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Updated: 24 min 34 sec ago

iPhone 5s Screen Replacements Rumored to Begin Next Week

49 min 51 sec ago

iPhone 5s Screen Replacements Rumored to Begin Next Week is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

Apple Stores are reportedly preparing to offer official iPhone 5s screen replacements starting on August 4, allowing owners to get their display replaced by an Apple Genius employee for a reasonable price.

According to 9to5Mac, Apple Stores have received large quantities of iPhone 5s screens to prepare for the launch of the new repair program that will supposedly launch on Monday.

iPhone 5s screen replacements have slowly rolled out to a few Apple Stores across the US over the last few months, but this will mark the official launch of the repair program. The cost for replacing your iPhone 5s screen is $150, which might seem expensive, but it’s cheaper than replacing the entire device, which would normally cost $270 if the iPhone was out of warranty.

Of course, if you’re phone is still under AppleCare warranty, these repairs and replacements will be a bit cheaper, but if your iPhone isn’t under warranty, you’ll have to pay a bit for the repairs yourself, but the prices aren’t too bad, especially since you can save yourself some big bucks by getting the screen replaced rather than dishing out more money for an all-new device, and you’ll save yourself time by not having to restore all of your apps and data back on the new iPhone.

This new addition to Apple’s vast repair program apparently is an effort to reduce the number of broken units that Apple fully replaces. Instead, Apple technicians will do an on-site repair so that they don’t have to give customers an entirely new iPhone when they come in.

Apple began offering iPhone 5c screen replacements back in January, allowing owners of Apple’s cheaper iPhone to pay less for a repair, rather than having to get the entire device replaced, which can be expensive.

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If you’re not familiar with iPhone screen repairs, it’s a fairly recent addition to the lineup of repairs that Apple retail stores can perform on your broken iPhone. In the past, any iPhones with a broken screen would require that you get an entirely new replacement phone. This means that you would have to restore from a backup and you might lose some data if you weren’t careful.

However, Apple can repair a cracked screen in about an hour, allowing you to leave the store with the same phone you walked in with, except with a shiny new display.

Back in June of last year, Apple began offering on-site screen replacements with the iPhone 5 for $149, which was long after the iPhone 5 initially launched. The same is also being done with the iPhone 5s, with Apple finally offering screen replacements well after the device’s launch back in September of last year.

Of course, with the proper know-how and the right tools, you could technically replace a broken screen yourself, but it’s a task that isn’t for the faint of heart, so we’d recommend most people just take it into an Apple Store to get replaced.

This rumor falls just months before Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 6 in September. It’s said that the new device will come with an all-new design that matches the iPad Air and iPad mini, as well as come with a faster processor and a better camera. Of course, let’s also not forget about the larger 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays that are rumored as well. A change like this would mark the first time that Apple has dramatically increased the screen size of the iPhone since the boost to a 4-inch display with the iPhone 5 back in 2012.

September 19 seems to be the agreed-upon launch date for the iPhone 6, but we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed and just wait and see what Apple has to say about that.

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iPhone 5s Screen Replacements Rumored to Begin Next Week is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update Release Details Keep Flowing

1 hour 1 min ago

Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update Release Details Keep Flowing is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Android 4.4.3 KitKat update details continue to emerge left and right as a carrier today confirmed two more upcoming Android 4.4.3 KitKat update releases, releases that could take place in just a few short weeks if testing goes according to plan.

Last month, Google rolled out two brand new Android 4.4 KitKat updates. The first, Android 4.4.3 KitKat, an update that delivered a number of bug fixes for Android 4.4.2 KitKat problems. The other, Android 4.4.4 KitKat, an update that carriers a crucial security patch for an OpenSSL vulnerability. While many companies have opted to deliver Android 4.4.3 KitKat’s fixes on board Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates, HTC decided to do the exact opposite and it’s pushing out Android 4.4.3 KitKat updates to its flagship devices.

Earlier this month, HTC started pushing out the HTC One Android 4.4.3 KitKat update to the HTC One M8 and the HTC One M7. The updates are currently available on select variants including the Sprint HTC One M8 in the United States. All of the updates have delivered crucial bug fixes to HTC’s top two smartphones.

In the past few weeks, we’ve started to see new Android 4.4.3 KitKat details emerge for HTC One users and today, we’ve seen another carrier offer some new details to its customers. Vodafone Australia announced that it has scheduled testing for both the HTC One M8 and HTC One M7 Android 4.4.3 KitKat updates. Testing usually takes a few weeks at most which means that August is looking good for both of these software upgrades.

This lines up with everything that we’ve seen and heard about the HTC One M8 and HTC One M7 Android 4.4.3 upgrades. Most recently, HTC confirmed that it is targeting the end of this week for the T-Mobile HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update and that it is targeting mid-August for the AT&T HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update. Neither device has a concrete release date as the certification process can be extremely unpredictable.

We still have not heard anything about the Verizon HTC One M8 or HTC One M7 Android 4.4.3 KitKat updates. Verizon’s testing process is notorious for being strict.

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HTC is, thus far, the only major manufacturer that’s opted for Android 4.4.3 KitKat instead of Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Motorola and Sony are currently pushing out Android 4.4.4 KitKat to a number of different devices including the Moto X, Moto G, Sony Xperia Z1, Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, Xperia Z Ultra, and more. Like HTC, both companies have been extremely diligent with their roll outs.

Of course, there is still a long way to go for all of these updates. HTC, like Motorola and Sony, pushes out its updates randomly and in waves. And with devices scattered across the planet, it’s going to take awhile before these companies get every single person updated to the latest version of Google’s Android 4.4 KitKat software.

Competitors like LG and Samsung remain silent about the prospects of Android 4.4.3 or Android 4.4.4 KitKat. While early rumors suggested that Samsung was working on Android 4.4.3 KitKat, those rumors have died down in the wake of the Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat roll outs. Samsung appears content with Android 4.4.2 KitKat though nothing is confirmed.

These Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates come weeks before Google is expected to roll out its brand new Android L update. Android L, the update the company announced on stage at Google I/O 2014, is expected to arrive in the coming weeks alongside a brand new Nexus 8 tablet from HTC One maker, HTC.

Unlike Android 4.4 KitKat, Android L is expected to deliver a number of new features including changes to the design. HTC confirmed it for the HTC One M8 and HTC One M7 but beyond that, confirmations remain scarce.

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Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update Release Details Keep Flowing is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Top 5 Phones to Consider Before Buying the Moto G [July, 2014]

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 23:33

Top 5 Phones to Consider Before Buying the Moto G [July, 2014] is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Motorola’s Moto G is considered one of the best smartphones available thanks to its combination of hardware, software and price. And while the Moto G is a device that consumers should take a look at this month, there are five other smartphones that consumers should consider before taking the plunge with the Moto G.

At the tail end of last year, Google announced a brand new smartphone dubbed Moto G. The device, which the company pairs with its Moto X and Moto E offerings, is a low cost Android smartphone that comes with solid build quality, quick software updates, and an unlocked price tag that makes it appealing to the average consumer that doesn’t care about having all of the bells and whistles.

While it doesn’t provide a full HD 1080p display, a high quality camera or 4G LTE data speeds, the Moto G’s HSPA+ or 4G networks, good-looking 720P display and 5MP camera are good enough for many consumers. It also helps that the device recently got upgraded to Android 4.4.4 KitKat, an update that delivers a number of fixes and enhancements to the Moto G.

Motorola’s device is one of the best cheap smartphones on the market. And because it’s one of the best, affordable Android smartphones on the market, there’s great interest amongst consumers as we head towards the fall.

We are constantly bombarded with questions about which phones to buy. In particular, we’re constantly asked about the phones consumers should weigh against the Moto G. There are a number of different devices that we could recommend, the smartphone market is full of solid choices, but we want to narrow things down a bit and take a look at what we consider to be the top five.

These devices represent the devices that we’d recommend to friends and family. And while our list may differ from yours, these are the devices that Gotta Be Mobile editors have selected for recognition this month. We feel like the devices listed here deliver the best, all-around package for this month and this month alone.

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That said, here are the top five smartphones to consider before buying the Moto G.

.gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } #gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } Nexus 51 / 5

Nexus 6 rumors have sparked up again though the point to a possible release in November. So, for the time being, Google's Nexus 5 reigns as the company's top Nexus smartphone option and one of the best Moto G competitors out right now.

The Nexus 5 comes with many of the hardware features that the Moto G doesn't have. It features 4G LTE. It comes with a quad-core processor. It has an 8MP camera with OIS. And it features a 5-inch 1080p display. It also gets quick updates, just like Motorola's smartphone.

The kicker is that you get all of this for $350 unlocked. Yes, it's a little more expensive than the Moto G, but for a little more money you get a fully featured phone that should last you for a few years.

1 / 5

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Top 5 Phones to Consider Before Buying the Moto G [July, 2014] is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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iPhone 6 vs HTC One Video: 5 Key Differences

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 22:30

iPhone 6 vs HTC One Video: 5 Key Differences is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

This comparison shows how the HTC One, HTC One M8 and iPhone 6 compare. Whether you can’t decide on buying the new HTC One or waiting for the iPhone 6, or you bought the HTC One and want to know what you might be able to upgrade to later this year this iPhone 6 vs HTC One video and comparison can help.

For this comparison we are using an iPhone 6 mock-up based on the most believable iPhone 6 rumors, an original HTC One and a Verizon HTC One M8, commonly referred to as the new HTC One. The HTC One devices are the same as you’ll find in any carrier store in the U.S. and the iPhone 6 offers our best look at what to expect later this year.

Learn how the iPhone 6 vs HTC One comparison shakes out.

Although some iPhone 6 specs are still up in the air, leaks and rumors offer enough information that we can easily compare the iPhone 6 vs HTC One smartphones using the details that are most likely coming to the new iPhone later this year.

The iPhone 6 vs HTC One comparison is especially interesting because HTC kicked off a push for beautiful and better Android smartphone design, and the overall size of the iPhone 6 mock-up is very similar to the HTC One released last year which also uses a 4.7-inch display.

iPhone 6 vs HTC One Video

Watch our 11-minute iPhone 6 vs HTC One video to learn how these devices compare, and then check out a more detailed look at the design, features and other areas.

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iPhone 6 vs HTC One Design

the iPhone 6, HTC One and HTC One M8 all offer a premium metal design, not found on many other devices. The HTC One M8 from this year includes more metal than the original HTC One. All of these metal devices include breaks on the back to let the phone communicate with WiFi and cellular towers.

This iPhone 6 vs HTC One photo shows how the devices may compare in looks.

The lines on the iPhone 6 mock-up are rather large, but reports suggest Apple will slim them down or hide them in some fashion on the actual device.

The back of the HTC One devices are curved, while the iPhone 6 back is flat with curved edges. the iPhone 6 also features a power button on the right side that is easier to press than the top power button on both of the HTC One models.

