HTC’s One series will be branching to more and more carriers as the months pass, and Cincinnati Bell is the latest carrier to get one of these awesome devices. The One S will be hitting Cincinnati Bell on June 25 for $299 on a 2-year contract. However, a $100 mail-in rebate will be present with the purchase so it’s really only $200 spent. This is a pretty good deal for the One S, as it has some great specs for anyone looking for a high-end Android smartphone.
The HTC One S has a 4.3-inch qHD screen, a dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm S4 processor, and an 8MP camera that shoots beautiful photos thanks to HTC’s ImageSense software present in Sense 4. The One S runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich so it will have the best looks and experience Android can offer right out of the box. Anyone in Cincinnati looking to pick one of these up? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to visit your local Cincinnati Bell store on June 25.
For AT&T subscribers looking to get the next taste of Sony’s Xperia brand, the Ion will be hitting the carrier on June 24 for only $99. We saw this phone for the first time a few months back and things haven’t changed much now with the official spec release. Sony is still in the business of making very sexy devices, but again, this Xperia will be crippled at launch due to its Android version of 2.3.7. That’s right folks, over 7 months after the release of Android 4.0 ICS, Sony is still releasing a phone with Gingerbread with no word on an ICS update. Sad.
The device’s specs, however, are pretty good as it will easily be able to compete with most high-end devices. It will be Playstation certified, runs on a 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU, and has a beautiful 4.6-inch screen. A more broad list of specs is below:
- 4.6″ (measured diagonally) 720p HD Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA® Engine for unbeatable HD viewing
- HD imaging excellence from Sony: 12MP camera with Exmor R™ for Mobile camera sensor, 1080p HD video recording, 1 MP 720p HD front-facing camera
- Easy multi-screen connectivity with HDMI and DLNA®
- 1.5Ghz dual core processor
- 16GB internal memory with microSD™ expansion slot supports up to 32GB
- PlayStation Certified for high quality mobile gaming
Of course, this device will have to compete with the likes of the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S III, both which have better specs and ICS. The Xperia Ion does have that low, $99 price tag though, so at least Sony isn’t over-selling it. The Sony Xperia Ion will be available for $99 with a 2-year contract on June 24.
T-Mobile is now the only major US carrier that isn’t offering any LTE devices right now. They’re also the smallest major US carrier, and they’re the only one that still doesn’t have the beloved iPhone (which turned out to be less of a carrier-gold-mine than expected after all). However, they have great prices, so customers keep their contracts and are happy to use T-Mobile. However, T-Mobile still has room to improve in their service reliability and availability, and one of the ways they can do this is by finally adding LTE into the mix.
Today, the Senior Vice President of Technology for the company announced that T-Mobile is, in fact, working on LTE–and it’s LTE-Advanced at that. Nokia Siemens and Ericson have worked a deal out with T-Mobile that will allow them to fuel their network improvement over the next two years with a 4 billion dollar investment. This investment will help T-Mobile add HSPA+ to 400 more networks, bring 37,000 of them up to date, and push their LTE-Advanced equipment into usage. T-Mobile fans rejoice. There is no word on exactly when LTE will hit T-Mobile, but this 2-year timeframe is a start. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on T-Mobile’s steady improvements and upgrade to LTE.
I for one have been mighty jealous when my Android device was left out the OS’s that got Microsoft’s My Xbox Live app. iOS and WP7 users have been enjoying this app for quite a while now, and today Android users finally can as well as Microsoft published the app to the Play Store earlier today. On top of its availability supporting most versions of Android, it is actually a really good experience throughout.
Android has a UI implemented into the SDK now that a lot of apps are starting to follow after, however, that didn’t stop Microsoft from keeping their Metro UI that we have seen in WP7 and Windows 8. The font has stayed the same as in WP7 as well, and the lower case letters and swiping UI is constant throughout the app. You can edit your avatar’s clothes, send messages, view your achievements and set beacons from your mobile device so your friends will know what games you’re looking to play when home. Overall, I am pretty pleased with the turnout of the official My Xbox Live app for Android, and anyone with an Xbox and an Android device should hit the download below and check it out.
