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3 years ago

Acer announces the 7-inch A110 tablet, Tegra 3, 8GB, and microSD card slot

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Acer has unveiled their take on the 7-inch Android tablet, and the Iconia Tab A110 will be available October 30 for $229.99. The 7-inch form factor has turned out to be fairly popular, but is there room for one more tablet with an entry-level price? We think there is, and this one has one thing going for it that plenty of you will love -- a microSD card slot.

The full specs are as follows -- Tegra 3, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage and a 1024x600 display, all running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The A110 weighs in at 0.86 pounds and is less than .5 inches thick, and certainly sounds ultra-portable. Add in features like Bluetooth 3.0, HDMI out via the dedicated microHDMI port, and a standard MicroUSB 2.0 port and you might have a recipe for success.

Acer certainly thinks so, and we're excited to have a look at another "real" Android tablet in the 7-inch size. The Iconia A110 goes on sale in the US and Canada on 12 short days. Read the full press release and see a gallery of press pictures after the break.

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3 years ago

Sony confirms HD voice support on Xperia T

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If you've been using a Sony Xperia T in the couple of weeks since its release, you may have already noticed this. Nevertheless, Sony Mobile has today confirmed on its official product blog that its new high-end phone for Europe, the Xperia T, supports the HD Voice standard for higher-quality voice calls over the mobile network. The feature is fully functional on the Xperia T, but it's not currently mentioned anywhere on the official Sony specification page.

To get the most out of HD Voice, both callers will need HD Voice supported handsets and mobile networks. In the UK, Three and EE (Orange + T-Mobile) currently support the standard. But with all the pieces in place, the difference in call quality can be quite striking, as we've noticed during our time with the Sony Xperia T.

As data use increases, there's a general trend away from traditional voice calls on mobile handsets. But if you still find yourself making lots of calls, it may be a feature worth looking for in your next smartphone.

Source: Sony Mobile

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 and Ace Duo get Carbon Trust certification

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Samsung has announced that it's boosted its green credentials by obtaining Carbon Trust "PAS 2050" certification for its Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Ace Duo smartphones in Europe. PAS 2050 is a standard for measures greenhouse gas emissions of devices throughout their lives.

Samsung had previously gained PAS 2050 certification for its Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note devices. However, the manufacturer notes that the S3's carbon footprint is some 14 percent lower than the S2, owing to fewer raw materials being used in its construction and the inclusion of a more efficient charger, as well as lower emissions during the manufacturing process.

Here's your obligatory "inspired by nature" quote --

“At Samsung, our philosophy is to ‘design for humans’ and be ‘inspired by nature’. So by design our products are not just smart and easy to use, they also strive to achieve the highest environmental standards,” said Bill Skeates, Head of Sustainability, Samsung Electronics Europe. “Yes, our customers want to own a great smartphone, but they also want to be responsible consumers, and the GALAXY SIII helps them to do both. Measuring the carbon footprint helps us to understand the environmental impact of our mobile phones and identify where we can continue to improve.  Samsung aims to calculate the carbon footprint for all of its mobile flagship devices.”

We've seen some smartphones boasting their eco-friendly credentials before -- remember last year's Samsung Replenish, for one. But would a more environmentally friendly smartphone sway your purchasing decision? Let us know in the comments.

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3 years ago

ASUS Padfone 2 heading to the UK in early 2013

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The original Padfone from ASUS didn't really take off as they may have hoped, and in the UK it never received an official release. As such, we might expect the successor, the imaginatively named Padfone 2, to also skip by British shores. Apparently, not so. 

According to the folks at Techradar, an ASUS spokesman confirmed to them that the UK in fact would see an official release of the Padfone 2 early next year. There wasn't a whole lot said besides that, just that we would hopefully be seeing some further details before this year is out. 

On paper, the Padfone 2 is an enticing prospect. A quad-core Snapdragon S4, 2GB of RAM, 4G LTE support, a HD Super IPS+ display and a 13MP rear camera is enough to open anybody's eyes. We're still not convinced by the whole phone-tablet hybrid though. The price is high -- as you would expect for both a phone and a tablet -- but what we'd really like to see, is just the phone released on its own. Yes, that would contradict the whole Padfone concept, but we can dream. 

