Headlines

4 years ago

Reminder: We're podcasting live at 4 p.m. EST!

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A quick reminder, folks, that we're podcasting live at 4 p.m. EST this afternoon. On tap today: Even more on the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat. And maybe a few things that aren't Nexus 5 or Android 4.4 KitKat. We'll see.

If you want to take part in the live Q&A, you'll want to watch from the Google+ event page. Otherwise, join us from our live page. See y'all in a few!

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4 years ago

Galaxy S4 Zoom now available from AT&T for $199 on-contract

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Big camera, mid-range specs and now with U.S. LTE

Following up on its announcement earlier this week, AT&T has started offering the Galaxy S4 zoom for $199 with a two-year contract. The smartphone/camera mash-up will set you back a full $529 if you're looking to buy without a contract, or $25 per month if you want to finance with AT&T Next. For that money you'll be getting the point-and-shoot camera style 16MP sensor along with 10x optical zoom and a camera-centric design with a physical shutter button.

On the phone side, you'll be looking at a Samsung experience with most of the latest features, although some have been scaled back a tad for the lower-end internals. That's the tradeoff you'll make for some great picture and video quality, and for the right user it might be worth a look.

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom review

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

Kingdom Conquest II now features classic Sega characters

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Altered Beast and Golden Axe characters return for a SEGA 25 year anniversary cameo

Sega’s Kingdom Conquest games are well-liked for their mixtures of action, strategy, and MMO gameplay.  The latest entry: Kingdom Conquest II features a variety of gameplay styles all thrown into a pot and cooked together. One of those styles involves collecting monster cards to send into battle against monsters in neighboring lands.

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis videogame console, SEGA has just released monster cards based on its classic franchises into Kingdom Conquest II. The special cards feature artwork and characters from Altered Beast and Golden Axe, two arcade hits.

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4 years ago

BBM4ALL Video Contest - Make a kick-ass BBM commercial and you could win a trip to Toronto and visit to BlackBerry HQ!

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Oh, and two tickets to an NBA or NHL game, too!

OK, folks. BlackBerry's looking to spread the word about BBM on Android and iOS — and they're willing put their money where their mouth is. Ol' BB's giving away a trip for two to Toronto and Waterloo — the former for either a Toronto Raptors NBA game or a Maple Leafs NHL game. Plus, you'll jaunt on over BlackBerry HQ in Waterloo to meet up with the BBM team, as well as get a guided tour of the city.

Sound good? Want to enter? Keep on keepin' on for the rules and entry requirements.

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4 years ago

Google Search app improvements could be coming next week

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New contextual cards and smarter voice search in Nov. 13 update, according to Wired

Google has slowly but consistently been improving its search app for Android over the past year or so, bringing more cards to Google Now and new ways to interact by speaking to your device. It appears the next raft of Google Search updates may be about to drop next week, adding new contextual cards and smarter voice interaction, among other features that weren't quite ready in time for the Nexus 5 launch.

That's what Google reportedly told Wired's Mat Honan, as detailed in his review of the device.

"You might say “text Jennifer” and it will reply “which Jennifer,” and then ask you to dictate the message. It’s also going to get the ability to search inside applications, and launch them to complete tasks for you. So, you might search for a restaurant, and an option in the results shows up for OpenTable, which you’ll be able to fire up and make a reservation. It’s also going to use location cues to drop cards into Google Now, even more so than it does currently. At Yellowstone it will show you geyser times, for example."

The new features are due to land in an app update next Wednesday, Nov. 13, Honan says. Many of these things are natural progressions of features Google Search on Android already offers, but regardless it'll be interesting to see how well they function when the update arrives. In particular the ability to search within apps presents a bunch of interesting possibilities for future development.

Source: Wired

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4 years ago

Waterproof Kyocera Hydro XTRM headed to MetroPCS

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Available today for $169

Japanese manufacturer Kyocera continues to carve out a niche for itself in the world of waterproof entry-level smartphones. We've already seen devices like the Hydro Elite on Verizon and Hydro Edge on Boost; today sees MetroPCS announcing the Kyocera Hydro XTRM. Like its siblings it doesn't boast top-end hardware, but it is IP57 certified to protect against dust and water submersion for up to 30 minutes. It's also shock-resistant, rated MIL-STD-810G, and includes Kyocera's "Smart Sonic Receiver" tissue conductivity tech for improved hearing in noisy environments.

