4 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S4 Developer edition goes on sale for $650


For sale directly through Samsung with no Verizon subsidy available

A few weeks ago we learned that Samsung was planning to bring a Developer Edition of the Galaxy S4 to both AT&T and Verizon customers.The Verizon handset has gone on sale first, and is available through Samsung starting today for $649.99. Since this version is only available through Samsung, there will be no subsidy for those looking to use their Verizon upgrades.

This version of the Galaxy S4 will be virtually identical to the version available through Verizon, with the important difference of shipping with an unlocked bootloader. This will enable users to install custom software on their devices right out of the box. However, with bootloader unlocking methods already available for the Verizon and AT&T versions of Galaxy S4, the value of a factory unlocked bootloader is arguable. It is worth noting that supporting developer editions such as this is important to ensure their continued future existence, especially when the day may come that Samsung bootloaders do not have unlocking methods available.

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4 years ago

Humble Bundle 6 adds 3 more games to the list


Donate over the average to get 10 DRM-free Android games in total

The fantastic donation-based game purchasing program Humble Bundle is expanding the offerings for Humble Bundle 6 to include 3 more games at no additional cost. If you haven't purchased a Humble Bundle before, the model is as follows -- donate any amount to unlock some of the games, and donate over the average to unlock all of the games available. For this sixth iteration of Humble Bundle there are 5 games available at any donation -- Pulse, Stealth Bastard Deluxe, Organ Trail: Director's Cut, Fractal and Aquaria -- and now a whole 5 more for donating over the average -- Broken Sword: Directors Cut, Frozen Synapse, McPixel, Waking mars and NighSky HD.

The current average donation is just $4.69 to unlock all 10 games, which is a ridiculous deal. All games are DRM-free and come with Steam access codes to play on the desktop (when available) along with access to the game soundtracks for free as well. Best of all your donations go to charity as well as the developers, which makes spending a few dollars on some great games a no-brainer.

More: Humble Bundle 6

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4 years ago

T-Mobile HTC One S update fixes Jelly Bean battery life


OTA notifications start today, along with a manual update path

Since T-Mobile updated the HTC One S to Android 4.1.1 back in April, many users have seen a noticeable drop-off in battery life. This unfortunate bug soured an otherwise much anticipated update for One S owners who waited patiently on Ice Cream Sandwich for many months.

The newest update -- bringing the software version up to 3.14.531.17 70RD -- is solely focused on fixing the lower battery life caused by the update to Jelly Bean. Those wishing to update need to already be on software version 3.14.531.11 710RD, have a device that is not rooted, and ensure they have at least a 50% charge before beginning the update.

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4 years ago

Sprint shareholders give final blessing to Softbank merger


An overwhelming 98 percent of voters welcome the deal with the Japanese carrier

The ongoing saga of the fight for Sprint's hand in marriage is coming to a close, with a single suitor finally able to close the deal. Today, Sprint shareholders voted in an overwhelming majority to approve the merger between Sprint and Japanese carrier Softbank. 98 percent of voters were in favor of the deal, representing 80 percent of the outstanding common stock.

Talks of a significant investment from Softbank were initially confirmed by Sprint in October of last year. This was followed by a slightly larger offer from competing investor Dish Network in April of 2013. After the recent decision by Dish not to invest in Sprint, but instead only focus on a separate offer for Clearwire, Softbank emerged as the victor. Sprint believes this marriage with Softbank "should enhance Sprint’s long-term value and competitive position by creating a company with greater financial flexibility."

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4 years ago

Press is still the best for RSS on Android after moving to Feedly


Google Reader is going away, but Press is here to stay and integrates perfectly with new services

When Google casually noted that it would shut down its RSS aggregation service Reader back in March, news apps that relied on it as a backbone were left scrambling. As alternative services to Google Reader such as Feedly and Feed Wrangler popped up on the scene, a few of the aforementioned apps pivoted quickly to integrate the new services. We gave one of such apps, Press, the review treatment as a Google Reader client back in December and came away extremely impressed with its design and performance.

Even though Google Reader will close its doors on July 1st, Press lives on as a fantastic RSS client that will work with (among other systems) the Feedly account you may have set up to save yourself from losing everything. The developers have made some great settings and user interface improvements along the way as well, so let's take a refreshed look at Press.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with Android 4.2.2 for the Sony Xperia ZL


Several subtle but noticeable changes create an overall improved experience

In case you missed it, Sony started pushing out an Android 4.2.2 update to its Xperia ZL (and now Xperia Z) handsets, including the unlocked LTE model available in the U.S. market. We have loaded up the update on our own ZL, and wanted to give a quick look at everything that has changed both user-facing and under the hood.

Hang with us after the break where we break down the changes that come with an update to Android 4.2.2 on the Sony Xperia ZL, one of the few devices currently available with the software.

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4 years ago

YouView launches first Android app, TV guide and remote record included


Check the schedules and set your YouView box to record with this handy Android app

YouView TV customers in the UK now have their very own Android app to download that gives them a couple of great features to add to their overall TV watching experience. The new app gives full 7-day listings for the 70 or so channels offered by YouView, and by connecting the app to your box you can also take full advantage of the remote record feature. Remote record requests need to be submitted around 15 minutes ahead of time, but when you're out of the house it's a fantastic feature to have at hand. 

