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Moshi for iPad
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    Samsung has been promoting the "Next Big Thing", and this time it’s the Galaxy Note 2. The phone was launched yesterday at Samsung's Galaxy Note II World Tour 2012 press event. T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T and Verizon will all be carrying it. Just considering cost, timing and coverage, which service provider should get your business?


    Here’s the lowdown on cost and timing:


    Verizon
    Pre-order date: Oct. 25
    Available: Nov. 27
    Price: $299.99 with a 2-year plan, $699.99 off-contract


    AT&T
    Pre-sale date: Oct. 25
    Available: Nov. 9
    Price: $299.99 with a 2-year plan, $649.99 off-contract


    Sprint
    Available: Now
    Price: $299.99 with a 2-year plan, $699.99 off-contract


    T-Mobile
    Available: Now
    Price: $369.99 with a 2-year plan, $699.99 off-contract


    The Galaxy Note 2 has 4G LTE capability, and you don’t want it to go to waste. While Verizon beats all the competition for nationwide 4G LTE coverage (370+ markets), AT&T is rapidly expanding their 4G LTE network and is adding to their network all the time (approximately 65 markets.) Sprint basically covers Atlanta and big cities in Texas (15 markets) with their 4G LTE, the rest is 3G. T-Mobile doesn’t yet have 4G LTE connectivity, but they advertise their network as “4G”, which is really a supercharged 3G (HSPA+ 42) network.


    For those buying an unlocked Galaxy Note 2, here’s a heads-up. The unlocked version isn’t compatible with CDMA carriers and LTE networks.


    There’s no doubt that the Galaxy Note 2 is a fine smartphone. Its 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display is the big reason it’s being called a “phablet” – part phone, part tablet. In a nod to its tablet-ness, the Note 2 is the only smartphone that comes with a stylus that Samsung calls the” S Pen.” For those of us with big fingers or who are touchscreen accuracy-challenged, a stylus sure comes in handy.


    Inside the Galaxy Note 2, you’ll find a quad-core 1.6GHz Exynos processor, up to 16GB of storage space (with expansion up to 64GB), and 2GB of RAM. On the back is a high-quality 8MP camera with an LED flash, and on the front a 1.9MP camera for video calls. The camera can record video in 1080p, and has a 4x zoom. It’s rated for up to 15 hours of talk time and 12.5 days of standby time.




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  • Carphone Warehouse leaked, well, everything about the next Nexus smartphone

     


    As writer Ernest Hamlin Abbott once put it, "rumors are not news; but they sometimes foreshadow news."


    And, boy, have the rumors ever been stacking up concerning Google's next Nexus device, even though Google's expected to be saving any official news about it until their October 29 event.


    Still, between the speculation that the new Android phone will be LG-made, the pictures, and even a premature review, we've already learned quite a bit about the upcoming Nexus 4.


    And today, a new leak from retailer Carphone Warehouse revealed pretty much everything else, right down to the LG phone's specs, price and expected release date.


    Advertising pre-orders for the phone, Carphone Warehouse has listed a price of £389.95. And their description boasts that the new smartphone has a 4.7" LCD display, and "the fastest and smoothest version of Android yet," Android OS 4.2 Jelly Bean, as well as some new features:


    "Search gets smarter with Google Now. You ask. Google answers, instantly, and with all the detail you want... Stay in touch with Gesture Typing, a faster way of typing that lets you spell words by dragging your finger across the screen from letter to letter."


    Meanwhile, Carphone Warehouse sets October 30 as the start date for delivery, just one day after Google's event. Though, after this last and possibly most comprehensive leak, there isn't much Google could tell us about their latest smartphone that we don't already know.




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  • Now that the launch of the Surface tablet is history and the Windows 8 hoopla will be behind them today, Microsoft is revving up for their next event: release of the new devices that will run on Windows Phone 8. Lucky for all of us, Microsoft will live stream the event to be held in San Francisco on Monday, October 29th. Get ready for a broadcast at 10am PST.


