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Verizon considers opening another Android app store, this time with help

Posted by wicked August - 20 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

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Despite shuttering its previous attempt at providing an app store for Android and Blackberry users, Verizon appears to be eyeing the possibility of opening a new one to challenge Google’s dominance for Android users. This time though, sources indicate Verizon is talking with other players and carriers in an effort to put together an “industry coalition.” With Android installed on over a billion devices around the world and the operating system continuing to grow in dominating the market, it should be no surprise that a company wants to get in on the action of selling apps to users.

It is difficult to assess how Verizon thinks they would be able to entice buyers away from the Google Play store. The report indicates they plan to include “specific features of wireless-carrier networks” that would aid developers trying to get apps out to market. They also indicate their platform would offer “consumers new ways of discovering the mobile software they might want.”

Although the Google Play store is probably the biggest source of apps for Android users, other options do exist. Notably, Amazon operates their own app store for their devices although it can be accessed by any Android user. Likewise, major smartphone manufacturers like to create their own app stores for owners of their devices.

Do you think Verizon could lead a successful effort to create an alternative to Google Play for Android app buyers?

source: The Information

Come comment on this article: Verizon considers opening another Android app store, this time with help

Deal: New Verizon Galaxy S4 Available From eBay for $359

Posted by Kellex August - 20 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

I think it’s safe to say that there are at least one or two DL staff members who would consider the Samsung Galaxy S4 to be better than this year’s Galaxy S5. Not only is the size of the phone much more manageable, but it also lacks some of the extra unnecessary bloat, like heart rate sensors and fingerprint scanners. Plus, if you are going to have to deal with TouchWiz’s never-ending lag, you may as well do it on a phone that fits better in your hand and pocket.

If the Galaxy S4 is still something you would consider, especially since it runs at a full retail price much lower than this year’s model, take a look at today’s deal through eBay. You can grab the Verizon Galaxy S4 (brand new) in black for $359.95. The current price through Verizon’s site is $499.99. The seller is also tossing in free expedited shipping. Again, this is a new unit, not refurbished like many of eBay’s daily deals.

eBay Link

Deal: New Verizon Galaxy S4 Available From eBay for $359 is a post from: Droid Life

Verizon reportedly planning a new app store, because we love bloat

Posted by wicked August - 20 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

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In 2013 Verizon shut down its app store efforts, citing the changing landscape of the mobile industry as the reason for getting out of the game. A bit over a year later, it looks like Big Red is changing their minds, at least if a new report from The Information proves correct. This time around, Verizon reportedly is looking to form a ‘coalition’ with other carriers and even OEMs with the goal of releasing the store globally, as opposed to maintaining the effort independently and exclusively for their network.

Discussions for this new store are still in the early stage, but basically Verizon is looking for another way for us to hand over our money to the carrier. The Information says that this is also a response to Google recently cutting back the piece of the pie it is sharing with carriers and hardware manufacturers. Of course, Verizon tried this before and to no avail.

If the report is true, every Verizon customer will likely find themselves force-fed the store without any way to uninstall it

What will be different this time? In addition to teaming up with other companies, Big Red reportedly wants to make its app store smarter than the competition by using location, social info, time of day and other data to recommend apps to its users. There’s also talk about Verizon offering special advantages to those that use its app store, like discounted data rates for apps that come from the Verizon store, improved carrier billing and more. So does Verizon actually have a shot of doing well here? Unless they employ some extremely aggressive tactics (and keep their name off the app’s branding), we doubt it.

Third-party Android app stores are a dime a dozen, but few have really found true levels with Amazon’s AppStore being the closest to a success story, though it substantially lags behind the Play store in terms of popularity. The biggest problems with carrier stores is they tend to have awful interfaces and are generally poor when it comes to issuing app updates. These are just two hurdles that Verizon will need to overcome if they want their store to be a smash hit. The lack of apps and Verizon app reputation are two additional problems that Big Red is likely to face.

Regardless of whether it’s a success or not, if the report is correct, we imagine every Verizon customer will soon find themselves force-fed the store without any way to uninstall it. Yay, bloatware!


Via: The Verge;

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Report: Verizon to Create Wireless Coalition Who Aims to Take on Google Play, Apple App Store

Posted by Kellex August - 20 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

In the wireless industry, apps are still a pretty deal. I wouldn’t necessarily say that the app ecosystem is young, but you get the feeling that we are only scratching the surface when it comes to potential, not only for the types of tasks they accomplish, but also the amount of money they can make everyone involved. According to a report out of The Information, Verizon wants in (again) because it isn’t exactly thrilled that Google and Apple control the app industry by themselves. In other words, Big Red wants another revenue stream. 

