T-Mobile press release celebrates AT&T customer buyback offer with Star Wars references

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T-Mobile’s latest press release is a little different compared to what they normally do. The Uncarrier actually complimented some of AT&T’s practices, instead of taking shots at the carrier. AT&T’s latest move is to offer T-Mobile customers up to $450 to switch back to AT&T, which T-Mobile is celebrating as the “greatest T-Mobile trial offer in history.”

In the press release, T-Mobile “quotes” AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega, saying AT&T finally stepped out from the dark side and dismantled the Death Star (seriously) to support to the Uncarrier consumer revolution. For the first time ever, AT&T decided to wake up and put the customer first, de la Vega “said.” The buyback program allowed AT&T customers to test out T-Mobile’s network, since they could switch back if they were unhappy.

TalkAndroid Daily Dose for January 28, 2014

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With hectic schedules, it can be hard to keep track of everything in your news feed. That’s why we created the TalkAndroid Daily Dose. This is where we recap the day’s hottest stories so you can get yourself up to speed in quick fashion. Happy reading!!

Apps

Waze isn’t going anywhere, starts a new beta program to test new features

Cameras

Sony set to launch SPA-TA1 tablet attachment for QX10/QX100 lens-style cameras

Carriers

AT&T Family Plan on Demand delayed by Beats Music [Updated]

ZTE Boost Max phablet launches on Boost Mobile

Sprint joins other big carriers with launch of its own cloud storage service

T-Mobile press release celebrates AT&T customer buyback offer with Star Wars references

Pebble Steel smartwatch begins shipping today

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Pebble’s new Steel smartwatch begins shipping today, according to the company, but supplies are limited. The Steel comes in forged and CNC­ machined stainless steel, with Gorilla Glass and antifingerprint coating in either Brushed Stainless or Black Matte. Both models  come with two bands, a matching metal band and a black leather strap. Besides looks, the interior is the same as the original Pebble in terms of functionality and software.

TegraZone Android app updated with more device support, Google Play integration

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Nvidia’s TegraZone app previously only made sense for Tegra-powered devices, but today’s update opens the app up for all Android users. Not all of the games within the app may be compatible, but you can now at least download the app to check. In addition, the app’s UI has been slightly tweaked to add filter controls, and the ability to restrict your list to only show games with controller support, which is useful for Shield owners.  The full list of changes:

  • Supports Google Play Game Services – achievements for downloading games, submitting reviews/ratings, and spreading the word about TegraZone games
  • Uses Google+ login to personalize your TegraZone experience
  • TegraZone Collections will allow highlighting of special interest groups of games by feature, genre, or publisher
  • Support for NVIDIA SHIELD and MadCatz MOJO
  • Enabled for users of non-Tegra devices so they can learn about Tegra and great Android games
  • Minor bug fixes

You can find a download link past the break.

Sony set to launch SPA-TA1 tablet attachment for QX10/QX100 lens-style cameras

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Sony Japan is set to launch their new SPA-TA1 tablet camera attachment which is designed to attach to DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100 lens-style cameras onto tablets. The cameras ship with a mount that only allows for devices up to 75mm thick, meaning that many tablet owners, such as those who own the Xperia Z Ultra for example, are unable to use the camera. This new mount should fix that.

The mount caters for devices between 85mm and 190mm wide. There are 6 arms available in various different sizes, and each weighs in at 31 grams.

The attachment is set to launch in Japan on April 4, 2014, and will cost users 3,675 yen, which is around $36. Hopefully the attachment will see a launch in other countries soon after.

Source: Xperia Blog

The NSA might be spying on you while you’re playing Angry Birds

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Here’s the latest revelation from documents leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

While you’re enjoying slinging birds at pigs in Angry Birds, chances are that N.S.A might be tracking your personal information. According to documents leaked by Edward Snowden,  N.S.A and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters have been working since 2007 towards achieving a method to snatch data from smartphone apps that contain user’s information. The amount of data gathering is not yet known, but reports suggest that data is collected from social network, mapping and gaming apps.

Earlier reports revealed N.S.A eavesdropping on phone calls as well as intercepting text messages in an effort to prevent terrorism acts. However a recent report by the Guardian indicates that every time the user launches a “leaky” application, the spying agencies can collect information related to user’s location, sex, age and other personal information as well as the phone model and screen size.

Canadian Moto X users will get Android 4.4.2 first

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According to Motorola’s VP of Product Management, Punit Soni, the Canadian variant of the Moto X will be the first to receive Android 4.4.2. A few people reportedly already have the latest update, but US Moto X owners will have to keep waiting for now. No soak tests have yet been announced.

Not much is known about the specifics of the Moto X update, but we’ll be sure to pass on information as it comes out.

Source: Motorola Blog

FCC filings for Sony Xperia Z2 and new tablet show up

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As we inch closer to MWC 2014, one of the devices surrounded by some buzz has been the Sony Xperia Z1 successor. Dubbed the Sony Xperia Z2, the device has been going by the name Xperia Sirius with a model number D6503. We have already seen some leaked images of the device, so it should be no surprise to see it starting to show up in certifying organization databases. This is true for the FCC where the Sony PM-0740-BV, thought to be the same device, showed up with a wide range of wireless capabilities. Perhaps most notable is the presence of several LTE bands that would make the device compatible with Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile depending on which exact band is enabled.

