Headlines

3 years ago

HTC Merge headed to Alltel?

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The HTC Merge -- you might remember it from our exclusive hands-on, our video preview, our benchmark tests, photo gallery ... You get the point. We blew that thing out of the water. But one thing we couldn't do was keep Verizon from never releasing the thing in the first place. But Droid-Life posted the picture you see above. And it's either a simple background switch and a cruel hoax, or indeed the Merge may show on Alltel, which was purchased by Verizon and all but assimilated into the Big Red ecosystem.

Of course, we've heard this story before. Hell, we told this story before. And a release on Alltel isn't nearly as widespread or as satisfying as a release on one of the Big Four. But fear not, we're sure Verizon and HTC have something Merge-like up their sleeves. All things in good time, folks. [Droid-Life]

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3 years ago

Verizon updating existing tiered data plans to make way for LTE data pricing?

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Looks like Verizon is making some big changes to its tiered data pricing structures ahead of an all out LTE rollout. In what is surely to ruffle some folk's feathers, Verizon appears to be taking away the $15 150MB data plan. The interesting portion here however comes to light when you look at the $30 unlimited plan. Previously it applied to "smartphones" and now it applies to "feature phones and 3G smartphones" that of course, triggers our wallet alarms to the fact that we are likely to see "4G" plans come into effect at a higher rate.

Not that there was ever much doubt there but when you think about how Verizon is making this appear at the moment it looks as though a $30+ LTE / 4G plan is in the works. Would you all be willing to pay that for 4G? If not the feature phone plans went from $9.99 for 25MB to offering 75MB now. That's a bonus, right? [Engadget]

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3 years ago

Software update turning users' brand new Notion Ink Adam tablets into bricks

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To say the Notion Ink Adam Android tablet has taken the long way to reaching customers would be quite the understatement. It's been mired in controversy while at the same time being hailed by some as the second coming of tablets. And after more than a year in development, it's finally shipped and is getting into the hands of paying customers.

And that's where the problems begin. (Or continue, depending on who you ask.) Reader J writes in to tell us his story. The deal is you're prompted to update the software the first time you turn on the tablet. J's on-screen keyboard was acting up, so he runs the update, hoping that would clear things up.

And now he has the brick you see above. And he's not alone. Bricks are happening, and Notion Ink is aware of it, sending this e-mail:

Hi!

Greetings from Notion Ink!

First of all, we would like to Welcome you to the Notion Ink Family!

We understand and share your excitement about you receiving your Adam.

Secondly, a couple of our family members who received the Adam already, reported to us that they faced some issues in updating their device.

So, as a precautionary measure, we would advice you to refrain from updating your Adam until we investigate this matter and contact you with an official update regarding this matter.

In case you need any other assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at support@notionink.com.

Warm Regards
Notion Ink

So if you're the proud owner (at least for now) of a Notion Ink Adam tablet -- stay away from the update, and we'll bring back more word when we get it. Thanks, J!

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3 years ago

ADWLauncher EX updated to support custom docks

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Last week we were treated to a Launcher Pro update, this week ADWLauncher EX has rolled out their latest version as well. While most of the changelog is just some bug fixes and minor touch ups to how the launcher function one of the larger additions was the ability to use custom docks. In fact, when you update you'll find that a few custom docks have already been included in the package for you. Full change log is listed below:

  • Reorderable main menu can disable elements and reorder by drag and drop(ADWSettings/General behavior/System settings)
  • Added transparency support for the 4D drawer (yes, it's choppier, I told you)
  • Support for custom images for dock and hidden dockbar
  • Added a small catalog of dock pictures
  • Option to change app drawer icons text color
  • Menu/Lock now locks app drawer too
  • Fixed old style previews when statusbar was hidden.
  • Fixed fancy backgrounds transparency issues
  • Fixes more "ForceCloses"

The update is live and available in the Android Market now. Hit the break for the download. [ADWThings]

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3 years ago

Google cloud printing going mobile in the next few days

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Like most things at Google, cloud printing started off as a beta back in April 2010 but Google is now launching it across mobile devices. Google cloud printing for mobile documents and GMail mobile apps is now a go. One way to check for it as Google noted is:

Just open a document in Google Docs or an email in Gmail in your mobile browser and choose “Print” from the dropdown menu in the top right corner. You can also print certain kinds of email attachments (such as .pdf or .doc) by clicking the “Print” link that appears next to them.

Starting today and tomorrow English speaking users in the U.S. should start to see the options available to them. You'll have to set up your printer in order for it to work, but Google provides the documentation needed for that. Sadly, only Windows is supported forr the connection portion at the moment but Mac OS X and Linux support is coming soon. [Google Mobile Blog]

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3 years ago

Droid X case review: Seidio Spring-Clip Holster

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Carrying around the Motorola Droid X in a holster is no small matter. Literally. The phone has a 4.3-inch screen. But the Seidio Spring-Clip Holster makes short work of it.

