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28Jun/11Off

Toshiba Thrive Gets Cool Video Plus Giveaway Contest

The Toshiba Thrive was announced back at CES and it has taken its time to work out any kinks and find a good price range before hitting the market. Pre-orders for the tablet have just recently begun with a release scheduled for mid-July. As part of the promotions leading up to the launch, Toshiba has unleashed a neat little unboxing video full of special effects and also created giveaway contest for a free limited edition Thrive.

The Toshiba Thrive is a 10.1-inch tablet running Android 3.1 Honeycomb with an NVIDIA 1GHz Tegra 2 dual-core processor, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. The tablet will also feature a special haptic display, lock-screen button, pre-installed Swype keyboard UI, a Resolution Plus software for upscaling video content, and a removable battery rated for up to seven hours. It also supports Wi-Fi, HDMI, Bluetooth, and full-sized SD card slot.

The tablet was rumored early on to have a $700 price tag, but seeing how the Motorola XOOM sales went, Toshiba chose a much wiser $430 starting price for the 8GB model. An optional docking station can be had for an extra $59.99.

For a chance to win a free limited edition of the Thrive, Toshiba has created a set of missions that a mass number of fans must complete in order to acquire a code to unlock the next mission. Right now, the contest has progressed to Mission #4 and you will need to go here to watch the video to enter the code for one more step closer to winning the tablet.

[via Android Community]


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Toshiba Thrive Gets Cool Video Plus Giveaway Contest is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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28Jun/11Off

T-Mobile Samsung Exhibit 4G Hands-On and Unboxing

What I’ve had the pleasure of working with today is a neat new phone for T-Mobile called the Samsung Exhibit 4G. We have mentioned this device in the past but today we have a little hands-on time to show you this little thing of joy. Apparently I’m colorblind and call it pink in the video but it’s more of a purple-violet color. What Samsung has delivered is a great mid-range Android phone for those that don’t need the best and today I’ll show you why.

The phone is short and sweet so I’ll keep this unboxing the same and save the goods for the full review coming soon. The Samsung Exhibit 4G is actually probably one of the better mid-range phones I’ve felt and used as of late. When I say mid-range I mean mid/high-range because this seems about as close as you can get to a top tier device without breaking the bank. I was more impressed than I thought I’d be. Its biggest feature in my book is that it runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, YES I said Gingerbread. It does have the Samsung Touch Wiz UI but that is to be expected.

This phone runs on a 1 Ghz processor with a 3.5″ display, it has a 3.2MP rear camera with flash and a VGA front for video chat, along with a 4GB MicroSD card that is included. It has 3 capacitive buttons as you can see in the video. A menu, back, and search and then a dedicated home button below. From what I’ve seen thus far this is a great little device for those that don’t need all the bells and whistles. It’s like a mini Nexus S but made for a different crowd and price point.

Out of the gate is actually comes pre-loaded with a few applications that are actually worthwhile and not what I’d consider “bloatware”. Pre-installed you have a few popular games like Bejeweled 2, Scrabble, and Doodle Jump as well as all those usual T-Mobile apps like T-Mobile TV. It is nice to see it come with apps that will be of some use to many buyers rather than just loaded with nonsense.

We will be checking out this phone over the next few days so stay tuned right here at SlashGear if your interested in this baby. It’s currently FREE at Wirefly with a new contract so if you’ve seen enough check out this story for more details. If you want me to look over anything specific on this Exhibit 4G feel free to leave a few comments below and I’ll do my best to answer any questions you may have. Check out the video and all the pictures below and thanks for reading!

Exhibit 4G (1 of 1)
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T-Mobile Samsung Exhibit 4G Hands-On and Unboxing is written by Cory Gunther & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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28Jun/11Off

HP Offers $50 TouchPad Mail-In Rebate For Pre And Pixi Owners

HP may be trying to make up for the upset they caused when they denied over-the-air updates for customers of older Pre, Pre Plus, Pixi, and Pixi Plus phones. Back in February when the company introduced webOS 3.0, they confirmed that phones older than the Pre 3 could not be upgraded. So now, it appears as a form of apology, HP is offering Pre and Pixi owners a special $50 mail-in rebate on the upcoming HP TouchPad tablet.

