Posts Tagged Purchase
A 13-year-old with access to his parent’s iTunes account can potentially rack up a sizable bill in an afternoon of Candy Crush — a tab mom might potentially refuse to pay because she didn’t authorize the purchase. Payments company Oink has created a solution that lets kids buy what they want, but still stay within mom and dad’s budget. With the service, parents can tie a credit card to the account and set limits on exactly where funds in the account can be spent, as well as how much money can be used in a single purchase.
PSA: This is how easy it is for your kids to make additional in-app purchases, even if Google Play is password protected [VIDEO]
Earlier today, we told you guys about a New York woman suing Google over their lax 30-minute window that made it possible for her children to purchase $65 worth of in-game content after she only authorized a single purchase. It’s a pretty strange loophole, one many Android fans, let alone less tech savvy parents, probably weren’t even aware of until today.
To further illustrate how easy it can be for a child to make in-app purchases after their parent has just purchased an app or game — even if the Google Play Store is set to password restrict purchases — we decided to make our own video. If you’ve checked out some of the countless freemium games in the Play Store, you’d know that more than often, they make it exceptionally easy to purchase additional game content that runs anywhere from $1 – $100 (depending on the game).
Now, we’re not saying this lady is in the right for going after Google. We’ll let the courts decide that. What we hope to do is simply get the word out before anyone hands off their phone or tablet to their kids after they’ve just made a quick Google Play purchase. The more you know…
We have all come across games with in-app purchases, and I often wonder if it’s really all that effective. I don’t mind spending money on any app or game if it’s worth it, but when a developer designs a game that forces you to pay for something to succeed in the game, I have a problem with that. I would rather the developer give me a demo of the game for free with an option to purchase the full version or the remaining levels for a one time purchase. In-app purchases remind me of the 1-900 days in which they tried to lure lonely men into coughing a bunch of dollars and getting nothing in return. Why should I buy a special red ship that has more fire power? Let me earn it the old fashioned way.
According to a survey conducted by Swrve, it appears as though the majority of people aren’t falling for this trap. According to them, only 0.15 percent of mobile gamers contribute 50 percent of all of the in-app purchases. These people are referred to as “Whales”, but I have another name for them that probably wouldn’t be a good idea to say.
Harold Reynolds, Chief Executive of Swrve, said these “Whales” are in a sense financing the people who never drop any change. Basically the developers are profitable enough from the “Whales” that they continue to make games for the other “smart” souls. I am not sure I agree that there really is all that many people who play these games for any extended period of time and don’t pay. These type of games are so frustrating, that to me, it’s likely those that won’t spend the money stop playing them. As I mentioned previously, most of these games are impossible to succeed in unless you make in-app purchases, so if you aren’t going to pay, why play?
Swrve offered up a bunch of other stats such as 49 percent of those that make an in-app purchase will make only one purchase in a month. On the other hand, 13 percent will make five or more purchases. Most of the spending activity is within the first 24 hours of playing the game for the first time. If a player is going to make a second purchase, it is likely to be done within 1 hour and 40 minutes of the first purchase. It all comes down to the addiction, which is similar to the 1-900 scenario. The average value of an in-app purchase is $5.94, but the majority of people are spending between $1 and $5. One more interesting stat is that items that cost $50 or more account for only 0.7 percent of all purchases, but contribute to 9 percent of the total revenue.
So it doesn’t appear that in-app purchases will go away anytime soon and developers will continue to try to target the “Whales” in their marketing efforts. If they can attract more “Whales,” it will only mean more money in their pockets. It also means more crappy games for everyone else.
Now again, I don’t want anyone to get me wrong. I am for spending money with developers. I do so on a regular basis. Many times before I even try the app, but I don’t care for creating games that basically require people to over spend for something. Make a game that is playable and charge a fair price. Of course, developers will argue that most people won’t buy the game. So instead, they create a game with the free-to-play strategy only to tick off the ones that won’t fall for the gimmick. Let’s put it this way……if you make a decent game, people might actually buy it. What do you guys think about in-app purchases? Do you despise them as much as me?
source: Venture Beat
Come comment on this article: Are in-app purchases for free-to-play games effective?
Do you play games on your tablet or smartphone? If you do (and we’re willing to bet you do), a new study shows you’re probably not spending anything. If you are making in-app purchases or buying apps, you’re likely doing it quite a bit, as less than 1% of us comprise 50% of total spending.
Swrve, an analytics and app marketing firm, recently conducted a survey. In that study they found that a small percentage of us were responsible for the majority of spending, and we probably make a monthly purchase of some kind. Around 49% of us make a purchase monthly, while 13% make five or more purchases each month.
When it comes to making those purchases, we’re as addicted to spending as we are the game. The average time between the first and second purchase is just under two hours. Over half (53%) of us will make another buy within two weeks, while 13.7% rack up more than four purchases in their first two weeks. So how much are we spending? the average in-app purchase is $5.94. Purchases between $1-5 make up about 67% of spending, but purchases of $50 or more make up just under 1%. That helps bring the average up and revenue flowing; 9% of all revenue is from those massive purchases.
