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3 years ago

Sprint releases push-to-talk app for Android

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Sprint has launched an Android app to allow push-to-talk on some phones. The Kyocera Rise budget phone will support it, as will the upcoming LG Optimus Elite, it said.

Push-to-talk is a transmission method that turns your phone into a walkie-talkie, of sorts. The type that only allows communication one-way at a time, so like an air traffic controller, you’ll have to say “over” after each sentence, and of course “over and out” when your conversation is done.

For cell users, push-to-talk cellular is supposed to give people a way to quickly broadcast a message to receiving handsets. If multiple handsets are hooked up, a team leader can speak to all of them without ringing each one up individually.

Some apps already emulate this function, like HeyTell and Zello, but the Sprint app uses the carrier’s Direct Connect push-to-talk service. Sprint says it has a million users on Direct Connect already (most on rugged handsets), and hopes the app will allow it to tap into a new user-base.

Sprint customers can hit the Google Play link above to download the app.

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3 years ago

Square mobile payment service comes to Canada

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Square's mobile point of purchase system has expanded beyond the U.S. into Canada today, marking their first step into international markets. Though Square didn't advertise any particular launch partners up north, they do have free headphone jack fobs available for small businesses to start accepting credit card payments on whatever Android devices they happen to be using. Transaction fees are 2.75% per MasterCard or Visa swipe, which is apparently pretty competitive. 

Unfortunately, Square Wallet isn't available to Canada just yet, but will be arriving in 2013. The app will enable users to pay for goods, use loyalty cards, get receipts, and leave reviews for businesses.  Although Square tends to be lumped in with iOS, their Android app has been available for a couple of years now. I'm interested in seeing if Square hops on the NFC bandwagon at some point, but for the time being, I'm sure they do reasonably well just dealing with Visa and Mastercard. It would be great to see some Interac support eventually, too.

Hey Americans, how often do you see Square in use in businesses? Should we feel screwed that Square Wallet isn't available right out of the gate? Keep in mind that we still don't have Google Wallet up here, or even anything like Isis, so this may be the best thing we can get for mobile payments for the immediate future. Any Canadian business owners interested in giving this a shot? You can sign up over here

Soruce: Square

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3 years ago

Samsung TecTile app bumped to version 3.0

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Samsung has updated its TecTile app to add more features like batch actions and the ability to set tags to private.

The mobile app is meant to program Samsung TecTile NFC hardware tags that can be used to automate tasks. Users can tap their phones on tags to perform common tasks. You can launch a running app and the music app before a workout, for example, or tap one by the bedside to mute the ringer and launch the alarm clock app.

The TecTile tags were first released in June, together with the launch of the S3 to show off its NFC capabilities. The version 3 update accompanies the entrance of the Galaxy Note 2 on U.S. shores, and brings a number of new features.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Go arriving in Canada this November

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The mid-range waterproof Sony Xperia Go will be coming to Canada by way of Rogers-owned Fido this November.  Sony also announced that a snazzy exclusive yellow model available if you're picking one up unlocked from Sony stores, while Fido will have black and white versions available.  

The Xperia Go was originally announced running Gingerbread, but an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich was rolled out a few weeks ago. Who knows if it'll be lucky enough to get Jelly Bean, but it seems like the real selling point for the Xperia Go is its ruggedness. We've seen this thing take a fair bit of punishment, and if it can keep the pricetag relatively low, there may be a lot of value there. Unfortunately, Sony stayed mum on how much it would cost either on Fido or unlocked, but the UK launch over the summer should provide a good idea of what to expect. 

Specs and additional details are in the press release below. Any Fido customers considering picking this one up? 

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3 years ago

UK retailers cut 16GB Nexus 7 price ahead of Google event

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We're all expecting to see a 32GB Nexus 7, amongst other stuff, unveiled at Google's "Playground" event in NYC next Monday. That'll probably mean one of the existing Nexus 7 SKUs -- the 8 or 16GB model -- will be put out to pasture. As such, high-street retailers in the UK have begun reducing the price of the 16GB Nexus 7, which until recently would've set you back £199.99.

Currys has dropped its price to £189.99, while Comet goes a tenner further at £179.99.  A 32GB variant may be on the horizon, but 180 quid for the 16GB version still represents decent value. Before it sold out, the 8GB model was available for £159 from the Google Play Store.

It's possible prices might drop further next week, but if you absolutely must pick up a Nexus 7 right this second, these are two pretty good deals.

Source: Currys, Comet; via: Eurodroid

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3 years ago

Verizon's HTC DLX to launch as the Droid DNA?

