5 years ago

Samsung checks in with a $5.9 billion operating profit for Q2 2012


Samsung has released their own Q2 financials, and the Korean electronics giant reports a whopping 6.72 trillion Won operating profit. That figures out to a cool 5.9 billion U.S. Dollars, and is a record for the company. Samsung is the worlds largest and most lucrative television manufacturer and makes a wide range of consumer electronics, but a good bit of that profit likely comes from Android handsets like the Galaxy S 3. Samsung did not break out their smartphone shipments, but Reuters is reporting that analysts expect that Samsung has further widened the gap with Apple and Nokia. 

We know two things, for sure. People love the Galaxy S 3 phones, and in a time when we see companies missing projections due to a slow economy, Samsung knocked it out of the park. Read the press release after the break.

More: Reuters

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5 years ago

Vizio sold out of Co-Star Google TV pre-orders in just 12 hours, they're back now though


If you've been encountering problems trying to pre-order a Vizio Co-Star Google TV box in the last couple of days, you're probably not alone. After going up for pre-order a few days back, Vizio has today posted on their Google+ page that they completely sold out of the pre-orders within the first 12 hours. Popular then. 

The good news is, they found some more. Maybe they were looking in the wrong part of the warehouse, or maybe they just got to making them really fast. But, the important thing is that they're back, and if you couldn't pre-order before you should be good to go now. Click on over to the link below for the product page. 

Source: Vizio

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5 years ago

Sprint rolling out another update for the Samsung Galaxy S3


Sprint has been keeping Samsung Galaxy S3 owners busy with updates for better or worse. The latest update shows as starting yesterday and is labeled L710VPLG4. Rather than sticking to a short and sweet change log, Sprint chose to lay it all out for this one and looking at it there is certainly some improvements listed:

  • KI – Touch Wiz home has stopped
  • Single picture MMS no longer displayed as slideshow
  • Optimized LTE system selection
  • Enhanced Smart Stay function
  • Enhanced Voice recognition algorithm
  • All-Share Cast (All-share accessory hub) support
  • Music Hub support
  • Security Fixes

Aside from the fixes, which are great to see, you may notice that Music Hub support is listed. Samsung hasn't as of yet anyhow, launched Music Hub in North America so we're left to wonder why it's listed. In any case, sound off in the comments or in the forums if you're seeing this update on your device. If it's not there yet, you'll just have to wait it out until it arrives.

Source: Sprint via: Android Central Forums

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5 years ago

Confirmed: Sprint's Galaxy Nexus update removes local search


The Sprint Galaxy Nexus update that was scheduled to begin today has started rolling out, and along with the listed fixes, such as RSSI indicator fixes and LTE defaulting to on, there's a special gift that Samsung and Sprint didn't bother to mention -- local search has been removed from the device.

Yesterday, all models of the Galaxy Nexus -- the Google Play takju version, the various GSM yakju builds and variants, and the CDMA/LTE versions -- had universal search. That means you could search the web and things like contacts or media files all from the same spot. Apple and their lawyers take offense to that, and went as far as blocking sales of the takju model direct from Google for a little while. We get it -- laws are laws, and you have to follow them when they are valid. We hope this particular case is made invalid, but until then things are what they are. We don't like it, but we understand it.

The problem here is that nobody is telling us that updates are removing capabilities from our phones. We saw it with the Galaxy S III, though Samsung claims the international model was changed in error, and now we're seeing it on the Nexus models. Samsung, Sprint, Google, (and likely all the other US carriers) please tell us you're taking away features before you sneak in and do it. Is that too much to ask?

More: Sprint Galaxy Nexus forums

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5 years ago

Mark Zuckerberg claims there will be no Facebook phone, wants to improve mobile experience


Earnings call season continued in full flow today with a new addition to the usual crowd. Facebook made their first post-IPO earnings call, and while the numbers don't really interest us greatly -- it's Facebook, and it made lots of money -- Mark Zuckerberg threw in a few mobile specific tidbits that caught our ear. 

Only yesterday, we heard the latest in a seemingly never-ending series of rumors claiming the future arrival of the mythical Facebook phone. Push forwards 24 hours, and the big chief himself seemed to quash those rumors completely. Instead, it seems Facebook is more interested in improving their users mobile experience. Lord knows, it needs some improving. The strategy now is to try and work closely with existing operating systems, instead of building a phone which he said "wouldn't really make sense for us here."

Zuck does at least acknowledge the pretty un-impressive state of Facebook mobile affairs:

I think we’re really much closer to the beginning than the end. If you use the apps today I think they’re relatively basic compared to what anybody would want from a Facebook experience on the phone.

Facebook isn't for everyone, but with the ever shifting landscape heading more towards mobile every day, the social behemoth's mobile apps really should be a focus. And, don't forget about their acquisition of Instagram too. While we haven't seen any integration between the two social platforms as yet, this is set to change in the future. The acquisition isn't yet complete, and so explains why we haven't seen anything to date. 

