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4 years ago

Sprint, fueled by new SoftBank ownership, considering T-Mobile takeover

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Sprint, fueled by new SoftBank ownership, considering T-Mobile takeover

T-Mobile, regulators likely aren't interested in such a monumental merger

If Sprint has its way, we may be headed towards just three major wireless carriers in the U.S. at some point in 2014. The Wall Street Journal reports today that Sprint is considering a bid to buy the recently-public T-Mobile at a price of about $20 billion, based on its current market cap. The move is reportedly, and not surprisingly, being driven by SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, who has indicated that the $21 billion strategic investment in Sprint wasn't going to be the only big move he made in the U.S.

T-Mobile, on the other side of things, likely isn't looking to be purchased. Taking the attempted takeover by AT&T in stride and generally rethinking its entirety of operations after buying MetroPCS, the UNcarrier probably isn't interested in joining up with Sprint — not taking into account structural and technological issues of a merger. And given the way its subscriber numbers are growing as Sprint's fall, it's only a matter of time before T-Mobile is the larger of the two entities.

Then there's the regulatory situation.

The U.S. regulatory authorities have certainly approved their fair share of mergers as of late. AT&T's purchase of Alltel and Leap Wireless, T-Mobile's purchase of MetroPCS and of course Sprint's double merger of consuming Clearwire and being purchased itself by SoftBank have all gone through with little intervention by the authorities. But it's hard to forget that AT&T's attempted $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile was pretty swiftly shut down, and while T-Mobile is stronger now than it was at that time and Sprint isn't the behemoth that AT&T is, the deal is very similar.

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4 years ago

Welcome the official CrackBerry.com Android app to Google Play!

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Welcome the official CrackBerry.com Android app to Google Play!

The app you know and love, now with the best BlackBerry news

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. At long last, at great expense to life and limb and with no small amount of fanfare, we're happy to announce that the second Mobile Nations community has a proper native application on Google Play.

In other words, CrackBerry has arrived.

If you're a fan of the Android Central app — and if you're not, you really should be — you'll feel right at home with the CB version. We've taken all the awesomeness of the AC app, all the blood, sweat and tears, and optimized it for CrackBerry. That means you get all blog posts. All the reviews. All the editorials. You can play podcasts in the dedicated podcast section. Videos play directly in the app. You've got full access to the CrackBerry forums, as well as Shop CrackBerry. (The CB Wallpaper Gallery will be added in a future update.)

And best of all, it's free.

Again, this is a native Android application. And while those on BB10 will be able to sideload it, you'll get a better native BlackBerry experience with the official BB10 app from BlackBerry World. Just something to keep in mind.

Hope you enjoy it! Hit the download link above.

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4 years ago

Android Central 164: Update all the things!

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Android Central 164: Update all the things!

We're less than two weeks out from Christmas, and Google's updating everything. We've got two new Google Play edition devices. We've got a white Nexus 7. And just about every app Google makes has been updated — along with yet another update to the Android software itself. Strap in, folks. This is a big one.

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4 years ago

12 Days of Christmas giveaway day seven: Win a Galaxy S4 from AC and Sprint

12 Days of Christmas giveaway day seven: Win a Galaxy S4 from AC and Sprint

On the seventh day of Christmas AC and Sprint gave to me ... A Samsung Galaxy S4

The good people at Sprint have partnered with us to do something awesome for the holidays, and we're giving away a great Samsung phone or tablet every day for 12 days.

We've got a pile of great stuff, including the Galaxy Tab 3, the Note 3, the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S4 mini. Winning one is easy, but you'll need to follow the rules.

  • Leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win today's prize. Only one comment. 
  • We'll close the comments after 24 hours and pick a winner at random. 
  • Make sure the contact details you have entered when you signed up at AC are good, because that is how I will get in touch with you. 

Today's prize is a Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4. It's the best selling Android phone in the world, and a favorite with modders, tinkerers, and users alike. Be sure to try to win one of your own!

The 12 days of Christmas giveaway is brought to you by Sprint, and their truly unlimited plans.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7-inch down to £99 at Amazon UK

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7-inch down to £99 at Amazon UK

White variant of Samsung's latest 7-incher goes under £100 for the first time

If you're looking for a good deal on an Android tablet for someone this holiday season, and you're British, then Amazon might be worth a look. Currently you can pick up the white Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7-inch for just £99. Sure, it's not going to set your pants on fire, but if you're looking for something for a more casual user or for the kids, it's a great price. 

This price is for the 8GB model, though being a Samsung tablet you do at least get the option of expanding that with a microSD card. It's pretty tame on the specs, with a 1024x600 resolution display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and two less than impressive cameras, but right now at £99 you'll still likely be better off than with a similiarly priced no-name tablet. 

