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4 years ago

A broken Falcon Pro is just the start of the Twitter pain

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If you paid for a Twitter client after August 2012, it's time to accept that you might eventually lose your $2

It's time to start facing the long, hard facts, folks. The writing has been on the wall for some 10 months now -- since Twitter announced the API v1.1 changes that would significantly change things for developers of third-party clients, essentially putting a hard cap of 100,000 new user tokens. (Twitter said "you'll need our permission if your application will require more than 100,000 individual user tokens," but it doesn't sound like it's granted that to any of the apps we use.)

Since that announcement last fall, we saw Tweet Lanes (and others) all but shut down. (Update: Yes, we understand Tweet Lanes went open-source.) Falcon Pro debuted in November with that 100,000-token limit held over its head, and it ran into that wall in February 2013. A new version was released a few days later, requiring users to buy it sign in again -- and pay about a dollar more if buying for the first time -- and starting that vicious cycle once more.

This week, Twitter shut it down. Regular users are pissed. The folks in the newly formed Falcon Pro beta community are pissed. It's not fair to users. But neither should it be unexpected.

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4 years ago

Optimus G successor will use Snapdragon 800 processors

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LG and Qualcomm tonight announced that the follow-up to 2012's LG Optimus G flagship smartphone will use the Snapdragon 800 processor. The as-yet unnamed phone (it's not been publicly announced, anyway) is expected to be announced later this year.

The continued partnership isn't unexpected -- the original Optimus G was one of the first out of the gate with the Snapdragon S4 Pro. The Snapdragon 800 promises a 75 percent performance increase over that system, sporting the Krait 400 CPU and Adreno 330 GPU, LTE Advanced capability and Ultra HD video capture, playback and display.

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4 years ago

Qualcomm targets emerging markets with 6 new additions to Snapdragon 200 line

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We tend to focus on the top-tier "super" phones here, but we should never forget that the important market is made of the people who don't yet have a smartphone in areas where technology is only beginning to penetrate. Labeled "emerging markets" by the media, these areas are filled with folks who might not want nor be able to afford $700 smart phones. 

The folks making the phones, and the people like Qualcomm who build out the components know how important this sector is. They want people to have devices they can afford, and while it's more of a business decision than a humanitarian one, they do what is necessary to deliver products that will make an impact. We're seeing more evidence of that today from Qualcomm.

In a press release they just sent out, they have announced six new variants of the Snapdragon 200 chip, ready for use in phones and other devices that won't break the bank. Complete with an Adreno 302, the new chips will offer enough horsepower to perform all the standard tasks one would need a smart phone to do, on the networks people need them to be on. The configurations are complete with support for HSPA+ 21 and TD-SCDMA 3G networks, and will come in standard, Dual-SIM Dual-Standby, Dual-SIM Dual-Active and Tri-SIM Tri-Standby configurations. Of course, they're designed to fully support Android as well as Firefox OS and Windows Phone.

These aren't chips that will make their way into devices in the west, but they are a key to both the company's success and pushing technology to people who don't yet have access to it. That makes them important even if we don't feature them in headlines every day. Hit the break for the full press release.

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4 years ago

Google promoting Google Play Music when connecting to Starbucks free Wifi

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Logging into free Wifi at Starbucks? Now you'll be shown a free trial offer for Google Play Music All Access

Starting this week, Starbucks and Google have partnered up to offer customers that connect to its free Wifi promotional deals to check out content from Google Play. For some time now Starbucks has been partnering with different companies -- most recently The Wall Street Journal -- to advertise on their free WIfi login page, offering different deals or showing promotional videos before you were able to log on. At many Starbucks locations customers will now see an advertisement (shown above) for Google Play Music All Access, promoting the features of the service and offering a click-through to a free trial. 

