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4 years ago

Netflix now available on ARM Chromebooks via HTML5 player

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HTML5 "Premium Video Extensions" to replace Silverlight, first implementations now available on Chrome OS

Although relying on Silverlight as a video player had many advantages for Netflix, one of the unfortunate side effects was its inability to play on platforms that couldn't support the plugin -- like Chrome OS. With the (not so quickly) approaching deadline for Microsoft's shutdown of Silverlight, the move to HTML5 had to happen at some point, and luckily that move is starting today. With the combination of what Netflix is calling "HTML5 Premium Video Extensions", the player is now available for the latest ARM-based Samsung Chromebook.

The player still has some hurdles to overcome because Chrome OS doesn't natively support WebCrypto for streaming protected content, but Netflix has a temporary fix in place. Using two of its three extensions it is able to currently provide and the crypto it needs until Google brings its own into the OS. Provided these early versions work well on Chrome OS, Netflix plans to also extend them to all browsers going forward.

Source: Netflix

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4 years ago

Google Voice app updated to improve SMS delivery

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It's just a one-item changelog, but we'll take any improvements we can get

From the outside looking in, it doesn't seem like Google is giving too much time towards improving the Google Voice app or service, but it certainly makes us hopeful when we see an update arrive in the Play Store. Today's update has a single item on the changelog: "Improved the reliability of SMS delivery". Anyone that has used Google Voice for some amount of time knows that things can be a little shaky sending and receiving texts when in low or slow signal areas (and sometimes even in great signal areas), so hopefully this update addresses some of those issues.

As for the future of Google Voice, we can only wonder. In the meantime we know at least some amount of time is being spent over at Google maintaining the app. You can grab a download of this latest version from the Play Store link above. Noticing any improvements with the latest update? Let us know in the comments.

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4 years ago

Google Glass Explorer now ready to ship says Google in letter to participants

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Google Glass units will soon be in the hands of developers who signed up for the project last year

Google has sent out an email to folks who are part of the Google Glass Explorer project, and the units themselves are ready to begin shipping. The devices will ship in waves, as not all the units are off the assembly line just yet.

This meshes well with the news we heard a couple weeks ago, where it was expected for all participants to have received their gear by the time Google I/O rolls around. We expect to see plenty of folks sporting them in San Francisco for the annual developers conference, and hopefully the actual developers who expressed interest will have some great ideas for apps. We also expect to hear even more about Google Glass during the keynotes and developer sessions. Hit the break to see the message that was sent.

Via: @nerdtalker

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4 years ago

Verizon to offer smartphone payment plan, but no break on subsidies

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'Verizon Wireless Device Payment Plan' for smartphones starts April 21

In an update to a recent announcement of longer upgrade times, Verizon is giving customers who want to upgrade more frequently another option: extending the Device Installment Program to smartphones. Previously only available for tablets costing over $349.99 and the Samsung Galaxy Camera, this plan breaks up the full-price cost of a device into 12 monthly payments (along with a $2.50/month finance charge).

Be careful not to confuse this new move with 'unCarrier' plans. Unlike T-Mobile's new plan model, there is no option for a cheaper monthly plan to go along with Verizon's Device Payment Plan. That means if you're making use of the new installment plan, but have an upgrade you haven't used yet, you're basically making two phone payments for one phone.

If you like having multiple phones to switch between, or you lose or damage your uninsured phone, this plan could be for you. Many people will likely stick to their traditional -- now once every two years -- upgrades. Is this something you can see yourself using? Hit the comments and let us know.

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

Press adds widgets, several usability improvements

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In light of the impending Google Reader shutdown, Press pushes on with new updates

Although Google may be pulling the rug out from underneath a lot of reader apps, Press doesn't seem to be bothered by it. In an update to its app today, Press added several new features that will enhance the overall user experience. First are a pair of widgets -- one large, resizable and scrollable widget and one 1x1 widget that simply lists the number of unread stories. The widgets are simple and clean, with a slightly transparent black background. Once you're in the app, there are several more improvements to be seen.

You can now continually scroll vertically through news stories, rather than swiping horizontally to switch. There are also several new options when long-pressing in articles to make it easier to star, share and mark articles as read. Press also prominently displays on its app description that the app isn't going away. We look forward to seeing what the developers end up choosing as a new back-end solution to replace Reader.

