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

The folks at iFixit show us what’s under the Nexus 5 hood

There are few things I look forward to more with a high-profile handset launch than the iFixit tear down. The good folks at the company are tearing the Nexus 5 up as only they can do and showing us all the wonderful cords, plugs, parts, pieces and everything that makes up Google’s newest flagship device.

Some notable takeaways from the video include the discovery the battery is held in place with only “very mild adhesive” making it “fairly easy to remove and replace.” Ten #00 Philip head screws hold everything in place “simplifying repairs and reassembly.” As for any bad news, that arrives with the glass and LCD both fused to the display frame making any fixes to the glass either “expensive or very difficult.”

Ok, so we’ll take the good with the bad but watching the whole video is more than worth the 3:45 of your time.

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via iFixit

Samsung S4 retains best battery-life title in rigorous consumer association tests

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 has retained its title as winner of the highly-regarded Which? UK consumer association battery-life tests, despite competition from newer handsets. The S4 achieved call times 37 percent greater than its nearest rival, the HTC One. The results in web use were far closer, but the Samsung S4 took the lead there too.

The Galaxy S4 also won back in June, but retained its title in the face of new competition from the latest iPhones and an updated Nokia Lumia. Android handsets took the top three slots in call times, and the top four in web use …

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Why won’t I be buying the Nexus 5? The camera

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When Google’s Vic Gundotra promised “insanely great cameras” on upcoming Nexus devices, we took his statement to heart. Now, with the release of the Nexus 5, early reviews of the camera are decidedly mixed. It’s for this reason that I’ve decided to take a pass on the newest Nexus device, and will continue to focus on Android devices where the camera doesn’t appear to be an afterthought. I had hoped that we might see something that truly lived up to Vic’s “vision” for the Nexus line of smartphone cameras, needless to say, “insanely great” doesn’t seem to apply.

Now, I grant you, some of the pictures I’ve seen from the Nexus are good—some are very good—but the consensus seems to be for every “very good,” there’s “not so good.” As a new-ish parent, a smartphone camera is one of the most important aspects of my life, as the best camera I have is the one I have with me. I want to love the Nexus, the large display and quick updates and all the sunshine and rainbows that comes from owning Google’s flagship device. Still, the real-world tests don’t give me much hope that is the right Android device for me:

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Fear not Moto X fans, the Wood backing is still very much alive

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Moto X fans take note as prolific mobile leaker @evleaks has indicated that the wood-based model is still very much alive. It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything out of Motorola regarding the wood units, but where there’s a will there’s a way and @evleaks is providing the goods. It was back in August that @evleaks first previewed and teased the four variants of the wood-based cover. There’s still the extra $50 cost associated with the wood and we’ll just assume that extra cost is simply the price of going up to your friends and bragging you have a “wood” smartphone.

The image itself comes from a screen-grab taken from MotoMaker and shows off Teak, Ebony, Rosewood and Bamboo wood tones. The styles are expected to arrive anytime in the fourth quarter which began at the beginning of October so any.day.now.