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Date: Monday, 15 Sep 2014 13:39

windows gofone rear First image of Windows only branded smartphone
When HTC and Microsoft launched the HTC One M8 on the Windows Phone platform last month there was a subtle hint in the name towards the future of the ecosystem. The device was called the HTC One M8 for Windows, with Microsoft choosing not to use “Windows Phone” because the company instead wants to unify the platform.

Microsoft is eager for there to be no differentiating names between its products and the company wants the brand to be unified across mobile and desktop. There is also an interest in unifying the Windows RT and Windows Phone platforms into one service. The first evidence of that is the above image that shows the upcoming GoFone Windows smartphone, the British company’s first on Microsoft’s platform.

Not much to discuss other than to say that this seems to confirm that Microsoft is indeed going to ditch the Windows Phone moniker. The news comes a week after it emerged the company would also be getting rid of Nokia branding on all future Lumia smartphones.

Author: "Luke Jones" Tags: "Featured, Microsoft, GoFone, microsoft, ..."
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Date: Monday, 15 Sep 2014 09:30

020612 wallpapers1 Today’s Wallpapers 15/09/2014

Check out today’s featured mobile wallpapers! You can download these wallpapers for your favourite device in our wallpaper gallery and customize your mobile to suit your unique personality. We are always updating our wallpaper galleries with the freshest content. You can find the very latest wallpapers in the sidebar, so make sure to check that out every time you visit us!


Today's Android - 1440x1280 Wallpapers

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Author: "Pece Andonoski" Tags: "Wallpapers, mobile backgrounds, mobile w..."
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Date: Sunday, 14 Sep 2014 11:07

020612 wallpapers1 Today’s Wallpapers 14/09/2014

Check out today’s featured mobile wallpapers! You can download these wallpapers for your favourite device in our wallpaper gallery and customize your mobile to suit your unique personality. We are always updating our wallpaper galleries with the freshest content. You can find the very latest wallpapers in the sidebar, so make sure to check that out every time you visit us!


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Author: "Pece Andonoski" Tags: "Wallpapers, mobile backgrounds, mobile w..."
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Date: Saturday, 13 Sep 2014 15:00

sony xperia z3 Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact available for bargain prices in the UK
After having a quick demo of the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact I can confirm they are the real deal, even if they do only update the Xperia Z2 experience slightly. The handsets are set to go global during the opening weeks of October, but they are available in the UK for pre-order now and amazingly it seems some retailers are offering enormous launch discounts.

The Xperia Z3 is the daddy of Sony’s smartphone output right now, the flagship tour de force. The Japanese company is retailing it for £549 through its official UK store, as is retail giant Amazon. Carphone Warehouse, one of the UK’s largest smartphone retailers is offering the handset for just £429 though, if it is pre-ordered now. The numbers speak for themselves, but that is a huge saving of £120, which for out American readers is around $190. There is a bit of bad news as the retailer only offers the Xperia Z3 in black, but even so, this is one hell of a deal.

It is a similar story with the Xperia Z3 Compact, a smartphone that Sony and Amazon are selling for £429. That is flagship money for a flagship baiting device, but retailers Clove and Handtec are seriously undercutting that price by offering the Compact for just £348 on pre-order. Again, the numbers do the talking, but that saving makes the Z3 Compact a mid-range device and very, very enticing. These companies are even offering the handset in different colors, with black, white, and red the available hues.

The Xperia Z3 a 5.2-inch 1080p display, a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 with 3GB of RAM, Sony's quality 20.7 megapixel camera with Exxmor sensor and extra-high ISO 12,800 light sensitivity (the most on any smartphone Sony says). It also has 16GB of on board storage and a microSD card slot. As for the Xperia Z3 Compact, that handset has a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, 2GB of RAM, and IP65 waterproofing. It will also sport a 4.7-inch 720p IPS screen and will carry Android 4.4 KitKat and have the other features found on the full Z3.

The moral of this particular story is that if you want to pre-order the Xperia Z3 or Z3 Compact then you should ignore Sony and get yourself a deal. If there is something similar happening in other markets we would love to hear about it, so feel free to leave a comment behind if that is indeed the case.

