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4 years ago

Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 release moves up to May 23rd

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16GB version to cost $200 with a new agreement, $650 if bought outright

Great news for all of you on Verizon, the Samsung Galaxy S4 (read our review!) release date has been moved up to May 23rd from May 30th. The news comes from a Tweet from Ken Muche, who works for Big Red. Last month, we received confirmation that Samsung's new flagship device would not be released until the end of May. This upset many of us on Verizon as the rest of the carriers were getting the S4 out to customers' hands much earlier. This news should appease many as you'll be able to snatch up the phone in just 10 days.

To refresh what we know about the release, the 16GB version will cost $200 with a new contract or $650 with no contract.

So, for all of you on Verizon, who is excited and will be picking one up on May 23rd? Let us know in the Samsung Galaxy S4 Forum.

Source: Twitter

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4 years ago

Eric Schmidt on privacy, Glass and working at Google

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'I would lose my job, be fired, and be sued to death' for reading someone's Gmail

Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, recently fielded an interview with Peter Sagal of NPR to talk a little bit about Google -- and when Schmidt talks, we listen. The entire interview was kept quite casual, but the best parts of course pertained to Schmidt's views on privacy, how he feels about Google Glass and how some of the early principles of Google came to be. A few interesting quotes from the interview:

  • On how much Google knows about users: "Well, as much as you'll let us know. We keep information about your searches for 12 to 18 months, and then we forget everything."
  • On Googlers being able to read your email: "Yes, and I would lose my job, be fired, and be sued to death... Someone would find out, trust me."
  • On keeping things casual at Google: "Well, we actually had to have a rule, we had to have two rules. The first rule - these are both rules I enacted. The first is that you had to wear clothes to work. The second rule is that you have to have fun. You can be serious without wearing a suit, and we wanted to invent the future."
  • On what we'll be using Google Glass for: "Well, we don't quite know yet. We have maybe 2,000 of these. We've shipped them out to developers, and we're seeing what they develop. There's obviously issues, shall we say, of appropriateness of how people are going to use these things. There's a right time to have Google Glass on, and there's a right time to have it off, if you take my drift."
  • On '20-percent time: "Yeah, that's another one of our ideas is that engineers should spend 20 percent of their time working on whatever they find interesting. Now, before you get too excited, remember, engineers are not that interesting... A lot of the Google inventions came from engineers just screwing around with ideas. And then management would see them, and we'd say, boy, that's interesting. Let's add some more engineers."

NPR has made available a complete transcript of the interview, as well as audio, at the source link below.

Source: NPR

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4 years ago

Bringing it all together: Gmail, Drive and G+ Photos to share 15GB common storage

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New 15GB shared storage replaces old 10GB for Gmail and 5GB for photos on Google+ and 5GB for Drive

The Google goodies are already coming our way, before we even get to Google I/O. Announced today, no longer will your Gmail storage sit at 10GB for free, or 5GB on Google+ photos and Google Drive. Google has introduced a new, 15GB free allowance which covers all three products. 

This is great news in particular for anyone who uses little of their allowance on Gmail -- like myself -- but is much heavier on photos and Drive usage. As the storage is shared across all three services, you get to use as much of it as you like, wherever you like. 

In addition to changing how your storage works, Google is also changing how the Google Drive storage page helps you understand how you're using your storage allowance. Hovering over the pie chart will show you a breakdown of how much you're using across each of the three services. And, because of the changes, heavy Gmail users are no longer limited to a 25GB upgrade only. Any Google Drive storage you buy will become available there too. 

Source: Google Drive Blog

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4 years ago

All developers can now reply to Google Play reviews

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The early pilot program expands to let all developers respond to issues directly and i​n public

Google is working to make the Play Store reviews system a little more constructive today by expanding the ability to respond to reviews to any developer, rather than just a small testing group. Developers can now respond to complaints, bug reports and general feedback from their Google Play Developer Console, which will show up publicly as a direct threaded response to the original review. When a comment is made, the original reviewer receives an email notification of it and can respond in-line again directly from that email or from the Play Store again as well.