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4 years ago

Adobe to contribute to Google's Blink browser engine

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Director of engineering for the Web Platform team at Adobe Vincent Hardy has announced that Adobe will contribute to Google's new Blink browser engine

A week or so ago, we talked about Google forking off WebKit to create their own browser rendering engine. Chrome and Chromium deal with multiprocessor architectures differently than other WebKit based browsers, and because of the big changes and confusion it can cause, they decided to go their own way.

Adobe's Vincent Hardy thinks this will strengthen an "already healthy" browser competition, and announced that Adobe will be a contributor to Google's Blink. Adobe has traditionally been a contributor to both WebKit and Google's Chromium project, as well as Mozilla's Firefox, and will continue to do so. By doing so, they "hope will help keep the web open and foster innovation as long as all browsers strive to implement ‘the same web’."

We're not sure of how this will affect the web in the future -- things may work out well, or there could be a huge rift between browsers. What we do know is that Adobe is going to do what they can to make their products work on them all.

Source: Adobe

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4 years ago

Xiaomi aims to expand globally, ship 15 million devices this year

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Selling devices at cost and online-only seems to be a lucrative tactic for at least one Chinese manufacturer

Speaking at the D:Dive Into Mobile event in New York City, CEO of Xiaomi Bin Lin made some pretty bold statements about the expansion and plans for the company. Xiaomi, if you've never heard of it (we don't blame you), is a Chinese smart phone manufacturer that exclusively uses its own version of Android on high-end devices, which it generally sells at cost directly to consumers. Choosing to spend practically no money on marketing, sales or retail locations, Xiaomi has been producing phones with the highest specs and selling them for about $400 unlocked to Chinese consumers.

Now the company wants to expand beyond just China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Lin expressed that Xiaomi is aiming to hit 15 million devices shipped this year, moving towards a global strategy to sell phones elsewhere. Could this model work in the U.S. and Europe? It's hard to say, as at least here in the states manufacturers generally rely on strong carrier partnerships and huge marketing pushes to sell devices. We'd surely welcome a new player that is willing to come in and mix things up, though.

Source: Engadget

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4 years ago

T-Mobile HTC One pegged for April 24 launch in 'select stores'

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Pricing hits at $99 down with $20 monthly payments, or $249 on-contract at authorized retailers

Everyone has been waiting to get their eyes on any availability information for the HTC One, and it looks like T-Mobile is readying the device for an April 24th launch. Coming by way of a leaked internal documents giving the details, it looks as though "select stores" are going to carry the device at launch, with a big marketing push by the carrier. These select stores will have employees wearing HTC shirts and heavily promoting the device for the first few days. T-Mobile's new "Simple Choice" no-contract plans mix up the pricing as well. The One will set you back $99 down and 24 months of $20 payments, or $579 in total. Authorized retailers like Best Buy still sell devices with typical 2-year contracts, and will have the One at $249 on a "Classic Plan".

Some AT&T stores are apparently a bit relaxed on their HTC One sales dates, but if T-Mobile is your network of choice it looks like you won't have to wait much longer. Keep an eye out for official word from your local T-Mobile store to see if it will be one of the select launch stores. You can check out the leaked document after the break as well.

Source: TmoNews

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4 years ago

OfficeSuite Pro 7 update adds new tools, dual screen support

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Word, PowerPoint, and Excel editors get new tools to make working with documents easier

OfficeSuite Pro 7 users should check Google Play, because an update to version 7.1.1222 is now live -- multiple tools and features have been added. The major global change this time around is the new dual screen support.

Word documents can now make use of the Oxford Dictionary of English for spell checking, which comes preloaded (other dictionaries can still be downloaded from the Mobile Systems website). Also added was the ability to perform a Google search from within the Word editor, for easy lookup of words and phrases. Tables resize for separate branches in Word is now possible, as is the replacement of existing in-document images. The PowerPoint editor gains links and shadows support, while the Excel editor gets an improved UI and better font formatting, as well as Autofill with cell dragging. Excel sheets can now be reordered too.

Adding your own images becomes easier, with the ability to take a picture and insert it directly into Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files. Problems with Mobile Systems' companion app, QuickSpell, has been worked on and compatibility has been improved.