Author: "Luke Jones" Tags: "Featured, Sony, Flagship, smartphones, X..."
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Date: Saturday, 13 Sep 2014 14:16

htcdesire610 630x377 HTC to have the Desire 610 on Verizon
I like what HTC has been doing lately simply because all of its smartphones are good. The company has released more products this year at different price points and it is hard to argue that the Taiwanese giant has the best range of smartphones available. The Desire 610 sums this up, a good looking, budget, and solidly performing device that is now expanding its availability in the United States.

The handset rolled out in the US with AT&T with a rather fetching $199.99 off contract price, but it is now also landing Ma Bell’s biggest rival, Verizon. Or that is what a recent FCC filing suggests, giving HTC a low end handset on Big Red, the biggest carrier network in the United States. The handset showed up at the FCC as the model number 0P9O300, the SKU HTC331ZLVW and support for CDMA, EV-DO and LTE bands 4 and 13. That all points to something on the Verizon.

I contacted Verizon to see if they would confirm the Desire 610, but they would not, but it does seem that the handset is going to land soon. One thing is certain, if you want an HTC device but do not have a lot of cash to play with, the Desire 610 could be the smartphone for you. I expect Verizon to sell it for under $200 to its pre-paid plan customers, although the company could indeed offer it for free on contract.

The device features a 4.7-inch 960×540 display, Snapdragon 400 processor, 8GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, and an 8MP rear-facing camera. As we have become used to with HTC handsets, the 610 borrows heavily from the One M8 flagship in terms of aesthetics, looking like a smaller less premium version. Of course, that means plastic is here instead of metal, but the 610 is a solid looking and feeling smartphone nonetheless, while it even gets the very good BoomSound front facing speakers.

Author: "Luke Jones" Tags: "Featured, HTC, Verizon, Big Red, Desire ..."
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Date: Saturday, 13 Sep 2014 08:30

020612 wallpapers1 Today’s Wallpapers 13/09/2014

Check out today’s featured mobile wallpapers! You can download these wallpapers for your favourite device in our wallpaper gallery and customize your mobile to suit your unique personality. We are always updating our wallpaper galleries with the freshest content. You can find the very latest wallpapers in the sidebar, so make sure to check that out every time you visit us!


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Author: "Pece Andonoski" Tags: "Wallpapers, mobile backgrounds, mobile w..."
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 17:10

OneCamera HTC to launch a camera, we ask why?
HTC has a launch event scheduled for the start of October and the company’s invite points to a camera focused roll out. We thought that the event could be to launch a new camera oriented smartphone, maybe one cashing in on the selfie trend, or perhaps a new higher spec’d HTC One M8 with an improved camera experience. Instead, it looks as though HTC will be branching out into an entirely new category instead.

No, this will not be the HTC build Nexus 9, the company’s first slate that is arriving at a different Google run event. And no, this will not be the much rumoured HTC smartwatch as for the time being at least HTC has decided to cancel plans for a wearable because the market is crowded and not growing fast enough. That actually makes the real product that is launching at the event utterly perplexing.

It turns out that HTC will launch a camera, a GoPro style action cam that will have a tube design in fact. The snapper is said to pack a 16 megapixel lens and come with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, the latter of which suggests this will have a close relationship with HTC’s smartphones. This product would be an entirely new avenue for HTC as the Taiwanese company is obviously not known as a camera manufacturer.

So, I really have to ask this question:

If HTC does not want to enter the crowded and underperforming smartwatch market, why does the company want to enter the full to the brim and failing outright camera market?

It is a puzzling strategy on HTC’s part, especially when we consider that the company is actually in trouble and is looking for ways to get back to consistent profitability. Making an extremely niche device in a dying category hardly seems like the right avenue to achieve that, unless HTC will pull something special out of the bag next month.

