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Worldwide Android News 08/22/14 – Google Play Music, RootMetrics Report and More!

August 22, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

EE and Three Lead the Pack When it Comes to the Mobile Internet

3StoreUK

 

A lot has changed in the mobile landscape in the UK, as a Brit myself I’ve noticed how some have fallen behind and how some have risen to the top. When it comes to data speeds and coverage, a new RootMetrics report for the first half of this year has listed EE top followed closely by Three, leaving O2 and Vodafone to battle for third place. You can take a look at the full RootMetrics report here, but EE and Three are listed with scores of 85.5 and 82.7 for their internet performance, respectively. Meanwhile, O2 and Vodafone drop to a disappointing 68.1 and 67, respectively. This is something I can attest to, after spending years with O2 and only getting 2G service in my village, I swapped to Three last month and I now get 4G with speeds over 30 mbps where before I couldn’t even do a Google search without WiFi. Still, Three did come last when it came to call performance but things were closer there with EE on top with 89.1 and Three last with 84.2. So, this just goes to show you that even though EE is comprised of two networks, little old Three is giving them a challenge while industry stalwarts Vodafone and O2 have some catching up to do.

Google Play Music All Access Hits 9 New Countries

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Google is finally expanding Google Play Music All Access this week with the addition of 9 new countries. The original tweet with some flags of the countries in question has been removed by Google as they couldn’t deliver on Uruguay, sadly. However, there are still 9 new countries now able to get all-you-can-eat music from Google, with those countries being: Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, El Salvador, and Venezuela. As always, the Google Play support list will tell you which countries have access to which Google Play service.

NTT DoCoMo Sets Up Premium WiFi for Travelers to Japan

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If you’re planning a trip to Japan any time soon and worrying about you’ll stay online, NTT DoCoMo have an answer for you. The network is setting up over 150,000 hotspots across the country that will offer speeds up to 72 mbps, allowing you to tweet and share to your jealous friends back home. It isn’t free however, but will only cost 900 Yen for a week or 1,300 Yen for three weeks. It also seems to be a time-sensitive offer, so be sure to check out the official website.

EE Brings Total of 4G Roaming Countries Up to 16

EE

EE is now offering 4G data roaming in a total of 16 countries, adding the following countries to Spain and France: Canada, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, UAE, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland. This all sounds wonderful, but unsurprisingly the same company asking for more money to help you out faster, this 4G roaming won’t be cheap. Contrasting directly with Three, that lets you use your phone and data abroad for no extra cost, EE will charge you £25 for 500MB of data, something their press release calls “huge”. While this is nice and all, using 4G speeds is hardly much of an addition when the data costs so much in the first place.

MediaTek to Invest Big in India

MediaTek-ChipMediaTek is to invest big in India over the next couple of years, with an investment of around $200 Million US rumored to be on the cards. At the core of this new expansion will be a new R&D facility in Bengaluru in the Tech Park, which will be a 7,000 sq ft building in which MediaTek will concentrate on wireless technology and home entertainment products. Ground has broken on the building and MediaTek is looking to build up a workforce of 100 professionals before the year is out.

Google’s Chromecast on Sale at £18 in the UK

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If you thought the Chromecast was cheap at just £30, then be ready for a big saving as it now just costs £18. That’s £18 for a device that works seamlessly with your smartphone (be it Android or iOS) and your laptop to get Netflix, YouTube, Plex, Crunchyroll, BBC iPlayer and more on to your big screen effortlessly. Amazon, Currys and Tesco are all selling the device for £18 right now and if you’re thinking of getting one, I’d do so quickly as this is more than likely a Bank Holiday deal.

Lava to Launch Selfie-Focused X1

Lava X Tease

Selfies are a big thing these days and it looks like Indian vendor Lava is looking to get in on the action. The company has been teasing a device with a front-facing LED flash as well as a wide-angle lens to help improve those selfies of yours. Elsewhere, it’ll be powered by Android 4.4 KitKat and features a design similar to the original X1.