4 years ago

Facebook announces Home - a group of social Android apps


Relax, they aren't forking Android

Today Facebook announced a whole suite of new social apps for Android that will help with staying up to date with status updates, messaging, and everything else Facebook has to offer. Don't worry, Home isn't a new operating system, or their own phone. Everything will be downloadable from Google Play. New updates with fresh features will come every month. It will be available for download on April 12 for a few select devices (Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, HTC One X+, and Galaxy Note 2), and the newly announced HTC First

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4 years ago

AT&T LG Optimus G Jelly Bean update is official


AT&T's Optimus G gets Android 4.1.2 and ISIS Mobile Wallet​

The over-the-air update started hitting devices a day ago, but today it's official -- AT&T's LG Optimus G has its Jelly Bean upgrade. AT&T PR has confirmed the update to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, bringing improvements such as "Project Butter" performance enhancements and Google Now predictive search.

The update also enables the ISIS Mobile Wallet -- an NFC-based Google Wallet competitor currently in testing in Salt Lake City. Utah and Austin, Texas.

To grab the update, turn on Wifi and head to Settings > General > About phone > Software Update > Update. Once you're updated, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on with the newer version of Android.

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

We're live at 'Facebook's New Home on Android'


New app, new hardware (yes, really) and a new approach to social on Android! Join us for the liveblog!

Greetings from beautiful Silicon Valley, California! We're at Facebook HQ this morning for the big "Facebook Phone" event, where we fully expect to see a new app, custom launcher and -- crazy as it seems -- a new, dedicated smartphone.

Quite frankly, Facebook's got some explaining to do with all this, and we're itching to get the full scoop.

Livebloggage will commence at the following times:

  • 10 a.m. PDT (that's the U.S. West Coast -- the best coast)
  • 1 p.m. EDT (New York and Roanoke)
  • 6 p.m. BST (in London Town)

And all points in between.

Join us after the break for the complete liveblog, with photos and commentary from the event, your comments, and basically the biggest party from the most trusted name in Android!

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4 years ago

Wifi-only Samsung Galaxy Camera headed to the U.S. 'this month' for $450


Samsung's Wifi-only smart camera is only slightly cheaper than the cellular version

Samsung has announced that it'll launch the Wifi-only version of its Android-powered Galaxy Camera in the United States this month. The Wifi-only Galaxy Camera will sell for $449.99 at "authorized Samsung retailers." That's cheaper than the $499.99 cost of the AT&T version, but not by a whole lot. The saving compared to the Verizon 4G LTE model is a bit more substantial -- that device still sells for $549.99.

The Wifi-only Galaxy Camera sports the same internals as its cellular cousin -- a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos CPU, 720p LCD, 1GB of RAM and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean backing up the 12-megapixel shooter with 21X optical zoom.

We reviewed the 3G/HSPA version of the Galaxy Camera late last year and were impressed with its Android-based UI and sharing capabilities, though we found the overall image quality a little lacking for a camera in this price range. The addition of the Wifi-only model at a lower price point could be a smart move to get the Galaxy Camera into more consumers' hands, but we can't help thinking the starting price should be lower.

For more on the Galaxy Camera, be sure to check out our full review.

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4 years ago

Deezer music app launches new beta for Android


New look, mini-player and predictive search added in new version of app

Music subscription service Deezer has announced the launch of a new beta version of its Android app. The new Deezer beta includes a re-vamped, more modern-looking UI, and introduces predictive search capabilities to the search box. In addition, a mini player has been added, providing track controls throughout in the app.

Today's news will be of particular interest to EE subscribers in the UK, as they have the option of choosing a Deezer music subscription as one of their free inclusive add-ons.

You can grab the new beta version of Deezer for Android over at the source link below.

Source: Deezer

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4 years ago

O2, Three UK to offer Sony Xperia SP


Latest Sony mid-ranger "coming soon" to Three, O2 launch expected this month

Data-friendly mobile operators O2 and Three have announced that they'll range the Sony Xperia SP. Though there's no release date on Three just yet, O2 says it expects to launch the SP sometime this month.