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We're starting to learn a little more about HTC's upcoming 5-inch offering to Verizon. The HTC 6435LVW already has gone through the Global Certification Forum, we brought you the first pictures of it with Verizon branding this week -- and now it apparently has popped up on Verizon's Minimum Advertised Price listing, named the "HTC DROID DNA." (Remember that DLX has been a codename up until now.) Please, smartphone gods, let that be the official name, and not HTC DROID DNA 4G LTE. We beg you.

And that minimum advertised price is set at $199 -- perfectly fine for what should be a pretty high-end set. The start date for the MAP -- Nov. 20 -- also lines up with the Thanksgiving-esque launch window we've been working under. Still, ain't nothing official until it's official, folks.

We've got the full MAP listing after the break. And note the appearance of Verizon's Samsung Galaxy Note 2, with a MAP price of $299 (unsurprising) and a launch window of any time now, pretty much like all the other carriers.

If you're looking for more on the Windows Phone 8 info on this MAP listing, our cousins at WPCentral have the full breakdown.

More in our Rumored Devices ForumsThanks, anon!

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3 years ago

Nuance launches Siri-esque Dragon Mobile Assistant

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Today Nuance kicked off the beta for a new app called Dragon Mobile Assistant. It lets users talk to their phones in a natural human voice for a variety of tasks, including booking calendar appointments, dictating messages, updating Facebook and Twitter, getting GPS directions, finding businesses, and checking the weather. It even has an S-voice style audio wake-up command so you don't have to press a button to initiate a query. Sure, Personal Assistant has a lot in common with Dragon Go, but this is packaged in a way to more directly offer an Android version of Siri. 

Nuance is in a good spot for launching a voice activated personal assistant given its pedigree (especially now that they've acquired Vlingo), but it's hardly the only show in town. A small start-up called Maluuba has a very sharp-looking app that focuses on specific silos of content. Of course Samsung's S-voice is an option on pretty much all of their newer phones, plus the latest version of voice search built into Jelly Bean can handle a lot. There's Evi, though it wasn't particularly great the last time we used it.

Dragon Personal Assistant is free, but it's only available in English in the U.S. for devices running Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0. They're expecting to launch more broadly before the end of the year, at least. Which voice-activated personal assistant do you use on Android? Are there any that are fast enough to be more practical than just typing in a query or manually navigating to something on your device? How do you think these options stack up against what's available on iOS?

Source: Nuance

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3 years ago

LG Nexus 4 renders leak [Update: more]

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Update: Added additional image from @evleaks.

Here it is -- the LG Nexus 4. Some official-looking press renders for the much anticipated fourth-gen Nexus phone has emerged via noted Twitter leaker @evleaks. The images confirm what we've already seen from the extensive Belarusian leak of a few weeks ago, while showing us the final rear chassis design. As expected, "with Google" is gone, and in its place is a big old Nexus logo. In addition, LG's "crystal reflection process" back has dots arranged in a speckled pattern, in a possible nod to the original Nexus One live wallpaper.

The second image released by @evleaks sports a different notification dropdown setup to the first, suggesting that the on-screen image in the earlier shot is likely a placeholder. (Note that promotional shots like this are often assembled from scratch by manufacturers in Photoshop, making on-screen images easy to swap out.)

In any case, it seems this is our clearest look at the Nexus 4 yet. Don't forget we'll be live from New York City next Monday, Oct. 29, to bring you full coverage of Google's new Nexus devices and Android announcements!

Check past the break for the original image, and discuss in the Google Nexus 4 forums.

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

AT&T releases Q3 earnings, 'record sales quarter' for Android devices

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AT&T has released their Q3 earnings this morning, and among all the numbers they reported a "record sales quarter" for Android devices. Good news indeed, but we should still remember that of the 6.1 million smartphones sold in the quarter, a big portion were iPhone's

Overall, AT&T reported 678,000 new subscribers for the quarter, putting them at a total of 105.9 million subscribers. EPS is up from $0.61 a year ago to $0.63, and a record free cash flow of $6.5 billion is also reported. Data revenues for the carrier also went up in line with the increase in smartphone sales, with an increase of 18.3%. Consolidated revenues however remain flat year on year at $31.5 billion. 

In short, AT&T gained customers, and made some money. For the full report hit the source link below. We've also got a short video with Ralph de la Vega to run through the shortened version embedded after the break.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

Kindle Fire + Kindle Fire HD up for pre-order in Japan, shipping Dec. 19

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Amazon's Kindle Fire range continues to spread, with today's news that Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tablets will be heading to Japan in time for the holidays. Both devices are available to pre-order now at Amazon's Japanese site -- the vanilla Kindle Fire priced at ¥12,800 ($160), and the HD version at ¥15,800 ($200). In addition, Amazon offers the Kindle Fire HD with 32GB of storage for ¥19,800 ($250). For the moment, it seems only the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD will be offered in Japan -- there's no mention of the larger U.S.-bound Fire HD models arriving on Japanese shores.

