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3 years ago

First alleged Samsung Galaxy S4 render emerges


Early image claims to show upcoming Samsung flagship, but there's reason to be skeptical

It’s that time of year again, boys and girls -- the first purported Samsung Galaxy S4 render has emerged online. This morning Samsung fansite SamMobile posted a photo of a render showing what it claims is the next flagship phone from the Korean manufacturer. The image, which the site says was passed to it by a Samsung insider, appears to be a photo of the render as displayed on a monitor or other LCD display.

The alleged Galaxy S4 (or Galaxy S IV, if you prefer) shot shows a Galaxy Note 2-like design, with accentuated, rounded corners and no physical buttons. The device also has an extremely minimal horizontal bezel, along with the usual assortment of buttons, ports and sensors in the usual places.

There’s no way of verifying the authenticity of this image, but SamMobile has a pretty decent track record when it comes to Samsung leaks. Nevertheless, given how many inaccurate Galaxy S3 renders did the rounds last year, we’re inclined take this latest pic with a hefty dose of salt for the time being.

Even if this image is a legitimate Samsung creation, there’s no guarantee that the device it shows will become the Galaxy S4. Samsung is notoriously secretive with its flagship products, even going as far as designing and developing multiple variations of the Galaxy S3 to reduce the likelihood that the real thing would leak. So there’s a chance this design might be just one of many on the table at this early stage. (Remember that buttonless Galaxy S3 we saw just weeks before the announcement?)

In a related post, the site reports that Samsung will show an early Galaxy S4 prototype to a handful of partner executives and other big-wigs behind closed doors at next week’s CES. If Samsung ships the S4 this spring, as is expected, we wouldn’t be surprised if a few VIPs got an early look at what the company’s cooking in Las Vegas. CES has always been a big business-to-business show, after all.

For now, all we have is an image that may or may not be an upcoming Samsung phone. But if this is the Galaxy S4, we know a few Android nerds who’ll be celebrating Samsung’s new-found affinity for on-screen buttons.

Source: SamMobile (2)

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3 years ago

Facebook pages manager app for Android launches, sort of


Looks like Facebook might finally be about to make available its "Facebook Pages Manager" application for Android, which, as the name implies, will let those with Facebook Pages manage said pages with the app. It's sitting there in Google Play, only we can't download it yet in the states. And neither can our pals in the UK.

The app's description reads:

Manage all the Pages you admin, wherever you are. Helps Facebook Page admins connect with their audience and keep up with activity on multiple Pages.

  • Post new updates and photos and respond to comments as your Pages
  • View and reply to private messages sent to your Page
  • Get notifications about new activity on your Pages right away
  • View your latest Pages Insights

A few people have managed to leave star ratings, and a couple of (not so helpful) reviews. For our part, the listing shows it's incompatible with every one of our devices, so this is pretty much a placeholder at the moment.

Figure an announcement is coming any time now.

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3 years ago

Phones4U offering Google Play gift cards with Galaxy phone purchases


Today brings further indications that Google Play gift cards may be about to hit stores in the UK, as a recent Phones4U promotional offers a free £20 gift card code for customers purchasing a Galaxy S3, S3 Mini or Note 2. The offer is available via a Phones4U promotional page, where owners of these phones can claim their code by entering their name, contact details and IMEI. According to P4U's terms, the promotion is good until Mar. 15.

While Google missed the holiday window for getting Google Play gift cards out into British customers' hands, the card redemption page has been live in the UK for several weeks now. Only problem is the cards themselves have been unavailable so far, something which may be changing with the emergence of promotions like this.

If you've seen Google Play gift cards hiding out anywhere else in the UK, be sure to let us know in the comments.

Source: Phones4U promo page

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3 years ago

The HTC One SV comes to the U.S. on Cricket Wireless on Jan. 16 for $349


And the first U.S. smartphone announcement of 2013 belongs to ... HTC and Cricket Wireless. The HTC One SV, last seen making its way through Europe SIM-free, and before that in Asia, is coming to Cricket Wireless starting Jan 16 for $349.99.

