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Friday, 28.06.13
LEAK: Android 4.3 for Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition shows its Face
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:27 CET under 04 - Android News

Not that Android 4.3 is anything official yet, we are still awaiting the official announcement from Google, but it's obvious that it's sooner or later coming. For Samsung Galaxy S4 user it's coming sooner because SamMobile has obtained the first Android 4.3 test build for the Google Play Edition of the Galaxy S4 (GT-I9505G). As they wrote, for sure they wanted to test it out but figured out it requires the Google variant of the Galaxy S4. Therefore they ported it to their standard Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S4 (GT-I9505) and got some outstanding results. SamMobile is saying that the Android 4.3 port is fully functional on the standard Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S4 and that there's not even a single thing which isn't working.

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BETA: Facebook announces Facebook for Android public Beta Program
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:29 CET under 04 - Android News

Interesting; as Facebook announced yesterday evening and even distributed today as a press info, the social media giant has launched an Android Beta program to give people, who opt-in, access to the latest versions of Facebook for Android before the general release. Facebook's goals with this program are to expand its pool of testers and gain feedback across a more diverse set of devices. Just by using the app and reporting issues, Beta testers will be able to help Facebook improve performance on a wide variety of Android devices they may have otherwise been unable to test at scale. To subscribe to the Beta, users have to go to a Google Plus group to get access to the Google Play Store.

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Thursday, 27.06.13
COLORFUL: HTC announces the launch of the HTC One Glamour Red [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:20 CET under 04 - Android News

HTC today announced that the award-winning HTC One will be available in a distinctive, new color. Available in the UK exclusively to customers of Phones 4u from mid-July, the new HTC One in Glamour Red packs the blistering performance and premium features that have garnered global acclaim since its launch earlier this year, into a body that makes a striking yet sophisticated statement. Being otherwise exactly the same device as the initially launched silver and black HOC One, the HTC One combines the latest in mobile innovation and design to offer the company's most powerful experience to date. Packing incredible performance and first-class features into this distinctive new colored body, the award-winning HTC One is the flagship handset in HTC's portfolio and offers the very latest in mobile innovation and design

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Wednesday, 26.06.13
RUMOR: HTC One mini launch confirmed by O2 Germany for early August
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:23 CET under 04 - Android News

Yet not officially announced by HTC, it seems that O2 Germany spilled the beans and informed their retail partners that it will carry the "HTC One mini" from early August on. As a matter of fact, an availability is expected from 3rd of August. In the recent months we have seen and heard rumors of the smaller version of HTC's current hero device, the HTC One. However, so far HTC was shy about making anything official. However, if a carrier confirms its retail partners an upcoming availability, the launch can be expected a given. According to German Teltarif, O2 Germany neither unveiled any further details of the HTC One mini and therefore are neither the specs nor the price are confirmed as of today.

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CONFERENCE: Microsoft ready for its 2013 Build in SF and the Preview of Windows 8.1 and Windows RT
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:05 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Are you ready for a sneak peek into Windows 8.1 aka Windows Blue, the next version for Windows 8? If so, be sure to charge your device batteries because tonight, Microsoft will release the preview - free of charge to everyone. As Microsoft confirmed in an earlier tweet, the preview version will be available right after the Build keynote which Microsoft will stream live from San Francisco. The annual Build conference for developers is the place where the software (and service) giant shares updates and talks about what's next for Windows, Windows Server, Windows Azure, Visual Studio, and more. Windows Phone wasn't mentioned at all; but let's see.

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PARTNERSHIP: Telefónica to foster sales of Microsoft Windows Phone 8 in Europe and Latin America
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:24 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Looks like Microsoft (and its Windows Phone partners - in this case mainly Nokia) found a strong partner to broad the reach and awareness of Windows Phone. As Telefónica announced today, it's going to start a joint enhanced marketing effort with Microsoft that aims to boost the sales of Windows Phone 8 devices. Initially for a period of one year, Telefónica will enhance marketing activities in support of its Windows Phone 8 devices in the U.K. and Germany (via O2), Spain, Mexico, Brazil and Chile. Telefónica is "firmly committed" by enhancing its commercial offering of mobile devices to encourage the presence of additional mobile operating platforms as an alternative to the current duopoly of Android and iOS.

