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3 years ago

Android 4.1.2 and 'Premium Suite' update hits Korean Galaxy S3


U.S. Galaxy S3 models may have just received their Android 4.1.1 update, but international versions are already moving ahead with the new "Premium Suite" upgrade, which includes Android 4.1.2 and new features like full-screen multitasking. The update started pushing out in some European countries earlier in the week, and now it's landed in Sammy's home territory, as SamMobile reports that South Korean S3 models have started to receive the new software over the air and through the Kies desktop app.

So if you're running any of the four Korean Galaxy S3s -- SHW-M440S, SHV-E210S, SHV-E210K or SHV-E210L -- then it's time to head to Settings > About device > Software update, or if you're feeling particularly masochistic, plug your phone into Kies.

The "Premium Suite" upgrade introduces a bunch of new features from the Galaxy Note 2, including "multi-window," which allows two full-screen apps to be run on-screen at once, a re-vamped Gallery app and "page buddy," a context-sensitive home screen tile that offers different widgets and shortcuts based on what you're doing with your phone. Check our earlier post for more details on other features of the upgrade.

Source: SamMobile

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Camera (LTE) now available on Verizon


If you'd like some 4G LTE with your Android-powered smart camera, you'll be pleased to hear that Verizon's version of the Samsung Galaxy Camera is now on sale, with support for Big Red's 4G service. Aside from the radio switch-up, the Verizon Galaxy Camera is more or less the same as its international cousin. It's got a 16MP sensor and a 23mm lens with 21X optical zoom, and it's powered by a quad-core Samsung Exynos CPU with 1GB of RAM. On the software side, it's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Samsung's TouchWiz interface running the show.

Verizon's Samsung Galaxy Camera sells for $549.99, $50 more than the HSPA+-capable model offered through AT&T and sold internationally. However, a Verizon promotion will allow customers to add a Galaxy Camera to their "Share Everything" plan for $5 per month instead of the usual $10. Surprisingly for Verizon, there's no red version of the Galaxy Camera, though it does have exclusivity over the black color option in the U.S.

You'll find more details at Verizon's store page, linked below. If you're curious about image quality, we've got  big ol' gallery of photos and videos from the Samsung Galaxy Camera, too.

More: Samsung Galaxy Camera photo and video samples

Source: Verizon Wireless

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3 years ago

EE announces plans to sell Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE, Nexus 7 tablets


British 4G mobile network EE has announced that it'll branch out from phones, iPads and Mifis, and begin offering contract-subsidized Android tablets directly for sale. The first two Android tablets to be sold on EE will be the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE and Google Nexus 7, the latter being offered with a 4G Mifi. All of EE's tablet contracts run for 24 months.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE should be more or less identical to earlier Note 10.1 versions, with the addition of European LTE support. So we're looking at a 10-inch tablet with S Pen stylus capabilities and a quad-core Exynos chip. There's no mention of specifically which version of Android it'll run out of the box, but we'd hope it'd be Jelly Bean. Prices and data bundles for the Note 10.1 LTE are --

  • £25.99 monthly and £249.99 up-front for 3GB
  • £30.99 monthly and £199.99 up-front for 5GB
  • £35.99 and £99.99 up-front for 8GB

Meanwhile the Nexus 7 will give you a bit more bang for your buck, as it comes bundled with a Huawei E589 LTE Mifi. EE doesn't confirm this specifically, but it looks like it's offering a Wifi-only N7,with mobile days available only through the bundled hotspot. (That'd make sense, as there's no Nexus 7 with built-in LTE.) It's also a good deal less expensive than the Note 10.1 --

  • £25.99 monthly and £49.99 up-front for 3GB
  • £30.99 monthly and £29.99 up-front for 5GB
  • £35.99 monthly and £25.99 up-front for 8GB

EE's prices remain comparatively high though, and you'll be locked in for 24 months. But at least it's starting to expand its tablet line-up outside of Apple's iPad range. The Nexus 7 and Note 10.1 on EE are due to go on sale starting this weekend.

EE says it'll have 4G up and running in some 18 British cities by the end of 2012, with that figure rising to 35 by next March.

Don't forget to check out our reviews of the Note 10.1 and Nexus 7 if you haven't already. 

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3 years ago

Daily news roundup: December 14, 2012




In case you missed any of the days news here's a wrap up of everything you need to know. Everything was covered, from LTE in the UK to LTE from AT&T, devices, and of course software. Have a read and see how it all went down.

Hardware news

Update all the things!!

Industry news


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3 years ago

Metago offering older version of Astro File Manager for sideloading


Metago, the folks behind the uber-popular Android app Astro File Manager, has reached out for us to pass along a bit of news. They are busy with Astro version 4.0, and realize that a lot folks just aren't ready to make the change. For those folks, version 3 can be directly downloaded from Metago's website. 

Truth be told, I think the version 4 update is pretty awesome, and love the direction the app is headed. The new included gallery, the cloud connections with SkyDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox are awesome, and swiping three-pane interface works really well.

Fortunately, Metago realizes not everyone feels that way. If you need your old version back, grab it at the link below.

