After seeing the leaked press image of the HTC M7 a few weeks ago, little was left to the imagination as we caught a glimpse of HTC’s next super phone in all its glory. Still, a computer render doesn’t give quite the same impression as handling the physical product, which is what we have for you today (well…sort of). A new video has surfaced of the M7’s chassis (back and front) being compared to other HTC flagship phones. Most notably, it seems to share a lot in common with the HTC Droid DNA that we love so much, albeit, packed into a smaller package to suit the M7’s 4.7-inch screen. Besides that we can see that the phone seems to have a dedicated camera button on the right edge, nestled below the volume rocker and even more intriguing, seems to have a front facing speaker, which is something of a rarity in the smartphone world, but certainly could come in useful. Check out the video below and let us know what you think of the M7.
HTC has teamed up with Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa to release the next iteration of the stylish Japanese “Infobar” phone series. The phone runs a completely new UI known as “iida UI 2.0” (iida stands for “innovation,” “imagination,” “design” and “art”) and it certainly lives up to its name. The iida UI comes with all sorts of fancy animations, eye candy, and intuitive touch based navigation. The beautiful new skin is running atop of Android 4.1 but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the software. In fact, it looks like it could be more related to Windows Phone with a home screen that mimics Windows’ “live tiles” layout.
The phone itself sports some pretty great specs including a 1.5GHz quad-core chip from Qualcomm, 1GB of RAM, a 4.7-inch 720p display, 16GB of storage, a microSD slot, and a capacious 2,100mAh battery. As for radios, the phone will primarily rely on an LTE radio (800/1500), but also has capabilities to access CDMA2000 800/2100 and WCDMA 850/1900/2100 networks, meaning it would be a great global phone. Besides all that you get an 8 megapixel camera with HTC’s Imagesense technology, a 2.1 front facing camera, Beats Audio, and NFC! It’s all packed inside the 9.7mm-thick, 147g-heavy waterproof (IPX5 and IPX7) and dustproof (IP5X) body. Pretty cool! The phone is set to be released in Japan around mid-February. Check out some videos of the device’s new UI and some more photos after the break! Do you guys prefer this to HTC’s Sense UI?
We recently reported that Google Glass is still very much in the development stage with lots of features and capabilities in flux. Well, one new feature that may or may not make it into the final release of Google’s wearable computer is bone-conduction audio capabilities. A new patent recently filed by the Mountain View company shows us how Google plans to get audio output from the glasses to your ear-drum: by rattling it through your skull! For those of you who aren’t aware, bone-conduction is the process of sending sound waves to the ear drum not through the air, but through a dense material…in this case, your cranium. This is a good solution, because you won’t have to wear an additional ear-bud to hear your notifications, music, or phone calls. It also keeps your audio from being broadcasted through a speaker for the whole world to hear. We’ll have to wait and see if this feature is just another good idea that’ll never see the light of day, or if it’ll make it into the final commercial product of Google Glass. Here’s to hoping for the latter.
Well, the Nexus 4 debacle continues. Google’s coveted flagship device has been out of stock on the Play Store for what feels like months, and in certain parts of the world, it actually has been months! Our friends down under haven’t been able to purchase the device since it sold out minutes after launching on that fateful day in mid-November. You would think that as soon as LG pushed out more Nexus 4’s, the Play Store would be the first to get stocked up, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. A new press release by LG says that they’ve partnered with Australian retailer Harvey Norman to begin offering the device unlocked starting February 1st of this year. That may be good or bad news depending on how desperate you are to get your hands on the device because Harvey Norman will be offering the Nexus 4 for $496, which is $100 Aussie dollars more than you’d pay if you purchased it through Google’s avenue. The phone is available for pre-order now on Harvey Norman’s website. It is really getting hard to understand Google’s and LG’s partnership and strategies as of late. I, for one, am hoping this is the last time Google partners with LG to make a Nexus. See the press release after the break if you’re looking for more details.
The HTC M7 has been the source of many rumors and leaks lately, and now we have another big one for you. According to sources close to the matter, the M7 will be carried on three of the four major US carriers: Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. There is no evidence yet on whether T-Mobile will be seeing HTC’s next super phone, but it is possible that we could see a full four-carrier launch as HTC tries to take on Samsung’s Galaxy S III series which launched across all four US carriers about six months ago.
The M7 is poised to be a top contender in the crowded smartphone market, as it is rumored to pack a 4.7-inch 1,920 x 1080 display (with a mind-boggling 468ppi), a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, and 32GB of internal storage— all being operated by Jelly Bean topped off with Sense 5.0, which promises to have a “simple and clean” UI. The M7 is rumored to be released at MWC next month, so hopefully we’ll see the US variants coming a short time later. Any of you planning on picking up the M7 when it releases?
If you’re a fan of the rooting/hacking/modding scene you’ve inevitably heard about the famous CyanogenMod ROM. The great customizations found on this ROM are unbelievable. The problem is, it can often take a long time to get a fully stable build out to users. To remedy this situation, the Cyanogen team has come up with a new strategy, release a (mostly) stable build once a month called the “M-Build“. The M-Build will be almost entirely free of bugs and ready for daily use. Yesterday, CyanogenMod and friends released their first set of M-Builds based on Android 4.2 for a series of popular devices. Check below the break to see if your device is supported. I installed an M-Build on my Nexus S last night and it’s running great! If you’ve got one of the devices listed below, get to it! You’ve got nothing to lose! Be sure to read our Rooting dictionary for beginners if you’re new to all of this.
