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3 years ago

Samsung to issue new Galaxy Note 3 OTA to fix third-party accessory support issues

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Cases that replicate 'S-View' functionality will work again after fix

The Android 4.4. KitKat update is making the rounds to certain Galaxy Note 3s, but an unfortunate bug is causing issues with some third-party view covers. After the update began rolling out, users reported that non-Samsung covers that replicated the "S-View" functionality were not working after the bump to KitKat. This is naturally not an intended "feature" of the latest update, and Samsung has vowed to roll out a new update that fixes the issue, according to a statement given to Ars Technica:

We have currently identified a software compatibility issue with the Galaxy Note 3 update to Android 4.4 (KitKat) and select 3rd party accessories. A software update will be available shortly. We are committed to offering a diverse and reliable mobile experience for all customers, providing continued support and solutions for any issues that arise with product updates for both Samsung manufactured and third-party accessories.

This follows up on an initial assertion that the update had nothing to do with the incompatibility, but there's really no indication that Samsung has any reason to disable third-party case functionality. Those who already have KitKat on their Note 3 can be on the lookout for another update soon, and we can expect the latest code to be integrated into future updates when they make their way to other regions as well.

Source: Ars Technica

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3 years ago

Verizon Ellipsis 7 update rolls out, still a device few people should buy

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Improved LTE performance, camera quality and battery life

Remember the Ellipsis 7? That's the Verizon self-branded tablet the carrier released back in November for $250. Well for those half-dozen people who bought one, there's a pretty sizeable update waiting for you. Verizon has posted to its support pages that update MV7A_31D26_422 is on the way with a whole load of features for the Ellipsis 7.

You'll be getting improved LTE connectivity, better mobile hotspot, a camera image quality boost, longer battery life and several other small features. The latest update also lets the Ellipsis 7 be used with Verizon's prepaid plans, as well as better manage where pictures and apps are stored between the internal memory and SDcard expansion.

Even with the latest update, we're thinking that the Ellipsis 7 is a pretty tough sell for any Android enthusiast unless you're simply looking for a functional and cheap device that supports Verizon LTE.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

The Simpsons Google Glass parody episode 'Specs and the City' available for replay on Hulu Plus

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It's hard to turn down watching this show, but poking fun at Glass makes it even better

The latest episode of The Simpons, which was teased earlier this week, takes a nice friendly poke at Google Glass and is now available for replay through Hulu Plus. The appropriately named "Specs and the City" episode can be streamed in its entirety provided you're a Hulu Plus subscriber. 

We're all for a bit of humor around new technology like Glass. And as you can tell from the preview above, there's also some Super Bowl focus as well.

Source: Hulu

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3 years ago

Your mom's in the mood, and apparently using BBM

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No, BlackBerry. Just ... no.

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3 years ago

Reminder: Get an off-contract Moto X for $299 today at 3pm ET [update: it's over]

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Discount codes will give you more time to order; Developer Edition included in the sale

Update: After actually running about 10 minutes past 4pm ET, the sale's finally over. If you didn't get a chance to save $100 on your off-contract Moto X purchase, you still have until February 14th to save $70. Not a bad deal.

Original story: In case you haven't heard, Motorola is readying a killer sale on the Moto X that drops a whole $100 off any off-contract variant you can buy from its online store. We now know that just like previous deals, Motorola will be offering up discount codes for those who show up to the site "while supplies last." That means when the clock strikes 3pm ET (noon PT), you can head to the link below and simply register to get the discount.

You'll then be emailed a $100 discount code to be applied to the purchase of an off-contract Moto X from the Motorola website. That includes devices customized by Moto Maker, even if you opt to go with a wood finish (although you still pay the $25 premium). This time around the discount even applies to the Developer Edition devices, which will go for $349. As stated before, you'll only be able to get codes from 3pm to 4pm ET.

The code, just as before, will only be good for a limited amount of time (to be specified on the code email). This is still a far better system then having to rush through your order though, and it seems to help keep Motorola's website from crashing as well. If you happen to miss out on this deal, don't worry, there will be a $70 discount for everyone available from when this sale ends until February 14th.