    Microsoft will also show off more Windows Phone 8 features like Xbox Music, new competition for Spotify and iTunes. “There are a whole series of…new capabilities and features that will come that we haven’t talked about and there’s integration with Windows 8 that we’ll demo closer to the date,” promises Greg Sullivan, Microsoft’s Windows Phone senior product manager.


    Both product manufacturers and wireless providers have been announcing they'll be showing off a range of Windows Phone 8 devices at the event. The lineup includes HTC’s Windows Phone 8X and 8S, Samsung’s ATIV S, Nokia’s Lumia 820 and 920, and Verizon’s exclusive Nokia Lumia 822 (aka the Atlas). There’s also an outside possibility that ZTE will be there with a Windows Phone 8 device, too.


    Hopefully Microsoft will be specific about shipment dates for Windows Phone 8 devices. So far, we've only heard that they will begin shipping in November.


    In the meantime, Microsoft is showing its new Windows 8 to the world today.




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  • Alarmingly Android: Pure Mobile is rounding up the best in Halloween smartphone apps

     


    This week, we started a frightening little feature on the Pure Mobile blog with a list of our favorite Halloween-themed smartphone apps.


    In our first instalment, we rounded up some eerie apps for iPhone, but today, we'll be moving along to the best Halloween apps for Android.


    From games and photo editors to real ghost detectors, your smartphone will have all the spooky it can handle come October 31, with these seasonal picks


    1. Angry Birds Seasons for Android



    Who doesn't love Angry Birds? Wll, the pigs are back for Halloween with Angry Birds Seasons, which includes special "Ham'O'Ween" levels.


    It's the same physics-based fun that has made us all addicted to smartphone gaming. But this time, it's got haunted backgrounds, pumpkins to smash, and a generally cutesy Halloween look.


    Angry Birds seasons is also available for iPhone and iPad.



     2. SpecTrek augmented reality app for Android


    If you've ever wanted to go ghost hunting, SpecTrek lets you chase spectres using your smartphone's GPS. The augmented reality game shows you "ghosts" on a map of your area and gives you a time limit to find and capture them.


    It may be kind of silly, but hey, it's probably the most fun you'll ever have using a smartphone GPS.



    3. Entity Sensor Pro app for Android



    If virtual ghosts don't cut it for you, the Entity Sensor Pro app for Android claims to let you detect "real" ghosts using a supposed EMF sensor in your smartphone to check for "paranormal" readings.



    It's essentially like playing Ghost Busters with a mobile device. Whether or not you actually believe in ghosts, the app has a pretty high rating among users.


    And even if you think it's useless as a ghost detector, you can always use it with friends as a gullibility detector.


    4. Ouija Board app for Android



    Like so many classics, the Ouija Board has been revamped for modern mobile devices.


    Use your smartphone to try making contact with the spirit world, or simply relive the fun of middle school with this Android app. In any case, it gives new meaning to "the ghost in the machine."


    5. Ghost Camera Pro app for Android



    Halloween pictures looking like dullsville? Think a specter would spice things up?


    You can add a little eerie appeal to party pics with the Ghost Camera Pro smartphone app for Android.


    The app lets you choose from a bunch of different types of ghosts and spirits (not just the cute kind pictured above) and insert them into pictures on your device. You can also edit the size, color and opacity of your ghosts.


    We consider this more of a humor app, especially if some of some of your subjects have been going at the punch bowl hard.




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  • The upcoming 2012 Presidential Election is likely to be more closely followed on mobile devices than any other in U.S. history. Voters will be keeping up with the election on their smartphones with polls and political news, as well as on social media.


    But how, exactly, will smartphones figure into this election and, ultimately, who will smartphone owners be voting for?


    Mashable reported on a new study from ad network Mojiva, which surveyed smartphone owners 18 and up to get answers to some of those questions.


