4 years ago

Samsung announces water-resistant Galaxy S4 Active


Ruggedized GS4 launching this summer, coming to the U.S. and Sweden first

After weeks of leaks, Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S4 Active -- a ruggedized, water and dust-resistant version of its flagship smartphone. The Galaxy S4 Active shares much of its internal hardware with the vanilla Galaxy S4, including a quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU at 1.9GHz, 2GB of RAM, a 1080p (TFT, not AMOLED) display, 2600mAh battery and 16GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD. The camera's taken a minor hit, going from 13MP on the regular GS4 to 8MP on the Active.

The main difference is the "fully sealed design" that the manufacturer's boasting is certified IP67 water and dust resistant . That means the external chassis looks a lot more durable, and the capacitive keys have been replaced with three physical, clicky buttons.

On the software side, we're still looking at Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and the latest Samsung TouchWiz UI, including headline Galaxy S4 features like WatchON, the Peel-based TV controller app, which uses a front-mounted IR blaster. S Health is on-board too, along with the full suite of Samsung apps and camera capabilities like 'drama shot' and 'sound and shot.' There's also a new 'aqua shot' mode for taking underwater pics.

You get the idea -- it's essentially a Galaxy S4 in a re-worked, sturdier chassis. Samsung says the Galaxy S4 Active will have a global release this summer, with the U.S. and Sweden seeing release first. In the UK, retailer Phones4U has confirmed that it'll offer the Active "when it becomes available." There's no word of which U.S. carriers will launch the device just yet, we've seen leaked images of the Active with AT&T branding in recent days. Samsung adds that the device will be at its "Premiere 2013" show in London on June 20, and we'll be live from that event to bring you hands-on coverage.

We've got more photos after the break.

Source: Samsung

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4 years ago

AT&T announces 15 new LTE markets, expands 4 others


AT&T expands their LTE network in markets from New Jersey to Washington, with plenty in between

AT&T has filled our inbox tonight with news about new and expanded LTE markets across the US, so we're going to pass along the good news. AT&T bills their network as the country's fastest 4G, and while we agree for the most part there's still quite a few places where Verizon has the coverage that AT&T just doesn't. Nights like tonight, when they light up multiple cities, will go a long way to change that. Now hang on tight, the long list is after the break.

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4 years ago

Verizon and NFL extend deal to offer streaming games to customers


Live Sunday regional games, playoff games and Super Bowl added to the deal starting in 2014

Verizon and the NFL announced today that the companies are making a multi-year extension to their current agreement, which will continue to make Verizon the official mobile network streaming partner for NFL in the U.S. Starting this season, the NFL Mobile app from Verizon will receive a facelift, with new ways for fans to interact with stats, news, game previews, on-demand video, fantasy teams and alerts. As is the case currently, Verizon customers will have access to all Thursday, Sunday and Monday games streaming on their devices for $5 per month. Beginning with the 2014 season that coverage will expand to include local Sunday afternoon games from CBS and Fox, along with all playoff games and the Super Bowl.

This is great for Verizon customers that want to keep up with the NFL while out of the house, but unfortunate for the other couple hundred million subscribers on other carriers. The specific length and terms of the deal between the NFL and Verizon aren't known, but we have to assume that it will continue for some time, leaving everyone else that wants access to live video of NFL games on mobile in the cold. Verizon customers can be on the lookout for the updated NFL Mobile app in the near future.

Source: NFL

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4 years ago

ZTE Vital for Sprint leaks in press renders, looks a lot like the Grand S LTE


Another well-specced device to expand Sprint's LTE offerings

Press images and specs of what's purportedly called the ZTE Vital have leaked out today, giving details on another new LTE device destined for Sprint. Details on the device given to Engadget list a 5-inch HD (assumedly 1080P) display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2500mAh battery, 13MP camera, 1GB of RAM and what looks to be basically stock Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Naturally the device will run on Sprint's LTE network, sitting alongside the other high-end devices currently on offer such as the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, although pricing or availability aren't known right this moment.

The detailed renders and specs list we have available today, if true, line up almost exactly with ZTE's latest flagship device the Grand S LTE. First shown off back at CES in January, the Grand S LTE basically packed in every piece of top-notch hardware available at the time, and should hold up against other high-end offerings even 6 months later. Sprint had ZTE have partnered up in the past for some specialty and mid-range devices, but nothing this highly specced. It will be interesting to see how it is priced and presented if it becomes available. Several more renders of the device can be found at the source link below.

Source: Engadget

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4 years ago

Your old phone could be worth up to $300 off the purchase of any Samsung phone at Radio Shack


If you're considering picking up a new Samsung phone, Radio Shack wants to talk to you -- and they have money to spend on your trade-in

From now until July 7 Radio Shack is offering a trade-in program on purchases of any Samsung phone from Verizon, AT&T or Sprint. Your old phone is guaranteed to get you at least $30, with several phones like the iPhone 5 or the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 netting you as much as $300 in like new condition. The phone you're trading in has to be working, and you'll get more money by including the cables and charger. For more information, have a look here.

