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4 years ago

Pro golfer Bubba Watson, Motorola team up and tee up for MOTOACTV Golf Edition

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Motorola this morning announced that it's teamed up with three-time PGA Tour winner (and fellow Northwest Florida native!) Bubba Watson for the the MOTOACTV Golf Edition. This version's being billed as "a cutting-edge GPS golf tracker, virtual caddy and online clubhouse. (Read our full review of the MOTOACTV standard edition.)

The MOTOACTV Golf Edition has 20,000 courses available, and you'll be able to check distance to the front, center and back of greens, as well as the distance to hazards. (Which for some of us often is seen in negative numbers.) It also can help keep track of your score, including clubs used and greens hit in regulation. The "online clubhouse" portion syncs your data to Motorola's MOTOACTV service, where you can then see a satellite view of the course you played, and where your shots went. You also can see how Watson has played on a course before you tee up. (Hint: Get ready to get depressed, unless you're at Tanglewood or Stonebrook here in Santa Rosa County, I suppose.)

“The new Golf Edition of MOTOACTV has features that allow players to make better decisions on the course,” Watson said in a press release. “From the weekend warriors trying to find the distance to the back of the green to great golfers who want to analyze their game and share their stats with friends, MOTOACTV helps improve scores and makes the game more enjoyable.”

You can preorder the MOTOACTV Golf Edition today for $299.99 either from Motorola, or from Amazon. It'll start shipping April 1.

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4 years ago

Gingerbread finally hits the AT&T LG Thrill 4G

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Four months to the day after the international LG Optimus 3D got bumped up to Android 2.3 Gingerbread, owners of the AT&T version, the LG Thrill 4G, are finally getting their update. The software upgrade, which brings the Thrill up to version 20P, also adds in a couple of features from the Optimus 3D's Gingerbread update, including the 2D and 3D video editor, faster gallery performance and improved video quality. That's on top of all the usual goodies you get in Gingerbread, such as UI tweaks and browser improvements.

The update is currently available through LG's PC software update utility, which can be a little unstable at times, so you'll want to make sure you have all the right drivers installed before you begin.

In the future, Optimus 3D owners can look forward to a further update to Android 4.0, though there's been no specific commitment to bring the Thrill up to ICS at the same time. But given the virtually identical hardware, we'd be surprised if the phone remained on Gingerbread forever.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Angry Birds Space now available for Android

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If you've been patiently waiting for the next series in Rovio's blockbuster hit Angry Birds, then you'll be pleased to know that Angry Birds Space has now lifted off. Rovio has been teasing the new series for quite some time now with it being a whole new twist on the original series. For now, it's available in the Amazon App Store for $1 so if you have access to that, you can hit the link below to grab it. If you can't access the Amazon App Store or just would rather wait until it appears in the Google Play Store, you can grab the ad-based version past the break to hold you over. Now, excuse me -- I have to go defy some gravity.

Source: Amazon

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4 years ago

Late-night poll: Buying a smartphone off-contract

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The way many of us buy our phones is like nothing else bought or sold. Carriers world-wide will subsidize about half the cost of the phone itself as long as you sign a multi-year contract to use their service. Imagine if Comcast or Time Warner sold televisions the same way -- it sounds crazy. It's a model that's been going on a while, and for the most part doesn't look like it's going away any time soon.

But what if it did? What if a company like, let's say Google, offered a phone not connected to any carrier, like the Nexus One was? Two years ago that model didn't work, and Google abandoned it completely, but a lot can change in two years. The mobile landscape has changed, and so has the way we use our devices. Has the way we would buy them changed as well?

If the next "Nexus" phone was only sold off contract and carrier-free, would you buy it? Let us know in the poll.

 

Would you buy the next "Nexus" phone off-contract?

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4 years ago

Samsung announces ICS for the Galaxy Note will come in Q2, bring 'premium suite' apps

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Samsung mobile has issued a press release all about the Galaxy Note and it's upcoming "Premium Suite" software upgrade. Sometime in Q2 of this year, Samsung expects to update the 5.3-inch Note to their version of Ice Cream Sandwich and bring better application support for the S pen as well as unnamed extra multimedia features. 