If you don't already own this app, but Jerry's recommendation was enough to convince you to jump onboard, you can follow the Play Store link at the top to download.

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4 years ago

HTC One production problems have 'significantly improved,' U.S. brokerage says

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HTC reportedly has made great gains in tackling supply issues over the last two weeks

It was just over a month ago that reports were coming in of a delayed HTC One launch due to problems sourcing components from manufacturers. According to brokerage firm J.P. Morgan Securities, things are looking up for HTC and its newest flagship. In the last two weeks, parts supply issues have been greatly improving, and revenue projections for the Taiwanese phone company are now expected to increase over fifty percent compared to last quarter.

HTC's production progress is being attributed to "new vendor qualification, technology transfer and volume increase." Thanks to these improvements, phone production is expected to increase from 300,000 in March to 1.2 million in April. May looks even better, with expected shipments reaching as high as 2 million units.

Some damage has already been done to HTC One sales, where launch delays as long as a month were seen in important markets. Although HTC looks to be getting back on track, analysts still see production problems in the future thanks to difficulties producing the HTC One voice coil motor and compact camera module. With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 quickly approaching, further manufacturing bottlenecks could mean serious trouble for HTC.

Source: Focus Taiwan

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4 years ago

Verizon Droid DNA gets an update to fix SIM card detection

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Not much to add here that wasn't in the headline. The Verizon Droid DNA is getting an update today to software version 710RD for what Verizon says is "improvements ... to SIM card detection." And that's it. So if SIM card detection is a feature you find important (and we're willing to bet you do), snag this update as soon as you get a free minute.

More: Changelog (pdf); Droid DNA forums

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4 years ago

Unlocked, developer edition HTC Ones again up for preorder from HTC

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More SIM-unlocked, developer editions slated to be available April 23

Just a quick heads up that the unlocked and developer versions of the HTC One are once again available for preorder directly from HTC. You'll actually be preordering, as HTC's expecting to have more phones in stock starting April 23 -- eight days from now.

The phones had been listed as unavailable for several days last week.

You've got two choices -- a 32-gigabyte SIM unlocked HTC One for $574.99, or a 64GB "developer edition" for $650, for those who want to hack the HTC One as much as possible.

If you're still on the fence, be sure to check out our HTC One review, and swing by our HTC One forums.

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4 years ago

EPOCH: A fantastic new post-apocalypse shooter

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Cinematic quality graphics meet fantastic gameplay in this third-person shooter

You have to check a lot of boxes to make a great shooter on a mobile platform. The game has to have a compelling storyline, but also one that is easy enough to follow for most people playing on about a 4-inch screen. It also has to have great graphics, backed up with an appropriate soundtrack. Above all, a game has to wrap up the package into something that felt like it was made specifically for mobile, with gameplay and controls to match.

We're looking at a game here that checks those boxes, and then some. Developer Uppercut Games has a winner on its hands, and it's name is Epoch. Read on past the break with us and see what makes this robot-themed over-the-shoulder shooter so great.

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4 years ago

Telus Galaxy S4 lands April 27 for as low as $199

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Preorders get phones first, general availability starts May 3

Samsung and Telus this morning announced that the Canadian operator will have the Samsung Galaxy S4 available starting April 27 -- providing you preordered, which you can do starting today. Phones will be in stores on May 3.

Telus is selling the Galaxy S4 for $199 with a Canadian-standard three-year contract (and a $50 data plan). If you buy it outright, it'll cost you $700.

Telus will have two colors available at launch -- white frost, which you see above, and black mist. An additional, unnamed color will be available later this year.

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 hands-on; Galaxy S4 forums

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4 years ago

HTC Butterfly gets a new pink paint job for Taiwan

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HTC's international 5-incher gets a new coat of paint for Taiwan, due to drop this month

This is the HTC Butterfly. It's exactly the same phone that launched late last year in selected international markets, and is in essence the Droid DNA without the Verizon input. Only now, in Taiwan at least, there's set to be this new, pink version released for anyone who desires a large pink smartphone. 

The pink Butterfly is reportedly set to drop on April 30. It isn't the first time we've seen a 5-inch+ device get the pink makeover either. Samsung released pink versions of both generations of the Galaxy Note, with the Note 2 having landed -- also in Taiwan -- earlier this year. 

Source: ePrice (Translated)

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