UK Stories February 20, 2020

Google shifting UK user data to US, ditching GDPR protection in the process

GDPR has had a huge effect on how internet services work in the European Union, but following Brexit, Google may make some changes to how UK data is handled. A report from Reuters reveals that Google is preparing to shift data from UK users to be under US jurisdiction.

UK Stories November 15, 2016

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The outcome of the UK referendum known as Brexit which saw the country opting for leaving the European Union earlier this summer surely created a bit of turbulence in the economic space, leaving more than a few companies in a state of uncertainty.

In spite of this, however, the country’s capital city still seems to be going strong, and Google appears to be ready to actually double down on its efforts there…

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UK Stories June 21, 2016

Google launches Android Pay Day in UK, today offering Starbucks and Deliveroo discounts

After Android Pay finally launched in the UK last month, Google is doing its best to encourage Brits to give it a try. It’s announced a monthly Android Pay Day, offering discounts for using the service to pay, with the first of these taking place today.

UK Stories May 18, 2016

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After a false start yesterday, Android Pay is now live in the United Kingdom. Those with compatible credit and debit cards can set up the contactless payment service after downloading the app from the Play Store. Google has also announced that Android Pay is coming soon to Australia and Singapore.

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UK Stories May 17, 2016

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Update 5/18: Android Pay has officially launched in the UK. Coming soon to Australia and Singapore.

Update: As many have pointed out, the app is not yet in the Play Store. Google has since pulled the original tweet and commented that Android Pay in the UK is “not quite there yet”. An official announcement will likely coincide with I/O tomorrow.

After announcing plans for Android Pay’s first international expansion in March, Google’s contactless payment service is now available in the United Kingdom. According to the official Android Twitter account, those in the country can now download the app and set up the service.

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UK Stories May 13, 2016

Few things have made the case for an interesting use of the NFC chips inside our phones like contactless payments. Revived by Apple with the introduction of Apple Pay in late 2014, mobile-based transactions have seen an interesting resurgence ever since.

Companies like Samsung and LG have come up with proprietary solutions, but Android users have all found a home under Google‘s very own rooftop with Android Pay. Initially launched in the US alone, the service is now expanding, and after recent promises of a forthcoming launch, it looks like the green light for the UK may be imminent (via Telegraph)…

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UK Stories February 29, 2016

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Mobile contactless payments are progressively becoming more and more mainstream as major manufacturers adopt systems that can be easily used via our smartphones. While LG Pay is yet to be seen in action, Google, Apple and even Samsung all have a technology – Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, respectively – that allows a user to complete transactions thanks to the NFC chips contained in most recent devices.

To this day, however, Apple Pay was the only service active in the United Kingdom, leaving a good number of consumers out of the industry, as more than half of the smartphones sold in the country run Android. According to a Telegraph report, however, sources close to the matter have confirmed that Android Pay should go live across Britain within the end of next month, approximately six months after the original US debut…

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UK Stories February 25, 2016

FILE - In this Tuesday, March 23, 2010, file photo, the Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Brussels. France's data privacy agency ordered Google to remove search results worldwide upon request, giving the company two weeks to apply the "right to be forgotten" globally. The order Friday from CNIL comes more than a year after Europe's highest court ruled that people have the right to control what appears when their name is searched online. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

Just one day after the UK’s public spending watchdog described the £130M ($185M) back-tax paid by Google in the country as “disproportionately small,” France is demanding a rather larger sum. Reuters reports that the country’s finance ministry believes Google owes €1.6B ($1.76B).

“As far as our country is concerned, back taxes concerning this company amount to 1.6 billion euros,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said […]

Earlier this month, Finance Minister Michel Sapin ruled out striking a deal with the U.S. search engine company as the British government recently did, saying the sums at stake in France were “far greater” than those in Britain … 

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UK Stories February 15, 2016

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According to a report over the weekend from Crain’s Detroit Business, Google/Alphabet is seeking an R&D site for its self-driving cars near Ann Arbor, Michigan. This report comes as FCC documents last month revealed that the Mountain View company was planning to bring the cars to four new cities. Kirkland, Washington officially became one of those locations two weeks ago, and as we noted, a location near Ann Arbor makes perfect sense to be one of the next bunch… expand full story

UK Stories February 6, 2016

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While Google has expanded its US-based autonomous vehicle trials to include both Texas and Kirkland, WA since its launch in Mountain View, it seems the company is being courted by another city across the pond. London transport officials are said to be in “active discussions” with Google to convince the tech giant to test its driverless cars in England’s capital…

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UK Stories January 28, 2016

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The European Commission says that the £130M ($185M) tax deal struck between Google and the UK government may amount to “illegal state aid” by offering the company better terms than those available to smaller businesses.

