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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Express 2 hits Vodafone UK on October 23

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Updated mid-ranger exclusive to Vodafone at launch, other operators coming later

Samsung UK has announced an updated version of the mid-range Galaxy Express handset it launched earlier in the year, the Galaxy Express 2. The LTE-capable handset features a 4.5-inch qHD LCD display, a 1.7GHz dual core processor, 1.5GB of RAM and a 5-megapixel rear camera. Based on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and Samsung's latest TouchWiz UI, the Galaxy Express 2 also features some of the software features from higher-end Samsung phones — Smart Stay, Group Play, Motion UX, S Travel, StoryAlbum and S Translator.

The Galaxy Express 2 will launch tomorrow, Oct. 23, at Vodafone UK, with other carriers to follow at a later date. It'll come in "ceramic white" and "rigel blue" color options, with the latter being exclusive to Vodafone.

We've got specs and the full press release after the break.

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4 years ago

Red HTC One Mini launching at Phones 4u in November

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'Glamor red' HTC One Mini exclusive to Phones 4u in the UK

Phones 4u has announced that it'll exclusively carry a new "glamor red" variant of the HTC One Mini. The retailer, which also exclusively carries the red HTC One, expects the red One Mini to go on sale next month online and in its brick-and-mortar stores.

Right now there's no firm pricing information available for the red HTC One Mini, however the black and silver versions are available for free on-contract from EE, Vodafone, T-Mobile and Orange, starting at £26 per month. P4U's SIM-free price is £389.95.

If you really must have an HTC One Mini in red, there's a pre-registration link below.

More: Phones 4u

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4 years ago

HTC said to be building a smart watch for next year's market

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Product said to be running Android, feature a camera and be available in the second half of 2014

We've already mentioned that HTC's Peter Chou seemed keen on the idea of wearables helping reach their goals for the future, and a new report from Bloomberg, someone "close to the matter" says HTC will release their own camera-toting smart watch in the second half of 2014.

The full details are a little sketchy, but the source says HTC's watch will run Android and have an on-board camera. this would put it squarely at odds with Samsung's Galaxy Gear, rather than compete in the more utilitarian space occupied by products like the Pebble or the Sony SmartWatch 2.

Around here, we expect everyone to jump on the smart wearable train. Companies will compete for our dollars with products that extend the functionality of their Android phones and tablets. And you know what? We think that's a pretty good thing to have happen. 2014 should be a nice ride.

Source: Bloomberg

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4 years ago

Verizon Moto X soak test follow-ups coming out, update hitting tomorrow morning

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Widespread release of the official update can't be too far off now

Following up on soak test invites for the Verizon Moto X that hit inboxes a week ago, members of the Motorola feedback network are receiving notification that the update is set to roll out tomorrow morning.

Thanks for signing up for the  Verizon Moto X software test. The software should be pushed to your phone tomorrow morning.

Your input is very important to us. To ensure we hear you, please follow these guidelines:

  • Please post all your feedback in our private community (link below). This also where you'll find help during the soak. Don't email feedback or questions to this address. (Other than log-in issues -- see below.)
  • Please do not call or contact Motorola or Verizon support for help during the soak. Those teams are not yet ready to support this software.
  • I'm not able to check private messages on the forums during soaks, so if you need immediate help that's not a good route to take.
  • If you have any problems accessing the private community, please reply back to this email with details, like what error message you see.
  • NOTE: you must log in using the email address of the account where you are receiving this email
  • If you log in and find yourself in your account profile, it means you have not completed your profile. Complete it to proceed. Thanks!

All pretty run-of-the-mill stuff for a soak test, but it's good to know that those who are participating should see the update hitting in the morning. For those who didn't get a chance to get in on the test, we at least know that the process of getting the update ready to go to everyone is moving along.

Thanks, Anon!

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4 years ago

Calling all Android Developers: Schedule your appearance on Android Central Live!

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Join us on stage and show off your apps!

If you missed it, earlier today we announced that Android Central is the official community partner of the Samsung Developers Conference. As official community partner, we're going to be streaming a live show from the conference floor Oct. 28-29. Android Central Live will feature our very own Phil Nickinson and Andrew Martonik, plus interviews with Samsung reps, speakers, thought leaders … and YOU.

Android Central is excited to produce this show, not only as a service to our amazing community, but to provide a platform for Android developers looking to show off their apps. If you're going to be at the conference, you should join us on stage because it's going to be a lot of fun!

