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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S2 4G available from Virgin Mobile USA today

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As was initially announced back on November 8th, Virgin Mobile USA has now made the Samsung Galaxy SII (S2) available online and across their participating retail outlets and dealers. Customers looking to pick one up can do so starting today with the pricing set at $370. You will have to decide upon a color though as Virgin Mobile is offering the device in titanium and white. If you need a plan to go along with it, Virgin Mobile "Beyond Talk" plans start at $35 per month for unlimited messaging and data. You'll find the full press release below should you wish to peruse through it.

More info: Virgin Mobile

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3 years ago

HTC DLX leaks come full circle with the international 'Deluxe'

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We've seen the HTC Droid DNA and J Butterfly for the U.S. and Japan respectively. Now it seems HTC's monstrous 5-inch smartphone may be getting a wider international release in the future. The image above comes via notorious Twitter leaker @evleaks, who identifies it as a "global edition" of the "HTC Deluxe." You may remember the Deluxe or "DLX" codename from successive Droid DNA leaks over the past couple of months.

There's no information on which territories might be seeing the phone but if it's GSM unlocked, it should work just about everywhere. Europe might be a likely target for a global version of the DLX, though HTC has only just released the One X+ on European shores.

If the Verizon and Japanese versions are any indication, this handset should pack a quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, along with 2GB of RAM and a 5-inch, 1080p SuperLCD3 display. That's about as good as it gets at the moment in terms of smartphone specs.

Anyone excited for a possible international version of such a beastly handset?

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

Cogs, Canabalt, Zen Bound 2 and more added to Android Humble Bundle

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If you haven't picked up on the charity-driven bundle of Android games that went live last week, maybe the addition of Cogs, Canabalt, Zen Bound 2, Swords & Soldiers HD, and Avadon: The Black Fortress will tempt you. Those that have got in on previous Humble Bundles will recognize these titles, though many of those announced initially with the Android Humble Bundle 4 aren't even on Google Play yet. Those first titles include Splice, Eufloria, Waking Mars, Machinarium, Crayon Physics Deluxe, and Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. Waking Mars looks especially cool, but really, they're all fantastic games.

The catch with the new bonus games is that you have to pay more than the average donation price, which currently sits at $6.18. See, they have a pay-what-you-want structure here, and you get to pick how you want to split up your donation between devs, the Humble Bundle organizers, and charity. Where available, you'll also get Steam codes to play these games on your PC. There's also an Android app available to keep tabs on new bundles, get game updates, and download previous purchases. 

Head on over to Humble Bundle's site to get started. So, who's already got the bundle? What's your favorite game in it so far? 

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3 years ago

Unlock the hidden 'BeanFlinger' daydream in Android 4.2

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Android 4.2's "daydreams" are neat little screensaver-like apps that can run when your phone or tablet is docked or charging. Out of the box, there are five stock daydreams available, but there's a hidden fifth one that's unlockable if you access the Jelly Bean "Easter egg" animation.

As we first revealed back at Google I/O, tapping several times on the Android version number under Settings > About phone will bring up a large Jelly Bean smiley face. Hold down on that for a few seconds, and you'll be taken to a screen filled with even more happy beans.

Once that's done, the "BeanFlinger" daydream will be unlocked. Find it with the rest under Settings > Display > Daydreams. This process should work on any Android 4.2 device that supports daydreams.

Happy bean-flinging, folks. We've got video after the break.

Thanks for the tip, @bsrubio!

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3 years ago

Verizon Droid DNA unboxing

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OK, let's face it. For a lot of folks, the launch of a smartphone like the Verizon Droid DNA just isn't complete without an official unboxing. Ceremoniously peeling back layer after layer. Decorative packaging. Then box itself. All those legal and quick-start booklets that you never, ever read. A charger. A cable. If you're lucky, a set of earbuds. If you're really lucky, a set of earbuds that won't leave you wincing in pain, either from discomfort or horrible sound quality.

And then, finally, the phone. You know, that thing you actually paid good money for. 

More: Check out our Droid DNA forums

This Droid DNA unboxing should feel pretty familiar. Verizon's retail packaging hasn't changed. Same Droid eye staring at you, mercilessly, throughout the ritual.

And so with that warning in hand, hit the break for our official Verizon Droid DNA unboxing video. Huzzah.