Swrve is going to make these “Mobile Game Monetization Reports” avaialble monthly from now on. This was their first, and it brings to light some interesting statistics about our spending habits. We’l look forward to finding out how 1% of us are going broke playing Clash of Clans over the course of 2014.
Source: Venture Beat
- Samsung spending millions on Galaxy Note Super Bowl ad
- Google Play Store trumps Nintendo, Sony in gamer spending
- Google leads in acquisitions, spending $13 billion over the past two years
- Play Store allows 30 minutes of unsupervised spending, double the App Store [Update]
- App Annie: Game app spending on the rise, digital media spending up 30%
It has taken some time for Google to get with the times and start helping people discover if the “free” app, or even paid app, they are about to get has in-app purchases or not. I know it was rather frustrating at times for me when I would install something that looked great to find out that progression would require money spent through the app.
Google made in-app purchases found in apps pretty easy to identify when browsing and installing through the Play Store on your device, but until now it wasn’t something showcased on the web version of the Play Store. Now, as you can see above, there is a nice little bit of bold text that clearly and easily identifies apps that offer such a thing.
Here is where I find myself in conflicting arguments with myself over the obviousness of displaying that a game or app has in-app purchases. Take the Angry Birds Star Wars II for example. Yes, it has in-app purchases. However, the game is completely playable without spending a penny. Here is the issue that I know fight with in my twisted brain, will more people skip great games because of the in-app purchase branding and move on to a different app, or will the general populous be smart enough to read the description and the comments to find out if the in-app purchase are too extreme and make the game unplayable?
What do you guys think? Are you more apt to skip a game, no matter how many stars and how many downloads if you see that it “Offers in-app purchases”?
Joining its sibling the Sony Xperia ZL, the Sony Xperia Z is now officially available for purchase direct from Sony’s online storefront. The handset comes unlocked and is available in a variety of colors: black, white, and purple.
Most of us have heard those horror stories about free-to-play games. They usually involve a parent handing a tablet or smartphone to a child with some free games installed. From here the child takes over and proceeds to run up a large bill on in-app purchases. This seems to be a popular strategy, and in fact it was one that was recently adopted with EA’s release of Real Racing 3.
Staying on the topic of Real Racing 3 for a moment, a representative from EA noted that the in-app opponents are a “vocal minority.” Anyway, while these games seem to be generally accepted by those doing the playing, it looks like The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in London is going to be doing some investigating. They will be looking to see if these games are pressuring the users into making in-app purchases. Or more specifically, how these in-app purchases apply to children.
The OFT has said that they are looking into whether these “games include ‘direct exhortations’ to children.” Basically, that is to say, whether they present a “strong encouragement to make a purchase, or to do something that will necessitate making a purchase, or to persuade their parents or other adults to make a purchase for them.” They key here, the OFT also made it clear they are not trying to ban games with in-app purchase.
Instead they are more concerned with how they are presented to children. At this point they are making an effort to make sure the games industry is doing what they need to comply with the relevant regulations so that children are protected. So far nothing will be changing and at the moment, the OFT is speaking with the industry and has plans to “take enforcement action if necessary.”
- Playphone Games Portal coming to Verizon Android devices in Q2
- Cut the Rope developers promise four new games this year
- Humble Mobile Bundle brings six Android games
- GameStick to launch with Shadowgun and Smash Cops
- Geomerics founder says programmers “loathe” developing games for Android
- OUYA game console ships with over 100 available games
- Gamestop expands electronics trade-in program to allow more smartphones
- GameStick Android gaming system shipments delayed
Play Store 1-Year Anniversary Sale Now Live In The US – Will Continue All Week, Here Are The Deals So Far
The Play Store sale we spotted kicking off in Australia earlier today has started hitting the US this evening, marking the 1-year anniversary of the Play Store. The deals so far are mostly songs and various in-app purchase / offer discounts, but the splash page for the promotion indicates there will be even more deals as the week goes on.
Here are the deals so far.
- In-app: free $20 gift card at Fancy
- Free track: “Sweet Jane” by The Velvet Underground
- In-app: 10% off any Hotels.com purchase made in the app
- Free book: A Quest Of Heroes
- In-app: exclusive characters in Yumby Smash
- Movie: 50% off Kung Fu Panda
- In-app: free new world in Gnome Village
- Free TV: Breaking Bad pilot episode
- In-app: savings on in-app purchases in Royal Revolt
- Free track: “All My Friends” by LCD Soundsystem
- In-app: $20 in gift cards from Gyft
Yeah, it isn’t our favorite Play Store promo, either – a lot of these are rehashes, and some of them barely qualify as ‘deals’ (who can’t find the pilot episode of Breaking Bad for free?).
- The Google Play Store Now Allows You To Buy Play Store Credit Directly From The Web
- [New Game] Judge Dredd Vs Zombies: No Man Is Above The Law, Even If He’s Already Dead
- ‘Redeem’ Option Now Shows Up In The UK Mobile Play Store, Gift Cards Likely Coming Soon
- Elusive Google Support Page Confirms Play Store Gift Cards Will Be US-Only At Launch, Reveals Available Denominations
Play Store 1-Year Anniversary Sale Now Live In The US – Will Continue All Week, Here Are The Deals So Far was written by the awesome team at Android Police.
