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4 years ago

UK retailer: Galaxy S4 pre-registrations 'four times' that of Galaxy S3

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UK mobile retailer the Carphone Warehouse has announced that it's received more than four times as much interest in the Galaxy S4 compared to last year's Galaxy S3. No specific numbers are revealed, but CPW said that pre-registration figures taken shortly after the Galaxy S4 announcement event were 446 percent of last year's Galaxy S3 pre-registrations.

Given Samsung's rise to Android dominance in the past year, we're not to surprised to see higher demand than ever for its upcoming flagship, and we're sure the company will have a big marketing push planned for next month's UK launch.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is due to go on sale in the UK from Apr. 25/26.

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4 years ago

AT&T brings LTE to several more markets

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There are still major markets in the U.S. that have yet to be touched by AT&T's LTE, but the number is dwindling further as the carrier adds several more markets this week. This group is mostly located in the Southeastern portion of the country:

  • Augusta, Georgia
  • Macon, Georgia
  • Cleveland, Tennessee
  • Dryersburg, Tennessee
  • Ripley, Tennessee
  • Sebring, Florida
  • Waterbury, Connecticut
  • Meriden, Connecticut

AT&T always likes to use these network launches to remind people of how much money it has been spending to keep the rollout going. This time around the carrier points out that it has spent several billion dollars across just this handful of states on its LTE launch. Network infrastructure isn't cheap, folks.

Source: AT&T(2); (3); (4); (5); (6)

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4 years ago

Jawbone UP companion app now available for Android

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Until today the Jawbone UP has been an iOS only affair if you want to take advantage of the mobile aspect, but that has changed with the release of the Android companion app. If you're not familiar with the device, it tracks sleeping and exercise habits, and when mated with your smartphone the companion application allows users to keep track of their diet as well, making it an all around fitness and health system.

The app has just now gone live in the Play Store for users to download, so head to the link at the top of this post to take a look.

Via: Engadget

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4 years ago

Facebook updates app again, this time properly through the Play Store

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Facebook puzzled many users last week when the app began updating on its own outside of the Play Store, and today it seems to be pushing the same update through the proper channels. The changelog is the same on this update as the one that was mysteriously hitting some users devices earlier. The update lets users change their profile pictures from the app, report posts for spam and manage group messaging better. This is also a very similar changelog to the official iOS Facebook app from yesterday.

Being such a small update with just a handful of features, we're still puzzled as to why Facebook tried to do things their own way the first time around. If you haven't been notified of the Play Store update just yet, you can grab it from the link at the top of this post.

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4 years ago

Amazon makes 'Send to Kindle' button available for web developers

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Amazon is rolling out a new feature today that lets web developers integrate a "Send to Kindle" button onto their websites. The button, much like the browser extensions before it, lets users send the page content to their Kindle account for reading later on other devices. Similar to the current Twitter, Facebook and Google+ buttons you see at the bottom of most website articles, Amazon is hoping developers will add in the "Send to Kindle" button as well. Articles saved with this method are then available for reading on any device -- Kindle or otherwise -- that has the Amazon Kindle app installed.

Considering the wide range of devices that Amazon has made its apps available on, these webpage buttons are likely to catch on quickly. For now, The Washington Post, TIME and Boing Boing have already integrated the buttons if you're curious about how they look and work. Be on the lookout for more sites to add them soon.

Source: Amazon; paidContent

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4 years ago

HTC One launch delayed, suppliers no longer see HTC as a 'tier-one' manufacturer

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The uphill battle for HTC continues. The proposed savior for the struggling company, the HTC One, now faces delays due to problems with component suppliers. The problem lies with one of the main selling points of the upcoming flagship phone - the "ultrapixel" camera. With the significant loss of profits and decrease in shipments HTC has had, an unnamed executive tells the WSJ that they are no longer considered a "tier-one" customer. This means they don't have the priority they once did with their parts suppliers, and are currently running short on components for the HTC One's camera and metal case.

It's worth noting that suppliers have not mentioned anything of the sort, and it's possible that frustrations have company executives a little emotional. This certainly seems the case with CEO Peter Chou, who The Verge tells us has stated he would step down if the HTC One "fails to become a hit with consumers". It's also hard to determine what a "hit with consumers" is. Focus Taiwan reports that pre-orders for the HTC One have exceeded the companies target, which sounds fairly successful to us. In short, we're not going to read too much into this one.