Spec-wise, the One SV sort of dances around what we consider to be the middle of of the HTC One line, much like the One VX on AT&T, though this is a different phone, with a different design. It's got a 4.3-inch display, same as the HTC One S, but it's switched to Super LCD 2 instead of AMOLED -- and that's a change we like. It's powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 at 1.2 GHz. On-board storage won't win any awards, but you can add a 32GB microSD card and any cloud storage as you see fit. Plus, the One SV has a 5-megapixel camera with with an f/2.0 lens and backside illuminated sensor. There's a front-facing 1.6-megapixel shooter as well. Beats Audio is on board, too.

The bad news? It's running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and not the newer Jelly Bean.

But this being a Cricket phone, the real winner is in the data plans. For $70 a month you can get 10GB of 4G LTE data. Fork over $60 a month for 5GB, and $50 gets you 2GB.

We've got the full presser, including 3G data plan info, and more pics after the break.

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3 years ago

Mobile Nations 20: CES 2013 preview!


Kevin, Phil, Daniel, and Rene talk about CES 2013, what they expect to see, and whether it's still relevant, then fight about ActiveSync, RIM vs. Microsoft, and what they want to see from Apple, Google, and everyone going forward! *Apologies for the video quality, we experienced severe technical problems during the recording of the show, and while we're providing it for those who really want it, we recommend sticking to audio for this episode.*


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3 years ago

Want to learn basic Android programming? The Linux Foundation wants to help


The fine people at the Linux Foundation have started a little project that deserves some attention -- some tutorials teaching beginning Android programming. So far things are pretty basic, but the beginning is always the best place to start. They have the basics of setting up a development environment covered, and will get you on your way to writing your first Android app.

Android is Linux after all, and it's great to see the traditional desktop users excited about Android and jumping in to make it better. While you won't learn how to build the next Angry Birds game, you will get some pointers and basic information that leads you on the road to building something of your very own. Remember, everyone started at the beginning. If you've got the inclination, hit the source link to get started.

Source: The Linux Foundation

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3 years ago

Iconia B1 looks to be Acer's latest cheap Android tablet, possibly headed to CES


There have been a few rumblings in recent weeks around the interwebs surrounding a supposed budget tablet heading to market from Acer. According to the folks at NDTV, the Acer Iconia B1 is not only real, but is heading to India potentially before the month end for RS 7,999 ($147.) Further still, there's a chance the first public showing of the new tablet will be at CES next week in Las Vegas. 

The Iconia B1 has also -- briefly -- appeared on the Acer website, before being quickly removed. Thanks to the folks at Unwired View though, we can still view the majority of the page via Google Cache. From it, we learn that the 7 inch tablet will sport a pretty sexy looking blue band around the outside. Spec wise, we're looking at a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 1024x600 display, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of on-board storage with a microSD card slot and Jelly Bean. Not at all high end specs, and certainly doesn't hold a candle to the Nexus 7. But, not everyone can get the Nexus 7, or has to pay a distinct premium to get one in their country. In specific markets and the right price, Acer could be onto a good thing with the B1. 

Source(s): NDTV, Acer via Unwired View

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3 years ago

5.7 inch ZTE P945 leaked and bound for China


First came the 5 inch Nubia Z5, then the seemingly CES bound Grand S, and it seems ZTE isn't done there. These leaked images have surfaced courtesy of the folks at @evleaks of an even larger device from the Chinese OEM bound for its native China. 

Known so far only by its codename, P945, this 5.7 inch device is approaching the supersized -- and as yet, unofficial -- Huawei Ascend Mate. While the screen is larger than the Nubia Z5 and the Grand S by over half an inch, the other purported specs place this one firmly below the other two. The screen isn't 1080p as you might expect, instead the P945 has 'only' a 720p display. 

Inside is supposed to be a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, an 8MP rear camera and the whole package has a thickness of sub-9mm. Software is said to be "ICS or above" which at this point we'd say is a given. Powering that massive screen will take some battery power, and the device is said to contain a 3000mAh battery. It's supposed to be hitting China Mobile sometime in late Q1 or early Q2, with no hint at any availability beyond this. Seems the screen size wars are well and truly on.

