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T-Mobile HTC One’s KitKat update coming this week, AT&T “likely” next week

T-Mobile and AT&T HTC One owners waiting for the update to Android 4.4.2 KitKat don’t have to wait too much longer.

On Tuesday, Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC America, took to Twitter and answered a few customer questions about the updates.

Mackenzie said that the update for the T-Mobile version will be coming later this week, while the update for the AT&T version will be “likely last week of Feb(ruary),” which is already next week.

The update for all US versions of the One were originally expected before the end of January, but carrier testing took more time than HTC anticipated.

Once the update arrives, it should hold all you HTC One owners over until “The All New One,” the rumored HTC M8, is announced March 25.

@JasonMacHTC via HTC Source

The post T-Mobile HTC One’s KitKat update coming this week, AT&T “likely” next week appeared first on AndroidGuys.


10 of the best Android icon packs you can find today (Volume 7)

One of the easiest ways to change the look and feel of your Android device is to install a new launcher. And, once you do that, it’s a breeze to swap icons packs in and out to refresh the aesthetics. Prefer a minimal look with white icons? Sweet! Dig that flat and square stuff that feels like Google Now? Get it! Prefer for a nice, rounded icon design? Whatever, dude… it’s your device.

We’ve gathered up yet another 10 of our favorite icon packs to go along with our previous collections. For those counting, this is the sixth post of its kind; see others at bottom of post.

Note that there are a number of launchers for Android and that not all of these may play nice. Our advice is to read the Google Play details and check out the user comments if you aren’t quite sure.

Click to view slideshow.

  • Wax Icon Pack – Features nearly 800 high resolution icons at 192 x 192 pixels, icon masking, a pair of wallpapers, and an app for easy installation $1.37
  • Cryten – Flat and circular, there’s almost 1,300 pastel icons, almost three dozen wallpapers, and masking for un-themed icons. $1.49
  • Cinque – More than 1,000 icons with a five-sided shape, all with flat colors and high detail. Toss in a cool dozen 2,560 x 1,600 resolution wallpapers, and masking and you have a heck of a package. $1.49
  • ClearPack – A shade under 400 icons that feature a Google Now-like aesthetic, we like the unique shapes set atop grey circles. $.99
  • Flat Candy – Bright, colorful, and delicious, we couldn’t think of a better name for this bundle of 700+ icons. Bonus points for icon masking and five wallpapers $2.05 
  • Lumos – Muted colors and a more minimal approach to 1,500+ icons at 144px resolution. Dashboard app lets you apply them easily with your launcher; cloud-based wallpapers. $1.99
  • Etched Vivid – Subtle gradients, softly rounded corners, and a limited color palette keep your app drawer and home screen from getting too “busy”. Masking and generic icons help in case you’ve got apps outside of the 300+ icons. $.99
  • Grafikos – With more than 500 icons and growing, these are bold colors and slight gradients with flat back symbols. $1.00
  • Belle UI – A shade over 1,000 icons at 144px resolution with rounded corners and plenty of detail. As the only bundle listed here that’s free, it’s as nice as other paid packs. FREE
  • Influx – 600+ icons with muted colors, a slight degree of “elevation”, shading, and just the right amount of detail. Easy to install with any launcher, comes with Zooper Pro Widgets and a Widgetlocker Slider. $1.99

Be sure to see our other highlighted icon packs

The post 10 of the best Android icon packs you can find today (Volume 7) appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Bloomberg: Samsung Galaxy S5 to feature a larger and sharper display

As we get closer to Unpacked 5 more rumors surface on the web giving out the specs of Samsung’s next flagship Android phone.

This time, an insider tipped Bloomberg that the handset will be sporting a 5.2-inch display with QHD resolution – 2560 x 1440 pixels– and a pixel density of 560ppi, which will essentially be quite dizzying if fit into a 5-inch display. The tipster also touted that the device will be unveiled along with the second generation of Samsung’s smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear.

Another source familiar with the company told the publication that the S5 might come in a more affordable price tag, since at least one wireless courier asked the group to do so.

