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4 years ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Animals' winners!

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Three great pictures picked from well over 500 entries this week

We had a feeling that a weekly photo contest with the prompt "animals" was going to be popular, and the response was huge this week. We saw 22 full pages of entries come in — over 500 individual posts — all filled with great photos of animals of all kinds.

Thankfully we had the opportunity to pick three winners with three great photos, each winning a Pebble smartwatch for their entries. Hang around after the break and see the three winning images this week.

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4 years ago

T-Mobile to offer Nexus 7 LTE and Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 for $0 down

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Nexus 7 for $16 per month, Tab 2 for $19 per month, for two years

Along with its new tablet data announcements today, T-Mobile revealed that it'll be carrying two of the more prominent Android slates for $0 down. T-Mo will give you a Nexus 7 (2013) with LTE connectivity on a 24-month payment plan costing $16 per month, or a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 for $19 over the same period.

And just like any other tablet brought to T-Mobile, you'll get 200MB of 4G LTE data for the life of the device, with the ability to top up 500MB on a one-day pass for $5, or 1GB on a weekly pass for $10. With both the daily and weekly passes you'll get unlimited data at a reduced speed beyond the 500MB or 1GB of full-speed data.

The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is available now from T-Mobile, while the Nexus 7 will launch on Nov. 20. T-Mobile's also bringing its "free data for life" deal to iPad customers, along with $0 down deals for both Apple's new tablets.

Source: T-Mobile

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4 years ago

T-Mobile offering 200MB of free LTE for any tablet with no strings attached

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The first taste is free

T-Mobile has announced a new way to try their network with your LTE-enabled tablet. As part of the Un-carrier 3.0 initiative, users — even those who are not a current T-Mobile customer — will receive 200MB of free LTE data on any eligible device every 30 days. This offer is good for tablets purchased through T-Mobile, or any compatible device you may already have or have purchased elsewhere. Users who already have a tablet data plan with T-Mobile will get an extra 200MB monthly. this offer will last for the life of the device.

This won't work like the current Simple Choice plans. Once you use the "free" bandwidth, you're shut off instead of being throttled. You'll be given an opportunity to sign up for a day pass, or any other plan, but you can always choose to just disconnect until your 30-day cycle refreshes. Current customers won't have to do anything for the extra data bucket, their plan will be automatically adjusted to take advantage of the new offer.

This all goes into effect November 1. CEO John Legere was also quick to mention that they're not done yet with their Un-carrier program. Will bring you more if and when it happens, but for now be sure to click the link below to get all the information, and you can always hit up @TMobile with questions on Twitter.

Source: T-Mobile

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4 years ago

The Sims FreePlay gets Teen update, Halloween event in full swing

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Celebrat​e Halloween with ghost hunting and obnoxious teenagers

It’s been a while since we wrote about The Sims FreePlay, Electronic Arts’ mobile version of the hit life simulation series. Even still, the game is going strong. EA has released two major updates for FreePlay in the last two months: the Teen and Mysterious Island updates. Together, they add new quests, areas to visit, loads of items, and of course teenage Sims.

We’ve put ample time in with both updates, just in time for the the Halloween Madness Event that’s lasts through October 31st. Read on for full details on the event and how The Sims FreePlay has grown!

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4 years ago

SwiftKey 4.3 beta updated with bug fixes, more layouts

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A quick heads-up for anyone using the beta version of SwiftKey 4.3 — an updated version is now available from beta.swiftkey.net. The new SwiftKey beta 4.3.0.149 adds fixes various bugs — including issues when moving between layouts and problems causing the keyboard to jump around the screen ​— while adding some new localization features. This latest version ensures the currency key matches your phone's locale, and implements ​Punjabi, Icelandic, Bulgarian, Azerbaijani, Russian Windows and Turkish keyboard layouts.

Grab the new version from the source link, or click below to check out our recent hands-on preview of SwiftKey 4.3.

More: SwiftKey 4.3 hands-on

Source: SwiftKey

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini headed to the U.S. this November

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AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and U.S. Cellular will carry the Galaxy S 4 Mini

We've recently seen evidence that the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is U.S.-bound, and now we have official confirmation of that fact. Samsung Mobile U.S. sends word that the miniaturized S4 will be headed to AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and U.S. Cellular starting this November.

The Galaxy S4 Mini sports a familiar design with somewhat cut-down internals compared to the regular GS4. The display is a 4.3-inch SuperAMOLED panel at 960x540 resolution. There's a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 CPU running the show, 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of storage (up from 8GB in the international model), expandable via microSD. There's also an 8-megapixel rear camera and 1,900mAh battery.

The Galaxy S4 Mini runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and Samsung's latest TouchWiz UI, featuring many of the software capabilities of the full-sized Galaxy S4. The S4's camera app has made it across, as has the WatchOn TV app, and device-to-device sharing through S Beam and Group Share. A software update "soon after launch" will enable Galaxy Gear support on U.S. Galaxy S4 Minis.

