Monday, 15 October 2012

Android Community

Android Community

SoftBank’s plan to purchase 70% of Sprint for $20.1b confirmed

Posted: 15 Oct 2012 11:38 AM PDT

We heard all about SoftBank’s desire to purchase a majority stake in Sprint last week, but today, the two companies confirmed the deal. SoftBank will pay out $20.1 billion to take control of a 70% share in Sprint, with $12.1 billion of that going to current Sprint shareholders as consideration for the buyout. The rest of the money – all $8 billion of it – will be given to Sprint as new capital.

Current Sprint CEO Dan Hesse will be keeping his position after the buyout is complete, and Sprint’s headquarters will stay in Overland Park, Kansas. SoftBank has actually opened a subsidiary named HoldCo specifically for this buyout, which will have current Sprint shareholders retaining a 30% stake in the New Sprint. Through HoldCo, SoftBank will own the other 70%.

Not everything with this deal is said and done, however, so SoftBank has put some precautionary clauses in place. If SoftBank can’t complete this acquisition of Sprint, it will give the company $600 million. Likewise, if Sprint accepts a better offer from any other company, it will have to pay SoftBank $600 million, with $75 million going to SoftBank if Sprint’s shareholders reject the buyout offer.

By purchasing 70% of Sprint, SoftBank will be able to give its US operations a significant boost. The deal will also make Sprint, which has been struggling lately, more competitive in the US, as the influx of funding from SoftBank will allow Sprint to beef up its 4G LTE network at a faster pace. Should everything work out as planned, it may not be long before we see Sprint giving the big guys like Verizon a run for their money. You can read more on the buyout by clicking this PDF link.

[via SlashGear]

Photos taken with Nexus 4 camera appear on Google Plus

Posted: 15 Oct 2012 10:43 AM PDT

At this point, we can be pretty confident that Google is planning to reveal a brand new Nexus phone that’s made by LG, but just in case you needed more evidence, it seems that a couple Google and LG employees are more than happy to oblige. Over the weekend, Jason Parks, a Google employee, and Bae Sang-Hoon of LG’s Pyeongtaek Learning Center posted a handful of images to their Google Plus profiles (note: Sang-Hoon has since taken down his pictures). The images themselves are unremarkable, but the EXIF data for the snapshots gives away one particularly juicy detail.

According to the EXIF data, these images were taken with the camera on the Nexus 4. Not only does that tidbit of information indicate that the next Nexus phone is indeed about to be announced, but it basically confirms the name of the device too. It’s possible that “Nexus 4″ is just a work-in-progress codename for the new Nexus phone, but when the device appeared in Carphone Warehouse’s inventory last week, it was also called the Nexus 4.

So, ladies and gentlemen, it appears that “Nexus 4″ is the name of this incoming device. Of course, we’re not willing to say that’s a sure thing just yet, as we don’t have any official word from Google, but this is about as close as we can to get to actual confirmation without Google and LG saying anything. Now all we need is an announcement and we’ll be set.

If the current rumors are to be believed, we won’t be waiting long for that announcement either. We’ve been hearing that Google will unveil the Nexus 4 (or whatever it will be officially called) on October 29, which is exactly two weeks away from today. Stay tuned, because if recent leaks are indication, the next two weeks should be quite interesting.

[via The Verge]

Gameloft releases behind-the-scenes video of Modern Combat 4

Posted: 15 Oct 2012 10:21 AM PDT

One of the most popular mobile games for Android is almost certainly Modern Combat. Gameloft released a teaser video late last month showing off their latest and greatest, Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, and today they’ve dropped another quick video giving us an awesome behind-the-scenes look at this upcoming shooter for Android.

So far we have to admit, this game looks mightily impressive. We already knew it was going to be pretty epic but today’s first of many videos shows us even more of what to expect. Gameloft is calling this the developer diaries where we’ll get to see detailed gameplay video and more over the coming weeks before release. Take a peek below.

