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3 years ago

BT Sport now streaming on Chromecast

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The BT Sport app for both Android and iOS has been updated with support for Chromecast, just as we were told last week it would be. Apart from that, it's the standard "minor bug fixes" bringing BT Sport app for Android up to version 1.3.15. Of course, you'll need to be a BT customer, which means you'll need to be living in the UK with your Chromecast, but apart from that we're looking at BT Sport on your TV from your phone.

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3 years ago

Samsung Chromebook 2 now available for preorder

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Announced a month ago, the new Samsung Chromebook 2 portables are now available for pre-order from Amazon and Samsung. The upcoming Chromebook 2 is projected to ship on April 28th (that's three weeks from now) in two models: 11.6 inches and 13.3 inches. The smaller one retails for $319.99, while the larger Chromebook 2 is priced at $399.99. Both are powered by Samsung's Exynos 5 octa-core ARM processors, have 4GB of RAM, 16GB for storage, and a projected 8+ hour battery life. And, being Chromebooks, they run Chrome OS

If you're so interested, here are some preorder links from Amazon for the 11.6" Samsung Chromebook 2 and the 13.3" Samsung Chromebook 2.

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3 years ago

NVIDIA Shield April software update released with new features

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The April software update for the NVIDIA Shield has arrived. The update bumps the Shield from Android 4.4 KitKat to 4.4.2. New in the April update are betas for Remote GameStream and laptops, a keyboard and mouse support in console mode, and an updated TegraZone.

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3 years ago

StoreDot's Nanodot bio-organic nanochrystals will charge you phone in 30 seconds flat… in 2016

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We use smartphones nearly every minute of every day, and that can be an issue, specifically for batteries. If there’s one area in tech that we haven’t seen any innovation – not for lack of trying – it’s batteries. Sure they’ve grown in size and chipsets have become more power efficient, but for the most part, charging is still charging in 2014.

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3 years ago

Verizon Wireless buying spectrum and assets from Cincinnati Bell for $210 million

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Cincinnati Bell Wireless has entered into an agreement to sell its spectrum holdings and wireless infrastructure to Verizon Wireless. The deal, valued at $210 million will see Cincinnati Bell's customers transferred to Verizon "or other wireless providers" over the next 8-12 months, during which time the carrier will lease back that spectrum and those towers for "a nominal fee".

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3 years ago

Blurring the background: Understanding focus, defocus, refocus and Ufocus

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Lumia 1020, HTC One M8 and Lytro

Your HTC One M8 isn't a Lytro, but that doesn't mean you can't create some neat-looking effects

Background defocus effects are the hot new feature for smartphone cameras this year. Sony, Nokia, LG, Samsung and HTC are all offering DSLR-like bokeh effects in photos through software trickery. These effects have even been likened to the Lytro, the first mainstream light-field camera, which lets users refocus their photos after capture.

Instant after-the-fact refocusing from a smartphone camera isn't truly upon us just yet, however, and each manufacturer's approach to defocusing and refocusing shots after taking them has its individual quirks. That includes the HTC One M8's Ufocus feature, which while capable of producing some striking depth-of-field effects, has its limitations. And the same goes for single-camera refocusing effects from competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G Pro 2 and Sony Xperia Z2.

Let's take a closer look after the break.

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3 years ago

Qualcomm announces 64-bit Snapdragon 808 and 810 chipsets

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Qualcomm today announced its next-generation mobile processors for the Snapdragon 800 family – 810 and 808. These new chips are designed to deliver even better performance and delight compared to what’s currently available to handset vendors today. The main improvements with these two chips is the 64bit architecture and Cat 6 LTE.

Though the chips aren’t expect to hit the public domain before 2015, it’s interesting to see what Qualcomm is working on. This Cat 6 LTE support will depend on carriers and Qualcomm has opted to use ARM core designs and not its own Krait. These new processors will introduce support for 4K displays with the new Adreno 430 GPU.

The Snapdragon 810 will combine a quad core ARM Cortex-A57 CPU and Cortex-A53 to provide ample power. The 808 on-the-other-hand will have two ARM Cortex-A57 cores paired with a quad Cortex-A53 CPU. It’s all good to know, but you can expect to see more hardware with both 801 and 805 chips until early next year.

Check the presser below for the full details.

Press release:

Qualcomm Announces "The Ultimate Connected Computing" Next-Generation Snapdragon 810 and 808 Processors

SAN DIEGO, April 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., introduced its next-generation mobile processors for the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 tier, the Snapdragon 810 and 808 processors, which are designed to deliver the ultimate connected mobile computing experiences in video, imaging and graphics. The Snapdragon 810 and 808 processors are Qualcomm Technologies' highest performing platform to date, completing Qualcomm Technologies' lineup of 64-bit enabled, LTE-equipped chipsets for premium mobile computing devices. The Snapdragon 810 and 808 processors enable an exceptional overall user experience with seamless connectivity and industry-leading power efficiency for flagship smartphones and tablets.

