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Don't hit your cap: A few tweaks to cut down on Google Play Music data usage

Don't hit your cap: A few tweaks to cut down on Google Play Music data usage

Google Play Music Settings

'All Access' doesn't have to mean 'all of your data cap'

Google Play Music is a pretty great service, especially when you have chosen to give up $9.99 per month for the new "All Access" subscription service. Without any thought of what music I own, what device I'm on or what I've loaded on my device, I just opened up Google Play Music and listened to the new "Random Access Memories" album by Daft Punk. Within seconds it started streaming in continuous high quality and I got to enjoy the entire album without a second thought.

But there's one small issue -- streaming that album just cost me over 290MB towards my monthly data cap.

In its attempt to make a seamless streaming experience for users, Google has somewhat obscured and selected the settings that make the user experience in Google Play Music as great as possible by default. This is certainly the right choice on average -- users don't want to spend their time tweaking settings, they just want to listen to their music anywhere and any way. But for those who are going to utilize Play Music daily and for hours at a time, there are settings that can be tweaked to make sure you're not unnecessarily using mobile data.

So what can you do to limit the amount of data usage from Play Music? Stick with us after the break and learn a few tips to keep from using up your monthly data cap with just streaming music.

Android CentralAndroid Central

Don't force high quality streaming

Google has made the right choice here by not choosing to force high quality streaming by default in Play Music. The more questionable choice however is to subtly change what this setting does when selected. By default, Play Music will now select the quality of music that is appropriate for the speed of your connection in order to keep the music flowing even if your connection is slow. This also means that there's no way to force the app to keep a lower quality music stream to cut down on data usage. This is really unfortunate as other apps offer this option, but you can do yourself a data usage favor here by keeping the "Stream at highest quality only" setting un-checked and let the app dynamically choose a bit rate for you.

This won't save you data when you're on a fast connection (it will always bump up to the highest quality when possible), but it can shave a few megabytes when your connection gets slower and the quality drops to keep continuous playback.

To cache or not to cache?

One of the less-understood features of Google Play Music is its local caching of music for offline listening. Adding to the simplicity of a streaming service, Play Music will automatically cache music that you listen to often on your device to cut back on data usage when you go back to the same song again. By default, the app will cache as it streams, meaning that it is downloading the entire song for offline use as soon as you hit "play" on any song in the app. In nearly every case this is the best choice, as the data usage is no higher than streaming in high quality, but will cut down usage to zero when listening again. If you truly will never listen to the song again, or are simply browsing through songs and not listening to them in their entirety, uncheck the "Cache during playback" option in the settings.

If you leave the option checked to cache while streaming and browse a lot of new music, you can always clear the cached songs in the settings if you need to free up space on your device.

Take advantage of pinning

Similarly to caching, using Google Play Music's option to "pin" music to your device is a great way to save on data usage. Pinning is simply on-demand caching of specific albums for offline access. You can pin items that are part of your own uploaded collection, as well as anything you find in the store as part of your All Access subscription. Pinned items will download in the background as soon as you hit the pin icon found in the album view of the app, and will only download via Wifi by default. While Google's default caching does a good job of keeping your most listened-to music available for offline access, it's nice to know you can force a download at any time when you know you'll be without a consistent connection for streaming.

The only downside of this is that on-demand pinned music doesn't seem to download very quickly. We have to assume this is for battery life concerns because Play Music is meant to do this seamlessly in the background, but it gets downright annoying when you're trying to pin an album 15 minutes before your flight takes off. You'll also need to know that Play Music will not store pinned music onto an external SDcard, something to keep in mind if you're tight on internal storage.

Wait for Wifi to download

While it isn't exactly Google's intended purpose, you can use Play Music with streaming entirely disabled if you prefer. The synced playlists and All Access options are still great to have even when you don't stream over mobile data, and with a few settings you can make it work in this situation. The two easiest settings to accomplish this are "Download via Wi-Fi only" and "Stream via Wi-Fi only", which will pretty much lock down any Play Music data access unless the device is on Wifi. Additionally, using the drop-down menu from the top of the interface -- such as "Listen Now" or "My Library" -- you can manually select "On device" music, as to know for certain that what you're playing is already downloaded to the device.

Google Play Music

With just a few quick tweaks, you'll be well on your way to cutting down on Google Play Music data usage while still enjoying the perks of a streaming music service with limitless listening possibilities. We all anxiously await the day where mobile broadband is ubiquitous and unlimited, but for now we have to realize the limitations and work around them. Keep these things in mind and you may just lessen your chance for a shocking data bill at the end of the month.

Via: Don't hit your cap: A few tweaks to cut down on Google Play Music data usage

Sony Xperia SP now available on Three UK

Xperia SPAvailable for free on 26 per month contracts, or 349.99 on PAYG

Data-friendly operator Three UK has launched Sony Mobile's latest mid to high-end handset, the Xperia SP. The phone sports an unorthodox design, with an aluminum trim and glowing "transparent element" under the screen. Spec-wise, you're looking at Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean on a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 1GB of RAM and a 4.6-inch720p "HD Reality" display. Around the back there's an 8-megapixel Sony Exmor RS camera.