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4 years ago

Verizon's Casio G'zOne Commando follow-up adds LTE data


Verizon this morning announced the second generation of the horribly named Casio G'zOne Commando, adding 4G LTE data to the rugged Android smartphone.

It'll be available starting June 27 for $99 on a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate.

We've got full specs after the break.

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4 years ago

Grow Mobile launches a universal mobile app marketing platform for Android


Game and app developers have a lot to consider when choosing to market their products through in-game/app advertising. Which advertising networks reach the most users? Who gives developers the best deal? If a developer decides to use multiple ad networks, tracking and comparing the results of each network becomes a time consuming task of its own.

San Francisco-based startup Grow Mobile seeks to reduce all those headaches with the launch of their new mobile app marketing platform. Grow Mobile’s platform has just completed a successful closed beta, and today it becomes publicly available to Android and iOS developers. By providing a single cohesive dashboard and single integration for developers’ apps, Grow believes that developers who sign on will be able to market their products more effectively and with fewer resources than before.

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Z Ultra hands-on


Sony enters the big leagues with a 6.44-inch screen and the latest Snapdragon 800 CPU

Sony hasn't always found itself ahead of the technological curve when it comes to smartphone internals. Often it's lagged a generation of so behind the competition, giving the likes of HTC and Samsung the first shot at releasing phones running the latest mobile chips. Yet here we sit with one of the very first Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 devices, and above its ginormous screen sits a Sony logo.

Say hello to the Xperia Z Ultra.

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4 years ago

Rdio updates its family plans, now allows up to five on one subscription


Most expensive plan now $32.99 per month, limit increased from three people to five

Rdio, the popular music streaming service, has updated their family subscription plans to now allow up to five people to subscribe for one monthly payment. The previous plans only allowed for three different people, but thankfully those with slightly larger families can now take advantage. 

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Z Ultra heading to Three UK


UK carrier has confirmed they will be carrying the Ultra on their Ultrafast network

There's a whole lot of ultra going on at Three UK this morning. The UK carrier has announced they will be offering the brand new Sony Xperia Z Ultra on their Ultrafast network. And, that's about all we do know. They have talked about all-you-can-eat data, so it's presumable that you'll be able to pick the Ultra up on Three's highly competitive One Plan. Three is the first out of the gate with an announcement for Sony's new 6.4-inch goliath, and we're sure they won't be the last. 

Source: Three

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4 years ago

Sony announces the stylus-friendly, 6.4-inch Xperia Z Ultra with Snapdragon 800


Sony today at Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai entered the world of the gianormous smartphone with the oversized, ultra-powered (and aptly named) Xperia Z Ultra.

The Xperia Z Ultra is a 6.4-inch monster with a 1080p display that works with a stylus (or any pencil, Sony says), runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and is powered by Qualcomm's latest, the Snapdragon 800 processor. Sony is heralding the phone as the "world's slimmest and largest full HD smartphone." At 6.5 mm, it's not quite as thin as the 6.18 mm Huawei Ascend P6 we got a look at last week, that's where the "largest full HD smartphone" comes in. (The full press release, which you can read after the break, is loaded with such caveats.)

Other specs of note include an 8-megapixel camera, a 3,000 mAh battery and 16 gigabytes of internal storage, with about 11 GB available to the user, and a microSD card slot for extra space. (Props to Sony for being up-front about the usable storage space.) It's loaded with Sony customizations and entertainment options.

The Xperia Z Ultra will be available in the third quarter (which starts next week, by the way), in black, white or purple.

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4 years ago

Sony's next-gen SmartWatch adds NFC


Sony was one of the first to enter the Android wearable game, and today at Asia Mobile Expo in Shanghai it announced the SmartWatch 2.

Sporting a 1.6-inch face at a 220-by-176 resolution (that's about 176 pixels per inch), the SmartWatch 2 can serve as a standalone watch when not connected to a phone. But pair it to a phone and you've got a quick and easy way to glance at notifications, control your music player, take pictures, control presentations, interact with fitness apps — oh, and it can tell time, too. In addition to NFC capability for easier pairing, this latest version boasts a water-resistant design (splash-proof, really — you won't want to wear this thing in the water) and runs for three or four days with normal use, Sony says.

The SmartWatch 2 is compatible with any standard 24mm band, and Sony says it'll have its own custom bands available down the road. It'll be available worldwide in September.

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Z Ultra specs


Snapdragon 800, 6.44-inch Triluminos display and Android 4.2 make the Z Ultra a beast of a smartphone

Sony's just made official its latest high-end handset, the Xperia Z Ultra, a device which straddles the line between smartphones and tablets with a 6.44-inch screen. The star of the show is Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 800 chip, which combines a 2.2GHz quad-core Krait 400 processor with the new Adreno 330 GPU.

On top of that there's a Full HD (1080p) "Triluminos" display, waterproof and dust-resistant credentials, and a chassis measuring in at 6.5mm thick. Also of note is the 8-megapixel rear camera and Android 4.2.2-based software.

We've got the broad strokes of the Xperia Z Ultra spec sheet and a few press shots for you after the break.

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