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4 years ago

Those 'glitterless' Nexus 4 stories are bullshit


OK, folks. This has gotten ridiculous, and it needs to stop. Now.

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4 years ago

Is 2013 the year of the smart appliance? LG thinks so, and is bringing them to CES


LG is a big ass company. Like Samsung, another Korean electronics giant, they make a little of everything -- if you plug it in, chances are LG makes several different models of it. Of course they make appliances, and their new breed of "smart appliances" look to be pretty damn cool if you're an Android fan.

Get your fridge, or oven, or dryer (you get the picture) installed and turned on, then touch your LG Android smartphone to it and the magic of NFC sets it up so that your phone controls your appliance. You have a Smart Control app to use if you like, or you'll be able to use your voice -- "Home-bot, start cleaning" starts up the Roboking cleaning unit, or "Have you got a few minutes, washer?" will tell you the status of the load of laundry you've got washing. As long as you're on the same Wifi network, you're in control.

While it's not quite the level of automation control we see from Hollywood movies, it sounds awful damn cool (and expensive). You bet your ass we're going to look at these next week at CES.

Source: LG (Korea)

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4 years ago

Dailymotion app updated with new UI and features


Dailymotion Streaming Video, an app that is the second largest video provider on the internet, has just updated its app substantially in both design and functionality. This newest version -- 3.0.1, to be exact -- has a completely overhauled UI that fits nicely into Android 4.0 and above's holo design, taking advantage of the new tabbed interface, overflow settings button and UI fragments.

As if that wasn't enough, there's also a lot of new behind the scenes fixes to improve overall responsiveness of the app. The video player is quicker, there's a new offline mode and improved search suggestions. The latest small update brought many bug fixes to keep everything smooth as well. If you want to know a little more about Dailymotion you can take a look at the press release after the break, or just head straight to the app at the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

The Ubuntu phone's time, if ever, is now - not in 2014


And any number of hurdles still stand in Canonical's way, no matter how cool things look now

Canonical has been buzzing in our ears about Ubuntu as a mobile device operating system for a while now. We've seen them tout integrating a solution into Android for a year, and before that they had plans for their own mobile version of Ubuntu that more than a few Linux geeks were following. Today they came full circle and showed off a native OS on an Android phone, getting some of us pumped for the "next big thing."

But with yet another announcement without a single flashable image, will Ubuntu OS even have a chance?

Let's discuss the pros and cons, and see why 2014 might be too late for any success for Canonical. Read on.

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4 years ago

Google to deliver Q4 2012 results on Jan. 22


Here's your early warning that Google is scheduled to announce its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time on Jan. 22. Or, if history repeats, its printer may decide to do it a few hours early, sending Wall Street into a tizzy

Source: Google

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4 years ago

Over-the-top VOIP users to reach 1 billion in 4 years


Over the top (OTT) VOIP users will top 1 billion by 2017, according to some new research. It's no surprise that traditional voice call usage is going down, but that doesn't mean that people are stopping voice calls all together. The transition to VOIP (Voice Over IP) calling services is on the rise, according to a report out today by Juniper Research, and could reach a massive 1 billion users in just 4 short years. Today, current VOIP solutions like Skype and Talkatone don't integrate natively with phones but rather run as standalone apps, and don't always work as well as users would expect over regular 3G data technologies.

Fortunately as LTE becomes the standard for mobile data, the higher speeds and lower latency will help this move. Apps will start to take advantage with better audio codecs and other software innovations as well. The unknown in all of this is how carriers will react to the move towards VOIP solutions as primary calling options for users.

Source: FierceWireless

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4 years ago

Google's Eric Schmidt headed to North Korea on 'private, humanitarian mission'


North Korea as seen from the Dora Observatory

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt is going to North Korea as part of a "private, humanitarian mission," The Associated Press reported this afternoon. North Korea is all but cut off from the rest of the world when it comes to the Internet (among other things). Will Schmidt's trip the the beginning of any sort of change there? We can only hope.

Source: Associated Press

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4 years ago

What I used in 2012: Richard Devine


And so, with 2012 now behind us, the traditional reflection on the year past begins. Being British, last year was pretty memorable -- the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Summer Olympics in London two standout moments. We've also seen the mobile world continue to grow at an incredible rate, as our smartphones and tablets become an increasingly integral part of every day life. 

AC's editor-in-chief, Phil Nickinson, couldn't have put it better -- "In this job, you can't help but be buried in plastic from time to time." It's true of each member of the team. We talk about devices and apps all day every day, but we don't really talk about what we're using in our own, every day lives. It's been a heck of a year in these parts, so click on past the break to find out what I've been using the most during 2012. 

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4 years ago

Canonical announces its Ubuntu smartphone OS


In its infancy for quite a long time now, software maker Cononical today is taking the wraps off of the smartphone variation of its Linux operating system Ubuntu. The interface will be distinctly in the Ubuntu style, and have many features of other modern smartphone operating systems. There are edge gestures, disappearing controls, global search, voice commands and support for both native and HTML5 web apps.

But Ubuntu for smartphones is more than just a phone OS, as it also provides a full desktop experience when the phone is docked to a mouse, keyboard and monitor. With the current specs of phones, its not unreasonable to expect a single device to be able to handle both a phone and desktop operating system when in each situation. Ubuntu is generally pretty lightweight, so it should run nicely while still remaining feature rich (unlike Motorola Webtop before it.)