If you're a developer planning to attend the event, consider this your casting call!

We're busy setting up our interview schedule RIGHT NOW, so if you'd like to appear on Android Central Live, now is the time to act. Email me at james@mobilenations.com ASAP to request an interview slot. Tell me what you'd like to talk about, if you have an app to demo, and basically blow me away with the awesome Android goodness you're going to bring to the stage.

See you in San Francisco!

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4 years ago

130 HTC Ones on a rail make bullet time shots easy

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Stop. Bullet time.

Qualcomm wanted to demo how powerful the Snapdragon 600 chip can be, and decided to create a cool bullet time photo booth using 130 HTC Ones on window mounts attached to a spiraling rail.

Actors (and dogs) were placed in the midst of the ring, and caught in a full 540-degrees of excellent special effect footage that freezes space and time much like Neo can do. OK, so they just took stills from live video at the right time and stitched them together in an animation, but the former sounds way cooler.

This isn't really new, as you can find similar footage all over YouTube, but it is pretty slick to watch. They also have a poll to see where to send the roving studio next, which you can find at the source link. Be sure to vote for your closest spot, and if you get a chance to check it out make sure to use your Android to get some cool footage of it all.

Source: Qualcomm

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4 years ago

AT&T confirms deal with Crown Castle to sell and lease cell towers for $4.85 billion

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600 towers sold and 9,100 leased with the option to buy

Following up on rumors that AT&T would sell off some of its cell tower holdings for up to $5 billion, the carrier has confirmed it has entered a deal with tower operator Crown Castle for the towers. The deal will see AT&T lease the rights to operate about 9,100 cell towers in the U.S. to Crown Castle, and sell another 600 towers outright to the company. The deal totals $4.85 billion in up-front cash to AT&T, which gives Crown Castle exclusive rights to the towers.

The average lease term for the towers is 28 years, and as the leases expire Crown Castle will have the option to purchase the towers for another $4.2 billion. The deal won't reduce AT&T's coverage or network quality at all, however. The carrier will sublease capacity back from Crown Castle for a minimum of 10 years at the rate of $1,900 per month per site, with rent increasing by 2 percent per year.

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4 years ago

New version of Google Play Store app pushing out, brings pull-out menu and little else

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No secret KitKat changes came with today's Google Play store update

You may have noticed a new look in your Google Play app this evening, as the 4.4 update is rolling out to users. There's not a lot to talk about with changes, because the only thing we're able to see different is the new hamburger menu is now implemented in the app, leading to a more consistent feel across Google's closed and proprietary applications.

This does affect users who still have a menu button on their device, as now instead of opening the overflow the menu button only opens a window with a "settings" and "help" entry, while the rest of the shortcuts are in the drawer. Other than that, it's the same Play store app you're used to, with the same wish list screen, my apps pages, and shopping menu as always.

If you haven't received the update, there are a couple things you can try. There are (as always) mirrors floating around out there, but if you're not keen on trusting a file that updates a system app when you don;t know where ti comes from, we found a few ways that ended up forcing the updates here.

  • Just reboot. That's how Andrew was able to get the update pushed to him.
  • Uninstall updates for Google play in settings > applications. This worked for Alex.
  • Clear cache and data for Google Services Framework in your settings, then reboot (advanced). This is what I had to do.

Or just wait it out, because you're not really missing anything except a cleaner app navigation system. We've got a handful of screenshots after the break.

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4 years ago

BBM has an annoying persistent notification — but you might not want to turn it off

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That persistent icon is there for a very good reason, and it's not going to get 'fixed' any time soon

One of the biggest gripes from people who tried BBM during the original failed launch was that you had to live with a persistent notification in your status bar. BlackBerry responded with a setting in the beta version — which found its way into today's actual launch — that allows you to turn off that nagging notification in your status bar.

But you probably want to leave it alone — if you actually want to get messages, that is.

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4 years ago

AT&T U-verse opens up over 100 live TV channels to Android users

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Just 20 channels available for streaming when outside your home network, however

Building on the announcement earlier this month that it would be bringing live TV streaming to mobile devices, AT&T U-verse has just announced that Android users now have access to over 100 channels in its app. The service lets U-verse TV subscribers authenticate within its app on either a phone or tablet and have access to live TV along with On Demand programming and the ability to manage your DVR remotely.

