Since Google Hangouts was released last week, users haven’t been too happy with the lack of SMS and Google Voice integration. Google has already told us that SMS messaging will be included in the near future, and today a Google member is assuring us that Voice will also be a part of future versions. Nikhyl Singhal, product manager for real time communications at Google, went so far to say on his Google+ profile that Hangouts is “designed to be the future of Google Voice” and that future versions of Hangouts will integrate Google Voice more seamlessly.
In addition, the recent Gmail update that added Hangouts disabled Google Voice outbound calling. On his Google+ account, Singhal added that “outbound/inbound calls will soon be available.” It’s great to see that Google will continue working to add and restore features to their new client that users want, but with Google, it’s hard to expect anything less.
Source: +Nikhyl Singhal
The Google+ Photos enhancements that were announced last week were already available on the web, and they have now been added to the Android app as well.
Auto-backup is added in the update to automatically backup user’s photos taken on their phone to the cloud, of course with permission. Snapseed features are also included. Users can use tweaks like cropping, rotating, and exposure adjustments, as well as the popular filters Snapseed offers. Google’s own “Auto-awesome” feature which was demonstrated at the I/O is also available in the app after the update. Searching for the best photos is also improved in the update, using the new “highlights” feature which allows Google to pick and display the best photos from an album on the main page of that album.
Among the other features the update offers are improved location sharing and automatic related hashtags. You can download the updated app through the link after the break.
Sometimes, an app annoyingly doesn’t allow you to disable its notifications in the app’s settings. Sometimes, an app even gives advertisements through the notifications, which is even more annoying. If you have Jelly Bean 4.1 or higher, you can fortunately disable almost any app’s notifications straight from the device settings. After the break are instructions on how you can get rid of the pesky alerts.
In an effort to keep its devices up-to-date and current, it appears that T-Mobile has a few new bad boys the way for its customers. First off the bat, the gang at TmoNews got some information on the imminent Galaxy S III LTE variant that is on the way. According to the leak, T-Mo plans on updating its Galaxy S III supplies with the LTE variant and plans on unveiling the device to its customers on June 5th. Of course we new that this special version of the device was in the works for some time now, but hey— the release is better late than never, right?
For some time now, rumors have been going around that Samsung will release different versions of the Galaxy S 4, including the S4 Mini and a rugged version, reportedly called the S4 Active (previously the Activ). A recent update to the Samsung WatchON app further supports the rumors.
The recent 5.4 update to Samsung WatchON includes the following text in the changelog: “Added support for upcoming S4 Mega, S4 mini and S4 Active.” We hadn’t heard about the Galaxy S4 Mega yet, but it doesn’t take a genius to suggest that it will be what its name suggests — a bigger version of the S4. Another possibility is that Samsung made a typo and they instead meant the Galaxy Mega, which is in fact supposed to come with WatchOn.
Considering this is an app developed and released by Samsung, I think this provides enough evidence to think that these phones will be arriving in the near future. Just when? Here are the release dates that were leaked earlier this month.
Source: Android Central
Although Samsung has not announced official pricing for the upcoming line of Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 devices, one retailer has already listed the 7-inch version on their web site for $199.99. Adorama added an 8GB version of the Galaxy Tab 3 in white to their shopping cart system, indicating buyers won’t be charged until the item is shipped. However, they do not give any indication as to an expected shipping date. Considering the low price point, this is most likely the WiFi only version which Samsung indicated would be available starting in May. A 3G capable version is expected in June.
Some people are expecting Samsung to set price points for the Galaxy Tab 3 devices at increments of $100 as you move up in size from 7-inch to 8-inch to 10-inch. If true, that would put the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 at $399 for a base model.
The rumored successor to the HTC Butterfly, the HTC Butterfly S, has been spotted in a User Agent Profile XML file. The document revealed its screen resolution, 1080 by 1920 pixels, the same exact resolution as on the HTC Butterfly.
There’s plenty of room for speculation on other specs as further details have not yet been revealed, but it has been rumored that the phone will come with many features found on the HTC One, such as BlinkFeed, an Ultrapixel camera sensor, and Boom Sound audio with stereo speakers.
We don’t have any information on when the phone may be released, but a Q3 launch wouldn’t be a total surprise.
Source: HTC (XML file)
This year’s Smart App Challenge by Samsung has arrived, and will focus on creative usage with its Chord SDK. The Chord SDK features quick peer-to-peer sharing, and allows for collaboration and sharing info/media between multiple devices on the fly.
