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4 years ago

LG teases G2 Mini ahead of Mobile World Congress

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LG teases G2 Mini ahead of Mobile World Congress

Miniature G2 tipped for Feb. 24 launch

Rumors of a miniaturized LG G2 making its debut at Mobile World Congress have been circulating for the past few weeks, and now it looks like the device is a lock for the Barcelona-based tradeshow. LG Mobile has just posted the image above on its Facebook page, inviting fans to "experience the mini" at MWC on Feb. 24. And sure enough, alongside the miniature cupcake, starfish and sneaker there's a shrunken-down G2, which when viewed from the back is the spitting image of the full-sized version.

It's unclear whether the G2 Mini might match its big brother's high-end hardware, as Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact does, or whether the Korean company will opt for the same approach as local rival Samsung, with a cheaper, lower-specced handset like the Galaxy S4 Mini. Whatever happens, we'll be in Barcelona on Feb. 24 to bring you full coverage of LG's new mini.

Source: LG (Facebook)

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4 years ago

Google's $3.2 billion Nest acquisition is a done deal

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Google's $3.2 billion Nest acquisition is a done deal

Regulatory filing shows deal closed on Feb. 7

Nest is now officially a Google property after the deal has been finalized. A regulatory filing submitted by Google shows that things were signed and sealed on Feb. 7. The $3.2 billion deal brings Tony Fadell and his team officially under the Google banner, where earlier reports put them at the center of Google's future hardware projects. 

It's been a busy year so far for Google what with bringing Nest on board and letting Motorola go to Lenovo. Now the paperwork is done though, we can only wonder what Google has in store. 

via re/code

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4 years ago

Canon launches new EOS 1200D and an app to help you use it

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Canon launches new EOS 1200D and an app to help you use it

New entry-level DSLR has its own mobile app to help you get started with your new camera

Canon has today pulled the wraps off its latest DSLR, the EOS 1200D, and announced the release of a companion app for Android and iOS to help folks get started with using it. The 1200D is the latest entry-level DSLR from Canon, which will come in at an attractive price point of £349.99 (body only) when it goes on sale in March. 

With the companion app, Canon is offering quick start guides, tutorials and troubleshooting guides to help you get the best from your camera. Having stuff built in to the camera is OK, but it makes complete sense to start moving such information onto the thing in your pocket. 

The companion app is available to download now from the Play Store at the link above. So if you're lining up a new 1200D next month you've got a little time to take a look around first. 

Source: Canon

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4 years ago

HTC 'Desire 8' image leaks out along with purported specs

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HTC 'Desire 8' image leaks out along with purported specs

Dual-SIM 5.5-incher could be headed to China next month

HTC says mid-level handsets are to be an important part of its action plan for 2014, and one of the first devices to lead this mid-range push might be the "Desire 8," images of which leaked out online this morning. Shots obtained by Engadget and Chinese blog MyDrivers show a large, thin, plastic device with an HTC One-like design, dual front speakers and Sense 5 on-screen. Both outlets report that it'll pack a 5.5-inch display (resolution unknown), along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and 13-megapixel rear shooter. It'll reportedly come in white, red, yellow, orange and cyan color options, and offer dual-SIM capabilities.

Curiously, the device doesn't seem to have any frontal buttons at all, raising a couple of possibilities — either it's an incomplete render, or the screenshot is a placeholder and the device is using on-screen buttons. (HTC is widely expected to be switching to on-screen keys for its upcoming "M8" handset, the successor to the HTC One).

The on-screen date suggests a possible Chinese launch on Mar. 18, but with Mobile World Congress coming up in a couple of weeks, we wouldn't rule out the possibility of seeing something in Barcelona too.

Source: Engadget, MyDrivers

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4 years ago

Oppo Find 7 to launch March 19 in Beijing

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Oppo Find 7 to launch March 19 in Beijing

In the next month or so we're due new flagship smartphones from some of the major global players, so it makes sense that one of China's major Android OEMs is also preparing to launch new hardware. Per an invite on its Google+ page, Oppo will hold a launch event for its new Find 7 phone on Mar. 19 in Beijing, China. The Find 7 announcement follows the Find 5, which launched in late 2012, and the CyanogenMod-capable Oppo N1, the first handset officially certified with custom firmware.

