Headlines

4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 + Gear now available on AT&T and Sprint

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$299 each on AT&T; Sprint has the Note 3 for $249.99 with a new line

As per previous announcements, today's the day you can pick up the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear on AT&T and Sprint in the U.S. AT&T's Note 3 runs $299 on a standard two-year plan, or if you're buying outright it's $724.99. Similarly, AT&T will sell you a Galaxy Gear in lime green, wild orange, jet black, rose gold or oatmeal beige colors for $299.

Sprint's Galaxy Note 3 can be yours for $249.99 on-contract, which includes a $100 discount for opening a new line; the regular price is $699.99. Sprint's online store doesn't seem to be listing the Galaxy Gear just yet, but it too should also be available today for $299.

T-Mobile got the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear on Wednesday, and Verizon is set to launch the devices next Thursday, Oct. 10.

If you're picking up a Note 3 or Gear today, let us know how you're getting on with your new toys. Still on the fence? We've got reviews linked below.

More: Galaxy Note 3 review; Galaxy Gear initial review

Source: Sprint, AT&T

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4 years ago

Android 4.3.1 update rolling out to LTE Nexus 7

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Unclear yet what's changed in new build JLS36I

We've seen some minor updates to Android 4.3 in the couple of months since it first arrived, but today it seems Google's OS may have finally graduated to version 4.3.1. An over-the-air update now seems to be pushing out with the incremented OS version, with the LTE Nexus 7 being the first to get it.

The update weighs 16.6MB and brings the Nexus 7 LTE up to Android 4.3.1, build JLS36I — and although it's unclear specifically what's changed in the new build, previous point releases have mainly been minor, bug-fixing updates. We've popped in an AT&T SIM for good measure and are sad to report that tethering still is a no-go.

We'll keep our eyes peeled for the arrival of 4.3.1 on other Nexus phones and tablets. In the meantime be sure to hit the comments and let us know if you see the new version of Android on your device.

Source: XDA; Thanks for the tip, Todd!

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4 years ago

Microsoft wants HTC's Android phones to dual-boot into Windows Phone

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Software giant reportedly willing to cut licensing fees to get Windows Phone on HTC Android devices as a second OS

Microsoft is in talks with HTC to get its Windows Phone operating system loaded onto the manufacturer's Android phones as a second OS, according to reports from Bloomberg. Terry Myerson, head of the software giant's operating systems unit, is reported to have reached out to HTC over allowing its Android devices to dual-boot into Windows Phone, with the reduction or elimination of licensing fees purportedly being offered as an incentive. Myerson is planning a visit to Taiwan to meet with HTC execs over the proposal, the outlet's sources say.

Additionally, one Bloomberg source claims HTC has no current plans to release any more standalone Windows Phone handsets, which might explain Microsoft's apparent desire to shoehorn its OS onto future HTC phones through a dual-booting option. 

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4 years ago

O2 UK service restored after outage

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O2 UK says its restored service to customers affected by a recent period of network downtime. The operator claims the outage affected just one percent of its customer base, and was an unintended side-effect of routine maintenance on its 2G and 3G networks.

"Routine upgrade work on our 2G and 3G networks led to unexpected congestion affecting around 1% of O2 customers. We apologise to those customers and thank them for their patience."

We've confirmed that our own (previously borked) O2 SIM is now working this morning, so hopefully the same applies to others affected by the outage.

More: O2 Service Status

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4 years ago

Twitter beta track receives yet another striking interface change

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A simpler design with less clutter and access to options with fewer taps and swipes

Those of you in the Twitter beta testing group will notice an update tonight that brings yet another drastic interface change to the app. In the second such change in the last few weeks, Twitter is changing the basic interface paradigm of the app. Gone is the left edge slide-in drawer and the pile of scrolling tabs at the top of the page, replaced by a simple three tab design — Home, Discover and Activity.

Notifications and messages have moved up to distinct buttons in the top action bar, with number badges indicating unread counts, that take you to a familiar full page display of the content when tapping them. Composing tweets now moves down to the bottom of the app, with buttons to add a picture, launch straight into the camera or go right to typing. The overflow menu button has an option to jump directly into your account with one tap, or go into a settings menu that is largely unchanged.

