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4 years ago

Pushing buttons vs. Tapping pixels: The great keyboard debate - Talk Mobile

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If you're reading this on a desktop or laptop computer, more likely than not there's a hardware keyboard sitting between you and the screen. If you're reading this on a smartphone or tablet, chances are there's not a hardware keyboard within the reach of your fingers. There was a time when hardware keyboards dominated the smartphone landscape, but in recent years they’ve been all but pushed out of contention.

4 years ago

HP drops price on the Slate 7 tablet to $140

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The HP Slate 7 Android tablet didn't quite make our list of the best Android tablet for the price — that prize still goes to the Nexus 7 — but it's a wee bit more palatable now that HP has shaved $30 off the top. You get that discount up front, too, which always is a bonus.

That doesn't necessarily make it a better tablet, though. "In reality its an amalgamation of miscalculations that come out as a disaster of a device and a waste of silicon and dollars" is how our own Derek Kessler put things in his official review

If you're looking for an inexpensive Android tablet, well, the Slate 7 fits that bill. But for another $60, you can still get so much more.

More: HP Slate 7

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4 years ago

Sony Smartwatch 2 coming July 15, says UK retailer

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Clove expects first stock in just over a week, priced at £120

Announced on June 25 along with the Xperia Z Ultra, the new Sony Smartwatch 2 features NFC pairing support, as well as the ability to remote-control certain apps on supporting Android smartphones. It's just one of the many Android-connected (or perhaps even Android-based) wearable devices expected this year.

But Sony's offering, it seems, will be among the first to arrive, as UK retailer Clove Technology has today revealed that it'll begin stocking the Smartwatch 2 from July 15, priced at £120 inc. VAT (£100 exc. VAT).

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4 years ago

Don't miss it: The Falcon Pro interview with Joaquim Verges

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We've got a little treat for your podcasting pleasure this week. We've been inundated by holidays — both Canadian and American, plus one more that we're pretty sure Alex tried to make up and slip past us — so there's no live show this week. Instead, we're bringing you a sit-down with Joaquim Verges, developer of the excellent (and extremely popular) Twitter app Falcon Pro.

Find out where the app came from. Learn about its quick rise to becoming one of the top Android Twitter apps. And, yes, we cover how it became one of the first to hit (hard) against the new Twitter API rules that limit the number of users an app can have.

Mad props to Joaquim for hanging out with us. You can download Falcon Pro at getfalcon.pro, and find more info in Joaquim's announcement on Google+. Enjoy the podcast, and we'll be back on a regular schedule next week.

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4 years ago

Galaxy S4 set to push Samsung to record-high Q2 profits

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Estimated figure still falls short of analyst expectations

Samsung has published its estimated Q2 2013 profits and sales figures, showing record-high operating profits of 9.5 trillion Korean won ($8.3 billion), an increase of 47 percent year-on-year. Second-quarter sales were estimated at 57 trillion won ($49.9 billion). The estimates come ahead of the publication Samsung's full Q2 results on July 26.

However both figures fell short of analysts' expectations, according to a report from Reuters. Averages from 43 polled analysts produced forecasts of 10.16 trillion won in operating profits and 58.7 trillion won in sales.

Samsung's strong Q2 follows the global launch of the Galaxy S4, which co-CEO JK Shin recently revealed has shipped 20 million units worldwide.

Source: Reuters

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4 years ago

Jay-Z's 'Magna Carta Holy Grail' now available on Samsung devices

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New album launches for S3, S4 and Note 2 users, but official app has severe stability issues 

In case you missed it, Jay-Z's new album Magna Carta Holy Grail is now available to download for free through an official Samsung-created app. As part of the promotion with Samsung, you'll need a Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2 or Galaxy S4 to get started. Then once you've signed in through Twitter or Facebook, you can choose to play through the app or download everything in MP3 format directly to your internal storage.

If you want to get your hands on the album without too much fuss you'll probably want to do the latter, as the app seems to have some serious stability issues.  Slow startups and frequent restarts and crashes are among the problems we've experienced, and there are plenty of folks on the Android Central forums having similar issues. If you do manage to get the app up and running properly, though, you'll get access to bonus content including lyrics and behind-the-scenes studio videos.

You can grab the app from the Google Play link above. Let us know how you get on down in the comments.

