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4 years ago

US Cellular letting users 'test-drive' service for one week before buying


No commitment service coming to a limited number of markets at launch

One of the so-called "second tier" carriers, U.S. Cellular, is hoping to wrangle in more customers by launching a "test-drive" promotion to let users try out the service for one week before buying it. Initially launching in just a few markets, users can sign up at a participating store to try out the carrier's network without a commitment. In almost every case a handset purchase will be required to use the network, which can be a tough sell if you've never used (or even know someone who has used) the network.

It doesn't cost a whole lot for U.S. Cellular to run this promotion, and it may net them a few more customers going forward. If you're interested in trying the promotion, hit the source link below to see if you live near one of the very few test markets.

Source: U.S. Cellular; Via: FierceWireless

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4 years ago

Magic Fluids: Fun with water and smoke animations


There isn't exactly any functional purpose to it, but that doesn't mean it's not incredibly fun

Magic Fluids is an animation app that simulates the effects of liquid and smoke with a bit of artful flair. With a pretty robust number of settings to tweak and play with, you can spend hours getting lost in this app. When you're done actively using it, Magic Fluids can be turned into a live wallpaper as well.

While it doesn't have any value other than being extremely cool to look at, Magic Fluids is still worth playing around with. Hang with us after the break and see what it's all about.

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4 years ago

U.S. Cellular's Galaxy Axiom gets Jelly Bean


Galaxy S3's little brother gets over-the-air update to Android 4.1.2

U.S. Cellular has announced that the Galaxy Axiom -- its version of the Galaxy S3 Mini -- is today getting its update to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. The Axiom first launched back in November, with a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, a 4-inch WVGA display and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The upgrade to Jelly Bean should bring a performance boost to the handset thanks to Google's "Project Butter" enhancements, while also unlocking the ability to use the new Google Search app with predictive "Google Now" capabilities.

To grab the update, Galaxy Axiom owners will need to be connected to Wifi. Then it's just a case of heading to Settings > About Device > Software update.

Any Axiom owners out there? Hit the comments and let us know how you're liking the newer version of Android.

Source: U.S. Cellular

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4 years ago

HTC launches 'HTC One Live Experience Tour' in the U.S.


Manufacturer will tour major U.S. cities as new flagship launches

HTC has announced new marketing efforts in the U.S. ahead of the HTC One's North American launch. Like the HTC One City tour in Europe (pictured above), the U.S. tour will see HTC bringing its new handset to 11 "major U.S. markets" in the run up to its launch. It'll also be bringing a new strapline along for the ride, as it seeks to convince buyers the HTC One is "Everything Your Phone Isn't."

The tour will consist of the three main parts. First up, and launching today in Columbus Circle in New York, Embarcadero Plaza in San Francisco, Hollywood and Highland in Los Angeles, Wrigleyville in Chicago, Franklin Square in Philadelphia, and Perimeter Mall in Atlanta, HTC BoomSound Lounges will give members of the public the chance to demo the HTC One's prominent front-facing speakers for themselves. The BoomSound Lounges will also serve as a connection for three Live Nation-produced concerts for HTC Fans, including performances by Pharrell in New York, Grouplove in Chicago and Manchester Orchestra in Los Angeles. Tickets are available to buy now at

Next up, HTC One showrooms will start appearing in eight cities -- Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. -- from next Thursday, Apr. 11, where they'll be deployed for a minimum of three months. As was the case on the HTC One's European tour, these showrooms will be used to demo the handset's major features, such as the new BlinkFeed home screen reader, UltraPixel camera, HTC Zoe and Sense TV. 

The HTC One will also be making an appearance in movie theaters across the U.S. as part of the "HTC Live Cinema Experience," which aims to showcase the phone's entertainment chops.

So it's an extensive and concerted marketing effort for HTC, quite unlike anything seen for any of its previous U.S. handset. But the HTC One will face strong competition from Samsung over the coming weeks as it prepares for this important launch. If you're near any of the venues, hit the comments and let us know if you plan on attending.

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4 years ago

Being 'First' may be a bad thing for HTC


The HTC First is the second big-name phone in just weeks for a company struggling to sell a single message​

First, there was the HTC One. Now, second, if you will -- secondarily, perhaps -- there is the HTC First.

