Rich Barton knows a thing or two about network effects. The man who founded Expedia and co-founded Zillow has demonstrated a knack for building massive companies that grow more entrenched as they increase in scale. For his third act, Barton’s looking to follow a similar playbook with social jobs and career information platform Glassdoor. The six-year-old company has…
Tag Archives | international
New firmware being pushed out starting today in parts of Europe
The Android 4.3 firmware rollout for Samsung’s Galaxy S3 didn’t go exactly to plan, leading to the manufacturer suspending the rollout to investigate numerous issues reported by S3 owners. Now it appears Samsung has completed its work squishing bugs in the 4.3 firmware as a new update is being pushed out to international Galaxy S3 (GT-i9300) owners in parts of Europe.
According to reports from SamMobile and XDA, the new firmware carries the build number I9300XXUGMK6, and was built on Nov. 28. Early reports from forums suggest that the performance and stability issues affecting the earlier update have been fixed in the latest build. As before, the 4.3 update also brings Samsung’s KNOX enterprise security platform, as well as support for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
As always, the OTA will likely take at least a few days to filter out to all users; if you’ve got a European Galaxy S3, hit the comments and let us know if you’ve got this latest update.
T-Mobile customers in parts of Europe will get home screen widget in 2014
Twitter and Deutsche Telekom, the German telecommunications giant behind T-Mobile, have entered into a strategic partnership that’ll give the microblogging service more prominence on certain T-Mobile Android devices in parts of Europe. Under the agreement Twitter will “create a unique experience for Deutsche Telekom devices,” including what sounds like a Twitter home screen widget preloaded on certain Android handsets from 2014. In return DT will get “early access to new tools and innovations on the technical side” and help with integrating Twitter into its marketing campaigns, according to a statement given to GigaOM, potentially giving the company a leg-up over the local competition.
The agreement will initially cover only Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Greece and Croatia — a small subset of Deutsche Telekom’s global reach. But as recent stats from PeerReach reveal, Germany in particular is an important market Twitter has yet to fully conquer, with just 1 percent market penetration in that country versus 11 percent in the UK.
Initial launch in Russia, Austria, France, Spain and Germany, more to follow in 2014
It seems like an eternity ago that we got our first look at the YotaPhone, a quirky little Android handset with a regular LCD display on the front and e-ink on the back. Our interest was piqued by our time with the device at Mobile World Congress back in February, and now the phone is available to buy in five European countries, with 15 more European, CIS and Middle Eastern territories following in the first quarter of 2014. In addition to the online launch, the YotaPhone will go on sale in retail stores in Russia and Germany this month, according to today’s press release, priced at 19,990 RUB and €499.
The YotaPhone features a 4.3-inch 720p LCD display on the front, with swipe gestures being used in place of regular Android buttons. Around the back is a similarly-sized e-ink panel at 360×640 resolution, which can be used to display secondary information, such as the weather and calendar alerts. It’s also possible to send images to the rear display with a two-finger gesture.
The device powered by a dual-core 1.7GHz Krait processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, with support for the main HSPA and LTE bands used in Europe. There’s also a 13-megapixel rear camera, an 1800mAh battery, and on the software side it’s Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean running the show.
For more on the YotaPhone, check out our hands-on feature from Mobile World Congress.
Also see: YotaPhone official site
Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Macau also joining ‘Feel At Home’ program
Three has become the first major UK network operator to allow its customers to roam freely in the U.S. by adding the country to its “Feel At Home” program. The operator is also adding Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Macau to the list, bringing the total number of supported territories up to 11. Other Feel At Home countries include the Republic of Ireland, Australia, Italy, Austria, Hong Kong, Sweden and Denmark.
Feel At Home debuted in late August, and allows Three UK customers use the local network as if they were still in the UK at no extra cost. Their UK data allowance can be used, and calls and texts to UK numbers are handled in the same way too — though calls and texts to non-UK numbers are charged separately. Similarly, tethering is not allowed through Feel At Home.
The deal is open to all Three Pay As You Go, pay monthly, SIM-only, mobile broadband and business customers with roaming activated on their accounts.
The addition of the U.S. to the list is a significant step, as UK carriers often charge extremely high roaming rates to roam in states. The fact that the offer is open to PAYG customers also goes against the norm, as those on prepaid are often excluded from roaming deals.
