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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 with new ‘gold-brown’ paint job leaks out Jun 7th 2013, 16:00
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 gold brown leakNot totally feeling that white paint job on ) version of the Tab 3 7.0 might launch, but it’ll likely feature specs similar to the white model when it does, meaning that it’ll probably offer a 7-inch 1024×600 display as well as 3-megapixel rear and 1.3-megapixel front cameras.

As I’ve noted in the past, Samsung isn’t shy about offering its mobile hardware in multiple colors. Looking at tablets specifically, Samsung sells its Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 in both black and red versions, and its Galaxy Note 10.1 is available in gray, white and red variants. Having several color choices when shopping for some shiny new mobile hardware is always nice, and so it’s good to see that Samsung may be planning to offer multiple paint jobs to customers interested in its new 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3. What do you think of this gold-brown Tab 3 7.0? Do you like it better than the white version?

Via @evleaks

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I wish I had more interest in the rumored Nokia EOS Jun 7th 2013, 15:25
Everyone has their own set of features they’re looking for when it comes to a new phone. Maybe they want a physical QWERTY keyboard. Maybe they want their next phone to be thin and light. Or, maybe they want a phone with a big enough battery that they don’t have to worry about using the thing throughout the day. (Okay, we all want that, but you get the idea.) Whatever the case may be, there’s probably going to be at least one phone out there that fits the bill. It’s all about filling the niche.

Nokia’s commitment to Microsoft’s mobile operating system, Windows Phone, is seconded only to the manufacturer’s commitment to making cameras that excel in their performance, especially in certain situations. Most recently, we’ve seen Nokia put a huge focus on low-light situations, as we’ve seen from their marketing of the Verizon-branded Lumia 928, and even back as far as the Lumia 920.

These cameras come along with a cool brand name, too, of course. After all, if you’ve got a cool feature or piece of hardware, it needs a cool name, right? For Nokia, their “high-end” cameras come along with a PureView tag, and it’s supposed to immediately tell you that the camera you’re using is one of the best out there. Especially when it comes to using a camera in a smartphone.

The trouble with the PureView name, though, is that it started with a Symbian-based device called the 808 PureView, and it carried with it a 41-megapixel camera. The trouble comes from the fact that that sets up a pretty high bar for the PureView brand, which has subsequently lost that high bar ever since. Since then, we’ve seen relatively “normal” megapixels shoved into the cameras of phones like the Lumia 920, or even the Lumia 928.

“But, it’s the technology!” And you’d be right. It is. And that’s why Nokia doesn’t feel bad about using the brand name for those “lesser” cameras. But at the same time, they’re quick to point out that up until now the only “true” PureView camera is the first, the 808 PureView. So, these other phones must be fake PureView-branded devices. And that’s odd.

Luckily for anyone who wants that true experience, it looks like Nokia is gearing up to launch a new true PureView camera here shortly. According to several leaks that have happened recently, Nokia and AT&T are currently testing the “EOS,” which is a 41MP PureView camera running Windows Phone. This is a dream come true for those who missed out on the original PureView device.

Unless, of course, you haven’t readied yourself to jump on the Windows Phone bandwagon just yet.

I’ve told you in the past that the camera on my smartphone has become one of, if not the most, important part on my device, but I’m just not excited for this “new” 41MP handset. Why? Not because I think think the 41-megapixel camera is a gimmick, because that isn’t the case at all. I’ve used an 808 PureView and the camera is ridiculously good. So, if I know the camera in this new phone will probably be just as good, and I want the camera in my phone to be the best, why wouldn’t I want this device?

It’s that rumored OLED display, for one. I honestly just don’t want the over saturated colors anymore. I want the ridiculously nice display on the HTC One (Super LCD3), or even Apple’s iPhone 5 (LED-backlit IPS). I used to be in love with OLED, but I’ve just moved on. So, if that particular rumor for this EOS device pan out, it’s already been knocked out as a contender for my next phone.

Unfortunately, right now, the other reason is Windows Phone itself. While I’ve wanted to love Windows Phone for a very, very long time now, it’s just not where I need it to be personally quite yet. The things I use every day aren’t there. The games I play every day aren’t there. And while the camera may be amazing –just like it is on the Lumia 920 or 928– it isn’t enough to get me to switch permanently to the device. I have no qualms about trying it. But owning it as my daily driver? Not so much.

Not yet.

