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4 years ago

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


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


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



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


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


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!


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


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


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


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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4 years ago

Android's Wifi backup feature is neither new, unique nor dangerous


If you let Google back up your Wifi passwords, then Google has your Wifi passwords

The Internet has worked itself up into a bit of a tizzy over the weekend about an innocuous system-level feature that’s been around since Android 2.2 Froyo. The “Back up my data” option —  found under “Settings>Backup & reset” on most Android phones — allows certain stuff, including Wifi passwords, to be backed up to the cloud. The current setting label reads:

“Back up application data, Wi-Fi passwords and other settings to Google servers.”

And that’s exactly what it does. Uncheck the box and you’re informed that Google’s copy of the data will be purged from its servers, as it should be.

The checkbox is presented to users during the setup process, and the label is very clear about what will happen if you leave it enabled. The reason for the feature’s presence is also plain to see — it’s supposed to make the process of setting up new devices a little quicker by pulling down your personal settings and network details from the cloud. Yes, including your Wifi password.

If you’re not comfortable with Google keeping a copy of your stuff, simply uncheck the box. Same deal if you change your mind after the fact — uncheck the box, and Google’s copy of your Wifi passwords goes up in smoke. It’s been that way since the feature was first introduced some three years ago.

But in light of the recent controversy over government surveillance, the story seems to have taken on a new angle, with articles appearing suggesting Google is creating a vast database of all the world’s Wifi passwords in one convenient, NSA-accessible place.

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4 years ago

Galaxy Note 3 up for pre-order on T-Mobile from Sept. 18


Latest Note device launches on T-Mobile Oct. 2 for $199.99 down payment 

T-Mobile U.S. has announced that it'll begin taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 from this Wednesday, Sept. 18. The 5.7-inch, stylus-toting phone can be yours with a down payment of $199.99 and 24 monthly payments of $21 on T-Mo's Simple Choice plan.

Pre-orders are expected to arrive "on or before" the launch date of Oct. 2, so with any luck you'll be waiting just a couple of weeks. The carrier adds that it'll also be selling the Galaxy Gear smartwatch in stores nationwide from the same date.

So, any takers?

More: Galaxy Note 3 hands-on

Source: T-Mobile

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4 years ago

Sprint flips on 34 more LTE markets


Sprint this morning announced that it's turned on LTE data in 34 more markets. That gives Sprint a total of 185 markets nationwide. 

The new 4G LTE markets are:

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4 years ago

BBM for Android leaks out, but you can't use it yet


A quick heads up that, yes, the BBM for Android application has leaked out. But, no, you can't use it just yet. The deal is that your BlackBerry ID has to first be whitelisted with BlackBerry's servers. And seeing as how you're probably not an official beta tester — hey, we're not, either — ain't nobody whitelisting you.

So, we continue to wait.

Source: CrackBerry; More: CrackBerry Forums

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4 years ago

HTC One Max sighted again with possible fingerprint sensor


Charging contacts also spotted in latest leaked photos from China

The steady stream of HTC One Max leakage continues today with a fresh batch of pics from Chinese social network Weibo. The images show the upcoming 5.9-inch handset in considerable detail, including what could be a fingerprint scanner — or some other kind of additional sensor — on the phone's metal back. Also shown are what seem to be charging contacts on the bottom right edge, likely designed to work with some official dock accessory.

Software-wise, we're still looking HTC's Sense UI on top of Android, though the Android and Sense version information is "protected" on this prototype phone. Despite the quickening pace of leaks — and reports that a September launch was originally planned — there's no updated info as to when the oversized phone might arrive. Naturally, we'll keep you posted as more details emerge.

Source: Weibo; via:

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4 years ago

New HTC UI pictured, could be rumored China-centric OS


BlinkFeed with a twist

Late last month The Wall Street Journal reported that HTC was hard at work on a "new" mobile operating system for the Chinese market, as part of an effort to expand its presence in the country. And now we have the first photo of what might be HTC's new China-centric smartphone software.

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