Posts Tagged storm

Sony Xperia Z spotted early on CES show floor

Sony Xperia Z spotted early on CES show floor

The Sony Xperia Z has seen its fair share of pre-CES leaks, so it comes as no surprise to us that the 5-inch, 1080p smartphone is ready to take the show by storm at tomorrow’s press conference. We’ve been waiting for some real-world evidence of the device’s existence, however, and a tipster provided us with just that: a shot of the Z as it appears in Sony’s booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center. We didn’t receive any specs, but this is as good an indicator of its impending launch as any we’ve seen so far. Regardless, it won’t be too long before we get the full scoop from the horse’s mouth.

[Thanks, Anonymous]

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Polaroid Announces A New 7" Tablet For Kids That You Should Not, Under Any Circumstance, Even Considering Buying

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Well, it’s CES time again – time for manufacturers to show off what they’ve been working on for the last several months in hopes of coaxing you into opening your wallet to them. Normally, we get a slew of fantastic, exciting, and innovative devices in the CES storm; however, there are also a few that just aren’t worth even considering. This new Polaroid tablet for kids is one of them.

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NEEDS MOAR BEZEL!

You may or may not have already heard about it today. For those who haven’t, here’s the skinny: it’s a 7″ tablet with a display resolution of 800×480, half a gig of RAM, a 1GHz single-core processor, 8GB of storage, a 2MP rear shooter, and Android 4.0.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Polaroid Announces A New 7" Tablet For Kids That You Should Not, Under Any Circumstance, Even Considering Buying was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Engadget Mobile Podcast 163 – 1.2.2013

Engadget Mobile Podcast 163 - 1.2.2013

Can you hear that? That’s the calm before the storm. The fiery, relentless, gadgety storm that is CES. While we wait to see what what mobile delights the show brings us, we’ve a few things already in the bag to discuss. So bring in the garden furniture, baton down the hatches and tune in to this week’s mobile podcast.

Hosts: Myriam Joire (tnkgrl), Brad Molen

Producer: James Trew
Music: TychoCoastal Brake (Ghostly International)

Hear the podcast

Continue reading Engadget Mobile Podcast 163 – 1.2.2013

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Engadget’s CES 2013 Preview: Smartphones

With CES looming like an electrically charged storm of news and announcements, it’s time for us to give you our best bets on what you’ll see come January. During the month of December, we’ll bring you a series of CES preview posts, forecasting what you can expect when the news deluge begins. For more of what’s to come, check out our hub.

Engadget's CES 2013 Preview Smartphones

It goes without saying that smartphones are now an integral part of the consumer electronics industry, and each January plenty of them are exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. While many companies are understandably silent about their plans for the massive trade show, we’ve been able to gather a pretty solid idea of what we can expect to see as the show descends upon us. Join us after the break as we tell you what types of products will delight or depress us at next month’s event.

Continue reading Engadget’s CES 2013 Preview: Smartphones

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Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery now on Play Store

This quirky action/adventure game went down a storm when it appeared on Android as part of the most recent Humble Bundle package – now you can pick it up direct from the Play Store.

Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery is an odd little thing that’s been out on iOS for some time, giving you a stick-man lead character, retro pixel art design and an extremely smart and atmospheric soundtrack…

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android-sworcery-2

…but it doesn’t really come across well in static screen shots. Watch some of the developer’s videos to see it looking much smarter. Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery costs £1.25 and is on Android here.

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LG Optimus Vu Has Apparently Sold 1 Million Units

LG Optimus Vu 2

The LG Optimus Vu is a little known handset, especially after the Galaxy Note took the world by storm in 2011. Interestingly, the device is also a phablet and features a slightly smaller display with a rather strange aspect ratio (4:3). The device packs all the goodies/bloatware that come with an LG device, and wasn’t a huge success in the market. But LG doesn’t think so, with the manufacturer claiming that over 1 million units of the smartphone have been sold so far. It has taken a little over nine months for the smartphone to reach this status, while the Galaxy Note II has done this in just 90 days. The problem with the Optimus Vu was that it arrived shortly after the original Galaxy Note did in 2011 and the Note stood as a colossus against every other competitive offering, with the Optimus Vu being one of them. LG also launched a successor to the Optimus Vu shortly after the first gen Vu launched, and that was known as the Optimus Vu II. This was launched in September 2012, so LG basically refreshed the original Optimus Vu in a matter of six months, so as to remain competitive in the market.

