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Spotify planning free music service for mobile, says WSJ

 

Spotify is planning to introduce a free mobile version of its streaming music service,according to The Wall Street Journal. The free version is said to be ad-supported and focused around playing personalized radio like Pandora or Rdio’s Stations feature, though users will also be able to play a limited number of songs on demand — it’s otherwise unclear how the free tier will differ from the existing Radio feature. Spotify’s current on-demand mobile service is only available to premium subscribers, with its free version restricted to PCs.

Spotify has wrapped up deals with Sony, Universal, and Warner for the free service, says the Journal; at issue were the rates the company would pay the label and the level of on-demand control users would have. The service could be announced as soon as next week at a Spotify event in New York City.

 

You can find more here. 

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Android disruptive technology mobile development mobile news

Video: Nexus 5 Camera With 4.4.1 vs. Nexus 5 With 4.4

With the Android 4.4.1 update now available for the Nexus 5, we took its updated camera for a spin, but also compared it to the 4.4 camera on a non-updated Nexus 5. It’s pretty obvious through a few simple tests that the 4.4.1 camera is indeed improved. Google told us that we should expect to see “faster focusing, especially in low light, faster white balancing, for truer colors,” and “less shutter lag.” I’d say all of that is true.

 

Find more here at this link.

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Motorola Partners With 3D Systems to Help Build Project Ara Modular Phones

Well, folks, Motorola’s modular smartphone platform called Project Ara has a manufacturing partner. The company is called 3D Systems, a 3D printing outfit that helped them with their MakeWithMoto campaign shortly after the Moto X launch. 3D Systems will attempt to “create a continuous high-speed 3D printing production platform and fulfillment system” to help deliver the pieces needed to make modular phones a reality.

With a manufacturing partner now in place, we’re one step closer to life with modular smartphones. 3D Systems CEO had this to say about the deal, “3D printing promotes a level of sustainability, functionality, and mass personalization that turns these kinds of global ambitions into attainable local realities. Project Ara combines two exponential technologies, and we expect that the resulting high-throughput advanced manufacturing platform will have far reaching implications on the entire digital thread that stitches together the factory of the future.”

 

Find more here. 

 

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Android disruptive technology iOS mobile development mobile news

Instagram reportedly adding private messages to compete with Snapchat

Slowly but surely, Instagram’s been adding features over the last few years — videos, web profiles, and an app for Windows Phone have been among the biggest additions to the app as of late. Now, according to a report from GigaOm, the company is planning its next major feature: private messaging. Before the end of the year, a new version of Instagram is expected to launch that contains both one-on-one and group messaging features. Aside from these features and a rough timeline, there weren’t any other details on this potential launch, but there’s no doubt that it’s a logical next step for Instagram. Photo comments on the service often include lively discussions between friends, and Snapchat has pretty conclusively proved the value of a private photo- and video-sharing network. While there’s no doubt Instagram has a vibrant and active community of its own, time will tell whether it can break some of the stranglehold Snapchat has amongst the picture-messaging crowd.

 

More can be found here. 

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Android mobile development mobile news

Google Releases Google Opinion Rewards App to Android, Answer Surveys and Receive Play Store Credit

Google released a new app to Android this morning called Google Opinion Rewards. As the name of the app suggests, Google wants to reward you for giving your opinion through surveys, with those rewards coming as Google Play credits. The app is free (of course), requires you to fill out a quick survey on your self (age, location, sex, etc.), and then takes you through a couple of example surveys upon first launch. Once you are all setup, your first survey should appear or Google will notify you when a survey worth Google Play credit is available.

Find more info here. 

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Android disruptive technology mobile development mobile news Windows 8

Phonebloks Posts Status Update Video – Talks Motorola Collaboration, Community, and More

After Motorola surprised the tech world a bit last night with the introduction of their new modular hardware smartphone concept called Project Ara, we were sort of wondering when we’d hear from Phonebloks. After all, Phonebloks was the first to put modular phone design on our radar, and Motorola name-dropped them in their announcement. Today, in a video press release, Phonebloks founder Dave Hakkens talks about his trip to meet Motorola, the sit downs with other companies, early goals for the Phonebloks community, and more.

Thanks to the video, you’ll see a Motorola Ara prototype (non-working) in the clip to give you an idea of just how “bloks” can fit into a modular smartphone. Remember, the goal is to create an open hardware platform similar to an open software platform. And speaking of open, Motorola has said that it plans to develop this platform in the open, unlike normal products which are held behind closed doors until they are ready for the world. If anything, it should be a blast seeing how far Motorola can take the modular phone idea.

