4 years ago

How smartphones killed the camcorder - Talk Mobile


While many of us owned standalone cameras, be they point-and-shoots or DSLRs (or even going back to ye olde days of film SLRs), far fewer ever owned a standalone video camera. The camcorder was always a far more bulky and balky beast, requiring massive batteries and recording onto magnetic film cassettes and then smaller cassettes and then removable hard drives and large flash disks before finally getting to the point where something like an SD card was a viable option.

4 years ago

Trusted Bluetooth devices: A must-have for every smartphone going forward


Securing your phone's lockscreen has never been so painless

Smartphone manufacturers are paying more and more attention to how you unlock your device — and as such, so are we. That brings us to another installment of "What do I miss?" when moving from one smartphone to another. Previously we touched on Motorola's Active Display versus LG's Knock-On. Today, we turn to Bluetooth. And, specifically, trusted Bluetooth devices. 

This is a feature that Motorola's baked into its recent line of phones — Verizon's new Droids as well as the Moto X. And, quite simply, it's a feature that needs to be baked into every smartphone going forward at the operating system level.

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4 years ago

Samsung renews deal for product placement on popular TV show 'The X Factor'


Partnership to show phones, tablets and cameras on the show enters second year

Samsung announced today that it has renewed a deal with FremantleMedia UK to have its mobile products prominently displayed and used throughout the upcoming season of The X Factor. As part of the deal, viewers will see Samsung products on display and in use across all parts of the show, starting from the earliest stages of the competition. The deal is apparently primarily focused around mobile devices including phones, tablets and cameras, but isn't exclusive to just these product lines.

Beyond just broadcast, Samsung is also an off-air licensing partner and will see its products and brand displayed on tickets, in-store displays and across The X Factor's website. It's no secret that Samsung is spending big money on marketing, but locking up a deal for a widely popular show such as this is probably money well spent. Keep an eye out for those Note 3's on set soon.

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4 years ago

Apple's iPhone 5c announcement won't change anything


Apple's entry-level phone comes with a premium price — and that only maintains the status quo

Apple had a chance to change the face of mobile again today. We currently have a landscape that splits the top-tier, high-priced desirable phones between Android-based models and iPhones, and the rest is dominated — absolutely dominated — by cheap Android-powered handsets. An inexpensive model from Apple could have changed all that. But they didn't do it. They could have, but for whatever reason they chose not to. And that doesn't help the consumers.

Android was designed to grab this lower-end market, and it's a great way to get smartphones into the hands of people who couldn't — or wouldn't — spend a lot of money to get one. It's a money-making plan, and why Android is free and why Google developers are sharing ways to make things great looking and running. We love it, and personally I'm a genuine fan of low-price, low-spec phones that bring the web and all it can do to more people.

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4 years ago

EE introduces 'Swap' phone trade-in program for select devices


Program launching Sept. 17 for certain devices with one-time fee as low as £49

Phone payment plans and trade-in schemes seem to be all the rage in the US, and now the UK's largest LTE network EE is getting in on the game with its new "Swap" program. As the first carrier with a system like this in the UK, EE's Swap differs slightly from the way we've seen AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile set things up here in the states.

Under Swap, you will be offered the option to trade-in your phone for a new one assuming you're at least 6 months into your 18 or 24-month contract. If you do choose to trade your device in for a new one, you'll simply pay a one-time fee based on the cost of your monthly service plan. The fee ranges from £49 to £249, with a higher fee if you have a cheaper plan, naturally.

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4 years ago

ARM demos Exynos 5 Octa distributing tasks over all 8 cores in new videos


See the latest 8-core processor technology in action on common apps

Samsung announced yesterday that come Q4 it would have technology in its new Exynos 5 Octa processors to take advantage of all 8 cores simultaneously, and today ARM has released videos showing the processors in action. In a handful of technical demo videos (that are drastically more informative than Samsung's commercialized video), ARM shows off how the new technology can move processing between the four A15 cores, four A7 cores or the GPU as needed in any number of ways that are most efficient.

