4 years ago

KitKat seeing a higher early adoption rate than Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean


We had a look at the first month’s adoption rate for KitKat earlier, with Google’s latest and greatest checking in at a lowly 1.1 percent of all Android devices that visit Google Play. In reality, that 1.1 percent represents a lot more devices that it might seem.

Right now, KitKat is easy to pin down. It’s on the Nexus 5, the Nexus 4, the Nexus 7, the Nexus 10, most Moto X phones, and both the Google Play Galaxy S4 and HTC One. That's obviously more models than run iOS 7 — Apple still rules when it comes to getting updates on devices in a timely manner — and it's a testament to the various hardware partners who got together to make it happen. It’s also a small drop in the bucket of over 4,200 Android devices running Android 2.2 or higher that have Google’s services. With well over 1 billion active Android devices, it’s easy to see how 1.1 percent is both a small number and a big number at the same time.

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4 years ago

Assassin's Creed Pirates sailing to Android this week


When Assassin’s Creed IV arrived on consoles recently, many gamers liked the game’s sailing and piratical activities even more than the traditional assassination missions. Ubisoft must have known the pirate stuff would go over well, as they’re about to release a nautically-themed mobile spin-off called Assassin’s Creed Pirates.

We recently snuck over to Ubisoft’s San Francisco headquarters, played Assassin’s Creed Pirates, and lived to tell the tale. Check out our hands-on preview after the break!

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4 years ago

HTC One Mini sales to be blocked in UK following court ruling


HTC One also at risk of ban

A British judge has ruled that HTC must stop selling its One Mini handset in the UK from this Friday, Dec. 6, after finding that it infringed upon Nokia's patents. A report from Bloomberg states that the HTC One was also found to breach certain Nokia patents, but Judge Richard Arnold delayed any action against that product to give HTC the chance to appeal, as a sales ban of the flagship handset could "considerably" damage the company.

HTC had argued that the offending part was "a very small component" and thus didn't justify a sales ban.

Nokia says that it's also claiming financial compensation in the case, according to a statement given to Bloomberg, and that HTC has agreed not to import any more of the infringing products into the UK pending an appeal.

We've reached out to HTC for comment and we'll update this post with any official statement. In the meantime, UK buyers looking to pick up a One Mini would be advised to do so before Friday.

Update: And here's what HTC has to say:

“HTC is pleased by the decision of the High Court of England and Wales to stay an injunction against certain chipsets, including those in our flagship HTC One, pending the outcome of our appeal against the validity and infringement of Nokia's EP 0 998 024  patent.  Whilst the Court also granted an injunction that affects other third party chipsets, we have filed urgent application to appeal.  In the meantime, we are working with our chip suppliers to explore alternative solutions . As always, HTC's primary focus is on supporting our customers and ensuring minimal disruption to them and our business. Rest assured that our award winning HTC One handset will be available as usual.”

Source: Bloomberg

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4 years ago

HBO shows now available on Google Play in the UK


Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Girls and Veep available through Play Movies & TV

Google Play's library of TV content continues to expand, with the arrival of five HBO shows for British audiences. Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Girls and Veep are now available in the UK through Google Play Movies & TV on the web and on Android devices. Episodes are priced at the usual levels — £1.89 for SD, £2.49 for HD, with season costs varying per show.

All three seasons of Game of Thrones are available, as are all episodes of Girls and True Blood aired to date. Also included are the first three seasons of Boardwalk Empire and the first season of Veep. The shows' arrival on Google Play in the UK comes a couple of months after a slightly different lineup of HBO broadcasting landed on the service in the U.S.

If you're in the UK, hit the source link to browse the available HBO content.

Source: Google Play

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4 years ago

LG G2 down to £360 SIM-free from Amazon UK


£129 off the RRP for LG's high-end handset

Despite being overshadowed (in some circles, at least) by the Nexus 5, LG's flagship G2 remains a great handset in its own right, recently earning a runner-up spot on our list of best Android phones. It's got the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor found in the Nexus 5, with a larger 5.2-inch display, a more capacious 3000mAh battery and a 13-megapixel with optical image stabilization.

The G2 is now available at a sizeable discount on Amazon.co.uk, where it's priced at £359.99 including VAT — a pretty good deal considering most UK outlets still charge somewhere north of £400. The deal comes directly from Amazon, not a third-party seller, so there should be no worries about shipping issues.

For more on the G2, check out our review of the AT&T version, or hit up the link below to see Amazon's deal.

Buy: LG G2 on Amazon UK (£359.99)

Thanks, Paul O'Brien!

