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4 years ago

ZTE Blade III launches on Virgin Media in the UK


ZTE has announced the launch of a new entry-level handset for the UK market, the Blade III. With a 4-inch WVGA screen, Ice Cream Sandwich and a 1GHz processor, it's not what you'd call a cutting-edge smartphone, but ZTE is hoping some cheap and cheerful pricing will help it shift stock on launch partner Virgin Media.

Virgin's Pay As You Go prices start at a very reasonable £79.99, and the Blade III is also offered for free on contracts starting at just £18 per month (or £13 for Virgin Media cable subscribers). The Blade III first went on sale in Nordic territories late last year, priced considerably higher than the asking price on Virgin Media, so Brits looking for an inexpensive handset may want to give it a look over.

We've got today's press release, along with a full spec sheet, after the break.

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4 years ago

Average North American user could consume 6GB of mobile data per month by 2017


According to research and predictions by Cisco, the average North American smartphone user could consume 6GB of data per month by 2017. The annual report, which has been released six times now, shows smartphone data usage increasing 13-fold worldwide in the next four years. The average North American user currently consumes 752MB per month as of 2012, and the worldwide average is just 200MB. In just four short years those numbers are expected to hit 6GB and 2GB, respectively. These numbers are even slightly more conservative than previous years and estimates from other entities.

The Asia-Pacific region numbers are just as startling, where Cisco predicts usage will increase from 136MB to 1.75GB and the region will account for as much as 47.1-percent of all data consumed worldwide. The report also explains that in 2012 just 1-percent of connections in the world were 4G, but those connections drove 14-percent of mobile data traffic. By 2017, that is predicted to rise to 10-percent of connections and 45-percent of data traffic.

It's no secret that the introduction of new, faster devices and plentiful LTE connectivity will fuel quick increases in mobile data consumption. The unknown at this point is whether or not network operators will be able to continue to offer these connections at a reasonable cost going forward. Let's hope that they can keep up with the times as our world continues to move towards mobile devices.

Source: FierceWireless

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4 years ago

LG Optimus G makes its way to the land down under March 13


LG is rolling out its flagship Optimus G to more countries, and that rollout is set to hit Australia on March 13th. The Optimus G has been available here in the states (and a couple other countries) since October, but LG has just recently announced that the device will make its way to other countries in the coming months. Australians hoping to pick up an Optimus G will be stuck with just one carrier, Telstra, and no pricing has been released just yet. Based on what has LG stated before, this device will have LTE on board and should also ship out of the box with Jelly Bean, which is a nice consolation prize considering how late it's arriving.

The launch will come with its own event in Sydney, so we'll likely hear more about specifics at that time. We've still got well over a month before this device will be available.

Via: AusDroid

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4 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Who will be Android's top OEM in 2013?


In 2012, it was hard to compete with Samsung's $12 Billion electronics marketing budget. Even Apple has felt the pinch from Samsung's marketing department. They figured out that building the products that people like wasn't enough -- you had to make sure they knew about their existence. And they did a hell of an advertising job on "old" media like magazines and newspaper, TV, and the Internet. It paid off pretty well, as they are the undisputed top dog in Android, and sell the most smartphones world-wide. The only issue with their plan is that other OEMs can copy it.

That brings us to 2013, where we've yet to see the real advertising push for the next round of Android devices. You can bet every manufacturer is studying what Samsung has done in 2012, and tweaking those plans to better suit the needs of their own massive ad assault. Some will be successful, some won't, but they all have to try. They have the devices down -- every company builds great Android phones, now they just need to figure out how to sell them.

The one sure bet is that things will be interesting. One small flounder by Samsung is all it would take, and fickle users will switch loyalties to the next company in short order. Or maybe LG will decide to open their coffers and spend a few more Billion on marketing. Or maybe HTC can reorganize and wow us at the cash register. Stranger things have happened, and a turnover at the top is best for the consumer -- it keeps everyone making our phones and tablets fighting for our business. 

