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5 years ago

Amazon announces Kindle Fire HD in 7-inch, 8.9-inch, and LTE varieties


Today, Amazon announced the Kindle Fire HD, a big sequel to their affordable tablet. One is in the familiar 7-inch size, and another at 8.9 inches with an option for LTE and an awesome data plan. For $49.99/year you can get a data plan that offers 250 MB/month (which you'll blow through in 5 seconds if you're downloading at full tilt). The plan is coming from AT&T, though Amazon says the Kindle Fire HD will support all ten 4G bands. 20 GB of cloud storage come included, plus upgrades are available for 3 GB or 5 GB plans. Let's run through the device specs. 

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7-inch - starts at $199, shipping September 14

  • 16 GB / 32 GB storage
  • 7-inch 1280 x 800 touchscreen at 216 PPI
  • TI OMAP 4460 processor
  • 802.11n 5 Ghz MIMO Wi-Fi antenna 
  • 7.6 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • 11 hours battery life

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch - starts at $299, $499 for LTE/32GB, shipping November 20

  • 16 GB / 32 GB / 64 GB storage
  • 8.9-inch 1920 x 1200 touchscreen at 254 PPI
  • TI OMAP 4470 processor and Imagination SGX544 graphics engine
  • 9.4 x 7.31 x 0.34 inches
  • 802.11n 5 Ghz MIMO Wi-Fi antenna

Pre-order Amazon's new Kindle devices

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5 years ago

Amazon introduces Kindle Paperwhite with new high-contrast display


Today Amazon announced the Kindle Paperwhite, a $119 e-reader that's shipping October 1st, with preorders available today. A version with 3G will also be available for $179. The big seller here is the new high-contrast touch-sensitive display; whites are whiter, blacks are blacker. The thing can even get 8 weeks of battery life with the light on. Wowzers. Three's also this cool feature called X-Ray which lets you keep track of characters in novels. Handy for those particularly complicated books, eh?

The announcement is ongoing, but based on this shot of a demo, it's looking like the device runs Android.  Still waiting on confirmation... In the meantime, follow our liveblog!

Even if this one doesn't end up running Android, Paperwhite is likely to find its way into an Android device from Amazon at some point. It's got something they're calling a "nanoimprrinted light guide" to help figure out just exactly how much light to emit given ambient conditions.

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5 years ago

Sprint updates their Galaxy Nexus support page, confirms Jelly Bean coming yet again


Just in case you needed one more reason to believe that Sprint will begin rolling out Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to Sprint Galaxy Nexus owners, they've now gone ahead and updated their software update website with the details and change log. Of course, it contains nothing surprising that you all didn't already know but have a look any how:

  • Upgrades phone operating system to Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean)
    • Smoother user interface
    • Enhanced Accessibility functions
    • Bi-directional text and other language support
    • User-installable keyboard maps
    • Expandable notifications
    • Ability to turn off notifications on an application specific basis
    • Shortcuts and widgets can automatically be re-arranged or re-sized to allow new items to fit on home screens
    • Android Beam – Use Android Beam to Bluetooth transfer data
    • Offline voice dictation
    • Improved voice search
    • Improved camera application
    • Google Wallet (for the Nexus 7)
    • High resolution Google+ contact photos
    • Google Now
    • Multichannel audio
    • USB audio added for external sound Digital to Analog Conversion
    • Audio chaining also referred to as Gapless Playback.  Gapless playback is the uninterrupted playback of consecutive audio tracks
  • Discontinuing support for Adobe Flash Player:
    • Adobe will not be certifying the Adobe Flash Player for Android Mobile devices that either release with or update to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). 
    • Devices that upgraded from Android 4.0 to Android 4.1, may exhibit unpredictable behavior, as it is not certified for use with Android 4.1.  Adobe recommends uninstalling Flash Player on devices which have been upgraded to Android 4.1.

We've not yet received any reports it showing up for anyone as of yet, but I'm sure it'll be along shortly. If you see it pop up, drop a comment here or in the Android Central forums and let everyone else know they should commence smashing their check for update button.

 Source: Sprint, Thanks, adavisme!