TheXperiaSPalso supports Three's "Ultrafast" network with 42MbpsDC-HSDPAat present, and4GLTEin the future.

The phone is being given away free on all Three's 24-month contracts, which start at 26 per month for unlimited data, 500 minutes and 5,000 texts. It's also available on Pay As You Go for a pretty reasonable 349.99.

Check past the break for our hands-on video.

Source: Three UK

Via: Sony Xperia SP now available on Three UK

Upcoming 10-inch Galaxy Tab reportedly powered by Intel Atom CPU

Upcoming 10-inch Galaxy Tab reportedly powered by Intel Atom CPU

Intel Android

Reuters and Korea Times report that Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 will run on Clover Trail+ CPU

Chip giant Intel could be about to enter the Android tablet world in a big way, if reports from Korean newspaper the Korea Times and news agency Reuters are to be believed. The publications suggest that Samsung will opt for the latestx86-basedClover Trail+ chip in its upcoming Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 in favor of more common ARM-based designs, including its own Exynos range.

Rumors of an Atom-powered Galaxy Tab have been circulating online for some time, but today's reports offer a little more fine detail.Reuters reports that a Clover Trail+ processor will be used in "at least one version" of the 10-inch Galaxy Tab 3, though it was unable to confirm whether other SoCs would be used in different versions of the device. The Korea Times says that Intel has upped its staff of Korean-based Atom engineers from six last year to around 50 at present in order to facilitate the new partnership with Samsung, which includes this Atom-powered Tab 3. The newspaper's source describes it as a "win-win" deal for both Samsung, which is seeking to diversify the chips used in its devices, and Intel, which needs to gain a mobile foothold in an increasingly post-PC world.

We're anticipating the arrival of several Android and Windows-based gadgets at the company's 'Premiere 2013' event in London on June 20, and Reuters expects Atom-powered Ativ tablets to be among these devices. The news agency couldn't confirm whether the new Tab 3 10.1 would be at that event, however. Whatever's on show, we'll be live from London to bring you full coverage.

Source: Reuters, Korea Times, via: Engadget

Via: Upcoming 10-inch Galaxy Tab reportedly powered by Intel Atom CPU

Sony Xperia Z coming to a U.S. carrier soon, according to CEO Kaz Hirai

Sony Xperia Z coming to a U.S. carrier soon, according to CEO Kaz Hirai

Sony Xperia z

Precisely which U.S. carrier, however, isn't being specified at this time

Speaking at the All Things D conference, CEO of Sony Kaz Hirai made a not-so-subtle statement that the manufacturer's flagship Xperia Z handset will be landing in the U.S. with carrier support very soon. While Hirai wasn't willing to go more into depth or hint at which carrier it was, we can probably narrow down the options a little bit. Traditionally, Sprint and Verizon haven't had very strong ties with Sony for handset releases, and given that the current XperiaZ models being sold internationally (and directly to the U.S.) are GSM, we'd assume this handset would be very similar. AT&T has partnered with Sony for some recent device releases, but the biggest hint we have right now are some leaked pictures of the Xperia Z with clear T-Mobile branding.

Neither Sony nor T-Mobile are giving any hint as to when the expected launch would take place, but we would hope soon considering that the XperiaZ has been available internationally for a few months now. It's good to see that Sony is still willing to put in the effort to sell devices to the U.S. market, especially after some serious price drops in its XperiaZL handset being sold unlocked here. We all know that carrier deals are a necessity in the current market, though.

Source: AllThingsD

Via: Sony Xperia Z coming to a U.S. carrier soon, according to CEO Kaz Hirai

Dish makes unsolicited all-cash offer to buy Clearwire for $4.40 per share

Dish makes unsolicited all-cash offer to buy Clearwire for $4.40 per share

Dish LogoClearwire Logo

All-cash offer beats Sprint's current offer by 29-percent; minority shareholders urged to accept

Dish announced today that it has put in a cash tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Clearwirefor the price of $4.40 per share, adding yet another twist into the relations between Dish, Clearwire, Sprint and Softbank. The deal stands proudly as a 29-percent premium over what Sprint is currently offering for the other 49.2-percent of Clearwire it doesn't currently own at $3.40 per share, and sweetens the deal further by offering to buy out the entire company all at once. In its offer, Dish explains that it will agree to purchase a smaller amount of Clearwire if only a portion of the minority shareholders agree to the deal, as long as it is greater than a 25-percent stake in the company. As another condition, Dish is also requiring that it receives at least 3 board member positions for that 25-percent stake, and more if a larger portion of the company is acquired.