HTC Also includes front-facing speakers on the HTC One and HTC One M8, which deliver better sound than the iPhone 5s, and possibly the iPhone 6. These speakers add to the height of the device.

Screen Sizes

The iPhone 6 mock-up and HTC One share a 4.7-inch screen while the new HTC One includes a larger 5-inch display. The trend towards larger screens is one that Apple is late to the party on, but it looks like the company may plan two models for the fall.

The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 matches the HTC One in size and is smaller than the new HTC One M8.

In this comparison we look at a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 mock-up, though a 5.5-inch model is rumored.

  • iPhone 6 – 4.7-inch – 1704 x 960 – 416 ppi
  • HTC One – 4.7-inch – 1920 x 1080 – 468 ppi
  • HTC One M8 – 5-inch – 1920 x 1080 – 441 ppi

The screen specs above show the difference in screen size. While a .3-inch difference is not much, the new HTC One will offer more screen space in a slightly larger package than the iPhone 6 based on current information.

The iPhone 6 and HTC One are almost the same size.

Camera

Smartphone cameras are the go to camera for many users, and an important part of these devices. The HTC One and HTC One M8 offer an Ultrapixel camera that uses larger pixels, but produced muddy photos. The HTC One M8 includes a second camera on the back to help take photos that allow users to blur the background or foreground after taking the photo. This device also features a 5MP front-facing camera for better looking Selfies.

The iPhone 6 vs HTC One camera comparison shows an area where Apple may shine.

The iPhone 6 camera rumors are still taking shape, but we could see a 8MP camera with bigger pixels or a 13MP Sony sensor depending on the source. There are also some claims that Apple plans to include image stabilization to help users take better photos.

The HTC One camera app offers more features than Apple’s default camera app with HTC Zoe and highlights, but our HTC One review found faults with the camera overall.

Features

Touch ID is one feature Apple offers that HTC does not include.

When you start comparing HTC One specs vs iPhone 6 specs it’s clear that there are feature differences that users need to know about. Here are several areas that should matter to most buyers.

Specs HTC One iPhone 6 New HTC One M8 Storage 32GB 16/32/64GB 32GB + MicroSD Fingerprint No Touch ID No Battery 2300mAh 1810mAh 2600mAh Remote Control Yes No Yes

These iPhone 6 features are only rumors at this time, so they could change, but it is unlikely Apple plans to add remote control options based on current information. The smaller battery size is an area of interest, but it may not be as big of a difference if iOS 8 and the Apple processor and specs are more efficient.

HTC also includes a Kid Mode on the HTC One that lets users limit access when handing the phone to a child, something Apple still does not offer.

iOS 8 vs Android

When you finally get down to it, the iPhone 6 runs iOS 8 and the HTC One devices both run Android. Apple announced iOS 8 this summer with over 50 new features and we will very likely see special iOS 8 features only on the iPhone 6.

The HTC One and HTC One M8 run Android and HTC promises that both of these devices will receive an Android L update within 90-days of the official release. This is the latest version of Android that Google is testing for a 2014 release. It includes an overhaul in looks, much like iOS 7 delivered to the iPhone last year.

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iPhone 6 vs HTC One Video: 5 Key Differences is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

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iPhone 4s vs. iPhone 6 Rumor Breakdown

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 22:11

iPhone 4s vs. iPhone 6 Rumor Breakdown is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

As the iPhone 4s approaches its third birthday and perhaps its final iOS update, users still clinging the the ancient former flagship are looking at their options. One of those options is the iPhone 6, Apple’s brand new 2014 iPhone release that’s expected to touch down in just a few short weeks. Here, we take an early look at the iPhone 6 vs iPhone 4s.

Last September, Apple took the stage and announced two brand new iPhones in the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c. When it announced these two devices, it killed off the iPhone 5 but kept the iPhone 4s around as the free-on-contract rival to the budget Android smartphones that populate the landscape. To this day, the iPhone 4s remains available on the Apple Store, free of charge to those that are willing to sign a new two year contract.

The future, at least at the moment, appears bright for owners of the iPhone 4s. Back at WWDC 2014, Apple confirmed that it would be getting an iOS 8 update this fall, prolonging the life of a device that was once heralded as Apple’s latest and greatest device.

Despite the arrival of iOS 8, we’ve talked to some iPhone 4s users who are finally in the market for a new smartphone in 2014 and many of them have their eyes on Apple’s next iPhone release, the iPhone 6.

Apple’s iPhone 6 is rumored to be a powerful successor to the iPhone 5s and a device that’s chock full of upgrades including a high-powered processor, large high-resolution display, improved camera, Touch ID fingerprint technology and more. Needless to say, it’s going to offer some perks that the iPhone 4s doesn’t have.

We don’t need to see the iPhone 6 to know that it’s going to trump the iPhone 4s in just about every way. Successors, especially those that come three years later, tend to do that. However, it’s still important for current iPhone 4s users to assess the situation and absorb as much information as they possibly can ahead of the iPhone 6 release.

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iPhone 6 rumors have begun to firm up to the point that we’re comfortable making a full blown comparison to the iPhone 4s. Here, with upgraders in mind, we take a look the iPhone 6 vs iPhone 4s and what we believe are the key differences between the two.

Design

When the iPhone 4s arrived on shelves, it featured one of the best smartphone designs available. Here’s how we called it all the way back in 2011 in our iPhone 4s review:

If you found the iPhone 4 attractive, you will find the same beautiful, but breakable, glass back and eye-catching metal antenna circling the edge of the phone.

Apple’s attention to craftsmanship carries over, resulting in a premium look and feel. The iPhone 4S feels solid in your hands, and unlike many other smartphones we have reviewed, there is no creaking of plastic battery covers when you are using the iPhone 4S.

From what we’re seeing and hearing, the iPhone 4s design is going to be vastly different from the iPhone 6′s. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given how big of a leap the iPhone 5 and its industrial metal design took back in 2012.

iPhone 6 design rumors have become very specific over the past few months. At this point, virtually all design rumors point to a brand new design, different than the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s designs that consumes have gotten to know over the past two and a half years.

The key ingredients appear to be a thinner frame, perhaps as thin as 7mm, a taller and wider footprint to accommodate a larger display, an aluminum back, and Sapphire in the front to protect the display from harm. Sources are still back and forth on the use of sapphire but they agree on the big change to the device’s overall look and feel.

Expect Touch ID on the iPhone 6.

Apple’s iPhone 6 is almost certainly going to come with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that came with the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 4s, like the iPhone 5, comes with a regular old home button.

Unfortunately, the iPhone 6 itself has yet to leak and there is a good chance that Apple will clamp down on leaks until the announcement. We were able to go hands on with Spigen’s upcoming iPhone 6 case and the video below will give you a pretty good idea about what to expect from the iPhone 6 design. The mockup is based on rumors but there is a good chance that Spigen is armed with inside info.

To get a better idea about how the iPhone 6 might look, take a look at the iPhone 6 concept video below. This iPhone 6 concept is based on recent iPhone 6 rumors and it offers a glimpse at what the real iPhone 6 could look like when it arrives later on this year.

With that in mind, here are the key design takeaways, thus far, for iPhone 4s users:

  • It’ll likely be very thin with curved edges.
  • Touch ID is a given at this point. The iPhone 4s doesn’t have Touch ID.
  • The build materials are rumored to be metal and sapphire. The iPhone 4s is comprised of glass, plastic and a little bit of metal.
Display

If you own an iPhone 4s then you know that it boasts a tiny 3.5-inch Retina Display. 3.5-inches used to be the norm for the iPhone until Apple introduced the iPhone 5 and its 4-inch Retina Display with 16:9 aspect ratio.

iPhone 6 rumors continue to suggest that Apple will increase the size of the iPhone display even further while tacking on improved resolution to better compete with Android smartphones.

Rumors point to a brand new higher-resolution Retina Display measuring both 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches. Apple’s iPhone 6 will reportedly deliver a 4.7-inch screen with a 1704 x 960 resolution that delivers a 416 ppi experience. This, if true, would make for better looking content and a better looking iOS 8 experience.

Apple may deliver an iPhone 6 that you can use with gloves on or water on the display.

Again, the increase in size will likely mean an increase in the overall size of the iPhone. Leaks continue to point to a wider, taller iPhone though as we’ve learned, the 4.7-inch model may not be that much bigger than the iPhone 5s. In the video below, we take a look at how the device could compare to the current iPhone design.

By thinning out the bezels and making a few other tweaks, Apple could potentially limit the overall size difference and keep the iPhone compact and easy to use with one hand. The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 appears to be much larger than the 4.7-inch model and thus, it could be a whole lot bigger than the 3.5-inch iPhone 4s, a device that noticeably smaller than the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5.

Key takeaways here include:

  • iPhone 6 will likely come with at least one large screen size, possibly two. Both would be much bigger than the 4-inch iPhone 4s.
  • Higher resolution with same 16:9 aspect ratio for iPhone 6 possible.
  • Larger screen means larger device. 5.5-inch model will likely tower over the iPhone 4s.
Specs

While the display and design will likely be in focus on the iPhone 6, Apple’s brand new iPhone release will come equipped with a number of other specifications to help bolster its spec sheet.

Here, we put the latest rumors together. Keep in mind, this is a partial spec sheet but it should give you an idea about what to expect from the iPhone 6 vs iPhone 4s.

iPhone 6 iPhone 4s
  • Apple A5 Processor
  • iOS 7.1 (will get iOS 8)
  • 3.5-inch Retina display
  • 16GB / 32GB/ 64GB storage options
  • 0.3MP front-facing camera
  • 8MP rear-facing camera
  • 1,432 mAh battery
  • 802.11 a,b,g,n,n WiFi

Here’s the breakdown:

  • The iPhone 6 will almost certainly have a superior camera. Rumors point to a camera between 8MP and 13MP with Optical Image Stabilization. Apple goes big every year on the camera so this is an area where iPhone 4s users should expect a noticeable change.
  • New processor. The iPhone 6 should come with a 64-bit A8 chip that puts the A5 chip in the iPhone 4s to shame. Better battery life, multitasking and more are possible.
  • NFC on the iPhone 6 would enable mobile payments but we’re not sold on this feature yet.
Software

The iPhone 4s currently runs iOS 7.1.2, Apple’s current version of its iOS 7 operating system. This fall, the iPhone 4s will get upgraded to iOS 8, the software that debuted at WWDC 2014 and the software that will almost certainly make its debut on board the iPhone 6 later this year.

iOS 8, currently available to developers in beta form, doesn’t look a whole lot different than iOS 7 but it will come with a number of notable changes including improved Notifications and improvements to photos. The video below shares one of the key features coming inside the iOS 8 update. Apple has packed over 100 new features inside of iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 should get all of them.

What’s not clear is if the iPhone 4s will get the same feature set as the iPhone 6. Apple will often provide diluted versions of its software to older devices especially those that are on their last legs.

