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Apr 08, 2015 - 3:36 PM - by dgstorm
HTC's Mo Versi took to Twitter again today with some good news for owners of the HTC One M7 Google Play edition and the HTC One M8 Google Play edition. Both of these devices have started receiving the Android 5.1 Lollipop update. As is usual, the update will roll out in waves, so if you haven't seen it yet, don't fret.
The update simply moves these devices from Android 5.0.2 to Android 5.1 for all of the commensurate bug fixes. There are a few features added as well, including adjustments to wireless connection setups, system volume controls and notifications, and a smattering of new animations. The update also adds HD Voice Calling, Dual-SIM support and Device Protection as well.
Apr 07, 2015 - 10:09 AM - by dgstorm
LG just shared their official unveiling of the LG G4 flagship smartphone. They used a quick video teaser which focused (pun intended) on the brand new f/1.8 aperture for the camera lens on the device. The tagline for the event was "See the great, feel the great" and they ended it with a screenshot of the LG G4 logo engraved in leather. Check out the teaser above, and stay tuned on April 28th for the big event!
Apr 06, 2015 - 11:04 AM - by dgstorm
Some new intel has come to light that Google has even bigger plans for their mobile smartphone service than they let on earlier this year. Supposedly, the Mountain View based mega-corp is in talks with other operators from around the world, and they plan to offer a “global network that will cost the same to use for calls, texts and data no matter where a customer is located.”
This basically translates into a cell phone service that would have free international roaming. If Google can make it happen, this would be a huge coup, and could put the company on a vast footing against its US competitors. Here's a quote with more of the details,
Imagine signing up for Google cell phone service and being able to use it virtually anywhere on the planet! Exciting times!
It is understood that Google aims to create a global network that will cost the same to use for calls, texts and data no matter where a customer is located. By linking up with Hutchison, it could gain wholesale access to mobile service in the UK, Ireland, Italy and several more countries where the Hong Kong conglomerate owns mobile networks.
Sources said Hutchison was a natural partner for Google in the plan, because it has also sought to eliminate roaming charges for Three customers.
Source: Google in talks with mobile operators for cheap overseas calls - Telegraph
Apr 01, 2015 - 12:35 PM - by dgstorm
All jokes aside, this newest bit of news is a reason for cheering instead of laughing. Verizon announced a new policy change in which users on their network will be able to "opt out" of the so-called "supercookie" tracker which has popped up in the news over the years.
To refresh your memory, for sometime Verizon has included an undeletable, unique identifier header in a tracking cookie whenever anyone uses a device on their wireless network. They claimed that it wasn't a security issue, but several reports suggested otherwise. Apparently, the big dogs at Big Red decided they had enough of the backlash from it and are now offering folks the ability to say no.
To opt-out, you can hunt around on Verizon's website or call 1-866-211-0874 and they can help you with it over the phone. This doesn't entirely solve the issue, as several consumer advocacy groups have would rather Verizon use the "opt-in" approach, but at least some progress has been made. Here's a quote with the final details,
What do you think about this issue? Is it a valid privacy concern, or does it make a mountain out of a mole-hill?
In January, four Democratic members of the Senate’s powerful Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation sent a letter to Verizon’s chief executive, Lowell C. McAdam, demanding an explanation for the company’s data security and privacy practices. Shortly after, Verizon said it would provide a complete opt-out.
But privacy advocates continue to press Verizon. Jacob Hoffman-Andrews, a technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, encouraged Verizon to go a step further.
“This is an improvement, but it doesn’t do nearly enough,” he said. “Verizon should discontinue its header injection program, or at a minimum make it opt-in.”
Verizon’s Ms. Lewis said customers may log in to their accounts to change their participation in the company’s data collection programs — whether it’s opt-in or opt-out — in the privacy section of the company’s website.
Mar 31, 2015 - 3:08 PM - by dgstorm
NVIDIA sent out a press release on a bundle they are offering for their NVIDIA Shield Android Gaming Tablet. The bundle will basically give you a bunch of freebies for just purchasing the 32GB or LTE Version of the tablet at the regular price of $399.99.
The fee stuff includes the SHIELD controller, SHIELD tablet cover, and 3 great games; Half-Life 2: Episode 1, Half-Life 2, and Portal. This offer is for a very limited time only as it ends tonight (3/31/2015) at 11:59PM PST.
Here's the NVIDIA link for more details: Store Tablet | SHIELD
Mar 30, 2015 - 4:43 PM - by dgstorm
We were impressed enough with the concept in this video that we just had to share it. A crafty YouTube blogger named AndroidGameE created a speedtest which is designed to showcase real-world performance instead of the typical number crunching benchmarks. It does this by leveraging opening and closing a number of real-world apps during a timed test. While it would be easy to poke holes in the methodology, it is still a remarkably simple way to help gauge what the user experience might be like.
