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4 years ago

Motorola Mobility to cut more than 10 percent of workforce


Google-owned Motorola Mobility is to lay off 1,200 employees -- more than 10 percent of its workforce -- in its latest round of restructuring. According to reports from the Wall Street Journal, the job losses will affect workers in the U.S., China and India as the company seeks to become profitable.

These latest layoffs come on top of a 20 percent cut in jobs which occurred last August, and saw Moto close up shop at a third of its offices. At the time the manufacturer indicated that it wanted to transition out of "unprofitable" markets and focus on high-end handsets.

In an internal email obtained by the WSJ, Moto says, "while we're very optimistic about the new products in our pipeline, we still face challenges," adding "our costs are too high, we're operating in markets where we're not competitive and we're losing money."

A Moto spokesperson is quoted in the journal as saying "These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer. It's obviously very hard for the employees concerned, and we are committed to helping them through this difficult transition."

Despite the launch of the high-profile RAZR i in partnership with Intel, Moto remains a marginal player in the European smartphone market. And in the U.S. it's struggled to compete against the dominant force of Samsung. High-end hopes are now being pinned on the rumored "X Phone," said to be due for release later this year.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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4 years ago

Carphone Warehouse offering reductions on Amazon Kindle Fire range


A quick heads up to anyone in the UK that might have toyed with picking up an Amazon Kindle Fire -- there's some savings to be had from the Carphone Warehouse. Previously, the RRP on the Kindle Fire has been £129 with the Kindle Fire HD beginning at £159 for the 16GB version. 

At Carphone Warehouse the price on the entry-level Kindle Fire has been slashed to just £89, and the 16GB Kindle Fire HD has been reduced down to £139. Despite not offering a traditional Android tablet experience, the Kindle Fire is still a great casual tablet and media consumption device. And, at these prices, there's even more to be said for giving them a look. 

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 now available from the Play Store in Korea


Google is expanding Play Store availability of its devices today by bringing the Nexus 7 to Korea directly. Sure the Nexus 7 has been out for some time now, but that doesn't mean its not still one of the best options when it comes to the 7-inch form factor. And any time that you can buy Google's products directly from them rather than a third party retailer is a bonus. Korea will have access to both 16 and 32GB versions, but there's no indication (although we're not great at reading Korean) that there's a mobile data version right at this moment.

Let's hope that Google continues this trend of bringing the Play Store -- and Nexus devices as a whole -- to more countries.

Source: @GoogleNexus (Twitter)

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4 years ago

Sprint Optimus G Jelly Bean update rolling out now


LG Optimus G users on Sprint have something to cheer about today, as the Jelly Bean OTA update has just started its rollout. As newer versions of the Optimus G have started to come out of the box with Jelly Bean on board, it's good to see Sprint keeping up with the update on the original devices that came first. Users will get the whole suite of Jelly Bean updates like Google Now, Project Butter and resizable widgets with this update. The stock ICS browser is being replaced by Google Chrome as well.

The new software is based on Android 4.1.2 -- version LS970ZVA LS970ZVB -- and will be rolling out in phases starting today. Seeing the update on your device yet? Head to the Sprint Optimus G forums and let other members know what your experience has been with the update.

Source: Sprint; More: Sprint Optimus G Forums

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4 years ago

Scope update brings new UI, host of new feeds, advertising and Android Central


The last time we heard from Scope, the all-in-one social aggregator, they were opening up a VIP program for interested beta testers. We've been part of the VIP program since it began, and some interesting features have been introduced which are now ready for the prime time and pushing out through Google Play. With this update, Scope is taking a big step forward into becoming a personalized news service more than a social media aggregator. 

Scope has gone from operating with just a handful of social networking services, to now containing over 20 different services -- including your favorite Android resource. That's right, one of the new news services contained within Scope is an "Android News" feed, provided by Android Central. 

The UI has also been updated, with a slide out menu that replaces the previous swiping between feeds. It's pretty slick, and brings a little more order to things than endlessly swiping between your feeds. 

