Samsung’s Lee promotes Samsung Galaxy S IV plastic body

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While many smartphone manufacturers pursue a strategy of trying to create a sense of premium-ness in their devices by using materials like aluminum, glass, or polycarbonate, Samsung continues to take a different path by creating plastic body devices. Considering the success that Samsung is enjoying, it is hard to argue with their design decision which will result in the new Samsung Galaxy S IV using the same material. In Samsung’s defense, they have solid reasons for using the plastic material as revealed in an interview with Y.H. Lee, Samsung’s executive vice president of its mobile division.

Latest Android Distribution Reveals Gingerbread Down 1.4% and Jelly Bean Up 3.2%

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Use of Android is constantly evolving and the latest distribution data shows Gingerbread on devices is down while use of Jelly Bean is up 3.2 percent. This news comes just one month after our last reported findings. To Android enthusiasts’ dismay however, Gingerbread is still on the majority of devices at 44.2 percent. Here are the latest stats:

  • 2.3 Gingerbread – 44.2 percent
  • 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich – 28.6 percent
  • 4.1 and 4.2 Jelly Bean – 16.5 percent
  • 2.2 Froyo – 7.6 percent
  • 2.1 Eclair – 1.9 percent
  • 3.1 and 3.2 Honeycomb – 1.2 percent
  • 1.6 Donut – 0.2 percent

Leaked render of Samsung Galaxy S IV turns out to be placeholder from Expansys

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Yesterday the ‘net was abuzz with news of an alleged image of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S IV based on a tweet from normally stalwart source @evleaks. As happens when dealing with rumors and leaks though, every now and then something turns out to be completely bogus. That is what has happened in the case of the leaked images of the Galaxy S IV. Online retailer Expansys has revealed they were the original source of the image which was created as a placeholder by one of their web designers.

The episode has turned into a bit of a nasty affair as Expansys has suggested @evleaks actually stole the image and added the watermark to it. Sources indicate that @evleaks maintains the image came in via normal channels and was not stolen. While the dust settles, Expansys has been active on Twitter trying to follow-up all the retweets with directions to the correct source of the image. Meanwhile, it appears @evleaks has deleted the original tweet and has been quiet about the matter on Twitter.

How will you treat leaks from @evleaks in the future? Do they get a mulligan on this one or have then severely damaged their reputation?

source: TechCrunch

China is Worried Over Google’s Control in Smartphone Industry

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“China”, just hearing the word projects images of grandeur and power. So what, you might ask, would make such a powerful country worry outside of the next world war?  In a word, GOOGLE! The search engine, tablet, smartphone, and mobile operating system powerhouse is really drawing a lot of attention from the big dogs overseas.

When Google does things, they do it big, no matter what the venture might be…and the world is taking notice. China is said to be worried that Google may be a little too big for their britches. China’s Technology Ministry has stated that Google has too much control over their smartphone industry via their Android operating system and that they discriminate against China’s local firms.

ZTE Smartphones Will Run Next-Gen Intel Atom Z2580 Processors

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ZTE announced a new partnership with Intel today, revealing that its future smartphones will run the upcoming Atom Z2580 processor. The Atom Z2580 debuted at Mobile World Congress and is a dual-core chip that can run up to 2.0GHz with Hyper-Threading support for better multi-tasking. This isn’t the first time that ZTE will use Intel Atom processors. The ZTE Grand X IN was released in September of 2012 and featured a single-core, 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2460.

Performance of the Atom Z2580 is greatly improved over its predecessor, boasting double the performance and three times more graphics output. Battery life is also said to be improved and on the same level as comparable processors. ZTE still has yet to announce availability of phones running the Intel Atom Z2580.

Source: Business Wire

HTC Sense 5 wallpapers now available to download

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{Update] At the request of HTC, we pulled the wallpapers. Sorry guys!!

Sense 5 will bring a lot of new features like BlinkFeed and Zoe, but what about wallpapers? HTC usually has some pretty cool ones, and I did have my eye on a few at the event.  If you’re looking for a change in background on your current phone, HTC or otherwise, you might want to check out these new Sense 5 wallpapers. There are eighteen in all, and we have them all for your downloading pleasure. Whether you want to grab just one or all of them, hit the the break to get started.

Opera For Android Upgrades To WebKit Browser Engine, Download The Beta Now

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Opera has released a new beta version of its Android app which brings many improvements, including the switch from the Presto browser engine to WebKit. WebKit is used in Chrome as well as the AOSP browser. Here is the full list of changes and improvements:

  • New look: Opera for Android sports a completely new user interface that is more elegant and built to the native specifications of the Android platform.
  • Discover feature: This provides a new way of discovering content on the web. From the Discover panel of the startup screen, you can read a selection of popular articles and dig deeper into your interests, such as sports, technology, lifestyle or news. Opera has selected relevant global and regional sources, so let Opera do the surfing for you.
  • New, revamped Speed Dial: Opera’s engineers discovered that users like to have links readily available in the Speed Dial, yet also wanted the flexibility of a bookmark folder. With the new Speed Dial, the bookmarks are fused together with the Speed Dial entries to provide a new experience. It’s easier to group, organize and rename Speed Dial entries or gather them in folders — all with the touch of your thumb.
  • Off-Road mode: Opera for Android integrates the compression technology from Opera Mini, for faster browsing when conditions are rough. Bad network or costly roaming while traveling? Just switch to Off-Road mode and keep on surfing.
  • Combined search and address bar: Opera has combined the search and URL field for a more elegant UI and more intuitive input.
  • Tabbed browsing: The elegant tabbed browsing makes it easier than ever to browse, open and sort all your open browser windows on your phone. It even offers private browsing, just like the Opera desktop browser.
  • History: With the easily accessible history mode, return to that page you saw earlier today fast — just swipe your finger to the right to access the content on the left on your home screen.
  • Save for later: This feature lets the user download a complete webpage and read it later while offline. It’s perfect for reading long articles on flights without Wi-Fi or just when you don’t want to connect to the internet.

