Tag Archives: Also

ZTE Nubia X6 has a 6.44-inch display, also features 13MP front and back cams

nubia-x6

The act of taking self-portrait photos using your front-facing camera and then uploading them to the web is a practice that’s pretty common everywhere in the globe, but there’s little denying that China in particular seems to be a big fan of selfies. That’s probably why most of the phones coming out of China have front-facing cameras with megapixel counts in the 5+ range.

With that in mind, ZTE’s upcoming Numbia X6 is about to blow all other front-facing cameras out of the water. The handset packs a whopping 13MP shooter on the front, with backside illumination and f/2.2 lens. On the back, you’ll also find a 13MP shooter though it has a f/2.0 lens, optical imagine stabilization and dual flash technology.

Moving past the crazy front camera, the rest of the specs are equally high-end. The Nubia X6 offers a Snapdragon 801 CPU with 3GB of RAM, and has storage options up to 128GB. There’s also a 6.44-inch display with a 1920×1080 resolution and a massive 4250 mAh battery.

Probably to nobody’s surprise, ZTE has yet to announce any plans for the handset outside of China, though it’s certainly possible the device could eventually make its way to other markets in Asia, and perhaps even to Europe. Odds are it will never make it way to North America, though.

For those in China, the handset is currently up for pre-order for HK5010, or roughly 5.78. What do you think, if the handset actually made it to your local market — would you be interested or not?


    








Android Authority

ChaOS ROM founder Clark Scheff also joining Cyanogen Inc.

ChameleonOS

Earlier today we reported on how AOKP’s founder Roman Birg had been snatched up by Cyanogen Inc., and now it looks like yet another custom ROM founder is joining Cyanogen. Taking to G+ account this evening, Chameleon OS ROM founder Clark Scheff has now announced that he has accepted as job as a software engineer for CyanogenMOD.

ChaOS might not be as well-known of a custom ROM as AOKP and CyanogenMod, but it’s still a pretty cool ROM that is best recognized for its theme engine and a few other unique features.

Like Birg, Scheff plans to continue working on ChaOS during his spare time, as long as “there is no conflict of interest” with CyanogenMOD and its efforts. He also points out that ChaOS is an open-source project, and therefore others are more than welcome to contribute to the ChaOS effort.

As for Cyanogen, it’s clear that they are working hard to bring some of the best Android developers over to its growing company, and we imagine this is only the beginning. Fans of CyanogenMOD have a lot to be excited about, that much is certain. What do you think of Cyanogen Inc’s current direction and their hiring of at least two known ROM founders? Excited for what the future holds?


    








Android Authority

Samsung Galaxy Gear to also become buddies with Smart TVs

It seems that Samsung is finally realizing that it needs to build a whole ecosystem around its Galaxy Gear smartwatch instead of limiting compatibility to one or even two devices. Now the device manufacturer is mulling over adding connectivity options for Smart TVs as well.

4c725abba040x406.jpg Samsung Galaxy Gear to also become buddies with Smart TVs

As one of the few, but definitely not the only one, to first come out with a consumer-ready smartwatch, it was somewhat expected that the Samsung Galaxy Gear, which was unveiled just last month, would a be a bit rough around the edges. Launching together with the Galaxy Note 3, it was also expected that there would be some special relationship between the two Android-powered devices. It was, however, disappointing to learn that the Galaxy Gear would work exclusively with the S Pen phablet only. Or at least that was the plan back then.

Samsung has slowly been revising that strategy and reports of additional compatible devices have surfaced, so far including only the latest Galaxy S 4 flagship, as well as last year’s models, the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II. And now, according to Samsung director of product marketing Ryan Bidan, the company is looking into the possibility of pairing the smartwatch up with its line of Smart TVs in two key areas: remote control and health.

The Galaxy Gear already does these things, albeit limited to the Galaxy Note 3 as mentioned. The device can act as a pedometer which feeds its data to the smartphone and it will probably function the same way with Samsung’s Smart TVs. With the company’s own S Health app and service, which recently gained some gamification features, the combo could, to some extent, be a sort of Wii Fit alternative in the living room. And, of course, the Galaxy Gear could be used as a remote control for the TV as well.

