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4 years ago

AT&T announces new 300MB and 2GB Mobile Share data tiers


New data plan options go live online July 26, in-store starting today

In an attempt to get more people moved over to its "Mobile Share" data plans, AT&T is filling out the bottom end of its offerings with two new data tiers. Slotting in at $20 and $50 per month, new 300MB and 2GB tiers fit in along the previous 1GB and 4GB options to give customers more choices when selecting data plans.

These plans are directed at accounts with smart phones -- unlike the data-only plans -- and include unlimited talk and text, but of course require an additional fee per device to connect to the account. The fee starts now at $50 per smart phone added when at the 300MB data tier, and goes down in $5 increments until you hit $30 per smart phone at 10GB and above.

It makes the 300MB shared tier a pretty poor value, and will likely only work to push customers up towards the 1GB and 2GB tier if there are any more than 2 phones on the account. The new tiers go live starting July 26th, but AT&T's website indicates that you can call or go into an AT&T retail store if you would like them a few days sooner.

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

LG offers a sneak peek at the G2 - it will learn from you, as long as the video doesn't give you a seizure


This video from LG promises the G2 will learn from you, but take your Dramamine before watching. 

We're all looking forward to seeing what LG's next -- dubbed the G2 (don't call it an Optimus) -- will have to offer. We thrive on details and specifications. LG's latest video teaser doesn't give us a lot of those, but it does focus on how the G2 will learn from you. That is, if the video doesn't give you a seizure first. 

We'll be on hand come August 7 when LG unveils the G2 in New York. For now, hit the break to see the latest video.

Source: LGMobileHQ on YouTube; LG's countdown page

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Student Edition bundle includes keyboard and dock


Available for the first time in white, bundled with a Bluetooth keyboard and dock for $349.99

Samsung released a special edition of their Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 yesterday, dubbed the Student Edition. Coming in a special color, white (not previously available in the U.S.), the tablet is bundled with Samsung's own Desktop Dock and slim Bluetooth Keyboard. Software freebies are part of the bundle as well, which include a copy of Polaris Office, 50GB of Dropbox storage for one year, and a three month subscription to streaming content provider Hulu Plus.

Marketed towards students, Samsung touts the bundle's laptop-like functionality without the laptop-like heft, and over $100 savings over buying each bundle component separately.

The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Student Edition bundle is available now at Best Buy, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Toys ‘R’ Us, BJ’s, P.C. Richard & Son and Office Max for $349.99.

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4 years ago

Belkin announces Android compatibility for their WeMo automation products


In the future, home automation is going to be common place. Our Android phones can already control our TV's and unlock and start our cars, and now they can turn our lights on and off. Using Belkin's WeMo line of Wifi enabled switches and receptacles and the corresponding smartphone app, you can sit in your comfortable chair and control appliances and lights around your house using your local home Wifi or cellular network. The Android app is set to release today at 1PM PT today on Google Play, and be available right here

In addition, the products are compliant with IFTTT to enable a complete web app solution limited only by your imagination. This sounds really cool. So cool in fact, that I just ordered two of the switches and we'll have a closer look at how they work (provided I don't electrocute myself installing them). Stay tuned for that, and find Belkin's press release after the break.

More: Belkin

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4 years ago

The HTC One official car dock


Here's a quick look at the official HTC One Car Dock. It's a car dock, for the HTC One. And if you're at all familiar with HTC's car docks for its other devices, you should be right at home here. 

There's nothing grossly different about the functionality here. It's got a substantial base that either suctions itself to your windshield, or to your dash via an adhesive disc. (I usually opt for the windshield, but then again I swap devices more than most normal folks.) You twist the textured ring at the base of the dock to trigger the suction mechanism. (It's easier to do when you're actually mounting the dock, so don't worry if you can't just get it to work in your hands.) There's a ball joint to allow for a full range of movement and positioning of your phone, and there's just enough friction to keep things from moving when you don't want them to.

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4 years ago

Canonical announces the Ubuntu Edge, complete with Indiegogo funding campaign


Canonical's dual-booting halo device will bring the specs every enthusiast has been asking for, provided it meets the $32 million funding goal

We just got off a call with Canonical, the folks behind the Ubuntu operating system, where we learned all about their latest project -- The Ubuntu Edge. The Edge will be an extremely high-spec'd convergence device, which dual-boots both Android and Ubuntu, and is ready to attach to a monitor and keyboard to make a full featured desktop replacement.

The Edge is being announced as an Indiegogo campaign, and Canonical is looking for a whopping $32 million. Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical founder, spent a while talking about this decision, as well as where Ubuntu is in the mobile world. Read past the break for more, as well as a few videos and more pictures.

