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3 years ago

Vodafone UK adding Xperia Z1 and Galaxy S4 Zoom to its lineup


Two new imaging-centric handsets available with LTE connectivity

Vodafone is hoping to bulk up its camera-centric smart phone options today by adding the Sony Xperia Z1 and Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom as its latest offerings. Together with the Nokia Lumia 1020, the Xperia Z1 and S4 Zoom are the latest LTE "4G-ready" handsets to hit the carrier.

The Xperia Z1 with its huge screen and 20.7MP camera is available now in either black or white (no purple, sorry) with no money down and plans starting at £42 per month 2-year agreement, or at £99 down and £33 per month for the plan. You can pick up the Galaxy S4 Zoom with its not-quite-camera not-quite-phone form factor as well, but not until tomorrow, unfortunately.

Both phones will be available online from Vodafone at the source link below.

Source: Vodafone UK; (2)

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3 years ago

Google Play Movies & TV updated, brings easier TV browsing


Get to watching the next episode with fewer taps

Google has updated its Play Movies & TV app to allow you to browse your TV collection more easily. Before, when you were in the My TV Shows tab, you would have to scroll down a huge list to find the TV show that you wanted. The update brings a grid of icons for the shows so you're not bothered by individual episodes in the main My TV Shows menu. It's a much cleaner look and one that was long overdue. The update also brings the ability to buy the next episode directly from the app and several bug fixes.

Full changelog:

  • Browse by TV show in "My TV Shows"
  • Buy the next episode directly from the app
  • Several bug fixes

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3 years ago

Facebook app update now lets you edit posts


Feature has been in the Facebook beta app since Sept. 5

Facebook today has updated its Android app. And while there's no actual changelog yet — Facebook's still really bad about that for some reason — TechCruch points out that you can now edit posts. That's a feature that's been available on the beta track since Sept. 5, and it's good to see it roll out to everyone else. 

Trust us, you're going to like having this feature. (Which, by the way, Google+ has enjoyed for forever. But we digress.)

Get your download on at the link above.

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3 years ago

Google Search receiving design improvements on mobile, Google Now getting more conversational


Consistent design and syncing across devices on all platforms

It has been 15 years since Google first appeared as a search engine, and on its anniversary Google is rolling out new search features to mobile devices. First up is a new and improved mobile web search experience across all devices, which puts it more in line with the "card" view of Google Now. Search results are now cleaner and more touch-friendly, focusing more on clusters of information in individual cards to help you get what you need.

On the back end, Google is laying out new improvements in its search algorithms and new keywords in the Knowledge Graph. For instance you can now ask for a comparison such as "compare butter with olive oil" to receive a nutritional breakdown of each, or filter down results with a broad query like " tell me about impressionist artists" to get information about who those artists are and view other artistic genres.

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3 years ago

Slacker Radio gets a major overhaul, adds 'My Vibe' listings


New UI, mood-based playlists highlight update

Slacker Radio has long been one of our go-to apps for online music, and the app is getting a pretty major overhaul with Version 5. First up is a pretty drastic visual refresh — it's worlds better than Version 4, we think. More and bigger images, an easier layout to navigate — good stuff all around. You've got four "quick start" tiles on the bottom of the home screen, and easy access to all the available stations.

And then there's the new "My Vibe" section — sort of a mood-based playlist picker. Categories include "Morning Coffee," "News," "Exercising," "Driving" and "Waking up." (And that's just for starters, but we do question the choice of "Road Rage" as an option in the "Driving" category.)

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3 years ago

Some 'unlocked' Galaxy Note 3s apparently SIM-locked to specific regions


European SM-N9005 and Latin American SM-N900 locked to SIMs from their respective regions

Update: Check our breakdown of exactly what's going on with region-locking on the Note 3 for more details.

Here's some alarming news for those wanting to pick up an unlocked, SIM-free Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and use it internationally. Reports have been surfacing over the past day from Note 3 owners in Europe and Latin America that their devices come with stickers warning that they're only compatible with SIMs from their particular regions.

Like many others, our European Galaxy Note 3 box is sealed with a sticker saying it's "only compatible with a SIM-card issued from a mobile operator within Europe," before going on to list individual countries. And while we were able to load a T-Mobile USA SIM into our UK-specific phone without any error messages, enough other "unlocked" Note 3 owners are reporting problems to indicate a widespread issue.

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3 years ago

Android Central App updated; beta testing moves to Google+ community


A quick heads up, folks, that we've pushed out an update to the Android Central App that addresses some bugfixes and crashes involving the widget. It'll be available to everyone in the next couple hours.

Just as important is that we're moving the beta track from Google Groups to a Google+ community. Everything still works the same — you'll just need to be a part of the G+ beta community going forward. This update — V1.4.4, for those keeping track at home — is available to both beta groups, but we'll start using the Google+ community going forward.

Have at it, folks!

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3 years ago

Smartphones in the car: entertaining, powerful, and distracting - Talk Mobile


When it comes to expensive purchases, cars rank right up there. Not only are they designed to go fast, they're designed to do so in relative comfort and safety, while costing as little to do so as possible. Even with all of that design they're still complicated machines to operate. Yet, they can simultaneously be boring. What's engaging about coasting down an open stretch of highway? Nothing.

