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3 years ago

Amazon announces 'Mojito' - version 3 of the Kindle Fire OS

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New Kindles will ship with an all new version of the Fire OS

Part of the giant release announcement Amazon made tonight about new Kindle Fires was a nice document about the new version 3 of the Fire OS, code named Mojito. Built atop Android 4.2.2, Mojto offers the same Android app compatibility as previous editions, but has hundreds of new features and low-level platform enhancements. While interested parties certainly should see the documentation for all the changes and information, we're going to take a look at a few highlights.

  • Carousel and Grid  — users can choose the layout of their home area, wth easy switching between the familiar carousel and a new gird mode.
  • Cloud Collections — organize your applications, books, magazines and newspapers in the cloud. Amazon Whispersync synchronizes your catalog across any number of Kindle devices.
  • 1-Tap Archive — free up space intelligently. The Fire OS can identify the things you haven't used recently and store them in your cloud with one tap to free up space.
  • System-level social integration — Twitter and Facebook sharing done directly within the OS, including importation of your Facebook calendar and contacts.
  • GameCircle and Whispersync for Games  — developers can integrate game progress and profile syncing across devices using Amazon Web Services.
  • X-Ray for movies, and TV and music —  the updated X-Ray service now shows more information for movies and TV, and music lyrics have been added.

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3 years ago

Amazon introduces Kindle Fire HDX tablets, refreshed Kindle Fire HD

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Extending the Kindle Fire brand to a third generation with impressive new specs and features

Amazon has just announced its third generation of Kindle Fire tablets, going by the "Kindle Fire HDX" branding, along with a refreshed version of the older Kindle Fire HD at a new low price. Starting with the new devices, the Kindle Fire HDX comes in a familiar 7-inch and 8.9-inch varieties, both with upgraded specs all around.

Both HDX models feature quad-core 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processors, 2GB of RAM, 16, 32 or 64GB of storage and new higher-resolution displays. Those displays clock in at 1920x1200 (323 ppi) on the 7-inch model and 2560x1600 (339 ppi) on the 8.9-inch — which also has a new 8MP rear camera. Amazon says that the overall weight of the HDX has improved dramatically as well. The HDX 8.9-inch is 34 percent lighter than the previous model (just 13.2 ounces).

On the software side, the new HDX tablets are running Fire OS 3.0 "Mojito," which brings several new features like X-Ray for Music, Prime Instant Video downloads and updates to all of the pre-installed apps. Amazon is also introducing a new service it calls a "Mayday button," which delivers 24x7x365 tech support for your tablet for free.

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3 years ago

Twitter enabling notifications for recommended content, powered by @MagicRecs

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Constantly evolving algorithm recommends content that may be relevant to you

Twitter is rolling out a new feature to its first-party mobile apps that will push notifications to you for recommended content on the service. The feature comes after a trial with willing users following the @MagicRecs account, which is a Twitter experiment to build a recommendation engine for finding users and content on the service.

These recommendations are now integrated into the Twitter apps themselves, without the need to follow the @MagicRecs account. You will now start to see push notifications for new content that may be relevant to you if you're using the official app.

Before you get too up in arms, Twitter is quick to remind us that you can turn off recommendation notifications (or any notification type, for that matter) in the app's settings. Just head to the Twitter app > settings > account > notifications and uncheck "Recommendations," second from the bottom.

Source: Twitter Blog

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3 years ago

AT&T CEO eyeing Europe for future carrier acquisitions

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With the US slowing down carrier consolidation, Europe may be the next step in AT&T expansion

CEO of AT&T Randall Stephenson said his company is looking towards Europe for possible carrier acquisitions in the future, citing the fact that there are just more opportunities across the Atlantic. Speaking at an investor conference in New York, Stephenson explained that Verizon's recent buyout of Vodafone's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless has opened his eyes to the potential of carriers in Europe.

AT&T's attempt at a $39 billion buyout of T-Mobile two years ago was swiftly shut down by the US government, indicating to the carrier that the prospects of more consolidation in the US wireless industry on that scale have been seriously cut back.

"We have pretty much written off that any kind of large-scale deal in our sector is going to get done ... going from four players to three is kind of a threshold issue."

Said Stephenson, referring to more large carrier buyouts in the US. Europe, on the other hand, has a wide variety of carriers of all sizes and types — each being a possible foreign acquisition target for AT&T to expand overseas. Stephenson's potential plans for Europe involve large investments in networks that see potential in shifting to increase data usage by customers and capitalize on that new increase.