It is very possible that LG has taken into account sales numbers of both the devices to come up with the estimate, which makes sense. Samsung however has absolutely no competition from the likes of the Optimus Vu and the rest of the phablets out there. Although, entries of devices like the Huawei Ascend Mate, Oppo Find 5 might be a cause for concern.  It goes without saying that people have taken a particular liking towards Samsung’s offerings over LG’s and that has been the case since the past few years now. We expect the trend to continue in the coming days, even as LG prepares to launch its 1080p smartphone in the market.

A sale of over a million units for a single smartphone over a period of 90 days is a remarkable achievement. Sadly for LG, its sales haven’t been the best in the market. Even flagship smartphones like the Optimus 4X HD and the Optimus 3D Max failed to take off after the announcement at MWC last year. It is hoped that the company’s upcoming flagship could change the fortunes for the company. The company brags of its rich IPS panels, which provide decent clarity compared to standard LCD panels. So this could be instrumental in the device’s success in the market.

Source: MK (Translated)
Via: Phone Arena

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OUYA Developer Unit Gets Unboxed, People Freak Out Over Developer Unit

Remember OUYA? The crowdfunded Android-based gaming console that took the Kickstarter world by storm back in July? It’s inching closer towards reality, as developer units have begun to ship, prompting the OUYA team to do their own official unboxing for the world to see.  As noted in the video, the developer unit doesn’t ship with [...]

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Download: Android Winter Wonderland Snowball Fight Wallpaper

The Android Foundry has posted up yet another new Android-inspired winter wallpaper to help your phone live out any snow-filled fantasies it may have. Thanks to the winter storm that blanketed much of the central U.S. before taking on the east coast, this is also very fitting, in a cold, dark, manner. Android snowball fight! [...]

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Google and Motorola building their own ‘X-Phone’ according to reports

According to some interesting reports today from the Wall Street Journal, Google and Motorola are teaming up to take the smartphone world by storm. As if Android already hasn’t done just that, We’re now hearing Google’s designing a brand new device named internally as the X-Phone to truly take over Apple and Samsung in the smartphone world.

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This news has literally just broke a matter of minutes ago, so hopefully we’ll be able to dig up tons of details and additional information in the coming days or weeks. The report also states that Motorola’s current popular line of Android and DROID smartphones won’t be replaced, and this will be another line all together. Sounds exciting.

We’ve been saying the words “Motorola DROID Nexus” ever since Google acquired Motorola, but it sounds like this will be the result instead. That isn’t all either. They’re also working on a project called the ‘X Tablet’ as well, now that the X Phone is nearly reached its final stages. Yup, WSJ said the X Phone is in the final stages, which means we could be seeing or hearing more very soon. I’m getting excited already!

Reports suggest Google’s own product manager Lion Ron has been heading up this project, and was previous in charge of Google’s mapping attack. Which as we know has been extremely successful to say the least. Motorola’s new CEO Dennis Woodside declined to comment on the matter, but hopefully we hear more. According to the Wall Street Journal plenty of next-gen technology has been looked into, and could possibly be inside this new flagship super-phone. Talks of bendable displays, ceramic frames that are extremely durable, longer battery life and tons of “evolutionary” features. Although it’s nothing we haven’t heard before. I’m excited, but we might want to take this all with a grain of salt.

Stay tuned for more details! Drop us your thoughts and comments below.

[via Wall Street Journal]

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Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery now on Play Store

This quirky action/adventure game went down a storm when it appeared on Android as part of the most recent Humble Bundle package – now you can pick it up direct from the Play Store.

Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery is an odd little thing that’s been out on iOS for some time, giving you a stick-man lead character, retro pixel art design and an extremely smart and atmospheric soundtrack…

android-sworcery-1

android-sworcery-2

…but it doesn’t really come across well in static screen shots. Watch some of the developer’s videos to see it looking much smarter. Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery costs £1.25 and is on Android here.

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Tablet Ownership Among Americans Has Doubled Since 2011

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The average American tech user has evolved in so many ways over the course of the decade. Especially with the emergence of new devices with different form factors, people want to get their hands on the latest and the greatest device out there. And tablets are no different. Although the concept of tablets were taken seriously post the arrival of the iPad in 2007, the idea pretty much existed all along. But today, as we near 2013, tablets have pretty much taken the markets by storm. And according to a new survey conducted among 60,000 Americans by Forrester Research, tablet ownership has doubled in 2012. Out of the 60,000 Americans that took part in the survey, a total of 19% apparently owned a tablet.

