4 years ago

Sprint hotspot will still cost extra on the Nexus S 4G [from the forums]


Sprint Nexus S 4G


With the announcement of Sprint Nexus S 4G came the question of tethering on the device. Will Sprint leave it and if so, how much if anything will they charge for it? As it is a pure Google experience phone tethering is baked right into the firmware and Sprint has no intentions on removing it. Not really a surprise there. They do, however, plan on charging you for its use:

Q: How much is the Mobile Hotspot capability?
A: Mobile Hotspot capability for Nexus S 4G is a $29.99 optional add-on. It allows the customer to use Nexus S as a Mobile Hotspot device capable of sending out a Wi-Fi signal to up to six Wi-Fi capable devices. This follows the new discounting rules launching in July and is not NVP discountable (e.g. SOCs $29.99 and below are not discountable; SOCs $30 and up are discountable).

The fact they are charging for something that is included directly in the firmware always raises some eyebrows and quite often leads to folks looking for workarounds to access stuff for free and really, you already are paying for the data. Carriers’ charging for this feature is often looked at like they are charging you twice for something you already have.

AT&T has noticed the trend in users using workarounds and has started to go after iPhone users who tether without a plan so this always raises the question -- should you have to pay for tethering service if it is something that is built in? Sound off in the comments or head on into the forums to discuss tethering on the Nexus S 4G [Android Central Forums]

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4 years ago

Android quick-app: Pulse Version 2.0


Pulse Version 2.0

The Pulse news reader has long been one of our favorite -- and more graphically pleasing -- ways to crank through news. While it might not be the best way to sort through hundreds of hundreds or RSS feeds (what, you think this job is easy), if you want a great experience reading a couple dozen, you can't beat it.

And Pulse just got even better in Version 2.0. The UI has been divided into "pages" (or think of them as tabs if you want). There's a bunch of preloaded content, and a couple blank pages, and you can customize things to you heart's content.

And new for us Android users is an entire section of Android news. Not that you'll need more than the Android Central feed, of course. Check out our hands-on and get download links after the break.

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4 years ago

G-Slate pricing gets official on T-Mobile; still no release date



The T-Mobile G-Slate has finally gotten some official pricing. For users looking to grab themselves one of these 8.9-inch Honeycomb tablets, the device will launch at $529.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate. If you missed the video of the device in action from CTIA2011, be sure to check that out to see just how smooth the device operates. While unfortunately there is still no official release date, T-Mobile has indicated that it would be later this spring, so it shouldn't be too far off. [T-Mobile]

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4 years ago

Watch Samsung's CTIA announcements


Samsung Galaxy Tab

Phil and Kevin were in the room as Samsung made their announcements at CTIA2011. And now, for the rest of us, Samsung has posted the video of the event, where we saw new 8.9-inch  and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tabs. Planning to pick one of these up for yourself? If so, be sure to hop into the forums and discuss your choice! Video available after the break. [Youtube]

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4 years ago

Cellular South to sell Motorola Xoom WiFi and MiFi combo


 Cellular South Xoom

Regional American carrier Cellular South has announced that it will be offering the Motorola Xoom "soon." No price is mentioned, but a little sleuthing reveals a bullet point near the bottom of their page explaining that the tablet can connect to the Internet via internal WiFi or using a Cellular South MiFi (sold separately, of course). This would make it likely that the carrier will actually be selling the standard WiFi-only Xoom and will try to convince customers to get a MiFi in addition. As for price, that is still up in the air, but we would imagine that the WiFi Xoom's $599 MSRP would be a starting point for the combo deal. [Cellular South] Thanks to David for the tip!

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4 years ago

Major firmware update to Nook Color in April to bring apps; new content also announced by B&N


nook color

The Nook Color has become one of most popular Android devices due to its low price tag and ability to be hacked. Barnes and Noble announced today that there will be a major firmware update in April that will bring increased functionality to the device, including apps.

No word yet on whether users will be able to experience the entire Android Market, but B&N announced some of the titles that will be made available, including Angry Birds, Drawing Pad, Lonely Planet Phrasebooks, Tikatok and Wine PhD. There will also be an email app. This has to be great news for Nook customers who have been anxiously awaiting the update that was rumored last year (and who have not flashed ROMS).

