Headlines

3 years ago

Sidekick line will continue after Sidekick 4G, says T-Mobile

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Just under a year after it revived the Sidekick line with the Samsung-manufactured Sidekick 4G, T-Mobile is discontinuing the device to make way for newer, shinier things. However, fans of the Sidekick brand and form factor need not fear, as Tmo plans to continue the Sidekick series in the future. In a statement sent to ​The Verge​, the carrier says, "while the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G is being retired, it doesn’t mean we are discontinuing the T-Mobile Sidekick line."

When we reviewed the Sidekick 4G last year, we found it to be a decent mid-range handset with some useful software features, and a unique UI. There's definitely plenty to build on in a future device.

The mobile phone market is increasingly dominated by large touchscreen slabs, with fewer and fewer QWERTY devices available. T-Mobile has remained supportive of keyboard-based sliders, though, with its G2 and myTouch series, so it's only natural that it'd want to keep the Sidekick brand alive, too.

Anyone out there looking forward to a newer, sleeker Sidekick with higher-end specs? Let us know how you'd like to see the Sidekick series continued in the comments!

Source: The Verge

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3 years ago

Sprint's divorce from LightSquared is final, returns $65 million

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And that, as they say, is that. Sprint this morning announced that its spectrum deal with LightSquared is officially over, and the two companies will go their separate ways. LightSquared's going away with $65 million back in its pockets -- money that Sprint had already accepted as prepayment for costs that were never realized.

Said Sprint in a news release:

“Sprint has been and continues to be supportive of LightSquared’s business plans and appreciates the company’s efforts to find a resolution to the interference issues impacting its ability to offer service on the 1.6 GHz spectrum. However, due to these unresolved issues, and subject to the provisions of the agreement, Sprint has elected to exercise its right to terminate the agreement announced last summer. We remain open to considering future spectrum hosting agreements with LightSquared, should they resolve these interference issues, as well as other interested spectrum holders.

“Late last year, both companies agreed to halt deployment design and implementation of LightSquared’s network to ensure that Sprint’s Network Vision project remained on schedule. While unfortunate, termination of the agreement will have no impact on Sprint’s current customers and is not material to Sprint’s ongoing business operations. Network Vision remains on schedule and on budget, and we look forward to begin launching our 4G LTE network mid-year.

“Per the terms of the agreement, Sprint has returned $65 million in prepayments LightSquared made to cover costs that were not ultimately incurred by Sprint.”

So what does this mean to you? Really, not all that much. Sprint's still planning on rolling out its LTE network by the middle of the year, and that can't come soon enough for those of us waiting on another option for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (which just went through the FCC). It just won't be doing so with LightSquared.

Source: Sprint

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3 years ago

Nexus S ICS updates reportedly restarting in 'a few weeks'

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Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich was briefly pushed to the Nexus S last December, before being pulled due to battery life issues on some handsets. Now reports suggest that the official resumption of over-the-air updates to ICS may be just a few weeks away, and that the Nexus S 4G will finally see the latest version of Android, too.

Engadget​ reports via "trusted sources" that the Nexus S and Sprint Nexus S 4G will both receive fresh updates to ICS in "the next few weeks." It's been a long wait for Nexus S 4G users in particular, who've yet to see anything official besides a leaked 4.0.4 build.

If you'd rather not wait a few weeks to get Ice Cream Sandwich on your Nexus S, you can check out our guide to manually installing the update. And like we said, there's always that leaked build for the Nexus S 4G -- though you'll have to muddle through with the same radio issues that affected Gingerbread on some devices.

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

Google Flight Search now supports international destinations

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Google's new flight search feature has been updated to include destinations outside of the United States, assuming you're still starting​ your journey from an American airport. In a post on its "Inside Search" blog, Google says it's added support for over 600 international airports as destinations. However if you're planning a journey which begins at one of these airports, you're still out of luck for the moment -- Google Flights only works when U.S. airports are used as a starting point.

Last month Google Flights launched for mobile, meaning all these new features are supported on mobile devices, assuming you're using an Android or iOS device. There's no stand-alone app available on either platform, but if Google Flights picks up steam, we wouldn't be surprised to see one launched at some point in the future.

To take Google Flights for a spin, check the links below.

Source: Google Inside Search; More: Google Flights

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3 years ago

UK retailer slashes Sony Tablet S price

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There's no doubt that today is iPad day, but if you're looking for an Android tablet, you could do worse than Sony's Tablet S, with its quirky "folded magazine" design. Today UK retailers Currys, PC World and Dixons -- all part of the Dixons Stores Group -- have cut the Tablet S's price by £100, knocking it down to £299. The new price puts it in line with competing 2011 tablets like the Motorola Xoom and Galaxy Tab 10.1. In addition, Currys promises a £10 voucher to anyone buying the Tablet S online.

