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4 years ago

Check out 24 of the best Photo Sphere shots so far

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With the Nexus 4 in the hands of Googlers and press alike, and a leaked version of the app doing the rounds on other phones, Google+ is starting to play host to a wealth of high-quality Photo Sphere images. Taken using the Android 4.2 camera app, Photo Shere pics stitch multiple images together in up to 360 degrees, allowing you to create a Google Street View-like globe of shots.

We've collected some of the best Photo Sphere from Google+, and we've got 'em linked for your enjoyment after the break. There's 24 in total, from a variety of countries around the world.

If you've got any Photo Sphere images of your own that you're particularly proud of, be sure to drop us a link down in the comments!

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4 years ago

Verizon HTC DLX (Droid DNA) makes appearance at FCC

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Lately we've been seeing an awful lot of this 5-inch beaut called the HTC DLX (or Droid DNA), and a recent FCC filing is making it look a lot more official. Consistent with the Verizon branding we've seen over the weekend, the FCC filing for the HTC6435LVW lists support for Verizon CDMA and LTE bands, along with a few extra kicked in for world roaming. 

We've had a source getting up-close and personal with this particular device, and combined with some rumored specs from other sources, we're starting to get a pretty clear idea of what to expect. The HTC DLX will be running Android 4.1.1 with Sense 4+ running on top, have a 5-inch 1080p display, and run a 1.5 GHz quad-core processor with 2 GB of RAM. There should be an 8 megapixel camera on the back, but it might go up to 12. That said, the Droid DNA is shaping up to be one sweet device; the only thing we're waiting for now is a proper announcement in time for the holidays (or better yet, Black Friday). 

In any case, you can take a look at the FCC filing over here if you want to get into the technical stuff. Anyone interested in picking this one up? If the specs pan out, how well do you guys think HTC is going to do over the holidays?

Via: Engadget

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4 years ago

Open Handset Alliance turns five today

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Today marks the fifth birthday of the organization that made Android possible -- the Open Handset Alliance. On Nov. 5, 2007, Google, T-Mobile, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung and others joined forces and announced the development of the Android mobile platform.

The result of Google's 2005 acquisition of Andy Rubin's Android, Inc., the first version of Android wouldn't appear on handsets until a year later, and even then, early versions looked radically different to the Android we know today.

But the main pillars of Android were already in place back in 2007 -- a focus on an open platform that anyone could build on, and variety in hardware and network support through numerous partners. It's this variety that's seen Android thrive in recent years.

At the time of the announcement, the iPhone had just been released, and many of us were carrying either featurephones, or BlackBerry or Windows Mobile devices. Five years on, the landscape has shifted dramatically, with Android claiming as much as 75 percent of the global smartphone market, according to recent figures.

How times have changed. Any guesses as to where the next half-decade might take us?

More: Open Handset Alliance

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4 years ago

Instagram profiles coming to the web

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After holing up on mobile since its inception, Instagram has announced that their iconic photo sharing app will be hitting the web with full profiles over the next couple of days. Previously, you could only really view individual pictures on the web, but these new profile pages allow users to follow fellow Instagrammers, leave comments and likes on pictures, or edit their profiles. 

Instagram was recently snatched up by Facebook, so it's not surprising to see them opening up a little bit. Once Instagram on the web is fully matured, it will be interesting to see how the two social networks drift into one another. Will they eventually merge userbases, or will they still coexist as separate entities? The update doesn't allow web uploads of images, instead continuing to favor mobile, which should give us an idea of Instagram's future direction.

Any heavy-duty Instagram users out there? Serious photographers, what's your take on the service? Is it legitimate enough for Time magazine to use it to cover Sandy, or is Instagram overhyped and tacky?

Source: Instagram

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4 years ago

Judge throws out Apple lawsuit against Motorola (and Google)

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The patent battle between Apple and Google (by way of Motorola) just keeps on going. Apple and Google were set to square off in the courtroom today in Wisconsin over allegations that Motorola's patent licensing practices were unfair. Fortunately -- for our collective sanity, if nothing else -- the case has been thrown out by the federal judge assigned to the suit. A spokeswoman for Google had this to say about Google's patent licensing practices:

"Motorola has long offered licensing to our extensive patent portfolio at a reasonable and non-discriminatory rate in line with industry standards." 

The suit was thrown out with prejudice, which means that it is overturned at the trial court level, but you can bet we'll see Apple appeal this decision as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this is likely far from over.