Read more here. 

 

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Android mobile news

T-Mobile Prepaid SIM Kits Now Free, With Free Shipping Too

Remember when we told you yesterday that T-Mobile prepaid SIM kits were only $0.99 with free shipping? Well, we have a better deal for you. How does free sound? Those same prepaid SIM kits in full, micro, and nano are now 100% free with free 2-4 day shipping.

You may as well order one or two (two is the max per person) if you are at all considering switching off your current carrier in the near future. Remember that T-Mobile is pushing out their LTE network as quickly as possible, plus prepaid plans are excellent for testing out service with phones like say, oh, the Nexus 5. The $30 unlimited text and data (5GB of full 4G speeds) plan is a no-brainer.

 

Read more here. 

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T-Mobile Announces 200MB Free Tablet Data for Life, $0 Down on Tablet Purchases

Yesterday, T-Mobile told us to mark our calendars for a big UnCarrier announcement involving tablets. This morning, they delivered that announcement, which involves 200MB of free tablet data for life, other affordable tablet plans, and $0 down on the purchases of new tablets. This is the latest move in this UnCarrier world that T-Mobile has attempted to create.

For example, if you bought an unlocked tablet like say the new Nexus 7 LTE, you could pick up a T-Mobile SIM and start enjoying 200MB of free data per month with “no strings attached.” T-Mobile claims that 200MB amounts to “800 Instagram photos, more than 2,500 emails or stream 200 minutes of music.”

If you want more data, T-Mobile now offers daily, weekly, and monthly data options. For voice customers, you can get unlimited data (500MB full 4G LTE speeds) at $10 per month. If you want to up that full speed data in 2GB increments, simply add on $10 per month. If you want to go the daily route, T-Mobile is offering 500MB of 4G LTE data for $5. Weekly passes run $10 for 1GB of 4G LTE data.

Should you like the sounds of these new plans, T-Mobile wants you to know that you can buy tablets from them at $0 down with monthly payments afterwards. Better yet, if you own a WiFi tablet, but want to take advantage of their new data plans, you can trade it in for a discount on a new tablet. T-Mobile currently plans to sell the Nexus 7 (2013) LTE and Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.

 

Find more info here at this link. 

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Android disruptive technology mobile development mobile news

Nexus 4 With LTE Stopped by Bluetooth SIG Yesterday?

A week or so ago, a rumor surfaced suggesting that Google may introduce a Nexus 4 with LTE alongside theNexus 5. As you are all well aware, the Nexus 4 originally launched last year without LTE, something many couldn’t give Google a pass for. In a day filled with nothing but LTE, the lack of it in Google’s flagship smartphone was inexcusable. But what if they were to re-introduce the phone again this year, only this time with LTE on board? According to a Bluetooth SIG filing that dropped yesterday, there may be a chance of that happening.

I think the big question is why bring the Nexus 4 back if you have a Nexus 5 ready to pounce? Well, Google did drop the price of the HSPA+ Nexus 4 to $199 and $249 not long ago, so maybe they are simply trying to offer phones at multiple price points to attract even more buyers. We have no indication of this LTE model selling for that $199 price, but wouldn’t that make quite the splash? Google could then sell phones at $199, $249, $349 (Nexus 5 price), and then whatever the 32GB Nexus 5 drops in at – maybe $399. Or maybe it’ll go $249, $299, $349, and $399, since LTE modems would raise the cost of the Nexus 4. Still, not bad.

Any interest in an LTE Nexus 4? Read more here.

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Android disruptive technology iOS iPhone mobile development mobile news

Motorola Launches Migration Tool for iOS Users Buying a Moto X on MotoMaker

For any iOS users that are currently looking to pick up a Moto X through MotoMaker, Motorola released a tool this week that should make the data migrating process extremely simple. If your life’s work, such as all of your contacts and important meetings, are stored in iCloud, you can migrate all of that over right through MotoMaker. As soon as you purchase your new device, you will be prompted to migrate data from your iPhone. To do so, just throw in your Apple ID and password, and let the process begin.

Find more here at this link.

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Canonical Releases Ubuntu 13.10 for Smartphones, Its First “True Mobile” Release

This morning, Canonical announced the availability of Ubuntu 13.10, the first “true mobile release” of the OS. Inside the release, users can finally get a good picture of what the company is bringing to the smartphone game, with a fully-baked UI and core applications that have been developed by a highly experienced community of developers. There still isn’t much third party app support, but you will find the basics like a calendar, camera, phone, clock, and browser application.

Find more info here.