    According to Mojiva, people who use smartphones are more likely to vote for Obama on November 6. 47% of those polled said they identify themselves as Democrats, while only 28% identified themselves as Republicans.



    Either way, 82% of respondents said they are planning to vote – a very high rate compared to the actual voter turnout for the past two elections which were below 60%.


    In the lead-up to voting day, more Democrats than Republicans will be reading political news on their smartphones (63% vs. 59%), but more Republicans than Democrats will be researching the candidates (53% vs. 50%).



    Come election day, over half of respondents said that they would be using an iPhone or an Android-powered smartphone to check results throughout the day.


    But many of the respondents said they would use their phone to do even more if they could. When asked if they would use their smartphone to vote if they had the option to, 59% said they would, while a whopping 85% said they would at least consider doing so.



    What about you? Do you plan on using your smartphone to follow the elections? If so, how? Let us know in the comments section.




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  • Reddit hosted an “ask me almost anything” (AMAA) session with the Microsoft Surface development team last Tuesday (Oct. 16th), the same day the Surface tablet was available for pre-order. Mashable did a great job of summarizing the Q&A and posted a few details about the tablet that were heard from the developers for the first time. Some of their comments are summarized below.


    Why would someone using an iPad want to change to the Surface tablet. What makes the Surface so amazing?


    The Surface team said they have a vision for Surface. On it you can get “a ton of stuff done.” It has a full Windows operating system and can run the Office suite. The “seamless transitioning” from one user state to another with the touch cover, the ability to use it all day, and a USB port that creates endless connectivity possibilities all add up to a fully functional pc in a tablet form.


    With Windows RT installed, how much many GBs of free space will be left?


    After the OS, OfficeRT and a few apps are installed, they claimed that more than 20GB remains. Adding an SD card would also add space for music, movies and photos (though not apps.)


    No 3G/4G option for the Surface


    Even without 3G/4G, the team’s position is that the tablet design is still “world-class Wi-Fi connectivity.” They looked at specific elements of 3G/4G that they needed to include. Since the Surface would probably be used most often at home, their tablet sales data showed connectivity there would be one-third Wi-Fi and one-third mobile broadband. They also considered frequent usage at hotspots as part of the decision.


    Using USB 2.0 instead of USB 3.0


    The full size USB 2.0 port on Surface supports hundreds of millions of devices that are already being used so the network is already in place. Timing was factor, too. They chose USB 2.0 based on capability of the ARM SoCs during their development time frame.


    Surface resolution that’s significantly less than new iPad’s


    With the ClearType Display technology they’ve taken what they call a three-pronged approach to maximizing resolution while optimizing the device for battery life, weight, and thickness.


    1. First, they believe Microsoft’s Cleartype 1.0 and 2.0 is the best pixel rendering technology in the industry because it smoothes text regardless of pixel count. The technology is exclusive and unique to Windows. Unofficially, the amount of light reflected off the display screen allowed by Cleartype is approximately 5.5% - 6.2%. The iPad's is a more glaring 9.9%
    2. Second, the custom design of the 10.6” high-contrast wide-angle screen LCD screen enhances resolution.
    3. Third, the optically-bonded screen that has “the thinnest optical stack anywhere on the market - something which is more commonly done on phones but not on a tablet.

     


    Surface RT pricing


    The 10.6-inch Microsoft Surface Tablet will cost $499 for the 32GB model, up to $699 for the 64GB tablet. The Touch Cover keypad is an extra $119. If you want the Type Cover with real keys, add $129 to your budget.


    Apple may have something to worry about. The Surface tablet has sold out of pre-orders in the U.S.




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  • Pure Mobile's got you covered for Halloween with this list of creepy apps for iPhone and iPad

     


    We at Pure Mobile love Halloween almost as much as we love mobile devices. And when the two come together, it's a high-tech house of horrors that we just can't resist.


