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HTC officially announces HTC One Mini, a smaller flagship with smaller features

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 18, 2013 4:13 pm

This morning, HTC officially announced a smaller version of its HTC One. Dubbed the One Mini, this new handset is a 4.3-inch version of the company's popular flagship device. Unfortunately, appearances and software are where the similarities end. HTC says that they will be offering the One Mini "at pricing points below that of the HTC One" and as a result, a few hardware downgrades have had to take place.

 

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Included in the trade-offs is a step down to QUALCOMM's Snapdragon 400 dual-core processor which is clocked at 1.4GHz. It also features 1GB of RAM, 16GB of non-expandable storage and there is no NFC present. Additionally, HTC has removed the optical image stabilization from the One Mini as well as the IR blaster that gave the phone the ability to control your home entertainment system.

 

HTC one also switched out the LCD from a 1080p panel to a 720p super LCD, which features a pixel density of 341 ppi. Battery capacity was also reduced and now features an 1800mAh which was expected due to the overall smaller form factor. It appears that BoomSound has stuck around as well as the aluminum unibody. HTC says that it will roll out the One Mini starting in August and two colors will be available: silver and black.

Verizon adds almost 1 million subscribers and 3.9 million iPhones during Q2 of 2013

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 18, 2013 3:02 pm

This morning, Verizon released its financial report for the second quarter of 2013 and appears that the company is continuing its unprecedented growth. The company is reporting that it added 941,000 subscribers between the months of March and June and activated more than 3.9 million iPhones. This brings the company up to a total of 94.3 million wireless subscribers.

 

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Verizon managed to rake in $5.2 billion in profit amidst $29.8 billion in total revenue. Compared to the same time period last year Verizon is up more than 4.3 percent in revenue and over 16 percent in profits. The company says that 64 percent of its users are now on smartphones which is up 3 percent from last year, and the company managed to activate 7.5 million smartphones of which 6.4 million were LTE devices.

 

The Verge is reporting that during the financial earnings call to investors, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo confirmed the company's plans to launch a new financing program called Edge. Unfortunately, that is where the details ended, but we can expect Edge to be a clone of T-Mobile's "Jump" program and AT&T's "Next" initiative.

New "Swell" app is like Pandora for audio news, gets backed with $5.4 million in funding

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 18, 2013 2:10 pm

A new app has just hit the smartphone markets and it aims to serve up audio news much in the same way the Pandora handles music. Swell actually launched back in June and featured content from NPR, American Public Media, ABC news, the BBC, Ted talks, and many others. Today, the company announced that they have raised $5.4 million in Series A funding.

 

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This round was led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson and included investors like Google Ventures, InterWest Partners, and Correlation Ventures among others. This tops the company's seed funding round by almost $3 million, which was led by Google Ventures, Charles River Ventures, DFJ, Andreessen Horowitz, and other angel investors.

 

Swell works much like Pandora and once you start the app, you just let it run. In the event you don't like what it's playing, simply swipe to skip it. You're also able to choose topics that appeal better to you such as technology, world news, health and wellness, and many more. With it being out in the wild for over a month, it appears that the app is a success with the company saying that users listen for 30 minutes on average their first time using the app and returning users spending more than 110 minutes per week using the app.

In Russia, smartphone buys you - three major Russian carriers ditch the iPhone

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 18, 2013 10:23 am

Three of the major wireless carriers in Russia, MTS, MegaFon and VimpelCom have all ditched the iPhone, saying that tough contractual requirements are the reason they're not going to be selling the iPhone from now on.

 

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VimpelCom were the last Russian carrier to push away from Apple, saying that they've now got Samsung at the top of their list of smartphone manufacturers to promote, which is second only to their own BeeLine brand of smartphones. VimpelCom dropped Apple because of their "draconian contracts" and "harsh conditions... especially in the marketing department," according to Dmitry Ryabinin, Chief Analyst for Russian Hi-Tech.

 

Have Apple jumped the iShark? I think they have. It's only going to get worse from here on out, folks.

HTC teases us all, will have a 'little' bit of news for the world today

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 18, 2013 8:25 am

HTC have taken to their UK Twitter account to tease the world, showing off the picture below, as well as saying that they've got "a 'little' bit of news tomorrow".

