Posts Tagged money

LG Optimus G2 to Arrive This Fall, Awaiting Google’s Launch of Key Lime Pie?

Before this year’s CES kicked off, there were a few in the industry that had their money on LG announcing the successor to the device that brought them back into the spotlight, the Optimus G. With CES now well over, it’s time for the new reports to start flying in as to when we can expect to [...]

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HTC Windows Phone 8X for a cent at Rogers

windows-phone-8x-by-htc

Windows Phone 8 has been doing great, and far better than Windows Phone 7. The sales figures of Lumia 920 has been quite high, thanks to the reasonable asking price by AT&T on 2 year contract, one can get hands on a Windows Phone 8 device without shelling out a lot of money.

Lumia 920 and 820 are apparently AT&T’s exclusive models. Nokia isn’t the only company in the Windows Phone 8 game. We have HTC with their 8X phone, which has a pretty good design. HTC also has another Windows Phone 8 device called 8S with support for removable microSD cards and is slightly placed lower than 8X, but for some reason the company hasn’t launched the device in US yet. Anyways, HTC 8X has been selling extremely strong in USA, and one of the main reasons is attractive price.

Though DIgitimes’ sources say that HTC 8X has been “extremely strong in the US”, the device has not been topping charts on carriers in the US, but it should be noted that this device is the only Windows Phone which is on sale on 3 of the 4 big carriers, which means that this device can alone cover much more market than Lumia 920 or 820 can do alone. Nokia has other variants of Windows Phone 8 for other carriers. The handset’s main feature would be its slim-line design and excellent Super-LCD 2 screen with very high DPI.

If you are in Canada and craving for a Windows Phone 8 device, HTC 8X is a good option to go for, and the good news is that you can have the device for yourself if you have a penny lying around. Yep, you read that right. Canadian carrier, Rogers, is now offering the 8 GB HTC 8X for just $0.01 on contract, which is really a good price for a dual-core smartphone with an HD screen. Since the device doesn’t have microSD card slot, 8 GB can be a limiting factor for most of us, and in that case you can go for the 16 GB variant instead, but you will have to shell out $29.99 for that, which is a good investment in the long run in my opinion.

Of course good things always come with a catch, and in this case you will have to sign a three year contract, and that’s the standard length you sign up for in Canada. If you are good with the contract, you can get the HTC 8X which sports a dual-core processor clocked at 1.5 Ghz (Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960). Coupled with 1 gig RAM, you can expect the phone to be snappy. Yes, most of the high end smartphones are coming with 2 gig of RAM these days, and it is fast becoming a standard, but Windows Phone 8 is not that RAM hungry and 1 gig should be just sufficient enough. It is equipped with a 4.3” display (720 x 1280 pixels) that at 342 ppi has an extremely high pixel density. Would you buy the 8X?

Source: Rogers

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HTC’s New Year’s Resolution: Bring Unique Products To Market

HTC isn’t blind. The Taiwanese manufacturer can see the gap between itself and some of its competitors is growing. They’ve responded by promising to focus on bringing “unique products” to market in 2013. Judging by their declining sales numbers, HTC needs to do something. Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou believes innovation and not marketing is the key to an HTC rebound.  He said, ”Our competitors were too strong and very resourceful, pouring in lots of money into marketing.

HTC needs an angle, a market strategy for success despite being squeezed between Apple and Samsung. Sammi’s Galaxy S III topped the iPhone to become the best selling phone of 2012 Q3. The iPhone 5 did its thing. Chou said, ”Although we don’t have as much money to counter, the most important thing is to have unique products that appeal to consumers.”  HTC’s One X was well received in 2012 but failed to generate traction and certainly did little to threaten the iPhone or Galaxy S III. HTC is in a tough spot and they know it. Now let’s see what they do about it.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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HTC CEO Peter Chou seems positive on what 2013 will bring

Things were not all that great for HTC in 2012. In fact, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report, HTC had one of their worst years in 2012. It was said that the third quarter earning have them sitting at the lowest in about six years. Or to put that another way, the share price is down about 80 percent as compared to the record high that HTC saw in 2010. That being said though, it looks like HTC has been making some plans for a comeback.

HTC_logo-540x300

Time will tell how well the plans work out for HTC, however CEO Peter Chou did discuss some of this in a recent interview. Perhaps most notable here, Chou believes that the worst has passed and that “2013 will not be too bad.” That doesn’t sound all that encouraging by itself, but Chou did go on to further note that they realize they haven’t done enough on the marketing front.

More to that point, Chou said that HTC did not do enough while their competitors were strong and resourceful and pouring lots of money into marketing. Despite recognizing that things were not going all that well, Chou did not mention anything specific in terms of plans and instead stayed a bit more general saying that he believes “the most important thing is to have unique products that appeal to consumers.”

It does seem as if many want to see HTC rise back. The Droid DNA captured quite a bit in terms of praise. And looking forward, it is getting harder to look away from the rumors of the HTC M7. Specific devices aside though, HTC still has a bit more to report for 2012. In fact, their preliminary fourth-quarter results are expected Monday which means we may see a bit more bad news before the good news arrives.