That rumored polycarbonate body and 32GB of on-board storage sound nice, though.

So tell me, how do you feel about this new rumored handset? For one, do you think it’s real, and do you think it will launch on AT&T’s network by July, as some rumors suggest? If it does launch, are you thinking about making it your next phone? Or are you planning on skipping it for something else? Let me know.

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Apple and Sony Music said to have reached iRadio streaming deal ahead of WWDC Jun 7th 2013, 15:15
Apple iPhone 5 rearRumors of an Apple-made “iRadio” music streaming service have been swirling for months now, suggesting that the Cupertino firm is prepping a radio offering similar to Pandora. Apple hasn’t made any official announcements regarding such a service, but reports have claimed that the company has been working hard to get record labels on board with its plans. According to a new rumor, Apple has cleared one of the last major hurdles standing between it and iRadio, signing the third and final major label that it needed to gain support from.

A source speaking to AllThingsD claims that Apple and Sony Music have reached an agreement on the upcoming iRadio service. This agreement follows ones that Apple reportedly recently scored with Universal and Warner. AllThingsD says that Apple may still be working to strike a deal with Sony/ATV, the music publishing division of Sony, but the issues preventing a deal with Sony/ATV are said to be smaller than the ones that divided Apple and Sony Music.

Details on Apple’s iRadio service are still light at this point, but it’s expected to be offer Pandora-like streaming music for free (likely with ads, of course). Now that Apple has secured deals with three major record labels, it’s said that the Cupertino company could make an official announcement regarding iRadio as soon as WWDC next week. With Apple’s iRadio, Amazon’s continued focus on MP3 sales, Google’s new All Access offering and other streaming options like Pandora and Spotify, it certainly looks like music streaming is shaping up to be one of the next big battlegrounds in mobile. Are you currently signed up for a streaming music service?

Via AllThingsD

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Nokia EOS video leak offers close-up look at 41-megapixel camera Jun 7th 2013, 13:20
Nokia EOS 41-megapixel PureView camera leakLike the old saying goes, when it rains PureView camera goodness, it pours. After several leaks that claimed to show Nokia’s “EOS” and its 41-megapixel camera surfaced earlier this week, a new video that purportedly shows the phone’s lens shutter opening and closing has made its way online. The clip, posted by an account known as “Vizileaks,” shows an extreme close-up of the EOS’s large camera that’s marked as being “XX Megapixel,” suggesting that this is a prototype unit. The lens shutter opens and closes several times in the brief video.

There’s nothing terribly shocking revealed in today’s video, but it does provide us with a close-up look of the EOS’s rumored 41-megapixel camera and its blinking lens shutter. The EOS is reportedly undergoing testing at AT&T right now, and it’s been said that Nokia could officially introduce the device as soon as July. Spec details for the EOS are still light, but the device is rumored to sport a polycarbonate body, 32GB of storage and an OLED display. The EOS is expected to be the follow-up to the Lumia 920, Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 flagship that launched on AT&T in 2012.

The EOS won’t be Nokia’s first smartphone with a super-high megapixel count. The 808 PureView launched with a 41-megapixel sensor in 2012, but that device was powered by Symbian, not Windows Phone. Nokia has since used the PureView branding on several of its Lumia Windows Phone cameras, but the Finnish firm has yet to release a Windows Phone device with a “true” PureView camera. The EOS is expected to change that, offering Windows Phone fans a large PureView camera as well as some special software for fine-tuning its controls. While we wait for Nokia to make EOS and its beefy shooter official, you can find the video showing its shutter in action below.

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Via The Verge, Vizileaks

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Sony Xperia Z reportedly getting ‘Google Edition’ treatment as well Jun 7th 2013, 12:40
Sony Xperia ZLooks like the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 may soon be joined by a third “Google Edition” smartphone. According to reports from Android Central and AndroidGeeks, Sony is working on a version of its Xperia Z that features a “Nexus user experience” that is expected to feature vanilla Android. Details on the device’s availability are still light, but the Google Edition Xperia Z will reportedly be offered to U.S. customers through the Google Play Store sometime later this year, just like its One and Galaxy S 4 counterparts.

Announced at CES 2013 back in January, the Sony Xperia Z features a 5-inch 1080p touchscreen and 2-megapixel shooter on its face, as well as a 13-megapixel camera with Exmor RS sensor on its rear. The whole package is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, and Sony has also included 16GB of built-in storage and a microSD slot. Rounding out the Xperia Z’s list of features is a 7.9mm-thick body with tempered glass on its front and rear as well as resistance to both dust and water.

