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3 years ago

How to manually update the OS on your Pebble

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Bigger is always better, and when it come to software nobody likes to wait

You have a finely-tooled Android smartphone, which you keep on the bleeding edge of all things software. It's nothing for you to grab a USB cable and start flashing things on a moments notice. You will have the most up-to-date Android device possible, no matter what hoops are needing jumped through. You're among friends here.

What if you also have a Pebble to go along with your sleek Android sex machine? Did you know it's just as easy to keep things updated to the latest and greatest there, too? There are even beta builds to flash! Follow along.

  • You need to install the beta version of the Pebble app on your Android. Grab it from Pebble right here.
  • Install it as normal. It will overwrite the Google Play store version so you only have one instance installed.
  • Next, you need to download the 2.0 release candidate firmware for your Pebble. To do this, you'll need an account at the Pebble Developer site. I find it easiest to do this from a computer and put the file in Dropbox or Google Drive.
  • Once you're registered and signed in, you can start downloading. If your Pebble serial number starts with a Q, download this file. If your Pebble serial number starts with a numeral, download this file. If you have a Pebble Steel, download this file.
  • Make sure your Pebble app can see your Pebble, and open the firmware you downloaded to your phone. It will open with the Pebble app and the rest is pretty magical.

If you get stuck, or things break, going back is easy. Uninstall the beta Pebble app from your phone. Put the Pebble in a recovery mode by pressing back, up and select for 30 seconds (you'll see "loading ...") and go through the regular setup to go back to the latest stable build.

While this is mostly for folks developing Pebble apps to worry about, the new firmware seems stable and it's so easy to flash that you almost have to try it.

Source: Pebble Developers

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3 years ago

Lenovo to acquire Motorola Mobility from Google in $2.91 billion deal

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Less than two years after the original Google buyout, Motorola Mobility gets a new owner

In a surprise announcement this afternoon, Google has revealed that it's to sell Motorola Mobility, the smartphone maker it acquired along with other bits of Motorola in 2012, to Chinese firm Lenovo in a deal worth $2.91 billion. That total amount consists of $660 million in cash, $750 million Lenovo shares and a $1.5 billion promissory note.

Google says it'll retain "the vast majority" of the Motorola patent portfolio, to which Lenovo will receive a license; Lenovo will also receive more than 2,000 patent assets. And the company will take ownership of the "future Motorola product roadmap," as well as the Motorola Mobility brand and trademark.

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3 years ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Metal' winner!

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Dozens of fantastic entries narrowed down to just one winner

In one of the more popular contests of the last few months, we received dozens of fantastic photo entries this week. We wish we could have given away more prizes in the "Metal" photo contest, but we're still happy to be giving away an HP Chromebook 11 to one lucky winner.

Hit the break to see the winning entry this week, and be sure to check out our new photo contests, which are announced every Wednesday.

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3 years ago

HTC One will miss deadline for Android 4.4 KitKat in U.S., Canada

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Another week or two needed to get things done, exec says

A quick heads up for those of you (and us) who are rocking the HTC One in the United States and Canada. HTC's Jason MacKenzie today announced that the phone won't quite get its Android 4.4 update by the 90-day deadline the company had placed on itself.

"We won't miss by much," MacKenzie wrote, saying that it should just another week or so before the updates are "complete."

HTC has been pretty transparent in this round of updates, with a new updates site to keep track of where your device is in regards to status, and giving an update on AT&T models this week. But a missed deadline — self-imposed or not — is a missed deadline. So, we'll continue to wait. Meanwhile, the HTC One has already begun getting its Android 4.4 update in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

MacKenzie's letter is in its entirety after the break. 

Source: HTC

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3 years ago

Android Device Manager updated, now has a password prompt

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Authentication makes sure you're the only one managing your Android devices

Android Device Manager — the Android service to help find, track and wipe a missing phone or tablet — had its app updated today, and there's just one small change. You can now set things up so you'll need to supply your Google password when opening the app or switching accounts.

This seems like a minor change, and one that's hardly newsworthy, but it makes a very big difference — no longer can someone pick up your phone and erase another device on your account without knowing your Google credentials. Granted, they can still do some very ugly things with the phone in their hands, but now your tablet or back-up phone is off-limits to friends, lovers or creepy dudes at the office.

