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4 years ago

BlackBerry Messenger coming to Android in September, says BB India managing director

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Taking BlackBerry Messenger cross-platform will make a lot of Android users happy. Hopefully, we won't have to wait too long to see it.

BlackBerry Messenger, the one killer feature that keeps a lot of folks from ever leaving the house without their BlackBerry, should be available for Android in September according to BlackBerry India managing director Sunil Lalvani. We've known that the messaging service was headed to Android since CEO Thorsten Heins announced as much last May, but at today's BlackBerry Q5 launch event in India we're getting a little more information.

The service is coming to Android this summer. But summer as per North America, where it remains till September.

When asked for clarification that this means a September launch, Lalvani replied that yes, that is correct.

We know plenty of folks will be happy to see BBM for Android, and we hope the programmers at BlackBerry do a great job and give us an app we will want to use. Hopefully, we'll know more in a month or so.

Source: IBNLive; Via: CrackBerry

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4 years ago

Google Play Music All Access now available in Australia and New Zealand

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All Access makes its first expansion outside the United States

Folks down in Australia and New Zealand will be the first outside of the U.S. to get Google's latest subscription music service, Google Play Music All Access. An update to a Google Play support document today lists the two countries as having the new service available, with little else to go on. Presumably the appropriate deals have been made to offer the entire music collection available here in the U.S. to folks down under. All Access seems to be pretty well-received -- we're certainly enjoying it -- so it's great to see the service expand outside of the states.

Hopefully this paves the way for additional countries to get the service in the coming months, as over a dozen countries currently have access to the basic user-upload Google Play Music features.

Source: Google Play Support

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4 years ago

Exclusive first look: Pics and video of the new Nexus 7

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The new Nexus 7 sports an updated look, adds a rear camera

Here we go, folks. The first probable  pictures of what we believe is the long-awaited successor to the Nexus 7. We've had to do a little Photoshop surgery to protect the source (we'll just call the source, oh, how about "Bert"), but what we're seeing lines up with rumored specs, and what we'd expect to see in the follow-up.

Separately, we've gotten a look at some possible pricing, giving some hope that we might finally soon see the retail release of Google's affordable tablet. And then there's the Google event set for July 24 in San Francisco.

Ready for more? Read on.

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4 years ago

Twitter updated with improved reply screen, tweet sharing via DM

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A couple more small features to improve the Twitter experience

The official Twitter for Android app has been updated with two small but notable improvements today -- a new reply screen and the ability to share tweets to direct messages. In version 4.1.3, the new reply screen resembles closely the general "compose tweet" screen with the ability to add location and pictures right from the window. Twitter says this makes it "easier to join conversations", but really it just means you get the same features when replying to a tweet as you do when composing one stand-alone.

Additionally, when you hit the share button on any given tweet in the app, you now have the option to share it as a direct message (DM) to another user rather than retweet and mention that user publicly. Once selecting the sharing option, you just type in a user name, add any additional words (up to 140 characters, of course) and send it off.

The latest version of Twitter for Android can be downloaded from the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

Weekly Photo Contest: Low light

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Wednesday means it's time for a new weekly photo contest! As always, it's a great way to show off your skills taking awesome pictures with an Android phone or tablet, and there's always a cool prize attached.

This week, the subject is low light photography. Take any picture. It could be a Panorama, a Zoe, a Photosphere, etc., just something that you turned out really well in less than optimal lighting. This week we'll pick the top three, and the winners will each get a Sphero to have a ball with.

Entering is easy. Just drop your entry in a post below. Tell us what Android you used to get the picture, and any back story you want to add to it. We'll pick a winner Tuesday (July 23) night at 11:59 PM ET, and announce them on the blog with next Wednesday's contest.

Enter this week's photo contest

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II software update brings improved performance and many bug fixes

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Software version JZO54K.I415VRBMF1 is going out over-the-air in Verizon's latest update

Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II owners should be on the lookout -- a new software update is on the way, care of our good friends over at Big Red. The Galaxy Stratosphere II's newest software version, JZO54K.I415VRBMF1, includes numerous small bug fixes and improvements.

