4 years ago

Google Sound Search lands in Canada [Update: not anymore]


Update: Looks like things have reverted back, and the Sound Search widget is once again unavailable in Canada.

Original story: Though they're still unable to stream from Google Play Music, Canadians now have the ability to use Google's Sound Search widget to identify music. The widget works on home screens and lock screens, and uses your phone or tablet's microphones to match what's playing against Google's vast library of music. (The same library still unavailable in Canada.)

Strangely, MobileSyrup reports that asking Google Now "What's this song" still returns an error message in Canada, while the standalone widget works as expected.

Would it be overly optimistic to think Sound Search's launch in Canada might signal the arrival of more Google music content for Canadians in the near future? Who knows, but surely it's about time.

Source: MobileSyrup

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4 years ago

Updating to HTC Sense 5.5? Claim 25GB of free Google Drive space


40GB total free cloud storage for HTC One owners who update

Yesterday we brought you news of HTC Sense 5.5 and Android 4.3 hitting some European HTC One devices, and now there's another reason to eagerly await the latest update for the phone. Similar to the Google Drive promotion for the HTC One Max, which gives owners of that phone 50GB of free storage, HTC Ones running Sense 5.5 can claim 25GB of free Drive space. Added to the basic 15GB allowance, that's a total of 40GB of free cloud storage.

Claiming your free space is as simple as starting up the Google Drive app once you've updated to HTC Sense 5.5 and hitting the "Redeem" button. Like the HTC One Max offer, the additional 25GB is good for two years and must be claimed before Jan. 1, 2016.

The official Google FAQ page notes that the Developer Edition HTC One isn't eligible for this offer due to its unlocked bootloader. For the same reason you'll be unable to claim your free storage if you've unlocked your HTC One's bootloader — though relocking it will allow you to redeem the offer. 

HTC Sense 5.5 also offers deeper integration with a couple of Google's key services. Google+ is now supported in BlinkFeed, Google Drive can be used with the integrated HTC Backup tool and Google+ sign-in can be used to log into HTC's account services.

Also see: HTC One getting Android 4.3 + Sense 5.5 update in parts of Europe

More: Google Drive offer FAQ

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4 years ago

Basic 'Avoca' tablet now £49 from Carphone Warehouse


Race to the bottom continues

UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has announced that it's dropping the price of the budget "Avoca" 7-inch tablet to just £49 — half the usual price of £99. The new price makes the device one of the cheapest Google Play-certified tablets around, and significantly undercuts low-cost rivals from Argos and Tesco.

Though at such a low price you'll get exactly what you pay for. The Avoca 7-inch tablet is powered by a 1GHz CPU, with a WVGA (800x480) display and 512MB of RAM — so don't expect an exceptionally speedy experience in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. You do at least get a reasonable 8GB of storage and microSD expandability, as well as a promised 8 hours of battery life.

However considering it's essentially a disposable tablet, you can't really argue with what you get for the price. CPW says the Avoca tablet will remain at £49 while stocks last.

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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4 years ago

Is T-Mobile starting to offer free tethering on prepaid plans?


Plan pages and advertisement materials still make no mention of new tethering option

It seems as though some folks with T-Mobile prepaid plans are being given a free allotment of mobile hotspot usage, falling closer in line with the new UNcarrier postpaid plans. Although with its UNcarrier initiative T-Mobile relaxed its policies drastically on offering free mobile hotspot on postpaid plans, its prepaid offerings have still blocked tethering (either explicitly on the phone or with a browser redirect) and asked you to pay $15 monthly for the privilege of using your phone as a hotspot:

Some people using the T-Mobile My Account app on their phones with prepaid SIMs have started to notice a new line item of "Mobile Hotspot Usage" underneath their regular data usage — something that wasn't previously shown on prepaid accounts. On our own $30 5GB prepaid plan we're now seeing a 100MB balance for hotspot, and it does indeed only tick up when connecting to a hotspot and using data. Folks with the $70 unlimited prepaid plan are seeing a 2.5GB allotment for mobile hotspot.

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4 years ago

Samsung posts record operating profit of $9.56 billion on sales of $55 billion


Quarterly operating profit up 26 percent, semiconductor sales up drastically

It's earnings time, and the next company up to report its financials from Q3 2013 is Samsung. Riding solid growth in nearly all of its major divisions, Samsung posted huge sales and record profits for the quarter — here are the highlights:

  • Sales of $55.6 billion, up from $49.1 billion last year
  • Record operating profit of $9.65 billion, up from $7.58 billion last year
  • Net profit of $7.75 billion, up from $6.17 billion last year

Samsung saw year-over-year growth in nearly all of its divisions, with the largest jumps coming in the semiconductor and mobile divisions. In terms of smartphones, Samsung claims shipments increased quarter-over-quarter, primarily driven by "mass-market models" with high-end model shipments staying flat. Tablet sales "sharply increased" as well, due primarily to the launch of its latest Tab 3 lineup.

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4 years ago

Amazon Q3 2013 earnings are out - $17.09 billion in sales, operating loss of $25 million


Still seeing net losses despite huge sales numbers; no Kindle Fire sales figures given

Amazon has just posted its Q3 2013 earnings report, and the line seems to follow much the same trend as previous quarters. While the retail and online service giant posted a massive $17.09 billion in sales, up 24 percent year-over-year, it still posted an operating loss of $25 million (net loss of $41 million) for the quarter. That loss is improved from an operating loss of $28 million in the same quarter last year, and Amazon claims $7 million of that loss was due to negative foreign exchange impact, but losses are still never good to see.

