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3 years ago

Hands-on with the ZTE Grand S II LTE

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High-end specs and new voice control functionality lead ZTE into 2014

Following up precisely a year after the launch of the original Grand S LTE, the 2014 flagship device for ZTE is the Grand S II LTE. In proper second-generation device fashion, the Grand S II isn't a stark departure from the original. We're looking at a very similar size and shape, but with a few new design differences. The Grand S II is focusing more on ergonomics rather than being the thinnest phone in the world, and the internal specs have been boosted as well.

You'll find a Snapdragon 800 processor on board, along with 2GB of RAM powering this 5.5-inch 1080 x 1920 display. The Grand S II has a similar 13MP camera and 3000mAh battery as before, which are fine specs to carry this device through the year.

The bigger deal with this 2014 flagship, ZTE is hoping, is the software. Based on a build of Android 4.3, ZTE is cleaning up its software design just a bit and adding additional functionality. Visually you'll see a few different changes in the settings and notification shade that are a logical evolution of ZTE's design, but there are two big changes you'll notice right away. The first is extensive voice control over the Grand S II — you'll have the ability to operate and navigate the device completely hands-free if you choose. You can unlock the device, take pictures, give commands while driving and more.

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3 years ago

#CESLive morning brief: Friday, January 10

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The end is nigh, and our guys in Vegas are packing their swag bags and beginning to head back to their respective corners of the globe. But before the stage comes down, join us at 11:30 PST for the final day of #CESLive -- we'll be sitting down with Olloclip, MyCaseBuilder, Monoprice and more as CES 2014 comes to an official close. Parting will be such sweet sorrow.

After five days on the ground, a handful of keynotes, countless #CESLive interviews and one evening with a mechanical bull, what was your favorite moment of CES 2014? Be sure to share it with us in the comments below, but before you do, head on over to our #CESLive hub to catch up on all the CES news fit to print. 

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3 years ago

CES Day 3 round-up: Smartwatches, smartwatches, and smartwatches

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3 years ago

Taking a spin in the all-electric BMW i3 at #CESlive

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Electric Drive

It's been an odd development over the past few years, but car manufacturers are now among the biggest exhibitors at CES. With giant and massively expensive booths you'll find Sony and Samsung along with Ford and Audi. BMW, too, has a huge presence at CES 2014, taking up the entirety of the parking lot outside the south hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. They built an exhibition center to show off the technology that's gone into their electric "i" sub-brand.

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3 years ago

Motorola offering free Chromecast with off contract Moto X purchase

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New promotion puts a free Chromecast in your cart

If the recent price drop wasn't enough to make you purchase a Moto X, Motorola hopes their new deal may be the one. For those who purchase a Moto X at full retail will be eligible for a free Chromecast as well, and who doesn't love free stuff -- right. Taking part in this promotion is easy, simply add a 16GB or 32GB Moto X to your cart, and a Chromecast, and then use the promo code STREAM, and the Chromecast becomes free.

Whether you are interested in the 16GB version for $399, or would rather the 32GB for $449 if you purchase prior to 1/14/14 you can get a Chromecast in addition at no additional cost.

No more excuses, get to designing!

Source: Motorola

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3 years ago

BBM 2.0 and the slew of new features #CESlive

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BBM me baby, one more time

Cali and Kevin sat down with Alex Kinsella of BlackBerry to discuss the companies plans for the future of BlackBerry Messenger 2.0. With BBM Channels having recently officially launched on BlackBerry devices, Alex speaks about bringing them to Android along with QuickShare, which will allow sharing of contacts and attachments, as well as integrate directly with Dropbox and Glympse. This will help to move information between yourself and friends with ease.

BlackBerry realizes that people love to get things done, and get them done quickly. The updates to BBM will allow for just that. Be sure to check out the full interview above to see all that they have to say about BBM 2.0 and what it will bring.

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3 years ago

NewTek shows how they fit a TV truck in a box #CESlive

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Honey, I shrunk the TV truck

Cali and Kevin got to sit down with Philip Nelson of NewTek to discuss how they were able to pack what used to fit in a whole truck all inside of one rather small box. While it may not be Android related, it is some amazing tech, and to be honest we all love great technology -- right? NewTek was kind enough to sponsor CESlive this year, and we are extremely thankful that we were able to bring you all this technology thanks to them.

If you want to see how NewTek shrunk the TV truck and fit it into a portable box be sure to check out the full interview above.

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3 years ago

Google Play Services 4.1 pushing out now

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Promises better battery life for users with location reporting enabled

Google is pushing out the 4.1 version of Google Play Services, and with it comes a few nice changes. 

First off — and most important to many — is the promise of better battery life if you have location services enabled. Many users see pretty rough battery life while using location services, even if you don't. This is a known issue that Google is always fighting with — we want out phones to do a lot , and that takes juice. Finding the balance point is tough.

Another new feature is turn-based multiplayer support for developers who build games that require it. Turn data is saved in the users Google account, and the service supports 2 - 8 players. Also there is a new and optional animation when Play services load for gaming, to help contextualize things.