Author: "Luke Jones" Tags: "Featured, HTC, Camera, Launch"
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 16:57

LG G Flex Group 500x375 Full Review: LG G Flex

LG has been making a comeback of sorts of late with their newer devices and in my opinion the most interesting of those handsets is the LG G Flex. This smartphone arrived last year with a six inch curved display and an oddly placed volume rocker/power switch, so how could I not be interested? Did this intrigue turn into love or hate? Let’s find out.

Lets start where we always start with new devices the specs:

lgflex specs Full Review: LG G FlexThe only thing that really needs to be noted is the 720 display coming in at only 245ppi while I found the screen to still be very usable without noticeable pixilation when you are looking at other flagship Android devices most likely this spec will fall short of other devices.

Hardware:

This is truly what makes this device different... It's not only the curved six inch screen but it's also the rear placed buttons and "self-healing" plastic. I am going to be upfront with you and let you know I didn't have the time to test the self-healing plastic on this device, so we can discount that. I have done research on it though and the take away here is it will work on small dings. By all accounts it's not a miracle worker but it does work, which is pretty amazing in itself.

The rear facing buttons are not as big of deal as I thought they would be and they have of course found their way to just about every device LG has made since the G2. It does take a while to get used to the placement, but I see after a month or so it would become just as natural as any other smartphone button configuration. The overall reason for this placement is augmented by some neat software tricks, which we will discuss later on in this review.

Now for the part everyone came here for, the curved screen; a gimmick or not? I am going to have to say not a gimmick on this time, which does not mean it is a trail blazing innovation either. The more I used the curved screen the more I liked it, from a call standpoint people I talked to told me I sound clearer, which is normally an issue on the average phablet device. Normally you would get some form of "echo" from your voice bouncing around before it gets picked up by the microphone.

In hand the curved screen helps with the travel of your thumb to make each corner of the screen just a little more reachable, and while this will never be confused for a one handed device the screen helps it feel not so big. This transfers to pockets as well; I personally carry my device in my back pocket and curve makes a more natural feel on my rear end. The flexing of the screen also helps as I could actually sit down with the device in my pocket without fear of sitting wrong and breaking it, although of course putting that much weight on the handset regularly is not recommended.

The curve also helps while reading and watching videos, both things are kind of hard to describe to you, but while reading on Flipboard I found the screen helped me "flip" through information more smoothly and with less effort (my finger almost flowed over the screen). While watching Netflix I found the curved screen helped immerse me into the show/movie more, but I can of course see where these traits would depend on personal preference.

Camera:

The 13mp camera is a pretty darn good snapper. While I am pretty picky on such things, this device performed very well indoors indeed. As long as you are not zooming into the detail it’s great, and in fact it's not until you zoom ALL the way in that you start to get grainy shooting indoors. Outdoors the only fault I can find is sometimes this camera has a hard time keeping bright light under control without washing out some of the pic.

Naturally, this lighting issue is in auto mode and can be pretty much eliminated by using the in depth controls. The issue is not that evident however, but if you are a photo buff like me you will notice these things, but if you are not this camera will be more than enough for you.

Software:

LG has its own special brand of Android skin (just like every OEM) and frankly I think I like theirs the best, or at least some of it. The company has improved the experience further with the G3 UI, which will eventually find its way to the Flex. To start with, this device has double tap to wake which isn't that special to start with, however there is also double tap to lock which is awesome. This eliminates the need for the oddly placed rear lock/unlock button because once you power up the first time you pretty much ignore this button. The other cool unlock feature is once you are at the lock screen, if you pull two fingers away from each other in the middle it will take you to a screen for photo, videos and YouTube. While this feature was not necessarily useful for me, I can see why some would enjoy this.

The other features of this device are standard fair however. I like the look of it better then say Samsung's interface, it's a cleaner looking UI with all the extra features tucked away in the menus were they can be accessed easily but not seen all the time. There is standard fare of software additions like gestures on screen and the IR blaster remote.

The only disappointment I found with this software is LG's voice mate, which does all the basic functions but doesn't go any further and is kind of a let-down if you are used to a fully featured assistant on your device. That said, most people will be using Google Now for these features anyway.