Google first came under fire for its tax arrangements in the UK in early 2013, when it was accused of funneling profits from UK Adword sales through Ireland, resulting in the company paying just £6M ($8.5M) tax on a turnover of £395M ($565M). In the new deal, it agreed to change its accounting practices to pay more tax in the UK, and to pay a lump sum in back tax …

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UK Stories October 16, 2015

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BlackBerry already made the PRIV official last month, and then followed up with some of the first official images of the device posted to its blog. Not much of what the company has said up to this point though has been new, though. Even the official images it published a couple weeks ago were pretty much the same as the ones we saw four months ago.

And this new video follows in the same vein as that theme. We’ve already seen an in-depth hands-on video with the phone, we’ve seen its specs leaked what feels like a dozen times, pre-registration for the phone opened up a couple of days ago, and just earlier today pre-orders for the phone went live in the UK. I guess it’s just a pretty marketing clip… expand full story

UK Stories September 16, 2015

Moto X Style pre-orders go live in the UK

Motorola, this morning, opened up pre-orders for its newest flagship, the Moto X Style in the UK. While the device has been available to order in the US for a couple of weeks already, pre-sales only began today across the pond in Britain. Pricing starts at £399 and increases based on materials used on the back, or which storage option you go for.

UK Stories August 5, 2015

HTC One M9 software update enables Wi-Fi calling for EE UK customers

If you’re an EE customer in the UK and have an HTC One M9, you might want to check your settings menu for software updates. The latest — launching today — brings Wi-Fi calling to your phone and enables you to make calls and send texts using a Wi-Fi network.

EE customers in the UK have been able to make use of Wi-Fi calling for the past couple of months, but only on a very select few handsets. Namely: iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S6 phones. Now the list of compatible handsets has grown. Today, HTC has announced that EE customers should receive a software update to enable on the feature on its flagship One M9.

WiFi calls are seamlessly integrated into general usage, and are therefore indistinguishable from regular calls from an HTC handset. WiFi Calling from EE and HTC uses the phone’s normal dialler and contacts book to make calls, and the normal text button to send text messages.  Customers don’t need a stand-alone app, a unique HTC interface will automatically detect whether to use WiFi or cellular each time the HTC One M9 is used to make a call.

It’s an incredibly useful feature to have (as any T-Mobile US customer will tell you) particularly if you live in an area where cellular coverage can be a little unreliable. The update is available immediately.

UK Stories March 26, 2015

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Amazon accidentally revealed earlier this week that this would be happening today, but we now have proof that the slip was legit: the Nexus Player has now launched on the Google Store in the UK for £79. A couple of new Android Wear accessories have also landed in the store today though, including a Sony SmartWatch 3 watch band and a standalone charger for the Asus ZenWatch.

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UK Stories March 23, 2015

Nexus Player shows up on Amazon UK for March 26 launch

The Nexus Player has been available in the US for quite some time, but now we have a bit of an idea of when the device will be launching in the UK. As spotted by Engadget, the Nexus Player has shown up on the UK Amazon website with a launch date of March 26th and a price of £80. Sadly, that page seems to have been taken down already and the only listing for the device is currently via a third-party reseller (at a pretty decent markup).

In January, Google revealed that the Nexus Player would be coming to Japan by the end of February, its first market outside the US. More recently, Google posted the Android 5.1 factory image for the Nexus Player. If you’d like to, you can head over to read our full review that we published all the way back in November. We found it to be a useful new platform for Android, but a lot of its features can feel a bit half-baked.

