Dec 11, 2013 - 4:25 PM - by dgstorm
Spotify previously only offered free music streaming services to Windows PC and Mac OS customers, but that changed today. Spotify officially announced free music streaming to mobile users as well. Previously, if you were a mobile users you had to pay a $10 premium to get music streaming on your iPhone or Android device. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said during the announcement that “Mobile users listen to music on shuffle. In order for Spotify to really go mobile, we made this new product free.”
Continue Reading @ iPhone Forums
Dec 11, 2013 - 12:11 PM - by dgstorm
Sprint's rush to upgrade their WiMAX network to 4G LTE has not been without some hiccups. They recently took some hits to their previously stellar customer service reputation due to network issues caused by their expansion. Despite these setbacks, Sprint's CEO Dan Hesse is confident that 2014 will be a breakout banner year for the carrier. He made it clear that their network enhancements, including the newly launched Tri-Band LTE Sprint Spark in Chicago will put them ahead of their competitors. Hesse compared the Sprint network rollout to the three little pigs, suggesting that Sprint is building a house of bricks while everyone else is building houses of sticks and straw.
Hesse also shared that Sprint is taking a long view approach to their growth, trading initial short-term difficulties for long-term gains. He said,
He also shared,
"We will see churn get worse as we build Network Vision. And then it starts to improve and will improve to a level that is much better than where we started when it's over. So we have to go through the short term pain to reach the long term gain."
He indicated that while the subscriber losses during this difficult phase were inevitable, they are also predictable and will turn around quickly in the future. Hesse added, “We believe that what we are building is something that is worth waiting for.”
“This is personally painful for me. We have worked so hard to improve customer satisfaction. ”What’s been frustrating is when we come out with something like ‘unlimited data for life,’ and then we have network issues. Unfortunately, we have to go through this hard period of time, so we face a headwind that our competitors don’t have.”
It's easy to admire his confidence and optimism. What do you guys think? Can Sprint really turn things around next year? Their "Unlimited for Life" plans are actually the least expensive option of any of the carriers, including T-Mobile's "Uncarrier" initiative. It also happens to be the only truly unlimited option available. Additionally, with the help of their new parent company, Softbank, Sprint now has a great deal more "chips on the table" to bet with. This could give them the leverage they need to make good on these plans. Share your perspective on Sprint's strategy.
Source: ... [Read More]
Dec 11, 2013 - 11:23 AM - by dgstorm
We have a Padfone double-hitter for you today. First up, the new Asus Padfone Mini was just officially announced. Here's a breakdown of specs:
- Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
- 4.3 inch smartphone (qHD display) with a 7 inch (1280 x 800) tablet dock
- Dual SIM capabilities for the phone
- Quad-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
- 1GB of RAM
- 16GB of Storage
- MicroSD card support
- 8MP rear camera with Hi-Light Mode (for shooting in dark environments)
- 1,500 mAh battery
- The tablet dock comes with a 2,200 mAh battery, which can charge the smartphone too
It will launch in the US, Europe and other Asian markets, but prices and a concrete time-frame have not yet been announced.
The second Padfone news for today is an official announcement from ASUS CEO Jerry Shen. At the end of an interview with Engadget, Chen indicated that the next generation version of the Padfone Infinity will be coming to the United States. He said that Asus was working with a "big operator" in the States to bring the device here. He didn't specify whether that "big operator" was a mobile carrier or simply a third party retailer, but we will share more intel when it becomes available.
Dec 11, 2013 - 10:53 AM - by dgstorm
Previously we reported that Nokia had been working on an Android phone prototype before Microsoft decided to swoop in and buy the company. For a while since the announcement of the deal between Microsoft and Nokia there has been media speculation of some sort of "conspiracy" suggesting that former Microsoft employee turned Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, had been working with Microsoft to devalue Nokia so that Microsoft could buy it up at a cheaper price. A new report now suggests that the opposite might have been true. Apparently, Nokia share-holders really wanted Microsoft to save the floundering phone OEM and did everything they could to instigate the sale.
In fact, if this report is true, the Nokia Android prototypes were a a "scare tactic" designed to spur Microsoft into getting off the fence. This low-end Nokia Android device was codenamed Normandy and was simply developed as leverage to facilitate the merger. Here's a quote with more of the details,
The above pic of the Nokia Android Normandy was leaked recently by the famed leaker @evleaks, which gives us the first real glimpse of the device. What do you guys think? Is it possible all of this maneuvering between the two companies was planned by Nokia rather than Microsoft?
Normandy may be the device that Nokia used to bludgeon Microsoft into buying both smartphone and feature phone operations.
Once Nokia had reached the decision to unload its smartphone unit, it was crucial for the company to also find a simultaneous buyer for the low-end feature phone unit. Only that way could Nokia start getting aggressive on pressing its patent claims on rival handset vendors. Exiting phone business completely meant Nokia no longer needed cross-licensing deals that dilute its IP revenue.
Since feature phones face the possibility of imminent sales collapse sometime in 2014 or 2015, finding a buyer for only the budget phone unit was always going to be extremely hard, if not impossible. That meant Microsoft was the only plausible buyer for the low-end handsets.