Naturally, Dish is urging any and all shareholders to agree to accept its offering, as it will be a great competitive play in the complex mess of offers and mergers currently happening between the companies. If Clearwire agrees to let Dish acquire it,Softbank's offer to buy a 70-percent stake in Sprint -- a deal which had Sprint acquiring Clearwire as a condition -- could be compromised. In light of this new offer from Dish, Clearwireis postponing its scheduled May 31st shareholder meeting until June 13thin order to give enough time to review it. The offer will be available to Clearwire until June 28th, and Dish has expressed that it is ready and willing to finalize the deal as quickly as possible.

Source: Clearwire; Dish(2)(3)

Via: Dish makes unsolicited all-cash offer to buy Clearwire for $4.40 per share

After Earth game now available to coincide with movie release

A movie-themed endless runner with a few interesting gameplay elements

In a partnership with Sony Pictures, Reliance Games is releasing a new game for mobile devices based on the upcoming feature film from Will Smith, After Earth. The game, which ties in directly to the cast, plot and setting of the movie, fits well into the "infinite runner" genre made popular by games like Temple Run. Throughout the game, you're running, driving, jumping and flying along with a third-person view through levels to collect coins for as long as possible without dying. There's a complete 20-level story mode available that walks you through a complete plot and lets you unlock new levels along the way, as well as an "Infinite Mode" for additional gameplay options. The game also includes different achievements and high score tracking, as you would expect, to give the game some replay value.

The game has just gone live in the Play Store a day ahead of the movie's release here in the U.S., and can be downloaded for a mere $0.99. The graphics and gameplay look quite good, and it may just be a nice break from the other endless runner games you've been playing for a while now. You can see a quick gameplay trailer above, and can grab a download of After Earth at the Play Store link there as well.

Via: After Earth game now available to coincide with movie release

Gameloft releases UNO & Friends online multiplayer card game

Cross-platform and customizable gameplay breathe fresh air into a classic card game

In partnership with Mattel, Gameloft is releasing a new version of its extremely popular UNO game that expands the gameplay to online multiplayer. UNO & Friends builds on the classic card game to provide users with simple and customizable cross-platform multiplayer games -- and best of all its free to play. The game plays just like any other UNO game, but you get the bonus of customizable backgrounds, decks and special effects along with different perks and power-ups. Of course with a free to play model you can bet there are in-app purchases, but these don't seem to be required and are merely for extra features.

In order to get linked up with friends for multiplayer you'll have to use Facebook Connect, but the bonus of that is Gameloft says a web version of the game through Facebook is coming very soon. It also means that you can play games concurrently with both Android and iOS users, which is a big plus. You can grab a download of UNO & Friends at the Play Store link above.

Via: Gameloft releases UNO & Friends online multiplayer card game

FAQ: The 'Google Edition' HTC One

FAQ: The 'Google Edition' HTC One

HTC One NUXEverything you need to know about the HTC One with Nexus User Experience

Google and HTC today announced the "Google Edition" HTC One, which basically is an HTC One running stock (more or less) Android 4.2.2. That, of course, resonated deeply among those who prefer the "stock" Android experience. But the HTC One -- like the Samsung Galaxy S4, which also will be released as a "Google Experience" device this summer -- wasn't designed to be a vanilla Android device. So there will be trade-offs, make no mistake.

There's been significantly more said about the HTC One GE (as we've taken to calling it around here) in regards to how things will work, and what's been stripped out.

Here's what we know so far:

How much will the HTC One Google Edition cost? When and where can I get it?

Remember that this is an unsubsidized phone. So it'll cost you $599 outright. It'll be available from Google Play starting June 26.

For now, it's a U.S.-only deal. No word yet on if or when it'll expand to other countries.

What makes this one different than what I'd get at AT&T or T-Mobile or Sprint?

The big deal is the software. This is running "stock" Android 4.2.2. That's a newer version than the Android 4.1.2 currently on the carrier-branded versions of the HTC One. It also means that you won't have the Sense user interface and customizations.

What carriers can I use this on?

This one's an unlocked GSM device, and it'll run on T-Mobile and AT&T, as well as any GSM network overseas.

Specifically, the radio bands are:

  • HSPA/WCDMA:850/1900/2100 MHz
  • GSM/GPRS/EDGE:850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • LTE:700/850/AWS/1900 MHz (US)

As it lacks HSPA support on AWS, you'll be missing out on a fair bit of 4G (HSPA) coverage if you use the HTC One 'Google Edition' on T-Mobile.

For those of you holding out hope for an HTCOne (or equivalent) device on Verizon, you'll just have to keep waiting.

Why is 'stock Android' a big deal?

For many, it's the principle of the matter. Lean software is better software. And there's something to that. For others, the Sense experience is just unnecessary. Different strokes and all that.

stock HTC One

What you'll lose: BlinkFeed, camera features, IR blaster

And here's the rub. We're not 100 percent in love with Sense (the clunky app drawer for one, the camera app UI for another, and a handful of other things to finish off. But there are more than a few features baked into Sense 5 specifically with the HTC One in mind that you won't get in a Google Experience device.

