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Samsung launches variant of the Galaxy Tab A that has an S Pen


Earlier today, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Tab A lineup with tablets coming in 8- and 9.7-inch display sizes. The company also quietly included a variant that features the valuable S Pen for compatibility with the S Note application. The S Pen, which is commonly bundled with Galaxy Note series devices, allows for note-taking, drawing, and other activities common when taking pen to paper. This is the first time that Samsung is bringing the S Pen to more affordable devices.

Via: SamMobile

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Apple Employees Receiving Final Watch Training, Apple Stores to Be Transformed on April 10

As we approach the launch of the Apple Watch, retail employees who will be demoing the devices have been sharing information with various rumor sites, including MacRumors and 9to5Mac, detailing what they’re learning about the Apple Watch and how the upcoming try-on process will work.

Apple Watch employees have already been receiving training on the Apple Watch, but special meetings will take place at retail stores starting next week to give all retail employees a chance to go hands-on with the watch.

Many employees will see the watch in person for the first time at this point, and Apple will use the meetings to give them further training on the device. In its training materials, Apple has told employees they will “be the first to see Apple Watch, the first to try it on and the first to share it with the world.”

Apple Watch Training

Some of the training materials employees are receiving
After that training period, the Apple Store will be transformed overnight on April 9, ahead of the company’s try-on and pre-order period, which begins on April 10. The store will be equipped with new Apple Watch tables, which feature the device displayed under glass. Tables will include areas where customers can try on the devices, and Apple employees will schedule 15 minute appointment times for each customer who wants to see the Apple Watch in person.

There will be employees on hand to show customers all versions of the Apple Watch, including the high-end Edition models at select retail stores. After trying on a watch, a customer will be able to place a reservation for the device, and it will become available for pickup on April 24, the official Apple Watch launch date.

In addition to scheduling appointments to try the watch on in store and make a reservation, customers will also be able to pre-order the device online beginning on April 10.


Tim Cook thinks the Apple Watch is the first smartwatch that matters


Well at last Tim Cook acknowledges that there are other smartwatches out there, but Tim seems to think the upcoming Apple Watch is the first one that matters.

Why? Because it has the Apple logo? In an interview with Fast Company, Tim reasoned it by saying that Apple didn’t make the first MP3 player, the first tablet, or the first smartphone. He then argued that they made the first modern smartphone and now they are making the first modern smartwatch.

Tim is party correct in that Apple did redefine the MP3 player, the smartphone, and the tablet. Looking back at the smartphone, they completely revamped what we thought we knew was a smartphone. When it came to tablets, they might not have been the first, but they pretty much were. No Android tablet came out before, and Apple made a lot of noise with the iPad, again changing the game.

But the smartwatch is a different animal. I have personally been wearing smartwatches for the past two years. The Apple Watch might be high quality, but it certainly doesn’t offer anything else that Android Wear doesn’t already offer. Apple Watch doesn’t change anything. Let’s also not forget that the Apple Watch is square, while we already have high quality round Android Wear smartwatches.

Now I will agree that the Apple Watch is the first smartwatch to get a decent amount of buzz, and that’s because it’s Apple. Apple will sell a decent amount of smartwatches, but let’s face it, consumers aren’t that much into them.

Mark my words, the Apple Watch will follow the pattern we have seen from Apple’s most recent products. The iPhone sold like hotcakes. The iPad did fantastic, but a far cry from what the iPhone did. Now it’s time for the Apple Watch, which will do well, but will be much less successful than the iPad. It’s not because the Apple Watch stinks, it’s because it’s not something the mainstream consumer needs to spend $350 or higher on.

source: Fast Company

Come comment on this article: Tim Cook thinks the Apple Watch is the first smartwatch that matters


Vine will now load videos faster on iPhone — even when you’re offline

Vine’s iPhone app is getting some major speed upgrades today. With its latest update, Vine will now preload videos even before you launch the app, which also makes some videos available when you’re offline. Yes, that means you’ll actually be able to check out Vines even when you’re on the subway. To help make all of that possible, the company is now moving over to smaller video sizes (likely due to better compression), and it’s implemented network caching, which stores videos for offline viewing. Specifically, the Vine app will now preload videos from your timeline and the Explore section, as well as your activity notifications. And yes, Android fans, a similar update is coming your way soon.