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CEO Peter Chou talks about HTC’s future

HTC CEO Peter Chou

It's no secret that HTC's worldwide market share in smartphones is small — and declining — but CEO Peter Chou seems optimistic for the future of the Taiwanese manufacturer. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Chou expressed that although HTC has been outpaced in smartphones by the likes of Samsung and Apple since 2010, the worst is behind the company now. With international market share of about 2.2-percent, the numbers just don't reflect the high-quality products Android OEM has to offer. HTC's relatively small size and cash holdings put it at a disadvantage to the larger companies out there, but the Chou explains that a refocusing on proper marketing — with a new marketing chief — will be the key to improvement in 2013.

"Although we don't have as much money to counter [Samsung and Apple], the most important thing is to have unique products that appeal to consumers."

The quote from Mr. Chou fits with what many HTC fans have been saying continuously, but unfortunately the general consumer market hasn't reflected that. He hopes that the upcoming changes and reorganizations (no specifics given) inside the company will let it react quicker to changing markets to bring more compelling products to consumers in the future.

Source: WSJ

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HTC’s New Year’s Resolution: Bring Unique Products To Market

HTC isn’t blind. The Taiwanese manufacturer can see the gap between itself and some of its competitors is growing. They’ve responded by promising to focus on bringing “unique products” to market in 2013. Judging by their declining sales numbers, HTC needs to do something. Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou believes innovation and not marketing is the key to an HTC rebound.  He said, ”Our competitors were too strong and very resourceful, pouring in lots of money into marketing.

HTC needs an angle, a market strategy for success despite being squeezed between Apple and Samsung. Sammi’s Galaxy S III topped the iPhone to become the best selling phone of 2012 Q3. The iPhone 5 did its thing. Chou said, ”Although we don’t have as much money to counter, the most important thing is to have unique products that appeal to consumers.”  HTC’s One X was well received in 2012 but failed to generate traction and certainly did little to threaten the iPhone or Galaxy S III. HTC is in a tough spot and they know it. Now let’s see what they do about it.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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BEST DEALS: Nexus 4 “free” on £23.50 contract

Mobile phone shop Dial-a-phone has a pretty tempting Nexus 4 deal on offer, giving buyers the new Android phone for “free” in return for signing up to a £23.50 monthly contract. The bundle includes an Orange SIM and 750MB of mobile data each month, along with unlimited SMS messages and 200 calling minutes. You could live with that.

It’s a nice deal if you’re in an Orange/T-Mobile network area and don’t talk to other people much.

nexus-4-2350-deal

And if you buy the thing through a Quidco “cashback” link the cashback site is currently offering to reimburse you £65 when signing up to any monthly contract through Dial-a-phone. Which is nice.

Always remember the Quidco option when buying something expensive. It is literally money for nothing.

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HTC’s 4G-capable One SV now available in the UK

HTC’s boring-looking but powerful HTC One SV has launched in the UK, with the unlocked retailers now selling the thing for around the £350 mark. For that money you get a lot of telephone, with the One SV powered by Qualcomm’s 1.2GHz dual-core S4 processor and that backed up by 1GB of RAM. It ought to work rather well.

The One SV comes with a 4.3″ display running at 480×800 resolution, which is pretty much the only compromise here, as…

htc-one-sv-clove

…there’s a Micro SD card slot to augment the One SV’s 8GB of onboard storage to keep everyone happy. In a month or two when it’s a bit cheaper it’ll be a good choice.

Clove’s selling the One SV for £349 if you’re keen on doing Android the HTC way.

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HTC claims new licensing agreement with Apple will benefit them in 2013 and beyond

In case you haven’t heard, Apple and HTC have reached an agreement that will finally end their ongoing patent battle. The new 10 year agreement will cover all current, pending and future patents. Upon the contract, it’s estimated that HTC will pay Apple between $6-$8 per Android device that they ship.

While that may look bad on paper, HTC China’s President Ray Yam believes the move could actually benefit the company in the future:

“The settlement with Apple will start to pay off next year, and the fourth quarter of this year is still going at a set pace. The biggest benefit to us is that we can put more energy into innovation, which is more important than anything else for a technology company.”

I can see where Yam is going with this. With the numerous patent fights against Apple finally behind them, HTC can now focus their resources on “innovating” and making a quality product rather than wasting time and money fighting against a losing battle against Apple. HTC is poised to make drastic changes in this coming year in how they market and create their products. With their over all market share quickly dwindling down and taken over by Samsung, I’m sure they need all the help they can get.

I for one would love for HTC to make a comeback and stay in the game, thus we’ll see how it turns out for them this year.

source: BGR

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Best Android Smartphones of 2012

The year is almost over (in fact, we’re less than 24 hours a way if your calendar hasn’t been working as of late) and it’s time to take a look at what the best devices of 2012 have turned out to be. There were many heavy hitters from the camps of Samsung, Motorola, HTC and more, but only five — yes, five — make the cut for Phandroid’s year-in review. Let’s dive in!

Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX HD

When Google completed the purchase of Motorola in 2012 it promised the company would continue to run as a separate entity for quite some time afterward. Still, it was hard to believe Google wouldn’t have any influence on the future of Motorola’s smartphone line even if that influence didn’t come right away.

While we can’t say for sure Google had much to do with the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX HD in body (after all, the overall package is an incremental improvement over the 2011 relaunch of the RAZR family), it does appear the company got Motorola to ease up on MOTOBLUR (or whatever they are calling it these days).

With a 4.7 inch HD display, a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon Plus chipset, 1GB of RAM and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean this smartphone reads off like most high-end offerings from 2012, but some of its more unique bits give it the #7 spot on this list. Subtleties like the Kevlar backing, the device’s long-lasing 3,100mAh battery and its slim profile make it a device worthy of recognition this year.

