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3 years ago

Facebook Messenger gets official sticker support

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Previously hidden, stickers are now accessible using an actual button

Sending stickers in Facebook Messenger was possible before today's update, but only using an invisible button that was located just to the left of the "+" button. It looks like Facebook is finally ready to reveal this feature, and has added a smiley face button to access the sticker screen. Multiple pages of smiley face and critter stickers are included in the app, with an optional sticker store that has even more cute critters you can download. Also listed in the change log is a batch of bug fixes, which is always good to see.

This version is available now in the Play Store for all your adorable smiley and critter needs.

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3 years ago

eBay app updated with new UI, improved search and shopping cart

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Version 2.2 adds new features for US and UK users

Today the eBay app for Android is getting an update to version 2.2, bringing both visual and functional changes. The Home, Cart, and Checkout areas of the app have received a new look. Users in the US and UK get a Shopping Cart that will synchronize across all devices that use eBay -- the items to your cart on one device will be reflected when the cart is viewed anywhere else. Checking out with cart items becomes easier, with the option to pay for multiple items at the same time using a single checkout. eBay's item search was updated to feature inline search suggestions, autocorrect, and expanded international results when few to no results are returned.

The app is live in the Play Store for those wanting to update; new users can follow the Play Store link above. We hope this update was more thoroughly tested than the previous one, and won't be recalled in the next few days.

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3 years ago

Dutch courts find HTC 'blameless' in Nokia's microphone dispute, but sales of offending parts halted for six months

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Existing phones using the components face no sales ban

The full details have emerged about yesterday's actions in the Netherlands, where a court was said to have handed down a preliminary injunction against the HTC One on behalf of Nokia. According to the district court filing, the courts have imposed a 10-month ban on ST Microelectronics selling any of the dual-membrane microphone pieces that were designed and co-developed by Nokia. Apparently, some miscommunication led ST Micro to believe that the exclusivity agreement for Nokia was only six months, when it was actually 12. As a penalty the terms were extended a further six months, during which time ST Micro is not allowed to sell the parts to anyone other than Nokia. 

We don't make this up, we just report it.

The courts found HTC "blameless", as they could not know the details of a confidential agreement between Nokia and ST Micro, and they face no penalties. Nor are their products banned in the Netherlands or anywhere else. They will not be allowed to source the components from ST Micro for six months, though -- which could easily lead to supply issues and expensive re-engineering for future HTC One shipments. HTC has issued a statement saying in part that they "do not expect this decision to have any immediate impact on our handset sales." But they certainly can't be happy. 

Source: All About Phones (Dutch); via: Engadget

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3 years ago

AT&T Q1 2013: Wireless revenues of $16.7 billion, income of $4.7 billion

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Record 6 million smart phones sold in the quarter; 72-percent of postpaid customers now own smart phones

AT&T has just released its Q1 2013 earnings, which encompasses both its wireless and wireline businesses. Earnings for the quarter were generally strong, although they were counteracted by a fall in revenues in the wireline business. We're most interested in the wireless portion though, so we're going to focus on that. Here are the high points:

  • $16.7 billion in total revenue, up 3.4-percent year-over-year
  • $4.7 billion in operating income, up 4.1-percent y-o-y
  • Wireless data revenues up 21-percent y-o-y
  • 296,000 postpaid net customer additions
  • Postpaid churn improved to 1.04-percent
  • 1.2 million new smart phone subscribers
  • Postpaid data ARPU up 18-percent

In nearly all metrics, AT&T is performing well on the wireless side of its business. The carrier added nearly 300,000 new customers, moved 1.2 million customers to smart phones, and says a full 72-percent of postpaid customers now own smart phones. AT&T sold a record 6 million smart phones in the quarter, which made up 88-percent of all postpaid phone sales. Data ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) shot up by 18-percent, and phone-only ARPU rose 2-percent.

Nearly 70-percent of AT&T's customers are now on usage-based (tiered data and Mobile Share) plans, which is up from 61-percent a year earlier. About 14-percent of AT&T's customers are now on Mobile Share plans, with an average of 3 devices per plan. About 25-percent of those Mobile Share plans are using 10GB of data or more per month, driving up data revenues.

On the network front, AT&T says it currently covers 200 million POPs with its LTE network, which is running ahead of schedule. By the end of 2013, it plans to reach 90-percent of its goal to have 300 million POPs covered. AT&T says 60-percent of its customers have a "4G" (aka HSPA+ or better) device, with over half of those being LTE devices.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 available from RadioShack April 27 for Sprint and AT&T

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RadioShack is ready and waiting to give you your Galaxy S4 this coming Saturday

The Samsung Galaxy S4 will be available for purchase for Sprint and AT&T at RadioShack this Saturday, April 27th. The highly anticipated device has been garnering a lot of attention recently now that we've finally received solid release dates.