UK Stories January 21, 2015

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Google first announced its Google Play for Education program in mid-2013 at Google I/O with the program launching to K-12 schools in the United States later that fall, and today the company shared that it’s now bringing Google Play for Education to schools in the UK using Android tablets… expand full story

UK Stories January 13, 2015

SamMobile reports on Tuesday that Samsung is now rolling out Android Lollipop for the Galaxy S5 in the United Kingdom, after seeding the software update in PolandSpain, Russia, and Malaysia. The report claims that the update is arriving in the form of Android 5.0, despite Samsung internally testing Android 5.0.2 on flagship devices internally. expand full story

UK Stories December 9, 2014

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We’ve known about the Desire 620 for a while now, but now HTC has announced that the budget handset—previously only officially available in Taiwan—will be available in the European market as early as January of next year (via Pocket-Lint).

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UK Stories November 4, 2014

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If you live in the UK and have been feeling left out of all the Nexus 6 madness over the last few days, your wait appears to be almost over. According to mobile retailer Mobiles.co.uk, the Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order in the UK on November 18th. Retail availability will be December 1st, with pre-ordered devices hitting customer doorsteps on that same day.

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UK Stories October 8, 2014

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Today, Google announced that it has opened yet another Google Glass Basecamp, this time in London, UK. And while it may seem that Google has definitely put Glass on the back burner with the flurry of Android Wear announcements, this is a comforting reassurance that the Glass project hasn’t been abandoned. You can schedule a visit to the new Basecamp online, where you’re able to register for a “demo,” “try and buy,” a “fitting,” or “support.”

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UK Stories October 3, 2014

PSA: 2014 ‘Pure Edition’ Moto X now available to order from the UK Moto Maker

The 2014 “Pure Edition” Moto X is now available in the UK via Motorola’s Moto Maker. The entry-level 16GB model will set you back £420, while the 32GB variant carries a price tag of £460.

UK Stories September 5, 2014

Google Play offers discount on Nexus 5 + LG G Watch bundle in GB, IE, FR, DE, AU, KR, JP

Google is offering a new bundle through Google Play in some countries that offers a discounted price for customers that purchase both a Nexus 5 and LG G Watch. Discounts vary with local currencies, but discounts general range from $100 in Australia to £60 in the UK.

We reached out to Google to find out where exactly the deal is available, and it offered up a full list of countries: GB, IE, FR, DE, AU, KR, JP.

You can head over to Google Play now if you’re in a participating country to take advantage of the deal.

UK Stories July 22, 2014

Android 4.4.4 now available for UK version of the Moto G

The push for Android 4.4.4 continues with UK Moto G owners receiving the latest wave of KitKat starting today. While it may not be the most feature-rich update, Motorola has provided a changelog outlining what people can expect. As seen with other devices, Android 4.4.4 patches a potential OpenSSL hole, and offers some stability improvements, however the Moto G has also managed to score a few extras.

UK Stories June 9, 2014

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The US isn’t the only country making preparations for self-driving cars, the UK is in the process of revamping its laws to allow driverless vehicles to cruise its roads. Science minister David Willetts recently told Mail Online that he has started talking with the Department for Transport to help British companies develop their own self-driving cars, with efforts currently underway in Oxford.

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UK Stories May 28, 2014

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Google has a creative way of advertising its products and its latest effort is quite a doozy. On May 30th at 10:45pm (local time) the company will air a live music performance by Sam Smith from London’s Roundhouse venue that will broadcast across a full ad break on the UK’s Channel 4. So what’s with the quickie concert? It’s an advertising platform for Mountain View’s digital music service.

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UK Stories May 13, 2014

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The Nexus 7 might be due for a replacement, however UK residents who have their eyes on last year’s model can score a deal on Google’s reigning 7-inch slab. The search giant has partnered up with Asus to offer £50 in Play Store credit to people who purchase a 16GB model of the 2013 Nexus 7. The offer is available from now until June 1st from the following retailers:  Asda, Carphone Warehouse, Currys and Tesco. 

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UK Stories May 8, 2014

Samsung’s Swarovski Galaxy S5, Galaxy Gear collection launches today

Samsung’s “Crystal Collection” Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Gear line are available on the company’s online store starting today, though only in Korea. The devices are also available for pre-order for the Chinese market.

The sparkly device will eventually be make its way to Samsung’s UK retail stores in the UK in the coming weeks. If you’re in the United States and hoping to get your hands on this handset, start looking into importing it. Chances are, Samsung will never officially release the device in the North American, as no plans have been shared thus far.