As is the case every quarter, Amazon chose not to break out any sales figures of its Kindle Fire tablets, although it did take a moment to remind everyone that it has launched three new models and is offering a great experience with the Mayday button: "average Mayday response times are just 11 seconds!” said CEO Jeff Bezos.

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4 years ago

BBM updated to support more devices, doesn't list which ones


Performance enhancements and bug fixes also included in version

Just in case your device wasn't on the list of supported phones or tablets at launch, BBM has just been updated to support even more. Unfortunately the changelog doesn't indicate a complete list of supported devices nor does it say which were added in this round, but we're never going to turn down an update for wider support on a popular app.

The update also includes "bug fixes and performance enhancements," naturally, but again no specifics were given. If you were unable to install BBM before, hit the Play Store link above and see if your devices are supported now.

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4 years ago

Motorola 'Windy Day' video teases augmented reality app coming Oct. 29


Pixar animation technology seemingly making its way to a Moto X-exclusive game

The Motorola YouTube account has just posted a new video teasing upcoming news. Titled "Windy Day," the video shows several people being handed a Moto X and twirling around — as one would with an augmented reality app or game — with the video description reading:

A mouse, a red hat, a windy day and a smile. This is a new kind of story. Made by Motorola and Jan Pinkava. Brought to life only on the Moto X.

Jan Pinkava is a well-known director, and his work on a short called Windy Day was shown off at the recent Qualcomm Uplinq conference as a demonstration of a new real-time animation process from Pixar called OpenSubdiv. Motorola was listed as a client on the project, so we can connect a few dots and see where this is headed.

A little sneak peek at the very end of the video shows a screen capture of some sort of game running on the Moto X and the caption "Windy Day only on Moto X." Next week it looks like we'll be looking at the launch of a Moto X-exclusive app or game of some sort integrating this technology and design from Pinkava.

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4 years ago

It's not just you — Google's servers seeing sync struggles


Not a whole lot we can do here, folks. Everybody sit tight, and we'll ride this out together.

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4 years ago

Cover aims to be a smarter lock screen, is invite-only for now


Think lock screen that learns which apps you use in various locations — home, work, car and out — and floats them to the lock screen as you go about your day, much like Aviate does with your home screens. Pretty slick idea, and it actually does go beyond the lock screen and the full usage of the phone.

It's invite-only for now, so sit back and let the hype flow freely around you. Can't wait to try this, though, especially the sick transition between the lock screen and an app whose shortcut you picked.

Check out one more demo video after the break.

More: Cover

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4 years ago

Vine update adds video drafts, new clip editing options


Two more tools to make the best Vines possible

Everyone's favorite 6-second video making app Vine is receiving an update today that helps you create even better videos. The first new feature is called "Sessions," and its basically a drafts folder for videos. You can take portions or complete Vines, and save them for later, up to 10 at a time. You can access these Sessions with a tap on an icon in the bottom right of your capture window.

Next up is "Time Travel," a new way to edit the Vine you're currently working on. At any time in your creative process, you can tap the green progress bar and go back through your clips to rearrange them. While you may not use this often for basic editing, it'll be useful if you need to re-shoot any portion of a scene and put it in its proper place.

You can grab the latest version of Vine from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

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4 years ago

Calvin Harris sports a wooden Moto X — we wouldn't turn one down, either


A nice spot from fishman04 — one of the wooden Moto X models in the video for Calvin Harris' "Under Control."

Still no word on when we'll be able to order a wood-backed version — or which kind of wood will be available. Stay tuned.

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4 years ago

Looking forward to Samsung's first Developers Conference


Android Central sits down with Samsung's Won-pyo Hong, President & Head of Samsung Media Solutions Center

Samsung is an absolute dominating force in the mobile industry and consumer electronics arena as a whole, so its no secret as to why it receives so much attention in the Android world from consumers and journalists alike. We all see dozens of products get released, but behind the scenes there are thousands of people working to make it all happen, and that's where the Samsung Developers Conference comes in.

Late last month, members of the Mobile Nations team were in Korea and had the opportunity to visit Samsung Electronic's headquarters in both Seoul and Suwon, the Samsung Digital City. While there, not only did we have the opportunity to tour some amazing facilities that Samsung has built, we had a chance to meet with the folks responsible for working on all of these device projects and seeing them from drawing board to market.

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4 years ago

Rogers gets the HTC One Mini + Desire 601 on November 4


Two capable mid-rangers from HTC arriving in Canada soon

Canadian carrier Rogers has announced that it'll soon be picking up two of HTC's mid-range handsets, the HTC One Mini and Desire 601. The One Mini has been out in Europe and the U.S. for some time — it's a miniaturized version of the HTC One with the same camera module and a similar design, running a 1.4GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU, 1GB of RAM and a 4.3-inch 720p display.

The Desire 601 shares the same CPU and RAM, but downscales the display further to a qHD (960x540) resolution panel, while increasing the size to 4.5 inches. The Desire also loses the One's metal exterior, replacing it with soft-touch plastic. Both devices run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and HTC Sense 5.

The One Mini and Desire 601 will arrive on Rogers from Nov. 4; for more on both devices, check out our review and hands-on coverage, linked below.

More: HTC One Mini review, HTC Desire 601 hands-on

Source: @RogersBuzz; via: MobileSyrup

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4 years ago

Vector 17: Brian Klug on desktop-class mobile chipsets


Fair warning, Brian Klug of AnandTech spends a good deal of time talking about the insane amount of power in Apple's new A7 Cyclone CPU, and about the new iPads it powers. If you can survive that, however, we dive into the Nexus 7 2013, the Nexus 5, Android 4.4 KitKat, and even the Surface 2. It's a full on tablet geekout on Vector!

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