Moto X discount registration page

Source: +Motorola; Motorola Support

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3 years ago

Sprint LG G2 OTA enables Spark status bar icon

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Oh, and also LTE on Band 26 and 41 to support the new Spark network

LG G2 owners on Sprint are set to receive a software OTA today that enables Sprint's "Spark" LTE on the handset. That means you can now utilize Band 26 and 41 for LTE, giving you theoretically higher data speeds, provided you're in one of the few Sprint Spark markets.

Unfortunately that also means you'll have a new data indicator in your status bar (see picture on right). Gone are 3G and 4G, you'll now see a constantly spinning star next to the signal bars. Interestingly, that's the case whether you're actually in a Sprint Spark market or not, which rides the line between ridiculous and annoying.

Also included in this update is a fix for Hangouts related to voicemail and MMS messages, which is always good. If you have a Sprint LG G2, be on the lookout for the OTA starting today.

Source: Sprint Support

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3 years ago

Why Google Hangouts is the best group messaging app available today

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Google Hangouts' presence and read confirmations make it the best group messaging app available today.

Heading to Las Vegas earlier this month for CES 2014, the Mobile Nations team had a bit of war in deciding what group messaging platform to use for the week. With 22 people on the ground from the Mobile Nations team (and 10 more from GeekBeat), that's a lot of people — with very varying opinions — to please.

No surprise, as the unofficial leader of the BlackBerry users left in the world, I wanted us all on BBM. Phil, Alex, Richard and Andrew from Android Central here of course all wanted us using Google Hangouts. GeekBeat suggested GroupMe, which the Windows Phone guys were OK with, as they had an app for that. A lot of the members of the team have WhatsApp installed, and it is available on all platforms, but nobody really seemed to be pushing for it. And I *think* most of us had Facebook/Facebook Messenger running, but nobody on the team would admit to using it, never mind suggesting it as our solution for the week.

We all agreed we needed to be on the same app and in a single chatroom, that wasn't up for debate. And I wanted to make sure we had the BEST group messaging solution possible at our fingertips, not simply the one that was available on every platform. If that meant some people had to carry around two phones for the week because the app we picked wasn't available on their platform, then so be it.

Ultimately, the decision we made was go to with Google Hangouts. The reason? Because of the group presence and read notification. If you don't know what I'm talking about, allow me to explain.

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3 years ago

Starwood wants to replace your hotel room key with a smartphone

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Checking-in at the hotel could become a thing of the past

The Starwood hotel group has announced its plans to make visiting the check-in desk at the hotel a thing of the past, by allowing you to complete the whole process and get your room key on your smartphone. Using its SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) app for Android and iOS and Bluetooth, you'll be able to twist your phone in front of the lock and gain access to your room. 

The decision to use Bluetooth and not NFC isn't just important for people using phones of fruit based nature. NFC isn't a standard inclusion on each and every Android phone yet, and so Starwood has opted for a solution that will be accessible to more of its customers. 

The process will first be trialed on a small scale at selected Aloft brand hotels, with a view to rolling it out across the Aloft and W brands throughout 2014. SPG members can opt in to learn more and for opportunities to participate in the pilot program. 

Source: Starwood

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3 years ago

T-Mobile's LG G Flex lands Feb. 5

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T-Mobile today announced that its LG G Flex will be available Feb. 5. It'll be free up-front if you agree to pay $28 a month for 24 months, or you can purchase it outright for $672. In addition, T-Mobile is throwing in six months of free Netflix streaming.

The G Flex features a 6-inch curved OLED HD display, a 13-megapixel camera and a 3,500 mAh battery. It's powered by a Snapdragon 800 processor. Be sure to check out our LG G Flex preview.

For those who are looking for something a little on the lower end of things, the LG Optimus F3Q also lands Feb. 5. It's a 4-inch device with a 5-megapixel camera and a slider QWERTY keyboard, and it runs $13 a month over 24 months.

