Intel targets Samsung as key in efforts to break into smartphone, tablet market

Intel

Although not generating any recent buzz as a leader in the mobile chip market, Intel is rattling things up a bit as Intel Korea’s CEO Lee Hee-sung came out with some comments in a recent interview about increasing aggressiveness in the mobile device field. The current target of Intel’s partnership efforts is Samsung, which has started advertising their upcoming Galaxy Tab 3 devices with Intel chips.

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.

Verizon Samsung Galaxy S 4 receives Google Play Edition ROM Port

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Once the Google Play Edition Samsung Galaxy S 4 hit stores last week, owners of the carrier based S4 were immediately jealous. Now Verizon S4 users don’t have to be, as developers have made the stock Android Galaxy S4 ROM available for their devices. The developer says it is a port from the GT-I9505, but it isn’t specified if it’s from the Android 4.3 or 4.2.2 build.

There are many versions of the ROM available, including one with blacked out Google Apps. You can go make your Verizon S4 stock through download via the source link below. While the Verizon S4 is the first lucky device to get a port, it surely won’t be the last.

Source: XDA Developers Forum

HP plans to reenter the smartphone market

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Remember the failure that was HP’s webOS? Now HP wants to have a second go at the smartphone market. In the Indian Express, HP Senior Director of Consumer PCs and Tablets for Asia-Pacific Yam Su Yin revealed that the company is working on a new smartphone that will offer a “differentiated experience.”  We don’t know anything besides this initial remark – not even if they are working on an entire mobile operating system, or simply just a device that could run on Android or Windows Phone.

The company’s focus will still be concentrated on tablet, notebook, and PC lines, however it could be very difficult to emerge in a market that currently seems to have its bases covered. Of course, Yin, who says “HP has to be in the game,” says a timetable is not yet available. Stay tuned to Talk Android as we keep you updated on HP’s latest foray into the smartphone market.

Source: TechnoBuffalo

Verizon drops price of HTC Droid DNA to $50

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Although the HTC Droid DNA has only been around for about seven months, Verizon has put the device on sale for $50 with a two-year contract in an apparent move to start making way for a new Droid device or possibly the HTC One. We already had word that Verizon was starting the end-of-life process for the Droid DNA. This latest move to cut the cost is consistent with that news.

source: Verizon

Microsoft OneNote app gets UI overhall, rich formatting, widgets in latest update

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Skype got a snazzy new user interface earlier today, and fellow Microsoft app OneNote has followed suit. The company announced today that OneNote’s iOS and Android apps are getting a completely new UI for a more consistent looking experience across all devices. New mobile rich editing allows tables, text, and layout to look the same, no matter where you’re taking notes.

Home screen widgets have been added that allow quick text. picture, and audio notes. In addition, a new search and tagging function and support with Office 365 and SharePoint have also been added. The updated app is available for free in the Play Store immediately, through the link after the break.

Source: Microsoft Office Blog

Deal Alert: Groupon offering the unlocked HTC One X smartphone for $349.99

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Groupon is no stranger to having some pretty sweet deals every now and then, but who would’ve guessed it would offer what some of us thought was hands-down the best phone for 2012? That’s right gang— Groupon is offering an unlocked variant of the HTC One X smartphone last year for a reasonable $349.99. Unlike the traditional unlocked version that features a Tegra 3 chip plus HSPA+ radio, it appears that this unlocked model (HTC-PJ83100) will “only” sport a dual-core Snapdragon clocked at 1.5GHz and Ice Cream Sandwich (ugh!). Fortunately, this model will have the same 4.7-inch 720p display, the sweet 8MP camera and oh yes— a built-in 4G LTE radio… though it’s probably likely it will only be made for AT&T bands should you choose to take advantage of the capability. Otherwise, the HSPA+ bands should be compatible for both AT&T and T-Mobile.

Naturally there are other $349.99 options out there like the Nexus 4, but keep this in mind: the Nexus 4 doesn’t feature LTE and an unlocked One X model is more than developer-friendly, meaning that there’s plenty of potential for you tinkerers out there. Nonetheless, interested parties will want to act soon— as of now, there’s only 8 days left for the awesome deal.

source: Groupon
via: Droid Life

Android platform still the top overall platform in most major markets worldwide, especially sees dominant growth in Europe and China

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In other not-so-surprising news, Android is the dominant platform in most major markets worldwide. According to Kantar Worldpanel, Android-based devices are away and by far the dominant devices in Italy, Spain, Great Britain, France and Germany— countries which account for over 70% of the European market. Oh and don’t think Android’s dominance is limited to just Europe either— Kantar Worldpanel indicates that over 70% of all Chinese smartphones run Android, also placing Android head and shoulders above iOS and Windows Phone devices. The perceived culprits for the explosive growth? In Europe, it’s Samsung as it is responsible for almost half of all smartphones sold in the top-5 countries; in China, it’s probable that the likes of ZTE and Huawei help to spark the growth of the Android platform.

While Android has a healthy lead outside the States, it is still worth noting that the other platforms are still alive and kicking as well. Kantar highlights iOS-based devices currently hold a 41.9% market share in the U.S., an increase of 3.5% over the same period last quarter.  Conversely, Android saw its existing market share lead grow only marginally, from 51.9% to 52.0% over the same period last year. Oh and despite Windows Phone’s lack of popularity out here in the States, it too is experiencing significant growth in Europe as it saw its market share grow an average of 2.5 percent points in the measured top-5 European countries.

source: Kantar Worldwide

Skype passes 100M installs on Android, celebrates with 4.0 release

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Skype announced today that they have passed through the 100M install mark on Android devices and at the same time, announced the release of Skype for Android 4.0. The new version of Skype was rebuilt from the ground up to improve stability, performance and load times to go with the new features and interface for Android devices.

