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4 years ago

Time to announce who won the HTC One from dbrand and Android Central!

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If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know we always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. The winner of our awesome HTC One contest sponsored by dbrand is posted below, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up to get your info. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to the lucky winner!

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4 years ago

Sprint ready to join the phone financing party with 'One Up' program

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24-month device financing paired with a $15 discount on monthly service price

It was only a matter of time until Sprint finally joined T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T with a program to offer customers early upgrades, and its upcoming offering is purportedly called "One Up." Similar to JUMP, Next and Edge from T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon, Sprint's One Up program will give customers access to new handsets every 12 months by choosing to enter a financing agreement for a phone over 24 months. Here's how it breaks down:

With One Up, you will buy a phone for $0 down and commit to 24 equal monthly payments — i.e. a $650 phone will be $27 per month. At the start of the 13th month, you'll be given the option to trade-in your existing phone in good working order and start a new 24-month One Up payment plan. But this is where things get interesting.

If you buy a phone through One Up and choose an "Unlimited, My Way" or "Unlimited All-In" plan, Sprint will cut you a $15 per month break on your monthly service costs. That means an unlimited plan with Sprint can cost as little as $65 per month when you choose to finance your phone. This is similar to the way T-Mobile decouples the cost of the phone and the plan, although in Sprint's case you're getting a discount that's smaller than what you're paying for the phone.

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4 years ago

MiniSuit Keyboard Case for the Nexus 7 (2013)

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The idea of a physical keyboard on a 7-inch tablet is a questionable one, but this case makes us consider the proposition more seriously

The Nexus 7 (and all 7-inch tablets, really) are generally better suited for on-screen keyboard input than their 10-inch counterparts, but what if you want to push the capabilities of your tablet more towards a laptop? We've seen wireless keyboards of all shapes and styles for many different devices, but ones that are made to fit a 7-inch tablet walk a very fine line of staying compact without compromising usability.

MiniSuit has had a keyboard folio-style case for the Nexus 7 (2012) on the market for some time now, and has updated the line for the 2013 revision of the tablet. It's a relatively compact, nice-looking and well-made case that also pulls double duty as a full-featured — but hardly full-sized — keyboard accessory. Hang with us after the break where we take a closer look at the MiniSuit Keyboard Case for the Nexus 7 (2013).

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: A good problem to have

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Well, here we go again. So many awesome Android phones, so little time. I'm once again left dumbfounded by the sheer number of great devices currently available. The HTC One. The Samsung Galaxy S4. The LG G2. The Moto X. Four phones, (finally) available on all four major U.S. carriers. Or go for the Nexus 4 for just $249 outright. 

This is a really good problem to have, and the year's not even done yet. Figure we'll see a new Nexus in the next month or two. And it wouldn't surprise me to see another fairly major release on Verizon — Motorola or HTC would be my guess.

You almost can't go wrong at this point. Each phone is different, for sure, but I wouldn't steer anyone away from any of them.

A few other thoughts on the week that was ...

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4 years ago

Linquet wants to remove the word lost from your vocabulary

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We hear a lot about the "Internet of things". One day, everything will be connected to everything else, and the world will be a better place. At least that's what they tell us, right? Well the folks at Linquet have an example, and I think they just might have it right.

They're tiny tags — slightly bigger than a quarter — that communicate with your smartphone and prevent you from losing your stuff. There are lots of gadgets that help you find your stuff, but Linquet tries to keep things from getting lost in the first place. You install the Linquet app on your phone, and set it to fire off an alarm on your phone and the tag if the two get too far apart. You can tell it how far is too far through the app, and the whole kit is customizable.

In addition, the system communicates with the cloud to help you track and find things that you did manage to lose. Maybe you were at the club and didn't hear the alarm. You can log into your Linqet account, find where the tag is, and go retrieve it — or delegate a friend to do it for you. It sounds pretty slick.

The folks behind the idea had a successful beta test, and now they're ready to go to final production. That's where they need your help. Starting today, you can pre-order a Linquet that will be delivered in December should the funding get all sorted out. You're not charged until it ships, so this is a little different from a Kickstarter campaign. The coolest part is the price. the tags themselves are free — you only pay for the monthly service at $2.99 each per month.

The system will work with Android phones that have Bluetooth Low Energy support (we've been telling you this was pretty cool) like the HTC One or the Galaxy S4, that run Android 4.3

We've got a product video and press release after the break, and for more details you'll want to follow the link below.

More: Linquet

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4 years ago

Talk Mobile Creativity Week recap The best things you said!

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Mobile devices have enabled a whole new category of creativity, allowing us to do things we've never been able to do before. They've put a camera in our pocket wherever we go, they've permitted anybody to engage in business anywhere, and they've changed the way we listen to music. Is it good, is that bad? It's time for you, the reader, to sound off.

4 years ago

Everything you want to know about Xiaomi - 2013 edition

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An hour that will help answer the questions you have about Xiaomi and the Mi3

Quite a few of us have more than a passing interest in those gorgeous and cheap Xiaomi Mi3 phones, and now we can get a closer look. The full presentation Xiaomi put on for the press in China recently has been uploaded to YouTube, and it's worth a watch.

It's in Chinese, but has English subtitles so language is less of a barrier. You'll see features and news about MIUI (the 20 million user milestone has been reached), learn more about the Mi3 phone, and see what the upcoming MITV is all about. You'll even see a cameo from Nvidia's Jen-Hsun Huang in his trademark sneakers and black jeans. And sneaking in around the nine minute mark is none other than Hugo Barra, testing the Xiaomi VP waters.

Those phones are sexy. Something tells me I'll want to get one of the imports and see what can be done about the software. Anyhoo, have a watch if you're interested like I am.

