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3 years ago

T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint take stance against fraudulent premium SMS charges [update]


Customers continue to have the option of requesting refunds for false charges

Update: The Vermont Attorney General indicates that both AT&T and Sprint have also signed on to block all premium SMS charges aside from donations, although the carriers have not released official statements on the matter.

Original story: T-Mobile published a support FAQ today indicating that the carrier will take a stronger stance against bogus premium SMS charges as soon as possible. Following a realization that large-scale actions by the entire wireless industry were not completely effective, T-Mobile has decided to cease all billing for premium SMS other than charitable and political donations.

Premium SMS, while having its legitimate purposes, is seemingly primarily used as a tool for scamming wireless customers into paying outrageous SMS rates to unwanted companies. Realizing that few cases of premium SMS — outside of charitable and political donations — were actually being used for legitimate reasons, T-Mobile has already halted business dealings with one of the largest premium SMS service providers.

Going forward, the carrier plans to stop all non-charitable and political premium SMS, and reiterates that customers will continue to have the option of requesting refunds for fraudulent premium SMS charges

Source: T-Mobile; Vermont Attorney General; Via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Google Wallet update lets you scan cards to enter them


Google Wallet got itself a nice little update today that allows you to scan your credit card to enter some of its information, instead of worrying about hitting all those numbers yourself. You'll still have to add your name and CVV on your own.

Google also mentions the new Google Wallet Card in the changelog, as well as bugfixes and performance improvements.

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3 years ago

Latest Chrome OS release cleans up the Shelf, syncs profile photos with Google+


Noticeable visual updates and a few under-the-hood changes as well

The Stable channel of Chrome OS has just been bumped to 31.0.1650.61, bringing several user-facing changes. First up is more customization of the Shelf (the status bar and dock at the bottom of the screen), which can now be moved to either the left or right side — It can still be auto-hidden as well.

In the Shelf you'll also notice the app launcher has been pinned to the leftmost spot (or topmost if the Shelf is side-mounted) so that it doesn't move as you add more pinned apps to the Shelf. The launcher icons, app icons and status tray have also been slightly redesigned to be more touch friendly. A nice little visual touch can also be seen in your profile picture for logging in changing to be in sync with your Google+ picture, if you've chosen to have that feature.

This latest release of Chrome OS is available for all Chromebooks out there, except for the original Acer C7, the HP Chromebook 11 and HP Pavilion Chromebook. Your Chrome OS device will pull down the update automatically, or you can always check for the update manually by typing chrome://help in the URL bar.

More: Chrome Releases

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3 years ago

Nexus 4's Android 4.4 KitKat OTA download links now available


For those of you who just can't stand waiting for the Nexus 4 Android 4.4 KitKat update to roll out over the air — but who also don't have an unlocked bootloader, here's your quick path to updating.

XDA's got the manual install URLs for the update, which you can apply through adb sideload in recovery. And what's more is that there's an update path for phones still on Jelly Bean — and one as well for first factory image (KRT16O) that was made available but recently replaced by a new version (KRT16S).

Here are the links:

Source: XDA-Developers

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3 years ago

T-Mobile's Moto X getting Android 4.4 KitKat today


First Verizon, now T-Mobile for Android 4.4 on the Moto X. And remember that AT&T's about to get its soak test on.

We've got the full changelog after the break.

Oh, and Jerry sends word that the developer version of the Moto X is also getting its update right now.

Source: Motorola

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3 years ago

Amazon offering Nexus 7 (2013) for $199, conveniently timed for holiday shopping


Save over 10% off Google Play's price, with free Prime shipping as well

Right as the holiday shopping season is picking up, Amazon is cutting the price of the latest Nexus 7 by $30. You can now pick up the Nexus 7 (2013) 16GB for that magical price point of $199, or if you'd still like to spring for the larger storage version just $239.

A 10 percent savings is nothing to scoff at, and if you're an Amazon Prime member you'll be able to pick it up with free shipping to boot. If you've been looking for a great deal on the Nexus 7 that doesn't require you to even put pants on to go pick up, now's the time to snag one from Amazon.