Source: Amazon UK

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4 years ago

Motorola's Touchless Control app updated with new commands and speak your PIN to unlock

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Motorola's Touchless Control app updated with new commands and speak your PIN to unlock

Hands-free functions updated for devices running Kit Kat

Motorola has updated the Touchless Control app in Google Play, and this time around it's more than juts a bug-fix. The latest version of the application allows for more commands to work while your phone is locked, and the ability to speak your PIN number to unlock it. The change log:

  • More Google Now commands now work without having to unlock your phone first. Personal information such as emails, messages, and contacts are still protected by your PIN or password.
  • Say your pin to unlock your phone when using Touchless Control
  • New listening tone when you say "OK Google Now"
  • Compatible only with Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Bug fixes

This looks to be a great update for those times when you're not connected to a Trusted Bluetooth device, and it's nice to see Motorola realizes that not everything should be accessible while the phone is locked up.

The Kit Kat only bit is a little worrisome, because that means the Droids are out of this one until Verizon gets the update pushed out. Hopefully, that's soon and everybody with a X8 device can have a go. You can find the update at the Google Play link above.

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4 years ago

Skype updated with more tablet-only features

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Skype updated with more tablet-only features

Picture-in-picture display and fast zooming in your contact list come in Skype 4.5

Microsoft's Skype application has undergone another big change, and version 4.5 is headed to Google Play. Like the last major update, this focuses on tablet design. Included are the bug and crash fixes and support for devices you would expect, but there are also two new features for tablet users.

The first is a picture-in-picture window for video and voice calls. You can now move out of the Skype app but still interact with a floating window of the active call. This is a tablet-only feature, though you will need to allow permission for it on phone installs as well.

The second feature is pinch-zooming and tapping your contact list to quickly navigate based on the letter of the contacts name. This should allow faster searching through your list if you've a long one, and should help when calling someone who isn't in your favorites.

Microsoft says the update will be rolling out today, so keep an eye out for it.

Source: Skype

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4 years ago

Mobile Nations Community Update, December 2013

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So here we are, we made it... to the very first Mobile Nations Community Update. I'm James Falconer, Community Manager for Mobile Nations. If you've seen me around the forums on Android Central, CrackBerry, iMore or Windows Phone Central, it's good to see you again. If this is the first time we've met: Howdy!

4 years ago

Chrome beta removes once-neccessary artifical click delay

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Chrome beta removes once-neccessary artifical click delay

Double-tap listening improved while pinch zooming remains in latest Chrome beta build

If you've ever used a mobile web browser (I think that applies to all of us) you have experienced a self-imposed 300 millisecond delay between the time you tap something and it is registered as a click. This is a big part of the reason that mobile web browsing seems more disjointed and sluggish that what we're used to from a desktop machine, and why native applications seem to work better than HTML 5 web-based versions.

Starting with Chrome 32, now in Beta for Android, all this changes. 

The delay was originally imposed because your browser has to listen for a double-tap. Based on the page width, some dynamic CSS, and your screen size double-tapping is a great way to zoom the content. But if a web-page is written well for mobile, there is no need for the double-tapping. When your phone doesn't have to listen for it, it can turn taps into clicks instantly — and still retain all the pinch-zooming you would ever want.

Google's own Jake Archibald has a nice little video showing the difference. We've dropped that in after the break, And the source link has all the technical details for web developers and interested parties.

Source: HTML5 Rocks

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4 years ago

Holiday Photo Contest: Day 1 collectible winner!

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Holiday Photo Contest: Day 1 collectible winner!

The first of 14 winners in our extra-long photo contest

It's the end of the first full day for the Holiday Photo Contest, and that means one lucky entry will receive an Android mini collectible for their picture submission. Just as a quick refresher, the contest is looking for your best "holiday" photos, whatever that may mean to you, for a chance at a prize every single day from now until December 26th.

Hit the break to see today's winner, and be sure to get your entry into the contest thread in the forums if you haven't yet participated. Good luck!

Enter the holiday photo contest​

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4 years ago

Samsung to merge digital imaging branch into mobile division

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Samsung to merge digital imaging branch into mobile division

High-level reorganization​ aims to differentiate future smartphones with camera tech

Samsung is reorganizing its corporate structure with the aim of rolling its camera expertise into future smartphones, according to reports from the Korean press. Korea's ETNews and Yonhap report that the company's digital imaging division is to be merged into its mobile devices and IT division. The goal, according to ETNews, is to "integrate the technical know-how of the two business divisions" in a way that allows Samsung to differentiate its smartphones through camera technology.