Play Store link
Samsung has just announced their solution to getting NFC out to the masses. They have named it TecTiles, and they are little NFC squares that can be programmed to do just about anything that you would like. Unlike mobile payments, this use of NFC is putting the control right in the users’ hands. Available at launch from all mobile US carriers, these little squares will be sold for $14.99 in quantities of 5. Because they can be reprogrammed at any time, this is a pretty good deal because you can constantly mold them to suit your current needs, whatever they may be.
TecTiles will allow users to do things from send a text message to update your social network, and much more then that. They will allow for specific messages, so things like daily updates or messages to loved ones can be as easy as touching your phone to a square. Samsung has really brought productive NFC use to the mass consumer with TecTiles, and I will definitely be picking a few up myself. It will be interesting to see how third-party vendors will use these as well, because NFC can really be used for so many things. For example, if Foursquare started sticking these squares at the door of every venue, users could just tap their phone to the square to check-in, and in my opinion, that would be pretty awesome to see. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the progress of NFC and how well TecTiles actually work.
Verizon made a lot of people’s nightmares come true today with their recent announcement of “share-everything” plans, which is specifically a change for most people in the data area of their plan. While some are still grandfathered into unlimited data, Verizon made a pretty big and unhappy splash a while back when their CFO claimed that unlimited data plans would soon be out the door for good for everyone.
This is probably the first and largest step towards doing so: shared data plans. Now with the company making all lines report their data usage to one big pile of GB’s, families will begin to limit their data throughout in the same way they have done previously with minutes and texts. $40 is the cost you will be paying up front every month for every smartphone on the plan, and every line will have unlimited minutes and text messages. Once you get that taken care of you will decide how much data you will want to pay for per month. While some may actually save money on these new plans, a lot of people, especially smartphone users who stream a lot of content (aka the entire Android community) will take a pretty big hit with these new plans. While Verizon hasn’t officially forced everyone over yet, we are definitely getting closer. Check out the pricing for the new plans below:
- $50 for 1GB shared data
- $60 for 2GB shared data
- $70 for 4GB shared data
- $80 for 6GB shared data
- $90 for 8GB shared data
- $100 for 10GB shared data
So is anyone excited for these plans? Maybe some. Let us know in the comments how you feel about Verizon’s new Share Everything Plans and if you will be getting on one anytime soon.
The last thing that Apple brought to WWDC 2012 was the unveiling of iOS 6. The new iteration of iOS will have over 200 new features, and a few of them are outlined below. iOS 6 will be coming to iPhone models from the 3GS and later, the 4th generation iPod Touch, and the 2nd and 3rd iPads generations. They have announced a new notification center with not only Twitter integration, but Facebook is coming along for the ride this time. You can now like everything from photos to apps in the App Store, and you can post things to Facebook in the same way that you could with Twitter in iOS 5.
They have also updated Siri to be able to do even more things and provide even more information. Siri can now launch apps, and Apple showed off a lot of new questions that Siri can answer such as sports statistics and turn-by-turn navigation right from Siri itself. Apple has also added a new app called Passbook that virtually transforms your iPhone into a gift card and event ticket wallet. You can now receive notifications of when you are near a store at which you have money to spend or when a boarding pass at an airport gets updated. Apple even released a template for third-party developers to implement their own services into Passbook. They have added a “Do Not Disturb” function to iPhone as well that allows you to shut off notifications and specify exactly what comes through and when. You can set a VIP list for email so you receive specific notifications from senders right to the lock screen. Facetime also be available over a cellular connection, which will revolutionize how much people use the service when they are out and about.
Apple has also kicked Google out their maps equation by launching their own maps complete with turn-by-turn navigation. This maps service will be crowd-sourced, and with the huge number of iOS users out there, this could definitely take the place of Google Maps without a problem. 3D maps are also available and looks extremely fluid and well-designed.
Apple is bringing a lot of new features to the table, and iOS 6 will hit iOS devices worldwide this Fall, likely with the launch of the next iPhone. We will be sure to keep you updated with any developer previews and information we receive.
Along with the new MacBook lineups, Apple also gave us more of a look at OS X 10.8, Mountain Lion. Mountain Lion will bring a lot of new features that will closely integrate it with other Apple products. Notification Center will be brought to Macs, so users can get all of their notifications throughout their devices. This means Twitter, Calendar, and even iMessage notifications will come right to your Mac. They have also added a mute button for this, so users don’t have to get a ton of notifications if they don’t want.
