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4 years ago

Spotify planning expansion into Canada, Asia and South America not far behind


Management filings from Spotify's European parent company have confirmed that Canadian launch is on the way, and that the company's looking at Asian, and South American expansions. While there's no date set for these plans, the filing was written back in April and subsidiaries in each of those regions are already formed. The last geographic expansion for Spotify was in Australia and New Zealand.

As a Canadian, I'm pretty pumped about this, but it all depends on how long it takes for the service to get here. Between Slacker and Songza, there are already a couple of free streaming mobile music services to get comfortable with in Canada. Seeing as Spotify only recently made the radio feature free and unlimited for mobile users, the one real selling point is the desktop client, which can bring up everything from their massive library on demand.  

In any case, it's good to hear that plans are well underway, plus Asia and South America are both huge markets to tackle.  Canadians, having you been holding out for Spotify? Current Spotify users, what's your favorite part of the service? 

Source: WSJ

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4 years ago

A quick look at Ice Cream Sandwich on the HTC ThunderBolt


Ice Cream Sandwich on the HTC ThunderBolt. Whodathunkit, eh?

Here we have a very quick look at that leaked Android 4.0.3 ROM put forth by Team BAMF for what either is the best phone of the past year or so, or the worst, depending on your point of view. What you see here is ICS, of course, and it's got Sense 3.6 atop it. That's complete with all the bells and whistles you would expect, including HTC's excellent lockscreen customizations, quick settings in the notification pull-down, and HTC's other reworkings.

And you know what? It runs surprisingly well. We're not going to pass final judgment on that just yet -- this is an unofficial leak, after all, so let's wait until Verizon actually pushes the thing. But so far, we're pleasantly surprised, and we have a feeling you will be, too.

More: Team BAMF

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4 years ago

Nikon Coolpix S800c preorder at B&H for $349


We don't yet have a sale date on the Nikon S800c, the camera manufacturer's first Android-powered point-and-shoot announced last night, but we're starting to see the first pre-orders be made available. New York's B&H Photo has the Gingerbread camera (that feels really weird to type, by the way) listed for $349. It mentions a shipping time of seven to 10 days, but that almost feels as more of a placeholder. The sooner the better, we say, because this 16MP shooter needs to be put up against the likes of the HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S3, and everything from Sony in the past year. This is gonna get good.

B&H has both the white and black version up for preorder. 

More: B&H Photo

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4 years ago

LG rumored to be prepping new high-end 'Optimus G' for global launch


LG’s Optimus 4X HD may have only just landed on European store shelves, but already it seems the Korean company may be preparing a new high-end smartphone for multiple territories. Korean news site Asia Today reports that the device is currently codenamed “Optimus G,” and that it’ll come with 4G LTE connectivity, a 4.7-inch screen, quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 13MP camera. On the software side, reports indicate a combination of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and LG’s Optimus UI 3.0.

Asia Today reports that LG is positioning the phone as a direct competitor to Samsung’s Galaxy S3, and if the reports of quad-core Krait lurking inside are true, the "Optimus G" should certainly give Samsung’s flagship a run for its money in benchmarks.

Eagle-eyed readers will remember that this isn’t the first quad-core S4-based LG phone we’ve heard whispers about. The Sprint LG Eclipse has cropped up a few times over the past month, most recently at the FCC. The jury’s out on whether this is the same device, but the hardware specs certainly look familiar.

Despite the fact that IFA 2012 -- a major tech show -- is just around the corner, our understanding is that LG won’t showcase any major new phones in Berlin next week. So if these rumors do turn out to be accurate, we’ll likely have to wait a little longer to get our first glimpse of the Optimus G.

Source: Asia Today, via: TechRadar

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4 years ago

Motorola Xoom (Verizon 3G) for $200 at Daily Steals


The one thing I like better than Android devices is a deal, so I had to pass this one along. It's refurbished, no longer qualifies for the LTE upgrade, and only carries a 90-day warranty -- but a 32GB Xoom for 200 bills is a hell of a deal. Hit the link for ordering details.

Source: Daily Steals

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4 years ago

T-Mobile makes Unlimited Nationwide 4G plan official


T-Mobile has announced that the previously rumored Unlimited Nationwide 4G plan is a reality this evening. Starting September 5, users will have the option to sign up for a completely unthrottled, uncapped, HSPA+ 4G plan from the nations number four carrier, and the pricing is right. When added to a Value plan, the data package will be $20, and on a Classic plan it will be $30. 