For starters, there's the BlinkFeed homescreen. If you don't use it, you won't be missing anything, and there are third-party apps that'll get you close to the same experience (or better) anyway.

The bigger implication comes with the camera. Remember that the HTC One technically only shoots at 4 megapixels, though those pixels do let in more light. But you'll be losing the major software features that make up HTC One experience. That means no Zoes. No Video Highlights. No animated gallery.

In addition, the power button-mountedIR blaster will be disabled.

What about Beats Audio?

The Google HTC One will feature the hardware parts of HTC's Beats Audio enhancements, but there'll be no software indicator for Beats in the status bar as there is on the HTC Sense version.

So will it take better pictures? Worse?

Frankly, we just don't know yet. Yes, we'll buy one and check.

Will I lose all those awesome apps the carriers add in but I never use and don't want?

Yep. It'll take a little while, but try to get over it.

But, seriously - any other things I'll miss out on?

We've still got a few questions we want answered. For instance, FM radio: We're not sure if that'll still be available.

What about the buttons? The HTC One has a weird setup

Yep. And that doesn't change. It still only has a back button and a home button, and they will function (out of the box, anyway) exactly as they do now. That means you'll have to deal with an unsightly black bar in apps that still use the menu button.

Will you be picking up a Google Edition HTC One? Join the conversation in our Google Edition HTC One forum!

Via: FAQ: The 'Google Edition' HTC One

The HTC One 'Google Edition' is official!

The HTC One 'Google Edition' is official!

Google Ed. HTC One

Sundar Pichai confirms plans to sell HTC One with vanilla Android

It's been reported since last week, but now it's official -- in addition to the the 'Google Edition' Samsung Galaxy S4, Google will offer an HTC One running its 'Nexus user experience' software -- that's vanilla/stock Android to the rest of us.

Android boss Sundar Pichairevealed the news on-stage at theD11 conference, saying it runs the same core UI as Nexus devices.The 'Google Edition' HTC One, he says, will hit Google Play on June 26, priced at $599. It'll run on AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S. Pichai also mentioned that the Nexus line will continue alongside these 'Google Edition' handsets.

So now that it's all official, who's planning on picking up Google's HTC One? Or will you be sticking with the HTC version, or even the Google Edition GS4? Share your thoughts down in the comments!

Update: Google's Hugo Barrahas followed up with an official render, and says the HTC One with Nexus User Experience will come with Beats Audio. HTC's official statement on the device confirms the launch date, and the fact that it ships with Android 4.2.2 and has updates from Google.

Source: Engadget liveblog, +Hugo Barra, HTC

HTC Statement:

A special edition of the new HTC One running stock Android will be exclusively available through the Google Play store in the United States starting on June 26th. This edition pairs the all-metal unibody design, low-light capabilities of the UltraPixel camera and dual front-facing stereo speakers of the new HTC One with the stock version of the latest Android software, Jelly Bean 4.2.2.

Via: The HTC One 'Google Edition' is official!

How to enable the new Gmail in a web browser

How to enable the new Gmail in a web browser


Google just announced a pretty major update to Gmail, and you should now be able to give it a go in the browser, if you so desire. As our pal Paul O'Brien from MoDaCo points out, all you have to do to enable the new tabbed organization is go to the gear icon on the right of the screen and choose "Configure inbox." (If you're using a wrapper like Mailplane, you might need to do this from a traditional browser first, then restart the app.)

Next you'll be asked which tabs you want to use -- primary, social and promotions are checked by default; updates and forums are other options. Once enabled, you'll find e-mails sorted among the tabs. To move e-mails between tabs, just click and drag. (You'll also be asked if you want to continue to get that particular kind of e-mail in the new tab.)

Still no sign of the new Gmail app for Android, which also will bring a new sorting experience.

Via: How to enable the new Gmail in a web browser

Samsung announces Galaxy S4 Mini

Samsung announces Galaxy S4 Mini

Galaxy S4 Mini

Dual-core 1.7GHz CPU, 4.3-inch qHD SuperAMOLED screen, UK launch in July

Samsung has announced the much-anticipated and heavily-leaked Galaxy S4 Mini. As the name suggests, it's a miniature version of the Galaxy S4, and like the Galaxy S3 Mini, it's packing suitably downsized specs inside its diminutive chassis.

The Galaxy S4 Mini rocks a 4.3-inch qHD (960x540) SuperAMOLED display, and is powered by a 1.7GHz dual-core processor with 1.5GB of RAM. Around the back there's an 8-megapixel camera, on the front is a 1.9MP front-facer. There's also 8GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD card. Powering everything is an 1,900mAh battery.

The Galaxy S4 Mini boasts many of the headline software features of its larger sibling. It's running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with the latest TouchWiz UI, and in today's press release Samsung highlights features like Sound and Shot, S Translator and S Health, as well as WatchON TV capabilities through a built-in IR blaster.

