3 years ago

LinkedIn set to introduce advertising into mobile apps


LinkedIn, the business professionals choice in social networking, is set to introduce advertising into their mobile applications according to their Chief Executive.

On an earnings call this week, Jeff Weiner said that the company is ready to "start to introduce advertising in our mobile solutions." No timeframe was offered for this, but he went on to talk extensively about the mobile opportunities for the network. 

Rumours are rife around the internet that Facebook are also set to introduce advertising into their mobile applications as well. Whatever happens with both of these networks, it is sure to be met with a fair share of criticism from users.

Source: The Telegraph

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3 years ago

Galaxy Mini 2 appears, offers modest improvements at low-end



As well as expanding its mid-range portfolio with the Galaxy S Advance, it looks like Samsung is preparing a refresh of its entry-level hardware. A couple of promotional shots for a device dubbed the "Galaxy Mini 2" have leaked out online, showing some modest improvements on the basic hardware of last year's Galaxy Mini.

The most significant change is the upping of the screen's resolution -- from QVGA to HVGA. This was one of our biggest complaints about that device, so we're hoping the extra pixel density will result in a little less eye strain when using the Mini 2. For what it's worth, the LCD itself is a little larger, at 3.3 inches compared to 3.2 on the original.

As we said, spec bumps elsewhere are pretty minor -- the CPU gets a boost from 600MHz to 800MHz, while internal storage is increased to a total of 3GB. HSDPA speeds remain at 7.2Mbps, though unfortunately there's no mention of HSUPA support. And on the software side of you've got Android 2.3 Gingerbread, likely backed up by Samsung's TouchWiz UX.

Though the gap between super-high-end and entry-level phones is growing wider, the updated specs on the Galaxy Mini 2 should make it a a reasonable device for those on a budget. According to today's leak, the Galaxy Mini 2 will start shipping internationally later this month.

Source: GSMArena

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3 years ago

'Berry pink' Galaxy Note reportedly coming by early March


Want to feel even more awkward and self-conscious making calls on your Galaxy Note in public? Why not pick up the upcoming "berry pink" version of Samsung's 5.3-inch monster. It's reportedly launching internationally during the ninth week of the year -- that's last week of February (or "crazy week" as we like to call it around here).

The leaked promotional shot, obtained by GSMArena, reminds us of the pink Galaxy S II. Like that device, the pink Galaxy Note comes with a pink back cover, a pink bezel, and presumably a pink S Pen to boot. And we're talking bright pink. Discrete this thing most certainly is not.

In any case, it's worth remembering that this pink version is based on the GT-N7000 -- the international Galaxy Note, which has different internals to the North American LTE version. Somehow we don't see this color arriving stateside any time soon, but if you're up for importing it, then the girliest phone ever should set you back around $790.

Source: GSMArena


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3 years ago

Unannounced HTC device emerges sporting ICS, Verizon 4G LTE


Following last week's HTC Ville leakage, a new, unannounced HTC smartphone running Ice Cream Sandwich with Sense 4.0, and a Droid Incredible-style back panel has appeared online. The photos above (and a few more) have surfaced over on PhoneArena, suggesting that a 4G LTE-powered Droid Incredible 2 successor could be coming to big red in the future. While there's no Verizon branding on the chassis (likely due to this being a prototype), that's unmistakably the carrier's 4G LTE logo in the first image.

Additional images show a device running Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich alongside HTC Sense 4.0 -- the same updated Sense experience that we previously seen in the Ville leaks. Hardware-wise, HTC's mystery slab is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU with 1GB of RAM. There's a 8MP shooter on the back, as well as a VGA front-facer, and the screen is apparently an AMOLED offering rather than SLCD, which was used in many 2011 HTC products.

All in all, it looks like we've got ourselves a CDMA/LTE counterpart to the HTC Ville, which we'll likely see at MWC in a couple of weeks. We're not expecting to see any Verizon-specific stuff in Spain, but if we had to guess, we'd say this thing is a likely candidate for an unveiling at CTIA next month. You'll find more pics over at the source link.

