Headlines

3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S5 now widely available to pre-order in the UK

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Samsung Galaxy S5

Pre-order deals available from major retailers and carriers

Overnight Samsung's Galaxy S5 went up for pre-order at many British outlets, including independent retailers Carphone Warehouse and Phones4u, and carriers O2, Three, Vodafone and EE. Here's a quick breakdown of what's on offer —

  • EE has the GS5 in black, white and blue, with on-contract prices ranging between £32.99 per month (4GB "double speed" 4G, £259.99 upfront) to £47.99 per month (20GB, £9.99 upfront). The carrier is also offering free return flights to pre-order customers from airports across the UK.
  • Three also has the black, white and blue models. Prices start at £38 per month (£69 upfront) for 2GB of data plus 600 minutes. Bump up to £41 per month for unlimited data, or £44 for unlimited calls and data, and the same upfront cost.
  • Vodafone has the black, white blue, gold colors. Prices range between £47 per month (£19 upfront) for 3GB, to £62 per month for 13GB (no upfront payment.)
  • O2 also has all four colors. Prices on O2 Refresh Pay Monthly come in between £38 (2GB, £69.99 upfront) and £53 (8GB, no upfront cost). Alternatively there's another 8GB plan for £48 per month with a £39.99 upfront fee attached.
  • Phones4u has a range of contracts available from Vodafone, EE, Orange and T-Mobile starting at £47 for a free GS5 (a 3GB plan on Vodafone, though an extra 99p will get you 10GB on EE). The first 1,000 pre-orders get a free Galaxy Tab 3 7-inch and £50 Google Play credit with any 4G plan. All four colors are available, though the blue and gold won't be available on launch day. The retailer is also selling the GS5 SIM-free for £569.95.
  • Carphone Warehouse has all four colors, though only the black and white will be available on April 11. The retailer will sell you a SIM-free device for £579.95, and has contracts available with EE, Orange, O2, Vodafone, T-Mobile and TalkMobile. The cheapest plan for a free GS5 at CPW is a £42-per-month, 3GB deal from Vodafone — though more data is available around this price point if you're willing to stump up some cash upfront.

Most outlets will be able to get a GS5 in your hands on April 11, the phone's global launch day, though availability may vary for the more colorful blue and gold variants, as we've mentioned above.

So is anyone in the UK securing their Galaxy S5 pre-order today? Shout out in the comments!

Source: O2, Three, Vodafone, Phones4u, Carphone Warehouse, EE

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3 years ago

EE lights up 12 more 4G LTE locations

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4G-focused UK network EE has announced that it's switched on LTE coverage in twelve new towns today — Antrim, Bridgend, Burnley, Coleraine, Leigh, Livingston, Macclesfield, Newtownabbey, Nuneaton, Pontypool, Sittingbourne and Tamworth. In addition, the operator says it's improved coverage in routes between Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Cardiff and Swansea.

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3 years ago

Quick comparison: HTC One (M8) versus Samsung Galaxy S5 specs

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How do HTC and Samsung's flagship smartphones compare on paper?

With the arrival of the new HTC One, and before it, the Samsung Galaxy S5 at MWC, the stage is set for one of the great Android rivalries of 2014. It's way too early to call this one — the HTC One has only just launched, and the GS5 is widely available for pre-order but won't be hitting store shelves until April 11. However we're ready to go through the basics with a quick spec comparison after the break.

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3 years ago

Spoiler alert: Get an excerpt from George R.R. Martin's next book on your Android device

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Game of Thrones

Apparently this came out a week ago, and nobody told me, so I hold each and every one of you personally responsible. If you'd like to get a sneak peek at the next book in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series from author George R.R. Martin (aka "Game of Thrones"), you can do so on the official "A Game of Thrones Guide" (aka "A World of Ice and Fire") app from Random House.

We'll tell you just a tad more after the break, but be warned: Spoilers are ahead if you're way behind in the series and wonder about the fate of a certain character.