Source: Android Central forums

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4 years ago

HTC hits own Q2 revenue target, but June income slumps

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Profits fall 83 percent year-on-year in second quarter

HTC has announced its unaudited financial results for the second quarter of 2013, with total revenue reaching NT$70.7 billion ($2.35 billion). The Taiwanese manufacturer reported unaudited operating income of NT$1.05 billion ($35 million), net income before tax of NT$1.52 billion ($51 million) and net income after tax of NT$1.25 billion ($42 million). Unaudited earnings per share were reported at NT$1.50 ($0.05).

The numbers show that HTC met its own forecast of NT$70 billion in revenues, however Reuters reports that profits fell short of analysts' expectations of NT$2.02 billion. What's more, it's an 83 percent fall in profits for HTC compared to the same quarter last year. The monthly breakdown shows that HTC's revenues fell almost 24 percent to NT$22bn in June, after having risen to NT$29bn in May. The lower June numbers could represent a cool-off in the hype and publicity surrounding the HTC One, which launched in March in parts of Europe, and late April in the U.S. In addition, rival Samsung's new flagship handset the Galaxy S4 has been heavily promoted during this time.

Nevertheless, the numbers do shown a turnaround from the disastrous figures posted in Q1, which saw the company barely breaking even after posting its worst ever financial results. New products on the horizon for HTC include the Butterfly S for Asia, as well as the rumored One Mini and One Max, new variants of its flagship HTC One device. The manufacturer will be hoping that a fresh summer product line will help it maintain momentum in the third quarter.

Source: HTC, Reuters

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4 years ago

Just because you can reach me 24/7, doesn't mean you should!! - Talk Mobile

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It's a phrase we've all likely heard some time, possibly even direct at ourselves: "You have to know when to stop." The advice applied to ice cream, beer, risqué jokes, and physical exertion can also apply to mobile technology. With these connected devices rarely out of arm's reach, it's sometimes difficult to know when to stop.

4 years ago

Sony 'My Xperia' service rolling out worldwide

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Sony mobile security service going global 'over the next few weeks'

Following a limited beta rollout in Nordic countries earlier in the year, Sony's "My Xperia" security service for smartphones has begun rolling out globally. After listening to user feedback, Sony has finalized the service, and expects to enable it for 2012 and 2013 Xperia devices around the world "over the next few weeks."

My Xperia lets Sony phone owners locate and secure their devices in the event they're lost or stolen, using a web-based interface. From here, they can sound an alarm, even if the phone's set to silent mode, lock it to keep private information secured, or wipe the phone entirely.

The web interface is live now at myxperia.sonymobile.com.

Source: Sony Mobile Blog

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4 years ago

Making sense of the latest Android 'Master Key' security scare

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No spin, no bullshit, just clear simple talk about what's going on this time

Some real talk about this exploit that the Bluebox security team discovered is needed. The first thing to know is that you’re probably affected. It’s an exploit that works on every device that’s not been patched since Android 1.6. If you’ve rooted and ROM'd your phone, you can freely ignore all of this. None of this counts for you, because there is a whole different set of security concerns that comes with root and custom ROMs for you to worry about.

If you don’t have the infamous “Unknown Sources” permission box checked off in your settings, this all means nothing to you. Carry on, and feel free to be a little smug and self-righteous — you deserve it for eschewing sideloading all this time in case something like this could happen. If you don't know what this means, ask someone

For the rest of us, read past the break.

More: IDG News Service.

Special thanks to the whole Android Central Ambassador team for helping me make sense of this!

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4 years ago

'Double speed' EE 4G launched in 12 UK cities

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Download speeds of 40Mbps or more enabled by new 2x20MHz LTE network

As promised, network operator EE has launched "double speed" 4G LTE in some twelve British cities today. The new, faster speeds are enabled by allocating more of EE's spectrum to its LTE network — it's now using 2x20MHz of 1800MHz spectrum instead of 2x10MHz. This brings theoretical transfer rates of up to 150Mbps, with real world speeds averaging around 30-40Mbps. In practice we've seen download speeds regularly hit 40-50Mbps in London and Manchester, with throughput reaching highs of 78-79Mbps in some areas.

The new "double speed" 4G is available today in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield, with Derby and Nottingham being two last-minute additions to the list.