Connectivity-wise, you're looking at Wifi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and 3G/4G radios. Samsung says there'll be 3G, 4G LTE and dual-SIM variants, though the availability of these SKUs will vary depending on country.

The Galaxy S4 Mini will be shown off to attendees at Samsung's "Premiere 2013" event at London's Earls Court exhibition center on June 20. No release date has been revealed just yet, but the manufacturer did confirm that it'll be available in black and white color options.

We've got today's press release, along with more images, after the break.

Update: UK retailer Phones4u has confirmed that it'll offer the Galaxy S4 Mini "when it becomes available in the UK in July 2013."

previous next

A powerful, compact smartphone designed to fit busy lifestyles

London, UK May 30, 2013 Samsung Electronics today announced the Galaxy S4 Mini, a powerful, compact version of its bestselling smartphone, the Galaxy S4. The Galaxy S4 Mini delivers the superior performance, intuitive ease-of-use and sleek design of the Galaxy S4 in a portable chic and compact design.

Simon Stanford, Vice President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland said: Demand for the Galaxy S4 has been phenomenal since it launched in April and we hope to build on this success with the Galaxy S4 Mini. This new handset is the ideal smartphone companion for anyone who wants a compact device packed with innovation.

With a 4.3 qHD Super AMOLED display, the Galaxy S4 Mini offers stunning images and content. At just 107g, the lightweight and compact design enables you to carry and use the device easily with one hand. The Galaxy S4 Mini also boasts powerful performance, equipped with a 1.7GHz dual core processor and supports many of the same intuitive features as the Galaxy S4, designed to enhance different aspects of life.

Capturing Memories
The Galaxy S4 Mini allows you to capture important moments in life with an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera as well as a 1.9-megapixel HD front-facing camera. Special features include Sound&Shot, which stores sounds and images together, Panorama Shot which allows you to take a full view of what you are seeing, and Story Album, which automatically arranges photos in a smart format photos taken by Galaxy S4 Mini are automatically gathered and saved according to your timeline, geo-tagging information or specific event, to create a photo album. You can also receive travel assistance and information services through the S Travel preloaded app which can even recommend a new trip and provide destination guides.

Sharing and Connecting
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini means you can share content with others around you easily. Simultaneously listen to the same music and play the same games as your friends with Group Play, and chat with multiple friends with animations, video and voice recording added to messages using ChatON.

Environment Features
The Galaxy S4 Mini features S Translator, for instant translation using text or voice on applications including email, text message and ChatON. You can also control your environment through WatchONs IR remote which transforms the device into a remote to control your home entertainment systems including TV, set-top box and DVD player. Content available includes live TV, cable TV and VOD based on the information provided EPG (Electronic Program Guide). In addition, Samsung Link* will help you share content across multiple Samsung digital devices. *Available in select countries. Previously called AllShare Play.

Wellbeing Features
The Galaxy S4 Mini keeps you up to date with health and wellbeing information. Downloadable from Samsung Apps, S Health enables you to monitor your calorie balance. It can calculate each step taken daily, monitor sleeping patterns, calculate weight and share real time heart rate information**. Adapt Display provides an optimal viewing experience, customised for each type of application, and Adapt Sound offers an optimal level and type of sound, personalised for each user. ** Functionality such as monitoring weight, heart rate and sleeping patterns is possible through the use of fitness accessories which are sold separately.

The Galaxy S4 Mini will be available in two colours White Frost and Black Mist. There will be a 4G LTE version, 3G version, and 3G Dual Sim version. Details on which variants will be ranged in the UK and the UK shipping date will be announced in due course.

Media and invited partners will be provided with hands-on product experiences of the Galaxy S4 Mini at Samsungs 2013 Premiere for Galaxy & ATIV, in London on Thursday, June 20th.

Via: Samsung announces Galaxy S4 Mini

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini specs

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini specs

GS4 MiniGS4 Mini

Looking for the full list of Galaxy S4 Mini specs? We've got you covered.

Samsung has announced the Galaxy S4 Mini, a downsized, mid-range version of its 2013 flagship, the Galaxy S4. Like that phone, there are a lot of technical details and software features to get to grips with, so check down below for the full, official Galaxy S4 Mini specification sheet.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Specifications

