3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo arrives in the Netherlands


Entry-level 5-inch handset for €260

Last year's Samsung Galaxy Grand sought to bring users a big-screen Android experience without a similarly large price tag. Now it seems we have a successor for 2014 — the Galaxy Grand Neo, a 5.01-incher with a WVGA display, quad-core CPU and HSPA+ (21Mbps) data speeds. The Grand Neo sports a traditional plastic-backed Samsung design with silver trim, along with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and Samsung's TouchWix UI. There's also 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage (expandable via microSD), an 5-megapixel camera and 2100mAh battery. Not the specciest of specs for sure, but we're looking at an entry-level product here.

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3 years ago

Android 4.4.2 rollout for HTC One begins in parts of Europe


308MB update brings HTC's 2013 flagship up to the latest version of Android

HTC said it'd deliver Android 4.4 KitKat to European HTC Ones by the end of January, and it seems the manufacturer's about to make good on its promise. An update to software version 4.19.401.8, weighing in at 308.24 megabytes, has started hitting HTC One handsets in parts of Europe — including unlocked devices from the Nordic region, typically among the first with new software updates. If past rollouts are any indication, more regions should follow in the days and weeks ahead, so hold tight if you're not seeing the OTA on your phone just yet,

In addition to Android 4.4.2, (and unspecified security enhancements) the update adds cloud printing service and Bluetooth profiles — both parts of KitKat we've seen on other handsets — while killing support for Adobe Flash in the stock HTC web browser. The latter has been a long time coming — Flash on Android hasn't been officially supported since mid-2012.

Besides that it's business as usual on HTC Sense 5.5, with one minor cosmetic change. The battery icon is now white-on-white, like stock KitKat, rather than colored as it was on Jelly Bean. (We've got pics after the break.)

Meanwhile the KitKat update for U.S. carrier-branded HTC Ones recently entered certification, a sure sign that it's on its way too. 

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3 years ago

Google announces Glass Titanium Collection: New frames and prescription lenses


Prescription lenses may be covered by some vision insurance plans

The day many Explorers have been waiting for is here — new frames and first-party prescription lenses for Google Glass. Announced via its Google+ page, there are now four new frames as well as true prescription lens support for Glass, and it's all part of what is called the "Titanium Collection."

As the name would lead you to believe, these standard-looking frames are made of lightweight titanium but take on more traditional designs like you'd find from any glasses shop. The new offerings are all simple and seem to be well-suited for either men or women (they're shown off on both genders). Split, Thin, Bold and Curve are the names, and you can see pictures of each after the break. The new frames will be available with simple clear lenses or also in corrective prescription lenses. Today's announcement also includes two new styles of twist-on sunglasses.

The post states that current Explorers will have their first chance to pick up new Titanium Collection frames as of tomorrow (January 28th) afternoon, so we won't have to wait long to hear the specifics on these nice looking new styles. Aside from noting that some vision insurance may be able to help pay for the frames, we don't have any specifics on pricing or ordering at this moment.

Source: +Google Glass; Google

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3 years ago

HTC One X on AT&T to receive Android 4.2.2 OTA this week


Technical Approval received; OTA to roll out from Jan. 29

The HTC One X is at the top of many people's minds recently as HTC announced it will not update the device past Android 4.2. Well the day has come now for AT&T's variant of the phone to make that take its last major platform version jump. The update, which will also bring along the improvements of Sense 5 to the device, has passed Technical Approval with the carrier and is expected to roll out starting Wednesday, January 29th.

This interestingly comes just slightly over a week after its successor, the HTC One X+, started receiving the same exact update on AT&T. Regardless of timing, it's good to see these devices finally get off of Androi 4.1 — even if that comes with the sour taste of knowing it will be the last update the phone will ever receive.

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3 years ago

Twitter adds crop and rotate to photo uploads, fills your feed with more recommendations



Pull-to-refresh on an empty timeline will offer people and topics to follow

Building on photo enhancements in previous releases, Twitter is working to improve and streamline the photo sharing experience. When uploading photos from the official app, beyond the normal set of filters and effects you now have the simple options of applying pre-defined square or wide crops, as well as rotating. Further, if you upload a picture of people it will give you a reminder to mention your friends in the associated tweet.

Photos aside, Twitter is also expanding its recommendations to show up in your timeline. As if its increased pushiness of recommendations weren't enough, now when you pull-to-refresh the feed and there are no new tweets to display, it will pull down a panel showing more recommendations. You'll see suggested users to follow, trending topics and specific tweets to check out. If you're using Twitter in the U.S., you'll also see sports, TV and news events in this area.

