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3 years ago

Sony rumored to be prepping 'lens and sensor' accessory for smartphones

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High-quality imaging as an accessory could be Sony's answer to latest 'cameraphones'

Here's a crazy (but plausible) rumor for a Friday afternoon. While other manufacturers are releasing camera-centric smartphones — such as the Galaxy S4 Zoom and Lumia 1020 — Sony might decide to take a different route and offer high-end imaging as a smartphone accessory.

The latest rumors from Belgian camera site SonyAlphaRumors suggest that the manufacturer is preparing a lens with built-in imaging sensor and battery, that will mount to a smartphone and communicate wirelessly, after pairing over NFC. The device would also be usable on its own, though renders of the purported gadget seem to lack a screen of any kind. As such, the main use case involves attaching it to the back of a smartphone and viewing a live, wirelessly-beamed feed.

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3 years ago

Rovio Account now available on Android

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Service allows game sync between devices

Mobile gaming giant Rovio has announced that its own game sync service is now available on Android. A rival to Google's own Google Play game services, Rovio Account addresses one of the major gripes of multi-device gamers by allowing them to easily sync progress across their devices. Multiple accounts also means multiple users can play the same game on the same device without overwriting each others' progress.

Rovio Account is now live for the original Angry Birds and The Croods, with more games to follow in the near future. The service is also launching today on Apple's iOS.

Source: Rovio

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 2 to skip Android 4.2, go straight to 'newer version,' says Aussie carrier

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Note 2 could go from 4.1 to 4.3, Telstra document suggests

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 might never see Android 4.2, but instead jump straight to the next version of the OS — presumably Android 4.3. In its latest update advisory, Australian carrier Telstra said of the Galaxy Note 2 4.2 update —

"Samsung have elected globally to skip the 4.2.2 update for this device and will instead go to a newer version of Android. No schedule has been provided for this update."

There's been no official confirmation of this from Samsung, nor do we know whether this situation might affect Note 2 devices outside of Australia. But with the Android 4.3 launch seemingly close at hand, it wouldn't surprise us to see certain Android 4.1 phones skip directly to this next version of Jelly Bean.

While Android 4.2 is a relatively minor update for skinned devices, the extra time needed to roll out 4.3 could result Note 2 waiting a little longer for new TouchWiz features. In any case, hopefully the update situation will become clearer once Google officially unveils Android 4.3, something which is expected to occur at next Wednesday's San Francisco press event.

Source: Telstra

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3 years ago

HTC One Mini UK availability and pricing [Updated]

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Coming to CPW, Phones4u, O2, Vodafone and EE; first SIM-free prices​ starting to appear

Yesterday saw the official unveiling of the HTC One Mini — the manufacturer's miniaturized, lower-priced version of its current flagship. And we've published a full hands-on preview, walking through the device's features and comparing it to the full-sized One, as well as Samsung's rival Galaxy S4 Mini.

Over the past day we've started to see the first signs of when and where UK buyers will be able to pick up the device. Network operators O2 and Vodafone have confirmed on Twitter that they'll be offering the One Mini for sale — O2 says it's "coming soon," while Voda promises an August launch. EE spokesperson confirmed to Android Central that it'll be offering the HTC One Mini on its 4G network, but didn't offer any pricing or release date. 

Independent retailer Phones4u also has a pre-order page up for the silver One Mini, and promises £50 Google Play credit for pre-orders on EE, or £25 for all other networks. On the SIM-free side, Handtec is the first British retailer to post a pre-order price for the device — £379.99 inc. VAT, or £316.66 exc. VAT. Carphone Warehouse is the only retailer offering a similar price — £379.95 — with an Aug. 9 release date.

