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24Oct/11Off

LG DoublePlay Launch Date Revealed for November 2nd On T-Mobile

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The LG DoublePlay became official back on October 17th and while LG provided some basic details on the device, a launch date was never given. Today, a leak from TMoNews has pegged the device for a November 2nd release with the web and telesales offering the device a few days early on Wednesday.

The LG DoublePlay is a unique Android slider feature a small touch screen between its full QWERTY keyboard for quick access to apps. Specwise we’re looking at a 1GHz processor with a 5MP shooter capable of 720p video recording. No word yet on pricing but we’ll keep you posted.

[Via TmoNews]


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24Oct/11Off

T-Mobile Notifies Employees Of Another “All Hands Day” Coming November 19th

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T-Mobile is getting their employees prepped for another one of their famous “All Hands Day” sales on November 19th. The memo was sent out to T-Mobile managers letting them know that something big will be happening on that day requiring them to schedule “all hands on deck” or in other words, as many employees as possible for that date.

"To continue to make the latest wireless internet services accessible and even more affordable, and to support T-Mobile customer needs during an anticipated high-volume day, retail store managers need to schedule November 19th as an all-hands day."

With all of the Android heavy hitters for the year all but released on T-Mobile, we can only speculate as to what T-Mo has in store. Ginormous discount sale? Samsung Galaxy Nexus Cake? One thing is for certain, let your friends and family know that if they’re looking to switch or upgrade, they may want hold off until Nov. 19th.

[Via TMoNews]


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24Oct/11Off

Sexify Your Navigation and Speech-Enabled Apps with Ivona Text-to-Speech HQ

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This whole “having a conversation with your phone” fad seems to have been a hot topic ever since Siri jumped onto the scene. Yes, I know — we’ve been able to talk to our Android powered phones for a little over a year now but it always felt awkward to me. In effort to become “all things to all men,” I decided to try out the many Siri alternatives in the Android Market.

Recently, I featured Speaktoit which seemed to work pretty well in terms of speaking naturally to your phone and receiving answers but there was only one small problem. The hot user created avatar sounded like the 80′s Speak and Spell toy. You may have heard this same “voice” used in other speech-enabled applications in Android, most notably while using the Navigation app in Maps.

Thanks to my friends on Twitter, I came across a replacement text-to-speech or “voice” app in the Android Market called IVONA. Although currently in beta, IVONA will replace the stock Android Pico TTS with a voice that is both clear, natural and even… sexy? Hearing is definitely believing. Not only does it make using apps like Iris and Speaktoit more appealing to the ears but it helps when using when traveling in a noisy car and using Navigation thanks to its crystal clear voice.

Getting IVONA all set up and running is more or less the tricky part. After downloading the app from the Android Market you will need to enable the app much like enabling a replacement keyboard. Here are the steps:

  1. Install free IVONA Text-to-Speech HQ from the Android Market
  2. Go to your Settings > Voice Input & Output > Text-to-speech settings > Scroll down to “Engines” category and check the box that says IVONA Text-to-Speech HQ
  3. Scroll up to “Default Engine” and select IVONA Text-to-Speech HQ
  4. Enjoy!

Keep in mind some apps will require the user to enable IVONA in the apps settings. Also, Navigation in Google Maps always prompt the user to “install text-to-speech support from the Android Market” (even though it’s already installed) requiring the user to press “skip” each time.

IVONA Text-to-Speech HQ beta version will be free and work without any limitations until November 15th. Additional languages and voices can also be found in the Market under the developer name “IVONA Software.” Once you try it out, let me know what you guys think in the comments.

[Market Link]


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24Oct/11Off

Android eclipses Apple’s iOS as app download leader

According to ABI Research firm its become apparent that inside the second quarter of 2011, Google’s mobile OS Android has accounted for 44 percent of all app downloads while Apple’s iOS only accounted for 31 percent, this indicating a jump not only in Android usage but in app sales on the whole. ABI notes that Android also had a whopping 36 percent jump in phone shipments over the previous three months as well. Could this be the first sign of the apocalypse? Fanatical sources all say yes, definitely!

