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5 years ago

Google I/O 2012 is this week - here's what we expect to see


Google I/O kicks off Wednesday morning at Moscone West in San Francisco, and we're all looking forward to a giant bucket of awesome getting dumped on our heads from the good folks from Mountain View. It's the biggest show of the year for Android lovers, one where we see what may be coming up, what is under development, and how it all works together. Because Android and Chrome have grown so popular, and other platforms like Google TV are seeing growth as well, I/O has been bumped to three days instead of the two day events we've seen in the past. We still get our two big keynotes (some of the best in the industry) but we get another full day to meet with developers and designers, as well as dive into the developer sessions. We think it's going to be a great conference, and we'll be there to keep you abreast on everything Google and Android. Hit the break and let's talk about what we expect to see at Moscone West.

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5 years ago

Case-Mate Barely There Case for HTC One X/XL


The HTC ONE X  is a beautifully designed phone. The polycarbonate body feels like it is tough – but I do worry about scratches and how it would weather a drop.

While it certainly seems well built and sturdy, I would not be very happy if  I dropped the HTC ONE X– either on the face of the device or on the back with the protruding camera.

A good case makes me feel better about the investment in the phone and it is good insurance against the unforeseen. However, these new HTC devices are pretty big and I don’t want to add to the size. The HTC One X is also incredibly thin and I wouldn’t want to compromise that feel either.

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5 years ago

Official Wimbledon app hits Google Play


Attention tennis fans. I'm sure you haven't failed to remember that today sees the start of the Wimbledon tennis championship in London. If you fancy keeping up with all the news and gossip from the tournament you will be pleased to know that the official Wimbledon app is now available to download for free.

The tournament runs from today through July 8, and the eyes of the world will be on Southwest London. Why not keep your eyes on it too, all from your Android smartphone?

Key features of the app include:

  • LIVE scores.
  • Results.
  • Schedule of play.
  • Draws.
  • News.
  • Player profiles.
  • On demand video previews, highlights, features, interviews and golden moments
  • Photos.
  • Live @ Wimbledon Radio – 3 channels: Daily coverage of The Championships and two channels dedicated to Centre Court and No.1 Court commentary of live match play.
  • Find It – lets spectators locate facilities around the grounds at Wimbledon.

More information and download Wimbledon here

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5 years ago

T-Mobile buying AWS spectrum off Verizon in mondo deal


Spectrum talk isn't sexy, but it's damned important. And this morning T-Mobile and Verizon announced a deal that's going to benefit both carriers. T-Mobile's snagging more AWS spectrum (that's the 1700 MHz stuff they need for their 3G/4G data, and next year's LTE rollout) from Verizon, and it's all part of (and contingent on) a bigger (and controversial deal) that nets Big Red additional spectrum from the likes of SpectrumCo, Cox Cable and Leap. Once that deal goes through, Verizon will flip some of that bandwidth back over to T-Mobile, and everybody not named AT&T and Sprint benefits.

The deal also boosts T-Mobile's position in 15 of the top 25 markets, it says, including Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Detroit; Minneapolis; Seattle; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Milwaukee; Charlotte, N.C.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; Memphis; and Rochester, N.Y.

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5 years ago

Virgin Media enter the mobile 'value wars'


When it comes to value, most of the UK's phone networks are after the top spot. Three have traditionally been number one in terms of what the customer gets for his/her money.
Things are heating up though as today Virgin Media have launched a new range of tariffs which seems to kick the competition into touch, in particular if you are already a Virgin Media customer for their home services.
There are a few options available but the king of the new packages is the 'premiere' tariff which for a mere £21.00 per month gives customers unlimited data, unlimited, sms, unlimited UK landline calls and 2500 anytime minutes. Yes, you did the part correctly about it being £21.00 Bargain!

You can check out the full press release from Virgin Media below.

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5 years ago

Markers: An awesome drawing app, and more confirmation of the Nexus tablet?



There's a new pressure sensitive and finger friendly drawing app in the Google Play store called Markers, and since it's written by Android software engineer Daniel Sandler (wonderfully written I might add), it's getting its fair share of attention. The app itself is free in Google Play, will run on any Android device with Eclair or higher, and it's open source. It's already given me more than a few hours of fun, and I have to recommend it to everyone. Especially everyone with a tablet.

Speaking of tablets, Google's Dan Morrill has been showing off some artwork (that's his up top) and pics have a pretty interesting resolution to them -- 800x1172. Add in a few extra pixels for a series of on-screen buttons that you don't see here, and you have the 800x1200 resolution of the rumored recently outed Nexus 7-inch tablet. If anyone would be using one and doing some final testing, someone like Morrill would certainly fit, as he's an Android engineer in Mountain View. And a pretty damn good artist!

We'll know all there is to know about any Googlicious Nexus tablets in just a handful of days. In the meantime, grab the Markers app and have some fun while you wait.

