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4 years ago

AT&T closes $1.9 billion deal with Verizon for 700MHz spectrum

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AT&T closes $1.9 billion deal with Verizon for 700MHz spectrum

AT&T

AT&T

Spectrum acquisitions applicable to 42 million people across 18 states

In a deal that has taken over 8 months to complete, AT&T and Verizon have finalized a swap of spectrum and cash that will see AT&T pick up 700MHz licenses across several states in the US. Various 700MHz spectrum licenses are moving in AT&T's direction, while Verizon picks up $1.9 billion in cash in addition to AWS spectrum licenses in a handful markets. In the end AT&T will pick up 700MHz B block — aka the "lower" 700MHz band — spectrum in 18 states with the potential to cover 42 million people. The increased spectrum holdings should translate to higher speeds and better coverage for customers in these markets.

This lines up nicely with the news that was released this morning indicating that AT&T is ready to set up interoperability in the lower 700MHz bands for LTE, opening up the number of devices that will work on its network and the ability for it to strike roaming deals with other carriers. Hit the break for a full list of the states and markets where spectrum is changing hands between the carriers.

4 years ago

Google Play Music adds genre radio stations

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Google Play Music adds genre radio stations

Google Play Music Radio

Google Play Music Radio

New download queue to better control download status also included

A new update is rolling out to the Google Play Music app today that brings new radio station options based on music genres and improvements to the download queue menu. The new radio stations can be selected based on dozens pre-defined genres, and play with just one tap from the Radio menu of the new app.

You still have the previous options of making stations based on artists and songs or choosing from recommended stations based on your listening history, but genres are a much-needed addition that is available on other music services already. This is just one more reason for people to take a look at Google Play Music All Access, although we tend to think there's plenty to love already.

The update to version 5.2.1204L also includes the option to pause, resume or cancel downloads that are ongoing, for those times when you don't need to spend the bandwidth or battery. You can grab a download of the latest version of the app from the Play Store link above.

4 years ago

Android apps in beta

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Android apps in beta

Android Central app Beta
Android Central beta group

Android Central app Beta

Beta testing can be rewarding, and Android Central is here to help you get started

In 2013, Google opened up the Google Play Store to provide proper beta testing for applications. That is, a method for the developers of the apps to have two tracks in Google play at the same time — a stable and current track for most users, and a beta branch for folks who are willing to test features that may not yet be ready for prime-time. This helps developers, and as a bonus it makes it a pretty simple affair for you and me to sign up and get in on some hot beta action with our favorite apps.

Because everything can now be hosted right on Google Play, getting signed up and updated to the latest beta version is pretty simple for both developers and end-users like us. You'll open a web page on your computer or your Android, and sign up with the Google account you use at Google Play. The rest is automatic, and once you're done you'll soon see an update right in the Google Play app on your Android that gets you going.

4 years ago

iPhone 5s vs. the competition: Spec comparison

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iPhone 5s vs. the competition: Spec comparison

HTC One
iPhone 5S vs. the competition

HTC One

See how the latest from Apple stacks up against the Nexus 4 and HTC One

It's no secret that Apple has just unveiled its latest devices, the iPhone 5s and 5c, and while our friends over at iMore dive deeper into the Apple-centric coverage we want to see how its latest device's specs stack up against the Android hardware.

Going head-to-head with Google's (admittedly 11-month old) latest reference device the Nexus 4 and the HTC One, the iPhone 5s stacks up pretty comparably. The latest iPhone sticks with the 4-inch 326 ppi "Retina" display, matching up to the 4.7-inch 320 ppi of the Nexus 4 and absurdly nice 4.7-inch 468 ppi of the One. On the camera front Apple has moved to an 8MP BSI camera much like the Nexus 4, but with larger pixels like the One and a few new features included in the form of software optimization, a new image signal processor and dual LED flash.

The rest of the specs round out very similarly as other high-end devices out there today, but there are naturally a few points where each device stands out. Stick around after the break for a full spec-by-spec breakdown of the iPhone 5S vs. the Nexus 4, HTC One and the latest BlackBerry and Windows Phone handsets.