Key things to keep in mind:

  • iPhone 6 will get every iOS 8 feature while the iPhone 4s may not.
  • iOS 8 will be the iPhone 4s’ third major iOS update. iPhones typically get three before calling it quits.
Price

Rumors tell us that if Apple does release two iPhone models, the larger iPhone 6 will be more expensive than the 4.7-inch model. Analysts continue to point to a $100 price difference between the two with rumors suggesting $199.99 and $299.99 price points.

This isn’t set in stone but the takeaway here is this. iPhone 4s users coming off contract or simply looking for a new iPhone need to expect to pay at least $199.99 for the iPhone 6. Those buying off-contract will probably encounter a $600 price tag or more.

If you’re thinking about buying the iPhone 4s, it will remain dirt cheap until it fades away.

Release Date

Those weighing the iPhone 4s vs iPhone 6 upgrade are going to have to wait a few more weeks (at least) to make a decision.

iPhone 6 release date rumors center around the month of September. The latest iPhone 6 release rumors once again put the larger 5.5-inch model outside of the initial launch date with a launch potentially coming in 2015 rather than in 2014. This differs from most rumors which put both devices inside the current year, ahead of the holidays.

New iPhone 6 leaks firm up rumors as the release approaches.

While the 5.5-inch model could be delayed, sources agree that the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will be out ahead of the holiday shopping season. September 19th has been thrown around as a possible release date as has September 25th. Apple tends to release its devices on Friday and both of those dates fall on Fridays in late September.

Right now is a perfect time for iPhone 4s users to start preparing for the iPhone 6 release date.

Quick Advice

At this point, iPhone 4s upgraders should wait for the iPhone 6 to arrive before making a decision. When the iPhone 6 goes on sale, it will also drive the prices of top Android smartphones down so if it doesn’t live up to your standards, you can probably snag something else on the cheap.

So hold off if you can. The iPhone 6 looks like a solid upgrade over the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5 and yes, the iPhone 4s.

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iPhone 4s vs. iPhone 6 Rumor Breakdown is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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New Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update Details Arrive for U.S.

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 16:37

New Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update Details Arrive for U.S. is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

New Android 4.4.3 KitKat update release details have emerged for select U.S. users and it appears that at least two major Android 4.4.3 KitKat updates are slotted to roll out in the near future.

Last month, Google pushed out a trio of Android updates. Android L, the company’s brand new major Android upgrade, is now available in the beta program and will be out sometime later this year, possibly alongside a new Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 8 tablet. The company also released two Android 4.4 KitKat updates in Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat. And while most companies have opted to skip Android 4.4.3 KitKat for Android 4.4.4, HTC is doing things a bit different.

Instead of pushing out Android 4.4.4 KitKat with Android 4.4.3 bug fixes and security patch, HTC is doing the opposite. The company is baking in Android 4.4.4 KitKat’s security patch in with the bug fixes that Google pushed out with Android 4.4.3 KitKat at the beginning of June. Its a laundry list of improvements aimed at squashing Android 4.4.2 KitKat problems.

HTC is currently rolling out its Android 4.4.3 KitKat update to select devices including the HTC One M8, HTC One M8 Developer Edition and the HTC One M7 Developer Edition. The company is working hard to get more updates out and from the look of things, users in the United States could be next in line for HTC One Android 4.4.3 KitKat update releases.

According to HTC’s Mo Versi, the company is targeting the end of the week for approval for the T-Mobile HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update. Updates require carrier certification before they can be rolled out to the public and the process can be extremely tricky. In the past, updates have been delayed for weeks because of the inability to receive approval.

The word “targeting” suggests that a roll out date isn’t concrete though given that the Sprint HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update has already rolled out, there is a decent chance that HTC will hit its target and push out another HTC One Android 4.4.3 KitKat update in the United States.

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@lancemann In the lab, looking at mid Aug for approval. Thanks.

— Mo (@moversi) July 29, 2014

That’s not all either. Versi also says that the company is looking to get approval for the AT&T HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update in mid-August. The company currently has the software in the lab which means that work is already in progress behind the scenes. Again, he doesn’t mention a specific date and only says that the company is looking to get the update out in the middle of next month.

It’s not clear where the Verizon HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat falls though we imagine that HTC also has that update in the lab. Verizon is notorious for its strict approval process and so it’s possible that the carrier will be among the last to Android 4.4.3 KitKat for the HTC One M8 and for the HTC One M7.

We’re still not sure when HTC plans to push out its HTC One M7 Android 4.4.3 KitKat update in the United States though the company has confirmed that the update will push out before the Android L update arrives later on this year. Rumors suggest that the HTC One M7 push will flare up in August though it’s still not clear where that push is going to take place. HTC Android update roll outs are unpredictable and random.

Android L release date rumors put the update in the thick of the fall with a release rumored for the fourth quarter. Google’s new upgrade is expected to be joined by new Nexus hardware with a high-end Nexus 8 from HTC expected to be amongst the new products. New Nexus 6 rumors have also emerged in recent days though its release is far from confirmed at this point.

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New Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update Details Arrive for U.S. is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Free Talk, Text & Data Comes to iPad with FreedomPop

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 15:03

Free Talk, Text & Data Comes to iPad with FreedomPop is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

FreedomPop has expanded its service to the iPad, introducing free talk, text and data for any Sprint-compatible iPad.

FreedomPop has been around for several years now, and although it hasn’t gained a huge heap of popularity, it’s one of the most unique deals that you’ll find in the mobile market, offering completely free service with a small allowance of data per month.

The company has been focusing on smartphones for the past couple of years, as well as mobile hotspots for creating WiFi networks while on the go. However, FreedomPop is finally giving the iPad a chance and is letting anyone with a Sprint-compatible iPad to get free talk, text and data.

That’s right, you also get talk and text with your service on your iPad. Users will get 200 minutes, 500 text messages and 500MB of data per month, and you even get your own phone number and voicemail inbox when you activate your iPad with FreedomPop, so you can essentially use your Apple tablet as a smartphone, thanks to FreedomPop’s proprietary VoIP platform.

You can also get a free headset for making and receiving phone calls on your tablet, since using the speakerphone 100% of the time probably isn’t too feasible.

While you can use your own iPad (as long as it’s Sprint-compatible) for this service, FreedomPop can sell you the original iPad mini with LTE for just $320 off-contract. This is quite the deal, considering that Apple sells the same model for over $100 more, starting at $429, although the FreedomPop models are refurbished. Still, this puts them at the same price that Apple sells them for in the company’s own refurbished store.

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However, if iOS isn’t your cup of mojo or you’re looking for a cheaper option, FreedomPop is also selling Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 3 for $199.

Of course, making calls or messaging other people from your iPad isn’t anything new, as Skype allows similar functionality over VoIP, but FreedomPop’s ability to tie in a phone number with your iPad is something unique, and since a lot of messaging apps require a phone number be tied into the app, this allows iPads and other tablets on FreedomPop to be used with these apps without any problems.

The iPad has long been a popular device and a great supplement to a smartphone, but lately many users have been trying to find ways to turn their tablets into smartphones themselves, allowing them to make and receive phone calls, as well as text message other users. A couple of Android tablets have received this functionality in the past, but not the iPad. This service from FreedomPop makes it possible for iPad users to do this.

This added feature to FreedomPop also comes just months before Apple is expected to announce successors to the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, both of which are said to be getting generous speed improvements, Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and a slightly updated design, although the overall design of the shell will likely remain the same for the most part.

Furthermore, the iPhone 6 is expected to be the flagship product out of all the new stuff that Apple is expected to launch this fall. The new phone is rumored to come with a larger screen, a faster processor, and an all-new design with rounded edges that will take after the design of the iPad Air and iPad mini. Two models are expected to be produced, one with a 4.7-inch screen and the other being a 5.5-inch behemoth that could poke into the sales of the iPad mini, but that’s something that we’ll definitely just have to wait and see about come fall.

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Free Talk, Text & Data Comes to iPad with FreedomPop is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Galaxy S5 vs. Galaxy Note 4 Rumor Breakdown

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 23:23

Galaxy S5 vs. Galaxy Note 4 Rumor Breakdown is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Samsung still hasn’t confirmed anything but it’s clear that a new Galaxy Note will join the Galaxy S5 later this year. As Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors continue to swirl and firm up, we want to take an updated look at how the Galaxy S4 could compare to the Samsung Galaxy S5 when it arrives on shelves sometime this fall.

Back in February, Samsung took the stage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain and introduced the Galaxy S5, a successor to the Galaxy S4 and a device that delivered a number of big time features including a new design, one of the best displays in smartphone history, updated software, a powerful camera, and more. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is considered one of the top smartphones on the market and a solid iPhone 5s rival.

It’s not Samsung’s only flagship though. No, the company also offers a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, a larger device that takes advantage of a bundled S Pen stylus. The S Pen is no ordinary stylus as it takes advantage of a number of unique apps that are only found on the Galaxy Note series. Like the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy Note 3 is is a top notch smartphone option.

And while the Galaxy Note 3 is holding its own, it appears that the device will be replaced later on this year by a brand new version of the Galaxy Note. Rumor has it, a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is on the way and will join the Galaxy S5 in Samsung’s fight against the iPhone 5s and the upcoming iPhone 6.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumors have been rampant in recent months and thanks to a series of leaks, we now have a pretty good idea about what to expect from the company’s brand new flagship. While we still don’t have every piece to the puzzle, we think we know where many of them fit ahead of Samsung’s official announcement.

These potential changes have tons of people intrigued and rightfully so. Samsung has a solid track record with the Galaxy Note series. While it’s still not confirmed, there are enough credible rumors out to make an early comparison and breakdown the latest regarding these two flagship devices.

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Here, in an effort to help prepare potential buyers, we take a look at the Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy S5.

Design

Every year, Samsung improves its Galaxy S design. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 comes with a vastly different design than the Galaxy S4.

For those that haven’t been hands-on with the Galaxy S5 or simply need a refresher course, here is what we found after going hands on with the device for several months:

A removable dimpled back cover made of soft touch material seals the internals of the phone so that it can survive for up to 30 minutes in three feet of water. This doesn’t sound like much, but it means the sink, a toilet or a puddle will not break the Galaxy S5 like other smartphones.

Silver trim on the edge of the Galaxy S5 looks like metal, but it is actually plastic that can scratch and scuff. The Galaxy Note 3 features the same style silver band and after 9 months there is a chip out of it from a bump against keys or a rough surface.

The front of the Galaxy S5 looks beautiful with a slight etched design hidden behind a large span of strengthened glass. Thin bezels flank the sides and there are an array of sensors at the top of the device near a Samsung logo. There is a physical home button and two capacitive touch buttons on the bottom edge. The home button includes a fingerprint scanner that can unlock the phone, but it is not as reliable as the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID feature…

The device looks and feels a whole lot different than the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which does not have dust or water resistant technology, does not have a fingerprint sensor and features a faux leather plastic back that we did not fall in love with. Fortunately, it looks like the Galaxy Note 4 will feature something different and perhaps, come with some of the same design characteristics found on the Galaxy S5.

