Amazon Coins are now available in the UK and reportedly Germany too. The company’s virtual currency is intended for use in its Kindle Fire tablet ecosystem, and owners of the tablet will receive £4 ($6.50) worth of them — that’s 400 Coins — to buy apps, games and in-app items.
Thanks to T-Mobile’s network, MetroPCS is now in 45 markets, tripling the size of its footprint in just six months. As it grows its new GSM business its CDMA customer base is starting to shrink. Read more »
Users who purchased a Moto X developer edition handset and requested a bootloader unlock code will retroactively get their phone’s warranty restored. Motorola explained the policy reversal on Thursday, saying “Customers who purchase Developer Edition devices want the flexibility to take this even further and tinker with the operating system. This may include creating and flashing a custom build of Android or porting one from an enthusiast community.” The change is a solid step forward towards embracing Android’s openness and the ability to customize it the way individuals would like to, without voiding the warranty on their phone. Well done, I say!
Version 32 of the Chrome beta browser brings goodies both to the desktop and to Android devices. Gone is double-tap zoom on Android and so too is the 300 millisecond delay after every tap. Chrome on the desktop gains animated WebP image support. Read more »
The box takes a minute to set up and promises anonymity for all surfing done through the connected router. It may not prove quite that simple to use in reality, but it’s certainly an intriguing and cost-effective privacy tool. Read more »
Google voice search and Google Now functionality are on their way to Chrome and Chrome OS. The latest developer channel of Chrome OS has the feature in an experimental state and although it’s limited, I see great potential here. Read more »
You can use your mobile phone or tablet once the airplane door closes, but you still can’t get Wi-Fi connectivity until you’re airborne. Southwest is now lifting that restriction. Read more »
Sports fans just got another way to keep up with their favorite teams: ESPN has completely revamped its ScoreCenter app, and is now calling it SportsCenter. Read more »
The HTC One Max has already been available on Sprint for almost a week, but you can now pick up the tremendous smartphone at Verizon Wireless as well. The carrier quietly launched the phone on Thursday. It costs $299.99 with a two-year contract, or $25.22 per month on Verizon Edge. Sprint is offering the phone for $249.99 on-contract, along with an additional $100 off for new customers that bring their old phone number. I’ve been testing a review unit of the HTC One Max over the last week, and plan to post my thoughts on it soon.
Last week’s rumors of Chromecast support for the HBO GO app are this week’s reality: The app for both iOS and Android now supports wireless streaming of HBO Go content from a mobile device to Google’s $35 Chromecast dongle. In a blog post announcing the feature, Google says you can also Chromecast HBO GO from a Chrome browser window. I’d opt for ‘casting from a smartphone or tablet though: Those methods actually cause the stream to come from the cloud. Chromecasting from a browser tab uses a peer-to-peer type stream and is dependent on your computer’s resources, meaning the quality may not be as good.
The invites are out for an AT&T Moto X soak test, which means we should be seeing an official KitKat update soon. Read more »
iPad users, rejoice: You now have a better way to use your tablet to, well, buy more iPads. Read more »
Politicians from Germany’s two biggest parties are currently negotiating what their grand coalition will look like, and they’ve reportedly decided on at least one thing: they need encrypted phones. According to local newspaper Bild, this means no iPhones, because Apple’s platform doesn’t support encryption software developed by Germany’s federal office for information security, and all official business will henceforth require encrypted communications.
It recently emerged that the U.S. and British embassies in Berlin have been used as bases for spying on German parliamentarians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel (who, for the record, was using a highly-hackable old Nokia slider-phone before the Snowden revelations this summer, when she switched to BlackBerry).
