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3 years ago

Sprint's new 'Easy Pay' lets you upgrade now, pay over 24 months


Sprint this morning — just days after quietly killing off its "One Up" handset financing program — announced "Easy Pay," which lets customers upgrade now and spread out the cost of the phone over two years, after taxes and an as-yet-announced down payment.

There doesn't appear to be any more of a catch than that. No plans to buy into — though Sprint's still heavily pushing the horribly named "Framily" plans — and we imagine any unpaid cost of the phone would be expected should you decide to leave Sprint.

More: Sprint

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite is official — 7 inches of Jelly Bean


Just a few scant hours after the user manual surfaced, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite is now official. The 7-inch tablet has a rather unimpressive 1024x600 resolution and is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor with 1 GB of RAM and 8GB of on-board storage. It's just shy of 10mm thick, and that svelte nature (if not the price tag, which wasn't announced but likely will be around the $199 we saw for the original 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3) is this guy's selling point.

It's running Android 4.2 out of the box and presumably would be updated at some point. The Tab 3 Lite has a 2-megapixel camera in the back — the only shooter on this tablet. Battery life likely will be decent with a 3,600 mAh capacity. It's also listing 2G and 3G cellular data — but traditionally that sort of feature is stripped out in U.S. releases.

The Galaxy Tab 3 Lite will be available worldwide in white or black.

More: Samsung

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3 years ago

You can now 'star' contacts through Gmail


From emails to contacts the star makes it easy to find the most important things

For years we have used Google's starring system to keep track of important emails, and now you're able to star your contacts as well. Keeping track of huge contact lists can be a bit of a difficult task — finding the people you want to communicate with may not always be quick and easy, but Google has changed that.

Now you will be able to star contacts so that they will show up in a starred list instead of just the general contacts list. If you'll recall, you've been able to "favorite" (star) contacts through the People app for some time now — this will now sync throughout your account. The process of starring a contact is really quick and easy, and can be done right from your Android device:

  1. Launch the Gmail App.
  2. Open an email from the contact you wish to star.
  3. Tap on their avatar in the top left corner.
  4. A window will pop up with contact information and you will see a star on the right side under the photo.
  5. Tap the star (so that it is filled in) and that is it.

That's all there is to the process -- pretty simple really. Starring a contact will not only easily allow you to find them in a sea of contacts in your list, but will also show them in your dialer and on the web so you can call with ease. Whether you have a large or small contact list, this helpful tip will ensure that your most important contacts are easy to reach.

Source: Google+

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3 years ago

Final Fantasy VI makes its way to the Play Store for $15.99


This 1994 classic will set you back a pretty penny, but you can't put a price on nostalgia

Square Enix has released yet another Final Fantasy title into the Play Store for Android users to enjoy. For $15.99 you can now play through the entire Final Fantasy VI title on your phone or tablet, complete and untouched from its original release nearly two decades ago on the SNES. Hours and hours of gameplay await you on this RPG, which looks to be compatible with just about every device under the sun.

We applaud Square Enix for putting up the Final Fantasy series for download with a high (but fair) price with no changes or in-app purchases mucking up the gameplay experience. Plenty have downloaded previous Final Fantasy versions on the Play Store, and we expect FFVI to draw just as much attention.

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3 years ago

Official user manual appears online for Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite


Low-end 7-inch tablet is all but confirmed at this point

Rumors have already been floating around about a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite, and Samsung has just added more fuel to the fire by posting the user manual online. Posted to Polish support pages, Samsung has confirmed the SM-T110 as the Wifi version of the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite. While there has been no official announcement from Samsung, a local retailer claims to have a bit more information about the device as well.

According to the sources, the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite will feature a 7-inch display with a 1024 x 600 resolution along with a 1.2GHz processor inside. Additionally the device will carry 1GB of RAM along with 8GB of internal memory that is expandable via MicroSD if desired. The rear of the device will have 2MP camera, and it is said to feature a 3600mAh battery — that should easily get you through the day and more on a single charge.

Pricing has not been confirmed, but the device should be coming to market somewhere in the $100 price point for the Wifi version, and likely $150 or more for the one with cellular radios inside. Odds are that Samsung is saving this device for an official announcement at Mobile World Congress, which is just over a month away. 

Source: Samsung PolandX-Kom

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3 years ago

Weekly Photo Contest: Lights


Flashing or twinkling, bright or dim, show us photos of lights

Between our extensive Holiday Photo Contest and the business around CES, it's been a while since we've had a regular photo contest. We're ready to get back on schedule, and are kicking things off again with a regular week-long photo contest. Considering that we just returned from a week in Las Vegas, we thought it was fitting to have the prompt this week be "lights." There's a whole lot you can do with such a broad topic, and we're looking forward to the entries that come out of it.