The Xperia SP follows Sony's high-end Xperia Z onto the market, but also borrows design elements from some of Sony's 2012 handsets, including the illuminable "transparent element" below the screen. Notable specs include a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, a 720p "HD Reality" display and an 8-megapixel Exmor RS rear shooter.

There's no on-contract pricing available yet, but with SIM-free prices emerging at around £300, we imagine both networks will have plans which offer a free Xperia SP on contract.

Source: O2, Three

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4 years ago

T-Mobile reports Q1 2013 customer acquisition results


Net customer losses in postpaid; sustained net customer additions in prepaid

T-Mobile has just posted a preliminary report of its customer additions and losses for the first quarter of 2013, and while this is far from a full financial report it's a good indication of how the carrier did in the last three months. First, the losses -- T-Mobile shed a net of 199,000 postpaid customers in the quarter, although that's a significant improvement from the 515,000 they lost in the previous quarter. Luckily, strong gains in its prepaid business more than made up for these heavy losses.

The first quarter of 2013 netted T-Mobile 202,000 branded prepaid customer additions, an increase over the previous quarter and the seventh consecutive quarter of gains in this area. That puts overall branded customer acquisitions (both pre and postpaid) at a net gain of 3,000 for the quarter. It may not sound like much, but that's a huge improvement over previous quarters that saw 300,000 or more customers walk out the door every three months.

In the end, with strong gains of 576,000 non-branded customer additions -- such as those on MVNOs -- T-Mobile found itself with a total of 579,000 net customer additions, pushing the magenta network over 34 million in total once again. It will be interesting to see how T-Mobile's new plans and device financing structure will change these results going forward.

Source: T-Mobile

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4 years ago

Hands on with the Kobo Arc Jelly Bean update


The Kobo Arc has been updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but has it made a difference?

Flash back to our review of the Kobo Arc a moment. On the whole, the 7-inch tablet from Canada impressed, but was left lacking on the software front. Despite a Jelly Bean update in the works at launch, the Arc came to market on Ice Cream Sandwich, with the custom Tapestries UI on top. While a decent performer generally, if you've ever used Jelly Bean, going back to ICS is a tough ask. 

The Jelly Bean update for the Arc is now available though, thus removing a potential barrier to purchase. So, has it made a difference? Is the Kobo Arc now a serious contender in the tablet space? Well, we got one back in the office to take a look at how they did. 

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4 years ago

Daily news roundup: April 3, 2013




All the news that's fit to blog

Today was quite a day in the world of Android: Google, Mozilla, and Samsung were busy shaping the browsers of tomorrow, we got a firsthand account of HTC's camera strategy, new phones were announced while old ones were updated, and multiple heavy-hitter apps got updates while new ones premiered. If you missed any of today's news, now's the time to get caught up.

App launches and updates

Devices and accessories

Industry news

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4 years ago

Samsung and Best Buy bringing 'Experience Shops' to 1,400 stores


Samsung hopes to capture all the hearts and minds with a new retail presence at Best Buy stores across the US

Samsung and Best Buy are getting together and setting up Samsung Experience Shops in 1,400 locations across the US. 900 sites will launch this month, and the full 1,400 will be in service by this summer. The shops will showcase Samsung's products -- including phones, tablets, televisions, cameras, and accessories -- and provide customers an opportunity to get some hands-on time with each and every one.

A retail presence is something we've seen before from Samsung, but nothing on this scale. It's also a very different way of going about it than we've seen from Apple and Microsoft. We're not exactly sure how successful this will be, as every Best Buy shopper knows you can find a better price online. Of course, allowing folks to get a new Galaxy S4 in their hands will lead to plenty of instant-gratification buying. We'll have to see how things play out.

Be on the lookout for Samsung's presence in your local Best Buy, and hit the break for the full press release.

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4 years ago

HTC One Australian availability announced


HTC and carriers announce on-contract availability on Optus, Telstra, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile

The HTC One is headed down under, and pre-orders start as early as April 5, and general availability is stated to be April 23. Prices and details are outlined below.

