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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1 now in stock at UK retailers

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Right on schedule, the first Sony Xperia Z1 stock has started to arrive at independent UK retailers, with Clove Technology and Digital Phone Co both listing the device for sale. SIM-free prices are in the £550-560 range, so you'll certainly pay a premium for the Z1's high-end internals, which include a Snapdragon 800 quad-core CPU and 20.7-megapixel camera with Sony G lens.

If you're planning on picking up an Xperia Z1 in the UK, hit the comments and let us know. If you're still on the fence, you can check out our hands-on feature from IFA for a closer look at the phone.

Source: Clove, Digital Phone Co; via: Xperia Blog

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4 years ago

ASUS unveils new Padfone Infinity with updated internals and design

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Snapdragon 800 CPU and new camera tricks among features of the 'new' ASUS Padfone Infinity

Following on from its recent product line refresh at IFA, Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS has taken the wraps off a revamped dockable handset, in the form of the "new" Padfone Infinity. A refreshed version of the handset we first saw at Mobile World Congress, the new Padfone packs a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, microSD expandability and a tweaked industrial design, featuring a "diamond-cut" aluminum back.

The tablet-dockable phone features the same 13-megapixel, f/2.0 camera as the original, but ASUS is introducing a new ability it's calling PixelMaster, which uses a pixel binning-like feature to produce a clearer 3-megapixel image from the 13-megapixel sensor.

On the software side, the new Padfone Infinity runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and ASUS's latest UI, which we saw on its latest products in Berlin a couple of weeks ago. It's still pretty close to vanilla Android, but tweaks to the menus, notification shade and icons give it its own unique appearance without straying too far from Google's vision of Android.

Engadget reports that the new Padfone Infinity will sell for the equivalent of $640 for the handset alone, while the tablet will run around $240. Got an old Padfone Infinity tablet dock? Fear not, you'll be able to use your old dock with the new phone.

Source: Engadget

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4 years ago

Vector 11: Benedict Evans on the value of cheap phones

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Strategy analyst Benedict Evans joins Rene to talk about Apple's iPhone 5c pricing, how it compares to low-cost Android and Windows Phone devices, and the relative value of platforms.

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4 years ago

Galaxy Tab 3 may be getting multi-user support in a future update

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Test firmware shows Samsung's take on multi-user support

Though the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 models — both the 8.0-inch version and the 10.1-incher — launched with Android 4.2.2, they did not have the multi-user account support that Google has added to tablets. If the test firmware that SamMobile has seen a peek of ends up getting released to the tablets, that looks like it's going to change.

There's no word on what other changes may be in any future update, or if it will involve any Android version bump.

Folks are pretty confident that we'll see this update in the near future. Multi-user support is a great feature to have on a tablet, and we hope Samsung has figured out a way to do it that fits their take on Android.

Source: SamMobile. Thanks, B!

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4 years ago

Google Voice is improving voicemail security starting Oct. 1

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Now more difficult to access voicemail from a new number; new 10 digit PIN option

Folks who happen to check their Google Voice inboxes on the web today will be greeted with a handy tip that Google is improving voicemail box security in a couple of weeks. Starting on October 1st, Google Voice users who wish to call their own number to access voicemail messages will have to call from one of their verified forwarding numbers already on record.

If you happen to call from a number that isn't already set up, you will have to verify that you are the account holder by entering a registered forwarding number before also entering your PIN code. Furthering the layers of security, Google is expanding PIN options to let you enter up to 10 digits, up from the previous 4.

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4 years ago

Nexus 4 16GB now out of stock on Google Play, too

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Third-party retailers still selling the device, but no indication of how long stock will hold

Update: The Verge is reporting via a "trusted source" that this is the end of the road for the Nexus 4 in the U.S., and that no new N4 stock will be arriving.

Original story: After seeing the 8GB version of the Nexus 4 go out of stock on Google Play a mere two weeks ago, we have to say it isn't completely surprising that the 16GB version has just gone out of stock today as well. Now normally we wouldn't give too much thought to a device going out of stock on the Play Store — the Nexus 4 has a pretty shaky history of availability — but the timing here is more interesting than usual.

If you recall back to our original coverage of the 8GB model going out of stock, sources familiar with the situation indicated that it would not be restocked in the Play Store, letting the 16GB live on as the only model. Now with both variants unavailable from Google Play, we have to think its a little late in this device's life cycle to be refreshing the inventory levels.

Now of course if you're still looking to get your hands on a Nexus 4 there are plenty of options out there. Naturally, third-party retailers still have both capacities in stock in many cases — T-Mobile will even sell you one still. But the device going out of stock (potentially for good) from Google directly likely hints to something coming to take its place soon.

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4 years ago

BBM for Android won't be exclusive to Samsung devices after all

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No operator or manufacturer will have exclusive access to the messaging platform when it comes to Android

It seems as though some communication lines may have gotten crossed today when Samsung Mobile Nigeria seemed to imply that it would have a three-month exclusivity on BlackBerry's upcoming launch of BBM on Android. After hearing from an official Samsung Twitter account indicating that this was the case and reaching out to the companies, we've heard back directly from BlackBerry with the following statement:

The tweet, though very exciting, is incorrect ... I want to clarify that no one will have an exclusive on offering BBM. We’ll be bringing the app to Android and iPhone users across the globe soon.

Now this doesn't give us any official confirmation for when exactly we can get our hands on BBM, but it does let us know that no particular operator or manufacturer will have it exclusively locked up.

