Headlines

4 years ago

T-Mobile to 'Unleash the Tablet' in press conference on Twitter

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We're all invited to Tweet our questions to @TMobile or text them to 313131

T-Mobile has something up their sleeves for October 23 — that's tomorrow — and it's all about unleashing the tablet and the new Uncarrier 3.0 plans they have brought out. It's also got a little twist, as it will be a press conference (sort of) held on Twitter.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere and CMO Mike Sievert will be fielding your questions on Twitter and via SMS at 9:00 AM PT live, and the whole shindig will also be live-streamed (audio only) at newsroom.t-mobile.com. If you're interested in participating, you can send your questions to @TMobile for John Legere and Mike Sievert with the hashtag #unleashthetablet. If you prefer to use SMS, text a question of 160 characters or less to 313131.

We're not sure what to expect, but we wouldn't be surprised to see new data-only tablet plans or even devices as part of T-Mobile Jump. We'll be listening and watching, and fill you in after it's over. In the meantime, T-Mobile's press release is after the break.

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4 years ago

Alcatel One Touch Fierce review

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Arriving on T-Mobile shelves on Oct. 23, the One Touch Fierce is proof that OEMs are only able to go so far with $164. 

In the flurry of recent top-notch Android releases, you might have missed the announcement of T-Mobile's latest budget-friendly devices, the One Touch Fierce and One Touch Evolve. No, they're not blood glucose monitors, but rather the latest installments from Alcatel, a company that has struggled to find its place here in the US.  But with its Evolve and Fierce, Alcatel hopes to make waves in the entry-level market, beckoning T-Mobile customers with dirt-cheap price tags of $100 and $164 respectively.

But if we've learned anything from 2013, it's that the current state of entry-level Android has finally reached a balance of affordability and usability, and the days of settling for cheaply-made Gingerbread-powered devices are behind us. But in the case of the One Touch Fierce, it appears that Alcatel made all the wrong cuts in all the wrong places.

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4 years ago

BBM bests 1 million installs in its first day on Android

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We're getting our first look at the popularity of the recently released BBM for Android. Fresh out of the gate, the Google Play listing has placed the app in the 1 million to 5 million category. Those are total installations, and not "current" installs, so you've got to keep those numbers in context. Still. More than 1 million installs — and potentially as many as 5 million (we've got an e-mail in seeking more specific numbers) in a day is nothing to sneeze at.

Additionally, BBM's garnered more than 87,000 star reviews on Google Play — with the vast majority a full five stars.

A pretty big caveat, though — remember that there's a waiting list. So you can install the app, but you might not be able to use it just yet.

It's also worth keeping in mind that BBM doesn't work on nearly 30 percent of existing Android phones. BBM runs on Android 4.x, which as of the beginning of October made up 69 percent of active devices, according to the Android platform versions chart.

But either way, it's pretty damned impressive for BlackBerry — and for what many of us consider a dying platform.

Update: BlackBerry has made it official — more than 10 million installs on iOS and Android. We don't get any more of a breakdown than that, but BBM's already climbing the charts.

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4 years ago

Google rolling out CardDAV improvements

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High-resolution contact photos among new CardDAV additions

Google's rolling out several improvements to CardDAV, its open standard for accessing contact data, today. The most noticeable change is the new support for high-resolution contact photos, meaning some (mainly non-Android) mobile devices won't be limited to 96-by-96 pixel images anymore. It's worth remembering that if you're using Gmail sync on an Android phone, you shouldn't be affected by this anyway, as your stuff is synced through pure Google cloud magic.

The other changes are all about making CardDAV a faster, better experience —

  • Sync-Collections, which improves battery life for mobile users by reducing the amount of data exchanged.
  • POST support, which reduces mobile data usage when creating new contacts.
  • For Google Apps users, searching the domain’s Global Address List.

CardDAV users don't need to do anything, and the new features should be available within iOS 7 from today. As we said before, this isn't a huge deal for most Android users, but the changes are welcome nonetheless. 

Source: Google Developers

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4 years ago

Here's the changelog for the Verizon Moto X update

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Motorola, as it's done for the other carriers, has released the full changelog for the most recent update to Verizon's Moto X. The camera improvements are the big strokes, of course, but there's a good bit more to the update.

Here's what's new in version 139.15.1:

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4 years ago

Every podcast we've ever done — all in the Android Central app!