73a8fbf5b840x340.jpg Samsung Galaxy Gear to also become buddies with Smart TVs

Bidan, however, implied that the features might be limited in order not to dilute the user experience. The Smart TV compatibility seems to still be in the planning stages, so Samsung isn’t giving out much details like dates or compatible Smart TV models. In the meantime, you can read up on our Galaxy Gear review roundup to see if the device is worth picking up, presuming of course you have one of the supported devices already.

VIA: SlashGear

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Sonic the Hedgehog spins his way to Android devices, Tails and Knuckles also playable

Sonic the Hedgehog-w645

If you grew up in the 1990s, you’ll remember Sonic the Hedgehog as one of the more popular console game characters. If you’ve been longing for games you played in your youth, then here’s yet another reason to be happy you’re using Android. Sega has just released Sonic the Hedgehog on Google Play. We get to play Sonic at 60 FPS with widescreen support and re-mastered audio. Plus, we get to play Sonic’s friends, Tails and Knuckles, too.

Previously available on iOS devices, Sonic spins his way into Android smartphones and tablets, where you can play the re-mastered classic, plus a few new features. First, the game has been optimized for mobile devices, which means you get to enjoy Sonic in full screen and up to 60 FPS smoothness. The soundtrack has likewise been re-mastered, and it’s a big improvement over the 16-bit

Additionally, you can play new characters, Sonic’s friends Tails and Knuckles. These new characters let you explore Sonic’s world in a whole new way by using their unique abilities (flying, gliding and climbing around the levels). You will need to unlock them first with gameplay, though. Experienced players can also increase the challenge level with the new Time Attack Mode.

Sega made sure players will enjoy the title by adding in a few extras, which make Sonic the Hedgehog all the more enjoyable in our connected world. In particular, the mobile app features achievements and a leaderboard to encourage players to become more competitive — a feature that console games of the 20th century did not have.

Miss your Sega Genesis controller? Fret not, as Sonic the Hedgehog offers support for Power A Moga, Nyko, XBOX, and all HID controllers. The game costs .99 on the Google Play Store. An iOS version is also available, although Sega is yet to release the free update with new playable characters to iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users.

Check out the promo video from Google Play.

    




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Hangouts/Babel doesn’t include SMS support (yet?), Android 4.3 also mentioned in rumor update

google-babel-chat-service

A report detailing Google’s rumored Babel messaging app that would be launched in the near future has been updated to include more information about the service, but also about other Google products, Android 4.3-included.

The same The Verge forum poster that revealed yesterday that Babel will in fact be called Hangout, revealing some of its features, has updated that post with more information.

After previously revealing that the app would offer a unified messaging solution to Android users, feature an app icon “similar to the messenger icon” and offer a Holo UI, the tipster returned with more information.

According to him, Babel will be called Hangouts (as in plural; as in Google+ Hangouts) not Hangout as previously reported. Not that the final name of the app will be that important, will it?

What’s more interesting is that Hangouts apparently lacks SMS/MMS sync, or at least the feature is “not there on the app that’s being dogfooded.” Moreover, the same Ryan Socio suggested that the final version may lack SMS support at first, when answering to a comment on his updated news:

The fact that it’s about 10 days away from launch doesn’t make the situation feel anymore promising.

Socio also added that Google Now would get “location-based reminders” and Gmail’s would be “Holofied” in a “UI overhaul.”

In addition to dishing out all these details on future products, Socio briefly mentioned Android 4.3 in his updated post, basically confirming this particular Android version that has been already spotted in server logs, and may be already the object of meetings between certain companies involved with Android:

I may not be able to get much info about 4.3, my sources are not taking part in the internal beta program. 

While he isn’t apparently in the loop with Android 4.3 news, hardware information may be available next week. In the past, he apparently provided accurate information about Google’s latest hardware announcements (LG Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10) so he could very well be right about Google’s plans for Google I/O 2013.