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3 years ago

The new HTC One M8 is buy-one-get-one-free on Verizon

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A quick heads up that if you're in the market for a new HTC One M8 on Verizon, you can get in on a buy-one-get-one-free deal. That'd be two M8s (is in dos, not some new version of the M8 — because someone always asks) for the price of one. As for that price, it's $199 with a two-year contract, $25.22 a month on Verizon's Edge plan (which ends up around $605 over the two years), or $599 outright. [Verizon]

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3 years ago

How Google handles government requests for your data

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Google today (as noted in an email from Communications Policey Manager Derek Slater) released an updated Transparency Report, in which it gives rough numbers for the number of times the government has requested information on its users. It's definitely worth a look-see. Also worth a few minutes of your time is the video you see here, which provides a simple, rough (and entertaining) look at the process your data goes through should it come under scrutiny. [Google]

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3 years ago

Apps crashed most on Gingerbread, but Android is consistently more stable than iOS according to report

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HTC Evo 4G

Samsung Galaxy S4 was most stable device, while the iPad 2 was the least stable

It's probably no surprise, but Android 2.3 Gingerbread was the least stable version of Android when it comes to causing app crashes. That's all improved since, however — according to a report from Crittercism, which monitors app usage on over a billion Android and iOS devices, the stability of Android apps surpasses that of iOS across the board in all software versions.

Android apps crashed an average of 1.7 percent of the time on Gingerbread, but the combination of Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean and KitKat crash just 0.7 percent of the time according to the report. By comparison, iOS 6 crashed a much higher 2.5 percent of the time, with iOS 7 cutting that down to 2.1 percent and iOS 7.1 to 1.6 percent. Even with those improvements that's still over double that of modern versions of Android, and not something your average person would actually think if they were asked which platform crashes more.

On the device side, the report finds that the Samsung Galaxy S4 was the most stable device they have data on with a 0.9 percent crash rate, while the highest was the iPad 2 at 2.6 percent. For different kinds of apps, graphically-intensive games naturally crashed the most, while e-commerce apps crashed the least.

Source: Crittercism

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3 years ago

AT&T reveals PadFone X hardware specs, still no release date

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High-end specs across the board, with a sizable battery in the PadFone Station for extra charge

Following up over two months after it announced the phone/tablet hybrid device at CES 2014, AT&T is revealing the hardware specs for the ASUS PadFone X. Although we still haven't been able to touch the device (it was behind glass at CES), we now know that it will be sporting a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a 13MP camera and 5-inch display at 1920 x 1080 resolution. The phone will be running Android 4.4 and have a standard range of connectivity — a/b/g/n/ac Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0 and of course LTE.

The 9-inch PadFone Station, which the PadFone docks into, has a 1920 x 1200 resolution display and a 1MP front-facing camera of its own, along with a 4900mAh battery to charge up the phone when it's all docked together. AT&T and ASUS aren't yet telling us when the PadFone X will hit stores or how much it'll cost, but we should know soon enough now that it's starting to release more information. You'll find a full list of specs below.

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3 years ago

Plants vs. Zombies 2 goes back to the future ... the Far Future

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Plants vs. Zombies 2 - Far Future

Earlier this year we gave you some hints for how to best spend your time waiting for a new Plants vs. Zombies 2 level. Today, that wait is over.

Dave is heading into the future — the Far Future, to be exact. New levels. New zombies. New plants with which to fight them. And new Power Squares, which make strategy more important than ever. We won't spoil all the fun — just go download it. And we hope you saved up a key from your previous levels, otherwise the Far Future will cost you a few bucks to unlock.

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3 years ago

You can now customize the Google Bar layout on Google pages

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Feature to roll out over the next couple of weeks

Google finally transitioned from the solid black bar at the top of all of its sites to using more of an "app launcher" style approach, and just like on your Android you can now organize the Google Bar to your liking. What used to require a third-party extension is now easily done natively by simply clicking and dragging the icons in the app launcher to whatever view you'd like.

When you click an icon you'll also notice the window expand so you can choose to swap or expand the list with slightly less-popular Google services. If you're looking for something extra obscure you can even click "Even more from Google" and add services like Google Scholar or Orkut to your app launcher. It's such a simple change that it's hard to think that this wasn't included in the initial rollout, but at least it's available now.

Google says it could take a couple weeks for you to see it, so keep an eye on your Google Bar for the change going forward.

Source: +Google

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3 years ago

Carphone Warehouse Galaxy S5 pre-orders go live from midnight GMT

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Black and white models available April 11, gold and blue to follow later

UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has announced that it'll begin taking Samsung Galaxy S5 pre-orders from 12:01am GMT tomorrow, Friday March 28. The retailer will be offering Samsung's latest flagship for free on contracts starting at £42 per month — that's a Vodafone 4G plan with 3GB of data — or for £579.95 outright should you prefer to go the SIM-free route.

Pre-ordered Galaxy S5s will be delivered from the global launch date of April 11 for the "shimmery white" and "charcoal black" variants, while the more colorful "electric blue" and "copper gold" models are expected by April 22 and May 20 respectively.

