Sprint offers $150, $50 to wireless defectors

By on March 12, 2011 at 10:12 AM.

Sprint offers $150, $50 to wireless defectors

U.S. wireless carrier Sprint has launched a new promotion that aims to ease the financial pain of cellular defectors. Through April 16th, the company will offer a $125 service credit to users that port their number to Sprint from another carrier and sign a two-year smartphone contract. If a smartphone is not in your future, Sprint will offer a $50 service credit to those users porting to a non-smartphone plan. After moving your number over, apply for the credit, and 60 days later an service credit will appear on your wireless statement. The offer is available to those that migrate a line of service from another carrier via Sprint’s online store, phone sales team, or retail locations. More →

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Google uses Android kill switch to eliminate malicious apps on phones

By on March 6, 2011 at 2:15 PM.

Google uses Android kill switch to eliminate malicious apps on phones

A few days ago Google was made aware that there were over 20 apps in the Android Market that were up to no good. These malicious apps gained system-level access to your handset when downloaded and would intercept and covertly transmit private data to 3rd party servers. Some of these apps have been downloaded more than 50,000 times. To try and fix the problem, Google has started using a remote kill switch feature in Android to wirelessly nuke those installed apps on user’s handsets. That’s not the entire story, though, as Google is actually installing new code in the process. The new code undoes the exploit and prevents your data from being shared, and it’s kind of creepy to plainly see how much control Google has over your Android phone from afar. Affected users have started receiving emails that the process has been completed. More →

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HTC CHAnges name of ChaCha; to be known as ChaChaCha in Spain

By on March 2, 2011 at 8:30 PM.

HTC CHAnges name of ChaCha; to be known as ChaChaCha in Spain

We’re not sure why HTC decided to change the name of its ChaCha handset in Spain. Maybe it’s the fact that ChaCha is already the registered trademark of a mobile search engine? Or maybe it’s that “chacha” slang for “servant” or “slave” in Spanish? Whatever the reason, HTC has decided that its Facebook-button bearing, ChaCha handset — which could be making its way to AT&T this summer — will be known as the ChaChaCha in España. Earlier today, the company took to Twitter to let Spaniards know about the name change. What do you think? Are three chas better than two? More →

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Verizon-branded HTC Trophy spotted; Windows Phone set to fly on Big Red

By on March 1, 2011 at 4:20 AM.

Verizon-branded HTC Trophy spotted; Windows Phone set to fly on Big Red

The gang over at Engadget have acquired an image of a Verizon-branded, Windows Phone 7 handset — the HTC Trophy to be exact — in the wild. The site’s tipster notes that the phone has indeed been injected with Microsoft’s “NoDo” software update, providing copy and paste functionality. Rumors peg the Trophy for a late March release on Big Red and, if the aforementioned report is correct, you could be hubbing, copying, cutting, and pasting on VZW in the next thirty days. More →

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Rumors put Windows Phone devices on Verizon’s network in late March

By on February 25, 2011 at 5:31 PM.

Rumors put Windows Phone devices on Verizon’s network in late March

According to information acquired by WinRumors, Verizon Wireless will begin to sell Windows Phone handsets towards the end of March. Citing “people familiar with the company’s plans,” the blog goes on to note that the HTC 7 Trophy — the same CDMA, WP7 handset to be carried by Sprint — could be announced as early as February 28th. The device will have Microsoft’s “NoDo” update (also known as the copy and paste update) and should retail for $199.99 with a signed two-year contract. Any Big Red patrons out there waiting on a Windows Phone set? More →

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HTC Merge coming to ‘multiple’ North American carriers this spring; Android, CDMA world phone

By on February 25, 2011 at 1:21 PM.

HTC Merge coming to ‘multiple’ North American carriers this spring; Android, CDMA world phone

Here’s one straight out of left field. In a brief press release, HTC announced that its Merge handset — a device we thought was dead and buried — will be making its way to North America, via “multiple carriers,” sometime this spring. The Merge is most certainly going to land on Verizon Wireless and will compliment VZW’s global, Android handset lineup — which already consists of the DROID 2 Global and DROID Pro — quite nicely. The Merge isn’t the most powerful handset on the block, but it certainly isn’t a slouch — 3.8-inch touchscreen display, full QWERTY slide-out keyboard, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with 720p video recording, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and Android 2.2. Many have been waiting for this handset to drop since we first spotted it back in September (gallery). Is this the Android set you’ve been waiting for, or is it a little too late? The full press release is after the break.

More →

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Microsoft discusses Windows Phone update issues; 10% rate of failure

By on February 24, 2011 at 12:48 PM.

Microsoft discusses Windows Phone update issues; 10% rate of failure

Yesterday, we told you about an issue being experience by Samsung Windows Phone owners that was causing a recently released update to fail — or in the worst cases render a handset unusable. Late last night, Microsoft took to the web to explain exactly what it’s discovered about the missteps of its first Windows Phone update.

“90 percent of people who’ve received an update notification have installed the new software patch successfully,” writes Microsoft’s Michael Stroh. “Of the 10 percent who did experience a problem, nearly half failed for two basic reasons—a bad Internet connection or insufficient computer storage space.”

Mr. Stroh goes on to concede that the update has not gone perfectly, and that a “technical issue” with the update process “impacts a small number” of Samsung devices. But he reinforces that Microsoft is “committed to learning from our first update and improving the process.”