Galaxy Note 4 design rumors suggest that we’ll see a fingerprint sensor, an IP67 certification (dust and water resistance) and the same four colors that debuted on the Galaxy S5 (blue, white, black and gold). The Galaxy Note 4′s overall design, however, remains out of reach.

We don’t need more fake leather on the Galaxy Note 4.

The device’s build material remains a mystery at this point though rumors out of Korea continue to point to a metal design. There’s no proof and we don’t have any leaked images or schematics to draw from so we’re skeptical. Samsung is well know for using plastic designs.

Unfortunately, we may not see the Galaxy Note 4 design emerge until the fall. Samsung almost always clamps down on its designs and very rarely do we see them emerge ahead of launch.

Here are the key takeaways for those interested in both devices:

  • Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 design may not leak out, as a whole, until just before its launch date. That means dimensions and build materials might be out of reach up until the announcement.
  • The Galaxy Note 4 will likely come with some of the Galaxy S5 design’s core elements. A fingerprint reader seems all but confirmed and we would not be surprised if it came with some sort of protection against dust and water.
Display

Without question, the Samsung Galaxy S5′s 5.1-inch display is one of the best that we’ve ever used. Its size, 5.1-inches, is perfect for gaming, browsing the web, reading, and taking calls and its 1920 x 1080 resolution makes sure that all of that looks and feels outstanding. Its better looking than the Galaxy Note 3′s display but it’s smaller.

Galaxy Note 4 rumors suggest that we’ll see the same size difference between the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S but that the Galaxy Note will take a leap when it comes to resolution.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is rumored to be coming with a large QHD (Quad HD) display. As we’ve pointed out, QHD resolution will offer higher resolution gaming, something that’s key on a device of this size, and it will also sharpen the look of movies, television shows and other content. As we noted in our review of the LG G3, QHD is more than just a marketing gimmick.

Here’s what to make of all of this:

  • Given the mountain of evidence, it’s pretty clear that the Galaxy Note 4 will have a better screen resolution than the Galaxy S5. This will help it keep pace with the LG G3 and perhaps, the iPhone 6.
  • It’s hard to see a shift in screen size at this point. Everything we’ve seen points to 5.7-inches and with a 5.9-inch device on the way, there isn’t much room for movement.
  • Yes, the Galaxy Note 4 will be a large phone, larger than the Galaxy S5. This is both a gift and a curse. Gift because it’s great for movies, games and the S Pen, curse because the phone will likely be very large.
Specs

While the display and design will likely be in focus on the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung’s new Galaxy Note release will come equipped with a number of other specifications to help bolster its spec sheet. Here, we put the latest rumors together. Keep in mind, this is a partial spec sheet but it should give you an idea about what to expect from the device when it arrives.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung Galaxy S5
  • Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor (U.S.)
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • 5.1-inch FHD display
  • 16GB storage option
  • 2.1MP front-facing camera
  • 16MP rear-facing camera
  • 2,800 mAh battery
  • 802.11ac WiFi
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • NFC
  • Heart rate sensor

Key things to take away from this:

  • It’s clear, from where we’re standing, that the Galaxy Note 4 is going to come with the usual spec upgrades fitting of a device from 2014. Rumors have continually pointed to new processors and it looks like Samsung could split it into Snapdragon and Exynos chips once again. Look for it to outperform the Galaxy S5 in benchmarks.
  • Camera rumors continue to hint at the inclusion of OIS, Optical Image Stabilization, so it’s possible that this will be a key feature on the Galaxy Note 4. The Galaxy S5 was also rumored to have OIS though those rumors did not pan out.

Users can remove the back for access to a battery and Micro SD card slot.

  • The Galaxy Note 4 is thought to have 32GB of storage though a microSD card slot has not been rumored. The Galaxy Note 3 comes in 32GB variants in the United States.
  • The Galaxy Note typically has a larger battery than the Galaxy S. The Galaxy Note 3 has some of the best battery life in the business. Given the likelihood of the QHD display, we’re expecting a massive battery for the Galaxy Note 4. We would not be surprised if this was a focal point.
  • The UV sensor on the Galaxy Note 4 could be a nice addition. The Galaxy S5 does not have one.
Software

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 won’t have the same software feature-set as the Galaxy S5. Samsung always outfits its new devices with new TouchWiz software features and in the case of the Galaxy Note 4, we could also see it make some additions for its S Pen. The Galaxy S5 is not compatible with the S Pen.

Here are a few of the rumored changes though these are old. We haven’t seen any recent Galaxy Note 4 software leaks though we imagine a few will leak out as we get closer to its launch event.

  • Smart Fingerprint -  It wasn’t fully detailed but it’s assumed that it has something to do with being able to customize a fingerprint reader for certain actions.
  • Multi Network for Booster -  Could be similar to the Download Booster feature on the Galaxy S5 that combines Wi-Fi and cellular data for faster download speeds.
  • Swipe to Launch Motion Launcher -  Could be similar to Motion Launch on the HTC One M8.
  • Aqua Capture – Possibly similar to the Aqua Mode found on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. Aqua Mode allowed Galaxy S4 Active users to take photos underwater.

If Galaxy Note 4 does come with new software, it’s possible that the Galaxy S5 will get some of the features in a later Android update. Older devices tend to get new software features. Just don’t expect S Pen software features to magically appear.

It’s still not clear if the Galaxy Note 4 will run Android 4.4 KitKat or Android L though given the Android L release rumors, consumers should expect it to run Android 4.4 KitKat and perhaps, Android 4.4.3 KitKat or Android 4.4.4. The Galaxy S5 is currently on Android 4.4.2 KitKat.

Carriers

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is rumored for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. Same as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The Galaxy Note series is typically more limited than the Galaxy S which means that the Galaxy S5 could hold a little bit of an advantage here.

It’s available on all five of those networks in addition to several other pre-paid and regional carriers including Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, Cricket and C Spire Wireless.

Release Date

Over the last few weeks it has become clear that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will launch in September. Every single Galaxy Note 4 launch rumor puts the announcement inside of September and more specifically, near IFA 2014 in Berlin, Germany. September 3rd has been rumored as a possibility though the specific date of Samsung’s presumed Unpacked event isn’t yet known.

As for the Galaxy Note 4 release date, the Galaxy S5 could be joined in just a few short weeks. A recent report suggests that we could see a quick turnaround from announcement date to release date. Production will reportedly start soon and the device is thought to be coming out much sooner than the Galaxy Note 3 did last year.

Samsung’s turnaround with the Galaxy Note 3 was about three weeks so it could be that Samsung gets the Galaxy Note 4 out within two weeks or less if the rumors are true. Given that the device is likely going to be up against the iPhone 6 in September, it’s possible that Samsung will hustle to get the Galaxy Note 4 out on shelves.

Quick Advice

At this point, we’re advising that you wait for the Galaxy Note 4 to arrive before buying either device. Both come with some charming characteristics and the Galaxy Note 4, in particular, could be the massive overhaul that many consumers have been waiting for.

Should the Galaxy Note 4 not live up to your standards, the Galaxy S5 won’t be too hard to find. In fact, it’s almost certainly going to be cheaper once the new Galaxy Note touches down. Right now it can be found for cheap but we wouldn’t be surprised if the arrival of the iPhone 6 and Galaxy Note 4 knock it down even further.

So if you can, hold off. The Galaxy Note 4 looks like a solid Galaxy S5 rival.

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Galaxy S5 vs. Galaxy Note 4 Rumor Breakdown is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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How to Change the LG G3 On-screen Buttons

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 22:25

How to Change the LG G3 On-screen Buttons is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

Just like the LG G2 last year and a few other phones from LG, the all new LG G3 is extremely customizable out of the box. Users have an array of options they can select to change the overall look and feel of the device. A prime example is being able to completely change the on-screen buttons as you see fit.

The new LG G3 has tons of extremely impressive specs and features, like the 13 megapixel laser auto-focus camera, but if you’ve recently picked up the new phone and would like to change the on-screen button layout to match a previous device, or just to add a bit of customization, we’ll explain exactly how to do so below.

Read: How to Take a Screenshot on the LG G3

Most smartphones have either dedicated capacitive touch buttons, like the Galaxy S5, or on-screen keys that can’t be changed like the Nexus 5 or Moto X. However, LG wants to let users change things as they see fit, and thankfully the on-screen keys are fully customizable. Head on past the break for more details and a quick how to video.

Out of the box the LG G3 comes with three standard buttons on the bottom of the display. These are back, home, and the multi-tasking menu button, from left to right. However, if you’re coming from a Samsung device many of theirs have the back button on the right side instead, requiring users to change where they tap, which often causes problems for the first few weeks of owning a device.

Sadly there’s no standard for the buttons on Android, as Google allows manufacturers to change it as they’d like, which is one of the strengths of Android. That being said, this often causes users to get confused, or frustrated when they pick up a new device. Thankfully LG has solved this problem by letting you rearrange the buttons however you’d like. Below is how to do it.

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Instead of hacking and installing 3rd party software to customize your device, LG has all these options and advanced customization controls right in the settings menu.

Simply head to settings by tapping the gear-shaped menu button at the top of the notification bar, or in the app tray. From here you’ll navigate to the third column titled “Display” and the third option down is “Home touch buttons”.

Tap here and you’ll quickly be able to change the button combination, layout, and add up to five buttons. You can then select white or black background options, and even add gradation.

Check out our quick how to video below for more details on this simple mod.

While there isn’t as many options as some third party ROM’s in the Android hacking community, LG has a decent offering. Users can rearrange all the icons, change the color, or add a button to pull the notification bar down (convenient so you’re not stretching to the top of that 5.5-inch screen) as well as an instant screenshot function with QuickMemo+, QSlide for multitasking, and even dual window mode if you’d like to multitask and have two apps on the screen at the same time.

Lastly there’s an option to actually hide the home buttons completely while using certain apps. Android does this in some instances by default, but LG gives the user complete control. This means you can make certain apps go full-screen, if you’d like, which is a nice touch.

Read: 10 Best LG G3 Cases

Simply rearrange the buttons or color as you see fit and you’ll instantly see the changes. From here just hit home and you’re all done. You’ve now successfully changed the look, feel, and operation of the LG G3 in a matter of seconds. Enjoy!

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How to Change the LG G3 On-screen Buttons is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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iPhone 6 Release Date: 15 Things to Expect

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 21:36

iPhone 6 Release Date: 15 Things to Expect is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

With Apple’s iPhone 6 release now on the horizon, we want to take a look at what we expect from Apple’s rumored, but inevitable, iPhone 6 release date.