LG Optimus G

LG had to deal with some costly plunders in 2011, but the Korean OEM looked to bounce back quite nicely in 2012. One of the results of LG’s desperation (the company was losing money hand-over-first) was the LG Optimus G, a fine device if I do say so myself. It’s a quad-core monster of a phone that has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro and 2GB of RAM.

Despite its good looks and powerful innards, though, it’s the software improvements that earns LG’s flagship a spot on this list. Optimus UI 3.0 was a big focus of LG’s, and the time and money spent to perfect it showed up in quality form. Things like Q-Slide, QuickMemo, voice-activated controls and LG’s motion controls made it quite the significant package.

The biggest improvement was the lack of experience-breaking bugs that plagued the Optimus 2X before it, and had LG not cracked down on the software letdowns of yesteryear it might not have gotten the nod for this list. Kudos.

HTC One X+

The original HTC One X was a great device in and of itself, but this revision completely overshadowed it. Courtesy of AT&T, it was the first Sense device here in the US that came with NVIDIA’s quad-core Tegra 3 processor as well as 4G LTE radios. It didn’t change much else over the original HTC One X, but that particular phone was already fine enough on its own merit.

This device also brought 64GB of internal storage goodness, something that’s quite unheard of in the land of Android these days. It’s something we were mightily grateful for as HTC and AT&T understood not everyone is willing to move over to the cloud, and that internal device storage is still something many of us value quite a bit.

It houses the same 8 megapixel f/2.0 BSI HD camera with an HD front-facing camera, a 4.7 inch 720p SuperLCD2 display and all the other great bells and whistles found on the original, and all of that still remains some of the best smartphone tech available today.

Samsung Galaxy S3

Ah, yes — Samsung’s mother load. The Samsung Galaxy S3 doesn’t command the top spot of this list, but perhaps that’s due to its untimely release. Samsung brought its wares out earlier in the year, and that allowed other devices (even some of their own) to outclass it in many different ways.

Still, this is one iconic device that has significantly changed the landscape of the mobile wars. It broke sales records on its way to helping Samsung become the second biggest smartphone OEM, and the biggest mobile phone OEM in all. It was the first device that really gave the iPhone a run for its money in terms of success, and we all know it was a force to be reckoned with when it came to features.

The Galaxy S3 in America housed more modest internals due to LTE-compatible Exynos chips not being ready for prime-time at the time of its launch, but the 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 still performed quite well. The beautiful 4.7 inch Super AMOLED HD display, 2GB of RAM, 8 megapixel HD camera and 2 megapixel front-facing camera all came together to create one of the most cohesive devices you’ll ever see. Oh, and TouchWiz finally stopped sucking with this release.

Sure, it was made out of plastic and it didn’t come to most markets as a quad-core behemoth, but the Samsung Galaxy S3 was the finest phone out for the money, and it still holds its own up against more compelling offerings as we head into 2013.

HTC DROID DNA

The significance of the HTC DROID DNA is not lost on me — any device that can boast a 1080p display with just 5 diagonal inches to pack all those pixels into deserves a badge of honor in my book. While this may not have been the smartphone that kept HTC’s device lineup from going stale — you can thank the original HTC One X for turning that tide — it definitely pushed the company further than we thought it would be at this point.

The device also featured Qualcomm’s 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset, a powerful solution that didn’t guzzle a ton of juice. 2GB of RAM, a very nice 8 megapixel camera and Verizon’s 4G LTE radios made this one of the hottest devices in the coldest of months. HTC Sense 4+ brings a very debloated suite of enhancements, and it’s one of the first times we can say that HTC Sense isn’t a total downer on top of pure Android.

Nexus 4

What, you thought a “best phones” list would go up without a Nexus device sitting somewhere? The Samsung had a nice run with the Nexus line of phones, concluding with the Galaxy Nexus for now, but it’s time to let someone else step up to the plate. That someone else happens to be our friends at LG who left their stamp on what is known as the Nexus 4.

This device obviously gets brownie points for its lack of a custom user interface on top of pure Android 4.2 goodness, as well as for that very attractive starting price of $300. Shipping snafus aside, this is a fine device that not many can contend with this year. It has all the makings of a superphone, including the 4.8 inch HD display, 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 8 megapixel camera, and more without the heinous costs usually associated with owning these beasts.

But even with all those juicy specs it’s worth taking time to acknowledge and admire the work that’s gone into the engineering work. LG has arguably crafted its best device ever with the Nexus 4 with the beautiful glass covering the chatoyance texture on the back, and the tapered edge-to-edge glass covering the display.

Other bits and pieces, like Qi Wireless charging, NFC, and more make it a no-brainer for our #2 spot. Even with some annoyances — like the limited storage space, lack of microSD card slot, and a non-replaceable battery — this phone was the cream of the crop for 2012.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

I’ll admit it — the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is not for everyone. That 5.5 inch HD display makes this one weird device to hold, and depending on the size of your jeans it could be hard to stuff into your pockets. Still, Samsung has concocted one of the most compelling devices we’ve seen not only this year, but ever.

Samsung took a huge gamble with the size of this device, but what it allowed them to do is quite stunning. For starters, he Wacom-enabled digitzer embedded into the display comes together with an improved S Pen to make everything — from art to natural writing — way more feasible than it’s ever been on a smartphone. The S Pen also enabled some nice productivity features, like the ability to hover over your calendar entries and email headers to see more without having to jump into them.