One change which may disappoint some users though is the introduction of in-app advertising. This isn't a decision that the developers took lightly by any means: 

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4 years ago

Path update hits Android with messaging, stickers and 'The Shop'


Path has just been updated to add private messaging, stickers and "The Shop" to fall in line with the update that hit iOS yesterday. If you're not familiar, Path is a social network that is limited to a set number of friends, which is meant to enhance the relationships you build with the smaller group. This latest update is hoping to help with that by offering private messaging between users, as well as "stickers" that can be sent back and forth. Some of the stickers are free, but others are paid -- in the range of $0.99 to $1.99. If you want to make a sticker purchase, you'll have to head to The Shop, where you can also buy filters for photos you post (a la Instagram) at $0.99 a piece.

The update certainly adds a useful feature in the form of private messages, but still leaves us scratching our heads over paid stickers and photo filters. If you haven't checked out Path in a while, maybe the new update is worth it for you to give another look. You can grab a download from the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

LG Optimus G Pro updated for messaging, camera improvements


A quick heads up for those of you in Korea with the U+ version of the LG Optimus G Pro -- there's a small update waiting for you that apparently improves messaging and camera functionality. And that's all we've got. The update (actually, we had two updates) took just a few minutes, and the end result was software version F240L10L.

If you've got one of these underrated, oversized phones, head into the system settings to give it a go.

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4 years ago

Motorola makes the Droid RAZR/MAXX Jelly Bean OTA official


We had some pretty interesting information regarding a Jelly Bean soak test for the original Motorola Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX, and now Motorola has made the update official. The support page has just gone up indicating that the update will be rolling out in phases, as is usually the case. There's no specific note about the removal of the Motorola apps and being replaced by stock Google apps, but this looks to be the same update that we were seeing before.

Seeing the update on your own device yet? Shout out in the forums to let other members know what your experience is.

Source: Motorola
More: Droid RAZR forums; Droid RAZR MAXX forums

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4 years ago

Gogo: Airborne Android use up 400% in two years


If you're using in-flight Wifi on a plane over the United States, you're using Gogo's ground-to-air Internet service. And today the provider dropped a few statistical tidbits our way.

The broad strokes are that 26 percent of smartphones connecting to Gogo's service are Android, with the rest running iOS. (BlackBerry and Windows Phone total just 0.016 percent.) That might not seem like a lot, but Gogo is showing a 400 percent increase in total Android use from 2011 to 2013. That's assuming the devices are correctly reporting what they're running of course, so if anything those numbers are probably low.

Check out the full infographic at the link below.

Source: Gogo

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4 years ago

Nexus 4 Launches in Japan


This has been an exciting couple of months for Google fans in Japan. First the Nexus 10 launches, then the 3G Nexus 7, and now finally the Nexus 4. The Japanese product page is up, giving a rundown of everything Google's latest flagship phone has to offer. The hardware looks identical to the U.S. version, pentaband HSPA+ radio and all. The current shipping time is 1-2 weeks, and both the 8 GB model and 16 GB model are currently available.

And good news for those looking to accessorize - order pages for the wireless charging orb and bumper case are also up, however the bumper is currently out of stock.

Source: Google Japan

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4 years ago

Reviewing Humble Bundle 5: NightSky HD


The Humble Bundle is an awesome way to get some great new games for a great price, but also support developers and charities at the same time. The 5th iteration of Humble Bundle has six games up for offer, some of which are making their Android debut through the sale. We're going to take a look through these titles one by one, starting off with NightSky HD.

Hang with us after the break and learn a little bit about NightSky, a fun puzzle game cast in black and white scenery.

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4 years ago

AT&T HTC One X finally gets Jelly Bean


Update 2: Never mind AT&T's blog post ... the update most definitely is available now. It's a whopping 630 MB.

Update: And AT&T has pulled its blog post announcing all this. Figures.

Original: AT&T today finally announced that its HTC One X is getting Android 4.1 Jelly Bean starting today. 

We'll let that sink in for a minute. This one's been a long time coming.

In addition to the expected Google improvements, such as Google Now, Project Butter, better notifications and all those other improvements we've been enjoying on other phones for some time, you'll get:

  • A new countdown timer for the front-facing camera. 
  • ISIS mobile payments. This is worthless unless you're in Austin, Texas, or Salt Lake City.
  • AT&T Locker, so you can store your photos, videos and docs in the cloud. Which you can also do just fine without AT&T-specific software.
  • AT&T DriveMode, which can be set up to send custom replies to incoming messages once your phone (presumably in a car) is going more than 25 mph. This is a good thing. Use it.
  • AT&T Messages: A single inbox for texts, calls and voicemails, accessible from your phone, tablet or computer. Should interesting.

