US Cellular, the nation’s eighth largest wireless provider, is offering anyone bringing 2+ lines a fat $300 payoff. The carrier will issue payment in the form of a MasterCard debit card. The phone selection isn’t too bad either, the Galaxy S III is available for a subsidized rate of $149 while the Galaxy Note II is $349. US Cellular only has a handful of LTE cities, none in California, but they tend to makeup for their lack of 4G coverage with lower rates. As a CDMA carrier it is unable to support GSM phones like the Nexus 4 which made its long awaited return to the Play Store yesterday.
There’s a $30 activation fee and the promotion does not apply in all markets so interested parties should hit the source to investigate further.
Are you one of the few that were lucky enough to nab the elusive Nexus 4 by Google? If you do possess Android’s hard to attain device and are into modding/rooting, then finding the perfect ROM can be hard, and maybe even overwhelming at times. RasBean Jelly is a custom AOSP ROM made by the developer Rascarlo and has been around since the Galaxy Nexus days when it was called Rascream (back when Ice Cream Sandwich was the latest ROM). If you’re an avid ROM flasher, then you’re well aware that a handful of the ones you flash tend to have bugs and other problems that you’ll frequently encounter. While that’s expected, that’s one thing that I don’t particularly enjoy about flashing custom ROM’s.
With RasBean, I have never encountered a bug or any problems in any build that I’ve tried, even in my ICS Galaxy Nexus days. RasBean is an AOSP based ROM that’s dedicated to speed and overall stability. While Rascarlo does include several additional features to the ROM, he makes sure to clean the ROM of necessary codes and “bloat.” Thus, if you’re a huge CM or AOKP fan, then this ROM may not be for you as it doesn’t have the dozens upon dozens of added features that those two ROM’s tend to have. But if you’re looking for a super fast ROM with no bugs, then RBJ just might be for you! Hit the break to find out more.
Ingress, Google’s augmented reality capture-the-flag meets X-Files game, has begun its evolution. The app, updated to version 1.20, has improved rendering, fixed a few bugs and FINALLY allows players to enable/disable email notifications. It’s still in closed beta with a scarce number of access keys, but active players saw portals pop up at Zipcar and Jamba Juice locations this Tuesday.
Portals were originally located at museums, libraries, historic landmarks and other points of interest in Google’s massive database. Players have since been able to submit portal site submissions to NianticLabs@Google. Tuesday’s round of portal creation, however, marks the first time Google has attempted any form of monetizing the game.
Check out our initial Ingress announcement for a brief recap of the game. Those interested in joining the resistance can still request an invite from Ingress.com. Those leaning toward joining the enlightened should really reconsider.
The whispers are suddenly starting to become screams and shouts about a new Sony phablet that’s on the way. In case you’re not familiar, Sony has a smartphone codenamed “Togari” that is expected to measure in with a 6.44-inch panel surrounding the device. According to Ramu from the Esato forums, Sony plans on equipping its phablet beast with a Snapdragon 800 series processor, a 6-inch (or larger) full HD screen, a 3,500mAh battery and wait for it—- an actual stylus that would compliment the device is possibly in the works as well.
So while it is still a little early to tell, it appears that Sony certainly is intent on making a Galaxy Note III killer and take a major bite of the phablet market share. We know you are all itching to grab more deets, so head on down to the source link to get a better idea of what Sony is cooking.
Android gaming controllers and gaming devices are going to be the rage this year. We already have controllers from PowerA and devices from ARCHOS and NVIDIA. Of course we can’t forget about the OUYA gaming console. The JXD-S7300 Gamepad2 is another device to throw into the mix. This one features Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, but it also features nine pre-installed emulators for the original PlayStation, Neo Geo, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, Famicon, Super Famicon, Sega Mega Drive, and the Capcom Play System 1 and 2.
The Gamepad2 features a 7-inch (1024 x 600) display, a 1.5GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 CPU, a Mali-400 MP2 GPU, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, microSD, front facing camera, USB port, HDMI output, 3G connectivity, and both wireless and Ethernet connectivity. It features dual joysticks and the usual buttons, and it actually looks a lot like the Wii U. Just like the ARCHOS GamePad, you will be able to map the keys for any game you wish. Last but not least, it comes with the Superuser app for easy rooting.
Chalk one up for Samsung in the epic (and ongoing) cat fight it has has against Apple. In a sudden turn of events, Judge Lucy Koh recently ruled that Sammy did not willfully infringe on various Apple patents in question, despite the original jury panel finding that seven patents were infringed in the landmark decision late last year. Judge Koh asserted that there was an “objectively high likelihood that its [Samsung’s] actions constituted infringement of a valid patent“. Essentially what this means is that Samsung and its legal team had a reasonable understanding and belief that it could go into its legal fight against Apple knowing it hasn’t done anything wrong… at least willingly.
So what this means is that Apple won’t get any additional damages for the willful infringement, though it still does get its big prize in the form of a $1.049 billion check. Judge Koh’s decision only applies to the fact that Samsung did not infringe Apple patents willfully, the original patent infringement ruling still stays intact. Then again— on the flipside, Judge Koh could hypothetically reduce the damages that Sammy owes, though nothing has been said or decided at this time. Still— Samsung can’t help but be happy at this recent outcome as it looks to move past the issue and have unprecedented success to rub in Apple’s face and all.