More: Metago

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3 years ago

Verizon set to launch several new LTE markets on Dec. 20


It's hard to find cities that don't have Verizon LTE coverage at this point, but they're still rolling it out. Big red is taking its new high-speed network to several new cities and towns, all expecting to launch on December 20th:

  • Lamar And LaJunta, Colorado
  • Price And Richfield, Utah
  • Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Kemmerer And Pinedale, Wyoming
  • Port Angeles, Port Townsend And Sequim, Washington
  • Kennewick, Pasco And Richland, Washington
  • Klamath Falls And Roseburg, Oregon

Just one week away from seeing LTE go live in these places if you happen to live there. The few of you not yet covered by LTE should be seeing it soon at this rate.

Source: Verizon; (1); (2); (3); (4); (5)

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3 years ago

Facebook SDK 3.0 for Android comes out of beta


Alongside its release of a native Android app, Facebook is bringing its SDK 3.0 for Android developers out of beta today. The Facebook SDK for Android lets app developers on the platform integrate social functions into their apps by calling Facebook API's and embedding their functions. This means simple actions like connecting a Facebook account to another app or calling up a friend or location list will be easier to implement and use. For example, users will be able to log-in to their Facebook account without ever leaving the primary app -- really cool stuff.

Facebook says the beta version of the SDK was downloaded over 80,000 times since it was released, so let's hope that some of those developers give it a closer look and use the tools to their advantage. This isn't something most end-users will be dealing with, but we all want this regardless. When developers have better tools, they provide an improved experience for all of us.

Source: Facebook Developers

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3 years ago

Official Nexus 7 audio dock gets unboxed on Youtube


Here's a look at the elusive Nexus 7 docking station live and in color on Youtube. We don't have a lot of information here, just that the fellow posting the video bought it at Yodobashi Camera in the Akihabara district in Japan. He had the opportunity to buy it a day early, and like any of us would, he jumped on it. 

It looks to be the same dock we saw in late November, utilizing the pogo pons for charging and audio. That dock is no longer "coming soon" on the Asus Japan site, but it is listed as out of stock. There is no listing on the ASUS America site or the Global site. 

We're not sure of what the availability will be, or if it is even coming to the states. We assume that it will, as the demand for the Nexus 7 is still very high. The dock would make for a great holiday gift, so hopefully we see it offered very soon.

Discuss it in the Nexus 7 forums

Source: Youtube; via  +William Gunther!

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3 years ago

Walmart improves Android app to help holiday shoppers


Walmart has made some subtle updates to its app -- now v1.4.1 -- that should help customers looking to ease the headaches of shopping this holiday season. Now in addition to online ordering and shopping cart management, you can view the localized ads for specific stores in your area. After letting the app view your location, you can see the newspaper circular for each store, and see if there are any special deals. You can swipe through the pages casually, and if something catches your eye you can tap into a certain page and get a simple list of the items on it.

The app with the updated UI is out now, and can be downloaded at the Google Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Nexus 10 Pogo charger sighted, release rumored


It seems Nexus 10 owners may be about to get a new, more convenient, more magnetic way to charge their tablets. Android Central forums poster jstevenkim has posted an image of what he says is a Pogo charger for the Samsung-made 10-inch tablet. Unlike a traditional microUSB getup, this pogo charger would be held in contact with the tablet's pogo pins magnetically, similar to an Apple MagSafe connector.

The poster claims he works for "the original and direct supplier of the pogo cable to S[amsung] in Korea," and that this charger will become available soon via Amazon and eBay, priced around $19.99-24.99. We'd take this with a pinch of salt -- the image provided certainly looks like it'd fit the Nexus 10, but there's no way of verifying how official it really is.

Of course, we're still waiting on the official pogo dock for the Nexus 10 -- not to mention its little brother, the Nexus 7. In the meantime this accessory may open up a novel way of charging the 10-inch Nexus, if microUSB is cramping your style.

Hit the Android Central Nexus 10 forum at the source link for more discussion and speculation.

Source: Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

Leap Wireless and MetroPCS starting handset financing programs


Leap Wireless and MetroPCS, both smaller prepaid carriers, are starting to offer handset financing programs for their devices. One of the issues facing carriers that only operate on a prepaid basis is the high up-front cost of handsets. Even though the customers will be saving lots of money in the long-run, the $500 or more required to buy a high-end device may turn some away. 

Leap, which operates the Cricket Wireless brand (which is somewhat confusing,) started offering its financing plans a couple weeks ago and now have them rolled out to all of its stores nationwide. Purchases of $200 or more -- both phones and accessories -- can qualify for financing of up to 90-percent of the purchase price. If the loan is paid off within 90 days, there are no fees or interest charges as well. This means that someone buying a device that is normally $500 will be paying just over $100 out the door for the device and the first month's service paid in full. MetroPCS wouldn't comment specifically on its financing plans, but intends to launch a similar setup of handset financing to its customers very soon.

Even with the financing plans, neither Leap nor MetroPCS will require a contract for its services and will remain completely prepaid. Both operators aren't requiring a credit check for financing either -- just an active bank account -- which is a big deal to many customers. Anything that can help users make the choice on going to prepaid to save money on their cellphone service is a good thing.

