HTC One successor, the M8 coming to all four national carriers next year?

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Even as HTC promises that next-year will see the return of lower cost handsets in an attempt to boost their fledgling business, the flagship successor to the One is also on the horizon. A tweet by @evleaks teases the HTC M8 for AT&T “unsurprisingly destined for AT&T, among others.” In a response to a secondary inquiry about a potential Verizon offering, the Twitter tipster responds that all four carriers should see a release by the end of the first quarter next year. Considering that all four national carriers carry the HTC One right now, it’s not inconceivable to think that the same will happen for its successor.

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Editorial: Please save $100 and only buy the Nexus 5 from Google’s Play Store

54910-nexus5Look, don’t take this the wrong way as I’m not suggesting buying the Nexus 5 from your carrier of choice is a bad move, except that’s exactly what I’m saying. The thing is, it isn’t even the carriers fault as they are simply passing on their cost of the Nexus 5 purchase from LG/Google directly to you. Sprint and T-Mobile have both confirmed that their cost of the Nexus 5 is $450 indicating that Google is subsidizing their pricing of the Nexus 5 via the Play Store. Just like last year’s Nexus 4. 

Yes, there is an argument to be made that not having to fork over the entire up-front cost is something that could appeal to many potential Nexus 5 buyers. However, in the long run I’d rather see customers saving the extra $100 and putting it toward apps, accessories or paying the electric bill. It’s likely Google is taking the $100 loss in the hopes of pushing customers into the Play Store where they will grab apps, books, movies, magazines and all the other things Google will make a profit on. More Nexus users means more Google Maps and search use, more money, more money…

9to5-image 2013-11-10 at 9.47.41 AM[Ed. note: If you want to save even more money, T-Mobile still offers a super secret Web only $30/month pre-paid plan (meaning little-no taxes) that works great with your Nexus 5.  You have to scroll to the bottom of T-Mobile's plans page to find it---->.  It includes unlimited data (throttled at 5GB), unlimited texts and a sparse 100 minutes of talk time.  If you aren't a talker, you are looking at $360 for a year of unlimited data + $350 for the best Android phone (under $60/month total) out there!]

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T-Mobile’s Nexus 5 arrives Nov. 14 online, Nov. 20 in-stores for $450

Today T-Mobile has made things official for availability and pricing on Google’s recently launched Nexus 5. Arriving for online orders Nov. 14 and in stores on Nov. 20, T-Mobile will be offering the 16GB Nexus 5 for $41.99 down with its usual monthly payments of $17. That brings the total cost of the device on T-Mobile up to $450, around $50 more than Google charges for the 32GB model and $100 more than the 16GB model on Google Play. That’s not unusual, however. Google has long subsidized the cost of its Nexus devices sold through Google Play. Read more

Twitter rolling out Android alpha program, only allowing current beta users access

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Twitter is sending out notifications to current members of its Android Experiment Google Group inviting them to take part in a new alpha program. For the moment, the alpha program is only open to members of its current beta group which opened up in August of this year.

Beta users have been using early versions of Twitter since August often receiving buggy versions of an app that changes frequently. The note sent to users invites them to try the Twitter app at the earliest of stages providing “an opportunity to provide direct feedback and collaborate with us via a forum, so you can take a more active role in testing out bugs.”

Twitter highlights that it is only accepting users from inside the beta program: “We’ll be accepting requests to join on a first come, first served basis, and we’re turning first to you and other members of the Android Experiment Program.”

So, Android Twitter app beta testing people’s, have you checked for an invite?

via TheNextWeb

Photos of mid-range Moto G leak ahead of next week’s launch

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Usually reliable @evleaks has struck again, with a claimed photo of Motorola’s mid-range Moto G handset, due to be launched on the 13th.

The specs are rumored to comprise a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, 8GB storage, 4.5-inch 720p screen and a 5MP camera. An off-contract price of £135 ($217) has been suggested in the UK, which would make the handset an appealing proposition for those who want decent specs at an affordable price.

Google Hangouts Android app w/ SMS & Google Keyboard update now available

Google-Hangouts-SMSUpdate: Google also announced today that T-Mobile will now allow MMS messages to be sent to Google Voice users:

T-Mobile has allowed MMS messages from their users to be sent to Google Voice users. Similar to MMS messages from Sprint users, these messages will appear in Gmail, and you can be notified of the message via SMS. We continue to work with other carriers to broaden support for messaging and bring MMS to Hangouts. More good things are coming!