RadioShack has also announced that it will offer accessories for the S4 and a deal that specifies if you spend at least $30, you will get a $10 off coupon for future purchases. This is pretty much guaranteed if you purchase a new S4. It also offers a trade in policy for past devices, so you can get some money towards your new purchase.

If you're on Sprint or AT&T, you'll soon be able to purchase a S4 at RadioShack. Who will be be in line this Saturday? Tell us in the Samsung Galaxy S4 Forum!

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3 years ago

SouthernLINC Wireless introduces new Motorola device, high-speed data plans

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New plans offer more data choices, unlimited 2-way and group PTT

SouthernLINC Wireless, a regional carrier serving Alabama, Georgia, southeast Mississippi and northwest Florida, is announcing six new data-focused plans in conjunction with a new device. The device is the Motorola XT626, a mid-range handset running Android 2.3 and set to run on SouthernLINC's network, with both iDEN and UMTS data support, Push-to-Talk and dual SIM slots. The handset adds onto SouthernLINC's variety of mid-range smart phones and feature phones currently available.

Along with a new device, six new "Data Plus Plans" are being unveiled today. These new plans begin at $69/month for unlimited PTT, 2GB of data, 500 minutes and unlimited texting -- provided you stay within the native regional network of SouthernLINC. If you plan to use the phone nationwide, there are three levels of the plans, ranging from $85 to $110 monthly that provide 500MB, 2GB or 4GB of nationwide data, along with unlimited calling and texting anywhere in the country.

Source: SouthernLINC Wireless

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3 years ago

Virgin UK prices Galaxy S4 from £99 up front and £31 per month

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Available this Saturday, with special discounts for having other Virgin Media services

Virgin Media in the U.K. has just revealed its pricing and availability for the much-awaited Galaxy S4. The pricing breaks down quite simply, with two up-front cost options and three monthly price options depending on what you need for service. If you choose to pay £99 up-front, you have the option for £36, £41 or £44 monthly for a range of 200 minutes, 500 texts and 500MB of data all the way up to unlimited everything. If you choose to drop that up-front price to £69, your monthly tariff will go up by £2 at each level.

Customers who have cable TV, broadband or home phone service from Virgin Media can knock £5 off their monthly bill and receive complimentary handset insurance as well, which is nice. The Galaxy S4 is set to hit on Virgin this coming Saturday.

More: Virgin

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3 years ago

Dust and water resistant Samsung Galaxy S4 could be coming soon

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Could a ruggedized version of the Galaxy S4 be in the works at Samsung?

Speaking at the launch of the Galaxy S4 today in Dubai, Samsung Gulf Electronics president Young Soo Kim said that a rugged version of the phone was expected in the coming months. Specifically, he was said to say the phone would be water and dust "proof", which would make it much like the Sony Xperia Z that Alex should have thrown in the Thames reviewed last month.

This is the first we've heard mention of such a thing, and we're remaining a bit skeptical. We just wanted to pass it along for discussion, so discuss away!

Source: Techview

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3 years ago

Use the logo on the HTC One as an extra button with a custom kernel

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While technically there is no button, ingenuity wins this round and the logo on your HTC One can be more than a pretty face

Quite a few folks were disappointed when we found out the digitizer behind the HTC logo on the HTC One was blocked, and most of us gave up hope of ever having a custom middle button in is place. But this one from the never-say-never files shows that determination and hard work can always pay off.

Just because there's no dedicated button area doesn't mean a lot when parts of the logo extend into the rest of the digitizer, and tbalden over at XDA has worked out a method that allows the top half of the logo to register touch events. As of this writing, there are two versions of his package -- one uses the Home button to wake the device and the logo to turn off the screen, and the other allows the logo to act as a menu button. 

Things are still a little shaky on some versions of the software, but if you read through the entire thread there are a couple of solutions to get everything -- including an audio routing fix for earpiece volume issues -- working, at least for the GSM versions. 

We still think HTC should have made the logo a button in the first place, but this is a reasonable substitute. Go have a look.

Source: XDA-Developers; via: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

The Lenovo Ideaphone K900 is coming May 6; looks like the best phone you'll never get to use

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Intel's Clover Trail processor is coming soon to the far east market

Remember back at CES when we looked at the Lenovo K900? Five months later and it finally has an official release date of May 6 according to Lenovo's Chinese website. There is no price or any other information attached, but it certainly looks like this one is destined for China and / or the rest of the far east only. And that's a shame.

I'm certain there are plenty of us here on this side of the world who would love to see the first Intel Clover Trail powered smartphone for sale. The 5.5-inch 440+ ppi screen hides a 2.0GHz dual-core Intel processor and 2GB of RAM, with a 13MP camera (including a Sony Exmor lens) around the back. It's all tied together with Android 4.2 inside a nice metal chassis. The whole package left us pretty impressed when we had a look.

If this one ever ends up in the Americas, I'd love to take it for a spin. In the meantime, we have some lovely pictures of it at the source link. At least Kobe gets to play with it.