Source: FierceWireless

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3 years ago

T-Mobile announces another 5 markets with 1900MHz HSPA+


We saw T-Mobile light up three new markets just a few days ago with its "network modernization," and now its ready to announce five more. Network Modernization is a big deal for T-Mobile, as it brings improvements in voice and data traffic, better building penetration and overall improved signal strength. It also of course means that the carrier has deployed HSPA+ on the 1900MHz band in that market as well, which enables use of most GSM handsets sold in the world -- including AT&T branded devices. Users in the following markets should see the improved service live starting today:

  • Chicago, including the surrounding areas of: Aurora, Berwyn, Chicago Heights, Cicero, Des Plaines, Downers Grove, Evanston, Evergreen Park, Naperville, Oak Park, Schaumburg, Wilmette and Winnetka.
  • Reno, Nev.
  • Sacramento, Calif., including the surrounding areas of: Antelope, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Loomis, North Highlands, Rancho Cordova, Rio Linda, Rocklin, Roseville, Vacaville and West Sacramento.
  • Fresno, Calif.
  • Southern Calif., including: Alhambra, Anaheim, Claremont, Culver City, El Monte, Encino, Garden Grove, Granada Hills, Inglewood, Irvine, La Crescenta, Laguna Niguel, Monrovia, Monterey Park, Newport Beach, North Hills, North Hollywood, Paramount, Pasadena, Redlands, Reseda, Rosemead, Santa Ana, San Fernando, San Gabriel, Santa Monica, South El Monte, Temple City, Torrance, Upland, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Westminster and Wilmington.

This announcement brings the number of markets with 1900MHz HSPA+ up to 23 in total, which T-Mobile claims is covering 100 million Americans.

Source: T-Mobile

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3 years ago

Dell officially exits the smartphone market


Although one could argue Dell never really was in the smartphone market, they did make several attempts to gain traction both on Android and Windows Phone. The Dell Streak and Venue Pro Windows Phone lines turned out to be pretty lackluster overall. Despite that fact, up until March Dell was still selling the devices on their web site but they've now finally disappeared.

Jeff Clarke, Dell's head of consumer business, confirmed Dell's lack of future smartphone intents at the recent Dell World conference stating "It needs a lot of investments to really be successful". For now, Dell will concentrate their efforts on PC's running Microsoft's Windows 8 and tablet computers based on Windows RT.

In speaking further of their Android ventures, Clarke noted “It’s a content play with Android. Amazon is selling books and Google is making it up with search. So far we couldn’t find a way to build a business on Android,” Android isn't being ignored though as Clarke also mentioned “It doesn’t mean we’re not looking at Android. You should come and see what’s in our labs.”

Source: Forbes via: PhoneScoop

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3 years ago

BBC iPlayer app updated with new UI, higher quality video and Android 4.2 support


Also BBC Media Player improvements, including background audio playback

Yesterday the BBC detailed exactly what it's planning to do with its iPlayer app for Android over the next few months, highlighting the importance of tablet support, feature parity with iOS and improved video quality. Now it seems the first of those improvements have arrived, as the Beeb is now pushing out an update to version of the TV and radio streaming app.

New features include better video quality over Wifi connections, a re-vamped UI more in keeping with Android's "Holo" design guidelines, and support for Android 4.2. Previously, it had been possible to use iPlayer on an Android 4.2 device, but only if it was installed before applying a 4.2 update. Today's app update means iPlayer has full support for the latest version of Google's OS, and can be directly downloaded onto newer devices like the Nexus 4. There's also support for Gaelic-language TV channel BBC Alba, which may be of interest to viewers in Scotland.

Alongside iPlayer, the BBC Media Player companion app has also been updated. That update brings similar improvements in video quality over Wifi, along with background audio playback support, including ICS lock screen controls, and "currently playing" info in the notification bar. This makes it possible to listen to radio content without keeping the app in focus and the screen switched on. The Beeb cautions that there are still issues with the Sony Xperia Arc running Android 4.0 on this version, however, so owners of that device may want to hold off updating.

Readers in the UK can hit the Google Play link above to grab the new version of iPlayer, or here for the BBC Media Player app.

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3 years ago

Google Calendar adds more actionable notifications, location improvements


Google has updated the Calendar app to improve notifications, location entry and event creation today. We were very happy to see Google break Calendar out of Android and make it available to everyone (provided the device is on 4.0.3 or higher) in the Play Store back in October, and now we're seeing the fruits of that decision because updates can be rolled out independent of the OS.

Now when you create an event, the app will suggest proper locations as you type. For example when I type "Starbucks" in the location field, it will suggest specific addresses of store locations, much like the location field in Google Maps does currently. Additionally, when you receive a notification for the event, you can act on it by either snoozing or going directly to a map view of the location in the event.

This is a great update and we're glad Google is improving even on its most basic apps. It is an interesting update, however, because this is functionality that's already included as part of Google Now, which will alert you of upcoming events and even adjust the alert time based on traffic or other appointments. This is a good stopgap for devices that are on Ice Cream Sandwich and can use the new Calendar but not Google Now, but that group of devices will only be getting smaller as time goes on.

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