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Sprint Drops The Price On Epic 4G, Nexus S 4G and Echo

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Looks like Sprint flew under our radar and dropped the price yesterday on some of their “old school” Android lineup. If you’re a new customer you can now sign up for a 2-year agreement and snag yourself a Samsung EPIC 4G for $100, Nexus S for $50 ($30 online), and the Kyocera Echo for free. Don’t forget, the girls — they love the Android (pictured above).

I’d have to say, all of these are pretty solid Android devices (yes, even the Echo). Lets see if Sprint can’t clear out some of their stock with these now extremely affordable handsets. Usually we see price drops from Sprint when they’re getting prepared to release something new — something you may need a tiny little telescope to see…

[Via BriefMobile]

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HTC Sensation Android 2.3.4 OTA Update Rolling Out NOW

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It’s like Christmas in August! Hot on the heels of the Evo 3D’s Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread update, HTC Sensation 4G owners now have something to get excited about. Seems HTC is on top of it today and is issuing an update for the Sensation as well, that will bring the device up to Android 2.3.4 just like its Evo 3D cousin. You will find a slew of bug fixes and improvements and here are a few them as listed by T-Mobile today:

New Features

    • Software stability
    • Improved battery life


    • Improvements to Trace dictionary
    • Improvements to screen responsiveness
    • Improvements to video playback
    • Improvements  regarding device reboot / power off
    • Improvements to icon  pixilation
    • Improvements to Wi-Fi connection
    • Improvements to screen/photo resolution

Manually Check For Software Update

You may check your phone settings to see if it has received the  software update. To check for updates, follow these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, press the Menu key.
  2. Touch About phone.
  3. Touch HTC software updates.
  4. Touch Check.
  5. Follow the on-screen prompts.
  6. Wait as your phone restarts and updates to Android 2.3.4 / software version 1.45.531.1.

[Via TMoNews]

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Leaked Verizon MAP Reveals Motorola DROID Bionic’s Pricing After 2-Year Agreement

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The guys over at Droid-Life managed to snag this leak of a Verizon MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) listing Motorola’s upcoming DROID Bionic for the low, low price of $300 with a 2-year agreement. The leak also confirms that heavily rumored September 8th launch date. Yesterday we discovered the Bionic’s full price at $589 and it seems 300 is the new price point for Verizon’s premium handsets ever since the Droid Charge debuted a few months ago. Factor in taxes and you’re spending a pretty penny to have a piece of Motorola’s latest gadgetry. Can I see some hands of who will still be picking this up come Thursday morning on the 8th?

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Android vs. iOS – A Battle of Personalities [Infographic]

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I’ve always been a sucker for infographs. Thankfully, I came across this one from the research firm Hunch where they pitted “Droid” (ewwww) vs. iOS users in an attempt to better understand the personalities of each. The results may come as surprising, or perhaps they wont. One thing is for certain, this is bound to cause some debate.

Whew! That was one hefty infograph. Overall, I’d say the Android users polled were probably more of your average, casual Android user and not the diehard fans we have visiting our site. Keeping that in mind, would you say these results were spot on? Are Android users really more frugal and pessimistic than iPhone users? Or did you find this infograph to be completely off-base?

[Via Hunch]

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MIUI Style Launcher Localized And Compatible With All Devices [Download]

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If you’re anything like me, you can’t get enough of MIUI. It’s polished good looks and big bright icons are impossible to get out of your head (like that hot cashier at Walmart). Only problem is, the ROM is only available on a rooted devices. Since I have yet to take that plunge, I’ve resorted to other methods. Take this this beautifully styled MIUI homescreen replacement on XDA for instance. After finding this Chinese MIUI launcher in the Market called Tencent Desktop (from the developers of QQLauncher), XDA user Quinny899 set to localizing the app for all us westerners.

In what will no doubt be a make-or-break for most, just like the MIUI ROM, gone is the familiar Android app drawer you’ve come to know and love. But that’s exactly what gives this launcher a true MIUI experience. You’ll find all of the MIUI styled app icons, dock and folders and even a handy themeing engine. If you’re wondering how to get the transparent notification bar, well that’s for the more experienced rooted users (and can be found here).

Honestly, I was surprised with how accurate this launcher captured the MIUI feel and is the reason I decided to share it with you all today. Tencent Desktop (Localized) works and looks great on almost every device, without the need for root access or any kind of modding. Simply download the app, install (may need to enable “Unknown Sources” in your Settings > Applications) and enjoy! Cheers!

Original version from Quinny899 [Download]

Updated version (above) with newer MIUI icons from Vipitus [Download]

[Via AndroidSpin and XDA]

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Best Buy offers free Galaxy Tab 10.1 with Samsung TV purchase

Best Buy has announced a new promotion that may be a sign that Android tablets are still not doing so hot. The Best Buy deal offers customers a free Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with the purchase of a Samsung HDTV, kicking off on August 21 and ending August 27. Android tablets have been trailing far behind the Apple iPad 2, with the recent Galaxy Tab 10.1 deemed most competitive, but even it seems to be in need of stock clearance.

