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4 years ago

Touchnote postcards free until Aug. 31 courtesy of Samsung


In its latest Olympic promotion, Samsung has teamed up with postcard peddler Touchnote to enable users to send free postcards until Aug. 31. For the uninitiated, Touchnote allows you to turn any photo or image on your phone into a real, physical postcard that you can send anywhere in the world. Normally this would set you back £1.49, $1.49 or €1.49 depending on where you live, but this summer Samsung's footing the bill as part of its ongoing sponsorship of the Olympic Games.

The promotion is available to all Touchnote users on Android, iPhone or iPad, so it doesn't matter whether you're using a Samsung device or not. And it's not limited to Olympic visitors or postcards either, so if you're nowhere near London and want to send yourself a postcard of your cat, you're free to do that, too.

Touchnote users can also submit their postcards to Samsung's Olympic postcard wall, which you'll find linked below. To get started, you'll need to grab the Touchnote app for Android -- direct your eyes a few pixels down for a handy Google Play link.

More: Samsung Share Great Moments; Download: Google Play

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4 years ago

HTC closes office in South Korea following slow sales


HTC has announced it is to close its office in South Korea, according to reports from Korean news agency Yonhap​. The move reportedly follows slow sales of HTC's smartphones in the country, and continuing difficulty in competing with Samsung in its own back yard.

In a market dominated by domestic manufacturers, analysts at Canalys estimate HTC had just one percent market share in South Korea in the first quarter of the year, down from two percent in 2011. By comparison, a recent report from Korea's ​MK​ news site estimated up to a 70 percent share of the Korean market for Samsung by the end of July, following the recent Galaxy S3 launch in the country.

HTC has taken a beating in terms of profits and market share over the past six months, after it saw record earnings in 2011. The Taiwanese manufacturer saw a 57.8 percent year-on-year fall in net profits during the second quarter of 2012, a situation it blamed on lackluster European sales of the HTC One series, in addition to litigation from Apple which briefly delayed the phones' U.S. launch.

Source: Yonhap; via: ZDNet

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4 years ago

Samsung announces UK availability of Galaxy Beam


​Update: Carphone Warehouse is now offering the Galaxy Beam for free on a number of contracts starting at £31 per month.

​Original: It's been more than five months since we first saw the Samsung Galaxy Beam at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and now it looks like the phone/projector hybrid is set to officially make its way to the UK. A Samsung press release indicates that the Beam is available in Britain from today, though no specific retailers, networks or price points are mentioned. Pre-order prices have suggested a fairly hefty £454.80 including VAT, or £379 (~$600) excluding VAT to buy the Beam outright.

The reason you might pay that much is the Galaxy Beam's built-in pico projector, which allows you to fire images up to 50 feet away from the device, depending on various factors like ambient lighting. Other specs are relatively run-of-the-mill -- a 1GHz dual-core CPU, a 4-inch WVGA display, 5MP camera and Android 2.3 Gingerbread (yeah, we know) backed up by Samsung's TouchWiz software. So there are certainly better deals to be had elsewhere for mainstream buyers, but if you want a portable image projector that ties into your smartphone, this is, for the moment, the only way you'll be able to get it.

We've got the full spec sheet and today's press release after the break.

More: Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Beam

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4 years ago

Instapaper seeing huge increase in downloads since the Nexus 7 launch


We heard earlier in the week about the success the guys at Shifty Jelly have had since the launch of the Nexus 7, but, it seems they're not alone. Mobelux, the developers of the Instapaper app for Android, has shared some of their own numbers. And, much like Shifty Jelly, there has been a definite increase in download numbers since the launch of the Nexus 7.

The figure, is a massive 600% increase in downloads of the app since the date of the Nexus 7 launch. There is of course every chance that the $25 free credit for the Play Store has helped their cause. But it's great to hear stories of developers increased success since the Nexus 7 came to town. An application like Instapaper is something that would naturally suit a 7-inch tablet -- it's a perfect size for reading on after all. The Nexus 7 is the first 7-inch Android tablet -- not counting Amazon's Kindle Fire -- to really capture consumer interest in large numbers, and so far everything is coming up roses. 

Source: TNW

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4 years ago

AT&T drops the price of the HTC One X to $99.99 on contract


We already got the nod earlier in the week that Radio Shack was dropping the price of the AT&T HTC One X to $100, but now AT&T has followed suit. Thats right, you can now head over to AT&T directly and pick up the mighty HTC One X for just $99.99 on a new 2-year contract.