The survey included people from the ages of 18 and up, so that covers a wide range of Americans. Unsurprisingly, it turns out that the youth were among the most excited about tablets, while people aging from 47 and up were the least likely to own a tablet, but the number among them has doubled from 2011. Of course these stats cover only the U.S. and not the entire world, so the numbers could change elsewhere depending on the regions. But this gives us an idea as to how technology has evolved in the past few years, especially with Google’s new budget tablet arriving this year along with the flurry of iPads (iPad 3, iPad 4 and the iPad Mini). It won’t be wrong to say that Google’s offering has made tablets more attractive to the users. Although Amazon’s Kindle Fire existed in the market since 2011, it wasn’t quite supported by Google and still isn’t. Which is why see the Nexus 7 score against Amazon’s offering.

The survey further reported that over 84% of Americans go online every day. That number shouldn’t be surprising at all, and I’m sure a large majority of those users would be on Facebook too. The number has risen from 78% last year, so that’s a growth of 6%. This invariably is due to the increase in the ownership of tablets and smartphones in general. Over half of all the adults involved in the survey owned a smartphone, apparently. Forrester has revealed several more stats which shed light on the amount of users accessing internet via TVs and gaming consoles. So looking at these numbers, it is clear that technology is ruling our lives and the numbers would only increase in the coming days. 2013 will definitely see plenty of new innovations and new technological advancements which would further increase the number substantially. Especially with Windows tablets joining the fray, we could see more and more traditional users taking a liking towards tablets.

Are you one of those tablet owners?

Source: Forrester Research
Via: Phone Arena

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iPhone 5 Arriving In 55 More Countries This Month

iphone-5

The iPhone 5 has taken a few markets by storm already, especially in the U.S. However, the phone saw limited launch during its initial release. Apple then further widened the horizon for the new iPhone and launched it in most Asian/European markets. Apple now is all set for a new wave of release in 55 more countries in December. With the addition of 55 new countries and the 47 countries where the iPhone 5 is already available, Apple can now brag of having their premier device in 102 countries. This is somewhat of an accomplishment for a company like Apple, while not so much for other major OEMs. So if you’ve been waiting to get the new iPhone 5, check the list below to see if your country is included.

The iPhone 5 will hit South Korean shores on December 7, remember this is a market dominated entirely by Samsung, so we don’t expect it to do much damage here. The second wave of launch will begin on December 14 when countries like Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, Grenada, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldova, Montenegro, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela will get the fancy new iDevice.

Finally on December 21, the iPhone 5 will arrive in Barbados, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Egypt, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St.Vincent & the Grenadines, Tunisia, Uganda and Vietnam.

Tough luck if your country wasn’t mentioned in the list above. But it seems like Apple has covered more than half of the world’s countries, the first time Apple has reached that feat at this pace. The iPhone 5 is a pretty hyped device and is Apple’s bet against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One X. Featuring a bigger Retina Display compared to previous generations of the iPhone and a supposedly superior body construction, this new iPhone has certainly gotten iFans excited. However, price might be a key role in markets where the device is available off contract and unlocked. The iPhones never came under the budget segment and this one here is no exception. So while the wide roll out of the device is very welcome, it would be hard for Apple to compete with lower priced handsets like the Galaxy S III, Note II or the One X. Rest is for the customers to decide.

Source: Apple
Via: GSM Arena

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OUYA development consoles shipping December 28th, prototype gets pictured for the first time

The OUYA storm is beginning to brew, folks, as the latest Kickstarter update from the project has reached our inbox. Those who’ve pledged were notified that development kits will be sent out starting December 28th for all the developers who want to start creating great games tailored for the Android Jelly Bean-powered gaming cube.

This also marks the first time we’ve ever seen an actual OUYA unit in the wild, prototype or otherwise. While this doesn’t mean much for everyday users in the immediate future, it is important in the long run as developers will have ample time to create, port and optimize the very content that you’ll be sinking your teeth into once the OUYA is available for sale later next year.

The overall package will be a smallish console in roughly the same skin that has been marketed all this time, though we imagine some things could change by the time it hits full-on production . The software is called the OUYA Development Kit — or ODK, for short — and will be accessible through a web-based developer portal shortly after the kits ship. This will give developers the tools needed to create seamless gaming experiences with the OUYA controller, upload games to the OUYA store and ultimately start raking in the dough.

Unfortuntely — as you know — not everyone was able to get their hands on an OUYA development console through the Kickstarter funding period. OUYA says not to worry, though, as you’ll still have access to the software tools as soon as they’re ready, and production OUYA units will be development kits in and of themselves. Some of you may get lucky and win a development console in OUYA’s official giveaway, though, so be sure to read up on how you can participate in that juicy opportunity.