Looking to score a new movie prior to release? The Play Store has options for that ya know. We just came across ‘Life of Pie in the Play Store for early release purchase. The movie isn’t scheduled to hit shelves until March 13th. That gives you a little time to be cooler than your neighbor. You can pick up the HD version for $14.99 and watch it across all your Android devices that can support the flick. Check out the trailer if you must.
We have heard good things about this flick from a lot of friends across the web.
Yann Martel’s ponderous adventure novel gets the big-screen treatment with this Fox 2000 adaptation helmed by director Ang Lee. The coming-of-age story surrounds the son of a zookeeper who survives a shipwreck by stowing away on a lifeboat with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena, and a Bengal tiger by the name of Richard Parker. Suraj Sharma heads up the cast as the young boy, with Gérard Depardieu, Adil Hussain, Irrfan Khan, Rafe Spall, and Bollywood actress Tabu also starring.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 isn't a new device, but the LTE version continues to find new homes. This time out, the news comes from U.S Cellular who today is making the 16GB version of the device available for purchase for $499.99, when paired with a data plan of 2GB or more. Not a small amount of money by any means, but if you want a 10-inch tablet with pen input, the Note 10.1 is still the way to go. The tablet is available to purchase both online and in retail stores.
Previously U.S. Cellular has offered the WiFi only Note 10.1 for sale, but adding the LTE version now brings the carriers LTE device portfolio up to 11.
Picking one of these up? Be sure to jump into the comments below or into the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 forums
Motorola is hoping to entice a few more users over to its devices by offering a $50 Play Store credit with a device purchase. With a mail-in rebate, users will receive back a $50 Play Store credit code to redeem. If purchasing the device online, they will automatically be submitting the proper information to receive the credit. The promotion is going until March 3rd, and includes the following devices:
- Droid RAZR M
- Droid RAZR HD, Droid RAZR MAXX HD
- Droid RAZR, Droid RAZR MAXX
- Droid 4
- Atrix HD, Atrix 2
- Photon Q LTE, Photon 4G
- Electrify M, Electrify 2, electrify
- Defy XT
So if you purchase pretty much any Motorola phone between February 18 and March 3 you should be able to claim this credit. It should also be noted also that the promotion is only available to U.S. customers. If you'd like more details on the promo — like where and how to send in the rebate form — you can hit up the source link below.
From now through March 4, Motorola is willing to hand you a $50 Google Play gift card should you decide to purchase one of their smartphones. After buying devices like the RAZR HD or RAZR M, you simply fill out a rebate form, mail it in (old school), and sit back and wait for your [...]
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Google Rolls Out Version 3 Of Android In-App Billing API – Expect IAP/Subscription Process To Become A Lot More Robust
Google today announced version 3 of the Android In-App Billing API that developers use to handle subscriptions and in-app purchases in their apps. The new API brings robustness to the notoriously unreliable asynchronous in-app purchase process, which frequently leaves you wondering why your previous purchases aren’t restoring or items you just bought are not showing up.
From what I can tell, the most important update here is the introduction of a synchronous purchase flow that no longer requires the purchase and the purchase confirmation to be handled separately, and ties them into one continuous process. As a corollary, there is now an API call to immediately get current purchases of a given user – a really important addition that would allow reliable restoration of purchases when you re-install an app.
- Google Updates In-App Purchasing APIs, Makes Them Faster, Better, Harder, Stronger And Less Likely To Lose Transactions
- Carrier Billing Comes To Android Market On AT&T – Creates Audible Drop In The Paid App Bucket
- Carrier Billing For Android Applications Without Google
- In-App Purchasing Now Open For Private Developer Testing, Launching Publicly Next Week
Google Rolls Out Version 3 Of Android In-App Billing API – Expect IAP/Subscription Process To Become A Lot More Robust was written by the awesome team at Android Police.
The official ASUS Shop website in the U.K. has just put its dock for the Nexus 7 available for purchase for £24.99. Well, sort of. This fits in nicely with previous rumors and pre-order pages we've seen that pegged the release for mid-January, but there's a catch here. Although the product shows up when searching for it directly or browsing through its listing for all Nexus 7 accessories, any link that you use to go to it or view the product description either results in an error or redirect to the home page.
(Hi, everybody! Phil here. The direct link to the dock works fine for me. That's why there's a bit of confusion. But since it works for me, I assume the problem is with the rest of you. Now, back to our story.)
If you're bold and want to go straight from the search listing to putting in your cart for purchase, the Nexus 7 dock will set you back that £24.99 (plus £6.00 shipping.) When moving to check out with the dock though, it lists a delivery delay of two weeks as well. We're not entirely sure what's going on here, but if we had to make a suggestion we'd say wait this one out a day or two and see if things get ironed out over at ASUS Shop.
Source: ASUS Shop UK; Thanks, @SteveEdson!
NVIDIA’s apparently still not out of news from its CES 2013 presser — the company just unveiled the i500 Soft Modem chip. The soft modem, which is the fruit of the company’s purchase of Icera and is utilized with Tegra 4, is a baseband processor that can do 1.2 trillion operations per second and is reprogrammable with software to work with a lot of different networks. The modem, which is 40 percent smaller than a conventional baseband chip, is sampling to manufacturers this month.
