A checkerboard-style glitter pattern with a white background? Yes, please. We've always been impressed by the elegant look and feel of LG's Nexus 4, announced alongside Android 4.2 last October, and now Google is making an ivory version of the device available to (hopefully) the masses. The twist: it still hasn't been officially announced, despite the fact that a conference like I/O would be the perfect time and place to do so. While Google chose not to take advantage of the situation to show the unicorn Nexus to the world, real-life units have been discovered floating around Moscone West. Androidandme's Taylor Wimberly happened upon one of them at the show and was gracious enough to give us a brief moment or two with the device.
There isn't any surprise associated with this particular beaut, as it's packing the same design and specs as we've already seen in the original black model (sorry, LTE hopefuls). The pattern on the back actually doesn't stand out as much as it does on the black version, as it happens to blend in with the white a little more. We also noticed the same set of tiny nubs on the bottom that mysteriously appeared on the black version a few months ago. Lastly, the white Nexus is rumored to be the first device with Android 4.3 when it officially launches, but this particular version we saw only sports 4.2.1. There's not much else for us to write about the new color, but let's face it -- you're here for the pictures, which you can gaze upon below.
Gallery: LG Nexus 4 in white at Google I/O
Despite being officially unveiled at Google I/O, the stock Android version of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 has remained the unicorn of the show, seldom seen by anyone not closely associated with the company's top brass. We ran into Android VP Hugo Barra at the show, who was happy to give us a few brief moments with the upcoming device. There is still a lot of mystery around the $649 phone ahead of its June 26th launch, but we've been able to glean a few additional details nonetheless.
While the model in Hugo's hand was a pre-release model and therefore subject to change between now and the official release, the hardware and overall design are identical to what we'd find on AT&T or T-Mobile's model: it sports a Snapdragon 600 chipset, 13MP camera, 16GB of internal storage, a 1080p display and LTE support (a perk for stock fans who were disappointed that the Nexus 4 came without it). Google isn't officially declaring this a Nexus device (not yet, at least), but the GS4 at least exhibits many of the same qualities, including an unlocked bootloader and the promise of prompt system updates.
The firmware is pristine as well: it's Android 4.2.2 in exactly the same form it would take on a run-of-the-mill Nexus. Samsung's onslaught of smart features -- the S-branding, Air Gestures, special camera modes and the like -- are all absent here, leaving the user with an experience completely untouched by the manufacturer. The phone appears to respond a tad faster without the TouchWiz experience, but we'll need to spend more time with it before coming to any solid conclusions. Sound like the perfect phone for you? Make sure you're in the Google Play Store on June 26th so you can grab one for yourself. In the meantime, enjoy our gallery of images below!
What would a Google liveblog be without some updates on Android activations? Well, in case you're curious, the newest figure is 900 million -- a big jump from the 400 million activations reported last year. What's more, Google says there have been 48 billion app installations to date, including 2.8 billion in the last month alone, with revenue per user 2.5 times what it was a year ago. To put that in context, that's not far off Apple's latest numbers: the company has logged just under 50 billion downloads of its own.
Moving on to Chrome, meanwhile, Google is touting 750 million active users, and that includes not just the desktop, but phones and tablets too. That's up from 450 million users at this time last year, with 300 million switching over in the past 12 months. Finally, if you want to get really granular, Google also gave an update on its Google Cloud Messaging service, which was announced last year. Apparently, 60 percent of apps are now using GCM, and 17 billion messages are pushed through the service per day. We'll let you chew on that for a moment while you follow the liveblog, but it seems to us now would be a good time to start placing bets on when we hit the 1-billion-activations mark.
Filed under: Mobile
Today Pinterest announced an update to its Android and iOS apps, bringing some key features from the desktop site to your smartphone or tablet. First up is the addition of notifications: now you can view all your comments and mentions via push notifications or within the app. You'll also be able to mention friends -- using the ever-popular @ symbol -- on your mobile device. Finally, Pinterest has added suggested search terms to help speed up your queries, and it will reflect searches done on your PC as well as on your handset. Nab the download for your OS of choice via the links below.