Source: PhoneArena

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3 years ago

Phones4U to offer on-contract handset upgrades every six months


A common issue when picking up a new smartphone on an 18 or 24-month contract is that your device will almost always be obsolete well before the end of your service agreement. This is especially true in the Android space, where manufacturers seem to be continually one-upping each other (and themselves) with new high-end devices every few months.

Independent UK retailer Phones4U has today launched a new service which could allow customers to keep up-to-date with the latest handsets throughout the life of their contract. JUMP ("Just Upgrade My Phone") splits customers' monthly bills into a phone service part, payable to the carrier, and a "JUMP service agreement" bill, payable to Phones4U. Then, after six or more months, customers can choose to upgrade their handset, trading in their existing phone in the process. The remaining JUMP balance that's payable until the end of the contract is then offset against the price of the phone, and a new handset can be chosen, the cost of which is added to the JUMP balance.

The bottom line is that you'd be able to upgrade your phone during the life of your contract, in exchange for a somewhat increased monthly fee.

It takes a while to wrap your head around what's actually going on, but effectively customers are being given the chance to re-jig the part of their monthly payment that covers the cost of the phone. It's probably not going to be economical to upgrade three times within a 24-month contract, but it is at least more affordable than blowing £500 on a new handset in the middle of your contract.

JUMP is launching in Phones4U stores from today, and online from May. We've got the full presser after the jump.

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3 years ago

Motorola Droid 4 available now on Verizon for $199 on contract


The Motorola Droid 4 is now available from Verizon's website (and will be in stores in just a few short hours) for $199 on contract. As the name implies, this is the fourth phone in the line that for all intents and purposes put Android on the map.

As you'll recall from our hands-on at CES, the Droid 4 takes the classic Droid stylings -- a larger screen and a physical keyboard -- and refines them even further. From the front, it looks like a cousin to the new Droid RAZR MAXX, albeit a tad smaller with a 4-inch display at qHD (540x960) resolution. Slide open that 4-inch display and you've got what might well be the best physical keyboard on any smartphone. The keys are backlit and laser-cut and are extremely easy to navigate. 

One odd feature of the Droid 4 is on the backside. You can remove the battery cover -- and must do so if you want to get to the microSIM card (which is what provides the 4G LTE data) and microSD card. But it takes a weird little unlocking tool (included with the phone) to do so. But even then you can't actually remove the 1785 mAh battery -- at least not without likely breaking anything. That could be a deal-breaker for many. Check out our Droid 4 walkthrough video for more on that.

The phone's running Android 2.3.6, and Verizon is already promising to update it to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Other specs of note:

  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8MP rear camera
  • 1.3MP front-facing camerea
  • Serve as a 4G LTE hot spot for up to eight other devices.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Look for our full Droid 4 review in the coming days.

Source: Verizon Wireless

More: Droid 4 specs, Droid 4 forums

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3 years ago

Australia to get LG Prada 3.0 in April, coming to Vodafone


The global rollout of the latest in the LG Prada family continues, with the news that Vodafone Australia will be offering the device from April. 

The release of the Gingerbread powered device will be exclusive to Vodafone, and is being launched for use on its 850MHz network. RRP is said to be AUS$799, but the carrier has indicated that exact pricing and availability will be announced in "coming weeks." 

Prada branded phone not enough? A range of branded accessories will be accompanying the launch to include cradles, Bluetooth headsets and phone pouches.

In other LG Prada news, the went on wider release at retailers in the UK this week, following a short exclusivity period with Phones4U.

Source: Ausdroid

More: Hands on with the LG Prada 3.0

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3 years ago

Late-night poll: Do you carry a spare battery?