And, as an added bonus, if you're intrigued by the Padfone 2, ASUS has posted the entire press conference from Milan, Italy, for you to watch through at your leisure. You'll find it just a few clicks down, after the break. 

Source: Techradar

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3 years ago

Verizon Wireless reports third quarter revenues

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Verizon Wireless as reported its service and retail revenues for the third quarter of the year, showing a strong performance across the board. The U.S.'s largest wireless carrier attained a 7.5 percent year-on-year growth in service revenues -- the money made through the cellular services it provides -- while retail revenues increased 7.9 percent year-on-year. Today's results follow a similarly strong performance in Q2.

The carrier says smartphone users contributed heavily to its earnings, noting that some 53 percent of its post-paid (contract) customers now used smart devices. Verizon continues to boast the country's largest 4G LTE network, which it says is now available to some 250 million people across the U.S.

"In the third quarter, Verizon continued to deliver double-digit earnings growth and strong cash generation, and we remain solidly on track to meet our financial objectives for the year," said Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and CEO. "With our 4G LTE network advantage, well-received Share Everything Plans and unmatched product portfolio, Verizon Wireless continues to do an outstanding job of balancing growth and profitability. Wireless achieved record profitability in a quarter in which we reported the highest number of retail postpaid gross and net adds in four years."

Verizon will hold its quarterly earnings call later this morning.

Source: Verizon Wireless

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3 years ago

AT&T LTE spectrum plan approved by FCC

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The FCC here in the U.S. has just approved a plan by AT&T that would let it use spectrum holdings it previously acquired. For several years now, AT&T has held 30MHz of WCS spectrum, but was unable to use it because of potential conflicts with adjacent spectrum owned by satellite radio provider Sirius XM. The plan -- which was approved unanimously by the FCC -- will allow AT&T to utilize 20MHz of the 30MHz it owns, leaving the last 10MHz as a buffer zone between its operation and Sirius XM's.

The end result of this plan being approved is that AT&T can move forward in applying this new 20MHz of spectrum to their expanding LTE network. AT&T has been buying additional WCS spectrum licenses as of late in preparation for the approval of this plan. Now that it has the legal ability to operate in that space, that will all pay off.

Source: WSJ

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3 years ago

ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T receiving minor update

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Folks with an ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity (TF700) are reporting a minor OTA update today, It's not Android 4.1.2 (even ASUS isn't that quick with the updates), but brings users to V10.4.4.18 and stays on Android 4.1.1.

According to ASUS, this update addresses "a few random WiFi, Keyboard and Camera issues reported in the first release."  It's great to see ASUS step up and fix bugs this quickly, and we think that's a big part of why they are successful among Android enthusiasts.

You can check for the update in the device settings menu, and discuss it all in the forums.

Thanks, Jay and Cory!

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3 years ago

Netflix now welcoming mobile viewers from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland

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If you just so happen to live in Sweden, Denmark, Norway or Finland, Netflix would like you to know they've not forgotten about you. In fact, the latest update available in the Google Play Store opens up the Android app to those regions along with improved subtitle support for Android 4.0 and above.

Plus, while it's not noted, the app does seem to respond a little bit better over previous versions. By that we mean, it no longer takes 2 minutes to scroll through items causing you to forget what you were intending on watching in the first place. That's a good thing.

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3 years ago

NPR News updated with refreshed UI, improved browsing

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These holo app updates just keep coming. The NPR News app has received a very nice facelift and integrated new Android design guidelines to fit in with other popular apps on the platform. You get properly laid out search, refresh and menu buttons and an overall simple UI. The changelog also notes that its a bit easier to browse and play sound clips or whole shows right from the main screen. Above all, the app isn't over-designed, and you have to commend it on that.

As always, if you've yet to download the NPR News app, grab it at the Google Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Google hosting event Oct. 29th, 4.1.2 takju OTA now live [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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3 years ago

Google adds Wish Lists to Google Play Store

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You want it, you got it. Erm, or you can at least ask for it. Google tonight has turned on Wish Lists in the Google Play Store.

The mechanism is simple. Find something you want in Google Play, and then hit the bookmark button on that page. That adds it to your "Wish List." We don't yet see a way to send that wish list to anyone, or to have anyone other than you pay for it. So basically you're making a list of things you want to buy later. Which is fine for now, we suppose. (We're totally going to spam Mom and Dad with this later, though.)