While the semi-annual parade of new smartphone models at NTT DoCoMo often reveals some unexpected devices, this summer it had a bumper crop: we've already seen the new Sony Xperia A, Sharp's Aquos Phone Zeta and Aquos Pad SH-08E plus a Galaxy S4 in "arctic blue." Seven more phones round out the lineup and NTT DoCoMo is trumpeting 2,100 mAh minimum batteries, LTE, NFC and quad-core processors for the entire gamut. Other standout models include Fujitsu's 5.2-inch, 1080P Arrows NX F-06E, a model with a 16-megapixel camera you'll likely never see stateside, Panasonic's Eluga V P-06D with a 4.7-inch 1080P screen and a whopping 2,600 mAh battery, and Disney Mobile's F-07D, which should be an endurance wonder with a 720P screen and 2,600mAh cell. Naturally, there's a rainbow of new hues for most of the models, which will roll out over the summer in Japan -- click the source link PDF for detailed specs or check the PR after the jump.
Source: NTT DoCoMo (PDF)
Now that Nokia's launched it's metal-accented Lumia 925, you may want to know where to grab one. In the UK, Vodaphone announced on stage that they'd start carrying a 32GB version of the handset exclusively next month, while O2 said they'd be the only UK carrier with a white model -- and that you'd be able to grab it on June 13th. As for the others, Three confirmed via a tweet that they'd carry the new handset and that it'd be compatible with its Ultrafast services, while EE and Orange have yet to announce anything. Meanwhile, we heard from T-Mobile that they'd be carrying the device in the US, but we don't know yet if they'll stock it elsewhere as well. We've touched base with all the carriers for more info, so check back to see if you'll be able to grab one from yours.
14/05/2013 - Nokia announces Smart Camera app for the Lumia 925
Here at the Nokia event in London, we've seen the Lumia 925 go from rumor to reality, and now we're hearing more about the camera software debuting on the handset. For starters, the app has picked improved low-light performance and noice reduction, and will burst capture shots at 5-megapixels, with the full 8.7-megapixels ready in standard mode. Sports shooters will get the Action Shot, will combines several images for a slow-mo effect, and Best Shot will let you (or the camera) choose one of 10 frames that gives the best overall image. Motion focus will add a blur effect to the background, while keeping moving objects in focus, but you can go back and change that later. Finally, there's an option to remove moving objects that might be in the way of your subject. Smart Camera won't just be limited to the Lumia 925 either, as all of Nokia's Windows 8 Phone devices will get it through Nokia's Lumia Amber firmware update, coming sometime this summer.
Hipstamatic is coming to Windows Phone 8. The new Oggl app was shown off at Nokia's London event with a WP8 UI. We don't know whether this is a Lumia exclusive or not, but it's arriving with the Lumia 925, regardless. There are several filters, including the all-important food filter, with the option to buy more filters and effects. For sharing, Oggl will connect to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
14/05/2013 - Live from Nokia's Lumia event in London!
Sorry, you're a little early. But please come back later, because we'll be reporting on Nokia's plans for its Windows Phone range in 2013, which is likely to involve more than just last week's Lumia 928. We're expecting a global iteration in redesigned hardware and yet more PureView details. Rumors so far reach a little further -- could we hear word on a Lumia tablet, or a return to lossless digital zoom? We'll have all the answers from the London event at the time shown below.
13/05/2013 - Nokia Lumia 925 leaked in low-res press shot
If you're looking for details, you might be disappointed. We don't know much about the alleged Nokia Lumia 925 pictured above, other than its rumored codename: Catwalk. We probably don't have too much longer to wait for a full spec list, however, with the company hosting a launch event in London tomorrow. The relatively low-resolution press shot posted by @evleaks on Twitter shows a Windows phone with styling typical of the Lumia series. There does seem to be a slight taper toward the face of the device and we can report the headphone jack appears to be on the top edge. And that edge does have a slightly metallic look to it, not unlike the integrated antenna on another high-profile device. Otherwise, we're as in the dark as you are. But just stay patient -- all will be revealed tomorrow.
The dubious ability to send odors to your pals just became a distinct possibility thanks to the Scentee app and hardware from a company called ChatPerf. Seen in Japan, it works by letting you load a liquid refill into the device, which is then mixed and dispersed into the air at the command of an included app. Myriad uses come to mind, but the company noted a few, like sending a smell to a friend who also has the device, perking up a yoga session, helping you wake up or making a shoot 'em up video game more lively with the smell of, say, gunpowder. It's still a prototype, but the company hopes to bring it to market with a variety of different odors, and launch it for iPhone or Android devices. Meanwhile, you can sniff it out in the video after the break.
For the most part, battery packs have become what CD cases were in the late 90s -- generic and utilitarian. Nokia's new DC-18 portable chargers dare to be different. The sharp, tile-like designs house a modest 1,720 mAh cell, retractable micro-USB cable (that doubles as a a switch,) plus an LED battery level indicator that lights up when you extend the aforementioned appendage. It's available in four colors (red, white, yellow and blue), but only in select regions right now. No word on when and for how much, but color-coordinators can keep pinging the source to find out.