Source: Reuters

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4 years ago

Samsung and Amazon snatch tablet market share from Apple

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IDC's quarterly research of the tablet market revealed that Samsung and Amazon have done really well lately at the expense of the iPad. As you might expect, Apple still holds about 50% of the tablet market share worldwide, but Samsung is up to 18.4%, and Amazon is up to 9% - significant improvements over 6.5% and nil at the same time last year. By comparison, the iPad claimed 65.5% in Q2 2012, and 59.7% tablet market share in Q3 2011. IDC figures that the tablet market has grown nearly 50% since last year, and grew 6.7% from Q2 2012 to Q3. 

Of course, this data isn't taking into account the iPad 4 and iPad mini, which are likely to show Apple clawing back some market share, though the Nexus 10 will likely give Apple some stiff competition. Windows 8 RT is also an option now, though it's hard to imagine a lot of folks going that route this early on. On paper, it looks like the N10 will beat out the iPad 4, but we all know these devices come down to more than just specs. 

How do you guys see the rest of the year playing out in the tablet space? How much longer will it be before the iPad is in the minority? Will it be able to weather the barrage of Android tablets coming out of the woodwork? Is there any room for a third platform?

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4 years ago

Rovio teases Angry Birds Star Wars gameplay prior to November 8 launch

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Angry Birds Star Wars is approaching its November 8 launch, and Rovio continues to tease us, today with another gameplay trailer. The birds all look like characters from the classic sci-fi movie, complete with special Star Wars-themed abilities.

The red bird will be able to spin with a lightsaber, taking down structures and deflecting fire from Stormpiggies. The yellow bird is donning Han Solo's appearance, and will be able to make strafing runs over the course of his trajectory, while the black bird Obi-wan Kenobi will be able to execute a force push before making impact. The egg-laying bird actually drops an R2-D2 unit now which electrocutes everything in a certain radius. We've also seen the pink bird dressed up as Princess Leia, who will have a kind of laser shot ability similar to (but more direct) than Han's. Check out some of the other gameplay videos on Rovio's YouTube channel for a further sampling. Chewie looks like he's just huge and will roll over just about everything. 

So, who's going to be picking up Angry Birds Star Wars? Is this licensing deal tacky or adorable? How do you guys feel about the Disney acquisition?

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4 years ago

LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 landing on AT&T November 9

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AT&T has announced that their LTE-enabled version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 will be available starting November 9 for $499. They'll also be selling the ATIV Windows 8 PC, if you're considering making that leap. To sweeten the deal, AT&T is providing $100 credit towards any second connected Samsung device after the first, which would make the ATIV "only" $699. Here's a quick run-down of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, but you can get a full tour in our review

  • Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich (Jelly Bean coming "soon")
  • 1.5GHz dual-core processor (Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset)
  • 10.1-inch WXGA PLS TFT 1280 x 800 display
  • 7,000mAh Lithium-Ion battery
  • 1GB RAM, 8GB ROM and microSD card slot supporting up to 64GB memory card
  • Personal and business email, as well as IM through Google Talk
  • 3G/4G LTE mobile hotspot capability supporting up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

Sprint's version is hitting shelves on November 11, though given the state of their LTE network, the only thing that would reasonably bring people to them instead of AT&T would be their plans. 

Anyone interested in AT&T's model will be able to find it in their online store eventually. Anyone biting, or is Wi-Fi good enough?

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

UK pre-orders of 64 GB Samsung Galaxy S3 now available

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Clove UK has been teasing a 64 GB variant of the Samsung Galaxy S3 since August, but they're inching ever-closer to a release. Pre-orders are now available for £600.00 (VAT included), but don't get too excited. Clove says that stock is expected to be available in about two months, and even then, they'll only be deciding on ordering a shipment based on how many pre-orders they get. 

We've heard that the 64 GB SGS3 will be headed to italy as well, though other regional availability is still up in the air. Have you been holding back on getting a Samsung Galaxy S3 for the sake of a bit more storage, or are you happy with 32 GB and whatever your microSD card offers? Any readers in the UK preordering one of these? Anyone else wish these models were available in their area?

Source: Clove

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4 years ago

UK gets the Samsung Galaxy Camera this week

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Samsung today reminds us that its Galaxy Camera, erm, camera will be available in the United Kingdom this week. Samsung-branded stores get it first, starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, celebrated with canapes and champagne, no less. Stores such as Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4U and Jessops and Clove will sell the Galaxy Camera starting Thursday.

The Galaxy Camera, like NIkon's Coolpix S800c, is the electronics manufacturer's first foray into the traditional point-and-shoot market. It sports a 16.3-megapixel BSI sensor, F/2.8 23mm lens with a 21x optical zoom, and is all powered by Android 4.1. Wifi and GPS are built in, of course, and cellular options are available. There's 8GB of storage on board, with microsSD expandability. 

