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4 years ago

U.S. mobile data prices among most expensive in the world

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Many countries pay less for mobile data, but the U.S. isn't as far behind as it may seem

In terms of raw prices, the U.S. ranks among the highest in the world in the cost of phone data plans. According to research by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) the average phone plan with 500MB of data costs $85 in the U.S., compared to $24.10 in China and $8.80 in the U.K., in terms of U.S. dollar Purchasing-power Parity (PPP).

The Economist has created a great interactive map showing off the price disparity across the globe, which illustrates how far behind the U.S. is in terms of the price of mobile data. Again in terms of the raw price of purchasing mobile phone plans with data, the U.S. is in the company of countries like Botswana, Angola and Morocco, where it can cost anywhere from $80 to $110 to have a phone with just 500MB of monthly mobile data.

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4 years ago

Clash of Clans sets up camp on Android

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The massively popular iOS game finally comes to Android

Clash of Clans, a massively popular game for iOS, has found its way to Android today. Players build up settlements, gather resources, train troops, wage war against goblins and rival players alike, and complete missions.

Like most casual games, you get rewarded for just showing up, but there are real-time strategy elements too, such as creating base defenses, and figuring out troop placement when launching attacks. The Android version even includes all of the latest Hallowe'en-themed content. Of course, you'll find the usual free-to-play trappings here, such as lengthy timers for completing tasks and premium currency to skip those waits. 

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4 years ago

Google Play adds Game of Thrones, True Blood and other HBO programming

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Even more HBO movies, TV series and documentaries coming in the future

Google Play has added several HBO programs to its library, filling one of the larger gaps in its offerings up to this point. Starting today, you can purchase individual episodes or entire seasons of the most popular HBO shows such as Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom, Veep, Girls and The Wire. Prices seem to land in the range of $2.99 per episode and $34.99 for a complete season down to $1.99 per episode and $14.99 per season.

Although it has hit many of the big names in this initial release, Google Play says that it has even more TV, movie and documentary content coming from HBO in the future. For now, you can go get your hands on all of the newly released content at the source link below.

Source: +Google Play; Google Play Store

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4 years ago

Verizon HTC One gets the S-Off treatment

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A seemingly reliable one-click S-Off method now available for those who need it

A little over a month after its release, the Verizon HTC One now has a working S-Off method for willing tinkerers to give a try. The method, which was put together by a couple of users over at XDA, takes a bit of setting up and checking for prerequisites but is otherwise generally a one-click affair. You'll need to be running a 32-bit Linux or Windows install and have the proper drivers installed, as well as a 100 percent stock device that hasn't been tampered with at all.

Once you've checked all the boxes, it seems as though this S-Off method is providing the desired result for folks who have replied to the forum thread. If you're not sure why you'd want S-Off, it opens up the door for future hacking on the device, such as custom recoveries, RUUs from different models and all sorts of good frustration fun.

If you're willing to give it a run, be sure to do all of the required reading before diving into achieving S-Off on your device. We want fewer bricked devices out there if at all possible.

More: Verizon HTC One Forums

Source: XDA

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4 years ago

What you need from a smartphone, what you want, and how to get it - Talk Mobile

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Back in late 2009, CrackBerry's Kevin Michaluk composed what he termed "the smartphone hierarchy of needs". Based on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which stretched from the physiological (food, water, shelter, air, etc) to self-actualization (creativity, morality, purpose, meaning, etc), Kevin's hierarchy sought to classify what he looked for in a smartphone, and in what order.

4 years ago

Beats Music streaming service reportedly just months away

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U.S. launch on Android, iOS and the web 'within the next few months'

It seems Beats Electronics' rumored music streaming service could become a reality sooner rather than later. Beats president and COO Luke Wood has told TheNextWeb that the Beats Music streaming service will be arriving for U.S. users "within the next few months" on the web, as well as in the form of mobile apps for Android and iOS. The news follows Beats' acquisition of the MOG music streaming service last July.

The Beats Music experience will be centered around playlists, and Wood confirmed earlier reports that specially curated playlists would be offered through the service: "We’re going to focus really heavily on playlists, because that’s how we consume music and that’s how most people consume music."

"We’re talking about real depth of personalization and knowing who I am, who you are, what we’re listening to, what we like, what we’ve listened to before and then offering up music that is highly relevant to our taste profile," Wood added.

