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2 weeks ago

Live from SDC14: Curtis Sasaki and the growth of the developer conference

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Samsung Developer ConferenceStarting a developer conference — and attracting developers from throughout the world — is quite the endeavor, as anyone who's ever been to a dev con knows. The logistics alone are are daunting, to say nothing of the services and products that will be showed at an event. And Samsung in its second year has grown from a Union Square hotel to none other than Moscone West, home for the likes of Google I/O and WWDC.

We caught up with Samsung senior vice president Curtis Sasaki, who's been an instrumental player in this year's developer conference, to see what it takes to pull it off, and what it means for the developers who attend.

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2 weeks ago

LG G3 lands in Best Buy in new cool blue hue

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LG's flagship G3 smartphone is landing in Best Buy with a new steel blue shade. The phone, with its QHD resolution display, is identical to the one we had reviewed, except it comes with a new metallic coat of paint in blue. Additionally, the LG G3 is currently on sale at Best Buy with a price tag of just $99 on contract with AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon Wireless.

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2 weeks ago

Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition is coming to the US in early December [Updated with pricing: $199]

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[UPDATE] Oculus has confirmed the price of the Gear VR Innovator Edition in a blog post here. It will set you back $199 for the standalone headset, or $249 when bundled with a Bluetooth gamepad.

It's been a while since we first tried out the Samsung Gear VR, and now we finally know when it's going to be available: early December. Powered by the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and using that smartphone's quad HD display as its own, the Gear VR Innovator Edition was made in partnership with Oculus VR. But this isn't the last VR headset that Samsung's going to release.

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2 weeks ago

Live from SDC14: Powering the connected home with SmartThings

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Samsung Developer ConferenceThe connected home is becoming a reality, and although we don't all have robot maids and remote controlled lawn mowers, we're getting there step by step. SmartThings is at the forefront of the push for the connected home, and after joining forces with Samsung it has a lot of big ideas about how this is all going to work together.

We caught up with Jeff Hagins, CTO and co-founder of SmartThings for a chat at the Samsung Developer Conference, to talk about the future of the connected home. Check out our interview for the full scoop.

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2 weeks ago

SmartThings brings live chat support to Android app, improves mode management

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SmartThings is making it easier to set up and install your smart home thanks a new Android app update that brings with it live in-app chat support. The support feature allows you to chat directly with a member of the SmartThings support team so you can get up and running quickly. Additionally, the update brings better mode management allowing you to switch between modes easily. Along with these new features, the requisite bug fixes are also in tow.

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2 weeks ago

Live from SDC14: Andrew Dickerson and the possibilities of Gear VR

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Samsung Developer ConferenceSamsung's Gear VR is one of the leading products on showcase here at SDC, and development is just getting started. With the Innovator Edition of the Gear VR ready to hit the hands (well, faces) of developers, more people are getting excited. Big names in media, gaming and entertainment are creating not only games but also virtual reality experiences for Gear VR, and it's all happening at a rapid pace starting with folks here at SDC.

We had the opportunity to interview one of the brains behind the Gear VR, Director of Software Development at Samsung Andrew Dickerson, at the Samsung Developer Conference. Check out the full interview for more on what's to come with Gear VR.

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2 weeks ago

Live from SDC14: PayPal and Braintree making payments ever easier

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Those of us of a certain age remember life before PayPal. But as we continue to pay for more and more things digitally, it's increasingly important to have a safe and secure — and easy — way to do it. PayPal, of course, is one of the biggest names in that space.

Samsung Developer ConferenceBut another that's been mostly behind the scenes is Braintree. It's used as a facilitator for credit card transactions. If you've used Uber, you've seen Braintree in action, making it possible to switch from, say, your company credit card to your personal card, with just a few taps. (Which, in fact, is what I do all the time.)

We caught up with Jonathan LeBlanc and Tim Messerschmidt from PayPal and Braintree at the Samsung Developer Conference to see what's new, and what's to come.