Opera also released a video showing off the new Android browser. Hit the break to check it out.

Verizon’s Fran Shammo says subsidized pricing to drop within 2-3 years

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In a recent interview, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo said that due to competition from other carriers, Verizon’s subsidized prices are expected to drop within the next 2-3 years. Shammo said, “I’m a believer that over the next two to three years subsidies will start to decrease just because of the ecosystem.” Value-priced smartphones are becoming more prevalent in the competition, which is why it makes sense for Verizon’s move to lower subsidy costs. Shammo also mentioned that Verizon will start producing devices without CDMA radios built into them as voice technology moves towards LTE radios (VoLTE), thus averting more subsidy costs.

T-Mobile has said they plan to move exclusively to Value-Plans which has caused competitors like AT&T and Sprint to keep their eyes on the progress T-Mobile makes using these plans. It’s no surprise that Verizon plans to do the same. Carriers usually see a decrease in profit when they sell in higher volumes because of the subsidy costs. By cutting these costs, Verizon and the consumer both benefit; the consumer will have more affordable devices at their disposal while Verizon eliminates losses and generates more revenue.

Source: FierceWireless

Samsung Galaxy S III With T-Mobile LTE Support Passes Through FCC

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T-Mobile launched the Samsung Galaxy S III around the same time as other carriers, but due to its 4G LTE network not being deployed until this year, there was no LTE support. That’s about to change now after the Galaxy S III was spotted passing through the FCC with T-Mobile LTE support. Known as the Samsung SGH-T999L, consumers can anticipate its arrival on March 27th. The phone will also have support for HSPA+ over the 850, 1700, and 1900MHz bands, including LTE Band 17 which is utilized on AT&T smartphones. In other words, T-Mobile customers who unlock this upcoming version of the Samsung Galaxy S III, could use it on AT&T’s network.

Source: FCC
Via: Engadget

Canadian users get voice calling via Facebook Messenger for Android

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Ever since Facebook added voice messages as part of their Messenger service, we knew that the next eventual step would be voice calling or VoIP. They already start VoIP through Messenger for iOS users in the U.S., but nothing was available for Android users until now. The latest Android update added it, but only for our friends up north in Canada. Canadian users can now make calls over WiFi or their mobile data connection to other Facebook friends in Canada or even those in the U.S. provided they are on iOS. They can also start and name group conversations.

At some point in the future we will probably only need a data plan from our mobile providers and Facebook is making it that much closer. Utilizing VoIP on our mobile phones makes sense, but it probably won’t take off until the major carriers stop forcing us to have calling plans.

source: ca.ibtimes

 

Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE to be available March 7

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Previous rumors pinpointed March 7 for the release of the Verizon LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (SCH-i925). Samsung just dropped us a line confirming the date and the price will be $599 for both in stores and online. It’s basically the same Galaxy Note 10.1 WiFi-only version we reviewed last year, but with the addition of Verizon Wireless LTE connectivity. It sure is a hefty price to pay, but the good news is you won’t be on a contract, and if you’re on their Share Everything plan, you can can simply add it for only $10 extra per month.

Mobiroo aims to bring all-you-can-eat paid apps for a minimal cost to Android users

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Have you ever wanted to get in on that certain paid app, but didn’t quite want the feeling of you know… having to deal with paying for the app. This is especially the case when many of the paid apps out there can quickly wear off in novelty and users out there are pretty much stuck with what they paid for. Well Canadian start-up Mobiroo has the solution for you: a paid subscription for all-you-can-download apps. Taking a page out of other subscription services like Gamefly or Netflix, users pay a mere $2.49 monthly in order to access and download a variety of paid apps out there, thanks to some savvy agreements and licensing deals between Mobiroo and various developers out there. Oh and best of all— there’s no time commitment for the service, so users are free to cancel at anytime without penalty.

Naturally the list of titles associated with the service is fairly limited for now, but you can expect the list of paid titles to grow as the service gets more and more popular. If you’re interested, hit past the break to get more deets about the services. You’ll certainly be glad you did.

Android 4.2.2 leaks (JDQ39) for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus for your downloading pleasure

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Remember that leak of Android 4.2.2 (JDQ39) we saw over the weekend for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus? Well thanks to a little help from XDA member oldblue910, the download is now available for you to install. Now it’s unlikely that this is the final version of the build, but that doesn’t mean you can enjoy a little 4.2.2 goodness. You don’t need to be rooted, but if you are, you need to be running 100% stock Android 4.1.1 (JRO030) in order to apply the update.