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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Moto G Grip Shell


It's a Moto G replacement shell — with more grip — in an array of bright colors.​

Motorola's Moto G (be sure to read our full review) brings a (relatively) low-cost phone while keeping the ability to customize. And one of those ways is with the Grip Shell. It's in the same vein as the $14.99 replacement shells and ads in a bumper-like edging around the phone. 

It's a simple enough proposition, and easy to swap on and off. (Just be sure to remove the stock shell before trying to put this one on.) Slide the top end of the phone into the shell, work your way around the rubber edging, and you're good to go. It might take a little prying, but nothing unexpected. As you'd expect with a name like Grip Shell, you get a fair amount of grip added to the phone — not a bad thing in the case of the Moto G, whose matte shells could get a bit slick. There are cutouts for the microphone holes, 3.5mm headphone jack, camera and speakers. The power and volume buttons are covered by the rubber bumper but work flawlessly.

And the Grip shells are nicely two-toned. You know, for kids. They're available in the four colors seen here — chalk, royal blue, lemon lime and cherry — or in the always classic all black.

We've got some more pics after the break. You can buy the Moto G Grip Shell directly from Motorola for $14.99.

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3 years ago

Manual install method has Samsung Galaxy Gear working with Nexus 5


A little hackery gets most Gear functions working with Google's latest smartphone

One of the major barriers to Galaxy Gear ownership is the watch's lack of support for non-Samsung smartphones. But now it seems it's possible to get most of the Gear's functions working in conjunction with the Nexus 5, possibly opening the door to it working — unofficially, of course — with additional third-party Android devices.

Smartwatch Fans has details of a manual install method first discovered on the XDA forums that gets the Gear Manager app and a slew of other APKs loaded onto the Nexus 5. It's a long-winded process involving pulling files out of the Gear Manager APK and installing them manually — but it eventually gets the Gear up and running with the N5, with everything except S Voice and Weather working properly.

While the process seems to work with the Nexus 5 on Android 4.4.2, we didn't have any luck repeating it on the Moto X or Sony Xperia Z1, so your mileage may vary. And of course there's no guarantee this loophole won't be closed in a future Gear update.

If you're still interested in fooling around with the Galaxy Gear on unsupported devices, hit up the source link to get started.

More: Smartwatch Fans

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3 years ago

Fill your whole house with Beats Music on Sonos


A quick heads up for any Sonos owners that might have taken an interest in the brand new Beats Music service; you'll be able to fill your whole house with as much of it as you can handle. Sonos already offers support for most of the leading music services out there, so we didn't for one minute expect Beats Music to be left out. Beats Music should be showing up in your Sonos Controller app – link up top if you need it – if not now, then very soon alongside the other supported services. 

That's about all there is to it. If you're in the U.S,  a Sonos owner and also curious about the new Beats Music service, sign up, turn it up to 11 and have at it. 

Source: Sonos

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3 years ago

Carphone Warehouse matching Google pricing on 16GB Nexus 5


Grab a High Street bought Nexus 5 for just £298

A quick heads up for anyone in the UK thinking about picking up a Nexus 5 any time soon; Carphone Warehouse is currently matching Google pricing. OK, so it's only on the 16GB version, but for £298 – actually a whole £1 less than Google! – you'll be able to get one with free shipping or to collect in your local store. 

There's bound to be some killer new devices headed our way in the next couple of months, but the Nexus 5 not only represents the best way to stay on the bleeding edge of Android software, but also one of the best value-for-money smartphones you can get your hands on right now. If this is the one for you, drop by the source link below for more. 

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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3 years ago

Watch how this firefighter is doing awesome work with Google Glass


Google's latest addition to its Explorer Story's is this, the tale of firefighter Patrick Jackson from North Carolina. Patrick is also a Google Glass Explorer, and he's taken to developing for it, with an eye to helping out his fellow firefighters out in the field. 

Check it out. It's a long way from becoming a widespread reality, but as far as uses for Glass goes, this has to rank as one of the most awesome. 

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3 years ago

Huawei introduces the MediaPad 7 Youth2, another average looking Android tablet


Pretty average it may be, but it does come in gold

Huawei has introduced its latest Android tablet, the awkwardly named MediaPad 7 Youth2. And, while it does come in everyone's new favorite color, gold, it's a distinctly average looking tablet.

