We've known that Sony has been gearing up to launch a smaller version of its new Xperia Z1 flagship, but leaks were all we had to go on. Well, while you were busy not being in Japan, Sony announced the Xperia Z1f at a DoCoMo event in the land of the rising sun. Don't judge it by its size – this is not just another mid-range device.
The Z1f is built around a 4.3-inch 720p display, which works out to 341 pixels per inch.
It's a good day to be a Samsung fan: they've delivered right on schedule. The flagship Galaxy Note 3 is available on Verizon starting today at the standard $299.99 subsidized price tag, $699.99 (ouch) unsubsidized, or $29.31 a month on the Edge plan. If you prefer your notation experience both larger and without a two-year contract, the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition (WiFi only) is also going on sale at the usual retail locations, starting at $549.99 for the 16GB model.
Mercury Browser has been one of the top alternatives to Apple's Safari browser on iOS for a while, and now the developers have finally ported it to Android. It might not be sewn into the fabric of your Google account like Chrome is, but Mercury Browser has a slick interface and plenty of advanced features.
Earlier today, Google started a staged rollout of a new point release of Google Maps. We've been poring over all the UI differences between the new version 7.3 and the previous version 7.2 from last month for the last couple of hours and managed to catch a few interesting changes. Since the official changelog isn't out yet, these will have to do for now.
Here's what we've spotted.
Duration, distance, and estimated arrival time in the expanded notification
The expanded notification now carries a lot more information than before.
The Uncarrier itself is shaking things up again with phase three of its plan to change the mobile industry. As rumored earlier today, T-Mobile just announced unlimited global data for no extra charge in over 100 countries. That's massive – so massive, in fact, the (un)carrier is now able to say that its data network is larger than Verizon's and AT&T's combined. Massive.
The plan goes into effect on October 31st for "most" Simple Choice customers – no activation needed.
While the Galaxy Note 3 is getting mostly positive reviews, some Sprint customers are giving it a million thumbs down for its usefulness as an actual phone. The Sprint forums (among other places) have been overflowing with complaints of poor audio quality on calls. Now Sprint has at least acknowledged there is something to investigate.
Google left many of us scratching our heads when they relaunched Quickoffice last month as a free app, one that probably should have shipped as a Google Drive update instead. Nonetheless, a new version has rolled out that nudges things in the right direction. Now opening a Google document inside Quickoffice will launch the file using the Google Drive app. Previously the document was merely displayed as a PDF instead.
We've all heard the horror stories of overseas data charges where overages can quickly run into the thousands of dollars. If a picture posted (of all places) on a Shakira Facebook fan page is accurate, T-Mobile is set to do away with overseas roaming (at least partially) in more than 100 countries as part of Uncarrier Phase 3. The announcement is coming today at 8:15PM eastern. Note: Check the update below.
Fans of dystopian stories in the vein of 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 will want to take note of a new arrival in Google Play. Blackbar is a word puzzle that has you decipher letters sent to you by a friend after they've been filtered through the insidious Department of Communication. Things start to go wrong for your friend, but you'll only be able to figure out what's happening if you fill in the blanks and make it to the next page.
You know you probably have it well when your biggest inconvenience is having to wait for the kettle to boil each morning. But hey, pain is relative, and I'm not going to pretend like it's not annoying. But thanks to that Android phone on your bedside table, you won't be stuck with this burden for long. No, there isn't an app that will solve this problem for you, there's a kettle - a Wi-Fi kettle that you can control from your Android device.