According to Skype, much of the inspiration for the redesign came from the work the team did on the Windows Phone version of the app. Skype wanted to bring the same conversation-centric focus to Android users. Along with the improvements to the interface, Skype says the app increasingly has a common look and feel across platforms which will be welcome news to users who access Skype on more than just their Android device.

The new version of the app opens to a list of recent conversations. From there, users can quickly send free text messages within the app or launch instant messaging, audio calls, or video chats. Skype indicates they will be rolling out more changes and improvements in the coming months.

If you want to grab a copy of Skype or need to upgrade, hit one of the download links below the video showing some of the new features and interface elements.

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Google Play Download Link

source: Skype

‘Bubble Launcher’ featuring sidebar customization and bubble-like knob released by XDA Senior Member ‘bitstra’

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XDA Senior Member bitstra has developed “Bubble Launcher,” a home-screen launcher that’s pretty refreshing and unique in terms of navigation and design. Though it’s very similar to a sidebar application, as it docks itself to the side of your screen, it still has much of the functionality of any other launcher.

The launcher is navigated through the action of swiping— swiping down lets you view all of your apps in a list format, and swiping outwards or towards the middle of the screen will allow you to use a bubble-like knob, which can be spun so that you can find the app of your choice. Swiping upwards shows the settings, which give you the option to set the launcher’s activation spot, toggle animations, and change the size of app icons.

This is certainly a really nice concept, especially the bubble-knob— it may not be for everyone because of the “bubbly” interface, but it’s definitely worth checking out. The app available for devices on Android 2.3 or newer. You can find the Google Play links after the break, as well as the APK file.

Mysterious LG device with Snapdragon 800 spotted in benchmark tests, most likely G2 not Nexus 5

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Another LG device was spotted in AnTuTu Benchmarks, and the speculation is that it could be the Nexus 5. It has a model number of LG-F320 and scored 32,000 points with its 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 CPU. I know a lot of people are hoping for a Nexus 5, but this is probably a G2 variant for Korea.

Remember, LG confirmed they aren’t working on a Nexus 5. Of course, shortly after, it was reported that they produced a prototype, but there are a lot of prototypes that never hit the market. I am still on record as saying there won’t be a Nexus phone this year, and instead, it’s going to be just Google Edition and Motorola phones from here on.

Going back to the G2, we should get a lot of info on the device at LG’s event on August 7.

source: GSMInsider

Samsung Galaxy Note III to be released on September 4th

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We’ve been seeing an awful lot of Galaxy Note 3 news lately, so it’s only fitting that we hear more about the upcoming device’s imminent release date. If you recall, we previously indicated to you that the phablet would be released at IFA 2013, which is sometime in September. Well according to the gang at Android Geeks, we won’t see the Galaxy Note 3 at IFA 2013. Instead, the Galaxy Note 3 will be unveiled on September 4th at a Samsung Unpacked event, slightly ahead of IFA 2013. Considering Apple will also unveil its iPhone 5S around that time, Samsung will roll the dice and hope its upcoming device will be the phone to beat for the Fall and holiday seasons.

So yes friends, it’s looking like the mouthwatering Android 4.3 Android 4.2.2 phablet will be seen in only 2 months’ time. You folks getting warm and fuzzy yet?

source: Android Geeks

Google Play adds chat support for device purchase inquiries

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Ever had a question about a device on Google Play and couldn’t seem to find answers? Then you’ll be happy to know that they’re adding a live chat feature for questions on device purchasing. Before this, the only options to get help were to call support or email them— this new option will most definitely make the process more efficient by eliminating waiting time and allowing you to take care of business without leaving the computer screen.

The chat feature is surprisingly very similar to the layout of Hangouts, which is definitely refreshing and a change in the way of doing things. When your chat is over, the entire conversation will be found in your Gmail inbox— if you don’t want the whole thing recorded in your chat history, however, there is an option to go “off the record.”

Sony ‘Honami’ getting new UI and features according to system dump

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Recently, some images surfaced for Sony’s latest and greatest, the “Honami’, but we now have more information about the device thanks to a system dump from the Canadian version with a model number of C6906. It looks like they will reveal a brand new UI that will feature a new launcher and app tray. There will also be new apps for the clock, album, conversations, phonebook, settings, calendar, and Walkman. That’s not all as it appears they have some sort of augmented reality app and a new app called Info-eye. Info-eye is a visual search app based on kooaba, which is a leading image recognition platform. It will give you more information about places and landmarks around you. This app was revealed in the latest press render that we showed you over the weekend.

The system dump also revealed some of the specs, which isn’t anything different from what we have heard. It will sport a Snapdragon 800 CPU and sport a 20MP camera. Something we haven’t heard is the ability to record 4K (4000 x 2000) video with an aspect ration of 2:1. They will also be adding Timeshift burst, which is some sort of burst shooting that lets you shift back and forth in time.

The ‘Honami” sounds like a serious contender, but is it going to be just another Sony device that doesn’t make its way to the U.S.? Hit the beak for some images, but you will find a lot more at the source link.