We had another good look at the Motorola Droid 4 today, non-removable battery and all.  Well, the battery door cover is removable (unlockable even!), just not the goods underneath.  We're seeing how well it's 1785mAh battery lasts on LTE, but that's another story for another day.  Tonight we wanna talk about phones that do have a removable battery, and get an idea just how many folks use that feature regularly. 

So let us know in the poll!


Do you carry a spare battery?

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3 years ago

Is Google planning to open a retail store in Dublin?


According to documents unearthed by Bloomberg, Google just might be building a dedicated retail outlet in Dublin, Ireland at their European headquarters. 

A planning application submitted to the local authorities there states that the "Google Store" would be open to the public and include 123 square meters of space. At present Google has tried out the retail experience in a smaller setting, by setting up a dedicated space for their Chromebooks in PC World and Currys in the UK. 

Google has a retail store for their merchandise in California that isn't open to the general public. But this planning application passed on Jan. 23 this year paints a different picture. There are also plans for a staff swimming pool at the facility should this all go ahead.

Source: Bloomberg
More: Read the planning application in full


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3 years ago

LG Phoenix Gingerbread update now available via LG Support Tool


We've got good news, and we've got bad news.  The good part first -- The LG Phoenix has a shiny new Gingerbread update waiting for it, bumping a bit of new life into one of last years best "beginner" Android phones.  You'll get all the goodness that sits under the hood in Gingerbread, and because LG is light on the changes you'll see a lot of the new goodies as well.  Everyone loves an update, no matter how long they have had to wait.

Now for the bad news.  You'll have to use LG's notoriously bad Mobile Support Tool to update the phone.  It's Windows only, and has a pretty bad track record when it comes to working as it should.  I'll go on record saying it's as bad or worse than Kies, and I hate Kies.  

Anyhoo, if you're rocking an LG Phoenix, a Windows computer, and can set up drivers and hardware, grab the update.  Full instructions (you're gonna need them) are at the source link, and always shout out in the forums with questions.

Source: LG

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3 years ago

Google Wallet under attack again - this time by a feature, not a hack


Ahhh, Google Wallet. It's a giant target, both because it involves the almighty dollar and because people love to go after Google. This being the case, we're seeing an old trick being rehashed that will give someone access to your prepaid Google Wallet card. It's not a hack, per se, nor is it new -- but it's a poor design choice that keeps the prepaid card tied to the phone hardware instead of with your Google Wallet account, which is more sandboxed. It goes like this:

  • Find a Nexus phone with NFC laying around somewhere
  • Wipe the app data on Google Wallet and enter a new PIN
  • Profit?

So what you're hearing about now is what happens when you clear the app data from Google Wallet. That means stored information -- the PIN you entered -- is no longer attached to the app on your phone. Next time time you open Google Wallet, you're told to enter a new PIN number.

And then it once again asks which Google Account you want to tie in to Google Wallet. Because you're still logged in to you Google Account, suddenly the phone says "Hey! I recognize that user name! And you must be that user on your phone! Here's the free $10 Google's already given you, or whatever else you've added, too."

Thing is, in the example you're hearing about now, you're not actually that user. Someone has stolen your phone. And they can get to the Google Prepaid Card. And that's actually a feature that's documented in Google Wallet's Switching Devices help pages. Emphasis ours.

Your Google Prepaid Card balance may be transferred if you have completed your account registration. Contact us for more assistance.

There are a lot of ways this could be fixed. Maybe the best, but likely the least popular among users, would be to implement an Exchange-like security policy across the entire device where an ID and a PIN must be entered to do things like unlock the phone, or change settings. It would seem easier to secure the entire phone that it would be to change the architecture of the payment system, and if nobody can unlock your phone or get into the Wallet app settings (to clear data), this problem is solved. The new problem is that nobody likes to have to enter a PIN, and Android hackers will find a way around this in short order and call it a "feature" of their ROM. Hopefully Google has people smarter than I tackling these types of issues.