Even better is that we get to see this "real world benchmark" demonstrated with a titanic battle between the ultra-popular iPhone 6 and the hot new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. Throughout most of the tests, the Galaxy S6 Edge tends to handle things faster and smoother than the iPhone 6, but in the end, the final "timed difference" wasn't that huge, and the iPhone 6 nearly catches up with the Galaxy S6 Edge. Check out the video and let us know what you think.
Mar 26, 2015 - 10:12 AM - by dgstorm
In what will undoubtedly be disappointing news to some, Motorola Mobility's President, Rick Osterloh, recently shared on Twitter that Motorola has no plans to build any Android tablets. He did take a moment to steer us toward Lenovo's offerings, which is unsurprising since that is now Motorola's parent company.
Still, for many who were hoping Motorola would get back in the game to try and do a better job than they did with the XOOM or DROID Xyboard, this is unwelcome news. On the bright side, at least this will allow them to focus on making the best Droid smartphone they can every year!
Mar 26, 2015 - 9:46 AM - by dgstorm
Tomorrow is a big day for Samsung. They just announced that pre-orders for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will be available at all major US carriers & Best Buy starting tomorrow (March 27th). On top of this, you will also be able to see a preview of the device at most Best Buy locations around the country.
The pricing details for the 32GB, 64GB and 128GB versions was not revealed yet, but Best Buy should have that info tomorrow. T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, US Cellular and Best Buy will be the first to offer the pre-orders, while Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS will eventually get in on the act. You can also expect Amazon.com, Costco Wholesale, Inc., Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart to showcase the device sometime within the coming weeks.
We will share more details tomorrow so stay tuned!
Mar 25, 2015 - 3:19 PM - by dgstorm
Earlier today Facebook held their F8 Developer Conference. There were quite a few things shared during the event, but we broke down the three largest changes which Facebook is making/adding to their service. Here's the summary:
- "On This Day" Feature - This is a new way to look at old stuff. It basically gives you a page every day to bring up photos which were on that same day in your past. In order to get to this "special page," you will need to "click on the On This Day bookmark, and search for “On This Day.” Alternatively, you can just head to facebook.com/onthisday.”
- Third-party developers support in FB Messenger - This was the biggest change/upgrade that Facebook shared today. The company will be opening up FB Messenger to third-party developers so that they can make their own custom apps for the service. They claim they wanted to offer “even more ways for the 600 million people who use Messenger every month to express themselves.”
- Embeddable video functionality - If you are a fan of posting videos on your website(s), then you will want to pay attention to this. Facebook will soon offer HTML code for videos uploaded to their network which is meant to make embedding them much easier.
Sound off if you think any of these changes/additions will be worthwhile to you.
Mar 24, 2015 - 9:58 AM - by dgstorm
And the wheel of time circles back around again... Google I/O 2015 invites have already started rolling out to email inboxes across the globe, at least for folks who signed up for Google’s big IO raffle. The first wave of invites need to be accepted and paid for by Thursday, March 26th.
The entry fee is a stout $900, but students can get in for $300. If you haven't been accepted, then you probably won't receive an email at all, although it's possible the emails will be sent out in batches, so it could come a bit later. Sound off and let us know if you scored an invite and will be attending this year.
Mar 20, 2015 - 10:31 AM - by dgstorm
Google's latest video ad for their Android Wear products is making the rounds across the interwebs. This latest one ups the ante on the fancy dance moves, but it actually makes sense in a strange and abstract way. It actually becomes apparent from watching it that Google wants the ad to focus on customers getting more choices out of Android Wear.
They basically want to play up the personalization and individual expression angle. Sound off and let us know what you think of Google's latest Android Wear ad.
Mar 20, 2015 - 9:58 AM - by dgstorm
What an interesting industry shakeup to find in my inbox this morning. Apparently, the very top of HTC has been rearranged. Peter Chou stepped down as CEO of HTC, and Cher Wang has taken over the position. If you remember the HTC One M9 event, Cher Wang shared some of the demo time with Peter Chou. Maybe this was meant as a "soft-intro."
Before today, Cher Wang was simply known as the Chairperson for HTC’s board of directors and the co-founder of the company. Reports from within the industry indicate this transition was actually about two years in the making. Apparently, Wang was already heavily involved in everyday management behind the scenes.
Ironically, HTC's stock didn't even register a blip (positive or negative) after the news. It seems that investors were neither unhappy, nor enthusiastic about the change. Either way, Chou isn't being fired. He instead will transition to a new product-oriented position as Head of HTC Future Development Lab.
Reading between the lines, it sounds like they have been happy with Chou's design decisions for the HTC One line, but not too happy with his organizational and leadership skills. Here's a quote from the new CEO of HTC, Cher Wang,
What do you think of HTC's new leadership?
“I know the company, I know the people, and I have the vision,” Wang, 56, told Bloomberg News
in an interview. “I think I am the best candidate. I suggested it.”
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