2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE):850 / 900 / 1800/ 1900 MHz
3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps):850 / 900 / 1900/ 2100 MHz
4G (LTE Cat 3 100/50Mbps) : up to 6 different band sets (Dependent on market)
2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE):850 / 900 / 1800/ 1900 MHz
3G (HSPA+21Mbps):850 / 900 / 1900/ 2100 MHz
4.3qHD (16:9 wide view)SuperAMOLED
1.7 GHz Dual-Core Processor
Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
Rear:8 megapixel
Front: 1.9 megapixel
Camera Features
Sound & Shot, Night(Low Light Shot), Best Photo, Best Face,Beauty Face(include Live Beauty), HDR (High Dynamic Range), Panorama, Sports, Continuous Shot
Codec: MPEG4, H.264, H.263, VC-1, VP8, WMV7/8, Sorenson Spark
Codec: MP3, AMR-NB/WB, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA,Vorbis(OGG), FLAC, apt-X
Additional Features
Group Play: Share Music, Share Picture, Share Document,
Play Games
Story Album, S Translator
Samsung Hub, ChatON , Samsung WatchON
S Travel (TripAdvisor), S Voice,
S Health (Downloadable from Samsung Apps)
Samsung Adapt Display, Samsung Adapt Sound
Safety Assistance,Samsung Link, Screen Mirroring, HomeSync, Smart Switch
Samsung KNOX
Google Mobile Services
Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail,Google Messenger,
Google Play Store, Google Plus, YouTube, Google Talk,
GoogleLocal, Google Navigation, Voice Search, Chrome
Availability of Google Play Books, Play Movies, Play Music,
Play Magazine varies by region.
WiFi 5.0GHz a/b/g/n
Bluetoothv4.0 (LE), NFC(LTE version only)
IR LED (Remote Control)
Accelerometer,Light, Proximity, Gyro,Magnetic
8GBInternalmemory (User Memory approximately 5GB) + microSD (up to 64GB), 1.5GB RAM
*User memory space may be less than the total memory space due to system files.User memory may different by region, carrier, and supporting language, and may change after software upgrade.
124.6 x 61.3 x 8.94mm, 107g(3G Dual SIM version:108g)

Via: Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini specs

This week's sidebar poll: Are you waiting for Motorola before you buy a new phone this year?

This week's sidebar poll: Are you waiting for Motorola before you buy a new phone this year?


With 2013 half over, is anyone still waiting for Motorola?

I was talking with Ben, a good friend and fellow Android nerd, the other night, and we the topic shifted to Motorola. Specifically, how we haven't seen or heard anything from them yet this year, and we're already halfway through. And that has to be making fans of Motorola and their incredible phone hardware a little antsy.

As Ben rightfully pointed out, it doesn't mean the same thing to us here at AC as it does to most folks. We go through phones pretty quickly around these parts, and we'll have a chance to use them all. But, if that weren't the case, I think I would have held off and waited to see what Motorola has to show us.

Don't get me wrong. I think HTC and Samsung, as well as folks like Sony and Huawei have pushed out some very nice gear. Maybe even far better than anything we'll see from Motorola. But part of me has this gut-feeling that Google and Moto have something big in store, and it would be worthwhile to see what it is if I were only planning on one smartphone purchase. Maybe it's spectacular hardware. Or spectacular pricing. Or both -- or neither. I just think it's something worth waiting for.

So what about you folks? Any of you guys hanging in there waiting to see what Motorola brings to the dance in 2013? Hit the break, or the sidebar to the right, and answer in the poll. Be sure to use the comments to tell us why you voted the way you did.

Via: This week's sidebar poll: Are you waiting for Motorola before you buy a new phone this year?

Moto X to be the lead device for the new Motorola

Moto X to be the lead device for the new Motorola

Motorola phones

Motorola's X phone is finally confirmed, now all we need are the details

MotorolaCEO Dennis Woodside is speaking at D11, and he announced what many of us have been waiting to hear -- news of the Moto X. According to Woodside, who teases us by saying the phone is in his pocket but he can't show us, the Moto X will be a true game changer. Made in the USA, using all the APIs Google announced at Google I/O last month, the X is the lead device to show off the companies new direction.

He also was sure to mention that Motorola was ready to build high quality, low cost devices for emerging markets, but the X is not one of these. The X will be "more contextually aware. And you can interact with it in different ways."

There's not much to go on here, but you can rest assured that we'll let you know as soon as we do.

Edit: A lot of the talk was about how the X will be different. Specifically mentioned was the battery tech, which we all care about. The question was asked:"How can you fix it, [battery life] when everyone else has struggled with it so much? There are ways to improve it, but can you solve the underlying problem? How do you go about doing that?"

The answer:

I'll save the more detailed discussion for later. But your question about how you understand the change in state and optimized the battery we have some of the best engineers, and they've created a system where there are two processors that are more aware.

So we can expect an all-new "smart" battery monitoring processor of some sort. I can't wait for the details on this!

Via: Moto X to be the lead device for the new Motorola

Amazon announces 'Login with Amazon' platform for apps, games and websites

Amazon announces 'Login with Amazon' platform for apps, games and websites


App developers and website owners now have a simple way to authenticate users with their existing Amazon account

Amazon announced today that it is joining the single sign-on game with a new service called "Login with Amazon" that will let users sign into other sites with their existing Amazon credentials. Similarly to the service offered by Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others, Amazon is extending the functionality to app developers and website owners to integrate on their products and make it easier for users to authenticate without making a new login and password for that specific property. Users can choose what parts of their account to share with each authenticated app or site, and can quickly get started with a new service without any extra hassle.