Beats Music will go up against streaming incumbents Spotify and Rdio, as well as Google Play Music and iTunes Radio, which are strong contenders on their respective platforms. It's unclear how the streaming service might figure in Beats' partnership with HTC. Beats recently bought back the Taiwanese manufacturer's remaining 25 percent stake in the company, effectively freeing it from HTC control. However future HTC handsets with Beats Audio are understood to be in the works, and the manufacturer has described beats as an "important partner."

Also see: Beats buys back HTC's remaining 25 percent stake in company

Source: TNW; via: iMore

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 arrives on Sprint on October 11

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7-inch, LTE-capable tablet coming to Sprint this Friday for $49 on a two-year plan

Samsung has announced that the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 will be making its way to Sprint from this Friday, Oct 11. Priced at $49 on a two-year plan, the Tab 3 7.0 runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean on a 7-inch, 1024x600-resolution display. There's also a 3-megapixel rear camera and 1.3-megapixel front-facer, and if Sprint's Tab 3 is anything like the Wifi-only version, it should be powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU with 1GB of RAM. (No specific internals are mentioned in today's press release.) Existing Sprint customers can add data for a Tab 3 to their accounts for an additional monthly fee starting at $5 plus tax.

As a TouchWiz tablet, Sprint's Tab 3 features some of the headline features from Samsung's smartphones, including the WatchON TV app, which uses a built-in IR blaster, and Group Play for multimedia sharing. The tablet will go on sale this Friday through Sprint's brick-and-mortar stores as well as online and telesales channels. At first it'll be available in white, with a black version to follow in time for the holidays.

More: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 series review

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4 years ago

State of the Mobile Nations podcast: LIVE 10 a.m. PDT, 1 p.m. EST

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We're wrapping up Talk Mobile 2013 this week and figured now's as good a time as any to get the Mobile Nations editors together. 

Join Kevin Michaluk of CrackBerry, Phil Nickinson of Android Central, Daniel Rubino of Windows Phone Central, Derek Kessler of Mobile Nations, and me of this place for a look at the state of the mobile platforms!

We're going live at 10 a.m. PDT, 1 p.m. EDT. Be here!

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4 years ago

Using the Galaxy Note 3 with a Pebble? Remember to turn your TouchWiz features on again [Updated]

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Update: Despite the warning message, you can use use a Pebble with the Note 3 and keep your favorite TouchWiz features

Here's a quick, updated PSA for anyone hoping to use the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with one of the leading non-Samsung smartwatches. The Pebble watch will work just fine with Samsung's latest oversized phone, despite the scary warning message that appears when you enable the accessibility service.

By default the Galaxy Note 3 disables a bunch of features when an accessibility service is enabled. And because of the way the Pebble smartwatch uses Android's accessibility features, this gives the impression that you can't use the Pebble and many of the Note's cooler features at the same time. In fact, it disables Air gestuer, air view, assistant menu, smart screen, interaction control, multi-window and direct pen input when you first enable the accessibility service.

Aside from being pretty confusing — and yes, it had us convinced that we had to choose between our Pebble and favorite Note 3 features like multi-window, for a while — it's actually possible to just go and re-enable all the TouchWiz features it turns off. Many of them can be found in the settings dropdown. Others, like Direct pen input, you'll need to search for in the Settings menu.

So hopefully that clears things up for Note 3 owners who also use a pebble smartwatch. Happy Pebbling, folks.

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4 years ago

International Galaxy Note 3 gets first OTA update

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Minor 30-megabyte update for 'improved stability'

It's just over a week since the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 first launched in Europe, but already the unlocked European version of the device has received its first over-the-air update. The 30-megabyte OTA brings "improved stability" according to the official Samsung update advisory, and since we're not seeing any major changes we're inclined to believe that.

The update brings the unlocked, LTE-capable Note 3 (SM-N9005) up to firmware version N9005XXUBMJ1, and with it there's a new baseband and kernel, too. The firmware is still based on Android 4.3, build JLS15J. As far as we can tell there's been no change to the limited region-locking affecting the European Note 3 in this update.

If you've got a European Galaxy Note 3, let us know how you're getting on with today's update down in the comments.

