AT&T to sell Samsung Galaxy S III Mini for 99 cents starting Sept. 27

AT&T announced today that it will begin selling the Samsung Galaxy S III mini, which was first released in November of last year, as a smaller entry level version of Samsung’s flagship at the time, the Galaxy S III. It might be a last generation device– Samsung unveiled the S4 mini at its event back in June– but that’s why AT&T will sell it for 99 cents on contract when it becomes available on September 27.

As a reminder, the S III mini includes a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, and packs in a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 5 megapixel main camera. You’ll also of course get Samsung’s TouchWiz UI on top of with S Beam, S Voice, Group Play, and other Samsung goodies.

AT&T will kick off preorders for the Galaxy S III mini starting tomorrow. Read more

Google Glass does car maintenance – a hands-free car manual

Augmented reality specialist Metaio has put together an interesting proof-of-concept video illustrating how vehicle manuals could soon be a thing of the past, with Glass providing all the instruction needed …

The demo is an extremely simple one (and anyone who needs to be told that step 1 of filling the washer fluid is opening the bonnet probably shouldn’t be allowed behind the wheel of a car), but it’s easy to see how the same approach could be used for the most technical of operations by a car mechanic.

Metaio previously put together an iOS app for Audi with a similar approach.

You can find some other Glass ideas that caught our eye linked in the opening sentence here – with this one (a surgeon allowing colleagues to watch an operation) coming along shortly afterwards.

YouTube offline viewing coming soon – but no details revealed

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The YouTube Creator blog reveals that offline video viewing will be launched in November, but doesn’t reveal any details.

We’re always exploring ways to bring more viewers to your content. As part of this effort, later this year we’ll launch a new feature on YouTube’s mobile apps that will help you reach fans — even when they’re not connected to the Internet. This upcoming feature will allow people to add videos to their device to watch for a short period when an Internet connection is unavailable. So your fans’ ability to enjoy your videos no longer has to be interrupted by something as commonplace as a morning commute …  Read more

Nexus 7 w/ LTE now available on Google Play for AT&T, T-Mobile & 8 other countries

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Update: Verizon explained in a statement that support for the LTE Nexus 7 is on the way:

The Google Nexus 7 is not yet a Verizon 4G LTE certified device, though it entered our process in August and we expect it will be certified shortly. Once the device is certified, we will work with Google to enable the device to be activated on our 4G LTE network.

Verizon Wireless’ certification process, which generally takes between four and six weeks, is one of the most rigorous testing protocols of any carrier, and is focused on guarding the safety and security of our network. Certification is done by third party labs approved by Verizon, and selected by the device manufacturer. Over the years, Verizon Wireless has certified hundreds of devices; information on the certification process is available to anyone at opennetwork.verizonwireless.com.

Verizon is committed to ensuring our customers have the best overall experience when any device becomes available on the nation’s most reliable network.

When Google first announced its new Nexus 7, the company said at the time that an 4G LTE capable version of the device would be available in the weeks to come. Up until now Google has had only a WiFi-only version of the tablet, but today it announced that the LTE model is finally available through Google Play in 9 countries.

Google announced that the LTE model is available in not only the US, but also in Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, UK, Japan, and Korea. In most of the countries listed above the 32GB LTE Nexus 7 is sold unlocked (for $349 in the US), but it’s also available with an AT&T or T-Mobile SIM directly from Google Play for U.S. customers. AT&T made things official in a press release announcing availability of the Nexus 7 only through Google Play.

Interestingly, word has it that Verizon won’t be activating the new Nexus 7 on its network. While there doesn’t seem to be a clear reason why the device wouldn’t be compatible with Verizon’s network (Google even showed a Verizon logo on stage when announcing the device), using a Verizon SIM card that’s already been activated with another device will apparently work on the new Nexus 7. The problem, according to AndroidCommunity, is that the Nexus 7 won’t work on Verizon’s CDMA network and only LTE. That means for users without LTE coverage the tablet wouldn’t work at all, and that’s likely the reason Verizon is yet to officially support the device. The carrier confirmed in a statement saying the Nexus 7 “is not yet a device that is Verizon 4G LTE certified. We’ll let folks know when it’s certified.”

You can get the Nexus 7 now in all of the countries mentioned above as well as Italy, which finally for the first time gets access to purchase Google Play devices today.

New Google Wallet app lets you send money to any U.S. email address, adds loyalty cards & offers

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Google announced today on its Google Commerce blog that a new version of Google Wallet is beginning to roll out to all Android devices in the U.S. running Android 2.3 and up. It also brings the app to users on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, although those carriers won’t be allowing NFC payments as they opt for competitive ISIS mobile payment platform.

The new app rolling out this week will allow users to send money to any US email address and also adds improved features for saving loyalty cards and redeeming offers. While Google is currently in the process of rolling out the ability to send money using Google Wallet through Gmail, the new Wallet app for Android will let users send money to any friend age 18 and up through any U.S. email address:

It’s free to send money directly from your bank account or Google Wallet Balance, and low fees apply when using your linked credit or debit card. And as an added bonus, once you send money with the Google Wallet app, you’ll also get early access to sending money in Gmail from your desktop while we continue to roll out the feature broadly to Gmail users.

