LG G2 officially unveiled, coming soon to all major US carriers

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As expected, LG execs are on stage today to officially unveil the company’s brand new LG G2 flagship smartphone. It also announced that the device would be coming to all four of the major US carriers, which we assume means it will soon be landing on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint.

The company spent a lot of time talking about the design of the device, which includes a unique power/volume rocker that is placed on the back of the device directly under the rear-facing camera. LG’s design team placed the rocker on the back because the majority of people hold their phones with an index finger right on the back of the device where the new button is. The rear button, which happens to be the only hardware Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 11.59.47 AMbutton on the entire phone, will also allow users to launch the quick memo app and snap photos. LG says it thinks the device’s 5.2-inch display is the largest a smartphone can be while still being comfortable to grip with one hand, while noting that touch sensor enhancements provide an ultra thin bezel at just 0.1-inch.

As far as specs go, the device will have a 5.2-inch full-HD display, 13-megapixel rear camera, 2GB of RAM, microSD slot, a 3000mAh battery, on-screen navigation keys, and Android 4.2.2 with LG’s custom skin. Qualcomm’s execs also took the stage briefly, noting that the G2 is the “world’s first worldwide-launching smartphone with the Snapdragon 800 processor.”

Update: It looks like a previously leaked manual showing a removable battery will be for a Korean version of the device.

When it comes to software, a new feature called “Answer Me” will allow users to automatically answer calls by holding the phone up to their head (as opposed to having to press a button.) Another software feature, “Plug and Pop”, will provide quick access to apps when a user plugs in a headset, and a new “Text Link” feature lets users quickly launch calendar or maps form directly in a text message. Lastly, a brand new “Guest Mode” will let you share your device with others while keeping sensitive information from prying eyes with customized access to certain apps and features.

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IDC: Android reaches 80% of smartphone market in Q2 due to low-cost offerings, iOS falls to 13%

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Following a report last week from IDC on smartphone market share by vendor, the research firm is out today with its report covering market share by operating system. Much like Apple’s growth had slowed on the hardware front with its second-lowest year-over-year growth rate for the iPhone in nearly four years, IDC reports that Apple is losing share to Android and Windows Phone when looking at the market by operating system.

During Q2 2013, IDC says that Apple posted a year-over-year decline dropping from 16.6% with 26 million iPhones shipped in Q2 of last year, to 13.2% of the market with 31.2 million iPhones shipped in Q1 of this year. The loss in market share is of course attributed to the lack of new product launches during the three month period, as was the case with IDC’s report on tablet market share earlier this week. But it’s also losing ground to both Android and Windows Phone, both of which increased market share and shipments year-over-year during Q2: Read more

Whatsapp adds easy to use push-to-talk voice messaging

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Popular chat app whatsapp now allows Android users to exchange voice messages with a push-to-talk style function. The feature is also being pushed out simultaneously on the app’s other platforms: iOS, Blackberry, Nokia and Windows Phone.

We spend a lot of time at WhatsApp thinking how we can make keeping in touch easier, and we know there’s no substitute for hearing the sound of a friend or family member’s voice. So today we are introducing a new feature we are truly excited about: Voice Messages

While there are other push-to-talk apps out there, whatsapp has introduced a number of features which it says makes the functionality particularly easy to use …  Read more

HTC One leaked in blue, potentially slated for release this year

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Notorious leakster @evleaks has just shared an image of the HTC One in a new shade of blue. There’s not much to go off of, but the device will supposedly be released sometime in 2013. There is no carrier branding on the phone, which leads us to believe that it will be sold internationally only, though PhoneArena is reporting that the device has appeared in Verizon’s internal system. Aside from the different color shade, the device is identical to the other HTC One models in every way. The front-facing BoomSound speakers are clearly visible, as is the Beats Audio logo on the back.  Read more

Twitter for Android updated with login verification improvements, new photo gallery

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Just like it did with its iOS app, Twitter has just released an update to its Android app that adds several new features and enhancements. First off, the login verification process has been improved and made a lot simpler. While SMS verification use to be required, the app now supports login verification from directly within the app. Also new is an improved photo gallery for when you search. You now have the ability to view all photos that relate to a specific search, while before you could only swipe through thumbnails and select images to view full screen.

Here’s what’s new: Read more

Leaked Verizon doc shows August 23 release date for Moto X

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AndroidCentral is reporting that the image above has leaked from Verizon’s inventory system showing an August 23rd release date for the recently announced Moto X. Motorola never mentioned specific availability beyond “late August/early September”, but today’s leak lines up with a previously leaked roadmap for the carrier that also pegged the Moto X for an August 23rd street date. No word on availability for other carriers yet, but we know the $199, 4.7-inch device will be landing on the majority of major US carriers, as well as in Canada and Latin America, by early next month.