On the inside it's powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon chip and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, with a 5-megapixel camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facer and 2,000mAh battery. The display is a 4-inch WVGA (800x480) panel. So nothing fancy, but you wouldn't expect it for the price.

The Kyocera Hydro XTRM is available on MetroPCS from today, priced at $169 plus tax.

More: Hands-on with the Hydro Edge and Hydro XTRM

Source: MetroPCS

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4 years ago

US Cellular Galaxy S4 getting Android 4.3 update today

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Following Sprint and Verizon's Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 updates last week, today it's the turn of the US Cellular model to get the updated version of the OS. The update to firmware version R970VXUAMJA is rolling out to USC-branded devices starting today, bringing Galaxy Gear smartwatch support and Samsung's KNOX enterprise security suite alongside the newer OS version. Samsung's changelog also lists updates to various bundled apps too, including Mobile TV, Slacker Radio and Amazon Shopping.

If the recently-leaked update timetable continues to prove accurate, we're looking at 4.3 updates for AT&T and T-Mobile's Galaxy S4s following around Nov. 13 and 18 respectively.

Source: Samsung; Thanks, Luke!

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4 years ago

Nexus 5 now available through Sprint, Amazon and Best Buy

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Subsidized for $50-150 or $450-500 outright

Canada isn't the only place seeing expanded Nexus 5 availability today. As revealed in the carrier's launch-day press release, today's the day the Nexus 5 arrives on Sprint. Sprint's own site has the 16GB model for as little as $49.99 on a two-year plan, but only if you're switching an porting a number across. Elsewhere, Amazon and Best Buy have it for the standard subsidized price of $149.99. Amazon's selling the device on its own for $499.99, while Best Buy has it for a little less — $449.99. Sprint itself doesn't appear to be selling the N5 without a contract.

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4 years ago

Phones 4u offering free Samsung Galaxy Gear with Note 3 on contract

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Galaxy S4 Zoom​ customers also getting free accessory pack

UK retailer Phones 4u has announced that it's running a week-long promotion, starting today, to give away free Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatches to customers who buy the Galaxy Note 3. The Gear, which usually sells for £299 in the UK, will be offered for free to customers who buy the Note 3 on-contract from brick-and-mortar Phones 4u stores (excluding Dixons) from today until next Thursday, Nov. 14.

In addition, the retailer is today kicking off a similar promotion for the Galaxy S4 Zoom — Samsung's phone-camera hybrid with 10X optical zoom. Buy the imaging-centric device online or in-store between now and the end of the year and you'll receive a free GS4 Zoom accessory pack, featuring a flip case, tripod and "charging unit."

The Galaxy Gear in its current incarnation isn't perfect, and we've said as much in our review of the device. Nevertheless, you can't argue with free.

More: Galaxy Note 3 review, Galaxy Gear review, Galaxy S4 Zoom review

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4 years ago

Nexus 5 now available from Canadian carriers

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TELUS, Videotron, Rogers, Fido, Bell and Virgin now offering latest Nexus phone

If you're in Canada and weren't able (or willing) to pick up a Nexus 5 from the Google Play Store, you can now buy the phone directly from six of the major Canadian carriers. TELUS, Videotron, Rogers, Fido, Bell and Virgin are now offering the LG-made Nexus phone subsidized and on-contract, with prices starting at $99.

All six will sell you a Nexus 5 outright for within a dollar of C$500, while TELUS, Rogers, Bell and Virgin will give you one for a little under C$100 on a two-year plan. On Fido you'll pay a little more on-contract — C$200 on a two-year plan. On Videotron it's just C$49.95.

Picking up the KitKat-powered handset from any of the Canadian carriers will certainly be more expensive than buying it from Google directly. However with Nexus 5 orders placed from the Canadian Play Store today not expected to ship for several weeks, it might be the best option for Canadians who don't want wait around.

Source: TELUS, Videotron, Rogers, Fido, Bell, Virgin; via: MobileSyrup

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4 years ago

Oppo N1 'CyanogenMod Edition' will run CM out of the box

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Limited edition N1 comes with CM as standard

Chinese manufacturer Oppo has announced that it'll ship a limited edition version of its new N1 handset with aftermarket firmware CyanogenMod as the default operating system. Regular Oppo N1 devices, which run the company's Android 4.2-based ColorOS as standard, will already support the ability to install CM through the stock recovery, but the difference with the CM edition is it'll arrive running CyanogenMod software out of the box. In addition to all of CM's features and a visual style closer to stock Android, the device will also include "extra CyanogenMod accessories" — stickers, packaging and cases featuring the CM and Oppo mascots.

