Google Earth update includes earth gallery

The popular Google Earth app is now updated to version 6.2. You can easily take a spin around the world without even standing up. So, what’s new, you ask? The most exciting addition to the app is the Earth Gallery, which is a collection of layers that you can choose from, such as city tours, earthquakes or real time flights. Plus, getting around in Google Earth is a breeze with the new zoom and pinch gestures.

If you’d like to share all the interesting places you’ve found, you have lots of choices of various social networking sites, including Google+. It’s possible to share your current view, as well.

Finally, the update will bring more stability and improved performance. Hit up the link below to download Google Earth from the Play Store.


Play Store Download Link

Verizon to Launch 203rd 4G LTE Market Tomorrow, 400 By Years End

Currently Verizon is leading the race to see which carrier can provide the largest blanket of LTE service, and they don’t plan on letting up any time soon. Yesterday Big Red announced that tomorrow, March 15, they will be flipping the 4G switch in 7 new markets and will expand the service in 17 others. This will put them past the 200 markets mark (203 to be precise) and plans are to double it to 400 by years end. A few of the areas being lit up tomorrow are:

– Dothan and Enterprise, Ala
– Naples, Fla
– Greenville, N.C.
– Altus and Durant, Okla.
– Longview/Marshall, Texas

Verizon will be expanding 4G LTE service in :

– Washington, D.C.
– Elkhart, Ind.
– Baltimore, Md.
– Columbus, Miss.
– Northern N.J.
– Wilmington, N.C.
– Duncan, Okla.
– Allentown/Bethlehem, Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Pa.
– Hilton Head, S.C.
– Cleveland, Tenn.
– Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.
– Kenosha, Madison and Milwaukee, Wis.

Not only is their 4G LTE coverage becoming a very respectable feat, they have even managed to roll out service in every U.S. state except for Alaska. Verizon currently offers over 20 4G LTE handsets and they claim they plan on releasing only 4g LTE smartphones for the year. That means no new 3G handsets until 2013. Way to go Big Red! Your persistence is commendable. Are there any of you who don’t yet have access to the fastest 4g network in America?

Full press release after the jump.

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Strategy Analytics: Smartphone Users Want Larger Displays

Strategy Analytics, a marketing and research firm has stated, thanks to a survey, that smartphone owners are seeking out bigger displays when it comes to their handsets.  Part of me would like to reply with “duh” but I tend to forget sometimes that not everyone is up and up on mobile technology news and they’re not all scouring the web for everything smartphone and Android all of the time.  So, for the benefit of the doubt, lets recap why it’s obvious users are demanding larger displays.  I can recall back in the day when having the thinnest and smallest cellphone was where it was at.  If you were caught with the Zack Morris phone you were sure to get laughed at for a while.  I remember rocking devices like the Motorola Razr (original) and a few other handsets which names escapae me at the moment.  But then came the expansion of the internet and so more and more users began “lightly” surfing the web from their mobile browsers to get scores for the big game and to quickly look something up.  However, in recent years, bandwidth has expanded, packet network technologies are getting better and better every day and we’re constantly relying on our mobile devices to do various aspects of our jobs and so on.  In addition, the mobile streaming industry is booming as large companies like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and even HTC are launching packages that make it hard for a consumer to ignore.  I myself find that I’m constantly watching either Google Play Movies, Hulu Plus or Netflix from my smartphone and tablet while on the go.  And lets face it, who wants to do that on a small screen?

“This trend is driven by increased mobile web browsing capability, as well as engaging video and gaming experiences.”

As the demand for mobile content increases so do the sizes of our screens.  This year, Android users were able to stream the Super Bowl from their smartphones.  Im sure those of us who had large displays and were stuck at work found it quite satisfying.  But just how big is too big for a display?  Device screens range in all kinds of shapes and sizes.  3.7-inch displays like the one on the Nexus One began to be the norm until 4-inch screens came to the market.  Most individuals believed that 4-inches was the “sweet spot”, however, that’s rapidly changing as 4.5-inch devices are the new 4-inch norms.   And it doesn’t seem to end there.  Devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note launching with a massive 5.3-inch Super AMOLED display is surprisingly gaining popularity among smartphone users.  The folks over at Strategy Analytics have hit the hammer on the nail with their study, but this certainly comes as no surprise to anyone.  The only question is, what do you consider “too big” and where do we begin to draw the line between smartphone and tablet?  I suppose that all depends on the users preference and what they’ll mostly be using the device for.  We’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter, feel free to leave a comment below.  Presser after the break.  
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B&N Nook Tablet now has optional memory reallocation

We had told you it was coming, and now it’s here. Barnes & Noble is inviting Nook Tablet owners to come into the store and have their tablet’s internal memory partitioning reallocated. The Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet has a spacious 16GB edition, yet it previously only allowed 1GB of its internal memory for side-loaded user content. There wasn’t much space for movies, music or other non-B&N content. The only way around that was to use a microSD card.