Bloomberg also mentioned that the S5 will come with Iris technology on board. Though, that is highly unlikely since in order to implement such feature, the company will have to embed a second camera on the front – separate from the one you use for selfies— to get the job done. Then, duly to the fact that Iris requires a long range sensor, the handset will have a different structure in the inside and consequentially a new design. In addition, a third camera will size up the body of the Galaxy S5.


Samsung will be announcing the device on Monday, 24th of February, 20:00 CET in Barcelona, which takes places in less than a week. Hopefully the company will shed more light onto the Iris versus fingerprint mystery as well.

We wonder what you guys think about the GS5; will it come with Iris or fingerprint technology? Sound off in the comments below.

Source: Bloomberg

The post Bloomberg: Samsung Galaxy S5 to feature a larger and sharper display appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Here’s Windows Phone 8.1’s notification center in action (video)

Windows Phone users have been waiting years to have all their notifications in one convenient place, and over the past few months, there have been multiple reports that a notification center will come with WP 8.1. Today, a video showed up on Unleash the Phones that appears to confirm those earlier rumors. The feature apparently will be called Action Center, and packs many of the same capabilities that Android and iOS users have enjoyed for some time now — namely app and system notifications available via a swipe down from the top of the screen.

Additionally, users get quick access to four shortcut buttons for often toggled settings (WiFi, Bluetooth, screen brightness, etc.). The best part is, those shortcuts can be tailored to users’ preferences, unlike the set-in-stone settings toggles in Android and iOS. Oh, and speaking of WiFi settings, the folks at Windows Phone Central revealed that 8.1 will also allow users to switch it off for a set amount of time, after which WiFi will turn back on automatically. We aren’t sure exactly how such capability benefits users, but we’re sure you fine folks will figure it out, assuming it’s still around when WP 8.1 rolls out to the public.

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Via: The Verge

Source: Unleash the Phones, Windows Phone Central


Google Fiber explores bringing gigabit internet to 34 new cities

Google Fiber expansion considerations

Google has only made plans to roll out gigabit internet access in three US cities so far, but it’s not content with stopping there. The company is now exploring the feasibility of deploying Google Fiber in 34 cities located around the major urban hubs of Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland (Oregon), Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose. In each case, Google will work with local officials to both map out its potential network and create a checklist of requirements. The search giant would like to bring Fiber to every one of the cities if possible. Be careful not to get your hopes up, though — Google warns that it might not be practical to offer service in every territory. Even so, the potential for expansion should prove comforting to Americans worried that they’re running out of choices for broadband providers.

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Source: Google Official Blog


Home theater deals of the week: 2.19.14

So you’ve splurged for that HDTV, and now it’s time to outfit the rest of that home theater. You’re in luck. Today’s roundup of discounted tech offers both a pair of soundbar/subwoofer combos and two set-top boxes. Head on past the break to take a look at how you could improve the sights and sounds in your living room… while saving a few bucks, too.

Just window-shopping? No worries. Join us and add the gadgets you’re shopping for to your Want list; every time there’s a price cut in the future, you’ll get an email alert!


Price: $86
Regular Price: $140
Engadget Score: 74
Buy: Amazon

It’s not priced far below the Roku 3, but the ASUS Cube does offer solid Google TV access that includes HBO Go, Netflix and Google Play’s media offerings. There’s also a capable trackpad and built-in voice search on the remote; however, you can use that trusty Nexus 7 or Android phone to take the reins, too.

Slingbox 350

Price: $148
Regular Price: $180
Engadget Global Score: 84
Buy: Amazon

Streaming shows from your home TV while on the go just got a bit cheaper. The Slingbox 350 offers HD viewing of broadcast programming and DVR content on mobile devices and computers while you’re away. Now, a decent price cut makes opting in all the more tempting. Take a look at how the 350 compares with the pricier (and wedgier), WiFi-equipped Slingbox 500 using our Compare tool.

Pioneer SP-SB23W

Price: $299
Regular Price: $449
Buy: Amazon

Pioneer’s first soundbar in well over a decade — the SP-SB23W — arrived last fall. So far, reviews are scarce, but those who have lent their ears note its respectable sound quality for the price. That tag sees a $150 discount here, so adding one (and it’s accompanying sub) to your living room will save some coin. According to our Price History, the current going rate is a smidge above the 90-day low.

