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4 years ago

AT&T Sony Xperia TL Jelly Bean update now rolling out

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Following in the footsteps of its international cousin, the Sony Xperia T, AT&T's Xperia TL is now being updated to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. In addition to the underlying OS update and all the performance and feature improvements it brings, TL owners will get a new and improved camera app with "Superior Auto" mode, a redesigned home screen launcher and a new lock screen setup. (All features from Sony's latest handset, the Xperia Z.)

Based on our recent hands-on time with Jelly Bean on the Xperia T, we'd say TL owners will want to grab this update as soon as possible. There are no reports of the new firmware heading out over-the-air just yet, but it is available as a manual update through Sony's PC Companion app.

Any Xperia TL owners out there? Hit the comments and let us know how you get on with this latest update.

Source: XDA

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4 years ago

Runtastic adds Timer to their app portfolio, not just a stopwatch

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Anyone into exercising apps will likely have heard of Runtastic. Their portfolio of exercise focused apps is quite, quite excellent combining superb functionality with excellent design. The latest app to join the collection is called Timer. But, it isn't just a stopwatch. 

Timer is customizable to assist you to break down your work outs into sections. You enter the duration you desire for preparation, rest periods and working out, along with the number of repetitions and sets. Timer then counts down through each portion, with the option of voice feedback to notify you when you have reached the end. Voice output currently is available in five languages. Users on Jelly Bean can also take advantage of a notification that contains a pause and stop button as well as a visual countdown clock. 

The app itself is a free download from the Google Play Store, but for a relatively small in-app purchase of £0.85/€0.99 you can create unlimited timers and remove the ads. It's another job well done from the Runtastic team, and we've captured a few in-app screenshots for you after the break.

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4 years ago

NVIDIA shows off previous PS3 only title Burn Zombie Burn! running on Project Shield

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NVIDIA just this week showed off some impressive screenshots and gameplay video of new Tegra 4 optimized games, and now we've got a look at one of them running on Project Shield. Burn Zombie Burn!, previously a PS3 only title, has been ported over directly by NVIDIA to run on Project Shield with a Tegra 4 processor, and seems to perform exceptionally well. On top of just the basic game port, the team has apparently enhanced the game further, with new graphical flourishes and improvements.

Not only do controls work great because of the relatively similar layout to a console controller, but everything seems to run graphics-wise without a hiccup as well. Check out the video above to see Project Shield in action with this title, and if you want more information you can see NVIDIA's blog post at the source link below.

Source: NVIDIA

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4 years ago

HTC user experience director on 'redefining' HTC Sense

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The release of the HTC One and Sense 5 is a significant milestone for HTC. Gone are the days of iterative development and evolving HTC's user interface, and we're going to see a complete redesign. Some folks will hate it, some folks will love it, and some will dismiss it without ever using it -- the Internet is a fickle beast. All of us here are in agreement that it certainly looks interesting, and will be well worth a close look. The only thing anyone can be sure of is that the HTC One will certainly usher in a new era of HTC design, both in the hardware and the software. 

Drew Bamford, Director of User Experience at HTC, has spent time with the new Sense 5. Probably more time than we can imagine. He took to the HTC blog today to talk a little about it, and the challenges of coming up with something new in an age when we've seen it all.

According to Bamford, research discovered three consistent things that needed considered before he and his team dove in and revamped Sense.

  • Most people don’t differentiate between apps and widgets.
  • Widgets aren’t widely used – weather, clock and music are the most used and after that, fewer than 10% of customers use any other widgets.
  • Most of you don’t modify your home screens much. In fact, after the first month of use, approximately 80% of you don’t change your home screens any more.

That meant a big overhaul was needed instead of the small polishing updates to Sense we've seen since the HTC Hero

It looks like they have accomplished just that. The BlinkFeed home screen borrows design elements from elsewhere and brings them to Sense 5 with a distinctive HTC look. Other changes, like the Zoe feature and a revolutionary new camera work with BlinkFeed to tie it all together in a way we've not seen before. Nobody can say how successful it will be, but we can get a little insight into just how the Sense team was inspired to build it. It's an interesting read, and even if you're not excited about the HTC One and Sense 5 you should give it a look. 

Source: HTC blog

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4 years ago

Where's the 'Wow!'? – Motorola purchase is a long-term plan, Google's CFO reminds

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This is the company that brought us Google Maps, driverless cars and Google Glass — see any of that in these phones?