Barnes & Noble is allowing you to change this now, though. You can choose to change the 1GB reserved for personal content to 8GB, and leave 5.5GB for Barnes & Noble content. There will be trained “Nooksellers” in Barnes & Noble stores who can make this change for you.

This B&N’s explanation of the change:

Beginning this week, Nook Tablet 16GB customers who are interested in an optional reallocation of memory partitioning can bring their device to any of Barnes & Noble’s nearly 700 bookstores, where a trained Nookseller can help them make the change. If customers choose to change the memory scheme, it will enable them to carry even more of their personal content sideloaded on Nook Tablet (8GB), and approximately 5.5GB of Barnes & Noble content. Of course, Nook Tablet customers can, as always, enjoy expandable SD slot for up to 32GB of additional capacity, and virtually infinite storage of B&N content through the free Nook Cloud.

So, if you like this memory allocation better, just head into your local Barnes and Noble store to take advantage of the free in-store support.

Keep in mind that contrary to the 16GB Nook Tablet, the memory allocation in the Nook Tablet 8GB is currently 4GB for your own content. The microSD card can be added to get up to 32GB more if you choose.

On a separate note, the free Nook for Android app has been updated. The 3.1 version of the app now has Nook Comics for Android tablets. You can access graphic novels, comics and manga on 7- to 10-inch devices with Android OS 2.2 or higher.

The update includes Nook Shop additions so you can add or edit your default credit card information or un-archive content in the Nook Library, among other things. Let us know how you’re feeling about the new B&N developments in the comments.

source: CNET

FBI locked out by Android pattern lock


Android security tends to be a popular subject of discussion when looking for an area to criticise Android. Whether it be the much maligned Face Unlock or long-standing Pattern Lock, many tech sites enjoy nitpicking at every available opportunity. There is however one major organisation who might just disagree with the naysayers, the FBI.

Dante Dears, a San Diego based pimp was recently released from prison after serving time for trafficking prostitutes. Dears immediately violated the term of his parole by owning a cell phone which informants claim he was using to continue his pimping remotely. Naturally the FBI seized the phone and it was then that the problems began.

Dears refused to unlock the phone so the FBI promptly sent it off to the Computer Forensics Lab. Technicians at the lab succeeded only in locking the phone after too many unsuccessful unlock attempts. The phone then prompted the technicians for Dears’ Google login details which , of course, he refused to hand over. At this point the FBI had little option but to head cap-in-hand to Google to request the information. A warrant was served that asked Google for the following information :

  • The subscriber’s name, address, Social Security number, account login and password
  • “All e-mail and personal contact list information on file for cellular telephone”
  • The times and duration of every webpage visited
  • All text messages sent and received from the phone, including photo and video messages
  • Any e-mail addresses or instant messenger accounts used on the phone
  • “Verbal and/or written instructions for overriding the ‘pattern lock’ installed on the” phone
  • All search terms, Internet history, and GPS data that Google has stored for the phone

Google responded with the following statement : “Like all law-abiding companies, we comply with valid legal process. Whenever we receive a request we make sure it meets both the letter and spirit of the law before complying. If we believe a request is overly broad, we will seek to narrow it.”

How is it the phrase goes? “Pimpin’ ain’t easy”, well it seems that advances in mobile technology inadvertently made it a little easier. It goes without saying that TalkAndroid absolutely does not condone the behaviour of Dears although it is reassuring to know that the average Android owner is well protected. Perhaps the FBI will be hoping that the adoption of Ice Cream Sandwich brings an increase in Face Unlock usage, at least then they might be able to get into the phone with mugshot photos.


source : ars technica

Is this the Samsung Galaxy S III?

It wouldn’t be a normal day here at TalkAndroid without a Samsung Galaxy S III rumour to ponder over. Earlier today we brought you the rumour that the design was finalised and headed to production, well now we may just have a sneak peak at what the device will look like. An anonymous tipster posted the above image to the web and has sparked a series of debates across the tech world.

