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3 years ago

Android passes 1 billion activations


An amazing milestone just a handful of years after its inception

Ever since Google announced that the total number of Android device activations had passed 900 million back at Google I/O we've been waiting for that magical 1 billion stat to become official. Taking to his Google+ page, head of Android, Chrome and Apps Sundar Pichai revealed today that over 1 billion Android devices had been activated to date.

That's a serious number, and at the rate of at least 1.5 million more activations per day, the milestones are going to keep on coming.

Source: +Sundar Pichai

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3 years ago

Kit Kat statue joins the crew at Google HQ


Sundar Pichai just showed us an absolutely awesome picture. A giant, chocolaty, delicious Kit Kat bar Android statue has joined the rest of the bunch on the lawn at Google HQ in Mountain View.

Does this mean what we think it means? Apparently it does, as it has been announced that Android Kit Kat is the next name for Android. We've got a live page already, and the folks who make the candy bars are getting in on the action and offering Android limited-edition versions that may contain coupons for a Nexus 7 or Google Play credit. Major props for pulling off the licensing on this one, Google.  (Update: Turns out no money changed hands in this deal, it's just mutual goodwill. Kit Kat's already got the Android branding out in force.)

Now who's ready for Android 4.4 KitKat?

Source: +Sundar Pichai

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3 years ago

Apple to invent colored phones on Sept. 10


Oops. Think we used the wrong picture there.

Anyhoo. Our pals at iMore have all the ZOMGBREAKING news on this one. Have at it.

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3 years ago

The all-new Kindle Paperwhite ships September 30


Refreshed version to feature new processor, Goodreads integration, better touch sensitivity at the same $119 price point

Amazon has updated the Kindle Paperwhite and will start shipping out the new version at the end of the month. The all-new Paperwhite has a list of new features, thanks to new hardware and software, but keeps the same $119 entry-point. 

With a new processor, page turning (easily the worst experience from an e-ink screen) is now 25 percent faster and the inclusion of Kindle Page Flip software will let you skim through each page or chapter without losing your place if you need to jump to the end and see if the butler did it. Additional hardware improvements come with a next-generation backlight and enhanced touch technology with 19 percent tighter touch grid points.

On the software side, Goodreads integration is coming soon, which means you can join over 20 million other reading fans and share the social experience if you're into that. And we can't forget Kindle FreeTime, which is a great way to get young minds involved with achievements to help keep them on track. It's also coming "soon".

While a Paperwhite may not play all the great games or be the master of the web that other tablets are, for reading they really are the best device made — just like Amazon claims. Pre-orders are open now, and the device ships September 30. See the source link for more.

Source: Amazon

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3 years ago

Amazon launching Kindle Matchbook in October, get discounted Kindle copies when buying printed books


Discount pricing on Kindle copies of your printed books is coming next month

Amazon is launching an interesting, and possibly redundant, program next month called Kindle Matchbook. The way the program will work is when you buy a "real" printed book, you can grab the Kindle copy at a pretty deep discount or get it free. 

The program will also be backwards compatible, meaning books that qualify purchased all the way back to 1995 (when Amazon first started selling books) are eligible. 

The only real bottleneck at this point is the limited list of titles. Right now, it looks like thousands of books will be eligible, which means that most aren't. Amazon will have to work out the necessary deals with publishers to get more on board with the program, which really only puts more money in the distributors and sellers pockets.

There are a couple books I own in the list shown on the source link page, but the problem is I bought them in digital form. I buy a lot of books, but I rarely buy physical copies because eBooks (ironically, most are Kindle books from Amazon themselves) are easier to purchase, and keeping track of a ton of digital books is simpler than maintaining a big library of bound, printed books.

Will this get you to start buying more printed books? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Amazon

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3 years ago

New Nexus 7 reportedly hitting Australia on Sept. 10


The 2013 Nexus 7 will arrive in Australia next Tuesday, Sept. 10, according to reports from Ausdroid. The site says it's confirmed with Google Australia that the new Nexus tablet will go on sale in the country on the 10th, priced at A$299 for 16GB of storage and A$339 for 32GB. However there's still no word on when the LTE-capable Nexus 7 will arrive Down Under.

The Australian Nexus 7 release would follow launches in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Japan and some European countries over the past couple of months.

More: Nexus 7 (2013) review

Source: Ausdroid

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3 years ago

Blue HTC One, One Mini exclusive to Carphone Warehouse in the UK


Hot on the heels of today's blue HTC One and One Mini announcement, independent UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has announced that it's snapped up exclusive rights to the "vivid blue" color variant. The blue HTC One will be available from late September, the company says, with the blue One Mini following in mid-October.

Rival retailer Phones4u already has exclusive rights to the "glamor red" HTC One in the UK.

More: Blue HTC One and One Mini hands-on

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the HTC Desire 601


HTC Desire series gets LTE, BoomSound and Snapdragon 400 in new hero device

In contrast to last year, HTC has kept its premium “HTC One” branding for only its top two smartphones in 2013, leaving the Desire series to occupy the mid-range and entry-level space. We’ve already seen Desires 200, 500 and 600 arrive in various European territories over the past few months, and now it’s time for a hero device for that product line. Enter the Desire 601.

Don’t be fooled by the small numeric difference between the Desire 600 and the 601 -- the latter is a very different beast. For starters, it’s packing a dual-core Snapdragon 400 CPU at 1.4GHz. That’s backed up by 1GB of RAM, the latest HTC Sense UI and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. If that sounds familiar, it might be because that’s the same hardware and software base found within the HTC One Mini.