The Tablet S, which launched late last year, was Sony's first foray into the world of Android tablets. It's powered by the standard NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU, with 1GB of RAM and a lightly-skinned Android 3.2 Honeycomb on the software side, with an update to Ice Cream Sandwich promised in the near future. Sony's software suite includes all the proprietary stuff you'd expect -- Music and Video Unlimited, along with PlayStation certification for gamers. The main thing setting it apart from other tablets, though, is that wedge-shaped chassis, which is designed to make it easier to hold in one hand.

Elsewhere on the web, Sony Tablet S prices still hover around £350-375 (~$550-590). Given that today's iPad 3 new iPad launch pushes the iPad 2 down to £320 in most stores, we'd expect to see last year's Android tablets priced further below this mark in the months ahead.

Source: Currys; via: Eurodroid

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note now available on Three UK

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It has been a bit of a wait, but as of today the Samsung Galaxy Note is available to Three UK customers. 

The international version of the Galaxy Note has been available since November, and Three's customers have had to be patient. Initially, the white version is on sale, and can be had both on contract and on pay as you go. 

On contract, the Galaxy Note is available from free and for no more than £38 a month. Three's top tier plans include all-you-can-eat data on their HSPA+ network, which is a tantalizing prospect when coupled with a device like this. On Pay As You Go, the Galaxy Note will run you for £499.

The Note is available now online and in all Three retail stores. If you're still undecided, don't forget to check out our full review of the International version.

Source: Three UK

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3 years ago

Google Play Store updated, new tabbed My Apps UI and app review features

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An update is beginning to push out to the Android Market Google Play Store bumping it to build number 3.5.15. With it comes a change in the UI to the "My Apps" area, and some handy new features built into application reviews that bring it more into line with the desktop version. For us outside North America we also seem to have been renamed from "Play Shop" to the much better sounding "Play Store." 

The change to the "My Apps" area is the most obvious change brought with this latest update. Gone is the single -- and incredibly long in some cases -- list of old, and in comes a new tabbed interface in the same vein as the main store.  The installed tab is now split into two parts, the updates still showing at the top but the remainder are now labelled as "up to date" below. 

Swipe left and we now get the "All" tab. Handily this contains all the applications you've ever installed. Gone are the days of scrolling all the way to the bottom of your installed apps list to find your not installed paid apps selection. This also contains all the free applications you installed before but don't have currently. Everything is here. This tab also has a handy dropdown box at the top listing all your Google accounts, providing a much smoother and easier way of switching without having to go into the menus. 

Heading out into the main store, further changes can be found in the app reviews. Now the device on which the app on the device which the reviewer was using. Reviews can also be filtered by "most helpful first" or by "newest first," and also for the latest version of the app and for your type of device only. This last one could be particularly handy for anyone running Ice Cream Sandwich, since we still seem to have compatibility issues with some applications. 

One final thing to note. When I first started trying to download apps after the update, everything kept flashing up with "Error 941." Force stopping the app, clearing cache and starting again seemed to do the trick. Not great, but seemed to fix the issue at least. 

For a few screenshots hit the break. If you find any other features worth noting, shout out in the comments below.

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3 years ago

World of Goo [Android Game Review]

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

The fleeting feeling of nostalgia, a quick virtual swipe of the credit card, and everything is new again. Well, that's not quite true. World of Goo has still been out since November on Android (and even longer on desktops, iDevices, and the Wii), but that doesn't mean I can't have some fun with those delicious little goo balls and their crazy, physics-based antics.

If you've ever played X Construction (or any other physics-based building game), you'll immediately see the inspiration that was (probably) drawn from World of Goo. Instead of using steel beams, you're stretching out sentient goo-beings, trying to create a structurally sound contraption that the other goo-beings can move along to a suction tube. (Yeah, you read that right.)

World of Goo is pretty forgiving on the whole building front; lines appear when you're placing a new goo, showing you how it'll connect to the rest of the structure. Thicker lines mean the connection will be a strong one; thinner lines mean you're going on a date with destiny. Still, that's no reason to shy away from the tough moves. If you're fast enough, you can piece together something before the entire tower comes crashing down.

The whole point of all the building and the goo-beings and the suction tube? To get the goo-beings sucked up, of course. Each level has a minimum number of goos that need to be sucked up, so you can't be wasteful with your placement. As a reward for being stingy (or can we say efficient?), you're awarded bonus points for every goo that gets sucked up over the required minimum.