Philips Fidelio Premium HTL7180/F7

Price: $700
Regular Price: $800
Buy: Amazon

The Philips Fidelio Premium HTL7180/F7 packs detachable speakers and it’s currently being offered with a $100 price cut — wireless subwoofer included. The soundbar’s stylish rounded exterior, dual HDMI jacks and Bluetooth chops helped earn some high marks. For the price though, other options (Sonos Playbar comes to mind) are just as tempting, but lack the added sub.

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Google Looks at 9 Other US Cities for Google Fiber Deployment


Google Fiber is one of those services that us nerd boys crave. The speed in which we can download and stream our illegally downloaded movies is quite staggering, but only 3 cities are lucky enough to be able to get the service. Kansas City (in both Kansas and Missouri) and Provo, Utah, are the lucky cites to have download speeds that can reach a gig. Now it seems that Google is seeking out 9 other cities to enjoy this lovely service. Fingers-crossed that you live in one of these cities.

  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • San Jose, California
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
  • Portland, Oregon
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Salt Lake City, Utah

Some pretty big cities on that list. Sadly, I am nowhere near any one of them. There is mention on Google Blogs that surrounding areas of these cities will be getting Google Fiber too, so if you live pretty close to one of these, odds are you might be able to get it. Let us know if your city made the list.

Source: Android Central


Noodlecake Studios Bringing Mikey Shorts Speed Runner to Android Feb 20th

The last time we brought a Noodlecake Studio game to your attention was back when they launched Bloop and Box Cat in August.  Noodlecake has some other pretty popular tiles that you might be more familiar with like Super Stickman Golf 1 & 2, The Blockheads, Punch Quest or Ready Steady Bang. Just because we haven’t covered any releases in a while, doesn’t mean they haven’t been hard at work. To that end, Noodlecake Studios has a new game on the horizon that is scheduled to launch tomorrow February 20th called Mikey Shorts.

Mikey ShortsIn Mikey Shorts you run, jump and slide through the levels rescuing people and picking up coins to buy disguises along the way. It features a slew of things too.


• 72 different levels across 2 game modes
• 6 unique environments
• Choose from over 100 disguises to wear
• Finish a level fast to earn up to 3 stars
• Golden Shorts are hidden in all Story levels
• Race against a ghost of your best score
• Split times at gates show +/- your best score
• Earn achievements both online and offline
• Easy access to Game Center scores
• Quick retry button for restarting a level
• Ability to customize controls
• View various game stats

The game controls are extremely simple. You have a left or right directional pad along with a red and blue button. The red button lets you jump and the blue button makes you slide. You can edit their placement and transparency if they are in your way at all.

Mikey Shorts Android Game Play Mikey Shorts Android Game PlayAs far as gameplay is concerned. It is straight forward with the simple controls and easy to pick up and put back down. You must touch each person that has been turned into a statue to free them from their stone prison. Only after you do that are you able to break the barrier to the next section. You will want to move fast and not waste time trying to get every single coin if you want a high score. Fiddling around after a couple coins you missed will cost you precious seconds that could result in lower stars and score. You will want those stars to unlock the next set of levels as you progress through the 2 various worlds that are currently available.

Mikey Shorts Android Game Play Mikey Shorts Android Game Play I can’t wait for this one to launch for you all to get your hands on. The game is a great side scrolling platformer. It also is fully integrated with Google Play games for leaderboards and achievements too. When Mikey Shorts does launch tomorrow you can expect to spend $0.99 to add it to your collection of time killing games. It won’t offer any sort of IAP at all. Check the video below for some gmaeplay action.

If getting your hand son this hit retro game isn’t enough, you can also expect to see Mikey Hooks in just a few weeks too. The link for its pending location on the Play Store is already in place, so when the time comes tomorrow you will be able to hit the button below and pick it up.

Get it on Google Play


Your carrier wants you to buy into early upgrades, but should you take the bait?