Normandy may have been a weapon. It may have been the strategic threat used to demonstrate to Microsoft that Nokia was on track to begin Android phone adoption if Microsoft would not play ball.
Dec 11, 2013 - 10:13 AM - by dgstorm
The next game in the Angry Birds universe just hit the Google Play Store and is available for free. It's called Angry Birds Go!, and this one is a kart racer rather than the typical Angry Birds fare. You can race downhill as either the Angry Birds or the Pigs. Keep in mind that this is one of those games where in-app purchases are how it makes its revenue, just in case that matters to you.
Here's a quote from the Google Play Description,
... [Read More]
Welcome to downhill racing on Piggy Island! Feel the rush as you fling those freewheeling birds and piggies down the track at breakneck speed – with plenty of twists and turns in a thrilling race to the finish line! But beware! Look out for hazardous roads, mischievous opponents riding your tail and special powers to put the race leader behind the pack. Plus, go from soapbox car to supercar by upgrading your ride! Ready…Set…Angry Birds Go!
FIRST-EVER 3D ANGRY BIRDS WORLD! See the birds and pigs from every angle as Piggy Island comes alive in this rich and colorful 3D world!
RACE AS THE BIRDS OR PIGS! Jump behind the wheel and race as Red, Chuck, Terence, Stella, King Pig, Moustache Pig and many other favorites!
MASTER THE TRACKS! Plenty of racetracks, stunt roads, air courses and off-road races – each throwing big and unexpected challenges your way!
AWESOME SPECIAL POWERS! Smash your opponents off the road and take that winning position thanks to unique special powers for each character!
MANY GAME MODES! Test your skills with super-fun and surprising game modes: Race, Time Boom, Fruit Splat, Champion Chase and Mega Match!
UPGRADE YOUR RIDE! From a homemade soapbox car to a super-fly supercar, with tons of karts and awesome ways to upgrade – yours to earn or purchase!
MUCH MORE TO COME! The race has only just begun – so look out for many more fun things coming your way!
TELEPODS! A groundbreaking new way to play! Now teleport your favorite characters into the race by placing your Angry Birds Go! TELEPODS* figures on your device’s camera!
~~~ToonsTV READY TO GO! The home of the hugely popular Angry Birds Toons animated series, plus many other top-quality videos!
*Availability varies by country. Angry Birds Go! Telepods sold separately and are compatible with select mobile devices. See the full list of supported devices from Hasbro:
Dec 10, 2013 - 4:03 PM - by dgstorm
Ahh, Verizon... how we appreciate your consistency. The Big Red version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 just received a new update. Happily, it fixes quite a few bugs which needed squashing. Sadly, it also adds a hot pocket of new Verizon bloatware to the device as well.
Here's a breakdown of the bug fixes:
- Incoming call displays Picture Me on screen when using Call Waiting
- Handwriting data entry issue for email and SMS messages has been resolved
- Email sync issue has been fixed and connectivity has been improved
- Bluetooth Audio continues after a call is finished
- Mobile Hotspot reliability has been improved
- Samsung keyboard crash issue has been resolved
- Notification Panel responsiveness has been improved
- Connectivity and sound quality improved
Here's a list of the new bloatware:
- New MyInfoZone widget
- VMware app
- An updated version of the Verizon Support & Protection app
- The Verizon Cloud app
Well... at least we can appreciate their desire to take care of those nagging little issues and improve a few features.
The Oppo N1 was released for the United States today, and if you dropped the $599 to order one the next thing you probably need to know is how to root and install recovery on your shiny new device. The Oppo N1 has been producing lots of buzz since it will be the first OEM device with the option to feature CyanogenMod out of the box. The CM option is not yet available but you can go ahead and install it on your own anyhow. To do that you will first need to be rooted and have a custom recovery installed. Before you begin you will need to have the Android SDK installed on your PC and be familiar with adb commands. TWRP Recovery is already available for the device. You will flash the TWRP recovery to your Oppo N1 then you will run the Oppown apk on your device, then simply install chainfire's SuperSU from the play store to your device. For full instructions and download links head to the source link below.
Dec 10, 2013 - 3:00 PM - by pc747
Most Nexus owners bought their device because they wanted a developer device that is super easy to unlock the bootloader and pretty much do whatever they want to their device. If you do own a developer device it is always nice to know how to do things like bootloader unlock and stock image flashing manually. However it can be time consuming to round up all of the necessary files, and if you aren't familiar with the processes you will be spending some time surfing the net trying to find the correct guides and tutorials for your particular device.
The SkipSoft Android Toolkit is the easiest way to Unlock, Root, and flash a custom Recovery to your Nexus device. The latest version of the toolkit has been released by developer "Mskip". The latest version of the toolkit includes support for the latest builds for all supported devices, updated superuser version, updated CWM recovery for the Nexus 5 to the official 188.8.131.52 version, added the information/help section to the model/build section screen to view information easier, added more text throughout the toolkit to clarify parts, and other minor bugfixes. Head to the link below for the download.
