Sprint today announced that it’s expanding its free data roaming offer to a number of new countries, bringing its new total up to 22 locations around the globe.
New countries added today include: Colombia, Denmark, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Paraguay and Sweden.
Those add to the full list of 22 supported countries where Sprint customers can take advantage of the International Value Roaming feature, which allows customers to use data for free when traveling to supported countries abroad.
The full list includes: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Russia, Sweden, South Korea, Spain and United Kingdom.
Following the first availability of the Nexus Player in the UK last month, the Nexus Player is now available in 9 new international countries. Among them are Australia, as well as eight different European countries:
The device launched in October of 2014 to little fanfare, and we reviewed it not long after saying that it’s a bit unfinished. Right now, owners of the Nexus Player are the only lucky souls to have their hands on Android 5.1.1.
Last year, the Italian government gave Google 18 months to reform its tata collection policies and change the way it stores and treats that user data. The Wall Street Journal reports today that Google has now agreed to allow the Italian government to perform spot checks at its Mountain View headquarters. The regulator will get quarterly updates from Google and have the ability to send someone to Mountain View for “on-the-spot checks.”
Google released the latest version of its Transparency Report today, revealing data about government requests the company received between June and December of 2013. According to the report, Google received 3,105 requests to remove 14,637 pieces of content within that time period, which brings the total number of requests received by the Mountain View corporation up to 6,591 for the entirety of 2013, a figure that’s about 60% higher than the previous calendar year.
Samsung uploaded a new video showing off the Galaxy S5 today and this time, instead of going after the iPhone, it’s decided to instead show off the device’s camera quality with a short film shot in Trieste, Italy.
Samsung notes the ad, titled “Sunrise to Sunset”, is made with HDR Video and FHD 1080p footage straight from the Galaxy S5, but we imagine some post-production was done elsewhere as the fine print warns, “Certain images and videos may be enhanced.”
Amazon announced today in a press release that it is lowering the price of its the largest tablet in the U.S., the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″. The price of the entry level WiFi only model drops from $299 to $269, while the 4G variant will now sell for $399 (down from $499 previously). In addition, the company is also rolling out the device to a handful of new countries including: the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, and Italy.
The 8.9-inch tablet includes a1920x1200, 254 ppi display, TI OMAP4470 processor, 1GB of RAM, Custom Dolby audio and dual stereo speakers, 10 hours of battery life, and of course access to Amazon’s ecosystem of content.
Google has updated its Books app experience on Android, which already features over 4 million books in the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, Italy, France, Korea, Spain, and Japan. The latest version of the app introduces a number of new features including: highlighting, dictionary, notes, and new “Places” info cards.
Starting today, when you come across an unfamiliar geographic location—a faraway city or distant mountain range—you can tap on the location to learn more about it. You’ll see an info card with a Google Map and the option to get more information by searching on Google or Wikipedia.
Also in the update is the ability to translate words and phrases to a number of currently supported languages. Other features include: Expand Expanding Close
Amazon officially confirmed this morning that it would open its Appstore to international users for the first time since launching in the United States last year. The countries in the initial international rollout scheduled for “this summer” include the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Amazon is inviting developers to visit its developer portal to begin localizing and preparing their apps for distribution in the new countries. It also noted developers would be able to select specific countries and set prices by market, but developers will by default have their apps made available internationally.
As part of the announcement, Amazon also explained it would introduce two new changes to the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Agreement that benefit developers. Most importantly, developers will now earn 70 percent of paid app sales starting July 1.
Google introduced photo tours today—a new feature of Google Maps that allows users to watch 3D photomontages of worldwide landmarks by virtue of user-contributed content.
The tours are now available for more than 15,000 locations, and they include popular tourist spots like Italy’s St. Mark’s Basilica or Yosemite’s Half Dome. The new feature is accessible when a user searches for a place, and then the left-hand panel will display any live photo tours. Just click the thumbnail or link to embark on the photo tour. Indications for photo tours also appear when browsing Google Maps. In this instance, just click a landmark’s label to find an available photo tour.
Remember how Samsung threatened to ban sales of Apple’s next iPhone the second it becomes official? They are keeping good on that promise by filing two separate motions for preliminary injunctions in Paris and Milan in an attempt to bar sales of the iPhone 4S in France and Italy. From Samsung’s corporate blog:
Samsung Electronics will file separate preliminary injunction motions in Paris, France and Milano, Italy on October 5 local time requesting the courts block the sale of Apple’s iPhone 4S in the respective markets.
Samsung’s preliminary injunction requests in France and Italy will each cite two patent infringements related to wireless telecommunications technology, specifically Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) standards for 3G mobile handsets.
The infringed technology is essential to the reliable functioning of telecom networks and devices and Samsung believes that Apple’s violation as being too severe and that the iPhone 4S should be barred from sales.
Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free ride on our technology. We believe it is now necessary to take legal action to protect our innovation.
Samsung plans to file preliminary injunctions in other countries after further review.
In addition to mapping and navigation, the ability to control your handset with voice commands is another treat that sets Android apart from the crowd, even if other phones had voice commands before Google’s software. Pity than that Android Voice Actions were introduced last year to the U.S. audience only.
Well, Android fans overseas can breathe a collective sigh of relieve because Google announced that Voice Actions are now available to users in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Even better, non-English speakers are able to issue Voice Actions in British English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. There are three ways to invoking Voice Commands on your Android 2.2+ smartphone or tablet:
tap the microphone button on the Google search box on your home screen,
open the Voice Search app,
or press down for a few seconds on the physical search button on your phone to activate the “Speak Now” screen
Some of the supported Voice Actions: send text to [contact] [message]; call [business]; call [contact]; go to [website]; navigate to [location/business name]; directions to [location/business name]; map of [location].
You can get a better idea about the usefulness of Voice Actions by spending less than two minutes of your time sitting through Google’s video tour embedded right above.
Nearly three-quarters of Android sales in Britain during a twelve-week period ended June 12 came from people upgrading from so-called feature phones to their first smartphone. In addition, only 1.8 percent of new Android sales came from iOS users jumping ship, a Kantar Woldpanel ComTech survey reveals. The research didn’t take into account corporate sales or contracts and was based on extensive interviews with up to one million consumers in Europe alone.
Android has grown its share of total US handset market to 9.2 percent in June of this year, up over just one percent a year ago. The platform had a 45.20 percent share of the entire smartphone market in the country, while iOS fell from 30.6 percent share in June 2010 to 18.3 percent share in June 2011. A big part of this was price: Apple’s is among the priciest consumer smartphones and only 45 percent contracts offer the device for free versus 90 percent for Android phones.
The fall of iOS came as a result of the overall UK market growing at a faster pace than iPhone sales, which have been overshadowed for the past two months as Samsung’s Galaxy S II smartphone emerged as the best-selling smartphone. In the US, Android and iOS had 57 percent and 28.7 percent market share last month, respectively. Android is clearly victorious in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and Japan, where the platform enjoys a whopping 64.7 percent share of the smartphone market versus 27.7 percent for iOS.
Kantar analysts predict that by this time next year smartphones would account for nearly 50 percent of the overall handset market, thanks to more and more feature phone owners dumping their devices for smartphones. This is not unexpected because trends hint that eventually all phones will become smartphones. Other phone vendors are experiencing sharp declines around the world, especially Symbian which has been bleeding share as Nokia fights for survival.