Meanwhile the ABI Research team stays conservative about the taking over of the world by Android in the face of Apple. Dan Shey, practice director of mobile services at ABI, notes “Android’s app downloads per user still lag behind Apple’s by 2 to 1.” This of course means what there has to be one whole heck of a lot of new Android device purchasers out there buying up 1 app per every 2 a single iPhone user downloads. Of course that includes Android tablet and iPads as well. ABI continued that there is to be a rise by 29 billion global downloads this year of games, music, news, and other applications – this more than three times the amount downloaded in 2010.

All of this comes atop news earlier today that the Android Market (where they keep all their apps) had reached 500,000 app submissions with something like 315,000 on the market and up for sale, all of this inside September. The numbers for Apple’s iTunes App Store were clocked in at 600,000 submissions and 456,000 apps on the market today, all of this coming from research2guidance numbers for September (again, inside 2011.) A far cry from less than 5 years ago when apps where only called applications and they all came in big boxes in the store.

Then there’s the new big version releases of Android and Apple’s iOS with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and iOS 5. Have a glimpse at both of these fabulous new environments in the videos below:

Apple iOS 5 hands-on with the iPhone 4S

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Hands-on with the Galaxy Nexus

[via Bloomberg Businessweek]


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Android eclipses Apple’s iOS as app download leader is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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24Oct/11Off

Motorola offers both Ice Cream Sandwich updates and Bootloader Unlockability

Believe it or not, all you lovers of both hacking of Androids and updating of Androids, Motorola has today offered clarification of its future with unlockable bootloaders and updates for its products to no less than Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It is Motorola itself that today speaks to the world saying that “without a doubt” the two “hottest topics in [their] world right now” are Ice Cream Sandwich and bootloaders. Imagine that! Having just spoken with Sanjay Jha this past week, I can tell you firsthand that it wasn’t the first (and it certainly wasn’t the last) time he’d spoken with someone about Motorola’s bootloaders and their unlockability as a hot topic.

The day I spoke with Jha was the day the RAZR was announced, that night Ice Cream Sandwich was formally released by Google on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus – there’s no way in HECK that Ice Cream Sandwich and bootloaders aren’t on the front of Motorola’s minds this week as well. Motorola has been releasing and announcing some blockbuster devices and accessories of late, and the whole Android community is waiting for the word that these units will be free to be unlocked for hacking and/or upgrades to the newest Android mobile OS.

One example of an awesome device released this month by Motorola: the ATRIX 2:

Motorola ATRIX 2 hands-on

Here’s a few accessories coming from Motorola as of late and given the hands-on treatment by your humble narrator earlier today:

Motorola ATRIX 2 Accessories and Webtop hands-on

We’ve heard a couple things about Motorola and their Ice Cream Sandwich update schedule this week – one that said that the company would be updating everyone with a schedule for Ice Cream Sandwich updates on their devices 6 weeks after the OS was released by Google, and another that pointed out the first devices that’d get the update. This note as well as the one that stated the Motorola RAZR, DROID BIONIC, and XOOM tablet would be the first to be on the docket for the update to Android 4.0 come from Motorola’s Twitter account. Now we’ve got word from Motorola that we aught to point you directly to their device update schedule for checks on any and all Motorola devices.

Have a peek at the Motorola device known here in the USA as the DROID RAZR here:

Motorola DROID RAZR hands-on by Motorola

Motorola DROID RAZR hands-on by Chris Burns

For Bootloaders, Motorola today notes that in addition to the one device they’ve got out so far that has an unlockable/relockable bootloader, the Motorola XOOM, they’ve got a plan for the rest of their devices in the near future. In “future software releases starting later this year,” says Motorola, “where operator and channel partners will allow it,” it is Motorola’s plan to offer an unlockable/relockable bootloader. Sound like a winning combination to you?