The bigger chassis allowed Samsung to cram a 3,100 mAh battery inside which makes for all day battery life on moderate usage. The bigger screen allows you to use two apps at the same time. No, really. And what’s all that multi-tasking without a quad-core 1.6GHz Exynos processor and 2GB of RAM to keep up with it?

TouchWiz has never been anyone’s favorite skin — we all like pure Android around these parts — but if you had to be stuck with one OEM-made interface then you’d want it to be this. Coupled with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Samsung has created a very functional and useful suite of tools for your pleasure.

It’s hard to think that something within Samsung’s own ranks could completely outclass the Samsung Galaxy S3, but by gosh they’ve done it. Again, this is more of a circumstance of timing than anything else. This device released much later than the Galaxy S3, so Samsung was afforded access to the latest technology to stuff inside this beast.

And the most beautiful thing is that Samsung knows all the little details still matter. People still want removable batteries, microSD card slots, et. al and Samsung delivers on that quite nicely with this package. It’s needless to say, at this point, that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is our top smartphone of 2012, and we’d be surprised to see many of you folks disagree.

How about you?

This list is by no means definitive, of course. Be sure to chime in below and let us know what your best smartphones of the year were. Perhaps the contents of your list are the same but ordered differently? We totally want to hear about it. Leave a comment below, and let’s carry this healthy discussion into the glorious year of 2013!

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Google Play Surges, Apple App Store Still Lords Over Mobile App Market

Google-PlayGoogle Play recorded a big surge in its sales of mobile applications but it is still Apple’s App Store that reigned supreme after garnering the largest share in the pie, Mobile analytics Distimo released Wednesday.

Google Play has been on a tear in the mobile app market over the last four months, recording a 43 percent jump in its daily sales across 20 countries as reported by Distimo.

Then again, the figure was not enough to topple the App store from its thrown as Apple’s app distributor also registered a decent surge in its sales after gaining a 21 percent increase on a daily basis.

The App store also benefited from its strong performance in the first months of 2012, especially in January when it chalked up 51 percent on daily sales.

Destimo pointed out that the decline of App Store’s sales is caused by an already higher revenues, leaving Apple with limited room to generate more money. A good example for this is the Apple’s huge sales November, when it surpassed the $15 million threshold while Google Play only registered $3.5 million across 20 countries.

According to Destimo, the United States was the biggest market for Apple’s App store in 2012, while Japan, the United Kingdom, and Australia rounded up the Big 4. On the other hand, the United States and Japan are the largest markets for Google Play while Android-heavy using country Korea ranked third.

Naver’s Line Pop is the most successful game on any app store recently, recording 1.75 downloads three days from its release. It already racked up a cool $1 million in sales within its first 12 days.

However, the mobile app market is not always a mine of gold as an influx of new applications continued to crowd the market daily, hurting in the process start-up developers.

“And a small number of apps still account for a disproportionate share of overall usage. In November, just seven apps grabbed 10 percent of all sales for the App Store for the iPhone. That number was down from January when 11 apps took in those 10 percent of sales. And just 31 apps generated 10 percent of all free apps downloaded,” Distimo released Thursday.

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XDA has launched XDA-University to help start your journey into Android development

Ever get that tingle of wanting to dev for Android yourself but don’t quite know where to start? The guys over at XDA developers have your back and have launched an “XDA University” portion of their site aimed at helping users start their Android dev’ing endeavors. Per XDA:

XDA-University is the resource brought to you by the people behind XDA-Developers. We aim to help you start your journey into Android and development, as well as get to know XDA more.

The site provides very helpful tips and videos on app development, hardware hacking, and a beginners guide to Linux mobile development. This certainly seems like a great way to start if you’ve always wanted to look into Android developing.

Keep in mind that this is a hobby and one should not expect gaining significant money from doing this. If you’ve been looking into starting developing for Android, then certainly give this a shot! Source link will be provided.

source: XDA University

 

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XDA has launched XDA-University to help start your journey into Android development

Ever get that tingle of wanting to dev for Android yourself but don’t quite know where to start? The guys over at XDA developers have your back and have launched an “XDA University” portion of their site aimed at helping users start their Android dev’ing endeavors. Per XDA:

XDA-University is the resource brought to you by the people behind XDA-Developers. We aim to help you start your journey into Android and development, as well as get to know XDA more.

The site provides very helpful tips and videos on app development, hardware hacking, and a beginners guide to Linux mobile development. This certainly seems like a great way to start if you’ve always wanted to look into Android developing.

Keep in mind that this is a hobby and one should not expect gaining significant money from doing this. If you’ve been looking into starting developing for Android, then certainly give this a shot! Source link will be provided.

source: XDA University

 

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XDA has launched XDA-University to help start your journey into Android development

Ever get that tingle of wanting to dev for Android yourself but don’t quite know where to start? The guys over at XDA developers have your back and have launched an “XDA University” portion of their site aimed at helping users start their Android dev’ing endeavors. Per XDA:

XDA-University is the resource brought to you by the people behind XDA-Developers. We aim to help you start your journey into Android and development, as well as get to know XDA more.

The site provides very helpful tips and videos on app development, hardware hacking, and a beginners guide to Linux mobile development. This certainly seems like a great way to start if you’ve always wanted to look into Android developing.