Source: @evleaks (Unwired View)

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3 years ago

Samsung pushing update to fix Exynos security exploit


Samsung has started pushing out an update for the Exynos security issue for users in the UK. You might remember, there is a critical "bug" in the Exynos 4210 and 4412 powered Samsung phones including the world versions of the Galaxy S3 and other models. This bug allows any application to read the devices RAM, leading to all sorts of potential mischief. 

A third party patch was quickly made available by Supercurio that fixed the issues, and Samsung told us they would be addressing the situation as quickly as possible. For folks in the UK using a Galaxy S3, it appears that means right now. 

The update is 4.1.2 (build JZO54K) and was signed off on December 22. It's available as an over the air update, and is currently rolling out. Remember, you need to be running all stock software to accept and install any OTA updates, this one included.

There's also some speculation that this update will fix the seemingly random issue of hardware failure in the Galaxy S3 main boards, but I think it's a bit too early to suggest this. The fix to the Exynos exploit, however, is included in this update. No word on when to expect updates for other areas where folks are still in need of this critical patch, or other phones that need this update. 

Via: SamMobile

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3 years ago

Corning announces Gorilla Glass 3, will show it off at CES


Corning has just announced that they have released the latest version of their hardened glass, and Gorilla Glass 3 will be shown off at CES. They haven't told us a lot about the product in their press announcement, but we expect to see scratch-resistance glass that's thinner and more optically clear than the first two iterations of the popular Gorilla Glass line. 

Corning labels Gorilla Glass as "tough, yet sophisticated". Electronic manufacturers seem to agree, as you'll find Gorilla Glass on all manner of products from big screen TVs to the smartphone in your pocket. Their technique makes the surface of the glass clearer and harder to scratch, without adding any bulk or weight. Anything that keeps nasty scratches away from our precious Android phones and tablets. 

Corning will have hourly demos that test the toughness of the new Gorilla Glass 3 at their booth at CES, as well as large format multitouch displays for a more hands on look at the new product. We'll be sure to have a look as we mosey through. A demonstration video and the full press release is after the break.

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean now on 10 percent of all Android devices


Android 4.1 and 4.2 each up 50 percent over last month's tallies

The latest numbers are in, and things are continuing to move in the right direction: The "Jelly Bean" version of Android -- that's Android 4.1 and 4.2 -- is now on 10.2 percent of all active devices, as of the two weeks ending Jan. 3. For the two weeks ending Dec. 3, 2012, Jelly Bean was on 6.7 percent of all active devices. Ice Cream Sandwich numbers were up slightly as well, from 27.5 percent to 29.1 percent. Devices on Android 2.3 Gingerbread are trending down, from 50.8 percent last month to 47.6 percent today.

Breaking down the numbers, you'll see that both Android 4.1 and 4.2 increased about 50 percent over last month. But It's Android 4.2 that's on more phones and tablets -- thanks in no small part to updates to the Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X and One S, and Motorola's RAZR line. Android 4.2 means Nexus, of course (and custom ROMs), and remains significantly lower.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

LG teases CES devices, reminds us it's nearly Vegas time


With CES 2013 just a few days away, LG's taken the opportunity to remind us it'll be at the show, and it's bringing along at least one phone-shaped device. In a new teaser trailer released today, the company shows a few frames of what looks like an Optimus G, with its trademark exposed screws down below and cut-away earpiece design up top. There's also a brief glimpse of what appears to be a smart device docked into some larger contraption.

We'll be live in Las Vegas to bring you full coverage of Android at the show, including LG's press conference at 8am Monday morning Vegas time. In the meantime, if you've got any wild theories about what the manufacturer might be preparing for us, you can shout out in the comments.

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3 years ago

Facebook Messenger update adds quick voice message option


Facebook's popular Messenger service, which has its own standalone app, is getting a voice message feature in its latest update. The service has relied on the combination of text and picture messages, as is the case with most instant messaging platforms, but is now aiming itself squarely at the likes of Voxer and other voice messaging apps out there with this latest addition.