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Tuesday, 25.06.13
UNVEILED: Sony announces the SmartWatch 2 - the world's first water-resistant Smart Watch with NFC
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:00 CET under 04 - Android News

Also today, during the announcement of its Xperia Z Ultra, at the Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai, Sony announced the next version of its smart watch, the Sony SmartWatch 2 (SW2). Sony Mobile has a long history and believe in its SmartWatches and therefore, the SmartWatch 2 is no surprise at all; even if Sony's smart watch story was everything but a success so far. Nevertheless, like its watches before, the Sony SmartWatch 2 is a second screen for Android smartphones that, as well as enhancing existing phone functionality, offers unique new benefits. Combining form and function in a sleek design, it serves as a multi-functional watch, notifier, Android app interface and phone remote control, all-in-one.

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UNVEILED: Sony announces the new Xperia Z Ultra - the world's slimmest and largest Full HD smartphone display
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:30 CET under 04 - Android News

Larger and slimmer seems to be better, at least if it comes to Sony. At today's Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai Sony Mobile announced the next - as it was called - "revolution in premium large-screen Android smartphone entertainment"; the new Xperia Z Ultra. It's waterproof, ultra-slim with a lightweight design and it's the first smartphone ever to incorporate a Full HD "TRILUMINOS display for mobile" powered by Sony's latest X-Reality for mobile picture engine. Furthermore, the Xperia Z Ultra is said to also feature a fully integrated 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core CPU, 4G LTE and HD voice to provide a seamless connected entertainment experience, industry-leading battery performance and amazing speed.

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Monday, 24.06.13
REVIEW: Sling Media Slingbox 500 - a European Perspective
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:31 CET under 08 - Reviews

Ever, since I got my first Slingbox Classic back in 2006 (right in time for the Football World Cup at that time), I was thrilled by Sling Media's easy-to-use place-shift technology which allowed to stream your linear home TV and recorded TV shows to a PC or smartphone anywhere in the world. And since I'm travelling quite a bit, I'm still thrilled to have access to my live TV, recordings and DVDs, doesn't matter where I'm or was: from Angola, to Spain, to the UK to Uzbekistan to the U.S. I was and still am able to watch live soccer matches, watch the latest news or just a good movie or TV show; without taking care or rights restrictions and availability of Internet streams.

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Wednesday, 19.06.13
UNVEILED: HTC announces the HTC Butterfly S with UltraPixel, BoomSound and Zoe
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:39 CET under 04 - Android News

Following last year's launch of the GSM version of the Droid DNA, which was internationally launched as the HTC Butterfly, today HTC has announced the HTC Butterfly S, which could be also called - feature-wise - the Butterfly One, since it shares many features of HTC's hero device. This stylish, supercharged 5" Android smartphone is powered by a 1.9 GHz quad-core processor and features HTC BlinkFeed, HTC Zoe and HTC BoomSound, first introduced with the HTC One. The new device also offers HTC's latest Sense 5 experience and Android Jelly Bean, with a stamina battery that packs 3,200 mAh of raw power, guaranteeing peak performance for longer.

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Tuesday, 18.06.13
UNVEILED: Huawei announces the new Huawei Ascend P6 - the world's slimmest (Android) smartphone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:30 CET under 04 - Android News

At a world wide press event in London (see our live photo coverage here), Huawei unveiled the Huawei Ascend P6, the world's slimmest smartphone measuring 6.18 mm. The smartphone features a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor and a sleek metallic body. With its 4.7" high definition in-cell display, an industry-leading 5 megapixel front-facing camera, and outstanding software, the Huawei Ascend P6 is the embodiment of elegance with an edge. Huawei Ascend P6 is ultra slim at and weighs just about 120 g. While it is small enough to slip into the tiniest of pockets or clutch bags, the stylish Huawei Ascend P6 is designed to be seen and coveted! It features Android 4.2.2, a 2000 mAh battery, 4.7-inch HD in-cell LCD screen technology and "MagicTouch" for enhanced screen responsiveness even when wearing gloves.