For some, that may suffice, but the majority of webOS loyals may see the gesture as very half-hearted. First of all, the offer only applies to the 32GB TouchPad model that retails for $599. For those that had no plans to purchase the 32GB model, the offer is pretty meaningless. Secondly, since the original problem meant that Pre and Pixi owners essentially had outdated phones, a rebate or discount on a future phone would make more sense.

In order to take advantage of the offer, you will have to present proof of purchase for one of the specified phones and make the TouchPad purchase before July 31st. The 9.7-inch tablet will be the company’s very first entry into the tablet market and is slated for release on July 1st with pre-orders already being taken at select retailers. The TouchPad will also be the first device to run webOS 3.0.

[via ZDNet]


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HP Offers $50 TouchPad Mail-In Rebate For Pre And Pixi Owners is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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28Jun/11Off

Android Overload: Ericsson Hits 1GBs Down with LTE Advanced, Evo 3D Only $150 On Amazon Wireless and More

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Greetings, Android phone fans. Its another great episode of the Android Overload! This is your one stop, place to shop for all the news that didn’t get a chance to make it to our front page. Since, we’ve always been fans of second chances, we’ve given these little news snippets a second chance and brought them here for you to checkout. I particularly like the part about Amazon Wireless offering the Evo 3D for $150 (wish I could take back mine that I paid $260 for). Have a great night, everyone!

  • Ericsson reaches 1GBs in download speeds thanks to LTE Advanced [Ericsson]
  • Oracle now seeking 2.6 Billion dollars in damages from Google. Also wants 15% of ad revenue. [LATimes]
  • Deal Alert: HTC EVO 3D only $150 for new customers on Amazon Wireless. [AP]
  • AOL to launch new music streaming service based on Slacker Radio. [Venture Beat]
  • Sony Xperia Neo is released in the UK via several online retailers in the UK. [SEBlog]
  • The Motorola XOOM has launched in both WiFi and 3G versions for India.
  • Can’t decide whether or not the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is worth your hard-earned dough? Take it for a spin using Samsung’s online simulator.


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28Jun/11Off

New Fee Increase May Allow You To Break Your Verizon Contract With No Early Termination Fee

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Chances are if you’re on Verizon, you’re there for a reason. Because time and time again they have proven to have some of the best coverage and fastest 4G in the country. But what if you’re still not a happy customer? Well, it has come to our attention that Verizon has increased the “regulatory fee” they currently charge customers. How much you ask? Only a poultry 3 cents but according to The Consumerist, whether it’s $50 or 3 cents, that is enough for you to get out of your Verizon contract early and not have to pay that nasty Early Termination Fee. If you want to get into some more legal talk this change to your contract is known as a “material adverse change of contract” and according to standard contract law, could render the contract void if you don’t agree with these changes.

Now, despite the name official sounding name, a “regulatory fee” is not something charged by our government and is just another fee Verizon assesses. When talking with a Verizon rep, they may try to talk you out of it, give you the runaround but don’t be afraid to escalate to a supervisor or hang up and try someone else.

Keep in mind you only have 60 days from July 1st to make the cancellation and after that it will be assumed you have accepted any changes to your contract. To quote Verizon’s customer agreement,

Can Verizon Wireless Change This Agreement or My Service?We may change prices or any other term of your Service or this agreement at any time,but we’ll provide notice first, including written notice if you have Postpay Service. If you use your Service after the change takes effect, that means you’re accepting the change. If you’re a Postpay customer and a change to your Plan or this agreement has a material adverse effect on you, you can cancel the line of Service that has been affected within 60 days of receiving the notice with no early termination fee.

So if for some reason you have been unhappy with Verizon (blazing fast 4G LTE speeds caused your phone to melt?) or perhaps you had your eyes set on the numerous new phone’s that have launched on rival carriers, now might be your time to try something new.

Thanks, KLY412!