As is the case with the other single sign-on providers, it's in Amazon's best interest to have as many people signed in and ready to shop at any given point. So as you would expect, Login with Amazon is available to developers at no charge, and according to Amazon is extremely easy to implement. Based on early trials with its subsidiaries Zappos and Woot, Amazon saw a high amount of engagement with the new Amazon sign-on compared to other social logins. Will you be more willing to use Amazon as a sign-on at a new app or website than another service such as Google+? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Amazon

Via: Amazon announces 'Login with Amazon' platform for apps, games and websites

Here's another chance to get an free account - we've got 300 to give away!

Here's another chance to get an free account - we've got 300 to give away!


A free account is a great way to test the services and feature that ADN has to offer

The last time we gave away some free invites they went almost as quickly as tickets to Google I/O. Even when the great folks at ADNdoubled the number we had to pass around, they still disappearedin minutes. People are curious, and we're back to help satisfy that curiositywith 300 more invites.

These are for free accounts, which are a great way to try out the many services ADN offers. Services like the awesome messaging, or the cloud storage and of course the Twitter-like microblogging platform. There's a lot to ADNand we're happy to work with the folks there to bring people and the services together so they can decide if they want to go all-in with a paid account.

iIf you're looking for an invite, here's where you need to pay attention. Hit the link below and sign up. It's first-come first-served, and they're going to go quickly.

By using an invitation, you'll automatically follow Android Central, but you can promptly unfollow us if you want to. This is a great way to make sure you have some content in your stream.

Speaking of which, you'll probably want a good way to keep up with news and what'sgoing on from the folks you follow from your Android device. There are a few nice ones out in the wild, but Robin for stands head and shoulders above the crowd. It's got multi-language support, post filters, spam protection, multiple account support and everything else you would want or need from a client, and looks beautiful while doing it. It costs $2.99, but it's well worth it.

Grab your invite, grab your client from Google Play, and we'll see you there!

Via: Here's another chance to get an free account - we've got 300 to give away!

Gmail for Android, web to get tabbed inboxes to reduce clutter

Gmail update

Google has been working to reduce the clutter in our inboxes for some time and has just announced a sizeable update to Gmail, both on the web and on mobile, to further combat the problem. The update brings tabbed inboxes to your Gmail that automatically divide the mail you receive into categories.

The default categories are:

  • Primary (this is the email you want to receive from friends and family)
  • Social (updates you receive from social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+)
  • Promotions (Offers from sites like Groupon or LivingSocial)
  • Updates (Receipts from places like Google Play and Amazon)

The new Gmail will support up to five tabs, and they are of course customizable. Google understands that not all of us will want every category that it has selected, so we can choose which ones to ignore. You can move messages between tabs to tell Google to place any mail from that sender into a certain tab from now on. You can also star messages, which will tell Google that is is an important message that should appear in the Primary tab.

The update will also be sent out to Gmail for Android "within the next few weeks". The new Android app will support the tabs by placing tham in a left sidebar which you can swipe to in order to choose which inbox to view.

The new update looks nice and any way I can get to my important email faster I am all for. What do you all think of the upcoming update?

Source: Gmail Blog

Via: Gmail for Android, web to get tabbed inboxes to reduce clutter

EE launches 30-day 4G SIM-only plans

EE launches 30-day 4G SIM-only plans


Starting at 23 for 500MB, going up to 63 for 20GB

EE, currently the UK's only 4G LTE network operator, has launched its first 30-day, 4G SIM-onlyplans. The plans allow Brits to sample EE's LTE network without committing to a hefty year-long contract, and are divided up by data allowance in the same way as the carrier's 12-month plans. All plans come with unlimited calls and texts, as well as tethering access, with allowances starting at 23 per month for 500MB and going up to 63 for 20GB. Each of the 30-days plans will cost you 2 per month more than the 12-month equivalent, so here's how things shape up --

  • 23 per month for 500MB
  • 28for 1GB
  • 33for 3GB
  • 38for 5GB
  • 43for8GB
  • 63for20GB

The 30-day plans launch today and are available from EE's online shop, as well as brick-and-mortar stores.

More: EE

Via: EE launches 30-day 4G SIM-only plans

Kernel source now available for Verizon Galaxy S4, Galaxy Tab 3, Galaxy Mega devices

Kernel source now available for Verizon Galaxy S4, Galaxy Tab 3, Galaxy Mega devices


Code for VZW GS4, Tab 3, Mega 5.8 Duos and Mega 6.3 added to Samsung Open Source Repository

As required under the open-source rules, Samsung has published the Linux kernel source code for a slew of new, high-profile Galaxy devices, including the Verizon Galaxy S4. Alongside Big Red's GS4, Samsung Open Source Repository also saw kernel source code for the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, Galaxy Mega 5.8 Duos (dual-SIM) and Galaxy Mega 6.3.

As always, the code itself won't be of any use to regular smartphone owners, even those who hack their phones and install custom ROMs. However it should help custom firmware-makers come up with better ROMs for these devices. If that's you, you can grab the fresh batch of Samsung code at the source links below.