OK, we know that T-Mobile's plans can be a bit confusing. Even those of us who are T-Mobile subscribers get confused sometimes. Here's the skinny -- T-Mobile's "Value" plan is a package they sell a bit cheaper for folks who don't want to subsidize a new phone. It's the plan you want when you're using an unlocked phone, or you like your current phone and don't want to upgrade. The "Classic" plan is the normal subsidised plan. A bit of quick math, and that means if you don't need a new phone, $69.99 per month gets you unlimited everything. No counting minutes, no counting texts, and no worrying about data limits. If you do need a subsidised phone, like a new Galaxy S3, it will cost you $89.99 for the same.

Not a bad deal if you have good T-Mobile service. Read the full press release after the break.

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4 years ago

Nikon announces the Android-powered Coolpix S800c


Nikon today announced its first Android-powered camera, the previously rumored S800c. It's a 16-megapixel shooter with a 10x optical zoom and NIKKOR lens. And, yes, it runs Android. Android 2.3 Gingerbread, to be exact, and it's Wifi-enabled (802.11 b/g/n), of course. 

Answering the big question, though, is that, yes, it's got full access to Google Play. That means Instagram. That means HDR apps. That means Facebook. That means Google+. Anything you shoot with the S800c, you'll be able to share the same as with your phone. 

The UI, which is displayed on a 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen, appears to be a mix of traditional "stock" Android -- that's an icon-laden homescreen you see above, complete with Gingerbread launcher -- with what we presume will be a bevy of tweaks. Nikon's providing its own Picturetown app, just in case you need yet another place to upload your pics. The camera also has aGPS, so everything can be geotagged.

Other specs of note include:

  • 25mm to 250mm shooting
  • Vibration reduction (VR)
  • Built-in flash
  • 8 frames per second still shooting
  • 1080p video recording
  • 2GB on-board storage

Will it get you to put down your phone and pick up a "real" camera of relatively similar expense? Time will tell. We'll also have to see just how useful Nikon's UI ends up being. 

And we'll have to see what the hell folks are able to hack onto it.

Source: Nikon; full specs

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4 years ago

Google Play gift card redemption now showing in some Play store apps


Some users with the 3.8.16 version of Google Play are seeing the "Redeem" entry show up in their menu, pushing us that much closer to live Google Play gift cards. This is happening with no hacking or tearing apart apk files, but not every phone is seeing it yet. Case in point -- my HTC One X has the right version, but the menu entry is missing, while my Galaxy Nexus has it.

We're pretty certain that it's something server side, and until the gift cards start hitting stores en masse, there's no reason to fret if you aren't seeing it just yet. We're excited though, as gift cards are something that's been on our wishlist for quite a while. 

To check if your phone is ready for them, just fire up the Google Play app and open the overflow menu. Feel free to shout out in the comments if you're seeing it, and of course any ideas to force it to happen will be welcome. There's a screenshot after the break of the page itself.

Thanks, Ben!

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4 years ago

HotSpot software setups, AOKP Jelly Bean Style [From the Forums]


Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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4 years ago

T-Mobile appears poised to offer truly unlimited data


This is big. Really big. Based on the above leaked document (and assuming it's legit), it seems as though T-Mobile is poised to start offering unlimited data starting September 5th. You're saying wait, doesn't T-Mobile already offer "unlimited" data? Notice the lack of quotes around unlimited. We're talking completely unthrottled, uncapped, unlimited data available to any T-Mobile customer on a Classic Plan or Value Plan, for the simple price of $30 or $20, respectively. On both plans, that's only a $10 bump from the basic 2GB plan, which after that point is throttled to about 60 kbps download and 150 kbps upload. The only caveat, it seems, is that these new unlimited plans are not compatible with T-Mobile's Mobile HotSpot add-on. Those who want to go legit and pay for tethering on their plan will still be limited to 5 GB and 10 GB data tiers, at least for now.

If the above picture doesn't make you giddy as a schoolgirl, it really should. The combination of a T-Mobile Value Plan with completely unlimited data and an unlocked Galaxy Nexus from the Play Store is something smartphone nerds have wet dreams about. T-Mobile's Value Plans, if you're not familiar, are the exact same as their Classic Plans, but are cheaper and do not offer a device subsidy. This is perfect for those of us who like to buy and switch phones all the time, and don't want to keep paying the carrier for a device subsidy we didn't use. The unlimited data is just icing on the cake here, especially when we consider that T-Mobile is rolling out 42mbps HSPA+ pretty much nationwide at this point.

If true, this really could be a fantastic option for a lot of people who want truly unlimited data at speeds that are actually acceptable, unlike what we've seen from Sprint as of late.

Source: TmoNews

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4 years ago

Exclusive: International Samsung Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update coming next week


Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update to arrive shortly after Unpacked event on Aug. 29

The international Samsung Galaxy S3 (GT-i9300) will have its update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean launched next week after the company's Mobile Unpacked event in Berlin, Android Central can exclusively reveal. Sources familiar with Samsung's plans inform us that the firmware is in the final stages of testing. The current schedule calls for the release of the international S3 Jelly Bean update shortly after the Samsung Mobile Unpacked event in Berlin, Germany next Wednesday, Aug. 29. That's the same event at which we're expecting to see Samsung's Galaxy Note successor. Following the event, we understand the update will roll out in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom.