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3 years ago

In pictures: The 'vivid blue' HTC One and HTC One Mini


Bright new color options for HTC's One series handsets

This morning HTC's taken the wraps off the HTC One and HTC One Mini in "vivid blue," and we can now show you exactly what the new -- and very colorful -- versions of the company's latest handsets look like. Firstly, we're still dealing with the HTC One and One Mini here, and the physical dimensions and design haven't changed at all. Like the other anodized versions of the phones (black and red on the One, black on the Mini) we're the aluminum finish has a slightly glossier feel to it compared to the untouched silver version.

Both devices are roughly the same shade of blue -- a light blue, with a slightly turquoise tint to it. (You might even call it "Holo" blue.) The blue HTC One has black accents, same as the black and red versions, while the Mini has blue plastic trim and a silver volume rocker, HTC logo and camera border. Overall, both make for striking new additions to HTC's line-up of high-end smartphones.

Check past the break for a closer look, in our full photo gallery of the HTC One and One Mini in blue.

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3 years ago

First look: HTC BoomBass


A boxy new portable speaker for your HTC phone

Alongside a new color option for the HTC One series and a new mid-range phone, HTC’s also unveiled another member of its growing smartphone accessory family. The HTC BoomBass (yes, that’s really the name) is a small (64x64x64mm) matte plastic cube that lets you take your volume and bass a step beyond HTC’s admittedly impressive “BoomSound” front speakers.

The BoomBass is split into two parts -- the large, upper bit houses the speaker and subwoofer, while the slide-out red tray extends to give you a shelf for your phone. Pairing the speaker with your HTC phone is as simple as tapping it to the top of the accessory -- NFC kicks things off, after which a Bluetooth connection does the heavy lifting. And as it’s a Bluetooth speaker, there’s no need to keep your phone shelved when in use, although for the same reason you probably won’t want to venture too far away from it -- HTC advertises the range as up to 10 meters.

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3 years ago

HTC announces Desire 601, 300, BoomBass speaker and blue HTC Ones


New entry-level and mid-range phones, a bassy Bluetooth speaker and the HTC One and One Mini in 'vivid blue'

HTC has taken the wraps off a slew of new devices this morning, including new smartphones, accessories and additional color options for the HTC One series.

Pictured above, the HTC Desire 601, pictured above, is a new mid-range device, positioned towards the upper end of the "Desire" family. The Desire 601 has a 4.5-inch qHD LCD display, and runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 dual-core CPU at 1.4GHz, same as the One Mini. As such, it's inherited many of that phone's software features, including the most recent version of HTC Sense, the BlinkFeed home screen experience, HTC Zoe and video highlights.

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3 years ago

HTC Desire 601 and Desire 300 specs


Get your full hardware specs here

HTC has just officially announced the Desire 601 and Desire 300, new mid-range and entry-level phones for the European and Asian markets. For the main details you'll want to head on over to our hands-on feature on the Desire 601, and our announcement post for all of today's new HTC stuff.

But if it's specs you're after, you've come to the right place. Head on past the break to learn exactly what makes the HTC Desire 601 and Desire 300 tick.

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3 years ago

What Microsoft buying Nokia means for Android


New owner, same problems

In case you haven't heard, Microsoft surprised very few people tonight when it announced that it would purchase all relevant mobile-related parts of and license patents from Nokia for about $7.17 billion (€5.44 billion). Much has already been said (and will continue to be said) about the specifics of the deal, but it's interesting to think about how this purchase will affect Google and the numerous manufacturers of Android handsets.

In terms of market share, Nokia absolutely dominates the Windows Phone. You can see it in commercials and advertising, from carriers to Microsoft itself, Nokia is the premier brand for Windows Phone. Though the scales are dramatically different, this is analogous to Google purchasing Samsung's mobile handset division (and probably Sony and LG on top of that). With one small purchase — Nokia will cost Microsoft less than it paid to acquire Skype — Microsoft has just taken for all intents and purposes the entire Windows Phone marketplace into its own hands again.

Although they are overwhelmingly focused on building Android devices, major manufacturers like Samsung and HTC have been dabbling in making Windows Phone handsets for the past couple of years. It made sense for these OEMs to diversify at least slightly to ensure that they didn't have every single egg in one basket when it came to operating systems.

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 8GB sells out, reportedly won't be restocked


$249 16GB model still on sale; no indication that more 8GB stock is on the way

Just a handful of days after Google cut the price of the Nexus 4 by $100, the phone has once again gone out of stock on the Play Store. While many of us have flashbacks to the stocking issues that hindered the device's launch, the store page prominently says to "please check back soon" for more inventory. But word is that the 8GB model may actually never come back in stock.

Sources tell The Verge that Google doesn't plan to restock the lower-capacity handset, and that as stock dwindles down in different markets they will be the last 8GB models sold. Right at this moment the 16GB model for the newly-lowered $249 price tag is still on sale, but at this point we have to wonder if it won't soon hit the same fate as the 8GB model.

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3 years ago

BBM for Android demoed on video [Updated]


Update: And just like that, the video has been removed. Enjoy this pic instead.

Update #2: Working video (for now) after the break. Thanks, Jean-Baptiste!

A brave soul has broken BlackBerry's embargo and produced a video demo of BlackBerry Messenger running on Android

If you've been waiting to see just how BlackBerry Messenger would look and act on your Android phone, here's your chance. The app has been in a not-so-secret but tightly controlled beta test for a while, but it looks pretty much the same as it does on a BlackBerry 10 device.

The app seems to have all the same basic features on Android as it does on BlackBerry, including NFC abilities. The layout and controls are different from what we're used to as Android users though, and that may mean some adjustment time.

BlackBerry has stated that they would have the Android and iOS versions out by the end of summer, so it's good to see they are close to the finish line. 

Source: BBOS; Via: CrackBerry

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