The tool, which is gaining a degree of popularity within the maker movement, now provides a way to include moving images in its instructional storyboards. Read more »
We already dump a lot of mobile data traffic onto our home and office Wi-Fi networks, but in the next few years we’ll be tapping Wi-Fi in a lot more places thanks to new carrier networks. Read more »
Can a dollar buy a useful to-do list? Here are two apps worth trying out. Read more »
If you bought a Galaxy Note 3, Samsung will give you $50 in credit to Google Play. Read more »
The Lumia 1520 is the best Windows Phone yet – as long as you can wrap your hands around it. Read more »
Google’s Wallet Card can be ordered but it won’t help you carry less cards. It’s more like a pre-paid debit card that uses your Google Wallet account balance to pay for things. It’s free, however, Coin’s $50 universal card may be better. Read more »
Springpad is still tiny compared to Evernote but it’s growing. The company is hoping its new pre-formatted notebooks optimized for specific tasks will give it an additional boost over the holidays. Read more »
Want to safely explore Middle Earth from the comfort of your phone or tablet? You’ll avoid dragons and get a taste of new web technologies at the same time: Google’s latest Chrome Experiment showcases off new web technologies for mobile devices. Read more »
Instagram arrives on Windows Phone this afternoon – but you can’t use it to take photos or upload video. Read more »
Ford revealed today that it has hit a critical milestone in the connected car world: the automaker has produced 10 million Sync-equipped vehicles since launching the technology just six years ago. Calling every Sync vehicle connected is a bit of stretch, since in its most basic form it’s essentially a voice command and control system. But Ford has been adding features to Sync over the years, allowing it to integrate with apps on those smartphones. Sync is also becoming standard across most of Ford’s vehicle lines. Since January of 2012, Sync has arrived in 6 million cars.
Does Google Glass need another input method? The team behind Remotte thinks so: It’s looking to raise $70,000 on Kickstarter for the connected device. Even if you don’t have Glass, this could be a handy little remote control. Read more »
Google is stepping up its media game with the launch of Newsstand, a Flipboard-style reading app for Android that also supports subscription walls for newspapers and magazines and replaces its existing Currents reader Read more »
Mobile retail app developer Shopkick is selling iBeacon devices to businesses that will let them track and interact with customers as they move throughout their stores. Macy’s is its first trial partner. Read more »
In a high-profile patent trial, Samsung suggested that remarks by Apple about the decline of the American TV industry were a subtle dig against Asian companies. Read more »
It’s game on for iOS 7 hardware controllers: Logitech launched its entry with the PowerShell + Battery controller for $99. The accessory has an internal battery so it can recharge your iOS 7 device, but it lacks joystick controls, opting for a D-Pad instead. Read more »
New tweaks to Qualcomm’s silicon designs have produced not only a mobile processor capable of supporting Ultra HD, but also a baseband chip that can tap into the world’s fastest networks. Read more »
The LG G Flex features a “self-healing” coating that helps it repair scratches and damage. See how it stands up to keys and even a knife in this video. Read more »
After rumors of a lower-cost touchscreen Chromebook, Amazon France outed it: Look for Acer to bring touch to its C720 line. We also discuss some new experimental Chrome features and recommend a useful new extension on this week’s audio podcast. Read more »
HTC has revealed that Android 4.4 KitKat should hit all One phones in the US by the end of January, with an update for the Droid DNA to follow. Read more »
Android tablet users can now get a specially-optimized version of Opera that opts for tabs, rather than the firm’s usual carousel approach to flipping between pages on mobile devices. Read more »
A political fight is brewing between local politicians and the mobile carriers about whether every phone should include a kill switch. The wrong people are having the argument. Read more »
In a bit of unfinished business from last year, Apple says Samsung should pay $380 million more for patent infringement. Samsung says the number should be $52 million. Read more »
Should a car dealer be able to lock your ignition even after you’ve paid for the car? AT&T has locked my phone for 4 days simply because it can — which shows, again, why the FCC must take action. Read more »
Verizon Wireless unveiled its new destination store concept on Tuesday in the Mall of America in Minneapolis, showing off a massive floorspace more akin to an Apple store than a carrier’s usually cramped retail accommodations. What’s most striking about the new format is how phones take a backseat to a variety of internet of things gadgets and peripherals on display. Verizon EVP and COO Marni Walden said the new stores are meant to highlight all the objects and apps its network can connect both directly and indirectly. Verizon will be opening up several more of them starting in Chicago (perhaps not coincidentally where AT&T’s first showcase store is located).
Tired of covering the screen of your iPhone or iPod touch when gaming? Moga has a solution to that, thanks to the game controller support built into iOS 7. The folding Moga Ace with lightning port is ready for pre-orders. Read more »
If you’ve got a Moto X on Verizon, you’re in the luck. The Android 4.4 KitKat update just went live today. Read more »
T-Mobile has been ferreting a lot of cash under the mattress in preparation for the day it can pounce on new mobile broadband airwaves. It raised $1.8 billion through a stock sale last week, and on Monday it filed the paperwork for a bond sale, which could add an additional $2 billion to its coffers. According to the Wall Street Journal, T-Mobile is considering using the new funds for a spectrum buy from another company. There’s not much loose 4G spectrum in the market these days, but the most likely targets are the 700 MHz licenses Verizon Wireless agreed to shed when it bought up the cable companies airwaves.