Here's your chance to play smart phone analyst. Spend a few minutes thinking of the different scenarios that could happen, decide which is the most likely, and vote in the poll. You'll find it over to the right in the sidebar, and we've embedded it after the break to make it easy. I've marked my calendar, and we'll revisit this in December to see how we all did.

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4 years ago

Changing Twitter apps? Remember to free the token


It's no secret that Twitter is holding a tight rein over third party developers with their limited number of tokens rule. We've seen clients go under because of it on both Android and Windows Phone, and it certainly was a factor in the development and release issues we've seen with Carbon that has everyone up in arms.

In case you haven't been keeping up with it all, Twitter has placed a limit on the number of users who can connect an application to their Twitter account. Folks writing new apps are allowed just 100,000 "tokens" by default, severely limiting how many users can actually use their application with Twitter. There's plenty more rules, and if you're in a position that needs to know them all be sure to visit the Twitter developers site

There is something we can do to help, though. When you connect an application to your Twitter account, it's listed in the account settings online. From there, you can revoke it if you're not going to use the application, thus freeing the token for someone else to use. It's pretty simple to do once you know it's there, just look in the settings > apps section of your Twitter page on the web. It's a small, but important thing we can do to help the developers who make Android great. Hit the break, and see exactly how it's done.

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4 years ago

MapMyRun: up the pace with this run tracking app


It's Mobile Nations Fitness Month, and that means we're going to be highlighting a few apps that can help you meet your own fitness goals. We know that not everyone is a runner, but if you are you know that it can be hard to keep up with a pace and on a schedule from week to week. MapMyRun does just what you'd expect -- it gives GPS-based mapping of your runs, and offers a lot of insight into your workouts. Best of all, the app displays this great information in a clean and designed UI.

Stick around after the break and see if MapMyRun is what you need to keep up the pace.

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4 years ago

Dell Streak 7 gets unofficial CM10.1 build


Most people have forgotten about the Dell Streak 7. Even Dell has given up on the devices. That doesn't mean that enthusiastic users aren't going to keep supporting it, and that's evidenced today by a user on XDA Forums that has ported CM10.1 to the device. That's right, we're seeing Android 4.2.1 running on the Dell Streak 7, and nearly everything is working. It will obviously be bottlenecked by some low-end specs at this point, but the only portions of the ROM not functional are the camera and external microphone.

If you happen to have one of these laying around and want to give it a shot at some Jelly Bean goodness, head to the source link below and try it out. The folks working on this development could surely use some more testers to help out.

Source: XDA; More: Dell Streak Forums

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4 years ago

Motorola RAZR i receiving Jelly Bean OTA in the UK


The RAZR i, Motorola's tweak of the RAZR M with an Intel chip inside, is receiving its Jelly Bean update in the U.K. starting today. Although its cousin the RAZR M started to receive its Jelly Bean update back in November, there are certainly some extra tweaks required to getting the update ready for devices with Intel processors still. The RAZR i Jelly Bean rollout started in France just a few short days ago, so the U.K. isn't far behind here.

The update will bring all of the notable improvements of Jelly Bean, including Project Butter, Google Now and improved notifications. Motorola says the update will begin rolling today and will head out in phases (of course). If you've got your hands on a RAZR i, keep on the lookout for a system update notification.

Source: Motorola; More: Motorola RAZR i Forums

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4 years ago

Android 4.0 and higher nears 50-percent adoption, 2.3 still the largest share


Right on schedule, the Android Developers Dashboard has reported the share of devices running each version of Android as of February 4, 2013. These numbers are measured based on the number of users accessing Google Play within a 14 day period, which is a great indication of devices being actively used. As you can see in the chart above, Android 4.0 and higher is nearing the 50-percent mark, at 42.6-percent currently. Gingerbread is still holding down the top spot at 45.6-percent, but we're nearing the point where device running Gingerbread will be overtaken by versions with the new design language.

As you'll see in the graph after the break, the share of Gingerbread devices is slowly but surely decreasing, making way for a notably quick Jelly Bean advancement. Jelly Bean (both 4.1 and 4.2) total up to 13.6-percent of devices, surely helped by the success of the Nexus 7 and notable updates to popular devices like the Galaxy S3.