More: Carphone Warehouse

More: Samsung Galaxy S5 hands-on and initial review

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3 years ago

Get into a robot firefight with Epoch 2 for Android

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Amazing graphics and gameplay, and hey, robots

A most excellent 3D shooting game has found its way to Android recently called Epoch 2. Players control a badass robot through a desolate post-apocalyptic landscape in a mission to save the princess.

Along the way, you find useful bits of scrap, slap them together, upgrade your frame, and blow up a lot of other robots in the process. The controls are very finger-friendly thanks to swipe-based dodges between bits of cover, and a targeting/firing system that finds a good balance between ease of use while maintaining challenging gameplay. To get a sense of what's up here, check out our review of the original Epoch. Keep in mind the graphics have had a hefty overhaul and there are a lot of new gameplay mechanics.

Epoch 2 is one of my favorite shooting games on iOS, and I can guarantee you won't be disappointed with the Android version. In-app purchases are employed if you want to fast-track progress, though in my experience they're very optional. Epoch 2 is just $2.50 up front as part of a half-off launch sale. Who's in?

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3 years ago

Gameloft releases Captain America: TWS to the Play Store, free-to-play for first 2 levels

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Square off with traditional Marvel villains with all of the powers you expect

Gameloft is releasing another hit game title today, leveraging recent popularity with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The game is a comic-styled third-person shooter, letting you play as Captain America supported by a powerful S.H.I.E.L.D. Strike Team moving through a full campaign of protecting the world. You'll have full choice of your tactics, growing your Strike Team over time and making use of Captain America's skills, including the indestructible shield and Avenger support.

You'll square off against traditional Marvel villains such as King Cobra, Taskmaster, Puff Adder and more in the campaign mode, but there's also an online multiplayer mode. You can join clans to challenge rival players, track your progress on leaderboards and earn special rewards with limited-time events.

The game is free in the Play Store, giving you access to the first two levels with no strings attached. If you want to unlock the full game, you'll be dropping a modest $2.99 on an in-app purchase. Another quick thing to note is that the app's description says it requires an internet connection to play — something to keep in mind if you plan on playing as you ride the subway to work.

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3 years ago

Microsoft Office goes completely free for Android phones [Update: it's live]

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Microsoft Office

Office document viewing and editing on your phone now completely free — no subscription required

Update: The latest version of Office for Android is now in the Play Store, removing the requirement of an Office 365 subscription.

Original story: Alongside the much-awaited announcement of Office for the iPad, Microsoft dropped a bit of a bombshell today by making Office for Android completely free to use on phones. The app itself has always been free, but you needed to have a paid Office 365 subscription in order to make any use of it.

Now it's open to everyone so long as they're using an Android phone (or iPhone), giving you the ability to fully view and edit Microsoft Office documents without any restriction, just as you would expect on a Windows Phone. This is a pretty big step towards getting more folks interested in eventually paying for Office on the desktop, considering the ubiquity of Google Docs and the myriad of other office solutions on mobile devices.

We're still waiting for the update to go live in the Play Store (it just hit the Apple App Store moments ago), but once the latest build is up you will no longer need to log in with an Office 365-linked Microsoft account to edit. Keep your eyes on the Play Store at the link above.

Source: Microsoft

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3 years ago

Seattle is the next stop for Google Glass showcase event, running April 5 and 6

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Folks in the Pacific Northwest can try out Glass for themselves with no strings attached

Google has been hitting the road over the past several months, going to major cities around the U.S. to show off Google Glass to the public. Falling in behind Durham, Detroit, Austin and Atlanta previously, the latest stop is Seattle.

Just like previous events, you'll have the opportunity to try on Glass and talk with some Googlers about the device and the experience of using it on a regular basis. This is a bit more than your standard "showroom" experience and should give you a better look at the head-mounted wearable.

The event is being held at a place called "Sodo Park," which despite the name isn't actually a park at all but just a cool old building that's often used as a wedding and event venue. It's a handful of minutes south of the downtown core of the city, and should be easy to get to for folks even if they're not familiar with the area.

If you live in the area and want to give Glass a try, this may be a nice event to attend. While you're in town, you can swing up to the downtown area and grab some Starbucks, a Top Pot doughnut (or five) and walk through the Pike Place Market — there are certainly worse ways to spend a weekend afternoon. Anyone can RSVP for the April 5th and 6th event at the source link below.

Source: +Google Glass

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