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4 years ago

EE's new 4G LTE network put through its paces with more speed tests


You may have seen our recent coverage of the EE (Everything Everywhere) event, where the company announced the UK's first 4G LTE network. That was pretty exciting stuff, as us poor Brits have been left behind in the LTE race compared to many other countries. Luckily EE's 4G roll out is now imminent, and although we don't have an actual fixed date as yet, we're told it should be within the next few weeks.

Once again, we had the chance to play with a few 4G devices this week, including the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, HTC One XL, Huawei Ascend P1 and the iPhone 5. But what we were also interested in was the speed of the network.

As you'll see from the video, the speeds are mighty fast. It was great to see that as well as fast download speeds, the upload too was quick. In fact, the highest download speed of the session we managed to get was just over 42Mbps, which is faster than most UK home broadband connections.

Looks like EE are on to a real winner here -- not just because of the speeds they can offer, but because they will be the first UK mobile network to launch LTE in the country. So once the new EE service rolls out, they'll have a huge advantage over the other carriers. All signs point to a huge marketing campaign in the run up to the holidays.

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4 years ago

Barnes & Noble updates Nook reading app


Not to be overshadowed by all of the recent Amazon news, Barnes & Noble is following up on its latest Nook hardware announcements with an updated Nook reading app for Android (and yes, iOS). This update to version 3.2 of the app adds lots of good features, including zooming for comic books, improved fonts and margins, a full dictionary and a fix for pre-ordering with the app.

Many people have pretty much locked themselves into Amazon if they're big book readers, but if you've yet to lock yourself into a certain book ecosystem, it's always worth looking into all options before taking that plunge.

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4 years ago

Galaxy Note 2 LTE coming to the UK on EE's 4G network


EE (Everything Everywhere) will launch the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE on its network in the next couple of weeks, according to reports. UK tech blog Pocket-Lint has word that the international Galaxy Note 2 with LTE will arrive on EE from Oct. 15. As EE's 4G network has yet to launch, customers will first be required to sign up with one of EE's existing 3G network brands -- Orange or T-Mobile. Later, they'll have the option to switch to an EE 4G tariff, though pricing details and launch timeframes have yet to be announced.

The Galaxy Note 2 LTE will reportedly become available from Oct 15 on EE, joining the likes of the HTC One XL, Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE and iPhone 5, which are available now. We met with EE today for a quick demo of some already announced handsets, though they remained tight-lipped about the Note 2.

The Galaxy Note 2 and 4G LTE connectivity will be a tantalizing proposition for Android power users, but with EE's effective monopoly on 4G for the time being, it likely won't be cheap to get hold of the device and a matching service plan.

Source: Pocket-Lint

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4 years ago

Galaxy Note 2's Smart Rotation solves the ultimate first-world problem


We've all been there before. You're reading something on your smartphone while laying down on a bed or sofa. You turn sideways, and the screen rotates. Suddenly, whatever you were reading is at 90 degrees to where it needs to be, and you're left trying to read at an awkward angle. Fortunately, we found a feature on the Galaxy Note 2 that seems to have been developed for this exact eventuality.

"Smart rotation" makes its debut on the Note 2, and like the Galaxy S3's Smart Stay, it uses a bit of front-facing camera trickery. When the phone rotates, the device uses the front-facer to work out what orientation your face is in and then match the orientation of the screen accordingly, based on the built-in sensor. That means even if you're reading at an angle, the Note 2 can recognize this and keep things the right way up. In our experience it functions pretty well, though the fact that it uses the front-facing camera means you need a little ambient light in order for it to work.

Smart Rotation is switched off by default on the Note 2, but can be enabled under Settings > Display. Perhaps not the most practical or necessary software feature ever conceived, but damned if it isn't cool.

If you're reading this article at a 90 degree angle, be sure to shout out in the comments.

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4 years ago

HTC's 'Get Started' helps you set up your new Sense device from a computer


HTC is not only trying to push the envelope with new hardware and fast software, they are also trying to make smartphones easier for the average person to set up and use. If you're reading AC, there's a good chance you're inside a tech bubble where smartphones, and Internet "things" in general are part of every day life, and you truly understand how to use the computer in your hands. But that's not the case for everyone.

Every time we talk about things like a ROM or an OTA update, someone new to smartphones is asking questions about setting up a Google account or what a Dropbox is. Nobody was born knowing this stuff, and HTC is making it as easy as possible to get started.

Right now, this will only be available for Sense 4+ devices like the One X+. HTC tells us that they have plans to back-port it to all One series phones, as well as the most popular Sense 3.5 phones. It's also geared for devices that are sold internationally, but we expect to see some sort of carrier partnership in the U.S. to use the new tools, much like AT&T is already doing on newer Android devices.

Read through to have a look at what HTC has in store.

More: HTC Get Started

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4 years ago

Survey says Android claims 48% of U.S. tablet market share


A recent study by Pew examined how folks are using tablets and other mobile tech in the U.S., and revealed that 22% of American adults have a tablet, and of the tablets out there, Android powers 48% of them. Not bad considering Apple dominated the space last year with 81%. Other sources estimated that around this time last year, Android had 27% of the tablet space.The whole tablet space is set to continue growing, with 23% of those without a tablet responding that they were planning on getting one in the next six months.