We’ve seen apps like Pocket and Evernote automatically download text in the background, but Vine is one of the first video apps to offer something similar. Let’s just hope it doesn’t suck up too much bandwidth in the background.

Below, you can check out a comparison of how the old Vine app loaded when it was offline (left), and the new app on the right.

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Source: Vine


T-Mobile unveils new Un-carrier plans for businesses, Un-contract initiative for consumers

t-mobile logo mwc 2015

In the company’s Un-carrier 9.0 event this morning, T-Mobile has announced a few initiatives that focus on both businesses and consumers alike. T-Mobile CEO John Legere outed a new plan for businesses that will package unlimited talk, text and 1GB of LTE data starting at $16 per line for anywhere between 10 to 19 lines. If a business has 20 or more employees on the plan, it will only run $15 per line. And if a company has 1,000 or more employees, the monthly fee drops down to $10 per line. Additionally, businesses can add an extra 1GB of data per line for $10 extra per line, or bump up to unlimited data for $30 per line. The Un-carrier says that these business prices are up to 40% cheaper than what customers could get at AT&T and Verizon.

T-Mobile has also added in pooled data tiers for businesses, which will give companies 100GB of data for $4.75 per GB, 500GB of data for $4.50 per GB, and 1,000GB of data for $4.25 per GB. If the business goes over its allotted data pool for the month, each extra GB will cost the same amount. So, if a company goes over its 500GB data pool by 1GB, the extra data would only cost $4.50. T-Mobile is also providing a free .com domain and website through GoDaddy, allowing businesses to optimize their websites for both mobile and desktop experiences.

Business Family Discounts

The carrier is also rolling out “Business Family Discounts”, which provide discounts to families who already have service with T-Mobile though a company plan. So, if your business and your family are both on T-Mobile’s network, T-Mobile will count your business line as the first line in your family plan.


The Un-carrier has also announced two new initiatives for those who aren’t on business plans. The first of which is called the “Un-contract”, which will allow customers who sign up for a Simple Choice plan to keep that same price for two full years. Just to clarify, you aren’t stuck on T-Mobile for two years. The company is just assuring that your monthly rates won’t increase while you have service with them. The Un-contract will start for all Simple Choice customers on March 22nd.

Carrier Freedom

Carrier Freedom is the last big announcement the company had today, which is aimed towards consumers who are stuck in two-year contracts with AT&T’s Next program or Verizon’s Edge program. Taking the carrier’s “Contract Freedom” one step further, T-Mobile will pay for customers’ early termination fees and the remaining balance on their phone installment plans. T-Mobile explains:

To take advantage of Carrier Freedom, a customer simply ports their number to T-Mobile’s  wildly popular Simple Choice plan,  trades in their smartphone or tablet and buys one of our hot new smartphones. They’ll get the trade-in value right away, and a prepaid card with the balance of additional outstanding phone payments after the trade-in value when they submit the carrier’s bill to T-Mobile − up to $650 total per line on up to 10 total lines.

Businesses can also take advantage of Carrier Freedom as long as they have more than 10 lines. In that case, T-Mo will issue bill credits up to $100 per line after the 10th line. Carrier Freedom is extremely similar to the promotion Sprint unveiled a few days ago, offering to reimburse all cancellation fees to customers when they switch from their current carrier.

If you’d like to some more information on any of T-Mobile’s announcements, check out the source links below.


Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge already rooted before official release

For rooting fanatics out there, and those that plan on picking up the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge when they release next month, the great news is that you’ll be able to root them out of the box. If you don’t know the benefits of rooting, check out the must have apps for rooted devices here.

Chainfire has managed to get root access on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge since not many changes were required from the S5. He warns that it’ll trip Samsung’s KNOX security and an untripped KNOX will probably be required for the mobile payments.

Are you planning on rooting the S6 or S6 Edge as soon as you get it?