The Galaxy Camera costs £399 inc. VAT,  £332.50 excluding VAT. In the United States, AT&T has pledged to carry the camera on its network.

More: Our hands-on with the Galaxy Camera; sample pictures

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4 years ago

Android 4.1.2 update for Galaxy Note could add Nature UX, multi-window feature

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Samsung has already provided a wealth of software upgrades for the original Galaxy Note, which first shipped just over a year ago on Android 2.3-based firmware. Now signs seem to point towards the OG Note being updated directly to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, as part of an upgrade that'll include two major new features -- the TouchWiz Nature UX, and the multi-window feature from the Galaxy Note 2. Multi-window was a showcase feature for the Note 2, allowing multiple apps to be used on a split screen at any time.

Reports from SamMobile indicate that a new firmware version, N7000XXLS3 is in testing at Samsung, and includes the Nature UX and multi-window support, in addition to limited "air view" floating cursor support using the S Pen. And today a video has surfaced from French YouTuber Jimmy Nodet, which seems to show an even newer ROM -- N7000XXLS7 -- in action. The (admittedly shaky) footage shows the TouchWiz Nature UX running on an original Note, as well as fully-functional multi-window capabilities. The video description claims this is an "official Android 4.1.2 update" for the international Galaxy Note. That doesn't guarantee its legitimacy, but on the other hand the video doesn't match any custom ROM we're familiar with.

Last month rumors suggested Samsung would also bring multi-window to the international Galaxy S3, in an Android 4.1.2 update slated for December. If the original Note was to get the feature, it'd certainly make sense for it to appear on the S3, too.

Of course Samsung hasn't announced anything officially, but there are a lot of original Galaxy Note owners out there who'd be very happy if these reports turned out to be correct. Nevertheless, until the updated software out of Samsung's internal testing circles and available for download, Note owners would be advised not to get too excited.

Source: SamMobile 1, SamMobile 2, YouTube

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4 years ago

Major Samsung brand shake-up tipped for CES 2013

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Samsung could be planning a major overhaul of its brand and marketing efforts ahead of CES 2013, if reports from Australian outlet ChannelNews are to be believed. The site reports via sources in Asia that a team previously involved with brand development at Nike will be leading the effort, which it says should reinvent Samsung with "a more vibrant, international brand image."

Brand development guru Scott Bedbury, who has previously worked with the likes of Nike and Starbucks, is said to be leading the team.The new branding is said to be due to make its debut next January, at CES 2013 in Las Vegas.

ChannelNews says that following next January's show, the familiar blue Samsung logo will be retired, replaced with "all new product marketing linked via their own individual colours that are part of an overall brand family."

Samsung's advertising strategy will change too, it's claimed, with "products linked to lifestyle activities similar to what Nike does."

Whatever Samsung does at next year's CES show, we'll be live in Las Vegas to cover everything as it happens. Any wild guesses as to how Samsung might revamp its image? Shout out in the comments.

Source: ChannelNews

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4 years ago

Hands on with Echofon beta for Android

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Anyone who has ever used an iOS device or an Apple computer, will likely have come across Echofon at some point along the way. While it may have been caught up, and even passed, in popularity since, it has been around for some time. Funnily enough, around the same sort of time the Echofon team announced that they would be withdrawing any future support for their Mac client, the alpha build of their Android application started doing the rounds. The desktop app is now no longer, with the Mac version having been withdrawn from the Mac App Store leaving the developers, Naan Studio, free to concentrate on mobile. The Android build of Echofon recently entered its beta phase, so we took some time out to take a look and see how it fares. 

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4 years ago

MObile Nations Movember Week 1 Update - A clean shave... laying the foundation for MO growth!

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Mobile Nations Network Movember Funds Raised so far: $3858

Ok folks, it's time for our first Mobile Nations Movember update. We'll be bringing you these updates every Sunday throughout the month of Movember (formerly known as November) as we grow out our moustaches and raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer research and men's health issues.

We had 82 individuals from around the world respond to our Movember call to action from across our sites, which is amazing! November 1st saw the Mo Bros on the team shave clean to lay the foundation upon which to grow a manly moustache. The next step is to let that moustache grow and to raise money, and we're off to a great start. Members of the Mobile Nations Network have already raised nearly $4,000!

Participants are updating their Mo Space pages with status updates and photos. We've collected some of our favorites which you can check out below, along with links to where you can donate to individuals on the team. We also have another video below that will tell you a bit more about the Movember story, in case you're wondering what this is all about.

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