This is for the beginners, but actually a lot of you could use this because I think a lot of people forget that most of us already have built-in video chatting through the GTalk application. Google actually added this feature about a year ago in Android 2.3.4. At that time there weren’t a lot of phones on that version, let alone had a front-facing camera, so I think a lot of people just forgot about it. As of the time of this writing about 60% of Android devices have Android 2.3.4 or better, not to mention just about every new phone in the market will have video chat capabilities. There are plenty of apps that enable you to video chat, but GTalk is by far the quickest and easiest way to get started assuming you have a front facing camera and Gingerbread 2.3.4 or above. GTalk video chat works via WiFi, 3G, or 4G, but some carriers put restrictions and limit you to only WiFi. I will show you an easy workaround below. Hit the break to get started.
For a while now, Amazon Wireless has been the place to shop when looking for the lowest price on Android devices. They can easily beat your carrier by up to $100 and you can often find the hottest trends for only a penny if you are signing a new contract. Up until now, this wireless division of Amazon was in its beta stage for three whole years and just yesterday they graduated to a full fledged operation, shedding its beta status. With this change comes new features such as the best price guarantee and $20 if free apps for customers who are buying a new device.
Amazon’s new best price guarantee provides customers the option to price match with other retailers for up to 14 days after purchase. If you buy a phone and find a better deal within two weeks, Amazon will gladly refund the difference as long as the contract is the same.
The other great feature, $20 in free apps, allows customers a 20 spot worth of free premium apps from Amazon’s App Store. This applies to any app that resides on the App Store, no restrictions. Now not only do you get a new Android device at a great price, you can also fill it with great apps such as the ad free version of Angry Birds Space, Cut the Rope and Where’s My Water?. Pretty sweet, huh? So next time you are shopping around for a new phone be sure to check out Amazon Wireless before you spend more than necessary.
source: Amazon Wireless
CyanogenMod officially has a new mascot to call its own after its extensive mascot search. Developed by Caio Alves, the new mascot will be tentatively named ‘rAndy‘. It will go through a few additional and minor tweaks before the CM team officially unleashes the new image of the CM name into the wild. Ladies and gentlemen, the CM name much like Android is all set for its continued evolution.
source: CM Google+
Somewhere out there are a handful of Motorola DROID RAZR smartphones with a leaked Android 4.0 build. In addition to the standard frills of ICS, there was mention of updated WebTop software in the form of WebTop 3.0 Beta. A curious DROID RAZR owner decided to test out the new enhancements to the WebTop software and found some surprising differences between the previous and new versions of the software. You’ll find that not only has MOTO revamped the laptop UI by removing excessive items which bogged down the interface, MOTO modeled the same UI to more of a tablet UI. Because ICS was made for any screen, you’re essentially seeing a blown up screen of the DROID RAZR instead of a custom UI when in WebTop mode. Looks like MOTO has taken a cue from ASUS and it’s intriguing PadFone.
Words can’t describe how the new WebTop looks and acts until you see it live. So why not hit the break to get a better understanding of the new software?
My title was actually a little sarcastic because I’m not sure if this is really news, but AsiaE is reporting that the Samsung Galaxy S III has begun testing with carriers in Korea. Everyone knows when it comes to mobile phones, they test them for many months before they’re released. We already know a Galaxy S III is coming so this is far from a shocker. According to AsiaE, they are a little impatient as they want things to go a little faster. Unfortunately, the fact that it has a quad-core processor and LTE will only slow things down.
In the other non shocker, ddaily in Korea is reporting that they expect the Galaxy S III to come with a 4.65-inch 720p display, but it will also be the first 720p display that is Super AMOLED Plus. It will also have a ppi of 316ppi which rivals the iPhone 4 and 4S. Again this is news that has already been rumored that we reported on, but I guess it’s nice to see some more confirmation. All I really want is a true picture of this beast!!!
Later today we expect HTC and Sprint to announce the EVO One. We already saw a press shot yesterday, but how about some hands on time? The folks over at Droid-Life were able to get a few minutes with it. They confirmed it has a 4.7-inch display at 720p resolution, 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera, a kickstand, Android 4.0.3, and Sense 4.0.
Overall they felt Sense was slimmed down, which seems to be the consensus from all media, but the biggest plus was the camera. Again we’ve heard nothing but great things about the HTC One X camera, so this is no shocker, but still good news. I will be at the event this evening so stay tuned for more news and hit the break for some more pics.
The Samsung Galaxy Note is no doubt an amazing device, we know that already. We also know that while the device is going to be a wee bit better once it receives its long-awaited software update, it’s going to be a bit of a wait as it’s due to arrive at some point within the next few months. Sammy is hard at work developing the software in the meantime, but “somehow” a build of the upcoming ICS software has leaked. The gang at RootzWiki got their hands on a leaked build of the ICS update for the Galaxy Note and seem to have positive feedback for the update despite its early progress. Here’s a quick rundown of the update:
Ahh, yes, the Samsung Galaxy Note… that “not quite a phone” and “not quite a tablet” phablet device that turns heads every time. Love it or hate it, Samsung is selling tons of these. By tons, I mean more than 5 million units worldwide. A new study is now saying that much of the success of the Note in the U.S. can be attributed to Samsung’s advertising. I know what you’re thinking… but those clever Samsung ads poking fun at Apple fans waiting in line, or the Galaxy Note Super Bowl commercial featuring The Darkness, were not the ads that made it a success. The most effective ad, according to television analytics firm Ace Metrics, is Samsung’s current Galaxy Note ad, The Best of a Phone and a Tablet.
Not only did this ad play a part in the success of the Note, but it was named the most effective ad of the first quarter in the U.S. Ace Metrics uses their own ranking system, called Ace Score, that measures viewer’s reactions to national TV ads on a scale from 0 to 950. The higher the score, the more effective the ad. Samsung’s ad scored a solid 686 for the first quarter, topping both Doritos and M&M’s, both receiving 671.
Ace Metrics CEO Peter Daboll had this to say:
“Q1 is arguably the most important quarter for advertising, as the Super Bowl, Oscars, and awards season in general drives the advertising agenda. It will be very interesting to watch how Samsung’s continually impressive ads affect the company’s marketshare vis-à-vis competitors like Apple, which, this quarter, did not come close to measuring up to Samsung’s advertising prowess. Samsung’s top-ranked ad was particularly brilliant because it conveyed innovation and information without a narrator.”
Jump past the break to watch the commercial and tell us what you think. Does it make you want to buy a Galaxy Note?
AT&T confirmed today that they will be flipping the LTE switch on three new markets starting on April 8. They also plan on adding nine additional markets, but not information was given as far as when. When all of these are completed, it will bring AT&T’s coverage to about 40 total markets across the U.S., which is still trailing far behind Verizon’s planned 400-market roll-out by the end of the year, but ahead of Sprint’s yet to be born LTE network.
Starting this Sunday, Bloomington and Muncie, Indiana, as well as Bryan-College Station, Texas, will light up. Check out the full list after the break.
The new comScore numbers are out and the more things change, the more they stay the same. Android and iOS dominated while Microsoft and RIM struggled. What’s more interesting, though, is that for the first time in history, over half of all smartphones owned in the U.S. run Android. Over half. That’s a majority.
Last November, Android stood at 46.9%, and grew 3.2% to a total of 50.1% in February. In comparison, Apple grew 1.5% to a total of 30.2% of the U.S. market share over the same period. This suggests that Android phones significantly outsold iPhones, contradicting a previous study by a different research firm.