Google updates Play Store to include new UI features

by Jared Peters on
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Google has rolling out an update to the Play Store since late last night, and even though it doesn’t have any drastic changes, the UI and recommendations have been polished up, which is a nice touch. The most notable difference is the post-install screen after installing an app; it’s a clean looking screen with  a button to quickly enable automatic updates. There’s also improvements to recommendations, which connects to your circles on Google+ to suggest apps and media.

This brings the Play Store up to the version that’s shipping with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10. Hit the link below for the download if you just can’t wait for your Play Store to update automatically.

Download Link

ZTE Grand X Pro gets rendered in new leak

by Alexon Enfiedjian on
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Another day, another leaked Android device. This time we find the unannounced ZTE Grand X Pro in a render leaked by our friends over at evleaks. No information has been provided regarding the specs of this device, but considering the “Pro” moniker found in its name, we should expect it to be a refresh of the ZTE Grand X LTE that was launched earlier this summer. From the render, it looks like the device will be running a slightly altered version of stock Android 4.0.

There’s too little information at this point to really get excited about the device, but I’m liking the new design philosophy that ZTE is taking. Much cleaner lines, smaller bezels, and a bigger screen. Hopefully the improved design will be matched by improved specs. Maybe we’ll get some more details at CES or MWC in early 2013.

Source: @evleaks

Lenovo moves into the 1080p party with a 5-inch, dual-sim superphone

by Alexon Enfiedjian on
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It looks like the era of 720p smartphone screens may already be behind us as manufacturers like Sharp, HTC, Oppo and others usher in a new era of 1080p displays for the next batch of superphones. My how technology advances!

According to Engadget, Lenovo has decided to join the 1080p party with a 5-inch, dual-sim superphone that runs on China Telecom’s CDMA2000 network and China Mobile’s 2G network simultaniously. Screenshots of the phone that were posted to Sina Weibo earlier in the week (but since taken down) seem to indicate that Lenovo’s offering will come with a slightly skinned version of Android (probably of the 4.0 kind). According to the source, the phone has been in testing for quite some time and could be set for release any day now.

1080p screens should have Android fans everywhere salivating, as even our own Robert Nazarian claimed that it’s truly a sight to behold. Now if we can only come up with the battery technology to feed those power-hungry beasts.

Anyone planning on getting a 1080p phone next year? Do you think 1080 pixels is overkill?

Source: Engadget

Samsung wants to use HTC licensing deal to undercut Apple in patent suits

by Jared Peters on
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By now, most of us are aware of HTC’s licensing deal with Apple that’s speculated to pay out between $6 and $8 per HTC phone. Samsung wants to exactly what that licensing deal covered. Why, you ask? If Apple licensed it’s “user-experience patents” to HTC, it could completely change these patent wars. Before, Apple has refused to license those user-experience patents, but if they were licensed to HTC but not offered to Samsung, well… I’m sure you can imagine that doesn’t look too great in the courtroom. » Read the rest

HTC DROID DNA unboxing and initial hands on review [Video]

by Robert Nazarian on
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Earlier this year when HTC released the One X, many fans on Verizon wondered why it didn’t land on Big Red. Instead, all they got was the DROID Incredible 4G LTE, which wasn’t even a One S variant. Well patience is a virtue because HTC delivered in a major way. They said they wanted to make the ultimate DROID, and from my vantage point, they did and then some. The DROID DNA is a complete beast inside and out. It features a gorgeous 5-inch (1920 x 1080) Super LCD 3 display at 440 ppi. If that’s not enough to make your jaw drop, throw in a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera with ImageSense, 2.1MP front facing camera with an 88 degree wide angle lens, 16GB of internal storage, 2020mAh battery, NFC, 4G LTE with worldwide GSM capability, Beats Audio, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and you have what might be the finest phone on earth. Oh there’s still more because the design of this phone is absolutely superb in every way from the polycarbonate back to the Ferrari-like red finish along the sides. I will do a more thorough review in the coming days, but for now, check out my initial hands on video after the break.