We get it. It’s been a year since you got a new phone, and it doesn’t have a Super Ultra HD screen, 80MP camera or fancy pants 50-core processor. You pine for the latest and greatest mobile toy, but it’s probably going to cost you a lot, right? Well, yes. But in the past year, every major US network has eased the pain by introducing device installment plans, many of which allow you to trade in your current phone for a newer, hipper model. Most of these plans, which are designed to let you pay off your device over several months, are still more expensive than the average two-year contract, regardless of who you sign it with. But whether you like it or not, they’re here to stay.

T-Mobile gets credit for starting the movement: Shortly after it announced its installment and early upgrade plans, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint all followed with options of their own. Ever since, the new plans have led to a massive pricing war, and the resulting price drops (most recently from AT&T and Verizon) have made them more tempting. But what does it all mean for you?

T-Mobile JUMP

AP Images for T-Mobile

In typical UnCarrier style, T-Mobile was the first to come out with an early upgrade program. Known as Jump (short for “Just Upgrade My Phone”), the plan is actually an add-on feature in which you pay $10 per month per phone for the privilege of upgrading to a new device once every six months (up to twice per year), and bundles that extra cost together with phone insurance.

This $10 is added to your current monthly service plan and phone installment; additionally, any time you upgrade to a new device, you’ll need to trade in your current smartphone and make down payments. As an example, a 32GB iPhone 5s costs $100 down. If you upgrade to comparable phones every six months, you’ll pay $320 per year ($120 for monthly payments and $200 in down payments). Jump is designed primarily for early adopters who always want the latest and greatest, even if it means paying more for the privilege. If you don’t plan to upgrade every six months, Jump becomes a much costlier venture than it’s worth.

Paying for regular upgrades comes at a cost. When paying for one line of service on a 2.5GB plan using a 32GB iPhone 5s, you’ll pay $340 more over two years if you upgrade your phone once, and $540 more if you upgrade every six months. It doesn’t get any better when you add more lines; the difference doubles with two lines and quadruples with four. But what if you buy a phone, such as a Nokia Lumia 521, which has a low hardware cost and doesn’t require a down payment? The figures look a bit different, but you’re still going to pay more with Jump.

On February 23rd, Jump will undergo its first major change since its launch. Instead of getting to upgrade every six months, you’ll only be eligible once you’ve paid off 50 percent of your device. This makes the program an even harder pill to swallow, since the great thing about the current policy is that you can upgrade when only 25 percent of the device has been paid off. On the bright side, at least the company will allow customers to add Jump to tablets as well as smartphones.

PROS: (Current) You get to upgrade once every six months, and insurance even comes baked in. (Next week) Tablets will be eligible for Jump.

CONS: (Current) Jump is an additional cost on top of your monthly installments, and you’ll have to put money down on pricier phones. What’s more, frequent upgraders will cough up more cash. (Next week) The same add-on cost applies, but now you’ll need to pay off half of your device before upgrading again, and that’s on top of down payments.

AT&T Next

The At&T Inc. logo is displayed during the CTIA Enterprise & Applications conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010. The number of smartphone owners in the U.S., the biggest market for the mobile devices, rose 11 percent to 53.4 million in the quarter ended July, accounting for 23 percent of global shipments. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesDavid Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

AT&T quickly followed T-Mobile’s announcement with its own plan. Next made very little financial sense when it came out. This was your run-of-the-mill monthly installment plan, in which the total retail cost of the phone was split into 20 monthly payments, with the option to trade in and upgrade at the end of the first year. At the time, there were only a few ways Next benefited consumers: It had no down payments or activation fees, making the upfront cost lower than buying a subsidized phone on contract, and it was the only way to upgrade your phone earlier than 20 months. The downside was Next tacked on an extra $15 to $43 per phone to your monthly bill, which already included your rate plan and the flat-rate fee you paid to add phones, tablets, hotspots and other devices. For instance, AT&T charges $40 for each smartphone on your account.

Fortunately, Next has evolved since July. AT&T now offers incentives in the form of monthly service discounts. You’re still dishing out $15 to $35 for the installment plan, but AT&T soothes the pain by reducing the flat per-smartphone cost. Instead of $40 per handset, you only pay $25 — unless you’re on a plan with 10GB or more of data, which reduces the cost of each phone to $15. (This also applies to anyone who finishes their contract or buys a new phone at its full retail cost, so you save money each month when you grab a Nexus 5 or Moto G off contract.)

