Apple beats Samsung in smartphone satisfaction according to J.D. Power

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Samsung and Apple have been duking it out with smartphone market share and in the courtroom, but what about customer satisfaction? Unfortunately things haven’t gone too well for Samsung as Apple came out on top for the ninth consecutive year. According to J.D. Power, Apple scored 855 and performed well in design and ease of operation. Unfortunately, Samsung didn’t even make second place as that went to Nokia with a score of 795. Samsung was a close third with 793, followed by Motorola and HTC.

What makes a user satisfied with their phone? Consumers rank performance the highest (29%) followed by ease of operation (26%), physical design (24%), and features (21%). It should also be noted that the customers surveyed owned their current phone for less than a year.

Hit the break for the full press release.

Samsung’s new Game Pad accessory up for preorder for only $113

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When Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S 4, they also mentioned a handful of accessories that would go on sale with it. The gamepad was officially shown and sparked quite a bit of interest, especially since it supported devices with up to 6.3 inch screens. If you’ve been keeping up at home, the Note III is rumored to sport a 6.3 inch screen. Anyway, Samsung didn’t give much details about the pricing of their gamepad, but today we’ve got some official news on preorders. Unfortunately, the gamepad will set you back $112.99, which is fairly expensive for a game controller, even one that cradles a 5 inch smartphone.

Personally, I’m sticking with my Power A MOGA controller. I’m generally pretty supportive of Samsung, but it’s hard to pay double for something just because it has a Samsung logo on the top. Anybody going to be preordering one of these?

source: MobileFun

via: Phone Arena

Sony to raise Xperia Z handsets from the dead with software fix

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A appears a number of Sony Xperia Z handsets are dying and becoming completely useless. Users are reporting that the phone is acting fine and then all of a sudden, poof, it powers down and cannot be turned on again. There doesn’t seem to be anything obvious that is causing the problem, but Sony is aware of the problem and will fix it with the next update. Unfortunately, no timeline was offered.

Some users have found that a hard restart (power button + volume up) can get it working again, so give it a try if you experience the sudden death.

source: xperiablog

 

Google Fiber set to expand to Olathe, Kansas

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Well the inevitable has happened folks: Google has expanded its Fiber service to the other side of the Kansas City area. From this week, residents in Olathe, Kansas were the lucky recipients of an approval from the City Council which allows for the construction of the hyper-fast network to be used by residents and businesses. Google saw this as a prime opportunity to expand especially since Olathe has become one of the fastest-growing cities in Kansas, has attracted an influx of new businesses and residents— while also creating the golden opportunity to bring in new jobs, grow local and businesses.

Naturally the planning and engineering of the infrastructure still needs to be done, but the hope is that construction will get underway and folks out in Olathe will be able to get in on the pre-registration for the service soon.

source: Google Fiber Blog

Chrome and Android to remain separate products, but expect more overlap

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There has always been rumors that Google and Chrome could become one, and last week’s announcement of Andy Rubin leaving the Android team added a little fuel to that fire. The fact that Sundar Pichai, who is also the Senior Vice President for Chrome, will now lead Android, really made people wonder. Well wonder no more because Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said they will remain separate products, but they would probably overlap a little more.

These comments took place in India, which is just one stop in a multi-country Asian tour promoting Internet access. Schmidt was also asked if he plans on leaving Google and selling his 42 percent stake. His response was, “Google is my home,” and later said he has no plans to take on a job in government.

source: Reuters

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 to be unveiled at IFA 2013

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We already know that Samsung is working on the third chapter of the Galaxy Tab series, and it looks like they will be unveiled it in the fall at IFA 2013 in Berlin. This would most likely be at an Unpacked 2013 Episode 2 event, which will obviously feature the unveiling of the Galaxy Note III. We expect to see a 10.1-inch variant along with another smaller variant, around 7 to 8-inches.

There is some bad news for original Galaxy Tab owners in that Samsung will no longer support those devices. As to the Galaxy Tab 2, support will end with the Android 4.2.2 update.

source: SamMobile

Motorola X Phone won’t have customizable hardware after all

Motorola Mobility

Remember that awesome rumor about the Motorola X Phone’s customizable hardware we told you about less than 12 hours ago?! Well, turns out it was just a rumor. Sources close to the development of the X Phone have completely destroyed our high hopes debunked that rumor, saying it will be very unlikely for the X Phone to launch with customizable hardware.

