Spotify brought its new playlist browsing feature – known simply as Browse – to the iPhone a little while ago, and now finally, the same can be said for the the iPad. Browse now replaces What’s New in the app’s sidebar, and isn’t all that’s new with this latest update:
New: Browse is now on iPad as well as iPhone (replacing What’s New). Find a playlist for everything. Music to eat tacos to, >anyone? New: Follow friends and artists to see their playlists and releases (soon available to all iPhone users). New: The secret/public toggle for playlists is now on iPhone as well as iPad. Improved: Smarter, more responsive searching (soon available to all iPhone users). Improved: A simpler, more streamlined sign up and login for iPhone and iPad. Improved: A shiny new look for playlists (soon available to all iPhone users). Fixed: A pesky bug when sharing to Twitter/email/SMS from iPhone. Fictitious: This app will increase your good karma.
Plenty of newness for iPad Spotify listeners to get their ears around, and you can snag the latest update at the App Store link below. A premium subscription is required to use the Spotify mobile applications.
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Ever wanted to have that hands-free experience of activating Google Search with your voice but are currently confined to working on your computer? Google has you in mind when it made this Google Voice Search Hotword extension for the Chrome web browser which brings the now iconic “OK, Google” phrase to desktops and laptops.
Simply install the extension, which you can download from the link below, and you’re good to go. Of course, you’ll need to have a mic installed on your system, but a lot of laptops come with those nowadays. This will allow you to then simply use voice commands not only for searches but also for things like setting reminders and calendar events, doing unit conversions, and more. You can always type in these search terms or commands yourself, but speaking out commands to your computer is much more convenient and cooler, at least if you’re not in a situation that would make it awkward.
The extension is currently in beta and is definitely far from perfect. It does have some limitations, aside from being unsurprisingly exclusive to Google’s web browser. The hotword only works when you have a Google search tab open in Chrome and when Chrome is the currently active window in the foreground. Thus, the feature doesn’t work when you’re doing something else, but it shouldn’t be much of an issue for people who work and live inside the browser, which is perhaps Google’s primary target anyway.
This Chrome extension is definitely no Motorola Moto X or Open Mic+ Android app. But when you’re stuck with using a computer and need a quick and easy way to start a search, then this Google feature might just do it in a pinch.
Download: Google Voice Search Hotword Chrome extension
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Flexible display technology might indeed be the future, but we still have a long ways to go before it’s mainstream. Right now, the closest we come to such devices are products with curved displays such as the Samsung Galaxy Round and LG G Flex.
Looking for something a bit more flexible than the current-gen Round or G Flex? You might want to turn your attention towards the rumored LG G Flex 2. That’s right, we are already hearing the first reports about the G Flex’s successor, which the Korean media claims may be officially announced sometime in the second half of 2014.
The so-called G Flex 2 will take the Flex’s bendability to new heights with a special hard rubber chassis that will reportedly be able to flex up to 90 degrees. While the media doesn’t specifically make mention of it, it seems likely that the device will also feature other flexible components such as a flexible battery.
Not much else is revealed about the G Flex 2, and of course LG has yet to officially confirm the device.
So how likely is this rumor? It’s hard to say. While the G Flex is still very new and hard to find outside of South Korea, it’s possible that LG wants to get a jump on Samsung and their rumored next-gen handset with wrap-around display. Until we learn more concrete details, speculation is certainly advised.
What do you think of flexible smartphones — truly useful or more of a gimmick than anything?
When we first caught wind of the Nvidia Shield, we couldn’t help but be intrigued. A dedicated Android gaming handheld with high-end specs, a quality built-in controller and the ability to stream PC games? It sounded like a hardcore mobile gamer’s dream come true. Unfortunately, the Shield’s launch wasn’t exactly a smooth one, with the product’s June release being pushed back to July due to last minute component issues.
Fast-forwarding to today, the Shield has now been on the market for around three months, and while not a run away success, the Shield isn’t without its loyal fans. The Shield was something radical and new for Nvidia when it first arrived, and in many ways was an experiment. For fans of the Nvidia Shield, don’t worry – the Shield will have a sequel device. In fact, the next-gen Shield might be here sooner than you think.