According to TheNextWeb, purported specs for the Oppo Find 7 include a 5.5-inch QHD (2560x1440-resolution) display, a 13-megapixel camera and a Snapdragon 800 or 805 processor — putting the Find 7 in the same ballpark as upcoming flagships from rivals Samsung and HTC.

Source: Oppo (Google+); via: TNW

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4 years ago

Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition sighted with Verizon branding

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Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition sighted with Verizon branding

The Wifi-only Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition has been around since late last year in a number of countries, but so far sightings of the LTE-capable, Snapdragon 800-powered version have been comparatively rare. However there's good news for those on Verizon in the U.S. today, as a new render uncovered by serial leaker @evleaks seems to show the Note 10.1 with a (rather sizeable) Verizon logo on the back.

There's no indication of any release date for the 10-inch, stylus-equipped slate, but it should sport all the features of its Wifi-only counterpart — specifically a 2560x1600-resolution display, 3GB of RAM and all the S Pen features of the Galaxy Note 3, only on a much larger screen.

You'll find more on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition in our full review of the tablet.

Source: @evleaks

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4 years ago

Muzei Live Wallpaper brings classic art to your homescreen

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Muzei Live Wallpaper brings classic art to your homescreen

Curated classics or your own pictures make for an excellent wallpaper when treated through Muzei

Roman Nurik, Android Developer Advocate at Google — and developer of Dashclock, the widget everyone loves — has just released one of the snazziest live wallpaper apps we've ever seen.

Muzei (from the Russian for "museum") grabs a new piece of artwork daily, curated by Nurik and his art teacher fiancée +Liza Gordon and gently blurs the piece to display on your home screen. A quick double tap deblurs the art for a few moments so you can appreciate it. The transition is really slick, and some of the best app animation in Android we've ever seen. If you prefer, you can use your own local photos in lieu of the curated collection. Because it uses the standard file chooser, you can also set up a Dropbox folder or use Google Drive.

Just like Dashclock, Muzei is completely open source and extensible via an open set of APIs. For more information about the API, click here, and for the source click here.

Grab Muzei Live Wallpaper from the Google Play link above and give it a spin.

Source: +Roman Nurik

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4 years ago

Go for Android parent company may be set to acquire GetJar

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Go for Android parent company may be set to acquire GetJar

Purported deal to be worth over $50 million

Sungy Mobile Limited, a China-based company behind the popular Go for Android apps, is reported to be buying out GetJar, one of the first app stores for mobile devices.

Sources have told Gigaom that the purchase price is over $50 million dollars, and expected to be announced next week.  

Sungy Mobile is said to have realized the need to provide app discovery to their customers, which number upwards of 325 million, and absorbing GetJar — who has been doing apps and discovery since 2004 — is a great way to do it.

A quick look at the GetJar: Paid apps for free application in Google Play shows that Go for Android branding is already in place, so we're pretty sure these two companies have been talking to each other for quite a while.

There's no indication how, if at all, this will affect users of Go for Android apps. Signs point to a Go appstore, but it's possible they have other plans for their new GetJar purchase.

Source: Gigaom

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4 years ago

Pebble tells us why we still don't have the new 2.0 app and appstore

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Pebble tells us why we still don't have the new 2.0 app and appstore

Android's Pebble 2.0 app lagging behind is a matter of resources

There has been a good bit of outcry about Pebble releasing their new version — and their appstore — on iOS before Android, and even more that we still haven't seen the official version of the app in Google Play.

Lead software engineer from Pebble Kean Wong took the the blog to tell us why, and what they're doing to rectify the situation.

The reason why the Android version of the 2.0 Pebble app has lagged the iOS version is fundamentally pretty simple – it has purely been a matter of resources. In order to ship a high quality, reliable Android experience that will work for many thousands of users across the myriad of devices and operating systems, we need engineers working on the Android app who are both fantastic engineers and great Android developers.