That said, we’ll remind you that we don’t have anything official from Google at this time on either Hangouts/Hangout/Babel, Google Now, Gmail or Android 4.3, so we’ll have to take everything with a grain of salt until things become clearer. Google I/O is just 10 days away, an event that we’ll thoroughly cover for you.

    

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Samsung confirms that it is also working on a smart watch to rival the rumored iWatch

204983df14e hero.jpg Samsung confirms that it is also working on a smart watch to rival the rumored iWatchIt should come as no real surprise to be honest that Samsung has let it be known that it is currently working on a smart watch and has been for some time now. The news comes from Bloomberg who spoke with Samsung’s executive vice president Lee Young Hee.

“We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business, said during an interview in Seoul. “We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them.”

That was all Lee Young Hee would say about the smart watch and he wouldn’t give any more details on what functions the smart watch could perform or how much it would cost. It’s obviously very early days and maybe Samsung are just reacting to the recent rumors over Apple’s possible iWatch.

We heard recently that Apple already has a team of over 100 designers working on the mystical iWatch device and again Bloomberg insist that it may arrive as soon as this year. Whatever happens, it looks like the next few years will see more wearable technology arriving to grab our attention. The choice appears to be between a smart device on your wrist or one on your glasses.

Which do you prefer?

Source: Bloomberg

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Google spring cleans Reader out of existence, also trashcans some CalDav, Snapseed for Mac

2fae3d5533d hero.jpg Google spring cleans Reader out of existence, also trashcans some CalDav, Snapseed for Mac

As part of their “spring cleaning” effort, Google today announced the cancellation of several services, including Google Reader, CalDAV API access (unless you’re white listed), Snapseed for Windows and OS X, Search API for Shopping, and more. The trashcannings were announced by Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure on the Google blog:

We’re living in a new kind of computing environment. Everyone has a device, sometimes multiple devices. It’s been a long time since we have had this rate of change—it probably hasn’t happened since the birth of personal computing 40 years ago. To make the most of these opportunities, we need to focus—otherwise we spread ourselves too thin and lack impact. So today we’re announcing some more closures, bringing the total to 70 features or services closed since our spring cleaning began in 2011.

This, of course, has caused wide-spread anger in geek circles, and a more nuanced reaction among the mainstream: “Um, what’s Google Reader?” “Dunno, ask a geek!” “You ask them!” “Fine, I’ll @{somecelebrity} on TwitterBook for it!”

Apple removed Safari RSS and Mail RSS last year in OS X Mountain Lion. Clearly, people who use and love RSS are not a growth industry, or even a viable target for either company any more. And that makes sense. RSS is the file-system of news, in a post-file system world. It’s fantastic infrastructure, but the front end needs to evolve beyond traditional reader apps.

That sucks for those of us who loved the sync capabilities Google Reader provided for iOS newsreader apps like Reeder (pictured above), NetNewsWire, etc. Unless something with Google-level capacity steps up to fill the gap, we likely won’t enjoy anything as freely available (in both senses of the word) again. That might also have been part of the problem. Reader was free. It wasn’t a product. There was no commercial bond. We got what we paid for.

I’ll mourn Google Reader, as I mourned Safari RSS, but the writing on the internet could not be clearer — we need to find something else now, right?

(Ally’s going to write up a how-to on exporting Google Reader content, and alternative ways to get RSS, and get your news in general. Keep an eye out for it.)

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HTC One to sell as TD 101 via China Mobile, LG Optimus Vu 2 Plus also spotted

 china-mobile-htc-one-htc-td-101-1

Many words have been written on HTC’s mistakes that lead to its current troubles in the mobile business, with one of them being the lack of strong Galaxy-style brand that consumers would grow to love.

So much for creating a strong brand!

HTC decided to invest in such a brand by launching the One series of smartphones last year, although the company was not able to impose its own product names to certain carriers.

Then, just a few days ago, the company launched the HTC One, which is going to be the company’s only One-branded handset this year, a make-or-break kind of project for the Taiwanese Android maker that’s still having a tough time fighting against the competition, especially Samsung.