You can snag the latest version of the Twitter app from the Play Store link above.

Source: Twitter Blog

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3 years ago

Samsung to issue new Galaxy Note 3 OTA to fix third-party accessory support issues


Cases that replicate 'S-View' functionality will work again after fix

The Android 4.4. KitKat update is making the rounds to certain Galaxy Note 3s, but an unfortunate bug is causing issues with some third-party view covers. After the update began rolling out, users reported that non-Samsung covers that replicated the "S-View" functionality were not working after the bump to KitKat. This is naturally not an intended "feature" of the latest update, and Samsung has vowed to roll out a new update that fixes the issue, according to a statement given to Ars Technica:

We have currently identified a software compatibility issue with the Galaxy Note 3 update to Android 4.4 (KitKat) and select 3rd party accessories. A software update will be available shortly. We are committed to offering a diverse and reliable mobile experience for all customers, providing continued support and solutions for any issues that arise with product updates for both Samsung manufactured and third-party accessories.

This follows up on an initial assertion that the update had nothing to do with the incompatibility, but there's really no indication that Samsung has any reason to disable third-party case functionality. Those who already have KitKat on their Note 3 can be on the lookout for another update soon, and we can expect the latest code to be integrated into future updates when they make their way to other regions as well.

Source: Ars Technica

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3 years ago

Verizon Ellipsis 7 update rolls out, still a device few people should buy


Improved LTE performance, camera quality and battery life

Remember the Ellipsis 7? That's the Verizon self-branded tablet the carrier released back in November for $250. Well for those half-dozen people who bought one, there's a pretty sizeable update waiting for you. Verizon has posted to its support pages that update MV7A_31D26_422 is on the way with a whole load of features for the Ellipsis 7.

You'll be getting improved LTE connectivity, better mobile hotspot, a camera image quality boost, longer battery life and several other small features. The latest update also lets the Ellipsis 7 be used with Verizon's prepaid plans, as well as better manage where pictures and apps are stored between the internal memory and SDcard expansion.

Even with the latest update, we're thinking that the Ellipsis 7 is a pretty tough sell for any Android enthusiast unless you're simply looking for a functional and cheap device that supports Verizon LTE.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

The Simpsons Google Glass parody episode 'Specs and the City' available for replay on Hulu Plus


It's hard to turn down watching this show, but poking fun at Glass makes it even better

The latest episode of The Simpons, which was teased earlier this week, takes a nice friendly poke at Google Glass and is now available for replay through Hulu Plus. The appropriately named "Specs and the City" episode can be streamed in its entirety provided you're a Hulu Plus subscriber. 

We're all for a bit of humor around new technology like Glass. And as you can tell from the preview above, there's also some Super Bowl focus as well.

Source: Hulu

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3 years ago

Your mom's in the mood, and apparently using BBM


No, BlackBerry. Just ... no.

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3 years ago

Reminder: Get an off-contract Moto X for $299 today at 3pm ET [update: it's over]


Discount codes will give you more time to order; Developer Edition included in the sale

Update: After actually running about 10 minutes past 4pm ET, the sale's finally over. If you didn't get a chance to save $100 on your off-contract Moto X purchase, you still have until February 14th to save $70. Not a bad deal.

Original story: In case you haven't heard, Motorola is readying a killer sale on the Moto X that drops a whole $100 off any off-contract variant you can buy from its online store. We now know that just like previous deals, Motorola will be offering up discount codes for those who show up to the site "while supplies last." That means when the clock strikes 3pm ET (noon PT), you can head to the link below and simply register to get the discount.

You'll then be emailed a $100 discount code to be applied to the purchase of an off-contract Moto X from the Motorola website. That includes devices customized by Moto Maker, even if you opt to go with a wood finish (although you still pay the $25 premium). This time around the discount even applies to the Developer Edition devices, which will go for $349. As stated before, you'll only be able to get codes from 3pm to 4pm ET.

The code, just as before, will only be good for a limited amount of time (to be specified on the code email). This is still a far better system then having to rush through your order though, and it seems to help keep Motorola's website from crashing as well. If you happen to miss out on this deal, don't worry, there will be a $70 discount for everyone available from when this sale ends until February 14th.

Moto X discount registration page

Source: +Motorola; Motorola Support

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3 years ago

Sprint LG G2 OTA enables Spark status bar icon


Oh, and also LTE on Band 26 and 41 to support the new Spark network

LG G2 owners on Sprint are set to receive a software OTA today that enables Sprint's "Spark" LTE on the handset. That means you can now utilize Band 26 and 41 for LTE, giving you theoretically higher data speeds, provided you're in one of the few Sprint Spark markets.