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3 years ago

Early Galaxy S3 Android 4.1.2 firmware leaks, multi-view feature in tow

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It's been rumored previously, and now there's more evidence to suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S3 will be getting the "multi-view" feature from the Note 2 in its upcoming Android 4.1.2 update. An early, leaked version of the ROM obtained by SamMobile also adds many other Note 2 features, including smart rotation, Paper Artist, a new gallery app and the Note 2's SwiftKey-powered keyboard.

For the uninitiated, multi-window allows you to split the screen between two full-fledged Android apps by long-pressing the back key. It wasn't quite ready for the Galaxy Note 2's launch, but was added in an over-the-air update few days later.

Today's leaked firmware is a pre-rooted testing build that's been cobbled together based on a system dump, so all the usual warnings apply. As it's not officially signed by Samsung, flashing the firmware will increase your custom binary counter, too. And it's for the international 3G S3 only (GT-i9300), so don't try flashing it on any other model.

The Galaxy S3 isn't the only device rumored to be getting multi-view. There've been whispers in the past few weeks suggesting that the original Galaxy Note (international version, GT-N7000) could end up with some of its big brother's showcase features, in addition to the new TouchWiz Nature UX -- as part of its Android 4.1.2 update.

There's no official timeframe for the Galaxy S3 to receive Android 4.1.2, but SamMobile seems to think the company's aiming for a December release on international models.

Source: SamMobile

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3 years ago

AT&T LTE lights up Twin Cities

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In addition to a handful of new LTE markets yesterday, AT&T has flipped the switch on LTE coverage in the Twin Cities, Minnesota today. AT&T took the announcement as an opportunity to pimp out some of their high-speed Android devices, such as the Sony Xperia TL, LG Optimus G, and Samsung Galaxy S3

Also, our Fearless Leader, Phil, is reporting that his hometown of Pensacola, Florida is starting to get some LTE lovin'. Anyone else notice new AT&T LTE in their area? Who's still waiting for 4G coverage?

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

Google launches global augmented reality game Ingress, invite-only for now

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Google's Niantic Labs has launched Ingress, a new worldwide augmented reality game that will be primarily played with your mobile device. Back in September, they released an app called Field Trip, which aims to provide relevant information as you walk or drive around. Ingress is far more ambitious and involved than Field Trip.

It is a game that can be played by anyone with the app and will take quite a while. Not too much is known about the game, but what we do know is drawn from the vague video produced by Google above. It involves two groups, the Resistance, and the Enlightened. One group pushes back against 'the power' while the other seeks to use it to their advantage. 

A major aspect of the game will be using your phone while you're out and about, collecting power by walking certain routes or analyzing landmarks.

This sounds pretty interesting and ambitious. It's invite-only for now and Android-only for now, but Google plans to be on multiple platforms because they want as many players as possible.

To request an invite, hit up the source link, which is the main landing page for Ingress. If you're one of the lucky ones with an invite, there is also a link to the app in the Google Play Store.

Source: Ingress; via All Things D

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3 years ago

Amazon opens Cloud Drive to Japanese users

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Amazon this morning announced that its users in Japan now have access to its Cloud Drive service.

The company is inviting users to store their files on the Amazon cloud and is dangling 5 gigabytes of space for free. Extra space of 20 gigabytes cost ¥800 per year, similar to the $10 charged in the U.S.

The company first released a desktop app for cloud storage in May this year, and followed up with a photo app for Android devices at the start of this month.

Besides tying in all your devices, the idea is also for its Android-based Kindle Fire and Fire HD devices to be hooked up to your files, especially photos, so you can show your colleagues yet another picture of your adorable puppy.

The Cloud Drive Photos app is free in the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore.

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3 years ago

Android dominates China with 90% market share

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A recent smartphone platform study of China shows that Android is absolutely dominating the landscape with 90.1% market share. Over the last quarter, iOS dropped from 6% to 4.2%, though keep in mind that they still didn't have the iPhone 5. Apparently the survey skipped knock-off devices, which means the Android share might actually be higher, though there also may be plenty of iPhones getting smuggled into China that aren't accounted for. The average selling price of Android handsets is down from $251 to $223 this quarter.

