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3 years ago

Google Glass could be up to a year away for consumers, says Eric Schmidt

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Feedback from Explorer Edition to help fix issues before consumer release

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's "World at One" today, executive chairman of Google Eric Schmidt fielded among other things a few questions about Google Glass. While the shipping of "Explorer Edition" Glass units last week has the new gadget in the news cycle, Schmidt was a bit less optimistic about the availability of a general release to consumers. His official wording was that Glass for consumers "is probably a year-ish away". While Schmidt isn't exactly well-known for giving perfect predictions on products, you have to assume he has some knowledge of the timetable on a consumer Glass release.

This seems to be a bit of a flexible window at this point, however, as previous statements pegged a consumer release for the end of 2013. Surely as more developers get their hands on the Explorer Editions of the devices, the feedback to Google should help with the final tweaking before a broader release. Google I/O 2013 is just around the corner as well, where we could certainly be given more information.

Source: BBC Radio 4 Via: The Verge

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3 years ago

A Netherlands court agrees HTC One may be using microphone technology exclusive to Nokia

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ST Microelectronics allegedly provided parts designed by, and for Nokia's sole use to the Taiwanese manufacturer

An Amsterdam district court has granted Nokia an preliminary injunction based on the hardware components in HTC's new One phone. It seems the dual-membrane microphone setup in HTC's latest was manufactured using technology "exclusively for Nokia" by ST Microelectronics.

According to sources at Engadget, ST used patented tech and breached an NDA between themselves and Nokia to build the microphone, which shares a common identifying number between the components used in the HTC One and the Lumia 720. While there is a very good chance that Nokia will also pursue action against ST Microelectronics, the first step is to try and put a halt to the sale of devices that have the offending parts inside. In a statement to Engadget, HTC says they are "disappointed in the decision", and "are considering whether it will have any impact on our business and we will explore alternative solutions immediately."

In Nokia's defense (though they don't need any), this is different from squabbles over software patents. If what they are saying is true, ST had no business selling the fruits of Nokia R&D to any company other than Nokia, and they deserve ample compensation. But HTC is the last company that can afford to be caught in the crossfire of this sort of mess.

Source: Engadget; via: WP Central

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3 years ago

Runtastic branches out with two new biking apps

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From amateurs to professionals, you now how have two more biking exercise options

Runtastic, best known for its high-quality running, fitness and health apps, is branching out to include biking fitness apps to its catalog on Google Play. The two new apps, Runtastic Road Bike and Runtastic Mountain Bike, provide all of the great tracking and fitness features you come to expect from Runtastic, tailored to those who prefer to get their workout on two wheels. New biking-specific features like climb rates, live tracking, weather data and offline maps should compliment your rides well. The apps are also highly customizable, so you'll always have the data you want most in view.

As Runtastic tends to do, each of the new apps has both a free and paid version. We've linked to the free Road Bike app at the Play Store link above, but you can also find the Mountain Bike app right here. The paid versions each ring in at $4.99, and have extra features available. 

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3 years ago

Xbox SmartGlass now available on Amazon appstore for your Kindle Fire

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Microsoft brings their "second screen" application to Amazon's storefront for Kindle Fire devices

About six months ago Microsoft released their Xbox SmartGlass app for Android to generally good reviews. If you haven't been paying attention, the app acts as a sort of controller for your Xbox, allowing you to surf the net from the console, act as a media controller remote and even change your Xbox 3D avatar. But until today, users wanting to use the app on their Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD devices had to resort to hackery to use Google Play or outright sideload a copy.

No longer, as it's now officially available from Amazon. We're not sure just how many folks want to use a tablet as a remote versus use a smartphone, or how many of the folks who do will be using a Kindle Fire, but if you're one of them, click this link to grab it, or check out the appstore from your Kindle Fire or Kindle Fire HD.