B&N also announced the addition of more quality content to the Nook Color that includes The Economist, Travel and Leisure and ESPN the Magazine. Aside from these titles, B&N is partnering with Nikelodeon to bring exclusive children's content with the titles Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer and Diego.

These announcements are all great news for Nook Color fans who are watching their tablet/e-reader continue to improve. What remains to be seen is whether or not the April update will provide enough to sway those who have flashed custom ROMS to revert to stock. See the full press releases after the break.

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4 years ago

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 will get Gingerbread update this summer


 Xperia X10 Gingerbread

No, we're not talking about a custom ROM, and no, it's not April 1st yet, either. After announcing that the Xperia X10 would receive no updates beyond Eclair  just a couple of months ago, Sony Ericsson has turned on its heel and now promises X10 owners a boost straight to Android 2.3.3 in late Q2 or early Q3.

Sony Ericsson's Rikard Skogberg says SE has "listened to its consumers," and as a result of developing the Gingerbread-toting Xperia Arc, Neo and Play, it's been able to bring the X10 up to speed through a special development project. Apparently the update will add some features from the 2011 Xperia phones to the X10, though some earlier functionality will be lost in the process. Because of this, the Gingerbread update will not be delivered over-the-air, but via a PC update utility. See the source link for more on that.

Sony Ericsson has acknowledged that it's had a poor track record as far as Android updates go and promised to do better in the future. We're sure X10 owners will be delighted to see these words turn into action, making the X10 the only Android 1.x phone to get an official Gingerbread update. [Sony Ericsson Product Blog]

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4 years ago

Watch Sprint announce the EVO 3D and EVO View 4G at CTIA


Phil and Dieter got to sit about 10 feet away from Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and others as they made the announcements surrounding the Sprint HTC EVO 3D and EVO View 4G, but the rest of us at home had to tune in via the live blog. Now that CTIA 2011 is said and done, Sprint has uploaded the video from the event to YouTube for our viewing pleasure. If you're like me and enjoy watching the events you can jump on past the break to catch them all. Once you're done, jump on into the forums and discuss. [Android Central Forums]

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4 years ago

Motorola: 'Very small number of users' having issues with call quality


 Atrix 4G

Motorola's followed up on the update that's coming the Atrix 4G, which might or might not actually do something about reported call quality issues. In a statement, Moto admits that there is "a very small number" of users having issues, and that they're looking into it. Here's the statement in its entirety:

Motorola Mobility is aware of a very small number of ATRIX 4G users who have reported low audio issues when placing voice calls. Motorola ATRIX 4G is designed and tested to meet our high standards for audio quality. As part of our longstanding commitment to delivering high quality products that our customers love, we believe in reacting even when identified issues impact only a handful of users. Motorola is evaluating further optimization of audio levels in a future maintenance release. Any consumer who experiences this issue should contact a Motorola customer support center.

Motorola takes great care to ensure devices are developed with quality in mind. We appreciate consumer feedback and will continue working to refine our product experience.

Here's how we see it: Motorola knows hardware, and they know call quality. If there's an issue here, they'll fix it. And sooner rather than later, we'd gather. So everybody sit tight and let's see what comes out of this one, and in the meantime share your thoughts in the Motorola Atrix 4G forums.

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4 years ago

Honeycomb won't be open-sourced? Say it ain't so!


Honeycomb in lockdown

We're all waiting for Google to finally release the open-source code for Android 3.0.1 (Honeycomb), but if we're to believe Bloomberg (and usually you should), it's not going to happen in the "foreseeable future" -- and possibly never.  I'll pause and allow the nerd-rage to subside for a moment, because I'm feeling it too -- hard.  When we've all composed ourselves a bit, join me after the break. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

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4 years ago

BlackBerry opens up the PlayBook tablet to Android apps


The whispers our pals at CrackBerry first planted in our heads last August are true (and again this spring) -- Android applications are coming to the BlackBerry Playbook via BlackBerry App World.

We'll let that sink in for a minute.