Source: Lenovo; via: GSM Insider

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3 years ago

Samsung Stratosphere update coming soon with improvements and bugfixes

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Software version changes to i405.GC1, Android version remains the same

Those still rocking their Samsung Stratosphere will be pleasantly surprised today -- Verizon has announced it has a brand new update finished and almost ready to download. Although small in size, both Verizon and Samsung feel this is an important one and 'encourage you to download this update.' The new software version is i405.GC1, and includes a hand-full of enhancements:

  • Improved clarity during calls
  • Improved reliability when sending emails using Outlook
  • Improvements to Sync and Connect server have been made
  • My Verizon application has been improved
  • Improvements have been made to the Set Up Wizard to clarify what is required in the Google Setup screen
  • Correct the IMAP implementation related to the E-mail Sync and connect operation
  • The following applications have been removed as preloaded: IM, Blockbuster, Verizon Video and Verizon Vcast
  • Single Sign On application has been updated to version v3.1.9
  • VZtones version 5.1.3 has been added

We've yet to get reports of anyone receiving the OTA update just yet. If you're one of the first, hit the comments and let us know the roll out has begun.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Show us your talent or hobby and you could win an AT&T HTC One!

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We wrapped up a contest yesterday and gave away a few phones, but you know us, we just can't give away enough stuff! This week we have an AT&T HTC One to give away. This contest will be much like last week's HTC One Developer version giveaway, so if you entered last week or just wish you had, this will seem familiar, with one catch. 

  • The last video contest was great, but this time we want to see you doing your favorite hobby, whether that be singing, dancing, painting, scuba diving, spelunking, animal rescue, underwater basket weaving, baking... you get the idea. If you love doing it, we want to see it. (Umm... keep it clean though folks.) Shoot a video of yourself with your current smartphone, if possible. Doesn't matter how old and crappy your phone is. Doesn't matter if it's an iPhone. Or an old BlackBerry. We wanna see your face on the screen.
  • Upload your video to YouTube. (You can leave it unlisted if you want, and you can delete it after this contest is over.)
  • THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART: Embed your video in this forum thread. Leave us a message along with it if you want, but all you need to do is click the little video button then paste in the link to your video. Easy as pie. (See the pic in the forum thread if you need help.)
  • Do you live on planet Earth? You may enter this contest. Open to everyone BUT remember the phones are AT&T versions so if you want to enter you better make sure the device is compatible with your carrier first.
  • We'll close the contest at 12:01 a.m. May 1. Plenty of time to get creative and get entered.
  • The prize is an AT&T HTC ONE, just the device and whatever comes in the box. Accessories and service are on you.

Get it? Got it? Good. Get to it!

Enter to win a HTC One

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3 years ago

Verizon announces the Pantech Perception, available April 25 for $99 with contract and rebate

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A 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED screen and 16GB of storage round out this middle of the road offering from Pantech and Big Red

Verizon has officially announced the Pantech Perception, a new LTE device that will be available come April 25. The Perception looks decidedly mid-range at first glance, but there are some intriguing features listed on the Verizon website. Beside the 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED screen (which we're pretty sure will get some folks to give this a second look in its own right), they list what they're calling Motion Sense. According to Verizon, "The technology lets users wave a hand over the phone to answer a call, scroll through contacts, change a song being played or find a picture from their library."

The Perception will come with 16GB of storage, and has a 8MP rear camera with a 2MP one around front. It ships with Android 4.0, bu an upgrade to Jelly Bean is promised "soon". With a new agreement and after a $50 mail-in rebate, the Perception will end up costing you $99.

You can go back to waiting for the Galaxy S4 now.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

AOSP for Sony Xperia Z now available

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The Sony Xperia Z is now in the Android Open Source Project - a perfect place for developers and partners

Open-sourced Android code for the Sony Xperia Z has recently been released on GitHub to enable developers and partners to get knee-deep into the device. Though the promise of vanilla Android is tantalizing, Sony is quick to remind folks that the Android build they're posting isn't meant for everyday use. As you can see from the video, all of the important stuff is working, but there are a few apps and services missing - after all, they don't have the rights to open source everything. 

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3 years ago

The ASUS CUBE with Google TV review

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A bold design and great software additions make the ASUS CUBE unique, but is that enough to push Google TV to mainstream living rooms?

The ASUS CUBE with Google TV is the latest premium Google TV box to come out, and it’s also one of the most anticipated. It has a unique look and design, a nifty rotating-cube user interface, and plenty of features both in the hardware and software. We’ve been waiting for it since it was first unveiled in January at CES, and now it’s here.

I’m convinced that the Google TV platform is “almost there”, and one key component to get it from a cool toy for enthusiasts to something you would find in a mainstream consumer’s living room is great hardware. The $140 price tag will help -- you can grab one from various e-tailers including Newegg --  provided the unit provides a good experience with the current Google TV software.

The ASUS CUBE is certainly unique, but is it great? Hit the break and we’ll have a look.

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