Headlines

4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy J gets official in Japan

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NTT Docomo unveils Japan-centric handset with Snapdragon 800 CPU

An announcement by Japanese carrier NTT Docomo has today confirmed anew Samsung handset which leaked out last week — the Galaxy J. A Galaxy S4 variant with a Snapdragon 800 CPU, the Galaxy J appears to be targeted specifically at the Japanese market, meaning it's unlikely we'll see a wider international release. In addition packing Qualcomm's latest mobile chip, the J has 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and microSD expandability.

The device also has a 5-inch Full HD SuperAMOLED display and a 2600mAh battery, and runs the latest Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. It'll be available in "coral pink," "satin white" and "lapis blue" color options when it launches on Docomo in late October.

Source: ​Docomo

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4 years ago

Of course there's a Hello Kitty Galaxy Tab 3

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Looking for an entry-level tablet with added Japanese cartoon feline? Samsung has you covered with the the new Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Hello Kitty edition. Plastered front and back with Kitty's image — yes, the home button is now a Hello Kitty button — the device is otherwise identical to the Wifi-only Tab 3 unveiled earlier in the year. However Samsung's TouchWiz UI does appear to have been augmented with Hello Kitty-style icons and wallpapers, so there's that.

The Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 Hello Kitty edition is the perfect companion for your Hello Kitty Galaxy smartphone, and it'll reportedly arrive in the next three weeks or so, priced at €229. Check past the break for a quick hands-on video.

Also see: Hello Kitty HTC Butterfly S, Hello Kitty Samsung Galaxy Y

Source: MobileGeeks; via: SamMobile

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4 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Is an LTE network available where you live?

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Some folks have more Gs than others, no matter what the carriers try to tell us

LTE is something that many of us will take for granted. Verizon and AT&T keep telling us about new locations, and around the world companies like Vodafone and Rogers have an impressive list of locations they service with LTE high-speed data.

But in many areas, like the English countryside or the great plains of the United States, mobile broadband just hasn't happened. We know people live there, and enjoy their Androids as much as the people who live in New York or London or Amsterdam do — even if they don't have multi-megabit download speeds. It's time to get a measure of just what sort of service you, the AC faithful, are actually seeing from the folks you send money to every month.

There's a poll in the sidebar to the right, and it's been embedded after the break to make things easy. Let us know if you have access to LTE where you live, work and play.

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4 years ago

Weekly Photo Contest: Panorama

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Expand your horizons with panoramic shots this week

Last week we went with a pretty loose topic, "time," and got some really interesting contest entries. Keeping in that theme of letting you expand your creative horizons, we're going with an even broader guide this week — "panorama." Android has included the ability to take panoramas natively since Android 4.0, and manufacturers and third-party apps were doing it long before then as well.

This week we're giving away another phone to a lucky winner — an unlocked dual-SIM BLU Life View.

If your phone doesn't support taking panorama pictures in the native camera app, take a look at a few of the highly-rated third-party offerings in the Play Store:

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 (October 15) 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

T-Mobile LTE network now 'nationwide,' available in 233 metro areas

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Carrier claims independent tests put its LTE network ahead of other carriers

Along with sweeping changes to its international calling and data rates, T-Mobile is also announcing news related to its LTE network here at home. Coming in ahead of schedule according to CTO Neville Ray, T-Mobile is announcing today that its LTE network is now truly "nationwide," covering 233 metro areas across the country (that's 200 million POPs according to the carrier).

That number of markets is just over double the 116 that were live according to T-Mobile as of July, marking a pretty dramatic increase in LTE coverage in just a handful of months. Now we all know there are far more than 233 metro areas in the U.S. to cover, but this quick expansion has us hopeful that T-Mobile will keep ahead of schedule and expand LTE further.

Source: T-Mobile; T-Mobile Coverage Map

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4 years ago

T-Mobile to offer data roaming in 100 countries at no additional cost [updated]

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From the most expensive international roaming plans to the cheapest, in an instant

T-Mobile just keeps plugging away at its "UNcarrier" revolutionizing of the company, and the latest development is a new take on international roaming. The so-called third phase of its UNcarrier branding is going global, and it means that customers with a new Simple Choice plan from T-Mobile will be able to take their device from country-to-country without incurring serious roaming charges.

The new coverage will be available starting October 31st, and will offer unlimited data and texting to any Simple Choice plan customer in any of the over 100 "Simple Global" countries around the world. International roaming voice calls are getting better, too, with a new flat rate of $0.20 per minute in any of the same Simple Global countries.

It's a big change from T-Mobile's previous stance on international roaming, which was horribly expensive by any measure — costing somewhere around $10 to $15 per MB used abroad previously.

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4 years ago

ABI Research: Moto X 'outpaces competition with new innovations'

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Firm says the Moto X is 'a step above the rest'

It's no secret that plenty of people are loving their Moto X phones. I'm one of them. The "less is more" philosophy and tight software integration make for a pretty unique experience among all the different smartphones out there, both Android and otherwise. ABI Research has just torn the Moto X apart and done a complete analysis of it, and they think a big part of it is because the Moto X is the clear leader when it comes to innovation.

They say things like the form factor, the "much underrated" display and the always-on voice commands and notification system are pretty spectacular feats in power management, and "are a few of the attributes that set the Moto X a step above the rest."

Specifically when compared to the iPhone 5s, the Moto X uses about 2.5 times less battery power to do the same things, and has 20 percent more pixels to account for. To the folks at ABI research, this is more innovative than a new casing, new colors or a fingerprint sensor that they mention was originally a Motorola idea on the Atrix. 

Around here, we use all sorts of different phones. We like some more than others, but feel that any of the latest are a great choice. But when someone comes out and says why one is better than the others in such a bold manner, we're going to tell you and let you decide.

