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4 years ago

Verizon confirms a fix in the works for Galaxy S3's Android 4.1.2 update

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Connectivity, battery life noted as issues for some in MD3 update

Verizon has confirmed in a statement to Android Central that the Android 4.1.2 update for the Galaxy S3 has been halted, and a fix is in the works following a number of complaints over connectivity and battery life. The VRBMD3 update, heralded as a "major" release that brought a bit of functionality seen in more recent releases -- multi-window and multi-screen, to name two -- sparked a number of threads in our Galaxy S3 forums of folks experiencing issues, and word of a fix started trickling out last week.

Here's the official word from Verizon:

A software update was recently pushed to the Samsung Galaxy S III, and while a majority of customers downloaded and installed the update successfully, a small number were negatively impacted. As a result the software update push has been postponed as a precaution for customers. We will notify them when a new software update is available for download. 

So, everybody hang tight for an update, which hopefully will come sooner rather than later.

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4 years ago

Bloomberg adds fuel to the HTC One Mini fire

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Mini HTC One reportedly due 'by August'

The evidence that HTC is working on an HTC One "mini" is growing, with fresh reports from Bloomberg seemingly confirming the rumored specs, and offering a tentative launch window. The publication says it's heard through two insider sources that the miniature HTC One will come with a 4.3-inch screen of lower resolution than the original. In addition, a "less powerful" Qualcomm CPU is said to be onboard.

As for release dates, Bloomberg says the new handset will go on sale "by August," meaning we could have a few weeks to wait before the device becomes official.

Earlier rumors have pointed to the "M4," as it's codenamed, shipping with an "Ultrapixel" camera, like the HTC One, and a screen resolution of 1280x720. Leaked photos have revealed a design almost identical to the 4.7-inch One. If the rumors are accurate, it'd compare favorably against the Galaxy S4 Mini, due to go on sale in July.

Source: Bloomberg

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4 years ago

Vodafone launches the £50 Smart Mini

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Vodafone UK has just launched a new smartphone for the budget-conscious, and it's available for just £50 on PAYG with no subscription. The Vodafone Smart Mini packs vanilla Android (Jelly Bean) UI onto a 3.5-inch HVGA (320x480) display, running on a 1GHz single-core MediaTek CPU. That's backed up by 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a microSD slot. Around the back there's a 2-megapixel camera. 

So the Vodafone Smart Mini isn't going to win any awards for cutting-edge technology, but it is impressive that you can pick up a fully functional (if basic) smartphone for a tenth of the cost of the latest high-enders. The Smart Mini will be available from Vodafone.co.uk later today in black and white, with a pink version to follow.

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4 years ago

Making sense of the Galaxy S4 Zoom

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Let’s call the ‘Zoom’ what it really is -- a Galaxy Camera Mini

This morning Samsung announced a phone with a camera strapped to the back of it. The Galaxy S4 Zoom, as it’s called, combines the guts of a Galaxy S4 Mini with the body of a point-and-shoot camera, complete with 16-megapixel sensor and 10X optical zoom lens. The main benefit, besides the high megapixel count, is that you’ll be able to take zoomed-in photos that don’t look like crap. That's because you’ll no longer be relying on the software-based digital zoom used by regular phone cameras.

But why is Samsung stitching a gigantic, hulking camera assembly to the back of a phone? And how does the Zoom relate to the company’s other Android-powered imaging device, the Galaxy Camera? Let’s take a closer look.

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4 years ago

Samsung announces Galaxy S4 Zoom: 16MP camera, 10x optical zoom, full phone capabilities

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Finally bridging the gap between point-and-shoot cameras and smart phones

Rather than waiting for a big launch event scheduled for later this month, Samsung has decided to roll out everything we need to know about the Galaxy S4 Zoom with a simple press release. Much as we thought, the S4 Zoom is the next step to bridge the gap between the previous Galaxy Camera and the current crop of Galaxy S4 devices. From a camera perspective, the S4 Zoom has a 16MP sensor with 10x optical zoom, optical image stabilization, a xenon flash, 4fps burst mode (with auto focus) and ISO support up to 3200. From the phone side, it looks to be closer to the internals of the recently announced Galaxy S4 Mini.

