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4 years ago

Earloomz brings art to Bluetooth earpieces [Contest]

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We all know that using a cell phone while driving is super dangerous, and in more and states than not, laws are in effect that make it illegal to do so. In fact, 40 states have some sort of hands-free law in effect, meaning that if you're going to be talking on the phone while driving a vehicle, you must not have the phone in your hand. Luckily, newer cars come equipped with speakers the ability to connect to your phone and take or make calls using the car speakers. If you don't have that option available to you, you may choose to use a Bluetooth headset or earpiece. This is a more versatile option, as you can use it outside of your car as well.

Choosing a Bluetooth earpiece can be difficult. You want one that will work seamlessly, as well as look good, and the options out there don't always combine those factors in an affordable package. Plus, who wants to have the same earpiece that everyone else has? The creative team behind Earloomz saw this challenge and rose to the occasion, designing a Bluetooth earpiece with style and functionality all wrapped up in one. With hundreds of designs to choose from, you're sure to find one that will suit your personality. Each image is mechanically painted onto the earpiece and finished with a moisture resistant coating, guaranteeing quality and durability.

Each Earloomz earpiece comes with 2 earhooks and 4 earbuds as well as a lanyard holder so you always have it handy. Compatible with most mobile phones, set-up is a breeze and took less than a minute when I paired mine. Multipoint technology allows you to stay connected with 2 devices at once, and the earpiece has a range of 33 feet. Headset controls include call/answer, last number redial, and call waiting, all in one button. Keep reading for technical specs of the earpieces, contest details, and information about Earloomz campaign for a national Hands-Free Initiative.

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4 years ago

WordPress now available for the Nook Color, Nook Tablet & Kindle Fire

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If you're the proud owner of either a Nook Color, Nook Tablet or Kindle Fire who also happens to own a WordPress blog you might have been a little bummed out when you found the app was not available for your device(s). No matter though, the folks from WordPress just needed some extra time to get it completed and that extra time was worth it:

We paid special attention to the post editor on theses devices, enhancing the layout to make it super simple to edit your post content in either landscape or portrait orientation. You’ll find everything there that you’d want in a WordPress app, including support for editing post content, adding media, viewing your stats, comment notifications, and more.

Now, you can do all the mobile blogging you want from your device. Each of the apps are available in their respective stores. Click on the source links below to get the apps downloaded.

Source: Amazon App Store, Nook Store via: Wordpress

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4 years ago

Stock Talk: What Google's really getting out of Motorola

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Multiple reports this week have said that Google will get regulatory approval on its intended acquisition of Motorola Mobility as soon as next week.  If this happens as expected, the acquisition should close shortly thereafter.

This isn’t much of a surprise. When the deal was unveiled in mid August, 2011, Google had offered $40 per share. Motorola shares immediately spiked to over $38, reflecting small risk of the deal falling through. 

In other words, nobody really believed Google would have trouble gaining regulatory approval. And why shouldn’t they get it? If Apple can own an entire platform and gain so much market share in the smartphone world, why shouldn’t Google be able to make its own hardware and aim to control the entire platform from software, to network infrastructure, to hardware?

Google says it wants Motorola’s patents, but also talks up the company’s hardware design capabilities. But I still think Google wants to own the entire platform so that it can solve the fragmentation problem before it gets out of control. 

There really aren’t any mobile OS vendors who don’t have significant stakes in hardware companies. RIM and Apple are the obvious examples, but so is Microsoft, with its quarterly $250 million dollar “platform support payments” to Nokia.

Android isn’t really open. That’s not a knock. It’s just the truth. The whole “open” argument does seem kinda brilliant though. Look how many vendors adopted it. Look how much market share Google now has in the mobile OS market. 

Do they really care about the long term success of the vendors? Maybe, but maybe not. Google cares about people using Google services and showing Google ads. They only need to support vendors until critical mass is achieved. As soon as the OS has critical mass among hardware vendors, app developers and consumers (check, check, and check) it has won. Google can then move onto fix problems such as fragmentation and integration into the larger consumer product ecosystem (home entertainment, etc).

The battle is changing, and Google is adapting along with the market. 

We’ve already seen that 8.5 percent of Internet use comes from mobile devices. That number is nearly double its year-ago level. Where do you think it will be in 2, 3 or 5 years? Probably a lot higher. Google is an advertising company. It’s critical that they position themselves such that user eyeballs are on services or content that Google controls. In my opinion, buying Motorola was a risk worth taking to protect Android’s growth and sustainability.

Chris Umiastowski is a former sell-side equity analyst at Orion Securities and TD Securities. Before that, he was an engineer for Nortel Networks. Chris is co-host of the Mobile Nations Stock Talk podcast.

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4 years ago

Free Android Wallpaper of the day - San Diego Sky

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If you've never seen the San Diego skyline, you've missed out. And Android Central reader androidforall has you covered with this picture taken downtown with a Canon 60D.

