Jelly Bean - Featured Articles

Google Glass

Google Glass online orders are still apparently open

Update: Aaaaaaand it's gone. Google's store is now marked as out of stock. TechCrunch got details. Last week Google Glass ditched the invites and went on sale to anyone and everyone for just one day. That meant that whoever wanted to snag Glass could do so without any caveats, like having to...
Verizon's HTC Droid DNA is now getting its KitKat update

Verizon's HTC Droid DNA is now getting its KitKat update

OK, all you patient Verizon Droid DNA owners. As promised, Android 4.4.2 KitKat is here. You'll actually get a couple of updates — the first is a mere 18MB — so you've got a few reboots ahead of you. Head into our Droid DNA forums for more. Source: Droid DNA forums
Nexus 7

This week's sidebar poll: Tablets - who's using one?

We talk a lot about tablets here at Mobile Nations. The big four (Android, Apple, Blackberry and Windows) all have a tablet or tablets available, and while some may have been tossed aside others are all the rage. At least on the Internet, they are. Sales numbers and analysts aside tell us all...
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There's an update available for Sony's Xperia Z1, Z1 Compact, and Z Ultra that promises to fix a speaker issue that cropped up when the handsets were updated to Android 4.4.2 KitKat. The new firmware build 14.3.A.0.757 corrects the bug that sent audio through the handset speaker (the one you use when using the phone as a phone) instead of the louder external speaker.

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Samsung is boasting “meaningful innovation” in its latest Galaxy S5 TV commercial. The video goes over the device in slow, sexy pans, highlighting the “state-of-the-art camera”, heart rate sensor, IP67 water and dust resistance, 5.1-inch HD display, and dimpled back. The first Galaxy S5 ad aired during the Oscars last month.

We're not quite sure what the tagline “Real innovation begins when inspired by what matters to you” means, but maybe you guys can offer your take in the comments.

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The Uncarrier is striking again with a new bottom-tier plan: T-Mobile's new Simple Starter plan starts at just $40 a month. For that rate, customers will get unlimited talk and text, plus 500MB of LTE data. The plans are set to be available starting on April 12, and customers will be able to take advantage of T-Mobile's pay-your-old-carrier's ETF deal, purchase phones on installment plans, and enroll T-Mobile's Jump! upgrade plan.

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Samsung is opening up some new retail Experience locations across the U.K., similar to what’s launched this time last year at Best Buy locations in North America and existing stores in Spain, Germany, Portugal, Netherlands, Sweden and Ireland. These locations are opening today and being operated by Carphone Warehouse. There are nine locations total across England.

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Samsung Gear 2 torn open, found to contain small electronic bits

As tends to happen with the latest mobile gadgets, just as Samsung's Gear 2 smartwatch is ready to go on sale it's already been subjected to a hardware teardown by the folks over at iFixit. The site's guide to disassembling Samsung's latest wearable is now live, showing how with a Torx screwdriver and a steady hand, you can get crack open the device and get to its innards.

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Military researchers are toying with the idea of using Google Glass on the battlefield. The U.S. Air Force’s Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided Knowledge research group has been testing two pairs of Glass for search and rescue missions, communicating with ground forces, and targeting enemy bogeys.

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With widespread delays reported, Sony's having a tough time getting its new flagship phone, the Xperia Z2, out to consumers around the world. But even in countries where the Z2 has already gone on sale, there are reports of hardware issues affecting some users. Following the Xperia Z2's recent launch in Singapore, Sony's local arm has issued statements addressing some owners' concerns over build issues with the device.

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Google's Chromecast streaming dongle is getting a minor update starting today, according to the official release blog. Chromecast build 16664 includes persistent volume levels across viewing sessions, as well as improved support for the IPV6 networking standard and "improved DNS robustness." On top of that, Google says the new build includes the usual bug fixes and stability improvements.

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HTC BlinkFeed

How to add apps, social content, news, RSS, change colors and tweak settings in HTC's home screen reader

HTC's BlinkFeed home screen reader is at the heart of its Sense UI, bringing social updates, news and app content to a special scrolling list in the app launcher.

First introduced on the HTC One M7 last year, BlinkFeed returns in HTC Sense 6 with a new look, support for new services and even more customization options. Available first on the HTC One M8, HTC says BlinkFeed will eventually be coming to other Android phones through Google Play, giving owners of rival devices the chance to see what all the fuss is about.

And BlinkFeed is more customizable than ever in Sense 6. Check past the break to see how you can make BlinkFeed your own.

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While the the Google Glass Explorer Program hasn't yet reached British shores, Google has begun gifting trial versions of the connected eyewear to various organizations around the world ahead. One of the first institutions to get hold of Glass was the UK's Newcastle University, which used its five devices as part of a program to help Parkinson's disease sufferers.

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With the recent demise of official support for Microsoft's Windows XP, Google is looking to attract business users of the 12-year-old OS with a handful of promotions for enterprises considering the switch to Chromebooks.

