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4 years ago

Your daily (more or less) Talk Mobile Hangout!

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We're back with another one of those fancy Talk Mobile daily Hangouts!

On tap today: Why do we let smartphone notifications rule our lives? Join us ... NOW!

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4 years ago

HTC: No Android 4.2.2 update for HTC One S

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Aluminum-clad 4.3-incher 'will remain on the current version of Android and HTC Sense'

Bad news for HTC One S owners this afternoon, as HTC has confirmed to Android Central that the One S — one of its 2012 flagship devices — will not see any official upgrades beyond its current software version. That means as far as official firmware goes, users will remain on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and HTC Sense 4+ for the remainder of their devices' lives.

HTC's statement reads —

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4 years ago

Pebble Smart Watch appears on Best Buy website

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While many Kickstarter backers are still be waiting to receive the Pebble Smart Watch they bought and paid for, the device itself is headed to Best Buy

We heard rumors last night that the Pebble Smart Watch would be headed to Best Buy, and today we know the whole story. The Bluetooth powered smart watch will indeed be sold at Best Buy, and be available in stores July 7. The black version (already on the Best Buy website) will be for sale at first, with cherry red coming later in August.

The wearable, which will cost $150, connects with your Android or iOS device through Bluetooth and offers an interface to things like text messages and incoming calls. There are also available programming interfaces so things can be extended, and we expect more than a few applications for the smart watch will become available once it reaches more hands. Being available over the counter at a big box store will help make that happen.

We've reached out to the folks behind the Pebble, asking how this news will affect the people still waiting for the product they bought through Kickstarter. While not being able to fill demand is a problem many companies would like to have, you never want to leave a bad impression on your early adopters. 

I'll head over to my local Best Buy this Sunday and pick one of these up and see what the fuss is all about. What about you? Is the Pebble an accessory you're interested in using? Be sure to tell us the answer, and why you feel that way in the comments.

Source: Engadget

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4 years ago

Messaging overload: Why have we let notifications rule our lives? - Talk Mobile

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Sorting the signal from the noise is a major problem when it comes to mobile communication and social networking. As social networks grow, they become filled not only with real people, but also with advertisers and brands, and worse -- inundated with trolls, griefers, spammers, and more. You're forced to make a decision between a manageable existence where you can keep up with what's going on, or just accept the influx and go with the ever-quickening flow.

4 years ago

Google not changing privacy policy for Google Glass

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Concerns of user privacy and Google Glass seem to go hand in hand and the time for debate is now

Google has responded to Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas), co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus with a letter focusing on new privacy concerns that surround the wearable device. Of particular interest is Google's clear, yet controversial, privacy policy and if it would be amended or changed to deal with Google Glass

According to Google VP of public policy and government relations Susan Molinari, they have no plans to change anything and the existing privacy policy will remain in effect.

Use of Google Glass will be governed by the terms of the Google Privacy Policy and no changes to the Google Privacy Policy are planned for Glass.

Congressman Barton is disappointed, as he feels this doesn't address the way the new technology can affect the "social norms" as it changes the ways users interact with the public. 

We like to think that anyone buying into the wearable computing market would take a few moments and understand how their data is being used, plenty of people simply won't do so. Google has clarified their data privacy policy in the past, and the concise, simple language spells out what they can and will do with the information they collect from you.

We're not sure how things need to change to protect users of Google Glass, but we do know that now is the time to hash it all out. With wearable computing becoming a reality in the very near future, these concerns and others will need to be addressed by the people on both sides of the issue. 

Follow the source link for a PDF download of Google's four page letter to congress, and click here to read their existing privacy policies.

Source: Marketing Land

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4 years ago

Sphero is Amazon's Deal of the Day, on sale for $84.99

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You all know Sphero, the robotic ball that is controlled via your Android phone. If you've been curious about one of these but were hesitant about the price tag, you can get it discounted today for $84.99, marked down from $129.99, as it's Amazon's Deal of the Day.

As mentioned above, Sphero is a ball that is controlled with your mobile device, Android or iOS. There are many apps that you can download from Google Play to allow you to control your Sphero in a different way or play games.

At a price of $129, many were hesitant to commit to the purchase. A $50 discount is attractive and will likely lure many more to try the robotic ball. How about you guys, at this price, are you more likely to buy a Sphero?

Source: Amazon

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4 years ago

Get dedicated Tapatalk apps for all the Mobile Nations forums!

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Good news, everyone! We now have dedicated Tapatalk apps for all of your favorite Mobile Nations sites. That's your fast-track ticket to the forums of Android Central, CrackBerry, iMore and WPCentral — and they're all available now in Google Play.

(And for those who have asked, yes, we'd love to get some iOS action going on, but — surprise, surprise — Apple rejects anything that has to do with Android Central. Go figure.)

Here's where to get your download on:

And as always, don't forget to check out the Official Android Central app, which also gives you full access to the blog side of things in addition to podcasts, forums, wallpapers and more!

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini now available at Three UK

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Free on a £26 a month deal, or £349.99 on pay-as-you-go

One of Samsung's newest members of the Galaxy S4 family, the Galaxy S4 Mini, is now available to purchase from Three UK. The S4 Mini can be had for no initial payment on a new, two-year, £26 and above contract, or can be purchased on Three's new pay-as-you-go tariff for an outright payment of £349.99. 

