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Dell and Microsoft Sign Cross-Licensing Android Agreement

Mar 27, 2014 - 12:16 PM - by dgstorm

It's gettin' kinda hectic in here... We have known for several years that Microsoft makes more money from its Android licensing agreements than it actually does from its own Windows Phone. As if that weren't ironic and complicated enough, things just kicked up a notch. Normally, when Microsoft signs an Android licensing agreement with an OEM, it is remarkably lop-sided in Microsoft's favor. The manufacturer who wishes to make an Android product pays Microsoft a royalty fee for the licensed patents, in exchange Microsoft agrees not to grind them into the dirt in court. In today's case, things are quite a bit more balanced as Microsoft and Dell have worked out a different arrangement.

According to the new cross-licensing deal...

Continue Reading @: Dell and Microsoft Sign Cross-Licensing Android Agreement
  0 Replies | 303 Views

[RUMOR] Motorola Working on New Droid to Launch in Q4, 2014

Mar 27, 2014 - 11:29 AM - by cereal killer

It's been quite some time since Motorola brought forth any new tech. They definitely have avoided their previous history of spamming out devices, but the Moto G and Moto X were launched in the middle of last year. According to this latest rumor, it might be even longer before we see anything new from Moto, but when we do, it could be something worth taking notice of again.

Supposedly, Motorola is developing a new Droid model which will launch in the fourth quarter of this year. Here's a quote with more of the details,

Now, according to a tipster with a history of providing accurate information about Motorola, the Lenovo-owned company is working on a new DROID model for a fourth quarter release. The phone will use the next generation of Kevlar material, and will feature a larger screen ratio. That means that the glass on the handset will cover a larger portion of the front of the device.
We aren't sure just how accurate this intel is, but it wouldn't be too surprising if it came true. Motorola needs to build a new device to avoid getting too far behind in the game. Whether that is a new Moto X or a new Droid (or both) remains to be seen.

originally written by dgstorm

Via: DroidForums
  0 Replies | 281 Views

Sprint Plans to Make HD Voice Calls Available in July

Mar 26, 2014 - 11:55 AM - by cereal killer

Sprint's HD Voice technology is a project they have been working on for a while. It looks like it will soon come to fruition. According to a quote directly from Dan Hesse, Sprint's CEO, Sprint plans to launch their HD Voice capabilities in several areas around the country, "around the first of July." Of course, to utilize this functionality, users will need a device capable of HD Voice. That already includes over two dozen different devices, including the HTC One/One Max, iPhone 5s/5c, Samsung Galaxy S4/Note 3, Nexus 5 and many more.

The technology for HD Voice basically helps devices on Sprint's network make "crystal clear calls" by delivering more natural-sounding voices and canceling background noise. You can check out the concept in the video above.

originally written by dgstorm

Via: DroidForums
  0 Replies | 313 Views

HTC Officially Launches the All New HTC One (M8 - 2014)

Mar 25, 2014 - 12:47 PM - by cereal killer

The all new HTC One (M8) launch just kicked off and we will be updating this story on the fly! HTC's own CEO Peter Chou handled the reveal himself, and Jonah Becker, avp of design demoed the device.

The HTC One M8 will be available before the end of April, you'll be able to get it in Australia, Taiwan, UK, Germany, France, China, and here in the US. Most will be available in store before April 10th. However, today at 1PM Eastern you can go online and order the HTC One at all the U.S. carriers!

On top of that, Verizon Stores have them in stock at 1PM today!