OUYA says those who paid extra to have the hardware early can expect some extra cherries on top of this sweet cake, too. No further details were given, but we can only imagine that developers will receive many thanks for their early support in a very cool way.

Alongside all this good news, OUYA took the opportunity to update folks on the situation regarding early access to usernames. Long story short, you will have ample time to get your request in come December 25th if you haven’t already, and tiebreakers will be handled using chronological order — first come, first serve.

By December 25, we’ll email each of you a link to activate your account. For those of you who responded to our survey about preferred usernames, you’ll be able to confirm your choice. For the handful of popular names that had conflicts, we broke the tie(s) by honoring whomever backed OUYA first on Kickstarter. And, if any of you didn’t respond—or didn’t get your preferred username—you can choose a name when December 25 rolls around.

We’re quite excited about this, and while the Android gaming experience we’ve been longing for is just under a year away we can practically feel the project inching forward in our veins with each waking moment and update. Stay tuned to Phandroid as we’ll continue to bring you all there is to know about the OUYA as we make the trek on this interesting path.

[via GameFans]


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Huzzah! Some Nexus 4 orders shipping this week, says Google

DNP Huzzah! Some Nexus 4 orders shipping this week, says Google

Hordes of Nexus 4 hopefuls cringed after receiving an email stating that their order had been delayed due to the overwhelming demand for Google’s latest purebred smartphone. While some folks opted to cancel their purchase in hopes of buying the handset elsewhere, those who chose to weather the storm are in for some good news. Google is now sending out emails advising customers that their order will go out sometime this week and that it will provide tracking details once a device officially ships out. If you’re among those who hunkered down and exercised patience, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your inbox, as there may be a precious gem in your junk mail folder resting somewhere between messages from a Nigerian Prince who desperately needs your help.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

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It Turns Out That The Nexus 4 Does, In Fact, Support LTE… But Only In Canada (For Now, At Least)

nexus4

What a wild ride the Nexus 4 has been on. First, there was an insane storm that caused Google to cancel the announcement event. Then they announced it anyway, and there was unspeakable rage at the lack of LTE. But, it sold out in like 28 minutes or some similar number, so maybe people weren’t really that mad after all. Then it was backordered for lots of people, and they were all mad again. But someone took it apart and found an LTE chip inside, which made everyone go hmmmmm. And now it (unofficially) has LTE support.

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It Turns Out That The Nexus 4 Does, In Fact, Support LTE… But Only In Canada (For Now, At Least) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Render of the HTC Deluxe Leaked, Could be the Global Variant of the Droid DNA

htc-deluxe

The HTC Droid DNA on Verizon is one of the hotly anticipated phones of the month, along with the LG Nexus 4 of course. The device was announced a few days ago by HTC and promised to take the American market by storm. However, there was no info on a global variant of the same. So one would have thought that the device was an exclusive to the U.S. But now, a leaked render has surfaced courtesy of the very reliable evleaks, and it seems like HTC has something in store for the rest of the world after all. All we have is an alleged press shot of the new HTC smartphone which will apparently be known as the HTC Deluxe. Leaked in the typical fashion on Twitter, evleaks gave out nothing but an image and the name of the device. However, we don’t expect the specs to be all that different from the Droid DNA.

It’s the gorgeous 1080p display that everybody is looking forward to, so as long as that’s on board, I don’t think users in Asia would have a problem with the device. Launch details are still scarce, almost nonexistent really, but we expect the device to hit the markets somewhere during the end of this month or in December. The aim would be to have this in Asian markets in time for the holiday season.

HTC has been pretty vary of calling the Droid DNA a “phablet”, which according to me is a tag reserved for the Samsung Galaxy Note. The Droid DNA is basically a scaled up version of the HTC One X, but with a better Super LCD 3 display and a breathtaking resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The smartphone isn’t without its own quirks, though.

Ease of use is a whole different story altogether, but not too many people are convinced with HTC’s decision to go with a 2,020 mAh battery. One would wonder if the device would last long enough for the user to enjoy the 1080p goodness with a battery of such moderate capacity. However, initial reviews have suggested that the Droid DNA does fairly well for its size.You might not get the battery life of the Galaxy Note II, but it is believed to be pretty much on par with most smartphones out there, which comes as a huge surprise. The device also supports Verizon’s 4G LTE network which means it won’t go easy on the battery. Regardless, the Droid DNA is a revolutionary phone for the time being and could well set a new industry standard. HTC would certainly count on this new smartphone and the HTC Deluxe to make an impact in world markets.

