry is received for the first 5 apps, with an additional entry for each subsequent approved app. 

To register for the "BlackBerry 10 Last Chance Port-a-thon" hit up the link below where you'll find everything you need to know. There's a few steps to take ahead of time, such as requesting signing keys and register as a vendor for BlackBerry World. 

BlackBerry 10 will launch to the world on Jan. 30. Our sister site, Crackberry, is all over it as only they can -- to the point they have a launch campaign headquarters -- so you're going to want to keep it locked there in the coming weeks. 

More: Register for BlackBerry 10 Port-a-thon, Crackberry

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2 years ago

AT&T starting to push Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update OTA


After 6 weeks of availability only through Samsung Kies desktop software, the Jelly Bean update for AT&T's version of the Galaxy S3 is finally available over the air, as noted by the folks in our forums and confirmed to us by AT&T. (Engadget also has received separate confirmation.) Users were pretty confused as to why AT&T chose to only offer the Android 4.1 update via its desktop-based Kies program when it came out at the start of December, but the carrier has finally decided to make an OTA available for users that haven't updated -- and our guess would be a majority of users haven't. The update is still only available for download via a Wifi connection, but this is still a far better way to push out the update than with Kies. We're still scratching our heads wondering what AT&T was thinking the first time around.

Has your phone notified you of the update yet? Head to the forums and join in on the discussions with other users who woke up to a software update notification this morning.

Source: AT&T Galaxy S3 Forums

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2 years ago

Updates start to push for Samsung's Exynos exploit


Sprint Epic 4G Touch, T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 getting fixes so far

When word dropped in December about an exploit to the kernel used with some Samsung Exynos chipsets, Sasmung promised an update "as quickly as possible" to plug the hole. Looks like fixes are starting to push out. Here's what we're seeing so far:

Other devices affected include the international Galaxy S2, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note and Note 2, certain tablets using Exynos 4, Galaxy Player models, Galaxy Tab 2s and the Galaxy Note 10.1.

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2 years ago

The best calendar apps for Android


We've amassed some of the most popular, polished Android calendar apps that Google Play has to offer.

For a lot of us, Android’s native calendar does the job - we can plonk in appointments, invite attendees, build different calendars, and have instant access to our schedule with home screen widgets. There are some mighty ambitious third-party apps that try to improve upon the built-in experience, though. In no particular order, here are a few that are worth taking a look at. 

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2 years ago

Google Now apparently giving the silent treatment this morning


We've heard from a few folks this morning saying that Google Now apparent has gone quiet, refusing to verbally answer any of the usual questions. We're seeing it, too. Asking "What's the weather like today?" produces results, but you don't get that sultry voice. Probably just a server-side thing (OK, obvious a server-side thing), and we'd expect it to be fixed. But, no, it's not just you that Google Now is giving the silent treatment to.

More: Nexus 4 forums; Jelly Bean forums; ​Thanks, @cityhopper!

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2 years ago

Sony highlights design and connectivity in Xperia Z promo video


Based on our impressions last week, we'd say the Xperia Z is the most promising Sony phone since the original Xperia Arc. It's a 5-inch, 1080p device packing Qualcomm's latest quad-core Snapdragon S4, 4G LTE data and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, contained within a sexy glass chassis. If you missed out on the recent CES unveiling, Sony's published a two-minute promotional video covering the major features of the phone -- from the usual Bravia Engine and HD Reality Display nonsense to more tangible stuff like the design, the 13MP camera and connectivity with other Sony gadgets.

You'll find the video embedded above. When you're done, don't forget to check out our hands-on coverage of the Xperia Z from Las Vegas.

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2 years ago

Huawei Ascend D2 now available on China Mobile


As was revealed at last week's CES unveiling in Las Vegas, the Huawei Ascend D2 is ready to go on sale in China. The China Mobile version of the 5-inch, 1080p-screened smartphone went on sale today for 3,990 yuan ($642) direct from Huawei's Vmall.com outlet, which is giving away a free 5200mAh external battery with each device.

A word of warning to importers, though -- this is the dual-SIM CDMA (yes, CDMA with a SIM) version, so if you want to use it overseas you'll need to hold out for an unlocked GSM version.

The Ascend D2 replaces last year's Ascend D Quad series, and packs a 1.4GHz dual-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a new stainless steel-based chassis that Huawei touted at great length at CES. What's more, it's water-resistant too, as Huawei boss Richard Yu demonstrated by pouring a jug of water over the thing at last week's presser. On the software side, you're dealing with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, skinned with Huawei's MIUI-like Emotion UI.

For more on the Ascend D2, be sure to check out our hands-on coverage, and video, from CES 2013.

Source: Vmall; via: Engadget

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2 years ago

2 day hackathon for Google Glass developers planned in New York and San Francisco


Developers (and bloggers) who shelled out the $1500 for early access to a Google Glass unit are invited to a pair of hackathons dedicated to the wearable units at the end of the month. 

On January 28 and 29, things get underway at Google San Francisco office, and the festivities continue on February 1 and 2 at the Glass Foundry in New York. Registration starts January 18, and we're guessing that seats will sell out quickly.

In addition to learning about the Google Glass Mirror API, Google engineers will be on site to assist and answer questions. Of course, devices will be on site for developers to use, although no word on when devs will receive units of their own, or when to expect any retail units. The full letter is after the break

Via: All Things D

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2 years ago

An easy to understand explanation of why data caps suck


Data caps suck. They don't address the problems that exist in any meaningful way, and are simply a method to get money from your pocket into someone else's bigger, fancier, designer pants pockets. All of us know this on some level, but if you're curious why and how they aren't the safety net carriers and providers claim them to be, you'll want to watch this video. It does a fine job explaining TCP/IP network congestion, "power users" that hog bandwidth, streaming services, and why none of that is addressed by capping a users data.

This won't likely change anything, but at least now we can be a bit better informed the next time someone on the other side of a counter tries to talk you into a higher priced data plan.

Source: Blogphilo; via Gizmodo

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2 years ago

Instapaper updated with pagination, tilt scrolling, and more


Instapaper for Android has been updated to version 1.2, bringing bug fixes, performance enhancements, and a couple new features. We're not sure which bugs and performance issues were addressed, but we do know which features were added.

Pagination allows you to scroll an entire page versus line by line. If you're used to this type of scrolling, it's quite nice in any app that's built for reading. It's now available in the settings menu for those who want to give it a shot. In addition, you can enable tilt scrolling, which is just what it sounds like -- tilt your device to scroll the page. If you're the type who likes gestures and such, this one is for you.

On the visual side, Instapaper now supports in-line footnotes, and a new sepia mode that should prove easy on your tired eyes, 

Probably the biggest new feature is actually called The Feature -- a section of curated, editor recommended articles. While not for everyone, often times it's nice to have a place where quality content is the norm. 

Grab the update from Google Play, or install Instapaper ($2.99; Android 2.3.3 or higher) from the link above.

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