Odd and Ends: 

One of the things that was disappointing was the single rear facing loud speak on this handset. It has enough volume to work well in quiet space, such as your own home, but once taken out and about it falls flat. It's simply not loud enough to start and it's facing away from the user, which only compounds the situation. For what it's worth, this is also a sealed unit so there will be no battery changes during the day. I really don't foresee that being an issue since I got through the day with 40% battery left even with heavy usage.

Conclusion:

This device is a great all-round smartphone with some cool LG software tricks. The shape of the phone is helpful in everyday usage for a myriad of reasons. If you are looking for capable phablet the LG G Flex should fit the bill. Overall this device I'd give this device a 9 out of 10.

 

Author: "Kevin Everett" Tags: "Featured, LG, Reviews, G Flex, review, S..."
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 08:30

020612 wallpapers1 Today’s Wallpapers 12/09/2014

Check out today’s featured mobile wallpapers! You can download these wallpapers for your favourite device in our wallpaper gallery and customize your mobile to suit your unique personality. We are always updating our wallpaper galleries with the freshest content. You can find the very latest wallpapers in the sidebar, so make sure to check that out every time you visit us!


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Today’s 480x800 Windows Phone Wallpapers

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You can download today's 480x800 Wallpapers from our 480x800 Wallpaper gallery.

Author: "Pece Andonoski" Tags: "Wallpapers, mobile backgrounds, mobile w..."
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Date: Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 21:54

nexusae0 wm V Overall NVIDIA reveals the HTC Nexus 9
A rather uninteresting court case is happening at the moment where NVIDIA is accusing Qualcomm and Samsung (of course) of copying its processer technology. However, as part of the case the company gave the game away regarding the upcoming new Nexus tablet, laying bare some details about the unofficial device.

NVIDIA had to supply the court a paper that showed the devices running its Tegra K1 processer, and interestingly one of the products was the HTC Nexus 9. The tablet has of course not even been announced yet and every single thing about it has been complete conjecture. Thanks to NVIDIA we have some extra info as the company said:

“The HTC Nexus 9, expected in the third quarter of 2014, is also expected to use the Tegra K1.”

Now, that may seem like an innocent enough statement, but it actually reveals an awful lot about the new Nexus product. For a start, it confirms that it will be Taiwanese smartphone giant HTC who will be building handset after months of rumours of that being the case. HTC will replace ASUS as Google’s go to company for slates, likely signalling the end of the Nexus 7.

Apart from that, we now know the name of the tablet, with some reports suggesting it would be the Nexus 8 (it is thought to have an 8-inch screen) and others the Nexus 9. Thanks to NVIDIA we now know it is indeed called the Nexus 9, so no more calling it by its codename Volantis we guess, an infinitely cooler name I think you’d agree.

This leak also hints that the HTC built Nexus 9 will be a high end tablet. The Tegra K1 processer is the fastest mobile chipset at the moment according to many benchmarks, so it is unlikely that Google would include it in an otherwise modestly spec’d product. Of course, HTC knows a thing or two about premium products and high end specs would tie into the reported metal casing that the Nexus 9 is said to boast.

One last thing, NVIDIA also said that the product would land at the end of the month. Interestingly, HTC has an event lined up soon, but it is unlikely that we will see the Nexus 9 there.
Instead, it is looking increasingly likely that the slate will make an appearance alongside the Motorola built Nexus 6 when Google officially rolls out Android L. The Nexus 6 and 9 would be the first products to get Android L and it makes sense that Google and not HTC would be rolling out the new slate.

Author: "Luke Jones" Tags: "Featured, Google, HTC, google, Nexus 9, ..."
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Date: Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 21:05

amazon fire phone official 1 Amazon/HTC budget device stopped by AT&T
The Amazon Fire Phone is not just a smartphone failure, it is shaping up to become one of the biggest tech misfires in history. That’s a shame because it is not actually a bad handset, but the decisions Amazon has made surrounding the device are laughable, whether that be poor strategy, terrible knowledge of consumer behaviour, and now it seems making terrible decisions pre-launch.