Source: evleaks (Twitter)
Via: Phone Arena

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 arrive at AT&T

If you’re an AT&T customer who has been holding out for either the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, then good news, because both devices are available today in AT&T stores. Starting today you can pick up the handset that has taken the world of smartphones by storm with 3 million units sold since launch. Pretty impressive when you consider that the Galaxy Note 2 only launched back at the end of September.


It’s also impressive when you remember that the Galaxy Note 2 has a massive 5.5-inch screen that some thought would be too big for a lot of consumers. “Phablets” are still a pretty new idea, but the original Galaxy Note showed us that consumers like the big screens, so it’s no surprise that we’re sitting here today talking about the Galaxy Note 2. Aside from the screen, it also happens to be a really good phone – one of the best Android handsets on the market right now, in fact.

If you want to take home the Galaxy Note 2, it’ll require a pretty hefty payment of $299, and that’s with a two-year contract. The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is a little more expensive, as it’s currently going for $399 at AT&T. That’s with a two-year contract too, so be sure to keep that in mind.

Though, we have to say that the hardware you’re getting for those prices isn’t too shabby. The Galaxy Note 2 comes equipped with a quad-core Samsung Exynos processor clocked at 1.6GHz and 2GB of RAM, while the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 comes running a dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP 4 processor clocked at 1GHz and working in tandem with 1GB of RAM. Are you going to be picking either up from AT&T?


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Qualcomm Q4 2012 earnings: $4.87 billion in revenue, $1.27 billion net profit

Qualcomm Q4 2012 earnings $487 billion in revenue, $124 billion net profit

With Qualcomm’s powerful, versatile and efficient Snapdragon S4 taking the mobile world by storm, it should come as no surprise that the company’s accountants are smiling more than ever. Today, the firm posted earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012, which includes a net income of $1.27 billion with revenues of $4.87 billion. In terms of profit, these figures represent a 20 percent year-over-year increase and a five percent bump when compared to the previous quarter. A peek inside Qualcomm’s books reveal that the company is now sitting on $43 billion in assets and $9.4 billion in liabilities — if only our own pocketbooks were overflowing in similar fashion. Feel free to count some beans for yourself at the source link below.

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Qualcomm Q4 2012 earnings: $4.87 billion in revenue, $1.27 billion net profit originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 07 Nov 2012 22:23:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Engadget Mobile Podcast 157 – 11.07.2012

Like a sunny breeze after a brutal storm, the Engadget Mobile Podcast is back again to brighten your otherwise gloomy mobile news week with tales of new phones from different operational dimensions and more spectrum spectulation than you can shake a StarTAC at.

Hosts: Myriam Joire (tnkgrl), Brad Molen
Producer: Trent Wolbe
Music: TychoCoastal Brake (Ghostly International)

00:01:44 – Nexus 4 review
00:12:25 – Nexus 10 review
01:09:56 – Nokia Lumia 920 review: Windows Phone 8 and (a little bit of) camera magic
01:30:00 – Windows Phone 8 review
01:42:15 – HTC 8X review: Windows Phone 8′s compact flagship
01:48:13 – HTC One X+ review: it’s the One X, and then some (video)
01:50:48 – Sony Xperia TL Review
01:54:42 – Apple Executive Shakeup: Scott Forstall and John Browett Out

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Download the podcast
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podcast (at) engadgetmobile (dot) com.

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Engadget Mobile Podcast 157 – 11.07.2012 originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 07 Nov 2012 16:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wireless Providers Back In Business After Power Restored in NYC

Cell services have been restored after commercial power companies started to provide electricity to millions of homes and establishments in the areas ravaged by superstorm Sandy last week.

Con Edison, the larger power provider in New York, has already started restoring electric supply to a large part of the Big Apple after successfully repairing some of the facilities damaged at the height of hurricane Sandy.

According to the latest report by the power company, electricity has been restored to roughly 650,000 customers or 70 percent of homes and buildings that lost power supply since hurricane Sandy made its landfall on the Eastern seaboard of the United States.

Major mobile carries are now back in operation in the New York City Area with AT&T reporting 96.5 percent of its cell sites are running again.

“We expect to make continued good progress as power and other infrastructure issues are resolved,” said AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel.

T-Mobile, the fourth largest network provider in the United States, has already deployed temporary cell sites on top of the company’s major switching facility in Tribeca in anticipation of the storm.

In addition, the company also sent response engineering teams in the area to quickly repair damages and re-activate the cell sites once power is restored.

“The size, scope, and impact of hurricane Sandy are unprecedented in the U.S. in terms of geographic area, location, and population density,” the company said in a statement, according to CNET.com Sunday. “Ahead of the storm, T-Mobile’s rapid response engineering teams staged equipment in and nearby the areas most severely impacted by storm, such as lower Manhattan, Staten Island, Long Island, and coastal and Northern New Jersey, and we are continuing to work around the clock to restore service.”