In an interview with Engadget, Nvidia’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang was asked several questions about Nvidia’s plans for mobile, for streaming and for the Shield. According to Huang’s closing comments, Nvidia is dedicated to the Shield and plans to roll out a new model every time a new Tegra chip becomes available.
Even more exciting, Huang states that it would “bring him great joy” to see the Shield 2 arrive as one of the first products to showcase the upcoming Project Logan (Tegra 5?) CPU next year.
Nvidia claims that the new Tegra chip will have “all the architectural sophistication you see in a PC.” Huang even noted that the chip is essentially based on the architecture found in the successful GeForce Titan GPU.
In other words, Nvidia Shield 2 could prove to be an absolute beast when it arrives.
As for when we might see the Shield 2 and the next-gen Tegra CPU? Nvidia is talking specifics just yet, but we can certainly speculate. Judging by this year’s Tegra 4 and Shield unveiling, we wouldn’t be surprised to see both the new Shield and the new Tegra chip make their big debut at CES in January 2014.
What do you think of the first-gen Shield, excited to see a new more powerful version or not?
Galaxy S5 rumors began circulating early this year, supposedly due to Samsung’s decision to bring forward its release in early 2014, to offset the slumping sales of the Galaxy S4.
Sony has so far held a dominant position in the high resolution (above 13MP) CMOS sensor market, supplying the 13MP sensor in most Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 units. But Sony has strong competition from System LSI, Samsung’s chip making division.
System LSI has recently announced the mass manufacturing of an 8MP sensor with Isocell technology, which separates physical pixels to prevent light bleeding and thus reduce glare and noise in low lighting conditions. Samsung System LSI has also sampled 13MP and 16MP sensors to potential partners.
As the largest sensor maker in the world, Sony benefits from economies of scales, so it’s able to offer 16MP sensors at smaller prices, but Samsung System LSI is increasing its output to match Sony’s bid, says the report. Samsung will reportedly pick the sensor supplier for the Galaxy S5 by the end of the year.
As for the actual camera module, Samsung’s Electro-Mechanics division may be a good candidate: the group recently announced the development of a 13MP module with optical image stabilization (OIS).
Citing a Samsung “insider”, ETNews’ report states unequivocally that the “next big thing” will be equipped with a 16MP camera. With that said, nothing is set in stone this early in the development cycle, so caution is advised.
The Galaxy Note 3 impresses through its size, but there are many other large phones on the market that are nowhere nearly as successful. What really makes the Note 3 stand out is the S Pen, the stylus that adds a lot of functionality to the phone, allowing you to really make use of that expansive screen.
You can use the S Pen in numerous ways on the Note 3, ranging from strictly business tasks, such as drafting a table, to fun and games, like pinning a YouTube video to the screen or doodling a cartoon. But it’s precisely this variety of settings and functions that can make the S Pen a bit intimidating, especially if you’re a newcomer to the Note series.
In this Feature Focus, we take a close look at the functionality of the S Pen and show you how it can enhance the way you use your Note 3.
First things first: Settings
To get started, we recommend that you go through the S Pen Settings on your Note 3, to configure a slew of related options.
You can set your phone to detect the removal of the S Pen from its holder and play a sound, open the Air Command menu, or a specific app. If you want to conserve battery life, you can disable S Pen detection altogether.
Another feature you can enable is S Pen keeper, which alerts you when you walk away without the S Pen, thus sparing you from a potential headache. You can also toggle the pointer (similar to a PC cursor) and the Direct pen input option, which lets you input handwritten text throughout the system.
Now that you’ve configured the S Pen to your liking, it’s time to dive in.
The stylus is symmetrical and more squarish than the Note 2’s S Pen, so you can insert it in its slot in any orientation.
The new S Pen preserves some of the features present on the Note 2, such as S Note. However, there’s a big change right of the bat – gestures are no longer available, and drawing on the screen with the S Pen button pressed now lets you “clip” text or media.
Clicking the button while hovering the S Pen over the screen opens Air Command, the new palette menu that groups five of the most useful features of the S Pen.