Source: YouTube

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4 years ago

FCC schedules auction of PCS spectrum for January 2014

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Just 10MHz of spectrum will bring in a minimum of $1.56 billion to the FCC

The FCC announced Friday that in January 2014 it will be holding its first notable spectrum auction since 2008, opening up 10MHz of PCS H Block spectrum for purchase. The auction will begin with a minimum price of $1.56 billion for the 10MHz of spectrum, which is expected to have Sprint and Dish interested in a purchase because of their current holdings of adjacent spectrum.

Some are skeptical that releasing just 10MHz of spectrum in this auction will hurt the amount of potential bidders and therefore revenue for the FCC, citing that only one or two parties are interested in this spectrum. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel is hoping that the FCC can reconsider holding off on the auction until a more sizeable chunk of spectrum, say 65MHz, was available to be auctioned off all at once.

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4 years ago

HTC America cuts 20 percent of its employees to 'streamline and optimize' the company

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Exact number of employees and departments affected still unknown

Word has come out today that HTC has laid off about 30 employees and  contractors from its HTC America division, which amounts to about 20 percent of its workforce. According to a statement given to The Verge, these layoffs are strategic moves to help "streamline and optimize our organization," with a focus on slimming down the company amidst lackluster financial results.

At this point it isn't clear which employees have been let go and from which departments, but sources say that the layoffs spanned across multiple areas of the business. In a time where profits and sales haven't been as high as expected and HTC's market share has stayed small or slightly declined in most areas, it really comes as no surprise that layoffs would be coming given the somewhat rocky state the company is in.

Jason Mackenzie, President of HTC America, has said in a letter to employees that those affected by the layoffs will be treated with respect and the company will provide them with resources necessary to continue their careers elsewhere. HTC's official statement is quite lengthy, and can be found after the break.

Source: The Verge

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week: Pocket Trains, My Wendy's, DraStic DS Emulator and more!

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Take a look at what the Android Central writers are using on their devices this week

Another week, another great set of app picks from the folks here at Android Central. If you're new to this, we take time each Saturday afternoon to show off one app from each of the AC writing staff and see why they've been using it on their own devices. This isn't necessarily meant to be the top selling apps list for the week, but more of a discovery of the diamonds in the rough that the rest of us may have missed.

Hang with us after the break where we show off a few different games, a tool that will help you game and a few odds and ends.

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4 years ago

Verizon says Sense 5 coming to the Droid DNA

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Not a lot here that isn't in the headline. Verizon has listed the Sense 5 update page for the HTC Droid DNA on their site. There is no date mentioned, or no inkling of exactly which version of Android we'll be seeing (though HTC has said they are working to get 4.3 on the DNA this month), but if you want to know all about Sense 5 features like Blinkfeed or the new smart dialer, it's there.

If you're a Droid DNA user, keep an eye out for that update notification.

Source: Verizon; Via: Android Central forums

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4 years ago

Google Maps update brings tips and tricks section, improved hotel search, faster navigation

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Maps update rolling out to more users this evening

Google Maps has been updated, and it seems like this evening the staged rollout is picking up steam. More folks are getting the update, which brings things like bug fixes and stability improvements — things we always love to see — but also some improvements to core features. The full change log:

  • Faster access to navigation, complete with route and traffic overview
  • Improved hotel search results with sponsored rates and booking links
  • Tips and Tricks available in the side menu
  • Bug fixes

We've been told that users are seeing faster and more accurate re-routing in navigation, which matches up well with the changes listed. You can check to see if it's your turn to update right from the Google Play app, or simply check the Google Play button above.

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4 years ago

Sony to announce Bravia Smart Stick this Sunday

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New Google TV stick will feature Google Play and Sony's Bravia apps

Sony has outed themselves on their blog this afternoon, telling us that they have an announcement this coming Sunday. They will be talking up the new Bravia Smart Stick, which is a Google TV stick that has Sony's Bravia apps in addition to Google Play built right in.

Don't get too excited, as Sony says the stick is designed to plug into the MHL port on a 2013 model Sony Bravia television. They don't say it won't work with other brands, but we'll hold off on any speculation and wait for them to "officially" announce it this Sunday. If you already have a 2013 Sony Bravia TV, feel free to get excited.

The Smart Stick will come with the familiar style remote from current model Google TV boxes, include a picture-in-picture function and offer support for Google Chrome. It sounds a lot like the NSZ-GZ7 (which is still a horrible name) in function, but with a smaller profile.

We'll know more Sunday.

Source: Sony

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4 years ago

NYT: Nokia tested Android phones before Microsoft deal

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Sources say plans to use Android were not used as a bargaining chip

It's a story that should surprise nobody. We're hearing how Nokia was testing Android on their Lumia line prior to making a deal with Microsoft early this month. The New York Times says — via unnamed sources declined to be identified — that Nokia had Android up and running on their hardware long before Microsoft negotiations began.

Supposedly building Android phones wasn't used as a bargaining position during talks with Microsoft. but certainly both sides had to be aware. Every company has a fall-back solution, and and open-source, popular and easy-to-port piece of software like Android makes perfect sense.

In any case, since Microsoft now owns the portion of Nokia that builds phones, we'll never know exactly how things went down, or how close this was to every happening. I imagine looking back at the balance sheets has more than a few Nokia executives wishing it had come to pass.

Source: New York Times

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4 years ago

LG G2 coming to Canada on September 27

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Rogers, Bell, TELUS, and others will be getting it, but we still don't know about pricing. 

We've seen plenty of the Verizon and AT&T versions of the LG G2, but what about us poor bastards in the frozen north? Don't worry Canadians, LG has confirmed that it's coming up here soon - September 27, to be exact. 

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