So we've devised ways to keep ourselves entertained, typically through passive entertainment from the likes of music or talk radio playing through the car's stereo. But recently the smartphone has stood to change the way we think about entertainment in the car, along with disrupting other things.

So how can we put mobile to work to provide the same level of entertainment in our cars as it does in our homes? Are the mapping services on our smartphones good enough to replace a dedicated GPS unit in the car? And is it even safe to be using these things while we drive?

3 years ago

Nexus 7 LTE 'coming soon' to Best Buy


If you're looking to snag a Nexus 7 with LTE data but for some reason don't want to do so through Google Play, it ilooks like Best Buy will have them at some point — they're listed as "coming soon" on the retailers website. Pricing appears to be in line with Google's listing — $349 for the 32GB version. 

Source: Best Buy; Thanks, Jeremiah!

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3 years ago

Boost Mobile's Warp 4G LTE now available


Boost Mobile this morning announced the availability of the Warp 4G LTE. It's running at $199.99 off off-contract when you sign up for a $55-a-month plan. 

Specs include a 4.5-inch IPS display, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 8MP camrea and Bluetooth 4.0.

More: Boost

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 - 2014 Edition gains a hyphen, Oct. 10 availability


U.S. preorders start at midnight Sept. 27

Samsung this morning announced that the Galaxy Note 10.1 — 2014 Edition will be available in the United States on Oct. 10, with preorders starting at midnight Eastern time on Sept. 27.

Price is set at $549.99 for the Wifi-only Note 10.1 with 16 gigabytes of storage, and $599.99 if you want 32 gigabytes. It'll be available in either Jet Black or Classic White.

Retailers will include Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile,, Amazon, PC Richard's, Fry's, Tiger Direct, Walmart and

The new Note 10.1, as we're want to call it, made its debut in Berlin just a few weeks ago at the IFA conference (see our hands-on), and we found it to be a fast, svelte 10-inch tablet full of the same features as the new Galaxy Note 3. This U.S. version also comes with 50 gigabytes of Dropbox storage free for two years, a one-year subscription to Bloomberg Businessweek, and a 12-week subscription to The New York Times.

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3 years ago

Some Hangouts messages reportedly being sent to wrong recipients [Update: fixed]


Update: Google says the issue has now been resolved.

Original story: Google Talk — the service behind the company's Hangouts messaging platform — appears to be experiencing a fairly major issue this morning, as some users report messages being delivered to unintended recipients. Reports from Twitter suggest that in some cases messages are being routed to users outside the sender's contact list, presenting obvious — and quite serious — privacy and security concerns.

For its part, Google has updated it service status page to indicate it's investigating an issue with Google Talk, so hopefully the issue can be resolved before too long. In the meantime, you might want to avoid typing anything too private or incriminating into a Google Hangout chat window for the next few hours.

via: The Verge; More: Google Service Status

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3 years ago

Samsung exec: Galaxy Gear support coming to Galaxy S4 next month


Galaxy S3 and Note 2 to get updates with Gear support by year's end

Right now if you want to use Samsung's new smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, you'll need a Galaxy Note 3 or Galaxy Tab 10.1 2014 Edition to go with it. That's because only those devices feature the built-in "Gear Manager" app that links with the watch. However, at the announcement event in Berlin earlier this month Samsung mentioned that other devices would be updated with Gear support in the future, and it seems we now have a rough timetable for that process.

Speaking at a press conference in Korea, Samsung's president of strategic marketing for mobile business, DJ Lee, told reporters to expect a Gear-enabling update on the Galaxy S4 by "next month," to be followed by Gear support for the Galaxy S3 and Note 2 by the end of December. Lee's comments were reported online by The Korea Times newspaper.

Of course we should note that this timeframe might not apply to all markets — and it's worth considering that this information was given at a Korean press conference, too. But at the very least it gives owners of unlocked S4s, S3s and Note 2s a rough timeframe to work with.

Source: The Korea Times

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3 years ago

EE lights up 4G LTE service in another 12 UK towns


EE, currently the UK's largest 4G LTE network, has announced that it's switched on LTE services in another twelve towns across the country. From today EE's 4G should be available in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Beaconsfield, Blackburn, Burton upon Trent, Coalville, Chester-le-Street, Fleet, Gerrards Cross, Halifax, Hinckley, Houghton-le-Spring and Reigate, bringing the total number of EE 4G markets to 117.

This, EE claims, brings it to 60 percent UK population coverage, eleven months after it launched its LTE network. The carrier will face renewed competition from the likes of O2 and Vodafone, which have just launched their own 4G networks, as well as Three, which will do so before the end of the year at no additional cost to customers.

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3 years ago

The best f---ing weather widget you can install [AC After Dark]


Sometimes a weather widget can exist simply for entertainment purposes

Everyone has a favorite weather widget that fits their style or craving for loads of information, but sometimes you want a widget that's made specifically for entertainment purposes. FWeather widget is one of those apps, and if you look closely at the picture above you can see why.

The latest update to the widget has now added a settings panel and a refresh button, which are welcomed additions. You can now tweak refresh interval, set a manual location for weather, choose what items are shown on the widget and switch to a "dark mode" if you'd like.

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