    If you're anything like us, you'll want to celebrate the scariest (and probably most fun) holiday of the year in all sorts of ways, and thanks to some creepy smartphone apps, you can take your Halloween spirit with you everywhere you go.


    As Halloween quickly approaches, we at Pure Mobile are delighting in finding all the best iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps for our frightening feature "Macabre goes Mobile."


    Today's all about eerie iPhone apps, but Android and BlackBerry users can expect their own list of apps for those platforms in later instalments.


    1: Free Halloween Sounds Pro for iPhone


    Use sound to scare anywhere a smartphone can go, with Halloween Sounds Pro

     


    Once upon a time, when you wanted creepy Halloween sound effects to scare trick-or-treaters, you had to play them through a stereo. And the speakers aimed at the door were kind of a dead giveaway.


    But with the free Halloween Sounds Pro app for iPhone, you get to control a bunch of spooky Halloween sounds from your smartphone. Sneak up on that unsuspecting teenager who looks just a little too old to be asking for candy, or set the delay to scare the hell out of someone after you've left the room.


    2: iMut8r app for iPhone and iPad



    There are already a couple of apps that let you manipulate photos of yourself and of friends to make horrible monsters on your smartphone. SpookyPic and ZombieBooth are just a couple.


    But iMut8r for iPhone and iPad lets you mutate into a vampire, werewolf, zombie, witch, ghoul, whatever. Mix and match elements for your most hideous Facebook profile pic yet!


    Use your smartphone to turn a picture of anyone into an undead abomination with iMut8r

     


    3: Pumpkin Ninja app for iPhone


    Pumpkin Ninja revives a centuries-old Japanese tradition of slicing jack o'lanterns via smartphone

     


    Addicted to smartphone gaming? The Pumpkin Ninja game app for iPhone lets you swipe at falling pumpkins à la fruit Ninja.


    Not really scary but definitely in the Halloween spirit.


    4. iDrakula app for iPhone



    What's more Halloween than telling scary stories?


    The iDrakula app for iPhone does just that, retelling Bram Stoker's classic Dracula novel with a modern slant through text messages, voicemails, emails and browsers in language geared for the Twitter age.


    iDrakula retells Bram Stoker's classic by sending texts, emails and other messages from the characters to your smartphone

     


    You may get a "text" from a character telling you another chunk of the plot, so the juicy story not only unfolds on your smartphone, but has interactive elements and develops at surprise moments not of your own choosing.


    5. Dark Haunts app for iPhone or Android


    Dark Haunts gives you directions on your phone to the nearest ghost-infested locations

     


    Always itched to go ghost hunting?


    The Dark Haunts app for iPhone claims to help you "find the closest 'real' haunted site near you."


    Dark Haunts' database has over 3,200 haunted locations and is regularly adding new ones. They give you a bit of backstory, and direct you to the ghost-infested locations. You can also choose the type of haunt you want: a restaurant if you're hungry, a hotel if you want a creepy getaway.


    Just don't go crying to the developers if you actually happen to run into a spectre.




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  • Blendtec is back with another "Will it Blend?" video, this time pitting the iPhone 5 against the Samsung Galaxy S III

     


    Are you ready for a  ridiculous and nonsensical test which has no merit and which proves absolutely nothing?


    Then, the iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S III blender test is for you!


    While most of us are just trying to get our hands on one of the newest and best smartphones, Blendtec, a maker home and professional blenders is busy pulverizing them.


    It's pretty much what it sounds like. With a few of these "Will it Blend?" YouTube videos under his belt already, Blendtec's Tom Dickinson asks the question again, pitting the "the latest," i.e. Apple's iPhone 5, vs. what Samsung "claims to be the greatest," the Galaxy S III.


    The iPhone 5 may have a retina display, and the Galaxy S III may have a bigger screen, but which will withstand the blending?

     


    Tom describes both smartphones, highlighting their most attractive features, and then unceremoniously chucks each into its own Blendtec Total blender.