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5 years ago

Instagram announces 80 million users, updates app and loses a Twitter API all in one day


Today is certainly seeing plenty of news coming out of the Instagram camp. Some good, some not so good. We'll start on a positive note though. Instagram now has a pretty impressive 80 million users worldwide, due in no small part to the expansion of the platform to Android. The total number of photos shared via the service has also reached a milestone, topping 4 billion now. The takeover by Facebook thankfully doesn't seem to have adversely affected users perceptions. Although, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook's first ever earnings call, the acquisition hasn't yet closed, which is why we've seen no integration of the two. Anything on that front will be delivered in an update when the time comes. In any case, it gives us a good feeling that Android has been such a positive part of the platforms growth. 

The Android app itself has also seen an update today, which while small brings a pretty important fix for some users. It seems some devices were seeing a black screen on the filters page, but all that should now be gone with todays update. You can grab it for yourselves using the download link below. 

Which then brings us to the not so good news. It looks like the Twitter API crackdown is definitely underway, and Instagram has just become a high-profile casualty. Trying to find your Twitter friends on Instagram now brings up the message you see here. The pre-update app still allowed you to find friends in this way, and indeed re-installing that version sees the feature return. Oddly, Twitter friends remains in the "find friends" menu instead of just having been removed completely. Making a point perhaps? You can still share your photos directly to Twitter on upload, at least for now, but finding friends is out of the equation if you update. If this is a valuable feature to you guys, it's probably worth holding out on this one. 

Source: Instagram Blog, Download: Instagram

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5 years ago

Nexus 7 covers now listed as 'in stock' at Google Play


The official cover for the Google Nexus 7 is an elusive beast. As soon as they became available for order, they sold out, and chances are nobody you know got one. The lucky folks that did get their hands on one seem to be enjoying it, and don't have to worry about the back of their new precious getting all scuffed up or the glass getting scratched in a backpack or bag. The good news is that they are available once again, and you can grab one from Google Play for $20 and $10 shipping. We've no idea how long they will last this time, so you might want to jump on one now that you have the chance. 

We just ordered a couple of them, and we'll be sure to give them a good look when they arrive.

Source: Google Play

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5 years ago

The best Android apps for following the London 2012 Olympics


The 2012 Olympics kick off in London tomorrow, and we have a collection of the best apps for staying on top of all of the action. Whether you want to watch the games as they happen, catch up on the latest results, or just feel like a world-class athlete from the comfort of your phone, we've got a little something for everybody.

London 2012 Results

Your first stop for keeping tabs on the Olympic games should be the official London 2012 Results app. It includes schedules, results, live updates, sport details, medal tables, athlete profiles, and lots more. Users can follow specific countries so they can root for the home team. 

Download: London 2012 Results App (Free)

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5 years ago

Amazon's Q2 2012 earnings are in - net income down, net sales up, Kindle Fire still their biggest seller


Amazon has released their quarterly earnings, and like many companies in the tech sector, things are good and bad. The bad looks really bad, so let's start there. Net income has dropped to $7 million, which is a 96-percent decrease when compared to the same period in 2011. On the plus side, sales are up $12.83 billion (with a "b"), a rise of 29-percent. When sales go up, and income goes down, one of the likely suspects is the economy and Amazon says changes in the foreign exchange rate caused a $272 million hit to sales figures.

On the Android side of things, the Kindle Fire remains the single best selling product across the millions of goods one can purchase from Amazon, and the top 10 selling items were all associated with the Kindle line -- Kindle units, Kindle books, and Kindle accessories. The economy may be tanking, and profits are down everywhere, but Android still makes Amazon lots o' dollars. Read the full press release after the break.

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5 years ago

Motorola Photon Q bootloader will be unlockable, upcoming devices to follow same path


Rather than waiting for the inevitable question, Motorola has taken to their blog and Twitter to confirm something that always manages to come up when a new device is announced and eventually released. Will the bootloader be unlockable? In the case of the Motorola Photon Q and some other upcoming unnamed devices:

For months now we’ve been working closely with our developers and carrier partners to provide users a way to to unlock the bootloader on their Motorola Mobility device while keeping the networks secure and satisfying carriers’ requirements.  And we’ve finally found a solution.

Starting with the MOTOROLA PHOTON Q, users will be able to unlock the bootloader. Other products will have this option too in the future.

MOTOROLA PHOTON Q will be available on Sprint in August. Specific details on unlocking PHOTON Q’s bootloader will be available then.

Nice to see Motorola opening up a little bit more and coming right out and saying it. Now, about those other products, tell us more.