A report in The Information today suggests that Amazon was working with smartphone giant HTC on a budget handset that would launch alongside the Fire Phone, but ultimately killed the device. The reason just beggars belief, as it turns out HTC and Amazon ended the device because AT&T wanted exclusivity on it alongside the Fire Phone. The second largest carrier in the US is the exclusive holder of the Fire Phone, but also demanded such privilege for the HTC/Amazon collaboration. HTC did not agree so simply killed the affordable device.

HTC is a company that clearly thinks independence is better than getting into bed with a single carrier, and Cher Wang, the chairwoman of the company stopped plans for the device after AT&T's demands.

However, the utter and complete failure of the Fire Phone shows that any carrier exclusivity is a suicidal strategy these days, especially if you are a new company in the market like Amazon. The company essentially severely limited the availability of the Fire Phone from the start and as a result the handset has fell very flat. If nothing else, the total collapse of the Fire Phone should dissuade other companies from removing more than half of their potential customers by making a handset a carrier exclusive.

What an utterly terrible decision it seems to have been on Amazon’s part, compounded if stories of a potential HTC made budget handset are true. I reached out to Amazon and HTC to see what both companies had to say, while an AT&T spokesperson told me that the company did not comment on device strategy.

What do you think, would a budget Amazon handset have convinced you to buy one of the company’s smartphones or would it have just failed like the Fire Phone?
[VIA]

Author: "Luke Jones" Tags: "Amazon, AT&T, Featured, HTC, Carrier, Sm..."
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Date: Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 20:23

Sony Xperia SP Sony cuts support for a number of Xperia smartphones
Sony has decided to pull the plug on a number of its older and lower end Xperia handsets today, confirming that a number of them will no longer be supported. That means owners of the Xperia SP, first gen Xperia M, Xperia L, and Xperia C will no longer get any updates from Sony or Android. The company officially announced the decision by placing a “final version” tag on each devices respective support page today.

That means all of these devices will remain on Android Jelly Bean as all of them run one version of that or another. That is a little surprising considering these smartphones all have the required hardware to get a bump to Android 4.4 KitKat. I spent quite a lot of time with the Xperia SP and that is an ideal budget device that would thrive on KitKat, but as it has passed the 18 month support window Sony clearly feels there is no need to bump the aging handset.

Sony has recently announced new versions of Android 4.4 for its newer Xperia devices, such as the 2nd generation Xperia M and all of the Xperia Z range. That includes the original Xperia Z, a handset that is the same age as the SP but has the advantage of being a former flagship.

Author: "Luke Jones" Tags: "Featured, Sony, smartphones, Updates, Xp..."
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Date: Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 15:48

t mobile T Mobile rolls out wide update HTC One M7, M8, Samsung Galaxy S4, and LG G3
If you are rocking a HTC One M7 or M8, a Samsung Galaxy S4, or an LG G3 on the T-Mobile network in the US, you have probably received an update from the Magenta Network. The fourth largest carrier in the United States has issued a surprise update for all of those devices, rolling out the same patch to that line up of current and last gen flagships.

The Uncarrier network says that there are not necessarily any new software features in the update, and indeed the small file size certainly reflects that. However, the company says it has tweaked security, made minor performance enhancements, and generally just squashed a few bugs on those handsets. As for the LG G3, that smartphone will also get improvements to its Wi-Fi calling, while the HTC One M8, M7, and Galaxy S4 will just get the above mentioned patches.

Galaxy S4 owners will also be getting a bump to Android 4.4.4, which will be replacing the current 4.4.2 build that is running on that hand set right now. The HTC One M7 is also getting a new Android version in 4.4.3, the HTC specific patch that also includes the minor enhancements found in 4.4.4.

Are you running any of these devices on T-Mobile? If so, let us know if anything interesting came through in the update.