Next up is the developer preview of the Google Drive API. Developers can now read and write files in the users Google Drive account, and common assets like UI components and file dialogs are available.

Rounding out the changes, Google+ sharing is now easier, with better autocomplete and suggested contacts when sharing to Google+ from a Play Services connected app, and some new advertising networks are supported.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

How to keep just anyone on Google+ from sending you Gmail

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Google's just implemented a new feature in Gmail that — by default — lets anyone in your Google+ circles send you email without actually having your address. (Google is sending out email now reminding folks that this is taking effect.)

Here's how to keep that from happening.

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3 years ago

Smartwatch Fans Podcast 02: #CESlive 2014!

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Kevin Michaluk, Rene Ritchie and Phil Nickinson joined Smartwatch Fan's Adam Zeis on this special edition #CESlive podcast to talk Pebble Steel and smartwatches galore at CES 2014. We've seen plenty of awesome devices (and some not so much) and we'll still have plenty of coverage to come. This one's quick so give it a watch and hit up the comments with your thoughts. Oh, and don't forget to subscribe to our feed(s). And if you haven't visited our SmartwatchFans.com yet, do it now (and tell your friends!).

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3 years ago

Eternity Warriors 3 now available on Android

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Action / RPG title is free to play, and a ton of fun

Glu has released Eternity Warrior 3 for Android today, and they bring an amazing display of graphics and gameplay to Android. Whether you play as the warrior, the Monk (play the Monk, though) or the Mage you're going to love Eternity Warriors 3. In the same vein as the PC hit Diablo III — one of my favorites — you crawl dungeons, travel the wilderness, and stay alive as you fight a horde of evil determined to feast on what's left of you when it is over.

We're just getting into this one, but I can tell you that the gameplay is fluid, the framerates are high, and the graphics are beautiful. Of course, the in-app purchases are a nuisance, but hopefully one worth dealing with to play a game of this quality on a mobile device.

The app is free to play, and it's well worth the download to at least see how well it's done. Grab it at the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Google further blurs the line between Google+ and Gmail

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New setting lets anyone (or no one) email you through Google+ — even if they don't have your Gmail address

Google today announced a new feature (or not, depending on your point of view) that will let anyone (or no one) e-mail you — even if they don't know your address. 

The change will take advantage of Google+, using Google's social service (OK, it's actually way more than that at this point) to suggest contacts and send messages — even if you don't know that person's address.

(Have we mentioned it'll be possible for people to e-mail you even if they don't know your Gmail address?)

At face value, this sounds a little scary. Or at least it has the potential to be annoying as hell. The good news is that Google's going to email everyone when the feature goes live, and you'll be able to turn it off and on at your leisure, restricting the communications to only folks in your circles, extended circles (that'd be your circles' circles), anyone on Google+ — or no one, if you choose.

Source: Gmail blog

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3 years ago

Martian Watches show us their new products and software #CESlive

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An analog face and a notification screen make for some of the best looking smartwatches yet

Watch as John P. and Adam talk with Pam Niemi from Martian Watches all about their upcoming product, the Martian Notifier, as well as demo their existing voice control watches.

Martian realizes that a watch has to look good as well as be functional, and they are trying to bridge that gap with a traditional styled watch that can still give you the notifications you need and the features you want.

Their app is no slouch either, and the Android version will send notifications from any application right to your wrist.

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3 years ago

EE and Vodafone set to get speedy in Channel Tunnel

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20 million yearly travelers will now have high speed broadband inside the Chunnel

Looks like EE and Vodafone are set to unleash some speed in the Channel Tunnel, a transportation mode that turns the trip from the UK to France into a 35-minute jaunt.

Vodafone and EE's networks will consist of LTE (or, as EE creatively calls it, "4GEE"), 3G and 2G. Services should be up by this summer. The goal is to have 2G and 3G up by March. 4G might take a little bit longer.

Fotis Karonis, EE CTO, had this to say about the development:

We’re proud to offer customers a superfast 4G service when they’re traveling from the UK into Europe. It’s another technology first for EE, and it’s one that will make a big difference to business workers and people going away on holiday. Being connected is such an important part of traveling now and this will be another route we’ve covered with 4G, making a huge difference to millions of customers who can now make the most of their journey time.

According to EE, around 20 million people travel through the Channel Tunnel each year.

This just might give me a good reason to go over there and try it out!

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3 years ago

The Neptune Pine is a big smartwatch or a small tablet — and it runs Android #CESlive

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Detachable body, phone functions, two cameras and a Snapdragon S4 top the feature list of the Neptune Pine

Most smartwatches are companion products, like the Galaxy Gear. The Neptune Pine aims to replace your smartphone, and is a full stand-alone Android device.

The 2.4-inch screen detaches from the band, and using the full qwerty keyboard you can have a device that fits in your palm, complete with things like GPS and maps, Bluetooth, and a web browser. You can even use it as a paypass device, because it has NFC on-board.

John P. and Adam had a talk with Aaron Wilkins from Neptune Pine, and seem very impressed with their real-world look at the product. Check it out!

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