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3 years ago

Huawei announces MediaPad 7 Youth with 1.6GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.1

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Solid specs and aluminum construction hitting a whole host of markets in Q3

Huawei has just announced the latest device in its "MediaPad" tablet lineup, the 7-inch MediaPad 7 Youth. As the name would lead you to believe, the MediaPad 7 Youth is targeted a younger generation, and in that vein is supposed to be light, portable and powerful. With a nearly full aluminum back plate, the tablet is 9.9mm thick and weighs 350g (.77lbs) which is about average for this size device. As for specs, Huawei has put an unnamed (presumable in-house designed) 28nm 1.6GHz dual-core processor, along with a 4100mAh battery and a pair of cameras in the MediaPad 7 Youth.

While the screen resolution isn't specifically listed, Huawei claims native 1080P video playback indicating that resolution for the panel. The device will also come with HSPA+ 21 networking capabilities, which is a nice plus to have as a default option. The device is also running on Android 4.1, although the software customizations aren't listed or shown off at this time.

As we would expect, the MediaPad 7 Youth is targeted at a smattering of markets including Russia, China, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Europe in Q3 2013. Pricing and specific availability will likely vary and has not been announced at this time.

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3 years ago

Verizon CFO: 'We will not touch our service pricing' after launch of VZ Edge

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Deployment of VZ Edge expected to have no affect on financial results

Following both the release of its new "Verizon Edge" upgrade plans and Q2 2013 financial results, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo had some interesting statements regarding the new upgrade scheme. When asked if there was any plan to change Verizon's service pricing to reflect the new off-contract and unsubsidized "Edge" upgrades, Shammo clearly stated "We will not touch our service pricing." That's a big disappointing to many of us who have done the rough math on VZ Edge, which shows how much more expensive it will be for customers. T-Mobile, by contrast, reduced the cost of its service plans to reflect the subsidy component being moved to an "Equipment Installment Plan".

Further, Shammo does not expect many customers to move over to the new VZ Edge plan, expecting them to continue along with the two-year contract and subsidized phone model. So few customers are expected to try the new system when it launches August 25th that it will have no impact on Verizon's earnings.

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3 years ago

Incipio announces Galaxy S4 3100mAh battery case

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An additional 10.5 hours of talk time and some rugged protection all in one

For those who need a little extra juice and don't want to carry around separate batteries to swap in-and-out, Incipio has just released a quite large 3100mAh battery case for the Galaxy S4. The aptly-named "offGrid" battery case is a two-part ordeal that consists of a back plate and a rubber bumper that come together around the phone, which provide both protection and a quoted 10.5 hours extra talk time when fully charged. The case slits into the Galaxy S4's USB port on the bottom, and then has its own USB port for charging, along with an LED battery status indicator on the front.

Just like the other battery cases we've seen from other case manufacturers, you're certainly going to feel the extra bulk of this case. But for those who need the extra battery life and protection, it's a worthy tradeoff. The Incipio offGrid battery case has just gone up for pre-order with an estimated ship date of 3 weeks, and rings up at $89.99. You can see a few more pictures of the case after the break, or head to Incipio's site to pre-order now from the source link below.

Source: Incipio

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3 years ago

The Android Central App: Which theme should be the default?

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I don't think we ever got around to actually asking this one officially, so let's do it now. We've got two themes available in the official Android Central App. One's light, one's dark. Right now we serve up the light theme by default. And it's a fine theme.

But that dark theme just keeps calling to us. It beckons us into the settings every time we install some new test build.

And, so, we put it to you. Which theme should be the default? Light? Or dark?

Choose wisely. Poll's after the break.

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3 years ago

Memo pegs US Cellular's Moto X launch for Aug. 26

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Larry Page is pretty excited about the Moto X today, but you and I, peasants that we are, will have to wait a wee bit longer for one on US Cellular, according to this internal memo we've received. 

Looks like marketing materials currently are slated to arrive the last week of August, with a device launch on Aug. 26. We're told that the "Wave 1, 2, & 3" part could refer to stores in USCC's LTE markets getting first dibs on the devices, with non-LTE markets to follow.

Still nothing official from Motorola or any of the carriers, but given that Motorola's hyping the hell out of this thing and we've seen the likes of Eric Schmidt walking around with it in broad daylight (to say nothing of about 3,000 other sightings), it can't be too long now.