Last month, before an official Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat announcement, Google announced during its Google+ event that it would soon be integrating SMS into the Hangouts app. Starting today, all Android users can download the updated app, which in addition to building in SMS/MMS functionality, also brings animated GIFs, location sharing, and new status icons.

Also available today is an update for Google Keyboard that introduces some of the improvements Nexus 5 owners have enjoyed with KitKat so far, but many users seem to be upset (rightfully so) that the update makes emojis only compatible on Android 4.4 devices at the moment: Read more

Is this next year’s HTC flagship handset? Claimed M8 photos leak

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The photographic qualities leave a lot to be desired, but if the Chinese forum Baidu is to be believed, this is the casing for HTC’s successor to the HTC One, codenamed the M8 (the HTC One was codenamed M7).

The hole above the camera is believed to be for a fingerprint sensor, already found in the HTC One Max. The rumor mill says the specs will be a Snapdragon 800 CPU with 3GB of RAM. Generally-reliable source @evleaks says it will be the first handset to run Sense 6.0 …  Read more

AT&T to preload ‘Lookout’ antivirus and security app on all compatible Android devices

personal-android-phoneLookout, a popular antivirus and security app for Android devices, today announced that it has struck a deal with AT&T to include the app preloaded on all of the carrier’s Android devices starting with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Yep, that means you’ll have yet another preloaded app to put up with on your new Android device, and if AT&T’s Lookout app is anything like T-Mob, you won’t be able to easily delete it from your device:

Moving forward, the Lookout app will be installed on all compatible AT&T Android devices (currently installed on the Samsung Note 3). With Lookout, AT&T customers can have the confidence to use their phone to its fullest capability, and rest assured knowing they are protected no matter what they do. Whether its helping to find a lost/stolen phone, managing phone security or backing up precious data, we’re helping AT&T customers with a safer, more secure, mobile experience.

This marks the third of 4 major US carriers to adopt the Lookout antivirus and security app. Sprint already preloads it on some of its Android devices as part of its Sprint Default Configuration and some T-Mobile devices, like the new LG G2, also have the Lookout app preloaded.  Read more

Nexus 7 won’t be allowed on Verizon LTE until KitKat rolls, “systems issue” blamed

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If you have a Nexus 7 you’re waiting to activate on Verizon’s LTE network, there’s good news and bad news …

The good news is Verizon has acknowledged the issue that has been preventing the device registering on its network, and says that a solution is in hand. The bad new is that solution is to wait for KitKat to be installed on the tablet, and there’s as yet no word on when this may be. Google has said only that it will be “in the coming weeks” and that is for the Wifi versions …  Read more

Google releases Opinion Rewards app, offers Play Store credit for answering surveys

Google today released a new Opinion Rewards app for Android (via Droid Life). The app allows users to take a survey and receive a small Google Play credit in exchange. Each survey is no longer than 10 questions. Google says that users will be able to take about one survey a week and that they will be notified via a push notification when they are eligible to take another survey. Survey topics will vary, but will all be relatively simple. 

 About once a week you’ll get a notification on your phone that a short and relevant survey is ready for you. Questions will range from, “Which logo is best?” and “Which promotion is most compelling?” to “When do you plan on traveling next?”

It’s unclear how much Google will pay for each survey, but in the video demonstrating the app, both surveys payout just $1.00 and Google notes that not every survey will payout anything. The credit is immediately applied to the Google Wallet account of whoever took the survey and can be used towards any content in the Play Store.

Opinion Rewards is available in the Play Store now. Though, unfortunately, it is only open to those located in the United States.  

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Moto G to be unveiled in Sao Paulo, Brazil, mid-range specs global/BRIC incoming?

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When the clock strikes November 13th, all eyes will be on Motorola and the announcement of their upcoming Moto G. We’ve just learned via Motorola’s Twitter and G+ pages that the device will be launched from Sao Paulo, Brazil. What that might indicate is that it is a mid-range smartphone meant for global emerging markets. Sao Paulo is an unusual venue for a high-profile smartphone launch and we’re hypothesizing that means the specs won’t be blowing anyone away. The tweet from Motorola this morning informed the world of the new launch details and provided a link to a Google+ page where it’s likely more information will be released as the announcement goes down. Read more

Samsung concedes its software needs work, says half of R&D is now focused on improving

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Speaking at Samsung’s analyst day in Seoul, South Korea, the company’s Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun admitted that they need to work on improving their software. “Even though we’re doing the software business, we’re not as good as we are in hardware.” Kwon didn’t specify which aspect of his company’s software he believes needs help, be it the software on the company’s televisions or its TouchWiz software that graces its ridiculously large Android lineup of devices. Read more