Telstra: With a 2-year contract at $60 per month, you'll have a $10 monthly handset payment. The full cost off contract is $768. Customers who pre-register before April 23 will receive a free set of Beats Solo headphones. The registration page is here.

Optus: With a 2-year contract at $60 per month, you will have a $3 monthly handset payment. Optus pre-orders start April 5.

Vodafone: With a 2-year contract at $60 per month, you will have a $5 monthly handset payment. Vodafone has the HTC One listed on their site here, but the pre-order button is currently disabled. Vodafone is also offering the Beats Solo bonus for pre-orders.

Virgin Mobile: The $59 monthly 2-year contract comes with a $3 monthly handset payment. Their pre-order page is here, but as of now it is disabled.

Now that we know the dates and prices, are any of our Aussie readers ready to buy? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Ausdroid

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4 years ago

LG Optimus G Pro now available in Japan


LG packs a 5-inch screen and powerful Snapdragon 600 into a smaller frame for the Japanese market

LG and NTT DOCOMO have announced that the Optimus G Pro is now available in Japan. It's a beast of a phone, with a 5-inch 440ppi display, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600, and a feature-packed UI to run it all. For the Japanese market, LG has chosen to release the smaller 5-inch display (it's still 1080p) versus the 5.5-inch display used on the Korean version.

We're not sure exactly which size LG will choose to roll out to the rest of the world, but we do know it's coming to more markets -- including the US -- sometime in the second quarter of 2013. We're looking forward to it either way! Skip past the break for the full press release.

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4 years ago

Spotify updated with improved data handling and stability fixes


The latest version fixes getting stuck in offline mode and adds an option to clear local data

Now pushing to devices through the Play Store, the newest update to Spotify should fix problems users have been having with previous versions. Getting stuck in offline mode -- which rendered streaming useless -- has been fixed, along with crashes associated with running low on memory and loading artists in the radio.

The way Spotify stores data on your device has changed, with the app claiming to now "store your data in the most efficient location on your phone/device," which only applies to first-time installations. A little more control is also given over stored data via an option in settings, which allows the clearing of temporary data and downloaded songs.

Get the update now through Google's Play Store. A handy link is waiting for you at the top of the post.

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4 years ago

Google Search update adds new card functionality, improved search results


Real time package tracking from select carriers and subtle UI tweaks make it into this update

The Google Search app, better known for its transition into the Google Now interface on Jelly Bean devices, has been updated with a few more features today. The first improvement is what Google calls "real time package tracking", which should give you a better indication of the package status, rather than simple "package shipped" cards that have been there previously. The new functionality is only available for select carriers, but it isn't specified which ones at this point.

Also included is a visual redesign of the "settings" key that appears in the top right corner of every card, which has turned into an "i" (information) button. Instead of just popping up a settings option to take you deeper into the app, it expands the current card to let you toggle quick settings related to it. For example tapping the "i" on a sports score card gives you quick options to follow or not follow a team, while tapping "i" on a stocks card lets you choose which stocks you would like to always see.

It's a visual improvement that will be instantly noticeable as a better choice for managing Google Now settings. Be sure to grab the update from the Play Store at the top of this post if you've got a device running Jelly Bean.

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4 years ago

Google Maps brings navigation to 9 new countries in Europe and Africa


Voice guided, turn-by-turn navigation available for millions more people today on Google Maps for Android

The Google Maps team has taken to Google+ and announced the addition of voice navigation for 9 new countries today. Users in the following countries will be able to use the Google Maps app on their Android phone with the new (to them) feature, starting right now:

  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Senegal
  • Estonia
  • Bulgaria
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Slovakia

There was no word on when to expect the same for other locations, nor about how the process is done. We tend to take Google services for granted in Western Europe, and especially, North America, but for many folks Android devices are missing some of what makes them so special. We're glad to see Google address this issue, even if it's a bit slower than we would like.

Source: +Google Maps

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