This is how you move product folks. Get people interested with special promotions like this one with Radio Shack, then keep them interested once they see the great products you've made. It's no wonder Samsung is making all the money off of Android, because they have the best business plan. Other vendors should take note if they want to compete with the Samsung juggernaut. 

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4 years ago

Redbox Instant from Verizon now available for select Google TV devices


Your $8 monthly subscription for Redbox Instant now goes a little further, as the service is available for a handful of Google TV devices

Verizon and Redbox have made their Redbox Instant app available for a select group of Google TV devices, bringing another streaming on-demand service to the bigger screen in your living room. For an $8 monthly subscription, folks using the 47G2 and 55G2 Google TV-enabled Smart TVs from LG, NETGEAR's NeoTV Prime with Google TV, the Sony Internet Player NSZ-GS7, or the Vizio Co-Star can instantly stream a movie, rent or buy content, and even reserve a DVD for pick up at the local kiosk.

Getting started is easy, simply fire up the Google Play store on your supported device and search for Redbox Instant by Verizon-GTV and install the app. You can then enroll for a free trial month right inside the app or on the web here

For Google TV, content is king. It's nice to see more of it being delivered, even if it is on a scale limited a little more than we like. 

Source: Google

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4 years ago

Plague Inc. Mutation 1.6 infects Android in August


Plague Inc. -- a longstanding favorite here at Android Central -- will be bringing its latest "mutation" to Android come August. The update for the strategy game, in which your goal is to kill every last man, woman and child on earth, adds options for speed runs, official content from the Centers for Disease Control, translations for Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Russian, and a few other in-game enhancements. 

The update will be free when it lands in Google Play. (It'll hit the iOS version of the game first.)

We've got the full rundown after the break.

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4 years ago

Android US market share dips slightly, remains on top as of April 2013


Samsung holds a strong first place in the Android manufacturer numbers with 22-percent of all mobile devices sold

Industry analyst comScore has just released its market share numbers for the U.S. mobile industry, reminding us that Android is still dominant in the states, as is Samsung when it comes to the sale of Android handsets. For the three month period spanning from the end of January to the end of April, Android's market share dipped slightly by 0.3-percentage points to 52-percent of the mobile market -- trailed by Apple at 39.2-percent, up 1.4-percentage points. Adding up to less than 10-percent together are BlackBerry, Microsoft and Symbian, naturally.

On the manufacturer side, Apple is still king in terms of individual manufacturer market share, naturally with 39.2-percent of the market (as it is the only manufacturer of iOS devices). Trailing notably is Samsung, with a solid 22-percent share, up 0.6-percentage points. Rounding out the top five are HTC (8.9-percent), Motorola (8.3-percent) and LG (6.7-percent), as you would expect. There should be no surprises here, as Samsung continues to take off as the leading manufacturer of Android devices in every shape, size, name and variation.

Source: comScore

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4 years ago

Verizon weighs in on the future of the 'DROID' brand


No DROID devices in nearly seven months? Oh, noes!

The Verizon HTC ONE will not be the Verizon DROID HTC One. That's probably a good thing, if only to spare us all from the cursed "DROOOOOOOOOOID" notification sound. That's not to say it won't come without any other horrid sounds, but at least can expect that one to not be there. Anyhoo. A "DROID" phone it is not.

It's been some months since we've seen a new "DROID" phone from Verizon. (That'd be the Droid DNA in November 2012.) The branding and ensuing marketing campaigns, of course, is what helped launch the first real generation of consumer-friendly Android smartphones. T-Mobile's annoying uncapitalized "myTouch" brand fizzled, HTC's original 2012 "HTC One" brand was a marketing mess, and Sony's Xperia line spans basically every letter in the English alphabet. (We got the Xperia M today, for what it's worth.)

But through it all, DROID has persisted, even if some of us dropped the all-caps spelling. The original Motorola Droid. The Droid Eris. Droid Incredible. Droid 2 and Droid 2 Global. Droid Incredible 2. Droid Incredible S. Droid X. Droid 3. Droid Charge. Droid Bionic. Droid Pro. Droid 4. Droid XYBOARD 8.2 and 10.1 tablets. The Droid RAZR. Droid RAZR M. Droid RAZR Maxx and Maxx HD.

And that's just off the top of our heads.

So it's natural to question the future of the DROID brand after going nearly seven months without a new DROID device. Verizon's answer doesn't shed any light on any upcoming devices -- not that we expected it to -- but give the appearance that we've probably not yet seen the end of DROID.

Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney, in an e-mailed response to Android Central, told us that "the Droid brand is very important to us and will continue to represent the best of the best that is exclusive to the Verizon Wireless network."

Parse that any way you want, but we wouldn't hesitate to put a little money on the arrival of a new DROID-branded device this year.

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4 years ago

Wikipad 7-inch gaming tablet launches June 11 for $249


U.S. launch details confirmed, first retailers will be Wal-Mart.com, BestBuy.com and TigerDirect.

The delayed gaming-centric Wikipad tablet will finally arrive in the U.S. this month, as the manufacturer has announced a launch date of June 11. The tablet, which includes attachable physical gamepad controls, will cost $249 in the U.S. The first retail partners will be Wal-Mart.com, BestBuy.com and TigerDirect, with international launch plans due to be announced after next week's E3 Expo.

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4 years ago

What's the dark side to mobile gaming?


Until a few years ago, mobile gaming was confined to Minesweeper, Solitaire, Brick Breaker, and a handful of strategy-style games like the classic Warfare Incorporated. The rise of iOS, Android, BlackBerry 10, and Windows Phone has changed that, bringing immersive, innovative, and addicting gameplay to our mobile devices.

4 years ago

White Nexus 4s apparently being intercepted, returned to Google [Updated]


Update: Google Play support tells us that white Nexus 4 buyers should disregard the "intercepted" message, and that delivery times should be unaffected by the error. We've got the full statement after the break.

Original story: Those of us waiting on our white Nexus 4s to be delivered today apparently are going to have to wait a little longer. On Monday, the UPS shipping status was updated to "The shipper has requested a Delivery Intercept for this package. / Return to sender pending."

And this morning, we're now showing "The Delivery Intercept request for this package was successfully completed. / Shipper requested return of package."

LG announced the white version on May 28, and it went on sale in Google Play in the U.S. a day later. The 16-gigabyte version is currently listed as being out of stock, while the 8GB model is still for sale.

A quick call into the Google Play support line tells us that they're aware of the "intercepted" updates, but we don't have much more to go on than that. We've got e-mails into Google to see what's going on, and when the white Nexus 4 may ship again, or be delivered again, or whatever. Stay tuned.

More: Nexus 4 forums

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4 years ago

Some of your kids' favorite shows move from Netflix to Amazon


Viacom deal brings Dora, other kid TV along with the more adult Tosh.0 to Amazon Prime Video

Amazon this morning announced that it has scooped up Viacom's suite of children's shows, bringing some of your kids' favorite episodes to Amazon Prime Video. Previously available on Netflix, you'll now have to move to Amazon for "The Backyardigans," "Bubble Guppies," "Team Umizoomi" (that's the one with the robot that Android fans sometimes think is a Bugdroid) and "Blue's Clues," among others. You'll also be getting future episodes of "Dora the Explorer," "SpongeBob SquarePants," the "Fresh Beat Band" and more.

Basically, anything a toddler refuses to turn off.

The multiyear, multination deal also brings MTV and Comedy Central shows such as Tosh.0 and Awkward.

Source: Amazon; More: Android for kids

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4 years ago

Help us reach a YouTube milestone!


Have you subscribed to the Android Central channel on YouTube yet? Now would be a fine time pressing that button, because we're just a stone's throw away from the almighty 100k, as our pal Cory points out on Twitter. And you know how we get when we reach milestones -- we like to give stuff away!

So as soon as we cross that 100,000-subscriber threshold, we'll dig up something to offer up to you fine, YouTube-subscribing readers. Thanks!

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4 years ago

Toshiba announces Excite Write, Excite Pro and Excite Pure tablets


Two new high-def Tegra 4 tablets and a budget Tegra 3 offering

Toshiba has taken the wraps off three new 10-inch Android tablets this morning -- the Excite Write, Excite Pro and Excite Pure -- all powered by NVIDIA's Tegra processors. Both the Excite Write and Excite Pro are powered by the chipmaker's latest Tegra 4 chip, while the budget-centric will use the previous-generation Tegra 3. The high-end tablets also pack super-high resolution 2560x1600 displays, 8-megapixel f/2.2 camera and a Harman Kardon-branded speaker setup, whereas the Excite Pure opts for a less eye-catching 1280x800 panel. All three tablets come with microUSB, microHDMI and microSD connectivity.

On the software side, you're looking at mostly vanilla Android 4.2 Jelly Bean across all three tablets, which should please Android purists. Toshiba's also touting the Excite Write's improved digitizer, which has 1024 pressure points and is designed to work better with pen input. To that end it's also bundling a TruNote note-taking app on the Write.

The new Toshiba tablets will compete with the latest Android slates from ASUS and Samsung, both of which announced new 10-inch offerings yesterday at Computex.

Anyone in the market for a high-end, 10-inch Android tablet? Or the 7-to-8-inch screen size still the sweet spot for tablet devices? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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