Sony has become more friendly with plain ol’ Android as of late, working with developers to offer binaries and other software to get the Android Open Source Project up and running on several of its high-profile devices, including the Xperia Z. A new Google Edition of the Xperia Z would be a nice continuation of Sony’s efforts, and I’m sure that there are several folks that’d be happy to snap up a device that features the combination of the Xperia Z’s hardware with vanilla Android. As with the Google Edition versions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4, it remains to be seen how the Xperia Z will perform while running stock Android rather than Sony’s skinned software, but it’s great to hear that we may soon get to find out.

Via Android Central, AndroidGeeks

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Boost Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy S III launching on June 12 for $399.99 Jun 6th 2013, 16:30
Samsung Galaxy S III Marble WhiteAfter Boost Mobile teased us all with the news that it would be launching an LTE-capable Samsung Galaxy S III in June, the prepaid operator today finally came forward with the all-important availability details of that device. Boost has revealed that its version of the Galaxy S III will be made available on June 12 for $399.99. It’s worth noting that, because Boost doesn’t deal in contracts, consumers plunking down $400 for that GSIII won’t be tied to a commitment.

Boost also reaffirmed that its Galaxy S III will be compatible with its $55 Android Monthly Unlimited plan with Shrinking Payments. That rate plan includes unlimited talk, text and web, though users will have their data speeds throttled after 2.5GB of high-speed data use. For every six on-time payments that a customer makes, the monthly cost will drop by $5, eventually dropping to a price of $40 per month.

Boost Mobile’s flavor of the Samsung Galaxy S III will run on Sprint’s 4G LTE network, which is available in 88 markets as of this writing. While the Galaxy S III may not be the newest Galaxy family member, the device still boasts a respectable feature set that includes a 4.8-inch 1280×720 Super AMOLED display and 1.5GHz dual-core processor. The S III will immediately become Boost’s most high-end handset once June 12 rolls around, and at $400 off-contract, it’s not a bad deal for Boost customers that want the most bleeding edge device that they can get. Are any of you thinking about picking up Boost’s Galaxy S III later this month?

Via Boost Mobile

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Quality vs. quantity: Which is more important in the app store? Jun 6th 2013, 15:45
When it comes to discussing different platforms and why we choose the ones that we do, many people point to the app market as the savior/culprit. Applications are the very basis of our smartphone era, so naturally having better app support within the ecosystem is what makes people want to use a platform. It doesn’t matter whether your phone has the best hardware on the market, or your interface looks the prettiest – if there’s little to no app support, the platform will suffer.

But what does proper app support really mean? Does it mean having the best selection of applications, or having the most applications available? For some people it’s the former, for others it’s the latter.

Personally, I’m all for having the best selection of applications. I use mainstream services like Netflix, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube and Facebook; all of these applications have multi-platform support.

When I look to jump to a new platform, having the same basic apps that I use on a daily basis is important to me. I’ve already gone through my “discovery” phase, and most of the time those apps get downloaded and are never touched again. I have downloaded 67 apps from a market that has 850,000+ applications; the kicker is, I only use 10 on a daily basis. I realize that my core apps are the only ones that are really important to me. I wouldn’t be phased if the other 849,980 apps disappeared the next day. (Aside from the fact that 849,980 apps disappeared in a single day, I mean.)

But then you have the counter argument: the size of the app store does matter. Not everybody is like me in the sense that they only want to use a few core apps. Maybe they have a specific need in what they want to do in a smartphone. Maybe a musician wants to download a metronome app, or perhaps a mathematician wants a more extensive calculator app. What about the chefs that want a convenient way to save and store recipes? These are all viable reasons why people might prefer to have a more extensive application market like iOS’s or Android’s, which both have over 850,000 applications. Simply put, users with unusual or creative hobbies would have a better chance at finding the perfect app solution in a bigger market.

Although my initial thought for this article was to say that the number of applications didn’t matter, the more I thought about it the more I realized that having a larger app market really is beneficial to the company in the fact that you are able to attract many different types of people by having such a versatile app market.