The “Swarovski for Samsung” collaboration comes on the heels of a successful accessory partnership between the two brands during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York this past season. The collection marks the first time in more than 100 years that Swarovski has participated in a collaboration of this scale, where it fully integrates its branding into the collection.

With technology and fashion so deeply intertwined, Samsung is more dedicated than ever to supporting self-expression through technological innovation and meaningful partnerships,” said Younghee Lee, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, IT & Mobile Division at Samsung. “Collaborating with Swarovski on this stunning collection of device accessories reflects our commitment to providing people with user-experiences that express their distinct personalities and taste.

UK Stories April 18, 2014

Google offering movie rental credit to new Chromecast customers in the UK

 

Here’s a quick deal for our friends across the pond. From now until July 15th, Google is offering a £4.99 Play Store movie rental credit to UK residents who set up a new Chromecast. Since some of the movies in the UK Play Store are less than the promotion’s offering, it’s quite possible that you’ll have something leftover towards your next rental. 

If you recently purchased Google’s entertainment dongle and you’re planning your next movie night, head on over to the Chromecast set up page to take advantage of this offer.

UK Stories March 23, 2014

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Members of the UK government are seeking to close a tax loophole that currently allows online music, app, and book downloads to avoid the country’s 20% “value added tax” in favor of much lower international tax rates, reports The Guardian. If the push is successful, Google Play customers in the UK will instead be taxed at the appropriate rate for their own country.

However, the new law won’t go into effect until January 1, 2015, so there’s still time for things to change. Supporters of the change say that it will lead to more fair competition among foreign and domestic companies, since UK-based companies are currently at a major disadvantage due to the higher tax rate.

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UK Stories March 14, 2014

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Google is releasing its Chromecast streaming device in the United Kingdom next week, according to a Gizmodo source. Above is a photo taken by a Currys PC World employee which shows an announcement on the store’s internal portal. That announcement pegs March 19th as the launch date. According to the article, the store already has the device in stock.

The Chromecast launched in the United States last year but hasn’t yet been available outside the country. Germany and France are also said to be included in the international launch next week. No information on the device’s price has been released yet.

Update: We’ve received a clearer shot. Shown above.

UK Stories March 12, 2014

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Samsung showed off its new flagship smartphone at Mobile World Congress just two weeks ago, and today the Korean firm is announcing availability details for the Galaxy S5… in the UK. While pricing has yet to be officially announced, Samsung is allowing its customers in the UK to preorder on Friday, March 28th, through Samsung’s web store, selected retailers, and the Stratford Westfield Experience Store. Samsung also notes that the Galaxy S5 will roll out globally on April 11th. Earlier this week, Samsung shared a detailed video promoting its new smartphone. For all the details, read on for the official press release…

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UK Stories January 16, 2014

Google privacy case looks set to go ahead in UK after Google’s dismissal attempt fails

Google today lost its attempt to have a British court dismiss a claim for breach of privacy in respect of dropping cookies in Safari even when the option was switched off.

Google has argued that the appropriate jurisdiction was the US legal system, where a similar case had already been rejected. Mr Justice Tugendhat at London’s High Court today rejected that argument, stating that he was satisfied there was a case to answer and that it should be heard in the UK.

I am satisfied that there is a serious issue to be tried in each of the claimant’s claims for misuse of private information.

The claimants have clearly established that this jurisdiction is the appropriate one in which to try each of the above claims.

Although Google was denied the right to appeal the ruling, it has said that it intends to attempt an appeal regardless.

We still don’t think that this case meets the standards required in the UK for it to go to trial, and we’ll be appealing today’s ruling.

In the U.S., the company was fined $22.5M by the FTC last July over the infringement of privacy.

UK Stories January 14, 2014

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Following its announcement last August and rollout in the US, the Google-owned Motorola announced today via Twitter a timeline for Moto X availability in select European countries. Motorola is taking its Moto X smartphone to the United Kingdom, France, and Germany beginning sometime next month.

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UK Stories December 16, 2013

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Google, which was fined $22.5M by the FTC for illegal use of tracking cookies on iPhones even when the user had set Safari to reject them, is asking the UK’s High Court to reject a claim for compensation from a group of British iPhone owners, reports The Guardian.