During the video above we see some incredible graphics and gameplay situations for a mobile device. Getting a behind-the-scenes look at some of the content and game creations, and what went into the thought process and developers minds while making this next-gen game. With stunning graphics, an increased polygon count for detailed textures and more we’re certainly seeing one of the best mobile games to date here.

Gameloft even details and mentions the Havok Engine is being used, which is similar to NVIDIA’s PhysX engine for a more realistic experience. This enables the game surroundings to change each time you play based on destruction, grenades, and other level altering situations. Some of those green trees sure reminds me of Crysis — just a thought. Who’s excited for this next-gen game from the folks at Gameloft? Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour should be arriving soon for Android so stay tuned.

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Google Nexus 7 is retailers best selling Android tablet ever

Posted: 15 Oct 2012 08:51 AM PDT

Carphone Warehouse announced that in the short time it has carried the Google Nexus 7, it has quickly become its best-selling Android tablet. This is not them calling it the best-selling Android tablet currently; it is the best-selling one in the history of the retailer. This just shows how the market is moving towards the more affordable, 7-inch tablet models and the power of the Google branding.

Of course, this is just one retailer, so it may not be indicative of the market as a whole. That being said, Carphone Warehouse are the UK's largest independent mobile retailer, so chances are great that the cross-section offered here is pretty valid of the market as a whole, at least in the UK. Besides the Nexus 7, Carphone Warehouse confirmed that it’s been seeing increased demand for smaller, cheaper tablets a whole.

The Kindle Fire HD is launching soon in the UK. This could cause a swing in the market, as the devices offer similar features and come in at around the same price point. Either way, taking over the market from a major retailer is no small feat, especially when you consider the short time the device has been on the market.

Nexus 7 could see its sales grow even more with rumors abounding about a new 32GB version hitting the market and replacing the 16GB version. If this happens, and buyers can grab double the memory for the exact same price, the Nexus 7 could extend it’s choke-hold on the small tablet market even further. We will keep you posted with that, and other Nexus 7 news as it develops.

[via The Telegraph]

LG phones beat Samsung in battery life

Posted: 15 Oct 2012 08:21 AM PDT

LG is claiming battery superiority, and it has just performed tests designed to prove it. LG tested its own Optimus G against a Samsung Galaxy S III. This is an interesting move on LG’s part. Going directly at one of its competitors and coming out ahead with a feature as important as battery life could be quite important for LG.

Both devices sport 2,100 mAh batteries. They put the devices head to head for talking on the phone, and watching and filming videos. According to LG, the Optimus G came out ahead on all fronts. LG’s results show that one could talk on the phone for 15.8 consecutive hours on the Optimus G compared to 9.5 hours on the Galaxy S III. They also found that the Optimus G records videos for 3.8 hours and plays them for 7.9 hours. The Galaxy S III, on the other hand, records for 2.8 hours and plays for 7.3 hours.

LG says the tests were conducted using the same conditions for both devices. Both phones were set to 50% backlight for the entirety of the test and both were on LG’s Uplus network. They also tested both devices for reporters at an event and showed the real-time difference in energy consumption between the two devices.

LG says it did not do this test as an attack against Samsung. Rather, they were attempting to clear up some misconceptions about the battery life of its device. Of course, beating the competition is a convenient bonus.

[via The Korea Herald]

Sony Nexus X mockup images appear

Posted: 15 Oct 2012 07:56 AM PDT

Today several images have leaked of what could be a new Sony smartphone called the Sony Nexus X. All kinds of rumors have circled regarding Nexus devices, but this is the first we’ve heard of this particular device. The photos of the device lack any Xperia branding, which seems a little bit odd. They were leaked on Picasa, and the device is certainly stylish, even if it might not be legit.

Of course this device could easily be a fake, and the lack of Xperia branding certainly makes us a little skeptical. The device itself looks legitimate, but it could be any Android phone with a person on the Internet calling it a Sony Nexus X. The device does say Google and Sony on the back casing, but that does not necessarily tell us that it’s real.