Author: "Luke Jones" Tags: "Featured, T-Mobile, carriers, Galaxy S4,..."
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Date: Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 15:24

tablets google play Google Play now has a two hour app/game refund window
Google has taken a fairly big step in helping consumers get their money back if they get a paid app or game that they do not want. The company has revealed that there is now a two hour refund window on the Google Play Store, and while this feature has been back for some time, it is only today Google is making it widely known with an official update to its support page.

Some of you who have been downloading apps on Android since the beginning will remember that Google used to offer a 24 hour of opportunity to get a refund. The company then change that policy and made the window a rather pathetic 15 minutes, a pointless move. After plenty of consumer and regulatory pressure Google has now bumped it back up to 2 hours.

That will certainly help those whose kids have downloaded something, or if a paid app simply didn’t deliver what it said it would on the tin. This is a bit of a minefield though as some consumer will undoubtedly abuse this policy change. Nevertheless, it is a step in the right direction and you can check out the full support page update below:

Return paid apps & games

After purchasing an app or game on Google Play, you can return it within two hours for a full refund.

If the two-hour return period has passed, we recommend contacting the app developer directly. You can find an app developer’s contact information listed on an app or game’s detail page on Google Play.
Return an app or game within two hours of purchase
On your device

Open the Google Play Store Google Play Store app.
Touch the Google Play Store Play Store icon > My Apps.
Select the app or game you'd like to return.
Select Refund.
If the two-hour refund window has not yet passed, Open and Refund buttons will be displayed. If a Refund button is not displayed, your purchase is not eligible for return.
Follow the instructions to complete your refund and uninstall your app or game.

After the two-hour return period has passed, an Uninstall button will appear instead of a Refund button. Selecting Uninstall will remove the application from your device, but you won't receive a refund.

Note: You can't return an app or game more than once. If you're refunded for an app during the two-hour return period then decide to purchase it again, you can't receive a second refund for the app.
On your computer (play.google.com)

Visit Google Play using a web browser.
Click the gear icon Settings > My Orders.
Point to the app or game you'd like to return. Click the menu icon that appears.
Select Report a problem, then select the refund option. Describe the reason for the refund, then click Submit.
[VIA]

Author: "Luke Jones" Tags: "Featured, Google, apps, google, Google P..."
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Date: Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 14:58

androiddistributinosept 630x218 Google’s Android distribution figures show KitKat on the riseGoogle was really proud of Android 4.4 KitKat when it was launched, it was following in the footsteps of the uber-successful Jelly Bean and was designed to take the first steps to unifying a fragmented platform. KitKat has absolutely flourished and through Google’s Android distribution stats for last month we can see that is has grown by 20% to now hold 24.5% of all Android market share.

Android L and Android One will pick up the baton where KitKat leaves it, but 4.4 has done amazingly well to get nearly a quarter of the market in under a year. I fully expect it to continue its ascent for at least the next 8 to 10 months until Android L takes hold. I also expect that L will be a two year version of Android and by the time its cycle ends that it and 4.4 KitKat will account for just about every Android device out there.

Yes, Apple fans with the iPhones running alongside 90% of other iOS users all on the same version will chuckle at, deride, and outright tease these Android figures, because frankly next to Cupertino’s platform, Android it still a fragmented mess. However, it is important to remember that this is an open platform with hundreds and thousands of devices running on it, fragmentation seems to be par for the course.

Google is far more interested in folding in forked Android devices, but in terms of unifying what is already there, KitKat is doing very well indeed. Although, it is probably an accepted fact at Mountain View that the platform will always have to tolerate some sort of fragmentation.

Here are the numbers below, or if you like graphs you can check out the lead image.
Android 4.4 KitKat: 24.5 percent, up from 20.9 percent last month
Android 4.1-4.3 Jelly Bean: 53.9 percent, down from 54.2 percent
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich: 9.6 percent, down from 10.6 percent
Android 2.3 Gingerbread: 11.4 percent, down from 13.6 percent
Android 2.2 Froyo: 0.7 percent, held steady from last month

Author: "Luke Jones" Tags: "Uncategorized, Android, Android 4.4, goo..."
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Date: Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 09:22

020612 wallpapers1 Today’s Wallpapers 11/09/2014

Check out today’s featured mobile wallpapers! You can download these wallpapers for your favourite device in our wallpaper gallery and customize your mobile to suit your unique personality. We are always updating our wallpaper galleries with the freshest content. You can find the very latest wallpapers in the sidebar, so make sure to check that out every time you visit us!