I do, however, think it’s still important to include as many mainstream apps as you can within your app market no matter how big or small it is. One of the reasons I’m not considering BlackBerry is simply because it hardly has any of the apps that I use on a consistent basis. Although one of the things BlackBerry boasted about most with BlackBerry 10 was that they had acquired so many apps in such a short amount of time (BlackBerry 10 currently has 120,000 apps, which is an impressive number compared to Windows Phone Store which has a library of 140,000) but in this case, numbers mean virtually nothing to me.

I would have to say that in the end both scenarios (number of apps vs. quality of apps) are just as important as the other. In order to have the broadest range for your user base you’re going to want to have both numbers and quality apps that you can showcase.

Readers, what are your thoughts on quality vs. quantity when it comes to the app store? Is it more important for you to have quality, well-developed, and mainstream apps or would you rather have a bigger application library to discover unique and interesting apps?

Images via Ten-Mobile, Pagewoo

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BlackBerry 10.2 and some of its new features previewed on video Jun 6th 2013, 13:40
BlackBerry 10.2 screenshots alarmsLast month, a BlackBerry employee took to his new BBM Channel to tease some of the features that are coming to BlackBerry 10 with the OS 10.2 update, such as support for standard unicode emojis and multiple alarms. Today some more information on the update has trickled out, and the good news for the more visual learners among us is that OS 10.2 is being shown off in pictures and video.

CrackBerry forums member Kris Simundson has uploaded photos and a video showing the BlackBerry 10.2 update onto his white BlackBerry Z10, giving us an early glimpse at some of the goodies that will be coming with the next major BB10 update. Included are some minor UI tweaks, such as a new loading icon, along with a “Backup” option in the Settings menu and the aforementioned support for multiple alarms.

It’s important to note that BlackBerry hasn’t actually announced when it plans to begin rolling the OS 10.2 update out to users. Many BlackBerry 10 users are still waiting on their OS 10.1 update, though, so they’ll have some new software to tinker with in the near future. For anyone that’s already rocking OS 10.1, or anyone that just wants a peek at OS 10.2 in action, the seven-minute video showcasing BlackBerry OS 10.2.0.93 (and a tiny bit of not safe for work language) can be found below.

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Via CrackBerry, CrackBerry forums, YouTube: Kris Simundson

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Phone plans should be more versatile Jun 6th 2013, 11:10
In today’s cellphone industry, especially among younger people, it’s not unusual to see people casually crouched over their phone while sitting, riding the bus, walking, or really while they’re doing anything. And what are they doing? Texting? Browsing the internet? Whatever they’re doing, they’re not using voice minutes – that’s for sure.

As texting and data plans start to take precedence over voice calls, they obliterate the need for extensive minute plans in many cases. This is also in part due to the fact that many providers are starting to include free calling to any mobile phone across the country. With most people also ditching the use of landlines, mobile-to-mobile calling is really all that many people need.

Now, I would never say don’t include any minutes at all in such plans if they ever were to be made – you never know when you’re going to need to phone up a business, a school, or maybe a friend or family member who does still use a landline. But for people like me who look at my bill usage every month and see that I’ve only used 10 or less minutes I begin to wonder just how much money I’m really wasting on those extra minutes that I don’t ever use.

My first thought is to see if there are any lower minute plans available that include unlimited texting and data. Unfortunately, the lowest amount of minutes you’ll see on any Sprint plan is 500 minutes. If you hop on over to AT&T’s website you’ll see that their lowest amount of minutes offered on any plan is 450. Even Verizon only offers unlimited talk and text with their lowest data plan, which include 2 GB.

T-Mobile seems to be the only company that sort of gets this growing trend, even if the only way to get to the plan is to jump through hoops. T-Mobile offers a plan that has unlimited data, unlimited texting, and 100 minutes offered each month. Unfortunately this plan doesn’t include mobile-to-mobile, but for a lot of people that’s still not a big issue considering you can always use your unlimited data to make calls via VoIP applications if you really need to. But again, in order to get this special plan with T-Mobile you have to go about it in a very round-a-bout way.

Now, through my statements I’m also not saying that carriers shouldn’t continue to have the option to purchase higher minute plans. Just because I prefer to use data and texting on my phone as oppose to minutes doesn’t mean the next guy who loves data and texting also doesn’t use minutes. What I am saying is that carriers should offer different options to accomodate changing trends in mobile usage. It seems each company offer maybe three options tops, but the only variable to really differ is the data plan. All minute plans are entirely too similar too each other.

