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3 years ago

Samsung details 'TV Discovery' service to be unveiled at MWC

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Samsung is setting up to launch a new service at MWC called "TV Discovery", which is supposed to help users find video and live TV content with their devices. Similarly to what HTC just announced with its own TV offerings on the One, Samsung will use its service to aggregate content from multiple sources to be streamed to your devices. The goal is to bring live TV, video on-demand and online content to one place, and make it all searchable without caring which service the programming is on. The content will be available on Samsung's Smart TV's and "supported mobile devices", but no specifics were given. Similarly to what Samsung is already doing with its Peel partnership, devices will be able to be used as a universal remote control as well.

Samsung says that at the launch, the TV Discovery service will aggregate from Netflix and Blockbuster in the U.S. and Acetrax, Wuaki, MovieMax, FilmIn, Chili, Pathé and SF Anytime in Europe. Youtube is also mentioned as a potential video source. We should have a better idea of how the service will work and across which devices at its unveiling at MWC next week.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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3 years ago

HBO Go and MAX Go updated with HDMI video out support

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The long-awaited feature of HDMI video out is finally making its way to both the HBO Go and MAX Go Android apps. Users that have a a cable subscription including HBO or Cinemax can now connect their phones to TV's and monitors for video playback from the apps on the larger screen, without any restriction. This is a big deal for such a large content provider to offer the functionality, which really shouldn't have been left out in the first place.

You can grab a download of the latest version of HBO Go a the Play Store link above, and you can find MAX Go right here as well.

Thanks, CarlD!

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3 years ago

Google working on touchscreen Chromebooks to be released this year, says WSJ

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According to the Wall Street Journal's "people familiar with the matter", Google has developed touchscreen Chromebooks and has plans to sell them later this year. They say it's unclear just who is building them and exactly when they will go on sale. So far we've seen vendors like Samsung, Acer, and most recently HP, offer Chrome OS based laptops with various types if hardware inside. Google currently sells Acer and Samsung models directly through Google Play.

Developers have been seeing touch-friendly changes to the Chrome OS code for about a year now, so we knew this would happen sooner or later. Should this rumor turn out to be true, it shows that Google is happy competing against themselves by offering two touch-based operating systems to consumers. If priced appropriately, sleek touchscreen Chrome OS devices will certainly appeal to many, and drive people to use more Google services. Chrome devices may or may not be the next big thing, but we're interested in seeing what Google has to offer. 

Source: WSJ

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3 years ago

LG announces Optimus F5 and F7 to improve LTE offerings

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LG is hoping to expand the number of LTE devices in its offerings with the Optimus F Series, a set of devices that are targeted at a mid- and high-range audience. As is usually the case, the official announcement of these devices didn't follow far behind leaked renders, which seem to have been spot on. First off is the Optimus F5, which has a 4.3-inch qHD (540x960) display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 5MP camera and 2,150mAh battery. It's big brother the Optimus F7 will have a larger 4.7-inch HD (720x1280) display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, an 8MP camera and 2,540mAh battery.

The Optimus F5 and F7 will both offer LTE connectivity, run Android 4.1.2 with LG's customizations and come in both black and white varieties. The F5 will be available in Europe starting in the second quarter, while the F7 is expected to launch in "select markets" thereafter, with pricing and availability at a later date.

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3 years ago

ZTE and NVIDIA partner to release the first Tegra 4 Android phones

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It's no secret that NVIDIA's Tegra 4 processor is missing from the new device announcements of late, but today ZTE is about to change all that with the announcement of their new line of "super phones" running the beefy new chip. 

Available in China during the first half of 2013, these new devices are promised to offer "ultra-fast web browsing, improved app load times, more realistic gaming experiences and great battery life – thanks to the processor’s 72 custom NVIDIA GeForce cores and quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU." In addition, the new i500 LTE enabled chipset, the phones will have the ability to provide world-wide LTE voice and data.

ZTE shocked everyone last year with the release of the U950, which offered a quad-core Tegra 3 processor for under 160 US, as well as the well received Grand X and Grand Era that were powerhouse phones using NVIDIA technology. We really would like to see the latest phone reach the rest of the world, but no distribution plans or prices were announced. 

