Google IO 2017 Coverage

Sony Xperia Z released to AOSP

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Sony announced today that they have opened the software code for their Sony Xperia Z smartphone to the Android Open Source Project. The software has been uploaded to Sony’s GitHub. Between that and information available at Sony’s Developer World site, external developers should have everything they need to get started. The project will be overseen by the same people who were over the Sony Xperia S AOSP. Sony points out that the software is not intended for everyday use and several apps and services one might expect on a standard smartphone are not present. Hit the break for a short video about the project and some shots of what is included in the code.

Next gen HTC Butterfly spotted in OTA information?

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More clues about the next generation HTC DLXPLUS devices have been discovered in some OTA testing information. The DLXPLUS codename is used by HTC for a line of phones normally marketed as either the HTC Butterfly or DROID DNA depending on the market and carrier. The OTA information indicates at least three different versions of the device are being prepped, including:

LG Share the Genius event scheduled for May 1st to introduce LG Optimus G Pro

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With AT&T set to add the LG Optimus G Pro to their portfolio starting May 10th, LG is getting on the event bandwagon for their latest flagship device to hit the U.S. shores with a Share the Genius event on May 1st. The event will take place in New York City and is headlined by indie music group Atlas Genius. The LG Optimus G Pro will be entering the market up against the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 so any buzz they can generate to help show that they too are a player in the top end of the smartphone market will help.

 

Verizon announces the Pantech Perception smartphone, brings touchless controls for a modest price

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Sure we have seen some smartphones tout some impressive toucheless control features, but those type of devices come at a king’s ransom— so they may not be accessible to a wider range of customers. Fortunately Pantech quickly realized that the technology should be available to a wider range of customers and has introduced its brand-new Perception smartphone. The device is a typical mid-ranger which features Ice Cream Sandwich loaded up, a dual-core Snapdragon chip, 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD display, an 8MP camera + 2MP FFC and 16 gigs of on-board storage. Sure those may be ho-hum to the masses— but the real ace in Pantech’s cards is the arrival of Motion Sense technology on the Perception. The technology allows users of the device to do things like wave their hands to answer calls or moving your finger up and down to scroll up and down through a list. Pretty awesome.

This smartphone is set for arrival on Verizon’s wireless network on April 25th, which should make customers of that network happy, but customers of other networks a wee bit sad. But if you are on Big Red’s network— the great thing about the Perception smartphone and its Motion Sense technology is the impressive price it will arrive at: $99 on-contract (after a $50 mail-in-rebate). You can find more deets when you hit the source link.

source: Verizon

Budget smartphones to experience explosive growth and account for 46% of all smartphone shipments by 2018

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It’s no surprise that budget-level smartphones are beginning to gain the favor of consumers worldwide, but it appears there is an imminent explosion of budget-level devices in the coming years. A recent trend by research firm ABIresearch concludes that shipments of sub-$250 phones will grow from 259 million in 2013 to a whopping 788 million in 2018; conversely, mid-level (sub-$400) and high-level ($400+) smartphone shipments are expected to grow from 635 million to 925 million between 2013 and 2018. The reason? Well, it’s quite simple really— budget smartphones continue to see an impressive boom in emerging markets, such as African and Asian countries. Additionally, budget smartphones continue to act as a bridge between the few of you out there who are still on a dumbphone, allowing for more advanced features for a modest to reasonable price. Here’s senior practice director Jeff Orr sharing his thoughts:

 

“As smartphone penetration moves from early adopters to mass-market and laggard consumer segments, the smartphone as a product will be less dependent on technical superiority, and more dependent on reliability and value.” 

 

Still, ABIresearch is quick to point out the importance and relevance of the mid and high-level smartphones. It points out that “premium smartphones tend to carry the most advanced wireless connectivity and operators who are upgrading their network want to ensure that the handsets running on their network can deliver the best possible experience and customer satisfaction“. So in other words— budget-level devices tend to operate on 3G-esque speeds, while mid and high-level devices tend to offer items like LTE. Oh and don’t forget, people do love things like those awesome displays and nifty personal assistants that help make life easier and all.

source: Business Week

Best Buy now taking pre-orders for the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S 4

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If you’re a Verizon customer and you want to make sure you get your Samsung Galaxy S 4 on release day, you might want to head over to Best Buy because they are now taking pre-orders. They did a soft announcement in that they sent out text messages telling customers that you can pre-order now, but it’s in store only.

Verizon hasn’t even announced an official release date other than sometime in May, and they aren’t even taking pre-orders yet. If you remember, Verizon was the last major carrier to offer the Galaxy S III, so this is just history repeating itself. I’m expecting a late May release, but hopefully I will be wrong.

source: gottabemobile

 

Samsung Galaxy S 4 to be in AT&T stores on April 27

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Are you wondering when you can finally put your hands on the Samsung Galaxy S 4? Well AT&T made it official via Twitter that it will be in stores starting this Saturday, April 27. It appears they will only offer the 16GB version for now, and the 32GB version will arrive at a later date. Word is that if you pre-ordered it, you could get it as soon as tomorrow.

source: @ATT

Rumor: Key Lime Pie won’t be ready for Google I/O?

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Today’s Google I/O rumor is a Debbie Downer, but take it with a very small grain of salt. Google I/O is taking place next month, and unless you have been living under a rock, you know it’s the biggest stage of the year for Google. Naturally you would expect that a new version of their OS would be announced, even if it were a minor tweak. Everyone and their brother is expecting that Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie will be the chosen one, but a new rumor suggests that Google is pushing it back two to four months. The supposed reason is to give OEMs “breathing room” as in so many phones aren’t running Ice Cream Sandwich and/or Jelly Bean yet.

