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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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3 years ago

HTC One goes up for pre-order on Expansys at £519

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It was only a matter of time, but we thought it would be a little more time than this. Expansys is following in Clove's footsteps today and has just put up the HTC One for pre-order at the cool price of £519. Both silver and black varieties are available, but only in 32GB capacity (as expected). The pricing looks about the same to what Clove is offering the One for SIM free in the U.K. also.

Expansys also has pre-order placeholders ready to sell to U.S. customers, with both colors and capacities available, but there isn't any pricing information just quite yet. Three of the four major carriers in the U.S. have announced availability as well, so it looks like folks stateside will have several options when it comes to buying this device.

Source: Expansys

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3 years ago

Qualcomm announces Quick Charge 2.0, up to 75 percent faster charging

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If you thought Qualcomm's 40 percent faster charging time in Quick Charge 1.0 was impressive, wait till you see Quick Charge 2.0. The processor manufacturer today took the wraps off the second-generation of Quick Charge, which will power up smartphones and tablets up to 75 percent faster than devices that don't have Quick Charge 2.0. 

Quick Charge 2.0 is a combined effort of on-device technology (it's either a standalone integrated circuit solution, or built into the power management in the Snapdragon 800 system on a chip), along with the Quick Charge 2.0 wall charger. Qualcomm says that new tech will fit into existing wall charger footprints, so they'll look the same as what's currently available but provide up to 60 watts of power. Quick Charge 2.0 wall chargers aren't expected to be avialable before 2014, however.

More: Qualcomm

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3 years ago

Beautiful Widgets hits version 5.1 with new widgets and beta channel option

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The Beautiful Widgets team continues to push out updates, and the latest version of the popular app adds a substantial amount of new stuff. Among the additions in the latest Beautiful Widgets 5.1 are new widgets (natch) -- there's a "barebones" widget designed for tablets, available in 6x1 or 6x2 grid sizes. There's also the option to switch weather providers -- Weather Underground support is offered alongside AccuWeather.

The forecast screen has been updated with "lifestyles" information when using AccuWeather, showing how well-suited the current conditions are to certain activities like golf, lawn mowing and hiking (as well as certain dangers like the flu risk.)

And finally, there's a new optional beta channel that gives widget enthusiasts the chance to test out early features before they're fully stable.

Check the source link for a full list of changes and fixes in the new Beautiful Widgets 5.1, or hit the Google Play link above to jump straight to the download.

Source: LevelUp Studio

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3 years ago

Watch the HTC One London launch replay

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Peter Chou, Scott Croyle and a host of other live from London for the main event of the HTC One launch.

More: HTC One forums

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3 years ago

From the forums: Top HTC One discussions

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In case you missed it, HTC announced a new phone yesterday, and the Android Central forums have been busy with discussion about everything from the shiny all-metal body to the new "Ultrapixel" camera. Here's a quick breakdown of some the best threads so far --

More: HTC One forum

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3 years ago

Pudding Monsters: City Tour lands tomorrow

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ZeptoLab, the fine folks behind the likes of Cut the Rope and Pudding Monsters, announced today that Pudding Monsters: City Tour will be released Feb. 21 on Android and iOS. The gist is the same as the original -- you build Mega Monsters (out of pudding) to fight the angry Fridge Owner. This sequel adds 25 new levels set against the backdrop of skyscrapers and city streets. 

Look for a link tomorrow. The new game costs 99 cents. The app costs 99 cents, but the update is free.

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3 years ago

UK 4G spectrum auction concludes, EE + Vodafone are the big spenders

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The UK's long-delayed 4G spectrum auction has completed today, resulting in the sale of 800MHz and 2600MHz airwaves to the country's largest operators for a total of £2.3 billion.

Here's what it means for each of the major providers --

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