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3 years ago

Mobile Nations Survey: Do you use a car mount with your smartphone?

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This Mobile Nations Survey comes to you via our accessories team. We're always putting new smartphone accessories to the test, and are often getting into debates over which are the best.

One topic where the team is 100% in agreement though is car mount docks. We think that car mounts are the absolute best way to take your smartphone with you on the road.

We're curious to know if you agree, if you own a car mount or not, if you like them or not and why. Thanks for sharing!

Take the Survey

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3 years ago

HTC Butterfly trailer confirms color options, still China-only for now

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We don't yet have confirmation that the HTC Butterfly will launch anywhere outside of Asia. At the moment, it's only confirmed launch market is China, where it'll be available on the China Unicom carrier.

But what we do know is that it'll be available in three colors, as rumored, and it seems HTC will make a big marketing push for its latest high-end Asian handset. The promotional video released today by HTC China shows off a bunch of the phone's features, including splash resistance, Media Link HD sharing and fast photo capture, as demonstrated by a cast of attractive, stylish Butterfly owners.

Judging by the trailer, the Butterfly will be available in red, white and black. And the back panel on some models seems to have a slightly different, glossier finish, unlike its American cousin the Droid DNA.

We've got the trailer in full embedded after the break, if you'd like to see more of a phone you probably won't be able to buy.

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean updates ahoy for many Motorola phones in Q1 2013

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As part of its new OS upgrade strategy, Motorola has published another update on the progress of new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (and ICS) firmware for its fleet of phones and tablets.

It's an extensive list, with a complete breakdown of phones by territory, however, we've picked out a few of the biggest upcoming upgrades for readers in the West --

  • RAZR i Jelly Bean update now scheduled for Q1 2013
  • Verizon Droid RAZR HD/RAZR MAXX HD still due Jelly Bean update before 2013
  • AT&T Atrix HD due Jelly Bean update before 2013
  • 3G/LTE Xoom Jelly Bean update delayed to Q1 2013
  • Canadian Atrix HD + RAZR HD due to get Jelly Bean in Q1 2013
  • Euro RAZR HD Jelly Bean update scheduled for Dec. 2012

No word on Android 4.2 for any Motorola devices just yet, but at least Jelly Bean part one should be on the way for a great many Moto phones early next year.

If you want to look up a particular phone or territory, you can do so at the source link below.

Source: Motorola Android Software Upgrade News

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3 years ago

HTC One VX available today from AT&T for $49.99

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Despite having been announced for sale back in mid-November, and subsequently going M.I.A, the AT&T HTC One VX finally seems to have gone on sale. AT&T told us last week that we should be seeing it on Dec. 7, and true to their word we're seeing it on sale today. 

HTC's latest mid-range offering will cost just $49.99 on a 2-year deal from AT&T. For that you get Android 4.0 (with an update to 4.1 in the future,) a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon S4, a 4.5-inch qHD Super LCD 2 display, 1GB of RAM and 8GB onboard storage, expandable with microSD cards. 

All told it's a pretty nice device at this price point, but if you're still unsure, be sure to check out our hands on with the device back at the launch event in New York.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

Sony jumps above HTC in UK sales, both still a long way behind Samsung

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Recent Q3 numbers for smartphone sales in the UK sees a change in the standings. Off the back of a major marketing campaign for its "Bond Phone," Sony has jumped ahead of HTC into second place. At this point second place is almost a win for either company, as both are still a long way behind the kind of numbers Samsung is posting in the UK. 

Sony sold 500,000 units in Q3, to 440,000 sold by HTC. There's not a lot in it, but it's sure to be welcome news for Sony. By contrast, Samsung's numbers sit at 3.2 million units for the same period. While not referring to specific numbers, the UK MD of Sony Mobile, Pierre Perron said to Mobile Magazine: 

All sources are confirming the same trend – that we are jumping into second place in the UK Android segment. This is what all our customers are telling us, that Sony Mobile is considered a top player in the UK Android space.

Sony's recent efforts deserve recognition. The hardware is well designed and well made, although the software does still let them down slightly. Nevertheless, with 2013's big show season right around the corner, we'll be interested to see what the future holds for Sony. 