Apple’s iPhone 6 is thought to be part of a massive product pipeline, a pipeline that Apple veteran Eddy Cue says is the most impressive in his 25 years at the company. Apple’s iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite updates are a part of that pipeline and according to rumors, we could see two new iPads in the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, an iWatch, and a brand new iPhone 6.

iPhone 6 rumors have been rampant in recent months with leaks alluding to iPhone 6 specs, iPhone 6 software and the all-important, iPhone 6 release date. Over time, the rumors that were once mere whispers have gotten louder. In the past few weeks alone we’ve seen several iPhone 6 rumors start to firm up including details about its design, its display, camera, battery, and more. We’ve also heard quite a bit about the iPhone 6 release date.

All along, iPhone 6 release rumors have pointed to an arrival in Apple’s fall launch window. Its a window that the company has used for several years now after moving away from WWDC and the summer. Vague release rumors have, in the past few weeks, become more specific perhaps because Apple’s internal timeline is starting to shape up.

iPhone 6 release date rumors tell us that we could be just weeks away from an announcement and more importantly, a release onto shelves. These details haven’t been confirmed by Apple but they do come from credible sources with proven track records, something that helps to solidify them in the build up to the announcement.

Sources haven’t settled on specific dates though dates in September are certainly looking good. And while the smoke has yet to settle around the iPhone 6 and its release date, there are some things that consumers can expect based on rumors, based on history and based on logic.

Here is what we expect from Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6 release date.

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The first thing anxious consumers can expect from the iPhone 6 release date is for it to be confirmed on stage during Apple’s iPhone event. Apple always offers a concrete release date at the end of the show and it’s hard to expect anything less from Apple this time around.

Right now, rumors indicate that Apple is looking to host an iPhone event in the middle of September. A specific date hasn’t been nailed just yet so it’s possible that things could shift. However, with iPhone 6 release date rumors almost universally pointing to September, it’s looking like it’ll only be a few weeks before Apple arms consumers around the world with a release date.

iOS 8 Release Date First

Apple will almost certainly detail another important release date on stage. iOS 8, the update that the company introduced back at WWDC 2014, is scheduled to be released to the public this fall. Rumors indicate that the company could be just one beta update away from the iOS 8 GM, the update that Apple will release to the public.

The company will almost certainly unveil iOS 8′s release date on stage with the iPhone 6 and based on Apple’s history, we fully expect the iOS 8 update to emerge a few days before Apple releases the iPhone 6. At this point, a release in mid-to-late September after carrier testing is looking like the most plausible outcome.

One iPhone 6 Release Date in September

As we pointed out in our recent iPhone 6 release date rumor breakdown, the iPhone 6 is heavily rumored for an arrival during the month of September with September 19th rumored as a possible date. The company’s 4.7-inch iPhone 6, the model that’s been rumored ad nauseum in the past few months, seems like the safest bet for a September arrival with 5.5-inch iPhone 6 release rumors unable to firm up.

Sources continue to disagree about the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 release. While some believe that Apple will push the two out at the same time, recent reports indicate that we could see a delay. Respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a man known for his ability to accurately predict Apple launches based on information from Asian supply chain sources, is still not sure when the device will arrive.

While he initially said that he expected it before the end of 2015, he and others believe that there’s a chance that it could miss this year and be pushed into next year.

Despite the discrepancies, it’s clear that at least one iPhone 6 variant will arrive within the next few weeks as Apple sets itself up for a massive holiday shopping season. A release in September allows it to work out the supply kinks ahead of Black Friday, one of the biggest shipping says of the year.

Staggered Dates Based on Region

On September 20th, the iPhone 5s was released in the following countries:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore

About a month later, after Apple worked through its supply issues, the device debuted in a number of other countries. Months after that, we finally saw the iPhone 5s arrive in Indonesia. It landed there on January 26th, 2014. The point is this.

Apple typically uses a staggered iPhone release date. The first batch of countries are usually the key battlegrounds, places like China and the United States, huge countries with lots of users. Smaller regions tend to see the iPhone launch in the days and weeks after the initial release as Apple’s supply settles down.

iPhone 6 rumors suggest that Apple has placed a massive order for the iPhone 6, around 70 million units or so, but we still expect Apple to break the iPhone 6 release date up and avoid releasing the device all at once.

Staggered Release Dates in U.S.

We also expect it to break it up in the United States. While major U.S. carriers like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon will likely get the device on the first day of availability, smaller regional and pre-paid carriers like C Spire Wireless and Bluegrass Wireless probably won’t get it until a little bit after the initial release day.

Historically, smaller and pre-paid carriers in the U.S. have offered the iPhone just a few weeks after the initial release though there is no telling how long the iPhone 6 release might take. We would just expect there to be some kind of wait beyond the initial release.

Release During Working Week

Apple never releases its iPhone during the weekend. It always releases it during the working week. That means Monday through Friday in the United States. The company loves the attention particularly the attention that the media gives to its Apple Store retail locations. Don’t be surprised if Tim Cook and Co. walk around shaking peoples hands during the iPhone 6 release day.

This is a new, friendlier version of Apple and Cook and his colleagues are going to want to foster that image at a time when people are on a computer or watching television. That’s less likely to happen on the weekend.

Friday Likely

Apple loves to release its iPhone on Friday. The past two iPhones, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5, both arrived on a Friday in late September. Again, Friday provides for maximum exposure. It’s also the day that many people can take off in order to line up for a chance to buy the iPhone. Friday makes the most sense for an iPhone 6 release though it’s far from guaranteed.

Midnight Orders

Apple likes to put the iPhone on sale at midnight. Doesn’t matter if it’s preorders or the official release date, Apple tends to put the device on sale, online, at the stroke of midnight. Last year’s iPhone 5s went on sale at midnight on its release day. The company failed to produce a preorder, likely in an attempt to drive sales to Apple Stores.

We expect something similar from the iPhone 6 given that midnight orders are essentially a tradition at this point. Plan to be up late if you want first dibs on Apple’s brand new iPhone release.

Stores To Open Early

This isn’t an Android smartphone release. Stores are going to be opening up early on release day to accommodate the hordes of Apple fans and average consumers that want to get their hands on the iPhone 6 on day one.

Apple Stores will almost certainly open up at 8AM or so to appease the masses while carrier stores and retailers should open their doors around the same time local time. Those that miss out on the initial online orders are going to have to brave the crowds and head on down to a store in order to secure the device on its first day.

Loads of Retailers

We mentioned retailers. There is a very good chance that retailers like Best Buy and RadioShack will offer the iPhone 6. While these retailers won’t offer the same kind of seamless experience found at Apple’s Stores, they’re going to be a solid alternative to carrier stores and to those that simply don’t want to order their device through Apple online.

The Need to Line Up Early

While we didn’t see insane lines for the iPhone 5s, we certainly did see some queues. And with the iPhone 5 users coming off contract and the iPhone 6 coming with a redesign and a larger display, there is going to be a ton of demand for this device. We expect there to be lines for the iPhone 6 and if consumers that want the pick of the litter are going to expect the need to arrive early.

Generally, carrier stores and retail stores aren’t as stocked as Apple Stores. In other words, their inventory is often extremely uneven. The fastest to go is typically the 16GB model. The gold color flew off the shelves last year and there’s a chance that it will this year.

So, those that have a specific iPhone 6 in mind are going to want to think about ordering as soon as it goes on sale or perhaps lining up early in front of a store in order to secure the proper color and storage.

Headaches

Those planning to get the iPhone 6 on its release date should expect to encounter a few headaches. Whether that’s websites crashing or moving slow, order receipts that spew out confusing details, shipping times that skyrocket in the minutes after the release, customer service agents that confuse rather than help, or something else, we expect to hear and see some horror stories.

Last year’s iPhone 5s release was much smoother than the iPhone 5 release but we still saw some of the same complaints emerge in and around the iPhone 5s release date. Consumers that plan ahead are the people that will endure the least amount of problems.

Few iPhone 6 Deals

One of the top Android smartphones, the LG G3, saw its price dip to $99 almost immediately after its release. Don’t expect to see such a drop with the iPhone 6. While top of the line Android smartphones usually hit the bargain bin just a few days after release, the iPhone generally holds steady.

Sure, we might see Walmart undercut its fellow retailers with a cheaper price tag, but don’t expect the price cut to be $100. If consumers are lucky, we’ll see a retailer knock $10 to $20 off the iPhone 6 price.

As we get closer to Black Friday, we might see some iPhone 6 deals emerge but again, the smart ones won’t count on iPhone 6 deals. Expect the need to pay full price.

Cheaper iPhone 5s

Expect the iPhone 5s price to dip. When an iPhone gets replaced, its price gets cut. If the iPhone 5s sticks around at the Apple Store, there’s no way Apple will charge $199.99 on-contract. We could see it push the device down to its $99 slot though that remains unconfirmed.

Even if Apple kills off the iPhone 5s like it did to the iPhone 5, retailers will chop the price of the iPhone 5s down to make it more attractive next to the iPhone 6 and the various Android devices on the market.

Trade-in Prices to Decline As We Get Closer

Finally, expect iPhone trade-in prices to dip as we get closer to the iPhone 6 release date. Right now, resellers like Gazelle and NextWorth are offering quite a bit of cash for iPhones of all shapes and sizes. However, as we push towards the iPhone 6 release date, expect those deals to shrink. We saw something similar happen last year as we approached the iPhone 5s release.

What this means is that those looking to get rid of their current iPhone will want to keep an eye on trade-in prices as the days and weeks go on.

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iPhone 6 Release Date: 15 Things to Expect is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Facebook Messenger Forced Update: What to Know

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 15:20

Facebook Messenger Forced Update: What to Know is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

Learn about the new Facebook Messenger forced update that requires Facebook users download a new Facebook Messenger app to see and send messages on iPhone or Android and why some users are upset.

The Facebook app on iPhone and Android no longer supports sending Facebook messages to other users. Instead Facebook is pushing users to install the separate Facebook Messenger app to send messages and make free voice calls.

Opening the Facebook app on iPhone or Android currently warns users that they need to download the Facebook Messenger app with multiple warnings.

Here’s why you need to install the Facebook Messenger according to Facebook, and why people are mad.

Most users will see, “Update about your messages” and “Update about messages.” These updates tell users that the reason for the move is that Facebook Messenger is more reliable and faster than using the standard Facebook app. this update also tells users how many of their friends are using the Facebook Messenger app, a number that will grow a lot this week. Facebook also provides more details in a help guide.

Read: 3 Reasons to Use Facebook Messenger

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If you leave the app and come back in you may be able to continue sending Facebook messages inside the regular Facebook app for the short-term, but you will eventually need to download and install the Facebook Messenger app for iPhone or Android.

Simply put, if you want to use Facebook messages on your iPhone or Android you need to download the Facebook Messenger app from Google Play or from iTunes. This is not a large file, and it will sign in using your Facebook app so setup is a breeze.

With the Facebook Messenger app users can make free phone calls to other Facebook users. When you connect to WiFi you can make a free call, just like you would through the regular phone app on your device, but now it is over the Internet so calling someone in another country is free, and you can make calls when you have no cell service.

