4 years ago

Samsung unveils ISOCELL image sensors for 'premium' mobile devices


30 percent less electrical noise will mean better low light pictures

Tonight Samsung has announced their new imaging sensor technology, named ISOCELL. They say that ISOCELL will substantially increase light sensitivity by "controlling the absorption of electrons", which results in better colors in low light. We're not so sure such a thing is even possible, but they do explain things a little bit.

Unlike BSI (Back Side Illumination), which Samsung says is actually pretty limited with how much it can affect your pictures in low light, ISOCELL has a barrier between each pixel. This will reduce electrical crosstalk by up to 30 percent, and as a side benefit allows a wider field of light absorption so the camera module can actually be thinner.

The first part to use this new tech is the 8MP S5K4H5YB, which is making the rounds to hardware partners right about now. We should see the sensors in high-end devices in Q4 of this year.

Sounds interesting, even under all the PR speak. The press announcement is after the break for those interested in a little reading.

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4 years ago

How to: Set up Android Device Manager to lock and wipe your phone


Google makes remotely managing and wiping your device easy and effective

Back at the beginning of August Google unveiled a new service called "Android Device Manager" that let you locate and remotely wipe your phones and tablets, and now the service is getting a some much-needed refinement. Today Google updated ADM to include options to apply and change lock screen PINs and passwords, adding to the nuclear option of remote wiping the device completely.

Just as we covered when the service launched, enabling ADM is extremely easy. To get started, go to google.com/android/devicemanager on your computer and go through your list of devices that are connected to your Google account. Once there, you can send a notification to the device you want to enable remote password application and wiping on, and you'll be just a few steps away from a much more secure phone.

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4 years ago

The AT&T LG G2 has a familiar face on board - Carrier IQ


Say hello to my little friend

Yep. That's exactly what it looks like — Carrier IQ running on AT&T's new LG G2. Robstunner in our forums was poking around on his new G2, as Android users are prone to do, and found this lurking there, like the monster under the bed. Unless you're rooted, you're not going to be able to get it off or stop it from doing its business, either.

I'm not going to tell you how to feel about this one. Carrier IQ — when correctly implemented — is no more invasive than all the other loggers and system trackers manufacturers and carriers install on every phone. But I'm not about to suggest that this makes it OK. That's for you to decide. 

My only suggestion if you want to be free of all this sort of hidden software is to use a burner Tracfone. Comments are open, have at it.

Source: G2 Forums

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4 years ago

Motorola posts full list of T-Mobile Moto X update changes


Improvements to camera, touchless control and call quality among others

We got word earlier today that T-Mobile's version of the Moto X was receiving an OTA that above all fixed some of the camera woes in the release software, and now Motorola has a full list of changes on its support website. The update to software version 139.12.57.ghost_row.Retail.en.US specifically calls out a few different camera improvements: auto-white balance, exposure, color accuracy, focus time and camera switching have all received positive tweaks.

Camera aside, Moto X users should see improvements to Touchless Control to increase responsiveness and training for the "Ok, Google Now" command. The Motorola Migrate feature for transferring data from your old phone has received a speed bump, voice quality has improved and two bugs have been fixed in Moto Care and Moto Assist driving mode.

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4 years ago

Using Quick Memo for notes and annotations on the LG G2


Jot a simple note or circle and clip a portion of your screen

Along with other nifty software features like Slide Aside and QSlide, LG has included an app called Quick Memo on the G2 that makes it simple to annotate screenshots and write notes with just one tap. You can access Quick Memo simply from the notification bar quick settings menu, where by default it is in the leftmost position. Tap it and you'll be taken to a simple interface that lets you write on the screen with a variety of drawing tools.

By default Quick Memo takes a screenshot of whatever app or home screen you were on when launching it and lets you draw on top of it, but you can also toggle over to a plain old notepad if you'd prefer. You can select between four different pen tip styles or a snipping tool as well as 16 different colors for the pens. Of course you don't have access to a stylus for precise input like you would on a Galaxy Note 3, but for quick jots your finger does just fine.

Once you've drawn your next masterpiece or circled an interesting portion of a web page, you can instantly share the image out to any app in your sharing menu that can handle pictures. You can also choose to save the note to your Notebook app or into your Gallery for use later. Quick Memo is a simple tool that will be useful for those who think and remember things visually, and can easily be hidden for those who don't. Stick with us after the break for a quick video showing off Quick Memo on the LG G2.

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4 years ago

BBM for Android not coming this week


Head of BBM at BlackBerry Andrew Bocking has sent out an updated statement about the launch of BBM for Android and iOS.