For all you Xperia S owners out there waiting for your Jelly Bean update, here are a few leaked images to hold you over. Xperia S owners will get a taste of some of the newer features that Sony has recently released, including a new lock screen, power management, Find My Xperia and screen mirroring. The new build will be 6.2.X.X.XX and a will be based on a new 3.4 kernel, compared to the 3.08 kernel which is currently powering the device. The Jelly Bean update is slated for an April release at the earliest, so jump passed the break to hold yourself over till then.
Metro PCS is continually working to improve its services and add new users to its customer base. Recently, Metro released “Simpler” plans, a set of off-contract plans that give you access to some blistering 4G data speeds. Now, for $5 more per month you can use your newfound 4G data speeds to stream as much music as you want from Rhapsody’s impressive song database. Yesterday, Metro PCS announced in an official press release that they are teaming up with online music pioneer Rhapsody to offer their users a very affordable online streaming solution. In order to take advantage of this great deal, you must be using one of Metro’s “Simpler” plans. $5 a month is a pretty good deal for legal music consumption. If you want more details, check out the press release below.
If you are a horror movie buff (I am too pansy for horror movies), and an Android fan (I can sign off on that one), then we’ve got the perfect little toy for you. Some creative folk on Etsy have handcrafted a Freddy Krueger version of those little Android toys that we all love so dearly. It is aptly titled: “Andy Krueger in: A Nightmare on Infinite Loop.” The toy is handcrafted by Patrick Bateman and it seems he will soon be selling these little guys, as we see shipping fees at the bottom of his Etsy page. As of yet no “Add to cart” button is available on the page, so hopefully Andy Krueger’s creator will be making a few more of these guys and posting the “add to cart” button soon. We could see of few of you readers wanting to pick one of these up for your self.
Smartphones are incredible tools and toys that make our lives easier, more productive, more social and more fun. All great things, right? But like anything in life, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. This is especially true with smartphones (Android, or otherwise): we can actually use them to our detriment. I discovered this the hard way…but thankfully found a solution: replacing my smartphone with a “dumb phone” and a tablet to set some healthy boundaries on my “tech time”. Read on past the break to hear my experience of disconnecting.
A few days ago, rumors were circulating that LG was halting production on the Nexus 4 to focus on its own new smartphones and a revamped version of the Nexus 4. Today those rumors come crashing to a heap. In an interview with a Korean website today, an LG official stated that production was going on without a hitch and that there is no issue regarding supply. This runs contrary to Google’s report, in which they recently claimed that shipments from LG were “sparse and erratic”. It’s hard to say who’s actually at fault, but we’re hoping that LG and Google can get these things pumped out of the factory and back into the Google Play store, which still sits as a barren Nexus wasteland. Speaking to the same Korean website, the LG official stated that the company is not planning to release the Google Nexus 5 at Google I/O this year, which is good news for all of you who are still waiting to get your Nexus 4’s! What a debacle!
Physical keyboards on smartphones have become a rarity over the last few years. That’s why it’s always notable when a new keyboard-packing phone could be on the horizon and that’s exactly the case we have here. A new Samsung device spotted in benchmarks known as the SCH-i425 (codenamed “Godiva”) and headed to Verizon could be the next keyboard-equipped phone in Verizon’s “Stratosphere” series, probably to be known as the Stratosphere III. The last few Stratosphere phones have let keyboard lovers down in the specs department, but this one looks to be shaping up quite nicely. From what we can tell from the benchmarks, the SCH-i425 will have a 720p (1280×720) display and dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor. Not bad at all, especially if they can get the keyboard right. What say you? Do any of you guys still use physical keyboards on your Android devices? Let us know in the comments why you prefer a physical keyboard.
If you’re a developer, you know how important it is to get your app out there to as many people as possible. Well, Google wants to help you. They’ve created a webpage that allows you to enter your app name/URL and they’ll create a “badge” for you to put on your website (or any other website for that matter). Clicking on the badge will take people to your app on the Google Play Store so they can download it right there. Couldn’t be any easier, and Google gives you multiple size choices. Hopefully Google will expand upon this idea, and offer different color options (white would be nice), and maybe even a square corners option for those of us who like straight, clean lines. If you’re an app developer, jump on it! Click the source link below to get started.
Good news for you Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 owners. Both the 10.1 and 7.0 variants of Samsung’s popular slate are now getting a taste of Android Jelly bean. The 4.1 update includes all the awesome features you’ve been waiting for: Project Butter, Google Now, better notifications, and improvements to TouchWiz. If you’re too impatient to wait for the OTA to show up in your notification bar, you can try to force the update by going to Settings > About Tablet > Check for update. Since this is a major update, you’ll need to have your battery charged to at least 50% and be prepared to download a few hundred megabytes of data. Give it a try, and let us know how things go for you in the comment section below.