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28Jun/11Off

Monte Carlo from Orange Coming Soon To A UK Retailer Near You

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Now, I wont pretend to know too much about Orange in the UK, other than they’re one of the biggest wireless carriers overseas. Apparently this wireless carrier is so big, that they actually release their own branded devices from time to time. Take this Monte Carlo for instance, which is basically a rebranded ZTE Skate seen at MWC back in February.

The phone doesn’t do too bad with the specs either, especially given the phone’s expected £200 price tag. Coming with stock, vanilla Android 2.3 Gingerbread, 800MHz processor, 512MB of RAM, a 4.3-inch 480×800 resolution display and 5MP camera, this phone is sure to fit into anyone’s budget.

The Monte Carlo will only be available for Orange‘s Pay-As-You-Go customers and is expected to launch sometime this summer.

[Via UnwiredView]


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28Jun/11Off

New Android Mini Collectible Summer Special Editions

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Andrew Bell, designer of some of the most sought after collectibles in the Android community, has just announced via Twitter that his new summer line-up of Android Mini Collectibles will be available just in time for Comic-Con 2011. Comic-Con is widely known as one of world’s largest “nerd conventions” by many a comic, movie and anime loving enthusiast. Keeping with the theme of comic book and super hero movies, DeadZebra will not only be showing off the very limited line of Heroes and Villians Mini Collectibles at their DKE Toys booth, but a few lucky attendees will actually be able to purchase these bad boys ahead of anyone else. One design will be available per day, for 4 days, starting on Wednesday, July 20th. So if you’re lucky, you might be able to grab your very own, Hidden Task, El Poderoso, Greentooth or Cycle-On collectibles.

If you’re like most of us, and couldn’t find your way into Comic-Con this year, fear not. DeadZebra will be making a few sets available for purchase via their Dead Zebra Shop shortly after Comic-Con. I honestly can’t wait to try my luck at snagging one of these guys and will continue to refresh my web page every second following Comic-Con. So tell me, which collectible is your favorite?

[Via DYZPlastic]


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28Jun/11Off

Symantec Study Finds That Android Is Still More Secure than a PC

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Despite all the security breaches and malware scares we’ve had these past few months with the Android Market, Symantec, of Norton Antivirus fame, is still giving Android and iOS the advantage when compared to the security on desktop/notebook PC’s.

Symantec performed a mobile device security study and found that Apple and Google mobile OS’s are still more secure than Microsoft’s Windows at preventing “drive-by” app installs and malware often can’t obtain as many privileges as their desktop counterparts. Also, the fact that both mobile OS’s use signatures on their apps adds a layer of security you don’t normally see on PC’s.

Of course, Apple’s iOS still comes on top as being most secure with the rigorous screening of security threats for all their apps. Of course, we’ve all heard the complaints a lot of developers have regarding the flexibility of iOS apps and it’s one of the reasons many turn to Android. While, it would be very difficult to make malware apps that could compromise iOS, Symantec says it’s not impossible.

Now in regards to Android, Symantec is saying that the company’s deliberately looser app certification process, permissions for non-Market apps and vague permissions systems are all contributing to the OS’s rapidly growing malware problem. Device fragmentation is also adding to this problem. The majority of devices being released today are not running Android 2.3 which has patched up many of the exploits malware apps have been taking advantage of. Google’s business model for their Market hypothetically leads to more variety in apps but that has lead to vulnerabilities that could now require antivirus apps.

With the presence of so many viruses and malware, it’s one of the reasons I’ve actually switched to a Mac for my personal home computer and I’ve been considering an Asus Transformer instead of a cheap netbook for my little cousin. I’m over this virus/malware stuff and I don’t feel like its something I should have to worry about in a computer or mobile phone.

But what do you guys think? Can you see Android becoming the next haven for malware and viruses or do you have faith that Google will somehow be able to prevent malware from entering the Android Market? What do you think should be done (if anything)?

