4 years ago

T-Mobile's new plans: Ten frequently asked questions


T-Mobile just dropped one helluva big change on us, completely redesigning its plans and how it sells devices.

No matter how simple they are or how you explain them, there are bound to be questions left unanswered. We've been keeping an eye on the burning questions people are having regarding the changes, and done our best to answer them below. We implore you to first take a look at our full set of announcement posts from Tuesday, where we break down the gritty details of the different plans, as well as some device announcements and other details:

Still curious to know a little more about T-Mobile's new rate plans? Hang around after the break and see if we can clarify a few things.

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4 years ago

Checking out Havok's Project Anarchy at GDC 2013


Though Project Anarchy may be free, it looks like all a mobile game dev could need

One of the more interesting bits of mobile news at GDC 2013 was Havok's announcement of a free version of their well-established 3D engine. For those unfamiliar, Havok is the backbone of such AAA titles as Skyrim, Black Ops 2, L.A. Noire, and many more. We had to swing by their booth to see just how well it performed. Project Anarchy handles a wide range of graphical tasks extremely well, but it also has an AI, physics, and animation engine, allowing developers to make a fully-realized game with just a few tweaks to the demo apps included. 

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4 years ago

Rymdkapsel bringing minimalist strategy to PlayStation-certified devices


Build a base with Tetris blocks, but don't get too far - those pesky red lines are out to get you

A hidden gem at GDC 2013 was tucked away at the PlayStation booth called Rymdkapsel. This is a minimalistic strategy game with some Tetris-style base expansion mechanics. Players have to collect resources, research new technologies, and defend themselves against the occasional wave of attackers. 

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4 years ago

HTC Droid DNA retired?


Has the HTC Droid DNA been given its gold watch and sent packing? Verizon CS says yes, and it's no longer listed for sale

Update: And ... it's back on Verizon's site. Take that to mean whatever you want.

Original: A reader sent in a pretty interesting screenshot, accompanied by some equally interesting information about the HTC Droid DNA. According to Verizon customer service, the DNA is now officially retired. The screenshot of chat with a CS (you can find it after the break) actually uses the word retired, and subsequent inquiries led to a statement from Verizon saying "HTC halted production in efforts to push out an upcoming project on the horizon".

Now normally, we would place little to no faith in the words of an online chat with customer care from any provider. We're not judging, they have a difficult job and get way more harassment than anyone deserves. But after hearing about this, we went looking on Verizon's website, and found that the DNA is nowhere to be seen. You can't buy one from Big Red. Verizon loves to take our money, so there must be a reason they don't want to sell us a Droid DNA.

Now consider the on and off rumors about the HTC One coming to Verizon. We're pretty sure that you'll never be able to buy an "HTC One" for use on Verizon. But ask us if you'll be able to buy a premium HTC device with Sense 5, the new camera, Boomsound, a kick-ass display, and all the other goodies that come with the HTC One and our answer would be different. Don't let semantics like official names fool you. We're pretty confident that something very close to the HTC One is "on the horizon" for Verizon Wireless.

We never pretend that we know what goes on inside the minds of carrier corporate executives. We certainly question many of their decisions, but we're not at the meetings and don't have access to the data they use when they decide things like which phones to sell, and when to stop selling them. And of course, all this could be wrong and the DNA is simply out of stock for a while. We're just going to keep watching this, and when it all works out, we'll let you know.

Thanks, Robert!

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week: Collapse! Blast, Touch Control, Game of Thrones Companion and more!


It's the last "Apps of the Week" post for the month of March, and we're going to make it a worthwhile one.

As usual, we're bringing you a collection of apps directly from the Android Central writers -- ones that stay on our devices as the go-to apps. This week we have a couple of games, a few utilities (as usual) and a couple of odds and ends to keep things fresh.

Hang around with us after the break and see how this week's picks stack up with he rest.

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4 years ago

Project SHIELD at GDC 2013


Still waiting on retail availability info

We already got some playtime with NVIDIA's Project SHIELD at PAX East, but it was great to sneak in a few more rounds at GDC 2013. As a more industry-focused event, obviously NVIDIA was busy at GDC getting devs on board with Tegra optimizations through sessions, but there were also plenty of Project SHIELD demo units kicking around, giving everyone a chance to try out the system first-hand.

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4 years ago

AT&T apparently has an 'exclusive' on 64GB HTC One


Still no word on pricing for AT&T's HTC One, though

Oh, how we loathe the word "exclusive." For those of us on the editorial side, it's become a bit of a joke. But when a U.S. carrier uses it, it means someone else is probably getting the short end of the stick. In this case, it's anyone not AT&T, which is boasting in a promo video that it's got the "exclusive" on a 64-gigabyte version of the HTC One. (For what it's worth: The storage sizes aren't what's new here -- AT&T announced all that back in February. It's the "exclusive" part that's new.)

That means if you were hoping for the larger storage options on T-Mobile or Sprint, you might not get it, at least not at first. That said, the vast majority of "normal users" (chances are if you're reading this that isn't you) will never come close to hitting that 32GB limit. So, there's that. If you're holding out for a Verizon variant of the HTC One, we'd be willing to bet that 64GB might still be on the table, though. That's up to Big Red, though.

Meanwhile, we still don't have pricing or availability. So in the meantime, be sure to check out our full HTC One review, and swing by the ever-exciting HTC One forums!

And check out AT&T's promo video after the break if that's your thing.