Hi Android and iPhone users,

This is Andrew Bocking, head of BBM at BlackBerry. As a follow up to our first blog post on Saturday, I want to take a moment to provide you with an update on the rollout of BBM on Android and iPhone.

Last week, an unreleased, older version of the BBM for Android app was posted on numerous file sharing sites. We were aware of an issue with this unreleased version of the BBM for Android app. This older version resulted in volumes of data traffic orders of magnitude higher than normal for each active user and impacted the system in abnormal ways. The version we were planning to release on Saturday addressed these issues, however we could not block users of the unreleased version if we went ahead with the launch.

We attempted to address the problems caused by the unreleased version throughout the day on Saturday, but as active users of the unreleased app neared a million – and accelerated – it became clear that the only way to address the issue was to pause the rollout for both Android and iPhone.

The team is now focused on adjusting the system to completely block this unreleased version of the Android app when we go live with the official BBM for Android app. We are also making sure that the system is reinforced to handle this kind of scenario in the future. While this may sound like a simple task – it’s not. This will take some time and I do not anticipate launching this week.

Thank you for your patience while we take the time needed to deliver the experience you expect from BBM. We will continue to provide you with updates here on InsideBlackBerry.com and through @BBM on Twitter. We will notify everyone who has pre-registered on BBM.com when BBM is available on Android and iPhone.

Andrew Bocking


Not this week, and no new speculative dates were given. I guess we'll know more when we know more.

Via: CrackBerry

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4 years ago

HTC One Android 4.3 update coming to dev. edition this week, Canada next month


HTC One developer edition should see updates in the next few days, and Canada will follow by month's end

HTC America president Jason Mackenzie has taken to Twitter to deliver some news that plenty of folks have been waiting for. As we told you a while ago, HTC decided to halt the 4.2 rollout to HTC One phones and instead focus on getting 4.3 and the latest version of Sense pushed out. If things all go according to Mackenzie's prediction, folks using the developer edition should be seeing their updates in the next few days, and Canadian customers should have it by the end of the month.

Good news – the latest Sense experience & Android 4.3 will push to One Dev Edition owners this week & One customers in Canada by month end.

There was no word on the European and international models, but our prior correspondence with HTC has said they will be getting an update to Android 4.3 along with an even newer build of Sense in the near future. Of course, if you're in the US and have a carrier branded model, you've got an extra layer of waiting in the mix. Hopefully, we'll hear good news from the carriers soon.

Source: @JasonMacHTC

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4 years ago

Amazon offering Sprint HTC One for $0.01, Galaxy S4 for $49.99 for new customers


Save $50 or $100 off what Sprint is charging directly on two of the hottest phones

Amazon has just kicked off a sale starting today and running through this Wednesday that is discounting all colors of the HTC One and Galaxy S4 for Sprint. The HTC One can be had for $0.01 on-contract provided you're a new customer, or $99.99 for upgrading existing customers. The Galaxy S4 is $49.99 for new customers and $149.99 for upgrades.


Samsung Galaxy S4

That marks a $99 discount for either customer type on the HTC One and a $50 discount on the Galaxy S4. If you've been holding out for a deal to switch or upgrade your phone on Sprint, now may be the time.

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4 years ago

Gmail, some other Google services experiencing disruption


Gmail takes the day off to celebrate Android's fifth birthday

If you're experiencing problems accessing your Gmail account or receiving mail in a timely manner this evening, you're not alone. Some Google services, mainly Gmail, Calendar and Google Drive, seem to be both herping and derping at the time of writing.

Google downtime is pretty rare, and we're sure any outage affecting such prominent services will be looked into swiftly. For what it's worth, the Google apps status page lists Gmail as experiencing an outage, and Drive as being disrupted.

More: Outlook.com

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4 years ago

Happy 5th birthday, Android!


Half a decade since the HTC G1 was announced, Android is bigger than anyone could've imagined

Today marks the 5th anniversary of the launch of the first commercially-available Android handset, the HTC G1. With how quickly the pace of Android development moves along, it's hard to think that the operating system is just (in all practical sense) just five years old. Back in those days we were excited that the G1 had HSUPA data and thought that the keyboard was the best thing since sliced bread.

You still had a horribly ugly interface by today's standard, could only use one Gmail account per device and had to use a USB adapter to plug your headphones into the G1 ... but nobody really cared, this was the future. Now over 1 billion Android devices have been activated, and we're not looking back.

Here's to another 5 years and beyond, Android.