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3 years ago

Google says Gmail outage caused by 'dual network failure,' apologizes for downtime

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Additional backup capacity to be added for Gmail to ensure delivery during network failures

Many of you may have noticed outages or issues with several Google services yesterday, but none were hit as hard as Gmail. Google acknowledged yesterday on its app status dashboard that Gmail was experiencing complete outages or at least service delays for most of the day, and has taken to its official blog today to explain what happened.

According to its post, an extremely rare "dual network failure" knocked out separate redundant paths, taking down Gmail's capacity starting at about 6am PST yesterday. Although engineers were made aware of the outage right as it happened, it took most of the day to clear up the issue and mail didn't start flowing at a regular pace until about 4pm PST.

Google says that 71 percent of messages delivered during the period were unaffected, and across the other 29 percent that were hit by the outage the average delivery delay was a mere 2.6 seconds. Naturally some of us noticed delays much longer than this, and Google does say that roughly 1.5 percent of mail was delayed over two hours.

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3 years ago

Celebrate National Coffee Day Sep. 29 with the Dunkin' Donuts app and get a free small coffee

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Get your free cup with the Android app at Dunkin' Donuts

September 29 is officially National Coffee Day, and Dunkin' Donuts wants to give you free coffee to help celebrate. While there probably won't be any roasted turkey or fireworks (unless you really love your coffee) DD has to go big when it comes to coffee. If you happen to be in or around Atlanta on September 29, they have a special treat in their Roswell location (775 Holcomb Bridge Road) with live music, deejays, and the Dunkin’ mascots, Cuppy and Sprinkles.

For those of us not lucky enough to be able to meet Cuppy and Sprinkles live, you can pull into your local Dunkin' Donuts shop and use the Android app to get a free small iced or hot coffee. In addition, you'll be able to score a 1 pound bag of coffee for $5.99 or a carton of K cups for $7.99. The coffee is good. The price is right, and they support Android with a decent app. Go on and get your free cup. I recommend the hot, as iced coffee is no way to celebrate the freedom from tyranny that National Coffee day stands for. Just like Mel Gibson in The Patriot. Or something.

Source: Business Wire

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3 years ago

Youtube comments to be powered by Google+ going forward, curated and sorted for you

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Comments from your circles are surfaced; better moderation tools for video producers

If you've spent any amount of time on Youtube you know the comments aren't always the highest of quality, and Google is hoping to mitigate that issue by transitioning Youtube comments to be powered by Google+. Starting this week with the channel discussion tab and coming to all videos later this year, all comments on Youtube will be transitioned to Google+ discussions.

Moving to Google+ comments not only pushes towards a "real name" policy on Youtube, but also gives Google the opportunity to better sort and feature the comments and discussions that are most relevant to you. Comments that you care about most — from people you know, follow or are engaged in discussion with — will be shown at the top of the list.

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod updating to Privacy Guard 2.0 with new features, coming to CM 10.2

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Granular control over permissions for each app with a simplified control interface

The latest versions of CyanogenMod 10.2 will include new improvements to the Privacy Guard app, giving you better control over apps and their permissions. CM's Privacy Guard app lets users manage which apps have access to which permissions in the system, not only surfacing exactly what apps are doing but giving you control of what information you share voluntarily.

With the move to Privacy Guard 2.0, CM is integrating something called "AppOps" which Google introduced with Android 4.3. AppOps gives the system the ability to revoke permissions and return empty data sets when permissions are denied for an app. The new Privacy Guard with AppOps will let you simply toggle off individual permissions for location, reading contacts, SMS/MMS and more.

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3 years ago

Android 4.3 update leaked for AT&T HTC One

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AT&T HTC One running leaked version of Android 4.3 plus new Sense

Sure to be a relief to most HTC device users, the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer seems to have kept its promise of a speedy update to its top devices. Seen here is a leaked version of HTC's Sense UI paired with Android 4.3 on an AT&T branded HTC One. Our own moderator team leader, Kevin O'Quinn, has the scoop. 

I haven't come across any deal breaking bugs, or bugs at all. I've tested BT, wifi, NFC, etc. Everything works as well as we would expect.

While he is still experimenting with this latest software, he appears to feel very certain of it's fluidity, for a leaked version at least. More time will tell for certain. Want to give it a try on your AT&T One? For the time being, an unlocked bootloader and custom recovery is needed to flash this baby, but if you meet that criteria, feel free to join us in the forums and let us know how it's running for you! A hands-on video of this beauty in action can also been seen at the forum link above.

No word yet on suspected release dates from the carriers, but as Kevin also has to say:

 If this is indeed the same as what's going to go out OTA when it finally drops I think everyone will be very happy.

The upcoming months hint at satisfaction as we all anxiously await this official update. In the mean time, we can only hope the carriers show the same urgency as HTC when releasing the OTA. That means you, Verizon.