Source: Mobile Magazine

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3 years ago

Don't forget: Stuff your stocking with Android Central

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We're a week into of our a monthly contest in which we're giving away a $10 Google Play Gift Card every day this month. That's 31 winners in 31 days, with an easy $10 to spend on apps, books, music -- whatever you want!

What's more is that each of the 31 winners will automatically be entered to win a free Nexus 4, which we'll choose and announce the first week of January.

We're going to change things up each week to keep it fresh. Here's the breakdown:

  • Dec. 1-8: Leave a post in the appropriate thread in the Android Central Forums.
  • Dec. 9-15: Subscribe to our YouTube Channel. (You can subscribe now if you want, but only subscriptions during that time frame will count as an entry.)
  • Dec. 16-22: Comment on that day's giveaway blog post. (Look for our hatted friend you see here.)
  • Dec. 23-31: To be announced. It'll be fun one way or another.

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3 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich finally hits LG Optimus 2X

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It's been a long journey to bring Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich onto the LG Optimus 2X. First the update was rumored to have been canceled, then un-canceled, then delayed, then released, but just in Korea, followed by a source code drop a month or so ago.

But Optimus 2X owners can rejoice this morning, as it seems the ICS update for their phone is now going out to devices outside of Korea, indicating a widespread international launch for the upgrade. According to reports from XDA, the  Android 4.0.4-based v30a firmware is now available to download via LG's PC update utility.

The long-awaited ICS should bring a performance boost to the the world's first dual-core smartphone, which we first saw way back at CES 2011. The ICS upgrade will also allow Optimus 2X owners to run the latest Google apps, including the new versions of Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Chrome. It's also likely the update will include LG's latest Optimus UI 3.0, as previous LG ICS updates have, however we haven't been able to specifically confirm this.

Anyone still rocking an Optimus 2X? Let us know how you get on with the latest firmware update.

Source: XDA; via: PhoneArena

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3 years ago

Android Central 118: Google's been busy

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Audio-only stream below

Can you tell there's a holiday coming up? Google's cranking out update after update after update -- and it's got some big ones this week. Plus we recap where things stand with the Nexus 4 (hint: Better for a lot of people). Also, SwiftKey Flow is out in beta, Windows Phone tried to make a funny (and failed) -- and we've got Ashley Esqueda here to help us sort it all out.

(Note: We lost some of the video this week, but you can hear the whole show with the audio player or links below.)

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3 years ago

Top Gear Stunt School Revolution now available from Google Play

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"Some say he never blinks and that he roams local woodland foraging for mouse meat. All we know is, he's called The Stig."

BBC Worldwide released an Android title back in October, known as Top Gear Stunt School Revolution. Back then, the title was exclusively available from the Amazon Appstore. An unusual tactic for launching the game, especially considering that at the time the UK launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire was still three weeks away. That exclusivity period is now at an end, and the title is available to download from the Google Play Store. 

There's two flavors available for download, one free, one paid. The free version doesn't come with all the stunts unlocked, but the paid version does along with 300 free permits -- the paid version is linked at the top of this post. The price for the paid version is £0.69/$0.99, which isn't a lot for what we found was a fun, if basic driving game.

One word of caution. The Play Store version seems to have to 'set up' before playing. This seems to be a potentially lengthy process for some, so something to bear in mind. Before downloading though, be sure to head back and check out our hands on video.

More: Hands on with Top Gear Stunt School Revolution

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3 years ago

HTC Butterfly loses the 'J', due to be released in China

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First, we had the HTC J-Butterfly. Next, came the Verizon Droid DNA. Now, what we appear to have is the same phone, with a slightly different name heading for other markets. The Butterfly has appeared on HTC's website with little else to indicate on where or when it may be available. 

The good news if you're in China -- it's heading your way. An HTC spokesperson has confirmed to Android Central that at present the Butterfly is slated for release in China, and that there is no information relating to availability in other markets at this time. 

Looking through the spec sheet, there are a couple of differences between the Butterfly and the Droid DNA. For one, there's no LTE. The other difference that stands out is the expandable storage. The Butterfly carries the same 16GB of on board storage as the DNA, but is expandable by way of microSD cards. It still runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Sense 4+ out of the box, and houses the same 2020mAh battery. Oh, and of course, that 5-inch, 1080p display.

