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4 years ago

UK retailer taking Sony Xperia Z pre-orders [update: price changed]

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Update: It seems Expansys' original price of £399.99 for the Xperia Z was an error, as the retailer has just changed its pre-order price to £529.99, in line with other European stores. Bad news for anyone in the UK hoping to bag an Xperia Z on the cheap.

Original story: With any new phone announcement comes the inevitable discussion of pricing and availability, which are almost never revealed at the initial press conference. So it is with the Sony Xperia Z, which we first saw us at last week's CES, and has appeared online with prices up to £530 ($850) in the following days.

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4 years ago

LG Korea: No problems with Nexus 4 supply

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Getting hold of an LG Nexus 4 through Google's official device store hasn't been an easy task. It's been two months since release day, and throughout most of that time the device has been either sold out or on back-order. It's safe to say that the Google Play buying experience has been less than ideal for many.

Before the holidays Google UK boss Dan Cobley blamed "scarce and erratic" Nexus 4 supplies for some of the issues faced by would-be Nexus buyers. However if recent quotes from LG officials in the Korean press are to be believed, the issues don't lie in the manufacturing or supply side. Korean news outlet Chosun Ilbo quotes LG officials as saying the company has "no problems" supplying Nexus 4s through its Pyeongtaek manufacturing plant.

The quoted officials also took the opportunity to dismiss some of the crazier Nexus 4 rumors to have surfaced in recent days, including unsubstantiated reports that LG had scaled back or stopped N4 production in favor of a new, spicier Nexus. These rumors were described as "unfounded."

Whatever's actually going on between LG and Google, the Nexus 4 is available to buy through other sources, including carriers like O2 and Three in the UK and T-Mobile in the States. So any issues are preventing more Play Store stock from arriving don't seem to be affecting wider supplies of the handset. In any case, with more back-ordered Nexus 4s arriving every day, our fingers are firmly crossed for a fresh influx of Play Store stock in the near future.

Source: Chosun Ilbo (Korean); via: The Verge

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 docking station seemingly sold out at ASUS UK

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Last night we reported that the official ASUS-made Nexus 7 docking station had started appearing at the manufacturer's own UK-based online store -- well, for some users, at least. This morning there's good news and bad news.

Firstly, it seems the product page is now working for more people -- we're having no problem accessing it here in the UK. However, the accessory now shows as "sold out," as opposed to shipping with a two-week lead time, as was the case yesterday evening. It appears a few eager Nexus 7 owners may have snapped up ASUS' initial batch of tablet docks in just a few short hours.

So, sad pandas for anyone in the UK hoping to pick up this coveted accessory direct from the manufacturer. However at least there's hope that other retailers may step in with their own supplies in the days ahead, now that these things are out in the wild. We'll keep you posted.

Source: ASUS UK Store

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4 years ago

BT debuts SmartTalk Wifi calling app in the UK

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British fixed-line telco BT has launched a new Android app allowing its landline customers to make calls on-the-go using their landline calling package. The BT SmartTalk app links with your BT.com account and landline number, and allows calls to be made over a Wifi or mobile data connection, with the resulting fee being billed to your BT phone bill.

This allows BT customers to make calls in areas where they have a Wifi connection, but no cellular reception, as well as enabling them to save money by using their BT landline allowance instead of their mobile operator's allocation of minutes. 0800 and 0845 numbers, for instance, are usually much more expensive when dialed from a mobile number.

A few caveats -- outgoing calls will still appear as coming from your mobile number, and there's currently no way to have incoming calls automatically routed through the app. So this is no Google Voice replacement for the UK -- at least not yet.

The setup process is relatively straightforward -- first sign in with your BT account and phone number, then BT calls your land line with a PIN which must be entered into the app. Next, BT confirms your mobile number by sending a text to your phone, which the app automatically intercepts.

BT SmartTalk links wit h your Android contact list, allowing you to select from existing people in a dropdown list. There's also the option to withhoold your mobile number when dialing out, or set the app as the automatic dialing choice for certain numbers, such as Freephone, 0845, 0870 and UK landline numbers.

The app is available through Google Play for UK devices running Android 2.1 and above. Hit the Google Play link above to grab it.

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4 years ago

AT&T offering $100 credit for signing 2-year contract with HSPA+ Nexus 7

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But perhaps signing a 24-month deal on a 6-month old device isn't the smartest of moves

A "special offer from AT&T" has just showed up on the Play Store listing for the HSPA+ Nexus 7 that shows a $100 credit offer for signing a service contract with your new tablet purchase. Similarly to the deal offered by T-Mobile on the Nexus 4 early-on, Google seems to be making small carrier partner deals to try and get some people locked into contracts with their devices even from the Play Store. 