Here are the specs and features:

  • Gunmetal Grey Hairline Finish (Over 70% real metal - with a brushed metal aesthetic finish - ultra-premium materials and design)
  • Duo Camera
  • Dual Front-Facing Speakers
  • Motion Launch
  • Extreme Power Saving Mode
  • Sense 6
  • Zoe
  • Sense TV
  • 5-inch Full HD Display 440 PPI - Super LCD 3 display with full HD 1080p resolution and a Gorilla Glass 3 cover
  • Snapdragon 801 Processor - 2.3GHz quad-core
  • 16GB or 32GB of internal storage
  • 2GB of DDR2 RAM
  • Micro SD Slot
  • All 2G, 3G and 4G network radios
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Improved BlinkFeed - Create Custom Feeds - 1000+ Content Partners, including Foursquare, Fitbit and more
  • TV Remote App - Sense TV
  • BoomSound - 25% louder and has more depth - three-finger swipe that works across the phone to stream your music to a wireless speaker system
  • 2,600 mAh battery that has 40% Longer Battery life than the M7 2013 HTC One - Includes a new Power Saver Mode that can last two weeks in Standby Mode
  • Gesture Commands - launch the camera with the volume button when you hold it sideways - double-tap the phone to wake it - gesture to go into different modes - hold a ringing phone up to your ear to answer it
  • Dot Matrix Case Accessory
  • Camera - bigger pixels instead of more pixels - 300 milliseconds focus time - tons of new features and capabilities - camera switcher for different modes - slow-motion mode - redesigned gallery app that does facial recognition and tagging
  • Camera part 2 - second camera of duo camera helps improve detailed depth info - UFocus = can softly blur and sharply focus different parts of the picture - Foregrounder tool - Camera API will be open to Developers - Highlight video experience
  • Camera Part 3 - automatic videos when you hold the camera shutter button down - Zoe Mode - Zoe for the cloud coming later to upload and share pics and videos
  • Camera Part 4 - 5MP wide-angle front-facing camera
  • Can update HTC One apps through Google Play
  • “glacial silver, “amber gold,” “gunmetal gray”

The older HTC One will be able to download Sense Six later this Spring. HTC plans to repair your device if you drop and damage it within the first 6 months of ownership.

originally written by dgstorm

Be sure to check out our dedicated HTC One M8 section at our sister site: HTC One (M8)
  0 Replies | 347 Views

OnePlus One's Processor Upgraded from Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 to the 801 Version

Mar 24, 2014 - 11:45 AM - by cereal killer

In keeping with their commitment to make sure the OnePlus One smartphone is a "premium device" the folks at OnePlus have decided that when it launches it will come withe Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 instead of the older 800 model CPU. It's great to see that the company is willing to switch gears with their phone while it is still in development.

The Snapdragon 801 isn't dramatically different than the 800, but it definitely has some notable features: quad-core 2.5GHz SoC using a 28nm process, Adreno 330 GPU, QuickCharge for 75% faster battery charging, integrated LTE, support for Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi ac, 4K video recording & more. It's a shame other OEMs can't take this example to heart, but it's probably understandable because they have much larger production pipelines. It's much easier for a new company to make shifts on their first smartphone before it launches.

Sound off if you are looking forward to seeing this new entry into the Android arena.

originally written by dgstorm

Via: DroidForums
  0 Replies | 335 Views

Researchers Working on 'deep learning' for Smartphones to Make them Even Smarter

Mar 21, 2014 - 12:32 PM - by cereal killer

Researchers at Purdue’s Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Psychological Science are working on the next big AI advancement for smartphones. It's called "deep learning" and it aims to make searching even more intuitive than ever before. It takes the "facial recognition" concept to it's ultimate extreme to create an "everything recognition." Here's a quote with the details,

Imagine this example, you took a picture years ago of you and your friends at a concert. You want to pull up that picture again, but do not want to scroll through the thousands of pictures on your phone. What if you could initiate a search based on the surroundings in the picture, like “concert” or “stage” and pull it up that way?

Researchers are building what it calls a “deep learning” AI function that makes the machine process information in the same manner humans do. It learns to recognize things like “trees” or a “car” and create layers of information that can then be indexed and searched. Naturally the processing power has not been optimal for such development to be feasible in mobile devices, but as you might expect, the forward march of technology advancement is tearing down that obstacle.
Associate Professor Eugenio Culurciello explained, “It analyzes the scene and puts tags on everything. When you give vision to machines, the sky’s the limit.”