This new report claims that Verizon is talking to industry friends about creating a “coalition” that would eventually launch a global online store for mobile applications. The goal here is to create an app store that would “balance the ecosystem” and hopefully, make them all lots of money outside of Google and Apple. According to this report, Apple currently takes home 30% of App Store profits, with 70% going to developers. Google, on the other hand, gives developers 70% and now takes home 15%, before distributing the rest of the pie to carriers and manufacturers. The Information states that Google used to give carriers 15%, but recently dropped them to 5%.

By creating their own app storefront, carriers could in theory allow developers to use their network technologies to potentially come up with new use cases for apps. They could also create new ways for developers’ apps to be discovered, like through incredibly intrusive measures involving your location, what your friends are downloading, and what time of day it is. Now, there are apps that already do this type of thing, but the idea that a carrier could do this whenever they like is a bit scary to me. Carrier billing could be another selling point. Finally, someone involved in the idea mentioned that “There are unique capabilities of the networks that aren’t being utilized,” that could be used through this coalition’s app store.

If you aren’t seeing any reason there for developers or you and I to jump on board with this new app store, I wouldn’t be shocked. Carriers, including Verizon, have tried a handful of times to create their own app stores. None of us care. We consider it bloatware and typically disable it.

On a related note, when I hear “Verizon” and “coalition” in the same sentence, the first thing that comes to mind is the failure that is Isis Mobile Wallet. Everyone remember the mobile wallet application that Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T were creating to take over mobile payments? You probably have it installed on your phone, yet you have probably never used it. The app failed to launch in a timely manner out of testing, but even since hasn’t given many a reason to switch over to it. Also, the name is now being associated with a militant group, so the company has tried to rebrand. Google Wallet is the mobile payment application of choice for most, even after the carriers in that coalition tried for years to block it, without actually “blocking” it.

Verizon has already failed at least once with their own app store, yet for some reason, I am not at all surprised by their need to get back into the game.

Via:  The Information (subscription)

Report: Verizon to Create Wireless Coalition Who Aims to Take on Google Play, Apple App Store is a post from: Droid Life

Verizon One Max finally gets a new Sense

Posted by wicked August - 20 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Verizon is rolling out an update to HTC’s 2013 giant and it is quite a big one. The update brings the new HTC Sense 6.0 experience to the One Max phablet, a promise that was made quite some time ago. Curiously, HTC’s software update page remains unchanged, but this news comes from the horse’s mouth so there is little doubt about its veracity.

Sense 6.0 gives HTC’s devices a fresh new coating when it comes to the user interface. Most obvious changes can be seen in the new design that is noted to use a stronger color palette and emotive typography, quite in line with Google’s own aesthetic bent. HTC’s custom news app BlinkFeed has also seen significant improvements, letting users easily customize the content they want to see. The homescreen has also been updated with ease of use and quick changes in mind. One new feature is the ability to not only choose a font but to also to download new ones from Google Play Store.

The update isn’t all about UI changes, however, as HTC has also included several behavioral ones as well, primarily bug fixes. Issues surrounding the ISIS mobile wallet system as well as the fingerprint scanner have been addressed. There are even new features included, like the ability to set a schedule for Do Not Disturb mode. And there is a new pre-loaded app included in the package in the form of Emergency Alerts.

As always, firmware updates roll out in staggered fashion, so it is unlikely that all owners will receive the notification all at the same time. If you haven’t yet, the usual method of manually querying the update servers via the device’s About Phone settings is always available. And of course, a stable WiFi connection and ample battery charge will be required to perform this update smoothly.

SOURCE: Verizon

Verizon HTC One Max receiving Sense 6

Posted by wicked August - 20 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

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Good news for you Verizon HTC One Max owners – your phone is being updated to the latest version of HTC’s third-party firmware. That’s right, Sense 6.0 is headed your way through a 613.5MB update that brings your device up to software version 3.09.605.2, includes a revamped BlinkFeed experience, several updated core apps, new font and color customizations and a handful of important bug and security fixes that should improve the performance of your device.

You can go ahead and see if your device is ready for the update by heading to Settings -> About -> Software Updates. If you don’t see it just yet, don’t worry, it’s on its way.

Source: Verizon Wireless

Come comment on this article: Verizon HTC One Max receiving Sense 6

Verizon HTC One Max Gets Sense 6.0 Update

Posted by Kellex August - 19 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

If you own an HTC One Max on Verizon, your Sense 6 update is finally here. The update, according to at least one of our readers who received it yesterday, runs 613.5MB and jumps the phone up to software version 3.09.605.2. 

