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3 years ago

Instagram profiles coming to the web

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After holing up on mobile since its inception, Instagram has announced that their iconic photo sharing app will be hitting the web with full profiles over the next couple of days. Previously, you could only really view individual pictures on the web, but these new profile pages allow users to follow fellow Instagrammers, leave comments and likes on pictures, or edit their profiles. 

Instagram was recently snatched up by Facebook, so it's not surprising to see them opening up a little bit. Once Instagram on the web is fully matured, it will be interesting to see how the two social networks drift into one another. Will they eventually merge userbases, or will they still coexist as separate entities? The update doesn't allow web uploads of images, instead continuing to favor mobile, which should give us an idea of Instagram's future direction.

Any heavy-duty Instagram users out there? Serious photographers, what's your take on the service? Is it legitimate enough for Time magazine to use it to cover Sandy, or is Instagram overhyped and tacky?

Source: Instagram

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3 years ago

Judge throws out Apple lawsuit against Motorola (and Google)

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The patent battle between Apple and Google (by way of Motorola) just keeps on going. Apple and Google were set to square off in the courtroom today in Wisconsin over allegations that Motorola's patent licensing practices were unfair. Fortunately -- for our collective sanity, if nothing else -- the case has been thrown out by the federal judge assigned to the suit. A spokeswoman for Google had this to say about Google's patent licensing practices:

"Motorola has long offered licensing to our extensive patent portfolio at a reasonable and non-discriminatory rate in line with industry standards." 

The suit was thrown out with prejudice, which means that it is overturned at the trial court level, but you can bet we'll see Apple appeal this decision as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this is likely far from over.

Source: Reuters

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3 years ago

Samsung and Amazon snatch tablet market share from Apple

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IDC's quarterly research of the tablet market revealed that Samsung and Amazon have done really well lately at the expense of the iPad. As you might expect, Apple still holds about 50% of the tablet market share worldwide, but Samsung is up to 18.4%, and Amazon is up to 9% - significant improvements over 6.5% and nil at the same time last year. By comparison, the iPad claimed 65.5% in Q2 2012, and 59.7% tablet market share in Q3 2011. IDC figures that the tablet market has grown nearly 50% since last year, and grew 6.7% from Q2 2012 to Q3. 

Of course, this data isn't taking into account the iPad 4 and iPad mini, which are likely to show Apple clawing back some market share, though the Nexus 10 will likely give Apple some stiff competition. Windows 8 RT is also an option now, though it's hard to imagine a lot of folks going that route this early on. On paper, it looks like the N10 will beat out the iPad 4, but we all know these devices come down to more than just specs. 

How do you guys see the rest of the year playing out in the tablet space? How much longer will it be before the iPad is in the minority? Will it be able to weather the barrage of Android tablets coming out of the woodwork? Is there any room for a third platform?

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3 years ago

Rovio teases Angry Birds Star Wars gameplay prior to November 8 launch

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Angry Birds Star Wars is approaching its November 8 launch, and Rovio continues to tease us, today with another gameplay trailer. The birds all look like characters from the classic sci-fi movie, complete with special Star Wars-themed abilities.

The red bird will be able to spin with a lightsaber, taking down structures and deflecting fire from Stormpiggies. The yellow bird is donning Han Solo's appearance, and will be able to make strafing runs over the course of his trajectory, while the black bird Obi-wan Kenobi will be able to execute a force push before making impact. The egg-laying bird actually drops an R2-D2 unit now which electrocutes everything in a certain radius. We've also seen the pink bird dressed up as Princess Leia, who will have a kind of laser shot ability similar to (but more direct) than Han's. Check out some of the other gameplay videos on Rovio's YouTube channel for a further sampling. Chewie looks like he's just huge and will roll over just about everything. 

So, who's going to be picking up Angry Birds Star Wars? Is this licensing deal tacky or adorable? How do you guys feel about the Disney acquisition?

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3 years ago

LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 landing on AT&T November 9

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AT&T has announced that their LTE-enabled version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 will be available starting November 9 for $499. They'll also be selling the ATIV Windows 8 PC, if you're considering making that leap. To sweeten the deal, AT&T is providing $100 credit towards any second connected Samsung device after the first, which would make the ATIV "only" $699. Here's a quick run-down of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, but you can get a full tour in our review

  • Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich (Jelly Bean coming "soon")
  • 1.5GHz dual-core processor (Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset)
  • 10.1-inch WXGA PLS TFT 1280 x 800 display
  • 7,000mAh Lithium-Ion battery
  • 1GB RAM, 8GB ROM and microSD card slot supporting up to 64GB memory card
  • Personal and business email, as well as IM through Google Talk
  • 3G/4G LTE mobile hotspot capability supporting up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

Sprint's version is hitting shelves on November 11, though given the state of their LTE network, the only thing that would reasonably bring people to them instead of AT&T would be their plans. 

