Hands on with the DROID Mini, DROID Ultra, and DROID MAXX [Video]

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We finally got our hands on the new DROID line from Motorola and Verizon. The “RAZR” name is officially gone so they are simply called the DROID Mini, DROID Ultra, and DROID MAXX. It looks like these phones are going to be very similar to the Moto X in that it’s all about the features and ease of use rather than the specs. As to specs, we are looking at a display of 4.3-inches for the Mini at 720p (1280 x 720) and 5.0-inches for both the Ultra and MAXX, also at 720p (1280 x 720). All models feature the Motorola x8 mobile computing system that features 8 cores, but it’s not an octa-core. It has 2 app cores, 4 graphics cores, 1 contextual core, and 1 natural language core. Basically it’s a 1.7GHz dual-core processor. All models include 2GB of RAM and the Mini and Ultra get 16GB of storage, while the MAXX gets 32GB. You won’t find a microSD slot on any of the models. All three models will also feature a 10MP front camera and a 2MP front camera. The camera features clear pixel technology for faster processing and better low light performance. As to battery, the Mini has 2,000mAh, the Ultra has 2,130mAh, and the MAXX has 3,500mAh. You can expect 24 hours from both the Mini and the Ultra, while the MAXX will give you 48 hours.


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Contest: Win a Simpsons: Tapped Out Skinned Amazon Kindle Fire courtesy of Electronic Arts and TalkAndroid [updated with winner]

Amazon_Kindle_Fire_Simpsons_Tapped_Out_Skinned_TARecently, Electronic Arts launched The Simpsons: Tapped Out game in the Amazon Appstore, and they skinned a few Kindle Fires to celebrate. We happen to have one of them thanks to Electronic Arts, and we are giving it away to one of our lucky readers. It’s the 7-incher with 8GB of internal storage.

All you have to do is comment below telling us who your favorite character on the show is. It couldn’t be any easier. You have until Monday, July 8th at 12:00pm EST. We will then select one winner at random. Just make sure the email address in your account is a real one because that is how we are going to contact you.

BTW, if you’re not familiar with The Simpsons: Tapped Out game, you need to check it out. It’s actually one of Jack Holt’s favorite games. The game’s premise is that Homer accidentally caused a meltdown wiping out Springfield. It’s a city building game, and you guessed it, you need to help rebuild Springfield. It’s a free download in the Amazon Appstore or the Google Play Store.

Good Luck!!!

We have a couple of more images after the break.


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Contest: Win one of twenty copies of MyBackup Pro courtesy of Rerware and TalkAndroid [updated with winners]

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MyBackup Pro continues to be one of our favorite apps for backing up precious data. It’s simple enough for the casual user and powerful enough for those that love to change ROMs often. Recently, Rerware updated MyBackup Pro with the new “Migrate” feature that allows you to transfer your data from one device to another if it’s on the same WiFi network. My Backup Pro normally costs $4.99, which is a steal when you consider everything it does. Just check out our hands on review to see.

When the folks at Rerware came to us and said they would like to give a free copy to twenty of our lucky readers, are we going to complain? Hell no, so here’s your chance to grab a Free copy for yourself. We are going to keep this one very simple. Just comment below telling us which phone you are using right now. What could be simpler? You have until Wednesday at 12:00pm EST. We will then pick twenty random winners and announce them here. Just make sure that you are using a real email address because that is how we are going to contact you.

Hit the break for a hands on video showing you how the new “Migrate” function works as well as a funny commercial spot.


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Win one year of Slacker Radio Premium from TalkAndroid and Slacker Radio [updated with winners]

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I know there are a lot of music streaming apps available today, but my personal favorite is still Slacker Radio. It not only gives you the flexibility to make your own stations, but they offer so many curated stations for every imaginable genre that you can think of. We have given away premium Slacker accounts in the past, but this time we have something special. One of our lucky readers will win one full year of Slacker Radio’s premium service. Normally priced at $9.99 per month, the premium service gives you unlimited song skips, mobile station caching, ABC News, ESPN Radio, song lyrics, songs on demand, albums on demand, single artist stations, caching albums & playlists, and created playlists. Slacker Radio was also gracious enough to give one month subscriptions to five runner ups. That’s a total of six subscriptions to give out.