Here's the deal: Any app that runs on Android 2.3 will work, RIM says. There will be a pair of optional "App Players" that provide the runtime for the android applications. There will be compatible APIs, so developers should be able to easily port their apps. The apps will be downloaded from RIM's App World and run in a secure sandbox. So we're not talking low-level stuff here.

From the press release:

Developers will simply repackage, code sign and submit their BlackBerry Java and Android apps to BlackBerry App World. Once approved, the apps will be distributed through BlackBerry App World, providing a new opportunity for many developers to reach BlackBerry PlayBook users. Users will be able to download both the app players and the BlackBerry Java and Android apps from BlackBerry App World.

The PlayBook goes on sale April 19, but Android applications won't be able to run at launch. Instead, RIM will show off the new App Players and demo Android apps at BlackBerry World in Orlando on May 3-5.

Said RIM president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis:

"The BlackBerry PlayBook is an amazing tablet. The power that we have embedded creates one of the most compelling app experiences available in a mobile computing device today. The upcoming addition of BlackBerry Java and Android apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook on BlackBerry App World will provide our users with an even greater choice of apps and will also showcase the versatility of the platform."

So, yeah. Android applications will be able to run on the PlayBook. But the apps can't be all that deep, and will be running in some sort of emulation layer. But perhaps it's a all a middle ground to entice Android developers to go all-in with the BlackBerry NDK and do real ports, and not just emulation. We'll just have to see. Full presser's after the break.

More coverage at CrackBerry.com

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4 years ago

Android's in-app billing system launches next week, developers can prep now


Android in-app billing

Google just announced that in-app billing -- first announced at the Honeycomb event we were at in February -- will launch next week. In-app billing is an unsexy name for the way an app developer can sell you extra features -- levels, weapons, clothing, cheats, etc -- while you're inside the app. No diving back out to the Market, all seamless and smooth.

And to get things ready, developers can now upload and test apps for the service. It's all done within in the existing Developer Console, and the dev sets the prices.

It'll be interesting to see what sort of things developers offer, though we can think of one, for sure -- the Mighty Eagle! And Tap Tap Revenge will use it for song purchases. [Android Developers Blog]

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4 years ago

FlexT9 keyboard updated for tablet use



One of my favorite things about Android is the wide variety of keyboards that are readily available in the market, making it easy for just about anyone to find a keyboard with a skin that they enjoy. While we have seen tons on Android phones, we have not yet seen many get updated for tablet use, but FlexT9 has recently been updated, and it allows just that. One thing that sets this keyboard far apart from any other is the option to speak, trace, write, or tap all from within the same single keyboard, while all the others only do one of the four. For $4.99 you may think the price is a bit higher then most others, but keep in mind you are basically purchasing four different keyboards, all packaged up as one application. Download information available after the break.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab selling for £299 at Asda Direct


 Galaxy Tab at Asda

Asda Direct, part of the British supermarket chain of the same name, is offering the Samsung Galaxy Tab at a reduced price of £299 (~$500) for a limited time. This is a pretty good deal considering most UK-based retailers are still charging upwards of £400 for the 7-inch tablet. Asda itself lists the Tab's standard price as £437 (~$700).

Despite the imminent UK launch of the Motorola Xoom, the Froyo-powered Galaxy Tab is still highly capable tablet, and the £299 price point makes it cheaper than most similarly-spec'd Galaxy S phones. Asda isn't listing a deadline for this deal, however it is time-limited, so hit the source link to find out more if you're interested. [Asda Direct]

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4 years ago

Sprint Epic 4G gets a rooted version of EC05 Froyo update


Epic 4G

The EC05 Froyo OTA is slowly trickling out for the Sprint Epic 4G, but users who like to tinker don't have to wait any longer.  Android Central forums adviser Paul627g has worked up a flashable version that's pre-rooted and ready to go.  You'll need Odin, the Windows drivers, and a few minutes time, but the payoff is worth it in the end.  To make it even better, there is no data wipe required whether you're currently running Eclair or one of the leaked/official/pulled previous Froyo updates.  Nice work fellas! [Android Central forums]

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