StraightTalk has become a popular alternative for those who don't need all the bells and whistles of flagship smartphones, or don't want the sometimes ruinous cost of keeping them connected. But even budget carriers move with the times, and the Wal-Mart partner looks like it's finally ready to embrace LTE. The Samsung Galaxy S III is now available for purchase on StraightTalk's website, and should be at your nearest Wal-Mart soon. Read More
Among dedicated Android fans, there is a consensus that stock Android is the best experience. That being said, not everyone is smitten with the Nexus hardware. A new option for conflicted users is rumored to be dropping tomorrow at Google I/O. A version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 – dubbed the Google Edition – could be released with the latest version of stock Android on board.
If this is indeed true, it wouldn't be the first time Google has created a new variant of a Samsung product. Read More
On the eve of I/O, Google managed to finalize deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment to bring a music subscription service to both YouTube and Google Play, according to a report by The Verge that is now being corroborated by The Wall Street Journal. If everything goes smoothly, a preview or launch of the new service tomorrow isn't out of the question. The Journal similarly says the streaming solution could launch "as soon as this week." That would give Google a substantial leg up over Apple, which is still in the process of negotiating contracts for its own music streaming solution. Read More
Move fast boys and gals – the unlocked international variant of the GS4 (I9500, Exynos chip) is available for $640 on eBay Daily Deals again today. These deals usually sell out pretty quickly, so if you want to get your hands on The Next Big Thing without a contract (or paying full retail price) you better jump on this now. Read More
BLU isn't yet a household name in the realm of smartphones, but the company has been quietly releasing hardware for the last few years, letting the remarkably low pricing do the talking. Today they've pulled the cover off of three new models, all aimed at the new "phablet" craze, or at least the lower end of it. The new Studio GSM smartphones start at 5 inches and just $149, and all three feature Android 4.1, the Google Play Store, and dual SIM slots. Read More
Listen up, Android users. If you're using Google Now, don't go to its Settings -> My Stuff and try to modify sports teams or stocks right now, as doing so completely borks the whole app. As soon as you go back to the main screen or click into Search, you will experience a force close. Repeated attempts to restart it will result in a crash as well:
The only thing that works is clearing out Google Search's data in Settings -> Applications, after which you need to re-enroll into Google Now. Read More
Sometimes you have to assume that there are entire teams at Google whose sole job is to think up fodder for nostalgic technology bloggers. Case in point: for the 37th anniversary of the classic arcade game Breakout, Google has thrown together another one of its elaborate Easter eggs. Do a Google Image Search for "atari breakout", and the results will turn into the smashable blocks, with your mouse working as a control for the paddle. Read More
I like to cook, and sometimes I bring my tablet into the kitchen with me to look up a recipe. For some of you, this might not be dedicated enough. You demand a dedicated kitchen tablet, and Archos is ready to deliver. Their new ChefPad is "a tablet for the cooking enthusiast." It comes with a selection of cooking oriented apps and a silicone case that makes it a dream come true for the four of you who could not settle for anything less. Read More
Verizon certainly likes to take its sweet time getting new phones out there, but this time it's at least making an attempt to speed things along. Big Red has announced that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be available a week earlier than previously stated. May 23rd is now the big day.
The Galaxy S4 has already launched on the other big US carriers, and AT&T has even announced the availability of a 32GB version of the device. Read More