The Ubuntu Edge indiegogo campaign page

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4 years ago

Google buys stake in Google Glass chip manufacturer Himax


Google will hold a 6.3 percent interest of the liquid crystal on silicon chip manufacturer

Today an agreement was signed with Google by Himax Technologies for an investment agreement that will result in Google holding a 6.3 percent interest in the company's subsidiary, Himax Display Inc. (HDI). HDI is the current supplier of the LCOS (liquid crystal on silicon) chips and modules that are used in Google Glass.

Google's investment in supplier HDI will "fund production upgrades, expand capacity and further enhance production capabilities." It seems Google is being proactive about potential manufacturer bottlenecking issues that have plagued other companies in the recent past.

There is an option in the agreement for further investment by Google, which will allow additional purchases of stock -- at the same price -- to give Google up to a 14.8% interest of HDI. Expect much more news as Google Glass gets closer to consumer hands (or heads).

Source: GlobeNewswire; Via: Engadget;

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4 years ago

T-Mobile's HTC One gets fix for LTE data, stability


T-Mobile today announced an update to its HTC One that works on a trio of issues. Here's what's new in software version 1.27.531.11:

  • Software stability
  • LTE and reception
  • Processor enhancements

The update keeps things on Android 4.1.2 — we're not expecting 4.2.2 in the U.S. for a little while still — and weighs in at 247 megabytes.

Source: T-Mobile; more: HTC One forums; Thanks, Steve!

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4 years ago

Review: The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini


Is Sa​msung's latest 'Mini' a mid-range champion or a disappointing compromise?

For better or worse, we've arrived in a world where smartphones with the word "mini" in their names also have 4.3-inch displays, once considered huge. The Galaxy S4 Mini is one of the first such devices to pass across our desk, having been launched at a glitzy London event alongside two other "Galaxy S4" smartphones — the S4 Active and S4 Zoom. Superficially, the Galaxy S4 Mini looks like its name would suggest — it's a "miniature" Galaxy S4. The design, software and build quality remain mostly unchanged in the Mini. But as with any smaller, cheaper phone, corners have been cut in places. Specifically, the Mini's screen has a lower resolution, there's less internal storage, and certain heavily-advertised S4 features are missing.

Samsung's Mini may be first to market, but it'll soon be joined by the HTC One Mini and (probably) Motorola's rumored Droid Mini, among others. So is the this device worthy of the premium brand it's been gifted, or is it just a jumped-up mid-level phone? Find out after the break in our full-sized review of  the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.

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4 years ago

Samsung Developer Conference to take place this October


Samsung has unveiled its own developers conference, to be held in San Francisco, Calif. this October. According to the new teaser site at SamsungDevCon.com the conference will run from Oct. 27-29 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel on Union Square. It'll allow developers to "engage with industry leaders" and "collaborate with fellow developers," according to the official promotional materials. That's as specific as things are getting right now, but more info should be provided in the run up to the event. We have been told, however, that this isn't a mobile-only developer event. It'll span multiple product categories.

For the moment, interested devs can now pre-register for updates on the official site to learn when registration opens.

Source: SamsungDevCon.com

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia U now available for £125 in the UK


A quick heads-up for anyone looking for a solid entry-level handset — Sony's Xperia U is now available for £124.99 from UK retailer Expansys. That'll get you a basic but capable Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) smartphone, with a 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, a 3.5-inch WVGA display and a 5-megapixel Sony Exmor R camera.

It's not going to win any prizes for tech specs, but the Xperia U is a nicely-designed handset that features Sony's unique glowing "transparent element" as part of its design. In our review last May, we praised the performance and build quality, and since then it's been upgraded to ICS, giving it a new lease of life. If you're after a decent, inexpensive Android phone, we can certainly think of worse ways to spend your money.

Source: Expansys

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4 years ago

Start your week with the Greatest Android Podcast in the World!


It started like most any other podcast, really. Shooting the breeze, recapping the week's Android news. Same as it ever was. But did you ever wonder what happens when breaking news hits while we're recording? That's what happened on Friday, and it was handled with the poise and grace you'd come to expect from us. That is to say, Alex took charge while the rest of us banged our heads against the table in excitement. Or something like that.

Anyhoo. Give our latest podcast a listen. Or, watch the video, if you prefer. And remember that you can do both directly from the official Android Central app!