Source: Android Developers Dashboard

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4 years ago

Chicken Dynamo: tilt and fly through this fun side-scroller


Apparently chickens can fly, and we're glad they can in the new game Chicken Dynamo. Another entry into the casual side-scrolling category, Chicken Dynamo takes a proven gametype and adds some fun flare while keeping things simple. Similar to popular flying titles like Jetpack Joyride, this game offers gameplay that can be as simple or as challenging as you want to make it. 

Read along after the break to see more of what Chicken Dynamo has to offer.

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4 years ago

PSA: Nexus 4 factory images back online


Almost two months after they were mysteriously pulled from Google's online repository of Nexus factory images, the Nexus 4 stock images have reappeared on the site. These are full copies of the stock Nexus 4 Android 4.2.1 firmware which can be used to reset the device back to factory software if anything goes wrong.

The file's MD5 hash is the same as the earlier image, so it looks like nothing's changed. And obviously, it's the same version of Android running on just about every Nexus 4 at the moment -- Android 4.2.1, build JOP40D. Interestingly, the Nexus 4 hardware binaries required to build AOSP for the device are still missing from the Google Developers site.

In any case, if you want to grab the Nexus 4 factory image you can once again do so at the source link.

Source: Nexus Factory Images

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4 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich finally rolling out on the HTC Thunderbolt


A week after it was confirmed, and a good six months or so since the first leak, Ice Cream Sandwich is pushing out for Verizon's HTC Thunderbolt. The update brings the 'Bolt up to Android 4.0.4 and HTC Sense 3.6, and weighs in at a little under 400MB. According to reports from the Android Central forums and elsewhere it's available now for download, so go get it! Head to Settings > About phone > Software update to see if your update is ready.

If you've stuck it out with the Thunderbolt, be sure to hit the comments let us know how you get on with this substantial software upgrade.

Source: Android Central forums

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4 years ago

AT&T turns on LTE in 5 more markets, including Norfolk and Virginia Beach


AT&T announced this morning that it has flipped the switch for LTE in more cities. The high speed 4G network is now available in:

  • Northwest, Georgia
  • Albany, Georgia
  • Cecil County, Maryland
  • Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
  • Norfolk, parts of Virginia Beach and Portsmouth, VA

Great news for everybody in these locales who can now experience the faster speeds.

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4 years ago

BlackBerry Android Runtime to be updated to Android 4.1, eventually


The Android Runtime for BlackBerry has been around for a while now, but while the idea has always been good -- Android developers can easily repackage their apps to distribute in BlackBerry World -- there has always been something holding it back. The Runtime has always been based on Gingerbread, a now 2 generations old version of Android. While as of today that is still the case, it won't always be. 

Announced this morning during the keynote presentation at BlackBerry Jam Europe in Amsterdam, the Runtime will be updated. Eventually. And, the great news for developers and users alike is that when the update happens, it's skipping Ice Cream Sandwich and going straight to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Ultimately, BlackBerry 10 users will benefit from a much better experience too. 

Eventually is the key word, as while confirmation of the plans has been given, no time frame is available at this time. However, it opens the door to many more Android developers to make the jump and port their applications over to BlackBerry 10. Increasing numbers of apps are being developed for Android 4.x only, but at some point those developers will have the same opportunities to distribute their Android apps through BlackBerry World. 

via CrackBerry

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4 years ago

Stock Talk: The downward slide at HTC continues


HTC reported its Q4 results yesterday, and it seems pretty clear that things are going to get worse before they (hopefully) get better. Sales were down 41% compared to the year ago quarter, coming in at US $2 billion. Profitability is essentially gone, given the operating margin of 1%.

HTC’s gross margins were 23% in the quarter. That’s down from 27.1% last year, telling us that pricing pressure is still working against HTC. Given how strong Samsung is in the Android space, it has to be hard to compete. Samsung makes so many of its own parts, from processors to screens to memory. And Samsung is really the only Android manufacturer with so much control over its supply chain. This makes it tough for anyone else to compete on hardware alone, which HTC has to do.

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