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2 weeks ago

Android 5.0 Lollipop Nexus factory images are live — here's how to update!

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Lollipop updates

New Android 5.0 Lollipop factory images for the Nexus 5, 7, 10 and 9

Android 5.0 Lollipop is upon us! The Nexus 9 tablet tablet has been on sale for a good while, but today the first Lollipop updates have started to become available for Nexus devices in the form of factory images. At the time of writing we're seeing Lollipop factory images for the Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (Wifi-only, 2013 + 2014 models) and Nexus 10 over on the Android Developers site. There's also an updated build for the Nexus 9 — LRX21Q.

As always, Android 5.0 updates will filter to Nexus and Google Play edition devices automatically in the coming weeks for those who don't manually update.

However if you don't want to wait to update your Nexus phone or tablet, the good news is that manually updating your device is relatively easy. All you'll need is your Nexus, an unlocked bootloader, a little bit of command line knowledge. We'll walk you through the process after the break.

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2 weeks ago

Hands-on with the Babolat Play Pure Drive connected tennis racket

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Babolat Play Pure Drive

Work on your swing and technique with modern technology

Samsung Developer ConferenceWe've seen fitness trackers, but what about a connected tennis tracker? Babolat's Play Pure Drive is a connected tennis racket that gives you more information on your tennis skills than you could ever imagine, and we've had a chance to use it here at SDC 2014. Working with its massive experience in making tennis rackets, the Babolat Play Pure Drive feels and plays the same as its other high-end rackets but gives you buckets of data after your training session or competitive match for analysis.

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2 weeks ago

Beautifully minimalist puzzle game 'TwoDots' lands on Android

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TwoDots, the minimalist puzzle game from developer Playdots, has made its way to Android. The game is free to play with in-app purchases and offers up 135 engaging levels located in environments stretching from arctic tundras to the depths of the ocean.

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2 weeks ago

Android 5.0 Lollipop is now rolling out to Nexus devices

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Here comes Lollipop

Behold, Android 5.0 Lollipop has started its long-awaited deployment to Nexus devices. Grab your Nexus, be it a Nexus 5 or a Nexus 7, or perhaps even the new vanguard the Nexus 9, and check thee for an update. It might be there, it might not. But it's coming, starting now.

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2 weeks ago

Galaxy Note Edge comes to Germany with Premium Edition bundle

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Samsung announced that it will release a Premium Edition of its Galaxy Note Edge. While the launch is limited to Germany and the promotional period will last through the end of the year, users in other regions have nothing to worry about as the Galaxy Note Edge Premium Edition bundle contains the exact same Galaxy Note Edge that will launch elsewhere, just with more accessories in the box, a privilege that will cost potential owners 899 euros.

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2 weeks ago

Chrome 39 released with faster background loading

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An update to Chrome for Android — version 39.0.2171.59, to be specific — is rolling out now onto Google Play. It might not hit or be available on your device immediately, but it's coming. Google likes to roll things out nice and slow, just in case something breaks.

Here's what's new in Chrome 39:

  • Faster browsing with support for preloading pages in the background
  • More polish to new Material Design look
  • Lots of bug fixes!

The updated Chrome is available now in Google Play.

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2 weeks ago

Samsung talks up Smart Home initiatives at Developer Conference

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Samsung has launched the beta of its Smart Home SDK, first unveiled back in September at IFA 2014. The SDK allows appliances developed with it to be controlled from Samsung Smart TVs and smartphones. The beta is currently available for device developers, as well as service partners.

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2 weeks ago

'OK, Google' comes to third-party apps with Google Search update

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Google is expanding its voice search today to third-party apps thanks to a new update to the Google Search app for Android. Initially rolling out first to devices with Android Lollipop, like the Nexus 6 and the Nexus 9, the Search app also introduces a visual makeover with Material Design as well as a new Google Now card that reminds you to get on task to finalize plans that you've penciled in earlier.

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