Make no mistake — we're talking about some complicated and intricate code here. Not only do the developers have to make a product that works as well or better than the previous Android app did, but they have to worry about app versions, automatic upgrading for watch apps and watch faces, and users who may not be tech-savvy if things go wrong. I do not envy these guys.

The current beta version of the Pebble 2.0 app is available for those brave souls who want to try it out. We're using it, and can tell you that it's not even close to ready yet. Trust us when we say you do not want this to be released to the general public, and it's very much still a developer preview. We love the new functionality, but when lots of little things go wrong it makes for a poor experience that normal users won't want. Pebble is wise to hold this back.

The good news is that Pebble is actively looking for Android engineers and developers — ones with the right credentials who can back it up with results. Those folks are few and far between, because most are already employed elsewhere because of the high demand for quality Android coders. 

This is a situation that will correct itself, but only after a lot of hard work and long nights. While we all want the latest and greatest for our Pebble, sometimes it's better to wait.

Source: Pebble Blog

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4 years ago

Radiohead's PolyFauna app is triptacular

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Radiohead's PolyFauna app is triptacular

The 'imagined creatures from your subconscious' come to life in Radiohead's new app

PolyFauna takes the song "Bloom" from Radiohead's recent The King of Limbs album, adds in some ethereal moving art, and packages it up as a trippy and cool Android app. 

Radiohead's Thom Yorke hit the nail on the head when he described PolyFauna as "A window into an evolving world" and there's really no other way to describe it. Imagine Motorola's Windy Day app, with a hefty dose of LSD and imagination, then some distinctly Radiohead sounds tossed in the mix. Hold your phone up, look at the screen and move it around. The landscape changes and rolls (the trails are lovely) and when you see the red dot you can follow it for a gateway to a completely different scene.

There's nothing to learn here, and no bad guys to kill. But it's one hell of a ride. Grab it from the Google Play link above.

Via: Radiohead

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4 years ago

Getting '403' errors in the Play Store today? You're not alone

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Getting '403' errors in the Play Store today? You're not alone

Don't worry, everything will be back up and operational soon

Folks from all around are reporting issues downloading apps and updates from the Play Store today, receiving an error "403" in the process. It's safe to say at this point that Google Play is both herping and derping, and it should be sorted out soon. Here's a quick explanation of what that 403 error means, technically:

Generally a 403 error means your request was "forbidden." That doesn't mean you did anything wrong, just that the server (in this case Google's Play store servers) were programmed to deny the request you sent. Typically, you see a 403 error when you try to browse the file structure of a server that wasn't configured to allow this sort of access.

What's likely happening with Google Play is because of traffic shaping, where the normal request was altered and the server gets a request that it cannot allow. There's nothing you can do to fix them, though some people have had luck deleting their Google account and adding it again. The best thing you can do is wait it out, even though that's something nobody wants to do.

We go through these sorts of widespread errors from time to time, and they always get sorted out quickly. Hang in there.

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4 years ago

Apps World: Join penguins on an adventure in XnO for Android

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Apps World: Join penguins on an adventure in XnO for Android

Endearing characters and high-quality art set XnO apart

Catapult games are a big deal on mobile – just look at Angry Birds and the many games the series has inspired as proof. The style of gameplay – aiming projectiles at something and trying to knock it over – works perfectly with touch-screen devices. You can classify these games as physics puzzlers, but they feel more action-oriented than most physics games.

At Apps World last week, I discovered a 3D catapult game from indie developer Digital Eclairs called XnO. The 3D perspective adds a new layer of depth to this type of game. XnO also has an endearing set of characters and delightful, high quality art style to set it apart. It’s also one of the few participants in the Big Indie Pitch that has already made it to market, so you can download it right now.

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4 years ago

How to: Tell Google Now who your mom (or dad) is

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How to: Tell Google Now who your mom (or dad) is

Add relationships to your contacts with simple voice actions to make hands-free calling and texting simpler.