Other operators have stepped up with more reasonable travel deals recently, but the prospect of unlimited roaming data in the U.S. is a new development for the UK market, and something that’ll be of great interest to transatlantic travelers. More details in the presser after the break.
Source: Three Media Center
4G live for ‘thousands’ — but not all — customers in London, Manchester, Birmingham; staged rollout will bring LTE to 1.5 million by end of February
Without any sort of official announcement, British carrier Three’s 4G LTE service has gone live for some customers in London, Birmingham and Manchester today. Based on tweets from Three’s official Twitter account, “a few thousand” customers in these three cities have been given access to the new LTE service, and the operator has told Android Central that by the end of February 1.5 million customers with 4G devices will be able to use the network. That’s the target timeframe for allowing anyone with a capable handset to use Three’s 4G, but right now access seems to be determined by the luck of the draw.
The reason for this, Three tell us, is to ensure the smoothest possible rollout for its 4G network, though a side-effect of this staged rollout has been a stream of tweets from disgruntled Three subscribers. The carrier previously committed to a launch in London, Manchester and Birmingham in December, but made no mention of its plans to restrict this to a small number of customers at the get-go.
Three says it plans to clear up some of the confusion in a blog post in the near future. Naturally, we’ll keep you posted as well. Meanwhile, if you’re on Three in any of the launch cities, hit the comments and let us know if you’ve managed to get on the 4G network.
HTC One also at risk of ban
A British judge has ruled that HTC must stop selling its One Mini handset in the UK from this Friday, Dec. 6, after finding that it infringed upon Nokia’s patents. A report from Bloomberg states that the HTC One was also found to breach certain Nokia patents, but Judge Richard Arnold delayed any action against that product to give HTC the chance to appeal, as a sales ban of the flagship handset could “considerably” damage the company.
HTC had argued that the offending part was “a very small component” and thus didn’t justify a sales ban.
Nokia says that it’s also claiming financial compensation in the case, according to a statement given to Bloomberg, and that HTC has agreed not to import any more of the infringing products into the UK pending an appeal.
We’ve reached out to HTC for comment and we’ll update this post with any official statement. In the meantime, UK buyers looking to pick up a One Mini would be advised to do so before Friday.
Update: And here’s what HTC has to say:
“HTC is pleased by the decision of the High Court of England and Wales to stay an injunction against certain chipsets, including those in our flagship HTC One, pending the outcome of our appeal against the validity and infringement of Nokia’s EP 0 998 024 patent. Whilst the Court also granted an injunction that affects other third party chipsets, we have filed urgent application to appeal. In the meantime, we are working with our chip suppliers to explore alternative solutions . As always, HTC’s primary focus is on supporting our customers and ensuring minimal disruption to them and our business. Rest assured that our award winning HTC One handset will be available as usual.”
Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Girls and Veep available through Play Movies & TV
Google Play’s library of TV content continues to expand, with the arrival of five HBO shows for British audiences. Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Girls and Veep are now available in the UK through Google Play Movies & TV on the web and on Android devices. Episodes are priced at the usual levels — £1.89 for SD, £2.49 for HD, with season costs varying per show.
All three seasons of Game of Thrones are available, as are all episodes of Girls and True Blood aired to date. Also included are the first three seasons of Boardwalk Empire and the first season of Veep. The shows’ arrival on Google Play in the UK comes a couple of months after a slightly different lineup of HBO broadcasting landed on the service in the U.S.
If you’re in the UK, hit the source link to browse the available HBO content.
Source: Google Play
£129 off the RRP for LG’s high-end handset
Despite being overshadowed (in some circles, at least) by the Nexus 5, LG’s flagship G2 remains a great handset in its own right, recently earning a runner-up spot on our list of best Android phones. It’s got the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor found in the Nexus 5, with a larger 5.2-inch display, a more capacious 3000mAh battery and a 13-megapixel with optical image stabilization.
The G2 is now available at a sizeable discount on Amazon.co.uk, where it’s priced at £359.99 including VAT — a pretty good deal considering most UK outlets still charge somewhere north of £400. The deal comes directly from Amazon, not a third-party seller, so there should be no worries about shipping issues.
For more on the G2, check out our review of the AT&T version, or hit up the link below to see Amazon’s deal.