[Via Electronista]


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28Jun/11Off

T-Mobile Nexus S Finally Gets Google Talk Video Chat Over 3G/4G

Google Talk and Apple FaceTime both offer nice video calling services, but they differ in that FaceTime requires a Wi-Fi connection to work. Google’s offering was more ideal, but it didn’t quite pan out for T-Mobile customers. Since its launch back in May, Nexus S owners with the carrier have not been able to video chat over the cellular network. Well, that has changed today.

The video chat feature was first introduced in May for Android 2.3.4 devices, which meant the Google Nexus S. Owners of the device on the WiMAX network had no problem using the feature on their cellular networks, but for unspecified reasons, the service would not work on T-Mobile. T-Mobile Nexus S owners still had to rely on a Wi-Fi network in order to video chat.

Today, T-Mobile seems to have finally enabled the PSP mode needed for Google Talk’s video chat service to work over the carrier’s cellular network. It’s not clear what the original problem was, but after a month’s delay, the service is finally now working over the carriers 3G and 4G HSPA+ networks.

Other video chat alternatives that we’ve talked about recently include the Fring 4-way video calling app that works across all platforms. It recently had an update optimized for the larger iPad interface. Skype also recently launched an update designed for the iPad. And just today, the launch of Google+ promises more group multi-person video chatting possibilities to come.

[via PhoneArena]


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T-Mobile Nexus S Finally Gets Google Talk Video Chat Over 3G/4G is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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28Jun/11Off

What Google+, Circles, Sparks, and Huddle will Mean for Me and You

Dear Google, you’ve been ever so kind in allowing me to keep all of my stuff in one place with Gmail. I had a tough time trusting you back when Gmail became a reality and I was so used to using my PC computer and the horrifyingly ancient desktop-based email client therein. But I learned, I learned quite well, and now I know that you are the true holders of all the keys. Today you’ve announced a program called Google+, this encapsulating several elements including Circles and Huddle as well. It’s a social networking web of ideas and elements that’s set to change the way we work with Google and with each other – will you ensnare me again?

What we’ve come to understand can all be found in a post made earlier today here on SlashGear entitled SlashGear 101: What is Google+, Circles, Huddle? It is in our series of SlashGear 101 posts that you’re invited to learn about the most important and/or most odd elements in play in our modern electronic, tech, and gadget universe, aka all of the stuff we love the most!

That said, let’s have a talk about what we’re going to be doing here.

What Went Down Today

What you’ve got with what Google has released today is a set of social networking elements that all come down to the name Google+. This name has been simplified to such a level that Google is now banking on it to win, much like the way Apple takes names and adds an i to them to show that they’re part of their network intrinsically. The first and most important (if you ask me) element in play in this whole situation is Circles. If you take a look back about a week ago, your humble narrator wrote an investigative article by the name of Google Circles and what it Doesn’t Mean for You. This article took what we knew about Circles at the time (not much) and turned it into a hypothesis that, yes indeed, is turning out to be true:

It means, if you ask me, that Google Circles is a name of a project that might be released in the future that furthers the social connectivity options a person has with their Google account. You’ve already got a Google account if you’ve signed up for Gmail or if you’ve ever downloaded an app from the Android Market. More than likely this will be the same account you’ll be using to move further into the world Google is preparing for you, one we’re currently only able to call Google Circles.

All of this is true. Right this very moment it’s not, as the whole Google+ project is still invite-only, but it will be soon. Much in the same way you’ve got a Google Reader account whether you know you do or not, and you’re free to completely dismiss it if you like, no harm done, so too will you be able to dismiss everything inside Google+. But you wont. The reason you wont is because it’ll be so integrated into the Google-licensed Android experience that you’ll not only love to use the functions you’ll henceforth have, you’ll use them without thinking about it.

Circles

Google Circles is your organizational tool for your friends, associates, coworkers, or otherwise somehow connected to you human beings online. You can make a group for your girlfriends, you can make a group for your Magic the Gathering card game buddies, you can make a group of people that love rare Lady Gaga tracks before she went fashionable, whatever you like.

The reason you may want to use this ability to separate is that you’ll be able to share the media and messages you’d otherwise (read: Facebook) share with everyone you’re connected with. This Circles functionality plays with every other bit of this whole ecosystem.