The same could even be said about texting plans. A lot of the time it’s either all or nothing when it comes to texting – gone are the days where you didn’t have to jump through hoops to get 100, 200, or 500 text message allotment plans. They were plainly offered right there if you needed them. Now when you walk into a store and compare plans you either get nothing or you get unlimited. While a person like me could benefit from an unlimited texting plan, a lot of people don’t have as much of a need for it.

What we need is a plan buffet. Pick and choose different elements according to your usage. If I only need a certain allotment of minutes, texts, or data per month I shouldn’t have to sign up for unlimited.

“I need a plan with 250 minutes, unlimited texting, and 3 GB of data.”

“Great! You sound like a perfect candidate for our Unlimited Everything Just For You plan!”

“No, but that’s not what I—“

“Well your next option is 500 minutes, no texting, and 500 MB of data.”

“Okay…”

Like I said, it seems like more often than not it’s all or nothing. I just think that being able to pick and choose our features could be awesome. It probably won’t happen any time in the near future, but one can dream, can’t they?

Readers, what are your thoughts on the current state of phone plans? Have you found the perfect phone plan or do you wish you could change some things about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Image via Salon

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AT&T axing some GoPhone data plans on June 20, says new options are on the way Jun 6th 2013, 10:10
AT&T GoPhone logoJust a couple of weeks after AT&T began allowing its prepaid GoPhone customers to access its HSPA+ and LTE networks, the carrier has revealed that it’s got another big change in store for GoPhone. AT&T has told CNET that it plans to eliminate some of its GoPhone data plan options on June 20. GoPhone customers can currently pay $5 per month for 50MB of data, $15 for 200MB or $25 for 1GB, all of which can be added to its $25 250 minute/unlimited text or its $50 unlimited talk/text plans. AT&T also offers a $65 smartphone-specific plan with unlimited talk and text as well as 1GB of data.

Once June 20 rolls around, only the $5/50MB data add-on will be available to the $25 plan, while none of those add-ons will be compatible with the $50 option. AT&T says that its new GoPhone plans will be revealed in the coming weeks. However, the carrier wouldn’t shed any light on exactly what those offerings may be, saying only that it intends to offer “a variety of plans.” AT&T’s full statement to CNET on the changes is as follows:

“We’re making some changes to our AT&T GoPhone prepaid plans to simplify our offers and better align with what customers are choosing and telling us they want. We’ve begun letting customers know about the changes in advance, and we’ll have more information on new, additional plan options soon.”

While these existing GoPhone data add-ons don’t offer a huge bucket of megabytes, they’re good fits for consumers that are light data users, especially now that AT&T is allowing GoPhone customers onto its HSPA+ and LTE networks. AT&T has had a bit of a renewed focus on prepaid as of late with the addition of LTE support for GoPhone and the launch of Aio Wireless, so hopefully the big blue carrier will keep things up with some new, competitive prepaid offerings. Stay tuned.

Via CNET

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Facebook Home gaining favorite apps tray with new update, folders and widgets coming soon Jun 6th 2013, 08:10
Facebook HomeWhen Facebook Home was first made official, Zuckerberg and Co. promised that the software would receive frequent updates. One of those updates is arriving today as part of an upgrade to the main Facebook for Android app, and the update is bringing with it a pretty big new feature for Facebook Home users.

Along with some tweaks for the Facebook for Android app itself, today’s update brings with it a new “favorites tray” for Facebook Home users that will serve as an app dock. Facebook explained to AllThingsD that Facebook Home users have been clamoring for a “more robust app launcher,” and this dock is the first step toward providing that. The company also says that folders and widget support will be added to Facebook Home in the future.

In addition to the new dock, Facebook Home is receiving some unnamed bug fixes with today’s update. Meanwhile, folks that are using only the Facebook for Android app can expect to see stability and memory improvements, the ability to send multiple images in a single message and the option of changing who can see something that the user shared.

Facebook Home was the subject of quite a bit of hype in the weeks leading up its release, which isn’t a surprise considering that it’s a new mobile product from Facebook. The launcher hasn’t exactly caught fire with users since its launch, though, with some users saying that while it looks nice at first, it could still use some work. This new favorite apps try could be a way to convince consumers to give Facebook Home another go by adding in a dock-like feature that they’ve grown accustomed to seeing in other smartphone UIs. Whether or not that works out remains to be seen, but if you’ve tried Home in the past and weren’t impressed, it could be worth trying again with the addition of a dock and the planned support for folders and widgets. The Google Play download links for both Facebook for Android and Facebook Home can be found below.