About half of the Android tablets being used were Kindle Fires, which have earned a ton of popularity thanks primarily to their affordability. The survey further goes into detail about how tablet and smartphone adoption are increasing the consumption of news content, and that browser content (versus apps) is on the rise. 

There's a lot of interesting data in this survey, so definitely check it out at the link below. How do you guys consume news on your Android tablet? Do you even have one? What's holding you back from picking up a tablet? 


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4 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest: Colors


Photo taken with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, watermelon and beer consumed by a neckbeard.

We're back with another Android Central weekly photo contest, and this time we're all about the colors. Look around while you're doing the normal things you do in a day (like grocery shopping for example) and notice how color plays an important role in what catches our eye. Whether they are bright and gaudy, or sublime and relaxing, colors are everywhere.

Think of this one as a free-form contest, one where we're not looking for any particular subject. Just one that captures color in a way you like. Get creative with the color settings, or just shoot what the lens sees -- it's your call. We just wanna enjoy looking at them while you do all the thinking.

There will be prizes! This week we'll pick the best five, and each winner will get a blind-box Android series 3 mini-collectible! These puppies are already sold out, so this is a great way to get your hands on one.

Entering is easy, just get your picture and head into the Android contest forums and post it for the world to see. We'll have a look next Monday and pick the winners. Good luck!

Enter this weeks photo contest

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4 years ago

Motorola drops ITC complaint against Apple


In August, Motorola was seeking an import ban of the iPad and iPhone from the International Trade Commission due to patent infringement, but today Motorola has dropped the case. Since the seven non-standard-essential patents in question were never undisclosed, it's hard to say why exactly Motorola backed off. Motorola's statement clearly laid out that no out-of-court settlement was made, either. 

It's entirely possible that Motorola found they didn't have a strong case, or they needed to prepare more documents in order to properly sue Apple, or there were some other outside forces at play that we just plum don't know about. Conversely, Samsung has started its legal counterattack on Apple today, so the tension between Android and iOS isn't likely to let up, even if for whatever reason Google wanted to lay off legally antagonizing Apple. 

So, let's open up the floor to wild speculation as to why Motorola launched the complaint in the first place, and what could have made them retract from proceedings so close to an official investigation. 

Via: FOSS Patents

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4 years ago

The OS on the Nikon Coolpix S800c - it's Android, and that's both good and bad


Nikon's new camera is proof that the standard Android experience shouldn't be on everything

This is where things could have been different. This is where Nikon could have taken a traditional point-and-shoot camera and made it something special with the Coolpix S800c.

Instead, we have exactly what I feared -- a traditional point-and-shoot camera with Android slapped on top of it.

The vast majority of folks out there will lament the fact that it's running Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread -- a version of Android that's closing in on two years old.

But even that's not what bothers us. 

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4 years ago

MetroPCS confirms they're talking to T-Mobile about merging


Following a flurry of rumors, MetroPCS has come right out and confirmed that yes, they're talking with Deutsche Telekom about merging with T-Mobile USA, but nothing definitive has been reached. Here's their brief statement. 

"MetroPCS today confirmed that it is in discussions with Deutsche Telekom regarding an agreement to combine T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS.  There can be no assurances that any transaction will result from these discussions, and the Company does not intend to comment further unless and until an agreement is reached."

So, a small regional carrier stands to get snatched up by the smallest of the major carriers. Annexing MetroPCS coverage and getting their customers would certainly help T-Mobile duke it out with Sprint for third place. It strikes me that it would be a bit of a pain switching over the MetroPCS network and device roster to be AWS-compatible, but on the other hand, it would give T-Mobile a much-needed dosage of LTE. 

In any case, it's still too early to take any of the ramifications too seriously, but there are still lots of entertaining hypothetical questions worth asking. Who would benefit most from this kind of acquisition, T-Mo customers, or MetroPCS?  MetroPCS customers would have to deal with more traffic than they're used to on their network, but there would be a much wider network available to them. Is this acquisition a good investment for T-Mobile? 

Source: PR Newswire

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4 years ago

Samsung claims 25.7 percent U.S. mobile market share, Android 52.6 percent of smartphone OS share


comScore published the survey results of their study of the American mobile landscape in the three months leading up to August, and found that Samsung is still the king of the heap with 25.7% share, while Android was also on top of all smartphone operating systems with 52.6%. By comparison, LG has 18.2%, Apple 17.1%, Motorola 11.2%, and HTC 6.3%. iOS has 34.3% of smartphone platform share, followed by 8.3% BlackBerry, 3.6% Windows Phone/Windows Mobile, and 0.7% Symbian. The survey spanned a respectable sample size of 30,000 consumers, so these numbers should give at least a reasonable ballpark of the current state of affairs.

So, yay, Android on top, as ever. Even LG is beating out Apple's market share, but I'd be curious to see if iOS makes up a bit of ground following the iPhone 5 launch. Also, it would be interesting to see how these numbers stack up against major international markets, such as Europe and China.  