Both the Snapdragon 810 and Snapdragon 808 processors integrate Qualcomm Technologies' 4th Generation Cat 6 LTE Advanced multimode modem together with support for the Qualcomm RF360™ Front End Solution, and support 3x20MHz Carrier Aggregation, enabling speeds of up to 300 Mbps in the broadest set of spectrum deployment configurations to date. Both processors are designed in 20nm technology node with Cat 6 LTE, advanced multimedia features and 64-bit capability, all tightly integrated and optimized for exceptionally low power consumption that does not sacrifice performance, making them the first premium-tier 64-bit processors to enable LTE Advanced globally with a single design. These products underscore Qualcomm Technologies focus on 64-bit leadership, accelerating its availability across all product tiers while maintaining a long-term commitment to the continued development of its own next-generation custom 64-bit CPU microarchitecture, with more details expected to be shared later this year.

The Snapdragon 810 processor, as Qualcomm Technologies' highest performing Snapdragon platform to date, also supports:

  • Rich native 4K Ultra HD interface and video, along with an upgraded camera suite using gyro-stabilization and 3D noise reduction for producing high quality 4K video at 30 frames per second and 1080p video at 120 frames per second. The combined 14-bit dual Image Signal Processors (ISPs) are capable of supporting 1.2GP/s throughput and image sensors up to 55MP. Advanced imaging software helps enable advanced mobile camera features, including enhanced exposure, white balance and fast low light focus.
  • The combined 64-bit quad core ARM Cortex-A57 CPUs and Cortex-A53 CPUs are designed to enable an improved user experience based on the advanced technology feature set, while implementation of the new ARMv8-A ISA enables improved instruction set efficiency.
  • Designed for 4K displays, the new Qualcomm® Adreno™ 430 graphics processing unit (GPU) provides support for OpenGL ES 3.1 plus hardware tessellation, geometry shaders and programmable blending. The Adreno 430 is designed to deliver up to 30% faster graphics performance and 100% faster GPGPU compute performance, while reducing power consumption by up to 20%, as compared to its predecessor, the Adreno 420 GPU. The Adreno 430 GPU also enables a new level of GPU security for secure composition and management of premium video and other multimedia.
  • The Snapdragon 810 processor introduces high speed LPDDR4 memory.
  • Frame buffer compression and external 4K display support via HDMI1.4.
  • First mobile platform to implement Qualcomm® VIVE™ 2-stream 802.11ac with multi-user MIMO, which makes Wi-Fi® networks more efficient than ever in order to maximize the performance of local connectivity for mobile devices.
  • Support for Bluetooth® 4.1, USB 3.0, NFC and the latest Qualcomm® IZat™ location core for ubiquitous and highly accurate location services.

The Snapdragon 808 processor is designed for premium performance and integrates the same LTE-Advanced, RF360 and Wi-Fi connectivity as the Snapdragon 810 processor and includes 2K display support. Both chipsets are fully software compatible with the 64-bit ARMv8-A instruction set. The primary differences of the Snapdragon 808 processor include:

  • Designed for WQXGA (2560x1600) displays, the new Adreno 418 GPU provides support for OpenGL ES 3.1 plus hardware tessellation, geometry shaders, programmable blending. It is designed to support up to 20% faster graphics performance than its predecessor, the Adreno 330 GPU. The Adreno 418 GPU also enables a new level of GPU security for secure composition and management of premium video and other multimedia.
  • Configured with two ARM Cortex-A57 cores paired with a quad Cortex-A53 CPU.
  • 12-bit dual Image Signal Processors.
  • LPDDR3 memory.
  • Frame buffer compression and external 4K display support via HDMI1.4.

"The announcement of the Snapdragon 810 and 808 processors underscore Qualcomm Technologies' continued commitment to technology leadership and a time-to-market advantage for our customers for premium tier 64-bit LTE-enabled smartphones and tablets," said Murthy Renduchintala, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and co-president, QCT. "These product announcements, in combination with the continued development of our next-generation custom 64-bit CPU, will ensure we have a tremendous foundation on which to innovate as we continue to push the boundaries of mobile computing performance in the years to come."

The Snapdragon 810 and 808 processors are anticipated to begin sampling in the second half of 2014 and expected to be available in commercial devices by the first half of 2015. More information can be found at www.qualcomm.com/snapdragon. Developers can find tools to optimize their apps for Snapdragon processors at http://www.developer.qualcomm.com.

Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including Qualcomm Technologies' ability to successfully design and have manufactured significant quantities of Snapdragon 808, Snapdragon 810 processors and next-generation CPU microarchitectures on a timely and profitable basis, the extent and speed to which the Snapdragon platform is adopted, change in economic conditions of the various markets Qualcomm Technologies serves, as well as the other risks detailed from time to time in Qualcomm Incorporated's SEC reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 29, 2013, and most recent Form 10-Q.

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3 years ago

HTC Q1 2014 earnings show sizeable losses once more

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HTC's unaudited earnings for Q1 2014 are out and it doesn't make for particularly positive reading. The Taiwanese firm has announced a net loss of NT$1.88 billion on revenue of NT$33.12 billion. This is way down on the modest profit made in the final quarter of 2013, though there are factors to consider.

