There are some Android fans who are positively frothing at the mouth to get their hands on the LTE version of the new Nexus 7. While Google hasn't given an exact date for wide availability, the device is starting to appear for sale in some European markets. Surely it can't be long now.
One lucky German buyer was able to pick up his preorder from MediaMarkt in Hannover, Germany earlier today. The MediaMarkt German site does indeed list it for sale at €349. The device is more or less what you'd expect. The SIM slot is said to be a little flimsy, but the build is otherwise the same as the WiFi version. Read More
Some of you may have already noticed that your Hangouts video looked significantly clearer the last time you fired it up. That's because Google has transitioned from the H.264 video codec to VP8, and with it, the company has introduced HD streaming. Google started rolling out the change to users in the last few weeks, but it will still be a while before this rolls out to everyone.
Google introduced VP8 back in 2010 as an open and royalty-free format allowing users to watch video in browsers without the need for any additional plugins. Google asserts that streaming HD streams to ten participants using the H.264 codec would have required too much processing power. Read More
There sure have been a lot of sales as of late, and today is no different. We've got another batch of good deals on apps and games to help you cope with the tedious minutiae of life.
Remember that nifty multi-carrier LTE version of the Nexus 7 that was shown off when the tablet was revealed last month? Google has been mum on a specific release date for that version, but United Kingdom carrier O2 is more than willing to chat it up. According to both a tweet from the official 02 account and a short blog post, the "4G" Nexus 7 will hit the UK on September 13th.
The 4G version of the Nexus 7 (UK carriers never muddied the "4G" nomenclature with HSPA+, so "LTE" and 4G" are interchangeable across the pond) will retail for £319.99 without a contract, just shy of $500 USD. Read More
If your cable or satellite provider has an app, odds are it's pretty terrible. I mean, have you seen the Comcast app? The DIRECTV app used to fall into the same category, but no more. The 3.0 update is a complete redesign.
We were all greeted with a pleasant surprise yesterday when Google dropped the price of the Nexus 4 down to $199 for the 8GB model and $249 for the 16GB alternative. Well, not everyone was pleased. There's always those of you who purchased a Nexus 4 at its previous price just days, perhaps even hours, before the price drop. And for you, here's the good news. Anyone who purchased either model of the Nexus 4 on or after August 12th is eligible for a $100 refund.
Customers have to manually submit a request for a refund in order to get their hands on the $100, and Google doesn't provide a timeframe for when to expect the money (though they do insist that the refund will arrive within a reasonable amount of time). Read More
If you've been holding off on a new phone purchase to get a look at Samsung's Galaxy Note III first, you won't have long to wait: the company is all set to unveil it at their pre-IFA event on September 4th. The Note III has proven surprisingly leak-resistant, but this morning we got the first bit of possibly significant information comparing an alleged screen panel for the new model to the Note II from 2012. Observe:
The photo on the right is purported to be the LCD panel from the new Note III, a 5.68-inch beast of a display that's big on surface area and light on bezel. Read More
According to Googler Virgil Dobjanschi, there's a new version of Google+ for Android rolling out the Play Store right now. While there's no official changelog and the Play Store entry doesn't seem to be telling much, the biggest addition is a new notification for when your photos have been given the "Auto Awesome" treatment. If you'll recall from the 2013 Google I/O presentation, Auto Awesome is a processing feature that automatically turns similar photos into collages or animated GIFs.
The Auto Awesome feature happens in the background and there's no reliable way to activate it aside from taking similar photos that Google+ can recognize. Read More
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. Compared to the 2012 Nexus 7, we're still missing Australia, South Korea, and India, so it's possible we're going to see the list expand soon. Read More
Nearly all the attention for reader-tablet hybrids goes to Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but today the Toronto-based Kobo is making a compelling case for their share of the market. The company announced three new tablets: the Arc 7, Arc 7HD, and Arc 10HD, set for release on October 16th. The three models are roughly analogous to the latest Kindle Fire, Fire HD, and Fire HD 8.9, but they've got two distinct advantages: they run Android 4.2.2, and they've got access to the Google Play Store.
The Kobo Arc 7 (above) is the baby of the family, but it isn't a bad piece of hardware for the price. Read More