You can send short messages back and forth quickly, and the UI is very simple. The feature is accessed from the "plus" button on the side of the text box, the same way you add pictures and smilies. Just press and hold the record button to start talking, then release it to let the message send. It wouldn't have been a bad idea to let you cancel a message if you happen to have misspoke, but you can see why Facebook made it auto-send to keep the "walkie talkie" type of feel.

The app is free at the Google Play link above if you're interested, and it's something fun to play around with even for a little while until the novelty wears off.

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3 years ago

Archos announces TV Connect, bringing Android to your existing HDTV


Will 2013 be the year we see Android truly infiltrate the living room? It's possible, and Archos has come out swinging with their new TV Connect device unveiled today. In simple terms, the TV connect puts an Android based Smart TV experience onto your existing, non-smart, HDTV. Kind of like Google TV, except, it isn't Google TV. Confused yet? 

What this is, is the first "multitouch Android on TV" experience, or so says the press release. Naturally there's a specially designed remote control included, and as you'll no doubt see here, it's not aimed at one handed use. It promises the ability to play games, video chat, browse the web, stream videos, basically turn your HDTV into a gigantic Android tablet. 

The TV Connect will be on show at CES next week in Las Vegas, and will go on general release in February for a pretty reasonable $129.99. Spec wise, the TV Connect is packing Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, has a HD capable video camera on board, and full multitouch gesture capabilities. The onboard storage is 8GB, expandable via microSD card, 1GB of RAM and a 1.5GHz multi-core processor. 

It's an interesting idea, and taking a very different path to Google TV. What about you guys though, is this something you'd be interested in? Sound off in the comments below. 

Source: Archos

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3 years ago

Google agrees to change business practices as FTC closes investigation


Google has agreed to change a couple of its business practices following an anti-competitive investigation by the Federal Trade Commission over the past several months. There are two main parts to this agreement -- online search and standards-essential patent licensing. For the former, Google has agreed to change its policies to both let advertisers more freely manage advertising campaigns on both Google and other search engines simultaneously, as well as not give its own sites any preferential treatment in results in specific categories such as Travel and Shopping. Beth Wilkinson, outside counsel to the FTC, had this comment on the search findings:

“The evidence the FTC uncovered through this intensive investigation prompted us to require significant changes in Google’s business practices. However, regarding the specific allegations that the company biased its search results to hurt competition, the evidence collected to date did not justify legal action by the Commission. Undoubtedly, Google took aggressive actions to gain advantage over rival search providers. However, the FTC’s mission is to protect competition, and not individual competitors. The evidence did not demonstrate that Google’s actions in this area stifled competition in violation of U.S. law.”

As for the patent side, Google has agreed to license its portfolio of standards-essential patents (technologies necessary to make phones work, like a 3G radio for example) in a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory manner -- that's the FRAND acronym we see thrown around. This means that if any company that wishes to use these patented technologies in their devices Google should be forthcoming on letting them do so for a reasonable price and set of associated terms. The FTC argued in its investigation that when Google acquired Motorola Mobility -- and its portfolio of over 24,000 patents and patent applications -- it reneged on its FRAND commitments and instead attempted to pursue injunctions against other companies with the patents. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz had this to say:

“We are especially glad to see that Google will live up to its commitments to license its standard-essential patents, which will ensure that companies willing to license these patents can compete in the market for wireless devices. This decision strengthens the standard-setting process that is at the heart of innovation in today’s technology markets.”

Now folks are spinning this one every which way. As consumers, this doesn't really have much tangible effect on us. But on the surface this seems like a pretty non-threatening result to Google. The FTC seems pleased with Google's initial commitments and compliance terms, and we'll just have to wait and see in the future how well Google actually follows up on these commitments. These compliance terms are enforceable, which means it's in Google's best interest to follow them closely. If you happen to be a lawyerly type, you can take a look at the full statement from the FTC at the source link below.

Source: FTC

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