More: Moto X forums; Thanks, anon!

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3 years ago

Path app now available on Amazon Appstore

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Those of you who enjoy the tight-knit social network Path and have a Kindle Fire are in luck, as the app has just hit the Amazon Appstore for those non-Google Play equipped devices to download. If you haven't heard of it before, Path is a social network focused on sharing more personal moments with a small group of people, which is strongly based on using mobile apps rather than the web for sharing. With Path, you can share status updates, pictures and private messages between users in a different setting than the generally "broadcast" style mediums like Facebook and Twitter.

Kindle Fire users, as well as other users who happen to prefer the Amazon Appstore for one reason or another, can download Path for free from the source link below.

Download: Path (Amazon Appstore)

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3 years ago

Motorola posts picture of Moto X being made in Texas plant

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'Designed by you. Assembled in the USA.'

The official Motorola Mobility Twitter account has just sent out the above picture, indicating that it is showing workers in the Texas plant that is manufacturing the upcoming Moto X. The picture shows plant employees diligently working away at some complex tools, and is accompanied with some not-so-subtle wording:

"Yep. This guy is building exactly what you think he is. Designed by you. Assembled in the USA."

That is of course the tagline that has been used since Motorola spilled the beans on the Moto X name in a nationwide newspaper advertising campaign, reminding people that the upcoming device will be customizable and assembled here in the United States.

Remember we also have an upcoming Google event on July 24th -- with this intensified marketing push by Motorola we could be in for a real treat next week.

Source: @Motorola

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3 years ago

Larry Page on the Moto X: 'I'm very excited'

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Three simple words today from Google CEO, speaking on the long-awaited return of Motorola with the Moto X:

"I know you're all eagerly anticipating what Motorola is launching soon. Having been a tester for a while. I'm very excited."

Google's got an event laid on next Wednesday in California

More in our Moto X forums.

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3 years ago

Larry Page: 1.5 million Android devices activated every day

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Android device activations set to hit 1 billion soon

For his opening statements in the Google Q2 2013 earnings call, CEO Larry Page took a minute to remind us the number of Android devices that are out there today. Mirroring what we heard back at Google I/O, Page reiterated that over 900 million Android devices have been activated since being introduced in 2008. He also dropped another number, letting us know that at this point 1.5 million Android devices are activated daily.

Those are some huge numbers considering that Google I/O 2012 gave us a milestone of 400 million total activations. At this rate we'll see that magical 1 billion number soon enough.

Read: Google's Q2 2013 earnings are in — revenue up 19 percent

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3 years ago

Google's Q2 2013 earnings are in — revenue up 19 percent

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Google's Q2 2013 earnings are in, and the earnings call itself is just minutes away. The big strokes:

  • Revenue was up 19 percent over the second quarter of 2012 at $14.11 billion.
  • On the advertising side, cost per click fell about 6 percent over Q2 2012.
  • Motorola saw $998 million in revenue but still had an operating loss of $342 million.
  • Google reported $54.4 billion in cash on hand.
  • Headcount fell from 53,891 as of March 31 to 44,777 as of June 30.

Google's stock closed Thursday at 910.68, down 7.87.

Be sure to join us for the earnings call and live chat!

More: Google Q2 earnings report

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3 years ago

Join us at 4:30 p.m. EDT for Google's Q2 2013 earnings call!

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Strap in, boys and girls. Google's getting set to drop its its second-quarter 2013 earnings report on us this afternoon, and we're all coming along for the ride.

In addition to all the usual financial stuff, you'll want to stick around for the Q&A session, where the execs aren't limited to prepared remarks — and during which we occasionally get some extra insight into what's been going on in the world onf Android, and what lies ahead. And it's an even bigger possibility given that Google's got an event laid on next week in San  Francisco.

So, check back in at 4:30 p.m. EDT (that's 1:30 p.m. on the West Coast). We've got the video stream up above, the live chat down below, and a bag of popcorn at the ready.

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