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4 years ago

HTC announces $101 million operating loss for Q3 2013

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First operating lo​ss in company history despite strong sales of HTC One

HTC has just released its preliminary unaudited financial results for the third quarter of 2013, and the company has posted an operating loss of over $101 million (NT$2.97 billion). Just as it warned back in July, this is HTC's first operating loss in company history and it wasn't even close to breaking even. Here's how the quarter's financials break down:

  • Total revenues of $1.6 billion (NT$47.05 billion)
  • Operating loss before tax of $119.4 million  (NT$3.50 billion)
  • Operating loss after tax of $101.3 million (NT$2.97 billion)
  • Earnings per share after tax of -$0.12 (-NT$3.58)

Compare that to earnings in Q2 2013 that hit its own estimates with $2.35 billion (NT$70.7 billion) in revenues, $42 million (NT$1.25 billion) in operating income and earnings per share of $0.05 (NT$1.50). That's quite the downturn, and even though the company predicted it, it still hurts when the numbers finally come through.

Source: HTC

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4 years ago

Action Launcher 2.0 enters beta with new '1-Swipe' and 'Quickpage' features

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New multitasking system that is fully customizable, just like a home screen

Action Launcher is receiving an update, at least in the beta channel for now, that adds a new swiping gesture called Quickpage, as well as a feature to access your drawers from anywhere in the phone. Users of Action Launcher are familiar with a swipe in from the left side of the home screen to reveal an app list, but in the latest beta you can now swipe in from the right edge to reveal Quickpage.

This drawer can contain anything that you would normally put on an Action Launcher home screen — shutters, covers, folders, shortcuts and widgets are all available. Pairing Quickpage with another new feature, 1-Swipe, and you have a brand new interface paradigm. 1-Swipe lets you access both left and right edge swipe-in drawers from anywhere on the phone, not just from the home screen. You can now use Quickpage, if you desire, instead of the standard Android multitasking menu.

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4 years ago

Advertisements coming to an Instagram feed near you

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Ad placements to roll out extremely slowly, be 'beautiful and high quality'

Taking to its official blog to announce the news, Instagram laid out its plan to introduce advertisements into the social photo and video service. It was only a matter of time before Instagram (now owned by Facebook) had to monetize its 150 million users, but it plans to start things off slowly at least. In the coming months, users will start to see both photos and videos in their feed from brands that they don't follow.

The advertisements will be "a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community," the post claims. Given Instagram's artistic ethos this is probably the best way to go about it — give us something we may want to see already, and we won't complain.

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4 years ago

Chrome Beta to add web app 'install to homescreen' option in version 31 [update: it's live]

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A more seamless experience for web apps on mobile

Update: The latest version of Chrome Beta has just been pushed out in the Play Store, including this new web app functionality along with a refreshed "new tab" page that loads faster.

Original story: Although it isn't available for download just yet, version 31 of Chrome Beta for Android will bring a new option to pin web apps to your home screen. The so-called "install to homescreen" option will let web app developers make apps that identify properly as being able to pin to your home screen, and then launched in a full-screen "app mode." The option to pin these apps will be found in the main menu, as shown above.

You already have the ability to pin bookmarks to your home screen that open up individual sites, but the difference here is that you will be able to add these apps directly from the page and have them open up differently than your normal web page. These full-screen experience will be more akin to native apps, will show up in the task switcher separate from your regular Chrome browser instance and won't have the standard browser UI around them.

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4 years ago

Facebook Home opens up to show media from Flickr, Tumblr and others

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Multiple content sources can now populate your home or lock screens

Facebook is rolling out a new feature to its Android beta testing group that enables the ability to add other media content sources to Facebook Home or your lock screen. The ability to set Facebook Home as just your lock screen and not primary launcher isn't new, but being able to customize what media sources populate it is. Now when setting up Home, you can choose to sign in and add Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram accounts to the service.

After setting up your accounts, you will now see a mixture of photos from all of the services you've selected on your lock or home screens, rather than just content from your Facebook friends. You'll be able to "like" or comment on the pictures and simply hit the "view on" button to open the media in your browser as well.

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4 years ago

O2 UK customers experiencing network outage

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Third widespread outage in 18 months for the UK carrier

British mobile network O2 is experiencing a major service disruption this evening, with users on Twitter reporting trouble using the operator's voice and data network.

