It took about 8 months, but AT&T has finally finalized the deal to purchase $1.9 billion of spectrum from Verizon. Verizon gets to unload some of their 700MHz spectrum to AT&T, and AT&T gets to improve its LTE service for its 42 million customers across the country. The states affected are California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
That’s right, there’s a new Google Play logo. It’s nothing major, but the actual word “play” has disappeared in the new version. Instead, “Google” is followed by the triangle play icon. In addition, the text is a darker shade of gray. This probably doesn’t mean anything besides just a simplified logo, but it’s still worth noting.
Ahh, good ol’ products made in the USA. (Not to be confused with Usa, located in Ōita Prefecture, Japan.) Here we have a picture of what the inside of the Forth Worth, TX factory looks like, which pumps out thousands of Moto X’s each and every day. The 455,000 square-foot facility formerly manufactured Nokia products, but now sees the Moto X from its birth to the point when it gets shipped out.
Wal-Mart has announced they are joining several other retailers like Apple, Best Buy, Target and Radio Shack, in accepting trade-ins of smartphones for a credit toward the purchase of a new device. Possible credits will range from $50 to $300 for smartphones in working condition and not damaged. The credits can be applied toward the purchase of a new smartphone on two-year contracts with AT&T, Verizon or Sprint, as well as some prepaid plans. Wal-Mart indicates a working, nondamaged Apple iPhone 5 will be good for a $300 credit while a Samsung Galaxy S III will pull in $175.
Steve Bratspies, executive vice president for general merchandise with Wal-Mart says, “more and more, customers are choosing where they purchase new smartphones based on where they’ll get the best value for their trade-ins.” Analysts appear to have a positive impression of the move and think it will help Wal-Mart’s performance in electronics sales. Even with some weakness in that area, Wal-Mart claims it was the number 1 handset retailer for the quarter that ended June 30th.
Wal-Mart says the new program will start on September 21st at 3,600 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores throughout the U.S.
As Google Glass continues to be the latest craze, more and more features are being requested to be added to the highly-capable device. Through update XE9 (rolling out now), Google has followed through, bringing vignettes, sound search, and much more to Google Glass.
Vignettes make for a really nice feature. Users can take a picture of whatever they’re seeing through Glass, as well as the display simultaneously. Essentially, you’re able to show off the capabilities of Glass to others. Just search “#Vignettes” on Google+ to see some pretty awesome examples.
Search functionality has also been updated. YouTube videos now show up alongside normal site results while searching through Google, and a sound search has been implemented into the device as well.
Google Apps account integration has been included as well. However, to link your Glass up with your Apps account, you’ll have to do a factory reset and login again with the apps account.
The update has already started rolling out, so if you’ve got it, let us know what you think!
Remember that NVIDIA tablet we’ve been keeping an eye on? It recently passed through the FCC, and showed off some specs and designs while it was there. It also came with a semi-official name: the NVIDIA Tegra TAB. Caps lock. It’s also supposedly going to come with a slightly tweaked version of the Tegra 4, a 1280 x 800 7-inch screen, and what might be some version of stock Android, either 4.1, 4.2, or 4.3.
The pictures for the device show some high-end features for a tablet, like front-facing speakers, HDMI output, and the stylus slot. However, on those leaked photos, some things like the SD card slot and rear-camera are listed as being “Premium Model only.” You may see this tablet hit shelves in two flavors, one that offers a less-features but affordable Tegra 4 experience, and one that offers an all-out, high end experience.
No word on pricing or date yet, but with all of these recent leaks, I’m assuming an official announcement can’t be too far behind.
The Xperia M is the little brother to the Sony Xperia Z (not to be confused with the Xperia Z1 Mini) that bears many similarities to Sony’s higher end offerings at a much cheaper cost. The Xperia M has recently been made available unlocked to US consumers at a fairly cheap $249 price point, completely unlocked. That unfortunately puts it in competition with the Nexus 4, but if you want to try something a little different or particularly like Sony hardware, the M can hold its own.
It sports a 4-inch, high-res screen, 1 GB of RAM and 2 GB of internal storage with a MicroSD card slot. The processor is a decent dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus, and it has a 5 megapixel rear camera and .3 megapixel front-facing cam. You also get Sony’s unique software features, Android 4.1, and NFC, which is pretty rare for phones in this price range. Unfortunately, I don’t think the device is waterproof like the bigger models, but hey, can’t have everything. It also comes in four colors: white, black, purple, and yellow.
If you’ve been in the market for a new phone but you’re on a budget, hit the link below to check this one out.
I’m not sure if this is going to surprise anyone, but according to Samsung, the “Galaxy Gear” name is going to be a sub-brand of several smartwatches, similar to how the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note are both brands of cell phones. Samsung is planning on releasing several models of the Galaxy Gear to hit different markets and price points, which is the same strategy that they’ve used with their phones for the past several years. Some people can argue that Samsung has flooded the market with too many device that even they can’t keep track of, but they’re on top in the Android game, so it’s clearly not a bad strategy to pursue.
Samsung didn’t say what could be done to reduce the cost of any new iterations of the Galaxy Gear, but early speculation hints at doing things like removing the camera or stripping out much of the software except for S-Voice and voice-to-text applications for a companion phone.
I think it’s a good move on Samsung’s part, at least until they can figure out what’s the best price point to sell these types of devices at. I personally don’t see a $300 smartwatch moving millions of units, but I think one priced at $149 or $199 with slightly lesser functionality would make some waves in the market.
A couple weeks ago images surfaced of a new device from Motorola thought to be the DROID 5 bearing a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. New images of the device have surfaced on Chinese web site Weibo.com, still sporting that physical keyboard. We do get some additional details about the device which appears to have a 4.3-inch 1280×720 resolution screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage with a microSD slot available. Reports indicate the DROID 5 will support wireless charging and NFC, but will not be water- or dust-resistant like its predecessor.
No information on markets, pricing or a launch date is available yet. Hit the break to view the gallery of images. Read more
Last month CyanogenMod unveiled CyanogenMod Account, which allows you to track and wipe your devices. It just past code review and is now included in the latest 10.1 and 10.2 nightlies.
It’s quite simple to add an account. Just go to Settings / Add account / CyanogenMod. You can also go to https://account.cyanogenmod.org/login to find your device and wipe it if need be. Let us know what you think of it.