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4 years ago

Motorola 'Droid Ultra' spotted on Motorola site

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Thin, Kevlar-clad device mentioned on apparent placeholder site

If you listened to Android Central podcast 139 a couple of weeks back, you might've caught our own Phil Nickinson talking about the Motorola Droid Ultra, Droid Ultra Mini and Droid Ultra Maxx, a new line of Moto-built, Verizon-bound phones. The Ultra, according to our source, was to pack a 5-inch screen and be even thinner than the original Droid RAZR. Check out the clip below.

Today we've got some of the first signs that of the "Ultra" line's existence, in the form of what seems to be a placeholder page on Motorola.com. Under the subheading "Think Thin," the Droid Ultra is described thusly —

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4 years ago

AT&T expands LTE network with nearly three dozen new or improved locations

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As it seems to do on a nearly weekly basis, AT&T is rolling out new or improved LTE service to 35 new markets across the United States, with expansion to a handful of others.

That brings AT&T's nationwide total to 326 markets.

It's a pretty sizable list, so we're going to do it all after the break. But users with LTE-capable devices and the proper provisioning on their account should see new coverage in the following markets:

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4 years ago

HTC One 4.2.2 OTA appears for international users in Taiwan

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465MB update delivers Android 4.2.2 and brings the death of the dreaded black bar

A user with an international model HTC One in Taiwan just sent in some good news -- the 4.2.2 OTA has arrived for his phone. Nothing in the way of a change log is available from HTC just yet, but the update screen tells us a little bit. Besides the new API level that comes with 4.2.2, HTC has included:

  • Launcher bar enhancement
  • Widget panel rearrangement
  • New lock screen style and widget
  • Enhanced behavior of the home button
  • The death of the black bar
  • Battery percentage in the status bar
  • Quick settings
  • AE/AF enhancements in the camera

So far the only reports are coming from the Taiwan area, and I've been trying every trick I know to force anything on my developer edition. This follows the same trend we've seen before with the One X, where Taiwan and Singapore were the first to get the goods. 

There's no telling when we'll see carrier versions of the update, but knowing that HTC is finished with it should make everyone breathe a little easier. Hit the break for some screenshots of the new features.

Thanks, Alex!

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4 years ago

Follow the AC crew on Google+

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You can find the whole Android Central family on Google+

Pick up that Android phone in front of you, or fish it out of your pocket. Chances are the Google+ app is installed. Here's a great way to get the best use out of it -- follow AC and the whole crew on Google+. You'll stay abreast of everything that's fit to print about Android, and it's the best way to shoot the breeze with any of us. There is also plenty of other talk going on about all of the current events, because none of us are what you would call shy.

We'll make it easy, here's a orderly bullet point list:

Like our fearless leader Crackberry Kevin (find him on Google+ here) said in today's Talk Mobile segment, social networking can be a huge time sink. You might as well have a good time doing it. 

We'll see you there!

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4 years ago

Facebook sharing your phone number sucks, but you gave it to them willingly

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When you willingly give your data away, you lose control of where it goes once it's no longer in your hands

Last week we told you about a bug on Facebook, where the popular social network ended up sharing some personal information with your friends. There's some more talk about it again today, as Symantec has stated that "the first time you launch the Facebook application, even before logging in, your phone number will be sent over the Internet to Facebook servers. You do not need to provide your phone number, log in, initiate a specific action, or even need a Facebook account for this to happen."

The thing is, if you installed the Facebook app, you agreed to give them this information. It spells it out in simple terms, and forced you to agree to it before you could download the app.

This doesn't excuse Facebook for the latest privacy gaffe, but it does highlight the need to look at those permissions -- and understand them -- for each and every app you install. They are all there, and if you come across something you don't understand there are plenty of people to help you figure it out in the forums.

We're not saying the Android permissions system is perfect. But it is there, and we have nobody to blame but ourselves when we agree to something we end up not liking.

Update: People are asking about the pre-installed version of Facebook on their carrier and OEM branded phones. When you set up your phone, or first use the app, you're given a link to the full set of Facebook policies, including their data use policy. If what data is being collected is important to you, that's readily available right from your phone settings. On your first trip to the Google Play store, you'll be asked to update to the Google Play version, which again reviews all of the app permissions. This information is there, you only need to read it.

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4 years ago

Firefox OS launches in Spain while Android reaches 70% market share

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Is Firefox OS and their shockingly inexpensive entry point the key to a strong number three mobile OS? 

The ZTE Open officially launches in Spain July 2. It's the first available consumer version of a Firefox OS device, and the Internet is buzzing about its debut. With good reason -- the phone will sell for $90, and include $39 of prepaid airtime. That makes it a $51 dollar smartphone, and will be an easy sell for all those feature phone users out there. We're looking to get one, if only to satisfy my own curiosity.

Meanwhile, Android has reached a 70-percent share of the global smart phone market. Android is especially strong in Europe, right where the ZTE Open is launching. That's a big Goliath to Mozilla's David, and in a world of cheap prepaid Android phones can the fledgling Firefox OS compete? It's all going to come down to one thing -- the apps.

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