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4 years ago

Hands-on with Otterbox Defender and Commuter cases for the HTC One

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Two cases with distinct styling and different levels of protection

We're here at CTIA 2013 in Las Vegas, and although the show hasn't officially kicked off yet we had the opportunity to play with two of Otterbox's latest cases for the HTC One. At the middle and high tier of protection from Otterbox, the "Commuter" and "Defender" cases for the One are stylish but extremely functional options. The Commuter is the thinner of the two, with a two piece design that's primarily a rubber wrap-around case with a hard plastic shell that clips onto it. It doesn't add a considerable amount of bulk to the device but does add a serious amount of protection. If the Commuter isn't enough, the Defender will likely cover your device from anything you throw at it. A larger affair, the Defender has an integrated screen protector in the case, as well as extra shock protection. The end result is a case that is a touch thicker than the Commuter but considerably more rugged.

Both cases keep every function and button of the phone unobstructed -- as you would hope -- including the power button IR blaster and all microphone ports. Stick around after the break for a gallery of the two cases wrapped around an HTC One, with the thinner Commuter first then followed by the thicker and more durable Defender.

More: Android Central @ CTIA 2013

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Otterbox Defender and Commuter cases for the Samsung Galaxy S4

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Otterbox is here in Vegas at CTIA 2013 with its Defender and Commuter series cases for the Samsung Galaxy S4

CTIA is always a hotbed for the latest and greatest accessories and this year's show is no different -- Otterbox was onsite tonight at the Showstoppers kickoff event in Las Vegas' Venetian Hotel with both its Defender and Commuter cases for the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Otterboxes probably aren't the most attractive cases you can buy for your shiny new S4, and they certainly aren't the sleekest, but they provide the ultra-protection you've come to expect from the company. Both the Commuter and Defender series come in a slew of color options and they're both available now for $34.95 and $49.95 respectively. A quick video, and some more shots can be found in the gallery after the break.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the rugged Cat B15

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The one word you think of when you see those three letters. CAT. As in Caterpillar. As in construction equipment.

Rugged.

And that's translated nicely to the Cat 15 ruggedized Android smartphone. Available now for $349 after its unveiling a couple months ago at Mobile World Congress, it's billed as a durable smartphone for the active set, whether that's on the side of the mountain or atop a rather impressive piece of construction equipment.  

In fact, we watched this sucker hit the floor hard in Las Vegas. Hard. As in up all night gambling and you can't take it anymore hard. We've got hands-on video and more after the break.

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4 years ago

We're live from CTIA in Las Vegas

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CTIA in Vegas starts tonight, and we're there to relay all the news back to you

Phil, Anndrew and Andrew are on the ground in Sin City, getting prepped to bring you all the news you'll want to know from the CTIA show. This is the last spring CTIA show, and starting next year things will be consolidated into one bigger and better event every fall. 

Besides rubbing shoulders with Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Lopez, expect to hear news from Verizon and Sprint, as well as something Kyocera is cooking up. Of course, the show floor will also be filled with those oh-so-interesting products and accessories that make owning a connected device fun. 

The news should start rolling in tonight, so keep your eyes peeled to see it all. You never know what to expect at these events, and there's bound to be something to interest everyone.

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4 years ago

Yahoo announces changes for Flickr, including a new Android app

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Free storage has been bumped to 1TB,  and a new version of the Android app is on the way

EDIT: The update is now live in Google Play. Go get it.

Yahoo is doing more than buying blog platforms today, and during an event in New York they have announced a complete revamp of Flickr. The interface of the website has changed, and now features content blocks and full bleed images instead of the thumbnail or list view of the past. In addition, registered users now have 1TB (as in a terabyte) of free storage space to keep their photos, more than any other online service. That's all well and good, but we're mostly concerned with the update to the Android app.

Last December, the Flickr app for iOS received a nice update, and today Yahoo says the Android app will be updated to the same version. That includes a UI change away from the grid we have now to a more content-focused layout resembling the website, as well as better social sharing through Facebook and Tumblr, photo editing and filters via Aviary, and photo-viewing enhancements like zooming and photo details. The update is expected to go live at any time, so if you're a user be sure to check Google Play for the notification, or try the link above.

