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3 years ago

BBM will be preinstalled on some Android smartphones, BlackBerry says

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BlackBerry this morning announced that BBM will be preloaded on some Android smartphones starting in December. The specific models weren't named — BlackBerry said "from leading [original equipment manufacturers]" — but you'll be able to find them in Africa, India, Indonesia, Latin America and the MIddle East.

Parties involved include Be, Brightstar, Celkon, EVERCORSS, IMO, Micromax, Mito, Snexian, Spice, TECNO, TiPhone and ZEN.

Via CrackBerry

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3 years ago

Moto G now available directly from Motorola, shipping December 2

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Global and U.S. versions selling for $179-199 SIM-free

A little earlier than expected, Motorola's entry-level Moto G is now available to purchase directly from the manufacturer's U.S.-based website. The 4.5-inch Android 4.3 handset is available for $179 (8GB) or $199 (16GB) SIM-free, with U.S. and global-optimized versions of both available. (Moto's site says both devices can roam globally, but the U.S. version is optimized for American networks, and vice-versa for the global model.) In the U.S. you'll be able to use this unlocked Moto G on T-Mobile or AT&T HSPA+, but there's no CDMA or 4G LTE support on this particular model — a CDMA version will be coming in January, Moto says.

The Moto G is one of the most impressive budget handsets to pass across our desks this year. It sports a Moto X-like polycarbonate exterior, a 720p LCD display and a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU. On the software side it's near-stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean running the show, with a few Moto software tweaks.

Here's a snippet from our recent review of the Moto G:

"Depending on your perspective, the Moto G can be seen as a ridiculously cheap phone considering its quality, or a ridiculously good phone for its price. Either way, it’s a lesson to other manufacturers in how to make a good, cheap Android phone. The screen is the best you’ll find on a budget handset, the CPU, while by no means high-end, strikes a great balance of performance and energy efficiency, allowing the built-in battery to drive the device through a fully day of use with ease."

Moto G orders placed today on Motorola.com should start shipping from Dec. 2.

More: Moto G review

Source: Moto G on Motorola.com

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3 years ago

Samsung ChatON gets SMS support in Germany and Brazil

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Samsung's IM app can take over SMS and MMS duties, but only in a couple of countries for the moment

Hot on the heels of Google Hangouts growing SMS and MMS support, Samsung's ChatON messaging app has also been updated with the ability to serve as your sole SMS and MMS app. The new feature, which at present is only live in Germany and Brazil, combines text conversations with ChatON messages, and also merges your phone contacts into your ChatON buddy list. The app has also been updated with a new badge added under the ChatON icon, allowing users to see the number of unread messages.

While ChatON is bundled on Samsung smartphones, the app supports a wide variety of Android phones from other manufacturers, meaning that like Hangouts it can presumably take over SMS duties on non-Samsung phones too. We haven't been able to get any one-on-one time with ChatON's SMS integration just yet, but it's unlikely this feature will stay exclusive to a couple of countries forever. In the meantime, if you're in Brazil or Germany and want to take this new functionality for a spin, hit the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

O2 Wifi arrives at 735 Argos stores in UK and Ireland

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Free Wifi access in-store for shoppers

British mobile network O2 continues to build out its own nationwide Wifi network, having ditched BT Wifi earlier in the year. Today the carrier has announced that it's partnered with catalog outlet Argos to light up O2 Wifi in 735 of the chain's stores across the UK and Ireland. O2 Wifi access will be made available for free in Argos stores to all customers "regardless of their network provider," the operator says, with the launch timed to coincide with the start of the Christmas shopping season.

O2's Wifi network now boasts 9,000 access points across the UK, according to today's press release, including hotspots in other big high street names like Debenhams, Subway and McDonalds.

Source: O2

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3 years ago

HTC launches FootballFeed app for UEFA leagues

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BlinkFeed-style app delivers news, photos and play-by-play info for Champions League and Europa League

As part of its ongoing three-year partnership with UEFA, HTC has launched a new Android app to allow fans to follow the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. HTC FootballFeed, as it's called, has news highlights arranged similarly to HTC's home screen reader, along with stats, match fixtures and the ability to star your favorite teams in both leagues. There's also push notification functionality, and 15-minute countdown feature to let you know when a match is about to start.

The app is available for all Android devices running Jelly Bean (4.1) and above, even if you're not an HTC user. Football (or soccer, we're not here to judge) fans can download it from Google Play at the link above. 