We're looking at a 4.3-inch qHD (540x960) AMOLED display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage (with SDXC support), a 2330mAh battery and all of the requisite sensors you'd want or need. Yes, this is a phone, with everything you'd expect for a functioning phone. Samsung lists support for all major 2G, 3G and LTE bands, with "up to 6 different band sets" depending on the market. On the software side, it looks to be a typical build of Android 4.2 with Samsung's software customizations just as you'd find on its recent high-end phones.

Stick around after the break where we have compiled the full set of press images for the device.

Source: Samsung

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4 years ago

AT&T LTE launches or expands in over a dozen markets

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Several new markets across the U.S. will be seeing new or expanding AT&T LTE network coverage starting today, bringing faster network performance all around. Users in the following cities with LTE-enabled devices and accounts should see the network go live:

Additionally, AT&T is expanding its LTE coverage in the following three markets today as well: Salinas, Calif.East-Central Miss., and Reno, Nev.

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4 years ago

Verizon's next rugged Casio device shown in leaked render

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Verizon is set to roll out the latest iteration of its Casio-made rugged smart phones soon if new images are to be believed. A press render shown off by perpetual device leaker evleaks shows an extremely rugged and bold-looking device that follows right in the footsteps of the original Casio G'zOne. The new design seems to take on even more rubber, metal and exposed screws -- with no shortage of black and red Verizon branding. We don't know much in the way of specs, but the new Commando will of course support Verizon's LTE network, something that it's predecessor didn't have. The screen gives us a look at a moderately skinned ICS or Jelly Bean interface, with four capacitive keys as well. We can expect this one to hit stores quietly in the coming months.

Source: @evleaks

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4 years ago

Sprint and Dish fight over breakup fee, SoftBank increases offer

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Dish keeps pushing, but SoftBank has more cash on the table

The ever-changing saga between Sprint, SoftBank and Dish continues today with new information regarding both talks between Sprint and Dish as well as a revised offer coming out of Japan. Dish, which has an offer on the table for Sprint to the tune of $25.5 billion is in advanced talks with the carrier that may end soon if specifics of the deal cannot be agreed upon. The current hang-up is over a proposed "breakup fee" -- Dish is offering a fee of $1 billion, while Sprint is expecting something more to the tune of $3 billion. Much like the one that AT&T had penned with T-Mobile, the breakup fee requires that Dish pay Sprint if its deal is not approved by the necessary regulatory agencies. Sprint wants to make sure that going through the regulatory approval process with Dish will be worth its while, especially considering that the regulatory bodies seem to approve of the Sprint-SoftBank deal already.

Meanwhile, in a last-ditch effort to outdo Dish in terms of raw cash thrown at Sprint, SoftBank has changed the structure of its bid to make it more appealing. The Japanese carrier is now offering a full $21.6 billion for a 78-percent share of Sprint, an increase from $20.1 billion and 70-percent previously. It has also increased the cash portion of the offer to a total of $16.64 billion, or $5.50 a share, which now beats Dish on a cash-basis. Being the capital-strapped carrier that it is, Sprint may see the increase in cash as just what it needs to quickly expand its LTE network after the deal closes.

Sprint is swaying in the direction of SoftBank for the moment, turning down Dish's current offer and giving it until just June 18th to give its "best and final offer" for the carrier. Indications are that this is also the most SoftBank is willing to budge, having added to and revised the terms of its deal multiple times since first announcing that it planned to step into the U.S. market. Let's remember that Dish still has a play on the table for Clearwire, which could cause more headaches if Sprint chooses to go with another buyer.

Source: WSJ; Bloomberg

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4 years ago

Notification Center settings in latest Chrome Canary for Mac

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A way to shut off some of those Chrome Notification pop-ups finally lands on OSX

Chrome Canary, the bleeding edge version of Chrome designed for ultra-early adopters, is a great platform to preview features that will be making their way into the Chrome stable channel some day. The Notification Center for Chrome is one of those features, and now Canary for the Mac has a much improved version, complete with settings.

Chrome notifications are those toast message boxes that can appear for certain apps, like Gmail or Google Drive. They're designed to be a little bit of a nag so that you notice them, but quickly disappear after you've had time to look. They're generally a good thing, until you get overloaded by too many apps that want to tell you things. This has been in the Windows and Chrome OS builds of Canary for a while, and the improved Notification Center is expected to appear in the Linux beta channel and Canary for Linux soon. 

If you want to give Canary a try, you can safely install it alongside any Chrome channel. Click here to give it a look.

Via: OMGChrome

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4 years ago

Take our Mobile Gaming Survey for a chance to win a $100 Best Buy gift card!