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We're suckers for nostalgia. And so today we're taking a look back at our 156 episodes (not counting a few special editions, mind you) of the Android Central Podcast!

And the easiest way to listen has got to be the official Android Central App! You can download or stream, right on your phone, at your leisure. 

It's a gas to listen to those early episodes. Give 'em a go if you've only recently joined us. And thanks for listening!

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4 years ago

SwiftKey keyboard half-price for one day only

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SwiftKey celebrates five years of Android phones with 50 percent off deal

Popular third-party keyboard SwiftKey can be had for half the usual price today, in celebration of five years since the first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1, launched in the U.S. That means depending on your location, you can pick up one of the best aftermarket keyboards out there for $1.99, £1.49 or €1.99.

SwiftKey's also pushing ahead with the next major version of the app, which adds more keyboard layouts for easier operation on tablets and larger smartphones. Check out our hands-on preview at the link below.

Also see: Hands-on with SwiftKey 4.3 beta

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4 years ago

Get caught up on the day's Nokia news at Windows Phone Central

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Nokia debuts a 6-inch Windows Phone with 20MP camera, along with its first Windows RT tablet

This morning at Nokia World in Abu Dhabi, UAE, the Finnish manufacturer has taken the wraps off some of its biggest Windows and Windows Phone devices yet. At the high end there's the Lumia 1520, a 6-inch Windows Phone 8 device with a 1080p display, Snapdragon 800 CPU and a 20-megapixel PureView camera. There's also the mid-range Lumia 1320, which aims to provide a big-screen experience at a more affordable $350 price point. And finally Nokia's Lumia 2520 is the company's first Windows RT tablet, with a 10.1-inch 1080p display inside a thin, colorful chassis.

The Windows Phone Central team are live on the ground in Abu Dhabi, and they've got extensive hands-on coverage of all Nokia's new toys. So hit up the links below to learn more about all the latest devices. And we're far from done with major mobile tech announcements for the day — multi-platform readers will want to check our sibling site iMore later today for full coverage of Apple's iPad announcements from San Francisco. 

Read now: Nokia Lumia 1520 hands-on; Lumia 2520 hands-on

More coverage: Windows Phone Central

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Express 2 hits Vodafone UK on October 23

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Updated mid-ranger exclusive to Vodafone at launch, other operators coming later

Samsung UK has announced an updated version of the mid-range Galaxy Express handset it launched earlier in the year, the Galaxy Express 2. The LTE-capable handset features a 4.5-inch qHD LCD display, a 1.7GHz dual core processor, 1.5GB of RAM and a 5-megapixel rear camera. Based on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and Samsung's latest TouchWiz UI, the Galaxy Express 2 also features some of the software features from higher-end Samsung phones — Smart Stay, Group Play, Motion UX, S Travel, StoryAlbum and S Translator.

The Galaxy Express 2 will launch tomorrow, Oct. 23, at Vodafone UK, with other carriers to follow at a later date. It'll come in "ceramic white" and "rigel blue" color options, with the latter being exclusive to Vodafone.

We've got specs and the full press release after the break.

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4 years ago

Red HTC One Mini launching at Phones 4u in November

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'Glamor red' HTC One Mini exclusive to Phones 4u in the UK

Phones 4u has announced that it'll exclusively carry a new "glamor red" variant of the HTC One Mini. The retailer, which also exclusively carries the red HTC One, expects the red One Mini to go on sale next month online and in its brick-and-mortar stores.

Right now there's no firm pricing information available for the red HTC One Mini, however the black and silver versions are available for free on-contract from EE, Vodafone, T-Mobile and Orange, starting at £26 per month. P4U's SIM-free price is £389.95.

If you really must have an HTC One Mini in red, there's a pre-registration link below.

More: Phones 4u

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4 years ago

HTC said to be building a smart watch for next year's market

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Product said to be running Android, feature a camera and be available in the second half of 2014

We've already mentioned that HTC's Peter Chou seemed keen on the idea of wearables helping reach their goals for the future, and a new report from Bloomberg, someone "close to the matter" says HTC will release their own camera-toting smart watch in the second half of 2014.

The full details are a little sketchy, but the source says HTC's watch will run Android and have an on-board camera. this would put it squarely at odds with Samsung's Galaxy Gear, rather than compete in the more utilitarian space occupied by products like the Pebble or the Sony SmartWatch 2.