Keep in mind that this is a hobby and one should not expect gaining significant money from doing this. If you’ve been looking into starting developing for Android, then certainly give this a shot! Source link will be provided.

source: XDA University

 

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No Comments

XDA has launched XDA-University to help start your journey into Android development

Ever get that tingle of wanting to dev for Android yourself but don’t quite know where to start? The guys over at XDA developers have your back and have launched an “XDA University” portion of their site aimed at helping users start their Android dev’ing endeavors. Per XDA:

XDA-University is the resource brought to you by the people behind XDA-Developers. We aim to help you start your journey into Android and development, as well as get to know XDA more.

The site provides very helpful tips and videos on app development, hardware hacking, and a beginners guide to Linux mobile development. This certainly seems like a great way to start if you’ve always wanted to look into Android developing.

Keep in mind that this is a hobby and one should not expect gaining significant money from doing this. If you’ve been looking into starting developing for Android, then certainly give this a shot! Source link will be provided.

source: XDA University

 

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No Comments

XDA has launched XDA-University to help start your journey into Android development

Ever get that tingle of wanting to dev for Android yourself but don’t quite know where to start? The guys over at XDA developers have your back and have launched an “XDA University” portion of their site aimed at helping users start their Android dev’ing endeavors. Per XDA:

XDA-University is the resource brought to you by the people behind XDA-Developers. We aim to help you start your journey into Android and development, as well as get to know XDA more.

The site provides very helpful tips and videos on app development, hardware hacking, and a beginners guide to Linux mobile development. This certainly seems like a great way to start if you’ve always wanted to look into Android developing.

Keep in mind that this is a hobby and one should not expect gaining significant money from doing this. If you’ve been looking into starting developing for Android, then certainly give this a shot! Source link will be provided.

source: XDA University

 

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No Comments

XDA has launched XDA-University to help start your journey into Android development

Ever get that tingle of wanting to dev for Android yourself but don’t quite know where to start? The guys over at XDA developers have your back and have launched an “XDA University” portion of their site aimed at helping users start their Android dev’ing endeavors. Per XDA:

XDA-University is the resource brought to you by the people behind XDA-Developers. We aim to help you start your journey into Android and development, as well as get to know XDA more.

The site provides very helpful tips and videos on app development, hardware hacking, and a beginners guide to Linux mobile development. This certainly seems like a great way to start if you’ve always wanted to look into Android developing.

Keep in mind that this is a hobby and one should not expect gaining significant money from doing this. If you’ve been looking into starting developing for Android, then certainly give this a shot! Source link will be provided.

source: XDA University

 

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Kickstarter Project Falls Prey To Apple’s Policies?

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With the increasing number of smartphones, there are bound to be a lot of third party accessories for them. Especially for Apple products where accessories are sold for a premium price. And with the introduction of the new lightning connector, Apple moved away completely from the traditional 30 pin dock connector which was standard for the iPod Classic, iPod Touch, iPhones and iPads. This apparently brought faster transfer speeds and quicker charging capabilities, with the tradeoff being limited third party accessories at the time of the launch. But we expected that to pick up pace as the days went by and some Chinese accessory makers were quick to open up the lightning connector to replicate them and start selling affordable cables of their own.

In the U.S, a company named Junior Edison was formed so as to bring mobile charging to all these devices with a device called POP (Point of Power). This charging device came with retractable cords and is portable to conveniently carry it around. Powering the unit is a 26,000 mAh battery pack inside to charge almost every device you own with ease. The group also had a variant named POP Station planned which would allow users to plug into a nearest plug point and charge the device that way. Since this was a new and emerging group, they needed to raise funds to support the project, which is why they posted their idea on Kickstarter, eventually garnering lot of pledgers and raising funds of up to $139,170. However, it now seems like the gang at Junior Edison are preparing to refund the money to the pledgers/investors as the project has failed to take off. And this has nothing to do with the company itself, but the stringent rules put in place by Apple, apparently.

As you would expect, this new portable charging device decided to have the proprietary Apple lightning charging connector as one of its cords along with the usual USB and other charging cords to support other devices. But that’s where the problem began, it seems, as Apple wanted the charging unit to only include its lightning connector and not any other port (not even its own 30 pin accessory). So what this meant was that the gang at Junior Edison had to make this an iPhone only charging accessory, which frankly wouldn’t work as there are plenty of other devices out there which have a market for an accessory like this. Every third party accessory that supports Apple products needs prior reviewing and permission from Apple. So when Junior Edison asked for permission, Apple broke the news and the project was called off and the folks have decided to refund the money to the investors (over 1,000 of them). The company ruled out launching the POP with a standard 30-pin port and a lightning adapter as it would make no financial sense. This is because the adapters alone cost $25 (on wholesale).

Some feel this was all intentional and the developers just wanted to get some attention. Because when you look closely at the actual product, it comes with two female USB ports at the bottom. So even though there’s no retractable lightning port on board, I guess users with a lightning cable would be able to use the charging port just fine. The ability to not add a retractable lightning cable to the unit shouldn’t be enough reason to call of the entire project, which I guess makes all of this sound a little suspicious. Moreover, the CEO of Junior Edison, Jamie Siminoff has decided to refund the investors’ money on his own crowdfunding site – Christie Street. So was this just to garner attention from the investors on Kickstarter so as to make a name for himself? We hope not, because the idea shown here was really brilliant and we would have really liked the device seeing the light of the day. On the other hand, it makes us wonder about Apple’s policies where it doesn’t allow third party accessories to support both lightning and its own 30-pin connectors. For now, it is curtains on this project and investors should shortly get their money back.