Today's Android - 1440x1280 Wallpapers

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Today's Android - 2160x1920 Wallpapers

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Today's iPhone 5/5s/5c - 1136x640 Wallpapers

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You can download today’s iPhone 5/5s/5c - 1136x640 Wallpapers from our iPhone 5/5s/5c - 1136x640 Wallpaper Gallery.


Today's 360x640 Wallpapers

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Today’s 640x480 Wallpapers

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Today’s 960x854 Android Wallpapers

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Today’s 960x800 Android Wallpapers

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Today’s 480x800 Windows Phone Wallpapers

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You can download today's 480x800 Wallpapers from our 480x800 Wallpaper gallery.

Author: "Pece Andonoski" Tags: "Wallpapers, mobile backgrounds, mobile w..."
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Date: Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 22:33

Google HQ Google responds to potential security risk
Internet and personal security are hot topics of late, or at least they are if you are a famous actress, and today Google had its own brush with a problem. Via a Russian based bitcoin forum 4 million Google username and password combinations were posted, but Mountain View has responded quickly to the problem.

Google says that the breach had nothing to do with it, saying that there were no breaches of its own security systems so the information must have been sourced somewhere else. The company passed it off by saying only 2% of the 4 million combinations were accurate, but we would like to point out to Google that 2% of 4 million is 80,000. Quite a large number of potentially breached accounts. That said, the company acted quickly, informed those at risk, made them change their passwords, and averted any potential problems. The company also warned its users about staying vigilant and safe while online, advice certain iCloud users could have done with recently.

You can read the full statement below:

One of the unfortunate realities of the Internet today is a phenomenon known in security circles as “credential dumps”—the posting of lists of usernames and passwords on the web. We’re always monitoring for these dumps so we can respond quickly to protect our users. This week, we identified several lists claiming to contain Google and other Internet providers’ credentials.

We found that less than 2% of the username and password combinations might have worked, and our automated anti-hijacking systems would have blocked many of those login attempts. We’ve protected the affected accounts and have required those users to reset their passwords.

It’s important to note that in this case and in others, the leaked usernames and passwords were not the result of a breach of Google systems. Often, these credentials are obtained through a combination of other sources.

For instance, if you reuse the same username and password across websites, and one of those websites gets hacked, your credentials could be used to log into the others. Or attackers can use malware or phishing schemes to capture login credentials.

We’re constantly working to keep your accounts secure from phishing, malware and spam. For instance, if we see unusual account activity, we’ll stop sign-in attempts from unfamiliar locations and devices. You can review this activity and confirm whether or not you actually took the action.

A few final tips: Make sure you’re using a strong password unique to Google. Update your recovery options so we can reach you by phone or email if you get locked out of your account. And consider 2-step verification, which adds an extra layer of security to your account. You can visit g.co/accountcheckup where you’ll see a list of many of the security controls at your disposal.

[VIA]

Author: "Luke Jones" Tags: "Featured, Google, google, Internet, secu..."
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Date: Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 21:54

nokia lumia microsoft Goodbye to Nokia from Microsoft
Since buying Nokia’s devices and services division earlier in the year, Microsoft has been ripping the company up. First Redmond pulled the plug on feature phones, saying it would stop making them within 18 months, than it ditched Nokia’s early steps into Android, and now Microsoft has decided it will stop using the Nokia name altogether.

According to reports today, the Lumia 730 and 830 launched last week will be the last to also sport Nokia branding, with Microsoft opting to just stick with Lumia instead. When the company purchased Nokia’s devices, it had a license to use the Nokia name for 18 months but would then have to pay to license it again. Could it be that the cost of renewing the license did not appeal, or did the Nokia that’s left halt the deal for its own future plans?