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3 years ago

DoubleTwist updated to support Android 4.4, clean up design

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Improved tablet layout makes better use of the extra screen real estate

One of the most popular music player apps on Android over the years, DoubleTwist, is receiving an update today to be compatible with Android 4.4 and improve its overall design. The newest design improvement focuses on having a consistent look and feel across the entire app, which also fits better with Android's design guidelines to look great on devices up to and including the latest KitKat release.

The new app looks great on tablets as well, taking advantage of the extra screen real estate to reveal hidden menus and show more information in landscape mode. This all comes together to offer a great experience whether you're listening to local files, managing playlists that were synced from your computer or listening to the new Magic Radio service.

The latest update is available now in the Play Store, and because DoubleTwist makes its money with add-ons to its core app, it can be had for free.

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3 years ago

Google confirms RAW file support and native burst mode shooting coming to Android

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Your good camera hardware is going to get better with a future software update from Google

Google has confirmed to Cnet that the rumors of RAW file support coming to Android are true, as well as native burst shot for the camera application. According to Google spokesperson Gina Scigliano, support is already in place at the low level and the next step is to work on an API.

Android's latest camera HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) and framework supports raw and burst-mode photography. We will expose a developer API in a future release to expose more of the HAL functionality.

What does this mean for the user? Well we won't know for sure until we actually see it in use, but it brings some great possibilities to the table. Support for RAW image files can be used to create professional-style photo editors, along the lines of LightRoom from Adobe. When built with a touch interface and small screen in mind, these apps should be able to do some pretty powerful stuff.

In addition, burst-mode shooting being built into the firmware will allow the default Android camera app (as well as any app who wants to use the public API) multiple shot image-taking with little fuss. Besides the way it is used for HDR+ on the Nexus 5, this is something we've seen and enjoyed from HTC as part of their ImageSense tech, and having it at the hardware level makes things fast and fluid.

What we don't know is when to expect any of this. Google is always pushing Android forwards — even if we don't see the new features — and there is no telling if these changes will require a new platform version or just a minor point release. We're ready for them either way!

Source: Cnet

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3 years ago

Google Play edition Galaxy S4 also receiving Android 4.4 update

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The other shoe drops

Following up on confirmed reports that the Google Play edition HTC One was receiving its update to Android 4.4, the GPe Galaxy S4 has its own update. With a quick mention on the official Android Google+ page, we now know that both Google Play editions have their update just a matter of days after Nexus devices.

This follows the release of open-source files for both devices by the manufacturers early this morning, which is usually a good tip that the full-blown updates will hit soon thereafter. Seeing the update yet? Let members know in the forums how the process went.

Update: Here's the direct download link from Google's servers for those of you wanting to manually sideload the update.

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play edition Forums

Source: +Android

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3 years ago

Nexus Wireless Charger on sale at Amazon for $49, ships on Nov. 28

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Prime members save on shipping when compared to Google Play

Last week Google started selling its latest generation Qi wireless charger for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7, and now Amazon is getting in on the fun. Starting November 28th, the online retailer will have the latest wireless charger for the same $49.99 as Google Play, but ditches the shipping costs if you're an Amazon Prime member — saving you somewhere in the realm of $5 to $12 depending on how fast you wanted it from Google.

Even though it isn't officially on sale just yet, you can pre-order the Nexus Wireless Charger and it will ship as soon as Amazon has them available. And with Google Play's current availability set at "Leaves warehouse by December 6, 2013," even if you're not a Prime member you'll likely be getting this charger from Amazon sooner than you could from Google Play.

More: Buy the Nexus Wireless Charger on Amazon

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3 years ago

More Google Glass Explorer invites going out today

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Google is celebrating the release of the GDK by inviting more Explorers

If you've signed up for more information and a chance to purchase a pair of Google Glass, you might want to peek into your inbox. We've just received several invitations here at the Mobile Nations offices to purchase Glass direct from Google. 

Hi there

When you asked us how to get Glass on this site, we told you there would be more chances to join the Explorer Program…someday. Well, today’s the day.

The sneak peek of the Glass Developer Kit (GDK) is available now, making it possible to build new and innovative kinds of Glassware. We’re now inviting you, as a developer, to purchase Glass, become an Explorer, and join us in taking the next step in developing for Glass.

Click on the purchase code below to begin your adventures with Glass.

The price is still the same at $1500 plus a little tax, and the same range of colors — Charcoal, Tangerine, Shale, Cotton, Sky — are available. 

We expect this is a big push to get some great apps built with the new GDK, and we can't wait to see them. To learn more about Google Glass, or to sign up and let Google know you're interested, visit the Glass website.

