4 years ago

HTC announces the cost-effective Explorer for India and Europe, coming in Q4


HTC announced their newest smartphone this morning called the Explorer, which represents an affordable device headed to India and Europe. We tend to get excited about the top tier phones but the lower-cost devices such as the HTC Explorer are equally just as game changing as they will allow more people with varying incomes to buy a smartphone.

Here are the specs for the HTC Explorer:

  • 3.2-inch touchscreen with 320 x 480 resolution
  • 600 MHz processor
  • 512 MB internal storage
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 3 MP camera
  • WiFi (802.11 b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • 1230 mAh battery

The phone will be coming to the India and EMEA markets in Q4 and will be available in three colors: Metallic Black, Active Black and Metallic Navy. No word yet on how much it will cost, but given how HTC is marketing it, the price will be very low relative to other smartphones. In the UK, Vodafone has already announced that it'll be carrying the device.

To discuss the "affordable" HTC Explorer in more depth, check out our Android News Forum.

Source: HTC

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4 years ago

AppBrain re-invents social app discovery with the AppBrain Stream


The AppBrain Stream

The folks at AppBrain (remember them?), those same fellows who brought the original web installer for Android to the masses, today unveiled the AppBrain Stream.  It's a lot like Facebook style social networking, but geared towards, and all about, your Android apps.  AppBrain has always been a great way to discover and share Android applications, but the new user streams and feeds really take it all to the next level.  If you feel a bit overwhelmed by all the other great tools AppBrain gives us, like daily "hot" apps, personalized recommendations, app demographics, and shared user app lists, you're going to love this.

It's genuinely simple -- you now have a couple new entries on your AppBrain page that show your personalized stream of app-related news and events.  You'll see things like messages from your friends when they install a new app (or uninstall an app), personalized recommendations for new apps based on what you're currently using, updates to apps you're running, even app reviews from your friends and discussion about them.  You can "like", share or add commentary to each of these entries, just like you would at your favorite social networking site.  You can also see just your activity in a dedicated list, to keep track of apps you're talking about.

There's no setup involved -- if you follow someone on AppBrain, you'll see their activity in your stream.  The guys at AppBrain let us in a bit early to check it out, and I'll have to say -- this has real potential.  No more relying on cryptic or less-than-helpful comments in the Market, or using a random Google search to try and find what your looking for.  Like the staff picks on the official Android Market, it will be a great way to find new apps that fit you, with the added bonus of goofing off a bit with your friends.  We've got a couple screenshots after the break, as well as a link to download AppBrain to your phone so you can join in.  And as we've said before -- Google, just buy these guys already.

More at AppBrain

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4 years ago

9MM from Gameloft enters the Android Market


I've always enjoyed third-person shooter games and Gameloft has now made available 9MM in the Android Market. If you're into some pretend gang violence with a Scarface like tone to it then you'll likely dig 9MM -- as the story line goes:

You become John "Loose" Kannon, the leader of a special team of hardened cops that aren't afraid to bend the law to clean up the streets. But when they kill a local drug lord's brother and steal millions in cash, the theft makes Kannon's whole team the target of every gangster in the city. Now Kannon has only one option: Take down the gang leader that's hunting them, legally or not, before his team gets taken out first.

Original story? Not exactly. But the game looks to have some pretty awesome graphics and the soundtrack is pretty slick as well. You'll want to make sure you play this one with some headphones on though, or at least out of earshot of those who may find some of the NSFW language found within offensive. You'll find the NSFW video trailer, press release and download link past the break. Before you download though, check out the review left on the Android Market -- many are saying it is a fairly large download so keep that in mind.

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4 years ago

Skype adds video calling -- and ads - to another round of phones


You don't usually get sumpthin' for nothin', and the adage rings true with the latest update to Skype for Android. The good news: A baker's dozen devices have had video calling turned on, but at the price of having to put up with advertising.  You can get around the ads (which show up for everyone, not just the new crop) if you've got Skype credits laying around, which we're betting most of you don't.