Source: Kickstarter
Via: The Verge

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Antitrust charges on the way for Samsung from European Commission

More bad news for Samsung today, as the European Commission told Reuters that it may soon be hitting the Galaxy S III maker with antitrust charges. These possible anti-competitive charges come after a larger and longer investigation of Samsung carried out by the European Commission. Essentially, the European Commission wants to know if Samsung broke the EU’s competition rules by filing patent suits against Apple.

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A lot of this centers around Samsung’s standard-essential patents, which the company is required to offer fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory rates for. Earlier this week, Samsung backed down on injunction requests on a number of Apple devices, but apparently the European Commission is taking issue with the fact that Samsung is still suing for damages. “We will issue a statement of objections very soon,” Joaquin Almunia, competition chief for the European Union, told Reuters.

The European Commission will let Samsung know about any incoming charges in writing, after which time the company will be able to request a hearing in front of regulators. If the Commission decides that Samsung is in the wrong, it could impose a pretty large fine – up to 10% of Samsung’s annual turnover, to be exact. Make no mistake, that’s a lot of money, so Samsung will want to fight any antitrust charges its hit with.

Apple and Samsung have been duking it out in courtrooms around the world, which each claiming patent infringement left and right. There have been mixed results for both companies, but perhaps the biggest case here in the US ended with Samsung being told to pay Apple $1.05 billion. That certainly isn’t good, and things are bound to get at least a bit worse if the European Commission opts to hit the company with antitrust charges. Stay tuned.

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Simple Android app teased for “early” next year

Simple is a new take on banking. One that is aimed at those looking to replace their bank. And for those who have been turned off by Simple in the past because it was available only for those rocking an iOS device, you may be happy to learn that Android support is coming.

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The folks at Simple recently took to Facebook and shared the news (along with a few screenshots). Simply put, Simple is coming to Android. We have yet to learn a specific release date, however the Android app is said to be coming “early in the new year.”

Aside from not having a firm release date, the other details are just starting to come available. The folks at Simple did mention a little in terms of device support though. The app is expected to drop with support for Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) or later. Of course, we suspect those familiar with Simple and using Android will be happy with the few details that have been released.

Otherwise, for those not yet familiar with Simple we have this, they are described as not being a bank, but instead a solution for you to replace your bank. With Simple you get an account where you can deposit your money, a Simple Visa Card that you can use anywhere Visa is accepted and at ATM machines and the app which allows you to manage it all. The one catch, Simple is still in a closed beta stage and only available with an invitation.

[via Facebook]

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Dell waves goodbye to smartphone business

We don’t see too much of Dell in the smartphone space these days, and it looks like that’s only going to continue. The company has announced that it will be exiting the smartphone market entirely, as it wants to focus on its Windows PC and laptop business. Little surprise there, considering that Dell is a PC maker first, but it has dabbled in the smartphone space a few times in the past.

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Forbes reports that Dell consumer business lead Jeff Clarke announced the company’s departure from the smartphone business during the Dell World conference, saying that it takes “a lot of investments” to be successful in the highly competitive realm of smartphones. He also called out Android specifically, saying that it was difficult with the company to make money on the OS due to the fact that Android is “a content play.”

Dell had a selection of Android and Windows Phone devices on offer at one point in time, including the ill-fated 5-inch Streak, which these days could almost be considered something of a precursor to the Galaxy Note. However, there is still hope for those of you would like to see Dell try to tackle Android at some point in the future, as Clarke said that his company was still looking at Google’s mobile OS. He suggested that Dell has some Android-related tests going on in its labs, so Dell is at least still trying to see if it can come up with anything cool in the Android space.

For now, however, the focus will remain on Windows 8 and Windows RT. The company has revealed a pretty hefty line up of Windows-based machines, so we’ll see how it does when its focus is just on Windows instead of smartphones. Would you like to see Dell give Android another shot some time down the road?

[via SlashGear]

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Gyft launches for Android and is giving $10 in free cards

For better or worse, gift cards are a popular item around the holidays. Some people love them and some people hate them, however it looks like things have just been made a bit easier for those sporting an Android smartphone. The newly launched app is called Gyft and it should help those who like and also those who dislike gift cards.

The Gyft app is available by way of Google Play and currently sitting at version 1.0.1 with support for devices running Android 2.3 or later. Gyft is free to download, however depending on how you plan to use it, you may end up shelling out some money. You see, you can use Gyft to manage your gift cards, or to purchase gift cards to give to others.

And for those who have received gift cards and really dislike having to use them, you can also use the Gyft app to regift those cards. Seems like Gyft has everyone covered. As for the average user though, Gyft will allow you to stop carrying around those plastic cards and keep them all in one app on your smartphone. Even nicer, that means they will always be with you which should help during those spur of the moment shopping trips.

As a bonus, those downloading the Gyft app will be given $10 in free cards. Finally, for those wondering, the Gyft app works with “hundreds of supported retailers” including Target, Amazon, Fandango, Toys R Us, Gap, Starbucks and others. Bottom line here, many of us will likely get at least one gift card this holiday season, may as well use Gyft to manage that card.