While we weren't exactly wowed by the international version of the GS4 Mini, the U.S. version could be a compelling mid-ranger if the price is right. Naturally, we'll need to wait for individual carriers to confirm those details in the weeks ahead.

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

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4 years ago

Tesla CEO mulls in-car Android emulator, Chrome browser upgrade

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Tesla 'considering adding a pure Android emulator' to vehicles, says Elon Musk

At a recent event in Munich, Germany, Tesla CEO Elon Musk hinted at the possibility that his company's cars may one day be able to run Android apps. Fielding a question on app development for the Tesla Model S, Musk said the company was "considering adding a pure Android emulator," allowing users to run an Android app in a window on the car's Linux-based front-end.

The Android emulator is one of a few app development avenues being considered for the vehicle, which Musk expects to be opened up to developers "towards the end of next year." Musk also outlined several software additions that had to be made before this could take place, including adding local language and navigation data, and upgrading the cars' built-in browser to Google Chrome.

If these plans come to fruition, the Android emulator could give Tesla's vehicles access to a large library of mobile apps in a relatively short space of time. And it also begs the question: how long until we see an Android-powered car?

Source: 9to5Google; YouTube

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4 years ago

BlackBerry 'aware' of suspect reviews, 'working with Google to resolve this'

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Scores of positive reviews repeat the same wording in broken English

BlackBerry's launch of BBM on Android this week was marred by a rather large number — and extremely suspect — reviews left in Google Play along with its 10 million installations on Android and iOS. Apparent to anyone with a set of peepers, the reviews in question all share the same broken English and likely Indonesian origins, though the number of stars left on each review varies.

The reviews read, "Thank you so much blackberry team. I was waiting this app. Its really great user friendly and smooth"

It's still unclear whether the scores and scores of copycat reviews are a coordinated (if ridiculously obvious) effort to game the system, who, exactly, was behind it — as we all know, BlackBerry and BBM have a very ... passionate ... user base — and why the hell they didn't think anyone would notice. To leave a review on an app in Google Play, you have to have a Google+ account. So there are at least names and faces to go with the farce.

BlackBerry's Victoria Berry, director of PR for BBM, gave Android Central the following statement:

We have recently been made aware of a number of potentially fake five-star reviews of BBM for Android on Google Play. We do not approve of or condone such activities and are committed to working with Google to resolve this. There are also many genuinely great and useful reviews from our new BBM users on Google Play. We would like to encourage our passionate fans and users to continue to provide true assessments of the BBM experience through the proper channels.

So, yeah. Something's up. We still don't know exactly why, though.

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4 years ago

Latest LG G Flex leaks show back-mounted buttons

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G2-style power and volume keys shown on curvy smartphone

Curvy displays look to be one of the smartphone trends of the next few months. Samsung has already announced its Korea-bound Galaxy Round, and there's every indication that local rival LG has a curved-display handset waiting in the wings too.

Now we're beginning to see more details about the upcoming LG G Flex, which unlike Samsung's offering has a vertical, not horizontal curve. We've seen leaked photos of the G Flex in the past, but a fresh set of images doing the rounds today confirm earlier speculation — the handset uses the same back-mounted button setup as its more conventional cousin, the LG G2. On the front is a 6-inch curved OLED display.

Today's shots come from Argentine tech journalist Federico Ini by way of The Verge, and Ini's publication Telefenoticias also managed to score a hands-on video of the handset. From what we can see it's essentially a larger, curvier version of the G2, much as the Galaxy Round is to the Note 3. Like the Samsung device, the LG G Flex is unlikely to be a mass-market product, but we'll bring you full details on the phone upon its official arrival, expected sometime in November.

Source: The Verge, Telefenoticias, @fechu

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4 years ago

Samsung acquires 7.4 percent share in Gorilla Glass maker Corning

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Corning buys out Samsung's stake in LCD joint venture; ten-year supply deal inked

Samsung has acquired a 7.4 percent share in smartphone Gorilla Glass maker Corning, as part of a "strengthening" in the partnership between the two companies. The deal will also see Corning taking full control of Samsung Corning Precision Materials, an LCD panel joint venture in which Samsung currently holds a 43 percent stake. Samsung will make an additional investment of $400 million in Corning by subscribing to new convertible preferred shares, today's press release states.

In return, Samsung will get $1.9 billion worth of convertible preferred shares in Corning, equal to a 7.4 percent stake in the company. At the same time a ten-year new supply agreement between the two has been inked, adding around $2 billion to Corning's annual sales.

Corning's Gorilla Glass is used in many high-end mobile devices, including those of Samsung's competitors — and today's news may be of concern to the company's smartphone rivals, many of whom are already reliant on Samsung for other components.

Source: Corning; via: Engadget

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4 years ago

Snapdragon 800-powered Galaxy S4 with LTE-A coming to parts of Europe

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Faster LTE speeds and a more advanced CPU for Samsung's upgraded GS4

We managed to track down Samsung's LTE-Advanced-capable, Snapdragon 800-powered Galaxy S4 (GT-i9506) last month at IFA 2013, but until now there's been little in the way of official info from Samsung on the device. Today press releases have been issued by Samsung Sweden, and the handset has popped up on the company's German site, dubbed simply "Galaxy S4 with LTE+."