Anyone interested in AT&T's model will be able to find it in their online store eventually. Anyone biting, or is Wi-Fi good enough?

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

UK pre-orders of 64 GB Samsung Galaxy S3 now available

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Clove UK has been teasing a 64 GB variant of the Samsung Galaxy S3 since August, but they're inching ever-closer to a release. Pre-orders are now available for £600.00 (VAT included), but don't get too excited. Clove says that stock is expected to be available in about two months, and even then, they'll only be deciding on ordering a shipment based on how many pre-orders they get. 

We've heard that the 64 GB SGS3 will be headed to italy as well, though other regional availability is still up in the air. Have you been holding back on getting a Samsung Galaxy S3 for the sake of a bit more storage, or are you happy with 32 GB and whatever your microSD card offers? Any readers in the UK preordering one of these? Anyone else wish these models were available in their area?

Source: Clove

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3 years ago

UK gets the Samsung Galaxy Camera this week

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Samsung today reminds us that its Galaxy Camera, erm, camera will be available in the United Kingdom this week. Samsung-branded stores get it first, starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, celebrated with canapes and champagne, no less. Stores such as Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4U and Jessops and Clove will sell the Galaxy Camera starting Thursday.

The Galaxy Camera, like NIkon's Coolpix S800c, is the electronics manufacturer's first foray into the traditional point-and-shoot market. It sports a 16.3-megapixel BSI sensor, F/2.8 23mm lens with a 21x optical zoom, and is all powered by Android 4.1. Wifi and GPS are built in, of course, and cellular options are available. There's 8GB of storage on board, with microsSD expandability. 

The Galaxy Camera costs £399 inc. VAT,  £332.50 excluding VAT. In the United States, AT&T has pledged to carry the camera on its network.

More: Our hands-on with the Galaxy Camera; sample pictures

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3 years ago

Android 4.1.2 update for Galaxy Note could add Nature UX, multi-window feature

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Samsung has already provided a wealth of software upgrades for the original Galaxy Note, which first shipped just over a year ago on Android 2.3-based firmware. Now signs seem to point towards the OG Note being updated directly to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, as part of an upgrade that'll include two major new features -- the TouchWiz Nature UX, and the multi-window feature from the Galaxy Note 2. Multi-window was a showcase feature for the Note 2, allowing multiple apps to be used on a split screen at any time.

Reports from SamMobile indicate that a new firmware version, N7000XXLS3 is in testing at Samsung, and includes the Nature UX and multi-window support, in addition to limited "air view" floating cursor support using the S Pen. And today a video has surfaced from French YouTuber Jimmy Nodet, which seems to show an even newer ROM -- N7000XXLS7 -- in action. The (admittedly shaky) footage shows the TouchWiz Nature UX running on an original Note, as well as fully-functional multi-window capabilities. The video description claims this is an "official Android 4.1.2 update" for the international Galaxy Note. That doesn't guarantee its legitimacy, but on the other hand the video doesn't match any custom ROM we're familiar with.

Last month rumors suggested Samsung would also bring multi-window to the international Galaxy S3, in an Android 4.1.2 update slated for December. If the original Note was to get the feature, it'd certainly make sense for it to appear on the S3, too.

Of course Samsung hasn't announced anything officially, but there are a lot of original Galaxy Note owners out there who'd be very happy if these reports turned out to be correct. Nevertheless, until the updated software out of Samsung's internal testing circles and available for download, Note owners would be advised not to get too excited.

Source: SamMobile 1, SamMobile 2, YouTube

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3 years ago

Major Samsung brand shake-up tipped for CES 2013

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Samsung could be planning a major overhaul of its brand and marketing efforts ahead of CES 2013, if reports from Australian outlet ChannelNews are to be believed. The site reports via sources in Asia that a team previously involved with brand development at Nike will be leading the effort, which it says should reinvent Samsung with "a more vibrant, international brand image."

Brand development guru Scott Bedbury, who has previously worked with the likes of Nike and Starbucks, is said to be leading the team.The new branding is said to be due to make its debut next January, at CES 2013 in Las Vegas.

ChannelNews says that following next January's show, the familiar blue Samsung logo will be retired, replaced with "all new product marketing linked via their own individual colours that are part of an overall brand family."

Samsung's advertising strategy will change too, it's claimed, with "products linked to lifestyle activities similar to what Nike does."

Whatever Samsung does at next year's CES show, we'll be live in Las Vegas to cover everything as it happens. Any wild guesses as to how Samsung might revamp its image? Shout out in the comments.