Plans to update the Nokia Lumia 900 with Windows Phone 7.8 have been slow-going, to say the least. Today, however, marks the beginning of a new life for the aging handset, as it welcomes a much-anticipated 7.8 refresh. Naturally, this means the former flagship is getting an injection of new features and improvements -- namely, that revamped Start screen with flexible tiles. Users will also enjoy various enhancements to the lock screen, including the option to use Bing's image of the day as a wallpaper. Rounding out the list are various other under-the-hood tweaks to make the experience smoother and help close the gap with current smartphone powerhouses. The good news is that it's here now, and can be all yours by following the step-by-steps at the More Coverage link below.
Source: NokiaCareUS (Twitter)
With the onset of MiFis, smartphone hotspots and other methods of tethering your computer to the 'net, USB modems aren't exactly the most popular devices on the block anymore. It doesn't mean they're not desirable to business folk, however, so most carriers keep at least one or two in their lineup. AT&T just introduced the Beam, its latest dongle from Sierra Wireless, which offers the usual LTE domestically (700/AWS) along with tri-band HSPA+ (850/1900/2100) and quad-band GSM / EDGE.
The key feature here is its built-in 96x64 black-and-white LCD panel, which displays signal strength, data usage and other stats. Finally, it offers mobile hotspot capability, GPS and microSD card support (up to 32GB), and will work on Win 8 / RT laptops and tablets. Dimension-wise, it weighs 1.91 ounces and measures a stout 1.97 x 2.58 x 0.46 inches (50 x 65.5 x 11.7mm). If that fits your purposes, the Beam can be all yours starting May 10th for $20 and a two-year commitment.
It was just about a week ago that we first told you about Siva Cycle's Atom, a pedal-powered battery charger that's currently taking Kickstarter by storm, healthily surpassing its $85,000 goal, with 21 days to spare. Lo and behold, the kinetic peripheral popped up on the Hardware Alley floor at TechCrunch Disrupt, here in NYC. Actually trying the thing out is a bit much to ask in the crowded Manhattan Center, but the company was nice enough to demo the device with a little good old-fashioned hand power.
The system is pretty minimally invasive, from the looks of it. The removable battery pack sits next to the rear wheel axle, and there's also a USB port just below the seat for charging devices more directly. Get in early, and you'll be able to pick the system up for $85. Not convinced? Check out the company's plea in a video just after the break.
Over six months ago, a joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon called Isis launched a trial of its nascent mobile payment service in Austin and Salt Lake City. Not only had its debut already been delayed by a matter of months, we also haven't heard more than a peep from the company since. CEO Michael Abbott, who is the keynote speaker at ETA 2013 in New Orleans, has opened the discourse but still isn't giving many specific details on the future. When we asked him about his company's expansion plans, Abbott simply told us that "when [we're] ready, we'll start putting it out in different places and see where to go from there." In essence, he views progress in the mobile payments field as a constant evolution, which often involves taking smaller steps to accomplish a greater purpose. You can find the full quote below the break.
We've already seen this one leaked and detailed -- and reviewed the non-AT&T variant ourselves -- but the carrier's now finally gotten official with its latest high-end smartphone: the LG Optimus G Pro. If this is the first you're seeing of it, though, you're looking at a phone with a 5.5-inch, 1920 x 1080 IPS display (which translates to 400ppi), along with a 13-megapixel camera (2.1 megapixel front-facing), LTE connectivity, a 3,140 mAh battery, 32GB of storage and Android 4.1.2 with some of LG's customizations. As we noted in our review, that puts it up squarely against the Samsung Galaxy Note II, although LG's decided to forego the stylus here. Look for this one to be available (exclusively on AT&T, incidentally) starting May 10th for $199.99 on the usual two-year contract.
27/04/2013 - Mobile Miscellany: week of April 22nd, 2013
If you didn't get enough mobile news during the week, not to worry, because we've opened the firehose for the truly hardcore. This week, a familiar smartphone leaked that's said to join the prepaid ranks at Verizon Wireless, AT&T swung back against the DOJ, and Rogers issued its quarterly earnings. These stories and more await after the break. So buy the ticket and take the ride as we explore all that's happening in the mobile world for this week of April 22nd, 2013.