Grab the update at the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Dead Trigger 2 starts shooting up zombies in Europe with latest update

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New weapons, environments, video sharing features and more added to Madfinger's shooter

Madfinger Games' fine shooter, Dead Trigger 2, is today having its previously teased .4.0 update pushed out that gives us video sharing, new weapons, and some new environments to shoot up set in Europe. Here's the full list of what's new:

  • Video Sharing: A brand new way to show and share your adventures! Record your daring missions and wow other zombie hunters from all around the world!
  • New Weapons: Get your hands on 3 new weapons - FN2000, Spagin and the mighty Minigun!
  • Friends: Make a list of friends in Dead Trigger 2! Compare your stats, hype your friends up, or have a chat in between zombie destruction!
  • New Warfare: Infection is an equal opportunity employer... So let's get to work! Death knows no boundaries. It's high time to fight for humanity in Europe!
  • Environments: Resistance intel has revealed 9 new environments! Fight your way through the city streets, countryside, warehouses, factories and many more!
  • Auto-heal: Bored of classic Bandages? The new Auto-heal gadget will keep you in shape all the time.
  • Permanent Money Booster: Get this booster and double your mission income. For how long? FOREVER!
  • New Production: Resistance now allows you to upgrade your Hideout up to level 9.
  • Warfare Tweaks: From now on, rewards are awarded in relation to score, not kills. So go set your sights for some new and difficult tasks! 

You'll find the latest version live in the Google Play Store at the link above. So get to clicking, then lock and load!

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3 years ago

AT&T HTC One X Android 4.2 + Sense 5.0 update now rolling out

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A quick heads up for all you HTC One X owners on AT&T — as expected, the phone has started receiving its update to Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and HTC Sense 5.0. It's a big update for the One X, bringing a whole new user interface similar to that of the current HTC One family. Aside from general UI overhaul there's the new Sense home screen with HTC BlinkFeed, an updated Gallery and Camera UI, and automatic video highlights.

HTC's got a full breakdown of which Sense 5 features you will and won't get on the One X — and the One X+, which has already been updated — over on its update site.

Source: Android Central forums; More: HTC UpdatesThanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Get a UK SIM-free Moto X at launch for £330

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If you look in the right place, you'll save £50 on the RRP

The UK launch of the Moto X left us disappointed with one key feature of the phone; its price. Moto announced the arrival of its current range topper with a pretty hefty price tag of £380, made worse by the current price of its American equivalent. This week the Moto X finally goes on sale across the UK, and if you know where to look you can pick one up for £50 less than that £380 RRP. 

Online retailers Expansys and Clove Technology are both offering the 16GB Moto X – in black only, white is exclusive to Phones 4U – for £330. Handtec is offering a very slight reduction on this, with a Moto X there costing you £328.80. All prices are inclusive of VAT. Clove is expecting stock from January 30, Expansys within three days at the time of writing, and Handtec is still taking pre-orders. 

So, while it's still maybe more than we'd have been hoping to pay for a 6-month old phone at this point, there are at least a few options to save yourselves a bit of cash on an outright purchase at launch. With Moto's recent – and fairly frequent – deals on the Moto X stateside, it'd be nice to see a similar promotion hit the UK at some point soon. 

More: Moto X Review, First look at the European Moto X

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3 years ago

AT&T giving $100 to anyone who activates a new line

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Existing and potential AT&T customers, take note: The U.S. operator is offering up a $100 credit to anyone who activates a new postpaid line of service. And ... well, that's it. Open a new line, get $100. The offer's good through March 31. 

More: AT&T

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 gets a giant price in the UK

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£649 with a free Gamepad with pre-orders for Samsung's giant tablet

Having been unveiled back at CES in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, Samsung's giant new Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 has been officially priced for the UK. And as we expected at the time, it's quite high. £649 worth of high to be precise. It's a lot of tablet for the money, sure, but still a pretty hefty investment. As a sweetener, if you pre-order through Samsung UK, you'll get yourself a free Gamepad thrown in for good measure. 

You can pick one up in either black or white, and shipping will start on February 4. For more on the Note Pro 12.2 and the Samsung Gamepad, be sure to check out our hands-on look at both devices!

