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4 years ago

Vine coming to Android 'soon' say creators


Vine creators to bring their social video app to Android "soon"

Vine is going to come to Google Play "soon", according the the folks who created the popular iOS app. Speaking to The Verge, there was no timeline or any further details given about the Android version, and we're not even going to guess.

If you're not familiar with Vine, think of it as YouTube for folks with very short attention spans. It captures six seconds of video, letting you stop and start as many times as you like, then assembling everything up ready to post to Twitter. There is no secret sauce or other magic at work -- just a six second video clip. Have a look at it here, where Phil breaks it down.

The app itself allows you to follow users and view their Vines, and there's an unofficial website to follow along for those who don't have the app at VinePeek. Warning -- this is exactly what you would expect to see when you give everyone an uncensored arena to post six second clips. If you find wieners and teenagers using foul language offensive, you have been warned.

When Vine does come to Android, we'll give it a good look. I'm calling in sick that day.

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4 years ago

Amazon posts Q1 2013 earnings: $16.07 billion in sales net just $82 million in income


Net sales and operating cash flow up considerably; net and operating income still taking big hits

Everyone's favorite online retailer turned tablet maker and content aggregator, Amazon, has just posted its Q1 2013 financial report. There's a whole lot of numbers to jump into here, so let's get to the quick breakdown first:

  • Net sales of $16.07 billion, up a full 22-percent year-over-year
  • Operating income of $181 million, down 6-percent y-o-y
  • Net income of just $82 million, down sharply by 37-percent y-o-y
  • Operating cash flow (for the trailing 12 months) of $4.25 billion, up 39-percent y-o-y

This seems to be the trend for Amazon as of late, boasting high quarterly sales year after year, but coming up a bit short at the bottom line. Over $16 billion in sales is a massive number, but among other reasons currency fluctuations are to blame for the decreasing net income. Regardless of what the income numbers look like, Amazon isn't slowing down any time soon. During the release it took time to remind us of its current initiatives.

Amazon is continually boosting its Prime Instant Video catalog, bringing TV shows from A&E, FX, PBS, HGTV and many more. It also debuted pilots for 14 original series, which are coming out of Amazon Studios. Aside from touting increased availability of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" in several new countries, in typical Amazon fashion it didn't break out any sales or earnings for the devices. Rest assured that Amazon is likely selling a boatload of Kindles every quarter.

Source: Amazon (BusinessWire)

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4 years ago

Chrome Beta updated with better rendering and bug fixes


Page rendering performance and frequently occurring crashes addressed in today's update

Chrome Beta has been updated in Google Play this afternoon, and along with the usual (and often cryptic) fixes and enhancements, this version was specifically updated with an "Improvement to page rendering performance."  Here's the full list of changes, because we know some of you are into that sort of thing.

  • 179250: Black screen during load on Huawei tablets
  • 224379: Cannot scroll images after zooming in
  • 226193: Blue line displayed below the omnibox
  • Improvement to page rendering performance
  • Fixes for some frequently occurring crashes

We don't post every time a beta version of an app gets updated, but we know more than a few folks are concerned with things like improvements to page rendering performance -- we know we are. You can update, or grab the beta from the Google Play link above.

Source: Google Chrome blog

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4 years ago

T-Mobile quickly gives in to WA Attorney General, agrees 'UNcarrier' is misleading to consumers


Device financing terms to be clarified going forward; some customers can leave without penalty

T-Mobile has been making some big steps towards what it calls an "UNcarrier" strategy, which clarifies device pricing, ends phone contracts and gives customers more choice in the wireless industry. In trying to reinvent its strategy, however, T-Mobile has apparently ruffled some feathers at the Washington State Attorney General's office. Attorney General Bob Ferguson claims that T-Mobile's new plan structure is deceptive, leaves unfulfilled promises, and has "duped" consumers.

Ferguson specifically takes issue with the way T-Mobile now finances devices -- with a small down payment and monthly installments -- claiming that although the carrier claims there is no commitment to the service, customers will have to stay for 24 months or "face an unanticipated balloon payment for the phone equipment". Specifically, the AG had this to say:

“My office identified that T-Mobile was failing to disclose a critical component of their new plan to consumers, and we acted quickly to stop this practice and protect consumers across the country from harm.”

Ferguson has filed a court order, which has been signed and agreed upon by T-Mobile, that will force the carrier to clarify its terms of service and stop what Ferguson calls "deceptive advertising". Under the terms of the order, T-Mobile has created a document called the "an Assurance of Discontinuance (AOD)", better laying out the terms of the new Simple Choice plans. Inside, the carrier agrees not to:

  • Misrepresent consumers' obligations under its contracts, including those contracts that have not restrictions or limitations;  and
  • Fail to adequately disclose that customers who terminate their T-Mobile wireless service before their device is paid off will have to pay the balance due on the phone at the time of cancelation.

As part of the settlement, anyone who purchased service from T-mobile from March 26 to April 25 will be given an opportunity to leave the service agreement, with no penalty, and receive a full refund for the device and service provided they cite the terms of the new AOD.

