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3 years ago

Don't forget to claim a year of PlayStation Plus with your new Sony Xperia Z1s

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Offer applies to phones bought from both Sony and T-Mobile

During the official announcement of the Sony Xperia Z1s at CES, we were told about the pretty fantastic content offering that Sony was throwing in with the handset. What they didn't mention at the time was a special offer involving PlayStation Plus. But if you've bought one, or are planning to buy one soon, you'll get a free 1-year subscription to PlayStation Plus thrown in for good measure. 

Sure, if you're an Xbox owner, this is probably the least interesting thing you'll hear all day. But, if you purchase an Xperia Z1s either from Sony or T-Mobile between January 13 and February 12 then you're eligible to claim the reward. All you need to do is head to the link below to redeem, and send Sony a photo of the IMEI number on the box as well as your purchase receipt for the phone. Do this by March 5 and you'll have it delivered to you by March 21. 

If you've not yet tried PlayStation Plus, then it's well worth cashing in here. Sony regularly offers members content free of charge, including this month the epic Bioshock Infinite for PS3. Just be sure not to lose your receipt! 

Source: Sony via Xperia Blog

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3 years ago

New Nexus 5 colors looking more likely following latest leaks

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Red model pictured as fresh information comes to light

It's looking more likely this morning that Google and LG could release the Nexus 5 in additional colors, after a flurry of online activity in the past 24 hours. First came videos and pictures claiming to show the new colors in the Google Play Store, though these showed telltale signs of being little more than Photoshop jobs based on existing renders. But since then the first compelling photographic evidence has emerged, and one reliable individual in the smartphone community is saying there's some truth behind the rumors.

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 3 KitKat update reaching more countries

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Following a limited rollout in Russia and Poland, it seems more countries in Europe and Asia are getting the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Galaxy Note 3 today. Reports from SamMobile and the XDA forums point to a rollout for users in the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, Hungary, India and Korea. The reports refer to both the LTE-capable SM-N9005 and the 3G-only SM-N900 getting the OTA today.

The update brings Samsung's big-screened handset up to Android 4.4.2, build KOT49H, with new-style notification icons and other minor UI tweaks, in addition to standard KitKat features like immersive mode, transparent notification bars and fullscreen album art. (Updaters should also be aware that some have reported issues getting third-party S View cases to work after the KitKat upgrade, though Samsung has denied any link between the two.)

International Note 3 owners — check for software updates, and hit the comments and let us know if you've got an OTA waiting.

Source: SamMobile, XDA

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3 years ago

ARM and Linaro answer a few quick questions about big.LITTLE processor tech

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10 questions on supporting the power of 8 cores on a mobile platform

Samsung has talked a whole lot about how it will implement ARM's new big.LITTLE architecture in its new Exynos Octa processors, but the technology can be a bit confusing. With so much computing power under the hood and a new way of addressing tasks a few questions come to mind about compatibility, power and how it all works.

In order to try and answer a few of these burning questions, Samsung set up a little Q&A session about big.LITTLE processor technology with Brian Jeff of ARM and David Rusling of Linaro. This is some pretty technical stuff, but the 26-minute long video doesn't get into so much detail that the regular enthusiast can't learn a thing or two. If this is your sort of thing, be sure to catch the video above.

Source: Samsung

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3 years ago

Samsung Q4 2013 earnings are in — revenues up slightly, profits down for the Korean manufacturer

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But don't worry, the company still made $7.73 billion in profit in three months

Samsung has just posted its Q4 2013 earnings, and while the numbers are still large in every category there were some troubling decreases in revenues and profit in most sectors. In a quarter usually dominating the rest of the year because of holiday sales, Samsung's profits rose just 0.3 percent, with operating profit dipping 18 percent. Here are highlights:

  • Total revenues of $55.13 billion, up 0.3 percent quarter-over-quarter
  • Operating profit of $7.73 billion, down 18 percent q-o-q
  • Mobile revenues of $31.52 billion, down 9 percent q-o-q
  • Mobile operating profit of $5.09 billion, down 18 percent q-o-q

The only segments of Samsung's business that didn't drop in the quarter were Consumer Electronics (TVs and appliances) and Semiconductors (processors, RAM, etc.), although those two segments combined are only about two-thirds the size of the Mobile Communications business.