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5 years ago

Vodafone announces Vodafone Red with unlimited calls and texts


Vodafone UK is to launch a new range of service plans aimed at heavy users, dubbed Vodafone Red. The new plans, which start at £29 per month, offer unlimited calls and texts and between 1GB and 2GB of data. Vodafone Red plans come into effect from tomorrow, Sept. 7, and will be available across Voda's range of smartphones. At the entry-level, £29 per month will get you something like a Huawei Ascend G300, while those looking to take advantage of the Red plan and score a high-performance handset at the same time will be looking at up to £47 per month.

Voda's new plans represent a move in the opposite direction to competing networks T-Mobile and Three. Both rivals offer unlimited data around this price point, along with finite, though large, allowances of calls and data. It'll be interesting to see whether Brits are still interested in call-focused price plans, as subscribers are increasingly turning towards heavier mobile data usage. Nevertheless, Vodafone insists its new price plans offer the "best value ever" for its customers.

We've got more details in Vodafone's press release after the break.

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5 years ago

HootSuite swoops in and acquires Seesmic


After a good, long run on Android, Seesmic has been acquired by HootSuite. Seesmic users don't have to worry too much, as HootSuite has promised that they'll continuing supporting the app, though business users will get moved over to HootSuite's offering. Both CEOs sound pretty amicable about how the whole thing worked out.

"I have always had a lot of respect for Seesmic’s CEO, Loïc Le Meur and the role Seesmic has played in advancing social business." said HootSuite CEO, Ryan Holmes. “We are thrilled to welcome Seesmic’s users into the HootSuite family.”

"We’ve always been big fans of Ryan Holmes and the HootSuite team, since the days we were all pioneering the Social Media landscape. We’re thrilled today to announce that Seesmic is joining HootSuite, and we’re excited for our users: they are becoming part of the HootSuite family, and they will be able to continue to build their brand and social business," said Seesmic CEO Loic Le Meur.

Both companies are big in the social media management scene, and their products have been just as great for everyday consumers as for pros. Although Twitter is the main focus, HootSuite offers tools for Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and a few other networks too. 

I haven't touched Seesmic in awhile since I generally stick with HootSuite or the native Twitter and Facebook apps, but what do you guys use? The last update we saw from Seesmic added Instagram viewing, which is pretty cool, but what else does Seesmic do that HootSuite should make a point of integrating?

Source: HootSuite

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5 years ago

AT&T turns on LTE in 7 cities, announces many more to receive it by year end


AT&T announced this morning that it has turned on its LTE network in 3 new cities and also announced that several more will receive the high speed network by the end of the year.

Here are the new cities that now have AT&T LTE:

So if you're in any of those cities, congrats as you'll be able to take advantage of the high speeds. The places that AT&T announced will receive LTE by the end of 2012 are:

In addition, AT&T has expanded their service in Northern Montgomery County and Northern New Jersey.

It's great to see AT&T continue to expand its LTE network. Hopefully this trend will continue.

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5 years ago

Live from the Amazon Kindle event in Santa Monica!


Show time! We're live on location in Santa Monica for the Amazon Press Conference. Fully expected to be announced is the successor to the Android-based Kindle Fire, as well as an update to their more traditional Kindle e-reader. Heading into the event there is also buzz that Amazon may even show off an Amazon phone based on the Kindle Fire's software. Will it happen? We'll know soon enough. 

The event gets going at 10:30 a.m. PDT, 1:30 p.m. EDT, and 6:30 p.m. BST. (To say nothing of all the other times you folks enjoy throughout the world.)

With Phil and the usual Android Central "A team" tied up for this one, I'm filling in on the coverage (I'm still on my World Tour and rocking a One X at the moment, so it's all good). Also joining in on location from the Mobile Nations team is Ashley Esqueda and Steph Koenig. To tune into the action as it unfolds, jump on over to

Take me to the Live Blog Coverage

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5 years ago

Sony Xperia Tablet S now shipping in the UK, yours for £329


Sony’s new Xperia Tablet S, announced last week at IFA 2012 in Berlin, is now available to buy in the UK. The second-generation Sony tablet, which is the first to bear the company’s Xperia branding, includes an NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a substantial helping of Sony multimedia goodies. It also evolves the unconventional “folded magazine” chassis design introduced in last year’s Sony Tablet S.