Unfortunately, the photos are all that was posted, and there are only two photos. The person who posted the photos did not list any specifications for the device, so we are left to wonder what is under the hood. The lack of specs also does not any credence to the leak, as one would think the person who posted it would share some specifications on the device in question.

Any leaks like this need to be greeted with a great deal of skepticism. Could this be a real phone? Sure, Sony may well be working on a Nexus device, and this could be that device, but until we hear something more official, it is hard to necessarily believe this as fact. That being said, this device is on our radar, and we will keep your posted as anything new develops on a possible Sony Nexus phone.

[via Xperia Blog]

Microsoft’s Xbox Music service launching Tuesday and coming soon to Android

Posted: 15 Oct 2012 07:28 AM PDT

Microsoft has announced that its new music service is launching on Tuesday for a slew of devices. Sadly, Android is not among the initial device offerings, but Microsoft has confirmed that the Spotify competitor is coming to Android (and iOS) shortly after the initial launch. This means that Android owners can take advantage of the cool stuff Microsoft’s Xbox music service offers very soon.

Microsoft offers a free version of this service, but like Spotify, users looking to use the service on mobile device will have to pay $9.99 per month to get access to it. For owners of an Android and an Xbox 360, it might be worth switching to Xbox Music because it does offer some pretty awesome features, especially if you are using it on an Xbox. As you might expect, Xbox 360 owners need to have a Gold account to make use of the service.

On Xbox, users can watch unlimited music videos with the new service. This is something you will not find on other music services, and could very well be worth the switch. They also have a store available for purchasing tracks not already available. On top of that, Microsoft even implemented an iTunes Match competitor designed to match songs from your library, regardless of where they were purchased.

As you might expect, Microsoft has also implemented a Pandora Radio-like experience for those who want to let some music play and not control it at all times. Overall, Microsoft looks to have some serious advantages over its competition. While they have not confirmed a date for the Android version of the music service, we are certainly looking forward to checking it out when it hits the market.

[via SlashGear]

32GB Nexus 7 tablet could go on sale this week

Posted: 15 Oct 2012 07:01 AM PDT

It looks like Google could be bringing a 32GB version of its Nexus tablet to market as soon as this week. In a tip to ITProPortal from a person close to UK retailer Argos, they revealed that they plan to add the Nexus 7 to its Christmas gift guide, which hits the shelves this week. Shortly after, Spanish retailer Phone House added a preorder page offering the same device for £279 ($361.64).

The report from Argos says that the device will retail for £199.99 (@$259.23). Phone House is asking a full £80 more than the price confirmed by Argos. The Argos report claims that this new 32GB model will replace the 16GB version, so that is why they expect it to go for the same price.

Many retailers have been dropping the price of the 16GB version, which further shows the likelihood of a 32GB version hitting the market just in time for the holidays. Google has not officially confirmed the existence of a 32GB version of the popular tablet. Asus has also not said a word about the official existence of this device.

Only time will tell if the 32GB Nexus 7 is officially hitting the market, but reports from two major retailers happening at around the same time seems like too big of a coincidence. Hopefully, with these reports breaking, Google or Asus will step up and make an official announcement soon. Either way, we will keep you posted on all the latest Nexus 7 as it happens.

Source: Omio and ITProPortal

ALCATEL ONE TOUCH announces modular ONE TOUCH EVO7 tablet

Posted: 15 Oct 2012 06:05 AM PDT

ALCATEL ONE TOUCH just announced a new 7-inch tablet that has 3G data that can be added or removed at a later time. While most tablets have its data built in to the device, the ONE TOUCH EVO7 has a removable module that allows it to get access to 3G data. This module can be purchased with the device or separately at another time.

The tablet has a removable frame, which is designed to cover up the removable 3G module. Users can also grab these frames in a number of different colors to give their tablet a more personalized feel. The announcement shows frames in red, black, and blue. There could be other colors available, but they do not officially mention them.

