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4 years ago

Nexus 7 (2013) receiving tiny OTA update, no changelog in sight


Build JSS15R seemingly brings no user-facing changes

Many people that have their hands on a Nexus 7 (2013) are seeing a system update notification land on their tablets indicating an update to a newer build of Android 4.3. The update weighs in at just 8MB, and the only noticeable change to our eyes seems to be a build number jump to JSS15R — not to be confused with the previous update to JSS15Q a few weeks ago.

Those who have the update are still working to see what exactly has changed on the user-facing side, if anything. In the meantime most users have yet to see the update and are patiently tapping their fingers on the "check now" button of their Nexus 7. If you have received the update and notice a change, hop into the forums and let everyone know.

More: Google Nexus 7 (2013) Forums

Thanks, Noel!

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4 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Do you edit photos or video on your Android?


There's a wealth of photo and video editors available — do you use one?

If you haven't watched the latest Talk Mobile 13 hangout, you should. There was a lot of great discussion about being creative with your mobile devices, from people who live and breathe mobile. It also got me thinking about some of the ways a lot of us use our Android devices "creatively." I figure the best place to start is where Android excels — sharing things like pictures and video.

Read on, it's a little long this week.

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4 years ago

Verizon clarifies LTE Nexus 7 certification process


Verizon expects the device to be certified "shortly"

Verizon has opened the curtain a bit and explained the LTE device certification procedures a little, especially in regards to the LTE-ready Nexus 7 (2013). If you recall, users are having mixed experiences trying to get the new device registered and activated on Verizon's LTE network, leading to a bit of understandable outrage.

Verizon sent a statement late yesterday noting that the Nexus 7 was not yet certified for their network, and as such could not be activated. Today they expand on that.

The Google Nexus 7 is not yet a Verizon 4G LTE certified device, though it entered our process in August and we expect it will be certified shortly. Once the device is certified, we will work with Google to enable the device to be activated on our 4G LTE network.  

They go on to explain that they have one of the most rigorous testing procedures of any carrier, and that certified third-parties, who are actively selected by both Verizon and the device manufacturer, are hard at work.

While this answer doesn't address any issues about the C block auction rules and how they may be in violation of them, at least it's something. Like you, we're waiting to hear word from Verizon that they will be happy to take your money every month while using the new Nexus 7.

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

Weekly Photo Contest: Sports


It's the perfect time of year to get some great shots of sporting events of all kinds

With the major US leagues of baseball, football and soccer all going and both school and little league sports getting into swing, now's the perfect time of year to show off your sports photography. Whether you're going to be at a massive professional sporting event or just watching your child's sports practice, there are plenty of opportunities.

We want to see the best pictures you can take that meet the topic of "sports" this week.

Just like the last contest, we're opening up and offering prizes to two winners this week. And although the contest is only set to run for one week, we've got some big prizes to give away. Two lucky winners this week will get their hands on an NVIDIA Shield prize package consisting of:

  • An NVIDIA Shield device
  • Official carrying case
  • 64GB microSD card
  • An extra piano black badge
  • A Parrot AR Drone 2.0

Entering is easy. Just drop your entry in a forums post at the link below. Tell us what Android you used to get the picture, and any back story you want to add to it. We'll pick a winner Tuesday (September 24) night at 11:59 PM ET, and announce them on the blog with next Wednesday's contest.

Enter this week's photo contest

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4 years ago

Motorola Droid Maxx Developer Edition now available for $649


Yet another new Motorola Developer Edition device goes on sale

It turns out that GSM and Verizon versions of the Moto X aren't the only Developer Edition devices coming out of Motorola today, as the Verizon Droid Maxx joins the ranks on Motorola's online store as well. Just as is the case with the Moto X Developer Edition for Verizon, the Droid Maxx seems to retain the same "Verizon" branding on the back along with new "Developer Edition" etching.

The design and specs seem to be the same though, with a nice Kevlar woven back plate and massive battery. Those who want to hack around on a bootloader unlocked version of the Droid Maxx now have the option — you can pick one up at the source link below for $649.99.

Source: Motorola

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4 years ago

Sprint to expand sales in 100 more Costco locations nationwide


Full range of high-end products and plans coming to nearly double the number of Costco stores

Sprint announced today that it will be expanding its retail partnership with wholesale store chain Costco, bringing its phones and service into 100 additional store locations across the US. Sprint currently operates wireless kiosks inside of 106 Costco locations, which are managed by a third party called Wireless Advocates, and offer a complete range of Sprint's high-end phones and plan offerings.