For more information about the i500 LTE modem, visit NVIDIA here. For the full press release, just follow the break.

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3 years ago

Google Maps, Drive and Earth updated with bugfixes

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Google has just pushed out some bugfix updates in Google Play for both Maps and Earth, along with a couple of feature improvements for Drive. Those improvements for Drive are the ability to stream video files from the app on devices running Android 3.0 and above, as well as the ability to now use pinch-to-zoom in the presentation viewer. Maps and Earth aren't getting anything notable, but we're never going to turn down a good set of bugfixes that will improve the overall experience of using these apps.

You can grab the latest version of Google Drive for the new features at the Play Store link above. If you're interested in picking up the bugfixes for Maps and Earth, they can be found here and here.

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3 years ago

Leaked renders appear for LG Optimus F series devices

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We know for sure that LG will be on hand in Barcelona next week for Mobile World Congress, and courtesy of @evleaks we're treated to 2 of the devices they may be showing off. Say hello to what is reportedly the LG Optimus F7 and F5. 

It all sits nicely with the recently released teaser trailer for LG's MWC showcase, which tossed some new letters -- F and V -- into the mix. We've already seen the latest in the L-Style range of devices announced officially, and while these two F-series devices bear a distinct resemblance, we'd hope the differences are more than just a different letter in the name. The F7 strikes a similar pose to the 2012 Optimus L9, with a slender looking profile and physical home button.

It's important to note that these are just leaks, but given the usual reliability of the source, there's a good chance these are the real deal. Whether or not we do get to see them in Barcelona remains to be seen, but we'll be live on the ground next week bringing you whatever LG has to offer.

Source: @evleaks 

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3 years ago

Google shows us 'how it feels' to use Google Glass

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The promise of what Google Glass can provide is what nerd dreams are made of, and Google is showing off some of its potential capabilities in a new "how it feels" commercial that released today. Similarly to the first Google Glass commercial from last year, the video takes on the first-person POV to show the capabilities of glass in real-world situations. Not everyone will be flying stunt planes or doing aerial trapeze tricks, but Google also shows more realistic applications -- like playing catch with your dog, swinging your child around with both hands, or riding a rollercoaster.

We also get a better idea of how we'll be able to control and see the information presented by Glass. Voice prompts are started with the command "ok, glass" -- so, for example "ok, glass take a picture", "google pictures of...", "start a hangout with..." -- and one clip shows waving in front of the screen to switch between information.

The heads-up display (for lack of a better name) is shown to be persistent in the top right corner of your vision, and shows information such as pictures you take, video times when recording, messages and transcriptions, search results, hangout views and Google Now-style cards with information like weather and navigation.

Google is opening up a competition to stir up excitement for Glass as well, which is open until February 27th, and will offer more people the opportunity to get their hands on the device at the cool price of $1500. We see huge potential for Google Glass going forward, and hope that these lofty concepts shown off in the commercials can become reality sooner than later.

More: Google

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z video walkthrough

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With the Sony Xperia Z European launch approaching, we've had time to go hands-on with the device once again, and give you a more detailed breakdown of what's coming. So if you're after a quick primer on the next Sony flagship smartphone, check out the five-minute walkthrough above.

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3 years ago

Qualcomm announces the entry level Snapdragon 200 and 400 series

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Qualcomm has announced their new 200 and 400 Snapdragon processors, designed to bring reliable performance to more people. The new chips are designed to power entry-level devices and should come in at a great price point, allowing the people who make our Android phones to deliver affordable phones with decent hardware under the hood.

The 200 series features quad A5 CPUs, running up to 1.4GHz per core. In addition, the SoC offers the Adreno 203 GPU, support for up to 8MP cameras, embedded GPS, and multi-SIM UMTS or CDMA modem options. These chips are designed from the ground up to deliver a good balance of cost versus performance, along with good battery life for low-end smart phones.

The 400 series beefs things up a bit, offering either a dual Krait aSMP version running up to 1.7GHz per core; or a quad A7 version at 1.4GHz. Both versions will be paired with an Adreno 305, native Miracast wireless display technology, and a full suite of modem options to fit just about any cellular network. The Snapdragon 400 will be an excellent choice for vendors who build high-volume phones that offer performance folks demand. 

