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4 years ago

RadioShack offering $100 Google Play credit with an HTC One

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A pretty slick deal just came down the pike from RadioShack. Order up an AT&T or Sprint HTC One with a two-year contract and they'll toss in $100 worth of games and apps and stuff from Google Play. 

As always, find more in our HTC One forums.

More: RadioShack

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4 years ago

Rich Dev, Poor Dev: Why some succeed where others fail - Talk Mobile

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Both iOS and Android are rapidly approaching the million app mark. It's an absurd number of apps, and making a living in that vast sea is a tough prospect. Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 are both over 100,000 apps, which on its own is also an absurd number. How is a developer supposed to get noticed when there are thousands upon thousands of other apps in the same store?

4 years ago

Second look: The Samsung Galaxy NX camera

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The Samsung Galaxy NX appears to be one hell of an Android-powered camera, and as such it deserves a second look. 

First, the broad strokes for those just joining the fun: The NX sports a 20.3MP sensor and interchangeable lenses, a 4.8-inch display and runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with a custom UI. And it's got full Wifi and LTE capability, so you'll be sharing pictures all over the place in addition to whatever other Android goodness is added (or hacked) into this thing.

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4 years ago

HTC reportedly inks $12 million ad campaign with Robert Downey Jr.

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HTC has reportedly hired actor Robert Downey Jr. for a 2-year global marketing campaign. The smartphone manufacturer will try to capitalize on the actor's popularity to promote their new devices, such as the beloved HTC One. A bold move like this should come as no surprise. It is no secret that there have been questions about HTC's longevity, with recent employment changes and competition with the behemoth that Samsung has become; though May was its best financial month of 2013.

The deal has not yet been officially announced, but the speculation is that Downey Jr. will have final creative say over the campaign and will not be portraying any characters but himself.

This is a good move by HTC. As good as the HTC One is, Samsung has been pouring money into marketing, which has been effective. The more HTC can brand itself and capture the public's attention, the better off they will be. An actor of Robert Downey Jr.'s caliber will help them do just that.

Source: Bloomberg

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4 years ago

AT&T's Pantech Flex gets Jelly Bean update

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AT&T today announced that its Pantech Flex is receiving an over-the-air update to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. That means you'll be able to get things like Google Now, the latest Google Voice Search and better accessibility features, too, with options for external Braille input and output, and Bluetooth and gestures for the visually impaired. 

Plus you get those fancy Jelly Bean notifications that the kids are all talking about. AT&T says those with the Flex should receive a text message alerting them to the update.

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

FAA expected to relax ban on gadgets on takeoffs and landings

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Don't expect to make phone calls, though, even if e-readers and tablets approved for takeoff and landing

You might no longer have to worry whether you shut off that gadget as your plane takes to the sky. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Federal Aviation Administration -- in part to get with the times and in part because so many passengers don't actually shut down everything with an on/off switch -- will relax the blanket ban on some personal electronic devices below 10,000 feet.

The policy shift, which hasn't been officially announced yet, isn't expected to address phone usage, so it's unsure yet whether airplane mode would suffice, or whether you'll have to tuck away anything that doesn't look like a small tablet. And that could get interesting given that half of all new Android smartphones essentially are small tablets. It's also not yet known whether you'd have Wifi access during takeoff and landing.

A formal decision isn't expected until the fall.

Source: WSJ (paywall); photo courtesy Jason Rabinowitz 

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the LG Optimus F3

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Sprint was on hand at last night's Pepcom showcase to highlight its next cream-of-the-entry-level-crop, the LG Optimus F3, available now for a mere $30 on contract. It's undoubtedly a starter phone, designed specifically with the blind and visually impaired thanks to its bundled Google TalkBack software. With extensive text-to-speech capabilities, the F3 is the go-to device for those looking for a budget-conscious, entry-level-friendly handset.

The F3 packs a 4-inch WVGA display, a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, and Gorilla Glass 2, with a 2,650 mAh battery and Android 4.1 thrown in to spice up the spec sheet -- a bit under whelming for the power user yet totally respectable for the first-time buyer. I've said it once and I'll say it a million times: entry-level devices are becoming more and more capable, and the Optimus F3 is very much a well-made, albeit bottom-rung LG device.

The Optimus F3 ships in both silver and purple and is available now in Sprint stores and on sprint.com for $29 with a two year contract.  Shots of the device can be found after the break.