Hovering over some elements of the interface triggers a contextual action, such as displaying the contents of a folder or a preview of a gallery.
Finally, hovering over a text box, such as in the messaging app, shows the button for Direct Pen Input, which uses the Note 3’s excellent handwriting recognition to turn your chicken scratch into text. It’s simple and accurate, and we think you’ll find it quite useful.
Productivity vs. creativity
Two apps that are specifically designed for S Pen use are S Note and Sketchbook from Autodesk, which comes pre-installed on the Note 3. The revamped S Note lets you jot down your ideas and reminders, but it’s much more than that. You can soup up your note with charts, images, videos, voice memos, or maps, turning it into a powerful little tool for road warriors.
Sketchbook is for the moments you want to get creative. Basically, it’s a great drawing app that the more talented amongst us will find suitable for art creation on the go.
Getting back to Air Command, arguably the biggest addition to the S Pen functionality on the Note 3, the menu gives you five options:
These are some of the most useful ways you can use the Galaxy Note 3’s S Pen stylus. As you can see for yourself, the S Pen really adds to the experience of using the Note 3, being much more than a scribbling tool.
Of course, if you dislike the stylus, you can simply ignore it and still have a great user experience on the Note 3, but we strongly recommend that you give the S Pen a try before you decide it’s not your thing.
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Some say that smaller phones are better because you can use them with just one hand. For everybody else though, having a large screen for consuming media, browsing the web, and being productive is totally worth the occasional feat of finger acrobatics.
At 5.7-inch, the Galaxy Note 3 is clearly a device that’s meant for two-hand usage, and while that’s not bad in itself, there are times when you have to operate it with just one.
To spare you some of the potential frustration, Samsung equipped the Note 3 with an interesting featured called One-handed Operation, that Josh will walk you through in the video below.
To turn on One-handed Operation on your Galaxy Note 3, go to Settings>Controls and select the mode that you prefer. You can choose to activate the feature only in some apps – Calculator, Unlock Pattern, Keyboard, and the Keypad – or opt for the system-wide mode, which actually shrinks the entire UI so you can reach all elements with your thumb.
If you choose the system-wide mode, you can activate it by making a quick left-right swipe gesture, which is pretty, well… handy. You can resize the shrunken UI to your liking and do pretty much anything you want in this mode, except for taking pics and playing full screen games.
To be clear, One-handed Operation is not original (the Optimus G Pro has a similar feature), and it’s not an elegant solution either, but it gets the job done and may be very useful for some users. Like so many other features that Samsung baked into TouchWiz, it’s just there, waiting for you to give it a try, but you can still have a great experience if you choose to ignore it.
Have you tried out the One-handed Operation mode on your Samsung Galaxy Note 3? What other features you’d like us to focus on in the future? Tell us in the comments.
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With tens of millions of downloads, Pandora is a pretty awesome app. It just got even more awesome today with a new update, which brought a new feature known as Sleep Timer, among other improvements.
The feature is located in the options drawer on the top right of the app. The feature is pretty self-explanatory, but in basic terms, if you listen to music while you fall asleep, you can set a timer for music to stop playing. So, music will only play for 15, 30, or 60 minutes instead of all night, which is already a huge battery drain.
Simply load up your favorite station, hit your desired amount of time on the Sleep Timer, and just let it play. After that amount of time is up, it’ll just shut off the music. It’s a really simple feature, but also a really handy one.
Other than that, compatibility has been added for Nissan vehicles that support Pandora through the NissanConnect app. In other words, you can now control Pandora using Nissan’s touch screen or even via steering wheel controls.
All in all, it’s a pretty neat update. If you haven’t gotten it yet, just hit the Play Store button below, or just get your update straight from your phone or tablet. Any Nissan owners out there? Have you tried out the new compatibility? Let us know in the comments!
Earlier this week Oppo officially unveiled its Oppo N1 cameraphone, though few actual details are known about the phone’s hardware or design. Luckily, Oppo seems more than willing to tell us more.