Perhaps you’d like to peek at Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as well?

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Hands-on

And the Galaxy Nexus, we also got a look at that in Hong Kong:

Samsung Galaxy Nexus Hands-on

Get booted up!


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Motorola offers both Ice Cream Sandwich updates and Bootloader Unlockability is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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24Oct/11Off

Android Market reaches 500,000 app milestone

Not just today, but back in September, as the record states, the Android Market reached its 500,000 app submissions mark, while just 315,000 apps sit out for sale today. The month of September 2011 is said by market research firm research2guidance to both be the home of that 500,000 app submissions market and a new record for per-month applications in the Android Market. This compares to what the Apple iTunes (iOS) App Store currently has for app submissions, 600,000, with approximately 456,000 apps in that market today.

These numbers add up, according to research conducted by Appfire, to be more than 1 million apps created thus far and submitted to the app stores combined, with under 800,000 available for download inside September. Appfire collected numbers adding up to 1 million and 800,000 independently of research2guidance, so we can expect the REAL numbers to perhaps fall somewhere right down the middle of the two findings. Why is there no perfectly clear number? Quite simply because apps come and go every day. With regulations in both app stores different on how app submissions are made, accepted, and eventually pulled from the market due to a variety of circumstances, there is no exact number outside what Apple and Google have behind the scenes.

On the other hand, research2guidance looked at Microsoft’s Marketplace for Mobile in the same timeframe and found them to have something like 35,000 applications with an approximately 13% deactivation rate (per month.) Of course these numbers are subject to time as well, as Windows Phone 7 is still a young mobile OS compared to either Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android. And of course you’ve got to consider the fact that Apple’s application and acceptance rate at which they bring apps into (and usher apps out of) their app store is much more strict than that of Google’s Android Marketplace, and that many apps a fine app store do not make. Quality over quantity!

[via InformationWeek]


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Android Market reaches 500,000 app milestone is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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24Oct/11Off

Nokia Windows Phones may not hit US until 2012

According to leaked advertising plans, Nokia may not be releasing its Windows Phone 7.5 Mango devices in the US until 2012. That means the much anticipated Nokia N9 look-alike called the Nokia 800 along with the Sabre and Ace, which are all expected to be unveiled at this week’s Nokia World conference, may only be available in Europe and other parts of the world in time for the holidays this year.

The leaked ad plans were revealed by AdAge, which claims that Nokia is still currently evaluating ad agencies for the US launch of its Windows Phone devices. It’s looking specifically for a San Francisco-based digital agency to further expand and develop its global “Amazing Everyday” campaign in the US.

The advertising concept focuses on how the Nokia Windows Phone devices will be able to capture the “billions of little adventures” each day and how it “makes it easier to find them, to take part in them and to share them.”

However, the US campaign isn’t planned to kick off until 2012, which makes it unlikely that Nokia’s Windows Phone devices would hit store shelves this year. We’ll find out more soon at the two-day Nokia World 2011 conference in London starting October 26.


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Nokia Windows Phones may not hit US until 2012 is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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24Oct/11Off

Motorola ATRIX 2 Hands-on and Unboxing [Video]

Here in the USA the very first smartphone to carry a dual-core processor was the first ATRIX from Motorola – what we’ve got now is a wholly new device by the name of ATRIX 2 from AT&T, complete with a different brand processor, bigger display, and a whole new set of accessories to complete the package. The original ATRIX 4G lead the way for Motorola with what they called Webtop, a form of operating system that came from the smartphone but was displayed on either the big-screen TV, the home PC monitor, or the brand new “Lapdock,” a laptop with the ability to plug the smartphone in to the back of it — there’s a whole new Lapdock (or two!), accessories galore, and the form factor on the ATRIX itself is wholly changed.