The 16GB and 32GB Wifi-only Xperia Tablet S models are now available to buy from Sony UK’s online store, priced £329 and £379 respectively. The 16GB Wifi and 3G version remains up for pre-order with a £429 price tag. At £329, Sony’s 2012 tablet is a little more tempting than its predecessor was last year, and importantly, it’s undercutting Apple’s third-gen iPad by around £70.

Given the Xperia tablet’s lower-resolution screen and the fact that Android still hasn’t caught up with iOS’s tablet app ecosystem, the device may be a tough sell even at this price. Nevertheless, as an electronics giant with global reach, Sony is in as good a position as any OEM to make this kind of device work.

For more on the Sony Xperia Tablet S, check out our hands-on coverage from IFA 2012.

Source: Sony, via: XperiaBlog

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5 years ago

HTC revenues slide ahead of new product launches


HTC’s revenues continue to tumble, ahead of the company’s late 2012 product refresh, expected to begin at an event in New York in just under two weeks. The Taiwanese smartphone maker’s unaudited revenues for August 2012 were NT$24 billion ($800 million), down from NT$25 billion in July. The number represents a fall of 47 percent compared to the August 2011, when a hugely successful HTC was enjoying record sales.

It’s no secret that 2012 hasn’t been kind to HTC thus far. As well as falling revenues, the company has been forced to withdraw from certain territories where it’s had difficulty competing with rival Samsung -- notably the latter’s native South Korea. In addition, HTC sold back half of its stake in audio firm Beats, and wrote off a $40 million investment in troubled cloud gaming provider OnLive.

With new Android and Windows Phone 8 products likely to arrive imminently, HTC will be hoping that a new round of devices in late 2012 will help to reverse its fortunes. However it, like all other OEMs, will face fierce competition from Apple, which will be launching its next iPhone around the same time.

Source: HTC

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5 years ago

Samsung sells 20 million Galaxy S3 phones in first 100 days


It's been just one hundred days since the Samsung Galaxy S3 made its international debut in London, but already 20 million of the handsets have been sold worldwide, according to the manufacturer. In its official blog post today, Samsung notes that the S3 passed this milestone around three times as fast as last year's Galaxy S2, no doubt helped along by a streamlined U.S. launch and an aggressive marketing campaign. The S2, another big seller for the Korean manufacturer, took some ten months to reach the 20 million milestone.

Today's announcement also shows that sales of the device remain strong. It took Samsung 50 days to sell its first 10 million S3 phones, and the company says they're selling at a rate of around 200,000 per day.

As we rapidly approach the final quarter of the year, there's little doubt that the Galaxy S3 will emerge as the best-selling Android handset of the year. However, it's biggest test will come in a couple of weeks, when it's pitted against Apple's next iPhone.

Update: We've got Samsung's press release after the break.

Source: Samsung (Translated)

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5 years ago

Headset controls on the Galaxy Nexus with Jelly Bean


Headset controls are something that iPhone users have taken for granted all of these years, with standardized volume up/down and play/pause buttons that work universally if the accessory is "made for iPhone". Poking around on my Galaxy Nexus running Jelly Bean and using the included Samsung earbuds, the in-line mic and button seem to work just as gracefully. Join me after the break for a quick video showing many ways the Galaxy Nexus’ headset can be used.

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5 years ago

Kobo unveils the Kobo Arc powered by Android 4.0, prices starting at £160


Kobo has today officially unveiled their latest attempt at a 7-inch reading focused tablet, the Kobo Arc, which is the successor to last years Gingerbread powered Vox. The Kobo Arc is a much different proposition to the Vox, and will come running fully Google certified Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The Arc will also be reasonably well priced for a device of this nature, starting at just £159.99.

The Arc is more more design focused than the Vox, and packs more impressive hardware. Powering everything from within is a 1.5GHz dual-core TI OMAP processor, and 1GB of RAM. The 7-inch screen is a 1280x800 IPS panel with a pretty respectable PPI of 215. There's no rear camera on the Arc, but there is a front facing 720p HD 1.3MP camera and a microphone, so video conferencing is a definite possibility. Connectivity is WiFi only, but the Arc is WiFi Direct capable. Rounding out the hardware is a pair of stereo speakers on the front of the device, and in partnership with SRS home entertainment technology volume and sound quality is increased with the function turned on. Battery life is pegged at 10 hours of reading or watching videos with the WiFi off, with standby time of around 2 weeks. 