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4 years ago

Android Central 87: Chrome on Android, picking Google Wallet, Motorola Droid 4 in house

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Audio-only stream below

Let's see someone try to top this: We've got Chrome on Android, we explain just how much you need to worry about security on Google Wallet, plus we've got the Motorola Droid 4 in our hot little hands. Welcome to the Greatest Android Podcast in the World!

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4 years ago

LinkedIn set to introduce advertising into mobile apps

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LinkedIn, the business professionals choice in social networking, is set to introduce advertising into their mobile applications according to their Chief Executive.

On an earnings call this week, Jeff Weiner said that the company is ready to "start to introduce advertising in our mobile solutions." No timeframe was offered for this, but he went on to talk extensively about the mobile opportunities for the network. 

Rumours are rife around the internet that Facebook are also set to introduce advertising into their mobile applications as well. Whatever happens with both of these networks, it is sure to be met with a fair share of criticism from users.

Source: The Telegraph

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4 years ago

Galaxy Mini 2 appears, offers modest improvements at low-end

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As well as expanding its mid-range portfolio with the Galaxy S Advance, it looks like Samsung is preparing a refresh of its entry-level hardware. A couple of promotional shots for a device dubbed the "Galaxy Mini 2" have leaked out online, showing some modest improvements on the basic hardware of last year's Galaxy Mini.

The most significant change is the upping of the screen's resolution -- from QVGA to HVGA. This was one of our biggest complaints about that device, so we're hoping the extra pixel density will result in a little less eye strain when using the Mini 2. For what it's worth, the LCD itself is a little larger, at 3.3 inches compared to 3.2 on the original.

As we said, spec bumps elsewhere are pretty minor -- the CPU gets a boost from 600MHz to 800MHz, while internal storage is increased to a total of 3GB. HSDPA speeds remain at 7.2Mbps, though unfortunately there's no mention of HSUPA support. And on the software side of you've got Android 2.3 Gingerbread, likely backed up by Samsung's TouchWiz UX.

Though the gap between super-high-end and entry-level phones is growing wider, the updated specs on the Galaxy Mini 2 should make it a a reasonable device for those on a budget. According to today's leak, the Galaxy Mini 2 will start shipping internationally later this month.

Source: GSMArena

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4 years ago

'Berry pink' Galaxy Note reportedly coming by early March

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Want to feel even more awkward and self-conscious making calls on your Galaxy Note in public? Why not pick up the upcoming "berry pink" version of Samsung's 5.3-inch monster. It's reportedly launching internationally during the ninth week of the year -- that's last week of February (or "crazy week" as we like to call it around here).

The leaked promotional shot, obtained by GSMArena, reminds us of the pink Galaxy S II. Like that device, the pink Galaxy Note comes with a pink back cover, a pink bezel, and presumably a pink S Pen to boot. And we're talking bright pink. Discrete this thing most certainly is not.

In any case, it's worth remembering that this pink version is based on the GT-N7000 -- the international Galaxy Note, which has different internals to the North American LTE version. Somehow we don't see this color arriving stateside any time soon, but if you're up for importing it, then the girliest phone ever should set you back around $790.

Source: GSMArena

 

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4 years ago

Unannounced HTC device emerges sporting ICS, Verizon 4G LTE

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Following last week's HTC Ville leakage, a new, unannounced HTC smartphone running Ice Cream Sandwich with Sense 4.0, and a Droid Incredible-style back panel has appeared online. The photos above (and a few more) have surfaced over on PhoneArena, suggesting that a 4G LTE-powered Droid Incredible 2 successor could be coming to big red in the future. While there's no Verizon branding on the chassis (likely due to this being a prototype), that's unmistakably the carrier's 4G LTE logo in the first image.

Additional images show a device running Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich alongside HTC Sense 4.0 -- the same updated Sense experience that we previously seen in the Ville leaks. Hardware-wise, HTC's mystery slab is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU with 1GB of RAM. There's a 8MP shooter on the back, as well as a VGA front-facer, and the screen is apparently an AMOLED offering rather than SLCD, which was used in many 2011 HTC products.

All in all, it looks like we've got ourselves a CDMA/LTE counterpart to the HTC Ville, which we'll likely see at MWC in a couple of weeks. We're not expecting to see any Verizon-specific stuff in Spain, but if we had to guess, we'd say this thing is a likely candidate for an unveiling at CTIA next month. You'll find more pics over at the source link.

Source: PhoneArena

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4 years ago

Phones4U to offer on-contract handset upgrades every six months

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A common issue when picking up a new smartphone on an 18 or 24-month contract is that your device will almost always be obsolete well before the end of your service agreement. This is especially true in the Android space, where manufacturers seem to be continually one-upping each other (and themselves) with new high-end devices every few months.

Independent UK retailer Phones4U has today launched a new service which could allow customers to keep up-to-date with the latest handsets throughout the life of their contract. JUMP ("Just Upgrade My Phone") splits customers' monthly bills into a phone service part, payable to the carrier, and a "JUMP service agreement" bill, payable to Phones4U. Then, after six or more months, customers can choose to upgrade their handset, trading in their existing phone in the process. The remaining JUMP balance that's payable until the end of the contract is then offset against the price of the phone, and a new handset can be chosen, the cost of which is added to the JUMP balance.