Just as before, the original reviewer and developer can both edit their reviews and comments at any time, which is important to be able to do if the issues causing a bad review have been fixed. Together with the movement to using Google+ profiles to tie a real name (presumably) and picture to reviews to help cut down on spam, the Google Play reviews system is making big steps forward.

Source: Android Developers Blog; Via: TNW

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4 years ago

SoundCloud updated with Google login and Google+ sharing

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Audio streaming app gets new Google account capabilities

The Android (and iOS) version of popular streaming and music discovery app SoundCloud has been updated with new Google account features. The new version lets you log in with any Google account credentials on your phone, in addition to the ever-present Facebook login. What's more, you can now share directly to Google+ through the app, allowing you to send your favorite tracks directly to people in your circles. It's a relatively minor update, but both could be important changes if your big on Google's ecosystem. Google account login in particular makes signing up extremely painless on Android devices, as you just need to tap once to confirm the account you want to use.

SoundCloud users can head to the Google Play Store app to update to the latest version. Alternatively, hit the Google Play link above to view the full listing.

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4 years ago

Archos' ChefPad is an Android tablet for your kitchen

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Budget tablet with a focus on cookery

If you've ever wanted a tablet designed especially for your kitchen, Archos has a product that might be worth a look. The newly-announced Archos ChefPad is a budget-level Android tablet with a 9.7-inch XGA screen, an adjustable stand and silicone case to protect against splashes. Archos also has also loaded it up with a selection of cooking apps and suitably foody wallpaper.

The ChefPad is powered by an unnamed dual-core 1.6GHz CPU and Mali 400MP GPU, with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD slot. On the software side it's running a pretty vanilla-looking Android 4.1 Jelly Bean UI with Google Play.

The food-centric tablet is due to become available from June, with prices starting at $209.99 from the company's online store.

Source: Archos

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4 years ago

Report: No Nexus Q at Google I/O this year

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Google won't deliver a re-vamped streaming sphere at this year's conference, writes AllThingsD

Overpriced and under-featured, Google's Nexus Q was mothballed shortly after its introduction at least year's Google I/O developer conference. Officially, Google is still working on improving the phone-controlled streaming sphere -- the last update from January indicated that the company was still "hard at work" improving the Q.

But today there's news that a re-vamped Nexus Q might not be on the cards for this year's Google I/O conference. AllThingsD reports via "sourced familiar with the matter" that Google "won't have any news on the Nexus Q this week."

The Nexus Q won praise for its distinctive design and build quality, but was roundly criticized over its limited feature set and high price tag -- the orb cost $300 from Google Play, required an Android device to act as a remote, and could only stream content from Google Play or YouTube.

The Nexus Q still holds a special place in our heart. Hopefully we haven't seen the last of its rhythmic, colored glow.

Source: AllThingsD

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4 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy S3 getting Android 4.1.2 and multi-window update

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T-Mo's Galaxy S3 gets full-screen multi-tasking in latest update

Looks like there's a new over-the-air update heading out to T-Mobile's Samsung Galaxy S3 today. Reports from XDA and TmoNews point to an official Android 4.1.2 update, which brings with it Samsung's "multi-window" feature. Multi-window, which we recently demonstrated on the Galaxy S4, allows the screen to be split between two concurrently-running applications. The new "Paper Artist" app, lock screen changes and a new "4G" logo are also among the reported changes.

The over-the-air update package weighs in at more than 186MB, so you might want to wait until you're on Wifi before hitting the download button. To see if your update is ready, head to Settings > About phone > Software updates.

T-Mo GS3 owners, be sure to hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on with this latest firmware version.