Anyhoo. Here's the list of phones that gained video calling:

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (T-Mobile)
  • HTC Shooter (KDDI)
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Live with Walkman
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V
  • Acer Iconia Tablet (A500)
  • LG Optimus Black (landscape only)
  • LG Optimus 3D (landscape only)
  • LG Optimus 2x (landscape only)
  • Motorola Photon
  • Motorola Droid 3 (landscape only)
  • Motorola Bionic (landscape only)
  • Motorola Xoom
  • Motorola Atrix

A nice smattering, indeed. Download links are after the break.

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4 years ago

HTC Rhyme now available from Verizon


Seems not all that long ago the HTC Rhyme was nothng more then a rumor and now Verizon will gladly sell you one for $199 on a new 2-year contract. You get that fancy interactive charm to go along with it so it's not all that bad of a deal, especially considering the package as a whole. 

Nothing mind blowing can be found in the specs but that's not what the HTC Rhyme was built for. Everything about the devices is geared towards females, even the weird commercial that went along with its launch which can be found past the break for you all.

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

Amazon Kindle Fire - a Q&A


Amazon's big Kindle Fire announcement day has come and gone, and a lot of you may be scratching your head trying to figure out all the news that happened while you were stuck at work or school.  We've taken the time to provide a handy set of questions and answers ourselves, and we think they would make a great starting point.  Of course, you can (and should) dive into the discussion in the Kindle Fire forums to talk it all out as well.  Hit the jump and have a read.

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4 years ago

Acer Iconia A500 Android 3.2 update slowly rolling out


For those of you who picked up an Acer Iconia A500 you might want to go ahead and check for system updates. It appears as though the Android 3.2 update for the device has been very slowly rolling out to users for the past couple of days.

In order to get the update you need to return back to stock and unroot but keep in mind if you accept the official update, you won't be able to root it. That said, there are a few ROMS now built off of the Android 3.2 update so best to look around before you go diving in.

Source: Android Central Forums; via: XDA Thanks, smokediver61!

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4 years ago

LG Esteem for MetroPCS gets unboxed


Youtube link for mobile viewing

We're all over the place, but we can't always be everywhere. That's where you come in. And sniper1087 has done an excellent unboxing of the LG Esteem for MetroPCS. He'll walk you through the UI, benchmarks, and don't blink, or you'll miss the very cool boot sound.

Need a reminder on specs?

  • 4.3-inch display
  • Gorilla Glass
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 1GHz Snapdragon processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 8GB on-board storage
  • 5MP rear camera (capable of 720p video recording)
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 1500mAh battery
  • DLNA streaming
  • Metro PCS' CDMA/LTE network.

There you have it. Peep the video. It's well worth a watch.

Thanks, sniper1087!

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4 years ago

Samsung and Google appear poised for some possible Ice Cream Sandwich at CTIA


Allow us a little inside baseball here. We normally don't post every event we're invited to at the usual trade shows. We'll be there, and you know we'll be there. But this one's a little different.

Behold the invitation to the Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2011 "Google Episode" at CTIA in San Diego. So, first, it's the "Google Episode." That's new. Second, they're going to stream it for everyone to see, live on Youtube. Normally such bandwidth is reserved for Google events. And this very much appears to be a Google event.

So we're going to figure we've got some Ice Cream Sandwich in our future in San Diego. Some Nexus Ice Cream Sandwich. Some Samsung Nexus Ice Cream Sandwich.

We'll see you there.

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4 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich supposedly seen in short video - is it the real deal?


So here's the story -- supposedly an anonymous fellow purchased a Nexus S on eBay, and to his surprise found it running Ice Cream Sandwich.  There are quite a few visual differences, namely a new launcher style, a new "Google Apps" folder, a new notification bar, and a new lockscreen.  There's also what looks to be a panorama feature in the camera, and the "Movie Studio" icon in the app drawer.  Everything is nice and fluid -- at least everything we get to see.

Here's where things get sticky -- those things can all be (and have been) faked.  Would it be easy?  Hell, no, but it's entirely possible.  With ICS coming sometime soon, this very well could be a development unit that somehow slipped away from Mountain View -- we've been expecting a leak or two for a while now.  But we have to hold off judgement and will let you guys decide and discuss yourselves.  Be sure to hit the source link and check out the video after the break if you haven't already.