This third-party group brings better trained professionals versed in the Sprint product portfolio and offerings into the stores to help customers make the right phone choices. The expansion marks a huge partnership between Sprint and Costco, which should be mutually beneficial to both parties.

Source: Sprint

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4 years ago

Angry Birds Star Wars 2 launches on Android, gives pigs lightsabers


Let's force choke some birds

Angry Birds Star Wars 2 was due to launch tomorrow, but since there's just not enough chaos with updating to iOS 7 right now, Rovio thought they'd kick off their latest physics game across Android, iOS, and Windows Phone today.

You'll find a lot of the characters form the original Angry Birds: Star Wars game, plus many more. 

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4 years ago

Moto X developer editions appear, Verizon version now available


With a $650 price tag and 32GB of storage

The promised Moto X developer editions have made an appearance today. Available in a special black and woven white shell, with the words Developer Edition labeled across the back, the 32GB version models are now available for Verizon with a $650 price tag.

The GSM version (listed as working with AT&T and T-Mobile) has a page ready to go, but as of this writing there is no way to order them just yet.

At $650, I predict that these won't be very popular, but I know at least one person who will be clicking the button on the GSM version the minute it's able to be clicked. Anyone else out there waiting for these? Fill the comments with praise and rage. 

For more info, and ordering details, check the source links.

Source: Motorola (Verizon) (GSM)

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4 years ago

It's official: BBM for Android coming September 21


App will be free and available for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and higher

BBM for Android (and iOS) is certainly one of the most popular ideas to come out of Waterloo in a while. There have been tons of rumors and speculation, but BlackBerry has finally set a date — September 21 for Android, September 22 for iOS.

The app, which will be free for folks running ICS (Android 4.x) or higher, has plenty of the same features that have made it a favorite among BlackBerry fans. Here are the highlights, in handy bullet-point form:

  • BBM Chat – Enjoy real, immediate conversations with friends on Android, iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones. Not only does BBM let you know that your message has been delivered and read, it also shows you that your friend is responding to the message.
  • More than chat – With BBM you can share files on your phone such as photos and voice notes, all in an instant.
  • Keep your group in the loop – Multi-person chats are a great way to invite contacts to chat together. BBM Groups lets you invite up to 30 friends to chat together, and go a step further than multi-chat by sharing photos and schedules. And, with Broadcast Message, you can send a message out to all your BBM contacts at once.
  • Post Updates and stay in the know – BBM lets you post a personal message, profile picture and your current status, and lets your contacts know instantly in Updates.
  • Your unique PIN – Every BBM user has a unique PIN that maintains your privacy, so you don’t have to give out your phone number or email address to a new or casual contact.

In addition, BlackBerry says video and voice calling are planned for the Android version in the future.

The app is insanely popular across the globe. In fact, it's enough to have kept people on the BlackBerry platform while others have migrated away in droves to offerings from Google and Apple. Will the app have the same popularity on platforms where it has some serious competition is the question everyone is asking. We don't have that answer, but you can bet some of us here will be giving it the old college try.

Source: BlackBerry

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4 years ago

Capital One drops from Isis during trial period


Just three financial institutions remain on-board with Isis trials

The future of Isis as a nationwide mobile payment system just got a little more unsure as one of the four payment providers, Capital One, has dropped out of its early trial stages. According to reports, Capital One has dropped out of the Isis mobile payment trials, which are current ongoing in Salt Late City, UT and Austin, TX. The payment processor apparently has collected the data it needs to make a decision on the service, and that decision is to no longer participate at this time.

In the end its not all that surprising that a payment provider would leave the trials, despite support from Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile on the carrier side. After taking drastically longer than expected to get the infrastructure up and running in just two trial cities, the NFC-based mobile payment system just hasn't gained the traction some had hoped. Competing services like Google Wallet haven't really held onto any meaningful mobile payment market share, and niche services like Square and PayPal are still working out their own models.

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4 years ago

Avivo is releasing some Galaxy S4 cases that are just plain sexy


A unique three-piece design and countless color combinations offer both protection and great looks

Avivo has been selling their very stylish and unique cases for a while now, and the good news is that they are about to release a line specifically for the Samsung Galaxy S4. The phone is a thundering success, and with so many of them out there it's only natural for some of the "designer" premium case manufacturers to offer their top-of-the-line gear for the Galaxy S4. And that's exactly what Avivo did with the new RAIL Carbonate cases.