This sounds plausible, but this has been a problem since day one for Android so why would Google start caring about it now? It doesn’t make much sense to me, but a rumor is a rumor and some of them do come true.

TalkAndroid Daily Dose for April 22, 2013

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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!!

Guides

How to set up and use HTC TV and the IR blaster on the HTC One

Reviews

HTC One review: The best phone on the planet, but is it good enough?

Apps

Runtastic Mountain Bike and Road Bike now available in Play Store

Netflix to offer $11.99 per month subscription supporting up to four simultaneous video streams

Google Glass “about a year-ish away” according to Eric Schmidt

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Recently Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt appeared on the Martha Kearny show on BBC Radio 4. At about the 4:27 mark in the interview, he describes how Google Glass looks and works, and he likes that we can talk to it. When asked when we could expect to see them on the market, his response was “probably a year-ish away”, but they will monitor the feedback they get from the developers who will be getting their Explorer Editions in the coming months.

Netflix to offer $11.99 per month subscription supporting up to four simultaneous video streams

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If you’ve ever run into Netflix’s cap of two simultaneous video streams on your account and wished you could increase that cap, Netflix has an answer. Today the company announced that there will be a new pricing tier to allow a single account to deliver video to four separate devices simultaneously, up from the current cap of two. The pricing is just a tad higher than their current plan at $11.99 per month. You won’t be forced to move to that tier, and Netflix expects only about 1% of their subscribers to use the new tier, but having options is always nice.

Personally, I’ve never hit the current streaming cap, even sharing an account with family members. I can see how it might be an issue for larger families who rely on internet streaming exclusively for entertainment, though. What are your thoughts? Are any of you going to move up to the new subscription price?

source: Netflix

Runtastic Mountain Bike and Road Bike now available in Play Store

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If you made a New Years resolution to get in shape this year, and you’ve managed to stick to it so far, we’ve got a pair of apps that might help you along a bit. The developers of Runtastic Pro, who have also collaborated with Google for some nifty Google Earth features, have released Runtastic companion apps for mountain bikes and road bikes.

Both apps feature specific features to whichever kind of biking you plan on doing, The apps features excellent GPS tracking, live data tracking, and interfacing with popular Runtastic fitness accessories. Both apps also feature a lite version with fewer features, and a paid version that has all the features in each app. If you’re already the exercising type or just looking for something to help you get started, these apps are worth checking out. Hit the break below for the download links.

HTC sells out of unlocked HTC One devices for $575

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Earlier today HTC decided to give consumers an extra option to get their hands on a new HTC One device. On their own web site, HTC was offering a special unlocked 32GB version of the HTC One that would work on any GSM network. The price is listed at $575, which is slightly less than the $650 being asked for the Developer Edition which was recently delayed. Unfortunately, HTC is already reporting the device is out of stock with next availability not scheduled for two to four weeks from now.

source: HTC

HTC One review: The best phone on the planet, but is it good enough?

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Last year, HTC promised a unified marketing effort with the One brand, but it didn’t seem to go as planned. They started with the One X, One S, and One V. Then came the One SU, One SV, One VX, several Desire devices, and the Butterfly. Lets not forget variants such as the EVO 4G LTE, the DROID Incredible 4G LTE, and the DROID DNA. Unfortunately 2012, was another bad year for HTC, and they have come back with the same story for 2013, which is to offer a unified marketing effort and one flagship phone. This time around they did indeed unveil “one” phone, appropriately called the HTC One. There are plenty of reviews already published on the HTC One, and you will have a hard time finding anyone who doesn’t think it’s the best phone ever made. I will cut to the chase and tell you that it’s very unlikely that I will disagree with that assessment, especially when you consider the fact that I picked the One X as the best phone for 2012 while everyone and their brother chose the Samsung Galaxy S III or Galaxy Note II. Unfortunately being the best doesn’t guarantee success nor does it mean that you should buy it. Sometimes its better for the average person to buy what’s popular rather than what’s considered to be the best. The bottomline is the One is the underdog salivating for your hard earned dollars. Underdogs need to prove their worthiness. In other words, does the HTC One provide enough greatness to break brand loyalty for the average consumer? A year and half ago, it was all about specs for phones, but Samsung and Apple recognized that mainstream consumers don’t buy on specs. They buy on consistency, software features, and a recognized brand. The One X may have achieved the best phone last year in terms of pure hardware, but they failed in all three categories. Will this year be any different? Hit the break to find out.

Cricket shows off unlimited family plan, only $40 per line

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Cricket has announced today that they will be offering a new family unlimited plan, complete with unlimited text messaging, unlimited calling, and unlimited data, and it’ll only run you $40 per line. What’s the catch, you’re probably asking yourself? The unlimited data is throttled after 1 GB of usage, and you have to opt in to the automatic bill pay. Oh, and it’s strictly for family plans, not individual plans. Still, it’s $10 cheaper than the single-line plan, and Cricket is throwing in a free subscription to Muve Music, so it’s an excellent deal, even with the relatively minor caveats.

You can also go with a $60 plan that offers 2.5 GB of non-throttled data, and a $70 with 5 GB of non-throttled data. Both of these plans also include the mobile hot spot capabilities. If nothing else, it’s good to see some other carriers try to take on the big guys with better value bundles. Hit the break below for the full press release.