As we revealed during our teardown of a leaked Jelly Bean build, the update will introduce familiar Jelly Bean features like the redesigned notification shade and Google Now. In addition, it'll include new TouchWiz features like "dormant mode" for better notification and alert management, as well as "easy mode" for simplified home screen operation.

As for the U.S. and Canada, we have no information on when the LTE-capable Snapdragon S4-powered Galaxy S3 variants can expect their Jelly Bean update, but we're sure Samsung will be just as keen to deliver speedy Android 4.1 upgrades for customers in North America too.

Regardless, international S3 owners should have reason to celebrate in a little over a week's time, as Samsung turns around a major Android OS update in record time. It certainly wouldn't be the first time the manufacturer's delivered a product on announcement -- last week it announced and launched the Galaxy Note 10.1 on the same day in New York City.

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4 years ago

Get the latest Android Forums threads on Google Currents


Google Currents continues to be that sleeper hit of the past year -- we just eclipsed 611,000 subscribers -- and we've just added another section that makes it that much sweeter.

With more than 900,000 members, Android Central's Android Forums are a key (and, if I may add, unusually friendly) source of information when it comes figuring stuff out. Need help rooting? The forums have you covered. Want to chat up the latest leak? That's where it's going down. 

Tonight, we've added our Android Forums to our Google Currents subscription. You'll be able to get all the latest forum threads just as soon as they're started. It's a fast and furious feed, to be sure. But it's an amazing tool that you'll want to be sure to check out.

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4 years ago

Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich for the HTC Thunderbolt leaks out


Although Woz and some others might not think highly of the HTC Thunderbolt, there is still a lot of folks out there making use of the device today. Verizon and HTC are preparing an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update to appease the masses but if you simply cannot wait you now have another option available. Team BAMF has gotten ahold of the official Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for the HTC Thunderbolt if you're feeling adventurous.

The ROM is marked as build number 7.00.605.2 and includes Sense 3.6 as well as some new styling changes and the inclusion of the 'Quick Settings' tab. One thing to keep in mind is the that if you're rooted currently and want to stay that way, you'll want to avoid this for now but if you care nothing about all of that, you can jump right in and give it a go.

Just remember, 'official' in this case isn't really official from Verizon sent via OTA so there may be some unknown dragons ahead. Also, the team BAMF site seems a little under pressure at the moment so you might want to wait for some mirrors of the file.

Source: Team BAMF

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4 years ago

Jury in Apple v. Samsung given instructions and prepares for deliberation


The latest Apple v. Samsung case is winding down (hooray!) and the jury was given a huge list of instructions in court today to prepare them for their deliberation. Barring any last-minute changes, the jury should cloister tomorrow and start their decision making, wrapping up this particular battle in the patent holy-war. We have no idea how things will work out, and it's very likely that neither side will get what they wanted, but we can be sure that the cost of it all will be paid by us consumers in the long run. We're just glad that this means we'll get a break from ZOMG PATENTS!! being plastered all over the Internet for a little bit. 

I read through the written document of jury instructions (all 109 grueling pages of it) and it's all pretty standard. One thing did catch my eye that's worth sharing -- jurors have received an unspecified number of unspecified devices to use in their deliberations. We're not sure exactly what devices or how many, but the screenshots that remind jurors not to accept any software updates on the Android devices are of a Samsung Droid Charge. We can be sure the iOS phones will have a 3.5-inch screen, a huge bezel, and a round button, though. I'll let you pore over the instructions yourself, here's a pdf file of them. Keep caffeine handy.

I am glad that jurors have a chance to actually hold the devices in their hands when trying to decide if one looks like the other. Too often court documents are fabricated with the app drawer open on Samsung devices to make them look more like an iOS device, so jurors need a chance to see just how the appear to the user -- not the lawyer. 

This round is winding down, and all that's left is the verdict, and the weeks worth of online analysis about how it was wrong, how the jury should have seen things, and how one side sucks more than the other. Oh, and the inevitable appeals. 

Then we can brace ourselves for the next round.

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4 years ago

Mushroom Age review - handing kids time-traveling cell phones


Mushroom Age has recently ported its iOS adventure game to Android, offering a younger audience a chance to jump into a world time travel, mystery, and puzzle-solving.

Mushroom Age is ultimately a game of finding hidden objects interspersed with simple puzzles. Tasks can be as simple as finding a single object, but may involve multiple steps, like finding a light bulb so you can see inside of a toolshed to get gas for the lawnmower, so you can cut the grass to find a key. Every stage is a new era with different challenges to complete and more story to unravel.

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