While there are still no concrete dates, HTC promises to start fulfilling pre-orders at the end of March in select markets, with a wider rollout scheduled for sometime in April. The HTC One's release is inching ever closer towards a confirmed release date of its strongest competitor, which could take away a much needed edge it would have with an earlier release.

Will fans wait it out through expected delays, or will we see potential buyers jumping ship for something else? Read the review and discuss in the forums.

Source: WSJ

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4 years ago

ZTE "Quantum" headed for Sprint?

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A new ZTE offering, tentatively named the Quantum, may be headed to a Sprint store near you. When compared to the recently released ZTE Force and upcoming ZTE Grand Memo, this looks to be a solid mid-tier phone. Labeled model number N8910, it is shown above sporting a 5" 720p screen with Android 4.1.2 and 4G LTE. Equipped with a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 and 1GB RAM, this phone won't be going up against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One, but will certainly be much easier on the wallet. On the front is a 0.9 MP camera, and bringing up the rear is a 13 MP shooter. Wifi 802.11b/g/n dual-band and NFC are also included, as well as a SIM card slot - making this a potential world phone.

According to Android Police, the N8910 recently received Wifi and DLNA certifications, which means we may see the Quantum sooner rather than later. For those Sprint subscribers balling on a budget, keep an eye out for this one.

Source: Android Police

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4 years ago

Swype beta 1.4.9 now available, brings bug fixes, new languages, and more responsive tapping

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There are plenty of great choices when it comes to a keyboard for your Android device, and Swype has long been a crowd favorite. Today's new beta update should please everyone who uses the original swiping keyboard, as the change log is chock full of improvements and fixes:

  • Advanced Language Models added for Hindi and Belgian Dutch
  • Responsiveness for tap input improved for all languages
  • Improved overall Smart Editor behavior and implemented some bug fixes
  • Fixed a Gingerbread crash that occurred when rotating device into landscape mode
  • Fixed miscellaneous crashes reported by the Beta community
  • Fixed an issue where default Android voice input ('mic'/'microphone') icon displayed instead of Dragon logo
  • Changed subtype text in notification drawer to be more accurate
  • Word Choice List behavior improved in Polaris Office
  • And many more bug fixes and improvements!

New language models are always welcome, and small fixes like errant microphone icons are nice, but crashes and bugs getting fixed and a more responsive input method is great news. 

Since Swype isn't in Google Play you'll need to manually install it from the link below to give it a try. If you're already using Swype, you should see an OTA in the next 72 hours if you don't want to manually update the app.

Source: Swype

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4 years ago

HTC One review

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HTC returns with a sleek aluminum design, re-imagined software and a bold new camera experience

SanDisk

We’re all out of poetic ways to describe HTC’s current situation. A frustrating 2012 saw some of the year’s best mobile hardware being met with declining sales and market presence for the Taiwanese manufacturer. Once the leader of the Android pack,  HTC is increasingly seen as an also-ran.

That, in part, was down to the confused marketing strategy around last year’s HTC One series. The One X and One S were soon joined by Ones V, VX, XL, XT, XC, SU, SV, SC, and X+, further diluting the value of an already watery brand.

In 2013, however, there is only one One. The new HTC One is, as the name suggests, the singular focus of HTC’s high-end efforts. The company’s best build quality, software, screen and optics are to be brought to bear in a “kitchen sink” product that aims to leave no holds barred.

It’s also a device that seeks to achieve differentiation at every point on the spec sheet. As other smartphones are increasingly faceless, monolithic black slabs, HTC sandwiches its screen between two bassy front-facing speakers. BoomSound. As competitors crank out 13-megapixel shooters, HTC bucks the trend with a much lower megapixel count, but larger pixels and improved optics. UltraPixels. Add to that a new way to shoot and share images and video. Zoe Share. Plus, a new home screen experience that brings the world to you. BlinkFeed.

And let’s not forget how rare it is to come across a decent aluminum smartphone these days.

If HTC is to recover, it’ll be through a combination of intelligent marketing and great products. We can’t review the former, but you can bet we’re going to get stuck into the latter. In fact, we’ll do it right after the break, in our definitive review of the new HTC One.