Source: Engadget
Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Sprint saying so long to 1-year contracts


Like doing one-year contracts on Sprint? Hope you're not married to the idea, because starting Oct. 2, they're history. Kaput. As in, you're not going to get them anymore. That goes right along with the mobile hotspot changes we brought you last week, and the changes we've already seen to the Premier program. Guess it's just a sign of the times.

Thanks, anon!

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4 years ago

Isis NFC mobile payment group gets backing from handset manufacturers


Isis, a joint venture of Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, has announced that the major hardware makers of Android  (and Windows 7) phones have climbed on board and will offer hardware that implements Isis' NFC tech and standards.  The press release names LG, Motorola, HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and BlackBerry manufacturer RIM as hardware partners, as well as DeviceFidelity to offer solutions such as NFC enabled memory cards for phones built without NFC hardware.  Scott Mulloy, chief technology officer at Isis, says the following:

Isis’ technology standards provide the direction and certainty needed for the development and deployment of NFC devices and the mobile commerce ecosystem.  Working together with the device makers and our founding mobile carriers, Isis can provide the consumer choice and scale necessary for widespread adoption of mobile commerce.

While we can't see the future, we're going to have to assume this isn't good news for Google and their own NFC payment system, Google Wallet.  Mired in some unknown exclusivity agreement with Sprint, Google Wallet was not provided for any unlocked, non-carrier branded Nexus S devices, though they would be fully capable.  With carriers and OEM's on board with Isis, it looks like another uphill battle for Google.  The good news for us is that now companies are seeing the value in devices with NFC technology, and the manufacturers are ready to provide it.  There's still one major player who hasn't chimed in yet, though -- Apple.  Only time will tell if Apple jumps on board with the upcoming "standard" or if they implement iWallet themselves in pursuit of a bigger cut.  The press release is after the break.

Read more about RIM and Isis at Crackberry

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4 years ago

Kindle Fire, Xoomin' LTE [From the Forums]


Exciting day with the announcement of the Amazon Kindle Fire and Motorola finally offering Xoom 4G upgrades. If you're looking to discuss more, you can head on into the Android Central forums. Jump into some threads or feel free to start up your own today!

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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4 years ago

Motorola Xoom finally getting its 4G LTE upgrade starting Sept. 29


Xoom 4G LTE starts shipping Oct. 13 for $499

We're starting to get word that the Motorola Xoom is finally getting ready for its upgrade to 4G LTE on Verizon. If you'll recall, the Xoom was the first Honeycomb tablet, announced at CES in January. At the time, we knew it was going to launch as a 3G-only device, with a hardware upgrade to come sometime later. And later. And later.

Many moons came and went. Scores of other excellent Honeycomb tablets have been released. Samsung released a 4G LTE version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 on Verizon. And there still sat the Xoom, with its promise of an upgrade looking more and more tarnished. Add to that the fact that you'll still have to actually relenquish your Xoom and send it in for the upgrade, and the whole thing was looking even sillier than it did at first blush.

But that brings us back to now. Starting Thursday, you can go to Verizon's website for complete instructions on how to get your upgrade. You'll have to part with your Xoom for six days. The upgrade is free, and you don't have to change your data plan.

Also of note: Motorola Xooms with 4G LTE baked in -- aptly named the Xoom 4G LTE -- will start shipping Oct. 13 for $499.

Full press release is after the break.

More: Motorola Xoom forums

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4 years ago

Yahoo releases official Flickr app for Android


Flickr, one of the most popular photo sharing websites, has finally come to Android. Yahoo held off releasing a native app for a while, frustrating many Android users who love Flickr. Good news for both sides as the app is now available for free from the Android Market, and it's pretty good.

With the release, you can take photos from an in-app camera function, filter the images as you see fit and then share them with the world to Flickr, Twitter and Facebook.

Here are the full features:

  • Share photos only with the people you want to with easy privacy settings.
  • Full screen browsing and slideshows for your photos, your contacts photos or any of the public photos from the global Flickr community.
  • Share the story behind your photo with titles, descriptions, comments and tags.
  • Keep your track of where you took your photo by keeping your location data automatically through geotagging.

To get Flickr for your Android device, hit up the links after the break. Heavy and casual Flickr users, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Speak out in the Android App Forum.

Source: Flickr Blog

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