 

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Well, tomorrow is today by the time you read this, so we should expect something new from HTC. I'm thinking we should expect the smaller, HTC One Mini, but I could be wrong. I don't think I am, and I think HTC are going to continue their rampage with the HTC One Mini. We should find out in just a few hours time, I guess.

Forza 5 won't include all of the game content on the Blu-ray, you'll need to download content before you play

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 18, 2013 7:29 am

Next-gen gaming is upon us, and it is a weird world we're about to step into. With Forza 5, you'll need to download game content from the Internet before you can buy the game. Yes, even after you've inserted your Blu-ray copy of the game into your console.

 

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Turn 10's Dan Greenawalt, when speaking with IGN, explained that there is actually a good reason behind this: "So when you first boot up the game, we're going to ask you to log in. And when you log in you're going to get the Drivatars and you're also going to get a whole bunch of content: tracks and cars. Our production schedule is such that we are putting them in as late as possible and that means making them free as downloadable content on Day One."

 

So it's not technically DLC, because it's part of the game. I'm kind of on the fence about this, what about those with slow Internet connections? But, it means you get up-to-date content, which is a nice touch. It also gives developers a few extra days to do some last minute changes to the content, which hopefully means we get less issues, and better games.

Chrome for iOS updated, includes a bunch of new features and 'experimental' data compression

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 18, 2013 6:26 am

Google have released a very nice update to Chrome for iOS which now includes some highly anticipated features such as fullscreen web browsing on the iPad, and giving users full access to their browsing history.

 

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Chrome for iOS now includes improved integration with Google's other apps on iOS, where after you've signed into your Google account in Chrome, you can quickly sign into other Google apps with a single tap. You can also choose to have certain links open in the native Maps, YouTube, Google+ and Google Driev apps, instead of displaying them in Chrome.

 

Something Google decided to throw into the Chrome for iOS bag of tricks is an experimental data compression service. This feature has been on the beta version of Chrome for Android for a few months now, but iOS users can now play around with it. I've been using it on my smartphone for a few weeks and it definitely feels snappier to browse the Internet. You can download the latest version of Chrome for iOS from the Apple App Store, here.

RumorTT: Dell's shareholders could vote against the buyout

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 18, 2013 5:27 am

Dell were meant to be going private, after various investor meetings and reports, but new reports are suggesting that the company might not be going private.

 

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The news comes from The Wall Street Journal, who is citing unnamed sources who are familiar with the deal, who state that at least three of the biggest shareholders groups are planning to vote against Dell CEO, Michael Dell, and his $24.4 billion buyout bid. These firms are said to be the Vanguard Group, State Street Corp., and BlackRock.

 

The vote won't happen until later today, but it looks like Dell could be in some trouble here if shareholders start rocking the boat.

Valve approves Half-Life modders who want to build standalone co-op version of Half-Life

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 18, 2013 4:29 am

Half-Life is one of my favorite games ever, and after fifteen years on the market, the Sven Co-op team have been granted full access to the standalone game based on the mod.

 

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This means that the team will modify the engine to their liking, going as far as adding new features that should provide stability, performance and even gameplay improvements to all. We should expect bigger and more detailed worlds, with automatic updates delivered through Steam's content delivery system, 'SteamPipe'.

 

Better yet, Sven Co-op's next version of the game will be free and will include the official Half-Life campaign for co-op play - oh, yeah. If you don't already own Half-Life - and let's face it, if you don't, there's something wrong - you won't have to purchase it, as this version will be free. No ETA has been made, so we don't know when to expect it at all unfortunately.

RumorTT: Acer preparing a thinner, lighter 8-inch Iconia W3 tablet

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 18, 2013 3:31 am

Acer are the only ones on the market with an 8-inch Windows 8-based tablet, and it looks like they're set to capitalize on this part of the market. A new report claims that the 8-inch slate is going to be refreshed in September, only a few months after it was unveiled.

 

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The refreshed Iconia W3 would fix some of the issues that consumers and reviewers found in the original, as well as arriving slightly thinner and lighter than its predecessor. Tweakers.net report that the TN-based panel of the current W3 could be replaced with a better quality IPS-based panel. This would help the 1280x800-pixel display provide much better image quality than the current W3 provides.

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