Gaining a foothold in the Japanese tablet market will be an important step for Amazon, as it does battle with the likes of Apple and Google. Both flavors of Kindle Fire will begin shipping to Japanese consumers on Dec. 19.

Source: Amazon

More: Kindle Fire HD 7-inch hands-on

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean update hits unlocked UK Samsung Galaxy S3

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After it began rolling out on certain British carriers last week, the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update for the Samsung Galaxy S3 has this morning started to hit unlocked handsets. Those whose phones are parts of the "BTU" (British unlocked) region can now grab the 284MB update over-the-air or through Kies.

In addition to bumping Samsung's flagship smartphone up to the latest version of Android, this software update also adds a number of new features to TouchWiz. These include "blocking mode" for better control over notifications, alerts and callers, and an optional new "easy mode" for the home screen launcher, which automatically populates it with useful widgets. And, as it's Android 4.1, you get features like the new Google Search app with Google Now, and performance enhancements thanks to Google's "Project Butter."

If you've picked up your update, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on. If you're still waiting, head to Settings > About device > Software update to see if your Jelly Bean upgrade is ready yet.

Source: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 now available

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When we last saw the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2, it was a late night at CTIA MobileCON in San Diego, and the release date was "this fall". We've seen plenty of hints and rumors about just when it would pop up, and it looks like that time is now.

It's a beastly device. a 5.5-inch 720p display covers a 1.6 GHz quad-core Exynos processor, 2GB of RAM, and a pretty darn good 8MP camera. Combined with the S-Pen and Wacom screen digitizer, the Note 2 is what many folks feel will be the ultimate mobile device. Part phone, part tablet, part artist tool, it's a great mix of features and function wrapped up in a sexy package.

Starting today you can get your hands on one here in the U.S. It comes at a cost, of course, and if you're not familiar with T-Mobile's pricing it can be a bit confusing. The Note 2 will cost $369.99 on a two-year contract, or if you prefer, the full retail will be $649.99.

Check out our hands on and review of the International Galaxy Note 2, and head into the forums to talk this one over!

Source: T-Mobile

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3 years ago

Beach Buggy Blitz updated, sheds Tegra exclusivity in the process

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Vector Unit, developers of such titles as Riptide GP and Shine Runner really outdid themselves with their latest title Beach Buggy Blitz. A completely free, yet completely amazing game, the only downside was that you needed a Tegra device to play it. Well, everyone else now has cause to celebrate. The latest update to Beach Buggy Blitz brings it to non-Tegra devices. 

Compatible with "most modern Android devices," you'll still need to try it for yourselves to be sure. But, since it's free, that's not too much of a hassle. 

For those of you who've been playing Beach Buggy Blitz for a while, there's some additional treats on board. As we approach Halloween, we get 2 new characters and a special, Grim Rod, car available too. There's also a coin doubler added to the in game purchases, along with a smattering of performance and bug fixes. 

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3 years ago

Motorola RAZR M launching in Japan on October 26

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The Motorola RAZR M -- or, the full screen smartphone as it's often referred to -- is to receive a Japanese launch on carrier Softbank. Due to land on October 26, the RAZR M will take advantage of Softbank's 4G LTE services. Additionally, the first 10000 people to purchase the device will receive a Motorola P4000 Universal Portable Power Pack.

Anyone wanting to try one out before purchasing should head to Shibuya 109 special event space in Tokyo, on October 27, 28 and November 3, 4. Or, be sure to check out our full review of the Verizon RAZR M. Full press release can be found after the break. 

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3 years ago

LG announces Q3 2012 earnings, mobile division posts $19.42 million profit

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LG has just released its Q3 2012 financial statements, showing its earnings for all divisions of the company. What's interesting in this release is that the mobile division of the company actually pulled out a profit for the quarter, which hasn't always been the case as of late. "LG Mobile Communications" posted a $19.48 million operating profit for the quarter on $2.16 billion in revenues, which were up 5-percent quarter-to-quarter. LG notes that it shipped 14 million smartphones in the quarter, up 9-percent over the previous quarter.

Putting these numbers in perspective, LG as a whole posted an operating profit of $195.06 million, a majority of which coming from its appliance division. This is quite a feat regardless, considering that the company actually had a losing quarter this time last year.

Take a gander at the full press release after the break.

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