The new app will also let all users (not just those with NFC enabled devices), scan barcodes of loyalty cards in order to earn points and use the app at checkout. Google notes that you’ll be able to “join new programs like Alaska Airlines, Belly, and Red Mango within the Google Wallet app.” Some other programs coming soon include: Avis Car Rental, BJ’s Restaurants, Cosi, Hard Rock International, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, Raley’s, and The Body Shop.

Google is also adding some new and improved features for Offers in the new Wallet app: Read more

New leaked shots of LG Nexus show KitKat startup screen, other details

Earlier this month images from FCC filings showed what appeared to be Google’s LG-made Nexus 5 following the device first leaking in Google’s promotional video for Android 4.4 KitKat. Today we’ve received the images above showing what looks to be the Nexus 5 in the wild, and it looks identical to pre-production units floating through the FCC and elsewhere. The tipster also sent along the videos below, which could give us a glimpse at Android 4.4 KitKat running on the Nexus 5, although it looks like the bootup from Google Play Edition phones.

The device in the images was apparently left charging unsupervised by a Google employee at a bar (yeah, lol) where an employee of the bar was able to snap the photos and short videos… Read more

Google acquires mobile sharing app ‘Bump’

Bump, the mobile app that lets users share photos, videos, contacts, files and more by physically bumping their devices together, today announced it is joining Google (via TechCrunch). There’s not many details about the acquisition in a short message posted on Bump’s website by its CEO and cofounder David Lieb, but it does confirm that “the Bump team is joining Google.”

Our mission at Bump has always been to build the simplest tools for sharing the information you care about with other people and devices.  We strive to create experiences that feel like magic, enabled behind the scene with innovations in math, data processing, and algorithms.  So we couldn’t be more thrilled to join Google, a company that shares our belief that the application of computing to difficult problems can fundamentally change the way that we interact with one another and the world.

Bump says it uses “math, data processing, and algorithms” to allow users to share data wirelessly through its mobile app, but didn’t share how Google might take advantage of the technology. Lieb confirmed that Bump, and the company’s photo sharing app Flock, “will continue to work as they always have for now; stay tuned for future updates.”  Read more

AT&T & T-Mobile preorders for Galaxy Note 3/ Galaxy Gear kick off Sept. 18

Update: Sprint announced today that the Galaxy Note 3 will become available on October 4 for $349.99 on the usual two-year agreement. It will also have the Galaxy Gear companion smartwatch for $299.99 in Jet Black, Oatmeal Beige and Wild Orange.

AT&T has announced today in a tweet that preorders for the new Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which will act as a companion to the new Galaxy Note 3, will go up for preorder starting Wednesday, September 18. The carrier previously announced that the Galaxy Note 3 would begin shipping from its website on October 1. Through AT&T, the Note 3 sells for $299 on the usual two-year agreement. Samsung originally announced that the device would launch on partners around the world starting September 25.

T-Mobile also made things official for the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear today with a press release confirming that preorders, like AT&T, will also begin on Wednesday. On T-Mobile the device will sell for $199.99 down with 24 month payments of $21 with preorders expected to ship by October 2.  Read more

Sprint reportedly to join monthly phone hardware payments craze on Sep. 20

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Sprint is readying its own program that allows customers to roll in the cost of phone hardware in their monthly bill, according to CNET. Sprint’s program is reportedly called One Up, and it works in a similar fashion to the recently launched AT&T Next, T-Mobile Jump, and Verizon Edge initiatives.

All of the carrier programs principally work the same, with a few nuanced differences. Sprint’s One Up lets customers pick up a phone with no money down and pay for the device in 24 monthly installments. A phone that costs $649.99, for instance, will cost $27 a month (with the difference tacked on to the 24th payment). If a customer leaves the service early, that person is on the hook for the balance of the device cost, due the following month.

Unlike with a typical U.S. carrier contract, Sprint’s new program (like those from the other U.S. carriers) will allow customers to upgrade to a new device every year. The (subsidized) cost of the phone will be divided up into 24 installments and added to the customer’s monthly bill. A customer can trade-in that current hardware towards the new phone that they would like to upgrade to.

The new Sprint One Up program is claimed to launch on September 20th.

Read more

Sony’s TV stick offers full Google TV functionality, but only with this year’s Sony TVs

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The Sony TV device spotted in an FCC filing last month was briefly unveiled by Sony in a blog post that has since been deleted. Engadget spotted the post for the Sony Bravia Smart Stick before it was pulled.

It’s an MHL dongle that runs both Google TV and Sony’s own BRAVIA apps. The features are just like Google TV boxes Sony has released before, with a remote (that the FCC filings showed is at least similar to the previous ones) that has QWERTY and voice search support. Additionally, its “picture-and-picture” feature lets users see a browser in one window and TV in another …  Read more