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Monday, 17.06.13
COMMUNICATION: Skype adds Video Message to its real-time VoIP Service
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:52 CET under 01 - General News

Ever, since Skype acquired Qik, it was somehow clear that they'll add sooner or later video messages to its Skype service, which was so far about real time voice and video telephony. And today, Skype announced "Skype Video Message" which is said to come now out of preview as a full-fledged (and free!) feature in Skype for Windows, Skype for Windows 8, Skype for Mac, Skype for iPhone, Skype for iPad, Skype for Android and Skype for BlackBerry (but not Skype for Windows Phone). With Skype Video Message, it's possible to record and share a personal video message, even when recipient isn't available aka online. However, recipients will receive the message as soon as they sign into Skype again and will to view your video message.

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RUMOR: Instagram to receive Vine-like Video feature?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:54 CET under 01 - General News

The word is on the street, that Facebook's mysterious June 20 event is about a Vine-like video feature for Facebook's (sill popular) Instagram - so far - photo only service. If true, we won't see an RSS service as so far expected. Twitter's Vine, which was just recently made available for Android (following its previous iOS only introduction), allows to record short 6 seconds movies which then can be shared via Vine, as well as - for sure - via Twitter. It became quite popular the other days for citizen journalists, covering the latest developments in Turkey, around the Gezi park and in Istanbul in general. According to TechCrunch, a recent leak indicates that Facebook was internally testing Instagram video.

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Thursday, 13.06.13
IMPROVEMENTS: Microsoft rolls-out a couple of Driver and Firmware Updates for its Surface Tablet Computers
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:42 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

As Brian Hall, General Manager Microsoft Surface, unveiled in a blog post this morning, Microsoft is releasing a couple of major improvements for its Windows 8 and Windows RT based Surface tablets. According to Hall, this includes improvements to WiFi connectivity. While there were improvements back in the March update that reduced the instances of "limited connectivity", the development team went even further now to minimize these events from the Surface side. Furthermore, Microsoft has published a new driver for the Surface USB to Ethernet adaptor for Surface Pro to allow direct Ethernet connection to a wired network, including the ability to PXE boot.

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REVEALED: Samsung to announce its Android-based Galaxy Camera 2 at next week's Press Event
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:04 CET under 04 - Android News

Remember yesterday's announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Zoom "smartphone" with optical zoom and more? Sure you do and while the Galaxy Zoom isn't the successor of last year's launched Galaxy Camera, Samsung Electronics' CEO himself, Shin Jong-kyun, confirmed that the Korean electronics giant plans to release a replacement of the Galaxy Camera - the "Galaxy Camera 2" at next week's Galaxy and Ativ event in London. He literal confirmed journalists that also Samsung's latest mirrorless camera will run on Google's Android OS. However, he has yet not indicated if the "Galaxy Camera 2" will also feature 2G/3G or if it will again only feature WiFi (which might make more sense).

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UTILITY: Google releases Cloud Print for Android
Posted by Arne Hess - at 09:50 CET under 04 - Android News

Over three years ago, Google introduced its Google Clout Print solution for Google Chrome which later became also compatible with with the mobile versions of Gmail and Google Docs, allowing users to print from their mobile devices. In general, Google Cloud Print is a service that allows any Cloud-Print-aware application on any device (which needs to be connected to the Internet) print to any printer - by "only" transmitting your documents to Google. And while Google Clout Print was so far on Android devices only available for Gmail and Google Docs, Google has now released a stand-alone  Android app which allows to print "virtually" any file.