Via: +Des Smith

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4 years ago

Android 4.3 sees a new branch and new tags in the AOSP tree


Folks who make it a habit to browse through the AOSP source code have noticed some new numbers

A new branch of the code, jb-mr2.0.0-release, has been created in AOSP, and there are a couple new tags (android-4.3_r2.3 and android-4.3_r3.1) to go along with it. 

This isn't really anything we shouldn't expect. Code as complicated as Jelly Bean is one of those things that is never finished, and the people writing it are always fiddling with new ideas and methods, and are prone to come back with new tweaks. When enough of those tweaks are committed, adding a new tag or branch becomes necessary. That's what tags and branches are for, after all.

You see, the source code for a project as big as Android needs special tools and special people to keep it in order. Tools like SVN or Git help the people working with code — both "officially" and as a hobby — keep track of which builds are current, and which builds are for which devices. That's done with — you guessed it — branches and tags. It's a great way to check out a code library and keep it current.

As for what these new branches and tags mean, well we're not going to speculate too much here. Usually a new branch means a new release at some point, but of course that new branch needs populated with changes worth updating first. In any case, Android software engineer Conley Owens says we'll see "an announcement email sent out about these by the end of this week." We'll keep an eye out for it.

Source: Android Building Google Group

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4 years ago

Moto X update coming to T-Mobile version, improves camera quality


A software update for the Moto X is rolling out to T-Mobile customers today, and mixed into the list of improvements and bug fixes is some news that most everyone is waiting to hear — Improved photos (color accuracy, exposure, focus speed). Also listed, and equally important (though not as high profile) are fixes for Moto Assist, "choppy" audio during voice calls and improved Touchless Control. Those are important, and it's great to see them addressed so quickly.

But the camera is what most users have been grumbling about. It's clearly capable of decent images, as you can see a few here and there. But often, the Moto X seems to struggle when trying to get the right shot. Hopefully, today's update helps.

There's no word on when or if we'll see this update for other carrier models, or the new unlocked developer editions, but we would expect that to happen. We've checked our AT&T units, of course, and will continue to do so.

For a great look at the camera improvements, hit up Droid-Life and see some side-by-side comparisons of old versus new.

Via: Android Central forums

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4 years ago

QSlide on the LG G2: A quick way to access frequently-used tools


Simple access to functions that usually sit in a 'tools' folder on your home screen

LG is using the G2 as a platform for launching many new software features, one of which is QSlide — a new way to use small utility apps quickly without pulling you away from whatever else you're doing. Not to be confused with "Slide Aside" (that's a full-app multitasking feature), QSlide is a collection of apps launched from the notification shade that pop up over your current activity so you can multitask in a different way.

Simply pull down the notification shade and tap one of the handful of available options under the quick settings: Richnote, Videos, Email, Phone, Voice Mate, File Manager, Calendar or Calculator. A small windowed app will pop up without exiting your current app, letting you quickly get a task done and go back to the first. If you need to reference something else while you have a QSlide app open, just use the slider at the top of the window to change the transparency.

Once you've set the app to be transparent, you can interact with anything that is "underneath" it just as if it wasn't there. Go copy text, reference a web page or whatever else and then come back to your Richnote or Calculator entry. The apps can also be expanded to a full screen with just one tap. QSlide is an interesting feature that can save you from having a "tools' folder on your home screen for these common functions. Hang tight after the break for a video walkthrough of using QSlide on the LG G2.

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4 years ago

The mobile home theater, radio DJ, and TV station - Talk Mobile


If there's one industry that didn't expect to be upended by mobile devices, it's the entertainment industry. The music, television, and radio empires are domains of the status quo. They've established dominance and usage behaviors for the public, and they're perfectly happy with how things have been.

Mobile devices and their ever-increasing connectivity options and speeds have upended entertainment. Now able to get more information more quickly than ever wherever they want, users are asking the same questions about their entertainment.

So just where do smartphones and tablets fit into the home theater set-up - are they just for serving content, or can you use them to control all of the home theater stack as well? Can we use our smartphones to broadcast music through the entire house, without wires or hassle? And how has mobile changed how we watch TV and listen to traditional radio?

4 years ago

Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear coming to Sprint on October 4


$349.99 for the phone, $299.99 for the watch

Sprint has just announced that it'll be carrying the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 from Oct. 4, along with its companion device, the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The phone will run an eye-watering $349.99 on-contract, and will be available in black and white (no blush pink, we're afraid). The watch will set you back $299.99, same as other carriers are charging.

Sprint will launch the Note 3 and Galaxy Gear a few days after they hit AT&T and T-Mobile — on Oct. 1 and 2 respectively. Verizon's Note 3 will follow around a week later, on Oct. 10.

More: Galaxy Note 3 hands-on preview

Source: Sprint

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