Google is arguing that any case should be held in the U.S., and that UK courts have no jurisdiction in the matter. It also observes that a similar claim in the USA was dismissed two months ago.

Google has been called “arrogant and immoral” for arguing that a privacy claim brought by internet users in the UK should not be heard by the British legal system […]

In the first group claim brought against Google in the UK, the internet firm has insisted that the lawsuit must be brought in California, where it is based, instead of a British courtroom …  expand full story

UK Stories September 7, 2013

PRThinkspaceNI

Thinkspace, an organization created by sixteen-year-old James Anderson, seeks to “inspire the next generation of app developers” through dedicated coding zones in high schools across the globe. Anderson formally launched Thinkspace this month with campuses in Plymouth and Northern Ireland.

Anderson first came up with the idea for Thinkspace when he became disappointed with the UK educational system’s approach to computer information and related topics. Rather than attempt to change the curriculum, Anderson sought to work around it by creating “Thinkspaces” within schools.

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UK Stories June 21, 2013

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Google’s run-ins with the law in Europe have not gone unnoticed. Earlier this week, the company was ordered to fix its privacy issues in France to avoid facing fines, and now a UK regulator is ordering the company to delete all remaining Street View data within 35 days to avoid facing criminal charges, the ICO reports. Should Google find any further data, then it must inform the ICO immediately.

Today’s enforcement notice strengthens the action already taken by our office, placing a legal requirement on Google to delete the remaining payload data identified last year within the next 35 days and immediately inform the ICO if any further disks are found. Failure to abide by the notice will be considered as contempt of court, which is a criminal offense.

Back in 2010, Google had reached an agreement with the IOC over the WiFi data its Street View cars had accidentally collected. Earlier this year, however, Google stated that had not deleted all the data the first time around, which the IOC was not pleased with. Should Google fail to delete the remaining data within the given time period, it will be hit with a criminal offense.  expand full story

UK Stories April 11, 2013

Google-Maps-Search-results-StreetmapsAccording to Bloomberg, U.K. based internet map provider Streetmap is suing Google over allegedly favoring its own maps to those of competitors. Streepmap is claiming that it’s harder to find their maps (and other competitors) in a Google search than it is to find Google Maps. Streetmaps is calling the issue a “cynical manipulation” by Google and is calling for a change in the way Google displays map related search results:

“We have had to take this action in an effort to protect our business and attract attention to those that, like us, have started their own technology businesses, only to find them damaged by Google’s cynical manipulation of search results,” Kate Sutton, commercial director of Streetmap, said in the statement.

The lawsuit mirrors complaints at the heart of the EU’s current investigation into whether or not Google’s abuses its search dominance to favor its own services over competitors within search results and elsewhere. Earlier today we reported that Google had handed in a formal offer of concessions to the European Commission related to the investigation, but there is no word yet on exactly Google’s settlement offer includes… expand full story

Google rolls out Map Maker in the UK

Starting today, Google is rolling out its Map Maker service in the UK, allowing Google Maps users in the United Kingdom the ability to join the over 40,000 other people around the globe making contributions to improve the Google Maps experience:

Now it’s your turn to help, whether marking the trails through Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales, adding all your favorite shops in London’s Soho Square, or improving driving directions to St Ives in Cornwall. Drawing from your knowledge about world famous tourist destinations or the streets of your hometown, you can now use Google Map Maker to make the map of the United Kingdom (along with Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey) more comprehensive and accurate than ever before. Once approved, these improvements will appear across Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google Maps for Mobile.

Google is encouraging users in the UK to submit contributions through Map Maker and also invited them to check out its “community of mappers” and the “Map Maker Help Center” for additional information.

UK Stories March 13, 2013

Kindle-pricing-Fire-HD-8.9Amazon announced today in a press release that it is lowering the price of its the largest tablet in the U.S., the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″.  The price of the entry level WiFi only model drops from $299 to $269, while the 4G variant will now sell for $399 (down from $499 previously). In addition, the company is also rolling out the device to a handful of new countries including: the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, and Italy.