Namely the brand new HTC One M8 was only on sale for about a week of the first quarter. As such we'll not see any potential impact it's going to have on HTC's financials for another three months. Initial reception has been good, though, but it's still too early to tell whether or not it will help HTC begin to turn things around.

Other than that, there's little else been released from HTC at this time, and we'll update if any further information becomes available.

Source: HTC

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S5 now available to order in UAE

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The Samsung Galaxy S5 official global launch day is almost upon us, but it has just popped up for sale somewhere else. Following the early launch in Korea, the phone is now available to order over in the UAE for 2,599 AED. Black and White versions are to be available, and while one retailer is stating the phone is in stock it's apparently unlikely folks will get them in hands before April 11.

The seemingly endless wait since the grand unveil is almost at an end, and before the week is out we'll be seeing devices in hand.

via SamMobile

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3 years ago

S-OFF for HTC One M8 paves way for further hackery

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HTC One M8 S-OFF

S-OFF exploit for M8 released by Firewater team, Google Play edition conversion now possible for GSM handsets

Good news for those wanting greater freedom to hack and tinker with the HTC One M8, as the Firewater dev team has released its method for gaining S-OFF ("security off") on the device. The method is relatively straightforward if you're handy with a command line — first your device will need to be rooted, then disable any lockscreen security, push the files to your device and let them work their magic.

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3 years ago

Oppo Find 7a international pre-orders go live

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The folks at Oppo caused a stir with the recent Find 7 launch, and now the – only slightly – less spec happy Find 7a has gone up on international pre-order. Folks across Europe and the U.S. can now place their orders for the new phone, and you'll be parting with €399/$499. And you're getting more than just the phone for that, too.

Oppo is throwing in an Easy Cover case, an additional 2800mAh battery and a 32GB microSD card in to the package with every pre-order of the Find 7a. Not a bad deal at all.

The Find 7a might not pack the crazy screen and camera of the Find 7, but it's not exactly a low-end device. Beneath that 5.5-inch 1080p display lies a Snapdragon 801 CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP rear camera, 5MP front facing camera and support for microSD cards up to 128GB. It comes running Android 4.3 and Oppo's own Color OS, with promise for third-party ROM support coming soon.

Who's buying?

Source: OppoStyle (Europe)

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3 years ago

North Korean Arirang AS1201 and Chinese Uniscope U1202 turn out to be twin phones from different zones!

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While North Korea originally trumpeted the indigenous technology of their Arirang AS1201 Android phone, turns out it's actually the spitting image of China's Uniscope U1201. The images were posted by Japan's Blog of Mobile, as GSM Insider explains —

The images obtained from Japanese source revealed that the Arirang AS1201 is actually based on the Uniscope U1201 or the Uniscope U1201 is based on the Arirang AS1201. Of course, we are not sure which one was built first. We assume that the Arirang AS1201 is based on Uniscope U1201 and built by the Chinese firm.

There are minor differences, including branding, but otherwise it's too close to call. Both include the same 960x540 display, 1GHz Spreadtrum LC8810 processor, 4GB of solid-state storage, and 8 megapixel and 2 megapixel cameras, front and back.

What this all means and why it even exists remains a mystery, but feel free to jump into your mind palace and speculate away in the comments!

Source: Blog of Mobile via GSM Insider

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z2 tablet gets root, ClockworkMod recovery

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Sony's Xperia Z2 tablet is an insanely thin piece of hardware that not only runs Android 4.4 KitKat but that's now also primed and ready for ClockworkMod-based Recovery and Root.

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3 years ago

U.K. carrier EE raising prices slightly on May 28

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The U.K's EE network is set to increase prices by 2.7% — yes, two-point-seven-percent — on May 28, 2014. EE's new terms and conditions allow them to raise prices by the RPI (retail price index — i.e. the rate of inflation) once a year with 30 days notice. Here's the relevant bit from EE:

You will see a 2.7% increase to your monthly plan charge on any bills you receive from the 28th May, if you joined or upgraded to a 12, 18 or 24 month Pay Monthly or Small Business contract before the 23rd January 2014. This increase is in line with the Retail Price Index (a measure of inflation) published by the Office for National Statistics on the 25th March 2014.

If you joined or upgraded after the 23rd January 2014 then you are not affected by the price increase. If you have upgraded to a new contract in the last 30 days you may still receive a letter, however the price increase is not applicable to your new plan.

For some customers, we are also making changes to a number of other charges such as standard UK calls and texts when you go over your mobile allowance, and other services like calls to 08 numbers, international calls and MMS. These changes will take effect from the 28th May.

So, if you're on EE, consider yourself on notice. Anyone have a problem with the increase?

Source: EE via Coolsmartphone

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3 years ago

Amazon Fire TV game controller on backorder, now expected to ship in late April

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The game controller for the Amazon Fire TV is now on backorder. New orders are now expected to ship on April 24. Amazon is noting the delay as being "due to popular demand." It's also limited the number of controllers you can buy at one time to nine, which isn't really a limit for more normal folks.

For more on the Fire TV, be sure to read Andrew Martonik's first impressions of the device, including the game controller.

Are you planning on getting a game controller with your Fire TV?

To get on the controller waiting list, hit up Amazon.

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