But, there’s a silver lining to this. The X Phone isn’t the only device Motorola will ever launch again, so the same sources say there is a possibility that Moto will release a phone at some point in the future that does feature user customized hardware. Google wants Motorola devices to be more innovative, so hopefully we don’t see this idea scrapped before it’s tested in a few consumer devices.

source: Phone Arena

Sprint allowing MNVOs to sell modified Sprint Android handsets

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Sometimes, a customer doesn’t want to go with one of the big name carriers like Sprint or Verizon. Smaller MNVOs are popular alternatives to the larger (usually contract-centric) carriers. Both options have their place with consumers, but in many situations, MNVOs don’t have a good enough device selection to sway as many costumers. Well, Sprint is looking to give them a hand with a new program that will allow MNVOs to modify certain Sprint handsets to resell to customers.

Is Amazon Working on a $99 7-Inch Kindle Fire HD? Rumors Say Yes

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Word around the rumor mill has Amazon pegged as creating a 7-inch Kindle Fire model that would sell for $99. If rumors are true, it would carry the same TI processor as its predecessor and come with a 1280×800 display. With Amazon slashing prices on its current models, one can expect to see a new version coming soon. While a sub-$100 seems to be a bit on the low side, Amazon has been known for its cheaper tablets with its forked version of Android.

While it may not entice those looking for a more robust tablet like the Nexus 7, it would certainly appeal to those who don’t want to spend a lot. This would make an enticing entry in a market flooded with tablets from unknown manufacturers found at your local pharmacy or Bed, Bath & Beyond stores. IDC Research Director on tablets, Tom Mainelli, believes this to be a reasonable move. He was quoted to say:

UK to See Quad-Core Galaxy S 4 Instead of Octa-Core Version

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We knew that the Galaxy S 4 would have two different versions coming out. One will house the new Exynos Octa-core processor and the other will carry the quad-core Snapdragon 600 series. While some expected, and others hoped, that the UK would see the Exynos version, that appears to not be the case. According to Samsung the UK will see the Snapdragon variety. When questioned by various UK blogs they were quoted to say:

“Samsung Galaxy S4 is equipped with a 1.9GHz Quad-core AP or a 1.6GHz Octa-core AP. The selection of AP varies by markets … In the UK, the Galaxy S4 will be available as a 4G device with a 1.9GHz Quad Core Processor.”

While most of you may not notice the difference in your day to day use of it, it certainly does deflate the “my phone can beat up your phone” argument. For those of you across the pond, does it affect you decision to buy the device? Sound off below.

source: Eurodroid

Google Play Store Version 4.0 Gets Leaked and Previewed

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Just like other Google apps (and Android has a whole) the Play Store has been going through a constant metamorphosis. The last major makeover for the Play Store was back in July of 2011 with subsequent tweaks since. It appears that it will be seeing another major facelift here soon. The folks over at Droid-Life gave everyone a taste of what’s to come with Google Play 4.0.  As you’ll see from the images the UI has been redesigned with a more holo-esque theme in mind. The shift gives the Play Store a cleaner and more appealing look. Images are more prominent and eye-catching while text is used sparingly.

Featured Android App Review: Movie Twist [Entertainment]

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Have you ever sat down to watch a movie, but you didn’t have a clue what you wanted to watch? Well I have an app that will help you find that perfect movie to watch whether you’re alone, with your significant other, or with the family. All you have to do is grab Movie Twist from the Google Play Store. Movie Twist is the first real Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered movie search and exploration app. The app itself was created by Saguru and the AI platform was created by Expertmaker. It truly is mind boggling on how many ways there is to search using this app.

For starters, it will find similar movies based on another movie. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Explore option will let you find movies based on Loving, Humor, Violence, Thrilling, and Cleverness. Not only that, each category has a slider bar so you can set how much that category should play a role in the results. You can also select from 21 genres to include such as Action, Comedy, Family, Horror, Thriller, etc. Oh there’s still more as you can add a keyword such as an actor’s name and you can control some finer details like Pace, Sex, Drugs, and Ordinary. Last but not least, you can throw in what years you would like the movie to fall into as well as the minimum and maximum run times.

Google Keep now available in the Play Store

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A couple of days ago, Google Keep was leaked and now it’s an official app in the Play Store. The tag line is “save what’s on your mind.” Google Keep allows you to quickly jot down a note or idea to be saved in your Google Drive account and synced across all your devices. You can even add a checklist or photo. If you can’t type it out, you can say it out loud, and Google will transcribe it. You can prioritize you notes and color code them via the home screen widget, and if you’re running Android 4.2+, you can see your notes via the lock screen widget.

You can access, edit, and create new notes on your desktop by going to http://drive.google.com/keep, and Google will allow you to do this directly from Google Drive in the coming weeks. Google Keep is available now in the Play Store for devices running Android 4.0 and higher. Hit the break for the video demo and download links.