As you'd expect from the close partnership between Oppo and CM, CyanogenMod on the N1 will fully support the device's array of wacky features.

"The CyanogenMod team has tailored their software to specifically support all of the unique features of the OPPO N1 including the O-Touch back touch panel, O-Click Bluetooth remote control, the revolutionary rotating camera, and also unique features from ColorOS such as double tap to wake and screen-off gestures."

The Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition will debut internationally in December, priced the same as the regular N1 — that's 3498 yuan in China, which translates into around $570 or £360.

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4 years ago

[Updated] Feedly backs off transition to Google+

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Twitter, Facebook and Wordpress login options also in testing

Updated 9:49 a.m.: Whoa. Feedly has announced that it's in fact not going to force users to Google+ and will keep traditional Google login. Here's its official update:

The fact that this changing is forcing users to create a Google+ profile and that Google+ is not available in some companies and on some Google Apps domains outweighs the benefit of being about to login more seamlessly across devices. So we are going to rollback this change later this afternoon - Friday 1:00pm PST. We will try to make it optional in the future for some users who like Google+. Thanks for the feedback.

Original post follows:

With the death of Google Reader earlier this year, Feedly emerged as one of the major players in RSS, and since its inception it's been using Google's OAuth authentication service to sign in users. With the gradual shift towards Google+ sign-in across Google properties however, Feedly is following suit and introducing G+ sign-in. The transition will take place "this week" on the web and "later this month" through the Feedly Android and iOS apps.

The move to Google+ sign in, Feedly says, allows for easier sign-in on mobile devices and opens up more sharing possibilities, on which it promises to divulge more over the next couple of weeks.

But if Google+ isn't for you, Feedly is also testing Twitter, Facebook and Wordpress login options, with the aim of rolling them out over the next seven weeks.

Source: Feedly Blog

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4 years ago

Money to burn? Check out these stereo megaphones for your HTC phone

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3D-printed Gramohorn II boosts your BoomSound

As part of its "Here's to Creativity" program in the UK, HTC has teamed up with designer Justin Wolter to introduce a new (and very expensive) stereo acoustic amplifier for the HTC One. A follow-up to the monaural iPhone original, the Gramohorn II is a 3D-printed megaphone-for-your-phone, which boosts volume and bass from the HTC One's BoomSound speakers through resonance and amplification. The cradle captures the output from the One's already thunderous output through two gramophone-like chambers, amplifying output without the need for any electronics.

However the Gramohorn doesn't come cheap — you're looking at £999 (around $1600) for a plaster resin build, or £4999 ($8040) in "a selection of milled metals" for the custom-made dock.

Engadget reports that separate cradles can also be used to pair the Gramohorn II with an HTC One Mini or One Max, if that's your thing.

Source: HTC, Gramohorn II; via: Engadget

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4 years ago

Moto X Developer Editions receive same $100 price cut as Moto Maker version

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Unlocked GSM or Verizon, both still with 32GB of storage

Following up on a $100 price cut from the Moto Maker site, Motorola has cut the price of Moto X Developer Editions on its site as well. $549.99 will now get you either a GSM or Verizon-compatible version of the phone with 32GB of storage that's ready to be cracked open and played with if you choose. In either case you'll get an exclusive color scheme with a woven white back and black front, and the nice "Developer Edition" branding on the back.

It's definitely nice to see Motorola follow suit on its Developer Editions when it cut the price of the contract models, especially considering that there was no cheaper, lower storage option here. If you're still interested in picking up a Moto X Dev Edition, both models are in stock at the source links below.

Source: Motorola (GSM); (Verizon)

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4 years ago

How to disable SMS messages in Hangouts

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Don't want your text messages going to Google Hangouts? There's an easy way to go back to your old Messaging app

As of version 2.0, the Google Hangouts app for Android can handle SMS messages as well as regular instant messages. When you start it up for the first time you'll be asked if you want to use Hangouts for SMS or not. Tap yes and your existing messages are imported into the app, and you'll receive future SMS notifications through Hangouts instead of your preloaded SMS app. Tap "Maybe later" and you'll continue using your preloaded Messaging app.

But what if you've tried it and want out? Well, turns out there's a simple way to disable SMS in Hangouts and go back to using the built-in app.

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