There are a few oddities in specs when you consider the differences between the original ATRIX and the new ATRIX 2, the first being the fact that although this new device is 4.3-inches instead of 4.0, it still has 960 x 540 pixel resolution. For the lay person this might make no difference whatsoever – for a person who has both devices in their hands at once… they have too much time on their hands. Let’s leave it at that. Then there’s the battery capacity – on the original ATRIX there was a 1930 mAh capacity battery, while this new ATRIX has a 1785 mAh capacity battery. What we must expect is that this device has been optimized to a much greater level than that original ATRIX was and is. If it isn’t, we’re not going to be having much of a full day for battery life, that’s for sure.

Motorola ATRIX 2 hands-on

Then this device runs the newest version of Motorola’s user interface over Android 2.3.5, and the dual-core processor isn’t the NVIDIA Tegra 2 1GHz we saw on the original ATRIX, instead it’s the OMAP4, also 1GHz, from Texas Instruments. Also the Webtop is the newest Motorola has to offer, working with Firefox for web browsing right out of the box, and we’ve got a whole new pack of accessories to try out as well! Not only do we have a remote control, a car dock, and a regular HD dock, we’ve got a mobile charging unit and a Lapdock 100 to round out the whole team.

Motorola ATRIX 2 Accessories and Webtop hands-on

Have a look at the photos of the ATRIX 2 above and below, check out the videos of both the smartphone and the accessories, and type up all your questions. Whatever you want to know about this device, anything at all, type it up in a comment below, and I’ll answer right in the main review in a few days right here on SlashGear.

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Motorola ATRIX 2 Hands-on and Unboxing [Video] is written by Chris Burns & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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24Oct/11Off

Netflix loses 800,000 US subscribers, earnings to dip

Netflix reported its Q3 earnings results today and although the numbers were positive, they won’t remain so in the upcoming months. CEO Reed Hastings has admitted that the company’s recent stumbles, including price hikes and the now canceled plans for Qwikster, were ill received, tarnishing the company’s “hard-earned reputation.”

Actual revenue reached $822 million, up 49 percent year-over-year, while profit hit $62 million, up 63 percent from the same period last year. However, the company projects to be hit with a loss of between $60 to $70 million in Q1 of 2012 due to its expansion into the UK and Ireland.

Partly due to the price hike, Netflix lost 800,000 subscribers last quarter in the US, leaving it with 23.8 million subscribers, of which 21.5 million subscribed to streaming and 13.4 million subscribed to DVD rentals. The company noted that only seven percent of new Netflix streaming customers chose the DVD option.

Netflix is set to lose Starz content, but Hastings downplays this, saying that Starz only accounted for six percent of actual viewing time on Netflix. Hastings also claimed that neither Amazon Prime nor Hulu Plus were threats as one has less content and the other only shows recent TV content.

[via TechCrunch]


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Netflix loses 800,000 US subscribers, earnings to dip is written by Rue Liu & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2011, SlashGear. All right reserved.


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24Oct/11Off

Gameloft Sale: Backstab, Order & Chaos Online and Uno Only 99 Cents For A Limited Time

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For this week only, Gameloft is lowering the price on a handful of Android games as part of their “Trick or Treat Sale” leading up until All Hallows’ Eve this Monday. Android gamers on a budget can grab some of Gameloft’s hottest titles for only $1.

Games like the action-adventure Backstab, featuring stealth, action and platforming gameplay. If online MMORPGs are more your thang, Order & Chaos Online is also one of the titles on sale giving you the opportunity to have a true real-time, full-3D MMORPG on your smartphone. For the more family oriented Android gamer, the #1 classic card game Uno has seen a price drop as well.

The coolest part about the 99 cent Trick or Treat sale? All of these games are available in the Android Market which means you can skip the hassle of having to deal with Gameloft’s site for app purchases. Count me in.

[Gameloft Market Link]


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