Clicking through offers customers a full browser page where they'll see the merits of the service and give them a chance to start the same 30-day free trial that has been offered since the service's introduction at Google I/O. It also offers the same $7.99 discounted price when signing up before June 30th, but doesn't seem to offer any special deal beyond that for Starbucks customers. The page also offers users a chance to check out the rest of Google Play -- Books, Magazines, TV and Apps -- in a nicely stylized format.

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4 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Does Google Play have all the apps you want?

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Does Google Play cover all your wants and needs in the app department, or are you left wanting? Tell us in this week's poll

Kevin, Phil and the gang have been talking apps and app stores all week in Talk Mobile. They're sharing some pretty deep insight into the way apps, and the buying and selling of them, and most important of all -- availability.

Talk Mobile is a great way to see and discuss the general mobile atmosphere, but let's drill down a bit and focus on Android for this one. Google Play has over 700,000 apps. A lot of those apps are live wallpapers, themes, icon packs, and widgets. Those are all important, and we're not discounting them at all, but they're not exactly what we think of when we talk about apps. But even then, chances are Google Play has a whole lot of stand alone programs that will run on our phones and tablets, and our choices are pretty good. But can it ever be good enough?

Have you ever wanted an app to do something and couldn't find a solution in Google Play? Or maybe an app you really want is exclusive on another platform. Here's you chance to be heard. In the sidebar to the right, as well as after the break, you'll find a poll where you can tell everyone if you've been able to score everything you want on Android. Be honest, and be sure to participate.

For the record, I had to vote no. I want an accessory and accompanying app to plug my guitar into the Nexus 10 and use it as an amp. I know why this isn't easy to do, but I still want it badly. Maybe one day.

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4 years ago

Boost Mobile carrying LG Optimus F7 for $299 starting June 27

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Mid-range specs meet LTE connectivity at an acceptable off-contract price point for the prepaid market

As rumored, the LG Optimus F7 is making its way to Boost Mobile with a $299 off-contract price and mid-range specs. This is the budget prepaid carrier's fourth LTE device of the year, and looks to be very similar to the version recently launched on U.S. Cellular. The Optimus F7 is squarely in the mid-range of specs, with a 4.7-inch 720x1280 display, 1.5GHz dual-core (Snapdragon S4 Plus) processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage and 8MP/1.3MP cameras. Naturally, the Optimus F7 is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with LG's customizations and bundled apps.

The Optimus F7 will be available starting June 27th for $299 without a contract, and when paired with one of Boost Mobile's $55 unlimited plans can be a real cost saver over the alternative high-end devices.

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4 years ago

Spring cleaning: Win a Sony NSZ-GZ7 Google TV player

I'm finally seeing some daylight as the pile of stuff in my office gets smaller, but there is one last thing that needs to go -- a Sony NSZ-GZ7 Google TV set-top box. Almost a year after release, it's still one of the most capable Google TV units we've tried (and we've tried a bunch), and there is still plenty of life left in this one even after daily use for almost a year.

To win, you need to enter, and that's easy enough. Leave a comment below. At midnight Pacific, I'll shut the comments down and pick a winner. We use the email you registered with here at AC to contact you, so make sure it's valid and that you check it from time to time. 

Tomorrow, I'll announce all the spring cleaning winners here on the blog. Good luck!

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4 years ago

Feedly launches 'Feedly Cloud' sync platform, new web interface

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Press RSS reader, among others, also updated to support new Feedly services

Feedly, one of the leading Google Reader replacement services, announced major restructuring of its services today with a new cloud infrastructure and web interface. Posted on its official blog, Feedly unveiled what it calls "Feedly Cloud", a scalable infrastructure it says is ready to replace Google Reader. The new Feedly Cloud provides several benefits, the first of which is one-click import from Google Reader -- new users to the service can now simply pull everything over seamlessly from their Google account and start using Feedly right away.

Existing users will simply have to make sure that they have the latest version of Feedly installed, and their accounts will be migrated to Feedly Cloud over the next few days. Additionally, the new service allowed Feedly to create a stand-alone web interface (found simply at cloud.feedly.com) that works in all major browsers without plugins or extensions.