For those new to Sense 6, know that you should expect a revamped Blinkfeed experience, update overall UI with a “vivid color palette,” new camera UI, new gallery app, new music app, tweaked home screen experience, HTC’s Sense TV app, and customizable fonts. The update also addresses a number of bugs, like improved WiFi connectivity, a power-on issue, and a failure for Isis Wallet to work.

To check for the update, head into Settings>About>Software updates.

HTC has yet to update their Sense 6 status page, but Verizon already has the full changelog up as of August 15.

Cheers Doug!

Verizon HTC One Max Gets Sense 6.0 Update is a post from: Droid Life

RootMetrics Ranks Verizon “Overwhelming” Leader in the US for Performance

Posted by Kellex August - 19 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

RootMetrics pushed out the first of their 2014 semi-annual performance reports for the wireless industry late last night, showing Verizon as the overall winner once again. The report looks at five areas (data performance, call performance, text performance, reliability, and speed), four of which Verizon topped the charts on, including the overall category. 

We included the scores below, which show a small lead for Verizon over AT&T, but in the end, when you win and take four of the five major categories, you get bragging rights. In a breakdown by state, Verizon took 48 states in overall performance, 44 states for reliability, 45 states for speed, 46 states for data performance, and 44 states for call performance. The only category that Verizon did not top was text performance, which AT&T claimed the title for.

T-Mobile edged Sprint in three of the five categories, including overall, for third place. They did, however, take last in reliability.

What is RootMetrics? To take a quote from their own site, RootMetrics says that they “distill thousands of independent, consumer-focused tests into RootScores that let you compare the networks at a glance and make more informed mobile decisions. It’s simple: the higher the RootScore, the better the performance.” They are made up of a team of professional testers and a “consumer-first focus.”

Below, you will find the scores for each category.

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Via:  Verizon | RootMetrics

RootMetrics Ranks Verizon “Overwhelming” Leader in the US for Performance is a post from: Droid Life

T-Mobile HTC One M8 gets 4.4.3 update, Verizon soon

Posted by wicked August - 19 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

This update has been floating around for a while now, with Verizon actually hinting that their update to Android 4.4.3 might come out today. As it happens, it looks like T-Mobile HTC One M8 users will be the first to get the update, as Verizon says it needs to “re-spin” the update and might delay the rollout.

For T-Mo users, the update may not have shown up on your notifications yet, but as per GSM Arena, a certified T-Mo HTC One M8 user has let them know (with pictures) that the update is indeed rolling out which includes – among other new stuff – Android 4.4.3. There are major firmware updates that should improve network performance (Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/Mobile Network), and new versions of the Camera, Gallery, Settings and HTC Sync manager apps. Lastly, there are also updates to the BoomSound experience, Extreme Power Saving Mode, Motion Launch and Quick Setting. All in all a tasty update for T-Mo HTC One users.

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For Verizon users, it seems that mid-September is the latest the update will roll out. According to HTC Americas President Jason Mackenzie and HTC VP for the HTC One M8 Mo Versi, they had to recall the impending update – which should have rolled out today – because of some issues that need to be tweaked. No information was given as to what issues these were, but it unfortunately pushes the update out of August and into September at the earliest.

There is confirmation for Verizon users though, that the update will finally make available the Extreme Power Saving Mode that turns off a number of battery hungry features and allows your phone to last for more hours even on critical power levels. Worth noting that AT&T and T-Mobile units of the HTC One M8 got this feature in May this year.

VIA: Droid Life, TMOnews
SOURCE: @JasonMacHTC / @moversi

According to a Tweet sent from HTC Americas president, Jason Mackenzie, owners of the Verizon One (M8) should expect an update to Android 4.4.3 by mid-September. We had originally heard that a test of the update would happen around August 14, with the public push starting August 18 (today). Their VP of product, Mo Versi, noted today that they had to “re-spin” the update, so this month is out. No word on what the issue was that caused the update to be resubmitted, but that pushes the update out a couple of weeks and into next month. 

On a related note, the update will finally bring Extreme Power Saving Mode to the Verizon model. EPS is the feature that allows your One (M8) to last for hours on end with only a small percentage of battery remaining. By turning off a number of battery hogs, HTC is able to extend the life of your battery when in a pinch. It’s a lot like Samsung’s Ultra Power Saving Mode. The AT&T and T-Mobile models both received this feature back in May.

The Unlocked One (M8) saw the update to Android 4.4.3 a couple of weeks back, the T-Mo version is receiving it today, and AT&T should be up next.

Via:  @JasonMacHTC | @moversi

HTC One (M8) on Verizon Receiving Android 4.4.3 in September, Will Finally Include Extreme Power Saving Mode is a post from: Droid Life