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4 years ago

All work and no play makes my smartphone something something - Talk Mobile

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There was a time when the smartphone was a tool of the businessman. The BlackBerrys and Treos and Windows Mobile smartphones were connected corporate networks - and often issued by those corporations. Over the last several years that has changed dramatically, with smartphones becoming the province of the consumer.

4 years ago

Sony 'Honami' leak shows G-Lens on board with a 20 MP sensor

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Possible magnetic docking pins are also pictured, along with an alleged shot by the 'Honami'

The upcoming "Honami" may be Sony's next big leap in smartphone photography, and it has decided to pose for some pictures of its own. As we saw with the previously leaked render, the "Honami" does in fact have the Sony G-Lens labeling on its back. Resolution and focal length are replaced with temporary "X" values, but a photo of the software does show a 20 MP camera setting. There is also a picture of the phone's side, with what appears to be magnetic pins for docking.

A photo that was allegedly taken using a Sony "Honami" prototype was uploaded to Facebook, but thanks to the social network's removal of EXIF data and resizing of the image, it cannot be confirmed.

Additional photos can be found after the break.

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4 years ago

NVIDIA Shield teardown reveals you can't 'use the Shield as a shield'

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Interior found to be 'complex' and 'convoluted,' but still gets a 6 out of 10 for reparability

The folks over at iFixt have finished breaking down the Shield's defenses, and took a good look around the inside. While the device didn't score as well as some other gaming systems, the Shield got points for modularity of design, with a button board that can be separately replaced if it suffers trauma from angry gaming sessions. The screen is replaceable, but iFixit warns a repair of this type would be extremely difficult.

The following chips were found lurking within —

  • Nvidia Tegra 4 Quad Core mobile processor
  • Samsung KLMAG2GE2A eMMC
  • AzureWave AW-AH691 wireless module
  • SK Hynix H5TC4G63AFR 512 MB DDR3 SDRAM (4 ICs for 2 GB total RAM)
  • InvenSense MPU-6050 6-axis gyroscope and accelerometer
  • Realtek AL5639 audio microcontroller for mad beats

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4 years ago

BBM for Android now in beta testing, first images emerge

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The rumored June 27 release window has long passed, but BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS is apparently still on track to hit before the end of the summer. Today the multi-platform version of the messaging app has inched closer to release, with the news that it's now in beta testing among a select group of users.

CrackBerry's Adam Zeis writes —

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4 years ago

Smartphone sales push Sony back into profitability in Q1

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Sony has published its Q1 2013 earnings report, showing a return to profitability for the Japanese electronics giant, partly off the back of stronger smartphone sales. Revenue increased 13 percent year-on-year to ¥1.713 trillion ($17.3 billion), and Sony made a profit of $35 million, versus a loss of $285 million in Q1 2012. The report attributed the change in fortunes to "the favorable impact of foreign exchange rates, an increase in financial services revenue, and an increase in unit sales of smartphones."

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4 years ago

Google Play TV shows now available in the UK

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Prices start at £1.89 per episode, £2.49 for HD

Don't be fooled by the fact that the app itself is still called "Play Movies" — Google Play TV has landed on British shores this morning. Individual episode prices start at £1.89 for SD or HD for £2.49, and season bundle prices vary depending on the series. Like Play Movies, purchased TV content can be played on the web or through the app on Android.

Google Play TV is offering a mix of British and American shows — highlights include The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Top Gear and Doctor Who. (There's also something called "Honey Boo Boo," which looks positively terrifying.)

So Brits get a pretty wide selection, including many shows that haven't made their way to rival service Netflix in the UK yet (thought admittedly it's still lagging behind iTunes). What's more, to celebrate the launch, pilot episodes of Battlestar Galactica, The Big C and Justified are free, too.

British Google Play users can fire up the Play Store app now to start browsing content. Let us know if you find any gems.

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4 years ago

Bank of America app updated with send and receive money, new payment tools

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Users can now pay credit card bills with external checking accounts and manage Bill Pay.

The Bank of America app for Android phones has been updated with a few very important features. Users can now make credit card payments using checking accounts at other banks, as long as the external accounts have already been set up using Online Banking (accessible using any web browser -- such as Google Chrome).

The BofA app also gains the ability to add, edit and delete Bill Pay accounts. Money can now be sent through the app using an email address or phone number, with users being able to add their own email address or phone number to receive money. Finally, Platinum Privileges clients get their very own Call Me Now feature as well.

Update now through the Play Store, or download the Bank of America app using the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

O2 UK to launch LTE network on August 29

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Network launching in just three markets, prices and data allowances not specified.

Following in the footsteps of EE which already has LTE available in the U.K., carrier O2 has announced that it will launch its higher speed network as well at the end of August. O2 says that the network will go live on August 29th in London, Leeds and Bradford with a total of 10 cities going live with the network by year's end.

That still puts O2 in a tough position, as EE already operates its network in some 95 markets. Additionally, O2 hasn't given detailed information about the monthly prices or data allowances on LTE plans aside from a quoted "basic" 4G tariff of £26 per month. It's clear that O2 has a long ways to go before it will be drawing anyone to its LTE network.

Source: BBC

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4 years ago

LG Optimus F3 comes to T-Mobile Aug. 7 for $0 down

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Available on T-Mobile’s Simple Choice Plan for 24 payments of $10 a month

After seeing releases on both Sprint and Virgin Mobile, a GSM variant of the LG Optimus F3 will now be available on T-Mobile, starting August 7. The carrier is offering a limited-time promotion price of $0 down with 24 equal monthly payments of $10. To take advantage of this deal, customers should be on T-Mobile’s Simple Choice Plan, and are subject to credit approval.

