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3 years ago

Sony wants developers to make great apps to control their cameras

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Expect to see some great apps to control your Sony cameras on Android, iOS and Windows

Sony is in pretty deeply with Android in their mobile division, but they're also known for making some pretty good stand-alone cameras. It looks like the two teams have got together, and they've released a developer program to help the folks who make Android apps build something wonderful.

I've got a couple Android tricks I use for photography, from a Triggertap and app (once the beta app gets ironed out, look for a full review of this awesome little tool) to an app from Panasonic that lets me use my Nexus 7 as a remote viewfinder and controller for my video camera. If you take a lot of pictures or video, whether as a hobby or for work, these tools can come in very handy.

With Sony's new program and Camera Remote API, it looks like they are prepared to push that envelope a little further. The API will help you build apps that can control the camera, get the image of what the sensor sees, upload the images and even do some fancy things like time-lapse photography. The API is also platform agnostic, and will work with developers writing apps for Android, iOS and Windows. To top it off, it's JSON based so most developers will be able to learn how to implement it quickly.

With the new QX10 and QX100 gaining a good bit of interest, it's smart for Sony to do this. They have a basic app in Google Play, and one coming to the Apple app store, that you can control things with, but it needs some improvement to really use these new lens cameras to their fullest potential. The tools are in place (at the beta stage, at least) to make that happen. We're excited to see where this goes.

Source: Sony

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3 years ago

Motorola Droid X (yes, really) receiving security update

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A phone over three years old still gets a few security fixes

The last time we heard any news about an update for the Motorola Droid X was February 17th of last year, but Verizon is prepping an update today for those who are still holding onto the handset. The phone may be over three years old now, but an update is pushing out that will bring folks to software version 45.621.10.MB810 with two changelog items:

  • Enhanced accuracy and reliability of the Commercial
    Mobile Telephone Alerts (CMAS)
  • Google security patches have been integrated to reduce
    potential security risks

At this point in this phone's life cycle (or death cycle, if you prefer) we really didn't expect much out of this update other than security fixes, but it's good to see Motorola and Verizon coming together to keep those last few Droid X's out in the wild safe from security vulnerabilities.

Source: Verizon; Via: AndroidPolice

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3 years ago

On Nexus 5 rumors and renders

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Nexus 5 render by +Jason Lavigne. Nailed it.

You're here because you watch the Internet, and are interested in all manner of Android news. That means verified news from Google, or the folks who make the products, or even the people who sell them. It also means interesting tips and rumors from insiders and people who were lucky enough to see or hear something a bit earlier than the rest of us get to see or hear it. That's pretty cool, and we love to talk about some of that as much as anyone else does. 

Last night, a device that surely sounds like it could be the next Nexus phone showed up at the FCC. When coupled with a pulled video about the KitKat statue on Google's lawn that showed a phone we've not seen before (we all know them by sight, because we're big fans — just like you are), and the Internet rumor machine was in full swing.

But it's time to sit back, and talk about what we really know about what's next from Google.

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3 years ago

AT&T's prepaid brand Aio Wireless goes nationwide starting today

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Smartphone plans starting at $55 with 2GB of high-speed data; BYOD SIM just $10

AT&T recently announced that its previously regional prepaid subsidiary Aio Wireless would be going nationwide sometime in "mid September", and now it looks to be opened up just a week later. Along with the expansion to customers across he country, Aio Wireless is improving its plans by upping the data speed cap to 8mbps (from 4mbps previously) and offering a couple of compelling data options and price points:

  • $55/mo for unlimited talk, text and data — first 2GB at high speeds
  • $70/mo for unlimited talk, text and data — first 7GB at high speeds
  • $15/mo for 250MB on a data-only tablet plan
  • $10 per additional 1GB of high-speed data
  • $9.99 for BYOD SIM card

While most reading here will choose to bring their own device, Aio Wireless also offers a decent set of mid-range devices for unsubsidized prices of $100 to $300. If the newly improved offerings from Aio Wireless have you intrigued, you can go shop its plans and devices at the source link below.