Since they outed the handset, Oppo has been regularly updating its Weibo and Twitter accounts with minor teasers in order to build up hype for the upcoming device. While most of these teasers haven’t given us too much to get excited about, today’s latest N1-related tweet certainly has us intrigued. Apparently, the Oppo N1 will feature a rear touch panel!
As you can see in the ad below, Oppo is using a little bit of sex appeal to promote the N1, with the teaser showing the bare back of woman with the tag-line “Don’t just touch the front, the back is also interesting…” At the bottom of the teaser, are the words “N1 Rear Touch Panel. A brand new user experience.”
The idea of a rear touch panel isn’t technically anything new. Not only does the Playstation Vita utilize a panel on the back, but we’ve even seen a Google patent related to the idea of using rear touch on mobile devices. Still, this is the very first time we’ve heard about a handset actually utilizing such tech.
Why would you need a touch panel on the back? The most obvious reason is to give extra room to the front of the display without your hands getting in the way. It could also have something to do with the way the phone is used when going in for the perfect shot. Or perhaps Oppo could have some other entirely new reason for using a touch panel on the back of a phone. We really don’t know at this point, but Oppo clearly has our attention.
What do you think of the idea of a touch panel on the back of a handset, a good idea or merely a gimmick?
San Francisco, California – Cocologics has pushed out a new ProCamera update with the new Exhibition feature allowing people to submit photos to real Exhibitions every month. ProCamera has dropped price from .99 to .99 for the update and for the Exhibition, the price-drop will end by the end of this coming weekend. ProCamera is a photo, video, and editing app bursting with state-of-the-art technology that allows users to Shoot Like A Pro. Among new features in the update 4.2, the most exciting one is the Exhibition feature. With a couple simple clicks, people can submit their photos to real Exhibitions every month.
In August, ProCamera partners with the illustrious iPhoneArt (IPA) to launch the first Exhibition “IPA Quarterly.” The selected photos will be showcased online and at IPA’s hometown gallery, the Santa Monica Art Studios (SMAS). The theme is open to all forms of iPhone photography and art. All entries must be submitted using the new Exhibition feature in the latest version of ProCamera. Entry is free. The judge for the exhibition is internationally renowned, award-winning filmmaker Mark Pellington. Entries close August 31, 2013. For submission details, click on Exhibition icon in ProCamera’s Share & Send, or visit iPhoneArt online.
ProCamera can fulfill both the professional and mass users’ needs. “ProCamera is simple, yet deep when you need it” is the new principle. For mass users, ProCamera is making the professional features easy and enjoyable. The biggest outcome can be seen from the greatly improved photo editing:
ProLab brings powerful editing control to the iPhone. The Tone Curve tool provides accurate, multi-point correction for photos. This level of control is typically reserved for expensive desktop photo editing software, but now anyone can do it with a simple swiping finger! In ProLab, complete adjustment sliders also offer Shadow, Highlight, Exposure, RBG Hue control and many others. Any one of them can be adjusted simply by swiping across the screen anywhere. And there’s even a live Histogram for those that want even more control when editing their pictures!
ProFX has no less than 36 filters and effects, adding a slew of new styles to the Vintage and Special groups.
ProCut can crop and straighten photos. There are also new grid lines in ProCut to help with more precise photo cropping.
ProCamera is a well-balanced 5-in-1 app for photography, videography, photo editing, social sharing, and code scanning. ProCamera sets the standard for professional camera replacement apps with its high-end features and intuitive, easy to use design. Over one million photos are taken Everyday with ProCamera.
National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel Blog recommended ProCamera as one of eight must-have apps for intelligent travel. CNN featured ProCamera as one of the apps to help user become a better smartphone photographer. NYTimes journalist David Pogue stated, “The high-end crowd swears by it”. Apple has recommended ProCamera in Essentials “CAMERA & PHOTOGRAPHY” for years. Forbes recently recommended ProCamera as one of the best camera apps.
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Cocologics is the technology leader in mobile photography software on iOS and one of the leading producers of mobile eLearning systems. Committed to sustainability, Cocologics develops cutting-edge software solutions, which meet the highest demands in quality, aesthetics and simplicity. Copyright (C) 2013 Cocologics. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.
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