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4 years ago

PSA: AT&T's new GoPhone prepaid plans now available

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Save a few bucks and get more data for your dollar with AT&T's new plans

AT&T isn't wasting any time flipping the switch on its newly restructured GoPhone prepaid plans, as they've just gone up for all to see and select on its website. The new plans, which replace a pretty anemic set that was previously offered, give smart phone owners looking to save a few (or a few dozen) dollars every month an even better value. There are three plans now available, the top end of which is $5 cheaper than the previous high-end plan:

  • $25 for 250 minutes, unlimited text and no base data plan ($5 per 50MB additional)
  • $40 for 500 minutes, unlimited text and 200MB of data ($5 per 100MB additional)
  • $60 for unlimited minutes, unlimited text and 2GB of data ($10 per 1GB additional)

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4 years ago

Behold, the Samsung Galaxy S4 in red

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Samsung didn't stop with just a handful of new devices today -- the company also gave its flagship best seller, the Galaxy S4, a new paint job. Five of them, actually.

Among the colors introduced is Red Aurora, which reps had in tow at tonight's Pepcom event here in New York. It's a welcome addition to the standard black and white, and along with the purple, pink, and brown versions also introduced today, just about every taste should be satisfied.

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4 years ago

LG headed to New York City on Aug. 7

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LG just dropped a little something in our inbox, giving advance warning of an "international media event" going down Aug. 7 in New York City. We're suckers for international media events, especially if they're in our backyard.

What to expect? There's a pretty good possibility we'll see that "successor" to the Optimus G that both LG and Qualcomm were teasing just yesterday, with its Snapdragon 800 processor in tow. 

We've marked our calendars. Suggest you do the same.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active for AT&T

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We’re here in New York where Samsung introduced its newest addition to the Galaxy S4 lineup, the Galaxy S4 Active, to US consumers. Our friends across the pond got a bit more fanfare today than we did here at Pepcom’s annual summer shindig, but even without the grand stage, the Active still seems to impress.

What Samsung cooked up here is a true-to-form Galaxy S 4 in every sense of the word – same processor, same gorgeous screen, and same Touchwiz/Jelly Bean experience. There’s one major difference, though: this version can withstand just about anything you throw at it. Shock, sand, water, you name it – the S4 Active is just barely short of bulletproof (don’t test that, please).

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4 years ago

Password protect your Google Play app to prevent unwanted purchases

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Money doesn't grow on trees. Take a few steps to password protect your Google Play purchases.

When it comes to things that cost real money, people tend to become a little more cautious. Nobody wants their child or kid brother accidentally buying a bunch of apps or in-app purchases from Google Play while they are supposed to be playing Angry Birds, and it's easy enough to do with just a few taps -- unless you've password protected your Google Play app.

With the password enabled, every time you try to spend money in Google Play, whether it be buying an app or book, renting a movie, or adding coins to your favorite game you'll need to enter your Google credentials to finalize the purchase. It's a great option, and one I suggest everyone enable. Luckily, it's easy to enable. Follow past the break to see how.

Visit our Google Play mini-site for everything there is to know about Google Play

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4 years ago

His name is Mr. Jingles ...

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Google+ gets a new notifications mascot, 'mark all read' button

Normally we wouldn't make a big deal about such a small change to Google+, but this one's kind of fun. Stick with us here.

A couple days ago the little notification identifier switched from a number (which Facebook appears to have adopted for unread posts, by the way) to a bell with a rather cute smiley face. We'll call him Mr. Jingles, because that's what Google's calling him. Blaze through all of your notifications and click on Jingles, and he does a fun little dance. Yes, we're easily amused. 

Jingles has just hit the Android app for Google+ as well. And along with it comes a new button to mark all of your notifications as read. It looks like a little bar graph, and it's now on the web version of Google+, too. Tap it or click it, and your notifications shall bother you no more. Or, in my case, for the next three seconds. Jingles then appears, applauding your notification-marking ability, and does his little dance.

And, yes, Mr. Jingles is on Google+.

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4 years ago

First look at the Samsung ATIV Q

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An unholy marriage between Windows and Android takes place in this high-resolution, convertible tablet​

It's Windows. It's Android. It's Windows. It's Android. It's Windows. It's Android.

It's the Samsung ATIV Q, just announced today in London. And it takes a convertible 13-inch tablet -- that is, it's got a keyboard that you can abuse in a couple different positions -- puts Android on one side, Windows 8 on the other, and leaves you and your brain to deal with the aftermath.

Look, we're not going ot get the full feel for this thing in a few short minutes, but this much stood out: There are something like three buttons that will take you to Android -- and one of them is the Windows logo. Somewhere, even Christopher Nolan is scratching his head.

Enjoy this first-look video.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom hands-on

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A Galaxy S4 in name only, the Zoom is perhaps better related to the Galaxy Camera

The launch of the original Samsung Galaxy Camera brought to the table a different class of product. An all-in-one device for people who wanted to take decent photographs yet have all the benefits of a smartphone at their disposal. The Galaxy S4 Zoom is very much in this same vein; a point-and-shoot camera with smartphone capabilities. Only this time around, you can actually use it to call people. 

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