Despite the name, there isn't anything obviously youth-oriented about the tablet. It packs a mediocre sounding 1024x600 resolution display over a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU and 1GB of RAM. Internal storage is a lowly 4GB, though it does have microSD card expansion. Software is handled by Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and Huawei's own Emotion UI. It has two cameras, but they're nothing to shout about, with 3MP round the back and a 0.3MP shooter on the front. 

The party piece of this latest 7-inch Android tablet though is that it's also a phone. Unlike ASUS' Fonepad line, the MediaPad 7 doesn't look to have an actual earpiece, but it is a fully functional phone, with HSPA data connectivity. There isn't any pricing or availability right now, but you'd have to hope that it'll be priced in the budget price range. Even then, it'd be a tough sell. 

Source: Huawei

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3 years ago

Verizon posts Q4 2013 earnings, wireless revenues reach $21.1 billion


1.7 million new customers, significant year-over-year increases in service and retail revenues

Verizon has today posted its earnings report for the fourth quarter of 2013, showing strong results for its wireless and wireline businesses. Focusing on the wireless side of the equation, Verizon enjoyed another strong quarter, continuing to add customers while increasing retail and service revenues. Here's a breakdown of some of the highlights —

  • Total wireless revenues of $21.1 billion
  • Retail postpaid ARPA (average revenue per account) up 7.1 percent year-over-year to $157.21 per month
  • Wireless operating income was 29.5 percent, up 5.5 percentage points year-over-year
  • 1.7 million retail net additions, of which 1.6 million were postpaid

For the year as a whole, Verizon brought in operating revenues of $120.6 billion, up 4.1 percent from 2012. EPS (earnings per share) was $4, up from $0.31 in the previous year. The operator says its 4G LTE network now covers "nearly 305 million" across 500 markets, having now "substantially completed deployment" of LTE — Verizon's 4G now covers 99 percent of its 3G footprint, it says. And the trend towards smartphones continued, with 70 percent of retail postpaid customers using smartphones, up from 67 percent last quarter.

More details, including a breakdown of Verizon's wireline numbers, can be found at the source link.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Beats Music launches in the U.S, AT&T customers get the best deal


$9.99 a month for regular subscriptions, or $14.99 family plans if you're on AT&T

We've been hearing of Beats Music for some time now, and today the new music streaming service finally launches to the world. Well, launches to the world so long as you're in the U.S. With the weight of Jimmy Iovine and Trent Reznor behind it, Beats Music is well poised to make waves in the space, and simultaneously launches on Android and iOS, with Windows Phone not far behind. 

We'll be taking a proper look at Beats Music over the next couple of days, but if you're interested in trying it out for yourselves there are a few key pointers. Subscription costs $9.99 a month, but there's at least a 7-day free trial first so you can check things out before handing over your cash. AT&T customers can get the best deal, with a family plan of up to 5 people on 10 devices costing just $14.99 a month. So if you have music hungry kids, this could work out to be a great deal for you. 

The Android app is now available, and you can grab it at the Play Store link up top.

Source: Beats Music

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3 years ago

LG G Flex headed to more than 20 European countries starting in February


No specific pricing or availability given just yet

Following tightly behind announcement of U.S. carrier availability, LG  has committed to the G Flex being available in over 20 European countries. Starting in February, LG will be rolling out its new big and bendy phone for folks in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Austria and various other countries across the continent. We unfortunately don't have a complete list of countries, but simply know that LG is targeting "major European markets."

LG isn't announcing specific dates or pricing, which makes sense considering the vast number of retailers and carriers that will be involved with the launch. Simply given the pricing on U.S. carriers and what we saw when it first went on sale in Korea, you can likely expect the price tag to be pretty high.

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3 years ago

AT&T offering customers an easy move to Next payment plans from existing contracts


New two-year contracts also move to 20-month upgrade cycles

In an effort to move more customers over to its 'AT&T Next' phone financing and Mobile Share Value plans, AT&T is offering customers an easy transition out of their traditional two-year contract. Starting today, AT&T customers will be able to end their current contract and purchase a new device for $0 down with monthly payments through AT&T Next, and also shave $15 per line off of their monthly bill by going to an off-contract Mobile Share Value plan.

Any customer who was on-contract as of January 18th, 2014 will be given this chance to end their contract — the one small caveat being that in order to be eligible you'll have to first complete at least six months of your current contract. Additionally, anyone who signs a standard two-year contract after today will be moved to a faster 20-month upgrade cycle.