You can also use the Facebook Messenger app to make voice calls over your data connection, but if you use too much data it could end up costing you.

If you want to send Facebook messages you’ll need the Facebook Messenger app.

With the Facebook Messenger app on iPhone and Android it is also easier to send photos and videos to friends and manage group chats. Chat heads also keep the people you are talking to in easy view on some devices.

Not everyone is happy about the forced Facebook Messenger switch. A number of users do not like the forced update to Facebook Messenger because the app requires more permission to view your information on your phone. The Facebook Messenger app asks for access to more of your text messages and phone calls. On Android the app requires the following permissions for phone and text;

  • edit your text messages (SMS or MMS)
  • receive text messages (SMS)
  • read your text messages (SMS or MMS)
  • send SMS messages
  • receive text messages (MMS)
  • directly call phone numbers
  • read call log

The standard Facebook app already includes some of these including the ability to read your text messages and the ability to read and write to the call log and directly call phone numbers, but some users are simply ready to draw the line in handing over more permission to Facebook.

Facebook is moving everyone over to the Facebook Messenger app starting today.

Ultimately it is your choice to install the Facebook Messenger app or even the standard Facebook app, depending how much information you want to give to Facebook. You can compare the permissions from the Facebook Messenger and Facebook apps on Google Play.

Another reason some users don’t want to use the standalone Facebook Messenger app is simply due to the number of other messaging apps they already have installed on iPhone or Android.

Facebook Messenger app reviews took a beating from angry users over the last several days. Here’s a selection of complaints.

“Why do we have to move to this stupid app” – errinnirre

“Not happy. I had this then deleted it because it was a memory burden not worth the trouble.” – Kathy Mccarthy

“Why do we need a separate app to chat? I prefer the regular Facebook app, this just takes up space and is very confusing.” – Cade Byers

“I am not going be pushed into using anything I don’t want to use. Uninstalling and using a thing we call email or texting. Facebook doesn’t rule the universe yet. It doesn’t dictate what it’s customers do.” – Alyssa Phillips

For all the complaining, this action spiked Facebook Messenger to the #1 position in the iPhone app store and the Google Play Store on July 29, 2014. Some of the negative reviews complain, but don’t go as far as actually quitting the app.

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Facebook Messenger Forced Update: What to Know is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

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iPhones Will Soon Replace Door Keys at Hilton Hotels

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 15:09

iPhones Will Soon Replace Door Keys at Hilton Hotels is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

Hilton Hotels is taking a revolutionary leap into the future by turning your iPhone into a front desk replacement, allowing guests to check in, check out and even unlock their room door with their iPhones.

The company says that through its Hilton HHonors mobile app, guests will be able to do things like select their room, look at floor plans, check into their room, and check out by the end of this year.

Furthermore, Hilton hopes to allow guests to unlock their room door with their iPhone at over 4,000 Hilton hotels around the world by 2016. The digital check-in service and room selection will also be available at those 4,000 locations as well.

Guests will also be able use their iPhone or iPad to purchase upgrades or make special requests before arriving. The ability to actually select your room is a feature that any hotel guest would love to have. Of course, most of the time you can ask for a specific area in the hotel, but the Hilton mobile app will allow guests to select the exact room that they want, provided that the specific room is available on the dates needed.

The first stage of the new features will include digital check-in and room selection. This is scheduled to begin rolling out in the US by the end of the summer at a handful of Hilton-owned hotels, including Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites, with DoubleTree and Embassy Suites getting the features later in the fall. A worldwide rollout is planned to be completed by the end of the year.

The digital room key feature for iPhones and other smartphones will be rolling out to a handful of US Hilton hotels starting next year, with a majority of hotels gaining the feature by the end of 2016. This is mostly due to the fact that Hilton will have to physically swap out door locks for each and every door in each and every hotel it operates. While it might be a rather easy feat to simply swap out door locks, the shear number of them means that fully replacing them will take a while.

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This initiative by Hilton marks the first time that a hotel will be taking advantage of the growing number of smartphones in the world and allowing guests to use them as digital door keys and a front desk replacement, essentially.

Of course, door locks can still be opened with a key card and guests will still be able to check in the old fashioned way, but for those who have an iPhone, there’s no reason not to download the Hilton HHonors app and take a step into the future.

One thing we are wondering, though, is how your smartphone will communicate with your door lock. Hilton didn’t detail this, but we’re guessing it could be through Bluetooth and you’ll have to enter in a quick passcode to unlock your room door, similar to how you enter in a four-digit passcode to unlock your iPhone. We’re not sure exactly how the company plans to implement the technology, but nonetheless, it should be a great feature to have, and we hope that more hotel companies take notice and follow suit.

Of course, there’s the obvious concern about security and how hackable a system like this will be. Anything is hackable, obviously, but we’re curious if Hilton will come across any sticky situations down the line once the system has been fully rolled out. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear a few stories about hackers trying to get through the digital door lock system.

 

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iPhones Will Soon Replace Door Keys at Hilton Hotels is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Love Child: HBO Documentary Explores Deadly Video Game Addiction

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 01:53

Love Child: HBO Documentary Explores Deadly Video Game Addiction is a post by Xavier Lanier from Gotta Be Mobile.

A new HBO documentary premieres tonight on HBO and HBO GO that examines video game and Internet addiction and their consequences. Love Child focuses on a South Korean couple that let their infant daughter starve to death while they played a video game for up to 12 hours per day. The pair managed to nurture an animated character in the game while letting their child die.

Video game addiction is a very serious matter that affects people in a variety of ways. The film discusses video game addiction from the worst possible vantage point. Obviously the death is an outlier case, but as you can see in the trailer below, the film does delve into video game addiction as a serious psychiatric issue.

In the trailer, a voiceover mentions emotional shutdown and withdrawal as two symptoms.  There’s also a flurry of gaming devices displayed, including an iOS device.

Above is an NPR interview of Valerie Veatch, the producer and director of Love Child.As she explains in the interview, the husband only spent a year in jail and the mother didn’t spend any time in jail. Why? They used an unprecedented defense, claiming that they couldn’t tell the difference between the online world and the real world. The producer says that there was a similar case in the United States in 2013. A couple let their three-year-old die of starvation as they spent their days performing as DJ’s in Second Life, another virtual world.

Love Child is available on the HBO Go app now for those with active HBO cable and satellite subscriptions.

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Love Child: HBO Documentary Explores Deadly Video Game Addiction is a post by Xavier Lanier from Gotta Be Mobile.

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iPhone 6 Available for Pre-Order Now…for $4,495

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 01:09

iPhone 6 Available for Pre-Order Now…for $4,495 is a post by Xavier Lanier from Gotta Be Mobile.

The iPhone 6 is available for pre-order right now, but you’ll have to fork over $4,495 to reserve one from a reseller that will finish it in 24k gold or platinum. If that’s not enough bling for you, the company will encrust the Apple logo with diamonds and charge you $8,395. The official iPhone 6 announcement isn’t expected until September and those who order this super expensive version will have to wait three to four weeks after the iPhone 6 is released to the masses to receive their ‘Lux iPhone 6′ models.

Apple is expected to ship two versions of the iPhone 6 this fall, with both boasting larger displays. The Lux iPhone 6 will be based off of the rumored 4.7″ iPhone6. According to Brikk, the luxury goods company behind the product, each iPhone 6 will be disassembled in its lab in Los Angeles (because where else could a gadget like this be made?). The iPhone 6 units will be hand polished, preped and plated with five layers of metal before they’re plated with two layers of gold or platinum. Some of the units will have high-grade diamonds placed in a custom bezel around the logo. After that’s all done, they’ll be reassembled and placed into a custom metal box before being shipped out to customers.

Read: iPhone 6: 10 Ways Apple Could Make the Perfect iPhone

Besides the precious metal and diamonds, the Brikk’s iPhone 6 will be identical to the versions sold directly by Apple and its partners. Of course, we don’t know exactly what the iPhone 6 will look like since Apple has been quiet on the issue, but there have been a ton of leaked photos, parts and rumors that give us a very good idea of what it will look like. Sample mock ups, such as the one in the above video are being used by companies to build cases and other accessories ahead of the official launch.

Besides making the assumption that the iPhone 6 will have a 4.7″ display, Brikk is also guessing that the iPhone 6 will come with a 128GB storage capacity. That’s a much needed enhancement that most people will benefit from a lot more than a couple of grams of gold or platinum lathered onto their iPhones.

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If you’re taken in by the idea of spending thousands of dollars on the iPhone 6, head over to Brikk’s website and place your pre-oder with a $500 deposit. If you can’t afford the $4,495 for the upcoming iPhone 6, they’re having a 40% off sale on gold-plated iPhone 5s units that start at only $2,397.

Before you laugh off the idea of a gold or platinum iPhone 6, remember that there are indeed people willing to spend thousands on phones. Luxury phone maker Vertu has sold phones that cost $10,000 for years. We don’t recommend buying luxury phones, but like it or not there’s a market for devices like the Lux iPhone 6.

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iPhone 6 Available for Pre-Order Now…for $4,495 is a post by Xavier Lanier from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat Update Pushed Way Back

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 21:55

Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat Update Pushed Way Back is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

One of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates has been pushed back close to the fall.

Since January, Samsung has been pushing out Android 4.4 KitKat updates to many of its top devices including the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy Note 2. The company has made steady progress pushing out Android 4.4.2 KitKat to a number of variants in a number of regions around the world including the United States where the update is available for all four of these mainstream devices.

However, there is still work to be done. Samsung still owes Android 4.4 KitKat updates to a number of big name devices including variants of the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2. And while some of those updates appear to be on the horizon, we’re starting to see some unreleased updates pushed back close to the fall.

Australian carrier Telstra today released an updated Android update schedule, a schedule that details a number of its missing Android updates including the Android 4.4 KitKat update for its Galaxy Note 2 4G. According to Telstra, “Samsung have further delayed test submission to 15 August” which in turn has pushed back the update’s ETA to September and more specifically, September 15th.

September 15th is an extremely generic ETA and it could be that the update rolls out before or after that date. Everything depends on Samsung’s testing and the testing that Telstra will ultimately have to perform to ensure the update is ready for public consumption. Testing is extremely unpredictable and updates often encounter delays. A delay of nearly two months though is pretty rough, even by Android standards.

It’s not clear how this delay will affect other carriers that are in the same boat. Optus and Vodafone have yet to push out their Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat updates and neither has provided concrete details about its release. French carrier SFR, which says that it plans to push out the update in early August, has not relayed any news about a delay.

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T-Mobile is the only carrier in the United States that’s yet to roll out a Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade and it’s still not clear when the carrier plans to make the upgrade available. T-Mobile typically does not confirm updates ahead of time and instead confirms them on the day of their release. In other words, T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 owners may not get a heads up before the Android 4.4 KitKat update touches down.