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UK retailer Carphone Warehouse sends news that it'll begin stocking Sony's new Xperia Z2 in limited quantities from next week, ahead of the handset's general availability on May 1. The 5.2-inch Z2 sells for £549.99 outright, and is also available on 24-month contracts through EE, T-Mobile, Orange, O2, Vodafone and Talkmobile from between £38 and £53 per month. For a "free" Z2, you're looking at £42 per month — a 3GB deal on Vodafone with £100 cashback.

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The Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi is set to announce the Mi3S, a successor to the gorgeous looking Mi3 Android smartphone. According to myDrives, the new device will have an enhanced metallic design, as well as some shiny new specifications to boast about. The first is a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, which will be joined by 3GB RAM, LTE and a 13MP rear shooter.

Finally, the display is said to be similar to the Mi3 -- a 1080p 5-inch panel, and Xiaomi will look to price the Android device at 1,999 CNY ($320). We'll have to see how accurate these reports are. While the Mi3S is likely to be pushed hard in the Asia region, we'd like to see this handset released elsewhere. How about yourselves? Let us know your thoughts on the Mi3S in the comments.

Source: myDrives, via: Phone Arena

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LG refreshed its mid-range lineup with the new L Series III ahead of Mobile World Congress, and now it appears one of them is headed to the U.S. Twitter leaker @evleaks has published shots of the L70 with MetroPCS branding.

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The stable channel of Chrome OS is being updated today with improved window management and a few much-wanted features. The first big change you'll notice after updating your Chromebook or Chromebox will be a new side dock that allows you to dock small windows to the screen edges. Also, you'll now have the option of using an onscreen keyboard, which will let you use your mouse or touchscreen for character input and device features (such as volume and brightness) without the physical keyboard.

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One of the most popular reading apps across any platform, Pocket, is receiving a quick update today with important changes for how you view content in the app. Folks using Pocket on a device running Android 4.4 will now see the app enter "Immersive Mode" when viewing an article in full screen, which hides all interface elements so the content take up as much room as possible. Android 4.1-4.3 devices will hide just the status bar, but that's better than nothing.

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Comcast reported to be considering their own mobile service provider business

A growing national Wifi network would provide the backbone for another competitor in mobile service

Comcast may branch out from cable and landline internet, moving into the wireless service arena in the future. According to a report out of The Information, Comcast has been looking into the idea of creating a nationwide wireless phone network that relies primarily on Wifi with back-up service leased from already-established cellular carriers.

Instead of having to pursue purchasing large blocks of wireless spectrum and rights to traditional cellular towers, Comcast would leverage its currently-available network of Wifi hotspots to provide the majority of traffic for phones. Its Wifi network is growing with installations of public access points — over a million across various markets — in large cities and special residential routers that Comcast provides with a publicly-available signal in over eight million homes. But it naturally wouldn't be able to cover the entire country comprehensively — that's where other carriers come in.

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It's a Nokia, with Android, minus the Google

Nokia made a big deal out of the Nokia X – and it's sibling products, the X+ and XL – back at Mobile World Congress, it's first foray into the Android world. But it's not exactly Android in the sense we're familiar with in these parts. Take out the Google and add in some square tiles and you're on the right track.

The Nokia X is definitely aimed towards the low end; a Snapdragon S4 and 512MB of RAM are long past being 'cutting edge.' The low-resolution display, fixed focus rear camera and paltry 4GB of on-board storage scream nothing but 'budget device.' But that doesn't mean we aren't interested by it.

Amazon did something different with Android and it was hardly a failure, so perhaps there is a method to Nokia's madness. And there's absolutely no better way to get a handle on what's what than by putting it through the full review treatment.

And so, that's exactly what we're going to do. The full review is on its way soon, but in the mean time we've taken a quick first look at a retail version of the Nokia X. And you'll catch that in the video up top. Stay tuned for more!

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Bible App 5

Share passages, bookmarks and thoughts with friends though a single app

Bible App has received a big update today, bringing social features to the good book in version 5. You can now explore the Bible with your friends, and have a stream of their activity in the Home view of the app itself.

Other new features include being able to like and comment on friends bookmarks or notes, where you can share ideas and questions about anything you've read.

The app is free, and you can download it right from Google Play.

Source: YouVersion; Thanks, Robert!

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Complete UI overhaul fronts list of changes for popular Android travel application

United Airlines has had a usable Android app for some time now, but it wasn't always the prettiest out there. Today's update to version 2.0 changes that, making those with an eye for proper design happy while also adding new functionality. The app has received a complete UI overhaul (or an "Android friendly design" as they call it), with new buttons, layout and navigation tabs.

Booking search results are now improved, giving you the choice of a regular list view to get more flights in each screen or a detailed view with more information on each flight. Calendar selection for flight search has also been improved, and seat selection has a new design as well. When you're at the airport with a mobile boarding pass, it has also received a refresh and made it easier to manage multiple passengers.

The update is now live in Google Play at the link above, and we're sure more than a few people flying United will be happy with this complete set of design improvements.

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