[via Google Play]

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MobileMount+ now seeking funding on Kickstarter

If you’ve ever wished you could attach your phone to a tripod or have a simple-yet-effective stand for your tablet, then you might want to head over to Kickstarter and toss a few dollars at the MobileMount+. We’ve heard of the MobileMount before, with the original netting more than $100,000 in a Kickstarter campaign, but now it’s time for the MobileMount+ to shine. MobileMount+ is comprised of two suction cups and one threaded 1/4″ 20 ball joint, meaning that simplicity is key here.


Those suction cups allow you to, say, attach your phone to your car windshield so you can use it as a GPS without constantly having to take your eyes off the road. If you want to watch a movie on your tablet, you can stand it up with the MobileMount+, letting you watch it hands-free. Finally, the suction cups are detachable, which allows you attach the threaded ball mount onto any standard camera tripod.

It definitely sounds like a handy little piece of equipment, but manufacturer J & M Company needs your help in bringing it to market. The company has launched a Kickstarter campaign for MobileMount+, asking for $25,000. A lot of that money will be going toward tooling and mass production, and J & M Company has 59 days to go to raise the cash.

If the MobileMount+ enjoys the same success as the original MobileMount, then raising that $25,000 should be a cake walk. Early bird backers have the chance to snag a MobileMount+ for $30, which appears to be $10 off the going rate, but there are only a limited number of early bird specials available. At the time of this writing, MobileMount+ has raised $530, so it has quite a bit more left to raise. Are you planning on backing the MobileMount+?

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15 Minute Challenge: $16 Next Launcher from the GO Launcher Dev Team [VIDEO]

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A wise man once said, “You can never have too many options.” Or maybe that was just me. Anyway, that’s the beauty of the Android OS. When it comes to customizing, there are almost countless methods at an Android user’s disposal, making for devices where no 2 are ever the same. One of the easiest ways to change things up is simply to swap out your stock launcher (you know, your homescreen where you dump all your app icons) for another. Instead of releasing another of the same old traditional Android launcher you’ve come to expect, the boys at the GO Launcher Dev Team are it again. This time they’ve released a re-imagined launcher into the Google Play Store called Next Launcher.

First things first — let’s talk about that price. Next Launcher is one of a very elite group of “premium” launchers to launch in the Play Store at the $16 mark. While I’m all for paying good money for great software, you really gotta bring something new to the table to warrant box-o-Ferrero-Rocher-pricing. The GO Team attempts to accomplish this by injecting an incredible amount of flare and pizzazz into Next Launcher. But does it really make for anything new or intuitive? Well, yes and no.

Initial Impressions

Unlike TSF Shell that threw the traditional Android launcher for a loop, Next Launcher behaves very much in the same way you’d expect a typical launcher to behave. You have your homescreen, app drawer — all of which can be customized with various animations, shortcuts and widgets. Nothing new there. However, you have a bit more freedom in how to display your icons on your homescreen. Using a 2-finger gesture, icons can be rotated 360 degrees, allowing for a fun, and unique layout.

Everything in Next Launcher is fluid and animated beautifully. I haven’t seen a launcher hitting a constant 60fps since TSF Shell. But alas — that’s where the eye candy ends. The stock “theme” on Next Launcher is a sort of mix of glossy, glass looking icons with neon highlights. Yes, neon. This (aside from its ridiculous pricing) will no doubt be the biggest turn off for most Android users. I understand Matias Duarte’s “Holo UI” may not be for everyone, but for heaven’s sakes, the GO Dev Team could have gone with the traditional GO Launcher icon set/theme. Something less Fast and the Furious and more minimal. To call Next Launcher simply “inspired by” SPB Shell 3D Launcher, is an understatement. It’s clear what the Go Team was trying to accomplish here (even in pricing).

Widgets n’ Things

Like GO Launcher, Next Launcher has specific widgets and live wallpapers that will only work 100% on NL. Not yet available, the GO Team did mention that “fancy 3D widgets” will be coming soon, so we’ll have to wait and see how impressive those turn out. The first live wallpaper for NL, Next Honeycomb Live Wallpaper, is truly a sight. While you can get it to display on other (cheaper) launchers, it wont have the same special effects as when displayed through NL.

15 Minute Verdict

Of course, it’s going to take a whole lot more than fancy live wallpapers and snazzy animations to get anyone to plop down $16 on a launcher replacement. In fact, in its current state, I can honestly say there is absolutely nothing offered by Next Launcher that really deserves such a ludicrous price tag. $5? Sure. $7? Maybe. $10? Easy, tiger. $16? STAHP. While I normally love almost anything the GO Team releases in the Play Store (no, not because it’s free), when it comes to Next Launcher, your money could be better spent supporting smaller devs like Tesla Coil’s Nova Launcher.

[Next Launcher on Google Play]

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Google and Apple partnering up to purchase Kodak patents

More often than not it seems that patent related stories involve companies fighting. Well, that or trolls. But on that note, it looks like we have some patent related news that includes neither. Perhaps a bit more interesting, it is a patent related story that has Google and Apple working as partners.

The patents involved are those of Kodak. You may remember, Kodak is in the bankruptcy process. That is expected to complete in the first half of next year. But in the meantime, it is looking like Google and Apple will be coming together to purchase some patents. The report comes by way of Bloomberg who are reporting based on “people familiar with the situation.” The companies have reportedly made an offer of more than $500 million.

The interesting part here, while many would think a partnership between Google and Apple unlikely, it seems that in the world of patents — this may fairly common. In fact, it will be beneficial for both parties involved. Well, technically speaking, for all three parties involved considering Kodak can use the money.