We've confirmed that O2 seems to be experiencing issues using a SIM of our own — for us, the data network was dead, while texts and calls were working. Other O2 subscribers are tweeting about more widespread problems, however. The network's official Twitter account is offering its apologies to affected customers, and the O2 service status page confirms an "intermittent issue," which it says its engineers are monitoring.

It's the third high-profile network disruption for O2 in the past 18 months. In July 2012 users experienced up to 24 hours of downtime due to a software error, which resulted in compensation being offered to customers. A similar issue emerged last October, affecting some 10 percent of subscribers.

If you're on O2 in the UK and have been affected by the outage, shout out in the comments. 

More: @O2_UK, O2 service status

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4 years ago

ZTE to bring Grand S and Nubia 5 to the US market Oct. 5

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Two competitively-priced unlocked handsets coming to the US

A full 10 months after it was announced, ZTE is finally ready to bring the Grand S, and another device the Nubia 5, to the US market. Following launches around the world — and even on Sprint in the US under a different name — this is the same Grand S we've seen before. We're looking at a 5-inch 1080p display in an extremely thin chassis, powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 1780mAh battery and with a 13MP camera.

The Nubia 5 is a new device, and shares the same 5-inch 1080p screen, Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and camera with the Grand S — but has a larger 2300mAh battery, 2GB of RAM and a new design. Both devices run Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with a few of ZTE's own tweaks as well.

ZTE says that both devices will go up for "preorder" starting on October 5th from "Amazon and other channels," with pricing of $399 and $449, respectively, for the unlocked HSPA+ (sorry, no LTE) handsets. Hit the break for a few press images and full specs on these two phones.

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4 years ago

Archos launches new 'Platinum' Android tablets

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Archos 97b Platinum HD, 101 Platinum and 80b Platinum announced

French manufacturer Archos has today announced the launch of three new Android tablets at varying sizes and spec points. First up, the Archos 80b Platinum packs an 8-inch, 1024x768-resolution IPS screen and 1GB of RAM. The more premium-focused Archos 97b Platinum HD doubles the resolution to 2048x1536 on a 9.7-inch panel, while the Archos 101 Platinum includes a 10.1-inch 1280x800 display. The 9.7 and 10.1-inchers both include 2GB of RAM.

All three tablets are powered by an unnamed quad-core Cortex A9 CPU at 1.6GHz. They're running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, including the Google Play Store, and include 8GB of internal storage, expandable through a microSD card. Archos declined to include any pricing information in today's press release, but claims its tablets will arrive at a "better" price than rivals from Apple and Samsung.

More: Archos

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4 years ago

Rdio 'Stations' now free in hopes of challenging Spotify and Pandora

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New free listening option will hopefully build a user base that can convert to paying subscribers

Streaming music service Rdio is opening up its "Stations" radio service to everyone starting today, meaning that you'll no longer need to pay a subscription to use the base level service. Much like Pandora and Spotify, Rdio is now lowering the entry point for its service to everyone, giving unlimited listening of randomized stations — based on artists, albums, genres or tracks — for free. Stations are now free in the US, Canada and Australia, and at the moment are ad-free as well.

To coincide with Stations going free, the Rdio app has also received a few new features that help tweak your listening experience. In the new Stations, you can now "tune" the station to be more adventurous with its selections or more strictly stick to one artist. There are also new playlist views if you're a paying subscriber.

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4 years ago

TripAdvisor launches refreshed native app with improved performance, interface

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New interactive map and 'Hotel Price Comparison' makes it easier to research

Travel planning and research app TripAdvisor has refreshed its app with a new interface, features and drastically improved performance this week. Along with a simultaneous launch on iOS, the new TripAdvisor Android app is completely rebuilt natively to offer a better experience and integrate everything the service has to offer. You'll notice a new and simple UI for quickly researching or booking travel plans, focusing on a search box and a few quick buttons for hotels, restaurants, attractions and flights.

With the redesign you also have access to TripAdvisor's new "Hotel Price Comparison" feature, which compares booking options at a glance. You'll also be able to look at hotels easier on an interactive map, which displays results alongside nearby attractions and restaurants you may want to visit.

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