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Wednesday, 12.06.13
OFFICIAL: Samsung introduces the Galaxy S4 zoom - the first Smartphone with 10x Optical Zoom
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:29 CET under 04 - Android News

If you are undecided if you take a smartphone or a digital camera to your next vacation to snap photos, don't be undecided any longer because today Samsung made it true what many feared (design-wise) by announcing the upcoming launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom. And no, it's not a Samsung Galaxy camera with telephony and Internet but it's a Samsung Galaxy S4 with a 10x optical zoom, a 16 megapixel CMOS Sensor, OIS, Xenon Flash and with Samsung's very latest Galaxy S4 technology. Samsung calls it "the ultimate smartphone and camera experience in one" but I have my doubts that the Galaxy S4 zoom is still counting as a "smartphone"; even if I like the idea - somehow.

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Tuesday, 11.06.13
SURVEY: Tell a Smartphone Manufacturer about your Smartphone Preferences and Win a High-End Smartphone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:13 CET under 01 - General News

Following our first two user experience surveys from last year, the::unwired is proud to support again a major smartphone and tablet manufacturer with this third end-user survey. So what are all the surveys about? Well, you know, manufactures, their designer, business planner, product manager, etc. have all great ideas, or sometimes not; depends on the view. But often forgotten is the real world feedback. Sure, there are focus groups and other kind of researches but have you ever been invited to such a focus group? Sure, you can blame in forums for missing functionalities or blog about suggestions, but are you sure your feedback is really seen and recognized? Well, this survey is different since the manufacturer has asked us to collect real world end-user feedback from you, our readers.

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ACQUISITION: Google closes Waze acquisition - outsmarting traffic together for Google Maps
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:44 CET under 01 - General News

As expected and rumored, Google just announced the acquisition of Waze, which is said Google to help users to "outsmart traffic" as Google said in its blog entry. If you are a long-time reader of the::unwired, you should know Waze already, I wrote about it back in 2009 when Windows Mobile was still alive and even supported. It's said that the Waze product development team will remain in Israel and operate separately for now but Google is excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze (see here for a video introduction) and enhancing Waze with Google's search capabilities.

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FIRST AID: Vodafone Germany offers free Mobile Internet Hardware and Mobile Data for Victims of the Flood
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:03 CET under 01 - General News

Good one, you might have heard about the floods part of Germany are currently facing? Now, Vodafone Germany shows responsibility and offers free mobile WiFi routers and USB sticks as well as 5 GB mobile data to help the victims of the floods. As Vodafone wrote today in its company blog, in many Vodafone shops in the flooded areas it will give away mobile WiFi routers and USB sticks with SIM cards which are good for mobile Internet access for 30 days. Since a lot of infrastructure is destroyed, communication is currently running through wireless networks, including the coordination of volunteers who want to help in the dyke insurance or scavenging work; which is/was mostly coordinated via Twitter and Facebook.

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Monday, 10.06.13
REVAMPED: Sony to launch the NSZ-GS8 Google TV Internet Player early July
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:27 CET under 04 - Android News

Following last year's launch of the Sony NSZ-GS8 Google TV set-top box, late last week Sony unveiled in its Sony Blog that the 3rd version of its "Internet Player" is soon released as the Sony NSZ-GS8. That's somehow impressive since it doesn't look like Google TV is anything but successful. Nevertheless, Sony isn't giving up and is still supporting Google's TV platform which is still based on Android Honeycomb. While Sony hasn't unveiled any specs, the GS8 looks pretty much like the GS7 except that it is now featuring a microphone in the remote control which allows voice control. The rest, including the remote control itself seems to be unchanged, except that the RC lost one hardware button where the microphone is now placed.

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Wednesday, 05.06.13
PROTECTED: Samsung announced the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active IP67 Android Smartphone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:00 CET under 04 - Android News

Following the official introduction of the Samsung Galaxy S4 back in March, today Samsung introduced the Android sister model - the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active which is said to be "designed to enhance life experiences of the active user who wants to stay connected while exploring environments from the most rugged mountain trails to the roughest rivers". The Galaxy S4 Active has qualified protection from dust and water (IP67), so you never have to leave the device at home during a long day at the beach or dusty hike. The fully sealed design keeps dust particles out and protects against water damage for up to 30 minutes of submergence at a depth of one meter.

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