The ONE TOUCH EVO7 comes with Android 4.0 ICS installed. It has full access to Google Play, so users can choose from all the apps available. It has a 1 GHz processor installed to help get things done.

The device has 1GB of RAM, and that is the only internal memory. It does support microSD, so users can add up to 32GB of memory to the new tablet. Either way, this looks like a pretty cool tablet with an interesting method of offering data. I certainly would not mind seeing other tablet makers use 3G that can be added later.

LG confirms Jelly Bean release schedule for several devices

Posted: 15 Oct 2012 05:43 AM PDT

LG has issued a release regarding its plans for updating many of its devices to Jelly Bean. Owners of some of LG’s Optimus devices will get to enjoy the new features of Jelly Bean, some starting as soon as next month. Users with an LG Optimus LTE II will see their phones update sometime in November, with updates for other devices continuing as time goes on.

The Optimus G will be the next in line to receive a delicious Jelly Bean. It should see the update sometime in December. This should have owners of the device on the edge of their seats in anticipation.

The next phones to receive the update will be the LG Optimus Vu and Optimus Vu II. For these devices, the news is not quite as good, as LG announced that they will get a Jelly Bean update sometime in the first quarter of 2013. Hopefully, this ends up being early in Q1 and not all the way in March. After all, owners of an LG Optimus Vu or Optimus Vu II want those sweet Jelly Beans as much as the rest of us.

Oddly, LG made no mention of the LG Optimus 4X HD. This phone was a flagship device not long ago, and it was only released in August. Seems odd that LG would not update this phone with LG’s Q Slide feature. Besides Q Slide, these Jelly Bean updates will also include UI improvements, and app enhancements.

Android Community Weekly: October 14th, 2012

Posted: 14 Oct 2012 03:41 PM PDT

After last week ending strong on Nexus rumors we all pretty much expected that to continue this week, and that’s exactly what happened. Sure enough we had leak after leak of Nexus rumors, plenty of hardware pics and more so lets get started with what was important to us in the world of Android. Starting with the Nexus of course.

To keep things short and sweet on the LG Nexus 4 — since we’ve seen it all week — the hardware has been in the hands of leaksters for a few weeks now and Friday we got a full out hands-on review of the LG Nexus 4. It was benchmarked and we even got plenty of photo samples of that 8 megapixel camera. Obviously it’s prototype hardware so everything is being taken with a grain of salt — but exciting nevertheless. Reports are suggesting the LG Nexus 4 will be jointly announced by Google and LG on October 29th. We’ll have to wait and see.

This week was finally one that was light on Samsung news. Although we did learn the Galaxy Note II will most likely be dropping from multiple carriers on the 24th following the Samsung announcement event. Then Samsung announced their new and smaller Galaxy S III Mini — although the specs are a bit underwhelming. Then we had tons of news from Motorola, Google and others so lets dig in.

Google announced Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, with a few minor changes and nothing too major. It quickly rolled out to the Nexus 7 the same day. Speaking of the Nexus 7, a 32GB model is indeed coming and was even advertised on a few websites. Lastly from Google, Gmail 4.2 leaked with pinch-to-zoom and other awesome features — which is coming soon.

As far as hardware goes Motorola and Verizon confirmed the DROID RAZR HD and MAXX HD will officially arrive October 18th in store and online. Check out our RAZR HD hands-on for an idea of what to expect. We also enjoyed some time with Huawei‘s new quad-core devices. Check out the Ascend D Quad XL hands-on, then the MediaPad 10 FHD unboxing.

Last but not least Google updated the Google Play store with tons of new features, and we now can remove apps from the “all apps” list — something users have been wanting for a long time. Then the folks from Madfinger Games released the open beta of ShadowGun: Deadzone, and we’d highly recommend you check it out. Stay tuned for multiple reviews, news, and details coming next week. Who’s excited for the LG Nexus 4? Even if we only get 8 and 16GB of storage options?

Have a good weekend folks!

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