The demos show off the processor crunching along on QuickOffice documents and Angry Birds Rio, along with a demonstration of processing being handed over to the GPU when viewing images. As the demonstrator moves around through an app, you can see the processor dynamically switching between combinations of "big" and "little" cores as necessary, rarely kicking on the more power-hungry A15 cores even when playing a game. This is a drastically more efficient use of an 8-core processor, and a big improvement over Samsung's previous implementation.

This new technology is coming with the Exynos 5 Octa 5420 processor, which will be available in consumer-facing products starting in Q4 2013. You can see all three videos embedded after the break, which are quite interesting if you're into this sort of technical demonstration.

Via: Engadget

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4 years ago

Toys R Us announces the Tabeo e2 child-focused 8-inch Android tablet


Pre-loaded with educational apps and resistant bumps and drops

Toys R Us announced today that it will be selling a follow-up in its kid-focused lineup of tablets, the Tabeo e2, with improved specs and features. The 8-inch tablet has a capacitive multi-touch display with 1024x768 resolution, dual-core 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage (expandable by SDcard).

But the internal specs aren't the important part of a device like this, it's the software. Based on an underlying platform of Android 4.2, the Tabeo e2 has a children's app store with thousands of free apps, and has dozens of pre-installed educational apps primarily for 6 to 11 year-olds. Naturally, there are also plenty of parental controls to keep things locked down.

The outside of the device is very kid-friendly as well, with an impact-resistant screen and tough plastic outer shell. That shell comes in blue, pink or clear color options and has a variety of color-matched accessories for kids wanting a complete look. The Tabeo e2 goes on sale in Toys R Us stores for just $149 starting in October, which seems like a good price for something that is more child-friendly than your average tablet and has decent specs to boot.

Source: Toys R Us

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4 years ago

100,000 Moto X phones coming out of Dallas each week


Dennis Woodside: custom orders are "substantial"

From an interview with Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside, Reuters reports that 100,000 Moto X devices are being shipped out of the company's Texas facility. Woodside says that this is only the beginning, and things are going according to plan.

When you set up to ramp a factory you need a plan, and we have shipment targets we need to make with our carrier partners, and where we need to be right now is 100,000 units and that's where we are.

While this number is a good bit lower than what we would see from Samsung or Apple, it's quite a number for an American assembly plant where workers are paid between $12 and $14 per hour.

Woodside wouldn't say how many phones were destined for carriers and how many were customer-direct orders from Moto Maker, but he said the number of custom orders was "substantial."

It's sounding like Motorola under Google's guidance just may become profitable again.

Source: Reuters

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4 years ago

This Nvidia Shield gets shot with a rifle and still works


We've seen what explosives will do the the Nvidia Shield, but what about a rifle? The folks at Rated RR were curious, too. After various tests dropping the Shield into the dirt and concrete, they finally got out the heavy hitters and shot it with a Mossberg rifle chambered in .30-30. Pow.

The Shield survived the first shot, other than the touch screen functions. Of course a Shield with a hole in it isn't good for much, so they finished it off with another shot right through the center.

None of us recommend shooting your Android's anything harder than loving looks, but it's entertaining to watch anything get shot to pieces. 

Source: Rated RR

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4 years ago

AT&T closes $1.9 billion deal with Verizon for 700MHz spectrum


Spectrum acquisitions applicable to 42 million people across 18 states

In a deal that has taken over 8 months to complete, AT&T and Verizon have finalized a swap of spectrum and cash that will see AT&T pick up 700MHz licenses across several states in the US. Various 700MHz spectrum licenses are moving in AT&T's direction, while Verizon picks up $1.9 billion in cash in addition to AWS spectrum licenses in a handful markets. In the end AT&T will pick up 700MHz B block — aka the "lower" 700MHz band — spectrum in 18 states with the potential to cover 42 million people. The increased spectrum holdings should translate to higher speeds and better coverage for customers in these markets.

This lines up nicely with the news that was released this morning indicating that AT&T is ready to set up interoperability in the lower 700MHz bands for LTE, opening up the number of devices that will work on its network and the ability for it to strike roaming deals with other carriers. Hit the break for a full list of the states and markets where spectrum is changing hands between the carriers.