We were under the impression that HTC will further invest in its One brand and not budge to carrier demands anymore when it comes to changing the name of the product – in the U.S., AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are going to sell it as the HTC One.

But it looks like things aren’t necessarily so, and no, it’s not Verizon that’s going to get its way selling the One as the Droid DNA Plus, as it was recently rumored.

We’re looking at China Mobile this time around, which has announced the HTC One as the HTC TD 101. That’s certainly an ugly name and won’t do HTC much good especially considering that China Mobile is the largest carrier in the world, and therefore plenty of potential buyers will be looking at the TD 101 instead of One in marketing materials.

Furthermore, this particular One version will feature a regular-pixel 8-megapixel shooter, so no UltraPixels for this device. So much for creating a strong HTC One brand!

Availability details for the HTC TD 101 have not been made public yet during China Mobile’s MWC 2013 presentation, although from the looks of that slide we could assume that China Mobile subscribers will get the device at some point in July.

LG Optimus Vu 2 Plus spotted

In addition to the TD 101, China Mobile will have other TD-LTE smartphones in stores this year, like the LG Optimus Vu 2 Plus, a 5-inch handset that will pack a 1.5GHz quad-core “next-generation” processor,  a 13-megapixel “advanced” camera and a 2540mAh battery.

china-mobile-lg-optimus-vu-2-plus

The slide above seems to suggest that the Optimus Vu 2 Plus will hit China Mobile in August, but we still need official launch confirmations.

In case you’re interested in more TD-LTE devices, you’ll have to know that in 2013 China Mobile will also sell other TD-LTE devices including the Huawei Ascend D2-TL, the ZTE U9810 and a garden variety of mobile hotspots.

The post HTC One to sell as TD 101 via China Mobile, LG Optimus Vu 2 Plus also spotted appeared first on Android Authority.

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Google Now widget official in Google Search for Android update, new Google Now cards also unveiled

google-search-android-1

After having been mistakenly leaked a few days ago, the Google Now widget for home or lock screen is now officially available to Android 4.1+ Jelly Bean devices, as Google has just released an update to its Google Search for Android app.

In addition to the widget, there are several new Google Now cards available to make your Search experience even more enjoyable (see images below,) provided you’re willing to share with Google various details about yourself to make the whole Google Now thing possible.

The new cards include support from various new third parties such as Fandango, Rotten Tomatoes or Zillow. In short, here’s what’s new in Google Now:

For Android 4.1+ (Jelly Bean):

  • Google Now widget for home screen or lock screen
  • Movie passes from Fandango
  • Movies now includes ratings from Rotten Tomatoes
  • Real estate listings from Zillow when in the market for a home
  • Music button when a song is playing in voice mode (US only)
  • Support for US college sports

Google-Now-Fandango-Cards Google-Now-Widget-Home-Screen Google-Now-Zillow-Listing

We have explained more than once why Google is interested in providing a better Search experience to its mobile users, so it makes sense to see Google Now updated again – and the work on the project will continue in the future. But unfortunately for Android fans, this highly personalized search feature is available on Jelly Bean devices only.

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Nexus 4 Android 4.2.2 update available OTA, Galaxy Nexus Yakju also getting it

galaxy-nexus-vs-nexus-4

The Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean update is slowly rolling out to most Nexus devices out there. In fact, if you happen to own a Nexus 4 and/or Galaxy Nexus Yakju model (therefore a GSM international version) you should know that your Android 4.2.2 upgrade is right around the corner.

Nexus 4

You’re looking for build JDQ39 which measures 51MB in size and should be available over-the-air, although it can also be manually installed by grabbing this link right here.

Galaxy Nexus Yakju

Again, you’re looking for build JDQ39, but you have to be coming from Android 4.2.1 build JOP40D to install it on your GSM Galaxy Nexus version. Here’s the download link that you’re looking for. If you have any issues you can always check the xda-developers threads listed below in the Source section for more support.

Have you upgraded to Android 4.2.2 already (here’s a changelog for this new Jelly Bean version)? Did you notice any particular improvements?

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