HTC Thunderbolt handset makes cameo in Best Buy circular

By on February 3, 2011 at 9:56 AM.

HTC Thunderbolt handset makes cameo in Best Buy circular

Yesterday, we told you about a tasty little rumor we’ve been hearing about a February 24th launch date for the HTC Thunderbolt. Now, it looks like the LTE handset has made a cameo in a weekly Best Buy circular — complete with pre-order instructions and the tagline “coming soon.” For a $50 deposit, BB will allow you to reserve one of the latest and greatest Android offerings from VZW. No word on when, specifically, “soon” is, but if the February 24th release date proves to be accurate… you can expect pre-orders to begin in the next week or so.

Thanks, BestBuyBoy!

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Verizon Wireless may eliminate rebates on smartphones $150 and up

By on January 28, 2011 at 1:46 PM.

Verizon Wireless may eliminate rebates on smartphones $150 and up

According to a new report from Android enthusiast blog Android Central, Verizon Wireless will eliminate rebates on all smartphones priced $150 and higher. Smartphones priced at $149.99 and lower will still have associated rebates, which are typically $50 and require proof of purchase to be mailed into a processing center. Rebates will now be applied instantly on Verizon’s high-end devices, so customers will no longer have to wait for reimbursement by mail. A screen shot of what is presumed to be an internal Verizon Wireless document states that the policy change will go into effect at the end of this month. The new move, which comes just ahead of Verizon Wireless’ iPhone 4 launch, is likely a result of the imminent release of Apple’s smartphone as the carrier will not require a rebate with iPhone purchases. More →

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Amid SEC inquiry, Facebook gets $50 billion valuation after $500 million private investment

By on January 3, 2011 at 3:07 PM.

Amid SEC inquiry, Facebook gets $50 billion valuation after $500 million private investment

Social networking giant Facebook may be looking to conquer another market, Wall Street. After news spread of a $500 million investment — $450 million from Goldman Sachs and $50 million from Russia’s Sky Technologies — Facebook was given a valuation of $50 billion by market analysts and firms. The eleven figure price tag was placed upon the privately held company even as the government’s Securities and Exchange Commission has, purportedly, launched a formal inquiry into Facebook’s private-share trading activity. According to the Times, the SEC is investigating the “increasingly hot private market for shares in Internet companies, including Facebook, Twitter, the gaming site Zynga and LinkedIn.” The government agency is looking for loopholes in the public disclosure laws that companies, investors, and firms may be exploiting through the use of private shares. A $50 billion valuation of Facebook makes the company’s youthful CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, worth an estimated $15 billion — more than double the estimated $6.9 billion net-worth put on Facebook’s founder back in September. More →

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RadioShack continues $50 iPhone discount; additional incentives for iPhone trade-ins

By on December 28, 2010 at 5:48 PM.

RadioShack continues $50 iPhone discount; additional incentives for iPhone trade-ins

RadioShack’s $50 iPhone discount promotion was, according to the company, wildly successful. How successful you ask? The Shack’s PR team hit us up to boast that a “record setting number of phones” were sold earlier in the month. And what better way to stave off the holiday sales hangover than to keep the discounts coming, no? “Starting Wednesday, December 29, RadioShack will offer $50 off every iPhone 4 16G and iPhone 3G S for new and eligible upgrade customers while supplies last,” reads an email sent to BGR. If you happen to be upgrading from an iPhone 3G or 3GS, The Shack is offering additional savings to those willing to trade in your old iDevice. “Qualifying iPhone 3G and 3G S handsets will have a guaranteed trade-in credit of $75 and $125, respectively.” To qualify your device has to “power on, cannot be PIN locked and must be in fully functional, working condition without any broken components.” iPhone 3GS upgraders would be able to acquire a 16GB iPhone 4 for a measly $24 after the $50 instant discount and $125 trade-in credit. Not too shabby. The deal does not have a set end-date, but RadioShack does note that interested parties should call their local store to check product availability.

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Google Maps 5.0 for Android hits the Market

By on December 16, 2010 at 1:59 PM.

Google Maps 5.0 for Android hits the Market

So you just read our Nexus S review and are feeling a bit jealous of the new device, it’s understandable. Your current Android handset may not have all the computational prowess of the latest and greatest “pure Google” offering, but rest assured knowing that you can get your hands on some of the software goodies the device runs (no, not Android 2.3… yet). Google has just dropped Maps 5.0 into the Android Market for your downloading pleasure. The new bits include 3D mapping, vector-based mapping, offline rerouting and navigating, as well as offline map storage. It all looks so sexy. Hit the jump to check out a quick promo video from Google then be sure to download the new goodies from the market. Enjoy! More →

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New Google Maps coming ‘in a matter of days’; adds offline mode, vector-based map drawing

By on December 7, 2010 at 7:52 AM.

New Google Maps coming ‘in a matter of days’; adds offline mode, vector-based map drawing

Yesterday, at the AllThingsD conference, Google’s Andy Rubin demoed a new, improved version of Google Maps that is due to hit Android devices “in a matter of days.” Mr. Rubin was careful not to give up too much information, saying he wanted to allow the Maps team to have the honors of detailing the new application, but he did give us several key pieces of information. First, the new version of Maps will be available, for the time being, for Android devices only (phones and tablets) and will be vector based. The vector-based maps allow for smoother scrolling, dynamic content loading, and less data being transferred over the network. Second, the new Maps will store maps that you query ofter for lightning-quick load times. If you always find yourself searching for restaurants or coffee shops in Times Square, that map will cache locally on your phone (it will even be able to used cached maps to navigate when offline).

