Samsung's do-not-disturb option is oddly named but easy to use
Sometimes Galaxy S5 features need quite a bit of explanation. This isn't one of those times. Blocking Mode is a poorly named but extremely useful function that serves as the phone's do-not-disturb mode. You'll find it in Settings>Personalization, or as one of Samsung's numerous quick settings in the notification pull-down.
New camera options bring a little extra to your pictures, but who does it the best?
The new rage in smartphone cameras these days is selective focus. Think of a really nice portrait you've seen of a friend or family member, where they were in focus and there was a lovely background that was slightly out of focus. It really makes the subject "pop" and photographers — both professional and amatuer — love the look. It's only natural that this made it's way onto our phones. It's not really something new, as there have been apps that do the same thing for a while now. But seeing the folks who make our phones get into the game means more adoption, and hopefully, better results.
Google's first quarter 2014 results are in, and the company unsurprisingly made buckets of money. Revenue was up to $15.4 billion, a 19% increase from the same quarter a year prior. Earnings were also up, clocking in at $4.12 billion — 27% of revenues. That's an increase in the raw profit from last year, but also a drop in the share of revenue (it was 29% this time last year).
Real Racing 3 has been updated to include a batch of open-wheeled cars. These new rides include the Caterham Seven 620R, KTM X-Bow R, Ariel Atom 3.5 and V8, plus the Porsche 911 RSR (2014) and Hyundai Veloster Turbo have been tossed in for good measure. That Turbo actually has a special event associated with it where you could win a real trip to Italy. There’s also a new Road to Le Mans live event with unique rewards to be won. Finally, you can now check out the collections of your friends, because who doesn’t like drooling with envy?
Just a couple of weeks after a full-fledged Chrome Remote Desktop app entered closed beta testing it has been opened up for all to use through the Play Store. The completely free app will let your Android device — assuming it's running Android 4.0 or above — connect to and control any computer you have the Chrome Remote Desktop software installed on.
The client is simple, but mimics closely what you find doing computer-to-computer remote access with its existing Chrome and desktop clients. You can see all computers listed by the Google account they're associated with, connect by entering a PIN and control your computer from anywhere. You simply swipe around on the screen to move the cursor, tap to click and tap and hold to drag for selections or to move windows. The app offers a full on-screen keyboard for text input and a one-tap ctrl-alt-del button for those controlling Windows machines.
The app has worked pretty smoothly on our Nexus 7, but it's clear that you won't be getting any super heavy work done on a small screen controlling a full desktop operating system. For those who need remote desktop in pinch though, Chrome Remote Desktop is one of the simplest ways to go now.
Google’s official camera app has received an update today with a few new things. We’ve got a new background blur effect that has become all the rage with SLR wannabes like the HTC One M8 and a new UI with extra-big capture button. It's also worth noting that the aspect ratio of the shot is properly reflected in the preview now, a longtime issue with the old stock Camera app. And the much maligned radial menu for controlling shooting modes has been dumped too, replaced with an overflow menu near the shutter key, which gives access to guidelines, HDR, flash and the front camera.
The new version has a lot in common with recent leaks purporting to show future Gmail and Calendar apps. It’ll be great to see what else gets updated in the near future, as Google appears to be exploring a new visual direction for its Android apps.
Photospheres have been updated as well and now support resolutions of up to 50 megapixels.
The update is available for phones and tablets on Android 4.4 and up, so you don't need a Nexus or GPe device to take it for a spin. Download it now and let us know what you think.
There have been many murmurs about the LG G3 lately, and a launch is creeping closer to reality with a leaked image of the retail packaging revealed by The Verge. Apparently the gold color on the front is going to match the device itself. There aren’t any new pictures of the G3, but a leaked LG handset due for Japan may give you an idea of what to expect. When reached for comment, LG would only confirm that their next handset would have the 1440 x 2560 display that we had glimpsed earlier, thought not the exact size.
A few months back saw Sprint introduce their new Framily Plan discounts that allowed customers to see reduced per-line prices for each line added to their account, and now prepaid carrier Aio is firing back with their own version of the concept. They're calling it Group Save, and it could save Aio customers up to $90 when they have five lines on their account.
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