Source: ChannelNews

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3 years ago

Hands on with Echofon beta for Android

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Anyone who has ever used an iOS device or an Apple computer, will likely have come across Echofon at some point along the way. While it may have been caught up, and even passed, in popularity since, it has been around for some time. Funnily enough, around the same sort of time the Echofon team announced that they would be withdrawing any future support for their Mac client, the alpha build of their Android application started doing the rounds. The desktop app is now no longer, with the Mac version having been withdrawn from the Mac App Store leaving the developers, Naan Studio, free to concentrate on mobile. The Android build of Echofon recently entered its beta phase, so we took some time out to take a look and see how it fares. 

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3 years ago

MObile Nations Movember Week 1 Update - A clean shave... laying the foundation for MO growth!

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Mobile Nations Network Movember Funds Raised so far: $3858

Ok folks, it's time for our first Mobile Nations Movember update. We'll be bringing you these updates every Sunday throughout the month of Movember (formerly known as November) as we grow out our moustaches and raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer research and men's health issues.

We had 82 individuals from around the world respond to our Movember call to action from across our sites, which is amazing! November 1st saw the Mo Bros on the team shave clean to lay the foundation upon which to grow a manly moustache. The next step is to let that moustache grow and to raise money, and we're off to a great start. Members of the Mobile Nations Network have already raised nearly $4,000!

Participants are updating their Mo Space pages with status updates and photos. We've collected some of our favorites which you can check out below, along with links to where you can donate to individuals on the team. We also have another video below that will tell you a bit more about the Movember story, in case you're wondering what this is all about.

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3 years ago

Outside of Google Play's reach, Nexus 4 pricing may not be so sweet

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Most people were pretty caught off guard when Google announced some ridiculously low pricing for the Nexus 4. At $299/$349 in the U.S. and Canada, €299/€349 in Europe and £239/£279 in the U.K. with international availability at launch, it seemed like Google had done everything right this time around.

On November 13, the Google Play store page for the Nexus 4 will go live with shipping availability to the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, France, Spain and Australia. For the countries not listed above, the pricing structure is a bit more up in the air. In its press release, Google notes that “offline availability” is coming to Europe, Central/South Americas, Asia, CIS and the Middle East starting at the end of November, but gives no pricing or retailer information.

We’re hearing different things from retailers and users around the world, and it looks like the pricing for countries outside of Google Play’s direct shipping reach will be paying a pretty penny. Retailers in Italy, Austria and Denmark have reported that LG’s direct MSRP (suggested pricing) will be much higher -- somewhere in the €549 to €599 range -- than Google’s. We're already seeing that a Spanish retailer Phone House (counterpart of Carphone Warehouse in the U.K.) has even pulled out of offering the Nexus 4 all together because the pricing direct from LG will be so much steeper than expected.

It should be noted that much of this is out of Google's control, as LG is the one selling the devices to these retailers. Google's ability to sell directly to specific countries also requires a whole host of regulatory approval and certification that just may not be possible in certain areas (at this time). It’s understandable that Google’s own offering would be much cheaper when considering that it can go straight to the consumer with no storefront and low overhead, but seeing this high of a premium put on the devices being sold with retail partners is a tough one to swallow.

Prices will inevitably drop once importers are able to get their hands on units in the countries served by Google Play, similar to what we saw with drops in prices of Galaxy Nexuses, but no one knows how long that will take. Hopefully things will clear up and pricing will become more than a rumor in the coming weeks.

Source: AndroidOS.in; The Next Web 

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3 years ago

U.S. carriers react in the wake of Hurricane Sandy

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Our phone and network infrastructure is a critical part of the recovery efforts following a natural disaster. In an age where the only connection to the outside world for many people is a smartphone, the effects of a hurricane can be devastating. Luckily, the big four carriers in the U.S. are working hard to restore critical infrastructure damaged by the storm. Each is doing something different, but all are going above the regular call of duty to help out people put into a tough position by Hurricane Sandy.

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3 years ago

Latest Sprint commercial says no to a 'Data Coach'

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Carrier wars hardly ever make for good reading -- not unless we, the consumer, are getting something good from it. But, every now and then a slightly entertaining moment pops up. This latest advertisement from Sprint perhaps just about falls into this category. 

In a nutshell, it's nothing more than a commercial for their unlimited data plans. But, at least they've put some thought into getting that message across. The family has hired a 'Data Coach' to help them share out their shared data plan, who basically says "nay" to using cellular data pretty much anywhere. It's a little cheesy, but unlimited data is a pretty big deal, if you can get it.

Source: Sprint (Facebook) via Phone Arena

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