Source: TmoNews, XDA

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4 years ago

Pichai: Google I/O 2013 to focus on services, helping devs 'write better things'

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New Android head says 'It’s not a time when we have much in the way of launches of new products or a new operating system'

Newly-appointed Android head Sundar Pichai says the company will focus on "all of the kinds of things we’re doing for developers" at this year's Google I/O conference, due to begin this Wednesday. In an interview with Wired, Pichai, who also heads up Google Chrome, says that it isn't a time when the company has "much in the way of launches of new products or a new operating system," suggesting major device launches won't be the focus of the conference.

Having recently taken over from Android co-founder Andy Rubin, Pichai offered his thoughts on a variety of subjects, including Android updates, Google's relationship with Samsung, Facebook Home and the challenges of managing two operating systems.

Some bite-size snippets --

  • On the relationship between Chrome and Android: "Android and Chrome are both large, open platforms, growing very fast. I think that they will play a strong role, not merely exist. I see this as part of friendly innovation and choice for both users and developers."
  • On Facebook Home: "It’s exciting that Facebook thought of Android first in this case. Android was intended to be very customizable. And we welcome innovations. As for the specific product, my personal take on it is that time will tell."
  • On Samsung's Android dominance: "The relationship is very strong on a day-to-day basis and on a tactical basis. So I’m not that concerned. Historically the industry has had long stable structures. Look at Microsoft and Intel. They were very codependent on one another, but it served both of them well."
  • On future Nexus hardware: "You will see a continuation of what we have tried to do with Nexus and Chromebooks. Any hardware projects we do will be to push the ecosystem forward."
  • On slow Android updates: "We are thinking about how to make Android handle updates better. We see ways we can do this. It’s early days. We’re talking with our partners and working our way through it. We need time to figure out the mechanics, but it’s definitely an area of focus for me and for the team."
  • On what to expect from I/O this year: "Both on Android and Chrome, we’re going to focus this I/O on all of the kinds of things we’re doing for developers, so that they can write better things. We will show how Google services are doing amazing things on top of these two platforms."

Hit the source link to check out the interview in full.

Source: Wired

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4 years ago

'Blue Arctic' Samsung Galaxy S4 sighted in Japan

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Docomo could carry dark blue variant of Samsung's new handset

So far the Samsung Galaxy S4 has only been available in "white frost" and "black mist" color options, but it seems a third option may be about to join them. Japanese blog Rbmen has spotted the new "blue arctic" color option on a promotional leaflet from Japanese carrier Docomo, and it looks a lot like the old "pebble blue" Galaxy S3.

There's no word on whether this color option might be offered outside of Japan, but Samsung has a history of offering its phones and tablets in all kinds of weird and wonderful colors, so we wouldn't be surprised to see a wider release at some point.

Aside from new color options, the spec sheet also mentions a couple of Japanese-specific features, like FeliCa support for use with electronic payment cards, and a retractable TV antenna.

Docomo reportedly has a presentation scheduled for May 15, so Japanese buyers shouldn't be too long to learn more about their Galaxy S4 variant.

Source: Rbmen; via: SamMobile

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4 years ago

White Nexus 4 spotted in the wild once again, still no sign of wider release

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... And it still looks like a Nexus 4 in white

Remember that white Nexus 4 that cropped up in Vietnam a few months back? Well it's back, this time in the Philippines. Google+ user Ervin Sue has posted photos of the white-backed Nexus 4 which he says he bought from "a local buy and sell site." Like the white Nexus 4 we've seen in earlier leaks, this one has a white Crystal Reflective Process back and white sides, but a black trim around the display.

There's also no indication that this is anything other than an isolated appearance for the elusive white Nexus, which was rumored to have been given to some Google employees last year. It's not impossible that Google might opt for a more widespread launch in this color, especially if a new N4 variant is to be unveiled at Google I/O, but there's nothing here to suggest that'll happen.  So for the moment we'll have to make do with a few slightly blurry pics.