After 14 months since the release of Samsung Galaxy R in Indian market, owners can now update their device to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) as Samsung started the roll out a couple of days ago. All bug fixes, performance boosters and new features are packed into a 239MB package. It is, therefore, recommended for owners to have stable and fast internet connection as it may take several minutes to finish downloading the package.
Galaxy R was released in India in October 2011 running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, originally. In the same month, Google officially announced Ice Cream Sandwich. The anticipation for a more stable and better operating system started since then. Consequently, Galaxy R owners in the United States and other regions started receiving this very same update in August of 2012 but Indian owners were left hanging and wanting for it.
Samsung Galaxy R, otherwise known in other regions as Galaxy Z, was released packed with impressive specs at the time. It is powered by Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset with dual-core processor clocked at 1GHz plus a complementary 1GB RAM. Basically, it is a powerful device and even very much capable of running the latest Android 4.1/4.2 Jelly Bean firmware without problems. While the ICS update rollout is good news for majority of Galaxy R owners in India, it also means they have to wait several months for possible JB update.
It also shows that Samsung has always been unenthusiastic in releasing updates for devices outside “flagship” category. Or, at least, this is how owners of Galaxy R feel. Recently, though, the South Korean manufacturer assured Samsung community that majority of its devices will be updated to latest firmware. So, let’s see about that.
The Samsung Galaxy R Android 4.0 ICS update can be downloaded over-the-air or via Samsung KIES. For OTA update, owners are advised to head to Settings => About phone => Software updates to manually initiate update search.
Those who prefer to use KIES will have to download the client from Samsung’s website and install it to their computer. They need to connect their device to the computer where KIES is installed to pull down updates.
So far, there is no information if Samsung Galaxy R will receive a software bump to Jelly Bean. But as far as specs are concerned, the device is much able to run whatever version of Android you throw at it. So, we just hope it won’t take a year or so before Samsung would give us information about it.
LG Optimus G comes packed with 13-megapixel camera sensor (8MP in some markets). While still shots taken by its snapper are quite impressive, the video recording might come a little short of what’s expected from the sensor that promises 1080p@30fps quality. Surely, it wouldn’t hurt to know some workaround that could help improve the quality a bit.
It’s a good thing there are thousands of third-party developers out there who work several hours finding ways how to make things better. That said here is one workaround shared by an XDA developer who identified himself with a username _Epic.
Disclaimer: This workaround to improve the quality of video recording of LG Optimus G’s camera involves having to edit or alter a certain system file. There are possibilities that it may cause problems to the device. If you are willing to take that risk, it’s on you. However, you can neither blame The Droid Guy nor the developer for any damages this short guide may cause to your device.
To improve the video recording of LG Optimus G, the owner needs to edit some lines or replace a system file called media_profiles.xml. The developer behind this workaround said some values inside the file have been changed. Here are some changes done:
1) Increased 1080p bitrate to 20mbps
2) Increase audio bitrate to 320kbps for both 720p and 1080p
3) Changed audio channels to 2 for 1080p
4) Doubled the image decoding memory cap to 40mb
5) Increased all image encoding quality values to 100
If you’re okay with these values, then there nothing more to do than to download the custom file (media_profiles.xml).
Just before you take the first step, make sure you have created a Nandroid backup of your current ROM so you can always revert to your previous working system.
Step 1: Download media_profiles.xml (link here) and copy it into the root directory of your device’s internal memory.
Step 2: Using a file browser like ES File Explorer or Root Explorer, move/copy the xml file to the /system/etc folder.
Step 3: Ensure your system is mounted RW (you can find the option “mount system read write“).
Step 4: Once you copied media_profiles.xml into /system/etc folder, you will be prompted to confirm if you want to overwrite the existing file. Just choose Yes.
Reportedly, there is a noticeable difference between using the stock media profiles xml file and the custom one. For some, it is worth the risk but what do you think of it?
[source: XDA Developers]
The Google Nexus 7 is one of the premier budget tablets in the market right now, and with good reason. It has been available since July and until recently it was the undisputed king of budget tablets. However, if there is something that has bothered users over the months with the Nexus 7, it’s the limited stock. Well, its stock issues aren’t as widespread as the Nexus 4 or Nexus 10, but one couldn’t say that the Nexus 7 was available for purchase at any given time. This is where tablets like the iPad Mini and the Kindle Fire HD swooped in and made the most of the opportunity at hand. This was the case since the past few days, as all the variants of the Nexus 7 appeared to be out of stock. But that has changed today, as the Google Play Store has now listed the Nexus 7 as available in all three variants. Only yesterday, we reported about the Nexus 10 getting back in stock on the Google Play Store and it is good news that even the Nexus 7 is back live now. Sadly, the same cannot be said about the Nexus 4.
As the three Nexus devices come from different manufacturers, it’s hard for Google to have them at stock all the time. However, it is the companies’ responsibility to stock up and mass produce devices which are in such high demand. There are no exact sales figures for either of the tablets, but the devices certainly have been popular with everybody. So it would behoove manufacturers to provide for the growing demand for these tablets.