Patrick Pichette said nothing shocking. Google's Chief Financial officer did not put his foot in his mouth. He didn't slam Motorola Mobility, the company Google acquired in 2012, as being lazy or incapable or inept or unable to make a quality smartphone that people would want to buy.

No, when Pichette spoke today at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference (as relayed by The Verge), he simply reminded us of the truth. In fact, he didn't really say anything new. Motorola has current manufacturing obligations that must be met. (When companies don't do that, bad things happen.) And those current obligations, while serving some sort of purpose in the smartphone world (save for that pink RAZR MAXX HD, perhaps), simply aren't up to what folks in Mountain View would consider a "wow" product.

None of this should surprise anyone in the slightest.

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4 years ago

HTC Zoe Share site goes live to show off new HTC One camera feature

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HTC has been pushing the new camera features included in Sense 5, and one of the most interesting ones (pardon the pun) is HTC Zoe. It's honestly not the easiest thing to explain, and is best seen in its full form, which HTC is helping out with by putting up its "HTC Zoe Share" site today for all to see. The basic idea is to take multiple pictures and video clips at the same time, and then let the software stitch them, add filters, transitions and music. The end result is likely to make a more enjoyable piece of footage than what you'd normally get out of a smart phone camera.

Head to the source link below to see one of the headline Zoes from the HTC One launch event, which shows off what this feature is capable of. The entire piece is just 30 seconds (as Zoes will be), but tells a bit of a story in just a short time. We can only imagine what some real artists will be able to do with this once it hits consumer's hands.

Stick with us after the break to see our hands-on with the HTC One as well, where Phil makes his best attempt at explaining how to use the new Zoe feature.

Source: HTC Zoe Share; via HTC Source

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4 years ago

ZEN & TECH 53: Fitness month balance special

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Georgia and Rene finish up Mobile Nations Fitness Month by talking about balance. Exercise, nutrition, and sleep are great, but how do you fit them into your hectic work, school, and family life? Find out!

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4 years ago

Real Racing 3 hits the Play Store with new freemium model

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The much-awaited release of Real Racing 3 from EA has finally come, and it's sticking with the freemium model that has received much attention leading up to the release. The game certainly looks fantastic from a graphical standpoint, and the gameplay seems to be top notch like previous editions in the series as well. What's keeping people cautious is the new freemium model, which lets anyone play for free but will require in-app purchases to get in-game actions like car repairs finished faster. There's a store to buy in-game currency at different rates, or you can buy "Packs" at a discount that have different unlocks bundled together. It's certainly interesting, but probably won't appeal to those who would prefer to have a single purchase up-front to unlock everything.

The game is just a small download from the Play Store, but you should have some battery and a stable network connection available when you launch it to download all of the additional content. Even with no game saves, the entire package is weighing in at about 1.2GB.

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4 years ago

ASUS MeMo Pad Smart 10 review

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ASUS is looking to bring down the cost of owning a full-featured 10-inch tablet, but can it overcome the inherent issues with the form factor?

When it comes to 10-inch Android tablets, there's no doubt that ASUS has been leading the pack when it comes to features, build quality and choice of form factors. From the Google-sanctioned Nexus 7 to the highest end Transformer Pad Infinity, the manufacturer surely knows it's stuff. While other manufacturers seem to make Android tablets as an afterthought, ASUS puts a lot of weight behind its entire tablet lineup.

With this, the MeMo Pad Smart 10 (and smaller brother the 7-inch MeMo Pad), ASUS is hoping to offer the same appealing package of quality specs and build of its high-end devices, but cut back in just a few areas to make it more affordable. The MeMo Pad Smart 10 is retailing at just $299, which certainly sounds like a great deal, so stick around after the break and see how it holds up.

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4 years ago

OUYA ships to Kickstarter backers on March 28

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OUYA -- the $99 Android gaming console that started all kinds of fires on Kickstarter, eventually earning some $8.5 million in pledges -- today announced that consoles will begin shipping to backers on March 28. Production is well under way, the company said, with a full launch scheduled for June, when the console also will be available in stores.

OUYA has already shipped more than 1,200 developer consoles. (That's what you see here -- production units will look a little different.)

The company has also said that it plans to release a new version of the console each year.