Buy: LG G2 on Amazon UK (£359.99)
Thanks, Paul O’Brien!
Cap on bills for phones reported lost or stolen, plus action to protect consumers from mid-contract price rises The UK government has reached an agreement with some of the major British mobile operators to protect consumers from the cost of unexpecte…
Many Samsung devices discounted until next Tuesday in ‘Flash Sale’
British retailer Carphone Warehouse is jumping on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday bandwagon, announcing the opening of a “Flash Sale” for Samsung mobile devices today. Many handsets that previously required an upfront payment on-contract — including the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Mini and Galaxy Ace 3 — are free for the duration of the sale. Others, are free on certain contracts and include a free gift — the Galaxy Note 3, for instance, comes with a free Galaxy Tab 3 7-inch tablet on contracts from £33 per month.
The Carphone Warehouse sale runs until 11:59pm GMT next Tuesday, Dec. 3. Elsewhere, rival retailer Phones 4u announced its Black Friday deals yesterday.
Samsung Netherlands offers Galaxy Note 3 customers discount plus 64GB card this Saturday
Samsung is hoping to tempt Dutch consumers towards its Galaxy Note 3 handset this weekend, with a one-day promotion giving buyers €125 off the price of the handset (after a mail-in rebate) and a free 64GB microSD card. The offer is valid at participating stores — Phone House, Vodafone, Bell Company and Media Markt — this Saturday, Nov. 30.
Customers will get their SD cards when they buy the device, and the rebate will be given within 15 days when buyers send in a copy of their receipt, IMEI sticker and a completed registration form. Vodafone NL customers picking up a Note 3 on “Red Essentials” contract get the phone for free and a €45 monthly fee, down from €54. More details, including terms and conditions, are can be found at the source link.
Carrier offers 25 percent reduction in cost of buying out contract to get subscribers onto ‘O2 Refresh’ plans
O2 UK has announced a new promotion designed to tempt existing customers onto its O2 Refresh price plans, which decouple the cost of customers’ phones from their monthly service payment. Dubbed O2 Speed to Refresh, the new deal gives existing customers 25 percent off the cost of buying out the remainder of their contract if they upgrade to an O2 Refresh plan.
O2 Refresh is part of a growing trend which has seen some operators offering a clear distinction between the price of cellular service and the cost of payments towards the value of handsets. The plans mean customers’ monthly bills are reduced after they’ve finished paying off their phone, and they can pay the full cost of the device up-front in exchange for lower monthly fees.
O2 Speed to Refresh is open to O2 Pay Monthly customers who have been with the carrier for at least three months.
Available now for pre-order, priced £494.99
HTC has announced that it’ll bring a dual-SIM version of its flagship HTC One handset to the UK. The dual-SIM HTC One will also feature a removable back panel, like the HTC One Max, and expandable storage via a microSD slot supporting up to 64GB cards. Dual-SIM devices allow users to stay connected through multiple numbers at the same time, and HTC says it’s targeting this specific model at “foreign nationals and students studying in the UK and business users who regularly travel abroad.” A similar dual-SIM device has been available in China since April.
Aside from the extra SIM slot and microSD support, we’re looking at the essentially the same device that’s been on sale since the spring, with a Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 4-megapixel “Ultrapixel” camera and a 1080p SuperLCD display. It’s worth noting however that the spec sheet makes no mention of LTE, meaning you’ll max out at 3G data speeds on this device, with the first SIM slot supporting quad-band HSPA.
The handset is available for pre-order now, priced at £494.99; HTC says it’s in talks with retailers and carriers to offer the dual-SIM HTC One to consumers and businesses.
Pink and purple available now, orange due December 6
UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has announced that it’ll sell the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini in three exclusive colors — orange, pink and purple. The brightly-colored Minis can be had for £379.95 SIM-free, as well as being available for free on 24-month contracts starting at £21 per month from Talkmobile or Vodafone. Carphone Warehouse is also selling the S4 Mini on-contract with EE, O2, T-Mobile and Orange.
Besides the fresh coat of paint, this is the same Galaxy S4 Mini we reviewed over the summer, powered by a 1.7GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, with a 4.3-inch qHD display, an 8-megapixel rear camera and 4G LTE connectivity. It’s not the most capable “mini” phone out there, but it’s a decent all-rounder all the same.