Based on our experienced with the Snapdragon 800-powered Galaxy S4 at IFA, the overall user experience is much the same as what we know on the Snapdragon 600 model. The new device is advertised with Samsung KNOX support, however, so it Samsung's latest enterprise software package should be included. Besides that, the faster chip should bring the GS4 in line with the Galaxy Note 3 in terms of raw computational horsepower and 4G LTE data speeds, with download speeds of up to 150Mbps supported on the new model. According to the Swedish press release, the new S4 ships with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

The Galaxy S4 with LTE+ is due to arrive in Sweden this November, priced at 6,000 Krona (around $940). There's no word on availability or pricing for any other countries, however a similar device has been available in Samsung's native South Korea for the past several months.

More: Hands-on with the Snadragon 800-powered Galaxy S4

Source: PhoneArena, Press Release (Swedish), Samsung (German)

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 announced as official phone of Sochi 2014 winter games

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Galaxy Note 3s to be given to all attending athletes 

Just as it did with the London games last summer, Samsung has another major Olympic sponsorship deal in place for next year's Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi. The Galaxy Note 3 has been named as the official phone of the Sochi 2014 games, and Samsung will provide Note 3s to all participating athletes, the first time such a giveaway has been planned.

Samsung will also be providing a "Wireless Olympic Works" (WOW) Android apps as part of its "Samsung Smart Olympic Games" initiative. For Olympic staffers running the games, the app will provide "essential, up-to-date Games time data and connectivity," while the public WOW app will deliver news and other information on the games.

So we can expect to see a lot more of the Galaxy Note 3 in the run up to next February's Winter Olympic, as Samsung seeks to take advantage of the global platform it presents. Today's press release refers to pop-up "Galaxy Studio" stands at the Olympic Park and a "Galaxy Team" of some 80 hopeful athletes from 20 countries. The games run from Feb. 7-23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

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4 years ago

Samsung confirms Galaxy Gear support coming to Galaxy S3, S4, Note 2 and other devices

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Galaxy S3, S4, Note 2, S4 Mini, S4 Active, Mega 5.8, Mega 6.3, and S4 Zoom getting Gear support

Depending on where you live, you may have already received a software update enabling support for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch for your Galaxy S4. Nevertheless, today brings an official news release from Samsung confirming as much.

The Galaxy S4, S3 and Note 2 will get Galaxy Gear compatibility along with their Android 4.3 updates — an update the S4 is already getting in some countries — while the Galaxy S4 Mini, S4 Active, Mega 5.8, Mega 6.3, and S4 Zoom will get Gear support in another software update starting at the end of the month.

Samsung notes that the Android 4.3 updates for the Galaxy S4, Note 2 and some Galaxy S3 models will also bring the KNOX enterprise security platform, SmartSwitch for transferring content from other phones, Samsung HomeSync support and the Group Play 2.5 app with video sharing capabilities.

As always, the timing of these updates will vary from country to country, so don't get too excited just yet.

Source: Samsung

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4 years ago

BlueStacks teams up with Big Fish to bring Android games to desktop computers

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Making it even easier for mobile developers to bring games to the desktop

Big Fish Games announced today that it is partnering with BlueStacks to bring its Android game offerings and casual gaming network to Windows and Mac PC's. An extremely popular game maker on both the desktop and mobile, Big Fish will utilize BlueStacks' virtualization technology to bring its popular mobile games to desktop computers, increasing the number of games it has on offer.

Beyond just bringing a current stable of great Android games from Big Fish to PC's, this partnership will enable other Android developers to monetize their apps on the desktop with Big Fish's casual gaming network. Going forward, mobile game developers that integrate with Big Fish's network will now have simple tools to also bring their games to the desktop with no complex porting process required.

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4 years ago

HTC Desire 300 coming to Telstra next week for $179AU

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HTC and Telstra hope the price will spur holiday sales on the pre-paid side

Folks in Australia looking for an entry-level device will have a new choice come next Tuesday (Oct 29). HTC and Telstra have announced that the Desire 300 will go up for sale with a price of $179AU.

The Desire 300 certainly isn't the highest specced Android device to come from HTC, with a 1GHz dual-core S4 processor and 512MB of RAM, but it does ship with HTC Sense 5 and BlinkFeed atop of Android Jelly Bean (4.1.2). It also carries a name people world wide know and trust — the Desire. It's the phone that started HTC's rise, and maybe they think a resurgence can capture a few hearts and wallets.

Telstra Director of Devices Andrew Volard says the device is clearly aimed at prepaid customers

The HTC Desire 300 is a great addition to the HTC family at Telstra and I’m sure it will be a popular choice for customers who are after a high-quality but affordable pre-paid smartphone, particularly coming into the festive season.

Here's hoping things go as planned, as HTC could certainly use a little good news.

Source: Ausdroid

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