The 8.9-inch tablet  includes a1920x1200, 254 ppi display, TI OMAP4470 processor, 1GB of RAM, Custom Dolby audio and dual stereo speakers, 10 hours of battery life, and of course access to Amazon’s ecosystem of content.

You can already find the updated pricing for the both the entry level $269 model and the $399 4G model on Amazon. expand full story

UK Stories January 21, 2013

Samsung launching Galaxy S III Mini with NFC at the end of the month

Samsung announced today in a press release that it will release a new Galaxy S III variant at the end of the month that packs in NFC capabilities. Customers in the United Kingdom will be able to purchase the device through all major U.K. carriers and select retailers beginning at the end of January. The full press release (via AndroidCentral) is below:

UK Stories October 25, 2012

Google is set to take the stage this Monday in New York City for what many expect will be the launch of the new LG Nexus 4, among other things. Just a few days before the event, U.K. retailer Carphone Warehouse is now listing the device, specs, and more, as well as accepting pre-orders with a delivery date of Oct. 30. The phone is listed as being free with a two-year contract through Vodafone or O2 UK. This isn’t the first time the retailer has leaked a device prior to launch, but it’s always a possibility the details will change.

Many of the specs listed on the retailer’s website seem to line up with previous leaks, including: 2GB of RAM, a 320ppi HD display similar to the Optimus G, a 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, and 8-megapixel camera. The website lists the device as shipping with Jelly Bean rather than Key Lime Pie, but the new OS is expected to be unveiled during Google’s media event on Monday. Other specs listed include 8GB of storage, 1080p@30fps video, and NFC. There is of course no telling how legit this, but the retailer does appear to be pretty confident. U.K. readers can pre-order the device now through Carphone Warehouse, with an expected delivery date of Oct. 30. We’ll be on hand in New York on Monday to bring you live coverage of the event.

UK Stories January 23, 2012

We have seen Siri clones in the Android Market trying to pass themselves off as the real thing, and some Siri alternatives making their way to the Windows Phone Marketplace. Evi, on the other hand, might actually be the first true Siri competitor/alternative for Android and non-iPhone 4S iOS users.

Available on the App Store for 99 cents and free to Android users on the Android Market, Evi is the work of True Knowledge and its “core semantic search technology” better known as The True Knowledge Answer Engine. The 99-cent price tag on iOS is apparently to cover the cost of using Nuance voice recognition (the same voice recognition tech as Siri), which is not used in the Android version.

The app’s iTunes page explained Evi is capable of returning local data for the United Kingdom (along with the United States), which has been a complaint from U.K. Siri users since the iPhone 4S launch. According to TechCrunch, the app uses “an ontology of tens of thousands of classes into which” every possible user command can be recognized. True Knowledge said the app contains “almost a billion ‘facts’ (machine understandable bits of knowledge)” with the ability to infer trillions if necessary. It also reportedly uses all the expected sources, such as local results from Yelp, third-party websites, traditional web searches, and APIs.

While as of yet Evi is incapable of integrating with Calendar and Reminders like Siri, TechCrunch pointed out it sometimes provides more accurate and useful results for certain types of questions. Siri requests to search the web for an answer when users ask certain questions, such as “How do I make apple pie?” Evi, however, would provide a list of recipes with relevant links to that specific question. TechCrunch highlighted another example where Evi excels:

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UK Stories November 29, 2011

From the world of non-tablet Android devices, both Motorola and Sony have products launching in the UK including the Sony Tablet P and Motorola’s MotoACTV. You can grab the foldable 5.5-inch dual screen Sony Tablet P starting today, while the MotoACTV fitness-focused device will go up for sale on Thursday, December 1.

As for the Tablet P, expect a Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, Android 3.1 on Wifi model, and Android 3.2 on 3G models. We haven’t got our hands on the dual screen experience as of yet, but we know other dual screen devices like Nintendo’s DS line rely on software designed specifically for the display setup.  Unfortunately at £500 (about $750) for the 3G model, we’re not so sure there will be a market for the Tablet P. The device is available now through Dixons and local Sony Centre stores.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Moto ACTV, it is essentially an iPod nano/Nike+ competitor allowing you to track fitness stats like calories burned as well as sync and monitor the stats online. It also includes GPS features, and the ability to transfer calls to the bundled SF700 headset/biometric sensor. The Moto ACTV will be available to UK customers later this week on December 1 for £249.99 through fitness apparel retailer sweatshop.co.uk. expand full story

UK Stories November 17, 2011

Today is the day that UK customers can finally get their hands on the Galaxy Nexus, with Google updating the device’s page to include links to retailers and carriers including Phones4U, Three, Carphone Warehouse, Vodafone, and O2.