Source: HTC

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3 years ago

LG Optimus Vu now available in the UAE

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LG has officially announced that the Optimus Vu is now for sale in the United Arab Emirates. This makes the 5-inch smartphone available in most major markets in North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and now the Middle East. 

The Optimus Vu eschews typical smartphone design, instead opting for a more squarish 4:3 aspect ration. The extra width is used by features such as QSlide and Quick Memo, and is appealing to folks who enjoy reading on their smartphones.

Alex was slightly underwhelmed by the Vu during his time reviewing it, but LG has sold 17 Million of the devices so clearly there is a market. In the end, it's great to see our friends in the UAE have a new choice.

Source: LG Newsroom (Korea)

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3 years ago

New accessibility features coming to Kindle Fire and Fire HD 7-inch

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We take time to applaud companies whenever they bring new accessibility features to their devices. Amazon has just announced today that it will be bringing two new features for visually-impaired users, "Voice Guide" and "Explore by Touch", to both the original Kindle Fire and the new 7-inch Kindle Fire HD.

Voice Guide lets the user tap on any part of the screen and receive an audible description of that item, which is supposed to be more in-depth than regular text-to-speech. Explore by Touch lets the user swipe across the screen to receive menu names, allowing a second touch to actually do the intended action, hopefully reducing accidental launching of apps or opening of menus.

These two features were already available on the Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch, but its great to see them come to the whole line. Amazon expects them to head out to devices in early 2013.

Source: Amazon; Via: Engadget

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3 years ago

T-Mobile to stop subsidizing handsets in 2013

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We're hearing a ton of interesting information about T-Mobile's plans for the future today as part of Deutsche Telekom's analyst conference, and this may be the biggest yet. Starting in 2013, T-Mobile USA will no longer be subsidizing handsets with 2-year contracts, and will instead sell devices at full price or on installments. This means that devices and service will be completely separate going forward.

This is almost a carbon copy of its current "Value Plan" offerings, which give you cheaper monthly service prices (generally $20-$30 less) when you buy a phone full-priced or bring your own -- a model international users will be familiar with. T-Mobile said that 80-percent of its new line activations were on Value Plans in the last quarter, which means that this won't be too big of a shift from the way they're currently operating.

To the end user, the overall cost of smartphone ownership for the 2-year contract period will decrease, even when buying a device with monthly installments. Real savings can be had when holding onto a device for a longer period of time as well. The real roadblock here is going to be one of consumer education on the part of T-Mobile, which needs to explain to customers the benefits of this model. U.S. wireless customers are very comfortable with the idea of a subsidized handset that is bundled together with service.

Source: GigaOM

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3 years ago

Broad strokes of Apple/HTC deal revealed in redacted documents

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The confidential cross-licensing agreement between HTC and Apple that ended hostilities between the companies became a little less confidential today. A redacted version of the agreement has been made part of the public record by Samsung ahead of today's patent trial hearing in California. As you may remember, Samsung got a look at details of the HTC settlement as part of its separate courtroom battle against Apple.

As you might expect, the 140 pages of redacted documents blank out the juicier details. But according to analysis of the docs by AllThingsD's Ina Fried, Apple and HTC both get non-exclusive licenses to some of each others' patents, as was indicated in the original joint press release. Notably excluded, apparently, are Apple's design patents, although the company has insisted on many occasions that it would not license these. Also excluded are nine redacted HTC patents.

Apple has also agreed not to sue HTC over certain products, it is reported, but the names of these are redacted in today's documents.

The agreement also does not cover any HTC product deemed to be a "clone" of an Apple device (that is to say anything that looks like an iPhone). An arbitration process is detailed in the documents, in the event that such a scenario emerges.

So there's nothing too surprising at first glance -- the agreement seems to be stacked in Apple's favor, but we don't think there was really any doubt as to who was wearing the pants in this particular legal settlement.

If you're in the mood to get stuck into a stack of legalese and black ink, you can find the partially-blanked-out settlement over at the source link. 

Source: AllThingsD

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