4 years ago

Motorola's Active Display versus LG's Knock-On

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Motorola's Active Display versus LG's Knock-On

Moto X and G2 displays

Moto X and G2 displays

Two different (but equally fun) display features highlight some of the fall's hottest Android devices

I took two main phones to the IFA conference in Berlin last week. One, familiar — the Moto X, which I've been using for a month now. The other, the LG G2. We've got a preproduction European version. The hardware is solid, but the software's not quite final, which is why we've held off of a full review thus far.

After spending a week with the LG G2 as my main device, one thing began to stand out. With it as well as the Moto X, there's been a lot more attention paid to the way we wake our devices. Both have the same goal — turn on the phone and get you to your information as quickly as possible. But both come about it in different ways. 

Is one better than the other? Both certainly add usefulness to their respective devices. But the differences are pretty apparent.

4 years ago

AT&T will commit to 700MHz LTE network interoperability going forward

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AT&T will commit to 700MHz LTE network interoperability going forward

AT&T Logo

AT&T Logo

Wider frequency support opens the door to more devices and carrier partnerships

AT&T announced today on its public policy blog that it will commit to lower 700MHz LTE interoperability going forward, opening the door for more devices and small carrier partners in the future. This "lower" area of the 700MHz spectrum, also referred to as Band 12, was previously unsupported by AT&T because of interference concerns with the upper portion of 700MHz, or Band 17, that it supported.

With its move towards supporting Band 12, it will now be able to offer service to a wider range of devices across a larger chunk of spectrum — Band 17 is simply a subset of Band 12 — without any side effects. AT&T says that it is actively working with OEMs to have future devices it sells support Band 12 rather than 17, and at the same time will roll out upgrades to its towers to support Band 12-capable devices it does not sell itself.

Source: AT&T; Via: PhoneScoop

4 years ago

Mobile music, podcasting, and the agony of VoIP - Talk Mobile

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Your typical smartphone has two speakers. One is an earpiece for the phone part (it does make calls, right?), the other a loud speaker for speakerphone (there's that phone again…), music, games, and the like. A few handsets, like the HTC One, along with a handful of tablets, sport stereo loudspeakers, but by and large we're still only looking at two speakers.

4 years ago

Gogo adds Amazon Payments to get your Android devices online on planes

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Gogo adds Amazon Payments to get your Android devices online on planes

Gogo

Gogo

If you want to get online with your Android smartphone or tablet on an airplane, you're going to have to use Gogo to do so. And now you'll be able to pay with Amazon Payments. The company this morning announced the additional method, which will be handy for those who have been entering their credit card info each time you hit 10,000 feet. 

"By enabling Amazon Payments, we are offering the hundreds of millions of Amazon customers an easy way to pay for Internet access on Gogo," said Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo's chief commercial officer. "We know that Amazon buyers are highly satisfied with their payment experience on Amazon.  This relationship gives Gogo customers a familiar choice that they already know and trust."

Look for the Amazon Payment logo when you log on at airborne.gogoinflight.com.

Source: Gogo

4 years ago

Every IFA 2013 video in one handy playlist

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Every IFA 2013 video in one handy playlist

Android Central

We had a few requests for an IFA 2013 video playlist, so here it is — every video we shot last week from the show in Berlin. From Sony's Xperia Z1 and QX lenses to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear to ASUS tablets and Lenovo smartphones.

Yes, it was quite the week. Enjoy, everyone!

4 years ago

It's our fifth annual 'Anything but Apple' giveaway!

It's our fifth annual 'Anything but Apple' giveaway!

Rex Manning Day Contest!

Rex Manning Day Contest!

Today's the day, folks! Apple is announcing new iPhones, which means the entire world will be paying attention to all the coverage at our sister site, iMore.com! (Seriously, we asked the entire world, and that's what it said.)

Us? We're gonna keep on doing what we always do. And that includes our fifth annual "Anything but Apple" giveaway! What's in store? Why, just a brand-new 32-gigabyte Nexus 7 (with LTE!) and a brand-new Chromecast, that's what's in store.