And by the way: That pic from Morrill you see above would make a great Jelly Bean easter egg. Just sayin'.

Download Markers from Google Play; grab the source code; check out Dan Morrill's artwork on Google+

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5 years ago

ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity expected in mid-July, starting at $499


So you've read our complete ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity review and can't wait to get your hands on one, eh? Can't say we blame you. It's quite the tablet-keyboard combo. So when can you get one?

ASUS tells us we should expect the Infinity to go on sale no earlier than the week of July 16. There's no hard and fast date, though, and like with the Transformer Prime, availability may very depending on when stock arrives. 

A quick reminder on pricing:

  • The 32-gigabyte version retails for $499.
  • The 64-gigabyte version costs $599.
  • The keyboard dock is $149.

Those prices are subject to change, ASUS says, and it wouldn't surprise us in the least if they're sold for less at some online retailers. I'll come in two colors -- amethyst gray and champagne gold.

Another thing to remember is that if you've got the Transformer Prime keyboard dock, it'll work with the Infinity, so long as the firmware is up to date. So that can save you some cash.

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5 years ago

ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity Review (TF700)


The ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity takes an already-excellent design and ups the ante yet again.

In the world of Android tablets, which -- and let's be perfectly honest here -- has been less than inspiring of late, there consistently has been one bright spot. That would be Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS, best known as a motherboard supplier, which burst onto the scene in the spring of 2011 with a crazy tablet-keyboard laptop-esque hybrid that, surprisingly enough, got a good many things right on the first try.

ASUS followed up the EeePad Transformer in late 2011 with the Transformer Prime, mostly improving on the original design (so long as GPS wasn't too important to you).

And that brings us to the new ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity. (Also known as the TF700.) Announced in January 2012 -- only a month or so after the Transformer Prime hit the streets -- the Infinity, as we're wont to call it, should look familiar. It's cut from the same cloth with a 10.1-inch display and optional keyboard dock. We got our first look at it at Mobile World Congress in late February in Barcelona.

So how's this one stand up? read on for our full ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity review.

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5 years ago

Google Nexus tablet details leak, expected down under in July


The folks at Gizmodo Australia have got their hands on what they're saying is training material for the soon-to-be-released (we hope) Nexus tablet. They're saying the tablet will be a 7-incher built by ASUS and be debuted at Google I/O this week just as expected. The specs are also pretty close to everyone's guess:

  • 7-inch 1280×800 IPS Display
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (not confirmed to be 5.0 just yet)
  • 1.3GHz Quad-Core Tegra 3 CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB / 16GB Internal Storage
  • 1.2MP Front Camera
  • 8 Hours Battery Life
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n 
  • NFC

The materials suggest the tablet will go up for sale in Australia sometime in July, so we expect it in the very near future in other places on the globe. 

That leaves a few things left to wonder -- will it come in white? And what's the reason to buy it over any of the other Android tablets out there. We're half kidding about the first bit (although it would look very nice in white), but for the second there is one thing we know of to make it worthwhile -- updates direct from Google, with no carrier or OEM bullshit involved. If you want an Android tablet, that's the one to get. If you need a reason to buy an Android tablet in the first place, we're hoping to see one this week at Google I/O.

Source: Gizmodo Au; via Ausdroid

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5 years ago

Sony's new Google TV set-top box coming July 22, and they are going global


Two great pieces of news here in one press release -- Sony's new set-top Google TV box, the NSZ-GS7, will go on sale July 22 and the $199 price tag has been confirmed. Pre-orders are live now at Sony. Maybe even bigger news is that Sony will follow the US release with units for the UK also in July, and Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Netherlands, Brazil, and Mexico will follow after. To round things out Sony also says they will be releasing the Blu-ray version this fall for United States, followed later by Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Netherlands.

As one of the first units of Google TV's promised 2012 summer refresh, we're excited to see how the dual-core Marvell SoC performs compared to the last generation ATOM-powered devices. We're think it will be a good bit better, as hardware performance was one of the weak spots with previous Google TV units. And that remote, with it's rear mini-qwerty and trackpad on the front, well, it just needs to be tried.

The full press release and a handful of official photos are after the break.

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5 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Gearing up for Google IO


We're two days away from heading out to the Google IO developer conference in San Francisco. But no rest for the wicked. It's a working weekend. And that means one thing: A notes column!

