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AT&T to transition away from 2-year contracts, report indicates

According to Droid-Life, starting on June 1st, it will be more difficult to get new two-year contracts at AT&T. Although, it needs to be stated that this is a report and AT&T has not confirmed anything yet.

With that being said, Droid-Life explains that AT&T Next will replace two-year contracts. In some situations, it will be customers’ only option, for example, at National Retail locations.

On and after June 1st, supposedly, you can still sign up for a two-year agreement at Local Dealer locations via Direct Fulfillment, which means you would order the phone in the store, and it would be shipped to you days later. Contracts will also be available at Company Owned Retail locations, customer service, and at& Lastly, two-year contracts will still be available for tablets, basic phones, Internet of Things, and for some bundle offers.

Once more, this information should be taken with caution and assumed to be false until AT&T says otherwise.

The post AT&T to transition away from 2-year contracts, report indicates appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Spotify Announces Major Update Focused on Entertainment and Curated Content

Three weeks ahead of the rumored debut of Apple’s new streaming music service, Spotify has announced some feature additions to its own streaming service, with a major focus on curated content and original tracks, plus an expansion into entertainment with video and news clips.

Spotify is introducing a new “Now” start page that offers mood-based music playlists to users, much like Beats Music’s “The Sentence,” which provides users with curated music options to fit different moods and scenarios. Spotify’s “Now” music feature will include curated song selections and its recommendations adapt over time to fit an individual user’s tastes.

Another new feature, Spotify Running, focuses on original music. It combines “running compositions written by the world’s foremost DJs and composers” with song recommendations based on user listening history and multiple-genre playlists. It matches tempo when running and will be integrated into the Nike+ and Runkeeper apps.

Other original (and exclusive) content will include radio shows presented by various artists like Icona Pop and Jungle, and “Dance Move of the Day” from Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls brand.

The biggest addition to Spotify comes in the form of video and news clips, letting users watch videos, listen to podcasts, and get news updates. This entertainment content will come from ABC, BBC, Comedy Central, Condé Nast, ESPN, Fusion, Maker Studios, NBC, TED, and Vice Media.

Spotify’s push for more original content and its renewed focus on curated content mirrors some of what Apple is rumored to be doing with its upcoming Beats Music revamp. Beats Music is well-known for its human-curated content, which Apple will keep in the new service, and Apple may be introducing its own radio shows as well, possibly in a simultaneous iTunes Radio revamp.

Apple is also rumored to be pushing for exclusive content from artists for its new music service, to set it apart from competing services. Some of this may come in the form of artist social networking pages built into the new music service, which will allow artists to share clips, videos, concert updates, and more.

Spotify’s new “Now” experience will begin rolling out to iPhone users today in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Sweden. Spotify Running is also rolling out to iPhone users globally as of today.


iOS 9 Could Feature ‘Home’ App For Controlling HomeKit Accessories

HomeKit-iconApple is planning a new “Home” app that would enable users to wirelessly discover, securely manage and control HomeKit-based accessories using an iOS device, according to 9to5Mac. The report also reiterates that the Apple TV would serve as a hub for all HomeKit connected devices.

The report claims that Home could be introduced alongside iOS 9 at Apple’s upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco next month, although the app may not be finalized in time and could remain limited to internal usage by employees only.

HomeKit was announced at WWDC last year as a software framework for communicating with and controlling connected devices in the home, but the home automation platform has experienced delays since then and has yet to officially launch. Fortune reported last week that HomeKit was pushed back until August or September, but Apple has since confirmed that accessory announcements will begin in June.

The rumored Home app would be the front-end platform for HomeKit, akin to the Health app and HealthKit on iOS 8, and reportedly has “fairly basic” functionality centered upon virtual rooms, the Apple TV and other features:

  • Wirelessly discovering and setting up compatible HomeKit devices
  • Creating a virtual representation of rooms in the home to easily organize and connect HomeKit devices
  • Utilizing the Apple TV as a hub connecting all of the HomeKit devices
  • Offering a series of screens to help users find new HomeKit devices and apps
  • If the Home app is not released, the report claims that Apple may elect for customers to control their HomeKit connected devices using Siri and accompanying App Store apps from accessory makers and developers. HomeKit partners confirmed to date, among others, include Belkin, Elgato, Schlage, iDevices and GE.


    Cyanogen seeks to penetrate emerging markets with office opening in India


    Over the next few months, Cyanogen should have a stronger force in penetrating emerging markets. The software developer has plans to hire talent for an office that would open this summer in either Bangalore or Dehli. The new office in India would be home to as many as fifty employees, all helping Cyanogen bring its software to the billions of people located in that part of the world.

    Expect to see Cyanogen acquire startups, too, as a way to expand its portfolio.

    Via: Fone Arena

    Come comment on this article: Cyanogen seeks to penetrate emerging markets with office opening in India


    Motorola Droid Turbo will supposedly receive Android 5.1 Lollipop around mid-June


    Motorola has been historically diligent about updating their mobile devices to the latest versions of Android in a timely fashion, but that’s far from the truth when it comes to the Verizon-exclusive Droid TurboAndroid 5.0 Lollipop has been available on devices for more than 6 months now, and the poor old Droid Turbo hasn’t seen an update since its launch last October. We heard rumors that the device would end up skipping Android 5.0 altogether and head straight for 5.1, though up until now, we haven’t really received a solid timeframe for the update. But thanks to a Verizon test engineer, we now have a good idea as to when the update will begin to roll out.

