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3 years ago

Slide, tap, and tab: A look at Gmail's new interface

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New mail categories make their way over from the web; updated design sheds an action bar for a cleaner look

Google is currently in the process of rolling out a newly redesigned Gmail app -- version 4.5 if you're counting -- that is the first major redesign in some time, bringing with it a few new features to improve your mobile email experience. It's a necessary update in many ways, bringing the design up to speed with the latest UI elements introduced at Google I/O as well as falling in-line with the latest features being added to the Gmail web interface. And let's face it, the previous Gmail app has had the same basic design for far too long.

While it was extremely functional, there wasn't a whole lot to be excited about with Gmail until this week. Things are changing though, so let's take a look at some of these new features and try to make sense of it all. Stick around with us after the break and see what's new.

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3 years ago

Relive the ASUS Computex 'We Transform' presentation in full

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Under an hour long, see the unveiling of a bunch of new Android devices over in Taiwan with Johnny Shih

ASUS has been plenty busy of late, announcing a whole raft of new devices at the Computex 2013 show in their native Taiwan. Of particular interest to us are the 6-inch Fonepad Note, the new Transformer Pad Infinity and the Transformer Book Trio, a hybrid device also containing Windows 8, and of course the new MeMo Pad's. ASUS press conferences are often as interesting to view as the actual devices themselves, and now those of us not in Taiwan can enjoy the entire thing in full. 

ASUS continues to make Android devices that interest us, but any event presented by Johnny Shih always interests us. The event itself starts at 5:22 in, so you'll need to spin on to there. Enjoy. 

Source: ASUS (Youtube)

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3 years ago

HTC 'M4' allegedly captured, looks to be an HTC One mini

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Smaller chassis and screen shown on a phone with a familiar design

It's been a while since we've heard anything about the M4, the rumored mid-range variant of the the flagship HTC One handset. Today the device seems to have cropped up on Estonian site Delfi.ee, in a number of images of varying quality.  The shots seem to confirm what's been rumored about the M4, specifically that it's a smaller version of the HTC One without the aluminum unibody. (Close-ups of the phone seem to show a much more plasticky-looking exterior.)

The site also claims to have a partial spec list for the M4, and lists a dual-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 4.3-inch 720p display, 16GB of storage and a 4MP HTC Ultrapixel camera. Software-wise, Android 4.2.2 is reported, and shots of the screen unsurprisingly show HTC's Sense 5 software in action. What's more, images of the phone's front face seem to confirm the presence of a pair of "BoomSound" front-facing speakers. An August launch at a €400 price point is also speculated.

If this is all legit, it looks like HTC will be pitting the M4 against the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini in the mid-to-high-end space. And assuming the specs are accurate, a 720p display would give the HTC device a clear edge over the qHD SuperAMOLED used in Samsung's Mini.

Source: Delfi.ee; via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Huawei and Carphone Warehouse announce Ascend Y300

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Entry-lev​el handset can be had for as little as £59.95

Phone-maker Huawei and British retailer Carphone Warehouse have announced the UK launch of an entry-level Android handset, the Ascend Y300. Powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor with a 4-inch WVGA (480x800) display, a 5-megapixel camera and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the Ascend Y300 doesn't offer outstanding specs -- although you are getting a relatively up-to-date version of Android.

But it's the price that's intended to turn heads, as Carphone Warehouse will sell the Y300 for as little as £59.95 on pre-pay. To qualify for this price, you'll need to be upgrading on a pre-paid plan; alternatively it's £69.95 for new PAYG customers, or free on contracts starting at £7.50 per month.

The Huawei Ascend Y300 will launch at Carphone Warehouse from tomorrow, Thursday June 6. Any takers?

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3 years ago

Samsung announces water-resistant Galaxy S4 Active

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Ruggedized GS4 launching this summer, coming to the U.S. and Sweden first

After weeks of leaks, Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S4 Active -- a ruggedized, water and dust-resistant version of its flagship smartphone. The Galaxy S4 Active shares much of its internal hardware with the vanilla Galaxy S4, including a quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU at 1.9GHz, 2GB of RAM, a 1080p (TFT, not AMOLED) display, 2600mAh battery and 16GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD. The camera's taken a minor hit, going from 13MP on the regular GS4 to 8MP on the Active.

The main difference is the "fully sealed design" that the manufacturer's boasting is certified IP67 water and dust resistant . That means the external chassis looks a lot more durable, and the capacitive keys have been replaced with three physical, clicky buttons.

On the software side, we're still looking at Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and the latest Samsung TouchWiz UI, including headline Galaxy S4 features like WatchON, the Peel-based TV controller app, which uses a front-mounted IR blaster. S Health is on-board too, along with the full suite of Samsung apps and camera capabilities like 'drama shot' and 'sound and shot.' There's also a new 'aqua shot' mode for taking underwater pics.