Even if Google's participation in the Android device market in China is limited, there are plenty of manufacturers in the area that are fleshing out their own Android variants to address local needs. Sure, that doesn't always work out, but otherwise, it seems like most manufacturers are doing what's to be expected of any open source project: hack away at it and make it their own. 

Any Chinese readers in the house? Is Android adoption as prevalent as this study suggests, or is the iPhone smuggling market big enough that the research doesn't do iOS justice? Is there room for a significantly competing platform in China? 

Via: TNW

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3 years ago

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch ships today, 4G version next week

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Amazon has announced that their new tablet, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch (see our Hands-On), starts shipping today. This is the WiFi-only version, with the LTE option set to ship next week.

In case you've forgotten the Amazon event back in September, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch boasts:

  • 16GB / 32GB storage options
  • 1920 x 1200 screen (254 ppi)
  • 1.5GHz dual-core processor
  • 9.4 x 7.31 x .34 inches
  • Dual-band, dual-antenna WiFi
  • Dolby audio and dual stereo speakers

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch comes in a few different varieties:

  • 16GB with Special Offers - $299
  • 16GB without Special Offers - $314
  • 32GB with Special Offers - $369
  • 32GB without Special Offers - $384

Currently, it can only be purchased from Amazon's Kindle Fire HD page, but will be available in Best Buy stores starting tomorrow, and at Radioshack and Staples in the coming weeks.

The LTE option will ship starting on November 20th for $499.

The tablet race has certainly gotten interesting this past year. Do you plan to pick up a Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch? Waiting for the LTE version? Head over to our Amazon Kindle Fire HD Forum and let us know!

Source: Amazon

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3 years ago

Vodafone Red Hot offers a new phone every 12 months, but there's a catch

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Vodafone UK has kicked off a new price plan which allows customers to get a new phone every 12 months, with a 2GB monthly data allowance and unlimited calls and texts. Vodafone Red is the carrier's latest effort to stand out in an increasingly competitive market, flanked by the 4G-toting EE and the unlimited data-offering Three.

But there's a catch -- Vodafone Red Hot customers won't actually own their handsets, they'll lease their phones from the carrier, and pay a hefty fee if they're returned in a damaged or "modified" state when the contract comes up for renewal.

Right now Red Hot is limited to the iPhone 5 and Samsung's Galaxy S3 and Note 2. Pricing breaks down as follows for a 12-month contract --

  • Samsung GALAXY S3 16GB - £47 per month
  • Samsung GALAXY S3 32GB - £52 per month, £29 up-front fee
  • Samsung GALAXY Note 2 - £52 per month

So the main benefit here is you're not paying anywhere near as high an up-front cost to get your hands on these devices. Nevertheless, we'd be a little wary of any contract that says we're just keeping our phone warm for the carrier, rather than legally owning it.

More: Vodafone UK

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3 years ago

XCom Global now offers Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 rentals

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Forget, for the moment, that the Nexus 7 probably is the most successful Android tablet to date, and that you can pick one up for just $199. And that if you travel, say, to Europe, there's a better than average chance that you'll be taking your tablet with you. But let's say you left yours at home for whatever reason -- or you've yet to purchase one, or maybe you want to give the Nexus 10 a shot. XCom Global, the company that can hook you up with Mifi service in some 170 countries worldwide, is now offering Nexus 7 rentals for $1 a day. That's an introductory price, and costs will bump up to $2 a day for the Nexus 7 and $3 a day for the Nexus 10.

That, of course, is added on to whatever you're paying XCom for data as well. Full presser's after the break.

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3 years ago

OnLive added to LG Smart TV with Google TV

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OnLive this morning announced that as of today it's being integrated into the Google TV build on the LG G2 Smart TV. Updates should be delivered over the air today, and it'll be preinstalled on all future LG Google TVs.

The LG G2 comes in a couple of flavors -- a 47-inch monitor for $1,699, and a 54.6-inch set at $2,299.

The OnLive gaming service also is preinstalled on the Vizio CoStar Google TV box.

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3 years ago

Top threads from the Droid DNA forums

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I've been camped out in our Verizon Droid DNA forums for the better part of the last two days, and the discussion is simply incredible. Here are a few threads you must be sure to check out:

And that's just for starters. Have a question about the Droid DNA? Register for your Mobile Nations Passport and come join us in the forums!

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