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4 years ago

Xbox Music updated to support Intel powered Android devices

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Fixes for certain devices experiencing app crashing also included

Xbox Music from Microsoft was a long time coming to Android, and its launch was a mixed bag. Random crashes on certain devices, issues with being able to play tracks and device support all marred the launch. But, at least some of those issues have been fixed, and further device support has been added with the latest update. 

Xbox Music will now for the first time work on Intel powered Android devices, such as the Motorola RAZRi and the ASUS Fonepad. Along with this, those random crashes on certain devices, such as the LG Optimus G, should now be gone. If either of these things affects you, grab the latest version of Xbox Music from the Play Store link up top. 

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4 years ago

Curved-screen LG phone could arrive in November

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LG Display confirms mass-production of 6-inch curved smartphone display

Adding weight earlier rumors of a curvy LG phone being in the works, LG Display has announced that it's begun mass-production of curved six-inch phone displays, reports Reuters. The outlet also says sources have informed it that LG's first curved-display smartphone will arrive in November, corroborating earlier reports.

LG's screen will be curved from top to bottom, according to LG Display, while Reuters sources claim that Samsung's upcoming curved handset, due to arrive this month, will be curved from side to side.

LG this morning explaind the process in a press release:

LG Display’s flexible OLED panel is built on plastic substrates instead of glass. By applying film-type encapsulation technology and attaching the protection film to the back of the panel, LG Display made the panel bendable and unbreakable. The new display is vertically concave from top to bottom with a radius of 700mm, opening up a world of design innovations in the smartphone market. And only 0.44mm thin, LG Display’s flexible OLED panel is the world’s slimmest among existing mobile device panels. What’s more, it is also the world’s lightest, weighing a mere 7.2g even with a 6-inch screen, the largest among current smartphone OLED displays.

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1 f, Samsung Galaxy J revealed in latest Docomo leak

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A smaller Xperia Z1 and a Snapdragon 800-powered GS4 for Japan

We got to see the Sony Xperia Z1 f — a smaller version of Sony's current Android flagship — for the first time a couple of weeks ago, thanks to an NTT Docomo brochure leak. And today we're seeing further evidence of the miniaturized handset's existence from what looks like a similar Japanese carrier leak. Today's brochure images, posted by Japanese blog RBMen, once again shows the Z1 f (codenamed "Itsuki") in black, white, lime green and pink colors.

The Z1 flooks likely to pack internal hardware almost identical to the full-sized Xperia Z1 — a Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 20.7-megapixel camera and IP58-rated water and dust-resistance — with only the screen being downscaled to a 4.3-inch 720p panel.

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4 years ago

LG G Pad 8.3 coming to Korea Oct. 14, 30 countries by the end of the year

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LG is hoping to make waves with its newest mid-sized tablet offering

LG's new entry into the mid-sized tablet market, the G Pad 8.3, will come to the manufacturer's home country of Korea starting on October 14th. Taking to its blog, LG notes that the tablet will go on sale directly online as well as in malls and other shops in the country. But the sales won't stop there — just as it promised when the tablet was announced, LG plans to have the G Pad 8.3 on sale in 30 countries by year's end.

With a Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, 1920 x 1200 8.3-inch display and several interesting software features that match up with LG's recent phones, the G Pad 8.3 is likely to be a solid proposition for many. Pricing is set in Korea at 550,000 won (about $515 USD), but official pricing isn't known yet for other markets.

If you need a refresher on what this tablet is all about, be sure to check out our extensive hands-on from IFA 2013 below.

More: LG G Pad 8.3 hands-on

Source: LG (Korean)

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4 years ago

Microsoft's game Wordament makes its way to Google Play

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Find as many words as possible in the puzzle and see how you rank

Microsoft has just released one of its casual gaming titles, Wordament, into the Play Store so folks on Android can now challenge those on Windows Phone and iOS. Wordament is a word search game similar to other titles like Scramble With Friends or the tabletop game "Boggle," but with a large community leaderboard aspect. Rather than taking on individual players, everyone around the world playing the game plays the same puzzles and competes for the high scores on a single leaderboard.

The game looks and plays the same on Android as it does on the other platforms, and is pretty easy to pick up and get started with. In order to get into the leaderboards you'll need to sign in to Wordament with either your Facebook or Xbox Live account (sorry, no Google+ here at the moment) but you can play as a guest if you don't care about where you rank amongst the crowd.

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