Combine genre-defining gameplay with gorgeous graphics, excellent controls, and the online leaderboard to build the biggest tower in the history of the Goo World, and you've got a recipe for success. But we already knew that, seeing as how World of Goo has been wildly successful on just about every platform it has been unveiled on. Point is, you should play it.

World of Goo is $4.99 in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note on T-Mobile, E-Mail Polling woes [From the Forums]

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While those silly folks from iMore will all be standing in a line somewhere tonight, we'll all be enjoying some fresh air and getting some work done. If you're looking to get caught up on all the latest Android news, go ahead and jump back a few pages or -- drop into the Android Central Forums for much more discussion:

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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3 years ago

EA Sports launches FIFA 12 and NBA Jam on Google Play

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EA Sports has released two long-awaited titles on Google Play in Europe and North America today -- FIFA (Soccer) 12 and NBA Jam.

FIFA 12 is the latest in the long-running soccer football franchise, and launched on games consoles and iOS last October. The Android version originally launched exclusively on the Xperia Play last December, carrying Sony's "optimized for Xperia Play" branding. Now EA's opened things up to anyone with $5 (£4.15 in the UK) to spare and an Android 2.1+ device.

Likewise, NBA Jam is another classic franchise which has finally made its way across to Google's app store. EA promises arcade basketball action featuring all 30 NBA teams, including head-to-head multiplayer over Wifi or Bluetooth. NBA Jam is priced at $5 in North America, or £3 in Europe.

We've got Google Play links for both titles after the break.

 

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3 years ago

Heads up: No podcast tonight ...

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We love ya. We do. But frankly it's beautiful outside, and we've got some homework to do. So we'll catch ya' next week!

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3 years ago

YouMail makes it easy to block unwanted numbers from calling with just one click

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Sometimes having a cell phone as your main line can be more of an inconvenience than a convenience, especially when it comes to unwanted unsolicited phone calls. Google Voice has offered the ability to block unwanted calls for quite some time now, but not everyone wants to transfer their phone number to that service. Recently the folks at YouMail have updated both Visual Voicemail Plus and WhoAreYou on Android, and now they can both take advantage of the newest feature. Now, with just one click any unwanted numbers can be blocked.

To help users understand which calls should be ditched, YouMail’s network of over two million registered users have identified numerous “spammers” and other unwanted callers.  When these users call, they’re clearly identified, making it effortless for users to recognize unwanted calls.

Both WhoAreYou and Visual Voicemail Plus are available in the Google Play Store as free downloads. If you want to easily block callers on the go, be sure to check them out today! Full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Scramble with Friends now available in the Google Play Store

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Zynga has made some extremely popular mobile applications such as Words With Friends and a few others, and today Scramble With Friends has landed in the Google Play Store. Scramble with friends has been available on iOS for some time now, and it is equally as addictive as Words With Friends. The concept of the game is simple, connect the tiles you have to create words, the more letter the more points. Tokens are also collected as the game is played, and these can be used to buy help during the game, for example hints or the ability to free time if you wish.

The download is free, the game is addictive, so hit the break and download it today!

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3 years ago

Sprint Galaxy Nexus flies through the FCC; still no word on release date

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This, ladies and germs, is the Sprint version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, as seen by the Federal Communications Commission. We've been happily ignoring FCC listings of already announced and gently fondled smartphones -- particularly ones that we've twice reviewed already (Verizon, GSM), but this one's a bit special because it's Sprint's, and we know how patient all you Sprint folks have been watching Verizon customers rock their own LTE versions.

So what do we learn from Sprint's Galaxy Nexus FCC listing? Not a damn thing of any real use. We still have no idea when it'll be released (first half of the year, in conjunction with Sprint's LTE rollout, is the best we've got), which really is the only question we have at this point.

And, so, we keep on waiting, and hope to see Sprint's lineup of LTE-enabled cities expand beyond the half-dozen already named.

Source: FCC; via Engadget

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3 years ago

IMDb Movies & TV app updated with Android 4.0 compatibility, improved tablet design

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When we hosted our 2011 Android Central Editors' Pick Awards we chose IMDb Movies & TV as the tablet app of the year. Now, IMDb is gunning for that title again in 2012 having just released a new Android 4.0 optimized version with a new home screen layout and more:

  • Improved design and experience for a variety of 7” tablets
  • We greatly reduced the size of the app by removing the “Scan DVD” feature (based on customer feedback)
  • The “Hardware Controls: Take Pictures & Video” permission is no longer required.
  • Improved showtimes

Having sat down with the app briefly before writing it up, it's certainly a worthwhile update. The new layout feels a little bit more intuitive and natural, making getting your around the app a whole lot easier. The update is available now in the Google Play Store, you'll find the link past the break.

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