    While the iPhone 5 starts shattering pretty early on, the Galaxy S III holds in there for an impressive amount of time, but eventually meets its end in much the same way as the completely obliterated iPhone, in a pile of black powder.


    In the end, as the blender lids are removed and toxic-looking black smoke wafts up, we're left having to agree with Tom, who concludes: "I think the real winner is the Blendtec Total blender."



    The whole stunt kind of runs opposite to what we do at Pure Mobile. But even though we've got a mission to help people protect their devices, we can't help but get some sort of sick pleasure out of watching this total and utter destruction.


    Though we'd have to agree with Blendtec's disclaimer: don't try this at home!




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  • Japanese telecommunications company Softbank will purchase an ownership stake of 70% in Sprint for $20 billion that includes $8 billion in stock. Softbank is calling their new acquisition “New Sprint.”


    Sprint is the U.S.'s third-largest mobile carrier behind Verizon and AT&T. The Sprint purchase is the biggest-ever overseas acquisition by a Japanese company. It’s the latest consolidation among big players in the U.S. mobile industry. (T-Mobile recently announced their partnership with MetroPCS.)


    Softbank’s CEO Masayoshi Son stated his case for this being a good partnership for both companies. One big reason is that they are both developing LTE on the same frequency. Combining their efforts will move the process along more quickly and cost less to implement.


    If nothing else, Softbank/Sprint will present some big competition for AT&T and Verizon – companies that almost completely own the U.S. telecom market. The technology required to bring the latest phones, national networks and high-speed connectivity to the market is too expensive for all the smaller carriers. As Dan Hesse, Sprint’s CEO, described it “This is pro-competitive and pro-consumer” because it helps fight the “AT&T and Verizon duopoly.”


    With some of the Softbank cash infusion, Sprint can focus on improving its unlimited data plan for smartphones. Sprint is the only one of the three that still provides unlimited plans to new customers.


    Right now Sprint is also the only major carrier that still offers both the iPhone and an unlimited plan. If Sprint can expand its 4G network to more markets, they will have a very valuable product for consumers.


    When the news hit yesterday, it crashed the Sprint website. It’s back up now.




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  • With the iPad Mini expected to launch soon, the question is not will people want it, but how much will they pay

     


    It won't be a few weeks until Apple actually holds its iPad Mini event. But the October 23 date can't come quick enough for some who are already speculating about all the details Apple is expected to reveal later this month.


    One of the big revelations we're all waiting for regarding the new mini tablet is how much it will cost. And today rumors that sound at least possible (if not probable) began to circulate about the iPad Mini's price.


    One of the leaks, first reported by German blog Schimanke, reportedly comes from the inventory of Media Market, a European electronics retailer, and sets the iPad Mini's starting price at around €249 (about $322 U.S.) That includes the Value-Added Tax that applies in Europe or on European goods sold in North America.


    German blog Schimanke leaked the reported price of the new iPad Mini: starting at €249

     


    Meanwhile, TechCrunch, which reported on the Schimanke leak, has had the good sense to ask whether this estimate is even remotely possible.


    After having looked into the newest iPad's bill of materials (BOM) cost – which essentially summarizes the total cost of each of the tablet's major components – TechCrunch found that Schimanke's estimate is, in fact, within the realm of possibility.


    The Bill of Materials cost for the newest iPad

     


    Factoring in "Apple’s famed commitment to high profit margins," TechCrunch writes that "the iPad Mini reportedly starts at $316.05 for BOM and manufacturing cost per unit, and is sold for $499, giving a rough margin of $182.95."


    As for the the top of the line devices, "the margin jumps considerably, with the $829 64GB Wi-Fi+LTE iPad apparently carrying a manufacturing cost of $408.70, parts included, for a difference of $420.30."


    We won't really know for sure until Apple officially announces the new device's cost, as it's expected to do at the October 23 event, but it seems likely that it'll be in the neighborhood that the rumors so far have described.




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