Sprint reported it already restored 80 percent of its network in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut while Verizon announced that it may take few days before their wired infrastructures will be fully restored in those said areas.

Via: CNET

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U.S. carriers react in the wake of Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy Map

Our phone and network infrastructure is a critical part of the recovery efforts following a natural disaster. In an age where the only connection to the outside world for many people is a smartphone, the effects of a hurricane can be devastating. Luckily, the big four carriers in the U.S. are working hard to restore critical infrastructure damaged by the storm. Each is doing something different, but all are going above the regular call of duty to help out people put into a tough position by Hurricane Sandy.

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From the Editor’s Desk: Sandy, Nexus and what’s next

Phil Nickinson

"What's it going to be like?" That was the question my wife posed to me sometime around Sept. 13 or 14 in 2004, just a couple days before Hurricane Ivan thrashed this part of the Gulf Coast — and just some 56 hours before we were to be married. The answer, unfortunately. People were going to lose their homes, I told her. People were going to die. Beaches would erode, heritage trees would fall, and the very makeup of this relatively quiet (if quirky) community would be changed for a long, long time, if not forever. 

So it was with a heavy heart last week that I watched Hurricane Sandy blow into the Northeast. I knew what it was going to look like. Been there, done that.  It could have been worse. Much worse. A little more than a year after Hurricane Ivan, I sat in the newsroom, watching the AP photos start to roll in from Hurricane Katrina. Beyond heart-breaking.

These are very different times, though. Back in 2004-05 — a couple years that saw an inordinate number of hurricanes hit the U.S. — there was no Twitter. You couldn't upload to Youtube from your phone. Facebook was just a baby. The power went out, and the old-school FM radio (or maybe a TV with antenna) went on for a few hours. Being that unplugged was a blessing and a curse. For as quickly as we saw relief information shared following Sandy last week, so, too, did we see hoaxes spread. I wouldn't want to go back, though. To hell with the hoaxsters.

I really can't think of a worse way to document a storm than Instagram, though. Filters are a horrible idea for showing what it really looks like, to say nothing of the low resolution.

To the folks in New York and New Jersey and everywhere else affected by the storm: Stay safe. Stay patient. Help one another. When your power comes back on and life begins to return to normal, remember that someone else is still in the dark. Or has no home. Or lost a loved one. And you will get through it. This has all happened before, and it will happen again.

Oh, you were expecting some Nexus 4 talk?

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Verizon expecting high repair cost due to Sandy to affect profit

Last Friday saw Verizon making a statement on the progress of their efforts in bringing their services back online for its customers affected by monster storm Sandy. The company thinks maintenance and repair jobs may take a big slice of its fourth quarter earnings.

Verizon said it is now focusing its resources in resuscitating its network and cell phone towers.  The company cannot yet provide figures how much the storm impacted its business  and on its operating profit, “but we expect that it could be significant.”

Verizon previously said that 96 percent of its towers in areas affected by Sandy were operational, but later lowered the number to 94 percent. However, powering up the impacted towers will demand considerable effort.

“Unfortunately, the extent of the storm damage — including lingering power outages and inaccessible roadways — in harder-hit areas like New Jersey and the New York City metro area makes full restoration a marathon and not a sprint,” Verizon president of consumer division Bob Mudge, said.

“We ask for customers’ patience and understanding.”

Other wireless carriers were also got hit hard. The Federal Communications Commission revealed that 19 percent of cell phone towers in the impacted area are still down. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that there are still “much work to be done,” in bringing the services back to their normal operations.

Sprint took the brunt of the storm especially in the core areas of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, where the company’s network are only operating at 80 percent capacity. Only 75 percent or its towers in New York are online.  In New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, the company’s network is only working at 90 percent capacity.

AT&T declared that the vast majority” of its cell sites are working although its continuing to restore service in areas hit hard and experiencing power outages and damage.

Surprisingly, AT&T and T-Mobile display a cooperation by allowing their subscribers in affected areas to roam each others networks free of charge– a rare occurrence in the wireless industry. Both networks are compatible technically, making the move possible.

All carriers announced that they are offering free landline calls to those people without service in their retail stores.

Wireless industry analyst from Yankee Group Ken Rehbehn thinks Sandy’s impact on wireless carriers will most likely be second only to Hurricane Katrina.

” A big difference between New York City and Katrina is that the flooding is not lasting as long in as large an area,” he said. “But the failure of key power stations and power distribution in a complex, dense area such as lower Manhattan means that secondary power being brought in is essential,” he said.