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4 years ago

US based HTC One unlocked and Developer editions getting small update

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Small update with system enhancements, still based on Android 4.1.2

HTC One phones that were sold unlocked via HTC, including the developer editions, in the U.S.A. are getting a small over-the-air update today. As you can see it's a 17MB file containing "important enhancements and bug fixes". Without seeing the actual change log, we're going to guess this is an update you'll probably want to take.

When all said and done, you're at Software Number 1.29.1540.16,  Android version 4.1.2 and HTC Sense 5.0. The usual warnings about root and custom recovery apply, so be sure to have that RUU handy, or wait for a flashable version.

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4 years ago

Hangouts to integrate Google Voice 'seamlessly' in the future

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'Making/receiving phone calls is just the beginning', says product manager

Since Google's introduction of the new Hangouts chat service, members of the team responsible for deploying it have been working to reassure people that it will eventually include Google Voice as a component. And for good reason, as there was no mention of Google Voice at Google I/O even as the ability to make outbound Google Voice calls via the desktop Chrome extension was unceremoniously removed in the update to Hangouts from Google Talk. Product manager for real time communications at Google, Nikhyl Singhal, reassured everyone today that outbound calling for Google Voice is still available via Gmail, and took a moment to reveal more information about the future of the service. In a Google+ post, Singhal went on to explain that not only will Google Voice be seamlessly integrated into Hangouts, but that "Hangouts is designed to be the future of Google Voice". The team also intends to bring back full inbound and outbound calling functionality from the Chrome extension going forward.

While it's not completely understood why it had to remove the ability to make outbound calls on the desktop all together in this process, it's great to hear directly from Google about possible new features. Building on initial thoughts of what Google had up its sleeve for a unified chat service that would fully integrate calling and SMS, these bold statements have us cautiously optimistic about upcoming releases of Hangouts.

Source: +Nikhyl Singhal

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Tablet Z now available in the UK

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On sale today, prices start at £399 for 16GB + Wifi

A couple of months after Sony first started taking pre-orders, its Xperia Tablet Z slate is now available to buy in the UK. Prices start at £399 for 16GB of storage and Wifi connectivity (black only), or you can opt for 32GB with Wifi (black and white) or 16GB with Wifi and 4G LTE connectivity (black only). The Tablet Z isn't the cheapest Android tablet option around, but it does boast a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core CPU inside, a 1080p display and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, backed up by Sony's suite of apps. For the hacking crowd, there's also AOSP support through Sony's GitHub.

Across the Atlantic, Sony's still taking pre-orders for the Xperia Tablet Z through its official online store, with devices expected to ship out this Friday, May 24.

Source: Sony Store UK

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4 years ago

Keeping it in your pants: Top 10 smartphone etiquette tips for a first date

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We're geeks. We get it. Our phones, be they Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, or Windows Phone, are among the most important things in our lives. We use them for everything, all the time. But in some situations our phones can get in the way, like on a first date. So, from one geek to another, I'm going to share ten basic tips on how to keep your smartphone from ruining a potentially great new relationship... by keeping it in your pants!

Here are the bullet points, watch the video for the details!

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4 years ago

Google+ for Android updated with new photo enhancements, improved location sharing

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Official Google+ app hits version 4.0 with Snapseed photo tools and more

Update: The new version of Google+ is now live!

Following on from the 41 new Google+ features announced at Google I/O last week, Google has unveiled one more to bring the count up to 42 -- a new Google+ app for Android. The new Google+ version 4.0 incorporates many of the photo management and enhancement features of the latest update to G+ on the web. Specifically, Google+ will automatically show you "highlights" of each photo gallery, saving you from digging through large galleries of imperfect shots. It'll also allow you to preview or undo automatic photo enhancements. "Auto-awesome," the tool that lets you create animations or panoramas from still shots, is included as well.

But the biggest news for Google+ photo sharing might be the addition of Snapseed photo enhancements directly within the app. A selection of filters including Drama and Retrolux can be accessed from with in the app, alongside bread-and-butter tweaks like cropping, rotating and exposure changes.

Location sharing is also a bit smarter in Google+ 4.0, allowing you to see friends who are sharing their location directly on a map, in a new "locations" section. Automatic hashtags, added to Google+ on the web last week, makes its way to Android in this latest update too.