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4 years ago

NVIDIA reveals future Tegra roadmap and 'GPU computing'

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Speaking at today's GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, NVIDIA co-founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the wraps off the future of the Tegra platform. That future looks pretty bright, as NVIDIA says they want mobile devices to be able to "do everything a modern computer should do." Enter the next-generation "Logan" and "Parker" Tegra processors.

The Logan (that's a code name for what will likely be the Tegra 5) will offer a Kepler GPU, with support for CUDA and OpenGL 4.3. The Kepler GPU is a big boost from previous GeForce models, and offers two pretty exciting (for developers, anyway) features -- Dynamic Parallel computing, where the GPU can spawn it's own threads without going back to the CPU, and Hyper-Q threading which allows more than one CPU core to simultaneously utilize the GPU. Nerdy stuff to be sure, but it means even better gaming and 3D performance for the apps and games we all love.

CUDA is GPU computing. While your mobile CPU works hard to crunch the numbers, normally the GPU sits idle unless it's supposed to be drawing something. With CUDA implemented, that array of high clock speed GPU cores is doing a lot of work right along with the CPU cores. Modern desktops use GPU computing, as do many "supercomputers" we read about at research facilities and laboratories. Expect CUDA support to make a significant impact on applications specially designed for it. Expect to see Logan chips in production early next year.

Things wont stop there. Jen-Hsun also talked a little about the "Parker" (Tegra 6?). Parker will sport the all-new 64-bit Denver CPU and Maxwell GPU cores, The big news here is the use of FinFET transistors. Hardware geeks and EE's everywhere are pretty excited about FinFET transistors, and the way they are going to radically change the way ARM chips are designed and built. They cut "leaked" (read: wasted) power by up to 90-percent, and are about 40 to 50-percent faster while using half the power of the current transistor model. This means they can process information twice as fast as chips we have now, without using any extra power. Of course, that also means chips can be designed to process data as fast as they do today, while using half the power. 

NVIDIA is excited about what they have in store for mobile computing, and so are we. As this sort of technology works its way onto ARM devices, we'll have phones and tablets that are as powerful as the current best-in-class laptops -- with games and apps designed to take advantage of it all.

More: NVIDIA (1), (2)

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4 years ago

Nexus 4 up for sale once again in the UK Play Store

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After a not-so-brief hiatus from the U.K. Play Store, the Nexus 4 is back up for sale. In both 8GB and 16GB versions for £239 and £279, respectively. We can't say how long this will last, but if you have yet to get your hands on one directly from the source, now is the time.

It's been well over a month since the last availability, and the device has kept in stock steadily for the U.S. as of late, so let's hope that the stock also sticks around for our friends across the pond.

Source: Nexus (Google+)

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4 years ago

HTC One: Zoes and Video Highlights

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Two of the most important features on the HTC One are also two of the most confusing

One of the most important -- and impressive -- features of the HTC One is, of course, the camera. We're not going to dive into the whole "UltraPixel" thing here, nor is this a review of camera quality. We'll worry about how the sausage is made later. Right now it's time to learn a few important terms when it comes to the HTC One camera.

When it comes to the new features in the HTC One Camera, you'll be hearing a lot about Zoes (pronounced zoh-ee, as in Zoetrope) and Video Highlights. Zoes can stand on their own, or they can be part of a Video Highlight. 

Following is a walkthrough of what a Zoe is compared to a Video Highlight, what you can do with them, and how you can share them.

More Sense 5 features

What is a Zoe?

Still shots and videos have sort of morphed together in the past year or so. Smartphone cameras can now grab a single frame from video, and HTC's taken that a step further with what it calls a "Zoe."

The short version is that a Zoe is a 3-second video clip that bookends when you actually hit the shutter button. (The long version is that you also end up with 19 or so jpegs -- more on those in a minute -- and a single 3-second mp4 video. Yes, all that can seriously muck up any auto-upload schemes you have.)

A Zoe looks like this:

Taking a Zoe picture isn't really any different than taking a regular still picture. The only difference is you have to press the Zoe button first, and hold the camera toward the intended shot a little longer -- about three seconds. You get the hang of it easily enough.

Pro tip: Look for the shutter button to turn into a sort of progress bar when you're shooting a Zoe. It turns red as you're recording.

What can I do with a Zoe? 