At this point, we assume that these carriers are working on Android 4.4.2 KitKat for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Samsung has yet to confirm Android 4.4.3 KitKat or Android 4.4.4 KitKat updates for its Galaxy devices and it seems content to roll out Android 4.4.2 KitKat despite the presence of the new versions.

Android 4.4.3 KitKat and Android 4.4.4 KitKat represent crucial bug fixes for Google’s Android software. And with Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, and Galaxy Note 2 users complaining about a number of Android 4.4.2 KitKat problems, users are starting to wonder if they’ll get Android 4.4.3 KitKat or Android 4.4.4 KitKat like other top Android smartphones.

With Android L looming in the distance, it’s possible that Samsung will shift its attention to Google’s upcoming update, expected to arrive sometime later this year alongside new Nexus devices. Android L, unlike Android 4.4 KitKat, is a major Android update that features changes to the UI in addition to brand new features.

While Samsung’s rivals have confirmed Android L updates, Samsung remains silent about upcoming Android L updates. Newer devices like the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 3 should get the update down the road though that remains unconfirmed. We should see details start to trickle out as we move closer to the fall and the Android L release date.

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Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat Update Pushed Way Back is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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LG G3 Deal Delivers $100 Best Buy Gift Card

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 21:07

LG G3 Deal Delivers $100 Best Buy Gift Card is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, Best Buy has one of the best deals we’ve seen yet for the all-new LG G3 released earlier this month in the United States. While we’ve seen various deals arrive since launch, this will get buyers a $100 gift card absolutely free.

The new flagship LG G3 was announced back in May and eventually launched around the globe before the end of June, but sadly buyers in the United States had to wait an additional 2-3 weeks before Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint started offering the new handset.

Read: 10 Best LG G3 Cases

Now that the LG G3 is readily available for those interested, more and more deals offering huge savings have appeared. We’ve seen Verizon lower the 2-year contract price to just $99, and that’s being matched by Best Buy and Amazon. However, if you’d like to upgrade early using Sprint Easy Pay, Verizon Edge, or AT&T Next and get a free $100 gift card, read on for more details.

Last week Best Buy launched a big promotion for the new LG G3 offering a pretty good incentive for buyers to head into their retail stores, rather than going to a carrier store instead. Best Buy Mobile offers smartphones from all carriers, of all shapes and sizes, and the LG G3 now comes with a good deal attached to it.

Prospective LG G3 buyers will want to check out Best Buy before heading into their carriers store and buying the new LG G3 with a 2-year contract, as Best Buy has a great deal that gets you the phone for $0 down, and comes with a bonus $100 gift card.

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The new thing in smartphone sales here in the United States isn’t to lock buyers into a 2-year contract with the carrier, and instead offer smartphones for $0 and have the customer sign up for a payment plan. Allowing users to spend no money up front, but make $25-29 monthly payments for 2-years until the smartphone is paid off in full. This is still a contract, but only for the phone instead of a contract with your carrier. Essentially like a car payment plan, but for your smartphone.

Read: How to Take a Screenshot on the LG G3

T-Mobile was first to offer these type of payment plans, but since they’ve been followed by awesome options from Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon. The deal today excludes T-Mobile, for whatever reason, but if you’re using any of the other three major carriers you’ll want to take notice.

Those signing up for service with Sprint Easy Pay, AT&T Next, or the Verizon Edge payment plan offerings can do so at Best Buy and get a $100 gift card. This can be used for anything from cases, screen protectors, to even a new Xbox game and more. Perfect for back to school shopping or some new headphones to go with that shiny new LG G3 smartphone.

As you can see from the screengrab above, this deal is only available in-store, as well as for “well-qualified buyers” only. The $0 down option is usually pretty easy to get from all carriers, but Best Buy may require users with slightly higher credit before handing out a $100 gift card.

So what does this deal get you? You’ll walk into a Best Buy store and walk out with a brand new impressive LG G3 smartphone while spending $0 dollars (unless you buy other things) and to put a cherry on top customers will get a $100 gift card. This essentially makes the LG G3 $100 less, and gives you a little spending cash.

The LG G3 is the most impressive smartphone thus far in 2014, and has tons of top-tier features that sets it apart from the competition. If you’re considering making the plunge this deal may help push you over the fence, otherwise check out our full LG G3 Review for more details.

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LG G3 Deal Delivers $100 Best Buy Gift Card is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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5 New Nexus 6 Rumors Emerge

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:32

5 New Nexus 6 Rumors Emerge is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

A new Nexus 8 (also known as the Nexus 9) tablet is rumored for arrival alongside Google’s new Android L release. And while the Nexus 8 could still arrive alone, new Nexus 6 rumors suggest that we could see Motorola release a brand new Nexus smartphone this year to compete with the iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and others.

For months we’ve heard rumors about a Nexus 8 tablet, a device that’s supposedly being made by HTC, the manufacturer behind the original Nexus smartphone, the Nexus One. Nexus 8 rumors suggest that the company will be pushing the device live later on this year alongside a brand new Android L release from Google.

Earlier this the year, we saw Nexus 6 rumors point to a release from LG. However, in the build up to Google I/O, it appeared that Google’s rumored Nexus 6 was dead in the water thanks to the company’s Android Silver program, a high-end program that’s said to be coming in early 2015. While it was initially thought to be replacing the Nexus program, Google itself denied that that would be the case opening the doors for more Nexus-branded devices.

While the Nexus 8 is thought to be one of those Nexus devices, rumors suggest that we could potentially see Motorola release a brand new Nexus smartphone with a massive display. Thanks to a new report from Android Police, Nexus 6 rumors have flared back up and it looks like the Nexus 8 tablet and Android L update could be joined by a new Nexus smartphone later this year.

Many of the details remain unclear though the report details five new Nexus 6 rumors. First, and maybe most important, the device is said to be from Motorola, maker of the Moto X and Moto G. Motorola is expected to release a follow up to its Moto X, dubbed Moto X+1, but it appears that we could see Motorola push out a brand new Nexus smartphone in the future.

Motorola Nexus smartphone rumors have popped up before, most recently at the tail end of last year ahead of the holidays and the Moto G launch, so while this information appears to be solid, it’s possible that plans could change in the weeks ahead. LG’s Nexus 6 looked like a solid bet until the rug was abruptly pulled out from underneath it.

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Motorola Nexus 6 rumors point to a massive 5.9-inch display with an unknown resolution. This would put the display on par with the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and could position the phone against the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6, both of which are rumored for 2014. If true, the Nexus 6 would be the first “phablet” class Nexus smartphone. Last year’s Nexus 5 sports a 5-inch display.

The device is rumored to have a fingerprint sensor, something that was also rumored to be on board LG’s cancelled Nexus 6. This makes sense given that most mainstream phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5s, feature fingerprint sensors for added convenience and security. Motorola’s Atrix 4G also possesses a fingerprint scanner but it was extremely early for its time and never caught on.

It appears that the company is targeting a November release for this new smartphone but it doesn’t look like that is firm. November fits in well with Google’s usual Nexus release window and it fits right in with Nexus 8 release rumors that point to the fourth quarter. In 2012, Google released the Nexus 10 alongside the Nexus 4 so a simultaneous Nexus smartphone and tablet release isn’t out of the question.

Finally, the last of these Nexus 6 rumors suggests that this device has a codename “shamu,” a name that is backed up by a listing inside of Google’s bug tracker. Google tends to use aquatic names for its Nexus devices, the Nexus 5 is called Hammerhead, so the name “shamu” certainly hints at this being a Nexus smartphone and quite possibly, a Nexus 6.

Of course, this all seems tentative at this point. While the source is credible, there is always a chance that Google scraps the device or changes it before its launch. With November and the fall fast approaching, we should hear more about the company’s plans for the fall and the holidays which at the moment, look like they could feature a Nexus 8, Nexus 6 and Android L.

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5 New Nexus 6 Rumors Emerge is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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New Purchase Could Add Ad-Supported Talk Shows To iTunes Radio

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:00

New Purchase Could Add Ad-Supported Talk Shows To iTunes Radio is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

Apple’s iPod and iPhone lines aren’t just responsible for revolutionizing the way users listen to music and watch videos. Apple was also an early pioneer of podcasts, digital downloads of talk radio shows that users can store on their phones and listen to whenever they like. Now, the company seems poised to revolutionize the world of talk radio again, this time by possibly integrating Swell into the iTunes Radio app that debuted with iOS 7.

Apple has yet to announce anything yet, but sources who spoke with Re/code indicate that the company will announce that it’s purchased Swell sometime this week. Like the podcasting app and iTunes Radio, Swell is all about taking traditional forms of media and making them available on-demand. Swell, which has been available on the iPhone for some time, lets users stream programs like NPR’s On The Media or audio broadcasts of shows made by independent producers.

The iPhone & iPad’s Podcast app does this too, but Swell takes most of the decision-making out of the equation. Once a show is done it simply moves on to another that the listener mike light. In that way it’s a lot like Pandora or the Radio feature that Microsoft’s Xbox Music service uses to find new tracks.

Users can still search for their favorite programs too. There are also other advanced features like the ability to speed up playback or set a timer to stop the program you’re listening to after you’ve fallen asleep.

Today, Swell is available for free in the iTunes App Store, but if the $30 million purchase goes through, it’ll disappear later this week. As part of the purchase agreement, Swell will shut down and most of its team will go to work for Apple, allegedly. Some are speculating that we could see a refreshed Podcasts app for the iPhone and iPad because of this deal, however it’s make more sense for Apple to put the team to work on iTunes Radio.

iTunes Radio was one of the most exciting features to come with iOS 7. Until its debut, Apple hadn’t revamped its approach to music and audio entertainment in a very long time. iTunes Radio users can listen to as much as music as they want absolutely free – provided that they don’t find ads particularly annoying. Stations are curated by teams at Apple based on genres and didn’t topics. In those ways Swell’s functionality sounds like a perfect fit for iTunes Radio.

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That Apple would be able to monetize podcasts for the first time certainly wouldn’t hurt either. Today, the separate Podcasts app remains free on the iPhone, iPad and in iTunes. Unfortunately, the Podcast app has seen better days.  iPhone and iPad owners who don’t enjoy listening to advertisements can subscribe to iTunes Match and have them removed from iTunes Radio. iTunes Match costs $24.99 a year. Integrating podcasts and talk radio into this system could seriously boost iTunes Radio’s profile, leading to more subscribers and making it less likely that users will switch to other smartphones and tablets.

That iTunes Radio is successful is key to the long-term viability of the iPhone, iPad and even the iTunes Store. When Apple originally launched the iTunes Store and the music apps on each of those devices, music was something users purchased on a disc. Apple quickly made buying individual songs popular, but for the most part it’s failed to see past its own success in getting users to purchase music. Today, streaming services are the norm. Spotify allows users to stream entire playlists for free with ads or sign up for a subscription that gives them unlimited downloads for just $9.99 a month.