If you're on EE in any of these cities, be sure to run a speed test or two and let us know if you're seeing faster transfer rates.

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4 years ago

White Nexus 4 now sold out on Google Play

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White N4 'no longer available for sale,' says Google Play Store

Once an elusive beast captured only in blurry-cam photos from far corners of the world, it seems the white Nexus 4 has disappeared back into the shadows, at least for the moment. The device is now sold out on the U.S. Google Play Store, where both the 8 and 16-gigabyte versions are marked as "no longer available for sale." So if you're after a Nexus in this exclusive color, you'll have to look a little further afield — various sellers are still listing the device on eBay, for instance.

The white Nexus 4 hasn't been offered for sale through Google Play outside of the United States, though an LG press release did state that it'd be heading to "Asia, Europe and the Middle East" in addition to North America. Despite this, the white version has been hard to track down in many countries — and LG UK wasn't able to confirm to us whether the device would ever hit British shores.

The Nexus 4 is of course still available to buy in the original black color.

More: White Nexus 4 hands-on

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Ridiculously hard running simulation game 'QWOP' lands on Google Play for $0.99

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Well-known developer Noodlecake Studios is bringing the hilariously fun running game QWOP to the Google Play Store. Following up on its long-time success as a web game and more recently an iOS title, QWOP will hit Android with a full set of features including different game modes, leader boards and group competitions. If you're not familiar with the game, QWOP got its start as a running simulation game on the web that used the Q, W, O and P keys (get it?) on the keyboard to control a runner. It sounds easy, but in practice is hilariously hard to master. The game transitions the controls slightly to fit onto the mobile space, using the device's accelerometer to control the player's leaning, and two touch pads on-screen to control the legs.

The new Android version is also fully integrated with Google Play Game Services, meaning that you can link your Google+ account to the game to track achievements, leader boards and get group games going. You will get to test your skills at 100m, Hurdles, Long Jump, Steeplechase and the 50km Walk -- but don't expect to get too far without some serious practice. You can give the game a try on the web at the link below, or wait for the game to go live tomorrow for $0.99.

More: QWOP on the web

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4 years ago

The Droid RAZR HD and RAZR HD MAXX are ready for another soak test

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Verizon's Droid RAZR HD and Droid RAZR HD MAXX have something cooking up in Motorola's ovens, and emails are going out to potential testers right about now. Users who participate in the Motorola Feedback program and have one of the mentioned handsets are receiving instructions how to register to be included in the upcoming software test, and we imagine quite a few will be saying yes.

For those not familiar with the term, a soak test is one of the final steps where something (in this case software) is tested by a wide range of users under many different conditions. Think of it as sort of a stress test so developers know how things will stand up with continuous use. If you're thinking that sometimes it's not very fun to participate in something like this, you're absolutely right.

Anyhoo, the test emails are going out but we've no idea exactly what is being soaked, erm, tested. It could be Android 4.2.2, or it could be another bug fixing maintenance update to correct issues from the last bug fixing maintenance update -- this sort of thing can be a never ending circle. We'll know more when the participants start to receive the software, because some secrets are too good not to tell.

Thanks to our anonymous tipsters!

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4 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: What is your top social networking feature?

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We've been talking social networking all week here at Mobile Nations, and with close to a Billion Android devices out there, we know the social networks are filled with plenty of Android users. And we have plenty of choice about which social networks we want to use.

While using the same network as our friends is probably the biggest deciding factor, there are other reasons why we pick the service we want to use as our virtual soapbox. Some people have very valid privacy concerns. Others are more interested in the best way to share the pictures and video they take. And some get hooked on the messaging or video chat services these platforms have to offer.

All the popular services are slowly beginning to resemble each other. Messengers, photo and video uploading and sharing, and contact management seem to be the popular issues people think about when they decide which service is the best for them. When we want to know what you guys and gals think, we ask. 

On the sidebar to the right, and after the break, you'll find this week's poll. Take a second and let us know what you think the most important feature of a good social network is. My answer? I share everything with the public. I don't need fancy privacy settings (though i appreciate that they are there) or contact management. My big feature is photo storage and sharing. Be sure to tell us what you want.

Before we go, let's revisit last week's poll.

Are you ordering a Google Play Edition phone?

Pretty convincing and expected result there. We knew going in that these weren't going to be mainstream devices, and your choice echoes that.

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