In our little blogging world here, cries of "First!" are all too common among commenters looking to make a name for themselves by being the first to spam the comments. So you can forgive us if the name itself immediately leaves a bad taste in our mouths.

When the design of the phone as well as its name leaked the day before Facebook's event, you couldn't help but wonder. "First" what? First Facebook phone? Are we stating the obvious? Or is that alliteration gone bad?

It was AT&T's Ralph de la Vega who probably said it best: "The first Facebook Home-optimized phone in the world."

And I worry that it has HTC's name on it at all.

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4 years ago

HTC One now available to pre-order on Sprint


Silver model only for now, $99.99 with 'bring your number' discount

If you're looking to secure yourself an HTC One on Sprint, you can now do just that over on the carrier's website. A Sprint HTC One will usually set you back $199.99 up-front on a two-year plan, but new lines can get it for $99.99 with a $100 'bring your number' discount. An up-front price of $549.99 is listed, though it's not possible to pre-order at this price.

Currently Sprint is only offering the silver model for sale -- the black one is said to be coming soon. (We've seen similar delays of the black model in Europe, where wide availability isn't expected until mid-April.)

Order today and Sprint says it'll endeavor to deliver you shiny new handset by the Apr. 19 launch date.

Rival AT&T opened its pre-orders yesterday, and will also begin shipping Apr. 19.

Source: Sprint

More: HTC One review, HTC One forum

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 available in the UK today


Samsung's 8-inch stylus-toting tablet arrives today at flagship London store

Samsung has announced that the latest member of the Galaxy Note family, the Note 8.0, has today gone on sale in the UK. The tablet is initially available at the Samsung Experience Store at the Westfield Stratford City shopping center in London, the same flagship Samsung store at which the Galaxy S3 and Note 2 first launched.

The Wifi-only Note 8 goes on sale today for £339.99, and the version with cellular data is expected to follow shortly. Besides cell data, you've got a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos CPU running the show, 2GB of RAM and 16 or 32GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD. There's also a 5MP rear shooter and 1.3MP front-facing camera. On the software side, you're looking at Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean wrapped in Sammy's TouchWiz UI.

To sweeten the deal, Samsung's offering a pack of software goodies worth £60 to buyers who pick one up before Apr. 15. This includes a £20. Samsung Learning Hub voucher, a two-month subscription to The Times newspaper, AVG Pro, a month of Samsung Music Hub access, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Sonc 4: Episode 2. Being a Samsung device, the Note 8.0 also lands you 50GB of free Dropbox storage for two years.

More: Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean starting to hit Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus


Budget 7-incher gets Android 4.1.2, with users in Austria first to report update

The humble Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus has come a long way since its launch in late 2011 on Android 3.2 Honeycomb. And today it seems the budget tablet is getting its promised Jelly Bean update, as owners in Austria are said to be receiving Android 4.1.2 in an over-the-air update.

According to SamMobile, the new firmware version XXMC3, build on Mar. 25, is currently rolling out to Austrian Wifi-plus-3G Tab 7.0 Plus models (GT-P6200) ahead of a wider launch. So anyone with the Wifi-only GT-P6210 variant may have to wait a little longer. In any case, Jelly Bean should give Tab 7 Plus owners a lot to look forward to -- aside from the obvious performance improvements, there's Google Now, re-vamped notifications and improved text-to-speech capabilities.

Shout out in the comments if you're getting the update on your device this morning.

Source: SamMobile

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4 years ago

HTC One developer edition preorders start in a few short hours


It's the same HTC One you know and love, with a healthy dose of unlocked

Fancy getting yourself a developer edition HTC One? The official word from HTC is that they will be available for preorder starting at 10 am Eastern time today (April 5). The phone will have identical hardware to it's carrier-provided brethren, but have the SIM card and bootloader unlocked out of the box. The price is set at $649 for the 64GB version. You'll find more information when it goes live at HTC.

On the radio side, the developer model will support AT&T HSPA+, T-Mobile HSPA+ in the 1900 MHz band, and LTE on 700/850/AWS/1900 Mhz. Users on T-Mobile in areas where 1900 MHz hasn't been repurposed (read: most everywhere) will only be able to get EDGE or LTE (if available). 

It's important to note that we don't know if the carrier version in the US will be supported on the HTC developer unlock site, so this may be the answer you're looking for. Also we don't yet know when these will ship, but the unofficial word is April 19. 