AT&T says the update should be available any time now, though we don't see it yet, and now we've got that blasted "You can't check for updates again for another 24 hours," which is as annoying as ever. 

Source: AT&T; More: HTC One X forums

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4 years ago

Motorola swaps in stock apps in Droid RAZR/MAXX Jelly Bean soak test


The folks in our Motorola DROID RAZR and DROID RAZR MAXX forums are all aflutter this morning, and rightfully so. A new software soak test -- wherein a few brave souls get in some final testing before the real push begins -- is hitting devices, and Motorola's own changelog for the Android 4.1.2 update confirms something surprising: Custom software features are being replaced by stock Google apps -- or are being removed altogether.


  • Removed apps: Social Location, MOTOACTV, MOTOPRINT and Verizon Video on Demand are history. Kaput. Alarm and Timer are being replaced by the stock Google Clock app.
  • Removed widgets: Gone are the My Gallery, My MOTOCAST, My Music, Picture Slideshow, Social Location, Sticky Note, Weather and World Clock widgets. Gone. Kaput.
  • MOTOCAST has been decoupled from MyMusic, Files and the Gallery apps and is now standalone on the phone. (It's also been redesigned and is faster, Moto says.)
  • My Gallery and My Music have been replaced with their corresponding Google apps.

That's just the tip of the iceberg, but it's a pretty big deal. You'll also find Google Now, improved voice search, better camera quality, and the Chrome browser has been added.

Hit the link below for the full changelog, and keep an eye out for the full push, which should follow the soak test fairly soon.

Source: Motorola 4.1.2 changelog
More: Droid RAZR MAXX forums; Droid RAZR forums

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4 years ago

LTE-capable Sony Xperia Tablet Z hitting Japan on Mar. 22


If you're in the market for a 10-inch Android tablet, Sony's Xperia Tablet Z is one of the more compelling non-Nexus offerings out there, as we discovered during our time with the device at Mobile World Congress. There's no fixed Western release date for the tablet just yet, but as ever Japan's getting first dibs on this new Sony device, with carrier NTT Docomo announcing Japanese availability of its 4G LTE version from Mar. 22. Pre-orders are scheduled to begin from this Saturday, Mar. 9.

Like the Wifi-only version we saw in Barcelona, the LTE-equipped Tablet Z is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU at 1.5GHz, with 2GB of RAM, a 1080p display and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean backing up Sony's Xperia UI. It's also sporting an incredibly thin chassis design, and at 6.9mm thick, Sony says its tablet is the world's thinnest.

The Sony Xperia Tablet Z with LTE will set Japanese buyers back a hefty ¥85,470 ($913) at launch. For more on the Xperia Tablet Z, check out our hands-on feature from MWC.

Source: NTT Docomo; via: XperiaBlog

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4 years ago

ASUS Transformer AiO Windows 8 all-in-one doubles as an Android tablet


ASUS is all about crazy devices that double as other devices -- take the Padfone Infinity and Fonepad, announced last week at MWC, for instance. Today the Taiwanese manufacturer has launched an equally outlandish entrant into the all-in-one PC market, the ASUS Transformer AiO.

By day, the AiO is a humble Windows 8 PC; by night (or, you know, whenever), it detaches from its stand to become an Android 4.1 tablet. That's because it's actually two devices in one -- the Windows side is powered by a third-generation Intel Core i5-3350P CPU (8GB of RAM, 1TB of storage), whereas the Android tablet UI runs on an NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip (2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage). Both operating systems come to life on the 18-inch 1920x1080 LED display, which makes the AiO the largest commercial Android tablet we can think of.

It's a little perplexing to see Windows 8 and Android side-by-side on this kind of device, not least due to Microsoft's keenness to promote Windows' tablet credentials. But ASUS is also touting the AiO's ability to run Windows 8 in remote desktop mode on the tablet UI, so you'll  have that option open to you while you're in tablet mode.

The ASUS Transformer AiO is due for release during the second quarter, and will be priced at $1299 in North America.

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