» Read the rest

Nexus 4 Smartphone Down Gets Full Teardown Treatment

by Roy Alugbue on
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So you own a brand-spankin’ new Nexus 4, but are wondering how the innards of the device look exactly? Well you are going to be in for a pleasant surprise at the gang from the iFixit team has already gone ahead and stripped the smartphone bare for our viewing pleasure. The gang gave a comprehensive walkthrough and thoroughly described everything we need to know about the internals of the device and show in plain view the noteworthy features such as the battery terminal for the 2,100mAh battery, a linear-oscillating vibrator motor and the motherboard of the device featuring the processor and RAM among other things. While it appears to be incredibly complicated what the team had done, they argue most of work was fairly straightforward and in some respects, a piece of cake.

As the device is fairly simple to take apart, one would think the Nexus 4 would have a great Repairability Score and sure enough it does. The device garnered an impressive 7 out of 10, which indicates that aside from a handful of little niggles and issues, owners of the device should be able to fiddle and tinker with no major issues.

I’m sure you’re all itching to see more, so head on down to the source link for the complete Nexus 4 teardown.

 

source: iFixit

Box 2.0 for Android previewed, looks like a strong alternative to Dropbox

by William Metzger on
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Ever hate having to access multiple apps just to check a document on your Dropbox? Box 2.0 hopes to solve that for you by including a document viewer that supports 75 different types of files. That’s right, you no longer have to first open Dropbox, check to see if its the latest version, then open Quickoffice all to just access your presentation you slaved over for hours.

This update brings a host of other features including automatically updating offline folders and files, a complete transfer manager as well as a completely browser-less experience. Now, the race for best cloud storage system for mobile devices just got a bit tighter. With 5 gigabytes free of space, I would strongly suggest you at least check this out if you’re in need of a more fluid cloud storage system. Hit the break for the download links.

» Read the rest

Google and Dish Network to launch new data-only wireless service by mid 2013

by Alexon Enfiedjian on
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Google continues to weave its web of global dominance with plans for a new Wireless Service. Just yesterday we heard rumors that Google might be teaming up with satellite-TV provider Dish Network to launch its own wireless service in hopes to compete with the likes of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile and break the stronghold that they have on the market.  According to 9to5Google these are more than just rumors. Reportedly, Google is already deep into development plans and the service could launch as early as mid-2013.

In 2008 Dish Network acquired a significant amount of wireless spectrum and has been looking for partners who are not currently in the wireless sector. Google fits this description and could be the perfect partner, since it has a lot to gain. Currently, certain wireless carriers block many of Google’s services such as Google Wallet and Google Voice. If Google really wants to gain control of its services, providing its own wireless network to users could dramatically increase the effectiveness of its products. According to the reports, Google would offer data only plans with SMS and Voice working only through VoIP services, which could really shake up the entire industry! Seeing Google’s aggressive pricing strategy as of late, it isn’t hard to imagine that Google might undercut the other wireless carriers by a significant margin by offering its wireless services for extremely low costs. Could this be the beginning of cheap, unlimited data for everyone? I sure hope so!

If Google releases its own data-only wireless services next year, would you jump on board?

source: 9to5google

Google Modifies SDK Terms In Attempt To Curb Fragmentation

by Rudy Rivapalacio on
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Android Fragmentation

Google has made a change to the terms and conditions of the Android SDK (software development kit) to explicitly prohibit developers from taking any action that may lead to the fragmentation of Android. This is the first change to the terms since April, 2009.

Section 3.4 of the SDK terms states: You agree that you will not take any actions that may cause or result in the fragmentation of Android, including but not limited to distributing, participating in the creation of, or promoting in any way a software development kit derived from the SDK.

With such a wide variety of Android devices of different specs and sizes, Google and the different Android manufacturers have had a hard time keeping devices updated with the latest OS. The multiple versions of Android in use by consumers makes developing for Android a much more complex and pricey endeavor. This change marks the first overt step Google has taken to combat this issue.

Source: Google
Via: CNET

RadioShack to offer Desire C for $119.99 on prepaid wireless service

by Jared Peters on
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Not too long ago, RadioShack teamed up with Cricket to offer prepaid wireless service for their customers. The pricing is competitive, starting at $25 per month, but the device selection so far has been fairly lacking. Well, the ‘Shack at least looks like they’re making an effort to change that by offering the HTC Desire C, and low-end/mid-range phone at an attractive price point. $119.99 gets you a 3.5 inch HVGA screen, 5 megapixel camera, and Android 4.0 with Sense on top. It’s not going to make your Galaxy S III jealous, but for the pricing on the handset and the wireless plans, it makes an excellent entry level phone for consumers.

source: RadioShack