Source: Aio Wireless

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3 years ago

Here's the blue HTC One on Verizon

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If you've been waiting to see what the blue HTC One will look like on Big Red — here's your answer. A tipster sent in this shot of the best Android smartphone currently available (as of our August 2013 rankings) — in blue, with Verizon branding. Not a lot more to say about that. It's the HTC One. And it's blue. And it's on Verizon. (And we got an up-close look at the blue HTC One earlier this week, if you need more.)

We're told it has a street day of today — so check with your local store. (We've got an e-mail into Verizon to confirm.) You also can buy the standard silver HTC One on Verizon now.

Thanks, anon!

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3 years ago

KitKat contest now live, win a Nexus 7, $5 Google Play credit or a bag of delicious

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There may be more than you expected inside that KitKat wrapper

If you needed another reason to be excited about the KitKat cross-branding between Google and Hershey's/Nestle, the contest everyone has been talking about is now live.

Buy a specially marked KitKat bar, and after you're done licking the chocolate off your fingers look for a code inside the wrapper. Enter it at the KitKat site, and you might win a prize.

  • 1,000 Grand prize winners will get a shiny new Nexus 7
  • 150,000 winners will get a $5 Google Play credit
  • 20,000 winners will get a free 8oz. bag of KitKat Minis

Keep an eye peeled for those specially marked bars, and be sure to let us know if you win anything!

Source: Hershey's

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear pre-orders now live at Verizon

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Note 3 available separately, or as a bundle with the Galaxy Gear for $600

Verizon also entered the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear pre-order frenzy today, and will be offering both products. You can pick them up separately, or as a bundle that will set you back $599.98 with a two-year agreement.

They will be offering the Note 3 in both black and white, with a stand-alone price of $299.99 on contract, $699.99 up-front, or $29.16 monthly. That will get you the just Galaxy Note 3 and Verizon's nationwide service. Verizon says the devices will ship by October 10.

If you're dead-set on getting both the Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear smart watch, Verizon can ship both to your door to make things convenient. The Gear has no cellular service, and retails at $299. When added to the cost of the Note 3 we see above, the bundle will set you back $599.98 with a new agreement or $999.98 if you choose to pay up front. As with the stand alone Note 3, orders will ship by October 10.

For more information and the individual pre-order pages, click away at the link below.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Sighted at IFA: Vodafone's giant Lego LTE tower

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We've been hitting the show floor at IFA 2013 today, and one of the more unique things we've come across stands in the center of the Vodafone Germany booth. It's a giant LTE tower made of Lego bricks. A lot of Lego bricks. It's also supporting Lego radio dishes, though alas Vodafone reps tell us it's not a functional tower, merely a decorative monument to the carrier's LTE service. Now, if only visitors to the country could actually use that service...

We've got a couple more pics after the break.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 coming to US Cellular in October

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Pricing and release information coming as we get closer to the launch date 

U.S. Cellular customers will also be able to get their hands on a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 this coming October, as the carrier has sent us a note (see what I did there?) that the latest and greatest from Samsung is on its way. It's the same Galaxy Note 3 the whole Internet has been talking about for two days, and USC will be offering the black, soft-touch model — which the boys in Berlin are saying is "way nicer" feeling than the more plastic white model.

Besides all the hot new features the Note 3 has on board, like the new Scrapbook and S Pen multitasking UI, customers will also be enrolled in USC's rewards program with their purchase. This gives points towards things like accessories, downloads and early upgrades. For more information about USC's rewards program, click here

We have no details on pricing or any release date, but as the day gets closer USC says they will let us know all there is to know. Until then, you can have a look at the press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Get a free Sony QX10 lens with your Xperia Z1 order from Carphone Warehouse

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£69 upfront and £33 per month gets you both the Xperia Z1 and the Sony Cybershot QX10 from Carphone Warehouse

If you're in the market for a new Sony Xperia Z1, and have been eyeing the Sony lens cameras, Carphone Warehouse has a deal happening that you'll want to see. When you pre-order the Xperia Z1 on a pay monthly plan or use an upgrade, they'll throw in a Cybershot QX10 detachable lens camera.