Source: TmoNews; WA Attorney General

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4 years ago

iBomber: The popular game comes to Android


Take a time machine back to 1943 to make bombing runs in the Pacific

A popular iOS game for years (yes, years) has finally made its way over to Android, and is packing many gameplay features that took two full game releases to hit the other platform. iBomber is a top-down plane bombing game set in the WWII era, with quality graphics and gameplay that won't blow you away but will certainly leave you satisfied. The game mechanics itself are simple to pick up, but are deceptively hard to master.

iBomber is a great game to spend some time on, so stick around after the break and learn a little more about the title before you give it a shot for yourself.

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4 years ago

LG Optimus G Pro with AT&T branding leaks out


Familiar styling and minimalist branding essentially confirm the launch of this new device

Frequent and accurate device leaker @evleaks has just dropped this little gem on our hands -- the LG Optimus G Pro for AT&T. Just a few days before we're set to see what LG has to unveil at a press conference on May 1st, we are likely looking at one of the devices set to be unveiled. The hardware looks very similar to what we found in our review of the international version, complete with a home button LED, brushed silver camera pod and plastic back with textured design. The only difference here looks to be in terms of a small AT&T logo on the back, and the usual AT&T, NFC and 4G LTE logos up in the status bar of the phone.

If you need to refresh your memory on the merits of the Optimus G Pro, we've got a whole lot of content for you to take a look at. Be sure to take a look back at our review of the international device, a deeper look at the new "VR Panorama" photosphere feature, and of course check out our hands-on video below. Naturally, we'll be in New York to see for sure what LG has to unveil on May 1st as well.

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4 years ago

Sprint Photon Q Jelly Bean update starts its roll out today


Jelly Bean and a long list of bug fixes highlight the OTA that begins today

Fans of the Motorola Photon Q have a reason to celebrate today, as Sprint and Motorola have released the Jelly Bean update for the slider. The 9.8.2Q-122_XT897_FFW-5 update brings the Photon Q to platform version Android 4.1, brings the Jelly Bean goodies like Project Butter and Google Now, and has a laundry list of fixes and patches. Here's that list:

  • Google OS upgrade to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • Google Now
  • Voice search enhancements
  • Camera includes improved image quality and more intuitive panorama mode
  • Ability to zoom out to filmstrip mode in the Gallery
  • Keyboard includes improved dictionary and text to speech capabilities
  • Notification enhancements
  • Resolved Quick Office closing when reviewing a document
  • Improved GSM roaming connectivity for global use
  • Improved streaming of Sprint TV when location services are turned off
  • Enhanced security and ease of use on the face unlock feature
  • Removed Quick Views, Speed Dial, and MOTOPRINT applications
  • Improved accuracy and response of voice to text for texting, emailing, and web search

Like all OTA updates for Sprint phones, this one is rolling out in stages. It starts today, so be sure to check for the update in your settings if you've been waiting. If you've received the update, or just want to shoot the breeze while you wait, the forums is a great place to be.

Source: Sprint

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4 years ago

Droid DNA clone HTC Deluxe coming to Cellcom


The HTC Deluxe shows up again, this time in Wisconsin

Cellcom, the regional carrier from Wisconsin, has unveiled their next marquee device -- the HTC Deluxe. It's basically the HTC Droid DNA repackaged for the small network, which means it's a pretty damn good piece of equipment. If you need a refresher, that means it has a quad-core Snapdragon Pro CPU, a 5-inch 1080p display, 2GB of RAM, and an LTE radio to keep the data flowing.

No word on when it will arrive, just that it's coming "soon" for $199 with a new contract or $570 if you buy it outright. If you're a Cellcom subscriber, this is definitely worth a second look. See the source link for more details.

Source: Cellcom. Thanks, Aaron!

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4 years ago

HTC Rezound finally gets global roaming, Jelly Bean nowhere to be seen


Numerous fixes and improvements are also included in build 4.05.605.14 710RD

No luck this time around for HTC Rezound users hoping to receive Jelly Bean, but the update still has a pretty cool feature nonetheless. As promised -- although not exactly timely -- the Rezound is finally getting Global Roaming Support. This enables roaming on networks previously inaccessible to the phone, which covers over 205 countries.

A couple pre-installed apps have gotten updates, while a handful of others have been removed. Mobile Hotspot and Visual Voicemail get bug fixes, and improvements were made to Skype, Backup Assistant, and overall data connectivity. Users that have been experiencing freezes and random reboots should see system stability improve as well.

There is no word yet on when the update rollout will begin. If notifications start popping up, let our other Rezound owners know in the comments. For the complete change log, check out the source link below.

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

Google adds tablet optimization tips to Google Play Developer Console


Google proactively scanning apps uploaded to Google Play for tablet compatibility, provides feedback to developers in real-time

Google has added a new tablet optimization tips page to the developer console in order to provide feedback about apps and how they fare against the Tablet App Quality Checklist. When developers upload their apps, the Developer Console now runs a "series of checks to verify basic criteria" against the list, and displays the results in a new page. Android was built with application scalability in mind, meaning there is no need to build multiple apps designed for different device types, and instead use tools and assets designed for each under the umbrella of one app. It sounds great on paper, and works great when developers take the time to build out apps with this in mind.