Via AllThingsD, Google Play: Facebook for Android, Facebook Home

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LG Optimus F3 Jun 6th 2013, 07:57
If you’ve been wanting a new LG Optimus smartphone from Sprint the wait is almost over. The F3, offering a 4″ IPS display, 5MP camera, and 1.5GHz dual-core processor will be there soon.Announced Release date: Friday June 14, 2013
Announced Carrier: Sprint (via the website)
Announced Price: $29.99 with a two-year contract and $50 mail-in rebate

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Samsung’s marketing for the Galaxy S 4 hits the spot Jun 6th 2013, 07:25
When it comes to the Android ecosystem, no one has the muscle like Samsung. The South Korean manufacturer has become practically synonymous with the mobile operating system at this point. Devices like the Galaxy S II, the Galaxy S III, the Galaxy Note II and now more recently the Galaxy S 4 are ridiculously popular around the world, and it doesn’t look like anything –not even a trial with Apple– is slowing the company’s momentum.

Depending on who you ask, you’re likely to get all kinds of reasons as to why this is. Maybe it’s the pricing of the phone, or the varieties of AMOLED displays. The thin (plastic?) profile, microSD card slots, or maybe even TouchWiz UI. Whatever the case, there’s no denying that Samsung has indeed found the sweet spot when it comes to Android, and they know exactly what to do to sell a lot of phones.

Maybe that’s part of their success, too. The fact that Samsung isn’t afraid to release a lot of phones. Even phones that are iterations to devices that they’ve recently released. Because Samsung’s figured out that one phone won’t make everyone happy, so release more than one. Sure, it’d be nice if they announced all those phones at the same time so people could have a better chance at making a choice, but that’s ultimately the curse of the early adopter.

Another source of Samsung’s success is pretty obvious to anyone who’s seen the company’s marketing, especially after a product has launched. Before the Galaxy S III launched, I didn’t see much other than, “This phone exists, it’s from Samsung, so be excited!” But as soon as the device was available, I saw so many different commercials showing off the phone, making fun of Apple fans, and showing specific features. And while those commercials made a dent in potential buyer’s brainpan, I don’t think any of them were all that fantastic. That’s just me, personally. I think they were good, but none of them really blew me away.

That’s changed with this round of marketing from Samsung, which is focused on the Galaxy S 4. Before I saw these commercials, I would have told you that the older Apple commercials for their products were the best around. But I think Samsung has taken the crown in this department, at least for now.

Why? Because Samsung puts the phone into a situation that could actually happen, and has the perfect feature to compliment it. No, the feature doesn’t make the situation happen. The phone has an answer for a particular moment, and considering we’re talking about a device that’s supposed to help you get through your day, I don’t think it gets much better than that.

The first commercial that really made an impact for me focuses on an older gentleman, which I presume is the younger guy’s father, talking about the Galaxy S 4’s “Easy Mode.” I think the dialogue is a little weird (did we just jump into the conversation?), but other than that, that’s a situation that I’ve been in with my own dad. That mode is made for him. And, truth is, it would probably sell him on the device, too.

The best commercial, though, includes a couple of features that I didn’t think would be all that interesting. But, again, put in this situation they obviously helped more than anything else. In this particular case, which is far more realistic than some might expect, they aren’t just a gimmick. The features shown in Samsung’s “Swaddle Master” commercial are Air Gesture, Smart Pause and S Voice, and when you watch them in action as this father tries to swaddle his infant, it all just makes sense.

That commercial would have sold me on the Galaxy S 4 when I was trying to swaddle either one of my daughters.

These commercials, this targeted marketing, is just so good. It makes perfect sense to me why I’m already starting to see the Galaxy S 4 everywhere. What’s more, I expect the marketing campaign to just get better from here, so I’m almost a little excited to see what else the Galaxy S 4 can do for the general consumer out there in the “real world.”

Am I going to buy one? No, probably not. As I’ve said in the past, I just don’t like AMOLED displays, nor am I a fan of TouchWiz on anything that isn’t a Galaxy Note II. However, I can admit that Samsung’s marketing for the device, based on its features and toolset, make it a very compelling device. That counts for a lot.