The article concludes with a handful of frequently asked questions. If you want to know more about the Redmond company’s first Windows Phone update, hit the read link and have a look for yourself. More →

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Hands-on with the HTC Chacha and Salsa

By on February 15, 2011 at 5:17 AM.

Hands-on with the HTC Chacha and Salsa

One of the announcements made by HTC this morning revolved around two devices, the Chacha and Salsa, that have a dedicated Facebook button. We would have loved to get our mitts on the device and test just how functional having a hardware shortcut to The Book is, but, unfortunately, the two devices were encased in glass and inaccessible to the masses — which usually means the software is barely functional. The two devices are set to hit Europe and Asia — sorry U.S. Facebook lovers — in Q2 of this year. Hit up our gallery to have a look at the two handsets for yourself.

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Differentiation by assimilation: Nokia plays follow the leader

By on February 11, 2011 at 10:41 AM.

Differentiation by assimilation: Nokia plays follow the leader

The deal has been rumored for months, but before today, it was hard to believe. The world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia, announced a strategic partnership with U.S. based software company Microsoft that will drastically alter the trajectories of both companies in the smartphone market place. As part of the deal, Nokia will begin to phase out the Symbian and, to a lesser extent, MeeGo mobile operating systems, and instead adopting Microsoft’s new Windows Phone for future smartphone products. In return, Microsoft will benefit from the Finnish company being heavily invested and deeply involved in the success and progression of the Windows Phone OS.

The two companies will share marketing resources, software expertise, and industry contacts to wage war against Apple and Google in the smartphone space. But is this deal equitable? The way we see it, Microsoft gets to have its operating system pimped by the largest phone OEM on the planet and Nokia… well, they get to be reliant on Microsoft for the majority of their smartphone operating system code-base. So what has happened here? The deal has only been official for a few hours, but it looks like the benefits for Microsoft far outweigh those for Nokia, no? Nokia, with a third-party smartphone operating system in its future, is starting to look a lot more like HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and LG than the company we once knew. Is that such a bad thing though? And could it turn out to be profitable for the proud company from Finland? Hit the jump to read our thoughts. More →

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Windows Phone 7 update packing copy and paste coming in March?

By on February 10, 2011 at 3:02 PM.

Windows Phone 7 update packing copy and paste coming in March?

In December, rumors suggested that the first major update to Windows Phone 7 — the one bringing copy and paste — would drop sometime in January. When the days in January started to dwindle, the date moved to February. Now, with one-third of February gone, the latest batch of fodder points towards early March; the 8th of March to be exact. According to sources from both Neowin and ZDNet, that’s precisely when Microsoft will be releasing the highly anticipated update to WP7. As you can image, we’re pretty skeptical, but it has to be released sooner or later… right?

Read [ZDNet] Read [Neowin]

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Facebook creates native app for feature phones

By on January 20, 2011 at 7:25 AM.

Facebook creates native app for feature phones

It’s hard for us to fathom, but it is true: not everyone needs a smartphone. But not owning a smartphone should not prevent you from getting your digital-stalking on while on the go, no? Facebook has announced a new, feature-phone ready mobile client, created in conjunction with Snaptu. As Facebook explains, “The app provides a better Facebook experience for our most popular features, including an easier-to-navigate home screen, contact synchronization, and fast scrolling of photos and friend updates.” The application will work on over 2,500 devices and the social network as partnered with 14 international mobile carriers (none from the U.S.) that will allow you to use the app without incurring data charges for the first 90 days. Those interested can grab the new bits from m.fb.snaptu.com/f. “During the next few months, we plan to make the app available through more carriers in other countries so you can have a great mobile Facebook experience no matter what device you use,” writes Facebook. Any BGR readers out there still rocking a trusty feature phone? More →

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INQ still working on Facebook phone; to be called ‘Cloud Touch’?

By on January 11, 2011 at 5:16 PM.

INQ still working on Facebook phone; to be called ‘Cloud Touch’?

The sleuths over at unwiredview.com have found a Bluetooth SIG entry for a fairly peculiar device being called the INQ Cloud Touch. In the filing, the Cloud Touch is described as:

An Android smartphone built to make messaging faster and smarter. It’s designed around the way people naturally communicate and has Facebook built into its core. The homescreen features multiple entry points to different Facebook functions, while a dynamic widget displays a feed of status updates, albums, videos and photos.

Back in September, Bloomberg published a report indicating that INQ was working on a handset for the social networking company. The filing is fairly recent as the software version has a build date of 12/17/2010. While there is no way to be one-hundred percent sure this is a Facebook Phone, the evidence seems to point in that direction. What do you think? Anyone out there so invested in the Facebook ecosystem that this is appealing? More →

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Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play seen running PlayStation emulator on video

By on January 10, 2011 at 10:58 AM.

Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play seen running PlayStation emulator on video

The gaming-centric Xperia Play, from Sony Ericsson, can’t seem to keep a low profile. In this latest leak, we are privy to a video of the Android device running a PlayStation emulator and showcasing several gaming titles — including Biohazard 2 and Rage Racer. While we don’t find out anything really new about the handset, it is nice to see the Play doing what it was designed to do, game. Hit the jump to check out the aforementioned video. More →

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