So what happened in mobile? Samsung says that demand increased for both smartphones and tablets in the quarter — as you would expect — but that earnings were down in the segment due to high expenses. Big spending in marketing and one-time expenses cut into the traditionally large profits for the holiday quarter. Shipments of smartphones were also down just slightly due to inventory adjustments. Samsung calls out the Galaxy Tab 3 and Note 10.1 (2014) as driving tablet sales, with North America and Europe receiving most of the shipments.

As for the 2014 outlook, Samsung says it expects price and product competition to increase through the year as more people switch from featurephones to smartphones around the world. The combat the pressure, the company plans to diversify its mid- and high-end products to "address customer needs," as well as push various new tablets through both developed and emerging markets.

Source: Samsung

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3 years ago

HTC Ones on US carriers are one step closer to KitKat updates

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Expect software to be certified for all four major carriers next week

HTC USA has just informed us via its Twitter account that the Android 4.4 KitKat update for U.S. carrier versions of the HTC One has "entered carrier labs for final testing." The tweet claims that we should see the updates certified by the carriers as early as next week.

Referring to HTC's infographic on the progress of updates for its devices, certification is the third of four stages involved in pushing out an OTA to phones. Once it passes this final level of testing — assuming no issues are found — phones should start receiving the update in short order after that point.

Unlocked and Developer Edition HTC Ones have had KitKat available in the U.S. since the end of November, but as we all know there's additional testing required when we're dealing with carrier-customized handsets. With its increased transparency as of late we expect to hear more on the progress next week.

More: HTC

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3 years ago

Carmageddon for Android goes free for limited time

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Get your taste of this great game before it goes back to $1.99

A quick heads up for anyone that hasn't yet picked up classic pedestrian-mashing title, Carmageddon, that it's now free on Android for a limited time. It comes in celebration of a Carmageddon Steam Early Access release, and it won't be around for very long. 

To get around the Google Play restrictions on going free then back to paid, this is a special Promo version of Carmageddon. Once the deal is done with, it'll disappear again. It regularly retails at $1.99, so not the most expensive game you'll ever buy, but a couple of bucks is a couple of bucks. Hit up the Play Store link above, and go crazy. 

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3 years ago

Qualcomm picks up 2,400 patents from HP and the defunct Palm

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Purchase price and specific patent numbers not known

Qualcomm this afternoon announced that it has acquired some 2,400 patents and patent applications from HP and what's left of Palm Inc., which HP picked up in 2010. Qualcomm says 1,400 of those were in the U.S., with the additional thousand coming from other countries.

The newly acquired portfolio, Qualcomm says, "covers technologies that include fundamental mobile operating system techniques." In addition to patents from Palm, the portfolio also includes IPAQ (one of the earliest precursors to the modern-day smartphone), and Bitfone, an over-the-air update service HP purchased in 2006.

Palm has long had a respected patent portfolio, even after its smartphone business went belly-up. As one of the founding companies of the smartphone revolution, it holds many foundational patents, including gems like "Integrated Handheld Computing and Telephony System and Services," i.e. smartphone. Along with Motorola, Nokia, BlackBerry, Palm's patents comprise the basis of what modern smartphones are build off of.

Qualcomm is a major manufacturer of smartphone processing platforms — especially in the Android space — alongside the likes of Intel and NVIDIA. Terms of the purchase were not released.

Qualcomm's full statement is after the break.

Source: Qualcomm

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3 years ago

Help us help you and take the Android Central 2014 Reader Survey! (Oh, and you can win free stuff, too!)

2014 is here and we plan to make it another amazing year for Android Central. With more than 13 million visitors and 30 million page views per month, we're already the biggest and best Android-dedicated community and resource out there.

And we can still do better.

As I mentioned Sunday, we're going to do more to help all users — the veterans as well as the noobs — get the most out of their Android-powered phones, tablets, smartwatches, ovens — anything and everything.

Before we get too far into 2014, we wanted to do a quick check in with you to get your feedback on how we're doing and what you want to see more (or less) of in 2014. It'll take you a few minutes, and we'll love your for it.

Also, at the end of the survey, you'll be able to enter for your chance to win one of three Chromecasts that we have up for grabs. Thanks for taking the survey, we appreciate it!