Not every phone will offer top-end specifications. It's great to see options that make budget-friendly phones perform better, and Qualcomm realizes the importance of them. We expect to see devices running these processors in the market soon. For more information, visit the source link below.

Source: Qualcomm

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3 years ago

HTC One Otterbox cases in the works

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Sure, the back half of the HTC One is made of metal, but the front half is all glass, baby. And both of them could use some protection. One of the early entries in the HTC One case department is the venerable Otterbox, which has a trio of shells in the works. The cases actually are several layers of protection, with polycarbonate shells combined with rubber internals that cushion your HTC One as much as protects it from outright blows. There's a screen protector, too, if that's your thing.

On the left here you see the Otterbox Defender Series with Realtree Xtra Green camouflage pattern. For those times that your phone has to go incognito and keep from being seen by furry woodland creatures, we suppose.

In the middle is the more traditional HTC One Defender Series case from Otterbox. Same bad-ass protection that'll go over a little better in the boardroom, we suppose. 

And on the right is the Commuter Series case for the HTC One. It's toned down a little bit, still offering a great deal of protection, but without being mistaken for a tank. 

The Otterbox line for the HTC One starts at $59 for the Realtree case, $49 for the traditional Defender Series and $34 for the Commuter Series. You can leave your e-mail with Otterbox at the links below to be notified when they're available.

Source: HTC One Defender Series with Realtree; HTC One Defender Series; HTC One Commuter Series

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3 years ago

BBC Sport application finally makes appearance on Android

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British sports fans rejoice, the BBC Sport application for Android is finally here. Following on from a pretty decent mobile website that streamed live video such as the Olympic Games, and the release of an iOS app, Android users can now enjoy the best the BBC Sport team has to offer. Anyone who uses the BBC Sport website will know the depth of sports available, and the coverage for the UK's Football teams in particular. 

A couple of the headline features include a live football scores section, and the ability to play on-demand and live video. As such, availability is likely restricted to the UK, and we've already tried to find it in the U.S. to no avail. Spending a short time with the application leaves a mixed bag of opinions. The app itself is well designed, pretty slick to use, and the full BBC Sport content is there. Video quality in our early testing wasn't great, and hopefully is something the BBC will work on improving in coming weeks and months. If, like me, you've been waiting on this one, grab a copy at the Play Store link above

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3 years ago

TaxCaster: start thinking about your 2012 tax bill

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The sooner you start thinking about your taxes the better, and TaxCaster does a great job of helping you estimate what you'll owe before you get started on it officially. We looked last week at what the IRS had to offer to check your tax return status once you're done, but sometimes you just need an app that'll help get you started first. This won't file your taxes, but it'll surely get you on the right path.

Hang around with us after the break to see a quick overview of TaxCaster.

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3 years ago

Google updates 'What's new in Android 4.2' for the ultimate Jelly Bean changelog

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As with previous updates, you can now check out Google's own complete Jelly Bean changelog for the new features of Android 4.2, all on one page. We all know about the big additions of lockscreen widgets, redesigned clock and quick settings in the notification bar, but you may have forgotten about some of the more subtle changes. We're going to be honest there were even a few small things -- like some obscure networking improvements -- in here that we didn't know about.

Check out the full Android 4.2 changelog at the source link below, and be sure to let us know here in the comments if you find something new or interesting that you didn't know before. 

Source: Android Changelog

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3 years ago

Virgin Mobile announces the Kyocera Event for just $79

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Virgin Mobile and Kyocera have teamed up to offer an extremely low-cost Android device, the Event, for just $79.99 without a contract. Now you can't expect high-end specs at this price, but the Event shouldn't be a complete slouch. We're looking at a 3.5-inch HVGA (320x480) display, a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM (SDcard expandable), a 3.2MP camera and it's all running under Android 4.0. The software looks very slightly skinned as well, which is nice.

The Event can be purchased for just $79.99 without a contract, and paired with one of Virgin's plans that offers unlimited data starting at $35 per month for 300 minutes. This device would be a great option for a frugal first-time smartphone user.

More: Virgin Mobile

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