Read: iTunes Radio – Hands ON with Apple’s Pandora Killer

Apple relies a lot on lock-in to keep users purchasing new iPhones. Services like Spotify are available on devices other than the few that Apple makes. If too many users rely on subscription services for more and more of their iPhone experience it could leave the iPhone and iPad vulnerable to cheaper alternatives from Microsoft, Samsung and other device makers.

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New Purchase Could Add Ad-Supported Talk Shows To iTunes Radio is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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How to Add a Screen Saver to Windows 8.1

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 20:36

How to Add a Screen Saver to Windows 8.1 is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

In the not so distant past, Windows users had all sorts of customization options. Users who weren’t on a corporate network could add their own background to the Desktop and change the sound that their device makes when it first starts up. Adding a screen saver was one of the biggest ways users customized their device too. Here’s how to add a screen saver to Windows 8.1 and make your Windows 8.1 device that much more unique.

Why It’s Gone

Before you go adding a screen saver to your Windows 8.1  device it’s important to understand why it’s somewhat hidden. Screen savers were a popular customization option when most devices weren’t portable. That is to say, everyone used screen savers when most Windows PCs were desktops that always had a power connection.

They had a dual purpose. They were something that you could use to show off a message or pictures of the entire family on, while keeping their device at the ready without a restart. The idea was that by keeping a device with a screen saver on you’re able to conserve some power, not burn out your display and still have everything ready to go the moment you needed it.

Since the heyday of the screen saver, a lot has changed about PCs. The overwhelming majority of Windows 8 PCs are portable. There are laptops with touchscreens or laptops without touchscreens. There tablets with no keyboards or tablets with attachable keyboards. As some point they’re all expected to run off of a battery.

Turning on a screen saver could accidentally drain power when you need it the most. So before you turn it on, always remember to hit the power button on your device if you have a Windows 8 tablet or laptop that isn’t current plugged into a power source. Users of Windows 8.1 on a desktop or all-in-one PC have nothing to worry about beyond more power usage.

How to Get It Back

Go to the Start Screen by pressing the Windows Key on your keyboard or the Windows button on your tablet or Windows 8.1 2-in-1.

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Now look for the Desktop tile. In our example you’ll find that the Desktop is represented by the rectangular tile on the left side of our screen. You may not see the Desktop tile on your device. If you don’t click on the arrow in the bottom-left corner of your screen to reveal a list of installed apps. Touch users should place their finger anywhere on the start screen and slide upward to reveal the same list of pre-installed apps.

Tap or click on Desktop from the list of installed apps.

Now inside the Desktop, mouse and keyboard users should right-click anywhere on their screen to bring up a settings menu. Touch users, place your finger anywhere on the Desktop background and hold it there until you see a rectangle.

Tap or click on Personalize.

Tap or click on Screen Saver. It’s in the bottom-right corner of the Personalization window.

Welcome to the Screen Saver Settings window. From here you’ll be able to choose the right screen saver for you and more. Start by clicking or tapping on the drop down menu and selecting one of the pre-installed screen savers.

There are just six to choose from by default. 3D Text will allow you to enter a custom message that floats around a black background. Blank is just a blank screen with nothing on it. Bubbles puts 3D soap bubbles floating around your screen. Mystify sort of looks like an aurora. Ribbons puts colored lines all over your display.

Finally, Photos will automatically showcase any pictures you’ve loaded into the Pictures folder on your PC.

Select any of these and click on Settings to see more options. For example, only in the settings can you change the folder that the Photos screen saver looks for pictures to display. Use the Preview button to get a taste of what the screen saver will look like.

If you’re a security conscious user – and really everyone should be – than you’ll want to check the box next to On Resume display logon screen. This option will force your Window s8 device to ask for a password before it lets anyone past the screen saver. If you’re going to share the device with the entire family enabling this might not be a big deal. If you’re the only user and you’re going to be carrying it around in public than you need to enable this. Keep your movies, pictures and documents safe.

Now click or tap on the arrows to change how long it takes your device to display the screen saver. By default it’s set to just a minute, but you can change this to whatever is more comfortable for you. The higher this number is the longer until your device shows a screen saver and locks.

Click or tap Ok.

You’ve successfully added a screen saver to your Windows 8.1 PC. Remember to keep a close eye on those settings so they don’t affect your device’s battery life. Have fun customizing.

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How to Add a Screen Saver to Windows 8.1 is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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15 Tips for Using an iPhone 5s Camera for More than Taking Pictures

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 19:40

15 Tips for Using an iPhone 5s Camera for More than Taking Pictures is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.

Since iPhone 5s owners carry their camera with them everywhere, they can always take nice pictures or shoot video to record memories. However, here’s 15 great ways to use the iPhone 5s camera for more than taking snapshots or family movies. Use these tips to remember who borrowed something, where you parked the car or to keep things readily available for future use. A couple of these tips will help you recover loss, keep people from cheating you, or even help keep you healthy. No one will or should post these to Facebook or Flickr, but use them with services like Dropbox or Evernote to keep the pictures handy.

Scan Pictures and Documents

While sitting in a meeting, the facilitator hands out a couple of documents that everyone needs to keep and refer to at a later meeting. Paper haters can use the iPhone 5s camera as a scanner. Evernote includes optical character recognition, so snap the pictures using the app’s scanning feature as follows:

  1. Open up the app
  2. Choose Camera from the Create New section of the app’s menu. Three options will show up at the bottom of the screen as seen below.

  • Post-it Note – use Evernote branded Post-it notes to scan into previously assigned documents
  • Photo – takes a picture for saving an image
  • Document – used to scan documents
  • Business Cards – sends the image of the card to a predefined contacts notebook

For documents, use the third option. The camera puts an overlay on the screen. Make the paper fit into the rectangle and shoot the image by tapping the camera button. It saves it to the Camera roll and the user can either tap the check mark in the lower right or take a photo of a second document. Take pictures of all the pages in the document before tapping the check mark. When finished the document shows up on top of the recent notes list. Tap it to annotate it, save it to a new notebook and add tags. Users can also scan Photos this way or take pictures of objects, useful for the tips below.

There’s a tool called StandScan that helps the user scan a lot of documents or photos. It’s a small document sized white box with LED lights and a hole on top for the iPhone 5s camera.

Remember Where You Parked the Car

Have you ever gone to a shopping mall downtown or an office building with a large parking garage? For people with a terrible memory, the iPhone 5s camera can help remember where you parked the car.

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Take a picture of the markers on the walls or concrete columns. For example, a nearby hospital I often visit to see my church members marks the garage section using colors and letters, like green floor and section D. If that’s not enough, take a picture of the elevator buttons lit up to remember which button to hit to find the floor of the garage.

Remember Who Borrowed a Book or DVD

Over the years I’ve lost plenty of books, movies or CDs in the old days, because I forgot who borrowed them and they forgot to return them.

Set up an Evernote notebook and take a photo of the person holding the item. If that feels weird, take a photo of the loaned item and label it with the name of the item and person who borrowed it. Put the person’s phone number or email address for easily asking for it back.

Document Personal Belongings for Insurance

Recently a friend lost almost everything when her house burned to the ground. Fortunately, they found a family scrapbook with photos taken of the living room and other rooms. The insurance adjuster used the photos to document items hanging on the walls and sitting on shelves. This helped them recoup some of their losses.

Use a digital scrapbook to do the same thing. Take photos of valuables with serial numbers for electronic items. Store them in a folder in DropBox or an Evernote notebook and share that with the insurance adjuster.

Remember People’s Names

A great way to remember someone’s name is to snap a photo and put that with their contact information in the phone’s address book. In situations where people are wearing name tags, make sure the photo includes the name tag so you can take the picture quickly and add the name later.

Record Eating Habits for a Diet

Lots of people post images of their meals on Instagram and Twitter. Why not do the same? Not to brag about eating lobster, but to keep a record your diet. It’s quicker than entering text into a weight loss or fitness app. At the end of the day or after a few days, record the meals based on the photos.

Record Mileage for Work

People who drive for work usually turn in a mileage report each month or keep record for tax purposes at the end of the year. Don’t write down the starting and stopping mileage. Instead, press the trip meter reset button on most cars today and at the end of the tip take a photo of the trip and car mileage numbers.Use Dropbox’s automatic upload feature, which stores all pictures taken in the Camera Uploads folder and saves them with the date and time on the photo name. At the end of the month, record the date/time and the ending mileage. Subtract the miles driven to get the beginning mileage. It’s the easiest way to record trip miles for work.

Teachers Can Keep a Record of Assignments

My wife teaches elementary school and keeps parents apprised of assignments by tweeting the assignment list on her smartboard so parents can know what their child’s homework is. She plans to post to a Facebook page this fall, since more parents use Facebook than Twitter. She can post pictures of …

  • The year’s supply list so they can buy the right things
  • Books she’s reading to the class so they can read at home
  • Craft ideas and needed supplies so they can donate them
Remember Where Things Belong

When people use the church sanctuary at my church, they often move the furniture. For those who don’t regularly attend our Sunday service, remembering where things belong gets easier if they snap a photo first. The crew of a high school play, people who borrow a classroom at their local school or someone who rents a beach house or mountain cabin from a private party can use this tip to leave things the way they’re supposed to be left as well. Take pictures upon arrival and look them over to make sure everything’s back in place before leaving. This way the owner won’t mind loaning out the room or cabin again.

Scavenger Hunt

Church youth groups or scouting troops love scavenger hunts, but they don’t like the trouble kids can get into for stealing items to bring back at the end of the night. Instead take group photos at fun places like the big clock in the heart of our town. Then, when they all get back, enjoy the slideshow by hooking the phone up to an Apple TV and projector.

Keep Cheaters at Bay in Game of Risk or Monopoly

Ever play a long board game and have to leave it to go to class, work or to finish it the next day? Take a picture and give it to all the players so no one cheats.

Remember Medications

A new doctor always asks what medications a person takes. Snap a photo of the bottles and save the picture on DropBox or Evernote for quick access. This records the name of the medication, the doctor’s name, the pharmacy RX number and usually the pharmacy’s phone number and/or address, all in one picture. If the meds change, delete them and take new ones.

Record a Child’s Belongings for Overnight Trips

People sending their kids on an overnight trip can take photos of the child’s belongings and keep the pictures in the suitcase or email them to the chaperon. This helps the child and the chaperon get all of that child’s belongings back home.

Remember Settings on Electrical Equipment

The soundboard in the auditorium of my church isn’t under lock and key. Sometimes people play with it. A photo helps our multimedia team quickly return the settings to their default position.  This also works with apps on a phone with complicated settings. Take a screenshot by holding down the power and home button simultaneously. Use this tip for anything that has physical or digital settings that you need to remember.

Keep a Shopping List of Things that Run Out

When the milk runs out, snap a picture of the carton and save it to a shopping list on Dropbox or Evernote.

 

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15 Tips for Using an iPhone 5s Camera for More than Taking Pictures is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.

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