Wireless access in New York City's subway system has so far been limited, at best: two GSM carriers, one WiFi provider and six stations does not a full network make. Coverage is getting much wider, however, as Transit Wireless just flicked on access in 30 extra stations. While cellular service with this batch is still limited to AT&T and T-Mobile for now, it reaches a much wider swath of Manhattan that includes Times Square, Rockefeller Center and the Museum of Natural History. Those on CDMA carriers also won't be left hanging for long -- both Sprint and Verizon have nearly finished making deals to join the project, with Sprint aiming for service later this year. Although the deployment still leaves big holes in carrier support and geographic reach, it's a big leap for travelers with an urge to stay online while underground.
[Image credit: Retromoderns, Flickr]
Via: The Verge
Source: Governor Cuomo
There's not much surprise left to LG's Optimus G Pro reveal set for next Wednesday in New York. We've already seen the device slip through the FCC and recently had a previewed glimpse of the potential hardware. But thanks to an anonymous tipster, we now have more insight to the the upcoming AT&T variant's specifications. Based on the official doc we had a look at, LG's managed to keep this US model mostly in line with its global sibling, porting over the same 5.5-inch form factor, 3,140mAh battery, 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 processor paired with 2GB RAM, a healthy 32GB of internal storage (expandable via microSDXC to 64GB), 2.1-megapixel front-facing / 13-megapixel rear cameras, NFC and WiFi a/b/g/n. What has changed is the actual screen technology used, which should find this AT&T G Pro employing a Full HD IPS panel as opposed to the True HD-IPS+ in the original. Additionally, and unsurprisingly, the device's radios have been tweaked, with the AT&T G Pro now supporting the carrier's flavor of LTE (700/1700 MHz), HSPA+21 (850/1900/2100 MHz) and quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz).
Though it would be nice to see LG bump up this Optimus G Pro to a more current version of Android -- namely, 4.2.2 -- the AT&T model will likely ship with the more dated 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Continuing further down the software track, carrier bloat looks to be at a minimum as only two automobile-specific apps are mentioned in the document: AT&T DriveMode and Navigator. Aside from that, LG's own software suite makes the transition, bringing along QSlide 2.0 (a multiwindow feature), Dual Recording (for the picture-in-picture effect), Tag+ for NFC, VuTalk (a note sharing app), QuickMemo, Notebook and the ability to preset the Home Key's LED. That enough of a preview for you? Stay tuned for the real deal to be unveiled next week.
Want a glimpse of what LG may have in store for the US market come the first of May? Chances are this latest render (pictured above) from @evleaks could very turn out to be AT&T's Optimus G Pro variant. From the looks of things, not much has changed design-wise since we reviewed the 5.5-inch global model, with the removable, high-gloss backplate still sporting that sub-surface pattern first introduced on the Optimus G. Even the arrangement of the rear camera, flash and speaker appear to have remained the same -- the only noticeable difference is the AT&T globe situated none too subtly below. Whether or not LG's reworked its internals remains to be seen, but with the event now less than a week away, we'll have all the answers soon enough.
Source: EVLeaks (Twitter)
Most of the hullabaloo around Sprint's nascent LTE network has focused on the consumer. But, don't worry, the carrier hasn't forgotten about its precious business customers. Today it announced that Data Link and Static IP would be coming to its latest iteration of 4G. For those of you not familiar, Data Link carries a guarantee of 99.9 percent availability -- something craved by enterprise types. And it covers not just handsets and hotspots, but kiosks, sales terminals and can even serve as a backup plan for wired service. The ability to assign a static IP address will also be welcomed by IT departments that need to tightly manage wireless devices. And, just in case you're not covered by the Now Network's LTE just yet, both services are available on 3G as well. For more, check out the PR after the break.
Remember when you were holding it wrong? Remember when Apple was supposed to compensate you for holding it wrong? No? Well, if you didn't opt for the free rubber bumper back in the day, apparently that $15 "we're so sorry your iPhone 4's antenna sucked" settlement check alternative's finally being sent out via snail mail. So, case closed iFans. It's time to move on to greener, 5S pastures.
If you're living on a tight budget but still need to keep in touch with loved ones who live abroad, you'll be glad to know of a new calling plan from Ultra Mobile. The upstart MVNO offers discounted access to T-Mobile's network, and for $19 per month, you'll fetch unlimited text messages to 194 countries, 250 voice minutes (with $1.25 toward international calling), and 50MB of data usage. For comparison, Simple Mobile offers a $25 plan that includes unlimited international texting and domestic calling, but if you let your thumbs do most of the talking, Ultra Mobile brings a lot of value to the table. You can snag its $19 plan starting tomorrow, which might be the perfect match for whatever Nokia has up its sleeve.