Archive for the ‘Android’ Category

Numerous leaks of the Motorola-made Nexus 6 in the run-up to today’s official announcement have pointed to a device almost identical to the new Moto X but with a larger display. In essence, that’s exactly what we’ve been treated to today by the search giant, whose exciting new phablet is said to be designed for the all new Android Lollipop, and we’ve got all of the key details and information right here.

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There’s good news on the horizon for members of the Google Glass Explorers initiative. As part of the continued development of the internal software that powers Google’s intelligent eyewear, the company has introduced a new feature that will allow users to view all phone notifications via Glass. As things stand at the moment, Glass owners are only able to view and interact with notifications that are presented as part of Glass compatible apps. This will be extended to fall in line with the notification-forwarding system that allows Android Wear wearables to receive every notification as it’s received on the connected device.

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Google’s next big release of Android, currently simply known as Android L is only a short time away from release and it’s certain to undergo a name change before landing on the phones and tablets of users around the globe. In order to follow along with the current naming convention of choosing a name based on desserts that begin with the next letter in a sequence, Google only has so many options to choose from.

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There will always be people wanting to argue over which device is best. Is it the latest and greatest phone to come out of Apple’s Cupertino design labs, or Samsung’s newest Android-powered Galaxy S effort? It’s a discussion that has been going on ever since Samsung and Apple squared up to each other at the higher end of the smartphone market, and while there are obviously devices on sale from other hardware makers, it’s the two arch rivals that tend to capture the imaginations, and the wallets, of most customers.

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Smart home products have risen in prominence over the past couple of years in particular, and thanks to crowd-sourcing sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, these seamless home automation gadgets continue to gather steam. The August Smart Lock, which was first introduced last year, has just begun shipping to those who pre-ordered, and if you wish to get your hands on a unit, you can do so right now for the price of $250.

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A few days back, Skype introduced some revamped features for its desktop client, with a distinct focus on improving the user’s instant messaging experience. So while Skype is busy improving the users’ experience on both, the mobile and desktop version of its app, let us introduce you to Skype Qik. Taking a distinctly different route than Skype, Skype Qik is built for asynchronous video messaging, where you create and share video messages with online and offline users. The app gives you a slight peek into what Skype may have looked like had it started out as an app for the mobile.

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This week is already shaping up as a busy one thanks to Apple’s confirmed event at Town Hall, but according to reports and rumors, Google could well be poised to steal the show with a major roll-out of its own. Android L, which we first saw at this year’s I/O event, is a rather significant bump on the current Android KitKat, and although the Big G has said very little on this topic, October is the search giant’s usual month of choice for such announcements. With Android L seemingly imminent, users of Samsung devices will be looking on with a keen interest, and now, we’ve a leaked roadmap that indicates which of the Korean outfit’s line-up will be seeing new software, and perhaps more importantly, when.

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Google has made three new ads available online with just days if not hours left to go before it is expected to launch new Nexus devices. With a new Nexus 9 tablet and Nexus 6 smartphone peeping over the horizon, the three new ads have appeared just at the right time, with Google getting ready for another charm offensive while trying to peddle its new wares.

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Not too long ago, we covered how Facebook will be bringing Stickers to its comments system. Well, finally, someone in Facebook managed to push out an update to Facebook, which allows you to express your emotional glory in the comments section for all those pillow fight, status’, pictures, videos etc., using Stickers.

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On the other side of the world, where we often meet ourselves, is an array of mobile app icons that can be brutally honest to you if you give it a chance. Icons help you quickly identify one app from the other, but what tells you what that app is really meant for, or what their existence means to you and your mobile device. As I eerily tread borderline ‘cuckoo’, I’ll ask you if you believe in any stereotype characterizations for some of the famous smartphone apps out there.

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Users of most Android-powered smartphones and tablets aren’t really used to timely software updates, but the barely available Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has already seen its first update arrive, and the chances are you can’t even buy one yet.