More: Buy the Nexus 7 (2013) from Amazon

Thanks, Joe!

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3 years ago

Motorola to offer factory images for Developer Editions, no longer void warranties


Warranties for 2012 and 2013 Dev Editions will be reinstated if previously voided for unlocking

In an interesting step towards pleasing the hacking community, Motorola has announced today two changes to the way it handles Developer Edition devices. First up, a change is being made to the process of requesting a code to unlock the bootloader on your Developer Edition device. Unlocking your bootloader with Motorola's consent will no longer void that device's warranty, and any Developer Edition device purchased in 2012 or 2013 will have its warranty reinstated if it was previously voided.

The next part of this developer-friendly program is making factory images available for Developer Edition devices. Just as we've become accustomed to on Nexus phones, factory images are a manufacturer-approved way to return to a stock state with files directly from Motorola.

This is a huge step towards making Motorola's Developer Edition devices even more desirable as a phone that can be tinkered with, and anyone who wants or needs these tools will greatly appreciate the new policies.

Source: Motorola; Factory Images

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3 years ago

Zombie Tycoon II: Brainhov's Revenge now available for the Nvidia Shield on Google Play


This PS3 port shows just how powerful Android and the Tegra 4 can be

If you picked up an Nvidia Shield it means one thing — you're a gamer. You might do other things on your Android, or maybe even have another device you use for messaging or social networking or web browsing, but you like to play serious games. Now you have another serious game to add to your list.

Zombie Tycoon II is a faithful PS3 port of the RTS game of the same name, and is designed for the Tegra 4 and devices with physical controls. For now, this means it's Shield-only. Hopefully, they can expand to other Tegra 4 tablets with a game controller, but right now you'll need that green and black clamshell to get your pop-culture zombies on. Do we like exclusives? No. But that doesn't mean that people with a Shield shouldn't have titles specially built for the device. Moving on.

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3 years ago

MetroPCS announces Samsung Galaxy Mega, available Nov. 25


6.3-incher will go for $349 with instant rebate, says carrier

MetroPCS has announced that it'll carry the 6.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Mega from next Monday, Nov. 25. The Mega is the largest Samsung smartphone that can reasonably still be called a phone, with a 6.3-inch, 720p LCD display. Powering the device are Galaxy S4 Mini-class internals — a 1.7GHz dual-core CPU, 1.5GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel rear camera. There's also a sizeable 3200mAh removable battery to keep things running. On the software side you're looking at Android 4.2.2 and Samsung's current TouchWiz UI and software suite.

Here's what we had to say about the Galaxy Mega in our full review of the international version —

"The Galaxy Mega isn’t for everyone. And unless you have very specific needs, and (literally) deep pockets, you probably won’t be able to use this 6.3-incher as your primary smartphone.  Yet we've found our time with the Mega surprisingly enjoyable, and somehow we've come away convinced that there is indeed a place in the Android world for this kind of device."

The regular price for the Samsung Galaxy Mega on MetroPCS will be $399, but new customers will get an instant rebate of $50, bringing it down to $349 plus tax.

Today also sees MetroPCS expanding into fifteen new markets today, expanding its reach to 45 markets.

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3 years ago

Verizon launches Samsung Galaxy S3 + S4 Minis


New Verizon home buttons now available

If you want a pint-sized Samsung phone with a full-sized carrier logo on the home key, Verizon Wireless has launched two new devices that may pique your interest. As foretold, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini and Galaxy S4 Mini are available today from Verizon, both packing Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and Samsung's latest software tricks. The S3 Mini, originally released in the UK over a year ago, is a tough sell in late 2013, particularly at Verizon's asking price of $49.99 on a two-year plan, $10.56 per month on Verizon Edge or $249.99 outright. The more up-to-date S4 Mini will set you back $99.99 on a two-year agreement, $16.81 per month on Edge or $399.99 in full.

Even then you've got some fairly obnoxious carrier branding to deal with, though maybe some enterprising individuals will offer stickers to mask the logo, as they did for the Verizon Galaxy Note 2.