This may seem like a great deal up-front -- as is the case in most contract situations -- but when you think about it this really isn't. You're signing up for 2 years of service to save $100 on a device that's already 6 months old, which in the long run means very little considering the cost of data for these plans. Most users will likely want at least 3GB of data, which will run you $30 a month (before taxes/fees.) Taking the true cost of ownership into mind, getting basically 3 months of free service in return for being forced to pay for another 21 months seems a bit less of a great deal -- especially when considering you're still having to pay the full $299 for the tablet.

Edited and updated (Jan. 15): To clarify things a little bit, the $100 credit works with any AT&T data plan. There's no minimum requirement, other than you have to sign up for two years' worth, and you can use it with AT&T's MobileShare shared data as well.

Source: Google Play; AT&T
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

ASUS UK puts Nexus 7 dock up for order at £24.99 ... sort of

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The official ASUS Shop website in the U.K. has just put its dock for the Nexus 7 available for purchase for £24.99. Well, sort of. This fits in nicely with previous rumors and pre-order pages we've seen that pegged the release for mid-January, but there's a catch here. Although the product shows up when searching for it directly or browsing through its listing for all Nexus 7 accessories, any link that you use to go to it or view the product description either results in an error or redirect to the home page.

(Hi, everybody! Phil here. The direct link to the dock works fine for me. That's why there's a bit of confusion. But since it works for me, I assume the problem is with the rest of you. Now, back to our story.)

If you're bold and want to go straight from the search listing to putting in your cart for purchase, the Nexus 7 dock will set you back that £24.99 (plus £6.00 shipping.) When moving to check out with the dock though, it lists a delivery delay of two weeks as well. We're not entirely sure what's going on here, but if we had to make a suggestion we'd say wait this one out a day or two and see if things get ironed out over at ASUS Shop.

Source: ASUS Shop UK; Thanks, @SteveEdson!

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4 years ago

Chrome Beta for Android updated

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Chrome Beta for Android was updated today, to fix a handful of bugs and undoubtedly introduce a few new ones. Build 25.0.1364.33 is being pushed to Google Play, and everyone should see it in a few hours. The change log shows the following fixes:

  • 164632 - Edit Bookmark is broken
  • 167351 - Youtube video controls are lost after returning from fullscreen
  • 167016 - Some Samsung Galaxy S2 freezes
  • 168062 - Double tapping on non-zoomable sites scrolls the page to the top briefly before returning to original position
  • 167379 - Sometimes tabswitcher is frozen
  • 166998 - Tab content stretched out while returning to it through side swipe gesture
  • 168632 - Crash - Stack Signature: TabAndroidImpl::FromWebContents
  • 168388 - Sync signed in info text's font size is too small
  • 168430 - Bookmark star icon doesn't turn grey/white immediately after bookmarking URL /deleting URL from bookmarks

Minor annoyances all, but the beta track is where things like this get fixed. We're not going to post every time Chrome Beta gets updated, but we want to throw this one out so everyone can try the new Web Speech API when they are able to update to see how (if) it works on mobile. I'm hammering away, and I know plenty of you will be as well -- sound off in the comments once you get the update and know if it works or not.

Didn't get around to installing Chrome Beta? Because it's beta software (as opposed to beta-feeling software) it's not listed or searchable in Google Play. Click the link above to get it.

Via: Google

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4 years ago

Clean Widgets receives complete overhaul in version 3.0 update

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Clean Widgets, a compilation of useful homescreen and lockscreen customizations, has received a quite notable update today to dramatically improve the look and experience of the app. The move up to a completely new point release -- version 3.0 -- brings a new design style that's cleaner with a new font and redone graphics all around. There's a new customization screen that lets you change the widget styles before placing it on the homescreen, offering very granular control. There are more improvements to be had under the hood as well, with a reduction in file size by almost 75-percent from the previous version.

There's a whole grouping of useful widgets included in the Clean Widgets app including clocks, battery monitors, toggle switches and more. Stick around after the break for a quick walkthrough of the app from the developer himself, and head to the Play Store link above if you're interested in picking up Clean Widgets for your own phone or tablet.

More: Lionfish Apps

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4 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Which chip maker impressed you most at CES 2013?

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CES is over, we've all had a weekend to wind down and digest it all, and for mobile hardware junkies there is a lot to talk about. We saw what the big three mobile CPU builders will have to offer in 2013, and it's impressive on every front.

We started with NVIDIA, who took everything good about their current model Tegra chips and made it all one better with the Tegra 4. A quad-core A15, 72-core GPU, and LTE soft modem right on the chip shows NVIDIA is as serious in the mobile-space as they are on the desktop. 

Not to be outdone (and they certainly weren't) Qualcomm announced a pair of "superchips" that should make our phones scream on benchmarks, as well as handle the newest tech like 802.11ac.

Finally, Samsung wrapped thing up with the 8-core Exynos 5 Octa. Using what's called big.LITTLE processing, Samsung thinks they can manage the blazing speed from the quad-core A15 side by using the battery-friendly quad-core A7 side for those times when you don't have the need for speed, much like NVIDIA's Tegra "4+1" design. It will be a tricky balance, and we're excited to see how well Samsung can pull it off.