The company also lowered installment costs to compete with Verizon; it added a 26-month plan for anyone who doesn’t upgrade their phone often; and it’s brought down the price of its 10GB plans to $130 for two lines ($160 for four). Customers on existing contracts can take advantage of the offer, but the catch comes at the end of your commitment, when you’ll need to stay off-contract or sign up for Next — if you get another subsidized phone, the price will go back up. That may seem like a sneaky move, but it’s only one way AT&T is “encouraging” customers to get off traditional plans: Last month the company offered existing customers the option to switch to Next and upgrade their phone after only six months.

But is Next a good deal compared to a standard contract? It depends on your usage. Looking at a 4GB plan, regardless of the phone’s cost, you’ll still save a little bit of money over the course of two years on contract versus a 20-month Next plan. On anything above 10GB — we tested out a 15GB plan on both one and four lines as an example — the Next plan is a better deal.

PROS: It’s a great deal… if you’re a data hog. Additionally, you’ll get to hang onto the service discounts after your smartphone’s paid off, and don’t worry about shelling out a down payment when you get your phone. Oh, and it’s cheaper than Verizon Edge.

CONS: It’s still more expensive if you use 8GB of data or less, and you only get one upgrade every 12 or 18 months (depending on your plan).

Verizon Edge

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 07:  A Verizon advertisement is viewed outside of a store on June 7, 2013 in New York City.  In a statement today U.S. President Barack Obama defended the government's surveillance programs following a news leak on June 5  that the U.S. government had been obtaining Verizon's phone records for years. The records were obtained through a secret court order which also revealed that the government has been monitoring business phone calls both nationally and internationally.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)Getty Images

Verizon was the third to hop on the bandwagon, launching Edge in August. Its plan is similar to Next in concept. You pay off your phone in 24 monthly installments with no down payment, but instead of getting upgrades at a certain time, you can do it once you’ve paid off 50 percent of your current phone. (This is essentially how T-Mobile’s Jump will work starting next week, except Verizon doesn’t require down payments or add-on costs.) For example, you could upgrade your 16GB iPhone 5s once you’ve donated $325 to the cause, which takes around a year. If you’re aching for the latest and greatest smartphone before then, you can technically upgrade after 30 days, as long as you foot the full 50 percent up front. And just as we’ve seen on competing plans, you’ll need to trade in your existing phone in order to upgrade, regardless of when you do it. Unlike Next, there’s only a 24-month option.

Verizon announced last week that Edge now comes with service discounts: $10 per month per line for plans up to 8GB, and $20 for 10GB and above. This is a decent start, considering it declared last summer that it wouldn’t change its pricing structure. Unfortunately, the discounts aren’t quite as extensive as AT&T’s, and it doesn’t apply to customers who have fulfilled their contractual obligations or purchased a phone at full retail cost.

Although Edge is $5 more than Next, it still offers the same kinds of advantages and disadvantages when the costs are measured against contract plans. If you buy 10GB or more per month, Edge wins. If you go for 8GB or less, Edge loses.

PROS: The sooner you pay off the first 50 percent of your phone, the sooner you can upgrade to something new. And just like Next, Edge is a better deal if you use at least 10GB of data.

CONS: Sadly, Edge is more expensive than AT&T, and it’s costlier than Verizon’s contract plans when you use 8GB of data or less.

Sprint One Up / Framily / Easy Pay

Poor Sprint just can’t seem to make up its mind on how it should implement early upgrades. Already late to the game, the Now Network launched a program called One Up in September, which split the cost of a phone into 24 monthly installments and allowed customers to upgrade once a year. Trade-ins were required, and customers were given a $15-per-month service discount for making the switch from a standard plan.