More: 4.3 on the HTC One in the forums

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3 years ago

The LG G2 design story

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LG talks about the design decisions and the process that went into the G2

The G2, and it's odd button arrangement, isn't going to suit everybody. But I think everyone has to admit that some thought went into the way the phone was built, and for better or for worse, LG wasn't afraid to try something different. We like different. That's how we get things like the Galaxy Note series, or a 7-inch Nexus tablet. You never know how well something will be received until you just do it.

The video posted after the break goes into the year long process of designing the G2, the initial prototypes that didn't cut it, as well as what all is involved to get such tiny bezels on a big bright screen. Anytime a manufacturer wants to let us in on any inside-baseball information, we love to take a look. I figure plenty of you would as well. Check it out after the break.

Source: LG on YouTube

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3 years ago

Motorola shipping seems to have ramped up, docks and dev units on their way to happy hands

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If you've ordered a Verizon dev unit, or one of the docking stations for the Moto X from Motorola.com, you'll want to check your order status. 

We're getting reports (as well as shipping notices of our own) that Verizon Moto X and Droid MAXX developer edition phones are shipping, and accessories like docks and cases are on the way as well. We've ordered a couple of docks, which shipped today, but our GSM developer edition phone is still waiting. Moto did mention there could be up to a 7-day lead time on those, though.

Here's hoping your stuff is on the way, so you can stop checking your orders out of frustration multiple times a day. And yes, when our stuff gets here we'll show you all you need to know about it!

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

AT&T strikes deal with Fon to share Wifi hotspots for travelers

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1GB of 'international Wifi' available for those paying for international data roaming

AT&T announced today that it has reached an agreement with international Wifi operator Fon to share Wifi hotspots between the two companies for travelers in the US and abroad. Fon, if you're not familiar, operates a network of thousands of Wifi access points in a network based on users sharing Wifi in popular locations. The deal will give AT&T customers access to all of Fon's Wifi locations, as well as offer Fon customers access to AT&T's 30,000 access points in the US.

In order to have access to the so-called "international Wifi" from AT&T, you'll need to be paying for at least 300MB of international data roaming for that month and use the AT&T Wifi International app (linked above). Even at that point, you'll only have access to 1GB of Wifi for the month — not much of a deal, but if it's included in your international roaming for no extra charge it's hard to complain.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

AT&T LG G2 review

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The Optimus tag has been replaced with cutting-edge hardware and a bold button layout

LG has been on a tear as of late, releasing phones that tick all the marks for hardware aficionados, while paring back their user interface slowly but surely. The G2 is the culmination of these efforts. It's currently the hardware king with the Snapdragon S800 CPU (though that will be changing soon enough) combined with a big screen and everything else Internet phone fans have a hankering for. But we've seen enough to know that it takes more than hardware to make a great phone.

The software is equally important. This is an area where LG has historically struggled, often adding too much of the wrong stuff to Android and delivering a product that nobody ever asked for. While we admire any company who thinks outside the box, everyone here has been waiting for LG to get it just right. A perfect phone is surely something that can never be, but the G2 comes close. Read on and see where the G2 excels, where it fails, and why the former outweighs the latter.

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3 years ago

Get moving, get healthy, get quantified - Talk Mobile

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Early on a smartphone accessory used to be something like a case or a holster, or maybe a Bluetooth headset if you were a real power user. But with increasingly powerful, efficient, and miniaturized sensors, memory, and processors, it's become possible for these accessories to become much more than that.

Our smartphones are no longer the only piece of connected technology we can carry with us everywhere we go. Fitness trackers and health monitors have exploded onto the market in recent years, as have sleep monitoring devices and a wide array of nutrition and medical apps and services. They're beginning to change how we live, taking data about our lives and spitting out quantifiable information that we can use to make better choices.

Or so they say. But can technology really help us in our exercise and enable us to be more fit? Are these nutrition apps and services good enough to do what they claim to do, or is it all in our heads? Can you get a more restful sleep with a connected wristband or clip-on monitor? And can all of this technology help us be healthier and make better medical decisions?

3 years ago

Retailer leak reveals Archos Gamepad 2

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We weren't overly impressed by Archos Gamepad tablet when we reviewed it back in April, but it seems there's a re-vamped successor in the works. Revealed in a leak by Hong Kong-based outlet HKTDC, the Archos Gamepad 2 sports a new, curvier design and re-worked internals too. There's an improved 1280x800 7-inch display, an unnamed 1.6GHz quad-core CPU and 2GB of RAM. Storage, too has been upgraded, with an optional 16GB model to be offered alongside the 8GB original, while the microSD slot has also made it across to the new model.

The retailer listing has since been removed, but in any case, we're guessing it won't be too long before we see an official announcement.

Source: Engadget

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