The post Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge already rooted before official release appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Deal: Pick up a 40-inch LG 4K TV for 58% off from Amazon


Since the launch of 4K display technology, we’ve seen countless televisions come to market toting the display tech at incredibly high prices with no discounts to be found. But that trend might soon be changing thanks to Amazon and LG. If you’d like to finally test the waters with 4K display technology, Amazon is offering the LG 40UB8000 40-Inch 4K Ultra HD 60Hz Smart LED TV for only $499, which is a massive 58% off the normal retail price. While the 40-inch model may seem small compared to the bigger sizes we’ve all gotten used to, this is still a great deal.

But if the size is a problem for you, Amazon is also offering the 49-inch model for $899, the 55-inch model for $1,199 and the 60-inch model for $1,709. Unfortunately the smaller size is the only one to receive a discount today.

One thing to note: this television doesn’t run Android TV out of the box like some other 4K TVs out there, but you’ll still be able to plug in your Nexus Player or Chromecast to suit your streaming needs.

If you’d like to pick one up, you might want to hurry. The TV goes back up to its normal retail price after tonight! If you’re interested, head to the link below.

Get this deal now


Flexibits Teases ‘Fantastical 2 for Mac,’ App Coming on March 25 [Mac Blog]

Flexibits, the developers behind the popular line of Fantastical calendar apps for iOS and Mac, today posted a teaser revealing the launch date of Fantastical 2 for Mac, which is going to be released on March 25.

Fantastical 2 for the iPhone and the iPad have been available since 2013, but Fantastical for Mac, first released in 2012, has yet to receive a major 2.0 update. Flexibits has not shared information on the release aside from a launch date, but the logo shared on the website points towards a Yosemite-style redesign.


On May 17, 2011, we reinvented calendaring. On March 25, 2015, we’ll reinvent Fantastical itself.

Fantastical is one of the more popular calendar options, due to its cross-platform availability and its incorporation of natural language for scheduling events. It’s possible, for example, to write something as simple as “Meeting with Eric at 4 p.m. tomorrow” and have the event properly scheduled within the app.

Fantastical integrates with both the iOS Calendar app and the iOS Reminders app, putting event details and to-do lists in one easily accessible spot. It also works with iCal, BusyCal, Outlook, and Entourage, and it includes CalDAV support for use with Google Calendar and Yahoo Calendar. Other features include geofencing, built-in maps, and reminders.

Users can sign up to be notified when Fantastical 2 for Mac launches by entering their email addresses on the Flexibits website.


Pricing of the OnePlus One increased in Europe


The fluctuation of the Euro prices has forced OnePlus to increase the selling cost of the OnePlus One smartphone in the region. The company has a graph which explains the increase in price. This has come as bitter news to fans of the smartphone, especially considering that the device only recently made its way to some European regions.

The 16GB Silk White model will cost €299 (previously €269) while the 64GB Sandstone Black model will cost €349 (previously €299). Given that this has taken most users by surprise, OnePlus mentions that it will sell the smartphone at the current price of €269 and €299 until the 25th of March. So you still have a week to get the OnePlus One in EU for the regular price.

These are unavoidable circumstances for the company, but it’s commendable of OnePlus to openly acknowledge it and offer devices at the old pricing for at least a week. The company clarifies that the pricing of the accessories will remain unchanged.

Source: OnePlus

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Verizon pays $3.4 million after failing to fix a 911 outage in time

Verizon store

American phone carriers are supposed to keep 911 lines up and running as long as possible, and Verizon is learning that the hard way. It’s paying $3.4 million after the FCC determined that it fell short of obligations when an outage left 750,000 Californians without emergency calls for six hours. The settlement also asks Verizon to clean up its act: it has to better jobs of both protecting against outages and speeding up its repair times when things go horribly wrong. Big Red won’t be reeling from the blow given that it makes billions in profit every quarter, but the odds are that it would rather give you better 911 reliability than pay millions more the next time network problems strike.

[Image credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo]

Filed under: Cellphones, Wireless, Mobile, Verizon


Via: FCC (Twitter)

Source: FCC

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