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2 years ago

Samsung reportedly working on phone with three-sided screen


Bloomberg reports new flexible-display handset could emerge in second half of 2014

With the recent launch of the Samsung Galaxy Round and LG G Flex, we're finally witnessing arrival of flexible, curved smartphone displays, a trend that looks set to continue into 2014. And now Bloomberg brings news that Samsung might launch a different kind of curved-display handset — one with a "three-sided" screen. Citing "people familiar with the plans," the outlet says the screen would extend all the way around the phone's sides, allowing users to view messages from an angle, with each side of the display operating "independently."

The device may form part of the Galaxy S or Galaxy Note line, or it may be the first in a new line of products, according to the outlet. The new "three-sided" device will apparently use an upgraded version of Samsung's Yuom technology, which is utilized in the Galaxy Round's curved SuperAMOLED screen.

However it's unlikely we'll get our first glimpse of this new handset anytime soon, with one source reportedly saying to expect a launch sometime in the second half of 2014.

Source: Bloomberg

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2 years ago

Sprint's HTC One Max available today for $249 on contract


A quick reminder, folks, that Sprint's mondo HTC One Max is available today. The 5.9-inch phone — and that's just the display, folks! — will run you $249 on contract, or $25 a month with the Sprint One Up program. (You can save another $100 if you port your number over to Sprint, by the way.)

A reminder: This phone's not for everyone. It's big. Really Big. Here's how our own Alex Dobie put it in his official HTC One Max review:

The One Max is more than a big HTC One, but also a lesser phone than the HTC One. If you’re after the full HTC experience on a larger display, well, for the most part, this is that device. And right now it's the closest you're going to get to an HTC tablet. But for most buyers the smaller, better-looking HTC One, or the higher-end and more manageable Galaxy Note 3 will be better options.

So be sure to read our full take before taking the plunge.

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2 years ago

Moto G will ship with KitKat in the U.S.


Android 4.4 to come out of the box in 'wave 2' countries

We found out earlier this week that Motorola's new budget handset, the Moto G, will be updated to the new Android 4.4 KitKat by the end of January. However the manufacturer has now confirmed that in the U.S. and other countries launching the device early next year, it'll actually arrive with Android 4.4 out of the box. Speaking with Omio recently, Motorola SVP Mark Randall elaborated on the company's international rollout plans: "Wave 2, products that we ship after Christmas, will start with KitKat [...] Wave 2 is in the US; there’s South East Asia, and other countries."

Recently launched in Europe and Latin America, Moto G is Motorola's attempt to shake up the entry-level smartphone market, with a combination of relatively high-end internals and a competitive price point. For more on the Moto G, check out our hands-on coverage from the European launch event earlier this week.

As for the Moto X, that's due to receive KitKat in "a matter of weeks."

More: Moto G hands-on, Moto G photo gallery

Source: Omio; via:

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2 years ago

New FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler sends stern letter to CTIA urging phone unlocking reform


Chairman claims carriers should notify customers when phones can be unlocked

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler hasn't completed his first week on the job, but that doesn't mean it's too early to start laying the groundwork for future policies. In a letter to the CTIA today, the Chairman urged the wireless carrier association to reconsider its opaque and frustrating stance on cell phone unlocking. Building on groundwork between the FCC, federal government and carriers previously, the letter breaks down a five point plan that Chairman Wheeler thinks is a more consumer-friendly option:

  • Provide a clear, concise, and readily accessible policy on unlocking.
  • Unlock mobile wireless devices for customers, former customers, and legitimate owners when the applicable service contract, installment plan, or ETF has been fulfilled.
  • Affirmatively notify customers when their devices are eligible for unlocking and/or automatically unlock devices when eligible, without an additional fee.
  • Process unlocking requests or provide an explanation of denial within two business days.
  • Unlock devices for military personnel upon deployment.

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2 years ago

Update brings Chrome 31 to the stable track, adds printing for Android 4.4 KitKat


For those of you rocking the stable (ie not beta) version of the Chrome browser, be aware that an update is headed your way. Chrome 31 has been promoted to the stable track, and it brings forth the ability to print from a device running Android 4.4 KitKat (though it appears that's also in Chrome 30 on the Nexus 4 — but whatever), a better autofill/autocomplete experience, and the requisite stability and security enhancements.

