Verizon Messages update enables all devices for messages


Verizon released an update to their Verizon Messages app today to help make messaging easier for their customers. The new update introduces an integrated messaging service that lets users send and receive messages from their phone, tablet or the web using their wireless phone number. The new update also adds an auto reply function and Verizon will save messages in the cloud for up to 90 days. Read more

LG E980 clears the FCC, could be Optimus G Pro for AT&T


LG mentioned that the Optimus G Pro would be available in North America in the 2nd quarter of this year. It looks like we are one step closer to this promise being fulfilled as an LG phone with the model E980 stopped by the FCC for a little visit.  Considering the Optimus G is the E970, I think it’s a lock that AT&T will be bringing this beast to it’s network soon. As a reminder, this phone sports a 5.5-inch 1080p display along with a quad-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU. We will let you know more as soon as we hear it.

source: FCC
via: Engadget

HTC One’s BlinkFeed highlighted in new promo video


One of the more innovative features of Sense 5 is BlinkFeed, which aggregates all of your social media and general news content into one gorgeous tiled interface. In their latest promo video, HTC highlights BlinkFeed in a pretty unique way. The video begins showing a young woman on a train alone with her HTC One. Upon using BlinkFeed, the images on her BlinkFeed come to life, reading aloud her status updates from her social networks as well as various news stories she has added to it. Check out the video after the break.

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Featured Android App Review: XnRetro [Photography]


People are taking more pictures than ever thanks to the growing popularity of smartphones, but it has also gotten quite popular to add effects to your shots. There are a number of apps that will give you this ability, but XnRetro is one that keeps things simple. All effects are based on making your images appear vintage-like. I don’t know about you, but vintage effects are my favorite. It has a certain class about it.

With XnRetro, you simply open the app and either take a new picture to work with or select a picture that’s stored on your phone or tablet. From there, you can either work with the entire picture or crop it. They give you predefined shapes such as a square and rectangle that you can resize. The next step will be to add the effect, and you will see various options at the bottom. I will start from the left. The first option allows you to fine tune the brightness, contrast, and saturation. The next option lets you select from up to 20 different Retro styles to apply to your picture. You can tap on each one to see how it will affect your picture. The third option lets you choose how much vignetting you want. As you increase it, the border of your picture will become more faded.The fourth option gives you another 15 effects to apply to your photo such as bokeh, glass, leak, and light. Last but not least, is the fifth option, which lets you add a frame. There are 26 frames to choose from including a couple that resemble older instant cameras.

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Adblock Plus Not Discouraged By Play Store Ban, Creates Easy Workaround

Adblock Plus

Google has made it very clear they won’t allow ad-blocking apps in the Play Store and one such app recently removed was Adblock Plus. The desktop version continues to move right along with almost 25 million users on Chrome and Firefox combined. Although Adblock Plus can no longer be installed through Google Play, they’ve made it available for any Android user to manually install. By going to “Settings, “Security” and selecting “Unknown Sources”, you can install the app on your phone or tablet. Automatic updates have been added to the latest version of Adblock Plus so users won’t have to deal with manually installing a new version every time one is released. How do you feel about ad-blockers? Should they be allowed in Google Play?

Source: Adblock Plus

Nexus 7 8GB Refurbished For $139 Plus Free Shipping, Expires Today

Nexus 7

If you’re in the market for a tablet, 1SaleADay is running a special deal. Today, March 21 only through 11:59 PM EST, you can get a refurbished 8GB Nexus 7 for just $139.99 with free shipping. While internal storage isn’t a strong suite, it comes with familiar specs: 1.2GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 7-inch 1280 x 800 display, 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera, and 4,325 mAh battery with up to nine hours of battery life. There’s always a chance stock could run out before the end of today so if you’re interested, probably wouldn’t hurt to get over there as soon as possible.

Source: 1SaleADay

Chrome World Wide Maze Turns Any Website Into 3D Game Synced To Your Phone

Chrome World Wide Maze

Google has released a new experiment called Chrome World Wide Maze which turns any website into a 3D marble maze game. To get started, you’ll need Chrome on your phone (Android 4.0+ required) and sync it to Chrome on your desktop. Once synced, you can choose any website to “play” on. After you’ve picked a website, simply use your phone to control the ball and reach the goal. Chrome World Wide Maze utilizes your phone’s gyroscope to guide the ball and if you don’t want to use your phone, you can always just play on your desktop. Check out the video below to see the game in action.

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Source: Chrome World Wide Maze

More information on which countries get which processor in Samsung Galaxy S 4


Since Samsung announced their new Galaxy S 4 last week, with a release date scheduled for April 26th around the globe, many people have been trying to figure out which model will be available for purchase in their location. SamMobile has started to compile a list to aid those trying to figure out their options. The Galaxy S 4 will come with one of two processors. The GT-I9505 model is slated to be equipped with a Snapdragon 600 quad-core cpu clocked at 1.9 Ghz while the GT-I9500 will come with an Exynos 5 Octa processor running eight cores at 1.6 Ghz. It appears one of the main determinants for which model will be available has to do with the availability of LTE service, which the Exynos chip does not support.

You can check out the list after the break. Read more

T-Mobile And MetroPCS Merger Receives Complete Regulatory Approval

T-Mobile MetroPCS Merger

Back in October, Deutsche Telekom struck a deal to merge T-Mobile USA with MetroPCS for $1.5 billion in cash and a 26% stake in the combined company. Now, the merger has been approved by regulators which gets it one step closer to final approval. On April 12, MetroPCS shareholders will vote to approve the merger. Moving forward, T-Mobile has an event scheduled on March 26 which is when they’re expected to talk about the new “UNcarrier plans” and possibly more details about the MetroPCS merger now that it received regulatory approval.

Source: MetroPCS – Investor Relations

Samsung’s market share lead expected to double says analyst


With some analysts projecting Samsung’s new Galaxy S 4 will push the company back ahead of Apple in the worldwide smartphone market, the impact could be even more far-reaching according to IHS Research. In the broader cell phone market, Samsung is already number 1 in global shipments, leading second place Nokia by 5 percentage points.  IHS Research is projecting Samsung’s lead should expand to 11 percentage points by the end of 2013.

IHS Research did not project actual market share for 2013. However, two factors are expected to increase Samsung’s lead and likely increase their share from the 29% they currently lay claim to. The first, most obvious item will be the Galaxy S 4 which is already generating massive interest. Samsung uses a strategy of making devices ready for “a massive worldwide rollout through almost every operator” to help get their devices into the hand of as many people as possible notes IHS Research analyst Ian Fogg. The second issue will be Nokia’s continued fade and inability to break into the smartphone market. Even if third place Apple were to experience significant growth, they are still far behind at only 10% of the worldwide market.

source: CNET