App reviews on the Play Store will soon require your Google+ login

As some of you may have noticed, the Play Store received an update over the weekend. While there may not be many changes on the surface, this usually means that they’re getting ready to roll out a new service embedded within the store itself. Sure enough, the folks over at Android Police have uncovered an interesting change. Although not effective immediately, the Store will soon require you to log into your Google+ account before submitting an app review. This will then of course be published for the world to see with your Google+ name and picture. What happens if you don’t have an account? You will either have to choose not to submit a review or you can create an account at that time.

Another interesting tidbit that was uncovered is the ability for pre-orders. While it’s a little perplexing why you need pre-orders regarding digital content, this feature will presumably be used in their ‘Devices’ section. We all know they could sure use this new feature to at least get an idea of consumer interest in products. I’m personally not a huge fan of having to log into any external account to proceed with what I was doing in the first place. Nor am I a fan of pre-ordering. But given the debacle that was the Nexus 4 launch, it may be necessary going forward. However, we may need to pre-order the pre-order itself if last Tuesday was any indication of things to come.

source:  Android Police 

U.S. Cellular now offering up unlimited 4G LTE data plan for the ‘holiday season’

In a move similar to T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular announced today that they will offer a truly unlimited data plan. We’re not just talking any old data either. We’re talking unlimited LTE data, and for a wallet-friendly $40 a month. What’s more, you can even add a tethering plan for only $20 a month. Given those prices and speeds, you could essentially have a home phone using your mobile device, a mobile device obviously for your cell phone, and home internet using the tethering option all for $60 a month.

U.S. Cellular says that this deal is for a limited time, for the ‘holiday season’, and to sweeten the pot they’re offering up $100 discounts on some of their more popular LTE devices including the Galaxy S III. Like other carriers, U.S. Cellular’s LTE coverage is a bit spotty, but they claim that 58% of its customers will be covered by LTE by year’s end. They’re obviously aiming to grow their base in this move while also looking to retain more customers. What are your thoughts? Will this sway you to jump ship from your carrier, or convince you to stay if you’re currently with U.S. Cellular? Let us know. Hit the break for the full presser.
Read more

Google expands music portfolio with European license deal

Google took a big step in expanding the portfolio of music it is able to make available to customers with a new licensing deal covering several European countries. The license deal with Armonia, an alliance of French, Italian and Spanish licensing groups, opens the door to music from 35 countries. Notable artists covered by the new deal include Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

In addition to the European countries covered by the agreement, Google also gained access to the British and American portfolios of Universal Music Publishing and the Latin portfolio of Sony. Sources indicate royalties for publishers and artists are consistent with industry standards. The breadth of the deal is unusual as license deals with others have typically been on a country-by-country basis.

source: Businessweek

Amazon Wireless Shines Its 1-Cent Spotlight On Verizon’s RAZR MAXX, RAZR M And Others

Thrifty Verizon customers don’t have to wait for Black Friday. Amazon Wireless has a number of pretty solid Android phones on sale for a penny. The DROID RAZR M  and, the now year-old DROID RAZR are $0.01 whether you are upgrading or are a new customer. But it looks like the DROID RAZR MAXX is only a penny for new customers. Existing customers can upgrade to the MAXX for $44.99. If you’re in the market for a new handset on Big Red, you might want to spend a minute or two checking out the source link. As usual, I doubt the prices will last long. Happy shopping!

Source: Amazon Wireless

[Deal] LG Optimus G only $99 for upgrades and new accounts on AT&T and Sprint

Want a great phone at a great price? Amazon Wireless is offering LG’s new flagship phone, the Optimus G, for only $99 when you upgrade or open a new account with either AT&T or Sprint. That is $100 cheaper than what you would pay if you bought it from the carriers.

To review, the LG Optimus G sports a 4.7-inch (1280 x 768) IPS LCD display at 318ppi, 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (Sprint) /16GB of storage (AT&T), microSD slot (AT&T), 13MP rear camera (Sprint) / 8MP rear camera (AT&T), 1.3MP front camera, 2100mAh battery, and Android Ice Cream Sandwich. That is a lot of bang that you’re getting for your buck.

We don’t know how long this sale will last, so if you’re in the running for a new phone on either AT&T or Sprint, you might want to act fast!

Is anyone planning on taking advantage of this deal?

 

Source: Amazon Wireless (AT&T), Amazon Wireless (Sprint)

CyanogenMod Apollo music player now available on Google Play in both free and paid capacities

Earlier this year, the CyanogenMod team announced that Apollo would be replacing the stock music player to allow for a fully customizable and enthralling experience. When it was first announced, we were told to expect it to arrive in the Android Market within the next couple of weeks. Here we are nearly 10 months later, and the highly anticipated application has finally made its way to what we now call the Google Play Store.

It’s the same music player we’ve come to know and love, and now everybody can take part. Apollo comes in two different capacities: the regular free version and the paid Apollo+ version. Apollo+ costs just 99 cents, features quicker updates and removes pesky advertisements. Future updates are said to bring concert information, tablet optimization, personalized widgets and notifications, as well as support for Google’s Daydream service.

Be sure to scan the QR codes or hit the Play Store download links after the break to try out Apollo. Keep in mind you may need to disable your stock music player within the application settings menu. Also, let us know what you think of the CM team’s new third party music organization tool in the comments below.
Read more

Motorola prepares an update to its DROID RAZR HD line-up, probably Jelly Bean

At Motorola’s announcement for the DROID RAZR HD and the DROID RAZR M a few months ago, the company promised that it would update its new handsets to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) sometime before the end of the year. Well, with only six weeks left until December 31st, Motorola appears to be making good on its promise. Owners of the DROID RAZR HD who are signed up for Motorola’s Feedback Network are receiving invites to beta-test a new software build. Since the Motorola DROID RAZR M already received its taste of Jelly Bean, it makes sense that the DROID RAZR HD (and RAZR HD MAXX) will be next in line to receive Google’s latest offering. Even though there is no official word on what exactly the update contains, we are guessing that DROID RAZR HD (and HD MAXX) owners are in for a tasty treat!

Did any of you RAZR HD owners receive an invite? What feature are you looking forward to most in the newest update? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Droid-Life

Featured Android App Review: Top Recipes [Lifestyle]

They say more and more people are eating out, but there is certainly no shortage of cooking shows and recipe apps. There’s still a lot of people that enjoy cooking at home and looking for new recipes. Top Recipes, from SplashPad Mobile is an app that features over 2,400 recipes for just about any category you can think of including appetizers, desserts, dinners, casseroles, dips, sides, etc.


Read more

Samsung suing LG, claims infringement on OLED technologies

The Samsung-LG rivalry is back at it again. Samsung is retaliating for LG’s September lawsuit with a suit of their own. This time, Samsung is seeking to have seven patents granted to LG rendered invalid based upon previous infringement with some of their own. Samsung has long been producing Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) displays, and many of their current gen Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode displays (AMOLED) are being used is products around the world. This type of screen is immensely popular because of its ability to function without a backlight that many other kinds of displays require.

While both LG and Samsung produce similar displays. The function of them is quite different; LG uses their screens mainly for TV’s while Samsung focuses mainly upon mobile devices. Recently, with LG’s Optimus G line of phones and Samsung’s latest line of TV’s both companies have been stepping into each other’s territories. This dispute could potentially setting the boundary between these two markets for display technology and grant Samsung a strong monopoly in the mobile display market.

Source: Yonhap News