Source: Motorola

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5 years ago

NVIDIA announces plans to support Miracast Wireless Display standard


NVIDIA says they will be embracing the upcoming Miracast Wireless Display standard with their mobile Tegra 3 chipset, and are actively working with other vendors and OEMs to bring this technology to market once the Wifi alliance gets all the details worked out. What we're talking about here is an open standard and method of sharing what you see on your screen, with any other screen that supports the new technology. Things like televisions, computer monitors, tablets, and even smartphones should be able to instantly, and wirelessly, share screen output. Playing Shadowgun THD is fun, but playing it on your 42-inch TV is even more fun, and of course full-length HD movies just scream for thi type of tech.

NVIDIA will be optimizing the experience by using the existing Tegra 3 architecture and new industry standard Miracast stack to process and accelerate content, then transmit it via a device's Wifi chipset as an H.264 bitstream. In practice, it should work much like current offerings from Intel or HTC's Media Link dongle package, but using an open standard. Open is good, as it allows other vendors to use and enhance things as well. More bright minds at work means more and better features and scalability.

NVIDIA expects the standard to be ratified by the Wifi alliance within the next few months, and will release more information once that happens. There will be new hardware involved, but it's possible that using docks and dongles your existing devices and displays could take advantage. Read NVIDIAs whitepaper here, and find more information at the source link. There's also a video after the break that shows a decent overview of the whole thing.


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5 years ago

Google announces Fiber internet pre-registration, tossing in a free Nexus 7 to top tier customers


Google's Fiber project will soon be going live in Kansas City after a lengthy preparation period. This means high-speed internet access will be available to residents for $70/month, or $120 if you want TV access too. Google will even toss in a free Nexus 7 tablet if you go with the upper tier.  Best of all, they also have a free 5 gigabit option, so long as you're willing to cough up a $300 construction fee payable in full or in $25 installments. 

Pre-registration is available for Kansas City residents here with a $10 deposit until September 9. Service access will be dictated whether particular areas meet pre-registration goals or not. Full pricing options available after the video. If you're in the neighborhood, Google has kicked off a blog specifically for the Kansas City project.

How comfortable are you guys with the idea of Google being in charge of your internet service? They already control so much of the online experience, so the expansion makes sense, but one can't help but get a little nervous that they're relying too much on a single company. But hey, free Nexus and insanely fast internet. After this, how far away is Google from providing wireless service?

Source: Google Fiber Blog

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5 years ago

Google Handwrite announced for phones and tablets, write out your Google searches


Google has just announced a new way to use its web search products on phones and tablets. Google Handwrite, available today from the Google Search settings menu, allows you to write out words with your fingers -- or a stylus, if you own one -- directly onto the page. Google then turns your scrawlings into text, and you can press the search button to complete your search. Google Handwrite seems to be a logical evolution of the Gesture Search app of old, only this one's much faster, and built on the web, rather than an app on a phone. We haven't tried it on a device with a stylus yet, but if you're rocking a Galaxy Note, this is something you'll want to enable right away.

Handwrite is currently accessible on Android 2.3+ phones, Android 4.0+ tablets and iOS5 devices, so to give it a try, head to the Settings menu on Google.com on your device. When you're done, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.

Source: Google Blog

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5 years ago

Angry Birds Space updated with more utopia to ruin

  The latest iteration of the Angry Birds franchise has just had a significant content update, including lots of new levels on which to obliterate greedy green pigs on. There are a few other goodies tucked away in the changelog. 
  • The epic adventure continues with the second half of Utopia! Defeat the space pigs in their delectable food world with two amazing new characters, including the never-before-seen space egg!
  • Crunch through 20 delicious new levels!
  • The Orange Bird gets an amazing superhero makeover!
  • Check out the brand new, never-before-seen space egg!
  • Three-star levels to unlock 10 new bonus levels!
  • Test your skills with a GIGANTIC new boss fight!

Angry Birds space takes the usual slingshotting destruction of the classic physics game and throws a wrench in it by introducing gravitational pull of planets and other interstellar bodies. This makes for some particularly challenging levels where you have to slingshot various birds around planets to nail pigs and their shelters on the other side. It's a great twist, even if you've spent tons of time on any of the other games in the series.

There's a free version with just a handful of levels as well as a full version for $0.99 available. 

Download: Angry Birds Space (Free/$0.99)

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5 years ago

Asphalt 7: Heat skids into Android


Asphalt 7: Heat is now available in Google Play for $0.99, offering high-octane arcade racing to Android fans. Drive around the world in a number of different championships, earn in-game cash to tweak your ride, and go head-to-head with your friends online. 

I've poured a fair bit of time into the iOS version, and it really is a lot of fun. Sure, not as hard-bitten and realistic as some other titles out there, but the speed, soundtrack and graphics are great. IAPs are enabled, just like just about every Gameloft title, but they're generally pretty unobtrusive.  The cars are all done really nicely; you'll find recognizable brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Marton, and plenty more. 

Any racing fans out there? What's your favorite racing game for Android these days? 

Download: Asphalt 7: Heat ($0.99)

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