Reliability and stability enhancements were made to the Data Usage Meter, mobile hotspot connectivity, and Kindle App (when downloaded separately from the Play Store) connectivity. Bugs that were addressed include the internet browser reset issue, blue/monotone screen requiring reboot, and text message deletion during word correction.

New features and improvements include the following:

  • Caller Name ID is now supported as a downloadable (from Google Play Store) application
  • SIM pin entry screen now displays the correct number of remaining attempts
  • Lock screen functionality has been improved when in Emergency calling mode
  • Enhanced lock screen security
  • Custom ringtones for the contact list have been improved

Update notifications should be appearing on users' devices soon. For those that want to be a bit more proactive, updates can be initiated by the user as well. To check for available updates, the 'Check New' menu button must be pressed. It can be found by going to: Settings > About Device > Software updates > Check New.

If anyone has received this update, hit the comments and let us know.

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

Cricket announces Samsung Galaxy Discover for $129

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Latest low-end device hits the right price point with modern features

Along with announcements of new device payment plans and updates to Muve Music, Cricket announced that it will be carrying a new low-end device, the Samsung Galaxy Discover. The Galaxy Discover ticks some boxes but isn't going to wow anyone -- with a 3.5-inch display, 3MP camera and few extra features, it's clearly meant for the first-time smart phone buyer. It still has access to Google Play, along with Cricket's Muve Music service and most modern features.

The Galaxy Discover is available starting July 21st for $129.99 on Cricket's unlimited plans, which start with talk, text and 1GB of high speed data for $50 per month.

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4 years ago

Cricket to offer monthly phone payment plans, Muve music updated to 4.0

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Cricket has announced today that they too will be moving forward with plans to purchase devices on payments. Their new flexible financing comes in three flavors, with a category for everyone. 

For users with good credit, Cricket will be offering a plan with no financing fees. For users with questionable credit, but still qualify, there will be a plan with low financing fees, and for folks who would rather skip the credit check all together there's a plan that will still offer competitive financing rates. For some phones, these plans will require a down payment. These down-payments will start at $25. Full details will follow in a Leap Wireless (Cricket's parent company) press release.

In addition to the phone payment options, Cricket also announced a major update to the Muve Music service. The new 4.0 version of the service will feature a new user interface to access all the features, and subscribers will no longer need to have a special SD card to use the music service. The new Muve Music 4.0 will first be available on the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Samsung Galaxy S4, the Samsung Galaxy Discover and the Samsung Galaxy Admire 2. Other devices will follow later in the year.

For more details, visit the Leap Wireless site below.

Source: Leap Wireless

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4 years ago

US Cellular to once again require contracts for existing customer upgrades

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Carrier changes its 'Belief' system in favor of contracts and restocking fees starting this month

Back in 2010, U.S. Cellular surprised many of us by announcing 'The Belief Project' -- a new, novel policy that gave existing customers increased freedom by no longer requiring that they sign a contract for phone upgrades. Only an initial contract was required to be signed by new customers; after that, subscribers could upgrade contract-free indefinitely. At the time, this was unheard of as far as the 'Big Four' carriers were concerned.

Ironically, as other carriers begin to move away from subscriber contracts, U.S. Cellular has decided that contracts are the best way "to invest in improving our customer experience." Beginning later this month, any existing U.S. Cellular customers who use an available upgrade to purchase a subsidized device will be required to sign a 2-year service contract. Also changing is the '15-Day Excellence Guarantee' policy, with customers now being charged a $35 restocking fee when a device is returned within the initial 15 day period.

How do U.S. Cellular customers feel about these new (or old, depending on how you look at it) changes? Sound off in the comments.