Regardless, it’s now up to Google and the manufacturers to take care of the stocks, at least until the next line of tablets arrive. This I think will be an ideal time to grab a Nexus 4 (if the stocks issue is sorted out by then), as there will be lesser demand for the device when newer and fancier droids show up in the market. As for the Nexus 7, the low end 16GB version will now take 1-2 weeks to ship to your location, while the 32GB (both Wi-Fi only and Cellular variants) will ship in 3-5 business days. We recommend you shell out a little more and get either of the 32GB variants, especially if you’re the impatient type. Storage isn’t that big an issue as users can always add external USB storage devices using a USB OTG cable. Let’s hope the tablet remains in stock for at least another two weeks, so as to not make it another blunder like the Nexus 4.
While we are expecting Polaroid to unveil an Android powered camera during CES, it looks like they will also be showing off an Android tablet. This is far from the first we have heard from Polaroid in terms of tablets, this one however, is designed with kids in mind. Which really just means that the tablet has a durable exterior as well as some other kid friendly features.
That being said, the Polaroid “kids tablet” is said to have been specifically designed for children with features to include a side and rear bumpers, parental controls and a safe web browser. Polaroid is also including an exclusive App Shop which will contain a mix of free and paid apps that are kid-friendly. Otherwise, those making the purchase can expect some pre-loaded interactive children’s books as well as NOOK for Android with Dr. Seuss and Smithsonian books.
Aside from the kid-friendly features, the tablet will be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with hardware to include an 800 x 480 display resolution, 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, an SD card slot, Wi-Fi, a 3500 mAh battery and 2 megapixel rear-facing camera.
Polaroid will have the kids tablet on display during CES, however that aside, those interested in making a purchase can do so now by way of the Polaroid website. In addition, the tablet will be available in Kohl’s retail stores this month. Lastly, the tablet will set you back $149.99.
Motorola Droid Razr M HD rumors and speculations surfaced recently following reports that the company is planning to release a follow up of the device it has released in September last year. While we are tempted to believe Motorola Mobility is planning to release a better and more powerful device, rumors suggest only the display and battery might get a bump.
The rumor mill started on December 28th when Phone Arena published a report showing alleged specs of Droid Razr M HD from an anonymous source. Motorola has yet to confirm all rumors surrounding the new device whether or not they are true. Now let’s try to take a closer look at important factors to determine how much change the new device might bring.
Motorola Droid Razr M HD Hardware
Motorola Droid Razr M HD is believed to pack Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960 chipset with a dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz. This is the very chipset the company used for Droid Razr M so apparently we cannot expect even a slight improvement in the processing power of the new device. There is also no difference in the amount of RAM and internal memory Razr M HD might get; 1GB RAM, 8GB ROM and 32GB microSD card slot.
Motorola Droid Razr M HD Display
This time around, Motorola would like to use TFT LCD (Thin Film Transistor Liquid Crystal Display) technology for the display panel of the new device. Compared to Super AMOLED technology, this one has been proven to be more energy-efficient. There is also an undying debate which of these two technologies offers better display. Majority of male owners prefer LCD because it’s cleaner, clearer and natural. Female smartphone lovers, however, have tendency to choose AMOLED display because it’s brighter and colorful.
The screen size is believed to be a bit bigger than the previous model at 4.5 inches while featuring much higher resolution at 720 x 1280 pixels. This would give owners pixel density of up to 326ppi. The panel would still be capacitive and support multi-touch with light and proximity sensors in tow.
Motorola Droid Razr M HD Battery
A battery pack with 3300mAh power is said to be used for the new device. Instead of using Li-Ion, Motorola uses Li-Polymer battery cell this time; an indication it is trying to make the battery lasts longer. Basically, Droid Razr M HD gets a battery that is 130% larger than the previous model. There are a lot of differences between Lithium Ion and Lithium Polymer batteries and if you want to know about them, we advise you to visit this article by Dan Hagopian.
Furthermore, Motorola Droid Razr M HD is believed to be released with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as the native operating system, although it is upgradable to version 4.2.
Motorola Mobility has yet to issue an official statement regarding this rumor and perhaps that’s the time we can speculate on the price range. For now, these are the information we have about Droid Razr M HD and they must be taken with a pinch of salt.
[source: Phone Arena]
Kobo's latest Android tablet is a marked step up from previous efforts, but does it make for a compelling purchase in an increasingly crowded space?
The small tablet space is becoming increasingly populated of late. The Google Nexus 7 undoubtedly sets the bar pretty high, but recent months have seen respectable releases from Amazon, Acer and on the other side of the fence, Apple. Now, along comes Kobo. A Canadian company better known for e-Readers and their eBook store, they have dipped their toe in the Android tablet space before.
The Kobo Vox wasn't the greatest tablet on the market by any stretch of the imagination. Quite chunky, a less than impressive touch response and Gingerbread sadly overshadowed a cheap, and — unlike Amazon's Kindle Fire — fully Google Certified tablet. Fast forward though, and things are quite different.