Customers angered  over the lack of backup contingencies for wireless networks vented their emotions on social networks. They called for a fallback system that exists in Hurricane-frequented areas like Florida, where backup generators are readily available at almost any cell site. Rehben commented that the cost of doing that in the Northeast would not be practical though.

The new 4G networks that carriers are gradually deploying will be more energy efficient than existing 2G or 3G systems. Once fully deployed, the batteries for cell towers will last longer, giving more time for carriers to repair any damage.

source: cnn

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Samsung Galaxy Note II moves 3 million units worldwide

Turns out people like Samsung’s plus-sized Galaxy Note II. In fact, looks like 3 million people love the phablet. That’s a pretty impressive number, but it becomes even more impressive when you consider that the device has only been on the market for a little over a month. That’s a lot of people running out to get their Note IIs in a rather short period of time.



The extra-large phone has a 5.5-inch screen. Samsung has taken some steps to make the phone appear a little smaller, which could help explain why this is the particular phablet that is taking the world by storm. They included a smaller top and bottom bezel, which helps trim a little size. Samsung also included rounded edges, which helps make the phone look less massive than it actually is.

The inclusion of the longer, thinner S Pen could be another reason for the jump in popularity of the Note II. It makes using the lager device much easier. While the S Pen is compatible with the original Note, the different size of the pen means it won’t fit in the stylus slot of the Samsung’s original phablet.

Maybe the size of the screen has nothing to do with the phone’s massive success. Maybe it’s the beastly specs under the hood of the device. Maybe it’s the 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and either 16, 32, or 64GB of memory space options that make people want it. Either way, Samsung’s Galaxy Note II is here to stay. 3 million units is an impressive number, and it tells us that there is certainly a market for larger smartphones.

[via SlashGear]


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Initial Impressions Of The Nexus 10: Say Hello To The New Benchmark For 10" Android Tablets

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At the end of June, Google unveiled its first Nexus-branded tablet to the world: the Nexus 7. Since then, it has become the premier Android tablet, which is now selling at nearly a million units each month. For good reason – it’s a fantastic tablet.

Despite the storm that rocked NYC, three days ago Google took the wraps off the latest edition to the Nexus tablet family: the Nexus 10. I’ve been playing with the N10 for the past 24 hours (give or take) and instead of waiting several days to post a full review, I want to share my first impressions with you.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Initial Impressions Of The Nexus 10: Say Hello To The New Benchmark For 10" Android Tablets was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 sells 3 million units in 30 days; Galaxy S3 at 30 million

The Samsung Galaxy S3 took the world by storm when it released this past summer. Sales are still going strong, and Samsung has found its bread and butter in the mobile world. Many didn’t know if that same success would eventually roll over into the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 series. Still relatively young, Samsung started perfecting this phablet phase back in 2011, and while the Samsung Galaxy Note was no failure, it certainly hadn’t reached the same success the Galaxy S line did.

The line is starting to blur, however, as it appears the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is quickly becoming a hit. In the short 20 days since it’s been available the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has apparently sold 3 million units. Sure, Apple might be able to sell that many iPhones in just a week or probably even a day, but considering how large this device is up against more slender and small options those seem like some very good numbers.

And consider this: most of North America haven’t even gotten a chance to buy the phone yet. Verizon and AT&T customers won’t have a chance to buy it until later this month, while those in Canada are only just now beginning to get their hands on it. Add in all the smaller countries in Europe, Asia and South America that might not yet have it and we’d say the Note 2 is doing pretty damn good for itself already.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s Galaxy S3 has already eclipsed 30 million units sold to date, and with the holiday season looming it looks like they might be in line for another surge in sales after those who missed the summer rush finally get a chance to buy one. Samsung maintains four out of its best five weeks came after the launch of the iPhone, a figure that might indicate brand loyalty for Apple is finally starting to wane a little bit (though there’s really no telling what, exactly, it comes down to).

Whichever way you put it, Samsung has found no issue getting through the iPhone launch and this further shows why it now has a vast majority of the world’s major carriers in the palms of its hands (yep, even in the cellular mess that we enjoy here in America).

[via Samsung Tomorrow]


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AT&T, T-Mobile collaborate to aid Hurricane Sandy victims, networks opened up

Two of the major carriers in the United States, AT&T and T-Mobile are recently teaming up to help all customers who were hardly hit by Hurricane Sandy, particularly those in the New York and New Jersey areas wherein cellular service communication remains hard.