The no commitment price sits at $449.99 which for a smartphone as capable as the One X isn't a bad deal at all. It applies to both colors, and is available at these prices on the AT&T website right now. If you've been holding out, now is as good a time as any. And, if you haven't already, don't forget to check out our full review before parting with your dough.

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

LG Optimus Vu goes to Japan with NTT DoCoMo


Should you live in Japan and have the urge to purchase a pretty large smartphone, then good news from LG. The 5-inch, LTE compatible Optimus Vu can be yours on NTT DoCoMo, which carries the device as part of their "NEXT" range. As a Japanese exclusive, limited models of the Vu will carry a special "JoJo Bizarre Adventure" design on the rear and the UI. Only 15,000 of these special editions will be available, so snap them up quickly if it's something for you.  

NTT DoCoMo has added a million LTE customers to their books in under 2 months. With LTE subscribers appearing at that rate, there is a definite market for the Vu. With its 4:3 aspect ratio it won't suit everyone, but the Japanese version will come equipped with a high-definition multimedia broadcast receiver -- something to do with video, perhaps -- which is bound to make full use of that screen real estate. Interested? Don't forget to check out our hands-on with the device back at CTIA in New Orleans

Source: LG (translated)

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Winnipeg is still standing, mostly


That's what's left of Manitoba's finest city. OK, not really, but I did spend much of last week in Winnipeg, in a series of well-caffeinated meetings with three other Mobile Nations editors. (From left, that's Rene Ritchie of iMore, myself, Dan Rubino of WPCentral, and ol' CrackBerry Kevin himself.)

Basically, we spent the week plotting our continued takeover of the world. We're in this for the long haul, and we've got some grand plans for the rest of this year, 2013, and beyond. 

But we've also got some fun short-term stuff we're working on. You've already seen a bit of that put into action, with our increased focus on accessories. And you're going to see some more this week with new features.

And now, a few other musings ...

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4 years ago

Motorola and Nextel Brazil team up to release the Motorola i867 Ferrari


If you're a Ferrari fan who lives in Brazil, Motorola and Nextel are hoping you'll take that Ferrari love to the next level with the Motorola i867 Ferrari. The Android 2.1 powered device isn't exactly a new phone, it's actually a rebadged version of the device with the same name with some Ferrari 458 inspirations. It's also not the first time Motorola has used the Ferrari name in brazil with Motorola i897 already available on Nextel. For those wondering, the specs are:

  • 3.1-inch touchscreen
  • Integrated GPS
  • Integrated WiFi
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • 3MP Camera with 4X zoom
  • Push To Talk
  • 200MB of storage with 32GB microSD capacity / 2GB microSD  included

In Brazil, the device will retail for R$ 1,499 or for the promotional price of R$ 799 with a data plan. The full press release can be found below.

Source: Motorola

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4 years ago

Samsung supposedly set to produce 350 ppi OLED display


One of the physical drawbacks of OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) displays is that the manufacturing process can't quite reach the insane pixel density that traditional LCD makers can. We can argue about saturation, color representation, and pentile until we're blue in the face, but this particular issue is backed by real numbers, and because of it, high-end LCD displays like the ones on the HTC One X are more crisp and clear in some areas. 

That all may be changing soon, if we're to believe a report from Korea that Samsung has perfected their FMM (Fine Metal Mask) production techniques to produce OLED displays at up to 350 ppi. In comparison, the iPhone 4S display (labeled as "retina") is 326 ppi. More pixels per inch (that's what ppi stands for) means cleaner lines on text and image borders, and is generally considered a good thing. 

We'll keep our eyes on this one, and if it turns out to be true we should be seeing some interesting screens on Samsung phones late this year. We like interesting.

Source: ETNews (Korean); via  OLED-Info

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4 years ago

Samsung goes behind the scenes at the Olympic opening ceremony


As we reported yesterday, Samsung's Galaxy Note and Galaxy S3 phones appeared as part of the Olympic Games opening ceremony in London last night. Now the manufacturer (and global Olympic partner) is taking us behind the scenes, showing how Olympic staffers and opening ceremony performers have been using its Android phones. In addition appearing last night's show in Hyde Park, the Note has been used by Olympic organizers like Head of Ceremonies Martin Green in their day-to-day work preparing for the games. And it looks like Olympic volunteer dancers got shiny white Galaxy Notes for their troubles too, which is nice.

Check out the full presentation embedded above. You'll find more Android/Olympics crossover news over at this story tag.