Earlier Samsung sent out a tweet of Alex Ioannou, the first customer to purchase the device this morning. However, it looks like Ioannou  might not have had the best of luck, as Engadget reports the man got home only to find a pre-release developer build of Android with a bunch of developer tools including “Report a WTF condition”. Needlessly to say, Ioannou has since replaced the device, which somehow must have slipped through the cracks without getting the final ICS treatment.

Google has also posted a bunch of videos to their Nexus YouTube account showing off some of the new ICS features of the Galaxy Nexus including multitasking, face unlock, camera and panorama, and Android Beam. One video, entitled “Getting Started (US)”, shows the US version of the device with “Verizon 4G” branding and all. You can check out a selection of the videos below. expand full story

UK Stories October 21, 2011

Following the introduction of YouTube movie rentals and Google eBooks in the UK earlier this month, The Telegraph is reporting that Google has now opened up movie rentals to UK users via the Android Market.

Starting at £2.49, users have one of two choices for renting movies. Either grab the video app from the Market, or head over to market.android.com/movies to rent and watch films from your PC. Of course, films rented through either method will be available to watch through your phone, PC, or Android tablet during the rental period. As with the service in the US, you’ll have up to thirty days to watch a film after purchasing the rental. However, after the first play it will expire after 48 hours. expand full story

UK Stories October 11, 2011

As 9to5Google reported this summer, Apple and Google are battling it out in several categories in Gadget Awards 2011, an annual gadget awards ceremony organized by British monthly Tomorrow’s Technology Today, better known as T3. The smartphone category pitted Apple’s iPhone 4, HTC’s Incredible S and Sensation, Motorola’s laptop-killing Atrix, Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Arc and Samsung’s Galaxy S II against each other. Samsung’s phone, which shipped ten million units in five months, has beatten Apple’s sixteen months old iPhone 4 and took home the prestigious Phone of the Year 2011 award. Per the official Gadget Awards web site, Britons this year voted Samsung’s phone as their #1 choice, the first time in three years that neither Apple nor HTC had won the award:

Samsung smashed it into the roof of the net with its top-of-the-range Android blower. A gorgeous looking phone with slick operation, the S II also features the best camera on any smartphone to date, great integration with Samsung’s TVs and other kit and a screen that matches the iPhone 4’s, without aping it, thanks to the unfathomable power of Super AMOLED.

Samsung should launch the Galaxy Prime (alternatively named the Nexus Prime) soon, perhaps November 3. Nexus Prime will be the first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich device built in partnership with Google. It should boast the original Android experience (meaning no skins). Hardware-wise, the device is expected to sport a big, native 720p display, an eight-megapixel camera that captures full HD video, a speedy dual-core 1.5GHz processor and other treats. The phone should have already debuted, but Samsung and Google decided to delay the launch out of respect for Steve Jobs.

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UK Stories September 16, 2011

In addition to mapping and navigation, the ability to control your handset with voice commands is another treat that sets Android apart from the crowd, even if other phones had voice commands before Google’s software. Pity than that Android Voice Actions were introduced last year to the U.S. audience only.

Well, Android fans overseas can breathe a collective sigh of relieve because Google announced that Voice Actions are now available to users in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Even better, non-English speakers are able to issue Voice Actions in British English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. There are three ways to invoking Voice Commands on your Android 2.2+ smartphone or tablet:

  • tap the microphone button on the Google search box on your home screen,
  • open the Voice Search app,
  • or press down for a few seconds on the physical search button on your phone to activate the “Speak Now” screen

Some of the supported Voice Actions: send text to [contact] [message]; call [business]; call [contact]; go to [website]; navigate to [location/business name]; directions to [location/business name]; map of [location].

You can get a better idea about the usefulness of Voice Actions by spending less than two minutes of your time sitting through Google’s video tour embedded right above.

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