Tag - Fascinate
Samsung Fascinate owners are reporting that Android 2.3 is starting to reach their phones through an over-the-air update. Those who received and installed the update are reporting much improved performance and a very fast GPS lock-on, even when indoors. One user posted that his Quadrant benchmark scores jumped from the 650s to 1150 just from the update.
Verizon has quietly pulled the Samsung Fascinate from its online store in what should be its complete exit. The Galaxy S phone also isn't available at retail. Only its close relative, the Continuum, is currently available and is free on a contract.
Verizon in a low-profile move said (PDF) it would update the Samsung Fascinate to Android 2.2 tomorrow, April 21. Its version would add the expected benefits, such as automatic app updating, faster web browsing, and Bluetooth voice dialing, but also bring carrier-specifc improvements. Voice search would now work in Bing, and the phone would now come preloaded with Samsung's Media Hub and Verizon's V Cast Apps as a matter of course.
Google's attempts to tighten control of Android got significantly more detail Monday with leaks from executives at its partners. The company has reportedly been putting tougher conditions on the "non-fragmentation clauses" it has to limit what OEMs can do to change the OS. Facebook, which is reportedly still working on its own version of Android despite denials, was reportedly upset that its arch-rival Google had to oversee its code, Bloomberg said.
AT&T has quietly posted a sign-up page confirming that it was hoping to get its Android users access to the Amazon Appstore. Subscribers are asked to name the model and provide an e-mail address for a notice of when access is opened up. The statement doesn't give an indication of how AT&T will solve the issue and isn't definite on timing beyond the "near future."
Samsung Canada, via its Facebook page, has announced that the Samsung Vibrant from Bell and the Samsung Captivate from Rogers will get a firmware update to Android 2.2 in mid-December. The Fascinate from Telus will receive the same upgrade early on in 2011, Samsung adds. The Galaxy S-series phones will be upgraded due to "tremendous interest," Samsung says.
Canadian wireless provider Telus announced it has added the Samsung Fascinate smartphone to its lineup and released Android 2.1 software update to the already available HTC Hero. The former sports a 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen, a 1GHz CPU and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot sharing feature for up to five devices. Its version should run on GSM and HSPA, however, where Verizon needs CDMA and EVDO.
Best Buy Mobile announced this week it will be the exclusive retailer of four smartphones this holiday season, confirming an earlier leak. They include a white Xperia X10, Dell Streak, HTC Surround and white Samsung Fascinate. The four are now available for pre-order in stores and online, though the Fascinate is now a store-only offering.
Consumers desperate for a white smartphone -- or a first look at Dell's Streak 5-inch mini-tablet -- have new options at Best Buy, a report on Engadget has found. Starting October 24th, customers will be able to reserve white Sony Ericsson Xperia X10s, white Samsung Fascinates or the not-white Streaks with a $50 deposit, all powered by various versions of the Android OS. The smartphones require service by AT&T (for the Xperia) or Verizon (the Fascinate); cellular service is optional with the Streak but is provided by AT&T.
Best Buy Mobile on Tuesday announced it will start a Free Phone Fridays promotion on every Friday in October, starting October 1. There will be four phones available to represent AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. They will cost nothing but will require signing a two-year contract.
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YouTube Unplugged OTT service coming 2017?
As part of the continuing YouTube evolution, the video streaming service is reportedly considering a paid subscription service that would provide users "over the top" cable TV service. According to sources familiar with the matter, the service has been in the works since 2012, has already made changes to accommodate the live video feeds, and could debut the offering as soon as 2017. http://bloom.bg/1rvx8BW
Kohls Apple Pay integration with loyalty program
Kohl's customers are now able to pay for their purchases with Kohl's Charge and simultaneously earn loyalty program Yes2You Rewards in conjunction with Apple Pay. The service is currently available in approximately 250 Kohl's stores and is expected to be in all Kohl's stores nationwide later this month, making Kohl's the first retailer to deliver a one-tap checkout that integrates both its private credit card as a form of payment and a loyalty program with Apple Pay. http://yhoo.it/21wEUI6
AirMap iOS app for drone operators
Provider of airspace information and services for unmanned aircraft AirMap announced today the release of the AirMap app for iOS and Apple Watch. Operators can now access low-altitude airspace advisories, create flights, file digital flight notices to over 80 airports, and manage unmanned aircraft. Building on the success of AirMap's Digital Notice and Awareness System (D-NAS), the AirMap app brings to iOS devices a fully integrated airspace management solution for recreational and commercial drone operators. The app is free. http://apple.co/21wCadD
BlackBerry video calling available on iOS
BlackBerry has made its video calling feature available to Android and iOS users. The company reports limited availability of the new cross-platform feature for now, citing "because this is the first time we're launching BBM Video calling, and we want to monitor performance, gather feedback, and iron out any kinks that may arise before we roll it out globally." http://blck.by/1ruu4pC
Apple loses iPhone brand exclusivity in China
Apple has lost its exclusive rights to the 'iPhone' brand in China, the Beijing Municipal High People's Court has ruled. According to Quartz, Chinese company Xintong Tiandi is now free to continue selling its non-smartphone "IPHONE" branded products, which include smartphone cases, among other leather goods. The Chinese court ruled that Xintong Tiandi, which registered the "IPHONE" trademark in 2007, could continue to use the trademark because Apple did not start selling the iPhone in China until 2009. Apple also could not prove that Xintong Tiandi's ongoing use of the trademark would cause Apple material harm. The latest ruling by the Chinese government follows its recent decision to shut down the iTunes Movies and iBooks Store. http://bit.ly/1SNhRmB
Bowers & Wilkins bought by EVA Automation
High-end UK audio equipment maker and fixture in Apple retail stores Bowers & Wilkins has been bought out by a California "smart home" tech firm, EVA Automation. Fomer Bowers & Wilkins owner Joe Atkins will continue as CEO of the joint venture, with EVA Automation founder Gordon Yu acting as executive chairman. The two companies said the merger will combine EVA's AV technologies and Bowers & Wilkins' acoustic engineering talents to grow the now-combined firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it is expected that the Bowers & Wilkins brand name will continue. http://yhoo.it/1SLt6zj
Micromat MacCheck released for free
Micromat, the developers of TechTool Pro, today announced a new troubleshooting utility called MacCheck. The new product can perform a series of critical tests on Macintosh systems, helping to isolate what might be wrong with a particular computer. The program quickly tests many of the critical systems in a Macintosh computer, including RAM, I/O, Volume Structures, Partition Maps, Batteries, and RAID systems. MacCheck is being offered free of charge and is available for download immediately from the Micromat website. http://bit.ly/1SKFwaV