Source: ABI Research; Via: Forbes

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4 years ago

Archos GamePad 2 official: Quad-core CPU, 7-inch display, bundled games

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Second-gen gaming tablet from Archos

Hot on the heels of a retailer leak last week, Archos has today officially announced the GamePad 2 — its second attempt at an Android-powered handheld gaming device. Like its predecessor, the new GamePad features a 7-inch display, but the resolution's been upped to 1280x800 pixels. Similarly, it's now packing a 1.6GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, which should improve performance and multitasking capabilities. Storage-wise, you're looking at 16 and 32GB options with microSD support for up to 64GB cards. Apps to SD support is included too, allowing you to push some apps to external storage. And it's running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with the full complement of Google apps.

Archos is also touting a new version of its Game Mapping tool, which lets gamers map any area of the screen to one of the physical buttons, allowing compatibility even with games that don't natively support hardware controls. And to sweeten the deal it's throwing in full complete versions of Gameloft's Asphalt 8: Airborne and Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, fully optimized for use with gamepad controls.

The Archos GamePad 2 will be available from the end of the month, priced at €179.99.

Source: Archos

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4 years ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Time' winners!

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Dozens of inventive takes on the concept of 'time' to appreciate this week

We've really been doing our best to keep up on the weekly photo contests, and this week we have another successful contest wrapped up. The prompt this week was "time," and we received several forum pages full of entries with lots of great photos for everyone to look at and appreciate.

We saw dozens of very interesting takes on the concept of time, and the results were great to look at. Stick around after the break where we're going to give away two Pebble smartwatches to the contest winners this week!

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4 years ago

Headed to the Big Android BBQ? Be sure to grab the official app!

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A newly redesigned app to keep you up-to-date with all things BABBQ

There are a whole lot of things you need to have done before you head out to the Big Android BBQ this year, but be sure to remember to install the official BABBQ app. Whether its to keep up with news, the schedule, learn more about the speakers or just to collect some pins while you're down in Dallas, the Big Android BBQ app is a must-have.

With a completely new redesign for the 2013 get-together, the new app is easy on the eyes as well. Be sure to install the app and link it to your Google+ profile for the best experience before you head out on your way to the BBQ.

I'll be attending the BABBQ this year, so if you are making the trip and happen to see me walking around, don't hesitate to come say hello! We always like meeting and talking to the folks who follow AC.

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4 years ago

Vodafone 4G LTE coming to Liverpool, Glasgow and Manchester soon

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Liverpool on Oct. 17, Glasgow on Oct. 24, Manchester 'soon afterwards'

Vodafone UK is beginning to build out its 4G LTE network, and it's today announced that three major British cities are due for a 4G switch-on in the near future. First up is Liverpool, next Thursday, Oct. 17. That's followed by Glasgow on Oct. 24, with Manchester completing the trifecta "soon afterwards."

Vodafone reports that since launched its LTE network at the end of August it's attracted 100,000 customers to its "4G-ready" Vodafone Red plans. Unlike other UK carriers, Voda focused on London as its sole launch market, and it now says that 80-plus towns and districts in the capital have LTE service. In September this expanded to include Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield.

By 2015 the carrier aims to have LTE coverage for 98 percent of the UK population.

Source: Vodafone; via: WPCentral

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4 years ago

US Cellular's Moto X next in line for OTA update

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Software update promises to "make your Moto X work even better"

US Cellular's Moto X has that big update everyone wants ready, and Motorola has posted the full change log and installation instructions. It's the same update we've already seen for T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T, and while the camera improvements take center stage there's a little more at play here that's just as important. Click through for the full list.

Thanks for the tip, Beth!

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4 years ago

SketchBook for Galaxy puts the S Pen on the Note 3 to work

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Whether you're an artist or a doodler, you'll love SketchBook on your new Galaxy Note

The biggest feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note series to me is the S Pen. It's an awesome input device, making things like filling out forms or signing documents easy, but it's also great when you want to get creative. Once you get used to things, it really is just like holding a real pen or pencil.

When you pair this with just the right app, things get pretty special. The great news is that just the right app is included on your new Note — whether you picked up the Note 3 or the Note 10.1 - 2014 edition. I'm talking about the SketchBook Pro application, which comes in a special Galaxy edition as part of your factory firmware. It's a lot like the retail version of the product (which you can try via the Google Play link above for $4.99), but it's specialized with a pen mode that can work with the pressure-sensitive S Pen perfectly.

It's a complete, dare I say professional-level, drawing and sketching application. It's come a long way since its launch on Google Pay back in 2011. You can add layers with varying degrees of transparency, choose from hundreds of different brushes and styles, and pick any color in the spectrum to use in your art. It's a lot like Photoshop for your phone or tablet, but better designed for the smaller screen, in my opinion.

If you picked up a new Note, you'll find the stub in your app drawer. Be sure to open it and give the full app a try. I think if you like to create any sort of doodle or picture, you're going to love it. Hit the break to see a selection of screenshots.

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4 years ago

How to manage the modern mobile family - Talk Mobile

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We humans are social characters by nature. We gather with friends, we pair off with mates, we love and care about our families to the point of being irrational. Modern technology enables those bonds to transcend space and time, but they add a whole new layer of complication to our lives.

4 years ago

Jackpot Bingo: an Android exclusive casino game from GREE

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Ready for some Bingo on the go?

Japanese mobile gaming giant GREE International has just released Jackpot Bingo – developed by their in-house Casino Studio - exclusively for Android devices. Jackpot Bingo is a sequel of sorts to Jackpot Slots, which came out earlier this year. A host of game types and social features make Jackpot Bingo one of the better online Bingo titles around.

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