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Archos Announces A New Line Of Ultra-Affordable Smartphones, Prices Start At Just $99 (No Contract)

When it comes to buying a new smartphone, Archos generally isn't the first company that crosses ones mind. The company is looking to change that with a new line of highly affordable "3G+" smartphones, which were just unveiled today. Say hello to the 35 Carbon, 50 Platinum, and 53 Platinum.

This trio keeps the somewhat familiar Archos branding – the number indicates the display size, while the suffix alludes to the "quality" of the product (i.e. Carbon is lower-end, while the Platinum name is reserved for higher-end products).

ARCHOS 35 Carbon

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The 35 Carbon is the smallest and packs the least impressive specs of the trio, but for $99 without contract, you shouldn't expect much in the first place.

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PSA: Facebook Home Updated, Now Available Outside Of The US

Facebook did a soft launch of its new Home launcher late last week, which left a lot of its international users out in the cold. Good news: if you've been dying to get your hands on Home, it's now available outside of the US. Of course, device restrictions still apply, as the app is only available on a handful of handsets right now:

  • HTC One X
  • HTC One X+
  • HTC One
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
  • Samsung Galaxy S 4

Screenshot_2013-04-12-14-51-08 Screenshot_2013-04-12-14-11-07 Screenshot_2013-04-12-15-12-12

And if you like what it has to offer but aren't necessarily sold on using it full time, there's an easy way to keep all of Home's functionality without sacrificing your existing launcher.

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Motorola Design Chief Promises 'Just Right' Size Android Phones In 2H 2013, Shooting For Cross-Carrier Branding

Ever since the WSJ dropped a hint about the mythical 'X Phone' back in December, the rumors have not stopped flowing. Which is great because, according to Motorola's CFO, the 18 months of product pipeline that Google acquired weren't exactly wow-ing anyone. However, according to Moto's design chief Jim Wicks, the next generation of hardware will be fantastic.

The handsets have been in the works for the last eight months (so since around August, for those counting), and will target the segments of the market that's looking for a "just right" screen size. Said Wicks:

"Certain people like a large screen, but there's a sweet spot for consumers that we're currently exceeding in the market.

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[The Android Police Podcast] Episode 57: Georgian Monks And An Army Of Ron Clones

Welcome to the Android Police Podcast, Episode 57.

Don't forget - the Android Police Podcast's live broadcast is every Thursday at 5PM PST (www.androidpolice.com/podcast). The unedited video version of the podcast can be found here - and will likely include various verbal expletives, technical snafus, tangents, and probably a good 5-10 minutes of pre-podcast banter as we prepare. Watch at your own risk!

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HTC One Deep-Dive Review: The Most Important Smartphone This Year May Also Be The Best

Yep, I'm calling it: the HTC One is the most important smartphone that will be released this year. And I know, this year is far from over - but let me explain why I think it will hold true regardless of what's to come.

Right now, the smartphone industry is slowly but surely evolving into a duopoly. Samsung and Apple control a larger piece of the proverbial pie than ever, as almost every other major Android OEM's market share shrinks - a trend that has continued for nearly two years now. HTC has borne the brunt of this sea-change, something a quick look at the company's financials can tell you in more words than I will here.

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Facebook Home Is Now On The Play Store, Available For Select Devices [Updated]

We just saw updates to Facebook and Messenger that were preparing for Facebook Home to arrive on Android. Now, the app is rolling out to the Play Store, albeit slowly. As of right now, links to the app here are pulling up the entry on some devices. We've been trying it out here at AP and some of us can get the app to come up, some can't, but it's clearly on its way.

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The app is due to come out today, per Facebook's anonouncement back on the 4th, so keep an eye on the Play Store and let us know if you're able to download it.

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[Updated] CyanogenMod 10.1 M3 Releases Are Fresh Out Of The Oven, Get 'Em While They're Hot

It's that time again! Earlier this morning, the latest M-Series releases from CyanogenMod began rolling out. At the time of this post, no official list has been posted of devices that will receive the M3 blessing, but new builds will be rolling out as they are ready. This will be the first M release pre-loaded with Koush's Superuser app.

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Update: We're hearing reports of the SIII builds causing some issues (bootlooping, etc.), so if you plan on flashing it, tread carefully.

Supported Devices (so far):

  • Google Nexus 4
  • Google Galaxy Nexus (gsm, Verizon, Sprint)
  • Google Nexus S
  • Google Nexus S 4G
  • Google Nexus 7 (wifi and 3g)
  • Google Nexus Q
  • Samsung Galaxy Note (AT&T, T-Mobile US)
  • Samsung Galaxy S III (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US, Verizon, Metro PCS)
  • Samsung Galaxy S II (G, T-Mobile US, AT&T LTE)
  • Samsung Epic 4G
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1"
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7" (wifi and 3g)
  • HTC One X
  • Hardkernel ODROID-U2
  • LG Nitro HD / Optimus LTE
  • LG Optimus LTE (SKT)
  • LG Optimus L9
  • LG Spectrum
  • Acer Iconia A700

If you already have an older version of CM running on your device, go to Settings -> About phone -> CyanogenMod updates -> Check for Updates.

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Wirefly Tortures A Kyocera Torque For Your Amusement: Washing Machine Cycle, Frozen In Ice, And Dropped 2 Stories

The ruggedized smartphone market is small, but not so small that it's ignored. Admirable entries like the Samsung Rugby Smart and the Casio Commando might not have all the bells and whistles of their flagship contemporaries, but they take a licking and keep on ticking. Phone retailer Wirefly decided to put Sprint's Kyocera Torque (Bear Grylls approved!) through its paces via some decidedly extreme tests: a drop from two stories, hibernation in a block of ice, and most dramatically, a trip through a 30-minute washing machine cycle.

The Kyocera Torque made it through all three, proving its worth for those who value durability over all else.

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[Editorial] Virtualizing Android Is Kind Of A Big Deal For Everybody

A few days ago, I posted about a student project at a Russian University that aims to run two or more instances of Android at the same time on a single device. It's a technology called virtualization, and we already use it on web servers and developer machines everywhere.

At first glance, the idea sounds interesting, but seems to lack practical uses for the majority of people. Sure, some developers will save a few hours on testing, and industrious users might want to run the latest CyanogenMod nightly ROM alongside their daily driver, but this kind of stuff doesn't really appeal to your neighbors or parents.

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HTC Profits Take A Dive: Q1 Is The Lowest-Profit Quarter On Record Following One Delay

There is no joy in Taoyuan this morning, as HTC's first quarter financial results have become public. The Taiwanese company has reported the lowest profit in its 16-year history, with just $2.8 million USD ($85 million Taiwanese dollars) in net income for Q1 2013. It's the sixth quarter in a row that HTC has posted declining profits, and a staggering year-over-year drop of 98%.

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The news came from a somber release on HTC's website, without any of the usual fanfare. Analysts reaction compiled by Bloomberg blame the drop on delays for the flagship One phone, which has now been pushed into an April launch in the US and other markets.

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