Google Now is getting smarter and more useful by the day, and Google's latest development is in voice actions with relationships rather than people's names. Starting today, you can now use Google Now to call people with close relationships to you via voice command. For example, you can now simply say "Call Mom" or "Send a text to my wife" rather than using their full names. If you have yet to assign a relationship status to a contact, you'll get a simple on-screen prompt to assign contacts to the relationship.

If you're interested in setting up this capability on your own phone, it's an extremely simple process:

  • Open Google Now and tap the microphone button at the top (or use the "OK Google" hotword on the Nexus 5).
  • Simply say "Call my ..." appended by the person you wish to call (mom, brother, wife, grandfather, etc.).
  • If you have yet to assign a relationship to that name, you'll be prompted again to speak the person's name.
  • Tap to confirm the name, or pick from your contacts manually.
  • If there are multiple numbers associated with the contact, select your preferred number for voice dialing.

And that's it! From that point forward, you can use relationship names rather than people's names for voice actions. While we're sure there are more, we've found these actions to work with: mom/dad, girlfriend/boyfriend, sister/brother, cousin, grandmother/grandfather. Give it a try with calls and texts — it may save you some time the next time you need to make a hands-free communication.

Source: Google

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4 years ago

Spectralink and Android poised to revolutionize communication in your hospital

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Spectralink and Android poised to revolutionize communication in your hospital

   

The Spectralink Pivot is part of a complete WLAN solution for healthcare professionals, and it runs Android

Android has been noticeably absent from industry applications, like assembly factories, warehouse facilities and hospitals. The function is there, and the open-source Android code is a complete operating system and application framework that nobody has done much more than phones or tablets with. Spectralink is going to try and change that.

As part of their unified communications systems, the new Spectralink Pivot is a handheld Android device that does traditional voice calling, video and data transmission over WLAN, complete with a 1D/2D barcode scanning system built in. While this is a perfect application for many use cases, Spectralink is directly marketing it towards healthcare facilities.

This is exciting stuff, folks. We think about phones and tablets when we think about Android, but as a complete embedded platform Android is capable of running on all sorts of equipment. While the Spectralink Pivot may resemble a traditional handheld device, the addition of the scanner when paired with custom software makes for a great single communications device for the Nursing staff — who we all know does all the work at the hospital and needs every tool they can get to help do their job. The same goes for workers in a giant warehouse, or a production facility. Right now, most places using similar technology are using late-model iPods or iPads with extra equipment hanging off of them to do this. Switching to Android means they can run custom firmware, and install applications as needed without any interference from App stores or platform rules. That's a big plus for the IT guys who keep this sort of system running.

To be sure, products like this aren't designed or built — or priced — for the consumer. The $950 Spectralink Pivot 8753 is just a small part of a complete WLAN communications package, and is designed to replace existing systems that have outlived their usefulness. We're still pumped to see this sort of thing, though, because we know how powerful Android can be. It's great to see more of its potential being used like this.

 

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4 years ago

Sprint Spark launches in Philadelphia and Baltimore

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Sprint Spark launches in Philadelphia and Baltimore

Network improvements will also include HD Voice in the coming weeks

Sprint announced today that its new network, dubbed Sprint Spark, is available in another two U.S. cities. The new network, which takes advantage of three different blocks of spectrum to increase speeds, offers theoretical throughput of up to 60mbps if you have a Spark-capable device. Today's expansion to Philadelphia and Baltimore brings the total number of Sprint Spark cities up to a whopping 14 across the country, although Sprint claims it will hit 100 cities with Spark in the next three years.

In the coming weeks, these two new Sprint Spark markets will also be upgrade to utilize HD Voice. Just like Spark, HD Voice requires a capable handset (and in this case both ends of the call need a capable handset), but if you do have the right phone you'll notice a dramatic improvement in audio quality. Both Sprint Spark and HD Voice are great initiatives for increasing data speeds and call quality, and provided it can roll out the features quickly they can be a great selling point of the Now Network.

Source: Sprint

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