Like the Sprint and Virgin Mobile version, this device comes with a 4-inch IPS screen offering "sharp text and crisp images," a long-lasting 2460 mAh battery, and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with LG's own apps suite. Exclusive to this version of the Optimus F3 is T-Mobile's signature WiFi Calling.

The LG Optimus F3 can be found at T-Mobile retail stores, select retailers, and online at www.T-Mobile.com. For more about T-Mobile's latest entry-level phone, see our hands-on with the Sprint version.

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4 years ago

Pantech Discover update to Android 4.1.2 rolling out today

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The update to Jelly Bean will be sent out to users over-the-air

Pantech Discover owners should be on the lookout for update notifications, because starting today an OTA rollout has begun for Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. This is a significant update from the Discover's launch OS, Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. Pantech has outlined the key new features of this update below:

Google Now, which will allow Discover users to automatically receive relevant information when they need it based on their interests, activities and habits, including weather, sports, shopping, upcoming events and more; Voice Search, a part of Google Search, lets you launch apps or add meetings to your calendar and provides personal results based on your location, and an expandable and actionable Notification Bar which allows for easier return of calls, sending and scanning multiple emails and sharing photos directly from your notification panel.

Pantech certainly is on a roll with its Jelly Beans, with the Pantech Flex getting a similar update just last month. It's good to see such support for manufacturers.

Are there any other new and notable changes present? How about bugs and problems with updating? Those that have already received the update, sing out in the comments.

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4 years ago

Android 4.3's subtle and delightful feature: A smart status bar clock

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It's the little things that count.

We've started building up a list of features that came with the Android 4.3 update, but sometimes it takes a little while to pick up on some of the more subtle changes. With this latest release of Jelly Bean, Google has finally figured out how to hide the status bar clock when your lock screen is displaying a clock — something that seems trivially easy and has been implemented in other mobile platforms for years.

 

When your lock screen has a clock widget on it (as is the case by default), the status bar will now hide the system clock. If you replace the clock with another widget — say, the Android Central app widget — the status bar clock comes back.

We know, a simple tweak like this shouldn't get us that excited, but as we said sometimes it's the little things that make a difference.

Thanks, Tom G and TyBec!

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4 years ago

Chromecast getting its first OTA, you don't need to do anything

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Performance, reliability and security are all improved in the coming update.

The Chrome Releases blog has announced a scheduled over-the-air update for the Chromecast will begin pushing out in the next few days. The update is said to improve reliability, security and performance — things that we always appreciate when they are at their best.

The best part of the news is that you'll never know you're getting the update, and that you don't have to do anything to get it. Like Chrome OS on any of the Chromebooks, the update will be downloaded and applied automatically without telling you or needing your intervention. 

Some of us like to know every little version bump, but for the most part seamless updates are appreciated by consumers. Those that want to know can read Android Central, everyone else can just enjoy the enhancements.

Source: Chrome Releases

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4 years ago

Google Calendar update adds notification dismissal sync

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Feature first implemented in Google+ app now makes its way to Calendar

An update to Google Calendar is rolling out in the Play Store today that enables a single feature, but it's an important one – notification dismissal sync across devices. First unveiled at Google I/O 2013 as a new service, the notification dismissal sync will clear calendar notifications on all of your other devices as soon as it is dismissed (by swiping or entering the app) on one device.

If the feature sounds familiar, you may recall that Google quickly added it to the Google+ app when it added a redesigned notifications system across both its apps and web. Google is doing its best to lead by example here, and we sure hope that more developers will implement this service into their own apps and keep our notification bars clean(er) — especially with increasing usage of tablets alongside phones.

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4 years ago

Google working with Netflix to solve Android 4.3 lock up problem

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Putting some Android 4.3 devices to sleep while using Netflix causes freezing

Android Central forums member WwonderLlama has posted about problems he is having using his new Chromecast to watch Netflix:

I just updated my Nexus 4 to [Android] 4.3 via the OTA. That afternoon, I got my Chromecast in the mail. After playing with it for a while, I've found that if I start casting something from my Nexus 4 and lock the screen (just clicking the power button), after a few seconds, the Chromecast audio will stutter and then my Nexus 4 will be hard-locked. I can't get it back without doing a hard reset.

He is not alone, as many people -- specifically those with the Nexus 4 or 2013 Nexus 7 -- are having freezing issues when using Netflix on Android 4.3. Once the app is opened, sleeping the display will lock the device up, forcing a reboot by holding the power button.

Considering the emphasis Google put on Netflix to promote the recently released Chromecast, Google has taken specific interest in finding a solution. Googler Dan Morrill posted on Reddit that "we have top men working on it now." Until these top men send out an update, be sure to keep those Nexus 4 and new Nexus 7 screens on when watching Netflix on Chromecast.

via: Android Police; More: Android Central Forums

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4 years ago

The 2013 Nexus 7 giveaway winners are ...

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Congrats guys, and enjoy your new Nexus 7 tablets!

We got a bit excited last week when the new Nexus 7 was announced, and ordered a couple of them to give away to our awesome readers. It's a great update to the original, and most everyone seems to think they are the best small-form tablet ever made (so far). We've been using the heck out of ours, and we're glad to help a couple of you guys have one to use the heck out of as well!

Your winners:

Send these two fellows some warm thoughts guys and gals, and we'll get their tablets out to them shortly. Look for more giveaways and contests from us soon, there's nothing we enjoy more than spreading the Android love around.

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