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4 years ago

HP Android tablets now available online


A couple of months after it unveiled four new Android 4.2 tablets, HP has made some of them available through its U.S.-based online store. The HP Slate 8 Pro and Slate 10 HD are listed at $329.99 and $299.99 respectively, with the former offering a Tegra 4 processor and an 8-inch 1600x1200-resolution display, and the latter sporting a dual-core 1.2GHz Marvell CPU and an 8-inch 1280x800 panel.

They're joined by the HP Slate 7 Extreme — an NVIDIA Tegra Note device — which is listed at $199.99 but not available to buy directly from the manufacturer. Meanwhile the more affordable Slate 7 Plus is also available, with a Tegra 3 CPU and 1280x800-resolution screen, priced at $149.99.

Source: HP

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4 years ago

Sprint Galaxy S4 getting minor bug fix update


MK2 update said to resolve 'sleep mode' issues

Sprint has announced on its community message boards that its Samsung Galaxy S4 has been updated with a minor bug-fixing patch. The update to firmware version "MK2" is said to resolve issues with sleep mode on the phone, but that's the only change pointed out in the carrier's official changelog. It comes a month after Sprint's GS4 got its Android 4.3 update.

Sprint's post flags this update as having been pushed out on Nov. 30, and according to reports from the Android Central forums, the update has been arriving on handsets over the weekend. So if you've not already got it, now's the time to start hitting that "Check for updates" button.

Source: Sprint, Android Central forums

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4 years ago

UK operators to introduce bill caps for stolen phones


Cap on bills for phones reported lost or stolen, plus action to protect consumers from mid-contract price rises

The UK government has reached an agreement with some of the major British mobile operators to protect consumers from the cost of unexpected mobile bills, it has announced.

The Guardian reports that agreement between the government and EE, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone will see a cap placed on bills from phones reported lost or stolen, in addition to measures designed to protect customers from mid-contract price hikes. Operators will inform customers when these price rises will take place, and give them the option of ending the contract without any penalty if these occur.

Operators including BT, Sky and Talk Talk have also agreed to work towards an EU target of eliminating international roaming fees by 2016. Meanwhile the bill cap for stolen phones is expected to be in place by next spring.

Source: The Guardian

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4 years ago

HTC releases unaudited revenue figures for November


Revenue up slightly from October, but latest numbers show year-on-year drop of more than 27 percent

HTC has this morning released its unaudited revenue figures for November 2013, showing that it brought in NT$15.47 billion ($523 million) in the last month. That's a 3.18 percent increase on October's revenue — NT$14.99 billion ($507 million) — but a steep decline of 27.12 percent year-on-year. The figures bring HTC's total revenue for the year so far to NT$190.97 billion, or $6.45 billion.

The past month has seen the HTC One Max arrive on Sprint and Verizon in the U.S., while HTC also unveiled a raft of new mid-range and entry-level products for its home market of Taiwan.

October and November's figures put HTC within striking distance of its NT$40-45 billion revenue target for the fourth quarter. Nevertheless, the company's Q4 forecast predicts hard times continuing to the end of 2013, with the possibility of a second quarter of losses should it miss its targets by even a small amount.

Source: HTC

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4 years ago

Motorola will offer Moto X sale again on Wednesday, next Monday [update]


Sale will expand to 'more devices' when it comes back

Update: Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside released a formal apology on the company blog, which also gave us a bit more clarity on the situation. Not only did he explain in more detail why the site went down, he also provided more information on the new sales.

The same $349 Moto Maker Moto X deal will go live at noon ET on Wednesday, December 4th and again at noon on Monday, December 9th. He also explained that "more devices" means that twice as many phones as originally planned will be available at the $349 price, and that the 30 percent off accessory promotion will run concurrently to the Moto X promotion.

Original story: It's no secret that Motorola's online store fell flat on its face today with the impending Cyber Monday deal that had off-contract Moto X's at just $350. Well Motorola feels bad about that (understandably so), and plans to have its "Cyber Monday" deal available again, and on two days this time around.

Interestingly, on its official Google+ page Motorola indicates that more devices will be added to the sale, but which models isn't known at this point. Moto's Twitter account seems to indicate that not only will it not add more devices, but the new sales will only apply to Moto Maker. We'll see how this pans out.

The deal will go live again on this coming Wednesday at 12:00pm (noon) ET, and again on the following Monday December 9th. Hard to complain too much now that you'll have two more attempts at picking up a new Moto X at a fantastic price. Let's all hope Motorola can keep its servers up and operational come Wednesday.