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4 years ago

Google Play Music adds genre radio stations


New download queue to better control download status also included

A new update is rolling out to the Google Play Music app today that brings new radio station options based on music genres and improvements to the download queue menu. The new radio stations can be selected based on dozens pre-defined genres, and play with just one tap from the Radio menu of the new app.

You still have the previous options of making stations based on artists and songs or choosing from recommended stations based on your listening history, but genres are a much-needed addition that is available on other music services already. This is just one more reason for people to take a look at Google Play Music All Access, although we tend to think there's plenty to love already.

The update to version 5.2.1204L also includes the option to pause, resume or cancel downloads that are ongoing, for those times when you don't need to spend the bandwidth or battery. You can grab a download of the latest version of the app from the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

Android apps in beta


Beta testing can be rewarding, and Android Central is here to help you get started

In 2013, Google opened up the Google Play Store to provide proper beta testing for applications. That is, a method for the developers of the apps to have two tracks in Google play at the same time — a stable and current track for most users, and a beta branch for folks who are willing to test features that may not yet be ready for prime-time. This helps developers, and as a bonus it makes it a pretty simple affair for you and me to sign up and get in on some hot beta action with our favorite apps.

Because everything can now be hosted right on Google Play, getting signed up and updated to the latest beta version is pretty simple for both developers and end-users like us. You'll open a web page on your computer or your Android, and sign up with the Google account you use at Google Play. The rest is automatic, and once you're done you'll soon see an update right in the Google Play app on your Android that gets you going.

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4 years ago

iPhone 5s vs. the competition: Spec comparison


See how the latest from Apple stacks up against the Nexus 4 and HTC One

It's no secret that Apple has just unveiled its latest devices, the iPhone 5s and 5c, and while our friends over at iMore dive deeper into the Apple-centric coverage we want to see how its latest device's specs stack up against the Android hardware.

Going head-to-head with Google's (admittedly 11-month old) latest reference device the Nexus 4 and the HTC One, the iPhone 5s stacks up pretty comparably. The latest iPhone sticks with the 4-inch 326 ppi "Retina" display, matching up to the 4.7-inch 320 ppi of the Nexus 4 and absurdly nice 4.7-inch 468 ppi of the One. On the camera front Apple has moved to an 8MP BSI camera much like the Nexus 4, but with larger pixels like the One and a few new features included in the form of software optimization, a new image signal processor and dual LED flash.

The rest of the specs round out very similarly as other high-end devices out there today, but there are naturally a few points where each device stands out. Stick around after the break for a full spec-by-spec breakdown of the iPhone 5S vs. the Nexus 4, HTC One and the latest BlackBerry and Windows Phone handsets.

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4 years ago

Motorola's Active Display versus LG's Knock-On


Two different (but equally fun) display features highlight some of the fall's hottest Android devices

I took two main phones to the IFA conference in Berlin last week. One, familiar — the Moto X, which I've been using for a month now. The other, the LG G2. We've got a preproduction European version. The hardware is solid, but the software's not quite final, which is why we've held off of a full review thus far.

After spending a week with the LG G2 as my main device, one thing began to stand out. With it as well as the Moto X, there's been a lot more attention paid to the way we wake our devices. Both have the same goal — turn on the phone and get you to your information as quickly as possible. But both come about it in different ways. 

Is one better than the other? Both certainly add usefulness to their respective devices. But the differences are pretty apparent.

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4 years ago

AT&T will commit to 700MHz LTE network interoperability going forward


Wider frequency support opens the door to more devices and carrier partnerships

AT&T announced today on its public policy blog that it will commit to lower 700MHz LTE interoperability going forward, opening the door for more devices and small carrier partners in the future. This "lower" area of the 700MHz spectrum, also referred to as Band 12, was previously unsupported by AT&T because of interference concerns with the upper portion of 700MHz, or Band 17, that it supported.

With its move towards supporting Band 12, it will now be able to offer service to a wider range of devices across a larger chunk of spectrum — Band 17 is simply a subset of Band 12 — without any side effects. AT&T says that it is actively working with OEMs to have future devices it sells support Band 12 rather than 17, and at the same time will roll out upgrades to its towers to support Band 12-capable devices it does not sell itself.

Source: AT&T; Via: PhoneScoop

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