First unveiled to a small group of press in Berlin at the annual IFA conference, the Kobo Arc is the company's latest attempt at an Android based, content focused tablet device. Immediately it was clear that this was something much more interesting than its predecessor. Better software, better hardware, and a competitive price point. But, looks can be deceiving, as we all know. We've had one for a little while now, so click on past the break and we'll take you through it.
Looking for a deal on a portable charger? I mean, come on, you can never have too many. If so, we found a pretty great one on Amazon tonight, and it’s from a company whose chargers we personally recommend: New Trent. Here’s the deal – add both of the following chargers to your cart – the IMP120D and the IMP90D. Then, at checkout, enter the promo code “33ITURBO” to apply the discount. The total price of the IMP90D (the 9000mAh charger) will be slashed from your purchase – a savings of about $55.
Pretty easy, and a pretty great deal if you’re looking for some more juice on the go.
- [Deal Alert] Get A 12000mAh New Trent Portable Charger For Just $53.50
- [Deal Alert] Get New Trent’s 7100mAh Battery Pack And iTorch 5200mAh Pack Together For Just $55.00 With Free Shipping From Amazon
- [Deal Alert] Trent iFuel 5000mAh Portable Charger For $25 (75% Off) From Daily Steals
- [Deal Alert] Get Two 5000mAh New Trent iFuel Portable Smartphone Chargers For $40 With Coupon Code
[Deal Alert] Buy A 12000mAh New Trent Portable Charger ($77), Get A 9000mAh Charger Free was written by the awesome team at Android Police.
Google has now stopped taking orders for the 16GB Nexus 4. Again. The phone’s listing now just says “SOLD OUT” in big red letters with no option to place a buy, no doubt as a result of the ongoing stock and ordering problems that recetly led the boss of Google to apologise to those stuck in the stock queue awaiting delivery.
Obviously the 8GB version of the Nexus 4 is still SOLD OUT as well, with the smaller, cheaper model not reappearing for purchase since selling out in minutes when it first went on sale back in November.
It really is an enormous mess, and it’s very hard to believe Google didn’t expect a massively discounted, cutting-edge Android model to be this highly sought after.
Tax may apply in your respective state, so be sure to check the total before you confirm your purchase (there was no sales tax in CA for me). Even with tax, you’re probably saving some money anyway, so it’s a worthy buy.
- [Update: It's Gone] 32GB Nexus 7 w/ Official Case $239 Shipped (Except NJ)
- ASUS Nexus 7 Desktop Pogo Dock Up for Pre-Order At B&H For $39.99 [Updated]
- [Deal Alert] Adorama Offering 8GB 1GHz And 16GB 1.5GHz Archos 80 G9 Dual-Core Tablets For $250 Each (That’s $50 And $80 Off, Respectively)
- [Deal Alert] 32GB Nexus 7 $229 At eBay Daily Deals, Free Shipping And No Tax Outside Of New Jersey
[Deal Alert] 32GB Nexus 7: $229.99 Shipped On eBay Daily Deals (Again) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.
The year 2013 is just hours away, folks, and another crazy year of excitement and fun should keep us on our toes. We like to do a bit of foreshadowing, though, so the team went ahead and came up with a list of what we think might transpire in the unpredictable land of Android this coming year. Read ahead, and remember that these are just predictions with a dash of wishful thinking — we’d be delighted to see half this list come true. Without further ado… read on!
Battery buster: out with the thin, in with the new (Rob Jackson)
A lot has changed since the first Android devices. The Motorola Droid’s 3.7-inch screen was once considered enormous. Tablets in general were seen as a luxury and 7-inch tablets viewed as a niche market. Hardware keyboards have all but gone the way of the dodo, replaced by responsive 4.5-inch+ touch screens that have rendered keyboard phones endangered.
But one common complaint has transcended almost all of these form factors: poor battery life. Rather than relying on “thinnest phone in the world” type marketing, manufacturers will offer more phones with slightly added heft but incredible battery life. Combined with improvements in battery technology, the typical Android user will finally go a full 24-hours without considering it a miracle.
Google TV gaming controller (Edgar Cervantes)
Android and Chrome OS merge for ultimate PC OS (Quentyn Kennemer)
We’ve been dreaming of Android-based computers for quite some time now. Some smaller companies partially fulfilled those dreams as early as 2009, though Android was rough around the edges for anything other than phones. It still had us wet at the tongue as we longed for a day where Android could become a viable PC operating system. Google had a different vision, obviously — that vision turned out to be Chrome OS.
The search giant wanted a netbook OS that could rely on the cloud and web-based apps to satiate those who might miss typical apps, but the reality is that only gets you so far. Trust me, being told that I can’t use an “app” because I don’t have an internet connection is frustrating. Yes, it’s true that we often have access to a WiFi connection at places where we tend to whip out portable computers out, but web-only solutions can’t satisfy the need of everyone.
I predict Chrome OS will continue to struggle to break ground, and Google will finally look to merge it with Android. There’s no good reason why it couldn’t happen. For starters, there’s already a Chrome app on Android. While that implementation of the browser might not fully support plugins and web apps we imagine it can’t be that hard to let the two live in harmony inside some sort of sandbox.