Apparently, this new tech won't take too long to develop either. Research into this is being funded by the Office of Naval Research, National Science Foundation, and DARPA. Furthermore, Professor Culurciello started a company, called TeraDeep, which is currently developing commercial applications.

What do you guys think? Are these tech advances starting to get a little scary or are they simply too cool to worry about?

originally posted by dgstorm

Via: DroidForums
  0 Replies | 402 Views

New Android KitKat Version Likely Coming Soon to Squash Some Bugs

Mar 20, 2014 - 10:24 AM - by cereal killer

There is convincing intel that Google is currently working on build KTU65 of a new Android KitKat update. The evidence, (in the screenshot above) appeared in a Google Code bug report for Chromium. It was uploaded by a Googler who was apparently testing the build on a Nexus 5. The KT designator definitely makes it a KitKat update, while the number at the end is a date identifier.

It is suspected that this update is meant to curtail some bugs, especially the camera-battery drain issue that is plaguing a few users. We will keep you updated when more info emerges.

originally written by dgstorm

Via: DroidForums
  0 Replies | 404 Views

Oppo Find 7 Flagship Unveiled with Insane Specs: 2K Display, 50MP Pictures & More

Mar 19, 2014 - 11:27 AM - by cereal killer

The Chinese smartphone developer Oppo just upped the ante in the smartphone world. They officially unveiled their new Find 7 flagship device. Most of its internal specs are phenomenal, especially the camera. Here's a breakdown:

  • 5.5-inch 2,560×1,440 touchscreen with 538ppi density (can be operated with wet hands and includes Gorilla Glass 3)
  • 13MP Camera - IMX214 Sony Sensor with dual LED flash and an aperture of f/2.0 - includes a Super Zoom Mode which can merge 10 rapid shots into a single 50MP image - record 4K video, as well as 720p HD slow-motion clips at 100 fps
  • 5 MP front camera
  • 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor (MSM8974AC)
  • 3 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of internal storage space
  • A microSD card slot
  • MaxxAudio speakers (with enhanced bass)
  • 4G LTE
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC
  • 3,000 mAh battery
  • Weighs 173 grams
  • Color OS 1.2, (Custom Oppo UI based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean)

Intriguingly, the Find 7 wasn't just one device. Oppo actually outed two smartphones. The second is a "less premium" version called the Find 7a. Here are it's specs:

  • 5.5-inch 1080p Full HD touchscreen
  • The same camera technology found in the Find 7
  • 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor (MSM8974AB)
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 16 GB of internal storage
  • 2,800 mAh battery
  • Weighs 170 grams
  • Color OS 1.2, (Custom Oppo UI based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean)

Both devices will be available in China starting tomorrow. The Find 7a will launch internationally in mid-April for $499 USD. The "Premium" Find 7 will go on sale in May or June for $599 USD. Many of us here at HQ are crossing our fingers that this device comes to the US.

originally written by dgstorm
  0 Replies | 395 Views

Next-gen HTC One to be Available on March 25th Reveal Day

Mar 18, 2014 - 10:22 AM - by dgstorm

In another move suggesting that HTC has decided to use Apple's playbook, the "All New HTC One," which is scheduled to be officially unveiled on March 25th, will actually be available on that same day as well. If true, this newest rumor proves that HTC is the worst mobile company in the industry when it comes to keeping secrets. Regardless of their ability to stop leaks, and regardless of whom they are emulating, it seems like a smart move from the company.

HTC let Samsung have their fun with the Galaxy S5 reveal first, but instead of waiting to launch the device like Samsung is doing, they launch theirs on the reveal date, before Sammy's phones actually hits the streets. This has the dual effect of...

Continue Reading @: Next-gen HTC One to be Available on March 25th Reveal Day
  1 Reply | 383 Views

Samsung's New Smartphone Case Can Detect People & Objects Using Ultrasound

Mar 14, 2014 - 10:08 AM - by dgstorm

Smartphone advancements might be a bit stale right now, but there are other technological areas of evolution occurring in the mobile world. Here's a great example: Samsung just revealed three new smartphone accessories with advances designed to help folks with physical impairments. These devices are built specifically for their Galaxy Core Advance smartphone.