The three applications mentioned specifically are S Note, a tool that combines notes or drawings with other digital content as well as using "Shape Match and Formula Match applications that help correct and digitize geometric shapes and even solve numeric formulas hand-drawn with S Pen"; My Story, which appears to be an application that helps you design e-cards and notes with multimedia content; and of course Angry Birds Space -- the newest iteration of the Angry Birds franchise from Rovio. In addition, Angry Birds Space will be available (sans the extra-special Galaxy Note level) for all Galaxy Series devices. 

Of course the biggest draw for most of us will be the update to Android 4.0, which Samsung teased Note users about on Facebook earlier today. The version for the Note is said to include the features we've come to expect from ICS, including Android Beam and Face Unlock, as well as an "entirely new look and feel" to the Android operating system. The Q2 timeframe is coming up shortly, and International Galaxy note users are ready and waiting. Hopefully, the AT&T version follows quickly. Hit the break for the full press release.

More: Samsung's Angry Birds site

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4 years ago

US Airways expanding Gogo Wifi to 90 percent of its aircraft

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Good news for your frequent fliers who hit the skies with US Airways, as it announced today that it's adding Gogo Wifi service to its Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft, as well as its Embraer 190s. (US Airways Express Embraer 170 and 175s also will be upgraded.) The expansion will bring Internet service to 90 percent of the airlines fleet.

That means you'll be able to use the Gogo app to get your Android smartphone or tablet online while you're onboard, and that's a good thing.

The A320s will start getting Gogo in the fall, with the entire fleet retrofit by the end of 2013.

More: Press release

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4 years ago

HTC One X MicroSIM, Bootloader Relocking [From the Forums]

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Already Wednesday? We've been busy bringing you all the best in Android news. If you missed out on anything from today, get yourself caught up real quick and then join us in the Android Central forums to talk some more:

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

SDK tools and ADT up to version 17, now available via the SDK manager

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We first looked at the new SDK tools and various resources coming with version 17 at the beginning of the month, and today they have become available for installation through the SDK manager program. The new download is chock full of goodies for developers, with things like more Lint rules, support for custom views and custom attributes in libraries, and much needed improvements to the emulator. And of course, hackers and coders alike will love the new DDMS views, including the detailed network traffic meter.

It's also worth mentioning that there's an x86 image you can download for the emulator, but for now it's stuck at Android version 2.3.3. We expect that to change soon enough, as Intel has shown they're serious about Android.

Getting the update is easy enough -- just fire up the SDK manager and install. Now get to work making some killer apps, and be sure to let us know about them so we can share them with the world.

Source: Android Developers

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4 years ago

Motorola Motoluxe now available in France

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Motorola's new Motoluxe sure does get around. Fresh from recent launch announcements for Scandinavia and Greece, the latest sees the device go on sale in France from today. 

In such a style aware country as France, Motorola will be hoping to make a splash with the Motoluxe. What it lacks in specs, Motorola are hoping it makes up for in style. The Motoluxe is available now on Orange France and selected retailers, for a price of €299 off contract.

Source: Motorola 

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4 years ago

Google reportedly 'rethinking' Google Wallet strategy

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Google is said to be considering a few changes in their Google Wallet strategy because of poor adoption rates. According to Bloomberg, Google is contemplating sharing revenue with the carriers to make the service more appealing and get them to embrace G Wallet like they have done with the ISIS competitor. Of course we have to take all this with that big grain of salt, as Bloomberg is unable to name their sources because of the sensitive nature of the discussions. But this seems completely plausible. 

Google is facing the same sort of opposition on all sides that they had when they tried to introduce the original Nexus phone -- what Google thinks is good for consumers isn't good for carriers and manufacturers. NFC payment systems in our phones depend on three things -- hardware, adoption, and participation. OEM's have to build phones with the correct NFC hardware, which they have been slow to do. Even upcoming phones like the HTC One S don't include the necessary hardware, and the fabled NFC-enabled battery and/or stickers have yet to show their face. Without the hardware, nobody has access and the interest is low. With low consumer interest, OEM's have no incentive to make the hardware. That's a tough nut to crack.

There are many of us who are interested, and would use Google Wallet if it became widely available. But many is subjective. It's readily apparent there isn't a high enough consumer interest in adoption to tackle the problem Google is having with carrier and financial participation. If we cry for it enough, the carriers, banks, and retailers will jump to give it to us, and we're not crying for it enough. Security issues, and a lack of a solid advertising campaign aren't helping much on this front. When the only press you get about your product is bad press, nobody will be lining up to use your services.