In the meantime, set some sort of screen lock.  Just do it.  If someone finds your phone, and can't get in, they can't wipe the data on your Wallet and change the PIN.  Your Google Wallet, unlike your old wallet, can be locked down.  Hit the break to see a video of this one in action.

Source: Smartphone Champ

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3 years ago

Pre-ordering the Galaxy Note, Optimus S ICS ROM [From the Forums]


Thus far, we've looked at some Google rumors today, a quick look at the Droid 4 and dealt with some Google Wallet concerns plus more. If you missed out on anything, get yourself caught up and then head on into the Android Central forums for some 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

Verizon Droid XYBOARD tablets getting updates to enhance browser performance, touch response and prepare for global roaming


If you've got your hands on either a Droid XYBOARD 10.1 or 8.2 then you have some updates from Motorola and Verizon headed your way. The XYBOARD series will be getting getting enhancement to improve the browser and touch responsiveness and possibly more importantly for some -- Global roaming capabilities:

The update will enhance browser performance, touch response and prepare the XYBOARD for global roaming. The global roaming feature will be added in a two step process. This software update will add the global support to the hardware and a second over the air update will be pushed soon after to update the SIM card and make the tablet Global Ready. The second software update will be pushed within two weeks of receiving the first update. Once the second update is completed, customers will be able to take their XYBOARD tablets overseas and use data in over 205 countries, and more than 150 of those with 3G speeds.

Customers who have signed up for e-mail alerts will receive an email notification after the second update alerting them that the tablet is Global Ready. Before traveling outside the United States, customer will need to power on the tablet and establish a data connection on the Verizon Wireless network for 15 minutes to ensure the update takes effect and also enroll in a Global Data Plan that fits their travel needs at www.verizonwireless.com/global.

That should help some folks out if you're planning on doing any travelling or if you experienced and issues with the browser or touch responsiveness on your tablet. You can hit the source links to check out the software update pages for each device.

Source: Verizon (10.1), (8.2)

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3 years ago

Google said to be developing a home entertainment system


Google is developing a wireless, streaming home entertainment system to be released under their own brand, according to insider tips given to the Wall Street Journal.  This would be a big change for Google, who so far has developed only software and allowed other companies to use as they please (mostly) on their own hardware.  Supposedly, the Android team has been developing this one, and it should be available this year.

We already have Google Music, Google Movies, and Google TV.  A mashup of the three featuring a set-top box and audio visual receiver (possibly made by Motorola) makes a lot of sense.  Seeing it sold under a Google brand makes less sense, but it's not impossible that the company is going forward an idea like this.  Their proposed purchase of Motorola Mobility, which includes the cable box division, would give them access to hardware design and manufacturing, as well as engineers to do it.

We'll have to wait and see how this develops.  Personally, I'm excited about a full home theater-like system powered by Android, and controlled by my smartphone.  I think more than a few of you guys would be as well.  

Source: WSJ

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3 years ago

Motorola Droid 4 has an unlockable ... battery cover?


So here's the Motorola Droid 4. We're about to do our thing to it as only we can in our full Droid 4 review, but here it is in a nutshell: Fast device, blue display, good build, great keyboard, and the craziest damn battery cover contraption we've ever seen.

Check this out: The little plastic thing you see here -- sized up against a 2005 California quarter -- is the battery cover unlocking mechanism tool device thingy, or BCUMTDT for short. It's not unlike the iPhone's "SIM unlock tool," which is a fancy way of saying "thing you put in a hole to remove some other thing." It's craziness, we say.

What's hiding under that battery cover? Well, not a battery, for one. As you no doubt by now know from our hands-on with the Droid 4 at CES, you can't actually remove the battery from the phone.

So why bother with the battery cover unlocking mechanism tool device? There are other goodies tucked away under there -- mainly the micro SIM card for 4G LTE data, the microSD card -- and one last surprise, which we'll uncover in the video after the break.

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