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4 years ago

Ematic FunTab Mini 2, another kid-focused tablet

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A simple, tough tablet for children that comes in at just $69

Ematic is launching another tablet in its "FunTab" line of kid-focused devices, this time in a smaller form factor with the Mini 2. Just like its other devices, the FunTab Mini 2 is designed from the ground-up with young children in mind, with software and hardware that is designed to be simple and robust. The Mini 2 runs a software layer called "Zoodles Kid Mode", giving them access to a small set of games and tools that are fun and educational. It also provides parents with easy tools to watch their child's progress after the fact.

This 4.3-inch "tablet" of sorts is designed to take a beating with big bezels and rubberized grips along the sides, keeping it safe from the inevitable bumps it will endure. Inside there's a mild set of specs like a 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and Wifi, but what really matters is the ability to hand a tablet like this to your kid and not worry about it from a hardware or software standpoint. The FunTab Mini 2 is available now for just $69 at both TigerDirect and Amazon.

More: Ematic

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4 years ago

The Talk Mobile cross-platform hangout!

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We're in Day 3 of apps week, and myself, Kevin, Rene, Dan and Marcus got together to chat a little more about apps and whether going cross-platform is a necessity. Check it out!

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4 years ago

HTC Butterfly S specs and photo gallery: Ridiculously gorgeous

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We got a pretty good look at the HTC Butterfly S this morning via HTC's official first-look video. But seeing as how there's very little chance of it being released in the U.S. (we've got the HTC One, after all), it's worth another look.

We've got a bevy of official shots -- as well as the full specs list -- after the break. Enjoy.

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4 years ago

AT&T gets ultra-rugged PTT smartphone in the NEC Terrain

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AT&T today announced an ultra-rugged Android smartphone with the added capability of Push-to-Talk in the NEC Terrain. It'll be available June 21 through AT&T Business Solutions and online for $99 on a two-year contract.

The NEC Terrain has a 3.1-inch display (with Gorilla Glass) and full physical QWERTY keyboard. It's powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor at 1.5 GHz and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It's got a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 0.3MP camera out front. 

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4 years ago

What will it take to get every app on every platform? - Talk Mobile

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There are three ways to choose what smartphone experience you're going to have: by carrier, by device, and by apps. Choosing by carrier places the quality of your voice and data service first, whereas making a decision based on the device means you're after a specific platform experience and hardware features. But choosing by apps is trickier.

4 years ago

Rockmelt brings the best of the Internet to Android

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No longer 'just' a browser, Rockmelt has released its app for Android

Rockmelt is bringing their critically acclaimed "everything" aggregation service and social network to Android, and they're doing so with style. If you're not familiar with Rockmelt, they started life as a web browser on the desktop, complete with social tools and ways to subscribe and share what the web has to offer, and now their new content discovery and delivery system has made it's way into Google Play.

We sat down and had a little chat with Tim Howes, Rockmelt's CTO and Co-founder, and Sharon Chang, Head of Marketing for the company and and discussed both the history of the Rockmelt brand as well as the present iteration. They're excited about what they're doing, and after having a go with the Android version of Rockmelt for a while, I think they have good reason to be.

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4 years ago

Dolphin Browser hits version 10 with a fresh design, new features

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Version 10 brings a refreshed design to the entire app, with small feature enhancements to keep the experience fresh

With over 10 million downloads to date in the Play Store, Dolphin is one of the most popular browsers on Android. It's moving right along with development though, and with a bump up to version 10 including a refreshed interface and new set of features that should build on its great user experience. With its latest version Dolphin left no portion of the interface untouched, keeping the same color scheme but rethinking the design and interaction at every point. On the back-end, a revamped web app store and development tools increase the potential for expansion.

This is a big step towards modernity for Dolphin, and things are looking good. Hang with us after the break where we break down the improvements in Dolphin Browser version 10.

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