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Android disruptive technology mobile development mobile news

Moto Maker coming to Verizon on November 11th

Fans of the Moto X have so far had just one option to turn to when it comes to customizing the body of their phone online: the Moto Makeroffered exclusively through AT&T in the US, at least for the time being. Right now, if you’re not an AT&T customer ordering online, your choices for the Moto X’s body are black or white. But that could all change as early as next month. Verizon Wireless is also set to get the Moto Maker on November 11th, according to generally reliable mobile news leaker Evleaks.

 That follows Motorola’s statements earlier this year that the Moto Maker would be rolled out to other carriers. We’ve reached out to Verizon to see if they’re ready to confirm the arrival of the Moto Maker for their customers and will update when we hear back.

Read more here at this link. 

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Android disruptive technology mobile development mobile news

LG starts producing curved displays to cure dull phone design

LG is to begin mass production of what it calls “the world’s first flexible OLED panel for smartphones.” The Korean manufacturer announced the move amid rumors that it’s set to release a curved smartphone next month. The flexible panel is similar to a regular OLED display, but is built on plastic substrates instead of glass, allowing LG to set it in a concave curve.

The display announced today is just the first step towards more interesting smartphone designs. Samsung already confirmed it will “introduce a curved display smartphone in October,” and the pair has found yet another battleground to fight on. What we’re seeing today is a big step toward a break from the rectangular norm of smartphone design, paving the way for more outlandish shapes and sizes for future devices.

Read more on this here.

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Android disruptive technology mobile development mobile news

Snapchat Receives Update, Brings Snapchat Stories for Hipster Short Film Directors

Snapchat is based on the idea that you can send short videos and random pictures to your friends, viewable for up to only 10 seconds. After the time runs out, they’re gone forever, never to be seen again. That’s why we like it. The photos we send hold little to no meaning whatsoever.

With the newest update to Snapchat, the development team has introduced Snapchat Stories, a feature that allows you to put together a string of videos and photos, then make it available to a multitude of friends for up to 24 hours. Once you see this trailer, you will see what I mean about the hipster short film directors.

Read more here at this link.

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Android mobile development

AT&T Announces Moto X Update With Camera Improvements, Rolls Out Today

The much anticipated camera enhancing update for the Moto X that first began rolling out to the T-Mobile variant of the phone a couple of weeks ago is now ready for all AT&T customers. A soak test for the AT&T model actually started popping up on phones earlier in the week, but AT&T has announced that it should be available to the majority of customers today, October 4.

Here is the change-log:

  • Camera enhancements:
    • Enhanced camera auto-white balance performance and color accuracy.
    • Improved exposure when taking photos outside or back-lit, and improved clarity in low light.
    • Faster touch-to-focus time and reduced unnecessary refocusing in low light or scenes with continuous motion.
  • Faster response and improved accuracy when using Touch-less Control and easier set up and training of the “OK Google Now” trigger.
  • Enhanced transfer of content from old phone to new phone using Motorola Migrate.
  • Fine-tuned feature that allows you to find phone when it is lost that sometimes prevented a lost phone from reporting its location.

Find more info on this at the link. 

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Yes, the Galaxy Note 3 has a MicroUSB 3.0 Port

You probably noticed an extra-large USB port on the bottom the Galaxy Note 3 in both our initial hands-on and today’s unboxing. In case you were wondering, yes, that is a microUSB 3.0 port. The benefits are pretty simple – you can charge faster while being connected to a computer (900mA output), and also transfer data to and from your phone at faster speeds. That’s pretty much it.

Also, you can still charge and transfer data using a regular microUSB 2.0, you’ll just more than likely want to take advantage of the faster speeds when possible. But in case you are in a pinch and only have a regular microUSB cable, you’ll still be fine.

If you buy the Note 3, you’ll get one of these cables in the box, but places like Amazon are selling them for as cheap as $5. It’s good to see Samsung use the newest technology. Technology that is backwards compatible with previous Androids as well as not propriety like Apple.

 

You can find more at this link. 

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Android disruptive technology mobile development mobile news

HTC and Beats by Dre End Partnership, Beats Buys Back its $265 Million in Shares

This marks the end of a two year partnership between the two companies. When HTC first invested in Beats, it was a surprising move, but one that looked like it could have had a lot of upside if done well. Unfortunately for the two, it never really flourished like they hoped and all the consumers got out of it was the Beats software that would come installed on HTC devices. With HTC struggling to push units compared to Samsung, Beats probably wanted to make sure they were separated from that. HTC did say that they would ”continue to partner [with Beats] as future opportunities arise.” Read more here.