In addition to the smartphone device, a new tablet device from Sony also shows up in the FCC database with the model number TM-0043-BV. The FCC filing shows the same connectivity options as the smartphone. Previous reports had suggested the tablet was going by the codename Castor and would be released in the second quarter in Japan. With an FCC filing in place, it looks like it may make it to U.S. shores as well.

source: phoneArena

Google and LEGO partner for new Build with Chrome app

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Google’s Chrome team and LEGO have partnered to bring the fun of building with LEGO bricks to your browser with the Build with Chrome experiment. Built using WebGL 3D graphics technology, the collaboration between the two companies gives users the ability to build amazing creations and pin them to a virtual globe. The idea originally came from a team in Australia that built it as an experiment that Google is now opening up to everyone. The timing of the change from experiment to release was probably helped along with the upcoming release of THE LEGO MOVIE.

Chrome Apps coming to mobile devices using new toolchain based on Apache Cordova

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Last September, we saw the birth of Chrome Apps that work offline on the desktop. At that point, we knew it was a matter of time that Chrome Apps would come to Android and iOS devices. Then last month, it was predicted that it could happen this month. Well Google just announced an early developer preview of a toolchain based on Apache Cordova, which is an open-source mobile development framework that can be used for building native mobile apps using HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

Using this toolchain, Chrome Apps will be wrapped with a native application shell that allows them to be distributed in either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. Google provides a developer work flow for packaging your Chrome App. Chrome Apps can be run on a device or emulator using the command-line or an IDE. You can also use the Chrome Apps Developer Tool to run your app on an Android device. Many of the core Chrome APIs were also made available for mobile versions of Chrome Apps.

ZTE Boost Max phablet launches on Boost Mobile

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ZTE showed off their Iconic Phablet at CES this year, highlighting its multi-window capabilities, large screen, and lower price point. Fast forward three weeks, and we’re already seeing the device hit US shores, although with a different name. Boost Mobile is the first to pick up the phablet, calling it the Boost Max.

The Boost Max features a 5.7 inch 720p screen, dual-core Snapdragon CPU with 1 GB of RAM, an 8 megapixel rear camera, and a 3200 mAh battery. For $300, it’s a pretty decent device, especially for Boost Mobile customers. Unfortunately, the Boost Max is launching with Android 4.1 as opposed to Android 4.3, which was shown off on the handset at CES. Go figure.

If you’re interested, you can purchase the device, no contract, for $300 below.

source: Boost Mobile

According to the IDC: More than a billion smartphones shipped in 2013

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The IDC announced this morning that over a billion smartphones were shipped in 2013. Selling 1,004.2 million smartphones worldwide, vendors were up from 725.3 million in 2012. That’s a 38.4% jump. The fourth quarter alone saw 284.4 million smartphones shipped.

According to the market research firm, the top trends were big screens and low costs. IDC data shows that low priced phones are what’s driving volume. Chinese and Indian markets are moving rapidly towards phones that cost less than $150 and that most of the shipments were in that range. Leaders in market share were as expected.

Sprint joins other big carriers with launch of its own cloud storage service

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Sprint users will have another option for storing their data in the cloud as the cell carrier is launching its own cloud storage service, starting today. Unlike its Verizon and AT&T counterparts, Sprint gives a free option with the ability to pay for unlimited storage. If you opt for the free model you’ll get 5GB. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay $4.99 a month for the unlimited storage option. AT&T only offers a 5GB plan whereas Verizon offers up to 125GB. It’s available for both Android and iOS.

So if you’re on the Now Network look for the cloud storage app in the Play Store. Even with other options for cloud storage out there, you’ll be hard pressed to find one with unlimited storage for $5 a month.

source: The Verge

Samsung SM-900H certified in Indonesia, could be another Galaxy S5 variant

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We have so far seen three different Samsung SM-900 variations: the SM-900A, SM-900F, and the SM-900S. Well now a fourth version of the device (SM-900H) has popped up in Indonesia, where it has been certified by Postel, one of Indonesia’s telecommunications authorities.

Postel also revealed that they received 3 handsets, one from South Korea, Vietnam, and China. That’s unfortunately as far as the details about the handset go.

Many are assuming that the SM-900 is the model number for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5, however there are a number of other devices that it could be. We will find out for sure when the Galaxy S5 is released sometime either in February or March.

Source: Postel
Via: PhoneArena

Samsung AMOLED QHD smartphone confirmed, 4K devices to follow

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With the Mobile World Conference coming up, many smartphone manufacturers are preparing to release their next generation of high-end devices. One company that will certainly be in the public eye is Samsung, which will likely bring some great new devices to the table.

Samsung confirmed yesterday that they’re working on an AMOLED QHD smartphone. Not only that but it looks like Samsung will be making an AMOLED UHD (4K, 3480 x 2160) smartphone in the future! This would mean a pixel density of around 820 pixels per inch on a 5-inch display.