This week we're picking three winners, each of which will receive a pair of SOL Republic Jax headphones in your choice of color.

Entering is easy. Just drop your entry in a forums post at the link below. Tell us what Android you used to get the picture, and any back story you want to add to it. We'll pick a winner Tuesday (January 21) night at 11:59 PM ET, and announce them on the blog with next Wednesday's contest.

Enter this week's photo contest

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3 years ago

Google's Niantic Labs to bring 'ENDGAME' book series to an AR game


Game is expected to launch on Android and iOS devices in late 2014

The folks over at Niantic Labs, the Google company behind the widely popular Ingress game, have just announced a new partnership with James Frey to make his newest series ENDGAME into a location based augmented reality game. Building off of the books Niantic Labs will create an experience that builds upon their successes with Ingress and provides players the ability to bring a video game even further into the real world.

ENDGAME is a multimedia experience unlike any that have been seen before, combining fifteen original e-book novellas, YouTube videos, mapping coordinates, social media and so much more. Each book in the trilogy will have an interactive puzzle that needs to be solved using clues and riddles that are found right within the text of the books. For the final book, ENDGAME: THE CALLING a huge prize has been announced.

Placing a quantity of gold on display in a public environment -- behind bullet-proof glass of course -- they will live broadcast an event on YouTube which will allow those who are able to solve the puzzle to cash in and win some gold.  The game is set to launch on Android devices later in 2014, so be sure to keep your eyes out for the arrival of the game, and be sure to figure it out quickly so you can try to get in on some of the prizes.

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3 years ago

Desire 300: This is how HTC attacks the low-end market


Just enough internal hardware to get by, with much nicer external hardware than you expect for the price

HTC announced the Desire 300 alongside the Desire 601 for specific markets back in September 2013. While it isn't a device that many of us will ever see or strive to own — we're more drawn to new colors of the HTC One and One Mini — it's an important phone for HTC to have on offer in places where disposable income for a phone isn't at the $650 level.

The internal specs aren't going to blow you away. We're looking at a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, just 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage (with an SDcard slot). The display, while only 480 x 800, is 4.3-inches and looks great, just as we've come to expect from HTC devices. The internals are enough to push around Android 4.1 with Sense 5 (including BlinkFeed) and a scaled-back set of visual features. It still feels like a full-blown set of HTC software, but you can tell where cuts were made to save performance.

Although it may not have widescale availability it can be picked up with little hassle, thanks to Amazon, for $249 (just don't count on getting 3G here) in the U.S. The Desire 300 is targeting even lower price points where it's being sold directly, however — we saw it go on sale in Australia for just $179 AUD (about $159 USD) at the end of last year. At those prices, people stop being so critical on the internal specs and simply pay attention to how it feels and whether or not it offers a minimum level of performance.

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3 years ago

You won't believe what happens in this #CESlive wrap-up video!


OK, maybe you will believe it. Maybe you stuck with us through all four days of #CESlive coverage last week from Las Vegas (to say nothing of the work we put in before the show even started). Maybe you hung on every word John P and Cali Lewis had to say from the each of the 80 or so interviews we did from the Mobile Nations/GeekBeat booth in South Hall. Maybe you even stuck around until as long as we did, long after the CEA's Gary Shapiro helped us pop the cork on the Prosecco and toast to a successful week.

So maybe you'll believe all that.

Anyhoo. It was a great reminder of a great week that was, of all the great people we met, of all the great interviews we ... interviewed — and of how much more awesome we're going to make it next year.

As always, thanks for coming along for the ride with us. See y'all at CES 2015.

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3 years ago

Google releases Play Movies & TV for iOS


Watch the shows and films you've purchased right on your Apple iOS device

We know that plenty of you fine folks have an iPad or even an iPhone as a companion for your trusty Android. It's cool, none of us here judge and most of us have an Apple product or two laying around as well. They just got a little bit better if you're entrenched in Google Play.

The Play Movies & TV app for iOS has been released, and it's not half bad. You can't purchase or rent through it — we imagine that's a way around Apple's fees — but you can watch anything you've rented through the Android app or from a desktop browser. Protip — Chrome for iOS is a desktop browser. Wink wink, nod nod. There's even support for the Chromecast.

Anyhoo, if you've been wanting this one, you can grab it through the App Store.

Via: iMore

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3 years ago

When it comes to carrier networks, compatible doesn't mean good


'You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means'

T-Mobile is certainly making a splash on the U.S. carrier scene lately. And if you believe even half of what you read on places like Google+ and Twitter, a lot of folks are considering switching from where they are now to the John Legere dog-and-pony show. For some folks that will work well, for others not so much. All we can say is to check things out very well before you do anything permanent, and to remember that T-Mobile loves your money more than they love you — just like the rest.