Source: +HTC Dev

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4 years ago

YouTube gets 'My Subscriptions' feed and One Channel branding in latest update


Updated with quick access to your new videos

YouTube is getting updated to version 4.4.11 today, with a small addition to the left toolbar. A new 'My Subscriptions' feed provides easy access to view any uploads made by channels you currently subscribe to. Also new for video creator channels is YouTube One Channel branding.

Of course, no good update would be complete without addressing some existing bugs. One that was squashed was a problem causing accounts to be signed out at random. Other minor bugs were also fixed, and stability enhancements were added to this latest version of the app.

The update is now live in the Play Store for download. If you don't already have YouTube installed for whatever reason, the link at the top will lead you to the download page.

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4 years ago

Samsung Q1 2013 profit guidance: huge sales, huge profits


Over 68 million phones sold; 53-percent increase in operating profits for the quarter

Ahead of its official Q1 2013 earnings release on April 26th, Samsung is releasing its profit guidance -- aka expectations and rough numbers -- for the quarter, and things are looking pretty good for the South Korean smart phone behemoth. Increased sales of mid-range handsets worldwide contributed to an estimate of 68-70 million phones sold in the quarter, which surprisingly is an increase over the holiday quarter's sales of 63 million. Sales reached an estimated $46.2 billion, leading to operating profits of $7.7 billion -- up 53-percent.

These are of course estimates and analyst commentary on them, but things are looking just as promising as previous quarters for Samsung. In a quarter that has historically not been one for high sales or profits in the consumer electronics space, it has performed extremely well. We'll of course be breaking down the true earnings numbers when that official report comes later this month.

Source: Reuters

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4 years ago

Facebook partners with Qualcomm for Home optimization


Facebook Home will see better performance and battery life with Qualcomm processors

Facebook has announced an official partnership with chip maker Qualcomm, the result of which will optimize Facebook Home apps on devices that come with Qualcomm processors. Facebook's first official phone, the HTC First, will come equipped with Qualcomm's new mid-range Snapdragon 400 chip (see the full details here).

Optimization will not be limited to just Facebook's phone or newer phones; Qualcomm says it is working with Facebook for optimization with all of Android's Snapdragon processors. Improvements are said to be seen in system-level performance, power usage, and data efficiency.

For the full press release, hit the source link below.

More: HTC First hands-on, HTC First forums

Source: Qualcomm

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4 years ago

Good news/bad news/podcast news


Seeing as how I'm sitting in the lovely Delta Sky Club until 10 p.m. or so for a redeye home tonight, we're going to have to push the Android Central Podcast tonight. It happens. The good news is we're going to crank one out on Friday afternoon, to catch up on all this Facebook stuff from this morning.

So hang tight, thanks for your patience, and we'll hopefully get back to normal soonest.

You know, unless someone else decides to do a major launch at the last minute. Or unless a bunch of editors get together for a week to do some super-secret stuff. Just saying.

So, yeah. No show tonight. Be back soon.

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4 years ago

GameStop now accepting even more devices for trade-in


Trade-ins will​ receive additional bonus in-store credit through April 28th

GameStop has been branching out of just selling games for some time now, and it may not be widely known that they accept smart phone trade-ins when buying new devices from them. Today the retail chain is expanding the number of devices capable of being traded in, as well as giving some extra incentives for those trade-ins. GameStop will now take "popular handsets" from Samsung, Motorola, BlackBerry and other brands and give instant cash or in-store credit.

For those opting for the in-store credit option, you'll receive additional value of $10 to $50 on top of what you'd normally get for the device. PowerUp Rewards Pro members will receive even more in-store credit for trade-ins. If you're interested to see what GameStop will offer you for your device, head to the source link below.

More: GameStop Trade-In


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4 years ago

Of course you'll put up with ads in your Facebook Home


It was a simple, direct question asked more than once today at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park in Silicon Valley. There are ads on Facebook. Will there be ads in Facebook Home, the new Android home screen replacement (along with its snazzy if underwhelming new phone) that'll be available starting next week?

Apparently those of us in the audience needed a little clarification, despite the answer having been delivered just minutes before.

"Yup," said Mark Zuckerberg, this time leaving absolutely no doubt.

At some point, Facebook Home will have ads. Not next week, but somewhere down the road.

And you'll be perfectly OK with that. And if you're not, it won't matter.

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