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3 years ago

Verizon Droid Mini shows up in white in leaked press render

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It's the Droid Mini you know and love, now with a new color option

Frequent device revealer @evleaks has posted a press render today of a Motorola Droid Mini in white, headed to Verizon. Details on an exact price and availability aren't known, but there isn't much to the imagination here. Verizon often releases new colors of devices to help bump sales, especially around the holidays.

If you've ever wanted a Droid Mini but just can't make yourself pull the trigger on the plain 'ol black or saucy red model, wait it out for this white one to arrive. New colors of phones usually aren't too far behind leaked renders like this.

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

The MyTSA app (yes, really) can help you through the airport for easy holiday travel

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Wait times, flight delays, local weather and more make MyTSA a useful app for travelers

Most people don't think of the TSA when they think about easy. They're those people at the airport who look like police, who have to scan your bags, push you through the x-ray machines, and sometimes fiddle with your junk. Deservedly or not, they have a pretty bad rep. They also happen to have made a really nice travel app for Android. It's not filled with HOLO, or using any amazing user interface, but it is filled with the information you would need when your getting ready to fly somewhere.

The free app has stuff you will find useful if you're trying to make it through a busy airport, especially at a busy time like the upcoming holiday weekend. It starts before you even get there, by telling you any and all flight delays and general airport delays. It knows what airport you're closest to, or you can set it manually if you've got a drive ahead of you and aren't leaving from the closest one. 

Once at your takeoff point, you can find out information like what you can and can't bring on a plane (ninja stars are check-only, by the way), how long the wait time is at the various checkpoints, and even guides to try and answer any and all questions you may have about flying, TSA policy, or travel in general. Wait times are crowd-sourced, and the app seems to update in real-time when I entered in a long wait for the main checkpoint at Dulles. The things we do for science.

I'll admit, I was surprised by the useful content, and while I can't say it will make me appreciate the next person who has to jiggle my jimmies at an airport checkpoint, it's nice to see a few tax dollars well-spent. Give it a try via the Google Play link above, and we've got a slew of screenshots after the break.

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3 years ago

Three new Nexus 5 commercials highlight popular camera features

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Short and sweet, with each one hitting a single feature

Following up on the initial "I Do" commercial that came with the launch of the Nexus 5, Google has just published three more short videos to its YouTube account. The commercials highlight HDR+, Photo Sphere and Auto Awesome, and are each just 15 seconds long, but still get the point across — there are a lot of interesting camera features available on the Nexus 5. The most powerful among them is likely HDR+, which you can see above.

Now of course Photo Sphere is available on more than just the Nexus 5, and Auto Awesome animated pictures can be made with pretty much any camera, but we can see why Google would want to highlight these camera features to sell the latest device. Hit the break for the other two commercials.

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3 years ago

Odin Mobile to sell Nexus 4 with extra customer support for the visually impaired

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Device to include unique widget to showcase apps for low-vision users

Odin Mobile, a T-Mobile MVNO based in Rockville, Md., has announced that they will be selling the 16GB Nexus 4 for $329. While this is a good way for people who want a brand-new Nexus 4 to acquire one, the one from Odin Mobile is a bit special. Odin specializes in providing phones and service to folks who are blind or partially blind.

The phone itself is your standard Nexus 4, with one small addition. Odin will include a widget on the home screen that assists users looking for applications to better use the phone with any impairment they may have. The widget highlights eight special apps, and using the Android TalkBack service users can explore it by touch. As you touch a specific application, you're told the description, and a double-tap will direct you to Google Play for installation. 

In addition, Odin Mobile has a free support package to get everyone up and running. Robert Felgar, general manager of Odin Mobile explains.

Odin Mobile's unique instructional package will significantly shorten the amount of time it takes people who are blind, and might otherwise have difficulty adjusting to the use of a touch screen device, to learn how to use a smart phone effectively.

This instructional package also includes a one-on-one tutorial, and a month's worth of call-in direct customer care.

Our hat's off to Odin Mobile for what they're doing here. And we also have to give a nod to the Google Android team as well as application developers who make a project like this feasible. Access for all is a very important thing. The full press release is after the break.

More: Odin Mobile

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3 years ago

Doctor Who: Legacy - A new free mobile game for Doctor Who fans arriving on Wednesday

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Whovians! I know there is enough of you there, listen up! 

To help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, BBC Worldwide, Tiny Rebel Games and Seed Studio have now announced a new Doctor Who game for Android and it's all set to arrive on Wednesday, November 27th. Doctor Who: Legacy is the title and it promises to be a a feast for the eyes of any fan.

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