As to the patents, they deal with the capture, manipulation and sharing of digital images. Otherwise, as many would have expected, both representatives from Google and Apple declined to offer any comment on the situation.

[via Bloomberg]

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Nationwide Google Fiber service could cost $140 billion to build out

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If you've been drooling over the thought of having Google Fiber service where you live, you're surely not alone. Since Google official rolled out the service to residents of Kansas City, people have been speculating as to when (or if) Google would ever continue to expand the service to other locations. According to new estimates by Goldman Sachs, it would cost Google a huge amount of money — about $140 billion — to roll out the service across the country.

That sounds impossibly expensive simply based on the amount of money Google has to spend, but let's consider something a bit more realistic instead. Even if it had the cash up-front, a company like Google doesn't have unlimited time and resources to roll out a nationwide network at once. If it were to begin offering Google Fiber service in other cities, it would surely be a staggered rollout. While it may not be able to afford a nationwide rollout, offering the service in a few more major metropolitan areas would be a great start.

Let's also remember that Google Fiber is actually a profitable business unit for the company. Unlike many products that Google "sells," new Fiber markets would be directly profitable as they launched. Income from new subscribers could be put right back into bringing the service to new areas. Now no one knows what Google's intentions are with its Google Fiber service, but we'd be surprised if the success of the Kansas City launch didn't compel it to look at more cities.

Source: BGR; Business Insider

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Spotify hits 1 million paid subscribers in US

We have a feeling that some of you like Spotify just as much as we do, because today the company announced a rather big milestone for the music streaming service. Today Spotify CEO Daniel Ek announced that the service has 1 million paid subscribers in the US, which is a pretty big achievement. It gets even better though, as Ek also said that there are 5 million paid subscribers worldwide.


It would seem that Spotify has taken off in a big way, as those numbers mean that Spotify has doubled its paid userbase in just one year. That certainly isn’t anything to scoff at, and we can imagine that things will keep getting better for the service for some time to come. When everything has been added up, Spotify says that it has a total of 20 million users across 17 different markets, and those users have created more than one billion playlists.

Of course, Spotify is bringing in money from each and every user, since those who are using the service for free hear advertisements occasionally between songs. It seems that Spotify has been good for artists too, as Ek said today that the company has paid out more than $500 million to the people who make the music. This seems to be a case where everyone wins in one way or another, which is great.

Since Spotify offers so much music, you might be thinking that most of it never gets played by users. Actually, the contrary appears to be true, as Ek says that 80 percent of Spotify’s catalog has been streamed. Spotify is available on the Google Play Store [download link] as well as a number of other platforms, so if you haven’t given it a spin, it might be worth checking out. Are you one of Spotify’s millions of users, or haven’t you tried it out yet?

[via SlashGear]

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Over half of all application revenue comes from top 25 developers, according to reports

According to some research recently done by Canalys, the distribution of wealth from app sales is pretty heavily skewed towards the top. According to their findings, a group of the top 25 developers rake in about 50% of all money made through Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. They reportedly made $60 million over a 20-day period at the start of November 2012. Even more interesting is that 24 of the top 25 are game developers. (Pandora was the 25th with its radio application)

The reports point out that each of those developers have multiple titles on the market, and in stores dominated by games, having more products available helps business quite a bit, apparently. Zynga, for instance, had 15 apps in the top of Apple’s store and 9 at the top of the Play Store. The correlation the report draws is that game developers with one big title, like Rovio with Angry Birds, have an easier time promoting linking new games and improving discoverability. In markets flooded with tons of applications, that discoverability goes a long way.

source: Canalys

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HTC revenues get a holiday boost, still down overall

HTC revenues were up in November thanks to a seasonal sales boost. Sales grew from NT$17.2 billion in October to NT$21.23 billion last month, a gain of 23 percent. That is good news for the company that has been bleeding money since this time last year, reporting consistently declining revenues after months of record-setting gains, but the Taiwanese manufacturer isn’t out of the woods yet.

Overall revenues were still down 31 percent from the same period last year, a reversal of fortunes that has brought the company NT$267.5 billion in sales since January. The number is nothing to scoff at, but consider that at one point in 2011, HTC brought in over NT$45 billion in a single month.

It will be interesting to see how HTC fares through the remainder of the holiday season. It will be even more interesting to see if the gains will be long term. HTC has revised their approach to handset production, choosing to focus on few handsets with a higher-quality experience while diversifying with new Windows Phone 8 options to compliment their Android lineup.

[via BGR]

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Over half of all application revenue comes from top 25 developers, according to reports

According to some research recently done by Canalys, the distribution of wealth from app sales is pretty heavily skewed towards the top. According to their findings, a group of the top 25 developers rake in about 50% of all money made through Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. They reportedly made $60 million over a 20-day period at the start of November 2012. Even more interesting is that 24 of the top 25 are game developers. (Pandora was the 25th with its radio application)

The reports point out that each of those developers have multiple titles on the market, and in stores dominated by games, having more products available helps business quite a bit, apparently. Zynga, for instance, had 15 apps in the top of Apple’s store and 9 at the top of the Play Store. The correlation the report draws is that game developers with one big title, like Rovio with Angry Birds, have an easier time promoting linking new games and improving discoverability. In markets flooded with tons of applications, that discoverability goes a long way.

source: Canalys

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