There is a caveat, however. The quoted 100 live TV channels are only available when streaming on your home network, and the number of available channels dips to about 20 when you're out-and-about. We can likely blame this on media rights holders, but it still stinks to see such a pared-down offering out of the house where you're most likely to take advantage of such a service.

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4 years ago

A reminder: BBM only works on one device at a time

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It's 2013, the era of the cloud. But for whatever reason — it really doesn't matter why — BlackBerry's still stuck in a one-device frame of mind.

We live in a world of multiple screens. Some of us use more than one phone. More likely, however, is the combination of using a phone and a tablet. Being able to access your data anywhere is the crux of everything Google — and therefore Android — does. Apple's stumbled with iCloud, but damned if it's not trying. And for all its faults in the past, even Microsoft had this one figured out long ago with its "Three screens and the cloud" strategy

And then there's BlackBerry. BBM — BlackBerry Messenger — is finally available for iOS and Android. Sort of. You can download the app, then get on a waiting list, as BlackBerry's ramping things up slowly. But know this: You can only use one BBM ID on one device at a time. One ID, one phone. Or one tablet. 

And not at all (yet — it's coming) on a desktop or laptop computer.

Anyhoo. This isn't a surprise to anyone who's used BBM before. (Or the popular WhatsApp, for that matter.) But for those of us used to accessing our conversations on any connected device, it's a bit of a shock.

And it's really not how things work in 2013. 

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4 years ago

NVIDIA has a new Shield in the works, may feature next-gen Tegra chip

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A new Shield with an even more powerful chip means game developers can go even further — and we can't wait to see what they come up with

The NVIDIA Shield is one of those niche devices that never made it big. Having had one for a long while, I can tell you that there is no better way to play the highest-end games built for mobile (on any platform, sorry Infinity Blade series, but it's true) and extras like PC game streaming make for a great little gadget for the serious gamer. The device just didn't garner much enthusiasm with the mainstream Android user.

The good news for fans of the handheld console is that NVIDIA has no plans to abandon it, and are actively developing the next version — which may have the insanely-powerful Logan chip at its heart. CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has said as much in an interview with Engadget at their big event in Montreal.

To us, the reason why Android is such an important platform is, we want to do for Android what GeForce did for PCs

There was no hint on when anything would be available, or any pricing, but we're excited to see what game developers can do with an even more powerful chip to push to the limit. Be sure to visit the source link to watch the full 10-minute interview.

Source: Engadget

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4 years ago

Official BBM how-to videos show the ropes to new users

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Got BBM on Android? Here are the basics.

BBM is starting to get (kinda-sorta) rolled out today on Android, and to get folks acclimatized, BlackBerry has posted a few how-to videos on their YouTube channel. Videos show how to manage groups, how read/delivered receipts work, handling multi-person chat, checking status updates, sharing files, and adding contacts.

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4 years ago

Logitech introduces enterprise-grade P710e Bluetooth speakerphone

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A spendy accessory aimed at corporate users on the go

Logitech is hoping to capitalize on the increasingly mobile workforce's needs for quality speakerphone audio with its latest Bluetooth speaker, the P710e. Built to be used with any phone or tablet over Bluetooth as well as your laptop over USB, the P710e brings enterprise-level speakerphone quality to any device that you connect it to.

On the mobile side, the P710e offers Bluetooth pairing over NFC, as well as a device dock in the top of the speaker for making video calls. When working wirelessly, Logitech is quoting 15 hours of battery life for the device, which should get you through even the longest conference calls with ease.

Logitech pegs the price of the P710e at a cool $169.99, but there isn't any easy way to buy one just yet — being that this is a enterprise-focused device we may be waiting a little while before anyone can buy them directly. This certainly isn't your average consumer-focused Bluetooth speaker.

Source: Logitech; (2)

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4 years ago

BBM for Android finally here today ... later ... eventually ... NOW!

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Some will be waitlisted when app is available this afternoon

Update: OK, folks. The app is (mostly) live. Go ahead and get on the list.

OK, folks. Here's the deal. BBM for Android — that's BlackBerry's proprietary messaging system — is finally going to be publicly available later today, BlackBerry announced in a blog post.

Only, things aren't quite that simple.

Here's the deal: BlackBerry is going to release it in Google Play and in Samsung's own app store in a few select locations. (Yes, Samsung has its own app store.) If you've already registered with BlackBerry somehow, you'll be good to go and BBM should work. If you've yet to sign up, you'll be able to today — and you'll be placed in waiting list. No telling how long that list will be.

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