There’s $800,000 in prize money at stake for 10 different applications. The possibilities are essentially limitless for this new technology, and perhaps the most impressive demonstration of what the SDK can do is featured in the surround sound speaker mode. Samsung will take entries from June 20th to August 31st and the winner will be announced this December.
This adds a fresh perspective to what Samsung is trying to accomplish and it will be exciting to see the outcome of the competition.
Source: Samsung Developer Site
Big Red is about to refresh their pre-paid plans a bit— starting today, existing customers will be able to enjoy raised data caps with no price change on their existing plan. The new plan will effect new customers starting June 6th.
The previous plan had two options, one for $60 monthly and 500MB, and another for $70 monthly and 2GB. Both had unlimited talk and text.
The new plan will keep the same pricing and unlimited talk and text, however the $60 option will offer 2GB of data while the $70 option will offer 4GB of data. Just remember, these plans are for 3G service only so don’t expect to get this bargain on a high-end device. Will any of you be taking advantage of the upped data caps? Let us know about your decision in the comments!
Source: Verizon Wireless
The Society for Information Display’s annual show is taking place this week in Vancouver, Canada and LG something special to unveil. For the first time in public, they will show off a 5-inch unbreakable and flexible OLED panel for mobile devices. The flexible part is cool, but the unbreakable part might actually be more meaningful right now. Replacing panels on phones and tablets can be pretty costly.
We have been hearing about similar products from Samsung as well, but LG is expected to trump Samsung by bringing this new technology to market quicker. Many people were hoping that the Galaxy Note III would sport something flexible, but Samsung just isn’t in a position to make that happen yet. Depending on the jumpstart, LG could put a dent into Samsung’s mobile market share.
Hit the break for the full press release.
Last month we heard about the Sony Xperia UL, and now it’s official. It includes a 5-inch 1080p display, a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, an Exmor RS 13.1MP camera with the ability to capture 15 frames per second, 2300mAh battery, NFC, IR blaster, and Bluetooth 4.0. It’s also water (IPX5/8) and dust resistant (IP5X). It will be available in white, black or hot pink on May 25 on Japan’s KDDI network. Hit the break for video highlights
We have certainly heard about the Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active before, but we finally have a concrete idea of what to expect upon its imminent release in the immediate future. The design will not exactly be similar to the Galaxy S 4 smartphone, as it will feature an appealing and sporty red and black profile, as well as hard buttons below the display (sigh). Additionally, the device will feature a Snapdragon 600 1.9GHz quad-core processor + Adreno 320 GPU and a 5-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display.
Unfortunately, there are still no other details regarding the device’s specs, nor are there concrete dates on when the device will be released (though we suspect it will be sometime in July), but here’s hoping we see something revealed sooner than later.
source: GSM Arena
We know that Google is going to introduce a new TV set-top box of some sort, and we are hoping that it will get released by the end of the year. It looks like that may happen since a new media player just passed the FCC. Unfortunately we don’t have too many details at this point, but the device is called the Google H840 and it “functions as a media player”. It also supports WiFi 802.11 b/g/n. The name of the device is obviously a codename, but the model number is H2G2-42. No pictures were filed, so this is all we have to go on.
I know a lot of people have been holding out on buying a Google TV box with the hopes that Google will introduce something soon. Sounds like everyone’s prayers are about to be answered. Lets just hope it’s not another bust like the Nexus Q.
Despite it aging at a fast rate (in Android years at least), the Galaxy S III smartphone is still one hell of a smartphone. So that’s why Samsung has been hard at work ensuring its most successful device to date will continue to receive prompt updates in order to keep things current. With that in mind— a leaked Android 4.2.2 firmware has surfaced for the unlocked variant of the device, courtesy of the fine folks at SamMobile. As expected, the leaked firmware is based off an incomplete version of the imminent update— but fortunately it appears that Samsung is pretty much done ironing out the bugs and should have the finished Android 4.2.2 build by the time June rolls around. Aside from the fact it is an incomplete version, the update does bring a ton of new goodies for the device including a new lockscreen, new S Voice, Driving Mode and a revamped Settings UI, among other things.
If you are a GT-I9300 owner and want more deets on the mouthwatering firmware, hit the break to grab the download link, as well as full instructions on how to flash the update to your device.