That all remains unclear, but from not one there will be no more Nokia Lumia, I guess instead we will see Microsoft Lumia or maybe even Surface Lumia. After the buyout, Microsoft left behind the company Nokia, but it had to re-tool itself into a services focused entity, one that has been doing quite well with its Android launcher app and other interesting things.

I think Microsoft could be playing into Nokia’s hands with its various decisions. For example when Nokia is allowed to build devices again in 2016 it will be able to pick up the feature phone baton (an area of the market underestimated) from Microsoft, but now the company will also be able to product smartphones under the Nokia name. I think Microsoft is underestimating how big that branding is in the mobile world.

Nokia is and always has been a patent haven, so if the company can return big in 2016 with a new smartphone that runs Android, with its big name it could do well. Of course, much of that is pure conjecture, but what is for sure is that Nokia can now be Nokia again without Microsoft using the name.

Some more name changing news from Microsoft seems more sensible as the company will change the Windows Phone name to plain old Windows. A good move to stop any differentiating between the ecosystem and hopefully the company can now drive Windows 9, Windows Phone, and Windows RT to one common goal and ecosystem.

Author: "Luke Jones" Tags: "Featured, Microsoft, Nokia, lumia, micro..."
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Date: Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 20:48

Samsung Galaxy S41 T Mobile’s Galaxy S4 variant gets Android 4.4.4
Samsung and T-Mobile have been showing the Korean company’s old Galaxy S4 flagship some love today by rolling out a new Android update for the handset. The patch brings the 2013 smartphone up to date with Google’s mobile operating system by giving it Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Considering the S4 is at the top end of its 18 month update window it is good to see Samsung still focusing on it, and the handset is also due to land Android L when that software is released later in the year.

T-Mobile announced the roll out today and confirmed that the 4.4.4 update is available OTA (over the air), via a manual grab, or through Samsung’s own Kies software. The carrier says the update weighs in at 401MB, so advises a strong Wi-Fi connection and a battery life of over 50%, the typical drill in other words.

As with other Android 4.4.4 updates, this software is simply to rectify some issues with the Android 4.4.3 build, such as adding some minor security enhancements. T-Mobile is keeping the whole changelog under wraps for the time being aside from saying that this update also features Wi-Fi calling improvements. However, the normal Android 4.4.4 update is quite a bit smaller than this, so I assume there have been some other new additions and finer touches too.
[VIA]

Author: "Luke Jones" Tags: "Android, Samsung, T-Mobile, Android 4.4...."
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Date: Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 13:57

xperia Z1 gallery hero 941e8d1f2ae48ffdd184e478c20fa89d Sony updates Xperia Z range to Android 4.4.4
If you are the owner of the original Sony Xperia Z and a number of other models from the range then you will be getting Android 4.4.4 KitKat on your device soon. Sony has confirmed that the update is ready for its older flagship smartphone as well as confirming that the newest version of Google’s operating system will also land on the Xperia ZL and ZR smartphones as well as the Xperia Z Tablet.

Sony’s newer flagships and other Xperia Z devices have already had the bump to Android 4.4.4 and this latest round of updates brings the whole series up to date. It is nice to see the Japanese company still supporting its Xperia Z, after-all the old flagship was launched way back at the start of 2013.

As we have said before, the Android 4.4.4 update is tiny and is only issued to deal with some security flaws in the KitKat 4.4.3 build, although Sony has taken the time to add some of its own enhancements too. The update is not available yet over the air as Sony is now sending it to carriers, so it will depend on where you are located and who you are with. You can check if you have the update ready by following this path on your Xperia Z device.

Settings > About phone > Software updates > System updates.

Sony has issued a changelog for previous Android 4.4.4 and it is the same one that will be arriving on the Xperia Z update, you can check it out below.

Upgrade to Android 4.4.4
Better battery performance in some background applications
Email stability & performance enhanced
General improvements to MMS, Calendar, Wi-Fi, Contacts & More
All of our latest bug fixes and enhancements

[VIA]

Author: "Luke Jones" Tags: "Android, Featured, Sony, Android 4.4.4, ..."
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