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    According to Verizon employee Jose Arturo on Google+, the Droid Turbo will begin to receive the update to Android 5.1 sometime around mid-June. Not only that, Arturo also gave some insight as to why Verizon has been particularly slow with this update. Big Red has been slow to update its smartphones due to the carrier’s nationwide HD Voice functionality and VoLTE, to ensure that the new updates to devices won’t impact call quality. Arturo also comments on Motorola’s smaller budget:

    Motorola is small potatoes on budget compared to Samsung and Apple. Delays are usually due to funding for test verifications on new device software.

    This could be due to the fact that Motorola is still transitioning into being a part of Lenovo, after Google sold the Illinois-based company last year.

    Any Droid Turbo owners out there waiting for the update? Or are you happy with your KitKat-running device?


    Hulu will have every episode of ‘Seinfeld’ on June 24th

    After paying big bucks to lock up the show about nothing, Hulu has announced when we can expect to see Seinfeld: June 24th. Since it’s a heavily syndicated show (and previously available in smaller portions on services like Crackle) you probably weren’t lacking in ways to see Jerry, Elaine, Kramer, George and the rest but now you can skip your way through its 180-episode run at your leisure. Also, Hulu is figuring that if you’re willing to subscribe and stop by to check out that show, you might hang around for some of the other TV hits and original content it’s stuffing the service with. Yes, it’s all still ad-interrupted, but on a positive note, Hulu recently added Chromecast autoplay support (like Netflix) to make your binge watching even easier.

    Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD


    Source: Hulu


    The top 12 tablets you can buy right now

    The top 12 tablets you can buy right now

    It’s true, we don’t review quite as many tablets around here as we used to, but that doesn’t mean slates have gone the way of the dodo. Microsoft’s new Surface 3 is as much a budget PC as it is an iPad competitor, while Dell’s sleek Venue 8 7000 reminds us that there’s still a place for high-end tablets. Whether you’re looking to update your own slate or pass one on to someone behind the curve, you’ll find a summary of our top picks in the gallery below or you can head to our complete buyers guide for a full rundown.

    Filed under: Tablets, Apple, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, ASUS, Amazon, Acer, NVIDIA



    Comcast unlocks HBO and Showtime streaming to Amazon Fire TV

    Streaming services that use a cable TV subscription have an annoying wrinkle, where sometimes the provider can block them from working in places for apparently no reason at all. For Comcast customers that was the case for HBO Go and Showtime on Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV stick, but starting today that changes. Like the agreement it reached a few months ago with Roku, Comcast is suddenly playing nice with Amazon’s streaming hardware. Unfortunately, that courtesy still does not extend to Sony’s PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, but according to Comcast it supports over 90 networks across 18 devices and expects that number to grow, so maybe there is hope.

    Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD, Amazon


    Source: Comcast


    Microsoft Office for Android smartphones preview

    Microsoft just announced a preview program for its Office Suite for Android smartphones.  The Android supported Microsoft Office apps have been available to Android tablets for almost half of a year now, and now there is an open beta program to test out those apps on Android smartphones.  The quality and layout of the smartphone apps are said to be up to standard with the tablet versions and you will also be given the ability to open files from sources such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

    If you’re dying for an alternative to Google Drive, and want to give the Microsoft apps a run on your Android phone, you will need a device running Kit Kat at a minimum, with 1GB of RAM, and you will need to sign up for access on Microsoft’s Google+ community page.  After signing up, you will need to wait approximately 4 hours for Microsoft and Google to sort out permission issues.  For the record, I just signed up for the beta program and was given the error “Your device isn’t compatible with this version” which means I will have to check back in 4 hours, so don’t assume your device is not compatible if it doesn’t work on the first attempt.


    The post Microsoft Office for Android smartphones preview appeared first on AndroidGuys.


    Spotify announces major updates, additions to service


    At a press event today, Spotify announced some major changes to their service built on the data they have amassed from 25 billion hours of listeners using the service over the past seven years. Besides new content that is being added in the form of video clips and podcasts, Spotify is planning to move away from the concept of genres and toward playlists focused more on moods, time of day, and listening history. 

    Headlining the changes for Spotify is the new Now start page. Similar to what other services, like Songza, do with curated music suggestions, the Now start page tries to serve up music based on things like time of day and examining your listening history. Users may see suggestions like a Monday morning pick-me-up type playlist or something to help them relax in the evening. Unfortunately, Spotify is only rolling out this new feature to iPhone users starting today in the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Sweden. Users in other markets and on other devices will have to wait

    The other big addition to Spotify is a new feature called Spotify Running which is designed to serve as the perfect running companion for users looking for a little extra motivation. Using a smartphones sensors, when you start running Spotify will detect your tempo and launch music selections with beats matched to your running pace. The selection of music, including original compositions commissioned by Spotify, will transition seamlessly to help keep you going. Spotify also announced that starting this summer they will bring their Spotify Running service to the Nike+ app and later in the year to RunKeeper for even easier access to motivating music.

    Besides the new features, Spotify is also moving to expand content offerings in hopes of becoming a more holistic source for users. Spotify will be adding support for video clips and audio shows, aka podcasts, to their platform. Some of this content will be coming from major producers like ABC, BBC, Comedy Central, Condé Nast Entertainment, ESPN, Fusion, Maker Studios, NBC, TED and Vice Media.  Along with content from these and other sources, Spotify will also make available some original content like the special Spotify Running music. Other options will include content like Dance Move of the Day from Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls band and curated radio shows produced by Icona Pop, Jungle or Tyler the Creator.

    Click here to view the embedded video.


    source: Spotify

    Come comment on this article: Spotify announces major updates, additions to service

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