Taking time is the key part. It's not easy to build mobile apps, especially ones that look good and take advantage of each device screen size and dimensions. Starting today, Google can help a little more by analyzing an app when it's uploaded, then placing some tips how it can be done "better" for tablets in the new optimization tips page.  

While this is one of those things most of us will never see, having it in place means better apps -- something we can all get behind.

Source: Google

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 sees first complete firmware leak


Firmware version I9500ZCUAMDG comes complete with all Odin files

With every big phone release comes a software leak just ahead of launch day. Today, it's the Samsung Galaxy S4's turn to show us the software. AdamLange of XDA Developers has been kind enough to post the first leaked version of Galaxy S4 firmware, in its complete form.

Samsung users that have installed custom firmware on their devices before are already familiar with Odin, a Windows application that allows firmware to be flashed on Samsung phones via USB. This Galaxy S4 leak comes complete with all the Odin files, namely the CSC, PDA and modem. This particular software is intended for the Chinese market; as time goes on and more leaks are obtained, they will be posted in AdamLange's thread.

Flashing stock firmware via Odin is a sure bet for getting Samsung phones back to factory condition and fixing any problems that may arise from installing custom firmware. Those that like to root and flash ROMs and kernels on their phones should definitely have a stock Odin package ready to go -- just in case. Keep an eye on the forums for the latest how-to guides and lists of flashable goodies, as them become available.

Source: XDA Developers

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4 years ago

Iron Man 3 now available in Google Play


Iron Man 3 flies his way to Android, grab it for free from Google Play

Gameloft has published Iron Man 3 to Google Play this morning, bringing the Marvel hero to life on your Android phone or tablet. Fly your way through this endless runner meets on-rails shooter, fighting against A.I.M. forces in Malibu Shores, New York city, and China. You can even fight some of your favorite bad guys from Iron Man comics, with boss battles against the likes of Crimson Dynamo, Ezekiel Stane, Living Laser and the mighty M.O.D.O.K. All while trying to manage Stark Industries and develop 18 new suits and keep your armor and super powers updated.

At 768MB it's a fairly big install, but the graphics and sound are pretty awesome. And of course, there are in-app purchases at every turn, but hopefully the game can be played without nickel-and-diming its way through your wallet. We'll be taking a good long look at this one, but in the meantime you can check out Simon's hands-on from GDC after the break. The game requires Android 2.3 or higher, and you can grab it from the Google Play link above.

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4 years ago

Samsung KNOX security suite for Galaxy S4 reportedly delayed


Launch reportedly pushed back to July, expected to ship pre-installed on select devices

According to sources of The New York Times, Samsung's latest BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) security software, called KNOX, has had its launched delayed. The software suite, which was expected to ship in early Q2 2013 coinciding with availability of the Galaxy S4, provides users and enterprises with secure solutions to separate user and company data, applications, and network traffic. The launch of the KNOX software has reportedly been pushed back to at least July, due to more internal and carrier testing time is needed before it can be made available.

Going forward after the software is officially available, it is expected to ship on select Samsung devices right out of the box. Samsung has seen an opportunity to grow its footprint in the enterprise since the launch of the Galaxy S3, first with SAFE (Samsung Approved For Enterprise) and now continuing to full BYOD solutions like KNOX. It's surely working to get this software out there as fast as possible.

Source: NYT

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4 years ago

T-Mobile's HTC One S finally gets its Jelly Bean update


For those who were worried the day would never come -- the T-Mobile (U.S.) HTC One S is finally getting Android 4.1.1. As confirmed in our HTC One S forums, the sizable (675-megabyte) update brings Jelly Bean, with all its bells and whistles, along with any number of bugfixes. (As of this writing, we're waiting on T-Mobile to post the full changelog.)

The update's a Wifi-only deal, so fire up the router and get downloading.

More: HTC One S forums

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4 years ago

Sprint Galaxy S3 OTA bringing multi-view and home screen security fix


Software version L710VPBMD4 rolling out in stages to devices starting today

Sprint's version of the Galaxy SIII (S3) has a software update rolling out today with notable feature enhancements and fixes. The biggest welcome improvement will likely be Multi-View, which has been a staple for users of the Galaxy Note 2 and other versions of the S3. Multi-View lets users run two apps simultaneously, each on one half of the screen. Beyond that, we're looking at improvements to the Gallery and Camera experiences, as well as the Paper Artist app.

There's also what Sprint is calling a "home screen security fix", which is always important, along with fixes for group SMS. The update is set to roll out OTA (Over The Air) in stages starting today, and some users in the forums are reporting seeing it on their own devices. Seeing the update yet? Let other users know in the forums.

Source: Sprint; More: Sprint Galaxy S3 Forums

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