Xperia Z officially coming to T-Mobile July 17 for $100

SonyXperiaZ

T-Mobile will begin to sell the Xperia Z on July 17th for $100 with a 24-month payment commitment of $20 per month. The carrier originally announced its plan to carry the device back in June, but without any specific pricing or release information.

Specs will be the same as the international model, which include a 5-inch 1080p display with Sony’s Mobile Bravia engine, a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, a 13MP rear-facing camera, and a water and dust resistant design. It will also carry support for T-Mobile’s LTE network.

Xperia® Z from Sony. T-Mobile will be the exclusive U.S. wireless company to offer Sony’s flagship water-resistant Android™-powered smartphone to customers this summer.2 The Xperia Z will be available for $99.99 down, with 24 equal monthly device payments of $20 for well-qualified buyers for 0 percent APR on approved credit3 through T-Mobile retail stores and select retailers, as well as online at http://www.T-Mobile.com starting July 17. On July 16, customers can also pre-order the device online from the same website and receive a free Sony Wireless Bluetooth Speaker gift with purchase (while supplies last). Customers may also purchase the device beginning today at any of the 38 U.S. Sony Store locations, including the flagship store in New York, or online at http://www.Sony.com/xperiaz/tmobile and will be eligible to receive the free Sony speaker as a gift with purchase (while supplies last).

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Another one bites the dust: Google to sunset Latitude on August 9th

google-latitude-logoAs part of the maps update announcement last night, Google noted that it would be retiring Latitude, just the latest in a string of high profile service closures including perhaps the most missed: Google Reader. Unlike Reader, Google seems to have some fallbacks in place:

One important change you should know about is that Latitude and check-ins are no longer part of the new Google Maps app, and will be retired from older versions on August 9. We understand some of you still want to see your friends and family on a map, which is why we’ve added location sharing and check-ins to Google+ for Android (coming soon to iOS). More details about Latitude and check-in changes can be found in our help center.

Google risks alienating early adopters and mainstream users alike with its now common closures of valued services.  Read more

Redesigned Google Maps for Android begins rolling out to Android 4.0.3+ users

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 9.37.44 PM

As previewed at Google I/O 2013 in May, Google has just begun rolling out the latest version of Google Maps for Android to Android 4.0.3+ users. The update, which is available now for download at Google Play, will provide users with a new design (both on tablets and smartphones), live traffic updates, improved navigation, incident reports, and a new Explore function. This Explore feature is a “new way to browse and discover popular local places to eat, drink, shop, play and sleep,” per Google’s release notes. While the update is out today, the new features will arrive gradually for end-users. Phandroid provides a link for side loading on the complete update today.

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Google celebrates 100th Tour De France with interactive game

In honor of the 100th Tour De France, Google has published an interactive game that takes you through each stage of the event. The game, called Your Tour, takes you through the entire 3,000km route with a combination of Google Maps and Streetview data. You start off on June 29th at the “Grand Depart” and move through each stage, though some are still locked until the event actually happens in real life.

The game is centered around using your mouse to scroll along each stage of the event. You can choose between a realistic view from the eye of the bike rider, or a simple Google Maps interface.

You can play the game hereRead more

Google Doodle celebrating Fourth of July takes you on a virtual tour of America

Keeping with the tradition upheld since 2000, Google has updated its classic logo to celebrate the Fourth of July in the United States. The Google Doodle takes you on a tour of the United States with a family and a dog. The animated image takes you to a variety of classic U.S. places, including an ice cream shop, the Golden Gate Bridge, a baseball stadium, Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, and more. The Doodle ends with the family and dog all watching fireworks together. Click it once more, and the image redirects to a simple search for “When is Independence day?”

‘Murica. Read more

Google accused of “coercive sales tactics” over Google TV – unnamed manufacturer

Google-TV

Google has been accused of using “coercive sales tactics” in an attempt to pressure Smart TV manufacturers to adopt its own Google TV platform for YouTube rather than HTML5 based approaches, reports Korean news site ETNews.

Smart TV operators who opted for open-source HTML5 in order to avoid dependance on Google, have bumped into an obstacle – YouTube [...] According to industry insiders, Google has demanded HTML5-based Smart TV operators should place the YouTube app on the main homepage and pass browser conformity tests [which] take up to several months.

An industry insider said “Telling us where the YouTube app should be placed is an act of coercive sales tactics.”
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