We discussed Miracast, the newest player in the streaming video segment earlier this year. It’s a segment that’s been around for a while that Android is playing catch up with, as it were. As a refresher, Miracast is similar to Samsung’s DLNA feature and a more recently announced feature of the Nexus 4 coupled with Android 4.2, which allows a person to mirror the images straight from a phone or tablet to a display over WiFi. This week a software update is beginning to roll out in Europe and Asia for the Xperia T/TX which includes this streaming functionality. The only catch is your network and your monitor will need to be Miracast-compatible.
An additional function which will likely appeal to battery-conscious users out there – and honestly who among us isn’t – is a feature which allows users to enable an extended standby function. This feature will disable data connections after a set amount of time, however what differentiates this from other features is that it’ll still allow for texts and calls to function as normal. Sony claims and extension of standby time by four-fold when opting in with this option. Other changes included with this update are some changes with the Movie and Walkman apps.
source: Sony Mobile
Still haven’t nabbed yourself Google’s Nexus 7 tablet? This may be an incentive for you to finally grab one. For a limited time, RadioShack is offering $20 off on one item that exceeds $125, in which the Nexus 7 does. Just enter in the coupon code “RMN20″ and you should be able to purchase it for $229 plus taxes.
Head on over to the source link, and don’t forget the coupon code! We don’t know how long this code lasts, so buy now if you’re interested.
Would you be surprised if I said Apple is trying to sue Samsung over their Galaxy Note 10.1? No? Didn’t think so. Apple told a judge in California that Samsung infringes patents on the Samsung Note 10.1, and even wanted to add Android 4.1 into that lawsuit. Now, to be fair, this is in reaction to Samsung suing Apple over LTE patents in the iPhone 5, but even after Samsung is making clear strides to differentiate their phones and tablets from Apple’s products, Apple still continues to litigate.
Anyone watching the worldwide smartphone market knows that over the years the devices have become more and more adept at moving data. This has resulted in carriers working on 3G, and now on 4G, networks to keep up with demand from consumers. We have also seen the major carriers take different paths to meeting the demand for data. AT&T and Verizon are moving to shared data plans while Sprint and T-Mobile continue on a path of providing unlimited data. A recent study by FierceWireless and NPD Connected Intelligence may shed some light on how these strategies are panning out.
A recent study conducted by Strategy Analytics suggests that roughly 60% of all smartphone users in the United States would chose to customize their own plans, rather than succumb to those that are offered by national carriers. This bit of information isn’t all that surprising considering most US carriers overcharge for their severely limited plans. As we’ve seen from prepaid carriers like Simple Mobile, it doesn’t cost much to offer unlimited data, texting and calling, yet some networks are charging nearly $100, while others won’t even allow customers freedom from restrictive limits.
For comparison, 56% of subscribers in the United Kingdom would prefer the ability to customize their plans, while 76% of Chinese users voiced their request for customization. From this information, it appears as though there is definitely an untapped market that could potentially be very appealing for consumers. So, if given the opportunity, what kind of plan would you choose?
Motorola’s Photon Q 4G LTE for Sprint is now receiving a much welcomed OTA software update. No, it isn’t Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. However, the incremental firmware upgrade bumps the version number to 7.7.1Q-6_SPR-125_ASA-10 and brings some enhanced functionality along with several important bug fixes.
- Improved text messaging when requesting usage and upgradeability through Sprint Zone
- Select number of users to access Wi-Fi hotspot
- Random power cycle when using Wi-Fi Direct
- Manually send or auto-sync emails from outbo
- Seamless international text messaging
- Faster launch and playback using the YouTube application
- Improved browsing with Google Chrome for Android Mobile Browser
- Improved MMS functionality
Rhapsody, the streaming music app, has released an update to it’s Android app. You’ll now find personalized recommendations on the home screen based on what you’ve listened to in the past. A UI overhaul and performance improvements to offline playback are also included with this latest update. Additionally, you’ll find full screen album art, swipe to skip, shuffle and repeat features, and queue enhancements as part of the update. All of the old features that you’ve gotten used to and like are all still there. I personally don’t use Rhapsody, but do we have any readers that do? What are your thoughts?
When leaks and news get rolling on a given device, it seems that it just arrives in droves – which we definitely enjoy. The hot device of late, since the Nexus 4 has died down a bit, is the DROID DNA. Seeing as the DNA news and leaks are coming fast and furious, coupled with this promo shot of a ‘collaboration’ between HTC and Verizon, we can only assume that this ‘collaboration’ will be the official announcement of the DROID DNA in some fashion. Granted, it could be an 8x event as that has happened in the past, but we’re hoping for the official unveiling of the DNA. After all, the timing seems right, or maybe that’s just my selfish enthusiasm. In any event, we’ll keep you posted as we learn more. Also, do you find it an odd coincidence that they’re holding this event on November 13th?
On the heels of releasing the DROID RAZR M Developer Edition and the DROID RAZR HD Developer Edition, those anxious to be able to do the same type of customization with the Atrix HD are in luck. The Atrix HD Developer Edition from Motorola is now showing up on their website, but in information registration form only. There are no specifics as far as pricing or availability. All the requisite warnings will still presumably apply and the second you purchase the device, your warranty is void. Basically, there is no warranty. However, this edition does let you customize to your heart’s content like custom software and themes thanks to its unlocked bootloader.
We’re all aware that our devices are little beasts when it comes to processing power. The mobile gaming industry has definitely capitalized on the processing power of devices these days. It’s pretty amazing what we can play on our phones. Green Throttle wants to take it to the next level though. While there are a few ways to achieve what they’re doing currently, they’re looking to streamline the whole experience of using a Bluetooth controller, an HDMI-out cable, and a TV or monitor to play games console-style. Today, the team behind Guitar Hero, have made available a software development kit which will allow game developers to map game controls to their Bluetooth controllers and play the games on a larger TV or monitor.
Once it’s all hooked up and running, you’ll then have a game setup much like a console experience except the source is much smaller – and portable. There will be a few hurdles to jump in order for this to work long-term like developer buy-in, optimizing games for TV, and consumer acceptance but they’ll be releasing a few titles themselves so hopefully they’ll pave the way. Developers can pick up the bundle for $89.99 which includes everything you’ll need for testing your games. What do you think? Will Green Throttle gain some momentum and set the standard going forward? Also, tell us about your current Android device gaming setup.
source: Green Throttle