So, the specs are nice. Not ground-breaking, but a definite mark up from the previous Vox. Hardware only tells half the tale though, it's in the software that Kobo is looking to be a little different to the norm. Kobo has designed their own custom interface that they call Tapestries, which is focused on organizing your content into easy to manage chunks -- or Tapestries. We got a look at the device, and the Tapestries interface back at IFA 2012 in Berlin, and it has some interesting features within. 

The back story first though. Kobo has decided upon their design based around a principle of tablet use -- they're being used to consume content, be that books, videos, music etc. The UI of more traditional Android tablets is somewhat focused more around applications. Kobo wanted to focus on content, and so Tapestries was born. It's all about creating a personal experience on the Arc, and all about the users content. 

As a content focused UI, applications are kept away from being front and center. Instead, the UI gives us a long scrolling wall to fill with content, and the main view shows off all your created Tapestries -- think of them as folders, but folders that open up a whole new home screen. Kobo has included some stock tapestries to organize some basic content such as reading, social media interactions, and entertainment, but the user can create one based around any kind of content they wish. App shortcuts and widgets are still usable as with traditional Android tablets, but it allows for total customization and organization of all your topic specific content.  And it was all developed in house by the Kobo team. 

Kobo hasn't forgotten too their reading roots. Integrated into the web browser is a "distraction and ad free reading experience." By partnering with Readability, the Arc's web browser has a reading mode that will just show you the juicy text on a web page. The fonts used are all customized to look best on the Arc's display, and from within this view online content can be pinned to any Tapestry for reading later. It doesn't have offline capabilities however, so you will still need to be connected to WiFi. 

The final area of the UI worth noting is the discover area occupying the bottom portion of the display. This learns about the content that you consume, and will start to make suggestions for you. It can even make suggestions based on topics contained within the text of a book. No personal information is given to any services, everything is managed in the cloud by Kobo. 

Kobo's social reading features  from the Vox have also made their way on to the Arc. Pre-loaded apps include Facebook, Twitter, Skype, 7Digital and Rdio, along with the full suite of Google apps including the Play Store. It is expected to be available in November at £159.99 ($200) for the 8GB version, and £189.99 ($250) for the 16GB and will be available globally through existing Kobo retail partners. Black and white versions will be available, along with different colored interchangable rear covers. 

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5 years ago

T-Mobile launches Galaxy S Relay 4G



T-Mobile has announced today that it will be even further expanding its lineup of 42mbps HSPA+ devices with the Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G. Following quickly behind the launch of the Galaxy Note, the Relay 4G is decidedly a much different form factor, with a 480x800 resolution 4-inch Super AMOLED screen and full QWERTY keyboard. For software, the Galaxy S Relay 4G is running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with Samsung's usual TouchWiz UI. Here are a few of the high points on the device:

  • 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor
  • 5MP rear and 1.3MP front cameras
  • 1GB of RAM
  • T-Mobile WiFi Calling support
  • SAFE enterprise-ready features and capabilities

Though we think some may be getting a little burned out on iterations of the "Galaxy S" branding, this is yet another good mid-range device available on T-Mobile. Take a look after the break at the full press release.

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5 years ago

22 percent of Android devices now running 4.0 and above


The latest Android platform numbers have just been released on the Android Developers site, showing devices running Android 4.0 and above now making up a 22.1 percent share of the Android market. As expected, Android 2.3 Gingerbread devices still make up a majority of the market at 57.5 percent. All other versions under 2.3 now total up to a small but still noticeable 18.3 percent.

Most manufacturers have at least started pushing 4.0 updates to their handsets that launched on 2.3, and nearly all devices are coming to market with 4.0 or 4.1 on board now, which is a good sign. Seeing such a large majority of devices still on Android 2.3 and below really hurts when you know how great the experience on Android 4.0 and 4.1 is, and we can only hope that the share of devices running 4.0 and above can increase faster in the future.

You can see the full granular report of the latest Android numbers - including time series of the market, screen sizes and more - at the source link below.

Source: Android Developers

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5 years ago

Back to stock on the Sprint Galaxy Nexus, $100 rebate from Motorola [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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