Let's not forget that Ubuntu is also open source, giving plenty of options to later customization and tweaking by users as well as quick and free updates in the future. Canonical is holding an informational conference call to provide more details on the launch of its smartphone OS today, which should answer some burning questions. Canonical will also be showing off Ubuntu for smartphones at CES in under a week. In the meantime, take a look at the quick press release after the break.

More: Canonical

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4 years ago

The 2012 Android Central Reader's Choice Awards


Having already presented for your approval (or not) our 2012 Android Central's Editor's Choice Awards, it's now time to turn to something even more important -- the Reader's Choice Awards. These are the best smartphones and tablets and apps for which you voted. Over the past few weeks we saw thousands and thousands of votes pour in. Some went as you might expect. Others threw a little bit of a curveball. 

So let's not waste any more time. After the break are your choices. Your picks. Your favorite smartphones and tablets and apps for the past year or so, with a little commentary from your's truly.

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4 years ago

Hyundai integrating Google Maps with their Blue Link platform


Hyundai has announced a new deal with Google that will bring further integration of Google Maps with their Blue Link telematics platform. Blue Link is an in-car application that aids with mapping and allows phones to connect to it.

The new deal will see more Google Maps APIs being used to enhance the experience in their cars sold in the United States. The new APIs that will be used are:

  • Send to Car
  • Point of Interest
  • Local Search by Voice

Google has been aggressively improving their maps over the last year as increased competition has popped up. More integration with other platforms, such as cars, is good to see. This will (hopefully) make communication between your phone and car more seamless and provide even more data for Google to further improve the maps app.

Source: Hyundai

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 dock to become available in U.S. and Europe this month


After an eternity of waiting and speculation, it seems the elusive ASUS Nexus 7 dock may be about to hit the United States and Europe this month.

In the Netherlands, AndroidWorld.nl has word from ASUS Benelux that the dock will arrive in mid-January. Prices are speculated to be around €29.99. On the U.S. side B&H Photo, which opened preorders of the Nexus 7 dock back in December, is now showing an expected availability date of Jan. 10.

Originally rumored shortly after the tablet's Google I/O debut, the ASUS-made dock connects through the Nexus 7's pogo pins and allows it to connect to other devices through microUSB and headphone jack.

Source: AndroidWorld.nl (Dutch)

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4 years ago

Motorola Electrify M review


It's been one hell of a year for the smartphone industry, and 2012 produced some of the biggest and most unique innovations to date. More important than the increase in pixel density or the additional processing cores, though, is the progress we've seen in the quality of non-flagship devices. Prior to 2012, shopping for a smartphone on a budget meant you were going to have to make some serious sacrifices in terms of both hardware and software, and if you were a customer of a small or regional carrier, you may as well just buy a Tracfone. All that has changed, though, and today we're seeing increasingly impressive internals and designs hitting the entry and mid-level market. 

Motorola deserves a lot of recognition for this, as it single-handedly changed the way I thought of non-flagship devices with its recent Droid RAZR M. The RAZR M blew me away in terms of how well it performed and how stunning it looked for the price-- this was as a mid-level device with specs that could have easily landed it in top-shelf territory on any other carrier. Thankfully, Motorola thought the same, and brought a nearly identical and equally impressive package, the Electrify M, to US Cellular's increasingly impressive lineup. 

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4 years ago

CTIA consolidating events in 2014 for single 'super show'


A quick bit of inside baseball from the trade show front this morning. CTIA-The Wireless Association today announced that its 2014 lineup will be consolidated into a single "super show" in September in Las Vegas. In past years (and continuing in 2013), CTIA has hosted a pair of events, with the spring show having a more of a consumer focus, and the fall show focusing on the enterprise space.

The move isn't all that surprising to those of us who attend these events -- the fall show has been dwindling the past couple years now, but we'll just have to see what the consolidation does in terms of major announcements. The CTIA "Super Mobility Week" -- as it's also being dubbed -- is the same week in 2014 as the IFA conference in Berlin. In 2012 we saw the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy Camera there, with the original Galaxy Note appearing there in 2011, and the original Galaxy Tab tablet in 2010.

CTIA's hardly the only mobile game, however, with CES in January in Las Vegas, Mobile World Congress a month or so later in Barcelona, and any number of standalone events throughout the year.

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4 years ago

Vodafone UK launches discounted 'Nearly New' pre-owned handsets


Vodafone UK has announced the launch of 'Nearly New' -- a way for Pay As You Go or contract customers to get hold of a smartphone at a lower cost, provided they're happy with using a handset that's not fresh out of the box.

PAYG customers will be able to pick up a pre-owned handset at a reduced up-front price, while contract customers will pay a lower monthly fee if they take a pre-owned phone.

Vodafone says all 'Nearly New' handsets have been returned in "very good condition" by previous owners, and have been factory reset and boxed up with accessories. Vodafone offers the example of the Galaxy S3, which is free on a £33 per month deal on 'Nearly New,' versus £37 per month brand new. Devices bought on PAYG will come with a 12 month warranty, the network says; for contract customers, it's 24 months.

'Nearly New' launches today for contract customers online and at Vodafone stores today; PAYG phones are available in-store today and online from today.

It's not the first time Vodafone has experimented with unconventional ways of getting phones into customers' hands. Back in November the carrier started offering 12-month handset rentals, allowing subscribers to get a new smartphone every year, provided the old one is returned undamaged.

2013 is set to become an interesting year for UK mobile operators, as Vodafone, O2 and Three prepare to launch LTE services to compete with 4G incumbent EE.

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