Everybody is jumping into the phablet market so why not ZTE. The ZTE Grand Memo was supposed to get unveiled at next month’s Mobile World Congress, but it made a surprise appearance in Hong Kong. The Grand Memo (V9815) will feature a 5.7-inch 720p display, a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, microSD slot, a 13MP camera, and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. It will come in at 8mm thick which isn’t too shabby. This of course wasn’t an official unveiling as we still expect that to take place at MWC. For now take a look at some more pics after the break.
Slow your roll, Sprint! The Department of Justice has stepped in and filed a request for the FCC to defer approval of the Sprint/Softbank Merger. The DOJ said it was “currently reviewing this matter for any national security, law enforcement, and public safety issues.” The deferral request should be seen as a plea for more time rather than condemnation of the proposal. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are also taking part in the review.
An FCC hold will likely push the completion of the deal past the mid-2013 goal Sprint and Softbank stated back in October. It will also delay Sprint’s snail-paced, but growing, LTE rollout. Remember Softbank, Japan’s largest wireless provider, is bringing the green in this acquisition: $20.1 billion ($12.1 billion in cash consideration & $8 billion in capital).
The trailer for Alien Vs. Predator Evolution by Angry Mob Games, developer of the popular Muffin Knight game, shows off plenty of 3D action and gore. The trailer reveals a few facts about gameplay such as: players can play as Alien and Predator. As you can guess by the word “evolution” in the title, players evolve from “facehugger to alien warrior” or “young blood to master hunter.” No release date but last we heard, it was slated for Q1 of 2013. Check out the trailer below!
T-Mobile has been talking about getting their first LTE markets up and running recently, and we’re starting to see some of the results of that. We’ve seen our first T-Mobile LTE speed test in Kansas City with about 10 mbps download and 5 mbps upload. Not incredibly fast, but this server is likely just a test server to make sure the coverage works, so hopefully we’ll see some higher speeds when this becomes official. At least they’ve finally gotten around to turning on some LTE towers, but better late than never, right?
Google has been granted a patent for multiple flashes on a mobile device. A series of LED flashes is bound to be more powerful than the single LED most smartphones have these days and it opens a host of photographic possibilities. For small or close-up photography a ring flash will go a long way toward smooth, consistent and shadow free lighting. A multiple flash layout also opens the door for second curtain or slow sync flash, which allows for much better nighttime shots.
The patent also addresses different positions and configurations for the flash units. One such configuration would make it more like a pop-up flash as seen on many point and shoot cameras. Moving the flash farther from the lens would also have the added benefit of reducing the number of red-eye shots. This new patent creates a lot of possibilities, including the end of mediocrity when it comes to cameras on Google’s Nexus handsets. This could, of course, find its way to Motorola. Anyone count the flashes on that mythical X Phone yet?
Epic Games finally stepped up to the plate and brought Epic Citadel to Android. It’s a demo tool that shows the power of Unreal Engine 3 by letting you explore 3D locales from Infintiy Blade. You can navigate the locales on your own via touch controls or get a guided tour. This title was made with the same tools and technologies used to develop console and PC games. Just how much can your phone or tablet handle? The included benchmark mode will tell you how many frames per second you have achieved.
Epic Citadel launched on iOS back in 2010 so it’s nice to see some Android love. Check out the video below and hit one of the download links below to get started.
One of the benefits of the Android ecosystem is that it invites hardware manufacturers to produce devices at a variety of price points, an invitation not loss on Acer. While many people focus on the high end, top-tier devices, eventually that cutting-edge technology trickles down to eventually become part of the budget tier of devices as we are seeing with some Acer hardware. According to reports, Acer is working on plans to produce 8- and 10-inch tablets running on quad-core MediaTek processors with “aggressive” price points. Readers may recall Acer showing off the Acer Iconia B1-A71 tablet at CES with a planned retail price less than $150 dollars. These new quad-core tablets from Acer will join that device for buyers on a budget. Linxian Lang, president of Acer’s Greater China unit, thinks the strategy of producing tablets across a wide spectrum of price points, including the low-end, will help Acer regain momentum in the tablet market.
Using the hash tags #ComingSoon and #EscapeFromHoth, Rovio tweeted an image (above) of a sling-shot equipped millennium falcon. Putting two and two together, it looks like Rovio is planning an update to Angry Birds Star Wars. No details as of yet, but at the very least Android gamers can expect more time-wasting pig-slaughtering levels. Perhaps, as the image suggests, the rebellion will shift to an underground environment, but that’s just speculation. All we know for sure is Rovio is planning something.
We might have our first view of the white Nexus 4 on the same day the standard black model returned to the Play Store. We heard there might be a white version in the works last year but this is the first time we see any “evidence” of the existence of such a device. Speaking of evidence, there’s not much. Phone Arena reported the image above was submitted by an anonymous source. Examining the EXIF data shows the image was taken by an LG-E975, better known as the Optimus G. While that little piece of information adds an element of intrigue to the story, it does little to validate the authenticity. Put your debunking hats on and hit the source for the full size image. I’ll keep my fingers crossed they release a version with more storage, not more white.