We're fans of numbers and quantifiable data here at Mobile Nations, and so following after the first week of Talk Mobile 2013, we're turning to our good friend the survey to help compile some data. We looked at mobile gaming and consoles, the dark underbelly of mobile gaming, multiplayer mobile gaming, why our current games aren't better, and what the future of mobile gaming might look like. And now it's time to put some numbers behind all that, thus the survey.

Before you head off for the survey, however, we wanted to tell you that later this week we will be posting a Talk Mobile 2013 Week 1 wrap-up podcast, as well as highlighting the best comments from the week - and recognizing the very best among those. But back to the survey - you'll find that here. And notice that putting in your email address while you complete the survey enters you for a chance to win a $100 gift card to Best Buy. Is it a blatant incentive? Perhaps, but at least it's not an in-app purchase beckoning for you to hit the buy button to make this level that much easier.

Click here to take the Talk Mobile 2013 State of Mobile Gaming survey!

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4 years ago

McAfee introduces 'Security Innovations' app to reduce device loss and theft

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Building on its history of making security applications that cover a broad range of use cases and features, McAfee released a new app called "McAfee Security Innovations" that aims specifically to help users not lose or have their device stolen. The app does so by working with the fact that users often have more than one device, letting them link the devices together to alert the user whenever the devices are more than 30 feet apart at any time. The so-called "Smart Perimeter" feature will set off an alarm if the devices become separated and let you track down whichever one is out of your possession.

The app also includes two more quick pieces of security by way of a safe QR code reader to check for malicious material before redirecting you to its content, as well as a "Data Vault" to lock specific data on the device with a PIN. McAfee Security Innovations is available for free in the Play Store at the link above.

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4 years ago

Have Verizon FiOS? Now you have streaming TV in an Android app

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Verizon today announced the availability of an Android app for its FiOS customers, allowing them to stream 75 channels of live TV, manage the DVR and watch FiOS video-on-demand. If you're at home, the app also will serve as a remote control for your box.

Verizon notes that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Note 10.1 are supported, as well as what we presume is the Galaxy Nexus and a few other phones for which, frankly, Verizon appears to have made up names. (Supports the "Nexus 1" and "Moto DroidX" Really?)

The app runs on Android 2.3.3 and up.

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

President Peña Nieto signs law to reform Mexican telecom industry

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Potentially drastic changes will be made to increase competition among communications companies

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has signed into law some pretty strong legislation that aims to cut down on the monopolistic practices of telecom companies in the country. Taking aim at companies such as América Móvil and Grupo Televisa, the law creates a new regulator agency, called Ifetel, that will oversee placing regulations on large companies in the sector to promote competition. Currently, América Móvil is far and away the largest mobile carrier in Mexico with nearly 70-percent of all mobile subscribers. New regulations will aim to limit the amount América Móvil can throw its weight around against the rest of the industry by eliminating its ability to have exclusivity for device launches and even setting rates for calls between carriers so that the incumbent network pays more to complete them.

The legislation goes so far as to give the government the power to force companies to sell off assets to reduce their advantage in the marketplace. Some may think these regulations are drastic, but given the telecom landscape in the country Peña Nieto sees it as the right thing to do. Competing carriers such as Telefónica -- which has approximately 20-percent market share -- are happy to see any progress made towards leveling the playing field.

Source: WSJ

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4 years ago

Android Central App gets dark theme, font size options in Version 1.2!

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New font sizes, read/unread options also available in this latest update

It's a banner day for the official Android Central app! We've just released Version 1.2 with a few more heavily requested features, some bigfixes and your basic smorgasbord of awesomeness. 

If you've yet to experience the glory that is the Android Central app, go ahead and hit up that download button. We'll wait. Then join us after the break as we walk you through a couple of the new features including -- yes -- a move to the dark side.

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4 years ago

Google closes acquisition of Waze

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Google 'excited' about enhancing Google Maps with Waze data 

The rumors were true -- Google has announced that it's closed its acquisition of Waze, the collaborative navigation and traffic app. In a post on its official blog, the company confirmed the buy-out, saying that it was "excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze." The search giant also said it wants to bring the power of Google Search to the existing Waze app, which allows users to work together to find the best routes.

The Waze team, Google says, will continue to operate separately from the Maps team out of its Israel HQ. Google also promised to work closely with the Waze community and allow it to "grow and prosper."

More: Google Blog

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