Three-second clips aren't quite as useful individually as, say, a 6-second Vine. But Zoes have some neat tricks up their sleeves. 

First off, you can share them just like you would any other picture or video. A Zoe technically is just an .mp4 file (and the individual jpegs), so you can e-mail it, upload it -- anything you can do with any other .mp4 video. 


The HTC Zoe Share web service (click to view)

A little more useful is if you upload it to the HTC Zoe Share service. (Even more useful than that is when you upload more than one Zoe.) By doing that you get a public link that's good for 180 days that basically gives you a web gallery of your little 3-second pictures. Here's an example.

Viewing a Zoe on your phone, you also can scrub through and select one of the 19 individual frames, then edit that single frame (cropping, filter, etc.) and share it the same way you would any other picture, be it with e-mail, Facebook, Google+ -- whatever. Standard stuff, actually.

For our money, where Zoes really add to the HTC One experience are in Highlight Videos

The HTC One Highlight video

[

](/sites/androidcentral.com/files/postimages/684/zoeshare-site.jpeg "Zoe Share")

This may be the coolest feature on the HTC One. The gist is that the HTC One will take a gander at the still pictures, Zoes and videos you've taken and automatically make a highlights video out of them, complete with background music and filter effects. The Highlight Videos are standard .mp4 files as well, so you can share them in any of the normal ways, including the new HTC Zoe Share. There's also a discrete option to save the Highlight Video if you want to transfer it off the phone some other way. 

HTC's using some sort of black magic -- algorithm, they tell us -- to figure out which photos and videos go together for highlight purposes. Date and time come into play, as does location (if geotagging is turned on). It does pretty well with this, but it's also pretty aggressive in that there's no way to tell the HTC One not to make a Highlight Video. If you have a habit of taking a couple pictures of the same thing, just in case, they're going to get added. If you take a few shots with absolutely no intention of using them as a Highlight Video, well, too bad. You're getting a Highlight Video. We don't normally worry too much about storage space, but these things can start to add up over time. 

It's a pretty awesome way to create a quick montage of people and places and things.

Pro tip: The more images and Zoes you use for a Highlight Video, the better it'll be. Unscientifically, we get the feeling that it defaults to repeating still images if there aren't enough Zoes to pull from, and that gets old pretty quick.

How to have more control over what's in a Highlight Video

We mentioned that there's (as of this writing) no real way to keep the HTC One from creating a Highlight Video. But do at least have a little control over what goes in one. There are a couple ways to do that.

Selecting content after a Highlight Video has been created

Once a Video Highlight has been created, you can go back and choose which clips you want to be a part of it. Tap on the Highlight Video as if you were going to watch it. Then hit the overflow menu button (the three dots) in the top right and choose "Select content." Then you can choose which clips from that event you want to have in the Highlight Video.

(Note: At the time of this writing, the "Select content" feature is a little buggy. HTC says it'll be addressed in an update.)

Copy images and Zoes to a new album

!(/sites/androidcentral.com/files/styles/w550h500/public/postimages/684/highlight-newalbum.png)

Another way to control what gets used in a Highlight Video is to copy pictures to a new album. You'll need to be in the "Album" view in the gallery (not the "Events" view). Choose the album you want to copy pictures from and tap it to open. (Most likely it'll be "Camera shots," but you can choose from any album.) Then hit the overflow menu (again, the three dots in the top right) and choose "Copy to." Now you'll select which images you want to copy. Do that, hit "Next", and then hit the plus sign in the top right to make a new album.

Now you'll get a Highlight Video with only the images you copied over.

The different Video Highlight themes

There currently are six themes -- background music and filter effects -- that you can use on a Video Highlight. (Hit the button in the bottom right to change the theme.)

The six themes are Polaris, Avalon, Vega, Eifel, Burbia and Islandia. Here's what each looks like:

[

](/sites/androidcentral.com/files/postimages/684/zoeshare-site.jpeg "Zoe Share")

The bottom line: Great features, but a little convoluted and a lot hidden

Zoes and Video Highlights are a lot of fun, and the principle is simple enough. Zoes are 3-second video clips. Moving pictures, even. Video Highlights are automatically made up of still pictures and Zoes and full video clips.

