I had heard about Open Garden a while ago, but I never got around to actually trying it. If you haven’t heard of it before, it creates a wireless mesh network among all devices using the app. Think of crowd sourcing the internet. I think everyone of us dreams of the day where an internet connection is available virtually anywhere and that’s what Open Garden hopes to achieve. Open Garden allows you to share your data connection from your phone with your tablet, desktop, or laptop, but more importantly, with others around you. That’s where the difference lies from traditional tethering. In traditional tethering you share a data connection from one phone to one or more devices, but with Open Garden it could be many phones. They could even be phones from complete strangers. It’s about pooling data, which creates an open and stable network for all to use.
Sure you can root your phone or buy a tethering plan, but even that can be a pain. You have to turn on your mobile hotspot and most of the time you can’t even use your phone at the same time. What you really want is your device(s) to always be connected just like your 3G or 4G phones. With those devices you don’t have to think about it, they are always connected assuming you’re not in a bad signal area. Let’s put it this way: If everyone were to install and use Open Garden on their phone, we would literally be connected everywhere. It would almost be impossible to find a place that wasn’t connected. Now obviously we aren’t at that stage yet and the technology is continuing to improve, but I think the folks at Open Garden are on to something.
Sources claim a new, larger version of the LG Optimus G Pro that was announced last month is on its way to Mobile World Congress 2013. Last month NTT DoCoMo announced the availability of an upgraded LG Optimus G sporting a 5″ full HD display and a nice 3,000 mAh battery. That device was dubbed the LG Optimus G Pro and followed on LG’s popular Optimus G smartphone. In spite of that recent announcement, there were still rumors circulating that LG had a 5.5-inch device in the works as well. Read more
If there’s any current TV royalty it’s probably The Simpsons. If you’re a fan of the show then you’re in luck as a new game dubbed “The Simpsons Tapped Out” has made it’s way into the Google Play Store. Previously this game was only available in Europe as a limited release but Electronic Arts just made it available for everyone to download for free.
It seems like everyday a new smartphone shows up somewhere around the world. Today we look towards China as a new HTC phone has appeared in China’s telecom equipment certification database. With the name 603e, HTC seems to be following up their HTC One SU. The 603e sports a 4.3-inch (800 x 480) display, a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel rear facing camera and a micro-SD card slot for expandable storage. What separates the two, according to images of the 603e, is the presence of a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. The body of the device itself weighs only 130 grams and will be 9.8 mm thick. It will be available in black, white, green and yellow according to the database entry.
The specs for this phone suggest that it will be a mid-range level device somewhere between the rumored M4 and G2 devices. Availability of this device is still unknown but check back with TalkAndroid for the latest news and release dates.
It appears that Wikipad went back to the drawing board after they missed their October launch of the Wikipad gaming tablet. There was a delay because they discovered some issues with the controller. Sometimes a negative is actually a positive and Wikipad listened to potential customers about their proposed price point of $499 was going to be too high. They decided to change plans and make it a 7-inch display (instead of 10-inches) and lower the price to $249. What’s most interesting is that back at CES 2012, they actually showed an 8-inch version. Now the 10-inch is still in the plans, but no word on if or when it will ever be released. For now all the concentration will be on this newer design.
It will feature a 7-inch (1280 x 800) IPS display, a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3, a 12-core NVIDIA GPU, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, microSD slot for expanded storage, 2MP front facing camera, 4,100mAh battery, micro HDMI, micro USB, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It will be 10.67mm thick and weigh 322 grams. It will also be one of the few tablets that is PlayStation Mobile certified. I think this is a good move by Wikipad. It appears to be a solid device with a good price point. I am looking forward to getting my hands on one and when I do, I will certainly let you know my thoughts. WikiPad tells us that we can all expect to get our hands on one in the spring.
Full press release after the break
Rumors of another Facebook phone surfaced last November and today we have some more news thanks to Twitter. Last year we heard that HTC was involved and the codename was “Opera UL.” Now we are hearing the codename is “Myst” and HTC is still involved. The specs are a little different from what we reported with the Opera UL. First of all the processor is now a dual-core 1GHz instead of 1.4GHz. It’s still a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro though. The display resolution was reported to be 720p (1280 x 720) and that still holds, but the display size has been revealed to be 4.3-inches. It still has an Adreno 305 GPU, but we also found out it will sport a 5MP rear camera and a 1.6MP front camera.
