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4 years ago

Motorola Connect Chrome extension updated with cleaner design, bugfixes


Important improvements to Motorola's first-party software for its new devices

Motorola has just pushed out an update to its Motorola Connect Chrome extension to improve the overall look and fix several bugs. The Motorola Connect extension works in conjunction with software on one of Motorola's latest devices — that'd be the Moto X or a new Droid on Verizon — to display text messages and incoming call information on your computer, saving you from having to pick up the phone as often.

The newly designed extension improves on the initial release with a better design that is easier on the eyes, along with a bunch of unspecified bugfixes. Motorola Connect is still a good leap away from what other third-party apps have done and far from what Google Voice offers, but it's a simple solution to managing calls and texts for folks who just want something that's baked into the phone out of the box.

Source: Chrome Web Store

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4 years ago

Sensorly receives redesign, now shows data speed results on maps


Get a better feel for real-world usage with user-submitted speed tests

Crowd-sourced mobile coverage mapping app Sensorly has received a big update today with a new interface and set of features. First up is a general redesign of the whole app that brings it more into a modern interface. The maps have been updated and show more detail, and functions are now accessed with slide-in drawers from the left and right edges.

These are the same crowd-sourced data sets for all major carriers in the US and beyond, but now end users have access to the vast number of speed test results collected in these locations. Where available, you can choose to view average speed results for the carrier's coverage that you're viewing, giving you a better look at real-world speeds.

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4 years ago

Google Play Music All Access comes to several new countries


19 countries now have access to Google's new subscription music service

Google has just expanded its All Access music streaming service to several new countries, primarily across Europe. Building on the first European expansion that brought the service to nine countries in total, seven more countries now have All Access:

  • Czech Republic
  • Finland
  • Hungary
  • Liechtenstein
  • Netherlands
  • Russia
  • Switzerland

That brings the total number of countries with Google Play Music All Access up to 19, and the only country that has access to Google Play Music and not All Access now is Germany. That's not bad considering that All Access only launched this May, and the deals with record labels to distribute music are often tough to secure.

Source: Google Support; Via: Android Police

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4 years ago

Another purported 'Nexus 5' image surfaces, showing off back plate


Yup, that looks like a Nexus; nope, we don't know anything more than we did yesterday

Details on the expected upcoming Nexus phone are sparse, but we now have another look at a picture of the back of a purported "LG Nexus 5." The above image, which came from a poster on MacRumors forums (of all places), is apparently of an upcoming device that looks very similar to previous leaked information from the FCC and a brief hands-on video.

This is another solid and somewhat clear view of the back plate, albeit partially obstructed by another device at the bottom (likely to cover up any identifying information), that shows off the vertical "Nexus" logo and large camera pod in the top left corner. The back seems to be of a similar (or same) material as what we've seen before, but giving the lighting we can't be sure.

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4 years ago

SoftBank's Masayoshi Son warns Sprint turnaround could take longer than expected


Carrier expected to continue losing subscribers in the near future

Japanese carrier SoftBank's strategic investment in Sprint may have closed over two months ago, but CEO of SoftBank Masayoshi Son is tempering the excitement with statements given today. Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, Son drew on his wisdom in previous acquisitions to give a more realistic roadmap of how quickly he expects to get Sprint heading in a positive direction:

"It took around a year after SoftBank bought Vodafone (before) we reached the No. 1 position of net gains in subscribers. It takes time to get devices ready and prepare services and the network .. At the very least you need half a year or a year. And for anything substantial you need one or two years."

It's no secret that Sprint is in need of something closer to the "substantial" end of that spectrum, leading us to think we may be as many as two years away from SoftBank's influence being felt here in the US.

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4 years ago

TracFone clarifies Straight Talk and Net10 data policy, confirms 2.5GB throttle point


A little policy transparency from the most popular MVNO operator

TracFone, which operates (among others) the Straight Talk and Net10 prepaid carrier brands, has clarified its smart phone data policy to explicitly put a 2.5GB throttle point on its offerings. While both Straight Talk and Net10 have been extremely popular as inexpensive choices in the prepaid phone service arena, their policies on throttling or cutting off user's data connections with little warning were somewhat suspect.

According to official statements from TracFone, we now know that both Straight Talk and Net10 will give users of its "unlimited" plans up to 2.5GB of high-speed data access, throttling speeds to 2G (EDGE) after that point. Once your next 30-day renewal begins, you go back to a new 2.5GB data bucket. TracFone specified that this applies to BYOD plans on both carriers with either AT&T or T-Mobile SIMs.

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4 years ago

T-Mobile to stop offering Classic plans at national retail partners starting Nov. 1


Plans set to replace Classic offerings unknown at this point

As part of its transition to only offering service and handsets without a contract, T-Mobile is set to stop offering Classic plans via its retail partners. Back in March when the carrier introduced its new and improved "Simple Choice" plans, it immediately stopped offering its traditional two-year contract "Classic" plans at all of its first-party stores. At the time, third-party retailers such as Costco, Walmart and Best Buy were allowed to continue selling handsets with the old Classic plans and subsidies.

Based on documentation provided to TmoNews, those Classic plans are shutting down for these third-party retailers starting today and completing on November 1st. T-Mobile has requested that retailers begin returning all postpaid phone inventory back to the carrier, and only provide 30 day return support for customers on Classic plans.