Via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Shipments of low-cost smart phones poised to dramatically increase

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Sub-$250 devices could represent as much as 46-percent of smart phones sold by 2018

As much as the latest high-end devices steal the news cycle (especially at a time like this), a large number of the phones sold around the world are still decidedly mid- and low-end. If analysis by ABI Research is to be believed, shipments of these low-end devices are going to increase at a much faster pace than the market as a whole. In 2018, 788 million low-end smart phones are expected to be shipped, compared to mid- and high-end devices combined at 925 million.

Depending on the market, the reasons for this may be slightly different, however. For emerging markets that are much more price-sensitive, low-end devices may be the only option those consumers have to get their hands on something with internet access. As carriers in those areas look to maximize profits from data traffic, they will push to have very inexpensive smart phones available for them.

In less price-sensitive (or heavily subsidized) markets like Western Europe and the U.S., there are still millions upon millions of people waiting to make that move from their feature phone onwards to a smart phone. Factoring the jump to a more expensive monthly rate including data, those consumers may need a stepping stone in the way of a more affordable (think $0 on-contract) option. These inexpensive phones also have the added bonus of carrying a smaller subsidy for the carriers to manage. Remember that while we like to focus on the highest of high-end devices, there's a whole market out there for phones that are a little more pedestrian.

Source: ABIresearch (BusinessWire)

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3 years ago

T-Mobile LG Optimus L9 Jelly Bean update rolling out now

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350MB update will start hitting devices today over the air

It's not the latest, greatest, biggest or fastest device out there, but the LG Optimus L9 on T-Mobile will benefit from an update to Jelly Bean just the same. Today the carrier announced via a support page document that the move to 4.1.2 will be coming OTA (Over The Air) to devices starting today. The European models of the L9 started receiving the update just last week, so it's nice to see a U.S. variant fall right in line.

There aren't too many specifics on the T-Mobile support page about the update, other than the fact that you'll need over 50-percent battery to accept the OTA and that you'll be downloading a sizeable 350MB file for it. Have an Optimus L9 on T-Mobile? Keep an eye out for this update, or drop a comment below if you've already received it.

Source: T-Mobile Support

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean now available for the Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G

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This solid mid-range qwerty slider has an update to Android 4.1.2 ready and waiting both OTA and via Samsung Kies

The Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G now has an official Jelly Bean update ready and waiting from Samsung and T-Mobile. The update to Android 4.1.2, version T699UVBMC5 is available both over the air, and through Samsung's desktop software Kies. The OTA update will remain available until May 30, and devices must be running version T699UVMA2, T699UVLJ1 or T699UVLH1 to be able to install today's update to Jelly Bean.

This new platform update brings along the features from Android 4.1.2, including notables like Google Now and Project Butter and should make quite a nice difference in performance and reliability. If you're using one of these solid sliders, you'll want this one.

While the Galaxy S3 may have captured most of the attention from Samsung last year, the fact is they made plenty of other quality, mid-range devices. The Relay 4G is one of those, and we're glad they were able to bump the version up for the folks that picked up this one. For more information about updating, see the source link below.

Source: T-Mobile

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3 years ago

Quick look: Cut the Rope Time Travel

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The extremely popular franchise just keeps growing with this new addition

There may not be a casual mobile game franchise more well-known than Cut the Rope at this point. And while other names come and go, developer ZeptoLab just keeps cranking out great iterations of this simple concept. It looks like they have yet another winner on their hands with the latest iteration -- dubbed "Time Travel" -- with new game mechanics, sounds and a few new friends as well.

Stick around after the break to get a quick primer on the big changes you can expect in Cut the Rope: Time Travel.

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3 years ago

Cricket unveils new $40 per line 'unlimited' family plan

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Cricket has announced a new affordable rate plan for multi-phone households. Families who opt for the automatic bill pay  feature and have two or more phones will now be able to have unlimited talk minutes, unlimited text messaging, and unlimited (1GB at "full-speed") data for just $40 per line. That's a $10 savings over the standard $50 that a single-line plan costs. Also included is a subscription to Muve Music, which allows for unlimited music downloads and streaming as well as access to ringtones and ringback tones.

