Normally we're pretty pleased when we can report that a new country or carrier has enabled the option for carrier billing in the Google Play Store, allowing customers to charge app and media purchases directly to their phone bill. But for some reason, European carrier Vodafone seems to have dropped the option entirely. Vodafone has disappeared from the list of carrier billing partners on Google's Play Store support page, and we've confirmed the loss of capability from individual users in the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
The recently refreshed ASUS Nexus 7 is now available directly from Google's Play Store in Europe in France, Germany, Japan, Spain, and UK as well as in Asia in Japan. Both 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi-only variants are being offered - we're still counting down days till the launch of the LTE version.
The 5 new countries join the 2 existing ones (U.S. and Canada) for a grand total of 7.
It's been nine months to the day since Android 4.2 was announced, and just under four months since Samsung's first non-Nexus 4.2 devices started hitting the shelves. But apparently it takes at least that long to make sure that every non-touch gesture and gyroscopic scrolling function works with a new version of Android. Case in point: both the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 WiFi (GT-P3110) in the UK and the Galaxy Note 8.0 3G (GT-N5100) in Germany are just now getting updated, according to SamMobile.
It took Google how many years to start selling Google Play gift cards? When you look at it that way, it's not so bad gift cards are just now being expanded to Germany and France. Previously, the only supported regions were the USA and UK.
Both new countries will have cards in €5, €25, and €50 denominations. The process to redeem cards is the same as it is in the US and UK – just go to play.google.com/redeem and put in the code.
Remember when Samsung promised to investigate the possibility of freeing up storage space on the software-heavy Galaxy S4? It turns out that's easier said than done. Case in point: the latest software update for the international Snapdragon-powered GT-i9505 (I9505XXUBMEA), which SamMobile spotted being sent to at least some GS4 owners in Germany. The updated firmware clears up 80MB of space, which is nice, but doesn't really put a dent in the nearly 7GB of system files.
Rumblings of delays aside, we've been waiting to hear more concrete information about the arrival of the new HTC One. Well, today we got something closer to solid facts. According to the company itself, the new flagship phone should launch in the UK, Germany, and Taiwan next week. Dates may vary by local carriers, but it won't be too long of a wait.
As for the rest of the world, more countries in Europe, as well as the North American and Asia-Pacific regions should see the handset land 'before the end of April.' No specific dates are given, nor any carrier information, but we already know that in the U.S.
If there's one thing we all know about the latest entries in the Nexus line, it's that they're hard to get a hold of. No one is quite sure why the launch turned out to be a total mess, but all eyes have been on the Play Store since October, waiting to catch the devices in an ephemeral moment of availability.
If there's one thing you can say about Samsung, it's that the company is at least trying to push out updates, with a sizeable number of devices already running Jelly Bean. Sure, it's 4.1 and about six months behind the Nexus baseline, but the company is better than most manufacturers about rolling out updates lately. As if to demonstrate this, the Wi-Fi Galaxy Note 10.1 (N8010) has started to receive Jelly Bean 4.1.1 (JRO03C) in Germany.
Yes, the Play Store has been plagued by issues. Not the least of which, if you don't live in the U.S. or Canada, you've probably had an even harder time than most getting your hands on Google's newest flagship phone. If you want to get in on the furiously refreshing action, and you happen to live in the UK or Germany, today is your lucky day! Starting at 5PM local time (GMT for UK, CET for Germany...
Just as planned, Google just unleashed Play Music upon select European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK.
We've known that Google would bring Music to Europe since last month, when the Mountain View giant also announced a new alliance with Warner Music Group, meaning that Play Music was finally partnered with "all of the major record labels globally."
Readers may remember that this rollout also heralds the introduction of music matching for Google Play Music users.