The offer is for a free 16GB WiFi model of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and applies to the purchase of a 46-inch 3D Samsung HDTV that’s priced at $1,499.99. It’s a surprising bundle considering that the Samsung tablet would normally cost about a third of the TV. Either the tablet or the TV or both are not doing so well, although a Best Buy spokesman insists that the campaign is dedicated to selling the TV, not the tablet.

Although the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been one of the most anticipated Android tablets, Samsung has remained silent on actual sell-through numbers. Samsung’s recent legal woes with continued attacks from Apple have included a preliminary injunction of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany. The South Korean company is also at risk of a broader European ban and recall of its entire Galaxy lineup of smartphones and tablets following Apple’s latest filing in the Netherlands.

[via WSJ]

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Best Buy offers free Galaxy Tab 10.1 with Samsung TV purchase is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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Apple patent app reveals advanced “Maps + Compass” feature with augmented reality

A new Apple patent application has surfaced today, revealing that the company has some interesting plans ahead for its “Map + Compass” iOS feature. Titled “Augmented Reality Maps,” the patent application shows that future updates to the iOS Maps app could incorporate the use of the iPhone’s camera and its various sensors to provide mapping data to visually augment live video and images.

Apple’s concept improves on some shortcomings of other augmented reality mapping solutions by making the process from augmented reality view to compass-enabled mapping more streamlined. For instance, you can capture a particular intersection using your iPhone’s camera and the app will find the location and overlay directions directly on the image, instead of simply pinpointing the location and then taking you to a different map view.

The map data offered can be turn-by-turn directions overlaid on live video. This information would automatically update as the live feed changes with the user’s progression along the route. Using the compass feature, the app can also inform users if they are heading the wrong direction.

[via Patently Apple]

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Apple patent app reveals advanced “Maps + Compass” feature with augmented reality is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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SlashGear covering Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 2011

Gadgets come in all shapes and sizes, and SlashGear is checking out the four-wheeled variety this weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. A yearly show of the finest in classics, one-offs and customs, joined by what manufacturers hope will become the classics of the future, it’s a gearhead’s dream event.

Originally started as a private social event and small-scale road race, over the past six decades the Concours d’Elegance has evolved into a collector’s paradise. It’s a rare opportunity to see cars that would normally be locked safely inside an air-conditioned garage.

We’ve been invited out to Pebble Beach by Infiniti (which, for the sake of transparency, has hosted us here with hotel and flights) but there are hundreds of marques on show from many names you’ll recognize (and more than a few you might not). Last year Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Lexus and Porsche all debuted new concepts at Pebble Beach, and we’re expecting some seriously exciting metal, carbon-fiber and chrome in 2011.

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SlashGear covering Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 2011 is written by Vincent Nguyen & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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HP not ditching webOS, just the hardware

Following earlier reports that HP will be discontinuing its webOS ecosystem of devices, including the Veer, Pre3, and TouchPad, an insider source has informed Thisismynext that the company will not be abandoning the platform entirely. The source revealed details from an all-hands meeting held with HP employees in the webOS Global Business Unit that indicate the platform could still live on through licensing.

During the meeting, webOS Global Business Unit VP Stephen DeWitt reaffirmed several times that HP intends to continue work on the webOS platform, saying “We are not walking away from webOS.” DeWitt continued to detail how the next two weeks will look like for the platform, but also admitted that “Clearly, we don’t have all the answers today.”

DeWitt also revealed that the webOS unit would see staff reductions, telling the team that the company needs people “that are serious about winning.” Failure of the webOS ecosystem was pegged on the lackluster hardware, with the belief that HP needed to stop forcing non-competitive products into the market.

Hence, it looks like HP will be taking the route of licensing webOS to manufacturers. But when asked about HTC or Samsung being potential licensees, HP VP Todd Bradley pointed out that the webOS platform was only designed to work with Qualcomm chips. Therefore, to satisfy many potential licensees, webOS will have to support other chipsets as well. Perhaps, this is the work that HP will have to continue with on webOS?

HP today also confirmed the purchase of enterprise software company Autonomy for $10 billion, as part of its transition to focus on software, connectivity, and cloud computing.

[via Thisismynext]

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HP not ditching webOS, just the hardware is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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Why HP is dropping webOS : HP Comments at Length

Earlier today we received word that not only would HP be “spinning off” or completely separating from their PSG* division, they’d be completely stopping production of all webOS phones and the TouchPad tablet, as well as the webOS mobile operating system. Why on earth would they do such a thing when their PC division is the biggest in the world and their preliminary results of the third fiscal quarter of 2011 is at $31.2 billion, up from $30.7 billion the same quarter last year? We did a bit of research, soul searching, and listening in on the HP Q3 FY11 earnings call to get some answers and a better look at the future of Hewlett Packard.