More: LG G Flex at T-Mobile

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3 years ago

Sony's noisy Xperia E1 gets a price in the UK

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A 100db speaker for £134.99 on Sony's latest budget offering

Just after CES and the Xperia Z1s, Sony dropped word of a couple of more budget oriented devices, including the Xperia E1. This 4-inch Android smartphone has a party piece around back, and has been priced – without a firm release date – for the UK by online retailer Clove Technology at £134.99. Music seems to be the focus with the Xperia E1, with that pretty insane sounding 100db speaker around back, and a dedicated Walkman button. 

The budget smartphone space has been getting pretty hot of late. With Nokia releasing low priced Lumia devices, and the current king the Moto G, folks who want to spend less are getting more bang for their buck than ever before. The E1 doesn't match the Moto G on outright hardware and software, with a Snapdragon 200, a 480x800 resolution display and Android 4.3, but Sony is offering its own unique taste on a low-cost phone.  Current estimates on UK availability suggest April, and you can pre-order a SIM free version at the source link below.

Source: Clove

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3 years ago

Red Nexus 5s on Twitter look legit

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If you're dying for a red Nexus 5, it looks like they're well on their way. We (and just about everyone else) just got pinged by @artyomstar on Twitter, who offered up a couple pics. Note the colors listed on the boxes as well.

The follows up another one that leaked last week, though that image was pretty rough.

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3 years ago

Sprint adds another 40 cities to its LTE roster

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Sprint today announced that another 40 cities have joined the ranks of its LTE networks. The additions give Sprint a total of 340 LTE markets in the United States.

The newly added locales are:

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3 years ago

Samsung/Ericsson patent dispute ends with $650 million deal

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Samsung to pay $650 million plus royalties as part of settlement

Ericsson's ongoing patent dispute with Samsung has ended with an agreement on licensing terms as part of a multimillion dollar settlement, the former has announced. Ericsson says Samsung will pay around $650 million plus "ongoing royalty payments" to end the spat, ongoing since 2012, which relates to cellular networking and touchscreen technologies. Full details of the settlement are to remain confidential, but Ericsson says the agreement covers "a new multi-year license agreement" and "ends all ongoing patent related legal disputes" between the two.

The announcement comes just hours after Samsung reached a ten-year cross-licensing agreement with Google. Meanwhile Samsung remains locked in legal combat with bitter rival Apple, with the next trial set to begin in March.

Source: Ericsson; via: Reuters

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3 years ago

New Samsung wearables rumored for your wrist and face

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Reports from Korea suggest 'Galaxy Gear 2' and 'Galaxy Glass' on the way later in the year

Last year saw Samsung's first entry into the world of wearable devices, with the launch of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, and more could follow this year if reports from the Korean press are to be believed. Today two reports from outlets in Samsung's home country point to Samsung Galaxy-branded wearables for both your wrist and your face arriving in 2014.

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3 years ago

ASUS launches another Padfone, in a color named after a whiskey

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ASUS kitting out the Padfone range with this mid-range offering that comes in Johnnie Walker Black

Barely 3 weeks after dropping a bunch of new devices on us at CES, ASUS has quietly launched another new Padfone device in its native Taiwan. The Padfone E is a mid-range hybrid offering, that looks like it sits between the Padfone Mini and the more high end Padfone X. Oh, and it comes in the best named color ever; Johnnie Walker Black – and Pearl White, but that's boring!

Spec wise, the Padfone E comprises a 4.7-inch smartphone and a 10-inch tablet dock, both with 1280x720 resolution displays. As always, the internals are all packed into the smartphone, and we're looking at a 1.4GHz Snapdragon 400, 1GB of RAM, a 13MP camera and a pretty small 1820 mAh battery – though thankfully the dock has a 5000mAh power plant within. 

Details on on-board storage seem to be missing from the specs list, though we imagine it won't be anything above 8GB at best, though ASUS does provide a microSD card slot for folks that like that sort of thing. It's going on sale in Taiwan initially in dual-SIM form with a price around $560. 

Source: ASUS (translated)

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