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4 years ago

News Corp. to release education focused 10-inch Amplify tablet


News Corp. will be announcing a 10-inch Android tablet designed for K12 schools Wednesday at the SXSWedu conference in Austin, Texas according to the New York Times. Led by former chancellor of New York City schools Joel Klein, News Corp.'s Amplify division is aiming to make headway with Android into the school system, and their first offering is an ASUS built tablet, an entire curriculum, and the infrastructure to support it all.

The tablet uses what Amplify is calling a “blended learning” model that combines new technology with current teaching methods. When a student starts to drift away from the prepared lesson, they will be warned with a pop-up advising them to put their "eyes on teacher". In addition, students will be able to take their tablet home each night, and use it to play educational games.

A tablet running the special software, training, and customer care options starts at $299, with a two-year subscription for an additional $99 yearly. For students without Internet access at their homes, a premium model will be available with a 4G data plan at $349.

The pricing is reasonable, and it appears that News Corp. is serious about providing support. It's nice to see Android move into a space once dominated by Apple and Microsoft, and we wish everyone involved the best of luck.

Source: NYT

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4 years ago

Mobile Nations Fitness Month final winners announcement!


Fitness Month is over here at Mobile Nations for another year. Health and fitness should be a year-round commitment, and it's never too late to start so if you missed out during February be sure to check back through the blogs and forums for content you may have missed. Hopefully you found some apps or tips to help you meet your fitness goals, or maybe even found some moral support in the community to help keep you motivated.

All throughout the month each site was giving away prizes for participation. We announced some winners mid-month, and below are the final results from the remaining contests from across Mobile Nations. If you were participating in the forums or on the blog contests, be sure to look below and see if you're a winner!

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4 years ago

LG Optimus LTE III makes its debut on SK Telecom


LG has just officially taken the wraps off of the Optimus LTE III, which has made some appearances in leaked images recently. As a worthy successor to the Optimus LTE II, the latest version has a 4.7-inch 720x1280 IPS display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 8MP camera and a sizeable 2540mAh battery. The design falls in line nicely with other recent handsets like the mid-range L Series and Optimus G Pro, with a square design, plastic back and physical home button. On the software side we're looking at Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, along with LG's software UX tweaks and apps.

LG is teaming up with SK Telecom to release the Optimus LTE III in both black and white versions, but we'd be surprised if it ever hit the states in its current form. Our only chance at this one is likely a carrier-customized version a few months down the road.

Source: LG

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4 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Do you use NFC?


NFC has been set to be the "next big thing" for a while now, but has never taken off. Most high-end Android phones ship with an NFC chip now, so the hardware is out there, but there is one big piece of the puzzle missing -- a reason to use it.

Most folks instantly think of Google Wallet whenever NFC is mentioned. Unfortunately, that ship has sailed and unless Google can force a drastic change in the way partners do business, it's a non-starter. Carriers and OEM partners effectively killed Google Wallet by refusing to support it in favor of their own solutions.

But NFC can do much more than mobile payments. Apps like NFC Task Launcher and Tasker allow you to use an NFC tag to do just about anything your phone is capable of, phones can share data by bumping their backs together, and you can even set up a Nexus Q by touching it to your phone. So we wanted to find out, now that NFC has been around a while is anyone really using it? Answer in the poll after the break or in the sidebar to the right.

Before we go, a look at last week's poll.

Who brought the best devices to show us at MWC 2013?

Looks like the HTC One wins this round, but the season is early!

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4 years ago

C Spire Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean OTA rolling out now


Hot on the heels of the Jelly Bean update for the Verizon model, the Galaxy SIII (S3) on C Spire Wireless is receiving its own OTA starting today. The update will bring users up to Android 4.1.2 -- build L710WWMB3 -- and include numerous features. On top of the usual Jelly Been goodness like Project Butter and Google Now, there are specific fixes and enhancements being made to the software. Several apps -- including Chrome, Paper Artist and Voice Search -- along with a dozen new widgets have been added with the update. Numerous fixes, including an S Voice update, MusicHub 3.0 update and streaming audio/video fix are all included.

The update is pushing out OTA in phases (as is usually the case), but if you're anxious you can also check manually for the update in your phone's settings. If you've really got some time on your hands, you can download the Kies desktop software and install the update manually.

Source: C Spire; Thanks, Jeff!

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4 years ago

SO.HO 'the social homescreen' launcher hits the Play Store in beta


SO.HO (which stands for "the social homescreen") is a new launcher that puts your Facebook and Twitter feeds directly at the center of your device. Just released in beta, SO.HO takes the place of whatever launcher you have currently and makes the primary homescreen of your device a scrolling list of either your Facebook or Twitter feed. Swiping left or right gives you a "normal" homescreen where you can place widgets, apps and folders as usual. You sill get a dock on the main page too, which is nice.

You can tap the top status bar to quickly switch between Facebook and Twitter, and use the compose button in the top right to quickly make a post. There's a smooth pull to refresh option in both, and the views are actually in many ways nicer than the official Facebook and Twitter apps. If you're interested in SO.HO as a homescreen launcher replacement, check out the beta at the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

Google Shopper improves search results, location detection


Google Shopper received a few new features in an update today, including an improved search result page and location data collection. Search results will now come back with the most popular products first that can be narrowed down and browsed through from there. When browsing products, users can also now use a "slideshow view" to see larger images as they go through. The update has also improved the app's location detection, which can help users search for products in their local area without having to manually enter a location.