Take the Android Central 2014 Reader Survey

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3 years ago

Google Calendar bug could bring uninvited guests to your events

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Put an email addresses in an event title? They'll be automatically invited

A minor bug potentially embarrassing bug in Google Calendar could lead to private events being revealed to third parties. Researcher Terence Eden discovered discovered that placing a Gmail address in an event title leads to that person being automatically invited to the event, regardless of the context. It's not hard to imagine how this might lead to a few red faces through supposedly private info being released to third parties. Eden uses his wife as an example —

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3 years ago

Motorola puts its Gallery app in the Play Store, updates with a new look

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A new light theme and slight design tweak from the original app

Motorola's take on the Gallery app is now joining a long list of apps moving out to the Play Store for easy updating. At the same time, Moto is giving the Gallery app a facelift with a new light color palette and slide-in drawer on the left edge. Motorola says that the image thumbnails are larger and navigation is simpler. At the heart of it this still looks like the same 'ol Gallery app and editing features, just with a little bit of tweaking to make it look and feel different.

The biggest story here is Motorola's ability now to update the Gallery app in the Play Store without updating all of its phones independently. The Moto X, Moto G and latest Droid devices on Verizon — provided they're running KitKat — are all compatible with this new Motorola Gallery and will receive updates through the Play Store from here on out.

If you have one of Moto's new devices, hit the Play Store link above to grab your new Gallery.

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3 years ago

Photoshop Express hits version 2.0 with redesign, KitKat compatibility

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Simple interface gives you filters and level control in just a couple taps

Adobe has released a new version — now up to 2.0 — of its free Photoshop Express app with a new design and compatibility with Android 4.4. This latest version is "rebuilt completely from the ground up," according to Adobe, and the interface certainly shows it. The layout is not at all unlike KitKat's stock Gallery app, with easy tabs at the bottom to switch between editing modes and tools.

You can apply different Looks (filters), crop and rotate, go into more advanced level edits and correct red eye right from the main view. You of course have access to create automatic options on all levels or the entire photo, something Photoshop is known for offering.

Although it would seem like a perfect fit, Adobe has chosen not to make use of KitKat's new Immersive Mode for editing photos — maybe this is on the drawing board for a future release. You can grab a download or update to the latest version of Photoshop Express at the Play Store link above and take your photography to the next level.

More: Adobe Blog

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3 years ago

Samsung recycles the Galaxy S3 for China. No, really

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Sammy still sees some life in its now almost 2-year old handset

Samsung is well known for having a device at just about every price point, and quarter-inch size point you can possibly imagine, but this one is still surprising. This is the latest device in the Galaxy range launching for China, and if you think it looks familiar, you'd be right. This is the Galaxy S3 Neo+. 

So, what's different about it to warrant even a name change. Not a lot, truth be told. The internals are the same, the cameras are the same, the design is the same, there's a whole lot of the same going on. What is different is dual-SIM support, and of course, it now comes pre-loaded with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

The return of an old favorite? Possibly. But even for China where there's a big demand on cheaper devices, is a recycled 2-year old phone the answer? 

Source: Samsung China via SamMobile

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact gets a UK pre-launch price cut

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One UK retailer drops the price to £399.00 as we get closer to being able to buy one

Sony dropped the Z1 Compact on us recently at CES in Las Vegas, and while we can't actually buy it yet here in the UK at least we're already seeing the first price cut. Online retailer Clove Technology has dropped £30 off its earlier pricing for Sony's latest Android handset, bringing it down to £399 including VAT. 

Comparing the Clove pricing to rival UK retailers shows it as being £50 cheaper than the likes of Carphone Warehouse and Expansys. You'll have to wait until mid-February – Carphone Warehouse will begin shipping on January 31 – but it's a decent chunk of change to save just for waiting a couple of weeks. To pre-order, hit up the source link below, where all four colors will be eventually be available, though black only initially. Personally, I'd be all over the lime one. How about you? 

More: Sony Xperia Z1 Compact hands-on

Source: Clove

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3 years ago

Join us Friday for the Greatest Android Podcast in the World!

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Friday is near. That means the end of the work week for many of us, the beginning of the weekend, almost Saturday, nearly Sunday — and more important, it's time for the Android Central Podcast!

This week we'll talk about the FUD of Chrome and microphones, the Sony Xperia Z1s is now available, T-Mobile wants to be a bank or something, the Moto X gets wood, and Beats Music is now available.

Plus, we'll be answering your questions live in the Hangout Q&A. So hit up this link Friday at 4 p.m. EST (that's 1 p.m. on the west coast and 9 p.m. in London) and we'll see you there!

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