Before we continue, you should know if you do not know already that *PSG, or HP Personal Systems Group, is a division of Hewlett Packard at the moment, responsible for everything from personal computers to handheld computers (mobile devices) to software and accessories. Should HP part ways with their PSG sect, they’d be looking at a very different way of going about their business, having left a group that deals in Enterprise Storage, Servers, and Networking, Software, Imaging and Printing, Financial Services, and Corporate Investments. Look for a company that’s in the public eye a whole heck of a lot less than it is now.

HP’s personal computing business is currently the world’s largest, in the USA alone shipping at 4,533 units in the second quarter of 2011 while its closest competitor, Dell, trailed behind at 3,822 and Apple then being the third place business had a comparatively tiny quarter at 1,814 units – all of this information coming a Gartner report on Q2 in the states only. In the rest of the world, HP’s dominance is just as strong at 18.2% of the total market with Acer right behind at 14.2% and Dell at 12.1%. On the other hand, Apple is the biggest tech company in the world when you consider the worth of the company as a whole.

Another factor to consider here is that HP just TODAY revealed a new version of their HP TouchPad in a white-backed 64GB edition destined for Europe. Right along this same track is the story from just YESTERDAY in which webOS chief Stephen DeWitt told the Wall Street Journal that HP is exploring the possibility of putting the software into home appliances and cars, claiming enormous interest from manufacturers to get started on projects. The FCC has had some webOS action of late as well: TouchPad Go 7-inch webOS tablet was spotted on the block just this past week.

Was there a bit of miscommunication going on here in one place or another?

Did HP not plan to drop webOS until very recently?


The HP TouchPad has very recently been discounted desperately. This combined with mixed reviews and Best Buy turning their backs on the tablet make for a not very friendly environment for either the tablet or the operating system on it to survive. Without its hero tablet on which HP placed so much of its faith in webOS, the operating system must fail.

webOS hardware now Canceled

As HP’s CEO Leo Apotheker said today on the Q3 sales call, the TouchPad just “has not gained enough traction in the market” to be able to be successful enough for HP to keep, therefor 12 to 18 months is the amount of time HP says it will take to phase out the tablet. “We have made a difficult decision” to phase out webOS from HP by Q4 2011 says HP, this being in the best interest of the consumer, the company, and the shareholders.

Apotheker focused the call mainly on the enterprise dealings of HP and their acquisitions to strengthen that piece of their ecosystem. First, Apotheker noted that John Visentin previously of IBM is now with HP, appointed as the new executive vice president in charge of enterprise services. Next, HP will acquire all outstanding shares of Autonomy Enterprise Software company to effectively acquiring them. HP made no attempt to hide the fact that they were all disappointed by their less-than expected earnings this quarter, but did make an attempt at focusing on how they could work with the situation rather than continuing down a negative road.

An operating loss of $332 million USD in Q3 of 2011 for webOS was just one of these negative stats HP certainly took no joy in announcing. They did continue to note that they’d be seeking “strategic alternatives” for the webOS mobile operating system in the future, not committing to any plan specifically. Cloud services were mentioned several times, as were enterprise storage, service, and networking services, each of them looking positive for the future, so says HP. Software as well as Financial Services are growing by double digit percentages, and HP made sure to let this be known.

As far as webOS as a software goes, HP notes that it’s been very well received and that they’ll be looking at all options including working with other manufacturers as well as licensing the software out “as well as other options.” Apotheker was very careful to say that no plans are concrete nor would he or anyone else be discussing the future of webOS OR the hardware surrounding it until they were able to make further decisions with the board. This comes aside the comments from webOS GBU VP Stephen DeWitt from earlier today, DeWitt saying that HP would not be leaving webOS as a software in the dust:

“We are not walking away from webOS.” – DeWitt

DeWitt also noted that they hoped they’d have further answers within the next two weeks, admitting that “Clearly, we don’t have all the answers today.” HP VP Todd Bradley noted in particular that webOS, though only able to work with Qualcomm at the moment, would be open for work with other SoC manufacturers in the future. Bradley and DeWitt spoke on how it’s been the hardware that’s been holding webOS back and that HP needed simply to stop “trying to force non-competitive products into the market,” as it were.

The webOS device business will be shut down, this much is clear for HP. Licensing the software is now the obvious answer for HP while webOS remains an HP-owned product. As far as PSG, Apotheker assured us near the end of the question and answer portion of their Q3 sales call that they would continue to work with the PSG sector like they have been in a sense, but like webOS, no final answer on what they’d be moving forward to do exactly with the sector was given.

We’ll continue to explore this major set of moves by HP as they develop, and certainly we hope to get some more answers by the time the next two weeks are up!

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Why HP is dropping webOS : HP Comments at Length is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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