AT&T agrees to acquire Leap Wireless (Cricket) at $15/share to expand spectrum

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AT&T has announced that it has come to agreement to acquire U.S. carrier Leap Wireless (which operates the Cricket brand) for $15 per share. The acquisition will cover all of Leap Wireless’s assets, expanding AT&T’s coverage to Leap’s 5 million subscribers. This move enhances AT&T’s spectrum, retail store count, employee number, and more, so it is likely a positive move for its wireless customers. It’s possible that this announcement is related to the upcoming press event that AT&T has scheduled for July 16th.

Press release below:

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Microsoft lawsuit accuses U.S. Customs of not enforcing Motorola import ban

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Following an import ban awarded to Microsoft last year that saw the ITC impose a block on imports of Google’s Motorola devices, Microsoft today filed a lawsuit accusing U.S. Customs of not enforcing the ban. Bloomberg reports Microsoft claims Google had “secret meetings” with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ensure the device continued to flow over borders: Read more

Review: Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition – Less is more


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Way back at Google I/O 2013, it was announced that Samsung would be partnering with Google to release a Galaxy S4 variant running stock Android. Nearly two months later, the device is finally available to the masses and I’ve been using one as my daily driver for about a week now.

When the Google Play Edition Galaxy S4 was originally announced, I was really intrigued by the idea. Google has been releasing Nexus devices for the past few years, but I’ve never really fallen in love with one. They’ve all been good, but not great hardware. Nexus devices generally don’t feature top-of-the-line specs and are meant, in Google’s eyes, purely for developers to test apps their apps on.

Seeing how I had loved the original Galaxy S4, but couldn’t stand the bloated TouchWiz overlay, the Google Play Edition Galaxy S4 seemed like the perfect device for me. Near-stock Android paired with high-end, future-proof ‘resistant’ specifications. A match made in heaven, so to speak. Read more

Revolv demonstrates the future of home automation with Google Glass

Back in May, we reported on a new piece of Glassware that controlled your Nest thermostat via Google Glass, and last month we saw GLASSTESLA, an app that lets you manage your car with Glass. Now home automation company Revolv has taken it a step further. The company has released a teaser video of a new technology developed by their Sr. Engineer that lets you control all sorts of things via Google Glass. Specifically in the video you can see office lights, Philips Hue lights, Yale Lock, and a Sonos player all being controlled with Glass. In addition to simply turning the Hue Lights on and off, the video also shows how you can change the color of the lights.  The app can be controlled with either gestures or voice commands.

It’s unclear when or if this technology will be released to the public, as it is simply the “side project” of Revolv’s Sr. Engineer.  Read more

2013: The year of the personalized, colorful, mid-tier smartphone

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Mockup: Slashgear

Choosing a phone is pretty simple if you’re the kind of person who wants the latest & greatest handset and has the budget to pay for it. Even if you’re not sure what platform you want, you’re essentially choosing between a handful of flagship products and are currently likely to walk away with an iPhone 5, Samsung S4 or HTC One.

There isn’t too much head-scratching at the bottom end of the market either: buyers there don’t care about the handset, and take whatever freebie their carrier pushes at them.

But the mid-market is where life gets complicated. You care enough about your handset to want something decent, both in specs and design, but you don’t want to take out a mortgage to buy it. It’s this market that is going to get incredibly colorful this fall …  Read more

Eric Schmidt finally gives up his Blackberry for a Motorola X

Business Leaders Meet In Sun Valley, Idaho For Allen And Co. Annual Conference

When Dennis Woodside introduced the Moto X Phone back at the AllThingsD conference, he teased that he was carrying the device as his primary phone, but  he couldn’t show it to us. It turns out that Google chairman Eric Schmidt is also using the phone, but while at the Allen & Co. business conference, he didn’t make any attempt to hide it from the press, as Italian site Corriera.it has posted a gallery of photos of him using it (via The Verge).

Schmidt was pictured using the white model of the phone, though much like the white Nexus 4, the front remains all black. The phone appears to have a design that is thicker in the middle than around the edges, which means you won’t be able to set it on a flat surface and use it very easily. It looks like Schmidt has finally broken his habit of using a Blackberry, which he admitted was a pretty hard habit to break earlier this year.

Another leaked image of the device in black also recently appeared on Chinese site Weibo, though we can’t really tell much from it that we didn’t already know.

The X Phone is expected to be a device heavily customized by the user, so if you aren’t a fan of the white design, don’t get to worried. The release date is still up in the air, though a leaked document pointed at an August 23rd date for Verizon.

View all of the images below…

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Google making friends at Sun Valley conference: Apple, Hollywood

Photo: salon.com

Photo: salon.com

The sometimes stormy relationship between Google and Apple appears to be growing friendlier, with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt telling Reuters at the annual Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley that the two companies were having “lots and lots” of meetings.