Even if you're not a big processor nerd, this kind of advancement is important. The hardware is what will decide how much developers can throw in the software, and we can expect better applications to run on our phones and tablets. If you are a big processor nerd, you're loving this. Which will impress you the most -- NVIDIA's addition of LTE to their domination of mobile gaming, Qualcomm's screaming speeds and support for new tech, or Samsung's foray into the battery saving world of big.LITTLE processing?

We want to hear from everyone. Which vendor showed the most, and more importantly, showed what you're looking for in your next phone or tablet on the hardware side. Answer the poll in the sidebar to the right or after the break and let us know what you think.

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4 years ago

Target and Radio Shack head to divorce court

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Well, you can't say they didn't give it a good run. A couple years after they first got hitched, Target and Radio Shack have called it quits in the mobile business, with their divorce taking effect April 8. That'll seemingly affect the 1,500 stores that have Target Mobile in place -- and that means a lot of Android phones in front of a lot of eyeballs. It sounds like prepaid and accessories might have been the sticking point. 

From Radio Shack's press release:

Since October 2012, RadioShack had been renegotiating the terms of the relationship with Target to establish an agreement that would be profitable to both companies. At that time, RadioShack executed a termination notice that would allow the company to exit the Target business if an agreement could not be reached.

We'll have counselors on hand for anyone who needs 'em.

Source: Press release

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4 years ago

Audiobooks.com launches new subscription plans starting at $14.95 a month

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Audiobooks.com is today launching two new, affordable subscription plans for their customers to stream and download audiobooks from the service. The cheapest option starts at $14.95 a month, and for that you get to choose one of over 25,000 titles to listen to on your Android device as well as your computer. For $22.95 a month that gets upped to two audiobooks every month to listen to. Audiobooks says that their customers listen to one or two books per month on average, and so these new subscription plans offer them the most value for money. Both are less than the $25 a month plan previously offered for all-you-can-eat audiobooks, but do offer a little more flexibility.

Before committing any of your money though, Audiobooks.com offers a free 7-day trial of the service, giving potential new customers the chance to test drive the service before signing up. Grab a copy of the Android app from the Play Store link above, and you can catch the full press release after the break. 

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4 years ago

Puzzle game Sand Slides launches on Android

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Sand Slides, an interesting puzzle game with a large iOS user base, is making the move to launch on Android today as well. In typical puzzle game fashion, the concept of Sand Slides is quick to pick up but hard to master. There are three containers at the top of the screen and three hoppers at the bottom, and your objective is to move the sand that collects at the top into the proper color-coded hopper. Sounds simple, but things pick up quickly and you have to start getting inventive with your swipes to keep the sand going in the right direction.

The game keeps you entertained with cool backgrounds and music, adding to the experience. If you're interested in a good puzzle time-waster game, head to the Play Store link above and check out Sand Slides for $0.99.

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Z goes up for pre-order in Slovakia at €605.99

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We don't have too many indications as to how much the newly announced Sony Xperia Z will cost, but one Slovakian retailer has pegged its pre-order price at €605.99. This is just a pre-order price at an online retailer MP3.sk, but we can assume that if a retailer is willing to put up a solid price that the final launch price will be close to it. The 5-inch 1080P display device has no expected release date on the site, but in the Sony booth at CES the rumblings were to expect availability in early March.

As we've seen in the past, unlocked pricing in Europe isn't a great indication of eventual pricing (if it comes here at all) for the U.S. market, but if you live in Europe this will give you an idea of what Sony is going to price the Xperia Z at. The device is a real treat to hold and use, so we can only hope that people can get their hands on one as soon as possible.

Source: MP3.sk; Via: Android Portal

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4 years ago

Tapatalk HD exits beta, goes on sale for 99 cents today only

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Tapatalk HD is exiting Beta today, launching officially on the Play Store for a promotional price of just $0.99 for today only. The tablet-optimized "HD" version of the Tapatalk app has been a long time coming, finally hitting the Play Store with a Beta tag behind it in December. Well it only took a few weeks since then for Tapatalk HD to shed the Beta tag for a full release. This tablet-optimized version of the Tapatalk phone app does a good job taking advantage of the extra screen real estate available, with a split pane view and photo gallery views. There are lots of customizations in look-and-feel to be had as well, so you can really make this app look the way you want.

Tapatalk HD will be $0.99 for today only, and will jump up to $4.99 after that. You can grab a download at the Google Play Store link above if you're interested.

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4 years ago

Official Lloyd Gear Screen Protectors

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Available for a number of Android devices, ShopAndroid.com is the only place to get the official Lloyd Gear Screen Protector. Available in packs of three (and currently at reduced prices), the official Lloyd Gear Screen Protector helps protect your Android device from dirt, scratches and glare. It's easy to remove and won't leave a residue behind. (The same can't always be said about Lloyd himself.)

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