But the message itself is a little confusing.  Zoe is part of the Holy Trinity of HTC One, alongside BoomSound and BlinkFeed. In our retail version of the HTC One, it's printed on the protective wrapping of the phone. BlinkFeed, BoomSound, Zoe. But a Zoe is just one part of the experience here. Video Highlights are a big deal. But a Video Highlight isn't a Zoe. We imagine conversations like the following:

"How do I make a Zoe?"
Answer: "Tap the Zoe button, then the shutter button. Now you have a 3-second Zoe."
"No, I don't mean that. I mean the thing with the music and the effects. That's not a Zoe?"

No. It's not a Zoe. It's a Video Highlight.

Our other issue is that there's absolutely no top-level experience for Zoe or Video Highlights. Zoes at least get mentioned in the Quick Tips you see the first time you launch a new big feature. You're left to your own devices to figure out Video Highlights. And that's too bad, as it's too good a feature to be buried like that.

Then there's HTC Zoe Share. Again, a cool new service from HTC, but it's very much a work in progress (which HTC itself will tell you). Uploading to Zoe Share is easy enough. But the links it creates are only good for 180 days. So wherever you link to it from will have dead links in six months. And dead links are bad. Moreover, there's currently no way to see all the Zoe Share posts from a single user. You have to know the link of the Zoe Share post to see it. That's poor discoverability. You can delete a Zoe Share post if you squint and hunt and find the "Click here to manage your Zoe Share" link at the bottom left of the page.

We'd also like to see more fine-tuning with geotagging. It works just fine, but maybe too well. We like being able to Geotag pictures, but we need more control. For instance: I had a Zoe Share post with four images from one location, and a single image from another location -- my home. Guess whose house suddenly was pointed out on the Zoe Share post? We'd love to see an option to remove geotagging from the Zoe Share side.

We're also not thrilled about having to shut off auto-upload services. A single Zoe produces one video and 19 or so still images, and they all will be uploaded automatically by Dropbox or Google+, and probably by other similar services. (Those are the two we use.)

But overall, HTC's done good with Zoe, and with Video Highlights. They're two great features on a phone full of great features. But (if the length of this post is any indication), they take some explaining, and smartphone users have notoriously short attention spans. HTC has a little work to do on the features, and we have no doubt Zoes and Video Highlights will only get better.

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4 years ago

Citrix updates Podio app with improved task management, language support

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Podio, the collaboration platform from Citrix, has just received a notable update to its Android app to improve management of tasks and add new languages. The new Android app brings options for complete control over tasks, so users can now edit due dates, times, assignees and references all from the mobile interface. Along with the new editing features, users can now add images to tasks, which can be extremely helpful for getting your point across to the group.

Citrix is also adding new language support in the latest version of Podio. Japanese and Dutch are added to the list this time around, bringing the total languages supported to 11. You can give Podio a try for free from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

More: Podio Blog

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4 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Nexus gets Android 4.2.2 starting today

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Finally.

Verizon has announced that starting today, its much-maligned Samsung Galaxy Nexus will finally get Android 4.2.2, some time after nearly every other version of Google's 2012 flagship smartphone.

The Galaxy Nexus by Samsung will be updated to Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The software will be pushed to Verizon Wireless customers in phases starting March 19.

The software includes new camera features such as photosphere to take 360 degree panoramic pictures that can easily be shared with friends. The camera app also has new tools to add filters and borders, further customizing pictures.

Additionally, an all new Gesture Keyboard is available, allowing users to slide their finger from letter to letter to type a word. Other enhancements include allowing users to place widgets on the lock screen for easier access to popular apps such as Calendar, Gmail and Clock.

Be sure to note that line stating the update will push out in phases. So if you don't get it first thing, keep an eye out. That said, we expect to see the manual download location any time now, so you probably won't have to wait too long. Hit up the forum link below to find out what's what.

Source: Verizon; More: Verizon Galaxy Nexus forums

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4 years ago

Neatly for Twitter beta: A smooth and functional new client

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Twitter's recent API limit enforcement has put a bind on many developers that are making clients, but that doesn't seem to have deterred Neatly from releasing its own. Currently in a "final beta" release, Neatly is a simple and clean (hence the name) client that performs well and gives simple settings for managing timelines and muting users.

Hang with us after the break and see how Neatly for Twitter hangs with other clients in its current beta state.

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