While we're speaking of Google app updates, Google Play Music has also received an update today. It's just bugfixes, but an update to grab nonetheless. You can get your updated Play Music right there, and the Google Shopper update can of course be updated from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 dock finally in the Google Play Store


If you're looking to get your hands on the elusive official dock for the Nexus 7, it's now finally listed in Google Play for $29.99. Google has thus far set a limit of two per person.

The dock, which charges the tablet via the pogo pins as well as serves as an audio output via a 3.5mm jack, runs $29.99. You can read our complete review of it here.

Google's currently listing it with a 1- to 2-week shipping time, which generally means there's a better than average chance you'll actually get it sooner than that. (We're currently seeing an anticipated shipping date of March 17, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense, being a Sunday and all.)

Thanks, Bill!

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4 years ago

Official Twitter app updated with new 'top tweets' feature, smoother animations


It might be all doom and gloom for popular third-party Twitter clients, but at least the official app is getting some love. Twitter's own Android app has been updated to version 3.8 today, with a trio of new features alongside the usual big fixes. First up there's a new "top tweets" feature, which is supposed to make significant tweets from the past pop up when searching for specific topics. (We tried searching for "Election 2012" and "Olympics" to no avail, but Twitter had plenty of tweets to highlight when searching for "grumpy cat," including news of the disgruntled feline's upcoming appearance at SXSW.)

Other additions include the ability to see all replies to tweets in details view, and smoother animations for pull-to-refresh in the "Discover" tab.

Has the recent drama over user tokens for third-party apps got you back on the official Twitter client? Let us know what you think of this update down in the comments! If you're giving it a try for the first time, check the handy Google Play link above.

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4 years ago

Endomondo adds a couple premium features


Fitness app Endomondo got itself an update today that brings a pair of new premium features, as well as a couple nuggets for the cheap seats.

New for those who shelled out for the full version are "Heart Rate Zones" and weather information in the workout summary area. 

For everyone, there's also altitude data in the summary, and you can now see and join challenges from within the app itself. There also are the requisite bugfixes.

The the link above to get your update on.

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4 years ago

Google+ (on the web) rolls out huge cover pics, new local reviews tab


Google+ today rolled out some interesting improvements to its web version. The biggest, obviously, is the gianormous new cover photos. What was once long and skinny is now long and not-so-skinny. (We know how it feels.) When fully expanded, the new cover photos have a 16x9 aspect ration and can be as large as 2,120px by 1,192px. That's big. So make sure your image doesn't suck.

Next is a new tab for your local reviews. If you've reviewed something in your hamlet, it'll show up here. You can use it to showcase specific reviews, or you can hide it altogether. Your call.

Editing your info also is easier now, with better separation of content in the About tab, with cards acting as category separators.

Source: +SaraMcKinley

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4 years ago

Opera browser beta: Starting the move to WebKit


Opera has announced that it is making the switch to WebKit, and they're giving everyone a look at their first effort with a beta version of the browser packing the new engine. Building on top of that new engine, the Opera browser beta brings along new features that are meant to help speed up browsing, as well as a new interface design.

Hang around after the break and see how the first WebKit-based Opera browser beta performs.

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4 years ago

Alleged U.S. model Galaxy S4 screenshots emerge



We're just over a week away from Samsung's big Galaxy S4 announcement, and so we're starting to see a last-minute flurry of alleged leaks from the device. As you'll know if you followed the run up to the Galaxy S3 launch last year, late-breaking leaks have proven to be both wildly accurate and wildly inaccurate, so take this with the usual pinch of salt.

This latest set of images has an air of authenticity about it, though. GSM Israel says it has screenshots from a U.S. model Galaxy S4 (the AT&T version, judging by the 4G logo on display), obtained from a "very reliable" source. The images show a slightly re-vamped TouchWiz UI with brighter UI elements and tweaked icons, a redesigned settings menu and a transparent notification bar on the home screen. Interestingly, the so-called "eye scrolling" feature seems to be present, under the name "Smart scroll" in a settings menu screenshot.

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4 years ago

Google Play gift cards officially land in the UK, Tesco and Morrisons on-board


There've been plenty of hints at Google Play gift cards landing in the UK since shortly after the U.S. launch. Today, on the service's first birthday, Google has announced that UK consumers will be able to buy the cards in £10, £25 and £50 denominations, with "all" Tesco and Morrisons stores stocking the cards "in the weeks ahead."

The cards work just the same as they do in the U.S. -- buy one, scratch to reveal its code, and redeem on the web or via the Android app. The amount is then added to your Google Play balance, and can be used to buy music, magazines, books. movies and apps -- but not hardware.

The news of the launch follows reports of Google Play gift card sightings at Tesco stores in recent days.

It'll take some time for Google's offering to catch up to Apple's widespread iTunes gift cards, but having two major supermarkets on-board at launch has to be a plus. More details in the presser after the break.

Update: Google's put together a retailer finder page allowing Brits to track down local stores stocking Google Play cards.

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4 years ago

HTC's revenue slide continues into February


HTC's financial woes continued into the second month of 2013, the company's newly-released unaudited February revenue figures show. Last month the Taiwanese manufacturer brought in revenue of NT$11.4 billion ($390 million), down from NT$15.54 billion ($520 million) in January. That means total 2013 revenue so far stands at NT$26.9 billion ($910 million), down from NT$36.9 ($1.25 billion) for the same period in 2012.

HTC will be hoping the upcoming launch of its high-profile HTC One handset will begin to reverse its fortunes. The phone is due to launch in Europe later next week, though U.S. release dates have yet to be confirmed. 

Source: HTC

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