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4 years ago

Adaptxt Keyboard: clean and customizable for just 99 cents

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One of the best features of Android is that different portions of the interface can be changed to the user's liking, especially the keyboard. Even with drastic improvements in the stock Android keyboard in the last few iterations, one size certainly doesn't fit all. If you're considering trying out replacement keyboards on your phone or tablet, Adaptxt Keyboard should be on the list for your consideration.

Read on past the break to learn a little more about Adaptxt Keyboard and how it could be the next keyboard you choose to use.

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4 years ago

HTC confirms some current devices will get Sense 5, or at least parts of it

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Don't get too excited yet, however; details still loom

HTC overnight on its Facebook page publicly confirmed what it first told us some weeks ago (and that we've largely expected anyway) -- that some current phones will receive updates that contain some features of Sense 5, which will make its debut in the coming weeks on the new HTC One.

Devices specifically mentioned were the HTC One X, One X+ and One S -- from the original "HTC One" line of 2012 -- as well as the HTC Butterfly, which was the first 1080p display phone that emerged late in the year.

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4 years ago

T-Mobile says LTE network now complete in Las Vegas, Kansas City

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In its Q4 2012 results, T-Mobile had some interesting notes on the deployment of its LTE network -- mainly that the network is now "completed" in both Las Vegas and Kansas City, Missouri. The network rollout has now apparently been accelerated, and T-Mobile is projecting it will reach 100 million people with LTE by mid-2013, with more than 200 million being covered by the end of this year. Las Vegas and Kansas City are great test locations, but with these lofty projections they're going to have to light up LTE in the big population centers quickly as well.

Additionally, T-Mobile took time to tout some numbers about its current HSPA+ footprint. Several new areas are moving to 1900MHz today, including Orlando, FL and Richmond, VA. The carrier states that 225 million people are now covered with its HSPA+ service, with 144 million being covered by the new 1900MHz service. These two rollouts go hand-in-hand, as T-Mobile will need the AWS (1700/2100MHz) spectrum freed up by the HSPA+ move to 1900MHz in order to completely roll out LTE.

It comes as a bit of a surprise that T-Mobile has fully completed two city-wide networks before a single consumer device with LTE has even been announced, but it's good to see that the network is being built out quickly in anticipation of a launch. Current rumor pegs March 27th for the launch of several LTE-enabled devices on the network, and hopefully T-Mobile will have more cities to announce at that time as well.

Source: T-Mobile

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4 years ago

T-Mobile Q4 2012 results: $4.9 billion revenue, data and prepaid ARPU up

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T-Mobile has just posted its Q4 2012 operating results, with $4.9 billion in revenue, net customer additions of 61,000 and contract customer churn of 2.5-percent. Overall, it seems to have been a positive quarter for the carrier. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • $4.9 billion in revenue for the quarter, down 5.2-percent year-over-year
  • 61,000 net customer additions for the quarter, up from 512,000 lost in Q4 2011
  • Net income of just $24 million, mostly due to high marketing and capital expenditures
  • Branded contract churn of 2.5-percent, down 50 basis points y-o-y
  • Branded prepaid revenue of $474 million, up 35-percent y-o-y

The results were again a bit of a mixed bag for T-Mobile as the nation's 4th place carrier pushes with its strategy to stop contract subsidies and launch an LTE network. Branded contract ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) fell 4.7-percent y-o-y to $55.47, mostly due to high adoption of Value Plans which have lower service revenues. T-Mobile claims a full 30-percent of its customers are now on subsidy-free Value Plans, up 1.6 million in the quarter.

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4 years ago

Google working on experimental 3.8 Linux kernel for Android

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Google has opened a public kernel repository, marked as experimental, for the Linux 3.8 kernel. The kernel repo is built from the standard Linux kernel, with Android modifications added by the folks in Mountain View working on the Android project. 

The reason this is good news? 3.8 includes three important and interesting changes for mobile devices -- support for open source NVIDIA Tegra and Samsung Exynos DRM drivers, support for the Flash-Friendly File-System, and a lower memory footprint -- in some cases much lower. Having native support means less development time by Google or anyone else building the kernel for Android, and everyone loves more memory for apps instead of the system.

It's important to realize that this is by no means official support. Currently, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean ships with the 3.4 kernel on the Nexus 4, but versions 3.0 and 3.3 are supported as well for other Jelly Bean devices. Maybe we'll see 3.8 in the next version of Android.

Source: Phoronix

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