This looks to us like a pretty clear shot back at T-Mobile, which earlier this month started offering to pay off people's ETFs from other carriers when they switch. This new program from AT&T is essentially paying off your ETF, provided you stay with it and move over to an off-contract plan. Regardless of the motivation it's an interesting (and consumer-friendly) move in the end.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z2 'Sirius' UI leaked and detailed



KitKat's changes meet Sony's Xperia UI to deliver a new mix that should go over well with smartphone fans

Sony's "No More Leakage" campaign doesn't seem to be doing a very good job stopping device leaks, and we're glad of it. Earlier today we saw enough to pretty much confirm the hardware specs of the upcoming Xperia Z2 "Sirius", and now we have a look at the software that will be running on its new Snapdragon 800 and all 3GB of its RAM.

If you're familiar with Sony's Xperia Home UI, you'll notice that things stay very close to their roots. You've got new themes and settings for them, new colors and wallpapers, but the same basic premise is there, with just a few KitKat features thrown in. The transparent status bar — a crowd favorite — is now in place, new tweakable quick settings are in the notification shade, and KitKat features like device-initiated printing and user-selectable SMS defaults are included. If this seems overwhelming or you just want something simple, Sony has included a "Simple Home" UI as well.

The big changes are under the home screens. Dive into the settings and you see support for existing Sony features like Glove Mode and the X Reality engine settings, but there's plenty new here to get excited about. Sony's introducing a new camera software, filled with features like TimeShift — high-speed recording for slow-motion effects — and the same Background defocus we see on the Xperia Z1s. This is all at 4K video resolution, mind you.

Other features include custom white balance settings for the screen — good bye blue or purple whites — and Smart Back lighting Control that tracks your eyes to keep the screen on while looking at it. Smart Call handling even lets you use the Z2 as an answering machine if you want, cutting voicemail completely out of the picture.

I've been saying that 2014 will be the year of the software, and it looks like Sony is ready. I imagine we'll see and hear more next month at Mobile World Congress. In the meantime, head over to XperiaBlog and check out everything they have found.

Source: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

Vector 27: Embedded Android and the top tech trends of 2014!


Vector is our cross-platform news and analysis show where we bring you the biggest stories of the week with the best guests in the business. Today Ben Bajarin of TIME and Techpinions joins Rene to talk about the top tech trends of 2014, including 4K televisions, wearables and watches, embedded Android, Xbox One, and more!

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1s review


Sony and T-Mobile's Xperia Z1s is a breath of fresh air amid an increasingly stale smartphone market

It was the Xperia Z, released early last summer as a T-Mobile exclusive, that drew my attention to Sony. It was the company’s first high-profile smartphone to hit US shelves, and it was radically different from its competitors — with Sony’s exciting and fresh design language, polished UI, and superb production quality, the Xperia Z (quietly) put the rest of 2013’s Android flagships to shame, and I called its release a watershed moment for Sony here in the states.

With the Xperia Z1s, Sony has followed up in a big way, and it’s now clearer than ever that the US smartphone market has a serious new player.

The Xperia Z1s, first introduced earlier this month at CES, might not be the flashiest smartphone on the market. It may not ship with the longest list of features, or with the most powerful and future-proofed specs. You won’t see a flood of marketing hit the airwaves anytime soon, nor will you see Xperia billboards high above Times Square. But in its own reserved way, Sony and T-Mobile have quietly released one of the best smartphones on the market today. 

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3 years ago

AT&T's LG G Flex preorders start Jan. 24 for $299 on contract


AT&T today announced that its LG G Flex will go up for preorder online and in stores starting Jan. 24. It'll cost $299 with a traditional two-year contract, $26.74 a month with the AT&T Next 18 plan, or $34.75 a month with AT&T Next 12.

No street availability was given. AT&T's official render of the G Flex shows March 17 as the phone's date — but that seems awfully late, and so we wouldn't read too much into that just yet.

For more, read our LG G Flex preview!

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3 years ago

Issues with texts after moving to Android from iPhone? Here's an easy fix!


Here's how to rectify one of the most annoying things about moving over from an iPhone

If you've joined the world of Android from using an iPhone – welcome, by the way! – you might be finding yourself in a position of epic frustration when it comes to getting your text messages. The problem materializes when iMessage tries to intercept your messages from your still iPhone using friends, and unless you've told all of them to send a regular text instead, you might be missing out for a couple of weeks. Fortunately, there's a couple of things you can do, as outlined by our good pals over at iMoreLet's take a look.

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