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini review

Source: Verizon (S3 Mini), (S4 Mini); via: Phonescoop

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3 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Who is going to make your next phone?


Are you looking for a change, or are you a brand loyalist?

It's time for another poll, and this week should be a good 'un. Updates — both to KitKat and otherwise — were flying fast and furious all week, and one common theme in the comments of all the news posts was users claiming they were switching brands because they weren't getting their update fast enough. We understand a lot of that is frustration, even if misplaced, but doing things like updating fast make for quite the impression. Maybe a manufacturer did gain a few fans, whether it be HTC and their speedy updates, or Motorola beating the Nexus 4 to "official OTA style" KitKat.

Or maybe some old favorites lost a few future customers. We can't guess — so we ask. There's a poll in the sidebar to the right, or you can find it after the break to make things easy. Vote in it. Then jump into the comments and let everyone know what you think. It's your time to be heard!

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3 years ago

Win a phone or tablet of your choice by completing SwiftKey's survey


SwiftKey, one of our favorite third-party keyboards for Android, has launched its latest annual user survey designed to find out what all phone and tablet owners want out of their devices. It's open to everyone, even if your device doesn't currently support SwiftKey, and to sweeten the deal SwiftKey is throwing in the chance to win a phone or tablet of your choice, Android or non-Android, up to a value of $800. In addition to the grand prize winner, ten runners up will get a Moshi prize pack and SwiftKey t-shirt.

You can also increase your chances of winning by sending friends over to the survey and having them complete it. To get started, hit the survey link below. More details can be found in SwiftKey's blog post.

More: SwiftKey user survey

Source: SwiftKey blog

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4 years ago

HBO Go Android app updated with Chromecast support


OK, Chromecast fans. Add another supported app onto the list. HBO has just updated its HBO Go Android app to support Chromecast. 

And ... well, that's about it. Fire it up just like you would any other Chromecast stream, and you're watching HBO on your TV, through Chromecast. You'll still need an HBO subscription, of course. And some sort of Android device. And a Chromecast. But other than that, this is pure magic.

More: Chrome blog; Thanks, Matthew and Rob!

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4 years ago

Verizon now selling the HTC One Max for $299


With exactly zero fanfare, Verizon today has begun selling the HTC One Max. It'll cost you $299 on contract, or $25.22 a month with the Verizon Edge plan. Outright, you'll be paying $599.

The HTC One Max is a large — 5.9-inch display, but the phone itself is a bit bigger than that thanks to the front-facing speakers — version of the HTC One, with the new Sense 5.5 software and a fingerprint sensor on the back for unlocking. You can open up the back to get to the SIM card and (yes!) the microSD card slot.

Here's how our own Alex Dobie put things in his official HTC One Max review:

So the One Max is more than a big HTC One, but also a lesser phone than the HTC One. If you’re after the full HTC experience on a larger display, well, for the most part, this is that device. And right now it's the closest you're going to get to an HTC tablet. But for most buyers the smaller, better-looking HTC One, or the higher-end and more manageable Galaxy Note 3 will be better options.

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4 years ago

Motorola Droid Xyboard tablets getting Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update


Two-year-old tablets updated with year-old OS

If you're still rocking a Motorola Droid Xyboard tablet almost two years on from the ill-fated slates' release, then good news — Verizon has announced that both the 8.2 and 10.1-inch versions will soon receive updates to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. With its cringeworthy name and Android 3.2 Honeycomb out of the box, the Xyboards were Motorola's last attempt at an Android-powered tablet, brought to market in late 2011.

Jelly Bean's arrival for the tablets comes more than a year after the Xyboards got their last update, to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, in October 2012. And given their relatively meek hardware — a dual-core OMAP 4430 CPU and 1GB of RAM — Jelly Bean's "project butter" enhancements should significantly improve performance on the tablets. The 4.1.2 update will also introduce Google Now, as well as a redesigned camera app.

No word yet on when this update will hit the international versions of the Xyboard, which were sold under the "Xoom 2" brand, but we're not holding our breath. It's a stark contrast to the situation with Moto's latest products, which have been among the first to get the new Android 4.4 KitKat.

Source: Verizon (2)

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