All you have to do is head over to our forum thread and reply with your favorite song right now. You have until Thursday June 27 at 12:00pm EST. We will then pick one winner at random for the one year subscription followed by five random runner ups for the one month subscriptions. Nothing could be easier. The best part of it is that it doesn’t matter whether you listen to Slacker Radio via Android, iOS, Google TV, a Roku, your desktop, or any other compatible device because your upgrade will be effective on all devices. Just make sure to use a real email address for your account so we can get in touch with you.

Click here to enter

More information on Slacker Radio

Update:

Congratulations to the following winners:

Grand Prize – 1 year of Slacker Radio Premium

MCNPorter – Axel Rudi Pell – “Dont Say Goodbye”

 

Runner Ups – 1 month of Slacker Radio Premium

LudwigRocker – KISS – Rock and Roll All Night

Bruhaha – Vampire Weekend – Diane Young

psipher – Nine Inch Nails – “Came back haunted”

DIXZ06 – Bob Seger – “Old Time Rock and Roll”

jillm – The Beatles – She’s Leaving Home

 

Each of you will receive an email with your codes as soon as I get them. Probably by tomorrow. Thank you all for playing and look for another TalkAndroid contest soon.

The reason behind Google’s purchase of Motorola is finally coming to fruition

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Last week I wrote a story about my thoughts on where I think the Nexus line is headed. Google was never a hardware company, but when Android was at its infancy, Google got into it for investing in cutting edge hardware along with their partners to guide the ecosystem. Fast forward to now and things have changed a lot. Google no longer needs to guide the ecosystem. Companies like Samsung, HTC, LG, and Sony are doing just fine in investing in the latest and greatest. It is this reason that I believe Google will not release a Nexus phone moving forward, and instead, let OEM’s release Nexus Editions for their current hardware. The reason for all of this is quite simple, Google isn’t a hardware company, they are an advertising and service company.

A recent article at DigiTimes suggests that my conclusions were right. They are reporting that Google will cut a lot of the resources and money they have spent on handset development and shift it to improving its software and core business. Just take a look at this year’s Google I/O for further evidence. Hardware was never mentioned other than the Galaxy S 4 Nexus Edition. Yes, the reason was because they wanted to “concentrate on developers” since it is a developer conference, but it’s obvious that hardware isn’t going to be the focal point anymore, at least for handsets. They will still invest resources in other newer and developing technologies like Google Glass, set top TV boxes, and smartwatches.


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Here’s why the Nexus 4 will probably be the last Nexus phone

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Yesterday at the D11 Conference, Android and Chrome head Sundar Pichai unveiled the HTC One Google Experience phone, which is now the second phone like this to be announced. The next obvious question from Walt Mossberg was, “Does that mean you aren’t going to make anymore Nexus devices?” Pichai answered by saying the goal behind Nexus was to invest in cutting edge hardware along with their partners to guide the ecosystem. He closed by saying “That will continue as well.” Correct me if I am wrong, but the word “phone” was never mentioned. I heard “devices”.

Let’s rewind to October of last year when a report from AndroidandMe said that the LG Nexus was on the way and a new Nexus Program was in the works. The rumor was that Google opened the Nexus program to all OEMs. Based on these latest phones from Samsung and HTC, it’s safe to say that this rumor held true. There were some things about it that were wrong as in the OEM skins (TouchWiz and Sense) would be part of a customization center, but it appears Google is heading into a different direction with the Nexus program.


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Updated DROID DNA, not the HTC One, will land on Verizon this summer

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I know there has been so much speculation on if we will see the HTC One on Verizon, and if history repeats itself, we won’t ever see it. What we will see is a Verizon’s version of the Butterfly 2 (or Butterfly S). It could be called the DROID DNA Plus or the DROID DNA 2, but it won’t be a One phone. As far as when we will see this bad boy, it will probably be sometime in July. How am I coming to these conclusions? All you really need to do is look at the most recent releases with Verizon regarding HTC devices.