And speaking of security, Google also announced it forked over (another) lump of money to Pinkie Pie after a couple more exploits were uncovered. Gotta love pwn2own.

Source: Google

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2 years ago

FCC releases speed test app to perform both active and passive mobile data tests


In-depth mobile data metrics to empower wireless consumers

The FCC has released its own open-source speed test app in the Play Store, giving any Android user access to mobile data speed information on their device. The main goal of the app, the FCC claims, is to empower wireless customers in the U.S. to know how well their smartphone's mobile network is performing. Just as you would expect, you can perform active data speed tests, which return download, upload, latency and packet loss information. You'll also get extra info such as signal strength, SIM operator code and network operator name.

Further, by default the FCC Speed Test app will also conduct passive tests and return anonymous speed test data to the agency for analysis. The app collects absolutely no personally identifiable information, is completely anonymous and has a privacy policy that discloses everything the app is capable of.

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2 years ago

Android 4.4 factory images for all Nexus 7s now available, too


Return to stock or update to the latest version on your Nexus 7

Along with the Nexus 4, all versions of the Nexus 7 have also received Android 4.4 factory images. Even though the OTA update to KitKat hasn't come to the Nexus 7 variants that have mobile data, all four variants of the smaller Nexus tablet have factory images available.

If you're willing to put a little time into it you can use these to update your own tablet, or just download and have them at the ready should you ever need to return to stock.

More: Nexus 7 2013 Forums | Nexus 7 2012 Forums

Source: Google Developers

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2 years ago

Google posts Android 4.4 factory image for Nexus 4


In what should be a pretty clear sign that an over-the-air update is coming soon, Google has posted the factory image for Android 4.4 KitKat for the Nexus 4.

Factory images are  especially helpful if you bork your device playing hax0r — or if you just want an easy way to start from scratch. In the case of the Nexus 4 — which has yet to see an over-the air update — it'll allow you to update without waiting — or wiping.

Also: Don't be surprised when you flash this if you don't have what's been dubbed the "Google Experience" launcher. There's no Google Now on the far left — you'll have to slide up from the home button just like always. Also: No new wallpapers, and no transparency. Weird, but not totally unexpected.

More: Nexus 4 forums; Thanks, Cliff!

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2 years ago

ISIS Mobile Wallet now available for Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile customers


Service requires compatible phone, enhanced SIM, ISIS app and participating store

ISIS Mobile Wallet, a competing service to Google Wallet backed by three major carriers, has finally made its official launch in the U.S. Customers with compatible phones and specific SIM cards on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile can now download the ISIS Mobile Wallet app and get started with mobile payments.

At a time when Google Wallet is pushing away from needing any specific carrier or even a secure element in the phone, ISIS requires quite a few hoops to get started. First up you'll need to be on one of the three aforementioned carriers, and that's it. Next, you'll need a compatible phone, which in every case is a subset of carrier-branded phones currently offered. You'll also need a so-called "enhanced SIM," which carries a secure element required for the transacation. Lastly, you'll need the specific ISIS Mobile Wallet app for your carrier — although they look identical, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile each have their own app in Google Play:

ISIS has also partnered with a specific set of banks (now sans Capital One) that give the best experience with the payment processor, but luckily you can also add any back account manually if you'd prefer. And once you're set up and ready to pay, you'll have to go to a retailer that has signed on with ISIS to have the proper terminal ready as well. ISIS provides a map to look up retailers, and in our area it looks like its basically limited to carrier stores (of course), some drug stores and random merchants we've never heard of.

If you're interested in giving ISIS a try, hit the break for a full list of compatible devices on each carrier.

Source: AT&T (PRNewswire); ISIS

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2 years ago

Moto X now available from Republic Wireless


Republic Wireless is doing some pretty radical things when it comes to service plans, and now it's got another top-notch phone to go along with them. The Moto X — read our full review — is now available on the low-cost operator for $299 outright.