Source: +Motorola; @Motorola; Motorola Blog

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4 years ago

Google releases Dec. platform numbers - KitKat debuts at 1.1 percent


74 percent of devices running version 4 or higher

Google has released the monthly report of version numbers, where we can see just what version of Android (in what amount) people are visiting Google Play with. As expected, KitKat debuts with a tiny slice holding just 1.1 percent of the total. 

Jelly Bean in all its various flavors has captured just over half the pie with a 54 percent total, while Gingerbread is still holding on with 24 percent, down from 26 percent just a month ago. Froyo is dead, and I think it's a good time for developers to drop support for Android 2.2 going forward with new apps.

Maybe the oddest statistic is Honeycomb, which refuses to die completely and still has 0.1 percent of the total. I think that may be the Motorola Xoom lost behind Phil's couch. 

A lot of fuss will be made over these numbers, but what's most important is the amount of devices on 4.x and higher, which is right around three-quarters of the total with 74 percent. The purpose of these charts is to tell developers what version to target as a minimum, and developers starting with a "modern" versions will have a huge user base to court with great apps.

Source: Google

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4 years ago

CyanogenMod 10.2 stable released, focus going forward is on KitKat-based CM 11


CM 10.2 nightly builds will continue as CM 11 work begins

The latest stable release of CyanogenMod, version 10.2, is now available. While this marks the availability of the custom firmware based on Android 4.3 for dozens of different device, it is also the point where the CM team starts looking forward to KitKat. As is usually the case with big stable releases, active development time will start to focus on CM 11, which will be based on Android 4.4, as fewer and fewer changes need to be made to the 10.2 release.

Also tossed into the announcement of CM 10.2 is the point that CM nightly builds based on ICS (CM 9) will be halted so that newer versions — 10 and higher — can be actively released. Much like the slowing work on the stable version of 10.2, continuing to pump out new nightly builds of older CM branches makes less sense as very few meaningful changes are being consistently made to them.

For now, if you've been waiting for the official "stable" release of CM 10.2 in lieu of using a release candidate or nightly build, now's the time to do so. Downloads of CM 10.2 builds are already starting to be available from CyanogenMod's website at the second source link below. For those who wish to stay on the bleeding edge, CM 10.2 nightlies will continue to roll as CM 11 development moves along as well.

Source: CyanogenMod; CM Downloads

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4 years ago

Facebook changing News Feed algorithms to surface posts with articles


Say goodbye to the flood of meme pictures in your feed

Facebook is always actively tweaking its algorithms to display just the right content in your News Feed, and the latest change is to a focus on articles and news. Interaction with news-based articles suggested and shared in the News Feed has almost tripled in the last year according to Facebook, and new changes are going to go a step further.

Our surveys show that on average people prefer links to high quality articles about current events, their favorite sports team or shared interests, to the latest meme.

Focusing primarily on getting additional clicks through mobile apps, the upcoming changes will put more emphasis on articles shared from reputable sources and less on "the latest meme" that your friends share. After clicking through to read an article from Facebook, you'll now often see up to three related articles in your News Feed nested under the original as well.

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4 years ago

Google Play Music now officially in Glassware


App available for installation, and new $85 set of earbuds are ready to go with

A few weeks back we first saw Google play Music running on Google Glass, and today it all gets made official. Glass users can go to their MyGlass page, or open their Android app, and you'll find Google Play Music available to install through normal channels. 

You'll need to uninstall the old version if you ventured the courage to side load it, but after that you'll be able to listen to both your own music library and Google play Music All Access right from your Glass.

To get the full effect, Google is also offering a premium pair of earbuds designed to work with Glass. They promise crisp, full range audio and come with five different color caps. You'll be able to find them on your GetGlass page.

Overall, things run about as well as you would expect a version one product to run. Animations are a little stuttery, and we'd love to see separate volume sliders for device sounds and music, but the stream seems to run as well as it would on your phone. We'll have a better look, err listen when our earbuds get here.

Via: +Stephen Lau

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4 years ago

TYLT store still experiencing issues, will honor Cyber Monday deals at a later date


Same 50% off up to $100 will apply when sale comes back

If you've headed over to the TYLT website to get in on its Cyber Monday sale today, you've likely had some issues getting through the checkout process. Go to the store now and you'll see the above message that's a bit more reassuring. As often happens to sites during huge sales, TYLT is having some stability issues with its system — and they're big enough that it's postponing its sales to another day.

The Cyber Monday sale over at TYLT is offering 50 percent off your purchase with a maximum discount of $100, and that's a pretty huge deal if there are a few neat accessories you've had your eyes on. The remedy right now is to give your name and email address to TYLT, and be notified when the sale will return.

It's not the best situation ever, but it's great to see TYLT offer the discount for those who showed up on Monday for the sale.

Source: TYLT

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