The bottom line is that you'd be able to upgrade your phone during the life of your contract, in exchange for a somewhat increased monthly fee.

It takes a while to wrap your head around what's actually going on, but effectively customers are being given the chance to re-jig the part of their monthly payment that covers the cost of the phone. It's probably not going to be economical to upgrade three times within a 24-month contract, but it is at least more affordable than blowing £500 on a new handset in the middle of your contract.

JUMP is launching in Phones4U stores from today, and online from May. We've got the full presser after the jump.

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4 years ago

Motorola Droid 4 available now on Verizon for $199 on contract

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The Motorola Droid 4 is now available from Verizon's website (and will be in stores in just a few short hours) for $199 on contract. As the name implies, this is the fourth phone in the line that for all intents and purposes put Android on the map.

As you'll recall from our hands-on at CES, the Droid 4 takes the classic Droid stylings -- a larger screen and a physical keyboard -- and refines them even further. From the front, it looks like a cousin to the new Droid RAZR MAXX, albeit a tad smaller with a 4-inch display at qHD (540x960) resolution. Slide open that 4-inch display and you've got what might well be the best physical keyboard on any smartphone. The keys are backlit and laser-cut and are extremely easy to navigate. 

One odd feature of the Droid 4 is on the backside. You can remove the battery cover -- and must do so if you want to get to the microSIM card (which is what provides the 4G LTE data) and microSD card. But it takes a weird little unlocking tool (included with the phone) to do so. But even then you can't actually remove the 1785 mAh battery -- at least not without likely breaking anything. That could be a deal-breaker for many. Check out our Droid 4 walkthrough video for more on that.

The phone's running Android 2.3.6, and Verizon is already promising to update it to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Other specs of note:

  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8MP rear camera
  • 1.3MP front-facing camerea
  • Serve as a 4G LTE hot spot for up to eight other devices.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Look for our full Droid 4 review in the coming days.

Source: Verizon Wireless

More: Droid 4 specs, Droid 4 forums

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4 years ago

Australia to get LG Prada 3.0 in April, coming to Vodafone

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The global rollout of the latest in the LG Prada family continues, with the news that Vodafone Australia will be offering the device from April. 

The release of the Gingerbread powered device will be exclusive to Vodafone, and is being launched for use on its 850MHz network. RRP is said to be AUS$799, but the carrier has indicated that exact pricing and availability will be announced in "coming weeks." 

Prada branded phone not enough? A range of branded accessories will be accompanying the launch to include cradles, Bluetooth headsets and phone pouches.

In other LG Prada news, the went on wider release at retailers in the UK this week, following a short exclusivity period with Phones4U.

Source: Ausdroid

More: Hands on with the LG Prada 3.0

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4 years ago

Late-night poll: Do you carry a spare battery?

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We had another good look at the Motorola Droid 4 today, non-removable battery and all.  Well, the battery door cover is removable (unlockable even!), just not the goods underneath.  We're seeing how well it's 1785mAh battery lasts on LTE, but that's another story for another day.  Tonight we wanna talk about phones that do have a removable battery, and get an idea just how many folks use that feature regularly. 

So let us know in the poll!

 

Do you carry a spare battery?

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4 years ago

Is Google planning to open a retail store in Dublin?

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According to documents unearthed by Bloomberg, Google just might be building a dedicated retail outlet in Dublin, Ireland at their European headquarters. 

A planning application submitted to the local authorities there states that the "Google Store" would be open to the public and include 123 square meters of space. At present Google has tried out the retail experience in a smaller setting, by setting up a dedicated space for their Chromebooks in PC World and Currys in the UK. 

Google has a retail store for their merchandise in California that isn't open to the general public. But this planning application passed on Jan. 23 this year paints a different picture. There are also plans for a staff swimming pool at the facility should this all go ahead.

Source: Bloomberg
More: Read the planning application in full

 

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4 years ago

LG Phoenix Gingerbread update now available via LG Support Tool

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We've got good news, and we've got bad news.  The good part first -- The LG Phoenix has a shiny new Gingerbread update waiting for it, bumping a bit of new life into one of last years best "beginner" Android phones.  You'll get all the goodness that sits under the hood in Gingerbread, and because LG is light on the changes you'll see a lot of the new goodies as well.  Everyone loves an update, no matter how long they have had to wait.

Now for the bad news.  You'll have to use LG's notoriously bad Mobile Support Tool to update the phone.  It's Windows only, and has a pretty bad track record when it comes to working as it should.  I'll go on record saying it's as bad or worse than Kies, and I hate Kies.  

Anyhoo, if you're rocking an LG Phoenix, a Windows computer, and can set up drivers and hardware, grab the update.  Full instructions (you're gonna need them) are at the source link, and always shout out in the forums with questions.

Source: LG

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