The really cool part for now is that this isn't just limited to apps. You can bookmark music, magazines, movies & TV or books. Anything that's in Google Play, you can add to the wish list. Perhaps we'll see more functionality announced in a couple weeks?

Thanks, Steamer!

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3 years ago

Official Google Calendar app launches on Google Play

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It's pretty easy to get your Google Calendar entries onto an Android device, as the services come baked right into the OS. However there are some instances where the Google Calendar may have been replaced by the OEM, for something they felt was a little more in tune with their design. (We're looking at you, S Planner.)

Today Google has released the Google Calendar app for everyone to download. It's the same app you would get if you running a Nexus (or vanilla Android) device, but packaged up and placed into the Google Play Store. If you're on OEM skinned device, this is a great option that has all the expected features included within as well as some added bonuses --

  •  Snooze events directly from a notification if you’re not quite ready and want to be reminded later.
  • Use predefined messages to send quick "I'll be late" updates to your event participants directly from the notifications or the event itself (of course, you can always write your own).
  • Pinch to zoom in and out of a day.
  • Set a home time zone to help you manage your time better when traveling.

There are some issues to be aware of, though. As noted in the Google Play Store, HTC devices appear to not play along all that nicely with it. If you're wanting to still give it a go, the link is live right now. You'll need a device running Android 4.0.3 or above.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

Android 4.1.2 OTA now rolling out for Google Play Galaxy Nexus devices, here's your download link

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The Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean OTA update is now making its way to "takju" Galaxy Nexus phones -- meaning those purchased from Google Play or flashed with the takju firmware. It's the same firmware available via factory images, and the one we saw rolling out to "yakju" -- non-Google Play Store -- phones the other day. 

Manually updating is the same process as for the Nexus 7 or previous Galaxy Nexus updates. You'll need the file direct from Google (grab it here), adb or fastboot up and running on your computer, and a bit of technical know-how. Rather than re-hash that again here, I'm going to direct everyone to the Galaxy Nexus forums, where this sort of thing is old hat to the hackers-in-residence.

As far as changes to the OS, there are few. We assume that changes under the hood made it worthwhile for Google to send out the update, and we've had no complaints. This is the fun part of having a Nexus phone!

Discuss in the Galaxy Nexus forums

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3 years ago

Google: Oct. 29 in NYC, the playground is open

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Fresh in our inbox: An invite to an Oct. 29 event in New York City. "The playground is open," Google says.

The general consensus is that we'll see some sort of new Nexus device. Maybe several. At the very least, that LG guy that's been floating around. Maybe something from Sony. Me? I think Google's got something up its sleeve.

We'll see you there at 10 a.m. Eastern on Oct. 29. And you're coming with us. Google's streaming the event at Youtube.com/Android.

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3 years ago

Isis mobile payment system officially launching October 22

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It looks like we were dead on for the Isis launch date, limited as the rollout may be. Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah will officially be the first areas to support the Isis starting on October 22. As is there are about 340 Isis-ready merchants in each city. 

Right now, the only device that we know for sure will support Isis is the Droid Incredible, though Motorola, LG, and Sony have all pledged to create compatible hardware. Supported credit cards are currently limited to American Express, Capital One, and Chase, though I'm sure more will come in due time. Just like Google Wallet, Isis will enable tap-to-pay schemes with NFC-enabled smartphones. It can be used for coupons and loyalty cards too, but paying for stuff is the main thing. The only real difference here is that Isis is a joint venture between Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T. It's something of a strategic necessity if U.S. carriers want a solid foothold in the mobile payment game without having to play by Google's rules. 

Sure, Google Wallet might have a hefty head start, but with any luck, the competition will spur on speedier development and increase adoption overall. It's still hard to imagine a nearby future where paying for everything (or even anything) on a day-to-day basis with your phone is normal, but I'm sure many of us stand to be early adopters.

How often do you use Google Wallet? What would it take for you to switch over to another service? Do you think a carrier-run solution with the support of hardware manufacturers is more likely to gain broad acceptance, or will Google's natural habit of wriggling into ubiquity win out? Anyone in these early markets willing to give Isis a go?

Source: @PayWithIsis

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