Do you guys find the manufacturer and platform split shown by comScore here lines up with what you see around you? Among your friends, what's the most popular mobile platform? 

Source: comScore

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4 years ago

TELUS confirms HTC One X+ is coming to Canada


TELUS has just confirmed with us that they'll be offering the HTC One X+, though they remained skittish on pricing or timing details. They acknowledged the launch would be happening in the fall, though it's unclear if they were simply referring to when the device would be making its inaugural debut in Europe. 

In any case, have you seen this thing? Sure, it's not a major leap from the original One X, but that predecessor was already really great, and it's looking like it will raise the bar even further. The One X Plus will  boast a 1.7 GHz quad-core processor, keep the same 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 display, and has an 8 megapixel camera on the back. Best of all, the One X+ is packing Android 4.1 Jelly Bean right out of the box. 

I'm still waiting to hear back from Rogers or Bell to see if either one will be offering the One X+ as well or if they'll pick up the One VX. Update: Two big fat "no comment" replies from Bell and Rogers. 

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4 years ago

Kid-friendly MEEP! Android tablet goes on sale


Oregon Scientific has just launched a a kid-friendly Android tablet, now on sale for a scant $149.99. Though it might have modest specs, the MEEP! tablet includes a whole range of parental controls through a web-based interface and kid-friendly apps, e-books, and games suitable for anyone 6 years old and up. It also comes with a silicone sleeve to help soak up the inevitable punishment your kids will lay into this thing. There's also a whole range of tailor-made accessories to go along with it, like a game pad, headphones, case, and a bunch of instruments for music games. Here are the specs, but don't expect too much.

  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1 GHz processor 512 MB of RAM
  • 7-inch 800 x 480 display
  • 4 GB of internal storage plus microSD card slot
  • 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera
  • HDMI-out

The affordability and relatively low-end specs make this tablet at least somewhat disposable, which strikes me as important for something that kids are likely to break or forget somewhere. 

Parents, if you're interested in giving your kids their own device so they don't keep reaching for yours, you can pick up a MEEP! tablet from over here. How connected are your kids? When would you say is a good age to get a kid their own Android device? How about smartphone?

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4 years ago

HTC shares some One X+ design sketches


Now that the One X+ is good and official, HTC has posted a short walk-through of some of their thinking behind the design of their latest smartphone. There's not much said that isn't told through the sketches they've posted, other than obvious stuff like they were aiming to "create a smartphone you wanted to hold and use everyday". HTC does hint, however,that they're going to produce a longer series about the design process, which would be pretty nice. They did up an excellent video for the launch of their latest Windows Phone, and some similar content for Android devices would be great.

For those of you just tuning in, the HTC One X+ is a shaping up to be a great new Android handset hitting Europe this month. 

  • 1.7 GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2100mAh battery
  • 64GB of internal storage in the UK, other markets may vary
  • 4.7-inch laminated SuperLCD2 display at 720p (1280x720) resolution with Gorllla Glass 2
  • Internal speaker with built-in amplifier
  • 8.0MP rear camera with BSI sensor, f/2.0 lens and HTC ImageSense
  • 1.6MP front-facing camera with HTC ImageSense
  • HSPA+ 42Mbps connectivity in Europe, LTE connectivity in the U.S.
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC support
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS with HTC Sense 4+
  • Size: 134.36 x 69.9 x 8.9mm
  • Weight: 135 grams with battery

What would you guys like to see in future HTC behind-the-scenes content? Personally, I think it would be really interesting to see some scrapped prototypes and hear from the designers and product managers why the kept certain aspects but ditched others. 

Source: HTC Blog

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4 years ago

FBI investigating secondary Android apps stores, Google warns developers


Google's legal team has recently blasted out e-mails to registered developers regarding a subpeona issued by the FBI. Apparently this has something to do with an investigation regarding apps showing up in places where developers haven't provided consent. Here's the full e-mail from Google. 


Google has received a subpoena seeking information related to Android applications that may have been made available on alternative markets without the consent of the developer. The subpoena seeks information about those Android applications, including contact information for the developers of the applications. Our records show that your Android developer account will be included in the information Google will provide in response to this subpoena.

Google is not in a position to provide you with legal advice or discuss the substance of the process in our possession. For more information about the subpoena, you may wish to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation — Atlanta Field Office at (404) 679-9000, reference #2011R00320/FBI/ORKIN.


Google Legal Investigations Support

Apparently a representative at the Atlanta Field Office said Google jumped the gun on shooting out this e-mail, and that developers will only be contacted if they're the victim of app piracy. It's entirely likely that this whole thing has more to do with the Aliyun/Acer mess, though the specifics of the investigation haven't been made available. 

I suppose it's good that Google's giving developers a heads-up that the FBI might be contacting them, but I can't help but think that this e-mail is just going to freak most of them out. Any developers here seriously concerned about their apps showing up in the Aliyun app marketplace without their consent? What about app piracy in general?

Via Android-Discuss group

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