You'll find a couple more photos over at the source link.

Source: +Ervin Sue; via: CNET Asia

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4 years ago

Sony's Xperia ZR is a new, smaller waterproof handset

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Basically a shrunken down, mid-level Xperia Z

Update: A Sony Mobile spokesperson tells Android Central that the company has "nothing to announce" at this stage with regards to UK availability for the Xperia ZR.

Original story: Sony has expanded its Xperia Z family today with the new, 4.55-inch Xperia ZR. Packing many of the same internal components -- and Xperia Z-like waterproof capabilities, (rated IP55 and IP58) the ZR will represent Sony in the mid to high-end space. In fact, Sony's touting its higher IP rating (the Xperia Z is rated IP55 and IP57) as making the ZR ideal for underwater HD video recording, if that's your thing.

Under the hood it's running a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU -- the same Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro that's powering Xperias Z and ZL -- with 2GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage and a microSD slot. On the front there's a 4.55-inch 720p display (in places described as a 4.6-inch panel, so go figure), and around the back is a 13-megapixel Sony Exmor RS camera with LED flash. All in all, a respectable set of components, and the ZR's curved back should make it a good deal more comfortable to hold than its brick-like sibling.

Sony's press release says the Xperia ZR includes LTE support, but the official spec sheet only mentions HSPA+, so it's possible this may depend on which market you're in. As far as HSPA+ connectivity is concerned, it seems there'll be one version supporting 900 and 2100MHz (for Europe) and another with 850, 1700, 1900 and 2100MHz support, likely for North America.

The Xperia ZR will land in "various global markets" during Q2, so make of that what you will.

Source: Sony MobilePress Release (PDF)

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4 years ago

From the editor's desk: Let's go to Google I/O!

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We'll keep things short this week as it's Mother's Day (call your mom already, will ya?!?!) and it's a travel weekend. We've got not one but two developer events to both cover and keep an eye on. The most important, obviously, is Google I/O in San Francisco. The event kicks off with the lone (extended) keynote address Wednesday morning, but expect to see news start to roll out Tuesday afternoon or so.

I'll be in San Francisco along with Jerry Hildenbrand. There's nothing like actually being there, but Google should be commended for its "I/O Extended" events and for streaming so many of the sessions live.

The news will be flowing into the home page, of course, and you can get it all directly from our dedicated Google I/O page here. (And don't forget you can get it all on the go better than ever before with our new app.)

Also this week is BlackBerry Live in Orlando. CrackBerry.com has about 274 people (more or less) covering it by last count. Why do we care? It'll be important to see if and when BB10 supports the Android framework 4+ framework. That would mean more Android applications can run on it. (Including ours.)

So, yeah. Kind of a busy week. A few more thoughts, after the break.

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4 years ago

HTC One, two months on ...

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How has HTC's latest flagship fared after two months in the hands of an AC editor?

It’s been just over two months since I first got my hands on the HTC One -- first, a pre-production demo unit, then a final European retail model. For most of that time, HTC’s impressive 2013 flagship has been my daily driver -- the phone I use every day, and take with me just about everywhere I go. In that time it’s seen plenty of normal use, and ten days or so of not-so-normal use in New York City for our Galaxy S4 and #TM13 coverage

But the HTC One was in short supply when it first launched in Europe and it’s only recently hit the U.S. market, so we’re in a bit of a unique position to have used the phone for this long. With that in mind, now seems like the right moment to reflect on our time with the device.

Just as we did for the Nexus 4 in January, it’s time for our long-term, two-month retrospective feature on the HTC One. We’ve already brought you a full review of the phone, and a casual review of the Sprint version, of course. So consider this article a chance for us to share the kind of details that don’t come to light in the course of our normal review process, and an opportunity to let you know what to expect in the months ahead if you pick up an HTC One today.

Check past the break to learn how the HTC One has coped with 61 days in the hands of an Android Central editor.

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