More: Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 hands-on, Samsung Gamepad hands-on

Source: Samsung UK

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1, three months on

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After three months and a succession of software updates, what do we really think of Sony’s Xperia Z1?

The past year has been a pivotal one for Sony Mobile. After meandering through 2012 with a less than memorable product lineup, Sony introduced some of its strongest devices in 2013, along with a revamped design language. Among these was the company’s most impressive phone to date, the Xperia Z1, announced at the IFA conference in Berlin September and released shortly afterwards. The Z1 wasn’t a revolutionary change compared to the Xperia Z, Sony’s early-2013 standard-bearer, but it finally nailed a few important areas of the smartphone experience — specifically performance, battery life and camera.

I’ve been using the Z1 regularly over the past three months, and I’ve found that over the course of three successive software updates it’s become an even better phone than it was at launch. That said, some bugbears remain, and unfortunately many of them are longstanding issues common to Sony’s Xperia lineup.

Join us after the break for our long-term thoughts on the Sony Xperia Z1.

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3 years ago

Rose Gold Samsung Galaxy Note 3 now available on Verizon

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$249.99 on contract, $649.99 without one, available for a 'limited time only'

Having been leaked and previously pictured, the Rose Gold version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is now available from Verizon. Well, available but currently backordered, and will ship on January 30. To snag one of these which Verizon says will be available for a 'limited time only' you'll need to drop $249.99 on a two-year contract, or $649.99 without a contract on the month-to-month basis. 

The Rose Gold Galaxy Note 3 is essentially the same as the white version, but with a bronze tinged trim around the outside of the phone, the home button, and the top of the S-Pen. If this is the phone for you, hit up the source link below to get your order in, and if you're thinking of switching from another carrier, be sure to check out the Verizon coverage maps before pulling the trigger. 

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Samsung partners with Carphone Warehouse to launch standalone stores in Europe

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More than 60 Samsung stores to open across seven European countries

Samsung has announced that it's partnered with Carphone Warehouse to launch more than 60 standalone Samsung stores across Europe. The new Samsung stores will open in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and the Netherlands in the next three months, following a pilot scheme of three Samsung stores in Spain operated by Carphone.

The stores will have a "premium look and feel," and will sell Samsung phones, tablets, laptops and wearables, according to today's press release.

The development is interesting in light of Samsung's ongoing rivalry with Apple, which is famed for its global retail presence. Samsung has previously operated "stores within stores" at Carphone competitor Phones4u, as well as a flagship "experience" store at the Westfield Stratford City shopping center in London. However the launch of 60 standalone stores across major European countries takes things a step further, and Samsung will surely be hoping to strengthen its grip on the mobile market with this much expanded retail presence.

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3 years ago

UK Moto X available at Phones4u from today

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Prices start at £379.95 on PAYG or £25 per month on 3G contract

Phones4u has announced that it's the first UK retailer to offer Motorola's Moto X for sale. The company says it's now offering Motorola's flagship handset on contract, pay as you go and SIM-free, both in-store and online. If you're looking to pick up a Moto X today you'll pay from £25 per month on 3G contracts or £29.99 on 4G. P4u's SIM-free price is £389.95, dropping to £379.95 if you buy on PAYG. And as previously announced, the retailer also has exclusivity over the white Moto X for the first three months of it's availability.

Phones4u's launch comes a few days ahead of the officially-announced Moto X UK street date of Feb. 1.

More: First look at the European Moto X in London, Moto X review

Source: Phones4u

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3 years ago

Tablet maker goes bust after row with retailer over Google services

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'MyTablet' maker enters liquidation after Argos withholds £3.2m over lack of GMS license, The Guardian reports

Penryth, Wales-based hardware maker KMS has entered liquidation after a row with high street retailer Argos over use of Google Mobile Services on tablets without the proper license, according to The Guardian. KMS manufactured Argos' £99 "MyTablet" slate — released late last year along with a flurry of other low-priced Android tablets from UK retailers — as well as other low-cost Android tablets.

The newspaper reports that Argos withheld payments of £3.2 million ($5.3 million) from KMS after it discovered the company had loaded Google Mobile Services — the package including Maps, Gmail and the Play Store — onto its tablets without a license from Google. While the core Android OS is free and open-source, Google's proprietary services and apps are not, and manufacturers must obtain a GMS license in order to legally load them onto devices.

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