As for those service plans, remember that Republic does this thing where you pay as little as $5 a month for Wifi-only, but with that you'll still be able to talk and text. Here's the full breakdown:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data, on WiFi only - $5/month
  • Unlimited talk and text on WiFi and cellular, and unlimited data on WiFi - $10/month
  • Unlimited talk, text and data on WiFi, plus 3G cellular - $25/month
  • Unlimited talk, text and data on WiFi, plus 4G LTE cellular - $40/month

More: Republic Wireless

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2 years ago

European flights get the green light for electronic device use


EASA follows the FAA in allowing gate-to-gate use of personal electronic devices

Following the recent FAA rulings in the U.S. the European equivalent, the EASA, has also now approved the use of personal electronic devices for all stages of flight. Providing everything is turned into airplane mode during travel, you'll be able to use devices such as your Android smartphones and tablets gate-to-gate once airlines have adopted it. 

Bulkier items such as laptops will need to be stowed during taxiing, takeoff and landing, but smaller devices can remain in your hand and in use. The guidelines are expected to be published by the end of November, and here's hoping the European airlines adopt them with speed afterwards. 

Source: EASA via The Verge

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2 years ago

T-Mobile now selling the Nexus 5 for $449


A quick heads up that T-Mobile is now officially selling the Nexus 5 online. You can pay $449 outright — that's an extra $50 over (OK, OK, $100 over the comparable 16GB version) what you'll pay at Google Play, mind you — or $17 a month over two years with $41 down.

Otherwise, same ol' Nexus 5 we've been enjoying for weeks now.

Source: T-Mobile

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2 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Do you sideload OTA updates?


Good things come to those who wait, but it comes to those who sideload faster

It's the time of year that we all start thinking of Android version updates (or the lack of them) and that means we are getting impatient. New hardware, like the Nexus 5, on the scene running the new version doesn't help much, because it's naturally going to dominate the news for a while. Those of us that aren't buying the new shiny for one reason or another sit and patiently wait for our turn.

Then when we finally get an announcement that an update is coming, we're ready. Of course we still have to wait, because Google, manufacturers and carriers like to have what I call a #trollout — where they take their time and gradually pass out the goodies slowly, hitting just a few at a time and never you. It can be infuriating.

All that can go away once someone a bit handy gets the OTA. They can download and mirror it, it even get the URL so we all can download it ourselves and apply it with a little bit of work and a few tools. These vary by device type, but you can always fins someone in the forums that knows how where and why to get it done. 

So do you wait for your turn, or do you pounce as soon as you have the means? I won't lie — the second I have a URL I'm all over it. I won't speak for anyone else here (but we all totally jump on those links, we're Android fans) or for you guys, because we have a poll where you can speak up on your own. You'll find it in the sidebar to the right or after the break (depending on how you're reading this). Let us know how you do what you do, then hit the comments for discussion about why. 

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2 years ago

Hands on with the new Moto G accessories


Flip cases, replaceable rear shells, bumpers, headphones and battery packs accompany Moto's new affordable wonder

Launching alongside the new Moto G is a pretty decent stack of official accessories. During the launch event presentation, Motorola spoke of how important they feel customization is, and while we won't be seeing a Moto Maker for the Moto G, there is a bunch of different colored cases, shells and bumpers to make your new phone your own. 

Beyond customization, Motorola was also showing off new battery packs and color matched headphones, while also talking about forthcoming wireless speakers produced in partnership with JBL. 

Here in the UK, the Flip Shell will cost a respectable £18.99, while the Grip Shell aka the bumper is even more wallet friendly at £9.99. The wired earphones will run you for £34.99, and the battery packs we were told would vary in price depending on region. 

We didn't see all of the accessories in all of the colors, but we did manage to grab plenty of snapshots of what we could get our hands on, so jump on past the break for the full gallery. For more on the Moto G, be sure to check out our first hands-on, and jump into the Moto G forums where we're hosting a Q&A. 

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2 years ago

Moto Maker customized Moto X for Verizon just $49 on-contract until Nov. 18


Save an additional $50 on your custom Moto X this week

It may be just a few days since Moto Maker went live for Verizon, but the carrier is putting out another discount on the handset. Following up on a $100 on-contract price drop that put the handset at just $99, you can now pick up a customized Moto X on Big Red for $49.99.

There's no special coupon or promotion at play here either — just head to the Moto Maker site (directly or via Verizon) and go through the process, the $50 deduction will happen at checkout.

Source: Verizon; Motorola; Thanks, Ben!

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