Source: Engadget

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 in Canada becomes next in line for a software update

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Galaxy S4 model SGH-M919V gets update that includes Apps2SD support

Continuing to make the rounds -- this time in Canada -- model variant SGH-M919V of the Galaxy S4 has begun its over-the-air update rollout. Reports of receiving this update are not widespread just yet, but users on carrier-branded phones in Canada are likely to start seeing the update notification very soon.

The firmware version for this new update is M919VVLUAMG1, and reportedly includes the following changes:

  • Apps2SD
  • Some new icons in the settings
  • Additional 'Smart Pause' button in quick settings
  • Stability improvements
  • Upgrades the camera firmware.
  • Storage shown as 16GB now, but 6.38 GB is occupied by System memory under 'Misc'

Screenshots of the update are also available. For the screenshots -- as well as the original forum post -- see the source link below.

Thanks arjunamin! More: XDA Deveopers

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4 years ago

Google schedules Android event for July 24

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Invites are going out for a Google event in San Francisco, Calif. next Wednesday, July 24. Dubbed "breakfast with Sundar Pichai," the event will likely cover new developments in Android or Chrome, the two product areas Pichai now oversees. The event will also be livestreamed on YouTube for those who can't be there.

On the Android side, we're expecting the arrival of a new OS version — version 4.3 — and possibly a new ASUS-built Nexus tablet along with it. There's also the possibility that the newly-Googlified Motorola could drop in to show off its new Moto X handset.

Whatever happens, we'll be live from San Francisco next Wednesday to bring you full coverage.

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4 years ago

Phone Wars: In the fight for the cloud, who wins? - Talk Mobile

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You have the ultimate device with the ultimate software. There's just one thing missing: something to which you'll connect once you get to that great wide information superhighway. We need services.

On a base level, a service is pretty much anything that feeds content to an application. That can be as simple as a Google log-in on a third party site, or as complex as a continuous client that's kept in sync across multiple devices in real time.

4 years ago

Nexus 7 sequel pricing leaks - 16GB for $229, 32GB for $269

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The Nexus 7 refresh finds its way into retail inventory software, we hope that means it soon finds its way into our hands

While we still can't say for sure when the Nexus 7 refresh will be available, we now have a pretty good idea what it will cost. In this leaked inventory screen, we see listings for both the 16GB version, priced at $229, and the 32GB version, checking in at $269. Those prices aren't bad at all, as the rumored specs for these show a Snapdragon 600 processor, 5MP camera, and possibly a 1080p display.

Both models are simply listed as quad-core, so there is no new information on that front. We also see that zero units of either size are in inventory at this particular ninja's location right now.

With retail locations getting ready for inventory of the new Nexus 7, the wait can't be very much longer. That's a good thing, because we're getting excited for some new Nexus gear, and possibly the launch of Android 4.3 to go with it.

Thanks, Anon!

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia SP hitting Canada this summer

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Sony mid-ranger coming to Rogers, Fido, Virgin

A quick heads-up for Sony fans in Canada — the Japanese manufacturer's current mid-range offering, the Xperia SP, will be headed to Canadian shores this summer. A Sony press release brings word that Rogers, Fido and Virgin will range the device, which packs a 4.6-inch 720p display, a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 1GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel Exmor RS camera.

We recently reviewed the Xperia SP and found it to be a decent mid-ranger, though one with a few niggling issues concerning performance and display quality.

There's no specific release date for the Xperia SP in Canada, however Sony did confirm that it'll be offering the black version of the phone in the Canadian market.

More: Sony Xperia SP review

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4 years ago

Sprint's HTC One getting an update for HD Voice

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If you've got an HTC One on Sprint, be on the lookout for a little update starting today. Sprint's pushing software version 1.31.651.2 that has an "HD Voice enhancement" and fixes things so Sprint's ringtones will show up in the ringtones list. HD Voice, of course, requires you to be speaking to someone else who has an HD Voice-capable phone. 

Keep an eye out for it any time now.

Source: Sprint; via HTC One (Sprint) forums

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