But right now, we want to talk about the networks and what it takes to be fully "T-Mobile compatible." When the Google Play edition Moto G was announced, Google said it was T-Mobile compatible. It's right there on Google Play in the footnotes even. The Galaxy S4 Google Play edition says the same thing in the footnotes on its page, too.

But these two phones will act very different for most T-Mobile customers. We mentioned network support when we told you about the GPe Moto G the other day, but we want to take a few minutes and explain how all this mess works.

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3 years ago

Chrome data compression exits beta, available in coming stable release


Cut data usage when browsing by up to 50%

Chrome's data compression feature, which has been in the beta channel since version 28, is making its way to the stable channel for all users. The feature, if you haven't used it before, channels your data through a proxy server to cut down on the mobile data you eventually use on your phone or tablet. The result is a decrease of up to 50 percent in data usage from browsing — that's nothing to shake a stick at.

On a side note, the latest Chrome release will also enable a feature that lets you pin shortcuts to pages on your homescreen. Simply hit the menu button and you'll see a new option of "Add to homescreen" — no more bookmarking and adding a bookmark widget to your phone manually.

We're not yet seeing an update to Chrome on our own devices, but when it does finally roll out it will have these two features enabled. To turn on data compression, simply head into the settings, tap "Bandwidth management" and toggle the button to "on." It's that simple.

Source: Google Chrome Blog

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3 years ago

HP Chromebook 11 back in the Play Store, LTE model (sort of) shows up at Best Buy


$100 bump in price gets you connection to the Verizon network

Following an extensive recall of faulty chargers, the HP Chromebook 11 is finally back up for sale in the Play Store. Equipped with a newer (and much nicer) charger, you can pick up the Chromebook 11 for the same $279 price — that'll get you an Exynos 5250-powered laptop with 2GB of RAM and a 1366 x 768 display. Every color is in-stock, save for the white with blue accents model.

As liliputing found this morning, Best Buy has quietly listed the HP Chromebook 11 with an LTE connectivity option at its online store as well. While the laptop doesn't quite show up in search results just yet, a direct link to the listing shows a $379 price with the potential for a $50 mail-in rebate. You'll be limited to just Verizon LTE, but if you're a Verizon customer you'll be able to add it to a shared data plan for just $10 — not a bad deal.

While we don't recommend the HP Chromebook 11 head-to-head with better options like the Acer C720, the existence of an LTE option may put a few people over the edge into buying territory on this one.

Source: Best Buy; Via: liliputing

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Moto G Google Play edition


It's a Moto G, minus some Motorola software

Let's just get this out of the way: There's very little difference between the "regular" Moto G and the Google Play edition Moto G. It's worth arguing that a GPe version of the Moto G (at this point in time) doesn't really make sense. In fact, you lose some functionality, not being able to use Motorola's custom camera and "Assist" apps, to name but two. On the other hand, you get some easy unlocking capability, if that's how you roll.

Otherwise? That's it. Same $179 (or $199 for 16GB) phone, sans contract. No LTE data. Same removable back cover (you'll have to go to Moto directly for different colors). Physically, these are the same phones.

It's also worth a quick mention that the Google Play edition box is showing the same launcher as the Nexus 5, which some folks have taken to calling the "Google Experience Launcher," or GEL. But just like every other Google Play edition device we've seen, that launcher isn't actually on the phone. Is that a nod toward a Google Play release of that app? Dunno. It could well just be a marketing error. For now, it is what it is.

This Moto G has Android 4.4.2 already installed (with a slightly lower build number than the Moto Moto G, for what that's worth), so no waiting for an update, or installing one first-thing, as most Moto Gs have already seen their over-the-air update roll out.

And that's that. Peep the video after the break for more.

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod installer for Mac enters public beta


The Android application may have been removed from Google Play, but that hasn't stopped the folks behind the CyanogenMod Installer project from pumping out a public beta of the Mac OSX version. 

In case you're not aware of exactly what we're talking about, the CM Installer is an easy — some say bulletproof — way to swap the software on your supported phone out and install CyanogenMod. You need a computer for this sort of thing, and the Android application was a helper to make sure you have everything set up and ready, both on the phone (or tablet) itself and the computer you're using. Before, this was a Microsoft Windows-only affair. Now it's not.

Getting started is easy enough, you'll just join the Google+ community and follow directions in the sticky post to download and install. Not sure you're ready to start doing things like flashing phone software? That's good — it means you're thinking. Jump into the forums for your Android device and poke around a little to see what's involved and how people are doing all this.

Source: CyanogenMod Installer for Mac Google+ community

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