Jump past the break, and let's have a good look at what Avivo is bringing to the table.

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4 years ago

CyanogenMod team goes commercial, bullet-proof installer coming soon


The CyanogenMod team is now CyanogenMod, Inc.

CyanogenMod has come a long way since the project started. I remember seeing the beginnings in the G1 threads over at XDA, and have watched the project grow and grow. Today, founder Steve Kondik has announced that they are officially a start-up on the company's website. But not everything will change — Kondik makes it clear that CM will always be about the users.

In all that chaos there have been projects that do it ‘right’, simultaneously supporting the company and the community—this is where CM will go. Our community is our biggest asset. With any change in structure like this, questions about motives and reason are going to need answered. The new products we have created should give you an idea about our motivation, and where we are going.

The new start-up has received over $7 million in funding led by Benchmark Capital — a name familiar to fans of RedHat and others. In a quote given to the Verge, Kondik and CEO Kirt McMaster say they have many ideas to pull a profit to keep things afloat. 

We've already seen some of the fruits of their new labors. The foray into things like remote device management and secure communications will differentiate them from the rest of the pack, and with an open philosophy, they will not only continue to garner attention from folks who like to root and hack at their Android devices, but draw other commercial interests as well.

The new company has offices in Palo Alto and Seattle, and the double-digit-member staff is already hard at work with new ideas and projects to make CM better. They've shown off the upcoming CM Installer, which will be on Google Play in the coming weeks. Some sample screenshots are after the break. In addition, the team will be doing an AMA on Reddit this afternoon to answer the questions we're all bound to have.

We expect big things from CM, Inc. I'm sure we'll see them. We all wish them nothing but luck, and look forward to seeing what's next.

Source: CyanogenMod

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4 years ago

Galaxy S4 on AT&T and Verizon, S4 Active now have Safestrap support for ROM loading


Load custom ROMs without touching the original boot loader using Safestrap

Folks with a Galaxy S4 on AT&T or Verizon, as well as users with the Galaxy S4 Active have a new method of loading custom ROMs in the works — Safestrap. Originally born out of necessity for the Motorola Droid line — many of which were and still are locked down tightly — Safestrap allows you to load a custom ROM of your choosing after your phone is booted.

What happens is that a system process the runs at the end of the boot process gets hijacked by crafty Android hackers, and is pointed to a bit of custom code that loads a sort of virtual machine running a custom recovery, which can continue loading a ROM of the users choosing. The original ROM is still safe and sound, it's just not active. Of course this is a simplified version of events. For the more technically inclined, you'll want to have a look at the further discussion here

Since AT&T and Verizon seem to have a need to get manufacturers — even ones who have been typically developer friendly like Samsung — to lock down their phones, seeing this come to the S4 and the S4 Active is really cool. The project is still in its infancy, so there will be bugs galore, but I have a feeling this one will grow into something very nice. Have a look at the link below for all the information you need to give it a try.

Source: XDA. Thanks, Matthew!

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4 years ago

Sony's QX Lens Cases get priced for Xperia Z


One of the cool accessories for the Sony Cyber-shot QX10 and QX100 lenses — those are the crazy awesome stand-alone lenses we saw at IFA a few weeks ago — is a slim-line case for the Sony Xperia Z and new Xperia Z1. It's an extremely thin case that the lens then clips onto directly.

And we've now got some pricing for the lens case — around $30 in the U.S. It fluctuates just a bit in Europe. And while you don't get a whole lot of case for that price — again, it's thin and really basic — this is the sleekest way to attach one of the QX lenses to the Xperia Z line of phones. Sony's got it up for preorder for the Xperia Z, shipping in early October.

Check it out in action after the break.

Source: Sony (US listing; UK listing; EU listing); Via Xperia Blog

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4 years ago

YouTube to get some sort of mobile offline viewing starting in November


The fine folks at the YouTube Creator Blog this morning dropped an early heads up that starting sometime in November, we'll be able to watch YouTube videos offline "for a short period." It doesn't sound like this is full offline downloading, but instead you'll get temporary access while you're disconnected.

To wit:

This upcoming feature will allow people to add videos to their device to watch for a short period when an Internet connection is unavailable. So your fans’ ability to enjoy your videos no longer has to be interrupted by something as commonplace as a morning commute.

Looking forward to it. In the meantime, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, wont'cha?

Source: YouTube Creator Blog

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