Jolla was announced back in May and along with the new device a new Operating System, Sailfish OS, was also introduced to us. Many Android users were excited about the news of an all new experience, and began to seek out ways to possibly get this on their own device through way of a Rom or Port. Jolla has already been made available to the European market. Soon we will be able to get a taste of the Sailfish OS on our Android devices according to the Jolla CEO Tomi Pienimaki who said in an interview, "That is the plan. We are on device business and OS business, It is fairly easy to install the OS on Android devices."
Tomi went on to explain that custom OS firmware is mainstream in other countries like China. He stated that over half of Chinese consumers update their own outdated devices with custom firmware. The plan is to distribute their OS through popular websites where consumers can download and flash Sailfish on their own. So far the only thing that may hold back many consumers from using Sailfish is the fact that it doesn't yet support LTE. However Jolla confirms they are currently working on building in LTE support. It seems like Sailfish on Android may yet be a ways away. Are you excited to give this new OS a try?
The HD version of the Kindle Fire is one of the best values for an Android tablet. The only problem is that you are stuck using Amazon's overlay. For what it is the Amazon carousel works fine, but you miss out on some important parts of Android, mainly the Play Store. If you have root for your tablet you are able to not only install the Google Play Store, you can also install a custom launcher to give yourself a more traditional Android experience. The Amazon Kindle HD 7" tablet has been rooted thanks to developer "RCamacho50". The method has been updated and works for version 7.4.6 and all older versions. Head to the source link for full instructions and download links.
Dec 10, 2013 - 10:55 AM - by dgstorm
It looks like the Chinese smartphone OEM Oppo has made in-roads into Europe and the United States. They just released the N1 to both of these markets. This device is most notable for two unique features. The first one is that you can choose whether you want the manufacturer's ColorOS on the device which is based upon Android 4.2.2, or the CyanogenMOD that was specifically designed for this device with cooperation between Oppo and the CyanogenMod Team. (It's important to note that the second option is not available yet, but is marked as coming soon on Oppo's website.) The other unique characteristic of this device is that the camera up top can swivel ( rotate) front to back. Here's a breakdown of the rest of the specs:
- 5.9-inch 1080p display
- Rotating 13-megapixel camera
- 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 processor
- 2GB of RAM
- 3,610mAh battery.
- Pentaband HSPA+ support up to 42Mbps
There's no LTE for this device which means it won't come to Verizon. The pricing on it is €449 for the 16GB European version or $599 for the 16GB U.S. version. You can also get a 32GB version for €479 or $649 respectively.
Dec 10, 2013 - 10:35 AM - by dgstorm
There's an intriguing new rumor floating across the web today suggesting that Samsung may be considering ditching their signature Super-AMOLED displays for their next generation flagship products. According to the report, Samsung may switch to their own Super PLS-LCD (plane-to-line-switching LCDs ) for both their Galaxy S5 and their Galaxy Note 4 later next year. Interestingly, the reason they are considering this is a cost issue.
Supposedly, the PLS-LCD could save them 20% of the phone's cost structure. Samsung is considering this move because of ultra-competitive pricing pressure from Chinese manufacturers like Oppo, Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo. The report suggests that Samsung might still offer a "premium F Series" version of their devices that would still have their higher end AMOLED display tech. This report also indicated that Samsung is still likely to offer 2K 2560x1440 pixel displays on their Galaxy S5 and Note 4 flagships next year regardless of which technology they go with for the displays.
Dec 10, 2013 - 10:06 AM - by dgstorm
Sometimes the commercials for products can be even more entertaining than the movies/TV shows they precede. The most recent example of this is the new Motorola Droid MAXX commercials. The commercials feature the actor Edward Norton and are designed to showcase a wide variety of things you can do during the 48 hour battery life of the Droid Maxx. Of course, the average commercial would do that in a boring fashion, but this one goes over the top by showing the actor living an action-packed and adventurous 48 hours. The first one above had a shorter teaser version a few weeks ago which didn't make it obvious that Edward Norton was in these commercials. The second one continues the story and we even get to see Norton using the Droid MAXX's "Google Now" capabilities to help save him in times of crisis.
Don't expect your Droid MAXX to magically give you the glamorous life suggested in these commercials, but at least you know your have a solid 48 hours of battery life while using it in the real world. Enjoy!
Dec 10, 2013 - 9:35 AM - by dgstorm
If you are looking for a truly all-in-one case for your Samsung Galaxy Note 3, then you might want to check out the ZeroLemon Rugged Case. Not only does it have a very resilient ruggedized design, it also includes a massive 10,000 mAH additional battery for the device and NFC capabilities built-in. This is actually there to make up for the fact that the thickness of the case actually blocks the regular NFC inside the GNote3. The case also includes a screen protector and a kickstand attachment.
We aren't sure when or why the average user would want this behemoth case, but there are certainly instances when the ridiculous battery and the stout physical case could prove useful. Sound off if this item has you intrigued and check out the Amazon link below to grab one for $59.99 if you can make use of it.
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