Finally, the participation of carriers, OEM's, banks, and retailers is what will really drive Google Wallet forward. We're not seeing that, and odds are it's because not enough dollars are being spread around. I'm no financial analyst, but I'm pretty sure the folks at ISIS aren't afraid to throw money at U.S. carriers to get them on-board. Once you have names like AT&T and Verizon behind your mobile service, getting banks and stores to jump on the bandwagon is much easier. 

We love the idea of having Google Wallet for everyone who may want to use it. We also realize that Google is going to have to grease many a palm to make that happen, and if these reports are right Google finally does, too.

Source: Bloomberg

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4 years ago

T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G available in select stores today

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Here's the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G, which you can find in select stores today for $149 on contract. Dunno which stores those are, chances are they'll be the ones with smug looks on their faces. For everybody else, you'll be able to get this awkwardly named (but surprisingly decent, if not necessarily cutting-edge) Android 2.3.6 smartphone on March 28.

We're knee deep into writing our full review (spoiler: It ain't new, but it ain't bad, either), but for now check out our hands-on from Mobile World Congress if you haven't already.

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4 years ago

Sony shows a new Android-powered set-top box in Singapore

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Sony has shown off a new Television set-top box at the Bravia event in Singapore, and it runs Android -- Google TV version two specifically. Beyond that, we don't know much more about the unit, but that won't stop us from looking at the pictures for clues about features. 

We see some really interesting things on the remote. The first is that it appears to be a track pad, probably the same one that was demonstrated at CES. If so, that's twice we've seen it from Sony, and we imagine it will become the standard. We're loving that idea. We also can see record and DVR buttons, which may mean internal storage on the unit itself for video recording. Then there's the 3D button, that may mean 3D is on-board the box itself. Flip the remote over and you have a 61-button keypad that looks pretty functional (and busy). 

What we can't guess about is an availability date or a price. All the features in the world won't help it if consumers buy the $100 solutions from Boxee or Roku. As soon as Sony says something official, we may have those answers. We're ready for a successor to the Logitech Revue, and this one has our interest piqued. Hit the break for two more pictures

Source: CNet Asia

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4 years ago

CTIA Day 2 keynote: EA, Mozilla, Spotify and Visa

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We've already mentioned that the CEOs of the Big 4 carriers will do a Day 1 afternoon roundtable at CTIA in May, and that former president Bill Clinton will speak on Day 3. And that means we'd better share the Day 2 lineup, which was just announced and includes Spotify CEO and founder Daniel Elk, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello, Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs, and Visa president John Partridge. 

Gonna be a busy time in New Orleans, indeed. We'll see ya there.

Source: CTIA

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4 years ago

HTC One launch party planned for April 5 in Paris

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We've heard reports of an April 5 launch for the HTC One X over the past couple of weeks, and now it seems we have confirmation of the date, as HTC France prepares for a One series launch party. The manufacturer's French Facebook page invites fans to a "Soireé HTC One" in Paris on the evening of April 5. It looks like the event's open to the public too, not just press and HTC partners, so if you're in Paris in early April, you might want to drop in -- HTC certainly knows how to throw a party.

The Paris event takes place just a day after HTC and Sprint are getting together in New York City. Everyone's expecting a Sprint LTE-powered HTC One phone to be unveiled, and we'll be there to cover whatever's announced.

More: HTC France

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4 years ago

TELUS launches trade-in program with customers, environment in mind

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Canadian carrier TELUS announced today that effective immediately, customers will be able to visit any of its nearly 700 retail stores and trade in up to three devices for up to $200 in credit. The trade-in policy applies to smartphones, wifi hotspots, and mobile internet keys, and the credit awarded can be applied to new devices or accessories. The trade-in devices must be new enough for the carrier to refurbish; if they are too old, you'll receive a $3 donation to Tree Canada in your name. The trade-in program is open to both new and existing TELUS customers.

The new policy is in direct response to a survey commissioned by the carrier in collaboration with eRecyclingCorps, which found that 54 percent of Canadians want to trade in their phones but do not know how. Conducted on a sample of 1,011 Canadian adults, the survey also showed that 61 percent of those approached have up to five old devices in their homes, and would gladly trade them in for something in return. Environmentally safe recycling was a concern for 82 percent of those surveyed. TELUS' announcement, along with more information about the survey, can be found after the break.

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