My first thoughts are that this looks awfully like a photoshopped Galaxy S II. The front face of the device looks pretty much identical aside from the ICS on-screen navigation buttons in place of the usual physical home button and capacitive buttons combo. I would like to believe that Samsung will be a little more imaginative with the design and I’ll personally be filing this particular rumour as ‘unlikely’

The Samsung Galaxy S III is probably the most highly anticipated Android phone of all time and as the summer draws closer the hype is hitting fever-pitch. Brace yourself folks as I suspect there will be plenty more speculation to follow in the coming weeks. The one thing I can say with confidence is that when the Galaxy S III finally does arrive, it will have been worth the wait.


source : phoneArena

CEO of Nokia Stephen Elop: You Don’t Need a Quad-Core Phone

Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, is not afraid of calling Android out or voicing his two cents in regards to Google’s OS. While we are still waiting to see Nokia and the Windows Phone platform beat Android in market share that isn’t stopping Mr. Elop from voicing his ill-regards to Android or iOS in their use of multi-core processors. As he puts it:

“You don’t need a quad-core phone unless you want to keep your hands warm in your pocket. We’re believers in the experience so, fine you have this camera density and you have that camera density. Let’s put the pictures side-by-side and we’ll show which ones are better.”

As if that weren’t enough he took a swipe at Android and its fragmentation “problem” as well:

“We don’t want fragmentation being introduced into Windows Phone because we are beginning to see how in a certain other eco-system that fragmentation becomes a problem.”

While I may be a bit biased in terms of Android I still have to question how this market strategy is working out for Nokia regardless. Especially given the rumor that Nokia is experimenting with dual-core technology to power their Windows Phone 8 devices. If fragmentation is such a problem then why are there 850,000 device activations for Android daily? Given Nokia’s less than glamorous fourth quarter last year I’m not sure if it’s a good time to call out Android’s “shortcomings” eh Stephen?

source: unwired view
via: Know Your Mobile

GCF Approves HTC One V, Coming in Black, Purple and Grey

While not a powerhouse like the One X or its little sister the One S, the One V looks to bring some pretty decent features, along with Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense 4.0, to the budget conscious folk out there. In case you missed the announcement it will come with a 3.7-inch touch screen (800 x 480 resolution), single core 1 GHz processor (sadly no dual-core) and will have 512 MB of RAM. It will have a 5MP camera with auto focus and LED flash. It’s also said to come with 4GB of onboard storage.

The Global Certification Forum has passed the One V to operate on GSM/EDGE at 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, as well as dual-band UMTS/HSDPA on 850/1900 MHz frequencies. It won’t come with 4G LTE capabilities so it’s safe to say that we won’t see this on Verizon. It will come in three flavors that include purple, grey and black. With it’s GCF pass it’s one step closer to an April release and while we have yet to see exact dates and prices, if current rumors hold water it looks to be around $300-350 off contract.

It will feature the aluminum body that hopes to give it a more robust and less budget-like feel. You can hit the break to get a glimpse of what these devices will look like in the various colors. Is this budget device one that you would consider? 
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Minecraft Pocket Edition updated

Mojang, creators of the ultra-addictive Minecraft series of games has dropped a significant update into the Play Store today. The update brings some additions to the gameplay as well as a new control method. There’s an optional new ‘split touch controls’ mode that will take advantage of the additional screen real estate in tablet devices and similar. For the purists out there, Pigs have been added into survival mode taking the game a step closer to the desktop version.

With over 100,000 downloads, minecraft is one of the most popular paid games in the Play Store and it’s great to see that the developers aren’t getting complacent. Head on over to the Play Store and pick up the update now, the pigs are waiting!


Play Store Download Link

LG Optimus P936 LTE Smartphone Makes Its Rounds At The FCC

Looks like there’s a new LG LTE phone on the way folks. A mysterious “Optimus P936″ smartphone decided to stop by the FCC to say hello and pass through. This indicates that there will be yet another LTE phone on its way. It is speculated the phone will be slated for a global release for the U.S., Europe and Asia— all in no particular order.

Information is rather lean on the device, but we do have a few tidbits we can share with you all. The device will come with WiFi 802.11 b/g/n support, Bluetooth 3.0 and of course— an LTE chip inside. While other new devices are being introduced with NFC capabilities, this device will not enjoy NFC potential. There’s no further details regarding the mysterious device, but we’ll be sure to share any additional info we find on this device.

source: FCC
via: Androinica