The holster itself is really simple. You slide the phone face-first into the holster from the bottom, then affix the clip at the top. The holster itself is made of a soft-touch plastic, and the inside is covered in felt to protect the screen. The holster actually doesn't add much bulk to the phone. You'll certainly know you're carrying it around, but it's not overly bulky.

Releasing the phone is as simple as lifting up on the spring clip. The clip doesn't lock into place, so you'll want to be a tad bit careful about accidentally knocking it against something. But at the same time, we're not worried about the spring giving way during normal everyday use.

There's a belt clip on the back of the holster. Its spring is pretty tight, too, so no worries about it falling off your hip. The belt clip can be rotated, too, for a custom fit. It's not removable (hey, it's a holster), but neither does it stick too far off your body.

We've got more pics after the break. The Seidio Spring-Clip Holster for the Motorola Droid X is available in the Android Central Store for $24.95.

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3 years ago

Play.fm mobile app for Android now available

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Play.fm, the largest online site for DJ mixes and recordings, has released their Android app to the Android Market. If you're not into listening to the same old stuff you can find on each and every radio station each day then maybe this is the app you have been waiting for. The Play.fm app takes mixes recorded live in clubs, at festivals and radio shows and puts them all into one streaming music service that is loaded with features:

  • Listen to top-ranked DJs from over 180 countries
  • Get instant access to mixes recorded live in clubs, at festivals and radio shows
  • Sort DJ mixes by editorial features, popularity and most recent
  • Search and find your favorite mixes instantly
  • Filter mixes by genres
  • Jump to your favorite part within any mix with audio skipping to the second

Personally, I get rather bored of hearing the same old songs played over and over again so DJ remixes are a good way to keep songs fresh without being driven insane. Play.fm is however a premium subscription service so it will cost you $4.10 for 90 days of use. Video of the app in action can be found after the break. [Play.fm]

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3 years ago

Motorola Cliq 2 hands-on

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

CES 2011 was full of high-end phones, but tucked into the mix was a little gem in the Motorola Cliq 2. The follow-up to T-Mobile's original Cliq, the Cliq 2 sports a redesigned keyboard, 3.7-inch touchscreen, 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM and a 5MP camera with flash, all controlled by Android 2.2 Froyo.

The specs don't quite put the Cliq 2 among the best of the best (of we know is coming, anyway). But it's a solid phone on a solid network. Full review's on the way. In the meantime, enjoy the hands-on, and hit up the Cliq 2 Forums for more.

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3 years ago

Android, iOS U.S. subscriber numbers visualized

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With the launch of the Verizon iPhone, many in the tech sphere were wondering how much impact the phone might have once it hits a second carrier. The New York Times rounded up sales data and created the graph you see above to show the relative share of subscribers between Android and iOS on each of the four main U.S. carriers. They note that nearly half of all American Android users are split between Sprint and T-Mobile while the rest are mostly on Verizon. Unsurprisingly AT&T has the smallest number of Android users probably thanks to only having on high-end Android phone -- the Captivate -- and the availability of the iPhone since its launch back in 2007.

Several big questions around the Android vs. iOS on Verizon debate remain:

  • How many current Verizon Android users will jump to the iPhone when it's available Feb. 10?
  • Will new smartphone users pick the iPhone over the various Android phones?
  • How many iPhone customers from AT&T will leave for Verizon? (and thus not actually increase the overall iOS userbase)
  • Will Verizon also gain users from the smaller networks that wouldn't have left for AT&T?

In time, all these questions will be answered. With HP and Palm ready to jump back in and Microsoft finally in the game, 2011 looks to be a wild ride for the smartphone market. Hold on tight. [The New York Times]

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3 years ago

Q&A: Explaining how the Nexus One was used to take control of a host computer

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Two researchers from George Mason University, Dr. Angelos Stavrou, and Zhaohui Wang, have demonstrated the ability to use a smartphone (a Nexus One, but Dr. Stavrou says this applies to the iPhone as well) as a HID (Human Input Device) via USB.  Simply put, just plugging the phone into a computer causes it to act as a mouse or keyboard, with no server on the computer in question, and offers little or no warning on the computer screen. 

Usually we would call something like this one one helluva cool hack, but there's a scary side, too.  The exploit could be made viral, on Windows, Mac, and Linux.  According to Dr. Stavrou;

"Say your computer at home is compromised and you compromise your Android phone by connecting them, Then, whenever you connect the smartphone to another laptop or computing device I can take over that computer also, and then compromise other computers off that Android. It's a viral type of compromise using the USB cable."

That caught our attention, so we reached out to Dr. Stavrou, who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.  Read the rest, after the break.  [CNet]

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