The Galaxy S4 Mini is available from Carphone Warehouse now in purple and pink, in addition to the standard white and black; orange is expected to follow by Dec. 6.
More: Carphone Warehouse
Desires 300, 501, 601 and 700 fill out HTC’s entry-level and mid-range lineup
HTC has today expanded its mid-range and budget portfolio for its home market of Taiwan, announcing the HTC Desire 300, 501, 601 dual-SIM and 700 dual-SIM. We’ve already become acquainted with the Desire 300 and 601, recently introduced in Europe as single-SIM phones, but the 501 and 700 appear to be new members of the Desire family.
Free Wifi access in-store for shoppers
British mobile network O2 continues to build out its own nationwide Wifi network, having ditched BT Wifi earlier in the year. Today the carrier has announced that it’s partnered with catalog outlet Argos to light up O2 Wifi in 735 of the chain’s stores across the UK and Ireland. O2 Wifi access will be made available for free in Argos stores to all customers “regardless of their network provider,” the operator says, with the launch timed to coincide with the start of the Christmas shopping season.
O2′s Wifi network now boasts 9,000 access points across the UK, according to today’s press release, including hotspots in other big high street names like Debenhams, Subway and McDonalds.
Carphone Warehouse cuts SIM-free price by £80
With the arrival of phones like the Moto G and Nexus 5, pricing in the mid to high-end Android smartphone space has become more competitive than ever. Now we’re starting to see other handsets creep down in price to meet this new challenge. UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has dropped the price of one such contender, the Huawei Ascend P6, to £199.95 off-contract, down £80 from its previous price.
Though it lacks LTE connectivity the Ascend P6 is a solid mid-range Android phone with a good-looking screen and decent build quality, including an aluminum-framed design. But we’re less enamored by Huawei’s software design and performance. Here’s what our own Andrew Martonik had to say about the P6 in his review —
In terms of physical design and manufacturing prowess, Huawei has a winner on its hands with the Ascend P6. It has managed to take a well-made and good-looking body that is impossibly thin, fill it with some high-end components and cap it off with a really great screen.
But none of that matters when you turn on the device and the software stutters and skips through even general app usage, and crumbles when you try to play games or record 1080p video. If the software performance was better we may even be able to look past the interface customizations that Huawei has included on the Ascend P6.
Still want to take the plunge? You’ll find more details at the source link.
HTC One on track to get Android 4.4 in the UK and US by end of January, Droid DNA by end of Q1
HTC has shown remarkable transparency in recent months in letting users know exactly when they can expect Android OS updates for their phones. A couple of weeks back HTC America President Jason Mackenzie revealed the company’s 90-day strategy for getting KitKat onto carrier-branded handsets by the end of January, and onto unlocked/developer editions within 30 days.
Now the manufacturer has revealed a little more information update timings through its official Twitter accounts, including additional details on Android 4.3 updates and the upgrade path for Droid DNA owners. First up, HTC UK reaffirmed its commitment to begin its Android 4.4/Sense 5.5 update process by late January. (British HTC One owners started receiving their update to Android 4.3 and Sense 5.5 in the past month.)
HTC USA also addressed the question of Android 4.3 and 4.4 updates for the Verizon HTC One, which yesterday received a small update to its existing 4.2-based firmware. HTC describes this as a “compatibility update,” to be followed by a 4.3 OTA in December. The delay to the Android 4.3 rollout on Verizon won’t affect the planned 4.4 launch on the carrier in late January, HTC’s message added. There’s good news for Droid DNA owners too, as HTC says it plans to update the handset to KitKat by the end of Q1 2014, “pending certification from your carrier.”
Meanwhile there’s no sign of the Android 4.4 update for the Google Play edition HTC One, which HTC said it had delivered to Google late last week.
If you want to get up-close and personal with the 18 carat gold HTC One produced in partnership with Goldgenie and the MOBO awards, the device will be headed to London later today. HTC UK says the limited edition “real gold” HTC One will be on display alongside BassBuds earphones at high-end London department store Harvey Nichols from 6-10pm tonight.
The gold HTC One is valued at $4,400 and one of just five in existence, though, so don’t expect to take it home with you. Instead you can check out our hands-on video with the gold HTC One after the break to take a closer look. (We’ve also got more photos in our original hands-on feature.)