You get the idea -- it's essentially a Galaxy S4 in a re-worked, sturdier chassis. Samsung says the Galaxy S4 Active will have a global release this summer, with the U.S. and Sweden seeing release first. In the UK, retailer Phones4U has confirmed that it'll offer the Active "when it becomes available." There's no word of which U.S. carriers will launch the device just yet, we've seen leaked images of the Active with AT&T branding in recent days. Samsung adds that the device will be at its "Premiere 2013" show in London on June 20, and we'll be live from that event to bring you hands-on coverage.

We've got more photos after the break.

Source: Samsung

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3 years ago

AT&T announces 15 new LTE markets, expands 4 others

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AT&T expands their LTE network in markets from New Jersey to Washington, with plenty in between

AT&T has filled our inbox tonight with news about new and expanded LTE markets across the US, so we're going to pass along the good news. AT&T bills their network as the country's fastest 4G, and while we agree for the most part there's still quite a few places where Verizon has the coverage that AT&T just doesn't. Nights like tonight, when they light up multiple cities, will go a long way to change that. Now hang on tight, the long list is after the break.

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3 years ago

Verizon and NFL extend deal to offer streaming games to customers

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Live Sunday regional games, playoff games and Super Bowl added to the deal starting in 2014

Verizon and the NFL announced today that the companies are making a multi-year extension to their current agreement, which will continue to make Verizon the official mobile network streaming partner for NFL in the U.S. Starting this season, the NFL Mobile app from Verizon will receive a facelift, with new ways for fans to interact with stats, news, game previews, on-demand video, fantasy teams and alerts. As is the case currently, Verizon customers will have access to all Thursday, Sunday and Monday games streaming on their devices for $5 per month. Beginning with the 2014 season that coverage will expand to include local Sunday afternoon games from CBS and Fox, along with all playoff games and the Super Bowl.

This is great for Verizon customers that want to keep up with the NFL while out of the house, but unfortunate for the other couple hundred million subscribers on other carriers. The specific length and terms of the deal between the NFL and Verizon aren't known, but we have to assume that it will continue for some time, leaving everyone else that wants access to live video of NFL games on mobile in the cold. Verizon customers can be on the lookout for the updated NFL Mobile app in the near future.

Source: NFL

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3 years ago

ZTE Vital for Sprint leaks in press renders, looks a lot like the Grand S LTE

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Another well-specced device to expand Sprint's LTE offerings

Press images and specs of what's purportedly called the ZTE Vital have leaked out today, giving details on another new LTE device destined for Sprint. Details on the device given to Engadget list a 5-inch HD (assumedly 1080P) display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2500mAh battery, 13MP camera, 1GB of RAM and what looks to be basically stock Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Naturally the device will run on Sprint's LTE network, sitting alongside the other high-end devices currently on offer such as the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, although pricing or availability aren't known right this moment.

The detailed renders and specs list we have available today, if true, line up almost exactly with ZTE's latest flagship device the Grand S LTE. First shown off back at CES in January, the Grand S LTE basically packed in every piece of top-notch hardware available at the time, and should hold up against other high-end offerings even 6 months later. Sprint had ZTE have partnered up in the past for some specialty and mid-range devices, but nothing this highly specced. It will be interesting to see how it is priced and presented if it becomes available. Several more renders of the device can be found at the source link below.

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

Your old phone could be worth up to $300 off the purchase of any Samsung phone at Radio Shack

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If you're considering picking up a new Samsung phone, Radio Shack wants to talk to you -- and they have money to spend on your trade-in

From now until July 7 Radio Shack is offering a trade-in program on purchases of any Samsung phone from Verizon, AT&T or Sprint. Your old phone is guaranteed to get you at least $30, with several phones like the iPhone 5 or the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 netting you as much as $300 in like new condition. The phone you're trading in has to be working, and you'll get more money by including the cables and charger. For more information, have a look here.

This is how you move product folks. Get people interested with special promotions like this one with Radio Shack, then keep them interested once they see the great products you've made. It's no wonder Samsung is making all the money off of Android, because they have the best business plan. Other vendors should take note if they want to compete with the Samsung juggernaut. 

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3 years ago

Redbox Instant from Verizon now available for select Google TV devices

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Your $8 monthly subscription for Redbox Instant now goes a little further, as the service is available for a handful of Google TV devices

Verizon and Redbox have made their Redbox Instant app available for a select group of Google TV devices, bringing another streaming on-demand service to the bigger screen in your living room. For an $8 monthly subscription, folks using the 47G2 and 55G2 Google TV-enabled Smart TVs from LG, NETGEAR's NeoTV Prime with Google TV, the Sony Internet Player NSZ-GS7, or the Vizio Co-Star can instantly stream a movie, rent or buy content, and even reserve a DVD for pick up at the local kiosk.