Four months later, Sprint split the plan in two. First, the carrier introduced the “Framily” plan, which (outside of its ghastly name) is a cleverly unique idea: the more people who join your group, the less each of you pays. If you don’t need much data, 10 people could theoretically pay $25 per month per person on one plan. The downside is early upgrades don’t come included, and you’re limited to 1GB of data each month, so you’ll need to shell out an extra $20 per month per line (that’s $480 for a two-year period) to get unlimited data and yearly upgrades. If you don’t need the extra data, it’s definitely not worth paying that much more money to get a new phone every year, although $45 per person is still much more reasonable than what you can get with other carriers. The second entity is Sprint’s new financing plan called Easy Pay, which is your standard 24-month installment plan; it doesn’t include any service discounts or early upgrades.

PROS: On Framily plans, early upgrades come bundled with unlimited data.

CONS: If you want early upgrades but don’t want unlimited data, tough — you’re still paying extra for it. Anyone who uses Easy Pay won’t get to enjoy service discounts or options to upgrade early.

Evolving Strategies

When the four national carriers launched early upgrade plans, none of them actually saved customers money. Willing participants were lured in with the promise of a contract-free life and the opportunity to “lease” a fresh smartphone. They only made sense for early adopter looking for the latest and greatest gadgets. Otherwise, the numbers simply didn’t add up.

If plans don’t make sense to consumers, nobody will sign up. This poses a problem, since many carriers have decreed that subsidized contracts aren’t sustainable business models anymore. Thus, the adoption rate for the new pricing plans needs to accelerate at a much more rapid pace. In short, prices need to come down and early upgrade plans must evolve.

T-Mobile, the pioneer of monthly installments and early upgrade plans, is making its first major change to Jump on February 23rd. To the company’s credit, it’s had bigger fish to fry; why aggressively push Jump when you’re already persuading millions of customers to try device-financing plans through other initiatives? Early termination fee-buyout programs, free global roaming and ATM cards are just a few of the measures the company’s using to entice consumers over to its new plans. Jump is simply viewed as a value add-on.

Of the remaining three national networks, AT&T has shown the most dedication to getting its customers to switch to Next. It sees programs like Next as the wave of the future, and it’s pricing that plan aggressively. So far, the carrier’s efforts are working: During the month of December, Next accounted for 20 percent of all new and upgraded smartphones activated on the network.

AT&T’s biggest rival is finally firing back. Until last week, Verizon hadn’t put any oomph into making Edge more competitive, and even with its new discounts, it’s still not as compelling. Whereas Next is becoming an integral part of AT&T’s long-term strategy — complete with aggressive pricing and discounts — Verizon simply looks like it’s reacting to competition. But when you’re pulling in as many new customers as T-Mobile, why shift your focus to plans that aren’t growth factors? Edge will likely play a larger role in the company’s strategy down the road, but its higher prices aren’t slowing Verizon down at the moment.

Sprint, on the other hand, is taking the concept of evolution to a completely opposite extreme. Instead of refining its plans, it throws them at the wall to see which ones stick. Chances are, the “Framily” plan will remain — but while unique and larger groups stand to benefit, extra data and early upgrades come at a cost.

It’s going to be a long time before the traditional contract goes away for good, but US networks are preparing you for its inevitable demise. In the future, device installment plans and early upgrade options will likely become the carriers’ primary weapon of choice. And eventually we will all either make the move voluntarily or be dragged away kicking and screaming. We’d prefer the former, but it’s only going to work if these new plans evolve to a point where their benefits outweigh their disadvantages.

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Spike supersonic business jet swaps windows for a wraparound live-view display

We’re pretty excited about the Spike S-512 supersonic business jet, but this latest feature could potentially make a three-hour Mach 1.6 hop from New York to London a bit nerve-wracking for uneasy fliers. A post on the company’s blog this week describes one of the cabin features, a “thin display screen” that’s embedded in the wall. Cameras mounted around the jet’s exterior will power a panoramic view, which can also be swapped for other images or content that’s more conductive to sleep, such as a solid dark color or a starry night scene. Removing the windows helps Spike trim the plane’s weight while also reducing drag, enabling faster speeds and boosted fuel efficiency. We don’t expect commercial airliners to follow suit, however, so if flying 1,218 mph in a windowless tube is something that strikes your fancy, you’ll need to hop aboard an S-512 after the supersonic jet takes to the skies in 2018.

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Via: BBC

Source: Spike Aerospace

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