Samsung buys up 5% of Wacom to back up the stylus fad

Personally, I think the stylus is awesome. Fortunately for those of you that agree with me, Samsung thinks so, too. And considering the amount of marketing power Samsung has invested in their Note brand, it’s pretty easy to see why they just bought 5% of Wacom, the manufacturer of the Note’s S-Pen. That 5% turned out to be around 58 million dollars, which is pocket change for Samsung, but it’s clear that Samsung is intending to evolve the stylus into a pretty large part of their smartphone and tablet lineup. Hit the source below to read up on Wacom’s side of the story.

source: Wacom

HTC Thunderbolt finally gets Ice Cream Sandwich update

No, pigs aren’t flying. HTC and Verizon have actually, finally released the ICS update for the Thunderbolt. Sure, it took longer than it should have, but if you’re still using a Thunderbolt, your wait is over. The 380 MB update packs Sense 3.6 on top of Android 4.0.4, and comes with the standard Ice Cream Sandwich awesomeness we’ve all grown to love, as well as some slight device improvements. Verizon even removed a few bloatware apps with this update. If you’re a Thunderbolt owner, keep checking your notifications to get your hands on this OTA update. Just… don’t ask about Jelly Bean.

source: Verizon

Jelly Bean Update Incoming For Sony Xperia T Smartphone, New Jelly Bean Firmware Has Been Certified And Is On The Way

 

Those of you out there who own a variant of the Sony Xperia T smartphone are about to get a taste of some buttery goodness in the near-future. According to the PTCRB website, a new firmware version of 9.1.A.0.489 has been certified for the Xperia T (LT30p) and Xperia TX (LT29i) smartphones— which effectively moves the software up from Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean. Oh and owners of an American variant of the smartphone won’t be left out either—  the Xperia TL (LT30at) for AT&T is also getting a new firmware version certified with 9.1.F.1.120, which would also bring the device up to Jelly Bean as well.

So while the new pieces of firmware have been certified, it would still be a matter of weeks before we see the update land on the respective devices. Hopefully the different Xperia T owners out there will be able to contain themselves in the meantime.

source: Xperia Blog

Google Looking To Add Google Now Integration For Chrome Desktop Browser, Wants To Know You Even Better Than Before

 

Those of us who have a Jelly Bean-powered device probably utilize Google Now on a daily basis, but now it appears that we may be seeing the super cool virtual assistant tool integrated with Google’s Chrome browser. Thanks to some keen eyes out there, it is now known that the Chromium web browser for Windows has been updated to include a new specialized notification center. As seen in the screenshot above, the notification center is fully customizable, allowing for users to create a custom notification within the Chrome browser. What’s even more noteworthy is the fact that the screenshot clearly indicates a “clear all” function, giving the clear indication that users will be able to have multiple notifications displayed in the browser.

As it stands now– it appears that Google Now wants to not only get to know your daily phone habits, but it also wants to know a little bit more about you when it comes to your desktop computer as well. There’s no word on when we’ll see this technology implemented, but we’re willing to bet that we’ll see something live soon… very soon.

source: The Next Web

Google Play revenue growth trounces Apple’s App Store by factor of 10

App Annie released their January 2013 index today showing phenomenal growth in revenue for apps in the Google Play Store. From the third quarter to the fourth quarter of 2012, app revenue from the Google Play Store doubled. During the same period of time, Apple’s App store saw only a 20% increase in revenues. Apple does have a larger user base to begin with, so in absolute dollars Apple grew more and achieved record sales in December while maintaining a margin of 3.5 times the revenue achieved by the Google Play Store. The trend is clear though that Google and the Android ecosystem continue to close the gap and is doing so quickly.
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Straight Talk no longer offering AT&T compatible SIMs

Straight Talk has been a major MVNO for many people because they offered unlimited plans for unlocked AT&T and T-Mobile phones for $45 per month. Well it looks like Straight Talk is no longer offering AT&T compatible SIMs, and will only offer T-Mobile SIMs moving forward. If you’re already an existing customer it appears you are okay because they will continue to provide service to existing customers. If you were thinking about joining Straight Talk, there is still one option left, but that window is closing fast as well. Wal-Mart might still have SIMs available in store or online. If you can get one, apparently Straight Talk will honor those SIMs that are still available for sale.


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All Indications Point To Samsung Galaxy S IV Smartphone Being Launched In April

 

It appears April is going to be a big year for Android fans as it appears that is when we will be seeing Sammy’s “Next Big Thing” finally being revealed. Thanks to our friends at PhoneArena, we have a few photos indicating a major raffle that’s happening at a New Zealand mobile retailer in which the lucky winner will receive a brand-spankin’ new Galaxy S IV smartphone. While that part may not mean much— the raffle is expected to end on April 8th, which falls in line with a rumored April release date. In addition, there’s word of another UK retailer set to launch the device between the 15th and 22nd of April as well.

 

 

So yes friends, it’s looking more and more like that March event is shaping up to be the formal introduction of what will be the world’s best smartphone to the masses. Let’s just hope we here in the States won’t need to wait too long after the initial launch.

source: PhoneArena

 

Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd Tease Super Bowl Ad For Samsung’s “Next Big Thing” (Video)

Well, it’s that time of year again and I’m not talking about the Super Bowl.  I’m referring to that time of year when everyone’s wondering what’s Samsung got under their sleeve now?  Check out the teaser below where Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen, two of Hollywood’s funniest comedians team up to bring you this year’s Super Bowl ad for Samsung’s “Next Big Thing“.

Dubbed “The Big Game”, this multi-million dollar spot will air at half time for this year’s kick-off between the San Francisco “50 minus 1ers” and the Baltimore “Blackbirds.”  Who? Yeah, it’s gotten a little nuts but check out the video of the teaser below and it’ll all make sense.  And as usual, in typical Samsung style, our curiosity is peaked once more as we’re dying to know what the mega smartphone manufacturer is going to showcase.  Here’s to being patient for the day to arrive and if history has any indication, we’re sure they’ll take a little bite out of Apple during the air.  I’m really looking forward to that. Samsung has proven before their ads can be effective with the launch of the Galaxy S III and Note/Note II devices. Not only were people walking around saying “dude, you’re a Barista” for months, but it’s definitely swayed many towards the larger screen when push came to shove. I think the numbers can attest to that.  
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New security heading to Sony devices via “my Xperia” service

Sony has kicked off a new pilot project to bring a remote security service to market for owners of their Xperia smartphone devices. Sony is calling it “my Xperia” as they pilot the service in the Nordics and target a global release during the second quarter of 2013. One of the individuals behind the service, Sony Experience Planner Marcin Zielinski, described some of the service’s features in a one sentence blurb as helping “you locate your misplaced Sony smartphone and protect your personal data.”
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Flygrip a bit pricey for you? Here are three alternatives that won’t break the bank

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, smartphones are getting bigger and bigger and the ultimate one-handed operation device is slowly fading away.  The need for something to assist with not dropping your rather expensive investment is on the rise.  In stepped Flygrip, the small and popular solution for all things large.  Flygrip allows seamless one-handed operation without the fear of dropping your phone or tablet.  However, there’s the small little matter of price which doesn’t happen to be small at all.  The popular mini mechanism will run you a whopping $29.95 ea.  That’s a bit steep if you ask me.  $19.99 seems a little more reasonable but the folks over at the Flygrip team may not share my opinion. So, coveting the functionality I began to look for alternatives that wouldn’t break the bank for techs on a dime.  Surprisingly, there’s quite a few options for you if you’re interested.  We’ve covered three that caught our attention for style, ease of use and of course its cheap price tag.


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