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4 years ago

Verizon will honor upgrades with unlimited data resulting from system glitch


Keep your subsidized handset and your unlimited data ... at least this time

Following a weekend system glitch that let customers with unlimited data plans receive upgrade pricing on handsets, Verizon has released a statement indicating that it will honor those purchases. Although we suspect Verizon had the power to revoke the upgrades and put those who took advantage onto a tiered data plan, the official statement we received confirms that the unlimited data plans will stand:

Over the past weekend, there was a software issue involving some orders for customers seeking to upgrade their devices.  A number of customers who were upgrading devices were able to maintain an unlimited monthly data feature while paying a subsidized price. 

Verizon Wireless will honor those orders that were approved this past weekend, allowing those customers to retain their unlimited plans for the duration of their contract and receive their new device.

Verizon Wireless corrected this software issue today (9/30).  The company no longer offers unlimited data plans and customers who want to retain existing unlimited data plans, must pay full retail price for a replacement phone.

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4 years ago

Verizon HTC One receiving first OTA update


Enhancements in stability and accessibility included

Verizon's variant of the HTC One may have launched with a newer version of software than the other US carriers, but it is still in need of some improvements and is receiving an OTA update starting today. The update to software version 1.10.605.10 has three main changelog components:

  • Device lock-ups have been reduced
  • Internet accessibility for the visually impaired is now supported
  • Update to ISIS Mobile Wallet

The update to ISIS Mobile Wallet probably isn't valuable to just about anyone, but improvements in accessibility and overall system stability are always welcomed. Keep on the lookout for the OTA prompt on your own Verizon HTC One, and chime in in the forums once you've received the update to let other members know how things go.

More: Verizon HTC One Forums

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

Google bringing NFC-enabled app vending machines to Japan


A new and entirely unnecessary way to buy games for your Android phone

Japan is known for its crazy vending machines, and Google is hoping to cross the line from physical to digital goods in these machines with new Google Play units. In a bit of a curious idea, Google is installing large traditional-looking vending machines that load apps onto your phone via NFC when you place it in a cradle on the machine.

Provided you have an Android phone with NFC and Android 4.0 or above, you can simply put your phone on the machine and select between one of 18 apps (on this particular one shown above) to have installed. Some of the apps are free and others are paid, but the process is the same nonetheless — make your selection on the huge screen and watch the animations send the app to your phone.

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4 years ago

Huawei rotating CEO plan continues, Eric Xu taking over Oct. 1


Three rotating executives from different areas of the company to keep things fresh

Starting October 1st, Huawei will have a new CEO leading the company. But Eric Xu's tenure at the top of the company will be short, because at the same time as announcing his new position, Huawei put and end date of March 31, 2014 on the promotion. It's part of a plan Huawei has to rotate its CEO every six months among three executives, and the goal is to keep the Chinese handset and wireless infrastructure company nimble and fresh.

Along with keeping his existing duties as an executive, Xu adds all of the new responsibility of being the acting CEO of the company, primarily focusing on "the company’s operations and crisis management" and managing meetings of the Board of Directors.

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4 years ago

From the editor's beach house ...


Changing things up a little bit this week. We — as in myself and the other Mobile Nations editors — are in Miami this week for our annual meet-up, wherein we work on long-term strategies for the next year or so. We might even do half of what we come up with.

But more important, it's a chance for us to look each other in the eye and remind ourselves that we're damned lucky to be able to this for a living. So, from all of us to all of you — thanks for reading. Thanks for giving us a hard time when you think we're wrong, and for giving us a chance when we think we know better.

You're a much a part of this little website — and all the Mobile Nations sites — as anyone here.

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4 years ago

LG Optimus F6 coming to MetroPCS for $199


MetroPCS is working to build up its mid-range phone ranks with a new LG device, the Optimus F6. Slotting in above its current LG offerings of the Optimus L9 and Optimus F3, the F6 offers a 4.5-inch 540x960 display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 5MP rear camera and running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

On the software side the F6 brings over some of the same features introduced on LG's higher-end handsets, like QUickRemote, QuickMemo and QuickTranslator, along with the same look-and-feel across the OS.

The Optimus F6 is a MetroPCS phone by name, but is one of the first devices to run on T-Mobile's HSPA+ and LTE networks rather than MetroPCS' older CDMA network. This marks the transitional period for MetroPCS after its acquisition by T-Mobile earlier this year. The Optimus F6 is available today in-store and online for $199 without a contract, with plans starting at $40 per month.

Source: MetroPCS (PRNewswire)

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 coming to Radio Shack Oct.4, trade in your old Note and save some cash


Radio Shack's Trade & Save program ready for the Galaxy Note 3 launch

Everyone is aware that the Galaxy Note 3 hits stores starting October 4, but Radio Shack is the first third-party dealer to jump up with a better deal — if you have an old Galaxy Note to trade in.

The Sprint and AT&T models of the Galaxy Note 3 will be on sale at participating Radio Shack locations, and folks who show up with a Note 2 to trade in will get $175 off the cost of their upgrade. Folks with an original Galaxy Note will get $100 off.

You could probably get more for your old devices on Craigslist or eBay, but this no muss, no fuss offer will attract a lot of people. Time is money, after all.

For more information, visit Radio Shack's Trade & Save site.

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4 years ago

Canadian HTC One getting its Android 4.3 update


Some good news for our neighbors to the north — the Canadian versions of the HTC One appear to be getting their updates to Android 4.3 today, with word of updates hitting Rogers and Telus thus far. That makes the "end of September" deadline HTC was shooting for, but those of us in the U.S. still have to wait a bit.

It's a hefty update, as the screenshot above points out — but this one's well worth it.

More: HTC One forums; Thanks, Dhaval and Jonas! 

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