Verizon is on a pattern of releasing two HTC devices per year (July and November). The Rezound was released on November 14, 2011 and the DROID Incredible 4G LTE was released on July 5, 2012. Lastly, the DROID DNA was released on November 21, 2012. The other thing you will notice is that all three phones were exclusives to Verizon, which is what they like. That is probably going to change by the end of this year, but more on that in a bit.


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Contest: Win 1 of 10 tickets to Lookout’s Annual Kickoff party at Google I/O [Updated With Winners]

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It’s hard to believe that Google I/O is only a couple of weeks away. The conference itself is always a exciting, but you can’t forget the parties either. Lookout’s Annual Kickoff party is always a blast, and we are excited to offer our readers a chance to get a ticket because it’s one you don’t want to miss. If delicious food, unlimited drinks, great entertainment and cool giveaways sounds like fun to you, then you will want to enter this contest right now. We have 10 tickets (plus one guest) to give away and the details are as follows:

When: Tuesday, May 14 at 7:30 pm
Where: Terra Gallery, 511 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA
What: Lookout’s annual Google I/O kickoff party. Drinks will start flowing at 7:30 pm at Terra Gallery in San Francisco and we’ll have tasty food and awesome entertainment. Free giveaways for the first 200 who show up at the door (arrive early: we had a line around the block last year!). *Please note that this event is 21 and over.

The only caveat is that you need to get yourself to San Francisco on your own because travel arrangements are not included.

To enter, just comment below on what you want to see at this year’s Google I/O. Is it a newer Nexus 7, Key Lime Pie, a Nexus Q 2, or something entirely different? We will take entries through May 3rd at 12:00pm EST. We will pick 10 random winners shortly after.

**Be sure to use a real email address for your account because that is how we will contact you.

Good Luck!!!!

Update

Congratulations to the following winners….

Markus Holden

Eileen

Pradaman Shorey

chris

Taggard Andrews

Carlos

Nudo

Tuan Nguyen

Roger Leek

Joshua Barta

You will receive an email with instructions shortly, and be sure to say hello because I will be there as well!!

Is Android vulnerable because of Samsung’s dominance?

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Recent reports have indicated tensions could exist between Google and Samsung, but were downplayed by Google CFO and Senior Vice President Patrick Pichette as well as Samsung Mobile Chief JK Shin. Although their working relationship is probably amicable, I have to believe that there is a little uneasiness at Google. Consumers continue to buy Samsung Galaxy branded phones in droves. So much so that 40% of all Android phones sold are Samsung branded. In fact, Samsung has sold 200 million more phones than the next Android manufacturer.

On one hand, Google should be delighted in what Samsung has accomplished. Android is now a dominating mobile OS, and a big thanks has to go to Samsung for being a big part of that. On the other hand, it’s never a good idea for one entity to have such a large piece of the pie. Companies with too much power can dictate and give less choice to consumers. If Google had their choice, every manufacturer would be equally as successful, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way in the real world.


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Contest: Win one of five Android Mountain View Mashers t-shirts from AndyLimited and TalkAndroid [Updated With Winners]

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The folks who brought you the Andy Exploded t-shirt is at it again. Mountain View Mashers pertains to a baseball team, or shall I say appleball team, that happens to be pretty close to Google headquarters. It’s the perfect tee to advertise your Android pride, and we have five to give to our awesome readers.

All you have to do is head over to our forum post and tell us your favorite baseball team. Don’t have a favorite team? Tell us you hate baseball then. Either way, you have until tomorrow, March 21 at noon EST to get your entry in. We will announce and email the winners later that day. Be sure to use a real email address for your username because you need to get back to us by Friday with your information in order to get in on the first production batch.

Click here to enterU.S. residents only

Click here to order the Mountain View Mashers t-shirt – Orders ship next week.

UPDATE:

Congratulations to the following winners:

bearddroid
RonD
cheetah90
elvietnameno
TurkeyCowboy

You will each receive an email shortly. Please respond with your address, phone, and t-shirt size by tomorrow March 22 to get in on the first batch.

Thank you all for playing and look for another TalkAndroid contest soon!!

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