Around here, we expect everyone to jump on the smart wearable train. Companies will compete for our dollars with products that extend the functionality of their Android phones and tablets. And you know what? We think that's a pretty good thing to have happen. 2014 should be a nice ride.

Source: Bloomberg

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4 years ago

Verizon Moto X soak test follow-ups coming out, update hitting tomorrow morning

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Widespread release of the official update can't be too far off now

Following up on soak test invites for the Verizon Moto X that hit inboxes a week ago, members of the Motorola feedback network are receiving notification that the update is set to roll out tomorrow morning.

Thanks for signing up for the  Verizon Moto X software test. The software should be pushed to your phone tomorrow morning.

Your input is very important to us. To ensure we hear you, please follow these guidelines:

  • Please post all your feedback in our private community (link below). This also where you'll find help during the soak. Don't email feedback or questions to this address. (Other than log-in issues -- see below.)
  • Please do not call or contact Motorola or Verizon support for help during the soak. Those teams are not yet ready to support this software.
  • I'm not able to check private messages on the forums during soaks, so if you need immediate help that's not a good route to take.
  • If you have any problems accessing the private community, please reply back to this email with details, like what error message you see.
  • NOTE: you must log in using the email address of the account where you are receiving this email
  • If you log in and find yourself in your account profile, it means you have not completed your profile. Complete it to proceed. Thanks!

All pretty run-of-the-mill stuff for a soak test, but it's good to know that those who are participating should see the update hitting in the morning. For those who didn't get a chance to get in on the test, we at least know that the process of getting the update ready to go to everyone is moving along.

Thanks, Anon!

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4 years ago

Calling all Android Developers: Schedule your appearance on Android Central Live!

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Join us on stage and show off your apps!

If you missed it, earlier today we announced that Android Central is the official community partner of the Samsung Developers Conference. As official community partner, we're going to be streaming a live show from the conference floor Oct. 28-29. Android Central Live will feature our very own Phil Nickinson and Andrew Martonik, plus interviews with Samsung reps, speakers, thought leaders … and YOU.

Android Central is excited to produce this show, not only as a service to our amazing community, but to provide a platform for Android developers looking to show off their apps. If you're going to be at the conference, you should join us on stage because it's going to be a lot of fun!

If you're a developer planning to attend the event, consider this your casting call!

We're busy setting up our interview schedule RIGHT NOW, so if you'd like to appear on Android Central Live, now is the time to act. Email me at james@mobilenations.com ASAP to request an interview slot. Tell me what you'd like to talk about, if you have an app to demo, and basically blow me away with the awesome Android goodness you're going to bring to the stage.

See you in San Francisco!

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4 years ago

130 HTC Ones on a rail make bullet time shots easy

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Stop. Bullet time.

Qualcomm wanted to demo how powerful the Snapdragon 600 chip can be, and decided to create a cool bullet time photo booth using 130 HTC Ones on window mounts attached to a spiraling rail.

Actors (and dogs) were placed in the midst of the ring, and caught in a full 540-degrees of excellent special effect footage that freezes space and time much like Neo can do. OK, so they just took stills from live video at the right time and stitched them together in an animation, but the former sounds way cooler.

This isn't really new, as you can find similar footage all over YouTube, but it is pretty slick to watch. They also have a poll to see where to send the roving studio next, which you can find at the source link. Be sure to vote for your closest spot, and if you get a chance to check it out make sure to use your Android to get some cool footage of it all.

Source: Qualcomm

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4 years ago

AT&T confirms deal with Crown Castle to sell and lease cell towers for $4.85 billion

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600 towers sold and 9,100 leased with the option to buy

Following up on rumors that AT&T would sell off some of its cell tower holdings for up to $5 billion, the carrier has confirmed it has entered a deal with tower operator Crown Castle for the towers. The deal will see AT&T lease the rights to operate about 9,100 cell towers in the U.S. to Crown Castle, and sell another 600 towers outright to the company. The deal totals $4.85 billion in up-front cash to AT&T, which gives Crown Castle exclusive rights to the towers.

The average lease term for the towers is 28 years, and as the leases expire Crown Castle will have the option to purchase the towers for another $4.2 billion. The deal won't reduce AT&T's coverage or network quality at all, however. The carrier will sublease capacity back from Crown Castle for a minimum of 10 years at the rate of $1,900 per month per site, with rent increasing by 2 percent per year.

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