They also have added GameCenter so users can take their gaming across all Apple platforms, and invites to games will now come to Macs as well. AirPlay now has mirroring for Macs, and the HDMI port on the new MacBooks will help with that as well. Apple has added a feature called PowerNap which updates the entire system while it is sleeping so your MacBook will always be up to date even without you initiating it. There are over 200 new features in Mountain Lion, and it will hit Macs this summer for only $19.99.
Photo credit: Engadget
Apple’s WWDC 2012 conference is here, and they have exceeded all expectations with their new MacBook lineup. They started things off by updating all of their current models with brand new specs, and announcing the new MacBook Air line. The MacBook Air now has a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, an Intel HD 4000 graphics processor, and either 64gb or 128GB of flash storage. These models are shipping today in 11 inch and 13 inch models.
However, they didn’t stop there. They announced a new MacBook Pro that stole the show from any other model. This new model is as thin as the MacBook Air at only 0.71 inches thick and weighs only 4.46 lbs. Not only is this new notebook thin, but it comes with the rumored Retina Display that is the highest resolution notebook display in the world at 2880×1800 on a 15-inch screen. This screen has 3 million more pixels than a 1080p HD TV, and has a smaller margin between the screen and the edge of the body than any MacBook yet. This MacBook still gets 7 hours of battery life however, and still maintains 31 days of standby time. This, my friends, is quite a breakthrough. It has dual mics, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3, and a backlit keyboard. It has no shortage of ports either, with an SD slot, an HDMI port (finally), two USB 2/3 ports, and two Thunderbolt ports. It has a 2.3 GHz dual-core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of flash storage.
The new MacBook Pro starts at $2199 and starts shipping today. Apple is very proud of this new notebook, and they have reason to be.
Photo Credit: Gizmodo
Today Robert Scoble, a very tech-engaged icon who never shies away from a good rumor, posted an update on his Google+ that claimed that Andy Rubin, the founder of Android, would be leaving Google. Yes, Google I/O is just a few days away, and yes, Rubin leaving would mean a huge overhaul of I/O and likely result in an event no one would have predicted, but Scoble posted it nonetheless. Scoble claimed that Andy would be leaving to take charge of a startup called CloudCar that Rubin is closely tied to, but this has been proved to be false. Rubin did give CloudCar space in his startup incubator, but that is as far as the relationship goes at this point. Now, maybe Rubin wouldn’t have left before I/O, and it’s likely that such a parting would take place after Google’s key annual event, but still this news would have sent shock waves through the foundation of the Android/Google community.
However, posting his eleventh tweet since joining Twitter, today Rubin announced that he had “no plans to leave Google” after all. Rubin didn’t stop there though, no, his eleventh tweet had to have more substance–more pizazz. He also dropped the 900,000 number for Android activations per day, a number which is higher than the previous 850,000 that was revealed at MWC. This not only proves that Android’s growth is still climbing, but it also gives us an understanding of something else Rubin may have been trying to imply. Why would he leave Android now, at its peak. Well, maybe because of the famous “what goes up has got to come down” logic, but Apple has definitely proved that wrong thus far. Either way, Rubin is here to stay…for now, that is.
The completely redesigned, new version of Foursquare that we have been hearing about for so long is finally here today–and it is awesome. Foursquare is still Foursquare. Meaning you still check-in, you still can explore, you still compete for mayorships with your friends and complete strangers. However, the way Foursquare goes about this puts a bigger emphasis on finding you new things to do.
It all starts with the design. As soon as you open the app for Android, you will notice that it has the brand new ICS themed layout that we’re starting to see with more and more apps. In the iOS version, the same idea is present only in the standard row of tabs on the bottom of the screen. In the same direction that both Facebook and Google+ have gone, Foursquare is also enlarging all of the photos in the app, making it a more visual experience than ever. This works hand-in-hand with the new Facebook Timeline integration, which inevitably makes Foursquare look like a native part of Timeline when posts are viewed on Facebook. The whole thing just feels like that “modern social network” that all of the top social giants seem to be heading towards these days.