Source: Youtube; via Droid-Life

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4 years ago

Tetris Blitz to offer deeper, faster take on classic puzzle game


This ain't your daddy's Tetris - get as many rows as you can in two minutes and customize with power-ups

At GDC 2013, we took some time to talk with EA about the latest mobile iteration of the classic puzzle game franchise, Tetris. Tetris Blitz promises to be a whole new experience: there's no failure, just two frantic minutes of dropping blocks and lining up rows as quickly as possible.

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4 years ago

Fieldrunners 2 beta invites are going out


Testers now being contacted via email for their chance to check out the Fieldrunners 2 beta

A few days ago we told you about the Fieldrunners 2 for Android closed beta and directed you to the sign-up page. If you followed through and signed up, be sure to check your inbox to see if you got in, as the invites are now rolling out. In the email you receive, you are given full instructions on installing and running the app, as well as the proper channel to submit bugs. That last part is important -- if you did get in, be sure to contact Subatomic Studios and let them know.  Also, some advice on how to uninstall in preparation for the final release product, as you may have issues with game progress data otherwise.

The beta is two of the 25 full missions that will be in the final edition, and besides testing for compatibility and bugs, you're bound to have a good time and see what the full version will offer. I've been playing Fieldrunners 2 on the PC for a while (I <3 U Steam weekend deals) and am a big fan of the original Fieldrunners game on Android. So far, I'm loving what I see here. Hopefully the testing goes smoothly, and we see a final release soon. Now if you'll excuse me, I have towers that need upgraded.

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean now available via 'Simple Upgrade Tool' for the Alltel Galaxy S II


Alltel hasn't forgotten the Samsung Galaxy S II, and Jelly Bean is available for download right now

Customers on Alltel using a Galaxy S II will want to check their messaging app this evening, as Jelly Ban has been made available. Users are receiving a text telling them the update is ready to download to their computer:

FREEALLTELMSG: Get the latest update for your Samsung Galaxy SII. Download OS Jelly Bean version 4.1.2 from your computer. Visit http://bit.ly/XHB4dp

Upon visiting the link, you're then warned that this is only able to be done via a computer (Windows only) using the Simple Upgrade Tool from Samsung. What you'll be downloading is the official SCH-R760 4.1.2 build, and the included package will walk you through getting it installed on your phone.

While we prefer OTA updates whenever possible, the jump from Gingerbread to Jelly Bean requires more than just an update to the system files. Manually flashing it from a computer is probably the best way to go here, though we wish it was a more generic process versus a Windows only executable file.

If you have no access to a compatible Windows computer (Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, or XP) you should visit the closest Alltel dealer and ask for assistance. For everyone else, get to downloading!

More: Alltel. Thanks, Terry!

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4 years ago

Google applies for patent to tie weather and location data to camera settings


Could Google use your location data to make you a better photographer? This patent application shows someone in Mountain View thinks so.

Google has filed for a patent that would adjust camera settings for optimal performance based on GPS coordinates and the current weather conditions.  Depending on where you are, and what the weather might be like if it's determined that you're outdoors, settings like white balance, ISO, exposure value and all those other camera settings most people never touch can be tweaked using the data collected. This means that the settings of the camera can be adjusted on-the-fly for the perfect shot.

We have no idea if Google will ever use this one, or if it's even a worthwhile feature, but Senior VP of engineering Vic Gundotra did promise making Nexus phones with "insanely great cameras".  And while we're over patents and the never-ending war that seems to go along with them, this one was too cool to not talk about.

Source: USPTO; via Engadget

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4 years ago

You'll now have to wait until at least June to not buy the HP Slate 7


Look the HP Slate 7 Android tablet didn't exactly bowl us over when it got a look at it at Mobile World Congress in February in Spain. OK, the industrial design was actually pretty good -- along the lines of a nicely done Nexus 7-type tablet -- but the internals and display should have been enough to make even a first-timer think twice. The $169 tablet was supposed to go on sale sometime in April, but HP's microsite apparently has pushed that launch to June. 

The Slate 7 ain't getting any younger, folks. While there's a place for budget tablets, an extra $30 would get you a base Nexus 7. There's no contest there. And considering that we're very likely going to see an updated 7-incher (or thereabouts) at Google I/O in May, the prospect of an even older Slate 7 just isn't tempting at all.

Source: HP; via Engadget
More: See our hands-on with the HP Slate 7

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4 years ago

It's Easter Weekend. Save 15% on All Android Accessories!


Use coupon HOP13 at checkout to save 15% on ALL Android accessories

Take me to ShopAndroid.com and let the savings begin!

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4 years ago

The Google Watch with Google Now - A wearable computer for the present


A Google Watch would be an ideal first step into the world of wearables, and putting Google Now at its heart makes too much sense for it not to happen

The future of computing is mobile, and the future of mobile is wearables. Google knows this; so does LG, Samsung and Apple. That’s why all four are rumored to be working on their own smart watches. Google’s, it’s reported, will run Android, and might be with us sooner rather than later.

The Pebble smart watch has already proved the appetite for this kind of product as a smartphone companion device. The appeal is obvious -- the ability to keep tabs on email, messages, calls, music playback, etc. using a device that’s always on your person. Relief from the burden of constant phone-checking (or at least, a weaning of users onto constant watch-checking instead.) It’s no wonder Google and others want a piece of that pie.

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4 years ago

Galaxy S4 preorders start at US Cellular on April 16


Looks like April 16 is starting to be the day for Samsung Galaxy S4 presales. AT&T's opening up that day, and now US Cellular is throwing its hat into the ring, too. 

No word yet on what the phone will cost -- we're told it'll be announced on April 16 -- nor do we know what storage options USCC will offer.

More: US Cellular
Also: Samsung Galaxy S4 Forums | Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy

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