Although not mentioned during his interview, Engadget is reporting that the new Maps will be supported by the Galaxy S, Nexus S, DROID, DROID x, DROID 2, DROID Incredible, EVO 4G, and G2 smartphones. Mr. Rubin did also say the version works on tablets, so we’re guessing that the Galaxy Tab will have the dubious honor of running these new bits as well.

It is a pretty exciting time to be a member of the Android family! More →

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Skype 5 beta for Mac now available

By on November 4, 2010 at 10:18 AM.

Skype 5 beta for Mac now available

Today, Skype announced that a beta version of its chat software, Skpe 5.0 beta, is now available for Mac users. The software has several new features, including:

New call control bar — Hang up, mute and more from a mini Skype toolbar that sits on top of any web pages, documents or photos you’ve got open
Search chat content to easily navigate past conversations
Offline IM so that you can send and receive instant messages even if the recipient is offline
Personalise contacts via user profiles
Quickly rejoin calls if your Internet connection fails momentarily
Floating Contacts Monitor to see your online contacts and contact groups

The updated client brings the company’s Mac offering more inline with its Windows counterpart. Hit the read link for all the info. More →

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Freebie: Sprint giving away $50 Media Hub credit to Epic 4G, Galaxy Tab purchasers

By on October 29, 2010 at 11:10 PM.

Freebie: Sprint giving away $50 Media Hub credit to Epic 4G, Galaxy Tab purchasers

If you’re a current Sprint customer, with an Epic 4G, you might not have had much of a reason to utilize the Media Hub feature included with the Samsung handset. However, if you plan on purchasing an Epic 4G or Galaxy Tab between October 31st and January 8th, Sprint might give you an incentive to explore The Hub a little further. According to blog Androinica, Sprint will be offering a $50 credit to Samsung’s Media Hub to customers who purchase any of their Galaxy S offerings. Vouchers will be issued with a 10-digit promotional code that can be redeemed anytime before March 31, 2011 and must be used within 60-days of activation. Seems like a pretty good deal. Hit the jump for the full article. More →

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Skype 5.0 launches, adds Facebook integration and group video

By on October 14, 2010 at 10:12 AM.

Skype 5.0 launches, adds Facebook integration and group video

Today, internet calling giant Skype announced that the new version of its Windows client — Skype 5.0 — is now available to the general public. The new code brings with it a cleaner, redesigned interface, automatic call recovery, Facebook integration, and group video chat. The new software is available as we type at skype.com; there is a short video walk-through of the new features waiting for you after the break. More →

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T-Mobile G2 will be available at RadioShack for $149

By on September 13, 2010 at 6:40 PM.

T-Mobile G2 will be available at RadioShack for $149

If you’re planning to pick up a G2 from T-Mobile, listen up. RadioShack has used Twitter to let you know they will be carrying the G-Deuce for $149.99 — a full $50 less than T-Mobile — with a 2-year contract. The G2 will sport a MSM7230 Snapdragon processor running at 800 MHz, 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and 720p video recording, 4 GB internal memory, 8 GB micro-SD card preinstalled, and dedicated quick-keys. The handset will also run an un-skinned, unmolested version of Android 2.2. Any takers? More →

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Happy Epic 4G day!

By on August 31, 2010 at 7:00 AM.

Happy Epic 4G day!

If you are up bright and early, trying to score yourself a Samsung Epic 4G, your friends here at BGR want to wish you good luck. We’ve already posted some initial impressions, a full review, and a way for new customers to save $50 on Sprint’s latest 4G handset… now we want to hear from you. Share your Epic 4G war stories in the comments, let us know what you think of the device, and how the buying experience was. Good luck.

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Palm webOS half-off sale extended to July 23rd

By on July 11, 2010 at 11:47 AM.

Palm webOS half-off sale extended to July 23rd

palm-app-catalog

Good news for webOS owners as Palm has extended its half-off application sale until July 23rd. Slated to end on July 9th, this sale slashed the price of almost all apps in the app catalog by 50%. Lest you start worrying about the financial implications of such a sale on the struggling webOS developers, this developer-friendly promotion is being subsidized by Palm with each developer receiving the full price for every purchase. So webOS owners what are you waiting for? Fire up the app catalog on your handset and support the webOS developer community by taking advantage of these two extra weeks of discounted applications. More →

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Palm to discount all apps in the App Catalog by 50% in a limited time promotion

By on June 18, 2010 at 9:37 PM.

Palm to discount all apps in the App Catalog by 50% in a limited time promotion

palm-app-catalog

In a webinar for developers on Thursday, Palm announced that it will be launching a developer-friendly promotion on all paid apps in the App Catalog. Starting June 18th and ending on July 9th, the promotion will slash the price on every paid app in the App Catalog by 50%. In a move sure to please developers, Palm will subsidize the promotion and pay developers the full retail price for each app purchased. WebOS owners looking to save some cash and support the webOS developer community can do so by purchasing a few dozen apps when the promo kicks in. More →

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