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4 years ago

HTC reorganizes U.S. division, establishes new 'emerging devices' unit


Jason Mackenzie back in charge of HTC America in latest executive shuffle

HTC is reorganizing its U.S. operations with the addition of a new unit focused on "emerging devices" and a new lead role for global sales boss Jason Mackenzie, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. An internal email from CEO Peter Chou obtained by the newspaper states, "Effective immediately, in addition to his current duties in supporting me with global corporate strategy, Jason Mackenzie will lead HTC America."

Mackenzie previously served as HTC's president of the Americas region prior to moving to a global marketing and sales-focused position. Last November he moved to his present role as President of Global Sales.

The email goes on, "Mike Woodward will lead Emerging Devices, a newly established business unit that will focus on innovative new HTC products and global distribution strategies." The WSJ says there's no specific information on precisely what the emerging devices unit will focus on, but the name suggests a possible expansion into other product categories for HTC.

The latest executive reshuffle follows several high-profile departures at the Taiwanese manufacturer, including former EMEA President Florian Seiche, Asia CEO Lennard Hoornik and Chief Product Officer Kouji Kodera. The company's Q2 financials showed a modest improvement upon the dismal previous quarter, aided by the high-profile HTC One launch, however year-on-year profits fell 83 percent.

Whatever the new "emerging devices" unit eventually comes up with, HTC's immediate future is focused on smartphones. The company recently announced a smaller, less expensive version of its flagship device, the HTC One Mini, and Android Central understands that a larger version with a faster CPU -- the HTC One "Max" -- is to follow in September.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Perhaps the hyphen is the source of evil?


So much for a slow summer, eh? We've got two events on the books next week, the Moto X dropping the week after, and we're starting to plan for IFA in Berlin the first week of September. So let's keep things short this week, shall we?

  • So Jay-Z is now Jay Z. Will losing the hyphen sap his power?
  • I was sad to see Rolling Stone hop on the "ZOMG THE JAY Z APP IS EVIL" bandwagon. "IT NEEDS FULL NETWORK ACCESS." Yes, Rolling Stone. It needs full network access. Because it connects to the Internet. Just like your app. Rolling Stone was hardly the only offender here, though.
  • More interesting is that the "Magna Carta Holy Grail" app has since been quietly pulled from Google Play. It's possible that was in the works from the start, but I doubt it.
  • What's the consensus on the album? I'm not enough of a hip-hop fan to intelligently weigh in, though I have listened to the record a couple times.
  • The more I think about it, the more any sort of Nexus Q successor or whatever Google's living-room play is must include Amazon Instant Video. Otherwise I'll be sending my screaming toddler to Mountain View to rain fire and brimstone and more whining and crying than one father can stand. Girl's gotta have her Dora.
  • I'm curious to see how much not having optical image stabilization will affect how much I like/use the HTC One Mini. NFC, Snapdragon 400 and a 720p display I'll probably be OK with.
  • Work continues on the official Android Central App. I think for the next release we'll play with Google's staged rollouts, just to see what it's like on the back end. 
  • Interesting note: A little less than a week after we pushed out v1.3 (to the beta group first, and to everyone a couple days later), nearly 80 percent have updated. To the 689 people who are still on the very first version we published, we considerately ask, "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?"
  • Holy crap.
  • Only one mistaken Tweet on Sunday after Phil Mickelson won the British Open. Hell of a round from Lefty. (Yes, I'm in his camp.) I didn't get to watch it live, though, as I took advantage of the one hour it didn't rain this weekend to mow the lawn. Listened to it on the Sirius XM app, though, and I dare say the commentators there made it pretty damn fun.
  • I'm at home this week with family obligations (wish @snickinson a speedy continued recovery from a kitchen mishap, if you'd like), but we'll still be in full effect at Tuesday's Verizon event in New York City, and Wednesday's "Breakfast with Sundar" in San Francisco, where we should get a look at the new Nexus 7 and Android 4.3.

And with that, let's get to work.

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4 years ago

New Nexus 7 appears in Best Buy circular


Best Buy ad confirms $230 price tag and 1920 x 1200 display

Everyone is excited about the coming Nexus 7 sequel, even Best Buy by the looks of this sales circular. We don't get a very good press image of the upcoming tablet, but we've seen that already so we can focus on the details instead. This ad mentions a 1920 x 1200 screen, 16GB of storage, and the same $230 price we reported last week.

It's worth noting that it also says available Tuesday, but we have to remember there is a Tuesday in every week. This doesn't necessarily mean the day after tomorrow, and likely refers to Tuesday July 30, which is a few days after Google's big event in California coming this week. Without knowing the exact distribution date of this flyer, there is a bit of speculation involved.

We're ready, and an appearance at Best Buy on release may mean a little less frustration than ordering from Google Play. We'll know in just a few days.

Source: +Fábio Santos

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