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4 years ago

The Weather Channel app updated with localization for 40 languages


Planning a summer event but worried about the weather? You'll be happy to hear that The Weather Channel app for Android has had a fairly beefy update geared particularly to international users.

  • Bug fixes for wide widgets and widget crashes
  • Support for 40 languages
  • Support for metric in the 36 hour forecast
  • Widget bugs fixed on Ice Cream Sandwich
  • iWitness now open to our customers in the United Kingdom -share your weather with us!
  • Expanded test pilot for Session M points

The download link is available below. What's your favorite weather app? International folks, is it hard finding a good weather app in your language?

Download: The Weather Network (Free)

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week - The Economist, Babel Rising 3D, Wormworld Saga, and more


Oh my! You look like you haven't had a good app in a whole week!  Come in, come in, relax, we have more than enough to go around. Go see Chris. He has a wonderful story to share.  Or Andrew, our new guy. Doesn't he look intelligent reading The Economist? You might want to catch Alex and Richard before they head out the door - it looks like they're planning their transit routes. Here, sit down, kick up your feet, and open Google Play. Isn't that better? 

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4 years ago

Phones4U quietly launches the ZTE Grand X, yours for £199


ZTE's new vanilla Android mid-ranger has landed at one UK store a little earlier than expected. The Grand X, which we saw at its launch event last week, is now available online at Phones4U, with on-contract prices starting at £15.50 per month, with a £50 up-front charge for the phone. Alternatively you can get it for free on contracts starting at £20.50 per month, or buy it outright for £199.

The Grand X is ZTE's effort to enter the premium handset market in the UK, with a phone sporting a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU and a near-stock Android 4.0 software experience. The phone also rocks a 4.3-inch qHD LCD display, 512MB of RAM, a 5MP rear camera and a microSD card slot. It's not bleeding edge by any means, but considering you'd have paid top whack for that kind of device less than a year ago, a £199 price tag seems more than reasonable. Vanilla ICS should also win the Grand X some admiration among Android purists.

Hit the link below for the full list of tariffs offered by Phones4U on Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile. And make sure to check out our hands-on report and video preview for more info on the phone itself.

Source: Phones4U via Engadget;

More: ZTE Grand X hands-on

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4 years ago

Android Central international round-up - July 28, 2012


The Olympic Games kicked off in London this week, starting with an opening ceremony featuring two leading smartphones from Samsung, the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note. And with Samsung being not only a leading Android manufacturer, but a global Olympic partner, it's been behind many of the Olympic Android news over the past week, launching limited edition back covers and Android apps based around the games.

But it wasn't all good news for Samsung fans this week, as there was some confusion surrounding the fate of local search on the international Galaxy S3. First it appeared the feature had been pulled, seemingly to avoid further litigation from Apple. However, a few days later it emerged that local search had been removed in error, and since then an OTA has gone out to reinstate the feature.

Though the Olympics is taking place in London over the next few weeks, many Brits are still planning on traveling overseas, with a majority holidaying in Europe. So to help British visitors to Europe get the best deal from their network, we've published our complete guide to each of the UK carriers' roaming plans. A recent ruling from the EU has put an end to the days of paying several pounds per megabyte of roaming data, and there's actually a fair selection of good roaming deals around now. So you'll definitely want to check out our guide if you're hopping across the channel over the next couple of months.

We also got an early sneak peek at some Sony phones expected to be unveiled at IFA in Berlin next month. The entryl-level "Xperia J," as well as the flagship LT30p "Mint" and LT29i "Hayabusa" all leaked out in various forms. All three run Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, and it looks like Sony's abandoned the "clear element" in its earlier 2012 designs in favor of a more traditional candybar layout.

Check the list below for a full run-down of all the major international stories over the past week. If you've got news, you can tip us at the usual address.

Special features:


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4 years ago

Apple UK spared from posting Samsung apology, for now


Admit it, Android fan. When you first heard that Apple would have to publicly admit Samsung didn't copy the iPad's design, you let out a little cheer. The UK courts seemed to have taken a stand that could make these super rich companies think twice about submitting frivolous lawsuits. 

Now though, Apple has gone and got themselves a stay of execution though on this one it seems. According to Bloomberg, Cupertino has submitted an appeal saying the company didn't want to advertise for its rivals, and as such the order has been stayed until October. So, at least for the next couple of months, we won't get to read about the above device on Apple's website. It seems this, like other Apple versus Samsung lawsuits, will continue to drag on and on.

Source: Bloomberg via iMore

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