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Android disruptive technology mobile development mobile news

Hands-on With the New Google Wallet, Download Available

Google shocked us a bit this morning with the announcement of a new Google Wallet app that works on almost any device, as long as they are running Android 2.3 and above. The app may not be able to make NFC payments through all devices, but it does bring a loyalty cards locker, money-sending between email addresses, and Google Offers to your fingertips. In the revamped app, we’re seeing classic Android design guidelines with the “hamburger” or slide-out navigation menu. You’ll find pages for My Wallet, Send Money, Transactions, Wallet Balance, Offers, and Loyalty Programs embedded within. If you own a supported device, you’ll see a wallet balance and default credit card at the top of the main tab, with a “You’re ready to tap and pay!” message. If you do not own a supported device, you’ll only see a wallet balance box. As you navigate through each section, you’ll see instructions for setting each up, from adding bank accounts, to finding loyalty programs, and sending money to friends. It’s all pretty straight forward stuff, but certainly welcomed. Wallet on all phones! Sort of. Find more here at this link. 

 

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disruptive technology iOS iPhone mobile development mobile news

No, A Severed Finger Will Not Be Able to Access a Stolen iPhone 5S

The introduction of the iPhone 5S and its easy to use fingerprint verification button has suddenly pushed biometric security into the mainstream. But for those with a little imagination, there are now concerns that smartphone thieves might soon resort to physically removing a person’s finger in order to gain access to a stolen device. Now, after the Apple event dust has settled, biometric security experts have begun to weigh in and the overall verdict is: Your fingers are safe. What we now know is that the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor uses radio frequency scanning to detect the sub-epidermal layers of your skin, a dynamic that requires the owner of the finger to be alive and attached to the finger being used. “The [RF capacitive sensor] technology is built in a way that the [fingerprint] image has to be taken from a live finger,” says Sebastien Taveau, chief technology officer at Validity Sensors. “No one in biometrics wants to talk about cut fingers and dead bodies, but at the end of the day we are still asked to remove the fears of consumer and make sure that they understand that [a severed finger] will not work. Now with Apple, by actually building an experience, they are educating the market, which is very important… Expect to see the Android world shipping [these kinds of] devices in the next couple of months.”

More information can be found at this link.

 

 

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AT&T expands LTE empire with $1.9 billion spectrum purchase from Verizon

Verizon and AT&T often spar over network reliability, but the two biggest US carriers aren’t opposed to helping one another out when the price is right. AT&T has completed a $1.9 billion purchase of unused spectrum from its primary rival, picking up 39 700MHz licenses that it says will help improve service to 42 million people across 18 states. Verizon Wireless also stands to gain from the deal; it’s receiving valuable AWS spectrum in five western markets. As LTE smartphones continue to flood the smartphone market, both carriers have had to rethink their 4G deployment strategies.Read more here.

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Android disruptive technology mobile development mobile news

Straight Talk Prepaid Service Now Supports AT&T LTE

There is news that Straight Talk, one of the most popular prepaid smartphone options, now appears to support AT&T’s 4G LTE. It starts at $45 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data, which is now an incredibly interesting choice if carriers, subsidies, and contracts are not something you ever want to see again. You can find more info here.

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Android mobile development mobile news

Android KitKat: The story behind a delicious partnership

Android recently announced the name of their new OS 4.4. For the longest time, everyone, including Google employees thought it would be name Key Lime Pie 4.4. This past Tuesday however, they stated it would be officially named KitKat 4.4. The partnership between Android and KitKat involved zero money, it was just for marketing. Both companies benefit from this. Production began two months ago in secret. I’d like to say that the marketing is working. I’ve had KitKat bars everyday since they announced the new name.  This new technology will be very beneficial for the Android community. It will increase Androids dominance as it reached a billion activation  just a few days ago . Android as a whole improves so much with every update. There are a lot of improvements in the 4.4 KitKat that I will be looking forward to. You can read more at this link: http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/3/4691040/android-kitkat-the-story-behind-a-delicious-partnership

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Android mobile development mobile news

LG Nexus 5 Round-up

I’d like to start by saying I’m really excited for this new device to come out. The code-name for the Nexus 5 was “hammerhead” as of last week. Earlier reports said this phone would be more like a new Nexus 4 but being released with a 5 inch screen obviously means things could change. Nothing shocking with specs of the phone. It does have LTE radios but it looking like it won’t be available for Verizon till next year. It will most likely be available on Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T upon release. More info found at: http://www.droid-life.com/2013/09/06/lg-nexus-5-round-up-a-beautiful-render-plus-everything-we-know/