Hurricane Sandy has left a huge portion of New York and New Jersey drenched to date, causing cellphone reception difficult to catch.

The special arrangement both telecommunication companies have come up with denotes an extraordinary measure to warrant all their customers can stay in touch despite the hurricane aftermath. Customers will then be able to use whichever network acquires coverage in their locations.

AT&T and T-Mobile have agreed to enable roaming service on their networks to customers in the heavily impacted locations and other areas where capacity is accessible. All subscribers with a compatible device can also take advantage of this special network service offer.

The linking of networks will take place entirely behind the scenes. All the customers have to do is to dial out the numbers they would want to call, just like the usual way and the stronger network will automatically route these calls.

Fees and rates agreement

The transitory alliance of both network systems means that all calls made by AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers will spontaneously be carried by whichever network is most operational in the location. Rest assured, there will be no extra charges and no changes will be made on the customer’s current service agreements or rate plans, even if the phone directs the device is connected to the other carrier’s network.

The sharing of voice and data traffic is made possible with T-Mobile and AT&T’s network technology based on UMTS and GSM standards.

Hurricane Sandy has inflicted major damages especially in New York and New Jersey. About half a quarter of cellphone towers in ten states were destroyed by the storm, making calls across the Northeast very difficult, according to the Federal Communication Commission.

It would still take several days for these towers to be entirely fixed. The unrelenting bad weather is also thought to cause further repair delays and additional problems. Some of the operational transmission sites are currently running on backup generators due to massive power outages. Carriers only hope these generators could last until electricity is back up and running. Otherwise, communication outages proliferate.

This is likely driving AT&T and T-Mobile to stick into such a deal of sharing towers ad networks, as a form of relief to their customers in need of communication assistance following the ferocious storm.

Regional President of AT&T northeast, Steve Hodges said in a statement that: “Our goal here is to help people stay connected to family and loved ones in the aftermath of this terrible storm.”

Meanwhile, a latest report said AT&T will be extending its late-payment window and will waive late payment charges for all customer victims of Hurricane Sandy who are behind.

In-store charging is also offered in 400 AT&T retail locations across the northeast. Customers however, are advised to call ahead to make sure electricity is available in the area. Generator-powered charging stations and RVs are also being rolled out at food and water stations across the city of New York.

So far, either of the telecom companies had not specified a definite date as to when this rare transitory network sharing service is offered or how long the agreement will last.

Source: Phone Arena

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Verizon Helping Out After Hurricane Sandy, Sends Mobile Charging and Work Stations to Affected Areas

AT&T and T-Mobile already got together to help customers in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but Verizon, whose networks fared a little better than the others through the storm, is offering up some of their own help as well. Big Red has deployed Wireless Emergency Communication Centers to certain sites to help out. These centers will [...]

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Verizon Wireless Deploying Help For Those Affected With Hurricane Sandy

AT&T and T-Mobile were generous enough to form an alliance to help their customers in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy by letting them roam on each others networks, but Verizon, whose network seemed to outlast a whole lot better than others throughout the storm, is offering up help as well. Verizon Wireless has gone ahead and deployed various Wireless Emergency Communication Centers to certain areas to help out with charging handsets. They also have on-site computers to help with communication if the need is there.

Not only that, but Verizon has also launched a bunch of Verizon Communication Stores on-wheels that will allow people affected by Sandy to make free phone calls to friends and family if the need is there as well. Verizon has also said that 96% of their network is up and running, even in some of the areas that were hit the hardest in the Northeast. Whatever the case, this will definitely be a huge PR boost for Verizon, and may even encourage customers to switch over to them. But, business aside, it is nice to see that Verizon has offered this. While AT&T and T-Mobile has helped out with roaming networks, I have to say that charging stations were probably what was most needed here.

source: Droid-Life

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In Wake of Sandy AT&T and T-Mobile Sign a Roaming Deal

In the worst of times, we all come together…sometimes, even competitors. Former merger-wannabe-turned-sour-current-competitors AT&T and T-Mobile have struck a roaming deal in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Both carriers, which run on the same GSM and HSPA+ bands, have agreed to let customers roam on either network in New York and New Jersey freely to achieve the best voice and data service. Each carrier will handle this automatically and customers in the affected areas will not need to change anything with their current plans.

The FCC has indicated that 25% of cell service has been knocked out in 10 states due to the storm. It makes perfect sense that these two carriers did this, but it also demonstrates the shortcomings of network incompatibility. No other major U.S. carriers could do this so seamlessly as each have their own unique spectrum. It is unknown how long this deal will be in place, it will continue until services are mostly normalized.

Sources: HuffPo and GigaOM

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