One is a device called the Optical Scan Stand. This is basically a raised bracket that will automatically trigger the OCR features to recognize and read aloud text placed in front of the phone. The next device is something called Voice Labels. These are "similar to Samsung's NFC-equipped TechTile stickers, but let visually impaired users make voice notes or record short explanations on how to use various devices around the home."

The final accessory is a new smartphone case called the Ultrasonic Cover. This devices uses ultrasonic sound waves to detect objects and people within a two-meter radios. This is meant to help visually impaired users navigate surroundings by sending spoken and/or vibrating alerts. Kudos to Samsung for thinking about our friends and family who have impairments.

Thanks for the tip, Jeffrey!

Source: Engadget
  0 Replies | 527 Views

Google Sued By Mother After Her Son Makes $66 of In-App Purchases in Marvel Game

Mar 13, 2014 - 2:13 PM - by cereal killer

Here's a story that might exacerbate your potentially diminishing faith in humanity. At the very least you might be disgusted at how people simply don't take responsibility for their actions these days. A woman named Ilana Imber-Gluck is suing Google because her son racked up a "whopping" [sarcasm] $65.95 of in-app purchases with the game Marvel Run Jump Smash. She is suing Google in a northern California court on behalf of herself and "all others similarly situated."

Her main point of contention is that there is a 30-minute window after downloading an app, in which the user - regardless of who that user might be - can activate in-app purchases without a password. Obviously, because the Google Play Store keeps your credit card on file, this "window of opportunity" allows the children of parents to potentially grab their device and rack up a huge bill before the parent has a chance to stop it. The problem comes because some games are free apps (which don't need a password), yet Google's account setup registers this as a "purchase" which attaches the ability to use the stored credit card info for in-app purchases without any password restriction.

Of course, the real wrinkle here is that this 30-minute window will exist only if the password check was previously disabled by the user, which had to have been done by the mom. Here's a quote with a few more details,

At the moment the 30-minute window can be avoided by going into the Settings menu of the Google Play Store and checking the option to "use password to restrict purchases." That will force the user to input their password, even for in-app purchases on a newly-downloaded game. In fact, this is the default behavior for Google Play - Imber-Gluck must have disabled it herself through the menu or one of the in-app purchase popup dialogs in order to open up the 30-minute window.

The core question of the suit may come down to whether or not this option is made clear to parents, and how much responsibility they have to understand the systems they and their children are using versus how much responsibility Google has to protect its users from possibly unwanted purchases. Developers should keep a close eye on this one, since forcing a password check for each and every purchase could alter the dynamics of Play Store and in-app purchases.
As you can see, the password situation could probably use some tweaking by Google, but the issue is a relatively minor one. Furthermore, users themselves should probably pay more attention to what options they choose for their apps to balance personal convenience and security. In this instance, it seems that Imber-Gluck is using the court system to address a grievance which could have been handled in other ways. It also seems she is avoiding taking responsibility for her own action (or inaction).

BTW... here's a link to the Google Play Store to check out the game for those interested: Google Play Store - Marvel Run Jump Smash

originally written by dgstorm
... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 440 Views

Amazon Prime's Price is Getting a Bump to $99 Starting Next Week

Mar 13, 2014 - 10:38 AM - by dgstorm

Not too long ago we posted some rumors suggesting that Amazon would increase its Prime pricing. The speculation at that time was that it might go up to as high as $129.99 per year. The price bump is no longer a rumor and is about to take place next week, but luckily, it won't be quite that high. Amazon Prime's new price will go from $79.99 to $99.99 for the year. Students with an Amazon Prime account will see a smaller increase (although it remains proportional). Their accounts go from $39.99 to $49.99 per year.

The new pricing will go into effect immediately for new customers starting some time next week (actual date is unspecified at the time of this report). For existing customers...

Continue Reading @: Amazon Prime's Price is Getting a Bump to $99 Starting Next Week
  0 Replies | 516 Views

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