The Explore feature now remembers the places that you often go and the places you mark as a favorite, and suggests them to you. For example, right now my Foursquare app knows that it is Thursday afternoon, so it reads “Suggestions for Thursday afternoon.” Under that line, it shows a lot of my favorite lunch places, starting with Chipotle Mexican Grill. And to be honest, I could go for some Chipotle right now, which is exactly the reaction that Foursquare was looking for with their new app.
You can view your stats in a beautiful new grid layout, that shows your friends, check-ins, mayorships, and trophies as well. It looks really good, and is definitely the best Foursquare experience yet. In my opinion, this update is exactly what Foursquare needed to renew its novelty feel, keep users coming back, and bring back users that have parted ways. Grab the update for Android in the link below, and the update for iOS is available at the iTunes link below.
Play Store link
Today, AT&T’s Galaxy S III is up for preorder. The device has the exact same specs as the rest of the US verisons, except for an option to grab the 32GB model. Sorry AT&T subscribers. The phone is $199 on a new contract, and $549 without a contract. It will be launching on June 18, which is three days earlier than most of the other launch days carriers have been posting. Maybe this is AT&T’s way of apologizing for skimping out on that extra 16GB of space.
The device will be available in both the Pebble Blue and Marble White editions, and is currently on their website to begin preorders as I write this. Of course, AT&T happens to be the carrier with the best current competition for the Galaxy S III, the HTC One X, so we will have to see how it stacks up in sales now that customers can grab both devices upon entering an AT&T store. Let us know in the comments if you are or aren’t looking to pick up a GSIII, and we will bring you our own reviews when we conclude them.
Last week Google told us they would be showing off the “next dimension of Maps” today, and so they have. A lot of people thought it would have to do with 3D, and some of it does, but the big deal of Google’s event is the introduction of offline Maps. And offline Maps is a big deal.
I can’t count the amount of times that I have had to wait on Google Maps to pull up my directions or navigation due to a poor data connection. Now, this is usually when I am in the middle of nowhere, but it was still an issue. Google will now allow users to download Map areas to their device (this is already offered in Labs, to some extent) and will improve upon any offline downloading that is currently available. They didn’t specify exactly how it will all work, or how much you can have offline at a time, but it will be coming to Android soon.
They also will be improving their 3D maps pictures, giving them much more detail and more of a realistic look. This feature will be coming to both iOS and Android however, because Google is looking to bring these features to both platforms. Google has started using new forms of mapping to obtain these images which will give us higher resolution images as well. They have also introduced a new backpack camera that they will use to obtain Street View pictures in places that they can’t get cars.
Pretty cool stuff.
We’ll be sure to let you know when Google finally pushes these features to their iOS and Android apps, and give you our opinions of how they actually work when on devices.
While they didn’t bring a next-gen console to E3 this year, Microsoft really pushed the limit on what the Xbox 360, their current-gen console, can do. Xbox has recently been given access to an “app store” where users can download and purchase things, and download service providers and apps such as Netflix and YouTube. These were obviously a huge hit, and Microsoft is planning to expand their providers by adding 35 new companies to the mix. Machinima, Nickelodeon, and Paramount can all give users a taste of what they can view with their cable providers, and do it all from one console. Microsoft has also announced they will be adding NBA Gametime and WatchESPN apps to the market so users can finally catch live sporting events via their Xbox. Clearly, this is bad news for cable companies.
Microsoft has also announced a new application called SmartGlass that will enable users to use their tablets as “remotes” for any Windows 8 devices, and of course, the Xbox to play different media types. Think AirPlay. Users will be able to start streaming content on one device, and pick up on another anywhere at any time. They also are enabling a “second screen” with tablets and phones that can be integrated into the Xbox’s experience, which is likely their shot at Nintendo’s new Wii U Gamepad. This app will also come to iOS and Android, though, meaning Microsoft is looking past just Windows Phone for their newest technology.
Microsoft is also pushing for more Kinect integration by adding easier ways to search with voice and gestures, and Internet Explorer will be added to Xbox by the end of the year. Xbox Music was something we have been hearing about for quite some time now, and today it became official that it was coming, and that it would work with Windows 8 devices. This means the Xbox can literally be the media center of a home for the first time. Sports, surfing the web, gaming, television–all of these can now be accessed by Microsoft’s home console. It’s no wonder the Xbox has become the best selling console worldwide.