Technical feasibility aside, the marriage of Android and Chrome OS can only help Google realize their dream of being on literally any type of device it wants to be on. You get the backing of the familiarity that comes along with Android and the Google Play Store and a multi-window experience we’ve always longed for, all the while still providing an excellent browser that delivers ad dollars right through Google Search — why not?
Google and Samsung make a Nexus TV (Rob Jackson)
An awful lot has been said about Google’s lack of dedication to Google TV, an Android based platform with tons of potential that has yet to catch on. Most critics blame Google for an absence of effort, and the abrupt launch and demise of the Nexus Q home entertainment device in 2012 added a mysterious uncertainty to the Google TV saga.
In 2013 all of that will change when Google announces the Nexus TV by Samsung at Google IO, made available in time for the holidays. Launched simultaneously with peripheral accessories based on Android Open Accessory, a redesigned UI, and new content partnerships, Samsung will offer a Galaxy inspired TV experience that will quickly lead the new age of internet connected television.
Google fails to release Android@Home light bulbs… AGAIN (Edgar Cervantes)
Google and Rayban bring Project Glass to retail (Chris Chavez)
With the first wave of Google Glass landing in developers’ hands in 2013, I think Google will have some time on their hands to focus on the other portion of Glass most consumers are most worried about — design. Sure looking like a Trekkie is fun for — oh, I don’t know… 5 minutes — but once you’re out and about in the real world, nobody wants to look like a total doofus. That’s why I think Google will be working on a fashionable version of Google Glass paired with Rayban that allows the eye wear to almost completely blend in Google Glass, possibly even integrating with it. Couple this with Rayban’s ad team, and they’ll maybe even be able to sell a pair or two.
RIM throws in the towel on Blackberry (Rob Jackson)
The downfall of the Blackberry brand has been well documented: an outdated OS, an archaic internet experience, and disastrous mismanagement have brought a once proud brand to its knees. The company’s remaining gasps of breathe exist in reliable security and their related success with corporate and government entities that can’t or won’t afford the cost of switching.
With value quickly diminishing, RIM will seek a buyer in 2013, hoping to bail out stock holders and management alike. Noting the failed HP purchase of WebOS, rivals Apple and Google will stay on the sidelines. Instead, Microsoft will acquire the company in an attempt to regain enterprise market share, but the purchase will fail to move the needle until 2014, when it’s looked back upon as a success.
Nokia ends Microsoft partnership to embrace Android (Chris Chavez)
Nokia came out the gate swinging this year with a handful of sexy, well designed handsets. There’s only one problem: they’re playing for the wrong team. As much as Nokia’s CEO pretends Windows Phone is the superior mobile OS (he’s either getting paid to say that, or he’s delusional) dismal sales in 2013 will force the once great handset OEM to make some changes, one of those being Android. Say what you will about Elope, he makes some beautiful devices — ones that would look even better with Android running on them.
Google Wallet dies at the hand of ISIS (Quentyn Kennemer)
Google Wallet was poised to be the end-all, be-all solution for the future of mobile payments, but one thing stood in its way: a band of very powerful carriers. Sprint was the only American carrier to get on-board with Google for the NFC payment service, but the other three biggies stateside had other plans.
When Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile banded together to support ISIS they made it clear that they believed Google didn’t hold the answer to the future of payments. Why? We can’t say for sure. Some believe the resistance is due to Google not willing to give carriers a big cut of the pie for payments made. ISIS allows the carriers to scrape a more generous amount off the top, and since business is always about money that is likely the biggest factor.
Google’s done really well to start out as it eventually supported all major credit cards and has some very big names on its partners list, but the mobile payments scene is still fresh enough for ISIS to make an impact and I don’t know if Google can withstand the heat. After all, the biggest carrier in the mix — Verizon — is actively blocking Google Wallet by denying access to the secure element of its devices, and that is perhaps the most damning thing of all.
WiFi Charging will finally take off (Edgar Cervantes)
Google WiFi: Free Hotspots Everywhere (Quentyn Kennemer)
As the world looks to become more connected than it already is (is that even possible?) Google will most certainly look to capitalize on a nice opportunity. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them strive to build the first major network of public WiFi hotspots that can be accessed for the low, low price of “free.” Public WiFi access is nothing new, per se, but the few options out there are government-built, as slow as molasses and offer spotty services, at best.
Attaching its name to a wide-scale (I’m talking about national) collection of free, reliable hotspots would only help Google solidify its already-dominant position in the world of web technology. Google doesn’t stand to gain much at first glance, but if you look a bit deeper you might find it’s something it would actually benefit from.
Google’s MO has always been to encourage and enable everyone to hit the ground running with Google Searches no matter where they are and what devices they have. Some people are more cautious about doing any of that on their phones thanks to the advent of capped data, and many people would love to use their WiFi-only tablets while they’re out and about but loath having to pay for overpriced hotspot options from their carrier of choice. I predict Google will solve that problem, and they’ll be paid back by the thousands of ads you’ll view over your new public access points.
ASUS and Google concoct the Nexus Padfone (Chris Chavez)
Besides quad-core phones finally hitting the mainstream in 2012, one of the best ideas to hit Android was the convertible ASUS Padfone (and its successor, the Padfone 2). With specs soon hitting a ceiling (what’s next after 1080p phones, 4K?) I think Google will snatch the opportunity to shake the tech world upside down, making the next Nexus a Padfone. Consumers will go nuts, everybody will win. Well, except Apple that is. They’ll be left sitting on their hands, looking for more basic ideas to patent.