  • My tl;dr predictions for Google IO (look for a more thoughtful piece on Monday): 7-inch tablet, preview of Jelly Bean (no code drop or anything though), hopefully some news that'll keep Google TV afloat. Plus a bunch of Chrome and other non-Android type stuff.
  • Speaking of Google IO ... Can't wait to meet all the great devs and other attendees. It's cliche, I know, but it really is the coolest part of the week.
  • That and seeing Jerry's beard in person.
  • Here's a good one from CrackBerry Kevin, a couple hours after he bought a $200 Vuvuzela app. "Oh, cool! You can get refunds on apps?" Me: "Oh, right. Yeah. In the first 15 minutes after purchase. I probably should have mentioned that sooner." Whoops.
  • I'm still very much enjoying the Galaxy S III. I'm not crazy about TouchWiz, sure -- the design just doesn't live up to the sophistication of the phone itself, nor does it complement Ice Cream Sandwich all that well. And I'm also not jazzed about Samsung putting a menu button on the phone. (LG's done that as well, as you'll recall.) Should be some interesting discussions on that this week. But the design of the device itself is excellent.
  • If you've yet to listen, we recorded Episode 100 of the Greatest Android Podcast in the World last week. It was epic. Listen now!
  • We're starting to hit our stride with accessories reviews. Some of them you can purchase straight from us at ShopAndroid.com. Some we don't carry, but they're awesome anyway. Point is, we're you're No. 1 source for all things Android -- not just the things our stores sell. And that's pretty cool.
  • The Newsroom premiere was good. Classic Sorkin. OTOH, it cribbed and expanded on an early West Wing episode. But who am I to judge? Loved it.
  • The best part about having a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico is ... Wait. Scratch that. It sucks.

See y'all from San Francisco this week!

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5 years ago

The one where CrackBerry Kevin buys a $200 Android app and gets a picture of an iPhone ...


Oops. I did it again. Back in January at CES 2012 I got double-dog dared into buying the most expensive app in BlackBerry App World. I paid $500 for a clock widget. Stupid? You bet. But somebody has to take one for the team.

I didn't start today planning on buying the most expensive app in the Google Play store, but somehow between the booze, the crowd and the tension that's exactly what happened.

I was at a local watering hole taking in the quarter final Italy - England match at EURO2012. Scoreless at halftime, I figured I needed to download a Vuvuzela app for the second half of the game so I could cheer on Italy (I'm engaged to an Italian -- my life is a lot easier when they win).

I found a lot of free and/or cheap Vuvuzela apps in the Google Play store, but I also found the Vuvuzela World Cup Horn Plus for $200, which is the maximum price Google allows apps to be sold for. I was shocked to see Google Play tell me it had 50+ downloads, and there was one other rating in there, so my curiosity got to me. What magic and wonders could a $200 Vuvuzela app possess?

Surprisingly enough, the answer to that question is that the app features a picture of an iPhone holding a Vuvuzela! Hilarious. The developers really should be ashamed of themselves for this one. I also found the app crashed a lot, and though it looked like there was a menu for more options, it never opened.

A complete ripoff? I should say yes... but Italy did come through with a the victory in an overtime shootout, so I'm not going to complain on this one. Hit the video above to see it how it all went down. And to the developer who just made a whack of cash off me. ... I sure hope you put it to good use.

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5 years ago

AT&T Galaxy S II Ice Cream Sandwich update available again via Kies


A quick heads up that the fine folks in our AT&T Galaxy S II forums are reporting that the phone's Ice Cream Sandwich update is available again from the Samsung Kies software. The update briefly went live last week only to disappear again; AT&T says it was just testing things. But now it appears to be ready and willing.

So fire up Kies, and hit the link below to see what everyone else is seeing.

More: AT&T Galaxy S II forums

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5 years ago

Official-looking pics of the T-Mobile-branded Galaxy Note


We've seen the blurry-cam and unofficial pictures leak out of a Galaxy Note carrying T-Mobile branding, but the folks over at CellPhone Signal got their hands on what they're calling official images. Not a lot of other details have leaked out, but the few that have are pretty tasty -- the T-mobile version will come in Navy Blue, run Ice Cream Sandwich (as we saw in the previous leak), and have HSPA+ enabled on 850/1900 MHz bands along with standard AWS bands. T-Mobile is slowly shifting radio frequencies for HSPA+, and as a bonus it means it should work on AT&T once factory SIM unlocked with no rooting or fiddling

The also tell us to expect to see it for sale on July 11, so keep your eyes peeled for more info soon.

Source: CellPhone Signal

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5 years ago

Sony Xperia Ion Review


The Sony Xperia Ion is launching today on AT&T, more than 5 months after being announced - and with last year's version of Android. So is it still worth your time?

The hunt for an Android device is one that is never ending, and it ultimately comes down to an internal battle of when "enough is enough" and one device is good enough to last you for the term of your contract. Is there ever a perfect device for everyone? No.

The beauty of Android is that there is a ton of devices to chose from, some big and some small, some powerful and others just spec'd for the entry level consumers. Back at CES 2012 we first caught wind of the Sony Xperia Ion, and until recently the device was in a sort of black hole. Sony is finally ready to put this device in consumer hands and that means it's time for you to begin wondering if this could be your next device. There is no definite yes or no for everyone, but let's hit the break together and go through some of the good and bad and see just how this device stacks up.

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