Have you seen any of Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 commercials? Do any of them stand out for you? Have any of them made you actually consider buying a Galaxy S 4, or made you feel even better about the purchase you’ve already made? Or do you think they’re not all that good at all? Let me know!

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Apple rumored to be planning iPhone trade-in program Jun 6th 2013, 07:10
iPhone 5 rearWell, this is interesting. According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple may be planning to allow consumers to trade in their iPhones in an attempt to boost its sales. Details of Apple’s trade-in program are light right now, but the Cupertino firm would likely give its users a way to sell their existing iPhone back to Apple in exchange for a credit that could be put toward a newer model.

As noted by The Verge, Apple currently partners with a company called PowerON to offer a recycling program that offers users an Apple Store gift card in exchange for the fair market value of the traded-in hardware. Bloomberg’s sources claim that Apple will be working on this new trade-in effort with BrightStar, a firm that already works with AT&T and T-Mobile. Apple’s new program is expected to differ from its existing one by only accepting trade-ins at its retail stores, allowing customers to instantly receive their credit and avoid having to ship the unit to Apple.

When it comes time to upgrade to a new device, there are several ways to dispose of existing hardware. Options like Craigslist and eBay are popular among frequent upgraders, as are services like Swappa. Consumers also have the option of trading in their hardware to Gazelle, Best Buy or some other entity. The amount that users receive from these various services and companies can vary, typically with consumers getting slightly less for their devices with the easier trade-in methods.

It remains to be seen exactly how much credit Apple might give users for their iPhones with this new trade-in program, but it certainly sounds like it could be a quick and easy way for consumers to get something for their old iPhone when upgrading to a new model. When it comes time for you to upgrade to a new phone or tablet, what do you do with your old hardware?

Via The Verge, @BloombergTV, Bloomberg

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LG Optimus F7 to U.S. Cellular Jun 6th 2013, 06:59
The LG Optimus F7 with 4G LTE capabilities has arrived at U.S. Cellular.Released – Thursday June 6, 2013
Carrier: U.S. Cellular
Original Price: $399.99
Price after discount and applicable Smartphone Data Plan required. New 2 yr. agmt. and $35 act. fee apply.: $99.99
Hot Features: 4.7″ touchscreen display, 8MP camera, QSlide 2.0, VuTalk – draw and share ideas in real-time with other users

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HP announces webOS update that will allow for continued access to cloud services Jun 6th 2013, 06:30
Palm Pre 2Today is a big day for the webOS faithful, as it was exactly four years ago that the original Palm Pre slid its way onto Sprint shelves. Things are nearly as joyful in the webOS community today as they were on that date, but there is some good news regarding the platform that’s been announced by HP.

Starting today, June 6, HP will roll a mandatory update for its App Catalog app out to the various webOS devices. The update will alter a root certificate inside of webOS that will allow the hardware to continue to communicate with the webOS cloud services past July 23. Without the update, the root certificate will expire on that date, meaning that webOS-powered products would be unable to access the cloud services for things like Backup/Restore and App Catalog access.

HP says that anyone using webOS 2.1 or higher will automatically have the update installed the next time that they access the App Catalog, Users running software earlier than webOS 2.1 will need to mosey on into the App Catalog manually and download the “HP App Catalog Update.” HP says that webOS users that don’t install this update by July 23 will need to roll the system time of their hardware back before July 23 in order to snag the update.

It’s certainly been a while since webOS got any major new features or appeared on any new hardware, but the platform is home to some faithful users, and this update will provide them with an official way to keep using their devices well past the original July 23 death date. While it’d be nice to see these loyal webOS folk get a new feature or two as well, the odds of that happening appear slim, especially after the LG’s recent acquisition of webOS and its announcement that the software will be used to power smart TVs. At least webOS users can rest easy knowing that they’ll be able to continue Just Type-ing and swiping away cards for the foreseeable future.

Via Engadget

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Winner of a new Samsung Galaxy Note II for AT&T Jun 5th 2013, 16:35
A. TandiamaCongratulations to A. Tandiama of WA on winning a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note II for AT&T on Wednesday June 5, 2013. “I’ve been playing the One Paw Bandit game for years and never expected to hear the winning chime – with the Galaxy Note II, the decision switch from iOS to Android has been made much easier. Thanks Phonedog!”312grsdtjow