What about you?
Like we said before, these are just predictions — they’re not meant to be taken as gospel. We just think some of these things have a pretty decent chance of going down in the new year, though we wouldn’t be surprised if this list was more hit or miss. As unpredictable as the world around us is it’s fun to just sit back and daydream every now and then. Why not join in on the fun with us by giving your predictions in the comments section below? Perhaps we can revisit this post on December 31st, 2013 and see just how insane we all turned out to be. Have a happy new year!
It’s Christmas season and many people are getting new gadgets either as presents or through personal purchase. But one thing is for sure, most of us possess some older device that can now be considered obsolete or unwanted. Television sets, old computers, or tablets can be packaged as gifts, sold, donated or recycled. Whatever we do, we need to get rid of them smartly.
One important rule of thumb though: always ensure that any personally identifiable information are wiped off clean from the device.
Trading for maker/retailer credit
One of the most practical things to do with older gadgets is to trade them for credits as most of the major electronic stores have good trade-in offers that provides store credit for future purchases.
A good thing to do first is to check with the gadget maker to determine what are the prices being offered. For instance, Apple has a Reuse and Recycling program that users can avail so they get credits in Apple Store if they trade-in their old iPhones, iPads, iPods, and computers. Alternatively, wireless carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon has programs in place to buy back old phones in exchange for store credit.
Amazon also offers a similar service in their trade-in site. The site offers to buy back old Kindles and other electronic devices like video games, movies, and music. Users will be given an Amazon.com gift card that they can use to buy any product on Amazon’s main e-commerce site.
Established electronic retailers like Game Stop, Target, Radio Shack, and Best Buy also have their own trade-in programs in exchange for store credits. Customers can trade-in their tablets, computers, TVs, and other electronics.
Selling for cash
The most convenient way to get of gadgets is selling them online. The money one gets depends on how much time and effort are dedicated for the venture though. One can easily fall to being caught up looking for the best price for an old smartphone or iPad, and before one realizes it he or she has already wasted a significant amount of vacation time wrangling to get that $50 price.
Doing transactions online in sites like Amazon, eBay, or Craigslist offer both pros and cons, though most of the time one usually gets good prices. However, signing up and creating a listing usually requires a good chunk of one’s holiday vacation time, not to mention dealing with flaky buyers.
Technology sells quickly but also depreciates just as fast so one can expect that a good old iPad 2 purchased a year earlier for $500 will more or less only sell at possibly around $300 now. One can get a good idea about how much an item costs online by looking at past eBay auctions for the same exact device. Try searching for the name of the device then select “Completed Listings” on the Show Only menu page, then click the auction tab on top. Usually, the condition of the device commands the price. For instance, an unopened or unused Nexus 7 still in the box can fetch for up to $251, though the same device with a cracked screen only asks for $81.
Pricenomics.com is a handy site that provides a good picture of the average price of a certain device after being sold online for some time.
There are other more user friendly selling sites but do not offer higher prices for electronic devices. One such sites is Gazelle.com, which offers to buy back used Apple devices and other third party handsets. Old cellphones may still pitch in some cash by going to ReCellular. NextWorth takes old iPads and iPhones and other third party e-readers, cameras, gaming consoles, etc.
Buy back kiosks are blossoming all across the country too. EcoATM can check a device and provides a good price depending on the gadget’s condition. If a deal is reached, a device can be dropped in in exchange for cash on the spot.
Donate for a change
Selling an old iPad or computer for a hundred bucks may not get one far but a local library or school can benefit much for having more working stations. There are countless ways to donate old devices, ranging from local charities to more established programs.
Dell and Goodwill are cooperating in coming up with their Reconnect program that takes donated PCs at some Goodwill sites. The official website of Reconnect program gives a wide range of items that can be accepted in select locations. The Salvation Army also takes older electronics and computers.
Some local community centers or schools also accept used gadgets. AmericanCellPhoneDrive.org will provide a good list of local and national organizations that takes old phone donations.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Cell Phones for Soldiers, as well as the 911 Cell Phone Bank also accepts old cellphones to help in their many charitable projects.
Help the environment
Some older device may not even get a price at all, especially if they are all too damaged. Thrashing them won’t do any good, but recycling would. Many governments now offer options how to dispose electronics properly. Checking one’s local community center for drop off locations is a good idea. Recycling keeps unhealthy chemicals from being thrown in landfills and saves natural resources by minimizing mining and lowering the effects of pollution coming from factories. Batteries are ideally recycled separately.
Most electronics makers including Samsung Electronics, Apple Inc, and Sony also offer their own recycling programs for their old gadgets.
Best Buy will also recycle old phones for free. Staples and Office Depot may ask a small processing fee for recycling an old gadget.
If for some reason our reviews weren’t enough to help you make your next smartphone or tablet purchase, feel free to check out this new video series that Verizon uploaded this morning. Each video runs about 2-minutes long and covers all of the top features of their most popular smartphones. You’ll see highlights for the [...]
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