Schmidt did not provide details about the nature of the meetings during comments to reporters at the annual Allen and Co media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho on Thursday. He noted that Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora, who joined him at the press briefing, was leading many of the discussions.

The two companies are in “constant business discussions on a long list of issues,” Schmidt said.

The two companies started out close. Schmidt joined Apple’s board in 2006, and the iPhone launched with both Google Maps and YouTube on board. That was to change after Google’s Android platform began growing in popularity, with Steve Jobs threatening “thermonuclear war” on Google over what he felt was a copycat product …  Read more

Deal: Google Nexus 7 Android tablet 16GB: $149, 32GB $169

From 9to5Toys:

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Staples offers the Google Nexus 7 tablet for $179 and $199 respectively in 16GB and 32GB configurations (already a low price). Adding coupon code 20098 drops the prices $30 again to $149 and $169

The Nexus 7 is google’s current flagship reference device running the latest Android 4.2.2 with a 1280x800HD display, NVIDIA Tegra 3 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth and much more. Read more

Vine for Android updated with new capture widget, channels, and ability to revine posts

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Vine for Android has just been updated with several new features, which are very similar to what iOS users received last week. The feature that differentiates the Android update from the iOS update, however, is a new capture widget that you can add to your home screen. From there, simply tap it to go right into the recording interface.

In addition to the capture widget, the update also adds the ability to share or “revine” another user’s post, as well as new tools for recording, including a grid, focus enhancements, and more. Finally, Vine for Android also adds channel support, which means that users can now browse specific topics of interest from the Explore screen, such as Sports, Family, Dogs, Cats, and more.

This update to Vine is our biggest yet!

  • CHANNELS
  • Browse or submit your posts to 15 new channels
  • REVINING
  • Share your favorite posts with all your followers on Vine in one tap
  • FAST CAPTURE WIDGET
  • Instantly jump to the Vine camera right from your home screen
  • NEW CAPTURE TOOLS
  • Shoot with style using the new focus, grid, and ghost tools

The update is available in the Play Store now.  Read more

Sprint debuts new unlimited plans with lifetime guarantee, ‘My Way’ feature

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Following T-Mobile’s new “Jump” plan announcement, and preceding AT&T’s forthcoming network-related announcement, U.S. carrier Sprint has announced new versions of its unlimited plans. The new service goes into effect tomorrow.

The first element of the new offering is a lifetime guarantee (for the life of your service line) to receive unlimited calling, texting, and data. Sprint has also introduced a new My Way plan, that starts at as little as $80 for unlimited usage, that allows flexibility and additional savings when it comes to multiple lines begin attached to the plan:

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Leaked Verizon document points to August 1 release for HTC One, August 23 for Moto X Phone

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Even though other carriers have been offering the HTC One for months now, Verizon has yet to announce availability for the flagship device, simply stringing customers along as far as possible. According to a new document obtained by PhoneArena, however, we’re still a little less than a month away from a launch.

The leaked roadmap claims that we will see the HTC One on Verizon’s LTE network August 1st. This falls in line with what Verizon announced earlier last month when it promised a launch this summer. The document also claims that Verizon will release the highly anticipated Moto X Phone on August 23. We’re thinking that may be a pre-order date, however, as Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside said himself at the AllThingsD conference that the device is coming this October.

We all know that Verizon is almost always the last carrier to launch a phone when it’s released universally on carriers, such was the case with the Galaxy S4, but the carrier does have a good relationship with Motorola. The two have had a strong relationship because of the DROID line of devices, which could mean that they have advanced knowledge of one another’s plans and that Verizon could launch the X Phone ahead of other carriers.

Keep in mind that this is a rumor and something like this could be faked pretty easily, but we’ll definitely keep you updated on further developments regarding these two devices.

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Google Maps update adds new Latitude button, ability to save maps offline

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Earlier this week Google rolled out an update to its Maps app with a new interface and several new features, but the update also removed a several key things, including the ability to save maps offline and the popular Latitude tracking tool. In a post on Google+ this morning, however, the Maps team announced that an update will begin rolling out to Maps users today that adds those two features back to the app.

We’ve been happy to hear so many of you enjoying the interface and features of the new Google Maps app for Android, but we know some of you are missing an easy way to access maps offline. That’s why our engineering team has been working around the clock to add a “Make this map area available offline” card below the search box for easier access. And, if you still want some #thumbercise, typing “ok maps” will work too!

With this update, we’ve also added a “Where’s Latitude?” link at the bottom of the side menu which provides more information about the future of location sharing.

The update will begin rolling out to users today, so be sure to keep an eye on the Play Store for it to hit your device. Read more