Richard and Phil gave us a look at this combo earlier this morning (albeit with dummy units), and together these two should make for the ultimate smartphone camera. 

Carphone Warehouse is offering the Z1 for £33 per month with a £69 upfront cost for both new customers or upgrades, and pre-orders are going on now. If you're interested, have a click on the link below for all the details.

Source: Carphone Warehouse. Thanks, Jason!

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3 years ago

The Galaxy Gear Manager app for the Galaxy Note 3

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If you're going to have a Galaxy Gear, you're to also have a Galaxy Note 3. And you're also going to need the Galaxy Gear Manager app.

Want to change settings on your Galaxy Gear? This is the place to do it. This is where you'll change camera settings, add new watch faces — basically anything and everything runs through this guy.

And, here, we run you through the process from the floor at IFA in Berlin.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Samsung Gamepad on the Galaxy Note 3

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Official accessory lets you turn your Galaxy Note 3 into a portable console

Despite its announcement around the time of the Galaxy S4 launch, the Samsung Gamepad still isn't available to buy. Nevertheless, we were able to track down the gaming-centric accessory on the IFA 2013 show floor and demonstrate it working with a selection of titles on the new Galaxy Note 3. Now slightly redesigned, with differently labelled buttons, the Gamepad we saw in Berlin had a dedicated "Game" button linking into a special games portal on the device. This pauses the current game and pops up a menu, allowing you to choose between compatible titles.

We played Prince of Persia, Sonic 4 Ep. 2 and Need for Speed Most Wanted on the Gamepad connected to a Galaxy Note 3, and performance was as fast and smooth as you'd expect form a Snapdragon 800 device. Some titles did give us issues on this preproduction setup though, with Virtua Tennis crashing at launch.

Connectivity is still handled over Bluetooth, meaning if you don't want to use the attached clip to to create a makeshift handheld console, you can use the Gamepad at a distance. In fact, we even saw the Note 3 linked up to a Samsung TV, with the pad being used as a console-style wireless controller.

Check the video after the break to see the Samsung Gamepad in action with the Galaxy Note 3. We've got more photos of the controller in use with the Note 3.

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3 years ago

Hands on with S-Finder on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3

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One of the new apps Samsung announced alongside the Galaxy Note 3 is S-Finder. The simplest way to describe it is a search app, with a big focus on local search within the device. Part of the new Air Command menu, S-Finder will find key words indexed across all of your content on the phone. Emails, files, the new Scrapbook app and a whole lot more besides can be pulled in, and search terms can be dictated by time, location and key words, too. 

There is also the option to use a selection of web search engines from within S-Finder, but the focus is primarily on content you already have. We spent a little time looking specifically at S-Finder here at IFA 2013 in Berlin, so check out a quick hands on video up top. 

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3 years ago

ASUS MeMO Pad 8 hands-on

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Bigger and better than the original MeMO Pad, but will it knock your socks off?

The original ASUS MeMO Pad — an underpowered 7-inch Android tablet with a woefully low-resolution display — didn't do much for us. (That's putting it very nicely.) The new MeMO Pad 8, however — announced this week at IFA in Berlin — is a tablet we'd not be ashamed to carry around.

That's not to say it's perfect. The 8-inch, 1280x800 display still only gives you about 188 pixels per inch — and you will notice, especially if you're used to something like the new Nexus 7, with its 323 pixels per inch. But it's better.

The quad-core processor and 1GB  is a big improvement as well, keeping the user interface humming along, but it wouldn't win any specs races, we fear. Again, we'll want to wait for some more quality time before declaring the internals a winner, but it's certainly improved over the original MeMO Pad.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with Scrapbook on the Galaxy Note 3

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In its latest Galaxy Note devices, Samsung has expanded upon the ability to cut out snippets from the screen and save them for later viewing. The Galaxy Note 3 and Note 10.1 2014 Edition come with the new Scrapbook app, which saves not only the area you encircle with the stylus, but also associated metadata. It's also able to provide context for your various clippings by harvesting data from the surrounding app or web page.

All that content is then arranged in the Scrapbook app, which can be tagged and categorized. Check out our quick video demo of Scrapbook on the Galaxy Note 3 above.

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