Getting started is easy, simply fire up the Google Play store on your supported device and search for Redbox Instant by Verizon-GTV and install the app. You can then enroll for a free trial month right inside the app or on the web here

For Google TV, content is king. It's nice to see more of it being delivered, even if it is on a scale limited a little more than we like. 

Source: Google

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3 years ago

Plague Inc. Mutation 1.6 infects Android in August

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Plague Inc. -- a longstanding favorite here at Android Central -- will be bringing its latest "mutation" to Android come August. The update for the strategy game, in which your goal is to kill every last man, woman and child on earth, adds options for speed runs, official content from the Centers for Disease Control, translations for Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Russian, and a few other in-game enhancements. 

The update will be free when it lands in Google Play. (It'll hit the iOS version of the game first.)

We've got the full rundown after the break.

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3 years ago

Android US market share dips slightly, remains on top as of April 2013

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Samsung holds a strong first place in the Android manufacturer numbers with 22-percent of all mobile devices sold

Industry analyst comScore has just released its market share numbers for the U.S. mobile industry, reminding us that Android is still dominant in the states, as is Samsung when it comes to the sale of Android handsets. For the three month period spanning from the end of January to the end of April, Android's market share dipped slightly by 0.3-percentage points to 52-percent of the mobile market -- trailed by Apple at 39.2-percent, up 1.4-percentage points. Adding up to less than 10-percent together are BlackBerry, Microsoft and Symbian, naturally.

On the manufacturer side, Apple is still king in terms of individual manufacturer market share, naturally with 39.2-percent of the market (as it is the only manufacturer of iOS devices). Trailing notably is Samsung, with a solid 22-percent share, up 0.6-percentage points. Rounding out the top five are HTC (8.9-percent), Motorola (8.3-percent) and LG (6.7-percent), as you would expect. There should be no surprises here, as Samsung continues to take off as the leading manufacturer of Android devices in every shape, size, name and variation.

Source: comScore

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3 years ago

Verizon weighs in on the future of the 'DROID' brand

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No DROID devices in nearly seven months? Oh, noes!

The Verizon HTC ONE will not be the Verizon DROID HTC One. That's probably a good thing, if only to spare us all from the cursed "DROOOOOOOOOOID" notification sound. That's not to say it won't come without any other horrid sounds, but at least can expect that one to not be there. Anyhoo. A "DROID" phone it is not.

It's been some months since we've seen a new "DROID" phone from Verizon. (That'd be the Droid DNA in November 2012.) The branding and ensuing marketing campaigns, of course, is what helped launch the first real generation of consumer-friendly Android smartphones. T-Mobile's annoying uncapitalized "myTouch" brand fizzled, HTC's original 2012 "HTC One" brand was a marketing mess, and Sony's Xperia line spans basically every letter in the English alphabet. (We got the Xperia M today, for what it's worth.)

But through it all, DROID has persisted, even if some of us dropped the all-caps spelling. The original Motorola Droid. The Droid Eris. Droid Incredible. Droid 2 and Droid 2 Global. Droid Incredible 2. Droid Incredible S. Droid X. Droid 3. Droid Charge. Droid Bionic. Droid Pro. Droid 4. Droid XYBOARD 8.2 and 10.1 tablets. The Droid RAZR. Droid RAZR M. Droid RAZR Maxx and Maxx HD.

And that's just off the top of our heads.

So it's natural to question the future of the DROID brand after going nearly seven months without a new DROID device. Verizon's answer doesn't shed any light on any upcoming devices -- not that we expected it to -- but give the appearance that we've probably not yet seen the end of DROID.

Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney, in an e-mailed response to Android Central, told us that "the Droid brand is very important to us and will continue to represent the best of the best that is exclusive to the Verizon Wireless network."

Parse that any way you want, but we wouldn't hesitate to put a little money on the arrival of a new DROID-branded device this year.

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3 years ago

Wikipad 7-inch gaming tablet launches June 11 for $249

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U.S. launch details confirmed, first retailers will be Wal-Mart.com, BestBuy.com and TigerDirect.

The delayed gaming-centric Wikipad tablet will finally arrive in the U.S. this month, as the manufacturer has announced a launch date of June 11. The tablet, which includes attachable physical gamepad controls, will cost $249 in the U.S. The first retail partners will be Wal-Mart.com, BestBuy.com and TigerDirect, with international launch plans due to be announced after next week's E3 Expo.

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3 years ago

What's the dark side to mobile gaming?

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Until a few years ago, mobile gaming was confined to Minesweeper, Solitaire, Brick Breaker, and a handful of strategy-style games like the classic Warfare Incorporated. The rise of iOS, Android, BlackBerry 10, and Windows Phone has changed that, bringing immersive, innovative, and addicting gameplay to our mobile devices.

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