4 years ago

Virgin Mobile rolls out the ZTE Awe for $99

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Virgin Mobile rolls out the ZTE Awe for $99

ZTE Awe

 

ZTE Awe

Virgin Mobile this morning announced that the ZTE Awe (aka the N800 or, apparently, "Shocker") is now available for $99 sans contract. The Awe sports a 4-inch IPS display at an underwhelming 480x800 resolution, a 5-megapixel rear camera (1MP out front) and is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8630 processor at 1.2 GHz. It's running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Virgin's no-contract plans start at $35.

More: Virgin Mobile

4 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1 Mini leaks in image next to its larger sibling

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Sony Xperia Z1 Mini leaks in image next to its larger sibling

Sony Xperia Z1 Mini

Sony Xperia Z1 Mini

Very similar design purportedly holds high-end specs and same massive camera

IFA 2013 has come and gone, and while Sony lived up to the leaks and released its latest flagship the Xperia Z1 a rumored "mini" version of the handset didn't make an appearance. While details of a smaller handset have been sparse, an image has surfaced showing off a purported "Honami Mini" — aka Xperia Z1 Mini — next to the full-sized version of the handset.

The image, which you can see above, shows that the mini version has many of the same physical features as the Xperia Z1, with a glass back, large camera lens and silver accents, in a smaller package. The similarities are more than skin deep, and this latest leak continues the assumption than an Xperia Z1 Mini will have the same Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM and 20.7MP camera sensor as the original.

4 years ago

Samsung Exynos 5 Octa processors will take advantage of all 8 cores in the future

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Samsung Exynos 5 Octa processors will take advantage of all 8 cores in the future

Samsung

Samsung

New technology will intelligently distribute tasks to the right cores for the job

Samsung announced today that in the coming months it will be releasing Exynos 5 Octa processors that will be able to simultaneously and intelligently use all eight cores at once. Samsung has been making use of eight-core Exynos processors in certain variants of its phones for some time now, but up until this point it hasn't been truly using all eight cores simultaneously. These first versions used either four high-power cores for intense tasks or four low-power cores for basic functions.

At some point Q4 2013, Samsung will start using its new "Heterogeneous Multi-Processing" (or HMP) technology to take advantage of all eight cores in the processor at once. With this technology, the system will be able to intelligently assign some processes on the "big" cores while others stay on the "little" cores to offer the best combination of performance and power savings for the task at hand.

To help represent what it is doing with HMP Samsung has made a funny little promotional video, which you can find after the break.

Source: Samsung

4 years ago

Sony Xperia M now on sale unlocked in the US, yours for $249.99

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Sony Xperia M now on sale unlocked in the US, yours for $249.99

Sony Xperia M

Sony Xperia M

A low-end unlocked handset with a bit of Sony flair and four color options

We posted earlier today that Three UK and Sony teamed up to sell the new low-end offering Xperia M, and now we're seeing the phone up for sale directly from Sony's online store in the US as well. $249.99 (with free shipping) direct from Sony will get you an unlocked handset with a 4-inch FWVGA (480x854) display, dual-core 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage, 1700mAh battery and a 5MP camera — along with Android 4.1 and Sony's latest software features. The phone is currently on offer in four colors: white, black, yellow (which is particularly nice looking) and purple.

Now the obvious point to make here is that the 16GB Nexus 4 is still on sale directly from the Play Store for the same price with a much better spec sheet. Anyone looking to pinch pennies and get the best bang for their buck is probably better off picking it up instead. That being said, aside from Google we really haven't seen many manufacturers dabble in this $250 unlocked phone space selling directly to the US, so we have to give Sony a bit of a hat tip for making this device available.

Source: Sony; Via: XperiaBlog

4 years ago

Vector 10: Kevin Michaluk and smart watches

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Vector 10: Kevin Michaluk and smart watches

Android Central

Android Central

Kevin Michaluk of Mobile Nations and CrackBerry.com joins Rene to talk about smart watches, what they mean for traditional watch enthusiasts, for geeks, for the mainstream, for the tech industry, and for Google, Microsoft, BlackBerry, and Apple. Also: Samsung Galaxy Gear!

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