Unfortunately that also means you'll have a new data indicator in your status bar (see picture on right). Gone are 3G and 4G, you'll now see a constantly spinning star next to the signal bars. Interestingly, that's the case whether you're actually in a Sprint Spark market or not, which rides the line between ridiculous and annoying.

Also included in this update is a fix for Hangouts related to voicemail and MMS messages, which is always good. If you have a Sprint LG G2, be on the lookout for the OTA starting today.

Source: Sprint Support

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3 years ago

Why Google Hangouts is the best group messaging app available today


Google Hangouts' presence and read confirmations make it the best group messaging app available today.

Heading to Las Vegas earlier this month for CES 2014, the Mobile Nations team had a bit of war in deciding what group messaging platform to use for the week. With 22 people on the ground from the Mobile Nations team (and 10 more from GeekBeat), that's a lot of people — with very varying opinions — to please.

No surprise, as the unofficial leader of the BlackBerry users left in the world, I wanted us all on BBM. Phil, Alex, Richard and Andrew from Android Central here of course all wanted us using Google Hangouts. GeekBeat suggested GroupMe, which the Windows Phone guys were OK with, as they had an app for that. A lot of the members of the team have WhatsApp installed, and it is available on all platforms, but nobody really seemed to be pushing for it. And I *think* most of us had Facebook/Facebook Messenger running, but nobody on the team would admit to using it, never mind suggesting it as our solution for the week.

We all agreed we needed to be on the same app and in a single chatroom, that wasn't up for debate. And I wanted to make sure we had the BEST group messaging solution possible at our fingertips, not simply the one that was available on every platform. If that meant some people had to carry around two phones for the week because the app we picked wasn't available on their platform, then so be it.

Ultimately, the decision we made was go to with Google Hangouts. The reason? Because of the group presence and read notification. If you don't know what I'm talking about, allow me to explain.

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3 years ago

Starwood wants to replace your hotel room key with a smartphone


Checking-in at the hotel could become a thing of the past

The Starwood hotel group has announced its plans to make visiting the check-in desk at the hotel a thing of the past, by allowing you to complete the whole process and get your room key on your smartphone. Using its SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) app for Android and iOS and Bluetooth, you'll be able to twist your phone in front of the lock and gain access to your room. 

The decision to use Bluetooth and not NFC isn't just important for people using phones of fruit based nature. NFC isn't a standard inclusion on each and every Android phone yet, and so Starwood has opted for a solution that will be accessible to more of its customers. 

The process will first be trialed on a small scale at selected Aloft brand hotels, with a view to rolling it out across the Aloft and W brands throughout 2014. SPG members can opt in to learn more and for opportunities to participate in the pilot program. 

Source: Starwood

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3 years ago

T-Mobile's LG G Flex lands Feb. 5


T-Mobile today announced that its LG G Flex will be available Feb. 5. It'll be free up-front if you agree to pay $28 a month for 24 months, or you can purchase it outright for $672. In addition, T-Mobile is throwing in six months of free Netflix streaming.

The G Flex features a 6-inch curved OLED HD display, a 13-megapixel camera and a 3,500 mAh battery. It's powered by a Snapdragon 800 processor. Be sure to check out our LG G Flex preview.

For those who are looking for something a little on the lower end of things, the LG Optimus F3Q also lands Feb. 5. It's a 4-inch device with a 5-megapixel camera and a slider QWERTY keyboard, and it runs $13 a month over 24 months.

More: LG G Flex at T-Mobile

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3 years ago

Sony's noisy Xperia E1 gets a price in the UK


A 100db speaker for £134.99 on Sony's latest budget offering

Just after CES and the Xperia Z1s, Sony dropped word of a couple of more budget oriented devices, including the Xperia E1. This 4-inch Android smartphone has a party piece around back, and has been priced – without a firm release date – for the UK by online retailer Clove Technology at £134.99. Music seems to be the focus with the Xperia E1, with that pretty insane sounding 100db speaker around back, and a dedicated Walkman button. 

The budget smartphone space has been getting pretty hot of late. With Nokia releasing low priced Lumia devices, and the current king the Moto G, folks who want to spend less are getting more bang for their buck than ever before. The E1 doesn't match the Moto G on outright hardware and software, with a Snapdragon 200, a 480x800 resolution display and Android 4.3, but Sony is offering its own unique taste on a low-cost phone.  Current estimates on UK availability suggest April, and you can pre-order a SIM free version at the source link below.

Source: Clove

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