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4 years ago

Google Drive update changes up interface elements, adds settings and features

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Holo light, new spreadsheet and scan options introduced

Word from a few days ago tipped that a Google Drive update began rolling out to devices with several new features, and now it seems that the update is hitting a wide number of devices. Although at first glance the update's changelog of "Bug fixes and other improvements" may throw you off, there are actually quite a few changes in the latest version.

First and most noticeable is the move to a "holo light" theme from "holo dark," which will make the app extremely familiar to those who use the latest versions of Gmail. Next on the main screen you'll notice a new bottom action bar with options to upload, create and scan, where the "create" option gives you a familiar menu to make new folders, documents and spreadsheets. This new bottom bar replaces the old plus button in the top action bar, and hides when you scroll down your documents list.

You'll also find a good grouping of new features in the spreadsheet editor for merging and locking cells, and new options to improve your new scans. There are small tweaks and improvements across the entire app, leading to what seems like an improved experience all-around for us. You can grab the latest version from the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

LG-made Nexus device shows up in pictures, brief videos

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Design characteristics match previous leaks, no new information revealed

A grouping of curious leaks from Google promotional videos and the FCC have people sniffing around for the next Nexus phone, and the latest leaks may give us the best look yet at the unreleased device. Pictures and videos obtained by 9to5Google show off a "Nexus" phone with very similar characteristics and design to what we've seen previously pass through the FCC as an LG-D820.

We get a good shot of the back and front, as well as a still of the boot animation — which looks oddly like the Google Play edition animation. The back plate looks to have a soft touch material and is rather blocky with curved top and bottom edges, a large camera pod in the top left and a Nexus logo running vertically along the back. Naturally there is an LG logo at the bottom under a "Not For Sale" etching.

This particular unit naturally looks much more final and finished than the earlier pictures from the FCC, but as we all know things can change drastically during pre-production and prototype stages. 

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4 years ago

Samsung Mobile Nigeria says BBM hits Friday, has three-month exclusivity

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Speaking of BBM for Android, Samsung Mobile Nigeria today tweeted that apparently BBM for Android will be available Friday — and that it'll be some sort of Samsung-exclusive, possibly for three months. 

If that's in fact true — we've got e-mails out to Samsung Mobile for more proper confirmation — that's a bummer for the cross-platform crowd, but a boon for Samsung.

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4 years ago

Uber now lets you share your route and ETA with contacts

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Let your friends know you're running late and how you're arriving

Black car and taxi service Uber is updating its apps today with a great new feature that lets you share your location and route information with any contact. Once you've called for an Uber pickup, you can use the app to enter your destination and then share the route and estimated travel time to any contact in your phone. The app calculates how long it expects the driver to take, and sends it off without any additional calculations on your part.

Although Uber isn't available in all major cities in the US just yet, it is expanding quickly. If it is available where you live, you may just want to have the Uber app installed the next time you need to call a car. You can grab a download from the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Back to school' winners!

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Two lucky winners have some great devices on the way to their houses

It's been a few weeks since we announced that we were running a very special "Back to school" photo contest with some big prizes, and now it's time to announce the winners. After a few weeks, we had hundreds of entries across 22 pages in a forums post full of great pictures, but when it came down to it we had to pick just two.

Come take a look at the two winning pictures after the break.

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4 years ago

Mugen Power Case for the Nexus 4

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Battery cases are big. This is, of course, because they are cases that contain not just your phone, but another battery with which you will charge your phone.

And so here we give you a quick look at the Mugen Power Case for the Nexus 4. It's a big battery case — 4,500 mAh and easily double the thickness of the Nexus 4. But it's also simple to remove (without you having to worry that your phone will go flying out. But unlike most battery cases, in which the phone slides onto the microUSB plug somehow to get its juice — Mugen opts for an external plug. It (mostly) tucks away into the soft-touch case when not in use. When you need that extra power, you unstow it, connect it to your phone and pray nobody sees what you've done.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Mega (6.3) coming to US Cellular Sept. 17

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The latest big phone comes to one of the smaller carriers

Samsung's latest maybe-tablet maybe-phone device, the Galaxy Mega 6.3, is making its way to US Cellular this week for $149.99 on a two-year contract. Just as a quick refresher, the Galaxy Mega 6.3 is that giant device with a 6.3-inch 720p display, 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM and running Android 4.2.2 with many of Samsung's latest software enhancements on top. US Cellular customers will also have access to LTE data, naturally.

If you're looking to pick up the Galaxy Mega 6.3 on US Cellular, you can do so online starting tomorrow for $149.99 on-contract after an "instant rebate." Those wishing to pick it up in-store will have to wait two more days to September 19th and will have the same pricing offered. Unfortunately US Cellular is only offering the "Nova Black" color of the handset at this time.

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4 years ago

Google acquires sharing service Bump

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One of the first popular phone-to-phone sharing apps is moving over to Google

In a short and sweet post on its official blog today, Bump Technologies announced that it has been acquired by Google, effective immediately. Although it may not have been in the news much lately, Bump was one of the original sharing apps that predated things like NFC and Android Beam. It uses a combination of location, Bluetooth and a "bump" of two devices to transfer information between them, but never really expanded to hold onto its household name status.

Although no sale price is given, the team indicates that it "couldn't be more thrilled to join Google" and extends a thank you to everyone who has used Bump's products up to this point. At least for the moment, Bump and Flock (Bump's photo service) will continue to work "for now" — but we wouldn't hold our breath that they'll be around long.

Source: Bump Blog

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