Will this work out for a person like me? You bet your butt. The ability to share photos of my new little baby girl with only my close family instead of everyone I know, that including work associates and weirdos who I’ve needed to get in contact with for one reason or another at all points in the past – that’ll be helpful! And why wouldn’t I just de-friend these people from Facebook, I’m sure you’re asking, instead of starting up a whole new situation here with Google?

Because I like to opt-in to things rather than opting out of them. I like to give permissions to people instead of taking them away. It’s easier and it feels much more natural.

Sparks

This bit interests me the least, as I feel like, believe it or not, this functionality has been around since the inception of the internet. What Sparks will be is essentially a list of your interests that you can share with your Circles – or outside your Circles too, I expect. But with systems such as Tumblr, Reddit, and heck, even blogs in general in play, I don’t know why a person would want to share on a subject only inside a bubble such as this.

On the other hand, aren’t all of these systems stuck in bubbles? Of course not – just so long as your desired audience can see what you’re sharing, be it a small group of friends or thousands of tech and gadget interested readers, that bubble can be whatever size you want.

Hangouts

It is here that Google unleashes its video chat program in earnest. While in the past you’ve indeed been able to chat back and forth through Google Voice, this functionality has been rough and at times rather spotty. What Hangouts aims to do is, by the looks of it, take things like TinyChat and StickAM and TinyChat and place them in Circles, hereby removing all the unwanted advances you’ve more than likely felt if you’ve ever gone to those notoriously vile sites.

What Hangouts aims to be is a meeting place for you and your friends, you and your associates, or you and your Battlestar Galactica fanclub. You’ll all be chatting with video at the same time and it’ll be great. While I don’t necessarily believe that video chat is the best way for more than two people to communicate at once, this does seem like the most stripped-down and professional way of going about it presented to the public thus far.

Mobile

There’s currently an app on the Android Market that you can download and use, but only if you’ve been accepted into the beta program. You can grab this app right now and open it all you want, but you wont be able to get in unless you’re already in the cool club or have some sweet hacking skills, if you know what I mean.

You’ll be working with here and with future Android phones (and other mobileOS platforms we expect as well,) is instant integration with GPS, you video and photo capable cameras, and messaging. Location will be opt-in, that being the tagging of every one of your messages, photos, and video with GPS data, all of this uploaded “Instantly” to the cloud. This is, again, an optional situation, Instant Upload taking every photo you snap and uploading it to your account, available for access anywhere you can log in. Should you have unlimited data on your mobile plan, a great situation this could be. If you’re limited, consider skipping this option.

All of this will, again, be tied to your Circles in that your auto-filled photo album could be accessible by your close family Circle or your Ultimate Frisbee team Circle if you like. Same with sharing to a Circle – add those GPS tags and your whole Circle will know where you’re at.

Huddle

With Huddle you’ll be able to access a single chat window for each of your Circles. If you’re looking to share GPS-tagged messages, photos with messages, or videos to your Circles, this is the place to do it. Huddle is another piece of the puzzle that didn’t really need a whole separate name, as once you talk about Circles as they exist now you’d expect a Huddle functionality, but there it is.

How will you use Huddle? I’ll certainly be testing it out for my family to plan out holidays, for my local friends to plan outings to shows or for movie openings, and for my set of a couple of schooldays pals who share updates on uninteresting sci-fi junk that NOONE else would or could possibly ever give a care about – Smuggling spice through the universe and Tribbles and all that.

How long do I have until Total World Google-ation?

You’re too late, Google has already dominated the world in many ways. Google+ will give them a boost, or so my Android device reviewing brain hopes, allowing many more devices to be pushed out and the mobile revolution to keep on twisting. You’ll be able to access many or most of these projects from your desktop, as that’s half the point, but the real working nature of this greater Google+ environment will be unfolding in the mobile landscape. Get your tablets out, whip up a plan for how you’re going to use this new project and its many arms, and get pumped up, because Google’s gone social in a whole new way.


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What Google+, Circles, Sparks, and Huddle will Mean for Me and You is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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