Cricket also offers $60 monthly plans with 2.5GB of full-speed data per month, and $70 plans with 5GB of full-speed data monthly. Both of these plans include Cricket's mobile hot spot capability so that customers can attach additional wireless devices to their smartphone, and also offer the same Muve Music subscription.

The new plan will be available for everyone starting today, and more information can be found at company-owned stores nationwide. Hit the break for the full press release.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 screen weathers a flurry of blades

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Over the weekend, one Romanian reviewer put the screen of the Samsung Galaxy S4 through a gauntlet of durability tests. Three different knives, a pen, a set of keys, and a fistful of coins didn't seem able to put the slightest mark on the S4's front face. This is good news for those that are on the verge of picking up one of these bad boys. 

The Galaxy S4 is the first handset to use Gorilla Glass 3, which we've seen take a pretty harsh beating at CES, showing that it can do as well with impacts just as it can with scratches. 

After seeing the video below, are you any more convinced about picking up a Samsung Galaxy S4? How highly does screen durability rate in your purchasing decisions? 

Via: SamMobile

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3 years ago

Rogers opens up LTE in 7 new markets

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Canadian carrier Rogers has begun rolling out into the 44 markets they had promised a few weeks ago. Seven new markets go live today, including a few in my hometown of Ottawa.

  • Ottawa, including Kanata, Nepean, Gloucester, Stittsville and Cumberland
  • Airdrie, Alberta
  • Langley, B.C
  • Keswick; Ontario
  • Hamilton, including Grimsby in Ontario
  • Orillia, Ontario
  • Stratford, Ontario

As ever, Rogers is touting their access to the 2600 MHz band for faster speeds on the Samsung Galaxy S4. Any Canadian readers in these new markets? How many Rogers customers out there happy with their LTE service? 

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3 years ago

Get ready for #tm13

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Mobile Nations' own Kevin Michaluk of CrackBerry, Phil Nickinson of Android Central, Rene Ritchie of iMore, and Daniel Rubino of Windows Phone Central, are joined by John P and Cali Lewis of GeekBeat.TV to tease their huge new [redacted]. That's all we can say for now, but stay tuned to all of our sites, follow us on Twitter and G+, and look out for #TM13 for more!

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3 years ago

Facebook Home hits 500,000 installs, but what about active users?

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Sometimes a big number is just... a big number

The new "love it or hate it" app out there, Facebook Home, has surpassed a pretty notable milestone in the Play Store today: 500,000 installs. That's half a million installs of an app that many said would appeal to a very small section of people -- those who are presumably "all in" with Facebook. But what does that 500,000 number even mean? Not that much, actually. Any time that someone clicks "install" on the Google Play store, it counts as an install. It doesn't matter if the user never actually launches the app, whether they set it as a default launcher or even whether it stays installed on their phone for more than 10 minutes.

It's kind of like a hamburger restaurant saying "10 million customers served". Well, sure they were served, but did they actually enjoy the food? Lots of users may be taking one bite out of Facebook Home and throwing it in the trash, and the Google Play numbers simply don't reflect that.

The real number we'd love to take a look at is active installs. How many people have installed Facebook Home, then continued to use it. Given the current ratings it is receiving in the play store -- an average of 2.2 out of 5 -- we have to guess that number is well below 500,000. And without that "active installs" number, we don't believe there's any comment to be made about the success of Home this early in the game.

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3 years ago

App Developer? Take the Vision Mobile Developer Economics Survey!

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Developer? Take a 10-minute online survey and you could win great prizes! Results will be freely available in June via @visionmobile.

Our friends at Vision Mobile reached out to let us know they're once again running their Developer Economics survey. 

The Developer Economics research series, now in its 5th year, examines top mobile platforms, app monetization & many more key issues for developers today. The results from the surveys are released as publicly available reports.

If you're an app developer, take the new Developer Economics 10-minute survey, have your say on the latest trends in mobile development and you can also win great prizes!  

Prizes this year include a Samsung Galaxy SIII, a BlackBerry Z10, Lumia 920, AR Drone, Nest thermostat and Nike Fuel band up for grabs!

Take the Survey!

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