In the past year Samsung has launched several devices which straddle both categories, including the Galaxy Camera, the Galaxy S4 Zoom smartphone and the Galaxy NX Android-powered mirrorless camera. This latest reshuffle might push more of the company's imaging technology into its mainstream handsets, similar to the way rival Sony incorporates its Exmor RS sensors and Bionz processing tech into its flagship handsets. It could also be seen as a way for Samsung's smartphone business to become even more vertically integrated, giving it more control over its supply chain and reducing its reliance on competitors.

Source: Yonhap, ETNews; via: Engadget

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4 years ago

TeliportMe panorama app adds 3D effects in latest update

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TeliportMe panorama app adds 3D effects in latest update

Fog, rain, lens flare and snow create a more immersive experience

TeliportMe Panorama 360, an interesting photography app that lets you create and share full 360 degree panoramas, is introducing 3D effects today. Among other subtle design tweaks that build on an already well-made app, you'll now have the option of adding four different weather effects to your panoramas: fog, rain, lens flare (sun) and snow, each of which are live animated overlays on your pictures. Lens flare is offered for free, while the others will set you back a $1 in-app purchase each, or $2 for the group.

After taking your panorama, simply hit the different effects at the bottom of the edit screen to reflect the current weather situation of the picture you took. It adds an extra bit of immersion to pictures that already pull you in with full 360 degree views. The effects are non-destructive to your original picture, so you always have the plain, unedited panorama to refer back to later.

As an extra bit of holiday fun, there will also be a "Christmas" effect that adds some snow, fog and a little season-appropriate music to your picture. For a short time you'll find holiday specials that give you 50 percent off in-app purchases when you bundle them together as well. The latest version of TeliportMe's Panorama 360 app is available now in the Play Store.

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4 years ago

Below 10,000 feet: gadgets on planes

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It’s not often the rules change, especially when it comes to aviation. Since the Wright brothers first propelled their wood-and-fabric plane into the sky in 1903 we’ve been banned from using electronic devices below 10,000 feet. (They had iPods back then, right?) Of course, there was reasoning behind the ban, or at least reasonable fear. Electronics by their very nature emit electromagnetic radiation, which has the potential to interfere with the ostensibly sensitive instruments of an aircraft.

4 years ago

Sony adds support for Xperia L to Xperia AOSP project

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Sony adds support for Xperia L to Xperia AOSP project

AOSP KitKat for entry-level handset

Sony has announced that it's added the budget-centric Xperia L to its version of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The move brings the 4.3-inch handset onto an open-source version of Android 4.4 KitKat — though with a few features disabled, including Bluetooth and GPS, likely for regulatory reasons. Nevertheless, it sounds like a lot of stuff is already working —

"It is possible to make phone calls, send and receive messages, surf the Internet through either the mobile network or Wi-Fi® connection, take photos and shoot video clips. The LED light, NFC and sensors are also working (at least partially)."

The Xperia L might seem an obscure choice, but the decision makes sense when considered alongside KitKat's focus on improving the way Android runs on entry-level hardware. Sony says it's the first time it's added Xperia AOSP support for a the dual-core Qualcomm MSM8230 chipset powering the Xperia L.

Developers wanting to contribute to the project on GitHub can find more info at the source link.

Source: Sony Developer World

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4 years ago

Sony 'Anami' drops by the FCC, could be Xperia Z1 S

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Sony 'Anami' drops by the FCC, could be Xperia Z1 S

Miniature Xperia Z1 shown with pentaband HSPA and eight-band LTE

The next big Android device we're expecting to see from Sony is the Xperia Z1 S — a miniature version of its current Xperia Z1 flagship handset. We've seen leaked images of the device in recent months, and a Japanese version, dubbed the Xperia Z1 f, is about ready to go on sale. Now an FCC listing has revealed a little more info about the elusive smartphone, including a possible codename.

The technical drawing submitted to the FCC closely matches earlier leaked renders of the Z1 S, and includes a label with the model marked as "Anami" — notable for its similarity to the Z1's "Honami" moniker. If it's anything like its Japanese counterpart, the Z1 S should sport the same Snapdragon 800 CPU found in the Z1, with 2GB of RAM, an identical 20.7-megapixel Exmor RS camera and a smaller 4.3-inch 720p display.

The FCC listing shows pentaband HSPA support as well as LTE on bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 20 — the same eight bands as the European Xperia Z1, suggesting this is an international version of the device. There's still no firm information regarding when we can expect an official announcement, but given Sony's release patterns in previous years the company's CES 2014 press conference would be a good bet.

Source: FCC; via: Pocket-Lint

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