Source: Google+ blog

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4 years ago

T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE reportedly launching June 5

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Galaxy Exhibit also tipped for May 29 arrival

With the Samsung Galaxy S4 launch over and done with, T-Mobile USA is looking to bolster its smartphone line-up with an LTE-capable version of the Galaxy S3. T-Mobile internal screenshots obtained by TmoNews show a Jun. 5 launch date for the device. No word on pricing yet, but TmoNews speculates that the carrier will likely replace its current HSPA-only S3 with the new 4G LTE model. T-Mobile currently sells the Galaxy S3 on its instalment plans with a $69.99 down payment.

Alongside the S3 LTE, T-Mobile looks set to debut the Galaxy Exhibit, a phone we first saw leaked back in February. With a dual-core 1GHz CPU and a WVGA screen, the Exhibit looks like T-Mo's answer take on Galaxy S3 Mini. The Exhibit is listed with a May 29 launch date.

Source: TmoNews

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4 years ago

Is this the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active?

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New pics purport to show water-resistant, ruggedized device with S4 specs

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active has long been rumored, with publications including the Wall Street Journal reporting that Samsung will release a ruggedized, water and dust-resistant version of its flagship phone this summer. Today GSMArena has obtained pics of a device that would certainly seem to fit that bill. The shots seem to show a large-screened device with a sturdy red back and physical menu, back and keys on the front.

A further image confirms the GT-i9295 model number previously associated with the Galaxy S4 Active, along with the presence of a 1.9GHz Snapdragon 600 CPU. GSMArena reports that the screen is a 5-inch 1080p SuperAMOLED unit, just like the vanilla GS4. The shot of the back also reveals a remarkably thin handset, in contrast to most water-resistant phones, which are smaller and chunkier. So it looks like Samsung hasn't skimped on hardware specs in creating this ruggedized beast.

The Galaxy S4 Active might be just one of several Galaxy S4 models to make its way onto the market in the coming months. The Galaxy S4 Mini has been extensively leaked, and recent leaks also point to a larger "S4 Mega" variant.

Would you be in the market for a reinforced, waterproof phone with these kinds of specs? Hit the comments and let us know.

Source: GSMArena

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia UL announced for Japan, 5-inches and 1080p display

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Sony's latest only headed for Japan at present, but packs some good looking specs

Yet another Sony smartphone has been formally announced, but like the Xperia A before it, this one too is destined only for Japan at the moment. Previously rumored, it's called the Xperia UL, and appears to be cut from a similar mould to the Xperia Z. 

Spec wise, we're looking at another 5-inch, 1080p display. Underneath, propelling everything along is a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB of RAM and a 2300mAh battery. On-board storage is 16GB, and cameras come in at 13MP on the back and 3.1MP on the front. And, in true Sony fashion the Xperia UL is waterproof and dustproof. 

The Xperia UL retains some of the same design features as the Xperia Z too. That same on/off button on the side, but the glass back is gone. It appears to be available in three different colors -- black, white and pink -- and is said to be heading to both KDDI and NTT Docomo in the coming weeks. 

Source: Sony via Phonearena

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4 years ago

Galaxy S4 Mega, S4 Active and S4 Mini hinted in app update text

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New Samsung handsets outed in changelog for WatchON TV application

Rumors have been circulating for a few weeks that Samsung is working on a "Galaxy S4 Mini," as well as a ruggedized version of its current flagship device. Today an app changelog entry for the Galaxy S4's pre-loaded TV app could indicate that both are on the way, along with another device known as the "S4 Mega."

The shot above, sent our way by tipster Paul, shows that the recent 5.0.4 update for Samsung WatchON adds "support for [the] upcoming S4 Mega, S4 mini and S4 Active." The changelog has since been updated to remove the reference, suggesting that someone let the cat out of the bag a little early. The S4 Mini name has been rumored for some time, and the device is refers to extensively leaked. The S4 Active name would seem to refer to the rumored "waterproof" S4 variant. But the S4 Mega is a bit more of a mystery -- could the existing Galaxy Mega have been renamed? Or might this be a different large-screened S4 variant -- or simply a typo?

Whatever the case, the fact that WatchON has been updated with support for all three devices suggests that they'll likely include the S4's TV-controlling capabilities.

We'll have to wait and see if and when the Galaxy S4 Active, Mini and Mega emerge. Whatever form these handsets take, Samsung looks set to fully capitalize on the halo effect of its high-profile Galaxy S4 launch.

Thanks to Paul for tipping us the image above through the new Android Central app!

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