Source: Samsung (VZW GS4, Tab 3, Mega 5.8, Mega 6.3); via: AndroidPolice

Via: Kernel source now available for Verizon Galaxy S4, Galaxy Tab 3, Galaxy Mega devices

AT&T lights up 4G LTE in new markets

AT&T lights up 4G LTE in new markets


Ten new markets, plus expanded coverage in Capitol Region

AT&T's nationwide 4G LTE rollout continues this morning with the news that it's network has expanded to cover ten new markets. These include Linglestown, Penn., Shelton, Conn., Ocean City, Md., Salem, Or., Port Townsend, North Whidbey Island Camano Island and Longview, Wash., Casa Grande, Ariz. and Goldsboro, N.C.

In addition, AT&T sends word that is expanded coverage in the Capitol Region. The network now coversBallston Spa, Clifton Park, East Glenville, Malta, Mechanicville, Milton Center, Niskayuna, Rotterdam, Round Lake, Saratoga County Airport, Schenectady and Schenectady County Airport.

If you're seeing AT&T LTE lighting up for the first time in one of these regions today, shout out in the comments.

Via: AT&T lights up 4G LTE in new markets

T-Mobile HTC One nationwide rollout slated for June 5

T-Mobile HTC One nationwide rollout slated for June 5

T-Mobile HTC One

After initial launch in 300 stores, T-Mobile's HTC One will arrive in the rest of the U.S. next Wednesday

The T-Mobile HTC One is set to arrive in stores nationwide from next Wednesday, May 5 following its launch in some 300 stores earlier in the month, according to reports from TmoNews. The site says the expanded HTC One rollout coincides with an increase in production from HTC, following the resolution of early component supply issues. (That's corroborated by recent comments from the company's North Asia president.) Launching alongside the HTC One on June 5 is the BlackBerry Q10.

The T-Mobile HTC One can be yours with a $99.99down payment on a 24-month installment plan; alternatively it'll cost you $579.99 up-front. For more on the HTC One, check out our in-depth review.

Source: TmoNews

Via: T-Mobile HTC One nationwide rollout slated for June 5

Samsung Desktop Dock with the Galaxy S4

Samsung Desktop Dock with the Galaxy S4

Samsung Desktop Dock

One of our favorite features of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is that it's essentially the same size as its predecessor, and so a number of accessories released for the Galaxy S3 work with the newer version as well.

That brings us to what you see here -- the Samsung Multimedia Desktop Dock. It's a pretty basic deal -- plop your Galaxy S4 into it and it'll automatically switch to Desktop mode. Plug in with a microUSB cable and you'll charge the phone at the same time. And use the optional 3.5mm line out to play music while the phone's docked.

This thing's pretty portable as well, with the dock section flipping down into itself for easy travel. And perhaps most important, you can get it fairly cheap since technically it's "last year's" dock.

We've got a handful of pics after the break. Give 'em a gander.

previous next

Via: Samsung Desktop Dock with the Galaxy S4

The Hisense Sero 7 Pro gets reviewed in the forums

The Hisense Sero 7 Pro gets reviewed in the forums

Sero 7 Pro

Users seem to be loving the new $149 Hisense Sero7 Pro tablet, be sure to join the discussion with questions or comments

Last week we told you about a new line of inexpensive Android tablets coming to Walmart from Hisense. The price looked marvelous, and the $149 Sero7 Pro had some pretty nice specs -- besting the crowd favorite Nexus 7 in most ways. At that price you knew Android fans were going to bite, and now the forums has a handful of folks talking about their new purchase.

I don't want to give too many spoilers, but the reviews are good. It looks like Hisense has kept things mostly stock, and the Tegra 3 with Jelly Bean performs as well here as it does on other, more expensive models.

All this has me looking at the Sero 7 Pro myself, so maybe we'll squeeze a front page review into the schedule soon. But in the meantime, join folks just like you who are using the tablet every day in the forums, and see what they think about their new pick up.

The Hisense Sero7 review thread

Via: The Hisense Sero 7 Pro gets reviewed in the forums

The Nexus 4 Zebra Edition

The Nexus 4 Zebra Edition


Is it the hot new look for the summer season, or just a black and white mess? There's a poll, let us know!

BlackBerry users have their Oreo, webOS users love their Panda, and now the Android faithful have their very own zebra -- that's with the short e, in the proper Queen's English. (Read it in Alex's voice)

The zebra acts a whole lot like the regular, plain old black (and now white) version, but it's more zebra-like. Sporting a fun, yet business-ready black and white look, it's ready for anything while staying stylish no matter what you throw at it.

OK, I'll stop. But it is a pretty unique look, bound to have people who love it as well as folks who hate it. I'm digging the white one with the black bumper myself. What do you think? Answer the poll after the break, then fill the comments with praise or curses to let us all know why you feel that way. And of course, head into the forums where the zebra was first spotted.

Via: The Nexus 4 Zebra Edition