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Modern smartphones are great and all, but even with the trend of ever increasing screen sizes making it possible for manufactures to squeeze larger batteries into them, today’s flagship handsets just don’t last long enough between charges. There are exceptions to the rule, granted, but as a whole it’s likely you’re going to be charging that new phone of yours by the end of the day, especially if you know you won’t be able to charge it the next.

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Instant picture messaging app Snapchat has risen to prominence over the past couple of years, establishing a niche for users who wish to share photos and short (albeit terrible quality) clips that self-destruct after a set period of time. The authors of Snapchat have come under fierce scrutiny on more than one occasion already over user privacy, and with a cache of around 13GB of snaps having leaked online, the company is pointing the finger at “illegal” third-party clients.

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Android is not new to news of security bugs and vulnerabilities, but continues to roll on in spite of such news. Just recently, Rafay Baloch of RBH discovered a vulnerability in Android’s stock browser, including all browsers based on the stock AOSP code. This vulnerability was a serious one which caused the browser to fail in enforcing the Same Origin Policy (SOP) protocol, which basically governs how content from multiple resources is securely loaded into the browser. While this issue plagued pre-KitKat devices, Google was quick in patching it up. However, given the nature of Android’s ecosystem, updates aren’t rolled out that quickly, resulting in almost 45% Android devices out there that remain vulnerable according to the security experts at Lookout. Please note that this data is based on their apps user-base that is over 100 million, so it does make an interesting case nonetheless.

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Samsung’s delay in getting the Galaxy Note 4 out to the masses will surely have an effect on overall sales, particularly given the unexpected popularity of Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, and now, the Korean outfit is facing another hurdle. According to a suit filed by NVIDIA, Sammy’s Exynos processors, along with a number of SoCs manufactured by Qualcomm, are in violation of the graphics specialist’s GPU patents, and if NVIDIA’s claims are founded, the Galaxy Note 4 may face a sales ban in the United States.

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As well as the selfie-focused Desire EYE, HTC has also launched an intriguing, GoPro-like contraption designed to aid those wishing to capture point-of-view videos. The 16-megapixel sensor can also take pictures, and although the device doesn’t include any kind of viewfinder, HTC asserts that this only adds to the RE Camera’s simplicity.

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Since the HTC One M8 dropped earlier on this year, the Taiwanese outfit has been fairly quiet, allowing Samsung and iPhone to take center stage, but now, the company is back with a handset focused almost solely on selfies. With many of us obsessed with the idea of taking pictures of ourselves, HTC wants to ensure that the quality doesn’t suffer, and the Desire EYE, with its 13-megapixel camera, touts a caliber of front-facing snapper that compares with most rear-facing shooters.

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As you’ll likely have picked up on over the past few weeks, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launched was somewhat blemished by reports that both handsets – particularly the larger of the two – were unduly prone to bending through normal use. Apple came out fighting, underlining its stringent stress test processes as well as pointing out that only a handful of users of the 10 million early adopters had complained, but despite the apparent mountain being made out of a mole hill, rivals were quick to pile on the misery. Not surprisingly, Samsung was at the forefront of the mockery, but with the Korean outfit about to roll out the Note 4, how does its phablet fare in a bend test carried out by the same group behind the viral iPhone 6 Plus clip?

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Having been announced way back in early September at the IFA expo in Berlin, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 is finally headed to market. A minor launch has already taken place in the company’s native Korea, with the small inventory having quickly sold out, but with the mass roll-out now just days away for many countries including the United States, the Tizen OS maker is once again on the campaign trail. As a precursor to the presumably large promotion push that Samsung will commence as it dips into its sizeable marketing budget, the company has released a drop test video, seeking to show prospective buyers that the device is as tough as it is feature-rich.

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Samsung is having something of a bad time right now. Having already announced three consecutive quarterly drop in profits, the South Korean firm has announced that it expects a decline in profit of almost 60% for the third quarter of 2014 after having already warned that the second half of the year would ‘remain a challenge.’

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