Personalizing your Android device is something a lot of us do. After all, you’ve spend hundreds upon hundreds on these handsets, so why not give it some flare to your own liking that separates it from others? That’s where dbrand inc. comes in and provides your device with some awesome top-of-the line 3M textured vinyl’s. For review purposes I’ll be using the Nexus 4 as that’s the device I have the product installed on, although the company provides these vinyl skins on a slew of devices on their website.
First off, the quality of these vinyl’s are top-notch. According to dbrand, the vinyl’s that they use are generally reserved for architectural re-upholstering and auto body trim. Even better is the flat price of $9 per skin and you can actually request a customized skin for your liking. Just e-mail them what you have in mind and send them the images you want and they’ll be happy to work with you on what you want. Of course, customized skins often uses twice the material plus the added labor, so expect the price of that to double to about $18. With that being said, the two vinyl’s that I have from them feel and look great. As you can see with the pictures below, the cutouts are dead on with the camera and speakers. What’s even more surprising is how well the “nexus” letters were cut in precision to perfectly match it on my Nexus.
Texture wise, these aren’t just cheap “stickers” that have been slapped together. While the titanium seen above isn’t real titanium, it looks just as real and has great texture. Same goes with the black carbon fiber skin that is seen below, the texture is great and you can actually feel each line. I can’t say enough how great these look on your device. If you prefer a “cleaner” look and not have the “nexus” cut-out, then you can easily request that by e-mailing them.
I’ve also found that these skins are very easy to apply. With mildly steady hands I was able to apply these in no longer than 30 seconds. The best part is that you can re-apply these numerous times, this is especially great if you bought a couple colors and decide to swap the them out as you please.
Last but not least, what makes an already great company into an awesome one? Customer service of course! After various e-mail exchanges and reading customers feedback from various threads on XDA and Reddit, dbrand provides great and speedy customer service. By far one of the best I’ve seen. What’s great is that you can shoot them an e-mail if you have any questions, whether it’s a personal request on a customized skin that you have envisioned or a general question about their products. Regardless of the inquiry they are quick to respond. You can purchase these skins on the first link below, and you can also check out their Facebook page for more HD pictures of their products on numerous devices!
Needless to say, if you’re looking to customize your device then I would highly recommend dbrand inc!
You remember when LG tried to tease us a little yesterday? Well it seems it is intent on enticing us even more by releasing yet another teaser— this time in the form of a video that can ultimately be described as a “breakthrough being made at MWC 2013″. Unfortunately the “breakthrough” can be described as vague at best— numerous key words such as “premium”, “creative”, “stylish”, “powerful” and “speedy” are showcased in the video which describes LG’s mysterious new toy. Could this be a follow-up to LG’s resounding Optimus G series? We can’t quite be sure– but fortunately MWC is right around the corner, so we won’t need to wait too long to see whatever it is LG has cooking.
Hit the flip to check out the teaser vid for yourself.
We recently reported that Sony will introduce a mid-level phone with the codename “HuaShuan” and that it would be called the Xperia SP. Recently images of it posing with the Xperia V were leaked, which tells us quite a few new things. While the currently available Xperia V sports a 4.3-inch screen, the leaks have shown that the SP will be slightly larger, possibly a 4.5-inch screen. The Xperia SP will sport a 1.7 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU according to previous rumors as well as a non-removable battery which has been noted from previous tips. Although you can’t see it in the picture, the tipster said the microSD slot is behind the back cover, which is sure to make Android users happy.
As the trend of bigger and sharper screens continues in mobile phones, the rumored Xperia SP falls under the mid-range spectrum which won’t necessarily impress but could be a viable option for those looking for a less expensive alternative. Check out the pictures below of the reported leaks and let us know what you think of the rumored Sony Xperia SP.
We’ve already seen a few hints indicating HTC’s newest beast would be called the M7 smartphone, while featuring some pretty beastly specs— but it appears that we have even more of a confirmation than we already had before. A leaked advertisement from Phone House indicates the unlocked M7 would be available in France from March 8th for 649.99 EUR (around $880). Additionally, the advertisement highlights the M7 will have a 4.7-inch 1080p display, a 13-megapixel camera, 32GB internal storage and Sense 5-powered Jelly Bean running the show. While the photo used for the device seems to be based off an old render, it’s looking like everything else is matching up quite nicely— giving us all something to look forward to in the coming weeks.
That February 19th event just can’t come soon enough!